Breedlove ancestors migrated from Virginia through Georgia to Alabama

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2012


Members of the Breedlove family appear to have begun their life in America in the State of Virginia. No earlier ancestors, nor the country of this family’s origin, were identified. The early generations resided in several counties in Virginia before migrating to Hancock County, Ga. From Georgia they moved to Tallapoosa County, Ala., for a few years before settling in what would become Bullock County.

The earliest ancestor to be located was James Breedlove who was born in 1655 in Virginia. His wife, Kindness ?, was born there in 1659. They had a son, Charles Breedlove, who was born in 1688 in Essex County, Va., who married Mary Parr (1695-1768) in 1710. Charles died in Essex County in 1754.

Charles and Mary’s son, James Breedlove II, was born in 1721, and he was married in 1735 to Mary Lucrecy (1720-1772). James II died in 1767 in Lunenberg, Va. This couple had a son, John Breedlove, who was born in 1745 in Essex County and who was married to Elizabeth Watkins (1744-1821). John and Elizabeth had a son, William Watkins Breedlove Sr., who married Sarah Harding Foster (1770-1821).

William W. Breedlove, Sr. and his wife, Sarah H. Foster, had a son, William Watkins Jr., who was born in 1795 in Charlotte, Va. He was first married in 1817 in Hancock County to Anna Wayne. He was married second to Lucy R. Stembridge (1795-1821), daughter of Thomas Baker Stembridge (1765-1837) and Sarah Breedlove (1766-1850). He was married a third time in 1852 to Mary Ann Ross. The second wife, Lucy, had been married earlier to James Warren by who she had two children: Martha Ann and William S. Warren. William Watkins Jr. died in 1867 in Opelika, Macon County.

William Watkins Breedlove Jr. and his second wife, Lucy Stembridge, had a son, John Fletcher Breedlove, who was born in 1829 in Georgia and who was married in 1850 in Macon County, Ala., to Susie Jane Duke. John Fletcher was listed in the 1860 census as an engineer and as a lumber mill manager afterwards. Of course, he also farmed as most men did at the time John F. died in 1900.

John Fletcher and Susie Breedlove reared the following children: Asbury Chappell, b. 1851, d. 1933, m. 1871 Martha Elizabeth Grider; Sarah Jane, b. 1853, d. 1934, m. 1875 Zachariah “Zeke” Taylor Townsend; Gaines Walton, b. 1856, d. 1939, m. 1878 Sarah Jane “Sallie” McKenzie; Martha Ann, b. 1860, d. 1893, m. 1881 Boswell Metcalf; John Wesley, b. 1863, m. Mason Parker; James Thomas, b. 1866, d. 1872, single; twin boys, b. 1868, d. young; and Mary “Molly” Ellen, b. 1872, d. 1953, m. 1888 George Washington Green.

Their second son, Gaines Walton Breedlove, who was born in 1857 in Bullock County, and he was married in 1878 in Bullock County to Sarah Jane McKenzie, daughter of Alexander and Mary A. (Bolton) McKenzie. Gaines is the Breedlove ancestor who brought the family to Covington County. He and his family were enumerated here in the 1910 census, so they would have arrived sometime before that date. In the previous 1900 federal census, this family was listed as residing in Farriorville in Bullock County.

Gaines Walton and Sarah Jane Breedlove, reared the following children: Willie Florence, b. 1879, d. 1909, m. 1901 James Benjamin Barbaree; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1881, d. 1915, m. 1902 Robert David West; Susan Belle, b. 1882, d. 1929, m. 1906 William Brannon; Myrtle Blanche, b. 1884, d. 1943, m. 1904 James Eli Jackson; James Fletcher, b. 1886, d. 1904 by accidental shooting; Minnie Mavis, b. 1888, d. 1957, m. 1910 Andrew Bowden; Walton Homer, b. 1890, d. 1962, m. 1915 Cora Lee Stewart; John Gipson, b. 1893, d. 1975, m. 1916 Jeanie Matlin; Enoch Marvin, b. 1895, d. 1976, m. 1915, Mary Lee “Matty” Jeffcoat; Joseph Shofner, b. 1897, d. 1960, m. 1919 Julia Idell Walker; and Ruth Hightower, b. 1899, d. 1986, m. 1915 Julius Claud Jeffcoat.

The third daughter, Myrtle Blanche Breedlove, was married to James Eli Jackson (1876-1951), son of Henry (1842-1897) and Margaret Frances (Wood) (1845-1901) Jackson. They reared the following children: Maggie, b. 1906, d. 1930; Hassie B., b. 1910; Gaines Gone W., b. 1917, d. 1973, m. Cumi Schofield; and four living children whose names were not provided.

The son, Enoch Marvin Breedlove, was married in a double wedding ceremony with his sister, Ruth Hightower Breedlove, in 1915, and both were married to Jeffcoats. Enoch Marvin and his wife, Mary Lee Jeffcoat, daughter of James Henry “Jim” and Harriet Caroline “Hattie” (Campbell) Jeffcoat, reared their family in the Opp area. They were enumerated there in the 1930 federal census. Marvin was 35 years old, and Mary lee was 34. They had the following children at the time: Merle L., 13; Mary E., 11; James G., 9; Clarence, 6: Dorothy, 4: and Robert Henry 2.

The daughter, Merle L. Breedlove, was married to John Henry Tomblin (1913-1985), son of Franklin Boyd and Emily Kelly (Culverhouse) (1913-1985) Tomblin. They were the parents of the following four children: John Phillip Tomblin, b. 1941, d. 1957; one living daughter and two living sons who were not identified. Merle died in 2002 in Columbus, Ga.

Enoch Marvin’s sister, Ruth Hightower Breedlove, was married in 1915 to Julius Claud Jeffcoat, who were also residents of Opp. They were the parents of three children who are well known in the area. Their sons were Ray and Roy Jeffcoat, and their daughter, Sara, married R.L. Gunnells.

A number of descendants of the Breedlove family continue to reside in the area. They have contributed greatly to their communities.

The sources for this writing were stories from two books, The Heritage of Bullock County, Alabama and The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama and

Anyone who might find an incorrect information in the above is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road; 334-222-6467; or Email:

Note: Use photo emailed to Stephanie. Cut line: Gaines Walton and Sara Jane (McKenzie) Breedlove