Lassiter family came to county in early 1830s

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2011

There appears to be more than one Lassiter family line that settled in Covington County. James Benjamin Lassiter and his family will be the one featured in today’s column.

A John Lassiter moved into the Conecuh River settlement during the early 1830s. He acquired from the government 40.13 acres of land in the Conecuh River Township of Covington County in 1836. John was born circa 1797 in North Carolina and was a veteran of the War of 1812. He was married to Nancy Ann Prescott who was born circa 1805 in South Carolina. After migrating to Conecuh County, they later resided in Covington County. At his death, John was buried in Florala.

John Jackson and Nancy Ann Lassiter reared the following children: James Benjamin, b. 1828, d. 1900, m. 1850 Mary Elizabeth White; Rebecca Ann, b. 1829; Wiley Berry, b. 1832; Ephraim P., b. 1834; Mary Ann, b. 1835; William D., b. 1837; Nancy Elizabeth, b. 1838; Priscilla Sarah, b. 1840; John Riley, b. 1841; Joseph M., b. 1843; Martha Ann, b. 1845; Julia Ann, b. 1847; Christian Angeline, b. 1849; and twins, Jesse and John Jackson Jr., b. 1851.

The oldest son, James Benjamin Lassiter, was born in 1828 in Autauga County, and he was in Covington County as early as 1850 when he married Mary Elizabeth White, who was born in 1832 in Opp, Alabama.

In 1855, James B. purchased from the government two tracts of land, 78.25 and 39.13 acres, in the Chapel Hill Township, which is in the southeast area of Covington County.

Two of his younger brothers bought government land in the county during the 1850s.

Ephraim P. Lassiter purchased 117.22 acres in 1855 in the Chapel Hill Township, and he homesteaded 159.56 acres in the same area in 1892. Wiley B. Lassiter acquired 119.95 acres also in 1855 in the Chapel Hill Township. Later in 1892, another brother, Joseph M. Lassiter homesteaded 159.24 acres in the same general area.

In the 1860 census, James B. Lassiter’s household was enumerated in the following manner. He was a farmer at 32 years of age, and his wife, Mary E., was 28. They had the following children at the time: Eliza, 8; Mary Ann, 4; Nancy Ann, 2 months; and a laborer, John Irvin, 16. Living near this family was that of John H. Lassiter, a farmer at 25 years of age and wife, Elfard A., 20, with children, James T., 3; and Lucinda A., 9 months. In 1867, James was listed as a registered voter in Covington County.

In the 1870 census for Covington, James B. Lassiter was listed as being 40 years old, and Mary E. at 38. Their children were Ezery, 18; Nancey, 10; Martha, 7; Sarah E., 5; Martha or Rachel, 4; and Susan, 6 months. James’s father, John Laseter, and family were enumerated near by. He was 73, and his wife, Nancy, 65. With them were Juley, 20; Angeline, 18; and John Jr., 16. There was also an M. Laseter, 39; and M. Johnson, 36; and Catherine, 6; recorded in this census.

James Benjamin Lassiter and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (White), reared the following children: Angeline; Ethel Lee; Nancy Ann, b. 1851; Ezra, b. 1852, m. Lisa Williams; Mary Ann Rebecca, b. 1857, d. 1930, m. Mack Busbee (1856-1933); Martha, b. 1861-1863, m. ? Cook; Sarah Elizabeth “Betty,” b. 1866, d. 1950, m. (1) Cainey Busbee (1863-1892) (2) William James Presley (1862-1950); Rachel, b. 1867, m. Monk Livingston; and Susan “Susie,” b. 1870, m. Sam Livingston.

The third son, Ephraim P., who was born in 1834, was married to Jemima Ann Donaldson, daughter of Daniel and Priscilla (Davis) Donaldson, a pioneer family of Coffee County. Ephraim served in the Confederate Army as a member of a Florida Unit. He and Jemima lived their last years in the Zion Rock community where they were buried. They had at least one daughter, Mary Jane Lassiter, who married William Allen Lundy. The Lundy couple had a daughter, Matilda, who was married to William Henry King.

All of James Benjamin Lassiter’s children were daughters with the exception of one son, Ezra. His daughter, Mary Ann Rebecca Lassiter, and her husband, Mack Busbee, resided mostly in the Laurel Hill community and reared the following children: Irene; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1877; James Henry, b. 1878; William Andrew, b. 1880; Thomas J., b. 1882; Nettie Gautney, b. 1884; Margie Ann, b. 1887; Harley, b. 1892; Ida, b. 1895; and George, b. 1897.

James Benjamin’s daugher, Sarah Elizabeth “Betty” Lassiter, and her first husband, Cainey Busbee, had four children: Emily I., b. 1881; Ella, b. 1882; Franklin Walker, b. 1887; and Hosea, b. 1889. Betty and her second husband, William James Presley, had the following seven children: Twins Obie and Oliver, b. 1892; twins, Hubert M. and Hubert Millard, b. 1894; Bessie, b. 1897; Corbin, b. 1899; and Lee, b. 1902.

The sources for this writing include census records,, and Wyley Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

It appears that another line of the Lassiter family came to Covington County, but they may have been related to the one reviewed in today’s column.  Anyone who has additional family records or genealogy on any of the Lassiters around Covington County is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email:

Also, anyone who might have any correction to the above history is asked to contact this writer as well.

DOZIER FAMILY REUNION: The Dozier family will hold its annual reunion on Sun., July 31, the last Sunday in July, at the American Legion building in Andalusia. All descendants are asked to bring a “covered-dish” dinner and arrive from 10 a.m. until noon.

THOMASSON FAMILY REUNION: The Thomasson Traces Family Association will have its annual reunion in Andalusia on Sat., August 6, in the fellowship room of the Cedar Grove Church of Christ on Brooklyn Road. All descendants and friends are urged to attend from 10 a.m. until and bring a “covered dish” dinner as well as family photos, records, keepsakes, etc. for display. Contact Curtis Thomasson at 334-222-6467 for additional information.