Mikel descendants came to county in late 1800s

Published 2:33 am Saturday, February 6, 2016

Some family stories published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama and area descendants of the Mikel family have provided genealogical data for a review of this family.

Some members of the family arrived in Covington County during the late 1800s.

In some of the early records for the family the last name appears as Michael, but no specific reason for the variation in spelling has been found.

The earliest ancestor of this family found on Ancestry.com is Andrew Mikel who was listed as being born in 1793 in Maine.

At some point, Andrew began to migrate south. He was married In North Carolina in the early 1820s to Zilpha Godwin who was born in 1799. Eventually they made their way to Alabama.

In the 1850 federal census for Butler County, Ala., the family was enumerated as follows: Andrew, 57; Zilpha, 51; Penelopy, 25; Rhoda, 22; Amaries (?), 17; Martha, 14; Lucinda, 11; and James 7.

There were possibly additional children that might have been born earlier and no longer in the household. Andrew was reported to be a farmer.

In the 1860 federal census of Pike County, Ala., Andrew Mikel was 67 years old and living in the household of what appears to be his daughter, Martha, and her husband, Thomas S. Linton. They are listed as follows: Thomas S., 37; Martha, 24; Martha A., 4; Malinda, 2; Thomas S., 9 months; and Andrew, 67.

Andrew Mikel’s son, James Madison Mikel, was born in 1833, and his surname in some records was shown as Michael. In 1865 he was married in Pike County to Marinda Hemby (1846-1880). They resided in the Darbys community of Pike County and had the following four children: William, b. 1865, d. 1866; James Andrew, b. 1875, d. 1958; Henry M. Andrew, b. 1876, d. 1927; and Sarah Z., b. 1879. This family was enumerated in the 1880 census for Pike County.

After Marinda’s death, James Madison was married to Louisa Malinda Thomasson.

She appears to have had three children with the surname of McKelley before she and James Madison married.

Ancestry.com lists the following three McKelley children who were in the Mikel household: Emma Elizabeth, b. 1853, d. 1917; James Calvin, b. 1859, d. 1951; and Lonnie, b. 1869.

Family records were found for James Madison’s two sons who survived to adulthood, James Andrew Mikel and Henry M. Andrew Mikel. James Andrew was married to Mary Moanna Neal (1882-1947), daughter of William J. Neal.

They reared the following children: Missouri Lee, b. 1902, d. 1974, m. Ollie Wiggins; Charles Augustus, b. 1903, d. 1950, m. Lena Irene Meredith; William Randel Sr., b. 1905, d. 1976, m. Mary Lou Zuber; Ethel Irene, b. 1907, d. 1979, m. Willie Brown; Lillian Estelle, b. 1910, d. 1979, m. Leonard Smith; and Sallie Maye, b. 1917, d. 2000, m. (1) Grady Bowen (2) Larry Heiser.

Henry M. Andrew Mikel was born in 1876 in the Darbys community where he grew up.

He was married in 1901 in Covington County to Elvina “Vina” Lutenza Worley (1882-1947), daughter of Elisha Simeon “Simie” Worley and Martha Catherine “Katie” Etheridge.

The Mikel and Worley families were turpentine farmers and operated a distillery in the Rose Hill and Antioch communities.

This Mikel family moved circa 1908 to a community just south of Laurel Hill in Okaloosa County, Fla. They settled there on a farm and continued rearing their family of 10 children: Oscar “Buddy,” b. 1903, d. 1967; Essie Mae, b. 1905, m. (1) David Edward Thompson (2) ?; Ethel Pearl, b. 1907, d. 2000, m. 1937 James Edgar Sample (1890-1957); Ruth H., b. 1909, d. 1969; Emma, b. 1911, d. 1951, m. William C. Brewer Richburg; Peircie Lee, b. 1914, d. 1989, m. George Washington Wright; Roscoe David, b. 1916, d. 1989; Willie Arthur, b. 1919, d. 1999; Jo Ann M. “Zonielou,” b. 1920, d. 1988; and Elvina “L.V.,” b. 1924, d. 2002.

Henry M. Mikel died of heart failure in 1927 while they were living in Laurel Hill.

About six years later his widow, Vina, moved her family to Garden City, a small town outside of Crestview.

She and her children became tenant farmers. Circa 1937, she purchased a house in Ft. Walton on Second Street where she resided until her death in 1947.

The oldest son, Oscar “Buddy” Mikel was deaf and could not speak, but he communicated quite well with facial expressions and the use of his arms and hands.

His relatives described him as being “compassionate, gentle man and a friend to all.”

He was an excellent painter and supported himself reasonably well. In 1947 after his mother’s death, he inherited her house, and a brother and sister became his guardians.

When they could no longer care for him, he went to live in the state mental hospital in Chattahoochee, Fla. At his death in 1967, he was buried beside his parents in the Almarant Cemetery at Laurel Hill.

The second oldest daughter, Ethel Pearl Mikel, was about three months old when the family loaded their possessions on a horse and wagon to make the move to Laurel Hill.

When she was grown she married James Edgar Sample, and they moved to the Wright community near Ft. Walton.

There they bought 10 acres for $50 and built their home on the land. They did not have any children, but both worked several jobs in and around Ft. Walton. In 1951, James became ill with liver and gall bladder disease and was unable to continue working.

He died six years later and was buried in the Wright Cemetery. Pearl worked for 16 ½ years in sales and gardening for the Pipper Garden Center in Ocean City.

In the spring of 1984, she sold the house and 10 acres and moved into the Westwood Retirement Home where she resided until her death in 2000.

The other children are begun with Ruthie Mae Mikel who had two daughters, one being Mabelean, b. 1937, d. 1992. Emma Mikel and her husband, William C. Brewer Richburg (1908-1990), had six children: William Henry, b. 1930, d. 1982; Johnnie Franklin, b. 1938, d. 2003; Infant, b.&d. 1944; plus son and two daughters. Peircie Lee Mikel and her husband, George Washington Wright (1917-1972), had three children: William Harvey, b.&d. 1944; and another son and a daughter. Roscoe David Mikel and his wife, Kathleen Mae Brunson (1915-2009), had one son, Roscoe Thomas, b. 1947.

Returning to the family of James Andrew Mikel, the families of his two sons are presented. Charles Augustus Mikel and his wife, Lena Irene (Meredith), reared two sons: Joseph “Joe” Malone Mikel, b. 1935, m. Sara Evelyn Jones; and James Frederick “Fred” Mikel, m. Flora Bell Hooks. Joe and Sara had three children: Joseph Rickey, m. Terry Gooden; Steven Jay, m. Cathy Meadows; and Rebecca Lee, m. Jamey Riggs. William Randel Mikel Sr. and his wife, Mary Lou (Zuber), had one son, William Randel Jr., b. 1930, m. Audie Glenn Driver. They reared three sons: David Dwight, m. Barbara Janet “Babs” Gaines; William Benjamin, m. Linda Schilling, and James Anthony, m. Amy Renee Corley. They also lost an infant at birth.

The sources for this writing included three family stories published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama and written by descendants William H. and Emma Gean Richburg Knotts. Appreciation is also expressed to Joseph Mikel, Randel Mikel Jr. and his daughter-in-law, Babs Mikel, for sharing their family records.

Anyone who may find an error in the above or additional genealogy on this family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.