The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Lauderdale County Alabama

History gone…

again. The photo below is of the Old Mel White homeplace on Bumpass Creek Road in Lauderdale County, Alabama. The owners are pictured and are identified as Mel and Elizabeth Scott White.

Mel White homeplace on Bumpass Creek Road

The Acqueduct on the Muscle Shoals canal…

is the subject of this 1913 photograph.

acqueduct 1913


Oh, how we long to know our roots…

and where we came from. Marie Purdy Myrick and Tim Purdy  have a nice surprise coming their way. She posted on Facebook that showed up in our newsfeed page with a request for help with her family history. And we can help a little.

We traced back as far as Francis Purdy. Francis Purdy had a son named Ebenezer Purdy whose son was James Purdy. James Purdy  married Phebe Purdy (Peter , Francis 3-2-1) a cousin. James was born 1750 in Westchester County, New York. He first removed to Dutchess and then to Chenango County, New York. The migration of the family followed along these lines: Canada>New York>Michigan>Washington state. James Purdy had a son named Stephen Purdy.

The lineage then follows that Stephen Purdy had a song named Josiah Purdy. Josiah’s parents were Stephen Purdy born 1788 and Sally whose last name remains unknown.

Josiah Purdy was born 1806 and married Rachel Diantha Hartwell who was sister of Colonel Samuel Hartwell who had married Phebe Purdy, an aunt of Josiah’s. They lived at Georgetown, Hamilton Township, Dutchess County, New York.Photo of Sarah Singer Purdy Hath Josiah had a brother named Nelson Purdy who lived at Cleveland Ohio. There was also a sister named Sally born 1813 and there must have been other siblings. Further research will be needed by the family.

If research took us along the right path Josiah had the following children: Horace born 1835, Lavinia born 1839, Egbert Francis born 1841, Lucretia born 1844, Preston born 1846, Loren born 1849 and Arminia Alice born 1851.

Josiah Purdy had a son named Preston Purdy, likely Preston C Purdy. Preston C Purdy married Sarah Elizabeth Singer. The photo is of Sarah Singer Purdy. Sarah Singer’s parents were Job Singer and Huldah Randal

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...

This map shows the incorporated and unincorporated areas in King County, Washington, highlighting Seattle in red. It was created with a custom script with US Census Bureau data and modified with Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palmer. Josiah and Sarah Purdy had one child, Orren Jay Purdy. Sarah married second to Jerome Bonaparte Hath and had a number of children, seven if the count is right; six boys and one girl. Preston married a second time to Eurista or Eulista Lapham and had a family of children. 

Orren Jay Purdy married Annie Nettie Scott whose parents were Willard and Jennie Scott. By 1930 Orren was a widower. Orren served honorably in the Spanish American War [one record has him listed as a civil war solder, but that is not possible because he was not born until 16 May 1882 although another birthdate is noted.  He was born in Red Willow County, Nebraska. He served as a Private in Co B, 30th Regiment of US Volunteer Infantry. Orren J Purdy died i18 Nov 1954 and  is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Owosso, Michigan. Orren Purdy may have had more children, but he did have a son named Esley Truman Purdy

Annie Nettie Scott Purdy apparently had three husbands. First was husband  Orren Jay Purdy. They had the one son, Truman Esley Purdy. The second marriage was to Albert Anthony Lepard who was born ca 1868. The children from that marriage were Charles Lepard 1910 and Warren Eugene Lepart 1911-1987. The third marriage was to Edward F Gruebner born ca 1888. Their children were Max F Gruebner born ca 1920, Earl W Gruebner born ca 1922, and Betty Jane Gruebner born ca 1927.

Esley Truman Purdy was born about 1905 in Genesee County, Michigan and died 11 Oct 1956 in Seattle, King County, Washington.

E T Purdy was an employee or a member of the crew on several ship voyages. It appears that the voyages started in 1951 and ended in 1955. There was a number of them. Some are listed below.

Elsey Purdy was on the voyage from Seattle Washington that sailed 18 Oct 1951 and arrived at Yokohoma Japan 25 Nov 1951. On that voyage E T Purdy was employed for seven months as an Evap. Util. He can read, is 5″10″ and weighs 175 pounds. The ship was named the General Mason M Patrick.

He made a voyage from Yokohoma Japan to Seattle arriving in Seattle on 22 May 1952. The ship was named General Simon B Buckner and he was 46 years old.

He was on a voyage that departed from Pusan Korea and arrived in Seattle 5 July 1954. The ship was named Marine Adder; he was 47 years old.

He was on a voyage from Pusan, Lorea that arrived in Seattle 8 Jan 1955. The ship was named the Sergeant Archer T Gammon; he was 47.

Esley’s wife was likely Letha Irene Fort. Esley Trumen Purdy died at age 51 on 11 Oct 1956 in Seattle, King County, Washington; his wife died three years later. Reports are that he was killed, whether by accident during a voyage or what is not known at this time. The only record found to date of a Serah Blood, who the family gives as his wife was for a Sarah May “Sadie” Blood who married a Ridenhour. Further research is recommended.

Their son Truman Esley Purdy is next in the family line, but there may be other children. He was born 20 Apr 1936 or 1933 in Michigan and died  23 Feb 2000 in Bessemer, Jefferson County, Alabama. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama. He married Mary Lena Kimbrough and there are at least two children: Tim Purdy and Marie Purdy Myrick of the Shoals area. The Veteran’s Gravesites, ca. 1775-2006 record  has the following information and birth year of 1933 instead of 1936:

Name: Truman Esley Purdy
Service Info.: PVT US ARMY KOREA
Birth Date: 20 Apr 1933
Death Date: 23 Feb 2000

 On the 1940 census record Esley was listed as four years old and in the household of his father and mother. They lived on Belsay Road in Flint, Genessee County, Michigan.

I found another relative today…

that I never knew I had.  His mother’s name is listed in every document found as Ludie Murray. She was the daughter of Marion McCook Murray who was known as Mack Murray. Mack Murray was a son of John K Murray and Lucinda Isbell Murray. John K Murray died of dysentery


Bartlesville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

during the War Between the States. John K Murray was one of three brothers (the oldest brother being my ggg-grandfather, William Deaton Jackson Murray who was known as John Murray to family and friends) who served in the 1st Alabama Tennessee Independent Vidette Cavalry; they joined in Jackson County where they lived before removing to what is now Colbert County.

Mack Franklin PottsMack Franklin Potts (1922-2011)

Mack Franklin Potts, 88, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma died August 19, 2011 at his home in Bartlesville. He was born April 9, 1922 in Waterloo, Alabama. He was the son of John Cary Potts and Sarah Lucinda (Murray) Potts. He grew up in the family home in Waterloo.
Mack married Juanita Nell Threet of Waterloo on August 30, 1941, and after serving in the Air Force and completing his education at the University of Tennessee, he had a 40 year career with Phillips Petroleum Company as a Chemical Engineer, in Bartlesville, Kansas City, Puerto Rico, England, and India. He enjoyed crossword puzzles, being with his family, and socializing with many close friends.
He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the China/Burma/India (CBI) campaign, and was an active member of the Bartlesville chapter of the CBI veterans.
Mack had recently become a great grandfather again, and had a total of 3 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He was a member of the First Methodist Church of Bartlesville and the Hillcrest Country Club.
Mack was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Murray Potts of Florence, Alabama, and Joe Potts of Atlanta, Georgia.
He is survived by: his wife, Juanita Nell (Threet) Potts of Bartlesville, his son, Terrell Franklin Potts and his wife Jo, of Missouri, his brother Karl Potts, of Alabama, three grandchildren, Joel Potts and his wife Allyssa of California, Rebecca (Potts) Shank and her husband Merric of Washington, Susan Fanning of Tulsa, and 4 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m on Saturday, September 24, at the Arnold Moore Funeral Home Chapel, 621 S. Johnstone, in Bartlesville. Online condolences may be offered at
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any contributions be made in Mack’s name to the SPCA, 16620 State Highway 123, Bartlesville, OK 74003 or to the American Diabetes Association , Okla. Affiliate, Inc., 1211 N Shartell Ave., #603, Okla. City, OK 73103-2425.

Published in Examiner-Enterprise from September 22 to October 22, 2011

Class photograph of a class at Old Ray School in Florence Alabama circa 1938…

shows just how we lived back in the day with boys in overalls and girls in dresses all ladylike.  No air conditioning. Discipline reigned in the classroom, if not then you got nothing at school compared to what you got at home.

Old Ray School class of circa 1938

  1. Wright, Ray Howard 16. Green, Bobby
  2. Redding, Hubert 17. Jones, Edward 
  3. Peden, Warren 18. Wright, L. C. “Dick” 
  4. Call, Charles 19. Wallace, Unknown
  5. McDougal, William 20. Dhority, Virginia
  6. Fowler, Glen 21. McIntyre, Camillia
  7. Lindsey, Quinon 22. Brewer, Unknown
  8. Terrell, Unknown 23. Thornton, Faye Dean
  9. Redding, Laverne 24. Murphy, Marie Walker
10. Wallace, Unknown 25. Cox, Virginia
11. Roberson, Unknown 26. Green?, Wilma
12. Walker, Mary Belle 27. Roberson, Unknown
13. Kimbrough, Helen 28. Walker, Louise, Teacher
14. number not present 29. White, Virginia 

Any corrections or missing names that can be added would be appreciated. Also, any information or further description of this long gone school and its occupants would be welcome.

Stooksberry has nothing on Wallis…

English: Blue Mountain College in Tippah Count...

English: Blue Mountain College in Tippah County, Mississippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

as far as being patriotic. The Stooksberry family can trace their heritage back to the Revolutionary War; the maternal side of the family, the Wallace side, has patriots as well.

The Wallis family goes back to England and the usual spelling of the name in most records is Wallis. The earliest known to date are Joseph Wallis and his wife Elizabeth Shetford Wallis. They had a son, Joseph Wallis, who was born 27 Sep 1712 and died 4 Apr 1748  in Kegworth, Leicestershire, England. He married a Sarah, likely Mawby but possibly Pool. They had a large family of children. One of their sons, Thomas Wallis was born 1731 also in Kegworth, England. He immigrated to the United States in 1750. Thomas Wallis was in North Carolina likely by the time of his marriage to Jane. He married Jane Christian in 1760 and they had the following children: John Wallis born ca 1772, Josiah Wallis 1775-1850, Thomas Wallis born ca 1776, Isaac Henry Wallis 1777-1862, Mary Wallis born ca 1780, Elizabeth Wallis born ca 1781 and Timothy Wallis born ca 1785. There may have been additional children. Thomas Wallis died  7 Nov 1800 in Hillsborough, Randolph County, North Carolina. 

We follow the line next through son Josiah Wallis who was born  11 May 1775 in North Carolina and died 30 Aug 1850 in Tishomingo, Tishomingo County, Mississippi.  Josiah married Sarah Hobson on 31 December 1795 in Prentiss County, Mississippi. In 1800 they appear to be residing in Hillsborough, Randolph County, North Carolina. In 1820 they had located themselves in Franklin County, Tennessee. In 1830 they lived in Lawrence County, Tennessee. In 1840 they were living in Tishomingo County, Mississippi where according to census records they seem to have remained for the remainder of their lives, although it is possible they lived other places in-between censuses. 

Josiah and Sarah had a very large family of children. The names and birthdates follow as found in records: Malinda Wallis born ca 1797, Bennett Wallis 1799-1869,  Rachel Wallis born ca 1799, Amy Anny Wallis 1802-1880, Joseph Hobson Wallis 1808-1886, Sallie Wallis 1809-1860, Rebecca Wallis 1810-1893,  Letitia Wallis 1812-1900, Tilman Wallis born ca 1814, Isom Lee Wallis 1816-1889, Jane Wallis 1819-1860, Charity Wallis born ca 1820, Virginia Wallis born ca 1820, Rachel Wallis born ca 1822,  Brantley Wallis born ca 1825 and  Easter Wallis born ca 1825. There may have been sets of twins or the dates may have been surmised a little off. Josiah Wallis died 30 August 1850 at about age seventy-five.

Their son Tilman Wallis Wallace continues the line. He was born ca 184 in Lawrence County, Tennessee. It is not known when he died or where he is buried. He married Rebecca whose last name is presumed to be Thomas. She was born ca 1810 in Lawrence County, Tennessee. There were records that indicated she was born in South Carolina, but that is normal for every family. She died  21 Jul 1893 in Tishomingo County, Mississippi according to some researchers.  Tilman and Rebecca Wallace Wallis had children, some are documented but there may be others as well. They are thought to be: James H “Jimmie” Wallis 1832 – 4 April 1910, Sarah J Wallis born ca 1834, Mary Wallis born ca 1836, Sarah P Wallis born ca 1837, Josiah Wallis 1840 – 1863, William H Wallis 1845 – 1905. Some places William H Wallis’ name is given as William Isaac Wallis.

We follow the Wallis’ through Tilman and Rebecca Wallis’ son James H Wallis who was called Jimmie. Jimmie Wallis was born January 1832 in Lawrence County, Tennessee and died 4 April 1910 in Tippah County, Mississippi. Jimmie is buried at City Line Baptist Church Cemetery at Dry Creek as are numerous ancestors and other family. It is noted that the date for his marriage to Jane E Ford was 1847. That marriage date would have her age at seventeen and his age at fifteen. His birth date may have been earlier than found. Jane and Jimmie Wallis  had known children as follows: Tilman R Wallis 1848 – 1929.Elijah Walker Wallis 1850 – 1933, William Turner Wallis 1853 – 1922, Harriet Wallis 1855 – 1870, Mary S Adline Wallis born ca 1856, Rachel C Wallis 1858 – 1941, Sarah Sallie Wallis 1865 – 1900, Tobe Davenport Wallis 1868 – 1950, Amanda Manerva “Nerve” Wallis born ca 1870, and Martha Emma Wallis born ca 1875. James H Wallis married secondly to Susan Anna Coon/Koon Wileman on 23 October 1887 . No documentation of children from that marriage have been found. Susan Anna Coon had first married William R Wileman in 1865. William R Wileman died October 1882 in Booneville, Prentiss County, Mississippi.

There were four James Wallis’ who served in the Confederate Army, one in the 8th Battalion and one in the 1st Regiment, both seem to be Infantry units. Another served in the Holmes County Independents and the fourth one served in the 22nd Infantry.  If any of them are James H Wallis, it has not been determined, but a little research would reveal the information for family. They may have been the same person as that happened frequently during the War Between the States.

The Wallis line goes next to their son Tilman R Wallis who was born 29 Nov 1848 and died 4 Feb 1929 in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. On 31 December 1868 Tilman R Wallis married Amanda Bartlett in Tippah County, Mississippi. TheirPhoto of gravemarker for Tilman R Wallis and wife Amanda Bartlett Wallis children may have been: Isa Wallis, Lillie Wallis, Columbus Lafayette “Fate” Wallis 1869 – 1951, Jane J Wallis 1871 – 1876, Jesse Daniel Wallis 1874 – 1952, Felix Leon Wallis 1876 – 1956, Lee Walace born ca 1877, Amanda Wallis born ca 1877, and Maude Myrtle Wallis 1888 – 1968. Tilman R Wallis was located in both Prentiss and Tippah Counties on census records. Tilman R Wallis and Amanda Wallis are buried at County Line Baptist Church Cemetery; they share the same headstone. County Line Baptist Church Cemetery is located at County Road 638,  Tippah County, Mississippi.

Next we follow with Tilman R Wallis’ son, Jesse Daniel Wallis. Jesse was born 1874 and died 1952 in Tippah County, Mississippi. The following information is gleaned from his World War I Draft Registration Card: he was 44 years old, engages in farming, is of medium build and height with blue eyes and brown hair; his wife is Viola. On this 1918 draft registration, he gives his residence as Dumas in Tippah County.

Jesse Wallis had two wives, the first was Viola E Green and the second was Vida Clara Cooper. No documentation has been found for the marriage to Vida Clara Cooper as of this date. However it does seem that Vida Clara Cooper had married a Wallis, William David Wallace, whose birth and death dates were similar to that of Jesse Wallis. Viola and Jesse married  6 November 1895 in Tippah County. Jesse Daniel Wallis and Viola Green Wallis had the following children: Ray O Wallis 1897 – 1966, Roy Wallace born ca 1898, Thomas Lee Wallace 1902 – 1980, Lizza Myrtle Wallis Smith born ca 1906, Refford G or Billy Wallace born 11 June 1911 and died 31 July 1983 in Sacramento, California, Faye Gwendola Wallis 1919 – 2000. Jesse Daniel and Viola Green Wallis are buried at County Line Baptist Church Cemetery at Dry Creek, Mississippi.

The line goes next through Thomas Lee Wallace was born 19 Jan 1902 in Mississippi, likely Tippah County and died 11 photo of Sailor Thomas Lee WallaceApr 1980 in Sacramento, California three years before his brother Refford Wallace. Thomas Lee Wallace married Velma C whose last name is unknown at present.  They likely married in 1929 as the 1930 census has Velma C Wallace listed as having married at age 19 and she was then 20. Their firstborn, Lowell, was just one month old at the time of the census. The census was taken 20 April 1930 and it shows them and his father living on Ripley and Baldwyn Road. Thomas Wallace served honorably in the U S Navy during World War II. Thomas Lee and Velma C Wallace had the following children: Lowell H Wallace born 1930, Virginia Wallace born ca 1931, Morris T Wallace born ca 1932, Betty Joy Wallace born ca 1934, Bobbie Sue Wallace born 1936, and Jimmy Wallace born ca 1939.

Thomas and Velma Wallace’s daughter Bobbie Sue Wallace is the connection to the Stooksberry line of the family. She was born 19 March 1936 in Lauderdale County, Alabama. She married Robert Earl Grigsby who was born 7 Apr 1932 likely in Lauderdale County, Alabama and died 9 Dec 1992 in Whigham, Grady County, Georgia. The obituary says his place of death was Cairo, Georgia. As of yet no date of marriage has been located, but their divorce was dated June of 1955 and took place in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Robert Earl Grigsby’s parents were Arthur and Pearl Grigsby.They had four children: Jeanne, Lisa, Roger Dale and Donna Jo Grigsby. Bobbie Sue Wallace Grigsby married again to a Woodruff and lives in Florida.

Robert Earl Grigsby and Bobbie Sue Wallace Grigsby’s daughter, Donna Jo marries Richard Lane Stooksberry; he is called Ricky by family and friends. Ricky and Donna Jo Stooksberry had two children: Joseph Lane Stooksberry born 1979 and Amy Stooksberry born 1987. Both were born and raised in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Before Ricky and Donna Jo Stooksberry had their first natural-born child, this couple adopted into their family a relative when he was a small child and raised him as their  own. That child was Anthony Lynn Wallace and he now resides in Illinois.

Donna Jo Stooksberry was a young 44 years of age when she died. Her obituary follows:

She was born 6 April 1958 and died 26 July 2002 Mrs. Donna Jo Stooksberry, 44, of Florence, passed away Friday, July 26, 2002, at ECM Hospital.Donna was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a homemaker. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Earl Grigsby.Funeral service will be Monday at 3 p.m. at Elkins Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Brother Henry Melton, and burial will be at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens.The family will receive friends Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Elkins Funeral Home, Florence, will be assisting the family.She is survived by her husband Ricky Stooksberry of Florence; daughter, Amy Lea Stooksberry of Florence; sons, Anthony Lynn Wallace of Galesburg, Ill., and Joseph Lane Stooksberry of Florence; mother, Bobbie Sue Woodruff of Milton, Fla.; sisters, Jeanne Brewer of Nashville, Tenn., and Lisa Adcock of Texarkana, Ark.; brother, Roger Dale Grigsby of Milton, Fla.; one grandchild, Taylor Sky Wallace; and several nieces and nephews.Pallbearers will be Rick Willis, Fred Adams, Ryan Stooksberry, Justin Tatum, Johnny Wallace and Dwight Hubbard. Published in Florence Times Daily on July 28, 2002

She was a beautiful woman and she had a beautiful family. Donna Jo Grigsby Stooksberry may your soul rest in peace.

Family is important…

and sometimes documenting family history is difficult. Joseph Lane Stooksberry formerly of Florence has posted some of his family story and some of the stories are heartwarming. His paternal line goes back further than the American Revolution. This article will concentrate on the Stooksberry line. The Wallis line will be the next article; and it is very interesting as well.

The name Stooksbury, variously spelled Stukesberry, Stukesbury, Stokesberry, Stretchbury, Stuchbury, Stretchbury, appears in the records of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. These records indicate that a Robert Stukesbury was in that county as early as 1695. In 1719 William Penn, divided all the land of Wrightstown, Bucks County, among 15 men, one of whom was Robert Stuckbury. Since that was the last time his name appeared in the Bucks County records, it is assumed that he was Robert Stretchbury, of Bucks County who married Elizabeth Heuitt, widow, of the same county, on October 16,1792, and later appeared in the Fairfax County, Virginia records. Robert died intestate in 1751. William Stokesbury was in Buckingham and Wrightstown Militia, Bucks County, Pennsylvania on August 21, 1775, and Jacob Stooksbury, Solesbury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was in the same militia company. They could have been brothers. It is probable that Sir William and Susannah Thomas Stukesbury are the parents of Robert Stukesbury. Sir William Stooksbury of England Came to America about 1720 and had sons.

On October 28, 1757 Robert Stukesberry, lawful son and heir of Robert Stukesberry, deceased, and Jean, his wife, sell land formerly owned by his father to Thomas Gore of Loudon County, Virginia. The Robert Stukesberry family lived near Waterford, in that part of Fairfax County which in 1757 became Loudon County. In Loudon County Court Order Book A, page 229, there is record of a transaction in 1759 between Robert Stukesberry and his stepmother, Elizabeth Powderell. (She may have remarried after the first Robert’s death.) Robert and Jean Stukesberry had sons David, John, Jacob and William and daughter Rebecca.

His eldest son Jacob was born in New York about 1750 and moved to Virginia. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary Photo of marker for Jacob Stooksbury's burial place in Anderson County, TennesseeWar. His wife was Elizabeth Brixtraw Moorhead and they had sons Jacob, William, Robert, Enoch, and Joseph or Josiah, Franklin S, and twin sons who were born and died in 1807.There were two Rixey boys that were associated with the family in the census records. Elizabeth Morehead had previously been married to Richard Rixey and they had a number of children. Richard Rixey served in the Revolutionary War as well and his descendants are members of the Sons of Revolutionary War and likely the DAR. The Rixey children were: John, Mary, Richard, Presley, Samuel, Charles and William.

Photo of burial marker for Jacob Stooksbury in Anderson County, TennesseeHis second son William Stooksbury moved to Pennsylvania or Ohio and had sons named Jacob, William, David, and John.  

This Jacob Stooksbury is the lineage for the Stooksberry’s from Lauderdale County, Alabama. Jacob Stooksbury served in the American Revolutionary War. He was born 10 May 1753 in Loudoun County, Virginia (one source stated he was born in Pennsylvania). He died in the year 1839 in York Springs, Anderson County, Tennessee.

These notes on Jacob Stooksbury tell us about his life:

Jacob Stooksbury was the first of the name in Anderson County, Tennessee. The exact date of his arrival in the county is not known, but the following record was found in the Anderson County Court Minutes 1810-1814, April 1814, p. 206: Ordered by the court that Jacob Stukesbury be allowed $30.00 annually, payable quarter annually, for the support and maintenance of Elizabeth Hutchings instead of Phillip Albright, who has refused to keep said woman.Jacob may have been part of the Henderson and Company Survey or another Land company that held title to the land of the Big Valley area off of the Clinch River.

Jacob was not pensioned for his service in the revolution. The application he made and the application for survivor benefits stated that proof of his service was insufficient. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Sons of the Revolution (SOR) accept Jacob’s declaration and allow his descendents into their organizations. ( page 9 To Loy’s Cross Roads, by William G. Tharpe )

Jacob applied for a Revolutionary War pension 8 September 1818. He served on the Virginia Line. His pension application number was  S39094. He lived in Frederick County, Virginia at the time of his enlistment. He  moved to Montgomery County for several years and then to Anderson County, Tennessee. Jacob,enlisted in Frederick County, Virginia in the spring of 1776, and served under Capt. William Frost and Col. Dan Milligan of the Virgina Line and was discharged below Richmond from the Melinburg Brigade. He was hurt by a wagon running over his hip. His job was wagoneer. He also served under Lt. Abraham Anderson until 1781, After the battle of Eaton Springs. He was discharged near Williamsburg. (Bessys Ferry on the Shenadough) His petition was witnessed by Jacob Strader. Benjamine Wheeler, Edward Ervin, and William King.

Jacob Stooksbury sold 100 and 640 acre tracts in Loudoun County, Virginia to a Joseph and William Parks for 5 Shillings. A Jacob Stooksbury is shown in the Soldiers of the American Revolution for Bucks County, Pennsylvania as:

  • Pvt. , Solbury Co., 2d Batt…(s2, v14, 159)
  • Pvt., Solbury Co., 1st Batt…(s5, v5, 330)
  • Muster Rolls and Papers Relating to the Associators and Militia of the County of Bucks.
  • Roll of the Associated Company for the Township of Solesbury, Bucks County, August 21, 1775 lists a Jacob Stooksbury on its rolls as a private.

Jacob filed for a pension for his Revolutionary War service on 8 September 1818 Campbell County, 9 April 1821 in Anderson County and in Knox County on 28 December 1821. He was never awarded a pension. Alternate spelling of last name Stukesbury. Alternate birth date of 1750 in New York. Jacob Strechberry was listed in Virginia, Fredrick’s County in 1782 as the head of the household with two in the household.

Jacob and Eliazabeth Moorehead Stooksbury’s eldest son, Robert Robin ‘Squire’ was born circa 1780 in Loudoun County, Virigina and dies 15 October 1850, some say he died in 1855, in Mount Pleasant, Union County, Tennessee.

He lived in Loyston for a time; that area has historic significance. In the 1870s a frontier fort known as “Sharp’s Station”1870s was built by a German immigrant named Henry Sharp. It was situated on the slopes of Big Ridge overlooking the Clinch River east of Loyston; the area that had been identified by long hunters travelling down the Clinch Valley during the 1860s. Another notable early settlers, Robert Stooksbury, moved to the Loyston area around 1800. Several dozen Stooksbury descendants were still living in the Loyston area; some operated one of the community’s general in the early 1930s. The valley in which Loyston was once located is now submerged under the widest part of Norris Lake, the mile-wide “Loyston Sea.” 

Robert Stooksbury married Hannah Parley Horton. They had children named Isaac, Elizabeth, Jacob, Robert, Rebecca JAne, Mary Nancy, Anna, Alfred, and William Josiah Stooksbury. Robert Stooksbury died in Mount Pleasant in Union County, Tennessee. The Lauderdale County Stooksbury line continues through their son Robert.

Robert Stooksbury was born circa 1815 in Anderson County, Tennessee and died 10 May 1879 in Wayne County, Tennessee. One source gives the death date as September 1880. On 5 August 1846 he married Jane Jennie Sharp. They have children named: Francis Franklin “Frank” who married Nancy Dee Hensley; Ellen Nellie who died at age 34 and never married; Hannah who married Abraham Mart Sims; Isaac who married Sarah M Woody; Samuel G who died at age 22; and William Sherman Stooksbury who died at the age of 32.Robert Stooksbury served in Company F of the 6th Tennessee Infantry; he and his wife Jane received pensions.

Francis Franklin Stooksbury and Nancy Dee Hensley married 27 February 1872 in Wayne County, Tennessee. They had sons Lemuel W, James Robert, and William C; and daughters Eliza E, Mary L, Francis E, and Parley J Stooksbury. Frank was born in August of 1846 in Anderson County, Tennessee and died in 1905 in Wayne County, Tennessee.

James Robert Stooksberry was born in March 1876 and died 1913 in Wayne County, Tennessee. A 1901 marriage record shows him married to Lillie Bell Brewer and they had a son Willie Herman Stooksberry.  James Robert Stooksberry married again in 1908 to Mattie Moore (Mary Molly Martin is also given as a wife)  and they had a son Matthew Floyd.

Willie Herman Stooksberry was born 23 Oct 1902 in Wayne County, Tennessee and died  27 May 1986 in Iron City, Wayne County, Tennessee. He married Bessie E Olive and they had Iva Dean, James Ellis, and J Marie Stooksberry. Herman Stooksberry married Mattie Levellyn Moore in 1920 and they had J W Stooksberry.

James Ellis Stooksberry was born 24 February 1927 in Wayne County, Tennessee. He died 21 September 2007 in Lauderdale CountyAlabama. His obituary reads:

Mr.James Ellis Stooksberry, 80, of Florence, passed away Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at his residence following an extended illness.He was a native of Wayne County, Tenn., and a member of Oakdale Baptist Church.Visitation was last evening at Greenview Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. today, Sept. 23, 2007, in Greenview Memorial Chapel, with burial in Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens. Officiating will be the Rev. Tim Hanback. Mr. Stooksberry was preceded in death by his father and mother, Hermon and Mattie Moore Stooksberry; stepmother, Bessie Stooksberry; brother, J.W. Stooksberry; and daughter-in-law, Donna Stooksberry.He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Libby) Hunt Stooksberry; three sons, Terry Stooksberry and wife, Teresa, Richard Stooksberry and Ronald Stooksberry and wife; Donna; two daughters, Carolyn Sue Edwards and husband, John, and Maureen Napps and husband, Rick; two brothers, Junior Stooksberry and wife, Kaye, and Keith Stooksberry and wife, Lisa; four sisters, Ivadeen Jackson, Lillie Day and husband, Herman, Marie Weavers and husband, James, Shirley Robertson and husband, Royce, and Cathy Cook and husband, Bill; sister-in-law, Crystal Stooksberry; 12 grandchildren plus a special grandson, Ryan Stooksberry and wife, Lori, four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Special thanks to Dr. Irons, Mid South Home Health and to Hospice of the Shoals.Arrangements by Greenview Funeral Home. Published in Florence Times Daily on September 23, 2007. Burial: Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Son Richard Lane Stooksberry’s mother was Tommie Venus Jones Stooksberry Rich. The other siblings are Sue, Ronnie, Ricky, Maureen and Terry Stooksberry. Many Shoals area residents will recall Terry and Maureen due to their great athleticism. All of them were Bradshaw High School graduates except the two oldest; this probably means that Bradshaw was not built at that date.

Richard Lane “Ricky” Stooksberry was born 10 August 1953 in Lauderdale County. Ricky married Donna Jo Grigsby who was born 6 Apr 1958  and died 26 July 2002 in Lauderdale County. It is interesting to note that Ricky already has a memorial in Find-A-Grave, even though he is not deceased. This is a volunteer site where citizens, and I am a contributor, document the burials of others and recently we have started putting a little history of the person online in the memorials. Ricky has a memorial because Donna’s headmarker is a double marker and Ricky’s side of the marker has Photo of Donna Jo Grigsby and  Richard Lane "Ricky" Stooksberrybeen completed except for the expiration date. This is the first time I have run across a memorial for a living person in my years and extensive research on the site.

Donna passed away at the age of forty-four and was a beautiful lady. Joseph, a son, states that, “Actually, all the men and women were really good looking people in my family and were very well-known for that.” Ricky and Donna had two biological children: Joseph L Stooksberry and Amy Stooksberry; and an adopted son who is five years older than Joseph. The adopted son is Anthony Wallace and Donna and Ricky took him in at birth. Anthony Wallace and Joseph and Amy share Tom Wallace; who was Anthony’s grandfather and Joseph and Amy’s great-grandfather. Donna Stooksberry and Anthony Wallace were first cousins. Confusing, I know, but that is how genealogy unfolds.

Joseph Stooksberry was born 4 June 1979. He is married to Angela Weems and they now live in Huntsville, Alabama. Amy Wallace is younger than Joseph, but it is not polite to tell a girl’s age. Amy works at Shoals Hospital while Joseph works at Athens-Limestone Hospital. They were both born in Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Posted here is the obituary for Donna Jo Grigsby Stooksberry:

Birth: Apr. 6, 1958
Death: Jul. 26, 2002

Mrs. Donna Jo Stooksberry, 44, of Florence, passed away Friday, July 26, 2002, at ECM Hospital.Donna was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a homemaker. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Earl Grigsby.Funeral service will be Monday at 3 p.m. at Elkins Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Brother Henry Melton, and burial will be at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens.The family will receive friends Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Elkins Funeral Home, Florence, will be assisting the family.She is survived by her husband Ricky Stooksberry of Florence; daughter, Amy Lea Stooksberry of Florence; sons, Anthony Lynn Wallace of Galesburg, Ill., and Joseph Lane Stooksberry of Florence; mother, Bobbie Sue Woodruff of Milton, Fla.; sisters, Jeanne Brewer of Nashville, Tenn., and Lisa Adcock of Texarkana, Ark.; brother, Roger Dale Grigsby of Milton, Fla.; one grandchild, Taylor Sky Wallace; and several nieces and nephews.Pallbearers will be Rick Willis, Fred Adams, Ryan Stooksberry, Justin Tatum, Johnny Wallace and Dwight Hubbard. Published in Florence Times Daily on July 28, 2002

The Wallace side of the Stooksberry family will be written about in a future article. For the most part, though, the ancestors who born in Tennessee, Wayne County is one area, then moved to Tippah County, Mississippi and somehow ventured in to Lauderdale County, Alabama at some point.

Who are these handsome men?

The school at Greenhill has had a basketball team since its junior high days and won the county championship in 1938.

Can you identify any of them? Please post their names and location in the photo.Photo of the Greenhill Alabama Basketball Team in 1938

Here is a little history on the community named Greenhill that is located in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Green Berry Hill, was born in Greenville County, South Carolina  25 November 1803 and died 8 October 1852 at Green HillAlabama. He and other family members are buried at Tabernacle Cemetery in the Greenhill community.

His parents were Henry T Hill (1776-1850) and Judith Nabours Hill (1777-1852).   the first ministers was the Rev. Henry Hill , whose ordination certification was recorded in the Lauderdale County Court House in 1829. He was the first minister of the new church when the first church burned down and a new was rebuilt. He and Judith are buried at Tabernacle Cemetery in the Greenhill community.

The text from an article from Florence Times follows:

July 4, 1976 – Our Country’s 200 year Centennial

July 4, 1976 Times Daily News Paper
By Mary Jane McDaniel

Photo of Tabernacle Church Building

Photo Credit: Jennifer A. {Lamar} Zahnd

Tabernacle Methodist church and Cemetery, Greenhill, is located on a beautiful tree-shaded knoll.
According to one local tradition the site was used first as an early camp ground for religious meetings.
Another view is that it may have first been the Hill family cemetery, and the church developed around that.
The first simple log church on the site was built perhaps between 1830 and 1840. Among the first ministers was the Rev. Henry Hill (1776-1850), whose ordination certification was recorded in the Lauderdale County Court House in 1829.
When this first building burned, another log one replaced it. The second one burned about 1869.
Local folk say that an unattended fireplace may have caused the destruction.
The present Tabernacle Methodist Church was constructed in 1869. At this time George Kennedy gave the Church legal title to the land. Henry A. Killen and others in the community furnished the materials. The Rev. Henry R. Hill did a large part of the actual work and was also the first minister of the new church.
Today the simple white frame church is used only for funerals and memorial services. Loyal supporters are slowly restoring the building, and they have completed most of the outside restoration. The church still contains some of the simple, hand-made, unfinished pews. It also contains some furnishings from Ebenezer Methodist Church, near Centerhill, which no longer in existence.
The adjoining cemetery is of special interest historically. The oldest marked grave is that of Catherine Hill who died in 1825 when she was 24. Her husband, Green Berry, who served in the Mexican War, was buried next to her in 1852. An interesting local tradition is that the Greenhill community was named for him.
An interesting stone slab in the ground marks the burial place of Captain John Chisholm (1779-1861) who served in the Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812 and the Mexican war.
LeMasters, a blacksmith, may have conducted the first post office in the area in his home.
There are also numerous graves marked only by pieces of rough stone. Whatever may have been written on them has long since faded away.
Despite the age of Tabernacle cemetery, it is in remarkably good condition and shows regular careful attention.

Henry and Judith were in the Territory of what would become the state of Alabama as early as 1798 as their marriage is documented as having taken place there. That hardly seems possibly given the birthplaces of their children as most of them appear to have been born in South Carolina. Of their large family of children the last two likely were born in Lauderdale County, Alabama in 1816 and 1817.

His first wife was Mary Catherine Hall; and the marriage ceremony was performed  10 February 1825 in Madison County, Alabama. She died 8 June 1825 and is buried at Tabernacle Cemetery. On that marriage record the groom’s name was given as William Green Hill.  It was Green Berry Hill after whom the community was named. Green Berry Hill fought for Texas Independence in 1836. There has been discussion over the years as to how the name of the community is spelled. Some consider Green Hill the proper spelling. Others consider the correct spelling to be Greenhill. The post office seems to think the correct spelling is Killen as there appears to be no zip code specifically for the community of Greenhill.

UPDATE: Margene Casteel Pettus was kind enough to post the answer to the question of just who are these handsome men, here is her response: The 1938 Junior High School basketball champions of Lauderdale county, hailing from Rogers Junior High School, Greenhill, the team having won the title in the annual tournament at Rogerville Saturday night.
From L to R back row: J.C. Davis,(Capt.), Reba Wright, Coleman Thigpen, Eugene Pettus, Coach Jimmie Westmoreland.
Front row: R.L. McInnish, Lonis Wright, Howard Truitt and Bruce Freeze.
The team won 21 out of 23 games this year, losing to two teams which later in the season they defeated handily.

The Lucas Memorial window…

is one of three very handsome memorial windows that are behind the altar in the center of the sanctuary of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood, Mississippi. The center window, depicting the Crucifixion, was presented by the Sunday School. To the right is the Lucas memorial window, portraying the Ascension. The scene depicted in the window to the left is disputed. Some say it is the Transfiguration, while others contend it is the Return of Christ.A photo of the three memorial windows behind the altar at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood, Mississippi

The memorial is in honor of the Lucas family of the Walnut Mound Plantation in LeFlore County, Mississippi. The patriarch of the family was Dr. John Hodges Lucas, son of Dr. Willis Lucas formerly of Lauderdale County, Alabama. Dr. Willis Lucas and Sarah Sallie Linam Lucas resided in Lauderdale County around the middle of the eighteen hundreds. John Hodges Lucas was born in Lawrence County, Tennessee and removed to Mississippi around the 1850s.  Dr. Willis Lucas and wife Sallie had three known children: Mary Elizabeth Lucas 1816 – 1901 who married Robert McWhirter, Sarah Frances Lucas 1818 – 1853 who married Jacob Duckett Casey in the Rawhide Community of Lauderdale County, Alabama,  and  Dr John Hodges Lucas 1826 – 1918 who is buried at Walnut Mound Cemetery near Shellmound, Mississippi. Dr. John Hodges Lucas was a highly esteemed man and physician who served as an Assistant Surgeon in the War Between the States in Company C/D of the 5th Mississippi Cavalry. 

The stories abound…

about the Peebles ancestor, George Henry Peebles.

So, this will be an attempt to provide accurate data. Here is what is known, some of it is family legend; some of it has been documented. George Henry Peebles, for the large group of first cousins that I belong to, was our great-great-grandfather. And let it be known now, that I consider family just that, family, no matter their reputation, demeanor, or history.

The first point of interest is his name. The Peebleses were notorious for naming a child one thing and calling him/her another name. So, it is documented that  ‘Grandpa Dick”  was named at birth by his mother George Henry Peebles. His name likely came from his ancestors with those names.  The family knew him as  ‘Grandpa Dick.”  Mother, Slena Mae Peebles Murray, when asked what was his name she said,  ‘Grandpa Dick.”  She further surmised then that his name must have been Richard. And it is true that he sometimes listed his name as Richard after he married his second wife Eliza Holland. He was listed as Richard on some census records like the 1900 Federal Census record where they all lived  in the Center Star area of Lauderdale County, Alabama. That seemed logical since ‘Dick’ is considered a nickname for the formal name of Richard. The name issue posed a very difficult obstacle and interfered with any serious research on his life. It was two aunts that first discovered what his given name really was, Betty Lou and Charlotte Peebles. If I recall correctly, the homemade tombstone that Gran, Robert Peebles, made for him listed his name as Richard Peebles.

Since there are no photographs that have been located, one must glean his physical appearance from how  previous generations have described him. Evidently, he was a man small in stature compared to other males in the Peebles clan who were over six feet in height. He must have been agile. He was known to demonstrate his temperament with physical actions. From what I have learned about him, he was fearless. The most reliable human source of accurate information, as far as I have found, was my grandmother, Drue Peebles. While sitting around her kitchen table one day, I asked her what Grandpa Dick looked like and she responded that Luther [Peebles] had a good resemblance to Grandpa Dick. Luther was likely a good resemblance to Grandpa Dick in personality as well, but Luther was funny and I suspect so was Grandpa Dick. Mama, Drue Peebles, said that Grandpa Dick would come to their house in Lawrence County many mornings. He would travel there by mule, this must have been a funny sight in and of itself. He would kid her by saying, “Now Drue, I didn’t come to see you. I came to see the baby.” Drue and Robert whose first child died, likely stillborn and the baby was their first living child, their daughter Preston.  The first infant was buried at a church cemetery around Leighton, according to what Preston had told me. This information puzzled me, as they were in Lawrence County; but the county boundaries for Colbert and Lawrence Counties changed and Leighton that had previously been part of Lawrence County was now part of Colbert County. Preston Peebles was born in 1920 in Lawrence County, so Grandpa Dick was about seventy-eight years old at the time he rode a mule to their home.

George Henry Peebles’  birthdate and place has several documents that verify the data. He was born below Elkton in Giles County, Tennessee on 9 March 1842. His parents were John M Peebles and Elizabeth Octavia Laughlin Peebles. His siblings that are known were: Emaline H Peebles 1836 –  ?  , Ann Menefee Peebles 1838 – 1900, Priscilla Laughlin Peebles 1840 – 1913, William M Peebles 1842 – 1891, Mary Peebles 1846 – ? , Sarah Reesanna Peebles 1849 – ? ,  Wynona Satoka “Toke” Peebles 1859 – 1916 and Margaret “Maggie” Peebles 1870 – ?. I have the Mclaughlin family documented back for generations, but I have been at a brick wall on the Peebles’ line for decades. It is my belief that the Laughlin name was originally McLaughlin and there is some documentation to that fact; further I believe that this family line included “Ole Red” McLaughlin who lived nearby the Casey’s in the Rawhide community in Lauderdale County. “Ole Red” claimed his home was at Cowpen Creek in Lauderdale County on his regular television show in the 1950s. Again, if I recall correctly, “Ole Red” was a musician as well.

Amanda Peebles Grider located the photo you see below that includes a son of Wynona “Toke” Peebles Woodard. Wynona Peebles Woodard was also called “Nona.” The photo caption should be corrected to read: Tully Woodard is the third person from left on first row:

George Henry Peebles lived a colorful life, according to the legends attributed to him; many of which  he attributed to himself apparently. He was undoubtedly a spinner of tall tales and his grandson look alike, Luther, was known to tell some tall tales as well. One of the legends that was told by him was that he was the one that gave Teddy Roosevelt the stuffed bear that was thereafter named the Teddy Bear. The factual history of that event does not include a George Henry Peebles. And then, there are stories associated with him that were actual events but that he never credited to himself or at least were not remembered by those who could have passed them down through the family. Some of these tales will follow in our next article.

Mama [Drue Tolbert Peebles] would tell of his exploits in the military service during the War Between the States to us. Myself, my twin brothers Lowell and Joel Murray, would ask her to tell us stories and we would sit in the floor at her feet while she sat in her rocker at their house on West 8th Street in Sheffield. She told stories from long ago of ghosts and red eyes, and chains rattling. One story she told was that Grandpa Dick was frying his ration of meat, likely bacon, on an open fire. Along came Joe Wheeler and took his meat from the fire after which George Henry Peebles promptly kissed the side of his head with the frying pan. Some versions of the story say that Joe Wheeler’s ear was cut off; but later pictures of Joe Wheeler show both ears still in tact.

Mama said that George Henry Peebles’ punishment was to remove a tree stump without breaking any tendrils of the  roots using only his fork. She said the stump was displayed at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. We were told these stories  back in the 1950s. Attempts to locate the tree stump have not yet been successful, but that may not mean that the story was not true. What is true, however, is that George Henry Peebles served as a confederate in the War Between the States. He received a Confederate Pension for a while; it was cut off and he tried to reinstate the pension. Records show that he was  receiving a pension; that the government sent a letter to him which was never picked up from the post office. Therefore the inquiry was not answered by him and the government cut off his pension by reason of his failure  to respond to that inquiry.

His stories must have been quite amusing. And likely there was some thread of truth to them. As with legends and lore in general, the stories may have evolved over time. He was quite a colorful character as the stories associated with his life attest to, especially the ones that is that have documentation associated with them.  George Henry Peebles’ military record and his family will be the subject of the next  article.


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