Darby family is related to Huson family of Conecuh County

Published 1:09 am Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some time earlier, the Huson/Houston family and some allied ones of Conecuh County were featured in this column An additional family related to these were the Darbys, primarily of Conecuh County.

The Darby descendants spring from the marriage of Eula Elizabeth Huston (1882-1981) to Walter Ernest Darby. Eula Elizabeth was the daughter of Pinkney and Mary Cornelia (Clepper) Huston. Walter Ernest was born October 4, 1875, in the Garland community of Butler County. He was the son of Armstead Dudley and Rebecca E. (Peacock) Darby. In the 1880 federal census, they were living in Garland, and Armstead was listed as a machine agent and being born circa 1851 in Alabama. At the time Walter was four years old and had a younger brother, Frank, who was two years old.

The 1900 federal census listed Walter Darby as being 24 years of age and being a boarder in the household of Thomas Foster in Georgiana. At that time he was working as a fireman. After he and Eula were married, Walter became an engineer on the L.& N. Railroad line. He was outgoing and enjoyed tooting the train whistle and waving at his nieces and nephews when his train traveled through Garland.

Walter and Eula lived in Mont-gomery in a large, white house with a wraparound porch on the front and one side of the house. Inside the rooms were large and had high ceilings. The house became the “hotel” for visiting relatives. The visitors were amazed and appreciative of the indoor plumbing, which included a comfortable bathroom. That was all so different from the more primitive outhouse and available plumbing in the country around Garland.

Water Ernest and Eula Elizabeth Darby reared the following four children: Armstead Houston, b. 1903, d. 1984, m. Ruth Hawkins, daughter of John E. and Beulah K. Hawkins; Walter Lee Sr., b. 1904, d. 1972, m. 1926 Mary Jewel Casady; Mary Eva, b. 1907, m. 1928 Simon Peter Knighten; and Joe Herron, b. 1919, m. 1942 June (Peay) Long.

The oldest son, Armstead Houston Darby, and his wife did not have any children. They lived in Montgomery where he worked as a salesman for the Cudahy Packing Company.

The son, Walter Lee Darby, Sr., and his family also resided in Montgomery. He owned a chain of dry cleaning stores and was the superintendent of the sanitation department for the City of Montgomery. He was married to Mary Jewel Casady, daughter of Thomas Cyrus Casady, Sr. and wife, James Beulah (Treadwell), natives of Macon County. They reared the following four children: Walter Lee Jr., b. 1928, m. 1948 Mary Ann Fields; Thomas Ernest “Tommy” Sr., b. 1930, m. Peggy Joyce Pitts; Judyette, b. 1932, m. David Russell Codd, Sr.; and James Blue Andrew, b. 1934, m. Beverly Hornsby.

The only daughter, Mary Eva Darby, was married in Montgomery to Simon Peter Knighton (1870-1962), son of Joseph James and Mary Jane Elizabeth (Howell) Knighton. Simon owned a furniture store in Montgomery, and it appears Mary Eva was a loving full-time homemaker. She especially enjoyed her family and helping in the effort to compile its history. She and Simon reared the following three daughters: Mary Eva, b. 1929, m. S. Leonard “Lenny” Didonato; Nancy Elizabeth, b. 1931, m. Tharpe Forrester, Jr.; and Edna Ruth, m. Harvey Albert Smit.

The youngest son, Joe Herron Darby, was named for his mother’s brother, Joe Mason Huston, who died in World War I in France. Joe’s career was working as a traveling salesman for a wholesale furniture company. His wife, June (Peay) Long, was the daughter of Dr. Alton Terrill Peay and wife, Coral (Peace) who were natives of Chattanooga, Tennessee. They had one son, Brooks Long Darby, born 1945 in Montgomery. He was married in 1968 to Catherine Cecelia Cottier, daughter of George John and Lillie Freeman (Hall) Cottier of Auburn. He works as Senior Domestics Buyer for the Montgomery Gayfers Group.

The next generation of this family is begun with the grandchildren of Walter Lee Darby, Sr. and his wife, Mary Jewel (Casady) (1906-1981). Their son, Walter Lee Darby, Jr. and wife, Mary Ann (Fields), reared the following three children: Diane, b. 1949, m. Larry Booher; Tommye Ann, b. 1953, m. (1) 1974 James F. Cross (2) 1988 Terry Kendall Armstrong; and Walter Lee III “Tripp,” b. 1956. Diane has been a farmer, elementary school teacher, bookkeeper and in greenhouse nursery and landscape management work. Tommye Ann has two children, Tristan Lee, b. 1980; and Ashlen Brooke, b. 1984. Tripp is a practicing physician.

Thomas Ernest “Tommy” Darby and his wife, Peggy Joyce, reared five children: Thomas “Ted” Ernest Jr., b. 1963, m. 1987 Jennifer Sue Kruger; Herman Lee Todd, b. 1965; Timothy “Tim” Everett, b. 1967; Peggy “Penne” Elizabeth, b. 1969; and Patricia “Patty” Joyce, b. 1970. Thomas “Ted” is a dry cleaning plant manager. He and his wife, Jennifer Sue, have one daughter, Stacey Leigh, b. 1988.

The daughter, Judyette, was a full-time homemaker, and her husband was a claims adjuster for Alabama Farm Bureau Insurance Company after retiring as a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. She was married to David Russell Codd, Sr., son of George E. and Ethel (Judd) Codd. They reared two children: Karen, b. 1953, m. 1974 Lyle Jay Palmer, son of Romeo Jay and Gladys Marion (Cartwright) Palmer; and David Russell Jr., b. 1958. Karen and Lyle reared one son, Andrew Cartwright Palmer, b. 1983, m. Lena Mae Fender, daughter of Denver Hugh and Lillian Lankford (Bowling) Fender. David Russell Darby, Jr. and Lena Mae reared two children: Jamie Lynn (Proctor) Codd, b. 1879; and Michelle Lee Codd, b. 1983.

The fourth child, James Blue Andrew Darby, and wife, Beverly (Hornsby) reared children, but their names were not available.

The records for this Darby family genealogy were found in the publication, The History of John Huson from North Carolina to Alabama, His Huson/Huston/Houston Descendants, and the Allied Pioneer Families of Clepper, Robinson, Deen and Gilmore, written by Margarette Hall Wood. Appreciation is expressed to her for compiling so much family genealogy and to Jimmy Cobb for sharing his copy of the book.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above or additional information on this or other Darby families is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357, Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 34620; 334-222-6467; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.