1 Little family settled in the McKenzie community

Published 2:24 am Saturday, May 13, 2017

A few years earlier, a couple of different Little family lines were featured in this column. Today, a third line which lived primarily in the McKenzie area will be reviewed.

The earliest Little ancestor found for this family on Ancestry.com is Thomas Little who was born in 1716 in Long Island, N.Y. He was married to Mary Denton who was born the same year of 1716, but in Dumfries-shire, Scotland. They had a son named George W. Little, who was born in 1733 either in Dumfries-shire or Stafford, Va. Thomas Little died in 1748 in Frederick, Va., but Mary (Denton) Little lived until 1774. Ancestry.com records show her as dying in Somme, France.

George W. Little became prominent as a U.S. Naval officer. He served as a captain from March 1799 to October 1801 and possibly for a longer period of time. He was married to Mary Hadley Douglas who was born in 1735 in Hempstead, N.Y. Mary lived until 1790 and was residing in McLean, Ky., at the time. George W. lived until 1815 and also died in Kentucky. Among their children was a son named Jonas Little who was born in 1755.

Jonas Little’s parents were residing in Frederick, Va., when he was born. At some point, he met and was married to Rebecca Goodwin who was born in 1753 and died in 1838. Jonas was residing in Union County, S.C., when he died in 1836. Among their children was a son named Amos Bingham Little.

Amos Bingham was born in 1800 while the family was living in Union County, S.C. Upon reaching adulthood he was married to Elizabeth Hayes who was born in 1802 in Union County. This couple is the family which migrated to South Alabama and settled in Conecuh County, which adjoins Covington County on the west border. They later appeared to have resided for a time in the Montrey community of Butler County, because their son, Jefferson Jasper Little. was born there in 1835 according to Ancestry.com.

Jefferson Jasper Little grew up in South Alabama and readily enlisted for service in the Confederate Army in 1861 in Mobile, Ala. He was assigned as a private in Company G, 36th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Just prior to the war and in 1860, he was married to Everaline or Evaline Cunningham, daughter of John Cunningham (1793-1858) and Elizabeth “Eliza” Howell (1799-1861). Evaline was born circa 1840 in either South Carolina or Alabama. Some records show she died in 1916, the same year her husband, Jefferson Jasper, died. They were most likely residing in Conecuh County at the time of their deaths.

Jefferson Jasper and Evaline Little had a son whom they named John Mitchell Little. John Mitchell was born in 1861 in Conecuh County, about the time of the beginning of the War Between the States. In 1882, John Mitchell was married in Conecuh County to Saphronia Louise or “Luviey” Mixon (1861-1944). John M. died in 1937 in the Garland community of Butler County, Ala.

John Mitchell and Saphronia Little had a son named John Oscar Little who was born in 1898 either in Evergreen in Conecuh County or in Butler County. John Oscar was married in 1918 in Mckenzie to Mary Magdaline “Maggie” Tolbert who was born in 1900 in Tallapoosa County, Ala. John Oscar was active in his church as evidenced by his being ordained a deacon in 1937. (This is written on his headstone.) He served for the Elizabeth Primitive Baptist Church in McKenzie. He was also a successful farmer and well known for his fine watermelons with many weighing over 100 pounds. He lived a full and long life dying in 1999 at the age of 101 years. His wife, Maggie, predeceased him by 18 years as she died in 1981.

John Oscar and Mary Magdaline “Maggie” Little reared the following children: Mary Saphronia, b. 1920, d. 2005, m. Merrill Armstrong; James Wesley Sr., b. 1930, d. 2012, m. 1952 Amy Ruth Gray; Melba m. Bill Wade; Rena Ellen, m. Calvin Bush; and Edna, m. Nelson Adams.

James Wesley Little Sr. became a preacher for the Primitive Baptist Church, and he began his ministry also at the Elizabeth Church. In addition to preaching, he worked for the Pepsi-Cola Company until it closed its warehouse in Greenville, Ala. Afterwards, he was employed with the Coca-Cola Company in Andalusia until his retirement. He was married to Amy Ruth Gray, daughter of Robert March Gray and Lota Louise Shook (1916-2001). Amy Ruth was born in 1935 in Ellisville, Ark., and died in 2008 in Georgiana, Ala., at which time she was buried in the Elizabeth Church Cemetery in McKenzie, Ala. They reared the following children: Roy Gene; James Wesley Jr., b. 1953, d. 1999; Guy Merrill, m. Dianne Blackburn; Vickie Ruth, m. Dennis Wiggins; and Sidney, m. Tina Vinson.

James Wesley Little Sr. served in the U.S. Army for eight years and was in the Korean War. His son, Sidney Little, served in the U.S. Marines for eight years also, 1981-1989. Afterwards, he served in the Alabama National Guard for 14 years, 2001-20115, during which time he saw active duty in Afghanistan. Appreciation is expressed to these men as well as to all those who serve in our military. Sidney Little may be recognized by some as he shares neighborly advice and humor through his “Mudbug” videos.

The sources for this narrative include the family records of Sidney Little, a descendant of this family, and Ancestry.com.

Anyone who has any correction to any of the above data is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurtyel.net.





Everyone who at any time attended Straughn School is encouraged to attend a school-wide reunion, which is the 130th Anniversary occasion. It is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, in the elementary school cafetorium. Instead of any formal program, fellowship, visiting, school spirit, etc. is anticipated. Refreshments will be available from vendors for anyone interested. Contact Kelley Carter at 334-804-7777 if additional information is desired. Everyone is also invited to the Back-Porch String Band and Quartet performance on Friday evening, May 19, beginning around 6 p.m. This is a fund-raiser for the Straughn FFA String Band.