Two different Stone families settled in Covington County

Published 1:11 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

There were some members of a Stone family early on in Covington County. They were not found on the 1818 Conecuh County Tax List of any person owning or holding any taxable property. It is assumed they arrived in the area between 1818 and 1823.

As early as 1822, Henry D. Stone was settled as he was appointed by the Alabama Legislature to serve as Judge of the County Court. He was commissioned on January 24 of that year, but his term in office was reasonably short as he was removed on March 26, 2824. (It was not uncommon in those early days of the county for those serving in public offices to only serve a short term.) Henry Stone’s family was living in the area when Montezuma was established in 1824.

John H. Stone, who was most likely a relative, resided in the Montezuma community with his family as well. On March 3, 1823, he was elected Sheriff of Covington County. He resigned that same year on December 29 citing the reason as “he was removing from the county” as stated in Gus and Ruby Bryan in their Covington County History, 1821-1976. However, Wyley D. Ward printed in his book, Early History of Covington County, Alabama, 1821-1871, a letter written by John Stone to Governor Pickens. “Residing in a county so thinly inhabited and so extensive that to comply with every duty enjoined on me in the official capacity, would fail far short of compensating me for my actual expenses, exclusive of my time lost, as well as for other matters. I hereby apprise your Excellency that I feel anxious to be relieved from the unprofitable duties of Sheriff of Covington County and this your Excellency will please accept as a testimonial of my resignation of said office from this date.”

This writer was unable to learn any more about these Stone families or where they moved to since they were not enumerated in the 1830 or 1840 censuses for Covington County. Hopefully someone such as a descendant my share some additional history and genealogy on them.

Another Stone family settled near Covington County in the area of the adjoining Coffee County. A number of their descendants moved into Covington County. The earliest ancestor found on for this family line was William Henry Stone who was born in Georgia in 1813. His wife’s name was Mary, but her surname was not available. They appear to be the parents of at least the following four children: Hezekiah, b. 1847, d. 1882, m. Nancy Jane Knight (1847-1919); Mary, b. 1853; Cornelia, b. 1855; and William, b. 1859.

The oldest son, Hezekiah Stone, was born in Russell County, Ala. where his family lived for a number of years before settling in Coffee County. Hezekiah Stone was residing in his parents’ home in 1860 in Russell County, Ala. Early in the 1860s while a resident there, he enlisted for military service in the Confederate Army. He became a private in Company A, 33rd. Alabama Infantry Regiment. He survived the war and was discharged in Montgomery, Ala. He returned home to resume farming. By 1870, he was married and living in Coffee County, Ala. In that census, he was listed as being a farm laborer. When the 1880 federal census was recorded, the family was living in the Thomas Mill community of Coffee County where Hezekiah was continuing to farm. Some records show they were in Covington County by 1885.

Hezekiah Stone was married to Nancy Jane Knight, daughter of Moses Thomas Knight (1805-1889) and Nancy Cotney (1807-1885). Nancy Jane is listed as being born in Alabama and dying in Covington County. Hezekiah and Nancy Jane Stone were the parents of the following children: Thomas Jefferson, b. 1868, d. 1943; Martha, b. 1872; Sarah Ada, b. 1875, d. 1962; Daniel Hillyard, b. 1878, d. 1962; George Freeman, b. 1878, d. 1946, m. Olive Savannah Brown (1884-1976); Martin V., b. 1882, d. 1957; and Hillary Herbert, b. 1885, d. 1949, m. Bonnie A. Brown (1889-1973).

One of the younger sons, George Freeman Stone, was married to Olive Savannah Brown, daughter of Thomas Jefferson Brown (1847-1923) and Caroline Elizabeth Rabren (1854-1935). They reared their family in Covington County in the Salem community. In census records, George was listed as being a cotton farmer. They were the parents of the following eight children: Quintus “Quint,” b. 1904, m. Faye Gilbert; Teague, b.&d. 1905; Hansford “Hans,” b. 1907, d. 1989, m. Burcia Hall; Addie Ruth, b. 1910, d. 1986, m. Randolph Henry Patterson (1910-1975); Freeda, b. 1913, d. 1934, single; Walter Herman, b. 1922, d. 2004, single; Voncille, m. William “Bill” Jones; Burnice; and Leon, m. (1) Jane Knowles (2) Voncile Boles. A good number of these couples were buried in the Salem Baptist Church Cemetery.

The youngest son, Hillary Herbert, was married to Bonnie A. Brown, who was a sister to his brother, George’s, wife, Olive Savannah Brown. Hillary Herbert and Bonnie did not have any children. They were buried in the Salem Baptist Church Cemetery where a number of their relatives are buried.

The sources for the above include, Wyley D. Ward’s Early History of Covington County, Alabama—1821-1871, Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History—1821-1976, and family records of Carolyn (Patterson) Sanders, daughter of Randolph Henry Patterson and Addie Ruth (Stone), and Winston Jay.

Some descendants of the family would like to learn more about their ancestry. Anyone who might be able to share additional Stone family history is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at any of the following addresses: 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: Also, anyone who might find an error in the above information is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson as well.



Lisa R. Franklin, long time researcher and author of a number of Covington

County reference books, recently became the administrator for the Barrow

DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. The project is hoping to accomplish similar results for Covington County families as has her Franklin project, and to increase much needed participation is therefore offering ten free autosomal DNA tests to men and women who are direct descendants of either

John Gray Barrow (1804-1859) buried in Magnolia Cemetery or Green Barrow (c1798-c1874). Both of these men were residents of Covington County, Alabama, in the mid-1800s. For more information contact Lisa with your connection to either man at: Lisa R. Franklin, 13719 Grosvenor Street, Houston, TX 77034, or by email at, or by phone at 251-423-4568.