Ancestor Julianna Arrants immigrated to Maryland

Published 2:22 am Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Burke family was featured in an earlier column, which included Mary (Kelley) Burke and her descendants. Today’s writing is to focus on her Arrants lineage and Kelley family, which is different from the Kelley family that was covered in a much earlier column. This narrative is designed to pay tribute to her as a dedicated family genealogist and who worked to preserve local history. In fact, she served as the editor for family stories to be published in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama, as long as her health permitted.

Initially the Arrants lineage is reviewed, and then it leads into the Kelley heritage. It appears the immigrant ancestor was probably German or Russian with the Arnst name, which was Americanized to Arrants. Family legend holds that the family was probably Bohemian, especially since there were so many Bohemian families who settled in Cecil County, Md., where the Arrants resided.

An Arnst (Arrants) gentleman whose name is not known appears to be the earliest ancestor of this family to be identified to date. He was born in 1700 and died in 1722 at the young age of 22 in the old country. He was married to Julianna Arrants with whom he had a son, Johannes Arrants. Johannes was born in 1718 in Prd, Hessen, Germany. The year, 1723, a year after her husband died, Julianna indentured herself to Francis Mauldin of Cecil County, Md., who dealt in buying and selling indentures. The agreement was for her to render service for Mauldin for eight years, and if something happen to her during that period, he would see after her son. Johannes was about five years old when he and his mother made the voyage to America. They settled in Elk Neck, Cecil County, where their sponsor, Mauldin, was located.

At about 27 years of age in 1752, Johannes Arrants was married to Sarah Phillips (1725-1750), probably the daughter of Nathan and Sarah Simcoe Phillips. They had three sons before her untimely death. The sons were Hans Hermon (Harmon), b. 1846, m. Francine Price (1750-1813); Nathan, b. 1748, d. 1777, m. Ann (Brown) Kandey (2) 1858 Charlotte English; and William, b. 1750, d. 1752.

After Sarah’s death in 1750, Johannes Arrants was married in 1751 to Elizabeth Veazey, daughter of James Veazey. They cared for his young children by Sarah and had the following of their own: Mary, b. 1752, d. 1816, m. Stephen Hyland; Julia, b. 1753, d. 1800, single; Sarah, b. 1756, d. 1827, m. George Simpers; William, b. 1758, d. 1821, m. Susannah Latham; John, b. 1760, m. Sarah ?; James, b. 1762, d. 1812, m. Rebecca ?; and Er (son)

The Arrants appeared to have been well educated people who were quite successful in their careers. There is no way to know how Johannes received the training he had and his productive work. He was listed as a cordwainer and skilled as a leather maker. His son, Nathan, excelled in this area as well. Records have been located, which reveal Johannes accumulating as much as 1,827 acres of land. Johannes died before November 1766.

Nathan Arrants, a son from the first marriage, is the ancestor of the family, of which some descendants eventually moved to South Alabama. Family records indicate that Nathan died in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, which means he would have been only about 29 years old. He and his wife, Ann (Ann Broom Kankey or Crouch), had four sons: Johannes III, b. 1770, d. ca 1846, m. Dolly Anne Nancy Alloway; Harman, b. 1773, d. 1804; Nathan, b. 1775, d. 1804; and Robert, b. 1777, d. 1804. Although born in Cecil County, they all ended up in Kershaw/Sumter County, S.C., by 1802. Three of the brothers died in 1804, which left Johannes Arrants III as the ancestor of the descendants in this particular line of Nathan Arrants.

Johannes Arrants III and his wife, Ann, reared the following children: William, b. 1795; Nathan, b. 1798; Elizabeth, b. 1802; Johannes IV, b. 1804, m. Gatsie Davis; Robert Huston, b. 1807, d. 1886, m. Eliza Simmons; Sarah, b. 1812; and Harmon, b. 1815.

The son, Johannes Arrants IV, was married to Gatsie Davis, daughter of Thomas Davis Jr. and Zina Lee. They had the following children: Elizabeth, b. 1830, d. 1884, m. William Mills Kelley (1831-1904); Mary Nancy, b. 1832, d. 1908, m. James Jenkins Kelley; William Thomas, b. 1834, d. 1906; and Martha J., b. 1835, d. 1914. Note the two oldest daughters married Kelley brothers, so there were numerous double first cousins. Two of these, James Joshua “Jim” and General Sumter Kelley, migrated in the late 1800s or early 1900s to the Slocomb area of Geneva County, Ala., where they lived only a few miles from each other.

Elizabeth and William Mills Kelley had the following children: Darling D., b. 1852, d. 1857; General Sumter, b. 1854, d. 1932; Nancy A., b 1856, d. 1902; Margaret, b. 1863; William Charlie, b. 1864, d. 1890; Lawrence A., b. 1868, d. 1869; Major Alice, b. 1870, d. 1910; and Hebron D., b. 1872, d.1909. Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Nancy and husband, James Jenkins Kelley, had the following children: Jane M., b. 1856; Rufus E., b. 1860; Elisa, b. 1865; J. James, b. 1867; D. Martha, b. 1871; and Reddick J., b. 1873.

Johannes Arrants III’s son, Robert Huston/Houston Arrants, was married to Eliza English or Simmons in 1833, and they reared a large number of children. states that he was later married to Mary Childers and had additional children. One of his daughters from the first wife was Emma Vermell Arrants, b. 1846, d. 1913, m. Reese Algernia Kelley. This couple remained in Sumter County until they moved south to Geneva County, Ala. They reared the following children: Anna Elizabeth, b. 1871, d. 1963, m. James Joshua “Jim” Kelley; Dana Eugenia, b. 1872, d. 1957, m. John Henry Crutchfield; Ida Camellia, b. 1880, d. 1902, m. George Dunn; and Minnie Vermel, b. 1882, d. 1956, m. James Clark.

The oldest daughter, Anna Elizabeth Kelley, and her husband, James Joshua “Jim” Kelley, appear to have arrived in Geneva County during the late 1880s.They reared the following 12 children: Maxie Standmore, m. Vera Reynolds; Hattie Alma, d. young; Reese Fred, m. Minnie Griffin; Claude Postel, m. Annie Griffin; Eddie Camilla, m. Bryant Austin Newton; William Charles, d. young; James Walter “Jim,” m. Ina Clark; Dan Algan; General Clyde, m. Agnes Vernette Black; Mary Elizabeth, m. James K. Burke; and Joseph, d. young.

The youngest daughter, Mary Elizabeth Kelley, was married to James K. “Jake” Burke (1893-1959) in 1926. He was the son of Charles Allen and Mildred Burke. Mary and Jake made their home in Andalusia and reared the following children: Mary Frances, m. Harold Thomas Grimes; Maxie Janette, m. Judson Rudolph Carroll; James Kelley, b. 1933, d. 1940; and Charles Danny, b. 1936, d. 1970, m. Ernestine McLeod. Many of their descendants currently reside in Covington County.

Sources for this writing included, a family story written by Sarah Kelly and published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, and other family records of Max and Sarah Kelly. Max is the son of the above General Clyde Kelley, son of James Joshua “Jim” and Anna Elizabeth Kelley.

Anyone who may find an error in the above genealogy 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 at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, at the newly created Confederate Park in Crenshaw County, located about three miles north of Brantley. All members and anyone interested in Confederate heritage are encouraged to attend and bring a covered dish.