Mitchells settled in county’s northwest corner

Published 1:03 am Saturday, October 1, 2011

Four earlier columns have featured different Mitchell family lines. These included the very prosperous David Mitchell family which came as early as 1822 to the area that would become Loango, and the Isaiah Mitchell family who was in Covington County before 1840 and resided in the Williams precinct in the northeast corner of the county.

A different Mitchell line will be featured in today’s writing. The members of this family settled mostly in Conecuh County near the northern boarder of Covington County. Naturally, a number of the descendants eventually resided in Covington.

The name of this family’s Mitchell ancestor who was born in Mitchell County, Georgia, and married to Mary Mitchell, who was born circa 1789, has not been identified. However, the names of at least three of their children are known: Benjamin, b. ca 1810, d. ca 1841, m. 1828 Ga. Cassey Stephens; John Monroe, b. 1814, d. 1895, m. Martha Jane Pickett (1816-1906); and Elizabeth Camellia, b. ca 1817, m. William Ferguson.

Benjamin Mitchell was married in 1828 in Upson County, Georgia, and died in Stewart County, Georgia. It is most likely that his sister, Elizabeth Camellia Mitchell Ferguson, remained in Georgia as well. John Monroe Mitchell is the one who brought the family to South Alabama.

Benjamin was married in 1838 in Madison County, Georgia, to Martha Jane Pickett. Two years later, in 1840, they were residing next door to his mother, Mary Mitchell, and his brother, Benjamin, and family were living on the other side of Mary. Both sons had two young children at the time. Mary was a widow at about 60 years of age at this time.

The next year in 1841, John Monroe was elected to serve as a state representative for Stewart County in the Georgia State Legislature. Then when the 1850 federal census was enumerated, his family could not be found. Most likely they were en route to South Alabama and missed being counted.

John Monroe Mitchell moved his family from Steward County, Georgia, where his first few children were born between 1846 and 1849, to Etowah County, Alabama circa 1848. In census records, his daughter, Martha Ann, is listed as being born in Etowah County. Then his next child, Erastus Rod, was listed as being born in Conecuh County in 1851, so they moved about 1850 to the southeastern area of Conecuh County, which was near the Covington County border. John Monroe became well known in his community and was appointed to the office of Deputy Sheriff for Conecuh County in 1870. John died in 1895 in Conecuh County.

John Monroe Mitchell and his wife, Martha Jane Pickett, reared the following 13 children: John Jackson, b. 1839; Calvin, b. 1840; Kinsey Elizabeth, b. 1842, d. 1935, m. William Coleman Horton (1839-1908); Benjamin, b. 1843; James Madison Sr., b. 1844, d. 1920, m. (1) Martha Jane Rogers (2) 1879 Melviney “Viney” Halford; Allen, b. 1846; Mary Marian Jane, b. 1848; Martha Ann, b. 1849, d. 1945, m. Ransom Monroe “Buddy” Hall (1852-1933); Erastus Rod, b. 1851, m. Sally A. ?; Nancy Jane, b. 1853, d. 1915, m. Richard J. Hughes (1854-1916); Mary Victoria, b. 1854, d. 1934, m. Henry Gorum; William Monroe, b. 1857, d. 1954, m. Emma Mae Brooks (1868-2937); and Ana b.&d. 1861.

The oldest daughter, Kinsey Elizabeth Mitchell, and her husband, William Coleman Horton, reared the following eight children: Nancy T., b. 1867; William Benjamin Yank, b. 1869, d. 1910; Mark A., b. 1872, d. 1961; Alice, b. 1874, d. 1944; Kenzie E., b. 1876; Mary Lucy, b. 1879, d. 1949; John Washington, b. 1881, d. 1945; and Jennie Ruth, b. 1885, d. 1957.

John Monroe’s fourth oldest son, James Madison Mitchell, Sr., was known as Jim. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in July 1862 in Evergreen. He served as a private throughout the war and was wounded twice, once in a leg and later in a shoulder. He was imprisoned at Ship Island, Mississippi, where he was severely tortured, which left him disabled for the remainder of his life. He was discharged from the prison at the end of the war. He became a charter member of the McKenzie Masonic Lodge Number 701.

He was referred as “Cap” and was well respected by all who knew him.

Upon his return from the war, James Madison Mitchell was first married to Martha Jane Rogers. He and she had the following five children: Elizabeth “Betty,” b. 1865, d. 1900, m. John Washington Ivey; John Thomas, b. 1868, d. 1917, m. Amanda Elizabeth Gorum, daughter of Benjamin S. and Sara Jane (Worthy) Gorum; Mary Frances “Sudie,” b. ca 1871; Lucinda, b. 1873, d. 1971, m. George Harrison Tidwell; and James Madison Jr., b. 1875, d. 1964, m. (1) Emma E. Lloyd (1882-1900) (2) Martha Jane Gomillion.

John Thomas and Amanda Mitchell had a daughter, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jade Mitchell, who married Joseph B. Gaines, Sr. Their union united the Mitchell family and the Gaines family featured in the previous two columns.

John Monroe’s next daughter, Martha Ann Mitchell, was married to Ransom Monroe “Buddy” Hall, son of William (1804-1877) and Elizabeth (Morgan) (1805-1870) Hall. They reared the following 10 children: Allis, b. 1872; Wiley Allen, b. 1874, d. 1968, m. (1) Sarah Elizabeth Brunson (1878-1968) (2) Lessie Leona Spurlin (3) Jessie Wild Wadsworth; Daniel Edward, b. 1877, d. 1959; John, b. 1880, d. 1959; Augustus, b. 1882, d. 1948; Minnie E., b. 1886, d. 1957, m. Henry L. Amerson; Irwin, b. 1888, d. 1944, m. Eunice Beal Elder (1893-1983) daughter of George Walker and Sarah Jane (Paul) Elder; Mattie A., b. 1890, d. 1991, m. ? Barlow; Oliver Ransom, b. 1893, d. 1969; and Willie Ransom, b. 1896.

John Monroe’s next son, Erastus “Rod” Mitchell, was married to Sally A. They eventually resided in Clarke County where he died and was buried. They reared the following three children: Nannie Mosley, b. ca 1881; Willie E., b. 1885; and Jenny, b. 1895.

John Monroe’s next daughter, Nancy Jane Mitchell, was married to Richard J. Hughes. They reared the following three children: Leonard, b. 1884; Calvin, b. 1886; and Marina, b. 1887. Nancy’s mother, Martha Jane (Pickett) Mitchell, came to live with this family after John Monroe’s death in 1895.

John Monroe’s next son, William Monroe Mitchell, was married to Emma Mae Brooks. They resided in McKenzie where they both died and were buried. They reared the following children: Palice or Palestine, b. 1886, d. 1940, m. John Miniard; John M., b. 1888, d. 1974; Clara Bell, b. 1892, d. 1981, m. James Browder; Mattie Lee, b. 1894, d. 1974, m. M.L. Sowell (1892-1939); Emma, b. 1898, d. 1984; Pearl, b. 1902, d. 1979, m. Bryant Lee; Unknown child, b. 1905; and Zelma, b. 1912, d. 1971, m. Covan ?.

There is much more lineage data available on the later generations in this family. Several descendants have moved into and resided in Covington County.

The sources for today’s writing are again the records of Richard Michael Ayers Jr. and Richard is a great-great-great-grandson to James Madison Mitchell Sr.

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

HISTORICAL MEETING: The Covington Rifles Camp of the S.C.V. will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 6, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Anyone interested in southern heritage is welcome to attend.