Sheffield family settled near the western border of county

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

Evans Sheffield/ Sheffeld is the earliest ancestor of his family found by this writer in South Alabama. Although the date of his arrival in the area is not known, he and his family were enumerated as early as 1830. In that Federal Census of Conecuh County he and his wife had five children and three slaves. Evans was born in 1781 in the State of Virginia and died in 1869 in Conecuh County.

Evans, the son of a William Sheffield who born in 1765, was married to Delaney Wiggins (1785-1850s), daughter of William Jr. and Elizabeth (Cooper) (1759-1825) Wiggins. Elizabeth, the daughter of Fleet and Margaret (Coon) Cooper, was born in N.C. and died in Monroe County, Ala. Evans and Delaney were residing in South Carolina when their sons were born.

Evans and Delaney Sheffield had at least the following two sons: William Evans “Billy,” b. 1807, d. 1814, m. (1) Mary Martha Kelley (1808-1848) (2) Nancy Jane Barlow (1830-1884) (3) Diana McFarland (1811-1850; and Coleman, b. 1814, d. 1880, m. (1) Margaret Wiggins (2) Susan Roberts Jones.

The families of Evans and Delaney’s children and grandchildren made their homes in the eastern area of Conecuh County.  They resided in the communities of Old Town, Herbert and Sepulga, which are near the western border of Covington County.

Several members of this family rendered service in the Confederate Army. James Sheffield served as a private in Company E, 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Chickamauga and died in 1964 in Georgia from wounds received during conflict. His widow, Nancy Jane (Barlow) Sheffield, filed a death claim on May 31, 1864.

James’s brother, Evans Sheffield, served as a private in Company E., 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment. His brother, William Hardy Sheffield, was a private in Company E., 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

He enlisted on September 15, 1862 at Sparta and was paroled on May 1, 1865 at Vicksburg, Miss. Another brother, Coleman Sheffield, served in Company F., 2nd. Alabama Junior Reserves. These four men were the sons of William Evans “Billy” Sheffield. Other records show that there were many Sheffield men who served in Company B, Alabama Infantry, from Wilcox County.

Evans Sheffield’s oldest son, William Evans “Billy” Sheffield, was identified in census records as a minister, so that may be what led the family to South Alabama. He was married to three different wives. He and his first one, Mary Martha (Kelley), had one son, William, b. 1829, d. 1880. He and his second wife, Diana (McFarland), daughter of James McFarland of Scotland, reared the following children: James, b. 1830, d. 1863, m. Nancy Jane Barlow; Evans, b. 1834, d. 1869, m. Sara Elizabeth Miller (1849-1921); Flora, b. 1836, m. Abram Godbold Smith (1795-1886); Delaney, b. 1838, m. John W. Wilson (1841-1900); William Hardy, b. 1839, d. 1936, m. (1) ? (2) Nancy Jane Miller (1852-1931); Susan H., b. 1844, m. James Dixon; Coleman “Coley,” b. 1847, d. 1880, m. Mary Saphronia Hooks (1858-1910); Abigail, b. 1848, d. 1909, m. (1) ? Morrison (2)

Enoch Daniel Johns (1852-1926); and Lydia Ann, b. 1852. He and his third wife, Nancy Jane (Barlow), had one daughter, Dicey Ann, b. 1858, d. 1943).

Evans Sheffield’s second son, Coleman Sheffield, and his first wife, Margaret Wiggins, were married circa 1830 in Conecuh County. They had the following children: William, b. 1832, d. 1906, m. Catherine Singleton (1834-1910); Rhonda “Rhoda,” b. 1834; Mary Elizabeth “Betty,” b. 1837, m. John E. Ford; Margaret Caroline, b. 1840, m. Solomon “Sol” M. Peterson; Delaney Delsey, b. 1842, d. 1939, m. Washington B. Howard; Jane, b. 1845, m. John Hughes; Jefferson Evans, b. 1848, d. 1931, m. Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Green (1850-1928); Martha Ann, b. 1849, d. 1916, m. John Carlton Donowho (1857-1916); Diana, b. 1853, m. Tad Jones; James “Jim,” b. 1859, d. 1914, m. Nancy Ann Cordelia Roberts (1872- 1951); and Georgiana, b. 1860, d. 1955, m. William “Jim” Jimerson; and James. Coleman Sheffield and his second wife, Susan Roberts Jones, had one son, John “Jack,” b. 1857. If these dates are correct, Coleman had this son before the two youngest with his first wife.

Coleman and his family were residing in Nacogdoches, Texas, by 1860. In 1875, he married his second wife in St. Augustine, Texas.

William Evans “Billy” Sheffield’s son, James Sheffield, was married in 1858 to Nancy Jane Barlow, daughter of William and Dicey Barlow. William Barlow was a Methodist minister. Billy and Nancy Jane had the following children before his untimely death during the War Between the States: Marcilla, b. 1859; Sarah Susan, b. 1860, d. 1963; William Evans, b. 1861, b. 1958; and Jane, b. 1863, d. 1928.

William Evans “Billy” Sheffield’s daughter, Dicey Ann Sheffield was married in 1877 in Conecuh County to William P. Miller Wiggins. They reared the following children: James K. “Jim,” b. 1878, d. 1964; William Lihue, b. 1879, d. 1972; Dicey Alabama, b. 1881, d. 1980; Evans Branson, b. 1883, d.1936; Hillary Fletcher, b. 1885, d. 1948; Leaner A., b.&d. 1887; Elener, b. 1887; Sarah Jennie, b. 1889, d. 1917; Leonard C., b. 1891, d. 1970; Robert Lee “Bobby,” b. 1894, d. 1980; Miller Malachi “Mallie,” b. 1896, d. 1987; and Mary Delaney “Lannie,” b. 1898, d. 1984.

There is a need for more research to present a more comprehensive outline of this family.

There were many descendants who spread throughout the South and contributed to their communities.

Sources for this writing include Sheffield family records and Anyone who might have any correction to the above genealogy or additional information on this family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs. June 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library.

Each person attending is requested to bring a “finger-food” for the meal. Guests are welcome.