Herndon, Floyd marriage brought folks here

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

Although the Name Herndon is not generally recognized in the area, there are numerous descendants of this ancestry who live or have lived in Covington County. The marriage of Caroline Herndon to Timothy Floyd resulted in a number of children with one, John Pruitt Floyd, who migrated to Covington County.

In 1971 James P. Floyd and Hugh L. Taylor published their genealogical research in a book entitled Early Floyds of Pike County, Alabama and Some of Their Descendants. This writer was fortunate to borrow this book from a descendant, Aubrey A. Kilpatrick. The contents include the Herndon Lineage of the Floyds of Covington County.

According to the above publication, several Herndons have been claimed to be the earliest immigrants to this county. Thomas Herndon sailed on October 13, 1635, aboard the Amitie for St. Christopher’s. John and Rhodes Herndon arrived in this country early in the seventeenth century—one went to Virginia and the other to Raleigh, N.C., but he later went to Virginia. William Herndon, who immigrated to New Kent, Va., is the first American Herndon of whom authentic records have been found.

It appears the Herndons (Herons) came to Brittan circa 1066 with William the Conquer from Normandy. In his genealogy of the Herndon family John W. Herndon stated, “Among the names inscribed on the Roll of the Battle Abbey as having come with William the Conquer into Brittan, in 1066, is that of Heiroun. He is the ancestor of the family of Herons, as they were afterwards called, which, for centuries, were prominent in the affairs of the land of their adoption.” However, writers Floyd and Taylor, claim there were no muster rolls of the army and no mention in the records of the Abbey.

The original name Heron had “don” added to it, but there is no understanding of the meaning of the name. Most Herndon descendants in America hold to a tradition that the family emigrated from Wales. It is known that the family was seated in the County of Kent for nearly seven centuries.

The above William Herndon, the ancestor of the family being featured today, appears to be the first of this line to come to America. Authors Floyd and Taylor leaned heavily on the published records of Mrs. Ruth Herndon Shields for information on William and the five succeeding generations of his descendants. William was born in 1649 in England and died in 1700 in Virginia. He was married to Catherine Digges, daughter of Edward Digges and Elizabeth Page. Edward was the son of Sir Dudley Digges, governor of Virginia in 1655. Elizabeth was the daughter of Francis Page and sister of Col. John Page, founder of the Page family of Virginia.

William and Catherine Herndon had at least three sons: Edward, b. 1678, d. 1758, m. (1) Mary Waller (2) ? Leftwich; James, b. ca 1678, d. 1750, m. Mary George; and William b. ca 1685, d. 1759, m. (1) ? (2) Mrs. Sarah Leftwich. The second son, James’s, wife, Mary George, was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Elliott of the Elliott family of County of Essex, England. After her father’s death, her mother married a Mr. George, and Mary took her stepfather’s surname, George.

The second son, James Herndon, is the line being followed in this writing. His son, William Herndon, was born circa 1706 in King and Queen County, Va. Around 1730 he was married to Sarah Poe, daughter of Simon and Rhoda Poe. They reared the following children: Mary, b. 1731, m. Elisha Dismukes; daughter, b. ca 1735, m. John Booker; James, b. ca 1737, d. 1811, m. Isabelle Thompson; William, b. ca 1738; George, b. 1740, m. Frances Merraman; John, b. ca 1742, d. 1827, m. (1) Sarah Wingfield (2) Catherine Nelson; and daughter, b. ca 1744, m. Gen. Ambrose Ramsey.

The third son, George Herndon, was born in Caroline County, Va., and in 1769 he purchased land in Orange County, N.C., which later became part of Chatham County. In 1780 and 1789 he received five grants of land totaling 1,600 acres in Chatham County. Also in 1785 he received two payments for military service. He rendered public service by assisting with land surveys, overseeing road work, witnessing land transactions and holding the office of coroner. In 1789 he served as justice of the peace in Washington County, Ga., where he had located sometime between 1784 and 1789. He received two land grants from the State of Georgia: 350 acres in Wilkes County in 1788 and 365 acres in Washington County in 1797.

George Herndon and his wife, Frances, had the following children: William, b. ca 1760, d. 1833, m. ? Pounds; Joseph, b. ca 1762; Ann, m. ? Sims; May, m. ? Dillard; James; George; Clary, m. Merriman Pounds; Sally, m. ? Ingram; and Betsy, m. John Meadows.

The oldest son, William Herndon, participated in the Georgia land lotteries in 1802 and 1827.

First he received 500 acres in Handcock County and later additional acreage in Lee County. He was married to ? Pounds, and they reared the following children: William, James, Wiley, George, and Burrell.

The youngest son, Burrell Herndon, was married to Mary ?, and they had a son named Joseph Herndon who married Alley Perkins. Joseph and Alley had a daughter, Caroline Herndon, who married Timothy Floyd. Caroline and Timothy had a son named John Pruett Floyd who migrated to Covington County, Ala. He was born in 1874 in Pike County and was married there in 1894 to Willie Ella Williams, daughter of A.J. Williams and Annie E. (Rodgers). In 1899 John Pruett Floyd bought 220 acres of land from a Mr. Murphree in Pike County. He later moved his family to Covington County.

John Pruett and Willie Ella had the following children: James Pugh, b. 1896, m. 1924 Lucille Newton; Carol Ophelia, b. 1898, died as infant; John Owen, b. 1900, d. as infant; Charles Lee, b. 1901, died as infant; Robert L, b. 1902, m. (1) Bulah Mae Nall (2) Mrs. Dora Thomas; Willie Cortez, b. 1904, d. 1961, m. 1929 Hazel Beatrice Speer; Annie Laura, b. 1905, m. 1920 Charlie Edward Holland (1890-1957); Lewis Merry “Simon,” b. 1906, m. Nona Gamage (ca 1905-1970); Lois, b. 1909, m. Roland Straughn; Jessie, b. 1913, m. Abner R. Braswell (1899-1971); and Gaston, b.&d. 1915.

The oldest son, James Pugh Floyd was married in 1924 to Lucille Newton, daughter of J.O. Newton and Lula Hawkins. They reared the following four children: Lt. Col. Paul Edsel, b. 1927, m. 1953 Harley Hill; Jimelu, b. 1929, m. 1945 James Byrd Wood; Dorothy Glenn, b. 1934, m. 1955 Jerry Warren; and Dawn Marie, b. 1939, m. 1962 Dennis Sheppard.

Many of the above Floyd related families who also carried Herndon heritage resided in Covington County. As stated at the beginning of this narrative, the source was the publication, Early Floyds of Pike County, Alabama, and Some of Their Descendants, written by James P Floyd, B.S., M.A. and Hugh L. Taylor, B.S., M.A., Ed.D.

Anyone who might find any errors in this writing or have additional genealogy on the Herndons is requested to contact his writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.