Hugh L. George descendants settled throughout county

Published 2:10 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

The earliest known member of the George family to be identified in Covington County was Wiley George. He was in the young village of Montezuma by 1823 when he joined a group of citizens who requested that the state governor appoint William Hewit to serve as sheriff of the new county. He became one of the earliest landowners in the county. However, Wiley and his family had moved from the area by the mid-thirties.

Another George descendant, Hugh L. George, was the ancestor in his family who brought them to Covington County. Hugh was born circa 1818 in Georgia. He was later married to Mary Ann Catrett who was born circa 1829 in North Carolina. It is not known where they married or lived during the early years of their marriage.

In 1850, they were enumerated in Montgomery County, Alabama, and the last name was spelled as Garge. Hugh was 32 years old and listed as a farmer. Mary was 21years old, and at the time they had two children, Judah A., 4; and Louana, 1, who were both born in Alabama.

In 1860, the family was living in the Western Division of Pike County with an Orion post office address, which was next to Montgomery County. Hugh was listed as 46 years old and a farm laborer. Mary A. was 36 years old, and they had five children: Lurainy, 12; William A., 9; Mary, 6; Frances, 4; and James L., 10 months.

Hugh was listed in the 1866 Alabama State Census, but he was not listed with the family when the 1870 federal census was made. Mary A. George was listed as being 42 years old with the following children. Rebecca (Louana/Lurainy ?), 23; William Albert, 20; Mary (Angeline ?), 17; James (Lafayette ?); Parmelia (Parthenia Melvinia ?), 10; Nellie, 9; Lora, 5; and Sims, 1. They had a Pine Level post office in Montgomery Township 12.

In 1880, Hugh George is listed as a farmer at 55 years of age in the Darby’s community of Pike County. Lurina was 50 years old and could have been a new wife or his oldest daughter. It’s difficult to make her be his first wife, Mary A. They had the following children with them: James, 21; Burnett, 18; Mille, 17; Lee, 13; and twins, Zebulon, 11, and Edward 11.

The Ivy Cadenhead family was living near the Hugh family in 1880. In 1891, an older George daughter, Parthenia Melvinie, 17 years old, was married to Green Cadenhead who was 19 years old. In one record, Parthenia lists her mother as Mary Ann Catrett, but the death certificate shows the last name to be Cartwright. It is believed that Mary Ann was of Indian heritage, Creek or Cherokee. This may explain why the family was listed as mulattos in the 1880 census.

Family records list the children of Hugh and Mary (Catrett) George as follows: Lurainy, b. 1848; William Albert, b. 1851, d. 1908, m. (1) 1871 Martha Livings (2) 1900 Edith E. Manor (3) 1902 Susan Miranda; Mary Angeline, b. 1854, d. ca 1884, m. 1878 Jesse Franklin Catrett (1858-1932); Frances, b. 1856; James Lafayette, b. 1859, d. 1926, m. (1) 1882 Margaret Martha or Mattie N. Baxley (2) 1908 Ira Brewer Adams; Sarah, b. 1862; Mary Parthenia Melvinie, b. 1862, d. 1933, m. 1881 Green Jasper Cadenhead (1860-1945); Burnette Clementine, b. 1865, d. 1897, m. 1885 Jesse Franklin Catrett (1858-1932); Edward P., b. 1867, d. 1897, m. 1890 Annie F. Hutto; and twin, Zebulon Perry, b. 1867, d. 1950, m. 1893 Lydia Martha Jackson (1875-1938).

The oldest son, William Albert George, and his first wife, Martha Livings, had a son, William Layfette, b. 1880, d. 1926. William A. and his second wife, Edith Manor, had one son, Oscar, b. 1901, d. 1952, who was buried in the Clear Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Walton County, Florida.

Mary Angeline George and her husband, Jesse Franklin Catrett, son of John and Eliza (Williamson) Catrett, had one son before her death. William Randolph Catrett was born in 1882. Mary Angeline was buried at Orion in Pike County. After Mary’s death, her widowed husband was married to her sister, Burnette Clementine George.

James Lafayette George and his second wife, Ira Adams, had the following children: Elizabeth, b. 1909, m. ? Mercer; Tinney Christine, b. ca 1916, m. L.M. Smith; and Lennie, b. ca 1918. James was first married in Texas, but he apparently moved back to this area where he died 1926 in Paxton, Florida. He was buried in the Hickory Grove Cemetery near Opp.

Mary Perthenia Melvinie George and her husband, Green Jasper Cadenhead, reared the following children: Edward Perry, b. 1882, d. 1960; Albert R., b. 1885; Levi Marion, b. 1887, m. Ellen Ford; Ivy Pierce, b. 1889; William, m. Viddie Mason; Callie, m. Oscar Edge; Mary Annie, b. 1890, m. ? Ford; Carrie, m. Ernest Habbard; Emma J., b. 1894, m. Mack Edge; and Mary Lou, b. 1897, m. John L. Brewer.

Sarah George does not appear to have been married, but she had a son, Leander Malone George.

Burnette Clementine George and her husband, Jesse Franklin Catrett, reared the following children: John Thomas Sr., b. 1888, d. 1943, m. 1912 Julia Maybell Mitchell; Mary Lou Nettie, b. 1890, m. Millidge Guyton Buckhalter; Jesse James, b. 1893, m. Delphia Widner; and Henry L., b. 1896, m. Nettie ?. Burnette was buried in the Blackoak Cemetery in Walton County, and Jesse was buried at Clear Springs, Florida.

Edward P. George and his wife, Annie E. Hutto, had three children before his tragic death. As an employee of the Yellow River Railroad Company, he was climbing on a work-train when he lost his balance. He fell in front of the train, which crushed and mangled his body beyond recognition.

Edward’s twin, Zebulon Perry George, and wife, Lydia Jackson, reared the following children: Hilary B, b. 1894, d. 1896; Oda Estelle, b. 1896, d. 1987; Bama Savannah, b. 1898, d. 1986; Tillery Rosslen, b. 1900, d. 1987; Hilliard Carson, b. 1902, d. 1946, m. Helen Martin; Halliard Dawson, b. 1905, d. 1971; Daliard Dalton, b. 1907, d. 1975; Hollis Walton, b. 1909, d. 1910; Wallace Halton, b. 1909, d. 1996; Oliver Austin, b. 1912, d. 1987; Dillard Walton, b. 1915, d. ca 1999; and Willard Dillon, b.&d. 1915.

There is also a family record by one of James L. George’s sons stating that his father told him they were of Portuguese descent. He understood that Hugh L. George, a brother, and their father migrated from islands off the coast of the Carolinas, possibly Cape Hatteras, to Georgia. It is not known what happened to the father, but the brother settled in Georgia, and Hugh L. moved further west into Alabama. It should be pointed out that all census records for Hugh L. showed his birthplace to be Georgia.

Hugh L. George made it to Covington County before 1890. On February 19, 1889, he paid $100 for a parcel of land in the county. He sold land in 1894 to an Edgar and in 1895, to his son, Zebulon P. George. In 1899, he homesteaded 160.16 acres of land in the Horn Hill Township near Opp that had been set aside for railroads by the government. His son, Zebulon P., homesteaded two tracts of land, 40.05 acres and 40.04, in the same Horn Hill area. Zebulon and his family lived for a time during the early 1900s in the small lumber town of Poley, which was west of Opp.

James L. George’s daughter, Elizabeth Irene “Beth” (George) Hodges Mercer Vetter (1909-2001) placed a new headstone for her grandparents, Hugh L. and Mary Ann (Catrett) George, in the Hickory Grove Cemetery, located west of Opp. Several members of this family including some of Hugh and Mary Ann’s children are buried in this cemetery.

There is additional genealogy available on the later generations on this George family. Appreciation is expressed to Julia Cadenhead, a George descendant, for sharing her family records for this writing. She credits another descendant of Hugh L. George, Bobby Gilley, with having done most of the research. Additional data was gleaned from census records and Wyley Ward’s books on Covington County.

Family history on another George family of Covington County, Moses A. George of Florala, is needed to complete a review of it. Anyone who could provide information or who might have any corrections to the above George family is requested to write Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, in the Dixon Memorial Room at the Andalusia Public Library. Anyone interested in Confederate heritage is welcome.