McLelland family settled, thrived in Fairfield community

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2014

Some years earlier the McLelland family of Covington County, Ala., was introduced.

Today’s writing will be a feature of one line, which has descendants who currently live in the Fairfield community off Brooklyn Road located on Judge Smith Road.

For review, the first McLelland ancestors appear to have arrived in South Alabama in the 1830s after migrating from North Carolina.

Some were enumerated in the 1850 federal census as residents of Coffee County. Doctor “Dock” McLelland was the ancestor to come south and eventually settled in Covington County.

Dock was born in 1824 in North Carolina, and he was the son of a native of Scotland who immigrated to this county.

After his father’s death, his mother married a Mr. Parker who brought the family to Alabama.

Dock and his younger brother were then members of the Parker family.

When Dock reached adulthood, he was married in 1845 to Elizabeth Lambert.

On August 27, 1864, when Dock was 40 years of age, he and his oldest son, Ethemore McLelland, at the age of 16 years, enlisted in the Company of Covington County Militia (Second Class), which was commanded by Captain James T. Brady. Dock rose to the rank of sergeant, and his company was charged with serving in Covington and adjoining counties during the remainder of the War for Southern Independence.

William Barney McLelland was another son of Dock and Elizabeth. He was born in 1858 and lived until 1932.

In 1900, the family moved from the Brooks community to the Fairfield community in the southwestern area of Covington County.

There he purchased from Sanford Jones approximately 150 acres of land located along either side of what is now known as Judge Smith Road, which was formerly Covington County Road Number 7.

The land adjoined the site of Chapman Farms and Commissary.

Sanford Jones had worked in cutting timber and floated rafts of logs down the Sepula River to the Conecuh River and on down to points in Florida.

There was a frame house on the property, which the Jones family had referred to as their new place, but the date of its construction is not known.

It is remarkable that five generations of the McLelland family have lived in the house, and four of them were either born in the house or brought from the hospital to the very same room in the house.

All of William Barney McLelland’s children were born there.

William Barney McLelland was married to Laura Rebecca Stanley, and they had the following six sons and four daughters: Daisy, d. around 10 years of age; Zora Malachi, b. 1879, d. 1964, m. Neary McLelland (cousin) (1888-1973); Luscious Hix, b. 1885, d. 1951, m. Clara Faulkner (1888—1916); Barney Clyde, b. 1888, d. 1954, m. Annie Lou Taylor (1893-1975); Thomas Houston, b. 1890, d. 1955, m. Pearl Smith (1899-1970); Claude Albert, b. 1893, d. 1970, single; Jessie Verlin, b. 1899, d. 1977, m. Joe Z. Whitehead (1892-1971); Henry Pierce “Seabe,” b. 1907, d. 1995, m. 1934 Mattie Jane Johns; Cora Belle, m. Harold Bert Chesser; and Shellie Ilene, m. Carl Dewey Cowan.

All the children married and resided in the Fairfield community where they reared their families.

Nine of them were buried in the Bethesda Cemetery, which is located in the Fairfield community. Cora Belle and her husband were buried in the Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery, and Shellie Ilene and her husband were buried in the Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.

The grandchildren were the children of Zora Malachi, Lucious Hix, Thomas Houston, Barney Clyde and Henry Pierce. None of the daughters had children, and Claude Albert was unmarried.

The oldest son, Zora Malachi and his wife had three sons: Elize, b. 1907, d. 1951, m. Dorothy Kendall; Bruce T., b. 1904, d. 1971, m. Fannie Hodge (b. 1906), parents of Robert McLelland; and George Tyron,b. 1913, d. 1960, single.

The second son, Lucious Hix McLelland, and his wife, Clara, had two sons: Morgan D., m. Juanita Holley; and Hubert Underwood, m. lady from Texas. Third son, Thomas Houston, and wife, Pearl, reared three children: Lomas, m. Ida Aurtherine Bradley; Maggie Lee, m. Robert Mathews; and Charles Edward, m. Betty June Hartin. The fourth son, Barney Clyde McLelland, and wife, Annie Lou, reared three children: Annie Clyde, b. 1912, d. 1991, m. Harvey Lee Rabren; Roy Sartus, b. 1914, d. 1983, m. Blanche Marzette “Creasie” Johnston (b. 1918); and Ila Vee, m. Henry Johns.

After William Barney and Laura Rebecca’s deaths, their youngest son, Seabe McLelland, and his family resided in the homeplace.

Seabe was married to Mattie Jane Johns who moved to the area from Escambia County in 1929.

Her brother, James Henry Johns, came to Andalusia with her at the insistence of their father to work at Alatex.

James Henry ended up marrying Seabe McLelland’s niece, Ila Vee McLelland, daughter of Barney Clyde McLelland.

This couple resided in Loango and reared four children: Annie Laura, m. 1954 Fred Hartin; Henry See, m. John D. Cameron; James Mack, m. Donna Cook; and Gloria Dean, m. Ariel Maxwell Walker.

Seabe and Mattie McLelland resided in Andalusia after their marriage in 1934, but they returned circa 1941 to the homeplace where Seabe was born.

His parents began the long tradition of McLellands in the house, then him and his family where they brought their two children as they were born.

They reared Henry Maxwell, m. 1962 Ruby Ann Eaves; and Carolyn Rebecca, m. Jerry Michael Wilson.

Seabe was a part-time farmer and was employed by Sessoms Grocery Company for several years until it was closed.

He then went to work at the Alatex where Mattie was working.

They both retired on the same day in July 1972.

Seabe’s daughter, Carolyn Rebecca McLelland, and her husband, Jerry Wilson, reared two sons: Michael Todd, m. Tonya Palm; and Tony Allen, m. Amy Kay Johnson. Tony and his family including two children, Allen Ross and Meredith Grace, currently reside in the same house as his ancestors, so he is the fourth and his children the fifth generation of this McLelland family to reside in this house located at 2550 Judge Smith Road.

Seabe once owned and operated a bus for Pleasant Home School where his grandson, Tony, has been teaching for 20 years.

This family has a memorable legacy.

The source for today’s writing were stories published in The Heritage of Covington County and written by Carolyn (McLelland) Wilson of Andalusia.

Appreciation is expressed to her for sharing her family genealogy.

Anyone who has additional information in the McLelland family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467;




The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Dr. Bill Hansford, native of Andalusia, will present a power-point program on “Andalusia’s Wonderful Architecture.” Guests are cordially invited to attend..