Courtney family descendants came to Covington circa 1900

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2014

The earliest ancestor found for the local Courtney family is John Hiram Courtney who was born in 1776 in the State of Virginia. By 1820 he had migrated to Montgomery County, Ala., where he was married to Rachael Evans (1800-1878). He had resided for a time in South Carolina, where some of his older children were born, before moving on to Alabama. During these years there were many from other states that came to Alabama for land grants awarded for service in the Revolutionary War, but John Hiram’s would most likely have been for service in the War of 1812 if that were the reason for his migration.

The information on John Hiram and Rachael’s children from family records and is somewhat confusing. The only wife found was Rachael (Evans) Courtney, but she was born in 1800, and some of the children were born between 1807 and 1819. The records list their marriage as occurring in 1820, so it appears there must have been an earlier wife.
From available resources, the following 13 children are listed for John Hiram Courtney: James F.; Rachael M., b. 1807, d. 1884; Mary “Polly,” b. 1807, d. 1879, m. John Hudgens; Dr. John Curtis, b. 1809, d. 1865; m. Carolyn Garner; Anson Hiram, b. 1819, d. 1894, m. Mary A.R. Davis; Matilda, b. 1824, m. Simon Russell; George Washington, b. 1825, d. 1864, m. Elizabeth Jane Summerlin; Daniel M., b. 1827, m. Mary M. Russell; Eliza Cassandra, b. 1830, d. 1922, m. (1) Green William Reeves Sr. (2) Jesse Winchester Reeves; Nancy, b. 1835; Thomas James, b. 1837, d. 1877, m. Louisa Elizabeth Russell; Robert Newton, b. 1840, d. 1929, m. (1) Elizabeth Jane Crittenden (2) Annie H. ?; Martin Monroe, b. 1842, d. 1926, m. (1) 1865 Emily Summerlin (2) 1872 Mary Bell Gardner (3) 1880 Susannah A. Buckelew.

Records show a Rachael M. Courtney, born in 1807 in Amite, Miss. and died there in 1844. This information is very similar to that of the above daughter named Rachael M., but the location of Amite, Miss., is in question. Also, there is a record for a Mary Hannah Courtney, born in 1907 in Orangeburg, S.C., who died in 1879 in Alabama.  Her data is most similar to that of the above daughter named Mary “Polly” Courtney.

Of the above 13 children, the first five were listed as being born in South Carolina. The other eight were born in Montgomery County, Ala., mainly in the Ramer community, which is just south of Montgomery. At least four of the younger children moved to Texas where they reared their families and lived out their lives.

The son, George Washington Courtney, enlisted for service in the Confederate Army and was on the muster roll for Camp Johnston on September 9, 1861. At the age of 27 years, he joined in Montgomery, Ala., as a private in Company B, 14th Alabama Infantry Regiment, known as the Moore Guards. He is listed as having died in 1864 at Lynchburg, Va.

The next son, Daniel M. Courtney, enlisted for Confederate service in May 1861 at Montgomery at the age of 34 years. He was assigned to Company F, 2nd Alabama Cavalry Regiment.

In another record his date of enlistment was shown as April 3, 1862. His horse was valued at $275. He was discharged on July 22, 1864.

Another son, Robert Newton Courtney, enlisted for service on March 12, 1862 in Greenville, Ala. He became a private in Company E, 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment at the age of 21 years.

The youngest son, Martin Monroe Courtney, enlisted in the Confederate Army at Montgomery in December 1861. He was first assigned to Company I, 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, but he was later transferred to Company I (Company E), 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was captured near Nashville on December 12, 1864, and sent to Camp Chase. He was discharged on June 12, 1865, and paroled at Camp Chase. In the 1907 Census of Confederate Veterans currently living in Covington County, he was listed as a resident of Andalusia, Ala.  At his death in 1926, he was buried in the Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery, and he has a headstone that lists his Confederate service.

Martin Monroe Courtney was married soon after the war ended in 1865 to Emily Summerlin. He became a landowner and farmed for a living. He and Emily had three children before her death: William “Willie,” b. 1866, d. 1925, m. Clarissa “Clara” Jane Fuller (1868-1947); Levi, b. 1869, d. 1880; and John Rufus, b. 1870, d. 1966, m. Edna O. Turner (1870-1966).

John Rufus’s family lived mostly at Granville Hill in Honoraville, Crenshaw County. They reared one son and four daughters. Louise Courtney was the only daughter’s name located.
Martin Monroe was married second in 1872 to Mary Bell Gardner (1843-1871). They had the following two children before her death: Mittie Bell, b. 1875, d. 1948, m. John Wesley “Bud” DeLoach; and Albert Sidney, b. 1879, d. 1880. Mary Bell died shortly after Albert Sidney’s birth, probably from complications with his birth.

Martin Monroe was then married a third time in 1880 in Crenshaw County to Susannah “Susan” A. Buckelew, daughter of George H. and Mary (Taylor) Buckelew. Martin and Susan had the following three sons: Henry Hiram, b. 1881, d. 1891 upon being thrown from a horse, buried at Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery; Daniel Marion, b. 1886, d. 1937, m. Novell Helms; and Thomas Hillard, b. 1889, d. 1962, m. Rosie Elizabeth Jackson, (b. 1898), daughter of Stephen “Teeb” and Zelphia S. (Nelson) Jackson.

Martin Monroe Courtney was born in the community of Ramer in Crenshaw County. When he was married the third time in 1880, he was residing in the Jordan community of the same county. Sometime around the turn of the century he moved his family to Covington County and was enumerated in the 1900 federal census as residents of the Davis Shop Precinct, #8. He was listed as a landowner and farmer by trade. In 1910 the family had moved to the Rose Hill community.

Martin Monroe’s oldest son, William Monroe “Willie” Courtney, resided mainly in Crenshaw County, but he died of “heart dropsy” in Covington County and was buried in the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery. He and his wife, Clara Jane (Fuller) reared the following three children: Albert Sidney, b. 1888, d. 1958, m. Willie Estelle Meadows (1892-1980); Buna Mae, b. 1892, d. 1970, m. (1) Belton Clem Williams (1884-1921) (2) Clifford Lee Mount (1897-1982); and Travis Monroe, b. 1896, d. 1965 in Plant City, Fla., m. Susanah “Susie” A. McDaniel.

Martin Monroe’s daughter, Mittie Bell Courtney, and her husband, John W. DeLoach, reared the following children: Private; Noah Coston, b. 1893, d. 1963, m. Mamie L. ? (1899-1991); Annie Lee, b. 1894, d. 1922, m. Hiram Wesley Worley (1887-1976); Mary Maude, b. 1897, m. Aaron Dubose (1896-1981); Emma E., b. 1898, d. 1914, single; Claude C., b. 1901, d. 1997, m. Georgia Edna ? (1902-1991); Lemmie E., b. 1904, d. 1981, m. Cora Lee (1906-1976); Larkin Festus, b. 1909, d. 1969, m. Venera Cubia Hinson (1909-1998); and Malon W., b. 1916, d. 1986, m. Julia Olga Zoroa (1926-2007).

Anyone finding any errors in the above genealogy is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:

The Covington Rifles Camp of the S.C.V will be meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. The camp is honored to have a guest speaker from Forest City, Ark., to present a review of his research and book entitled Enduring Legacy: Rhetoric and Ritual of the Lost Cause (Stuart Towns, 2012).  Anyone interested in Southern heritage is encouraged to visit and hear Dr. Towns.