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White family descendants were leaders in their communities

The George W. White family was introduced in last week’s column. His descendants will be featured in today’s story.

George W. was born in 1800 in Henry County, Ga., as the son of a James T. White or John White. In 1822, he was married in Henry County to Nicy Ann Taylor (1793-1841). He and Nicy had the following three children before her death: William Ellis, b. 1823, m. 1843 Tempy Godwin; Jessie Mack, b. 1827, m. (1) 1851 Nancy Jones (2) 1855 M.A. Pierce; and George Jefferson, b. 1834, d. 1862. George and Nicy were dedicated Christians who began holding church services in their home in Georgia. Thus, they established a congregation of believers in New Testament Christianity.

Following Nicy’s death in 1841, George W. White was married to Seline “Sina” (Lowery) Godwin, a widow. Sina was born in 1816 in Pike County, Ala. and died in the Searight community of Covington County. George was a successful farmer and owned several slaves. He owned and oversaw considerable land holdings in the area of Searight, where he made his home. George and Sina donated land for construction of the first church building, a log building, for the Searight Church of Christ, which they helped establish after locating in the area. They also created the White Cemetery, which was located adjacent to the church building. They and a number of their family members are buried there. It is reported to be in reasonably good condition at present with a fence surrounding it.

George W. and Sina White were the parents of the following children: James C., b. 1843, d. 1924, m. Louisa Cook; and twin, John Clement, b. 1843, d. 1930, m. Sarah Wyse Lowman; William Lumpkin, b. 1846, d. 1931; Martha Ann Amanda, b. 1848-1923; Nancy Ann Malissa, b. 1850, d. 1936; Sarah Drusilla “Sallie,” b. 1853, d. 1940, m. L.G. Rawls; Mary Marier Esther, b. 1856, d. 1936; and twin, Frances Seline Alvery, b. 1856, d. 1933, m. ? Rawls. Some family trees list Mary Marier as Mollie Sarah, so this is a question.

James C. White was one of the twins and the oldest sons of George W. and Sina White. He was born in 1843 in Henderson, Pike County, where all the children were born. On May 18, 1862, James C. enlisted in the Confederate Army at Lochapoka, Ala. He was assigned to Company C, Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was captured and later released after which he transferred to Company B, 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

James C. was active in each community in which he resided. Although this writer did not discover where he received his medical training, James C. became a physician. He and his family moved around in South Alabama and Northwest Florida. In 1910, they were living in Boggy Bayou in Walton County, Fla. There are varying reports of where he died, but he was buried in Gaskin, Fla. Also, the Natural Bridge Cemetery near Paxton has been mentioned as well.

James C. was married in 1868 in Crenshaw County, Ala., to Louisa Cook (1847-1925), daughter of Green M. Cook (1822-1908) and Lucy Ann Brannan (1825-1917). They were the parents of the following children: George Green, b. 1870, d. 1951, m. 1893 Julie Ann Wallace; William Joseph, b. 1872, d. 1956, m. Mariah Wallace; John Alonzo, b. 1876; Sina Elizabeth, b. 1878, d. 1963, m. John Sanders; and Bunion B., b. 1880, d. 1951.

James C.’s twin brother, John Clement White, also served in the Confederate Army as a member of Company C., 46th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He earned his education in the Pike County Public Schools and Troy State University. He taught school his first year in Bullock County, Ala. In 1870, he moved to Crenshaw County where his parents had located a few years earlier. In 1871 and 1872, he taught school in Andalusia and later, in Searight. Around 1972, he helped establish the first Sunday school in Andalusia for the church of Christ. During those years while he was teaching, he purchased land and farmed. In 1875, he homesteaded 38.62 acres in the Rawls Township.

During the early 1870s, James C. and John Clement White assisted their parents in establishing a congregation of the church of Christ in Searight. They reared all their children “in the faith” in this church. John Clement was a member for 53 years and only missed three Sunday services. There were several families in the community who supported the church, but the building burned in the 1920s. The White family and others of the area created the White or Searight Church of Christ Cemetery adjacent to the church. At their deaths in 1924, John Clement and Sarah White were interred there.

In 1876, John Clement White was married to Sarah Wyse Lowman (1859-1924), daughter of Malachi Lowman (1820-1862) and Martha Wyse (1820-1894). They lived and reared their children mostly in the Searight community. (Earlier Searight was known as Fairhope and Shirley.) In 1894, John Clement was appointed Postmaster of the Searight Post Office where he served until 1914. At that time, his daughter, Artie White, succeeded him to become the post mistress. John Clement continued farming until he moved to Andalusia in 1921 where he and his wife died in 1924.

John Clement and Sarah White were the parents of the following children: James Samford, b. 1876, d. 1938, m. 1904 Daisy Dean Linam (1881-1973), Joyce Cornelia, b. 1878, d. 1964, m. Lazarus Parker (1874-1953); John Burie, b. 1880, d. 1951, m. Amanitus Sims (1883-1967); Joseph Oscar, b. 1882, d. 1896, single; Justus Arthur, b. 1885, d. 1975, m. Tessie Mae Perkins (1882-1977); Artie Missie, b. 1889, d. 1972, m. Berle LaFayette Boyett (1886-1964); Lena Mae, b. 1892, d. 1968, m. John Ransom Caton (1889-1933); and Esther Pauline, b. 1896, d. 1922, single. Artie and Esther were school teachers in Andalusia and in later years they lived together in a house on Second Street. They were faithful members of the Church of Christ on South Three Notch Street.

Information was found on the son named John Burie White. He was named for Confederate General John Beauregard, his father’s commander during the war. When ready to take a wife, John traveled to Texas to claim his bride, Amanitus Sims, daughter of Henry Sims and Beatrice Smith. The Sims family had moved from the local area to the State of Texas. The newly-weds returned home and lived with John Burie’s parents and later with his aunt, Sallie White. John began teaching school, and they later moved to the Town of Dozier. He became Agent for the Central of Georgia Railroad, a position he held for the next 42 years. He also served as Mayor of Dozier for several years. He and his family became active and longtime members of the Dozier Church of Christ. He served the church as an elder, or pastor, for a number of years just as his Father and Grandfather White had at Searight.

John Burie and Amanitus White were the parents of the following children: Luther Wise, b. 1902, m. Lessie Mae Shehane; Lois Pauline, b. 1903, m. Henry Claude Ward; Hulbert Burie, b. 1907, m. Doris Christine Clark; Gladys Elaine, b. 1910, m. Elwood Petry; Eunice, b. 1913, m. Martin William Hourihan; and Sarah Beatrice, b. 1919, m. George Young Jr.

The White family definitely left a significant mark on Covington and Southern Crenshaw Counties.

Sources for this story include Ancestry.com, family records of Charles Lowman, and stories in The Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama, written by Sharon Drue Wright Ward.

Anyone who might find an error in the above or who has additional information on this family or the Town of Searight is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.