Zacharia Parish family came to Alabama from Goldsboro N.C.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2003

In an earlier column, the Parrish family of Covington County was reviewed. At the time the name was described as being spelled Parrish or Parish. In today's column a branch of the family who used the Parish spelling and who has not been related to the Parrish family in the earlier column will be described.

Progenitor of the Parish descendants in Covington County was Zacharia H. Parish, son of Elias (1794-1841) and Jane Parish. He was born on March 31, 1815, in Goldsboro, Kershaw County, North Carolina. He was married to Matilda Kemp, daughter of Joseph Kemp, who was born April 17, 1817. They resided for a time in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he worked as a farmer and a circuit-riding preacher. Zacharia also became a skilled carpenter and cabinet-maker. He was credited with building some impressive pieces of furniture such as cabinets and chests. One of these is a prize possession of a great, great granddaughter, Charlotte (Langford) Donnenwirth&edil; in her home in Lillian, Alabama.

The family eventually made their way to the State of Alabama. They resided in the Brundidge community of Pike County where Zacharia continued his farming and preaching work with the Methodist Church. He is credited with helping to build the Elba Methodist Church. At his death in 1899, he was buried in the Friendship Cemetery in Brundidge. At Matilda's death in 1901, she was laid to rest beside him.

Zacharia and Matilda reared the following children: Dora Ann, b. 1837; John Wiley, b. 1840, d. 1841; Simeon E., b. 1842, d. 1852; Dassell Harvey, b. 1845; Joseph Tally, b. 1847; William Ivey, b. 1849, d. 1935, m. Delaney Ann Bowden; James H., b. 1852, d. 1853; Mary Eugenia "Molly," b. 1855, d. 1946; and Charley Higs, b. 1859, d. 1883.

Their son, William Ivey, is the one who moved this family to Covington County circa 1907. He settled his family fairly near the little town of Dozier. He had been a successful farmer in the Brundidge area of Pike County before his move. He became well-known for his skills in veterinary medicine. Neighbors sought his assistance in doctoring their family pets and farm animals such as cows, hogs, horses and mules. He also became a popular dentist for the local African Americans. He was a small man in physical stature-slender and standing five feet and six inches-but he stood tall in the eyes of those who knew him. It has been written that he was "a well-respected gentleman."

William Ivey was born September 18, 1849, and died April 9, 1935. His wife, Delaney Ann Bowden, was born July 30, 1852, and died June 15, 1924. They reared 10 children, six of whom became permanent residents of Covington County.

William and Delaney had the following children: Albert Sydney, b. 1872, d. 1967, m. Mary Helen Shehane; Corah Lee, b. 1874, d. 1876; Sam Waverly, b.1876, d. 1937, m. 1898 Eula Florence (Jones) Jacobs; Blanche, b. 1879, d. 1938, m. Andrew J. Strickland M.D.; Emmie Vernon, b. 1882, d. 1972, m. 1903 Rufus Jackson Langford; Tessa Ola, b. 1884, d. 1973, m. 1905 Agustus Walter Flowers; Tobe Jones, b. 1886, d. 1971, m. 1924 Minnie Lee Mabry; Eva Lee, b. 1888, d. 1987, m. 1909 Shade Washington Stewart; Charles William, b. 1891, d. 1972, m. 1917 Myrtle Vance; and Eunice May, b. 1895, d. 1982, m. 1911 James "Jim" Collins Lord. All of these children were born in Pike County.

The oldest son, Albert Sydney, and his wife, Mary Helen, had the following children: Colin Dewey, b. 1898, d. 1980, m. 1926 Evelyn Morris; Ocran Sydney, b. 1901, d. 1923; Palton Tasso, b. 1903, d. 1963; Leo Strasberg, b. 1907, d. 1981, m. Reba Adams; Leafy Mae, b. 1909, d. 1996; and Lizzie Tom, b. 1913.

The son named Sam Waverly moved into the Rose Hill community circa 1915. There he purchased a farm located across the road from his father. He and his wife, Eula Florence Jones, daughter of William Asa and Ruhamia (Brooks) Jones, only had two children: Robert Hunter, b. 1903, d. 1971, m. 1924 Flora C. Velma Taylor (1907-1976), daughter of William Melvin and Icy Della (Dauphin) (1881-1952) Taylor; and William Graff, b. 1905, d. 1982, m. Elizabeth Palmer (1917-1988).

Both of Sam's sons were ordained Baptist ministers. They pastored churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention area for more than 44 years. Robert also attended Troy Normal School (Troy State University) and earned his degree in education. He worked as a teacher and coach in the Opp schools. While there he organized a Sunday School class in the mill village, which helped plant what eventually became the Westview Baptist Church. At his death he was buried in the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery in Rose Hill, and his brother, William, was buried in Lyndon, Kentucky.

Robert and his wife had the following three sons: Aaron Feagin, b. 1926, m. 1945 Vinola Kent, lived in Decatur, Georgia; Margaret Eloise, b. 1931, m. 1952 Clarence William Scott, Jr.; Robert Hunter II, b. 1944, m. (1) 1968 Sandra Lynn Griffin (2) 1982 Jinanne Bennett.

Sam's sister, Emmie Vernon, was born in Brundidge and became a very petite young lady. In 1903, she was married to Rufus J. Langford, and became a very capable and devoted wife. In 1924, the family moved from the Rose Hill community into Andalusia to enable their five daughters to get as much formal education as was available. They reared the following children: Zelma Ivy, b. 1904, d. 1924, m. 1924 Charlie Glynn; Gladys Blanch, b. 1908, d. 1929, m. 1928 Leon Thomas Blue; Althea, b. 1910, d. 1912; Minnie Lee, b. 1912, d. 1997, m. 1933 Coleman Daniel Pritchett of Red Level; and Ruth Hilma, b. 1918, m. (1) 1936 Louis Rhoda Jernagan. (2) 1940 Franklin Gilmore Harrison.

Sam's next sister, Tessa Ola, and her husband Agustus Walter Flowers, reared the following children: Delano Cleone, b. 1906, m. 1926 George W. Seay; Howard Curtis, b. 1908, m. Caroline Robertson.

Sam's youngest sister, Eunice May, and her husband, James Collins Lord, lived in the Rose Hill community and had the following children: Wade, m. Martha Benning; Herman, m. Boncile Frazier; Henry Tobe, m. Leila Florine Bryant; Sarah Frances, m. Willard Morgan; Delana Opal, m. Percy Faircloth; and Mary Vernon, m. Roy Reeves.

There are many descendants of this family who still reside in Covington County and many who have moved to other areas. Among the descendants is Charlotte Langford Donnenwirth who married Robert Gaylord Donnenwirth. They make their home in Lillian, Alabama, where her mother, Emmie, lived next to them until her death, and her Aunt, Hilma, lives next to them at present. This couple shared their family genealogical records as the source for this writing. Others contributed bits of information as well. Appreciation is expressed to all of these folks who have significant interest in their heritage.

Anyone who might have corrections or additions to the above data is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: