James Irvin Sasser descendants resided in Rose Hill community

Published 2:16 am Saturday, July 8, 2017

Today’s story will be the last in a series on the three different Sasser lines in Covington County. It will feature the James Irvin/Irving Sasser family with many descendants residing in the county.
James Irvin Sasser was born circa 1828 in the Rose Hill community of Covington County and died there in 1860. Even at that young age of 32 years, he was able to have several children with his wife, Mary Jane Harrison, who was born in 1835 in Covington County and died there in 1879.
Before reviewing their children and families, an outline of James Irvin’s ancestry will be given. The earliest generation identified from family trees posted on Ancestry.com is William Sasser, born in 1745 at Helmersheim, Ahrweiler Rheinland, Pfalz, Germany. He had immigrated to America and located in North Carolina by 1760. In 1778, he was married to Martha Bishop who was born in 1757 in Johnston County, N.C. He died in that county in 1815, and she, in 1780.
William and Martha had a son named Howell Sasser who has been covered in earlier columns. He was born in 1770 in Johnston County and was married circa 1794 in that county to Winifred Byrd (1770-1835). They had a son named Jessie Byrd Sasser who was born in 1795 in South Carolina or Georgia. Jessie Byrd migrated with his parents and siblings to the area that would become Covington County, Ala. They are listed on the tax rolls for Conecuh County in 1818, which means they were some of the very earliest settlers in the area.
Jessie Byrd Sasser was married to Martha Holley, daughter of William Holley and Charlotte Massey. Martha was born in 1805 in South Carolina, but she later moved with her family to Covington County, Ala. Jessie and Martha both died in Covington County, he in 1855 and she, in 1870, but it is believed they were buried in Crenshaw County. Among their children was a son, James Irvin Sasser, whose family is being featured in today’s writing. Another son, Henry Harrison Sasser Sr. and family were covered in an earlier column.
James Irvin and Mary Jane Sasser had the following children: John Byrd, b. 1852, m. Addie ?; Henry Harrison II, b. 1854, d. 1917, m. Sarah Nelson; James Evan, b. 1857, d. 1939, m. Millie Williams; Dilly Ann, b. ca 1860, m. Eleck Duncan; Lydie; Melissa “Lissie;” Beckie, m. ? Williams; and Robert Jackson, b. 1860, d. 1929, m. (1) Serena “Rena” C. Chandler (1857-1918) (2) Eliza Varnadore; and Sarah Emmaline “Sug,” b. 1861, d. 1930. Their family was enumerated in the 1860 Federal Census as residents of Rose Hill. (Note there are some variations in the names, dates and spouses of James Irvin’s children. Also, the Irvin name is sometimes spelled Irving and sometimes Irven.)
The oldest son, John Byrd Sasser, was married to Addie ? as her maiden name is unknown. They reared the following four children: Johnny Byrd, unknown, Malzie, and Lula.
The second son, Henry Harrison Sasser II, was married in 1875 in Crenshaw County to Sarah Nelson (1862-1915). Within two years in 1877, they had moved to Covington County, but by 1980 they were residing in the Bullock community of Crenshaw County. In 1881, they were back in Covington, and they were living in Rose Hill community in 1900. They reared the following children: Amanual William, b. 1877, d. 1946, m. (1) 1899 Viola Hobbs (1879-1912) (2) Versie Reaves Hardin (3) Claudia Moman (1892-1922); Irwin “Irve,” b. 1879, d. 1907, single; Joseph Tolbert, b. 1881, d. 1948, m. 1903 Della Burdick; Jeff Hilliard, b. 1884, d. 1905, single; Dennis, b. 1886, d. 1927; and Lillie, b. 1892, d. 1951, m. (1) Columbus “Lum” John Austin Odom (1894-1974) (2) George Bryant.
The third son, James Evan Sasser, and his wife had the following four children: Icey, m. ? Gay; Bethel, m. Evelie Petty; Revanel; and Unknown Sasser. Bethel and Evelie had a son named Dalton Petty.
The daughter, Ann Sasser, was married to Eleck Duncan. They reared the following three children: Hamilton, m. Jessie Nance; Eddie, m. Laura Nance; and Bulah, m. A.D. Wells.
The daughter, Lydie Sasser, married ? Williams and had a son named Johnny Williams.
The son, Robert Jackson Sasser was married first to Serena Chandler (1857-1918). They reared the following seven children: Howell; Elzie Ellpsair, b. 1882, d. 1921; Irven Jackson, b. 1883, d. 1932, m. Sarah Lavonia Kilcrease; Ellis Barney, b. 1884, d. 1891; Bobbie, b. 1893, d. 1914; Ellie Lee, b. 1895, d. 1951, m. Andrew Jackson Petty; and Lillie, b. 1897, d. 1914, m. Louis Kennedy.
In the next generation of this line, Henry Harrison Sasser II’s son, Joseph Tolbert Sasser, was married in 1903 to Della Burdick (1883-1961). Joseph Tolbert’s registration for World War II described him as being of medium build with black hair, blue eyes and medium height. He and Delia resided in the Rose Hill/Dozier community and reared the following four children: Ada J., b. 1904, d. 1992, m. 1923 Ollie Franklin Greer (1900-1954); Roy, b. 1908, d. 1981, m. 1925 Alice Susie B. Driver; Effie Mae, b. 1916, d. 1998, m. 1951 Wayland Cauley (1921-2000); and Jessie Dudley, b. 1919, d. 1985, m. Margery Izola Head (1920-1958). Joseph Tolbert and Della were buried in the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery in Rose Hill.
Joseph Tolbert’s son, Roy Sasser, was married to Alice Susie B. Driver (1905-2001), daughter of James Thomas Driver and Sarah Rosetta ”Rosie” Almeda Scott. They also made their home in the Rose Hill area. Their son, James Calvin Sasser (1926-1999) served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was married in 1952 in Lucedale, Miss., to Arlain Ruth Ray (1933-2001). At their deaths, they were buried in the Good News Baptist Chapel Cemetery near Rose Hill. They reared four children: Calvin Wyatt, m. Frances “Fran” Lord; James Todd, m. ? Cook; Wanda, m. Thomas Patterson; Vanessa Anita, single; and Peggy Joyce, m. Ray McBryde. Roy Sasser also had a sister named Velma June, b. 1930, d. 2002, m. James Cook.
The oldest daughter of Robert Jackson Sasser, Elzie Ellpsair Sasser, and her husband, Daniel Conner Hattaway, reared the following eight children: Daniel; Nora Lee; Fannie; Exie Mae; Tullie; Una Vay; Clem Bob; and Irven, b.& d. 1921.
Robert Jackson’s son, Irven Jackson Sasser, was married in 1908 to Sarah Lavonia Kilcrease (1889-1976), daughter of Jerrymirah Kilcrease and Mary Nelson. They reared the following eight children: Chessie Leona, b. 1908, d. 1931; J.D., b. 1910, d. 1984; Robert Douglas, b. 1912, d. 1970; Pastle O.P., b. 1914, d. 1980; Infant, b.&d. 1915; Cassie Maurean, b. 1917; Mary Catherine, b. 1920; and Claunce Nix, b.&d. 1929.
There are many later generation Sasser descendants who continue to reside in Covington County and surrounding areas.
The sources for today’s story include the family records of Kathy Kelley, interview with Fran Sasser and family trees from Ancestry.com.
Anyone who may find an error in the above genealogy is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 3642; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.