Sweatt family added to Pigeon Creek Community population

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Sweatt family is another one that lived in and became a part of the Pigeon Creek community in the northern area of Covington County. There are records indicating that the Sweatts came to the area from Greenville in Butler County. Kirby Lee Sweatt who was born in 1868 in the Greenville area of Alabama moved his family to the Westover precinct probably around the turn of the century.  He and family were enumerated there in the 1910 federal census.

In looking at the heritage of this family, the earliest ancestor identified by this writer was James A. Sweatt who was born in 1824 in Alabama. He was married in 1844 in Montgomery to Martha Rebecca Buckelew (1830-1889). The couple made their home in Montgomery and was buried there at their deaths. Among their children was a son, James Madison “Jim” Sweatt who was born in 1847 in Montgomery.

Jim was first married to Christine Cook (1828-1879), and they had the following children: Child, b. 1867, d. 1872; Kirby Lee, b. 1868, d. 1956; Lydia Clara, b. 1869, d. 1929; Ellen, b. 1870; Callie, b. 1872, d. 1952; and Fannie Birdie C., b. 1875, d. 1972.

Very soon, Jim needed someone to help with his children, so he was married to Sarah Elizabeth Wright (1857-1938). They then had the following children together: Jessie Clara, b. 1879, d. 1927; James Wright, b. 1881, d. 1887; Carrie Alan, b. 1883, d. 1947; Louis, b.&d. 1886; Emma Gertrude, b. 1887, d. 1973; Nannie Lorene, b. 1890, d. 1960; William Kendrick, b. 1892, d. 1963; Ethel Lolette, b. 1894, d. 1957; Johnnie Albert, b. 1896, d. 1976; Lilly Belle, b. 1898; Lizzie Ella, b. 1900, d. 1910; and Millard Marion, b. 1901, d. 1959.

Kirby Lee Sweatt, the oldest surviving son of James Madison “Jim” Sweatt, and his first wife, Christine Cook, will be the Sweatt line to be further reviewed in this column. At some point Kirby Lee and his family moved from Montgomery to the Greenville area in Butler County. His father, Jim Sweatt, died in Greenville in 1910.

Kirby Lee Sweatt was born in 1868 in the State of Alabama, most likely in Montgomery, and died in 1956 in Covington County. Kirby was married to Saphronia E. Whiddon, daughter of Eli E. Whiddon (1841-1920 and Mary Ellen (Curry) (1844-1935). Saphronia was born in 1866 and died in 1969. They were both buried in the historic Kervin Cemetery, which is located next to the Welcome Church in the Pigeon Creek community.

Kirby Lee and Saphronia Sweatt reared the following nine children: James Minton “Jimmy,” b. 1894, d. 1984, m. Ila Trudy Bates (1897-1969); Kirby Artie, b. 1898, m. Willie Mae Arnold; Allen Eli, b. 1903, d. ca 1966, m. ca 1922 Eva Mae Chesser; Alonza “Lonnie” Lomax, b. 1905, d. 1970, m. (1) (? Wilma Gray) (2) Kate D. Smithart; twin boys, John N., b. 1895, d. 1895 and George, b. 1895, d. 1896; Berta “Birdie,” m. John L. Chesser; Ebb Wilton, m. Elsie Williams, and J.C., b. 1912, d. 1913.

The oldest son, James Minton Sweatt, and his wife, Ila, were living next door to his brother, Kirby Artie, in Westover in 1920. At the time they had two children, Louise or Loris, b. ca 1917, and Lee, b. ca 1918. Lonnie Sweatt, a younger brother of James M. was 13 years old and living in the household.

The second oldest son, Kirby Artie Sweatt, and his wife, Willie Mae (Arnold), had the following children: Phillip, d. as infant; Kirby William, b. 1918, d. 1953, m. Ruth Mae Williams (1923-2010); Wilton, m. Annie ?; Hilton, m. Mollie Jon Ferguson; Frances, b. 1927, d. single; and Doris, b. 1929, m. Bernard Krakower. Willie Mae also had a daughter, Ester V., who was born ca 1916 before her mother’s marriage to Kirby Artie.

A later son, Allen Eli Sweatt, and his wife, Eva Mae (Chesser), daughter of Samuel Terry and Smithy Ellis “Duck” (Cross) Chesser, reared the following children: Norman Terry, b. 1927, d. 1969, m. Gladys Williams; Agnes Marie, b. ca 1928, m. (1) Landers Fuller (2) Vernon Ingram; Kirby Rex, b. ca 1930, m. Ina Owens; Emma Lynn, b. ca 1933, m. Glenn Tiller; and Feagin Allen, b. 1936, m. (1) Patricia Ann Patrick. (2) ?.

The next son, Alonza “Lonnie” Sweatt, was a logger and probably a driver for the Horseshoe Lumber Company in River Falls. He was married twice and had at least the following two children: Kenneth and Tommy.

The oldest daughter, Berta “Birdie” Sweatt, and her husband, John L. Chesser, had at least the following children: George L., Agnes, and Evelyn. Evelyn had twin boys.

The next generation in this family will be represented by two families. Kirby Artie Sweatt’s son, Kirby William Sweatt, and his wife, Ruth Mae (Williams) had two children, William Charles, m. Tawanna Wright; and Barbara Sue, m. Ralph Wells.

Kirby Artie’s brother, Allen Eli Sweatt, and his wife, Eva Mae (Chesser), had Feagin Allen Sweatt as their youngest child. Feagin and his first wife, Patricia Ann Patrick, reared the following children: Melanie Ann, m. Jerry Milton; Mark Allen, m. (1) Renee Dean; Kimberly Marie, m. James Craig Boutwell; and Norman Scott, m. Mahala Lord.

Most of these families resided in the general area of the Pigeon Creek and Westover communities. Genealogy on the other families who were named was not readily available at this writing. Anyone who might have any corrections to the above or additional information on the Sweatt family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.

Sources for this writing included interviews with several family members, census records and Ancestry.com.

HISTORICAL MEETING: The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 4, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are welcome.

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., Aug. 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.