DuBose ancestors arrived in South Carolina in 1685

Published 11:27 pm Friday, November 20, 2009

The Andalusia Star-News published a story on Feb. 5, 2005, of Riley Dubose’s 100th birthday celebration. While such an event is rare, it is even more so that Riley lived another four years and only died a couple of weeks earlier in November 2009. On the occasion of his 104th birthday, a story was written by Jeremy Henderson for the The Opp News.

Riley was actually born on Jan. 31, 1905, to Thomas and Martha (Barnett) DuBose who were residing in the Valley Grove community, located a few miles north of Opp. He was six years old when the family moved to the new, small town of Opp. At his advanced age he could recall many stories about the community, growth from only three stores, and most of the early settlers. One such memory was his father delivering the first bale of cotton to the Opp Mill on March 20, 1920.

Riley lived all of his 104 years within a few miles of his birthplace. He was engaged in farming for most of his life, and was also involved in carpentry work and barbering. He indicated that hunting was his favorite past-time activity. He was especially known for his syrup-making. For more than 70 years, Riley made his famous cane syrup and actually used three different cane mills.

Fortunately, this process was passed on to his son-in-law, Daniel Marler, who was married to Riley’s deceased daughter, Dean.

Riley built his first house in the Cedar Grove community when he was 14 years old, and the house still stands today. He was only 17 when he was married to Annie Dauphin in 1922. They were blessed with the following seven children: Clemmie Laura, b. 1923, m. (1) Charles Rudd (2) Jeff Mills; Mary Lou, b. 1926, m. Sal Flora, Sr.; Eual Nathan “Buck,” b. 1927, m. Betty Sue Pittman; Betty Sue, b. 1934, m. (1) Alfred Holmes (2) Ronald Wilson; Duane “Dean,” b. 1937, m. Daniel Marler; Shirley Jo, b. 1942, m. Billy Wambles; and James Harold, b. 1946, m. Carolyn Henegan. All seven children have lived within 4 miles of their parents’ home.

Riley and Annie’s grandchildren include the following: Oldest daughter, Clemmie, had Roger Lamar, Martha Jeynn, and Jerry DeWayne. Mary Lou, had Sal Jr., David, Mary Jane, and Jo Ann. Buck had Steve Derrick, Victor Lamar, and Michell. Betty Sue had Diane by her first husband and Ronnie Jr., Susan, Darlene Dede, and Marsha by her second husband. Dean had Sherry Juanita and Debra Lynn; Shirley had Rickey Lamar, Cynthia Ann, and Peggy Sue; James Harold had one son, Jamey.

Obviously, Riley DuBose lived a long life, and he reported it to be happy and a blessed one. He attributed his longevity to good country eating, which he raised on his farm. He also lived a clean life in which he never drank alcohol, smoked, dipped nor chewed. He also indicated spending time with his children, grandchildren, etc., and watching them grow gave him a real purpose for living. At the time of his death, he had 21 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, and 21 great-great-grandchildren.

There is no known relationship between Riley DuBose and the DuBose family featured in last week’s column. Riley was descended from French Huguenots who came to American seeking religious freedom. They arrived in South Carolina in 1685 and settled there for some time. In each place they settled, they are credited with establishing places of worship.

The earliest ancestor for Riley that is known to this writer is James DuBose who was born in 1801 in South Carolina. He was married in 1837 to Mary ? who was born in 1814 in South Carolina. Family legend contends that the family moved to Alabama by wagon train circa 1830 to the Banks community in Pike County. There is also a record of a John DuBose III who settled his family in the same area about the same time, so he is likely a relative of James DuBose.

James and Mary DuBose reared the following children: Nancy, b. 1838, m. 1861 John Benefield; Sarah, b. 1839, m. 1861 William W. Parmer; Jane, b. 1840; Jeptha James “Shep,” b. 1843, d. 1922, m. (1) Elizabeth Butts (2) 1887 Susannah Adeline Stevens; Arabella, b. 1844, m. Simeon Coon; Ailsey, b. 1846; Robert, b. 1849; Martha A., b. 1853, m. 1873 James Baxley; William H., b. 1855; and Dississo or Deshabo, b. 1857.

The oldest son, Jeptha James “Shep” DuBose, and wife, Elizabeth Butts, had the following children: Mandy, b. 1867, m. Joe Perdue; Claudia Bamma, b. 1869, d. 1910, m. 1893 Tobe Kennedy; William Henry “Bill,” b. 1874, m. 1893 Becky Idella Barnett; Thomas J., b. 1877, m. 1894 Martha J. Barnett; John P., b. 1879, m. 1900 Anna Barnett; Leona Fannie, b. 1883, m. 1906 William J. Batson; and Nancy L. “Annie,” b. 1886, d. 1980, m. 1907 George Washington Batson. Jeptha James and his second wife, Susannah Adeline Stevens, had only one child, Hubbard Hillary, b. 1892, m. Bertha Mae Taylor.

The second oldest son, Thomas J. DuBose, and his wife, Martha J. Barnett reared the following children: Oscar, m. Clydia Barnette; Jepp, m. Irene Poole; Lee, m. Pinkie Burk; Orbe, m. (1) Missouri Willison (2) Nervie Hattaway; Riley, m. Annie Dauphin; Osburn “O.S.,” m. Beuna Thrower; Erie, m. Homer Howard; Libby Vera, m. Emment Hall; and Walter “D.C.,” m. Vera Wallace. D.C. is the only one who is still living at 94 years of age.

Thomas J. and Martha J. (Barnett) DuBose’s grandchildren included the following: Son Oscar and wife, Clydia, had O.C., Bud, Hubert and Josephine DuBose; son Jepp and wife, Irene, had a son, T.C. Dubose; Son Lee and wife, Pinkie, had a daughter, Minnie; Son Orbe and first wife, Missouri, had Bill, Dan and Eunice DuBose; Orbe and second wife, Nervie, had Johnny, Lonnie, Tommy, Lois, and Ann; Son Riley and wife, Annie’s, seven children are listed above; Son Osburn “O.S.” and wife, Beuna, had Edward, Ray and Lucille DuBose; Daughter Erie and husband, Homer Howard, had Milton “Buddy,” Inez, Sybil, Herman and Ronnie Howard; and son Walter “D.C.” and wife, Vera, had Johnny Hinton, E.M. “Max,” and Eloise.

Jeptha James DuBose’s youngest daughter, Nancy, and her husband, George W. Batson, reared the following children: Myrtice; Nola Vera; Beatrice; Thelma; Clara, m. Simon Bradley; Rossie; Mattie; Earl; Curtis; and Mildred, b. 1918, d. 1955, m. Truman Roughton.

The sources for this writing include family records, newspaper stories, and an article in one of the heritage books. Appreciation is expressed in particular to Betty Jo (DuBose) Wambles of Opp for sharing her family records.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above or who has genealogy on other DuBose families in the county is requested to write Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail: cthomasson@centurytel.net.

CEMETERY RESTORATION: There will be a working to clean the cemetery in the Children’s Home community on Sat., Nov. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. The cemetery is located on Frost Lane in Walton County, Fla., between Florala and Laurel Hill, Fla. Anyone willing to help may call Peggy Chesteen at 334-222-4642.