Wesley Carter family came from Dale County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2002

One of the earlier Carter ancestors to arrive in Covington County was Wesley D. Carter, a native of South Carolina. He was born circa 1808, but his parents are unknown at this date. Before 1834, Wesley had married his first wife, Rachel O'Neal, daughter of John O'Neal III, a resident of Georgia. Rachel was born in that State in 1814.

Wesley and Rachel had moved to Dale County by 1834. He joined a military group being organized to deal with the rebellious Creek Indians in the area. Rachel's grandfather, Axom O'Neal, had been killed by a Coweta Indian in Wilkes County, Ga., in 1973. Wesley and Rachel's brother, Axom O'Neal, fought in the Creek Indian War of 1836-1837 as members of Wellborn's Alabama Volunteers. While their group did not fight in the major battles, they were active in a battle at Hobdy's Bridge in Barbour County. Wesley's service dates from Dec. 1, 1835, to Feb. 1, 1838.

While they have not been located in 1840, Wesley and Rachel were enumerated in the 1850 Dale County Census. At the time they were farming 18 acres of improved land. In 1854, they moved to Walton County, Fla., where they were farmers as well. In 1860, they were residing in the Laurel Hill community. During the war in 1863, Rachel passed away, and this is about the time Wesley moved his family to Covington County.

Wesley and Rachel reared the following children: Lemuel, b. 1834, d. 1864, m. Sophia "Sophonia" Ann Tucker; Emily A., b. 1838, m. Peter Steele III; Emanuel A., b. 1839, d. 1922, m. 1869 Frances Marion Hallford; Leonard, b. 1843, d. ca 1925, m. (1) Mary Elizabeth (?Howard) (2) Manerva T. King; Edaline, b. ca 1849; and Lanier, b. 1851, d. 1930, m. Elvie Peoples. All the children were born while the family was living in Dale County.

In 1863, Lemuel and Leonard enlisted in Co. K, 57th. Ala. Inf. Reg't. of the Confederate Army. For some reason, they chose during the next year to transfer into Co. D, 1st. Fla. Cav. of the Union Army. Lemuel was promoted to 5th. SGT and Leonard became a Corporal. Unfortunately, Lemuel lost his life to typhoid fever in May 1864. He died in a Regimental Hospital at Barancas, Fla. Their brother, Emanuel, enlisted in Co. H, 6th. Fla Inf. Reg't of the CSA in 1862. He was faithful to this service even though much of his time was spent in hospitals.

Wesley was enumerated in the 1866 Alabama Census of Covington County. The next year, in 1867, Wesley was listed as a taxpayer in Covington County. Also, during that year he was married to his second wife, Elizabeth (Robertson) Johnson, widow of Elisha Johnson who had died during the war. They were enumerated with their children in the 1870 Covington County Census. In 1880 they had returned to Walton County, Fla. Further records indicate they were living in Covington County again in 1888 when Wesley died.

Wesley and Elizabeth had the following children: James H., b. ca 1868, d. 1870-80; John H., b. 1869; Richard L, b. 1870, d. before 1880; Sarah E., b. 1876; and Emoline, b. 1878.

Wesley's oldest son, Lemuel, and his wife, Sophia Tucker, daughter of Bartley and Sophia (Garrett) Tucker, had only one son before his death during the war. Emmanuel W. was born in 1863 and lived to 1922 as a resident of Florida. He was married to Anna E. Flemming, and they had one son, E.J., who was born circa 1884.

Emily A. and her husband, Peter Steele III, son of Peter Steele II and Elizabeth (Danley, were married circa 1855 in Walton County, Fla. They built a dam on Horsehead Creek, near Laurel Hill, Fla., and used water power to cut timber, grind cornmeal, and crush feed for stock. The old rock used to grind the corn was hauled by ox cart from Milton. The location was known as Steele's Mill Pond.

They reared the following children: Isaac Alexander, b. 1856, m. (1) Bessie Gaskins (2) Mary Frances Steel; Adeline Z. "Daught," b. 1858, m. Jim Taylor; Eliza H. "Aunt Babe," b. 1859, m. Jerry D. Kelly; William "Willie," b. 1863, m. Ida Cockcroft; Jason Colonel, b. 1864, m. Melissa Turner; Peter Emanuel Jr., b. 1865, m. (1) Emily Hart (2) Ada Henderson; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1867, m. Alexander Cutts; Sarah A., b. 1869, m. Robert Gavin; Rachel, b. 1872, m. Samuel Jeff Gavin; Joseph Abraham, b. 1873, m. (1) Amanda Barrow (2) Adeline Barrow; Henry Robin "Buddy," m. Lillis Alzala Grimes; Allen, m. Syrena Locke; and Mary, b. 1882.

Wesley's son, Emanuel A., was married to Frances Marion Hallford, daughter of John and Mary Hallford, in 1869. They had the following children: Mary A.L. "Mollie," b. 1869, m. (1) William B. Steele (2) George Berry; (twin) Rachel S., b. 1869, d. 1940, m. William Jayson Turner; Infant, b.&d. 1870-76; M.C. "Amandy," b. 1877; James Albert "Jim," b. 1880, m. Savannah Inabinett; J.E., b. ca 1883, d. as infant; and Dock Douglass, b. 1884, d. 1957, m. Minnie Belle Halstead.

Son Leonard and his first wife, Mary Elizabeth, were married ca 1866. They had the following children: James W., b. 1867, d. 1912; Elizabeth M., b. 1869; Infant, b.&d. ca 1872; John W., b. 1875; Mary F.L., b. 1877; and Amander E., b. 1879.

Son Lanier and his wife, Elvie Peoples, had the following children: Wesley Washington, b. 1871, m. Nancy Love Sasser; Zadie, b. 1876, d. 1943, m. William J. Norsworthy; Jesse Emanuel "Man," b. 1878, d. 1939, m. Tempe Lavinia "Lula," Odom; and J.O, b. ca 1879.

Researchers of this family have compiled considerable genealogical data on the later generations of Carters. Appreciation is expressed to one of these, Anita Carter Glockner of Allentown, Penn., for sharing her family history for today's feature.

Anyone who might have corrections to the above or who might have information on other Carter families in Covington County is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at Route 9, Box 97, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com


The Asa and Hiram Carter families were in Covington County as early as 1823. Anyone with information related to them or even different Carters is asked to contact Curtis Thomasson as soon as possible at either of the above addresses or call 334-222-6467.