Jay descendants spread into Covington

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

The Jay family, which settled in Butler, Conecuh and Monroe counties and later moved into Covington County was introduced in last week’s column. The first couple of generations to live in Alabama were outlined, so today’s writing will continue this family’s genealogy.

The lineage is begun with the oldest child of the oldest member of the second generation to reside in south Alabama. Susannah Jay, daughter of James A. and Rachel (Beard) Jay, was married to Josiah Curry, Jr. (1796-1870) in 1847 in Monroe County. They had one daughter, Delia, b. 1858, d. 1924, m. John Henry Majors (1863-1939). Delia and John were buried in the Enon Baptist Church Cemetery in Wilcox County.

James A. Jay’s third child, William Marion Jay, served in the Confederate Army as a private in Company E, 5th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He was married first in 1865 in Andalusia to his first cousin, Rachel Susannah Jay (1844-1870), daughter of David and Martha (Hammond) Jay. They made their home in Andalusia and had one daughter, Mary Johannah, b. 1868, d. 1955, m. 1887 Jesse Allen Grimes. William Marion then married in 1870 in Butler County Joeanne Norris, daughter of Jerry Norris. Joeanne was born in 1840 in Warren County, Georgia, and died in 1925 in Andalusia. Joeanne was buried in the Adellum Baptist Church Cemetery.

William Marion Jay and second wife, Joeanne, reared the following children: John Henry, b. 1871, d. 1921, m. 1892 Eula May Henderson (1872-1877); William Davis, b. 1873, d. 1954, m. 1893 Fannie Matthews (2) Lela Viola Braden (1879-1926) (3) 1929 Ivey (Stokes) Storey; Minnie Lee, b. 1875, d. 1957, m. 1897 John M. Stanford (1877-1949); Thomas Jefferson, b. 1878, d. 1940, m. 1900 Addie Bedonia Stokes (1885-1957); and Elizabeth McAllister, b. 1881, d. 1970, m. 1899 George Hare (1875-1940).

James A. Jay’s fourth child, Elizabeth Jay, was married in 1852 in Santa Rosa County, Florida, to Absalom Lafayette Stokes, a native of South Carolina. They moved circa 1860 to Andalusia in Covington County. They reared the following five children: Mary P., b. 1854, m. William Fletcher; Matthew, b. 1857, d. 1902, m. 1878 Olive E. Caton (1857-1926); Noah Stanton, b. 1860, d. 1946, m. Amelia Bledsoe; Burrell Jackson, b. 1864, d. 1941, m. (1) Cornelia Georgia Hare (2) Ida Harper (3) Tempie Brownlee; and Decatur, b. 1866, d. apparently in his youth. It is believe that Elizabeth and Absalom Stokes are buried in unmarked graves in the Magnolia Cemetery in Andalusia.

No more is known at this time about James A. Jay’s second child, John Jay, who was married to Martha Hale in 1858. Lastly, the fifth and youngest child, David Jay, died in 1863 in a Yankee prison camp. Also, researchers of this family is especially interested in learning more about James A. Jay’s four children by his third wife, Sarah Ray. They had the following children: Joseph, b. ca 1846; Sarah, b. 1847, d. 1926, m. George W. Campbell; Harriet; and James.

Next, the children and families of James A. Jay’s brother, William A. Jay, will be outlined. William’s oldest son, John Duncan Jay, was married in 1866 in Laurens County, South Carolina, to Susan Jane Benton (1847-1934). They were in Barbour County, Alabama by the time their first child was born in 1867. They later moved to Geneva County, and at their deaths, they were buried in the Early Town Cemetery.

John Duncan and Susan Jane Jay reared the following children: David Marion, b. 1867, d. 1870; Fannie Elizabeth, b. 1869, d. 1949, m. 1886 Franklin Whigham; Alabama Eufrazier, b. 1870, d. 1951; Anna Eudora, b. 1872, d. 1950; William Andrew, b. 1874, d. 1937; Mary Ella, b. 1865, d. 1966; Dora, b. 1881; Travis Eugene, b. 1883, d. 1972, m. Margaret Elizabeth Jay; Texas, b. 1886; Toxie Caleb, b. 1887, d. 1986; Dovie Lettie, b. 1890, d. 1973; John D., b. 1892, d. 1947, m. Maggie ?; and Johnnie, b. 1896, d. 1989, m. ? Brooks.

James A. Jay’s brother, David Jay, had a daughter, Jincy Elizabeth, who was married to Sandom Slater in 1867 in Butler County. They eventually lived in Graceville, Florida, where Sandom died in 1910. They reared five children: Julius Richard. b. ca 1868; Anna, b. 1869; Madie, b. 1872; Lula, b. 1874; and Fannie, b. 1877.

The next generation is begun with the oldest child of William Marion Jay. Mary Johannah and her husband, Jesse Allen Grimes, resided in Covington County and reared the following children: Susanna, b. 1888, d. 1987, m. 1906, John Thomas Chavers (1880-1964); William Orby, b. 1891, d. 1981, m. 1913 Laura Isabella Fuqua (1896-1997); Ima, b. 1894, d. 1952, m. Henry Tom Chavers (1888-1986); Bonner, b. 1897; and Bonnie Lee, b. 1906, d.1957, m. A.C. Cross.

The next child, John Henry Jay, was married to Eula May Henderson, and they reared their family in Covington County. They had the following children: Stella, b. 1894, d. 1966, m. 1919 John R. McIntosh; Earnest, b. 1896, d. 1954, m. 1919 Viola Morgan (1900-1987); Pansy, b. 1899, d. 1900; William Robert, b. 1901, d. 1963; John Henry, b. 1903, d. 1960; Ellie Iona, b.&d. 1906; Marcus Eugene, b.&d. 1907; Carol May, b. 1912, d. 1988, m. 1933 Gillis Crenshaw (1907-1973); Thomas Everitt, b. 1916, d. 1971, m. 1949 Harriett Louise Cause (1917-1987); and Jack Stinson, b. 1919, d. 2003, m. 1951 Bonnie Ellis (1919-2006).

The next son, William David Jay, was married first to Fannie Matthews in 1893 in Coffee County. They had one child, Lena, who died as an infant. He was later married to Lela Viola Braden, daughter of Avander and Sarah (Thomas) Braden, of Butler County. They settled in Covington County and reared the following children: Ada Lee, b. 1901, d. 1990, m. 1922 Leon Osteen; John Avander, b. 1905, d. 1981, m. 1928 Bessie Lee Greathouse (1907-1996); Aaron Harvey, b. 1907, d. 1989, m. 1929 Mary Ethel White (1910-1982); Agnes Faye, b. 1910, d. 1992, m. 1928 Louis Bruce Williams (1904-1996); Ollie Mae, b. 1911, d. 1989, m. 1928 Roy W. Blackerby (1906-1968); Lila Elizabeth, b. 1915, d. 1994, m. 1933 Donavan Stroud “Dock” Stephens (1911-1991); Earnest Jefferson, b. 1918, d. 1994, m. Blanche Slaughter; Daisy Nadine, b. 1921, m 1941 Joel Tyson Williams; and Jaye.

The next daughter, Minnie Lee Jay, and her husband, John M. Stanford (1877-1949), reared the following children in Andalusia: Esheh, b.&d. 1902; William; Joeanne, b. 1905, m. 1933 Berdis Boggan; Nobie, b. 1907, m. R.L. Liles; R.V., b. 1910, m. R.B. Coxwell; and Gatsy, b. 1915, m. 1928 Ollie Henerson McLain.

The next son, Thomas Jefferson Jay, was married to Addie Bedonia Stokes (1885-1957), daughter of Matthew Wright and Ollie (Caton) Stokes, in 1900 in Andalusia. They reared the following children: Philippa, b. 1902, d. 1904; Matthew, b. 1905, d. 1969, m. 1932 Mae Walker (1911-1995); Mildred, b. 1907, d. 2000, m. 1923 Raymond Pruitt (1907-1988); Darrington, b. 1910, d. 1959, m. Anne Cline; Willie Capatola, b. 1913, d. 2002, m 1937 Malcolm C. Broxson (1911-1950); Thomas Jefferson, b. 1915, d. 1983, m. 1944 Etta Pearl Dawkins (1917-1980); Ida Mae, b. 1918, d. 1994, m. Odell Williams; Stanton Henry, b. 1920, d. ca 2005; Marjorie, b. 1922, m. James Larue Driggers (1921-2005); Gloria Swanson, b. 1925, m. Windom Wilson Palmer (1922-1968); and Max Pearl, b. 1927, d. 2001, m. Mary Blanche Soles.

Of the Jay genealogy readily available, the above completes another generation. At least one additional generation, which springs primarily from Covington County, will be presented in next week’s column.

The source for this writing is the family records of Winston Jay, who is the son of Aaron Harvey Jay, and some notes from other Jay descendants. Anyone who might have any question regarding this history or who has additional information on this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson by writing to 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; calling 334-222-6467; or e-mailing cthomasson@centurytel.net.



The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thurs., May 28, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. May is National Historic Preservation Month.