Doctor brought Curry family to Covington County

Published 12:11am Saturday, March 24, 2012

The first Curry ancestor to arrive in Covington County was Dr. William T. Curry who settled in the northwestern area near Pigeon Creek. He appears to have been descended from a John Curry who was an early native of Virginia.

According to Ancestry.com records, John Curry was the earliest known progenitor of this family. He was born in 1720, lived his entire life and died in Surry County, Va. He was married to Ava Clairbourne, who was born in 1830. Among their children was a son, Carrey Curry, who was born in 1754 in Surry, Va. By his death in 1821, Carrey had migrated to Baldwin County, Ga. He was married to Mary Cox who was born in 1765.

Carrey and Mary Curry had a son whom they named Carrey as well. This Carrey was born in 1790 in Hancock County, Ga., and ended up migrating west to Padre Island in Nueces County, Texas, which was near Corpus Christi. It appears Carrey moved his large family during the 1840s. He had previously located in Alabama, in Conecuh County where some of his children were born and possibly other sites before moving west. Some records suggest the Curry Settlement was established on Padre Island about the time of the War Between the States.

The fact that Carrey II was a Primitive Baptist minister may account for him moving that far west. It has been reported that about a dozen or so ranching families resided on the island. Carrey II’s children married and established families there, but a number later moved to the near by towns of Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. At least one son, William T. Curry, returned to Alabama to make it his permanent residence, and he and his family will be the focus of this writing.

The people on Padre Island engaged in numerous occupations along with the usual farming. Some worked in harvesting salt, meat packing, hunting birds for feathers, selling live sea turtles for meat, and others were ferrymen or boatmen.

Records submitted to Ancestry.com show that Carrey Curry II was married to two different women during the same year of 1812. He is listed as marrying Ellen Moore in Baldwin County, Ga., and Martha Arthur (1804-1889), daughter of James and Sally (Pritchett) Arthur, in Henry County. This information is questionable, but it may be true. More research is needed to positively document these records.

According to Ancestry.com records, Carrey Curry II and Ellen (Moore) had the following children: Clairborn T., b. 1817, d. 1831; Ebenezer, b. 1818, d. 1875; Isaac W., b. 1820, d. 1843; Temperance “Tempy,” b. 1821, d. 1878; Henry, b. 1822, d. 1906; Sherrod, b. 1824, d. 1906; and Sarah Ann, b. 1828.

According to the same records, Carrey Curry II and Martha (Arthur), reared the following 16 children, which would have meant he had a total of 23: Alice; Thomas; James W., b. 1821, d. 1896; John, b. 1825; Oliver, b. 1824; Amanda, b. 1826; Elizabeth, b. 1826; Sarah, b. 1828; Martha, b. 1829; Lizzie, b. 1830; William T., b. ca 1833, d. 1901, m. Harriet Elizabeth “Lizzie” Spears (1845-1914); Uriah Cary, b. 1836, d. 1908, m. 1873 Eliza Pierce Phillips (1854-1899); Amanda, b. 1837; Phillip, b. 1842; Joseph Emmanual, b. 1844, d. 1926; and David, b. 1850.

The son, William T. Curry, was born in Georgia circa 1832. It appears he would have moved to Texas with his family, but when grown he chose to return to Alabama where he settled in the northeast area of Covington County. He most likely was a veteran of the Confederate Army, but this writer has not located his record of service.

William T. became a medical doctor, and it is interesting that a computer search revealed several William T. Currys who were physicians. Of course, the local William T. would have been a country doctor serving the folks of Covington County. In 1890, he homesteaded 160.13 acres of land near the Boykin Community in the Patsaliga River Township where he had made his home for many years.

Tragically, William T. was murdered on the evening of Dec. 22, 1901, as he was traveling home in his buggy along the old Oakey Streak Road (Hester’s Store Road) near the Turkey Creek crossing. He was ambushed in the darkness by an assailant who was never positively identified. He was at an advanced age, but his youngest son was about 11 at the time.

William was married to Harriet Elizabeth “Lizzie” Spears, and they had at least three sons: Oscar Clinton, b. 1887, d. 1967, m. Eula Bell Worley (1889-1962); Andrew, m. Georgiana Worley; and Ira Hobson Sr., m. Martha Ann Sturgis. Relatives believe William was married to two other wives and that he had three children with each, but this information is not available to this writer.

The oldest son, Oscar Clinton Curry, and his wife, Eula Bell (Worley), resided in the same general area and reared the following children: Jesse Ray “Skinner,” b. 1911, d. 1991, m. Lillie Audrey Worley; Minnie Lee, m. (1) Wade Rigsby (2) ? Whittle; Fletcher, m. ?; Lottie Adell, b. 1920, d. 1988, m. Lewis Worthington; Otis Clinton “Bo,” b. 1923, d. 1987, m. Mary Sue Tindal; and Lomax “Mac,” b. 1925, d. 1989, m. Mattie Emma Jackson.

Jesse Ray and Lillie had three children: Robert Earl, m. Patricia Ann McCurley; Jesse Lanelle “Nell or “Sue,” m. (1) Gordon Stokes (2) James Smith; and Donald Ray, single and killed at 20 years of age in accident. Minnie Lee Curry and her husband, Wade Rigsby, had the following children: Ben, Gail, Bill and twins, Johnny and Judy. Lottie Adell and Lewis Worthington had several children whose names are not known. Otis Clinton “Bo” Curry had two sons, Clinton Jeron Owens, a resident of Covington County, and another, Robert, who was born to a lady in the Philippines.

Otis Clinton “Bo” Curry operated a “beer joint” called Bo’s Deerskin Inn, located on Hester’s Store Road. The Cross/Curry Cemetery is located a short distance from this site and that of the old Curry home place on Ealum Hill. William T. Curry’s grave is marked with a headstone and a few others with small markers or pieces of sand stone.

The youngest son, Lomax “Mac” Curry, and his wife Mattie Emma Jackson reared the following children: Mattie had a daughter, Barbara Truitt, by her first marriage. She and Mac had Ronald Lomax; Kenneth Wayne, m. Sharon Dianne Griffin; and Otis Randall “Randy.” Mac Curry Road, south of Andalusia and off Moore Road, was named for Mac as he was one of the first to build in that area.

The research on this family is incomplete, so efforts will be made to gather other genealogical data and possibly share that in a future column. The sources for today’s history include Ancestry.com, and interviews with several Curry descendants.

Anyone who might see any errors in the above and anyone who has additional information on the Curry family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.

HISTORICAL MEETING: The Covington Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thurs., March 29, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests are cordially invited.

  • Pingback: URL

Editor's Picks