Grantham family hails from England, came here before 1830

Published 8:06 pm Friday, May 9, 2014

The Grantham family with a good number of descendants who have resided and are currently doing so in Covington County appears to be of English descent. The earliest ancestor to be identified by this writer was Leonard Grantham and his wife, Jane, who were both born and died in England. They had a son, James Grantham, born in 1545 in England and died there. James was married to Alice Wright.

James and Alice Grantham had a son, Edward (John) Grantham, who was born in 1599 in Walesby, England. He was the ancestor of this line who immigrated to America. He was married to Elizabeth York who was born in 1620 in Virginia. He died in 1666 and she, in 1675. They had a son named Edward Grantham who was born in 1643 in Surry, Va., and died in 1704. He was married to Elizabeth Moore Cockins who was born in 1655.

Edward and Elizabeth Grantham also named a son, Edward, who was born in Surry, Va. in 1686. This Edward was married to Catherine Proctor and lived until 1760. Edward and Catherine had a son Joshua Grantham, who was born in Surry, Va., in 1740, and died in 1781 in North Carolina. He was married to Pheraby Herring (1753-1816). Joshua and Pheraby had a son, Frederick Grantham, who was born in 1779 in Wayne County, N.C. and died in 1839. He was married to Charity Barfield (1777-1837).

Frederick and Charity had a son named Herring Grantham who was born in 1802 in Wayne County, N.C. and died in 1860. He was married to Percia or Pearcy Rainer (1811-1860). This writer found a record of them having a son named Joel Herring Grantham, which sounds logical with the same having Herring as a given name. However, there were other records that listed Joel Herring Grantham’s parents as John Campbell and Anna (Flowers) Grantham. This couple was shown as being from Sampson County, N.C. This writer was unable to determine who Joel Herring Grantham’s parents were.

John Campbell Grantham, born in 1801 in Sampson County, N.C., died in 1870 in Marengo County, Ala. His wife, Anna Flowers, was born in 1802 in Darlington District, S.C. and died in 1890 in Marengo. They had moved to Marengo County before 1830. According to, they reared the following children: John Solomon, b. 1824, d. 1864, m. 1853 Charlotte Ann Pope (1834-1911); Joseph, b. 1826, d. 1901; Mary, b. 1826, d. 1850; Mikel, b. 1829; Martha, b. 1830; Eldred, b. 1832, d. 1834; Wiley, b. 1834, d. 1835; John David, b. 1836, d. 1863, Chickamauga, Tenn.; Jesse, b. 1838, d. 1850; Helen, b. 1840; Sarah, b. 1841, d. 1911; Joel Herring, b. 1843, d. 1916, m. 1868 Catherine Adams; and Elizabeth Ann, b. 1845, d. 1931.

The oldest son, John Solomon Grantham, and his wife, Charlotte Ann Pope, were residing in Linden, Marengo County, Ala., in 1860. John Solomon rendered service in the Confederate Army as a private in Company A, 43rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was killed in 1864 in the trenches on the battlefield at Petersburg, Va. The had the following children: Rosaline Ann, b. 1851, d. 1935; Martha Ann, b. 1854; Dell Finch, b. 1856, d. 1934; John Rufus, b. 1858, d. 1938; Susan Katherine, b. 1860, d. 1934, m. John Moses Moore (1871-1964); William, b. 1861, d. 1946; Solomon, b. 1863; and Felix Forrest, b. 1867, d. 1946. Most of these children moved to Texas where they lived and died.

Herring and Pearcy (Rainer) Grantham are the other potential parents of Joel Herring Grantham. records list them as having the following children: Cheley, b. 1828; Andia Maria, b. 1830, d. 1860; Blany, b. 1836, d. 1865; Young, b. 1839; Hannah, b.1841; Joel Herring, b. 1843, d. 1916, m. 1868 Catherine Adams; James Frederick, b. 1845; Leonidas, b. 1849; and David Herring, b. 1850.

Regardless who his parents were, Joel Herring Grantham’s line is the one being featured in this writing. It is hoped that someone reading this will be able to provide substantial proof of the true parents.

According to some records, Joel Herring Grantham was born in Montgomery and in others, Aimwell, Marengo County, Ala., in 1843. He enlisted for Confederate service in Troy, Ala., but no record was found of his military company. His widow filed for and received a pension in 1921 after his death in 1916. After the war, he was living in Montgomery in 1870. He was back in Walton County in 1880 and then in Brannon in Dale County, Ala., by 1900. He and his wife, Catherine, reared the following children: Henrieta, b. 1869; Sarah, b. 1870; Sarah A., b. 1873-1928, m. Joseph H. Rogers; Mary Fannie, b. 1873, d. 1934, m. William Chambliss; Emily Annie, b. 1876, d. 1941, m. Valentine T. Grantham (1874-1944); Mittie, b. 1877; Millie E., b. 1878; Catherine Piercy, b. 1879, d. 1914, m. ? Roland; Joel Benjamin, b. 1880, d. 1947, m. (1) Mattie Strickland (1884-1920) (2) Ola Dorcus Coleman; David Lee, b. 1891, d. 1924, m. Cullie ? Grantham; and Tommy Cleveland, b. 1892, d. 1968, m. Olie (Clation?) Grantham.

The first son, born after eight daughters, was Joel Benjamin Grantham. He grew up to be a farmer, and he logged during off seasons as most farmers did in that day. He moved to Covington County between 1910 and 1914. In the 1920 federal census, his address was on Empire or “Poor Farm” Road. He was married in 1901 to his first wife, Mattie Strickland, at the home of her parents, Eli and Jincy Strickland, in Headland, Henry County, Ala. Family legend reports that Joel and Mattie had five sets of twins who did not survive.

Joel and Mattie had the following children: Willie Mae, b. 1908, d. 1988, m. ? Roper; Harvey J., b. 1910, d. 1960, m. Mary Lee Adams (1915-1998); Virginia, b.&d. 1912; and Rosa Lee, b. 1904, d. 1994, m. Claude Terry (1908-1967). After Mattie’s untimely death in 1920, Joel Benjamin Grantham was married to Ola Dorcus Coleman. They had the following two children born to them: Lawrence Dalton, b. 1932, d. 1953 in Korea, supposedly during the Korean War; and Dorothy Mae, m. (1) ? Henderson (2) Basil Lee Terry.

Joel Benjamin Grantham lived in Covington County from circa 1913 until his death in 1947. He and his first wife, Mattie, were both buried in the Five Runs Cemetery, which is located on Lindsey Bridge Road in the Head Farm area.

Sources for this writing include a family story by Joel Lee Grantham published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, and

There are a number of questions related to some of the above information. Anyone who might find an error or who has additional information on this family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: