Staggers descendants lived in Covington and Lowndes counties

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

A family name that isn’t heard very often in Covington County, Ala., is that of Staggers. Several will recall Staggers Grocery, which was located between Florala and Paxton, Fla. During the early years, the Staggers family operated a small grocery store on the north side of the highway, but they later built a more modern one on the south side. Sadly, as so often happens with rural stores, the Staggers business is no longer in existence.

A family story in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama led to a brief research of this family for featuring it in this genealogy column. Additional genealogy of the family, especially identification of some earlier generations, was located in records.

The earliest ancestor located on was Bartholomew “Bart” Staggers who was born in 1796 in Williamsburg County, S.C. He was married to Margaret Eramintha Elizabeth Lifrage, daughter of John Lifrage (1779-1807) and Mary Barrineau (1791-1847). Bartholomew died in 1862, and Margaret, in 1888, in Butler County, Ala. They were the ancestors of this family to bring it South Alabama.

Bartholomew and Margaret Staggers were the parents of the following 13 children: George James, b. 1823, d. 1895, m. Mary E. Davis (1832-1902); Martha Mary, b. 1825, d. 1873, m. George Washington Wright (1819-1864); William Lifrage, b. 1827, d. 1871, m. Martha Elizabeth Staggers (1825-1879); Rebecca Elizabeth, b. 1829, d. 1900; Robert Edward, b. 1831; Hester Jane, b.&d. 1833; John Barrineau, b. 1834, d. 1837; Sarah Caroline, b. 1836, d. 1912; Lovey Ann, b. 1839, d. 1925; Elizabeth Alma, b. 1841, d. 1922; Dallas Jackson, b. 1844, d. 1929; Louisa Ennitis, b. 1848, d. 1932; and Emily Kelley, b. 1850, d. 1939.

The second oldest son, William Lifrage Staggers, who was born in 1827 in South Carolina is the line being featured in this writing. William was married to Martha Elizabeth Staggers (1825-1879), daughter of William James Staggers and Ann J. ?. William James Staggers was the son of George Staggers and Margaret Barrineau. Martha Elizabeth was also born in South Carolina, and they both died and were buried in Lowndes County, Ala.

William Lifrage and Martha Elizabeth Staggers were the parents of the following children: James Martin, b. 1855, d. 1941, m. Lena A. Crocheron (1858-1924); Robert Jackson, b. 1866, d. 1928, m. Sallie Kendall Ernest (1867-1909); and Alabama, b. 1871, d. 1950, m. Houston Franklin Cooper (1868-1933).

William Lifrage’s second son, Robert Jackson Staggers, was born in 1866 in Alabama, probably Lowndes County, and died in 1928 in Selma, Dallas County, Ala. He was married in 1888 in Benton, Ala., to Sallie Kendall Ernest, daughter of William Lawrence Ernest (1823-1875) and Martha Frances “Fannie” Young (1837-1870. Robert Jackson was still living in Benton in 1920 after Sallie’s death in 1909. They were both buried in the Benton Cemetery. They had nine children born before Sallie’s untimely death.

They were the parents of the following children: Robert Newten, b. 1889, d. 1974, m. Helen Van Dykes (1912-1998); William Llewellen, b. 1890, d. 1974, m. Florence Faust Love; Ernest Kimbrough, b. 1893, d. 1933, single; Raymond Jackson, b. 1896, m. Maid Marion Montgomery (1902-1989); James Winnemore, b. 1899, d. 1982, m. Mabel Helen Cook (1902-1997); George Young, b, 1888, d, 1899; Sallie Kendall, b.1901, d. 1902; Houston Franklin, b. 1903, d. 1904; and Clark, b. 1906, d. 1974. Clark was a merchant seaman and died in Venezuela.

Robert Jackson Staggers’ fifth son, James Winnemore Staggers, was married to Mabel Helen Cook, daughter of Henry Marvin Cook and Minnie Aldora Price. Mabel was born in 1902 at the home of her maternal grandparents in the Live Oak community of Pike County, Ala. Her Grandfather William S. Price was the minister at the Little Oak United Methodist Church, which was organized on December 25, 1829.

Henry Marvin and Minnie Aldora Cook were the parents of three other children in addition to Mabel Helen: Clifford Lawrence, b. 1906, d. 1966; Elsie Annette, b. 1913, d. 1936; and Lamar Hamilton, b. 1915, d. 1992. They were all born in Little Oak, but they grew up in Andalusia. The father, Henry Marvin Cook, moved the family to Andalusia where he worked as a salesman for Ford Automobiles and later selling insurance for Liberty National Insurance Company.

This means Mabel Helen Cook as well as her siblings attended school at Andalusia High School from which she was graduated in 1922. Afterwards she attended the Women’s College in Montgomery which later became Huntingdon College. Upon graduating from college, she accepted a teaching job at Hayneville High School in Lowndes County, and while living there she met her future husband, James Winnemore “Jimbo” Staggers, who was a resident of Benton. They were married in Greenville, Ala., in 1929, and moved into the Young-Staggers house in Benton.

According to her granddaughter, Kendall Peck Moore, “Mabel’s interests were many and diverse. She was an expert seamstress, adept at French hand sewing as well as machine sewing methods. She created exquisite dresses for her granddaughter, Kendall, of Swiss batiste and antique French lace. She was proficient at the art of tatting lace, and at the age of 90 made a Christening cap for her first great grandchild, Olivia. Mabel enjoyed gardening. Her beds of iris and day lilies were traffic stopping swaths of color.” “Another area of Mabel’s interests was refinishing antique furniture. She refinished most of the furniture in the Young-Stagger house, but because she did not like oak, she would only work on furniture of mahogany or walnut.” “Mabel’s church and Sunday School activities were a major interest all of her life. She was an enthusiastic Sunday School teacher and member of the Presbyterian Church’s women’s organization.”

James Winnemore and Mabel Staggers were the parents of the following three children: Jean Cook, b. 1929; James Winnemore Jr., b. 1934; and Robert Ernest, b. 1937. At their deaths, James and Mabel were buried in the Benton Community Cemetery in Benton, Ala.

Inspiration for this writing was a family story written by Kendall Peck Moore of Pelham, Ala., which was published in The Heritage History of Andalusia, Alabama. Additional family genealogy was gleaned from

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