Chambliss family arrived in Covington County during 1830s

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 17, 2012



Older cemeteries provide a rich source for gathering genealogy on various families. Several years earlier, this writer was strolling through the Brooklyn Baptist Church Cemetery in the old community of Brooklyn and saw several headstones for members of the Chambliss family. While this name is not well known in the area at present, there were quite a few citizens wearing it during the 1800s who resided in Covington County. Also, the name may appear in a number of different spellings such as Chambles, Chambless, Chamblis or Chambliss.

The earliest ancestor of this family to be identified through was Robert Chamniss, who was born in 1603 in France. He had married and moved to England by 1630 when his son, John Chambliss, was born. John was married to Mary Bolling and migrated to America. He settled in the State of Virginia where he lived out his life. Among his and Mary’s children was a son, Henry Chambliss, who was born in 1660 in Prince George County, Va., and died there in 1719. He was married to Mary Moore (1664-1734) of the same area.

Henry and Mary Chambliss had a son named John R. Chambliss who was born in Prince George County in 1690. In 1723, he was married to Elizabeth Taylor (1707-1747), daughter of Thomas (1670-1716) and Elizabeth Jones (1670-1730). John was still residing in Prince George County when he died in 1775.

Among the children of John and Elizabeth Chambliss was a son whom they named John after his father. This John was born in 1728 in the same county where his parents were married. He was first married to Sarah Lee (1731-1763), but it appears they did not have any children. After Sarah’s death he was married to Mary Lucy Littleton, daughter of Saveige Littleton, circa 1764. During the next decade and in 1776, John served during the American Revolution in the army from South Carolina. He died in 1802 in Darlington District, S.C.

John and Mary Lucy Chambliss reared several children among whom was a son they named Ephraim Chambliss. He was born in 1775 in Bullocks, Ga., so John and Mary Lucy must have lived there for a period of time. Ephraim is the Chambliss ancestor who brought this family to Covington County, eventually. At some point he migrated from Georgia to Northwest Florida where he purchased 79 acres of land in 1827. By 1840, he had settled in Covington County and was farming land here. He was enumerated in the 1850 census as 75 years old, and his wife, Elizabeth, was 70 years old. He died here in 1860.

Ephraim Chambliss was married in 1802 in Bullocks, Ga. to Elizabeth Driggers (1780-1850). They reared the following children: William, b. 1790; Littleton M., b. 1792, d. 1851, m. Nancy ?; Elizabeth, b. 1805, m. 1820 Richard Davis; Ephraim, b. 1806; Susan, b. 1810; Ellen, b. 1818, d. 1897, m. Moses Ward (1816-1896); Zachariah, b. 1820, d. 1880, m. 1848 Caroline Chambliss; and Caroline, b. 1822, d. 1900, m. Jonathan Wesley Neal.

The name of the oldest son, William Chambliss’s, wife was not found, but he made his way to Covington County with his father and family. He was enumerated in the 1840 federal census where he and his wife were listed as being 40 to 50 years of age.

The second son, Littleton M. Chambliss, was born in 1792 in Jones County, Ga. where he was married to Nancy whose maiden name was not found. He served in the War of 1812 as a member of the 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteers. He and Nancy reared the following five children: Edward J., b. 1835; Alexander, b. 1838; Lydia, b. 1840; Elizabeth, b. 1842; and Littleton, b. 1846. One record indicates all the children were born in Georgia; however, another shows him living with his father in Covington County in 1840.

Littleton had moved his family to Covington County by 1850 as they were enumerated there in the 1850 federal census. Another record indicates that he owned 80.12 acres of land in Cahaba and St. Stephens, in 1830, so this was probably before he was married.

Ephraim’s daughter, Ellen Chambliss, was married circa 1840 to Moses Ward, also a native of Georgia. They were residing in Covington County in 1850, Conecuh in 1860, and back in Covington in 1870. They specifically lived in the Fairfield and Red Level areas. They reared the following four children: Caroline, b. 1844; Ephraim, b. 1851, d. 1914; Ellen, b. 1854; and John, b. 1859, d. 1920, m. Abigail ?.

Ephraim’s son, Zachariah Chambliss, eventually settled in Mississippi He was married in 1848 to Caroline whose maiden name was not found. They reared the following children: Patrick, b. 1850, d. 1923, m. Mary ?; Christopher, b. 1850, d. 1892; Amanda, b. 1852, d. 1911; James Russell, b. 1856, d. 1909; Daniel E., b. 1859; David, b. 1866; and Solomon, b. 1828.

Ephraim’s youngest child, Caroline Chambliss, was married to Jonathan Wesley Neal, son of Jonathan and Susannah (Newport) Neal. They lived in the Loango community of Covington County and reared the following two daughters: Frances A., b. 1842; and Lydia, b. 1848, d. 1912, m. E.B. Ammons.

This writer was unable to relate another John Chambliss to the above families. He was in Covington County by 1837 when he acquired three 40-acre tracts of land in the Conecuh River Township. In the 1840 federal census, John was 30-40 years of age with a wife and five young children. At the time he owned two slaves. More information is needed to clarify and follow this family line.

This writer has a special interest in the Chambliss family in that Mr. Hugh King, a leading citizen of Andalusia, who was buried last week, was a descendant, and he was probably from the lineage of this John Chambliss who lived in the southwest area of Covington County and near the community of Brooklyn. Hugh King was the son of Carrie Lee (Chambliss) and her husband, John Daniel King of the Brooklyn community. He attended school in Brooklyn until his senior year at which time he transferred to Andalusia and was in the last class to be graduated from the Church Street School. At his funeral, his daughter, Peggy Scott, who is an Episcopal priest, gave a very glowing tribute to her father with whom she had a very close relationship.

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

Anyone who might find any errors above or who has additional genealogy on this Chambliss family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: