Nixon family arrives before 1900

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2016

A fellow genealogy enthusiast, Jeff Lundy, recently shared some history on the Nixon family with ties to Covington County, Ala. One of the lines he researches is that of the Nixons. The earliest ancestor he has documented for this line is Mathew “Matt” Greenberry Nixon, who was born in 1853 in Alabama. There are some records suggesting he was the son of John Thomas Nixon and his wife, Mariah Coats, who were both natives of Georgia.

According to Wyley Ward’s Early History of Covington County, Alabama, 1821-1871. in 1862 there was a R.T. Nixon listed as a private for the Confederate Army in Company I, 49th Alabama Infantry Regiment (formerly Capt. Gantt’s Company, 4th Regiment Alabama Volunteers Militia called the Covington County Farmers).

This writer was unable to find if he is related to the family being reviewed today.

By 1880 Matt Nixon had made his way to Monroe County, Ala., where he resided in the McKinley community. In 1874 he had married Sarah “Sally” Griffin in Butler County. Sally who was also born in 1853 in Alabama was the daughter of John C. Griffin and Delilah J. (Henry). Matt and Sally were living in Covington County in 1900 and 1910. Sally died in 1915 when they were residing in the Heath Community, which is located a few miles north of Andalusia.

Matt was married in 1921 in Covington County to Minnie Dale/Dell (Stroud) Stephens, daughter of George Anderson Stroud and Melissa Josephine (Morrison). Minnie was the widow of John Walter Stephens who had died in 1918 in Darien, Panama. Minnie had the following children with John Stephens before her marriage to Matt Nixon: Delia, b.1905, in Dorman, Crenshaw County, d. 1918 in Darien, Panama; Vernon Stephens, b. 1907 in Dorman, Crenshaw County; Marvin C. Stephens, b. 1909 in Crenshaw County; Donovan “Doc” Stephens, b. 1911 in Covington County; Charles Gaston Stephens, b. 1913 in Alabama; Alpha Lee Stephens, 1916 in Alabama; Billie May Stephens, twin, b. 1916 in Covington County, d. 1919 in Crenshaw County; and Mary Gracie Stephens, b. 1918 in Covington County.

So Matt Nixon added the Stephens children to his already sizable family. He had the following children with his first wife, Sally: Christopher Columbus “Lum,” b. 1872, d. 1949, m. 1899 Ada Leverett (1880-966); John Thomas “Tom,” b. 1875, d. 1950, m. (1) 1898 Demma Jeffalonia Williams (2) Mary Ann Slaughter (3) Ethel ?; Augustus “Gus” Matthew, b. 1879, d. 1945, m. 1901 Dorcas Finette “Nettie” Patterson (1882-1978); Nettie “Net” Demaras, b. 1886, d. 1939, single; William “Will” Henry Harrison, b. 1887, d. 1934, m. (1) 1905 Martha Jane Stanley (1889-1918) (2) 1918 Lela L. Goolsby (1893-1961); Rosa Ella “El,” b. 1890, d. 1951, m. 1907 Winget B. Flowers (1865-1932); Carrie Ester “Hon,” b. 1892, m. 1921 Larry Lang/Langdon Cephas King (1874-1955); and Bessie Lula “Sugar,” b. 1896, d. 1915, m. 1914 Simeon Oliver “Sim” Straughn (1896-1967).

Matt Nixon and his second wife, Minnie Dale (Stroud) had the following three children: Ruby, b. 1923, d. 1984, m. (1) 1948 Julious Edward Mitchell (1927-1998) (2) William J. Gephart; Rufus (twin), b. 1923, d. 1996, m. Lily Irene Lewis (1927-2015); and Lena, b. 1925, d. 2007, m. (1) 1943 Woodrow O. Elliott (2) Raymond A. Nerenfeldt. Matthew Nixon died in 1926, a year after his youngest daughter was born.

He was residing in Santa Rosa County, Fla., at the time and was buried in the Pyron Chapel Cemetery, which is located just north of Baker, Fla.

Matt’s oldest son, Christopher Columbus “Lum” Nixon was born in 1972 in Butler County, Ala. In 1899 he was married to Ada Leverett in Perry County, Ala.

In 1910 they were residing in Severe, Perry County, but they had moved to Northport in Tuscaloosa County by 1916.

He was working as a sawyer or millwright until he injured his hand in a saw.

Afterwards he farmed and maintained a dairy operation. From 1930 to 1935 they lived on a farm in Carroll County, Miss., before moving into the town.

He died in 1949 of a heart attack in Vailen of Carroll County and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Winona.

The second son, John Thomas “Tom” Nixon, was born in Butler County in 1875. He was married first in 1898 to Demma Jeffalonia Williams, daughter of William N. Williams and Frances Saphronia (Nichols). From 1900 to after 1920 the family lived in the Shell community of Butler County where Tom was farming.

At some point Demma left Tom, and she was living with a son in 1940. In 1930 Tom was logging and doing piling work in Garland with a new wife, Mary Ann Slaughter.

In 1940 he was residing in Baker, Fla., working his own farm with another new wife, Ethel.

He died in 1950 in McKenzie, Butler County, and was buried in the Wesley Chapel Perpetual Care Cemetery.

Tom Nixon and his first wife, Demma, had the following children: Ida, b. 1900; Alton Lee, b. 1904, d. 1950; Nima Opal, b. 1909; Thomas Paul, b. 1910, d. 1982, m. Ima I. Crum (1913-1993); Flavil Hall “Slick,” b. 1912, d. 1973; and Recie Christine, b. 1916, d. 1921. One record shows a son and daughter as private, and the mother of these is not known. Another record lists two sons for his second wife, Mary.

The third son, Augustus Columbus “Lum” Nixon, was born in 1879 in Mobile according to He was married in 1901 in Covington County, Ala., to Dorcas Finette “Nettie” Peterson, daughter of Daniel Franklin Peterson and Finette Victoria “Liddy” Sellers. In 1900 Lum was residing in Andalusia, and in 1917 he registered for the WWI draft in Florala. In 1930 he was living in Baker and in Okaloosa County, Fla., until after 1940. He died in 1945 in Brewton, Escambia County, Ala., and was buried in the Brooklyn Cemetery in Evergreen.

Lum and Dorcas Nixon reared the following children: Benton, b. 1902; Leverett, b. 1903, d. 1962; Terasette, b. 1904; Lillie, b. 1908; Sally Gladys Elizabeth, b. 1910, d. 1993, m. William Alexander Scott (1909-1979); Delila, b. 1912; L.T. “Son,” b. 1917, d. 1987; and Oscar Dowell “Bud.”

The fourth son, William Henry Harrison “Will” Nixon, was born in 1887 in Georgiana, Butler County. He was married first in 1905 in Covington County to Martha Jane Stanley. They had the following children: Preston Jefferson, b. 1907, d. 1975; C.P., b. 1909; Iva Lee, b. 910; Oliver, b. 1910, d. 1971; Perry, b. 1912, d. 1971; Guy, b. 1913; Milton Kenneth, b. 1914, d. 1996; and Cecil Richard, b. 1917, d. 1978.Will next married Lela L. Goolsby in 1918. It is not known if they had any children, but Will did have a daughter, Willie Mae Livingston (1926-2012), by Carrie Mae Walker whom he had not married.

The youngest son, Rufus Nixon who was a twin to Ruby, was born in 1923 in Okaloosa County, Fla. He was married in 1947 in Covington County to Lily Irene Lewis.

They reared three sons and one daughter, but only the names of two sons was found: Jessie Matthew Sr., b. 1949, d. 2006; and Kenneth Gary, b. 1951, d. 1979. These two were born in Florala. Rufus died in 1996 in Crestview of Okaloosa county, Fla.

The marriages and children’s names for Matt Nixon’s daughters were not found.

The source for today’s story was primarily from genealogical records compiled by Jeff Lundy. Some of the names were found on

Anyone who might find any error in the above or who has additional information on this Nixon family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:





The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are encouraged to attend.