Fourth Russell family line settled here in 1840s

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2016

Three different Russell family lines have been featured in the last three genealogy columns. There were no identified connections between any of them, and there is still a fourth Russell lineage who settled in Covington County. Local sources reveal that this Russell family settled in this county before 1850.

The earliest ancestor to be identified on for this lineage is Richard Russell who was born in 1716 in the State of Virginia. He was married to Margaret Twitty, daughter of Thomas Twitty (1671-1733). Margaret was born in 1717 in New Kent, Va., and lived until 1801 at which time she was residing in Granville County, N.C. Richard had died in 1860 while they were living in Brunswick, Va.

Richard and Margaret Russell had a son whom they named John Russell. John was born in 1739 in New Kent County, Va. John was married to a lady named Silvey ?, and they reared the following children: Richard b. ca 1770; Burnell, b. 1772; Charlotte, b. 1773; Mary, b. 1776; and George, b. 1779, d. 1833.

The youngest son, George Russell, was born in South Carolina, and he was married to Nancy Holiday. Nancy was born in 1777 in Laurens, S.C., and for some reason she moved to Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Tex., where she died in 1857. George had died in 1833 in Greenville County, S.C. They reared the following children: Laurette, b. 1804, d. 1874; John, b. 1806, d. 1894; Jesse, b. 1807, d. 1838; James B., b. 1811, c. 1870, m. Nancy ?; and Elizabeth, b. 1827, d. 1853, m. Pleasant Andrew Loftis (1814-1883)

The third son, James B. Russell, is the one who migrated with his family to Covington County, Ala., sometime before the 1850 Federal Census was recorded. During that year, he and his family were enumerated as follows: James B. A. Russell, 40; Nancy, 31; Duzillah (Dugilla), 12; William, 6: Hannah, 3; and James, 1. James B. was born in 1811 in South Carolina, and his wife and children were all born in Alabama. According to James B. is the son of George Russell (1779-1833) and Nancy Holiday (1777-1857). These parents were both born in South Carolina. James B. Russell died in 1870, and the Nancy R. who homesteaded 159.73 acres of land in 1893 in the Andalusia Township is probably his widow.

James B. Russell and family were also enumerated in the 1860 census for Covington County, and three additional children had been born to the family: Matthew, b. 1852; E. Catherine, b. 1854; and George W., b. 1856. James B. acquired 76.19 acres of land in 1854 and 38.10 acres in 1855 with both being in the Montezuma settlement. Although his relationship to this family is not known, a Samuel L. homesteaded 160.32 acres set aside for railroad land in the Opp Township.

James B. and Nancy Russell reared the following children: Duzillah (Drucilla ?), b. 1838; William, b. 1846, d. 1887, m. 1871 Mary Jane McNeil (1850-1932); Hannah Delany, b. 1848, d. 1917, m. Loranzo “Ransom” Adams (b. 1824, married after Hannah’s death J.M. Adams); James, b. 1851; Matthew, b. 1852; E. Catherine, b. 1854; and George William, b. 1856 or 1858, m. 1882 Mary L. Thompkins (1862-1930).

James B. Russell’s second oldest daughter, Hannah Delany Russell, was married to F. Loranzo “Ransom” Adams. Hannah Delaney was born in Andalusia and died there in 1917 and was buried in the historic Magnolia Cemetery in Andalusia. She and her husband, Ransom Adams, reared the following children: James “Jimmy” L., b. 1875; Jeremiah M., b. 1877, d. 1933, m. Ivi Little (1883-1952), daughter of Edward and Edith M. Little; Laura Viola, b. 1879, d. 1941, m. Reddick Little; Amy Lois, b. 1907, d. 1986; Ruby Lee, b. 1912, d. 1994; Woodrow W., b. 1919, d. 1997; and Lucille, b. 1922, d. 2012.

James B. Russell’s youngest son, George William Russell, was born in 1858 in the Sanford Community of Covington County. He became a farmer and homestead 160 acres of land in 1887 in the Andalusia Township. This property appears to have been in the Sanford community where he was still living in 1900. He was married circa 1882 to Mary L. Thompkins, daughter of Edwin W. Thompkins (1718-1893) and Lucinda Randolph (1826-1910).

George William and Mary Russell reared the following children: Julian L., b. 1883, m. Jinnie M. ?; Fred C., b. 1886; James Eddie, b. 1888; William H., b. 1891; George Middleton, b. 1893, d. 1925, m. Laura Larone Berry; Pearl, b. 1896; Richard Lee, b. 1898; and Fritz.

George William’s fifth son, George Middleton Russell, was married to Laura Larone Berry (1899-1927), daughter of Louis Berry (1875-1947) and Nobie Howard (1876-1905). They reared the following children: George Malcolm, b. 1920, d. 1994, m. Lura Merle Holloway (1923-2012); Thelma Orean, b. 1922, d. 1968, m. (1) Johnnie Ele Edwards (1931-1968) (2) Iris Scotland Rash (1909-1987); and Chester Ray. George Malcolm and Lura Merle Russell had the following children: Gary Mack, b. 1949, d. 2014; a second son, and three daughters.

The sources for the writing on this Russell family included the following:, Wyley D. Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama and Early History of Covington County, Alabama—1821-1871, and census records. The writer regretted he was unable at the present time to locate any living descendants of this Russell line for their contributions.

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