Additional research yields further look at the Leonard family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Leonard family of Covington County was introduced in this column several years earlier, and the discovery of additional genealogical data allows a more in-depth review. Appreciation is expressed to Howard Leonard for sharing the results of his extensive research on this family.

The earliest ancestor identified to date is John Leonard who was born in North Carolina circa 1782. At some point he was married to Mary ? who was born circa 1795 also in North Carolina. John was in Dale County, by the time the 1840 federal census was recorded. By 1860, they had moved a bit west to Coffee County, and John was 68 years of age with Mary being 53.

It appears John Leonard was deceased by 1860, because Mary was listed as head of the household with two adults living with her, Samuel Leonard, 47, b. ca 1813 in Georgia; and Mahala Leonard, 34.

While the names of all their children are not known, there are records of them having at least two sons, Alexander L., b. 1811, m. Elizabeth; and Thomas Alfred Sr., b. 1817, m. Alice Lucinda Weaver. These two sons were both born in South Carolina, so it appears this family did as so many others in South Alabama by settling a few years in South Carolina and then Georgia before finally settling here.

Alexander Leonard and his family were also residing in Coffee County in 1850. He was 39 years of age, and his wife, Elizabeth, was 42. They had six children with them at the time. By 1860 they were residing in Santa Rosa County, Fla., and had another child in the home. Their children were Stark Sterling, b. 1836; Mary A., b. 1838; William, b. 1842; Artissia Matilda, b. 1845; Julia J., b. 1847; Anzia Amanda, b. 1849; and Meneveram, b. 1859.

Alexander’s oldest son, Stark Sterling Leonard, was married to Elizabeth Caroline Blacksher (1841-1892), daughter of Jeptha J. and Martha (Mayo) Blacksher. He and Elizabeth were residing in Milton of Santa Rosa County in 1860 and had moved to Escambia County by 1880. They reared the following children: Cora, b. 1862, d. 1944; Mattie, b. 1864; George, b. 1864; Minnie Olive, b. 1860; Jeptha Alexander, b. 1872, d. 1921; Lawrence, b. 1873; Stark Edward, b. 1875, d. 1943, m. Eleanor Breeze Greenwood; Margaret Rushing, b. 1883, d. 1950; Matilda; and Herbert.

Stark’s fourth child, Minnie Olive Leonard, was married to Joseph F. McGowin (1856-1937), son of Alexander and Nancy (Floyd) McGowin. They reared the following children: Etta Lee, b. 1891, d. 1916, m. 1912 Arthur Clarence Tonsmiere; Ruth Olive, b. 1891, d. 1955; Minnie Elizabeth, b. 1899, d. 1903; and two others living at present.

His next child, Jeptha Alexander Leonard, was married to Bettie W. Leonard, a native of Tennessee. They were living in Mobile in 1910 and reared five children including Jeptha Alexander Jr.

The next child, Lawrence Leonard, and his wife, Adabelle, reared one child.

The next son, Stark Edward Leonard, was married to Eleanor Breeze “Nellie” Greenwood (1874-1943). They were living in Denver, Colorado, in 1910 and moved to Texas before their deaths in 1943. They reared one child who is still living and a son, Lewis Edward, b. ca 1905, d. ca 1975.

The next daughter, Margaret Rushing Leonard, was married to Frederick E. West (1875-1951), a native of Tennessee. They reared a child who is still living and a son, Herbert L., b. 1913, d. 1973, m. 1940 Ruby Estelle Dorlon. Herbert was living in Brewton when he died.

At this point, the lineage of John Leonard’s son, Thomas Alfred Leonard, Sr., will be presented.  Thomas, born in 1817 in South Carolina, was married to Alice Lucinda Weaver, daughter of J. and Sarah Weaver of Georgia where Lucinda was born in 1827. They were residing in Coffee County with a Geneva address in 1860, and they had moved to Walton County, Florida by 1870. By 1880, the family was residing in Covington County in the Hughes community.

Thomas Alfred Leonard, Sr. and his wife, Lucinda, reared the following children: Jonathan, b. 1845, d. 1862; William G., b. 1846, d. 1916; James Henry, b. 1849, d. 1916, m. Nancy E. Harrison; Martha Minerva, b. 1851, m. 1890 Daniel Regan Savage; John Thomas, b. 1856, d. 1901, m. Savannah Loretta Thomasson; Hosea Harrison Sr., b. 1856, d. 1933, m. 1885 Josephine Minerva Hogg; Stark Sterling, b. 1858, d. 1972, m. 1887 Katie Melissa Miller; Jane, b. 1863, d. 1976; and Charlie B., b. 1865.

Thomas Alfred’s son, James Henry Leonard, was married to Nancy E. Harrison. They were living in the Hughes community of Covington County in 1880, and James was farming. They reared the following children: Joanna “Jody,” b. 1873, d. 1926, m. 1890 George Willis Lundy; Sarah “Doll,” b. 1874, d. 1922, m. John T. Harrison; Mary Etta, b. 1877, d. 1943, m. 1895 John Roberts; Mattie, b. 1880, d. 1915, m. 1896 Moses Harrison; Ella, b. 1883; Thomas, b. 1887; Della, b. 1887, d. 1945; Bessie Lee, b. 1890, d. 1942; William Mose, b. 1891, d. 1973, m. 1909 Armeda Mellie Turbeville; and a tenth living child.

Thomas Alfred’s next child, Martha Minerva Leonard, was married in 1890 to Daniel Regan Savage, son of James William Jr. and Elizabeth (Bolels) Savage. Daniel was born in 1866 and died in 1950 in Florala. In 1900, they were residing in Hughes, and in 1920, they were in McRae. They reared the following four children: Alice, b. 1884, m. G.E. Dunn; Ella Mae, b. 1886, m. Marion D. Harrell; Ada, b. 1891, m. George Dunn; and Hiram, b. 1892, d. 1966, m. Lilla Subbers.

The next son, John Thomas Leonard, was married circa 1885 to Savannah “Vanna” Loretta Thomasson (1866-1905), youngest daughter of Lorenza Marion and Martha (Hammond) Thomasson. In 1900, the family was residing on Brooklyn Road in the Fairfield community. A year later, John Thomas died leaving Vanna with six children, the youngest being only eight years old.  Then four years to the day, Vanna died, so that left six orphaned children. They went to live with their mother’s sister, Theodocia (Thomasson) Peacock in the Straughn community. That made a total of 13 children in the Peacock home. As adults the six Leonard children all lived in Columbia or North Augusta, South Carolina.

John Thomas and Vanna had the following six children: Joseph Frank, b. 1886, d. 1968, m. 1910 Nellie Ethel Collum; Charlie A., b. 1888, d. 1889; Grady Bryson, b. 1891, d. 1952m. Nina Cooper; Harry Bernard, b. 1893, d. 1982, m. Pallie Walton Silvey; Freddie Loretta, b. 1896, d. 1953, m. 1915 Clayton Clyde Williamson; Perry Trammel, b. 1898, d. 1980, m. (1) Louise Johnson (2) Jetta O’Conner; and Lavada, b. 1901, d. 1979, m. Joseph Hall.

John Thomas’s daughter, Freddie Loretta Leonard, and husband, Clayton Clyde Williamson reared the following four children: Wilfred; Eva Mae, b. 1916, d. 1990, m. 1932 Theodore Tindal; Vertie Lee, b. 1920, d. 1993, m. 1939 Frazier Oswald; and Samuel C., b. 1915, d. 1980.

John Thomas’s youngest daughter, Lavada Leonard, was married to Joseph Hall, son of John and Elizabeth (Wells) Hall. They had the following children: Annie Ruth, b. 1921, d. 2003; Perry M., b. 1932, d. 1999; and 6 additional living children.

The in-depth research on this family will allow an additional column next week. The person conducting the research, which is the source for this writing, is Howard Leonard.

Anyone who might have any correction to the above or additional information on the Leonard family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or email: