Russell family settles circa 1870

Published 1:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

A suggestion was made that the Russell family of Covington County would be a good one for review in this column. After some research it was discovered that at least two different Russell family lines eventually settled here. The James B. Russell family arrived sometime before 1850, and the Dr. John Thomas Russell family migrated here circa 1870. Dr. Russell’s genealogy will be presented in today’s column with plans to feature the other Russell families in the next one. Although no relationship has been determined for the above Russell family lines, further research may reveal some connection in earlier generations.

The earliest ancestor to be identified by the Russell family being outlined today is William Russell who was born in 1729 and who was married to Athry Robberson. indicates that this William may have also been the same as Archibald Russell who was born the same year, 1729, in Chickmannan, Chickmannonshire, Scotland. Archibald is shown to have been married to Margrie Boyd. Both men are listed as dying in 1771, which lends support to them being the same person.

The son in the next generation was David Russell who was born in 1750 in Wilkes County, Ga., or South Carolina. He was married to Susan Sexton Saxon, daughter of Samuel Saxon (1740-1805) and Elizabeth Davis (1744-1802). Susan was born in 1765 in North Carolina and died in 1862 in Jasper, Georgia. David died in 1822 in Talbotton, Talbot County, Ga. They had a son named John Rollen Russell, born 1791 in Wilkes County, Ga. And died in 1873 in Talbot County, Ga. He was married to Frances B.C. Lawson (1793-1853), daughter of Winwright Lawson and Rachel Robberson of Georgia.

John R. and Frances Russell had a son whom they named John Thomas Russell. John Thomas was born in 1832 in Talbotton, Ga., and later trained to be a medical doctor. He rendered service in the Confederate Army in Company H, 46th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He mustered into service at Loachapoka, Ala., on May 18, 1862. He had one of his legs to be broken during the war, but he was fortunate to survive. A few years after the end of the war, he was ordained as a Primitive Baptist Minister on March 11, 1870. He was called for ordination by the Valley Grove Church in the eastern part of Covington County. He immediately assumed leadership and served in that role until 1872.

Dr. John Thomas Russell was married to Agnes Sophia McDowell (1833-1893), and they had a son named John Thomas Russell II who was born in 1869 in Georgia. Dr. Thomas Russell moved his young family to South Alabama circa 1870 when John Thomas II was about two years of age. Dr. Russell died there in 1891.

John Thomas Russell II was married in 1895 to Alma Stella McLure (1875-1961). They reared the following children: John McLure, b. 1897, d. 1952, m. Pearl Lovelace; Alma Agnes, b. 1898, d. 1901; McLanathan Cleofus, b. 1901, m. Margaret White; Albert Barnard, b. 1905, d. 2006, m. Ruth Amelia King; Winnie Valerie, b. 1905, d. 1986, m. Green Lambert; Earnest Eric, b. 1908, d. 1992, m. Rebecca Darling (1912-1974); Marion Justice, b. 1910, m. Elizabeth ?; Amy May, m. Harvey Thornell Rodgers; Mary Lucretia, b. 1914, d. 1930, single; and Charles Teasley, b. 1918, d. 2008, m. Opal Louree Eiland.

The second oldest son, McLanathan Cleofus “M.C.” Russell, resided in Andalusia where he owned and managed the Russell Apartments located on River Falls Street. He was married to Margaret White, but they did not have any children.

The third oldest son, Albert Barnard Russell lived in Brewton where he owned and managed the Chevrolet Company there. He was married to Ruth Amelia King of Brewton, Ala. They reared a son, Albert Barnard Russell Jr., who married Jo Ann Walker of Ft. Walton, Fla., and he became a medical doctor. They had three children: Jet, Caryn and Julianne.

The second oldest daughter, Winnie Valerie Russell, was married to Green Lambert of Panama City, Fla. They reared a daughter, Winnie Green Lambert, who married Laurice Ramsey Long and had two children: Patricia Long married Howard Cowell and had a son named Scott; and Green Long.

The next son, Eric Ernest Russell, was married to Rebecca Darling (1912-1974). Eric worked in sales with the Count Darling Chevrolet Company in Andalusia, and Rebecca was the librarian at Andalusia High School. Their daughter, Amy, followed in her mother’s footsteps in filling the same role after years of teaching English. Eric and Rebecca reared the following three children: Marjorie “Marge” Darling, d. 1986, m. Charles Franklin “Chuck” Rankin, and they had two children before divorcing: Matthew, married Danielle Faraj; and Kimberly Darling. Amy married William Heenan Spurlin and they reared three children: William Heenan “Bill” Spurlin Jr. married Charlotte Smith; Rebecca Darling Spurlin married Brad Garner; and Genevieve Darling “Jenny” Spurlin, married Andrew Lee, but divorced later. Bill Spurlin is the owner and manager of David’s Catfish House, which is a popular restaurant in Andalusia. Eric Earnest “Rick” Russell Jr. married Susan Craft, and they had two children before divorcing: Lauren married Fox Williford, and Sara married Jeremy Anderson.

The next son, Marion Justice Russell, was married to Elizabeth Locklier and lived in Pensacola, Fla. They reared a son, Marion Justice Russell Jr., who was married to Royce ?, and who had two sons: Marion David and John Michael. John Michael died in 2011.

The next daughter, Amy May Russell, was married to Harvey Thornell Rodgers of Chattahoochee, Fla. They reared the following three children: Russell McLeod Rodgers married Janice Caprell Duke and had three children: Russell, Allen and Robin. Alma Carolyn Rodgers married Temple Bailey of Jacksonville, Fla., and they had three children: John, Cindy and Amy. Mary Lucretia Rodgers married Phillip Abner Young of Columbus, Ga.

The youngest son, Charles Teasley Russell, worked for many years in the Mobile shipyard. He was married to Opal Louree Eiland of Andalusia. They reared the following Children: Ophelia, Lillian, Jeanette, Charles Tracy, Ray Randall and Peggy. Ophelia, b. 1939, married Evan Scottie Merrill and had three children: Vivian Elaine married Dan Richardson; Steven Hanley Merrill married Cindy Coker; and Samuel Scottie Merrill married Kim Bridges. Lillian Russell was married to Amos A. Holter Jr. and later divorced. They had three children: James Leslie Holter Sr. married Teresa Hahn and divorced, but they had two children: Jamie Lee and James Leslie Jr.; Susan Lorraine Holter married Mark Vollmer; Patricia Louree Holter married Dion Courson. Jeanette Russell, b. 1942, married Sheriel Stacey and had a daughter, Sherwin, who married Bennie Dale Bonds whom she later divorced. Charles Tracy Russell, born 1944, married Diane Huggins and had two children: Virginia Diane married (1) Scott Price (2) Michael Patton; and Curtis Teasley married Heather Davis. Ray Randall Russell, b. 1947, married (1) Teresa Barnett (2) Brenda (Rogers) Luckey (div.), and he and Teresa had three children: Sonya LeAnn married Michael Goodson; Ray Randall II, married Mary Ann Chance (div.); and Starlett Dawn, married Casey Ray. Peggy Russell, b.1949, married Benny Welton Williamson and had two children: William Welton; and Tammy Louree married John Self.

Sources for the above writing include, Wyley Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama, census records and interviews with Jeanette (Russell) Stacey and Amy (Russell) Spurlin. Appreciation is expressed to Jeanette for sharing her family records.

Anyone who might find an error in the above or who might have additional genealogy on these two families is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: