A different Mitchell family had connections locally

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2016

A different Mitchell family from the one featured in earlier columns also had ties to Covington County. While few members of the family members actually resided in the county, they had close relatives who did. This branch migrated from Virginia to Georgia and finally to Texas where the majority eventually settled.

The records of Ancestry.com were used to identify the early generations of this Mitchell family. Henry Mitchell who was born in 1694 was the earliest one found. (The name Henry was used in several future generations.) This Henry was married to Tabitha Branch who was born in 1680, which means she was several years older than Henry. Records show both died in 1754.

Henry and Tabitha Mitchell had a son whom they named Thomas Mitchell. He was born in 1722 in Albemarle Parish, Surry County, Va. He was married to Amy Goodwyn, daughter of John Goodwyn (1698-1754) and Winifred Tucker (1710-1758). Amy was also born in Surry County in 1732. They later moved to Sussex County, Va., where all their children were born. These were John, b. 1748, d. 1804; Thomas, b.&d. 1750; Tabitha, b. 1751; Winefred, b. 1754; Thomas Goodwin, b. 1756, d. 1826; and Henry, b. 1761, d. 1837. Thomas died in 1762 in Sussex County, and Amy, in Surry County in 1773.

Of the above children, Henry Mitchell, is the line being followed in this narrative. He was born in 1761 in Albemarle, Sussex County, Va., as the youngest son of Thomas and Amy. He was married circa 1784 in Greenville, Va., to Frances C. Hobbs (1760-1843), daughter of William Hobbs (1728-1804) and Sarah Harrison (1732-1810) of Dinwiddie County, Va. Henry moved his family to Sparta, Hancock County, Ga., and later died in 1860 in Fayette County, Ga. Henry and Frances Mitchell reared the following children: Amy Goodwyn, b. 1785; Robert Hobbs, b. 1790; William Henry, b. 1805, d. 18555, m. Nancy Brightwell; and two daughters and another son whose identity was private.

Of Henry and Frances’s children, William Henry is the one being traced farther. He was born in Georgia in 1805 and was married in 1835 in Stewart County, Ga., to Nancy Brightwell (1814-1891), daughter of William Brightwell and Sarah Windsor of Barnwell, S.C. Nancy’s brother, L. Reynolds Brightwell, was married to Elizabeth Caroline Parker, daughter of William Henry Mitchell’s sister, Mary (Mitchell) and her husband, Daniel C. Parker. During the 1850s, L. Reynolds moved with his wife and her parents to Butler County, Ala. Later L. Reynolds and Elizabeth Caroline moved their family to Covington County. He died there in 1863 as a result of the War Between the States. Another brother of Nancy (Brightwell) Mitchell, William Brightwell, was enumerated in the 1860 census of Covington County. William Henry and Nancy Mitchell had the following three children: John N., b. ca 1836, m. Lavica ?; William Henry Jr., b. 1842, d. 1909, m. Sarah Clay Owens; and Vandance, b. ca 1850, d. 1885.

This Mitchell line is traced through the middle son, William Henry Jr., who enlisted to serve in the Confederate Army and became a Corporal in the 17th Georgia Infantry. He was in a Yankee prison when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. He was apparently a new husband during the war years as he was married in 1861 in Baldwin County, Ga., to Sarah Clay Owens, daughter of William Owens and Martha Wilson. They did not have any children until after the war had ended, but then they reared the following 13 in 17 years: Hester, b. ca 1866; William, b. 1868, d. 1898; Nancy Anna, b. 1869, d. 1946, m. Samuel Elisha Beard; John H., b. 1870; Martha Levassor, b. 1873; Dina, b. 1873; Martha “Mattie” Castalia, b. 1874, d. 1960, m. Francis Marion Levassor; Sarah, b. 1875; William Arnold, b. 1876, d. 1938, m. Pearl Donnahoo Redding; Harriett, b. 1879; Mandie, b. 1879; and Eugene Price, b. 1882, d. 1953, m. 1911 Nellie Rhea Richardson. All the children were born in Georgia before the family moved to Anderson, Tex. William Henry Mitchell Jr. died in 1909 and was buried in the Old Bethel Cemetery in Frankston, Anderson County.

William Henry’s older brother, John N. Mitchell and his wife, Lavica, reared two sons, John N. Jr., b. ca 1860; and William Henry, b. after 1860. Both of these sons were residing in Macon County, Ala., in 1881.

William Henry Mitchell Jr.’s youngest son, Eugene Price Mitchell, was born in 1882 in Georgia, but he later moved to Anderson County, Tex., with his family. He was married in 1911 to Nellie Rhea Richardson. Their oldest son, Knox Reuben, b. 1920, d. 1012, was married in 1940 to Naomi Ruth Hand, and they had two children: Barbara Ann, m. Earl Lang; and Roger Bryan. Eugene and Nellie also had additional children: Dennis Clay, b. 1912, d. 1960; Sally Bernece; Frank Albaugh; Velma Elene, m. Harry Smith; Fred Allen, b. 1916, d. 1993; Annie Lou, b. 1908, d. 1995; and Ruby Lee, b. 1910, d. 1993.

There is an interesting side-note to this family in a connection to Indian Chief Quanah Parker, son of Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia’s grandniece, Ola May Parker, daughter of Aaron George Parker, married Emmett Beard, a Mitchell descendant. Cynthia Ann was rescued from the Indians and held at a site, which is located a few miles southeast of the Lang Ranch on the west bank of the Norwegian Creek in Anderson County, Tex. The old town site of Fosterville is partly located on the present Lang Ranch where Barbara Ann Mitchell and Earl Lang were married and where their son now resides. The family has reported that a large, old Oak tree still stands on the ranch, but it is slowly dying due to age. The tree is significant in that the Wildcat Ferry Stagecoach made a stop at it in Fosterville on its way to Natchitoches, Tex., and Shreveport, La. Cynthia Ann Parker was first buried in the Fosterville Cemetery near the ranch, but her son, Chief Quanah Parker, had her remains moved to Oklahoma before his death in 1911.

The sources for this writing include Ancestry.com for the earlier generations and a family story published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama by Barbara Ann (Mitchell) Lang of Frankston, Tex. and Martha Brightwell of Andalusia.

Anyone finding 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: cthomasson@centurytel.net.