Pugh descendant opened Covington Jewelers, Inc. in 1953 in Opp

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 23, 2013

Someone suggested a review of the Pugh family, which had ancestors in Conecuh County during the early 1800s. Many will fondly remember Willie Lester “Bill” Pugh who established Covington Jewelers, Inc. in 1953 and who was the longtime owner and operator. The popular business, located at 101 East Covington Avenue, Opp, Ala., is currently managed by Bill’s son-in-law, James Hornsby.

The earliest Pugh ancestor found on Ancestry.com was David Pugh who was born circa 1640 in the Country of Wales. David’s son, Lewis Pugh, migrated to Richmond, Va. circa 1695, but for some unknown reason he returned to Wales circa 1731 and remained there until his death some nine years later in 1740. Lewis had married Ann Webster circa 1704 in Virginia. Lewis had at least three sons who remained in Virginia: David, Henry and Willoughby.

Today’s writing will focus primarily on Willoughby Pugh and his descendants. He was born in 1733 and lived until 1784 in the State of Virginia. He was married to Sarah Bobo who was born in 1738 and died in 1815. Among their children was a son, Jesse Pugh, who was born in 1774 in Virginia and lived until 1855 at which time he died in Troy of Pike County, Ala. Jesse was married in 1795 in Laurens District, S.C., to Lydia Sims (1777-1861) who was born in Amherst, Va. When the 1800 census was enumerated, the family was residing in Laurens District, S.C. They lived there until around 1820 and then moved to Jackson, Tenn. They were residing in Conecuh County, Ala., in 1830. By 1850, they were in Pike County with Jesse being 74 years of age, and Lidia, 73. Jesse was listed as a minister in the Primitive Baptist Church in Troy.

Jesse and Lydia Pugh had a son named Burrell B. Pugh who was born in 1800 in Laurens District, S.C. Burrell was married in 1823 in Clarke County, Ala., to Barbara C. Smith, daughter of John and Hannah (McGuire) Smith. Barbara was born in 1804 in North Carolina and died in 1875. In the records for the 1850 Federal Census, Burrell’s household was listed as follows. Burrell, 51; Barbary, 48; Willoughby, 23; Sarah, 19; Hannah, 17; Adaline, 15; Alexander, 12; Jesse, 10; Liddy, 8; Harry, 6; and David, 4.
Burrell B. Pugh and wife, Barbara C. (Smith), reared the following 15 children: John Smith, b. 1824, d. 1843, single; Wade Hezekiah, b. 1826, d. 1868, m 1847 Hicksey “Hixey” Talbot; Willoughby Sims, b. 1827, d. 1915 Tex., m. (1) Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ross (2) Phoebe Elizabeth Rushing; Mariah Elizabeth, b. 1829, d. 1911, m. Daniel Stephens (1829-1890); Sarah Ann “Sallie,” b. 1830, d. 1895, m. Benjamin H. Wingard (1825-1903); Hannah, b. 1833, d. 1914 Tex.; Adaline, b. 1834, d. 1856; Melinda, b. 1836, d. 1843 single; Alexander M., b. 1838, d. 1867, m. Nancy Caroline Amason (1840-1918); Jesse Y., b. 1839, d. 1862 Tenn. during war; Lydia Ann, b. 1842, d. 1922 Tex., m. James “Jim” Hogan Dendy (1837-1892); Mary C. “Polly,” b. 1844, d. 1868, m. (1) John Rushton (1836-1865) (2) Thomas Underwood; Nathan David, b. 1846, d. 1864 Va. from injuries received during war; Pugh Infant, b.&d. 1848; and Melinda, b. 1848.

An older son, Wade Hezekiah Pugh, was born in 1826 in Conecuh County. He was married in 1847 to Hicksey “Hixey” Talbot (1828-1868) who was born and died in Pike County. In the 1860 census their family was listed in the following manner in Pike County: Wade, 34; Hexey, 32; Burrell F., 11; Barbara C., 9: Hezekiah A, 5: Rhoda A., 3; and Joel D., 1. In the 1850 census, there was a two-year old child named Marion enumerated in the household.

When the War Between the States erupted, Wade Hezekiah volunteered for service. He served as a corporal in Company F, 57th Alabama Infantry Regiment. His brother, Alexander M. Pugh, enlisted on May 9, 1862 at the age of 25 years and was assigned to Company C, 60th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He also served in Company D, 3rd Battalion Hilliard’s Legion from Troy. He was wounded at Beans Station and was listed on the records for Petersburg on January 1, 1865. Their brother, Jesse Pugh, served in the same companies as Alexander M., and both were farmers when they enlisted on the same day. Their youngest brother, Nathan David Pugh, enlisted at 17 years of age on March 20, 1864, at Troy. He was assigned to Company I, 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was wounded two months later in the Wilderness Battle on May 6, 1864. He was hospitalized in Richmond, Va., and died there on June 25, 1864. Their older brother, Wade Hezekiah Pugh, had a son, Burrell Pugh, who served as a private in Company G, 53rd Alabama Cavalry.

Wade Hezekiah and Hicksey Pugh reared the following children: Maria E., b. 1848, d. 1855, single; Burrell Franklin, b.1849, d. 1904, m. (1) Tempy Pugh (2) 1871 Sarah C. “Sallie” Roberts/Robertson; Hezekiah Alexander Kyle, b. 1854, d. 1936, m. 1897 Rita Ann Elizabeth Hinson (1840-1915); Barbara C., b. 1855; Rhody E., b. 1857, d. 1938; Joel D. Pugh, b. 1858, d. 1931, m. Sarah K. “Sallie” Young; Jefferson, b. 1861, d. 1862; Yancey, b. 1863, d. 1864; and William Henry, b. 1865, d. 1951, m. Tincey Lucinda Wilson (1866-1957).

One of Wade and Hicksey’s sons, Joel D. Pugh, and his wife, Sallie, had a son named William Jefferson Davis Pugh who was born in 1881 and lived until 1934. He was married to Annie Lucretia Harris, and it was their son, Willie “Bill” Lester Pugh, who operated Covington Jewelers, Inc. in Opp, Ala.

A number of local residents wear the Pugh name, and there are other descendants of this family line as well. It is hoped that additional research will be conducted on this family and that the results might be shared.

The primary sources for this review included Ancestry.com, Alabama Department of Archives and History, and Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History, 1821-1976.

Anyone who might have a correction to any of the above genealogy or history is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.