Bennett family genealogy needs to be researched more thoroughly

Published 12:04 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

Note: Update for last week’s column on Taylor Family: In the third from the last paragraph of the story, the three children named, Robert Willis, Henry Griffin and John David, were listed as being those of Doyle Taylor, but they were his three brothers. His sister, Barbara (Taylor) Williamson, and her family were identified. His brother, John David Taylor, has three children: David, Amy and Jamie.

Today’s writing will be a look at the Bennett family which had some descendants to settle in Covington County. More research is needed, and it is hoped that some descendant or interested person will undertake this project and make it available to others.

The earliest ancestor of this family found by this writer was John Miles Bennett who was born in 1785 and later married Jackie Ford. Nothing more was noted on them other than a son, Jacob R. “King” Bennett. Jacob was born in 1821 in South Carolina and lived until 1907. He was married to Frances Sarah Jane “Sallie” Cumbie, daughter of Reuben Jefferson Cumbie (1790-1857) and Sarah Anne Elizabeth (McCall) (1780-1866). Reuben Jefferson was the son of James Cumbie and Sarah (Howard).

Jacob and “Sallie” Bennett reared the following 10 children: Joel J., b. 1855, d. 1900-1910, m. Josephine Rebecca Langston; Sarah E., b. 1857; John Andrew, b. 1859, d. 1923, m. Julia Alice Mathews; Lewis Roley, b. 1860; Tallulah, b. 1862, d. 1945, m. John M. Barton (1858-1922); Columbia Anna, b. 1864; Mary C., b. 1866; Ellie J., b. 1868; Reuben R., b. 1870; and Charles K., b. 1871, d. 1908.

The oldest son, Joel J. Bennett, was born in 1855 in Heard County, Ga. He was apparently married there as his family was residing in the same county when the 1900 federal census was enumerated. He married Josephine Rebecca Langston, the daughter of Amanda Langston. Josephine was born in 1863, but the location of her birth is not known. Joel died sometime between 1900 and 1910 as Josephine was listed as a widow in the 1910 federal census. She was residing in the Straughn Schoolhouse precinct of Covington County and was still there in 1920. At her death in 1924, she was buried in the Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in the Straughn community. Joel probably died while they were still living in Heard County, but that is unknown to this writer.

Joel J. and Josephine Rebecca Bennett reared the following five children: Rosa P. “Rossie,” b. 1889, d. 1961, m. Robert Newton Cook (1888-1948); Curtis Cumbie, b. 1893, d. 1967, m. Anais Rochelle Livingstone (1901-1995); Sallie A. “Pet,” b. 1895, d. 1984, m. Forest Clellon Powell (1895-1950); and Joel Garland, b. 1898, d. 1963, m. Mary E. “Mollie” Helms (1901-1994).

Joel’s oldest daughter, Rossie Bennett, was married to Robert Newton Cook, and they reared five children. They appear to have resided in LaGrange, Ga., as Rossie was buried there at her death in 1961. Joel’s oldest son, Curtis Cumbie Bennett, and his wife, Anais Rochelle Livingston, lived near Straughn School and reared three children: Dalton; daughter, m. Albert J. Arrendondo; and Peggy, m. Thomas Samuels. Joel’s daughter, Sallie A. “Pet” Bennett, was married to Forest Powell, son of William Hosea Powell (1866-1952) and Nancy “Nan” Louise (Meadows) (1865-1955). They reared their family in Andalusia, Ala. They had the following three children: Cumi P., b. 1918, d. 1986, m. Mack Wilson and had Carol and Clay Wilson; Forest C., b. 1919; and Keltys, b. 1921, d. 2006, m. Catherine McDavid Campbell (1926-1994) and had Roger and Katie Powell. Roger served for many years as Circuit Clerk for Covington County. Joel’s youngest son, Joel Garland Bennett, married Mary E. “Mollie” Helms and had the following children: Charles G.; Glenda, m. Ted Wiggins; Jean; Larry D.; and Helen Rose who died at a young age.

The second son, John Andrew Bennett, was married to Julia Alice Mathews. They reared the following children: Carrie, b. 1883, d. 1885; Grover, b. 1884, d. 1907; Charles, b. 1886, d. 1907; Frederick Mortimer, b. 1890, d. 1974; Linnie Velma, b. 1892, d. 1972; Lillia Kyle, b. 1894, d. 1949; Erastus Roley, b. 1896, d. 1964; Mamie, b.&d. 1901; and Johnny Alma, b. 1902, d. 1994.

A daughter, Tallulah Bennett, was married to John M. Barton. They resided in Heard County, Ga., Rock Hills and migrated to Randolph County, Ala. after 1920. They reared the following eight children: Reuben M., b. 1882, m. Leah I. Green; Mary A., b. 1884; George Hammond, b. 1888; Bloomer F., b. 1891; Pearl M., b. 1892; Ollie L., b. 1896; Tommie Lois, b. 1899, d. 1993; and Charles Benton, b. 1902, d. 1986, m. Peggy Juanita Barnes.

There were other Bennett families besides those of Joel J. Bennett’s children who resided in Covington County. This writer has been unable to relate the different lines at this time. There were three Bennetts who purchased and homesteaded land in the county. As early as 1856, Mary Bennett purchased a tract of 40 acres and one of 79.95 acres in the Leon Township. In 1891 two Bennett men homesteaded acreages. John W. Bennett homesteaded 80.05 acres in the Patsaliga River Township, and William B. Bennett homesteaded 161.74 acres in the Pigeon Creek Township.

No more is known to this writer regarding Mary Bennett or John W. Bennett, but William B. Bennett lived for a time in Covington County. He was living in the Red Level/Westover community when the 1900 federal census was taken. He also lived in the Hamptonville or Gantt community at one time. He eventually moved by 1910 to Milligan or Milligan Mills community in Santa Rosa County, Fla. He appears to be the son of Jenkins Bennett (1829-1886) and Nancy C. (Allman). Jenkins was born in Richmond County, N.C. and died in Weedowie, Ala. Jenkins was the son of Peter and Margaret “Peggy” (Jenkins) Bennett of North Carolina.

William B. Bennett was married in 1875 to Gincy Janie Cauley, daughter of David S. Cauley (1816-1892) and Gincy (Butler) (1825-1918) of Covington County. They had at least the following two daughters: Josephine, b. 1886; and Alma, b. 1889. Information on these two daughters is of special interests.

It is hoped that some who are researching the various Bennett families will respond and share their history to allow for making this review more complete. Anyone who has additional information to share or who might find an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, in the Dixon Memorial of the Andalusia Public Library. Anyone interested in local history is encouraged to attend and consider becoming a regular member.