Research: Caton descendants related

Published 1:14 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

Recent research suggests all Caton descendants in county are related

The earliest Caton family to migrate to Covington County was that of John Dent Caton, who arrived in the early 1850s. The family came from Barbour County, Ala., and had lived earlier in Randolph County, Ga. John Dent Caton was born in 1787 in North Carolina, and in 1817 he was married in Putnam County, Ga., to Sarah Euphamia Robinson, daughter of John Robinson and Maria (Marshall) (1765-1852).

Recent research indicates that John Dent appears to be the common ancestor of the Caton families who have resided in Covington County. lists John Dent’s son, Alfred D. Caton, as the father of William D. or Willie Caton who was the father of John Ransom Caton, featured in last week’s column. Then John Dent’s son, George M.T. Caton who is being featured today, is identified as the father of John Henry Caton who was the father of Mary Adeline (Caton) Gantt. Assuming this is all correct, John Ransom and Mary Adeline would have been second cousins.

Three generations of John Dent Caton’s ancestors were found on They were John Caton who was born in 1680, died in 1743 and was married to Agnes ? Among their children was a son, Charles Caton, born in 1733 in Prince George County, Md., and married to Jemima Summers. Charles died in 1814 in North Carolina. They had a son named George Dent Caton who was born in 1765 in Maryland. He was married first to Elizabeth Hall and then second to a wife whose name is unknown. He and his second wife had 14 children.

The oldest son was named John Dent Caton, who was born in North Carolina in 1787. In1817 he was married in Putnam, Ga., to Sarah Euphamia Robinson, daughter of John Robinson and Maria Marshall. The federal census shows the family residing in Randolph County, Ga., in 1830, Barbour County, Ala., in 1850 and in Covington County in 1860. At that time Euphamia was head of the household and a farmer owning 22 slaves living in three households. John Dent had died in 1855 in the Red Level community of Covington County.

John Dent and Sarah Euphamia Caton reared the following 12 children: John G.; Martha Dent, b. 1818, d. 1910; George M.T., b. 1826, d. ?, m. Mary Adeline Seay; Verlinda Riggs, b. 1829, d. 1877; Charles, b. 1832; Allen Robinson, b. 1838, d. 1924; Samuel W., b. 1835, d. 1864; Elizabeth Dixon, b. 1836, d. 1942; Tobias, b. 1837, d. 1917; Alfred Dent, b. 1840, d. 1917; Caroline Rose, b. 1845; and Dorcas Rose, b. 1847.

John Dent Gantt and several of his sons purchased land from the government during 1855. He bought three tracts of land in the Gantt Township: 120.46 acres, 40.01 acres and 80.65 acres. His son, George M.T., bought 85.17 and 170.33 acres in the same area. Charles also acquired two tracts of 159.82 and 79.89 acres in the Gantt Township. In 1856, George M.T. purchased 39.93 acres in the same area, and in 1857 Allen Robinson bought 80.10 acres in Red Level. Years later in 1881, Alfred Dent acquired 40.16 acres in the Buck Creek Township. Some of the above acreage is still owned by descendants of this family.

Several of the sons rendered service in the Confederate States of America. George M.T. Caton was a first lieutenant for Beat Number Nine Company, 60th Regiment of Covington County, 8th Brigade, 11th Division, Alabama Militia (1845-1863). His brother, Allen R. Caton, was a member of the Company of Andalusia Volunteers. His brother, Samuel W. Caton, was a private in Company I, 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment, which was formerly known as Captain Gantt’s Company, 4th Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Militia. Alfred D. Caton served as a private in Company B, 17th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Following the war in 1867, George M.T. Caton was listed as a registered voter in Beat Four, and Alfred D. Caton was listed the same in Beat 12 of Covington County.

The second son, George M.T. Caton, born in Georgia in 1826, was married in Barbour County, Ala., in 1851 to Mary Adeline Seay. He moved about that time to Covington County where he purchased land in 1855. When the War for Southern Independence erupted in 1861, he was a farmer with a wife and three young children. He and Mary Adeline had the following children: John Henry, b. 1853, m. Rebecca Louise Veasey; Euphama A., b. ca 1855; and Augustus Brouse’, b. 1857, d. 1944 in Polk County, Tex. At his death, George appears to have been living on his property in the Heath community and was buried there in a private cemetery near the railroad. Years later, his grave was exhumed and moved to the Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery where it is marked without dates.

The fourth son, Allen Robinson Caton, was married in 1860 to Camilla Susanna Wicker (1846-1900). They resided and reared their children in several communities in Covington County. They had the following 12 children: Mattie Prudent, b. 1862, d. 1918; J.D., b. ca 1862; Charles D. or S., b. 1869, d. 1923; Mary, b. 1871; Julius A., b. 1872, d. 1945; Mollie, b. 1873; Robert Allen, b. 1877, d. 1952; Alonzo, b. 1880; Lenie, b. 1880; Baker, b. 1883, d. 1945; Willie, b. 1884; and Thomas, b. 1887, d. 1956.

The fifth son, Samuel W. Caton, died in 1864 during the War for Southern Independence, but the circumstances of his death were not found. He was from Covington County and was only 29 years old at the time of his death.

The seventh son, Alfred Dent Caton, was first married to Susanah Deens (Deams) (1841-1891), daughter of Ransom L. Deems or Deans (1806-1848) and Sarah Ann (Hawthorne) (1801-1865). They resided some in Conecuh County and several sites in Covington. They were enumerated in in the 1880 federal census for Jamestown, Conecuh County, but later moved back to Covington. At his death, Alfred Dent was buried in the Long Branch Baptist Church Cemetery in the Cohassett community of Conecuh County.

Alfred Dent and Susanah Caton had the following children: Safronia Beatrice, b. 1860, d. 1938, m. ? Campbell; Noah Dent, b. 1863, d. 1931; Euphama E., b. 1865, d. 1950; Ransom L., b. 1867, d. 1894; William D., b. 1868, d. 1932, m. Florence Taylor (1867-1950); Mary L, b. 1871, m. ? Tisdale; Catharine, b. 1872, d. 1881; Lanora T., b. 1874, m. ? Pridgen; Sarah H., b. 1877; and Tobias, b. 1879, d. 1938. Following Susanah’s death in 1891, Alfred Dent was married in 1897 in River Falls to Mary Jane McNair (1852-1920).

Looking at the next generation of these families, a few of the grandchildren of John Dent Caton will be reviewed. The son of Allen Robinson Caton, Charles D. Caton, was born in 1869 and died in 1923 in Covington County. He was buried in the Fairmount Baptist Church Cemetery in Red Level. He and his wife, C.S. Caton, had the following children as listed in the 1880 Census of Covington County: J.D., 18; M.P., 14; C.S., 11; Mary, 9: Julius A., 7; A.R., 5: S.A, 3; and Alonzo, 6 mos.

George M.T. Caton’s son, John Henry Caton was born in 1853 and died in 1940 in Covington County. Records show he lived for 63 years in the same location. In 1873 he was married to Rebecca Louise Veasey (1855-1926). They reared the following children: Mary Adeline, b. 1874, d. 1960, m William Burnett Gantt (1873-1964); Frances Elizabeth “Lizzie,” b. 1879, d. 1931, m. Luther Stephens (1872-1929); Laura Lavenia, b. 1883, d. 1970, m. Walter Emmett Tillman; Augustus Bruzay, b. 1886, d. 1966, m. Hilda Mae Johnson (1895-1976); Jessie Leroy “Jess,” b. 1888, d. 1967, m. Bessie M. Hudson; and Exedora “Exie” or “Dora” Effie L., b. 1891, d. 1975, m. Marvin Pierce Tillman.

The sources for this writing include interviews with a Caton family descendant, John Allen Gantt, of the Heath community. John Allen is the son of John Henry Gantt (1906-1972) and Arlene (Harmon). He is the grandson of Mary Adeline (Caton) and William Burnett Gantt, listed in the above genealogy. Other sources include and Wyley D. Ward’s book, Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who finds an error in the above data or who has additional records on any of the Caton families is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting Thursday, Sept 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Andalusia Public Library. All members and those interested in Confederate Heritage are urged to attend.