Clanton descendants settled in Clarke and surrounding counties

Published 12:49 am Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today’s column will be a continuation of the review of the Clanton family of Clarke County and the descendants who settled there as well as moving into Conecuh and Covington Counties. Last week’s column ended with some of the children and grandchildren of Burrell Alexander Clanton Sr.

Burrell Alexander Clanton Sr.’s son, William J. (James or Jefferson) Clanton, was born in 1827 in Choctaw Corner of Clark County. He was next to the youngest child in the family. On March 1, 1862, he enlisted at Grove Hill for service in Company J, 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army. He was sent to Mobile where his unit remained until February 1863. His first real battle was at Hover’s Gap from which they came out almost unscathed. However, during the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19 and 20, their losses were great. Then at Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, a large number of men were captured. William J. was among those and was sent to Louisville, Ky., December 1863. He was later sent on to Rock Island, Ill., where he was imprisoned until February 15, 1865. He was discharged from the Confederate Army on March 1, 1865, exactly three years from the day he enlisted.

Upon returning home, William and his wife, Martha A.A., resumed their life together and had several additional children plus two who only lived a few years. Like most wives during the war, Martha struggled to care for their four children and to keep the farm going to feed them. After the war ended, William continued to farm and was known as an outstanding game hunter. He lived out his life in Clarke County, where he died in 1902 and was buried in the New Prospect Cemetery. Martha lived with their children until her death in 1928 at which time she was buried near her husband with two unmarked graves separating them. These are believed to be that of their two sons who preceded them in death.

William J. and Martha A.A. Clanton were the parents of the following children: James J., b. 1854, d. 1855; Delila Jane, b. 1856, d. 1939, m. (1) 1878 George Cox (2) William H. Northrop; Nancy Rebecca, b. 1858, d. 1921, m. 1875 Macajah N. “Cage” Harris; Rhoda Elizabeth “Betty,” b. 1860, m. 1888 Jackson C. Ott; William F., b. 1862, d. 1867; Burrell Alexander III, b. 1865, d. 1900, m. 1889 Elizabeth “Lizzie” Deas; Ada Caroline “Carrie,” b. 1868, m. 1886 Berry E. Cox; Catherine Maria, b. 1871, d. 1965, m. 1893, Solomon Monroe Shewmake; John Edward, b. 1873, d. 1941, m. 1903 Lily Etheridge; Martha Cornelia “Mattie,” b. 1877, d. 1966, m. 1898 Thomas Jefferson Shewmake; and William Jessie (Named William for her father), b. 1881, m. 1899 Ernest L. Findley.

William J. Clanton’s son, Burrell Alexander Clanton III, was married to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Deas, daughter of George Washington Deas. They lived in the Prospect community near Coffeeville. They were the parents of the following children: George William, b. 1890, d. 1955, m. Lizzie Janie Etheredge; and Minnie, m. ? Jones. Burrell Clanton III died at 36 years of age and left Lizzie a widow. She then was married to John Brooks Etheredge, a widower with nine children. They were married in 1903 when George William was about 13 years of age. Lizzie and John B. Etheredge then had two children of their own, Slater and Grey.

In 1910, a somewhat unusual marriage occurred when George William Clanton married his step-sister, Lizzie Janie Etheredge. The moved to what was known as the “Old Place,” which was located on the old road leading from Coffeeville toward Grove Hill. The house was large and in the style of a “dog-trot” with the kitchen at the back of the house. George and Lizzie were the parents of the following eight children: Clyde Burl, b. 1910, m. Joyce Eymard; Glover James “Dub.” B. 1912, m. Mattie Rea Williams; Vera Eloise, b. 1914, m. Melvin Nall; Maybon Gordon, b. 1916, m. Ruth Dunagan; George William Jr. “Little George,” b. 1917, m. Ruth Roberts; Darwin Pekingsley, b. 1922, m. Myrtle Bell; Robert Glenn “Bobbie,” b. 1928, m. Patsy Knight; and Janie Kathleen, b. 1932, m. Henry Dunagan.

George and Janie were known as dedicated workers. They had no choice since they lived in a period which was tough including the depression. George farmed, did public work and hauled paper wood, logs and pilings. When his work took him away from home, Janie and their sons would work the farm. Circa 1936, the Clantons purchased the telephone exchange in Coffeeville. Clyde, Dub and Eloise moved into town to operate the system. They lived with their Grandmother Lizzie Etheredge who ran a boarding house. Clyde and Dub maintained the lines, and Eloise ran the switchboard, which was located in the front room of the house where she also slept. The switchboard had drop plugs which had to match for two people to be able to talk. Some two years later, the rest of the Clanton family moved from the farm into Coffeeville.

George and Janie as well as their children were active members in the Baptist Church where George served as a deacon. George was also an active member of the Masonic Lodge. He and Janie were charter members of the local Eastern Star as well as active citizens of their community. Three of their sons, Glover “Dub,” Little George and Darwin, rendered service during World War II.

George William and Janie Clanton were buried in the Ulcanush Cemetery when they died in 1955 and 1981 respectively. Also, four of their children were buried there: Clyde in 1999, Maybon in 1964, Eloise in 1997 and Little George in 2000.

Going back to Burrell Alexander Clanton Jr.’s family, his son, Burrell Lindsey Clanton’s, family will now be outlined. Burrell Lindsey was born in 1845 in Coffeeville, Clarke County. He was a farmer in that area where he reared his family of six children. He is reported to have died at the old Clanton Place, which was located outside the Town of Thomasville at Mackeva.

Burrell Lindsey Clanton was married in 1861 to Martha (Pate) Chaney. They resided in the Thomasville area and were the parents of the following six children: Willie Bell, b. 1870, d. 1923, m. (1) 1893 Little Berry Champion (2) 1897 Jim Wilson Criswell; Nannie S. (Susan ?), b. 1873, m. ? Champion; Lucy S., b. 1876, d. 1924, m. 1896 Osea Andrew Deaton Sr.; Marta Jenny, b. 1877, d. 1926, m. 1901 Nicholas Dana Mosley; Francis A., b. 1880, d. 1957, single; and Benjamin Franklin, b. 1885, d. 1964, m. (1) 1905 Lucy Mae Vickers (2) Dasie B. McClure.

The youngest son, Benjamin Franklin Clanton, was born in 1885 in the Mackeva/Round Hill area near Thomasville. He was married in 1905 to Lucy Mae Vickers, and they were the parents of the following nine children: Benjamin Lamar, b. 1918, d. 1989, m. Dovie Lee Freeman; Martha Jane “Mattie,” b. 1906, d. 1989, m. Glenn Edward Nunn; Nannie Lue, b. 1908, d. 2008, m. Edward T. “Buster” Hall; John Lenzy, b. 1910, d. 1983, m. Frances Elizabeth Allen; Ida Mae, b. 1913, d. 2015, m. (1) Arward Lambert Maness Sr. (2) Howard Dortch; Mary Ethel, b. 1915, d. 2009, m. Robert Clay Larrimore; Edna Louise, b. 1923, d. 2008, m. George Jones; and twins, Carl Franklin, b. 1926, d. 1928; and Coreta Francis, b. 1926, d. 1927.

Benjamin Franklin’s oldest son, Benjamin Lamar Clanton, was born in 1918 in Clarke County. He became a Staff Sergeant serving during World War II with the 4th Cavalry in France, Belgium and Germany. Afterwards, he worked at the Thomasville Post Office where he later became a rural mail carrier. He was married to Dovie Lee Freeman (1921-2002) who worked as a register nurse at Clarke County Health Department and Thomasville Hospital. They were the parents of the following children: Benjamin Frederick, b. 1947, m. Kathryn Wilkinson; David Lamar, b. 1949, m. Barbara Ann Smith; John Donald, b. 1951, m. Reba Cline; Joseph Michael, b. 1954, m. Patricia Adams; and Anna Marie, b. 1957, d. 2016, m. Robert Lee Smith.

David Lamar and Barbara Ann Clanton are the parents of two sons: Andrew Brian, m. Christy Lane Thomasson; and Aaron Barrett, m. Megan Rogers. Andrew “Andy” Clanton is the son-in-law of this writer.

The sources for the Clanton family genealogy include the following:; family stories written by Kathleen Clanton Dunagan, Mark A. Cartwright, L.V. Stubbs, Anna Louise Clanton Sinclair and Ben Clanton Sinclair, which were published in The Heritage of Clarke County, Alabama; and the family records of Benjamin Frederick Clanton.

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


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are encouraged to attend.