Acree family arrived in Covington County during prior to 1850

Published 11:59 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

The Acree family was introduced and covered to some degree in two earlier columns, but the discovery of additional genealogy allows for a more in-depth review.

Since the leadership and public service of William Thomas Acree for Covington County has been thoroughly recognized in earlier stories, it will not be repeated here.

Instead earlier and several later generations of this family will be presented.

From recent research the earliest ancestor identified is William Acree who was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

Although the date of his birth is not known by this writer, he settled finally in Wilkes County, Ga., where he died circa 1796. Agnes died before 1795 according to William’s will.

He had purchased 500 acres of land on Broad River in that county on November 10, 1789. Also, in 1793 he bought 300 acres on the same river in Oglethorpe, Ga.

William was married to Agnes Shearin, daughter of John and Lucretia Shearin. Agnes died before 1795 in Wilkes County, Ga. Among their children was a son, John A. Acree. John A.’s birthdate is not known, but he was married to Elizabeth ? circa 1779 in North Carolina.

On January 14, 1805, he bought 100 acres in Wilkes County, Ga., and lived there until he moved to Greene County, Ga., where he died in 1808. His widow, Elizabeth was still living there in 1820.

She was born in 1795.

John A. and Elizabeth Acree reared the following children: Mary “Polly, m. 822 Singleton Harris; Sarah “Sally;” Sterling, b. 1780-1790, m. 1811 Susannah Meadows; Wiley, b. 1780-1790; Nathaniel, b. 1786, d. 1875, m. circa 1811 Elizabeth Ann O’Neal; and Elizabeth “Betsy,” m. 1810 Abraham Luke.

Nathaniel Acree was the ancestor of the descendants who settled in Crenshaw and Covington Counties. Nathaniel and his wife, Elizabeth Ann (O’Neal), reared the following children: Mary, b. ca 1812, m. 1834 George T. Harris; William Thomas, b. 1815, d. 1895, m. (1) ca 1840 Achsah Ann ? (2) ca 1871 Mary Amanda Adams; Wooten O’Neal, b. 1825, d. 1864, m. 1861 Rebecca “Becky” Wheeler; Joseph S., b. 1828, d. before 1900, m. Angeline ?; Francis H.J., b. 1830, m. ca 1854 Elizabeth ?; and child, b. 1835-1840.

The oldest son, William Thomas Acree, is the one who became quite a leader in the development of Covington County.

He and his first wife, Achsah Ann ? were married circa 1840 and had the following five children: Rth, b. ca 1843; Franis H.J., b. ca 1846; John M., b. ca 1848; Mary Ann Elizabeth, b. ca 1850, d. 1895, m 1873 Zachariah T. Allen (1847-1913); and Daniel Milton, b. 1854, d. 920, m. ca 1873 Abi S.A. Lenhart. William Thomas Acree and his second wife, Mary Amanda Adams, had one son, William Thomas Acree Jr., b. 1872, d. 1919, m. 1905 Mary Franklin.

The second son, John E. Acree, was married in 1845 in Lowndes County, Ala., to his first wife, Elizabeth Schofield. They had one son, Alfred W. b. 1846, d. 1904, m. 1866 Mary E. Nichols. John E. Acree was married in 1848 in Lowndes County to his second wife, Mary E. Polk who was born in 1830 in North Carolina.

They reared the following five children: Francis M., b. 1848, m. 1867 Drayton A. Chesser; John, b. 1850; George, b. 1852; Josephine, b. 1864; and Ophelia, b. 1866.

The third son, Wooten O’Neal Acree, died at a young age from measles during the War for Southern Independence while he was serving in the Selma area.

He was a private in Company G, 57th Alabama Infantry Regiment. His death occurred on March 3, 1864, and his body was returned to Andalusia for burial in the Magnolia Cemetery.

He had served as Sheriff of Covington County in 1860 before the war. That year he bought 6 2/3 acres in Andalusia to which he added 316 acres on December 24, 1862.

He was married to Rebecca “Becky” Wheeler in 1861. After his death, Becky reared the following children: Olivia, b. 1861, d. 1896; Jesse O’Neal, b. 1862, d. 1923, m. Caroline G. Gresham; Emma Lenora, b. 1867, d. 1915, m. John William Williamson; and Charles Ewin, b. 1869, d. 1935, m. Abigail Beasley.

The fourth son, Joseph S. Acree, was married Angeline ?, and they reared the following children: Nathaniel S., b. 1851, m. (1) 1871 Caroline Spivey (2) 1878 Mary C. Dawkins (3) 1901 Dora Ann Odom; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1854, d. after 1920, m. 1869 Elisha H. Hall; John W., b. 1857, d. 1860; and Eli J., b. 1867.

The youngest son, Francis H. J. Acree, was married to Elizabeth ?. The reared three children: W.F., b. 1855; C.S., b. 1859; and S.F., b. 1859.

In the next generation, Mary Elizabeth Acree, daughter of William Thomas Acree Sr., and her husband Zachariah T. Allen resided in Andalusia. They reared seven children: Carrie, b. 1874; Orrie Hunter, b. 1876, d. 1943, m. Minnie L. ?; Claudia A., b. 1878,, d. 1933, m. 1903 Silas Simpson Fletcher; William Robert, b. 1880, m. Maggie Clark; John H., b. 1884, m. Nora ?; Ella Beatrice, b. 1885, d. 1966, m. John Fletcher Hicks.

William Thomas Acree Jr. son of William Thomas Sr., was married in 1905 to Mary Franklin, daughter of Amanda Franklin. They had four children: Cordie M., b. 1896; Arthur, b. 1901; Willie S., b. 1905; and Rhuphus, b. 1907.

Considerable research has been done on this family, so much more genealogy is available, especially of the lineages. It is hoped that more can be shared in the next column.

The source for this writing was the family records of Lisa Franklin, noted genealogist in this area. Appreciation is expressed to her extensive research and sharing it with others through her web site,, and other means.

Information is requested on the following subjects for potential stories in the future: Lime Branch School, Bell’s Crossing School and the Terrell family in southeast Covington County. This writer named below would greatly appreciate any memories or records of these schools and the family.

Anyone who might find an error in the above story is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: