Boyette family descendants settled in Rose Hill

Published 2:18 am Saturday, March 17, 2018

Several years earlier, the Boyette family of Covington County was introduced and covered to some degree. Since that time additional genealogical data has become available, which allows for today’s story.

We learned before that the Boyette ancestors were of Scotch-Irish descent. It is believed that most descend from Thomas Boyette who was registered in America in 1704 as a resident of Nanseland County, Va. Later generations began to migrate south, and the descendants being featured today were residents of Tatnall County, Ga., before migrating to Covington County, Ala., during the 1820s.

The Boyette ancestors arrived here very early, and there were four households bearing the name by 1830: Bennett, Arthur, Cullen and Burrell B. It is also notable that four Boyette men, most likely relatives, who married four Bryan siblings, children of Jesse Bryan Jr. and Elizabeth (Johnson). Jesse Bryan Jr. was one of the very earliest pioneers to settle in Covington County and has many descendants in the area. The marriages of the Bryan siblings to the Boyette men would have made for many close relatives.

The genealogical data most readily available to this writer on this Boyette family is that of Bennet Joel Boyette Sr. In some family trees he is also given the additional name of Benjamin. He is believed to be the son of Seth Boyette, but some researchers have identified him as the son of Arthur Boyette. He was born in 1819 in Warren County, Ga., and was residing in Covington County when he was married in 1835 to the widow, Sarah (Bryan) Chesser.

Sarah Bryan was born in 1810 in Marion County, S.C., as the daughter of Jesse Bryan Jr. and Elizabeth (Johnson). She was first married to Thomas E. Chesser circa 1830 in Marion County. Thomas died circa 1834. During the few years of marriage, the couple had two sons: John B. Chesser, b. 1831; and James Elijah, ca 1833, d. 1862 in Rose Hill of Covington County, Ala.

Within a year or so Sarah (Bryan) Chesser became the wife of Bennet J. Boyette in 1835 in Covington County. They were the parents of the following 10 children: Mary Ann, b. ca 1837; William Burl, b. 1840, d. 1910, m. Elizabeth Katrina Allen (1841-1926); Celia Ann, b. ca 1841; Bennett J. Jr., b. 1844; Tempy, b. 1846; Sarah Ann, b. ca 1847, m. Bradford Lewis; Jesse, b. ca 1850, m. Hetty ?; Alfred D., b. 1851; Martha Pleasant, b. 1851, m. Henry Wallace Brewer (1848-1920); and Andrew J., b. ca 1859.

The oldest son, William Burl Boyette, was married in 1859 in Pike County, Ala., to Elizabeth Katrina “Katie” Allen. The newlyweds returned to Covington County where they were residing in a house next to his parents in the Rose Hill community when the 1860 federal census was enumerated. At the time they had a one-year-old son. On August 26, 1862, William was enlisted by Captain James T. Brady into the Confederate Army at Selma, Ala. He rendered service in Company E, 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment which was engaged in the Battle of Corinth, Miss., in the fall of 1862. During that conflict, half of his regiment of 700 men were killed. He was in the hospital in Meridian, Miss., during some of that battle and was spared. He also escaped being captured at Vicksburg in 1863. When his unit was reorganized, he rejoined and was later wounded in the Battle of Atlanta on Peach Tree Creek on July 22, 1864. He was shot through both legs above the knees, and the bullet fractured his left leg. He was sent to the hospital in Macon, Ga., and from there given a furlough for going home. His furlough lasted until the end of the war, and he was paroled at Montgomery on June 19, 1865. Unfortunately, the wound left him crippled for life.

William Burl returned home to his wife and two young children in the Rose Hill community. During the war, his wife, “Katie,” had carried for the two children while farming to make a crop for their survival. The family recalls how she made a small cradle which she attached to a plow stock for her infant daughter to ride in as she worked the soil. Her young son toddled alongside her. Upon William Burl’s return, they resided in that community until December 1895. At that time, they moved to Portland in South Walton County, Fla., to be near their daughter and family.

William Burl and Katie were the parents of the following two children: Benjamin Jackson, b. 1859, d. 1910, m. Tempie Melina Bryan; and Mary Jane, b. 1862, d. 1946, m. Andrew Jackson Bryan. The two spouses were siblings, the children of Jesse Bryan and Sara Ann (Boyett), which made for double first cousins. William Burl died in 1910 and was buried in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery near DeFuniak Springs, Fla. His grave bears a Confederate Veteran’s or CSA headstone. Elizabeth Katrina “Katie” died in 1926 and was buried beside her husband.

Bennett J. and Sara’s youngest daughter, Martha Pleasant Boyette, was married to Henry Wallace Brewer. They were the parents of the following nine children: Allie Louise, b. 1871, d. 1937, m. Sidney Eugene Jones; William Henry, b. ca 1875, m. Tamer Russell (1879-1910); John Thomas, b. 1878, d. 1953, m. Annie Lee Sexton; Joseph Andrew, b. ca 1879, m. 1911 Jodie Worley (1891-1935); Judge Wallace, b. 1880, d. 1963, m. Annie Boswell (1886-1951); Emma Elizabeth, b. 1883, d. 1934, m. 1906 Jeff E. Worley (1878-1956); Martha Lavonie, b. ca 1887, m. Murphy Little; Nancy Lenora, b. 1894, d. 1980, m. Thomas E. Rushton; Joel Oscar, b. 1895, d. 1953, m. (1) ? (2) Maude Shilson (1878-1953). Martha Pleasant and Henry Wallace resided in Crenshaw County where they were buried in the Pleasant Home Church Cemetery. Through the years, the descendants have had annual family reunions at the church.

Martha Pleasant and Henry Wallace Boyette’s daughter, Emma Elizabeth, was married to Jeff Worley, son of Jefferson Gillispie Worley and Melissa Jackson. The Worleys resided in the Rose Hill community of Covington County where most of their children made their homes as well. They were the parents of the following 10 children: Ola Ruth, b. 1902, m. Charles Grimes (1903-1966); Olan, b. 1908, d. 1983, m. Irene Williams; Reedie Estelle, b. 1911, d. 1986, m. Lucious Wilson Grimes (1913-1978); Eula Mae, b. 1913, m. Ander Driver; Nannie Lou, b. 1915, d. 1968, m. Leon Hanson; Minnie Lee, b. 1918, m. J.D. Driver; Gladys Elizabeth, b. 1920, d. 1997, m. Grady Grimes; Emmie Laurie, b. 1921, d. 1999, m. John Calvin Smith (1914-1980); Clayton, b. 1925, m. (1) Catherine Weaver (2) Catherine Corbin; and Thelma Rhea, b. 1929, m. Ewin Moody.

There are many other descendants in this family line that could be named. Appreciation is expressed to those who have researched their Boyette heritage.

The primary sources for this writing include a family story written by Lydia Grimes and another written by Bob Bryan, which were published in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama. In addition, other records and were referenced.

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