Dixon descendants were early leaders in Covington County

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 25, 2003

Today's column is a continuation of the descendants of Jeremiah Dixon, Sr., a native of North Carolina. In last week's column his family and several of his children were presented. This writing will begin with his third son, Jeremiah Dixon, Jr.

Jeremiah Jr. was born in 1801 in North Carolina, and he moved with his family to Alabama in 1816. After his father settled in Covington County circa 1822, he lived at home and ended up staying on the homeplace after he married. In the years between 1835 and 1837, he purchased 240 acres of land located near his father's farm. In the 1840 Census of Covington County, there is a household for Jeremiah Dixon and his wife with six sons and three daughters. Unfortunately he died circa 1848 and left his wife, Margaret, a widow with the following six children: James, b. 1826; Jackson, b. 1828; Narcissa, b. 1831, d. ca 1880, m. Harrison C. Jones who had previously been married to Elizabeth ?; Alford, b. 1833; Elizabeth, b. 1835; and Jeremiah, b. 1839. In the 1850 census, Margaret was listed as head of the household, and all the children were still with her. She appears to have been appointed Postmaster of the Andalusia Post Office on September 21, 1868.

The next son of Jeremiah Sr. was Elias J., who was born in 1802. Elias and his wife, Mary, reared the following children: Nancy, b. ca 1832; John b. 1839; George, b. ca 1841; James, b. ca 1843; Jane, b. ca 1844; and Benjamin, b. ca 1848. Although listed in the 1850 census, the family is not found on the 1850 Census for Covington County. No additional data is readily available on this family.

The next son, John Boneparte, was born in 1804 and was the last child born into this family. He served with his brother, Wiley B., in the 8th Brigade, 4th Division of the Alabama Militia from 1822 to 1826. He reached the rank of Captain during his tenure. In 1828, he was married to Sirena Liles, daughter of Pioneers Sherrod and Rebecca Liles of the Loango community.

John became a leader and public servant in his community. In 1834, he was appointed Prosecutor for the county circuit court. (There is a record of him apprehending and prosecuting a horse thief.) In 1844, he was appointed Sheriff and Coroner of Covington County, an office he filled until 1841. (He was one of only three known coroners before 1872.) These services were rendered when Montezuma was the county seat before it was moved to Andalusia in 1844.

In 1850, John's family and his brother, Seth's, family were among the few residing in the new town or village of Andalusia. About this time, he became a co-owner and incorporator with A.G. Mallett of the Covington Canal Company. In 1852, he operated a general store on the south side of the Square and sold it that year to John W. Jones. In 1854, he purchased 40 acres of land north of the Town Square. He also owned 160 acres at the foot of Devereux Hill. At the time, he owned more than 500 acres in Covington County. He was listed as having two slaves in 1840 and 1850 and three in 1860.

Although he was in his 50s when the War Between the States erupted, he volunteered to serve in Company A, Covington County Reserves of the Confederate Army. He had three sons to serve in this war, and two of them were casualties of it. John's life ended in 1873, and he was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery beside his wife.

John and Serina reared the following children: Jeremiah, b. 1831, d. ca 1850; James Alexander, b. 1831, d. 1864, m. Harty Ann Paget; Elizabeth, b. 1835, m. Samuel Caton; Elizabeth, b. 1836, d. 1905, m. (1) Allen T. Hart (2) Franklin Smith; John I., b. 1840, d. 1861-65 during war; Ephraim, b. 1843, d. 1897, m. Susannah Campbell; William, b. 1845, d. probably during war as he was in Alabama Militia in 1864; Alexander H., b. 1850, d. 1902, m. Mary M. Paget.

In the next generation, the oldest set of great grandchildren included the children of John B. Dixon, son of Seth Dixon: Georgianna, b. 1853, d. 1874, m. William J. Jernigan; Margaret, b. ca 1855; Cullen, b. 1857, d. 1915, m. Josephine Jernigan; Oliver, b. 1859; Mary, b. 1861; Nicholas T., b. 1865, m. Rose A. Mantle; Frances Julia, b. 1867, m. James D. Brantley; John B. Jr., b. 1868; Charles, b. 1870; Mark, b. 1874, m. Martha Odom; and N.L., b. 1876.

The next set of great grandchildren included the children of Anna (Diamond) Padget, daughter of Elizabeth (Dixon) Diamond: Elizabeth, b. 1847, d. 1926, m. L.J. Hassell; Martha Ann, b. 1849, d. 1928, m. Dread Bagley; William N., b. 1851, m. Nancy Hart; Elijah, b. 1854, d. 1916, m. Mary Riley; Mary F., b. 1855, d. 1937, m. Shug Bass; Josephine, b. 1857, m. Ephraim Ward; James J., b. 1862, d. 1916, m. Martha ?; Reubin, b. 1863, d. 1931, m. (1) Rachael Parker (2) Mattie Parker; and Florence, b. 1867, d. 1940, m. James Hart.

This generation also included the children of Reubin Diamond, son of Elizabeth (Dixon) Diamond: William Amos "Willie," b. 1866, d. 1931, m. Mary Alpheus Brooks; and Ida Elizabeth, m. ? Williams. Many members of the Reubin's parents' family moved to Texas and no lineage data is readily available on them.

Since there is considerable data available on this family, additional early descendants will be presented in the column next week. The sources for this genealogy is primarily the records of Walter Dixon.

Anyone who might have corrections to any of the above or additional information on this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email: chthom@alaweb.com


The annual Thomasson Traces Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 2, in the fellowship hall at the Cedar Grove Church of Christ on Brooklyn Road. Relatives and friends are urged to attend and bring a covered dish dinner. Paper goods and ice will be provided.


The Covington Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, in the Andalusia Public Library. Guests are cordially invited.