James Lawson family came from Georgia

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2003

James Paul Lawson family came from Georgia

There were representatives of the Lawson family in Covington County as early as 1860 when the household of Thomas Lawson was enumerated. He was born in Georgia and was a farmer at 34 years of age with his wife, Sarah, who was 29 years old. With them were the following children: Robert E., 14; Julius, 4; and Sarah Ann F., 1.

In 1864, another Lawson, listed as F., joined Company C, Covington County Reserves, which was organized from Beats 4, 5, and 11. He was identified as being 32 years of age and a minister of the gospel.

In today's column the family and descendants of James Paul Lawson, a native of Taylor County, Georgia, will be reviewed. Although the date of his move to Covington County is not currently known, he did migrate from Georgia to Crenshaw County during the mid-1870s. Most of his children had been born by this time.

James Paul was born in 1839, and was probably the son of David Lawson. In 1857, he was married in Georgia to Jane G. Battle. They resided in Taylor County, Georgia, where they began their family. On August 3, 1862, James Paul enlisted in the Confederate Army in Butler, Georgia, and was assigned to the 27th Georgia Volunteer Infantry (Taylor's Guard). He was wounded on February 20, 1864, in the Battle of Olustee, Florida. By 1970, James Paul was back with his family in Taylor County working for the railroad.

James Paul and his wife, Jane, had the following children: William R., b. 1856, d. 1935, m. (1) Hannah Jane Richards (2) ? Kilcrease (3) Emma Battle; Nellie, b. 1859, d. before 1900 and believed to be single; Frances, b. 1862, m. Dan Sutley; Mary "Molly," b. 1864, m. Fate Henderson; James Marshall "Doc," b. 1866, m. Sally Wells; Leonard, b. 1869, m. Mary Battle; Alonzo R., b. ca 1870, d. 1952, m. Nancy Elizabeth Meachem; Melissa, b. 1871, m. Franklin Jefferson who took Lawson name; Albert B., b. 1876, d. 1959, m. (1) Betty Locke (2) Missouri Hall; and Lilia, b. 1884, d. 1936, m. Charles Wesley Hall.

James Paul eventually moved to Covington Country. It is understood that he lived and farmed, probably sharecropped, on the Head Farm southeast of Andalusia on the Lindsey Bridge Road. At some point the family had connections in the Carolina community because James Paul and his wife as well as many of their descendants were buried in the Carolina Baptist Church Cemetery.

The oldest son, William R., was nine years of age when the family moved to Alabama and about 48 years old when he moved his family to Covington County. Actually, his residence was in the Oak Grove community, which is currently in Crenshaw County.

William R. and his first wife, Hannah Jane Richards, daughter of J.J. Richards, had two children: Edward, b. 1879, d. 1965, m. Elba Catherine Chavers; and Jessie, b. 1882, m. "Son" Powell. Thus far, it is believed that William R. and his third wife, Emma Battle, daughter of Rubin and Elizabeth (Kilcrease) Battle, had the following children: Nancy Viola Jane, b. 1886, d. 1963, m. James Milton Blackwell; Thomas Henry, b. ca 1889, m. Tilda Chavers; Lilla Frances, b. 1892, d. 1973, m. Bennie F. Powell; Pearl Elizabeth, b. 1894, d. 1928, m. Robert Lafayette Chavers; Minnie, b. 1896, m. Henry Warthen; Annie Clyde, b. 1902, m. George Warthen; and James R., b. 1905, d. 1972, m. Frances Spears.

William's oldest son, Edward, and his wife, Elba Catherine Chavers, reared the following children: Willie Henry, b. 1907, d. 1970, m. Dorothy Merle Thomasson; Ethel Lee, b. 1909, m. Turner Drayton Castleberry; Ida B., b. 1912, m. Brazell Peterson; Edlow Wilson, b. 1914, d. 1994, m. Lois Mathews; Epsy D., b. 1916, m. Louie Turner; Effie G., b. 1919, m. (1) Ellie Earnest Kelley (2) Morgan Tindle; Mary Hill, b. 1923, d. 1998, m. (1) Grover Harrelson (2) Roy Windham; and Larene, b. 1925, m. Joe Boyten.

William's second son, James Marshall, and his wife Sally Wells, had the following children: Marshall, b. 1891, d. 1961, m. Ruthie Ganus; Lovey, m. ? Hattaway; Willie Coston, b. 1896, m. Ola Williams; Joseph Daniel, b. ca 1896, d. 1942, m. Mertie Eugene Lawson, daughter of Leonard Lawson; and Infant, b.&d. 1899.

The next son of William, Leonard, and his wife, Mary Battle, daughter of Rubin and Elizabeth (Kilcrease) Battle, reared the following children: Eula J., b. 1896, m. Andrew Ward; Effie D., m. Doc Hutto; Monroe J., b. 1894, d. 1961, m. Carrie Cain; Andrew L., b. 1899, d. 1958, m. Estelle Henley; VanBuren, b. 1900, d. 1974, m. Ada Henley; Wilson A., b. 1903, m. Emma Waters; Joe, b. 1907, d. 1990, m. Nellie Mae Lawson; Mertie Eugene, b. 1908, d. 1967, m. Joseph Daniel Lawson; Wiley Gordon, b. 1916, d. 1992, m. Nell Williams; and Alice Mae, m. Buster Brown.

Alonzo, the next son, and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth, had the following children: Lou Ella, m. John Henderson; Alma or Anna Susie, m. Hill Hudson; Johnny Drew, d. young; Robert Alonzo "Bob;" Mertie Bell; Eunivae, m. ? Edwards; Hollice, m. Tiny Cromwell; Connie B., m. (1) Nobie Waters (2) Lillian Steines; Beatrice, m. Gus Ziglar; and Nellie Mae, b. 1908, d. 1994, m. Joe Lawson, son of Leonard Lawson.

The youngest son, Albert B., had the following children, but it is uncertain as to which wife was their mother: Edlow Albert "Junior," m. Lois Jones; Dewey, m. Etha B. Henley; and Charlie Clarence, m. Vonnie Ammons. Some records indicate he may have had a daughter named Mollie who died in 1955.

There are many Lawson descendants who have lived and who currently reside in this county. The above are only the early descendants of James Paul Lawson. It is hoped that a future column will feature the descendants of his brother David B.M. Lawson, many of whom settled in Covington County.

Those descendants sharing family history records for today's writing include Albert "Buddy" Blackwell, Catherine (Lawson) Tatum, Ruby (Powell) Southwell, and Betty (Lawson) Nelson. Albert and Betty are both actively researching this family and may be contacted at the following email addresses: Albert at buddy89123@yahoo.com and Betty at familytree@alaweb.com

Since much of the above genealogy was gathered verbally from several Lawson relatives, it is highly likely that there are mistakes in the names and dates. Anyone who might have corrections or additional information is requested to contact the writer, Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com.