Kervin family flourished in northern Covington County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

The past two columns introduced the Kervin family and covered the earliest generations along with the two oldest children of Morris Watso Kervin Sr. who moved the family to Alabama. In today’s column, several other children and families of Morris Kervin Sr. will be outlined.

First, an update on facts reported last week surrounding the Free State of Jones is presented. An important source, Victoria Bynum who is a professor of history at Texas State University in San Marcos, clarified a few points. There seems to be some varying reports of the events, which occurred in Jones County, Miss., during the years of the War Between the States. Ms. Bynum states that the county did not secede from the Confederacy and create their own country, but a group engaged in an insurrection against it. Most of these men involved did not have slaves or multiple wives, but a number of the slaves appear to have been freed earlier than the coming Emancipation Proclamation.

Ms. Bynum’s book, The Free State of Jones, was published by the University of North Carolina Press. In it she shares the results of her research of the county’s involvement in insurrection actions during the war. Anyone interested in learning more about this topic may consult her website and blog at Renegade South (, where she has links listed with her signature.

To continue with the children of Morris Watson Kervin Sr., the third oldest son, William Samuel Kervin, was born in 1840 in Westover and died there in 1825. Westover is an old name for an area near the Brooks community in extreme northwest Covington County. The area is also referred to as “The Garden” and the distinction between this community and the Brooks community is difficult. He is reported to have served in the Confederate Army with his brothers and was married to Lucy ?. His Confederate records have been seen at the State Archives in Montgomery.

In 1889, William Samuel homesteaded 157 acres of land near his relatives in the Pigeon Creek Township. Because so many Kervins have had land or own land in this particular part of the Pigeon Creek community, many often refer to their “area” as “Kervinville.” Little information is available on any children for this son, except that he m. ? Hallford, and they had the following children: Russ, m. ? Davidson; Monk, m. ? Beasley; and Abbie, m. ? Barfield. Dates and additional descendants in this line are unknown at this time.

The son, Calvin James “Jim” Kervin, was born in 1844 and was also believed to have been a Confederate veteran. He died in an untimely death at a young age. He had homesteaded land in the Pigeon Creek Township alongside his brothers. He married Mary Merchant from Gantt, and they had the following children: Thomas “Tom,” Mary Jane, Liza and James Evan “Hardy.” Jim’s widow may have been married later to a Mr. Hinson. There is a record of her having homesteaded 160 acres near the Kervins in the Pigeon Creek community in 1889.

Jim’s three older children were married to South siblings. The South community was named for their father, Thomas South, who was a landowner in the area. Thomas Kervin married ? South, and their children were Lemmy; Jimmy, m. ? Williamson; Vannie, m. ? Clark; and Winnie, m. Freeman Caraway. Mary Jane was married first to William South from the South community, and their children were Martha Jane, m. Lee Walden of McKenzie; Bama, m. William Bargainer; Evie, m. Claude South of Red Level; Knighton, m. Beula Lee from Brooks; Harlie, m. Thomas Cox of Red Level; and R.G., m. Alma Lee from Brooks. Mary Jane was next married to ? Gomillion with whom she had a daughter, Johnnie. The third child, Liza Kervin, was married to Simps South.

Jim’s youngest son, James Evan “Hardy” Kervin (1890-1955), was married to Annie Josey, and they reared the following children: James Thomas, Grover B., Vernon, Carlos William, Verlin, Lena, Della, and Adelle, who moved to Texas soon after graduation. Carlos and Verlin were both veterans of World War II. James Thomas m. CoraLee ?, and their children were Levon, Carol, Joyce, and Audrene. Grover married Gloria Sims, and their children were Fred, Marvin and Annette. Carlos William, b. 1918, d. 1972, m. Inez Paulk, and their children were Carlos DeWayne who m. Ann Mintz and has been a teacher, coach and principal in Jefferson County. Their son, Jason Kervin, is currently a teacher and coach at Hoover High School in Birmingham, and their son, Josh, is a college student. William Deral is retired from having also been a teacher and coach. Years earlier, Deral established the Kervin Pest Control business. He and his wife, Sherrell Sorrells, reared three daughters: Stacy, Rhonda and Lisa. Verlin, b. 1920, d. 1999, m, Gracie Cooper, and had Ron, Roy, Thomas and Linda. Lena m. Thomas Lord, and they reared James Robert; Emmett, m. Edna ?; Dollie, m. Curtis Williams; Sara Lois, m. ? Bolding; and Lorene, m. Woodrow DeMoss. Della m. Robert Edson, and they reared Hilton, Coy Lee, Foy, James Clifford, Leon, and Jeanette.

Morris Sr.’s son, Reason Hecabud “Bud” Kervin, was born in the Westover community and died in 1922 in Covington County. In 1891, Bud homesteaded 160 acres of land in the Pigeon Creek community, again, near his Kervin relatives. He was married to Mary P. Edmunson, and they reared the following children: Noah D., b. 1889; Mack Rock Thor, b. 1895; Rosella, b. 1897, m. ? Kervin; and Simon P., b. 1899. This family farmed less than a mile up the road from where the John Larmar Kervin Farm was located. Also, the original “Cap” Kervin and Calvin James Kervin homesteads were later incorporated into the John L. Kervin Farm.

Reason Heckabud “Bud” Kervin, was born in 1845 and was definitely a Confederate veteran. He enlisted in 1863 as a private in Company A, Miscellaneous Regiment of the Cavalry. He also was a private in the 4th Alabama Battery of Hilliard’s Regiment. He was discharged in February 1865 due to illness. In 1891, he homesteaded 160 acres of land in the same Pigeon Creek Township along with several of his brothers and other Kervin relatives.

Bud was married to Mary P. Edmondson who was born in 1863 in Geneva and died in 1925 in Westover. They reared the following children: Lisa, b. 1875; Dock Allmon, b. 1884; Noah D., b. 1889, d. 1962; Mack Rock Thor, b. 1895, d. 1941; Rosella, b. 1897; and Simon P., b. 1899. The first two children were born in Shelby and the last four in Covington County. Rosella married her first cousin, a son of Captain Travis Kervin.

Bud’s descendants, Roger L. Kervin and his brother Donald R. Kervin of Pensacola, Florida, attended the Kervin reunion and represented their ancestor, Heckabud, when his name was called. It was the first time this family has been represented at the reunion in a long while. Roger L. Kervin recalled memories of growing up on their farm and visiting their Kervin neighbors, the John L. Kervins, where his friend and cousin, LD, lived.

The review of the Kervin family will be concluded in the next column. The last children of Morris W. Kervin Sr. will be presented.

Many descendants in this family contributed family information for this series of columns. Special appreciation is expressed to the following: Lee D Kervin, Jr., descendant of John Franklin Kervin, Andalusia; Elizabeth Anese Kervin Bush, descendant of Captain Travis Kervin, from Lee, Florida; Madison “Matt” Kervin, descendant of Doss Kervin, Grand Bay, Alabama; Carrie Nell Broadus Jordan, descendant of John Franklin Kervin, Tennessee; Rufus Kervin, descendant of John Franklin Kervin, Geneva, Alabama; Deral Kervin, descendant of Calvin James Kervin, Andalusia; and Nell Ainsworth, descendant of John Franklin Kervin, Andalusia, for her contributions to the Kervin Reunion.

Anyone who might have any correction to the above information or additional genealogy on the Kervin family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, by writing to 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; calling 334-222-6467; or e-mailing