Douglas family settled in Pleasant Home community circa 1870

Published 12:02 am Saturday, May 2, 2015

It has been requested that a review of the local Douglas family be made, but few records have been found upon which to base the story. However, in today’s column the available information will be shared with hopes that someone researching this family or who might have additional genealogy will make that available for a more comprehensive coverage.

The earliest ancestor in this Douglas family to be identified was John Daniel “Dan” Douglas, who was born February 18, 1833, in the area of Dead Lakes, Calhoun County, Fla. He was married to Rebecca Elizabeth Boggs, daughter of John Joseph Boggs and Mele Pule (Musgrove). She was born in 1830 in the State of Georgia. (More of her ancestry will be outlined later in this story.)

John Daniel and Rebecca Elizabeth Douglas migrated to Covington County, Ala., circa 1870. They made the Pleasant Home community, south of Andalusia, their final residence and remained there until their deaths. She died in 1910 and he, in 1914. Both were buried in the Pleasant Home Baptist Church Cemetery.

Dan and Rebecca reared the following children: Son (private); Mary J., b. 1859; William F., b. 1862; Salommie Duck, b. 1869, d. 1940, m. Jacob L. Sutton; Saphronia Elmira “Mira,” b. 1871, d. 1939; John Daniel Jr, b. 1873; James Coleman “Jim,” b. 1875, d. 1963, m. 1903 Lizzie Vinetta Johnson (1882-1968); and Jessie Marvin, b. 1882, d. 1970, m. Mary Josephine Padgett (1879-1959).

The son, James Coleman “Jim” Douglas, was born in 1875 in Altha, Calhoun County, Fla. He was married in 1903 in Andalusia to Lizzie Vinetta Johnson, daughter of Alfred F. and Mary Elizabeth Johnson. (Alfred F. was the son of Alexander L Johnson (1820-1865) and Cynthia (Gilbert), natives of South Carolina.) Jim and Lizzie resided in the Pleasant Home community where Jim most likely farmed for a living. He homesteaded 80 acres of land in the Blue Pond Township in 1899. They reared the following nine children: Mary Leather, b. 1904, d. 1918; Daniel Cecil, b. 1906, d. 1975, m. Bonnie Lee (Harrelson) Bryars; James William “Poss,” b. 1908, d. 1977, m. 1961 Arthenia “Bobbie” (Moore) Cross; Lizzie Izona, b. 1910, d. 1991, m. Hazel Thompson; Mary Annie Laura, b. 1912, d. 1990, m. 1943 Obd Thompson (1918-1995); James Robert, b. 1914, d. 1981, m. Para Lee Apken Campbell (1912-1971); Hubert Lee, b. 1917, d. 1986, m. Olivia Hodges; Curtis Alfred, b. 1920, d. 1988, m. Mary Clyde White (1924-2012); and Henry Alex, b. 1924, d. 2010, m. Agnes Mae Pinkerton.

Jim and Lizzie Douglas’s oldest son, Daniel Cecil Douglas, was married to Bonnie Lee Harrelson, daughter of Ive Harrelson and Sarah Matilda (Raley). Bonnie had been married earlier to Alfred Dewitt Bryars, and they had one son, Walter Farish Bryars (1932-2001). David Cecil and Bonnie had one son, Sonny Douglas.

John Daniel Douglas’s youngest son, Jessie Marvin Douglas, was about 12 years of age when the family moved to the Pleasant Home community. He became a farmer and was married to Mary Josephine Padgett. They reared the following four children: William Maynard, b. 1910, d. 2003, m. Mary Barrow (1913-2005); Elmira, b. 1911, d. 2002, m. Charley Anson Mason (1910-2001); Bruce C., b. 1918, d. 1987; and Albert R. Sr., b. 1921, d. 2004.

Now the ancestry of the matriarch of the above Douglas family will be reviewed. Rebecca Elizabeth (Boggs) Douglas, born in 1839 in Georgia, was the daughter of John Joseph Boggs (1810-1876) and Mele Pule (Musgrove) (1820-1877). During the late 1850s she was married to John Daniel “Dan” Douglas. John Joseph Boggs, born and died in Calhoun County, Fla., was the son of John Dave Boggs and Polly Parrot (Cochrane). He was born in 1780 in Tennessee, and she, in Georgia in 1783. He died rather young in 1822 in Marshall County, Ala., and she apparently returned to her people in Calhoun County, Fla., where she died in 1898.

John Dave Boggs was the son of Captain John Boggs and Eva (Springer). Captain John was born in 1755 in Surry County, N.C., and Eva, in 1760 in Jackson County, Ga. He died young in 1788 in Lee County, Va., and she, in 1859 in Davidson County, N.C. Captain John was the son of an earlier John Boggs who was born in 1725 in Surry County, N.C. and who married Mary Keys who was born in the same year and location. This John Boggs was the son of James Boggs who was the ancestor who immigrated to America. He was born in 1704 in Londonderry, Ireland, and later married to Elizabeth Bryan who was born in 1705 in Scotland. James was the son of an earlier James Boggs who was born in 1667 in St. Collins Church, Donegal, Ireland, and who married Rebecca Moray who was born in 1675 in Ireland.

Anyone with knowledge of early Indian tribes may recognize that most of the above families during the 1800s were of Indian heritage. They were among the groups who were driven or chose to move out of Alabama and into Florida where they settled mostly on the west side of Apalachicola River during the early 1800s. There they established towns beginning in 1815 and lived peacefully with the Muskogee people. Tuskie Haco/Cochrane was in the emigration from Alabama, and he had a wife named Polly who was a “bought” wife. Their daughter, Polly Parrot Cochrane, had been born in 1783 in Georgia. This Polly was married to John Boggs, Jr., a native of Tennessee. They had a son, John Joseph Boggs born in the Florida area in 1810. John Joseph and his wife, Mele Pule “Mary” (Musgrove), were the parents of Rebecca Elizabeth (Boggs) Douglas, the matriarch of the above Douglas family.

Rebecca Elizabeth appears to have heeded the advice of her grandmother, Polly Parrot Boggs, to marry a white person to preserve what they could of their blood line and Indian heritage. By that time the Indians were being overrun by the white settlers, so the Indian culture was in danger of being destroyed. The Douglas couple moved during the 1880s to Covington County, Ala. and became the ancestors of the above Douglas descendants.

Wyley Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama lists the following Douglas/Douglass men who acquired land: Daniel D. homesteaded 160.04 acres in the Rome Township in 1896; Doctor Y. homesteaded 40 acres in the Yellow River Township in 1905; and King Z. homesteaded 40.05 acres in the Falco Township in 1907. All what is known of Duncan C. Douglass who bought 40.11 and 39.99 acres in 1854 in Opp and Valley Grove Townships is that he and his wife, Mary, were natives of North Carolina. He was listed in the 1850 federal census as a farmer in Covington County. No relationship to the above Douglas family was found by this writer.

Sources for this writing include the family records of Linda (Douglas) Wheeler, The Florida Genealogist and

Obviously, more research is needed on the Douglas family, so it is hoped that someone may have done that already and will share their findings. Anyone who might find an error in the above or who has information to share is encouraged to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: