Richard Ezekiel Rabren descendants are continued

Published 2:12 am Saturday, June 2, 2018

Richard Ezekiel Rabren descendants are continued

Today’s story will be a continuation of the review of the descendants of Richard Ezekiel Rabren and his two wives. In last week’s column, the family was covered to the point of outlining several of Richard Ezekiel’s older children. Some may recall Richard Ezekiel had as many as 26 children. His fourth son, Ira Washing Rabren, was the last one presented.

The next child after Ira Washington, Richard Joseph Rabren, was born circa 1824 while the family was residing in Georgia. Like several of his brothers, Richard Joseph enlisted for service in the Confederate Army and was assigned to Company I, 61st Alabama Infantry Regiment. Before that he was married in circa 1847 to Elizabeth “Lydia” (Bodiford) Shows (1818-1907).

Richard Joseph and Lydia Rabren were the parents of the following children: John Thomas, b. 1848, d. 1900, m. Ophelia Jones (1853-1900); Ellen, b. 1849; Abram, b. 1850, d. 1926, m. Sarah Sudom (1853-ca 1920); Jacob Greenberry, b. 1854, d. 1913, m. Lucinda Elizabeth “Lizzie” Harding (1855-1905); Andrew James, b. ca 1858, d. 1920, m. (1) Elizabeth “Lizzie” DuBose (2) 1881 Sarah A.T. McDonald; Mary Elizabeth, b. 1861, d. 1926, m. Marshall Charles Green; George Madison, b. 1862, d. 1938), m. 1887 Rachael Catherine “Catty” Burkett (1865-1938); and Frances, b. 1864, d. 1892, m. 1887 William F. Townsel.

The next son was Richard Ezekiel Rabren Jr. who was also born circa 1824. This Richard was married in 1848 to Martha Ann Sheffield (1823-1878), daughter of Nathan Sheffield and Sarah “Sallie” Morgan. Richard Ezekiel Jr., like so many of his brothers, enlisted for service in the Confederate Army and was assigned to Company B, 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Richard E. Jr. and Martha Ann Rabren were the parents of the following children: Henry, b. ca 1849, d. before 1870: Joseph H. “Josiah,” b. 1851, m. 1878 Sarah E. Sunday (1864-1912); John Anthony, b. 1853, d. 1911, m. (1) 1882 Eugenia Alice Cartwright (1845-1886) (2) Effie A. Taylor (b. 1866); Nancy, b. 1855, d. 1870, single; William Jasper, b. 1856, d. 1929, m. Drucilla C. ?; and Richard, b. 1860, d. 1946, m. Ellie J. Taylor (1868-1945).

The next child and daughter, Mary Elizabeth “Polly” Rabren, was born in 1825 in Butler County, Ala. She was married to Rolly Riley Maness. They were the parents of the following children: Sarah Amanda, b. ca 1843; William, b. ca 1847; John F., b. ca 1849; Mary Elizabeth “Mollie,” b. 1852, d. 1926, m. 1873 James J. “Jim” Dukes; and Catherine, b. ca 1853.

The name of the next daughter, Sarah Rabren’s, husband is unknown, but it was recorded in various records as Spouse Rabren. The couple was the parents of the following children: George, b. 1857; James A., b. 1859; and Josephine, b. 1873.

The next child was listed as Infant Rabren, who was buried in the Adellum Cemetery next to the mother, Deler Rabren. One may wonder if Deler might have died during the birth of this child. A few other members of the family were buried near their graves.

The oldest child born to Richard Ezekiel Rabren and his second wife, Martha Eula (Skipper), was named Joseph “Josiah” Rabren. Josiah was born in 1829 and was in the age range to serve in the War Between the States. He enlisted in Company B, 1st Battalion, Hilliard’s Legion. Prior to that he had married a lady named Vera whose surname is not known. In 1851, he was married to his second wife, Mary Elizabeth Criswell, daughter of Andrew and Nancy Criswell. Josiah and Mary Elizabeth Rabren were the parents of two children: I., b. 1853; and D.A, b. 1855.

The next son, William Rabren, was born in 1833 in Alabama. He like many of his brothers enlisted for service in the Confederate Army. He was assigned to Company H, 1st Alabama Regiment. A few years earlier, he was married to Ansley “Ann” Childress. They were the parents of the following children: Ely, b. 1857, m. Martha ?; M.A. (female), b. 1858; Martha, b. 1862, d. 1930; Mary E., b. 1865; and Alice, b. 1870.

Very little was found on the next three sons: Barney, Sion and James Rabren. There is a record of Sion having served in the Confederate Army as a member of Company H., 1st. Alabama Infantry Regiment, the same unit in which his brother Silas served. Although it does not sound reasonable, there is a record suggesting he married his sister, Gennie Jane Rabren, in 1885 when they were older. If so, it would have likely been a matter of convenience to help care for each other.

The next son, Silas A. Rabren, was born in 1837 in Butler County, Ala. Like his older brothers, he enlisted to render service in the Confederate Army. He joined the same unit as his brothers, William and Sion, which was Co. H, 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was later a part of the 33rd Alabama Volunteers Regiment. Shortly before the war, Silas had married Elizabeth jane Weaver (1840-1905) in 1860. They were the parents of the following children: Robert Alexander Winfield, b. 1861, m. Martha Jane “Mollie” Edwards; James, b. 1862; Richard Ezekiel, b. 1865, d. 1922, m. Julia Cobb (1876-1955); and Martha Adeline, b. 1868, d. 1961, m. ?.

In the order of children, Gennie Rabren, mentioned as possibly marrying Sion Rabren, is listed following her brother, Silas A. Rabren. Then no information was readily available on the next three daughters: Martha, b. 1838; Mary, b. 1841; and Celsey, b. 1843.

The next daughter, Temperance Caroline Rabren, was born in 1844 and died in 1928. In 1865, she was married to her first husband, John Homer Griffin (1838-1900) and she was later married to her second husband, ? Evans. She and John Homer Griffin were the parents of the following children: Richard W., b. 1869, d. 1906, m. (1) 1892 Dovie Virginia Youngblood; Missouri Bell, b. 1875, d. 1919, m. (1) 1894 Christopher Temple (1868-1900) (2) Mike Griffin; Julia, b. 1876, d. 1938; Frances, b. 1878; Martha M., b. 1881, d. 1920; Ira Homer, b. 1885; Amery Sam, b. 1887, d. 1963; and Kate, b. 1888.

Still another daughter, Mary “Polly” Rabren, was born in 1845. In 1870, she was married to Thomas A. “Tom” Lowe (ca1837-1915). They were the parents of the following children: Steven Thomas, b. 1872, d. 1949; James M. “Jim,” b. 1874, d. 1952; Licia, b. 1877; Malissa, b. 1880; Charles H., b. 1880, d. 1951; Dorsey, b. 1883; and Mattie, b. 1886, d. 1939.

It is planned for next week’s column to be a feature of the descendants of one of the above sons, Ira Washington Rabren.

Sources for this writing included and the research records of Nelda (Pugh) Stephenson.

Anyone who might discover 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:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. The program will be presented by Compatriot John Allen Gantt. Guests and prospective members are encouraged to attend.