Russell family ancestor emigrated from England

Published 1:03 am Saturday, March 5, 2016

A third Russell family also settled in Covington County, Ala. The earliest ancestor of this lineage is William Russell who was born in 1605 Abbotts Langley, Herefordshire, England. He was married to Martha Davies Haddington who was born in 1609 in the same area. They immigrated to the United States and settled in Middlesex, Mass.., where he died in 1662, and she, in 1694 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass.

Some descendants of the above ancestors migrated to South Alabama in later years and continue to reside in Covington County. Some of these are currently researching their Russell lineage and would like to hear from anyone who might be of assistance. The following early generations are as reported on

William and Martha Russell had a son whom they named John Russell. John was born in 1645 in Cambridge, Suffolk, Mass. He was married to Elizabeth Fiske who was born in 1654 also in Cambridge. They were the proud parents of Col. William Washington Russell who married Mary Henry. William W. was born in 1679 in North Farmham, Richmond, Va., and Mary was born in 1685. William died in 1757 in Orange, Culpepper, Va., and Mary died in 1760.

Among William W. and Mary’s children was a son, William Russell, who was born in 1714 in Halifax, Va. He was married to Sarah Anna Buckner who was born in 1718 also in Halifax. Both lived their entire lives there with William dying in 1777 and Sarah, in 1783. Among their children was a son, Absalom Prentiss Russell, who was born in 1760 in Sussex, Va. Absalom was married to Elizabeth Cynthia Gains who was born in 1760. Absalom appears to have died in 1840 in Mercer County, Ky. The same death date is given for Elizabeth Cynthia, which is questionable.

Absalom and Elizabeth Russell had migrated to Handcock County, Ga., where their son, Edmund B. Russell, was born in 1799. Edmund was married in 1824 in Jones County, Ga., to Jane English (1803-1885). They moved on to Coffee County, Ala., where Edmund died in 1860. Edmund and Jane Russell reared the following children: James M., b. 1825, d. 1892; John H., b. 1826, d. 1916; William Millard, b. 1828, d. 1908; Frank Absalom, b. 1830, d. 1873; Elizabeth, b. 1832, d. 1909; Ignatius Nace, b. 1834, d. 1900; Martha, b. 1936; Matthew, b. 1836; Madison, b. 1839, d. 1910; Elisha, b. 1842; Alice, b. 1842; and Mary T., b. 1844, d. 1912.

From this point, the ancestral line of the son, William Millard Russell, will be followed. He has quite a record by fathering as many as 17 children by three different wives. He was born in 1828 in Harrison Grove of Dale County, Ala. His parents and he with his family later moved into Coffee County, which is adjacent to Covington County where a number of family members resided. Some of these have descendants who currently reside in Covington.

William Millard Russell was first married in 1848 to Lucretia Neal (1832-1865). They had the following six children before Lucretia’s death: James Jefferson, b. 1850, d. 1920; Mary Jane, b. 1852; Calvin Charles, b. 1853, d. 1889; Martha 1855; John Coleman, b. 1859, d. 1904; and William Millard Jr., b. 1862, d. 1939. The four years before Lucretia’s death in 1865, William Millard rendered service in the Confederate Army. He enlisted into Company A, 6th Alabama Cavalry Regiment. Records report he held the rank of private and also as a sergeant.

William Millard Russell came home from the war to experience the death of his wife and the care of their children. He was very soon married again in Coffee County to Mary Ann Rogers (1833-1884). He and Mary Ann had the following children: Sam, b. 1865; Nathan, b. 1867; Sara Jane, b. 1869, m. 1883 Edward Bedsole (1862-1917); Louis, b. 1871, d. 1956; and James Gordon, b. 1853, d. 1930, m. 1898 Savannah Georgia Lowery (1875-1935). One family tree lists two additional children: Nova, d. young; and Nancy Jane “Koot.”

William M. Russell’s second wife died in 1884, so he soon was married to the third wife, Rebecca Catherine Brock (1854-1926). They then had the following four children: Lela Carl, b. 1885, d. 1930; Nace Clyne, b. 1887, d. 1962, m. Laura Alice Williams (1895-1991); Birtie Bell, b. 1889, d. 1974; and Addie Pearl, b. 1893, d. 1983.

The fourth son, William Millard Russell Jr., by the first wife was married to Sara Ward. They reared the following children: Perry C., b. 1882; James Gordon, b. 1884, d. 1986; Joseph J., b. 1887; William Millard III, b. 1890; John, b. 1892; Louis, b. 1895; and Robert Edward, b. 1898. This family resided in Coffee and Geneva Counties. The second son, James Gordon “Big Jim” Russell, and his wife, Martha Rosalie Florala Musselwhite, had a son named Seromie/Ceroma L. Russell who was born in 1907 and died in 1990.

Seromie Russell was married to Bama Berry (1908-2003), daughter of Robert B. Berry (1870-1937) and Savanah L. Brown (1870-1947). They reared the following children: Ewell/Euell, b. 1926, d. 2005; Margaret, b. 1930; Louella, b. 1932, d. 2005; Sara Nell, b. 1936, d. 2008; and Robert Earl, b. 1938. The oldest son, Ewell Rushin(g) Russell, was married to Ada Joyce Carroll, daughter of Rufus Elvin Carroll (1906-1983) and Susan Annie Lou Futrell. Ewell and Joyce had a son named Jerry Russell, who currently resides in Andalusia. Ewell was living in Red Level when he died in 2005.

The families of two children from the second marriage will be presented next. Daughter Sarah Jane Russell was married in 1883 to Edward Bedsole, son of Travis B. Bedsole (1832-1899) and Rosalie P. Ward (1833-1915. They reared the following nine children: William Travis, b. 1884, d. 1964; Emma, b. 1890, d. 1984; Edward Jr., b. 1893, d. 1977; Leonard C., b. 1895; Hattie Mae, b. 1901, d. 1979; Annie, b. 1904, d. 1981; Vonceil, b. 1906, d. 1995; Thomas Jefferson, b. 1910, d. 1969; and Juanita, b. 1914, d. 2000. Sarah Jane Bedsole died in 1948 in Memphis, Tenn. She had moved there some time after her husband’s death in 1917 in Coffee County.

Son James Gordon Russell was married in 1895 to Savannah Georgia Lowery (1875-1935). They reared the following five children: Selma, b. 1896, d. 1946; Lula Bell, b. 1900, d. 1909; Mary L., b. 1901; Tachie, b. 1901, d. 2009; and William Gordon, b. 1906, d. 1974.

William Millard Russell had a son, Nace Clyne Russell, by his third wife, Rebecca Catherine Brock. Nace was married to Laura Alice Williams (1895-1991), daughter of Daniel Monroe Williams (1859-1937) and Alice Florida Miller (1867-1964). They reared the following four children: Nace Clyne Jr., b. 1919, d. 1998; Mary Nell, b. 1922, d. 1974, m. ? Clark; Frank Morgan, b. 1923, m. ? and had two daughters and two sons; and Daniel Monroe, b. 1933, d. 1988.

There are many descendants of this family residing in South Alabama, so maybe some are doing further research on this family.

The sources for this writing include and family records of Jerry Russell, a descendant of Confederate Veteran William Millard Russell Sr.

Anyone who may find an error in the above genealogy is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or email: