Nichols settle in the area in the 1850s

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Today’s article features the family of William E. Nichols who arrived in Covington County before 1860. A native of South Carolina, William was born circa 1810 as the son of Conrad Gunrod Nichols, who was born circa 1770 in North Carolina. Conrad moved to South Carolina where he reared a family of seven children: John, Robert, Simeon, William E., Ann, Sallie, and Kinchen Ellis.

Although there was a Shadrack Nichols who purchased land in Covington County in 1856, the history of his family or how he relates to the family of today’s genealogy is not known. He did acquire a 40-acre tract of land and an 80-acre tract in the Brantley area that later became a part of Crenshaw County when it was formed in 1866.

William E. was married circa 1830 in South Carolina to Elizabeth Hanchey, daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Rice) Hanchey. Daniel was born in Ireland and Sarah, in South Carolina. They were in Butler County as early as 1830.

William and Elizabeth lived the early years of their marriage in the area of Boggy Bayou, Fla., located near Niceville. They had moved to Pike County, by 1840, and were enumerated with three young children. From there they moved to Coffee County where they were listed in the 1850 Census with the following family: William, 40 years; Elizabeth, 36; Robert, 16; Mahala, 14; Elijah, 11; Henry, 9; John, 7; Margarete, 5; Joel, 3; and Thomas, 1.

By 1860, the family had moved to this county. They had two additional children: Charlotte S., 9; and Sarah A.M., 5. Robert, Mahala, and Elijah had gone out on their on by this time. There is a 21-year-old female named Layoltla now residing with the family. Also, living in the household is a young couple with an infant that is probably the daughter Margaret D., 15; her husband, James Wiggins, 23; and James M., 7 and one-half.

The complete family of William and Elizabeth included the following children: Daniel, b. ca 1830; Wesley, b. ca 1833; Robert, b. 1834; Sarah Elizabeth, b. 1835, d. young; Mahala Marganna, b. 1837, d. 1914, m. ca 1854 (1) Jacob Henry Young and 1863 (2) Job Manning; Elijah, b. 1839, d. ca 1914; William Henry Harrison, b. 1841, d. 1883, m. (1) Mary Elizabeth Sterns (2) Sarah Eugenia Baston; John Asberry, b. 1842, d. 1919, m. Leca Amanda Adkinson, daughter of John and Letty (Helms) Adkinson; Margaret D., b. 1845, d. 1889, m. James Leonard Wiggins; Joel Lafayette, b. 1847; Thomas Francis Cisero, b. 1849, d. 1921, m. Sarah Ellender Groggins or Goggins; Charlotta S., b. 1851; and Sarah A.M. &uot;Sallie,&uot; b. 1855, m. John L. Sparkman, Jr., son of John L. Sr. and Hetty (Prevatt) Sparkman.

In 1864, at the recorded age of 59 years (should be 54), William E. was mustered into Captain George W. Kierce’s Co. A, Covington County Reserves (First Class) as a homeguard. He was too old for service in the regular Confederate Army, and he was listed as not having a gun. It is tragic that shortly after the war ended, he died of small pox supposedly contracted from a son-in-law who had recently returned from the war. It is considered that he may have been buried in the Hog Foot Cemetery, which has since been abandoned.

At least three of William’s sons saw active military service in the Confederate Army. His oldest son, Daniel enlisted in 1862 in Co I, 29th. Ala. Inf. Reg’t. His sons, William Henry Harrison and John Asberry, both enlisted in 1861 in Co. B, 18th. Ala. Inf. Reg’t.

After William’s death, Elizabeth moved to Florida to live with some of her children. According to some family correspondence, they resided in LaFayette County sometime prior to 1873. In that year, she was in Waldo, where she ran a boarding house near a mill. By 1879, she had moved to Alatka to live with her daughter, Charlotte.

The fifth child, Mahala, and her husband, Jacob Young, reared the following three children: William Riley, b. 1854, m. Martha Bradley; Daniel Castillian, b. 1859, d. 1922, m. Martha Ellen Thomas; and John Henry Harrison, b. 1861, m. Georgean Arwood. Unfortunately, Jacob died during the war while he was serving in Co. B, 18th. Ala. Inf. Reg’t. Mahala then married Job Manning and they had four children: Elizabeth, b. 1864, d. 1941, m. Lewis David Baggett; Margaret, b.&d. 1869; Ica Dora, b. 1869 (twin), d. 1892, m. Robert Ezra Hart; and Mahala Marganna, b. 1870, d. 1872.

Another daughter, Margaret D., and her husband, James Leonard Wiggins, reared the following children: James W., b. ca 1859, m. Emma A.J. Powell; Arkansas M., b. 1863; Sarah E., b. 1866, d. 1917; Nicie Elonorah, b. ca 1868; Mollie, b. ca 1870, m. Seavey J. Bowers; and Louis Elisha, b. 1874. These children lived in Florida, Texas, and Colorado.

A son, William Henry H., and his first wife, Mary Stern, had two children: Netie Ann, b. 1864, m. ? Brown; and Alonzo P., b. 1866, d. 1867. William H.H. then married Sarah Baston and had the following children: William H., b.&d. 1870; Mamie Malissis, b. 1875; Henritor Eugenia &uot;Genie,&uot; b. 1879, d. 1964, m. Israel Yohn; and Walter Baston, b. 1882, d. 1934, m. Claudia Lee Wilson.

Another son, John Asberry, and his wife Leca Amanda Adkinson, reared four children: Julia Amanda, b. 1866; Ellen Nora Elizabeth, b. 1869; John William Ingram, b. 1870; and Joel Thomas Jefferson, b. 1874, d. 1963, m. Sara Margaret Stewart.

Another son, Thomas F.C., was single when he went west to Hamilton County, Texas, in the 1870s. He married Sarah Goggins, and they reared the following children: Jessie Virginia, d. 1931, m. George B. McWhorter; Lenard Hubard, m. Rosa Williams; Claud Lenox, b. 1879, d. 1941, m. Clara Fillman; Minnie Pearl, b. 1882, d. 1938, m. ? Rinehart; Manda Carl, b. 1884, d. 1947, m. Bennett Alfred McClendon; Emma Jewel, b. 1888, d. 1961; Bonney Dora, b. 1890, d. 1936, m. Frank P. Mosier; and Barmie D., b. 1899.

Daughter Charlotta S. had the following three children: Olive Nichols; Ennis R. Nichols, b. 1878; and Serena Nichols, b. 1884. There is some record of her marrying a Mr. Cartrite, father of her children, but this has not been proven.

Daughter Sarah and her husband, John L. Sparkman, Jr., reared the following children: Cleve; Lee; John (?Hance), b. 1876; Maude M., b. 1877, d. 1884; Daisy D., b. 1879; and Mary E., b. 1880. This family lived in Texas, and the children may have been placed in an orphanage after the father died.

Anyone who might have corrections or additions to this writing is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at Route 9, Box 97, Andalusia, AL 36420 or please e-mail me at


The committee compiling the Heritage History of Covington County is in the final days of accepting submissions for the book and making the book available at a pre-publication price. Anyone interested in getting articles in the book or anyone desiring to order a book is urged to call Curtis Thomasson immediately at 334-222-6465 or Email:


The Covington Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Dixon Memorial Room at the Andalusia Public Library. Guests are welcome.-