Sullivan family appreciates ancestry from Ireland

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 27, 2018

A family line which married into the Hugghins family featured in this column last week was that of Sullivan. The marriage of Allie Mae Hugghins (1897-1996) to Homer Shaver Huggins (1902-1985) and that of other relatives united these families.

The earliest Sullivan ancestor found on appears to be a Daniel Sullivan, a native of Ireland. One family tree lists him as being born there before 1686 and dying there in 1733, but that was not further confirmed. The same tree lists him as being married to Elizabeth Wroth who was born circa 1680 and died circa 1780. However, no name was found for their son who would have been the father of the immigrant Sullivan ancestor.

The immigrant was named Daniel Sullivan as well, and he became the immigrant ancestor of this family line in the United States. This Daniel was born in 1756 in Cork County, Ireland, and arrived in America in 1775 in the area of Pennsylvania at the age of 19 years. According to a family tree on, he was married in 1785 to Sarah Ennals in the State of Maryland. The names of their children were not found with the exception of a son also named Daniel Sullivan, which makes at least three generations to this point with that given name.

This latest Daniel was born in 1785 in the State of South Carolina. He was married to Jane “Jenny” Griffin who was also born in South Carolina circa 1805. They are the couple who brought this Sullivan family to the State of Alabama and who settled in the Lowndes County area. At their deaths in 1845 and 1855 respectively, they were residing in the Palmyra community of that county. Thus, they were buried in the local Poole Cemetery.

Daniel and Jenny Sullivan were the parents of the following children: James William, b. 1822, d. 1865, m. Tessie Carrie McDorman (1828-1865); James Marion, b. 1824, d. 1864, m. 1848 Eleanor McRight Pearce (1829-1908); Daniel Jr., b. 1829 d. 1863, m. 1858 Mary Jane (or Ann) Hudson (1830-1862); Andrew Jackson, b. 1832, d. 1876, m. 1859 Margaret Corinthian Simmons; and Francis Marion, b. 1835, d. 1885, m. (1) 1860 Tabitha Branch (1845-1867) (2) 1866 Henrietta A. Shanks (1844-1871) (3) 1872 Nancy A. Neeley (b. 1850).

The oldest son, James William Sullivan, and his wife, Tessie Carrie, were the parents of the following children: Joseph J., b. 1843; Polly F., b. 1845; May, b. 1845; Nancy Carey, b. 1848; William, b. 1849; Rachael Stokes, b. 1852, d. 1938, m. Alfred Newton Steele (1850-1903); George, b. 1858; and Lydia, b. 1862.

The second son, James Madison Sullivan, and his wife, Eleanor, were the parents of the following children: Daniel Wylie, b. 1849, d. 1934, m. Anna Jane Canterbury (1859-1945); Rutha Jane, b. 1851, d. 1874, m. William Lee Favor (1844-1929); James Madison Jr., b. 1853, m. Emma Owen (b. 1858); Thomas Edwin, b. 1856, d. 1888, probably single; Francis Abner, b. 1859, d. 1914, m. (1) 1880 Martha Jane Partin (1860-1898) (2) 1899 Jeanette Smith (b. 1873); and Alice Lee, b. 1861, d. 1924, m. Edward Lee Owen (1865-1892).

The son, Daniel Sullivan Jr., and his wife, Mary Jane, were the parents of at least two children: Andrew Jackson, b. 1858, d. 1945, m. (1) 1882 Mary Addie Johnson Bell (1859-1945) (2) 1883 Martha Cox Cochran (1857-1909); and Daniel William, b. 1862, d. 1943.

The son, Andrew Jackson Sullivan, and wife, Margaret Corinthian Simmons were married in 1859 in Montgomery, Ala. Andrew Jackson enlisted for service in the Confederate Army on July 7, 1862, and served until the end of the war. He was assigned to Company I, 45th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He and Margaret were the parents of the following children: Andrew Jackson Jr., b. 1861, d. 1945; Margaret Jane Branch, b. 1861, d. 1927; Daniel W., b. 1863, d. 1934; Mary Tabitha, b. 1869, d. 1946; Francis, b. 1871; and Abner Isaac. One record stated they had eight children in 14 years.

The youngest child, Francis Marion Sullivan, was born in 1835 in Lowndes County, Ala. He volunteered for service in the Confederate Army as a private in Company D, Cavalry Battalion of Hilliard’s Legion and was soon elected as a corporal. His unit later became the Confederate Cavalry under General Joe Wheeler. He was captured two weeks before the end of the war, but he was released soon after at the surrender. He returned to Lowndes County and make his home in the Hopewell community where he was a farmer.

Francis Marion Sullivan was married three times. His first was in 1860 to Tabitha Branch (1845-1866). Their marriage was during the war years, but they had one child, Frances Churchill Sullivan, before Tabitha’s untimely death. In 1966, Francis was married second to Henrietta A. Shanks (1844-1871. They were the parents of three sons: Robert Claudius, b. 1867, d. 1955, m. Martha Alice “Mattie” Harley (1871-1956); Oscar, b. 1869, d. 1940, m. Maggie ?; and Arthur R., b. 1869, d. 1949, m. 1891 Louella Cassady. Francis was married third in 1872 to Nancy A. Neeley. They were the parents of three children: Erastus “Rass” Marion, b. 1873, d. 1955; Malcomb Graham, b. 1876, d. 1884; and Maude Irene, b. 1881, d. 1940, m. Robert Edward Lee Cassady (1878-1953).

The oldest daughter, Frances Churchill Sullivan, was born in 1862 and taught school in Highland Home before her marriage to Henry Alonza Goodwin. They were the parents of a daughter, Fannie Mae, who married Coby C. Coleman in 1911.

The oldest son, Robert Claudius Sullivan, was born in 1867 and was married to Martha Agnes “Mattie” Hartley. They were the parents of four children: Robert Evans, b. 1893, d. 1982, m. (1) 1915 Delila Albina Hugghins (1886-1927) (2) Mary Estella Purnell (1885-1960); Fannie Lou, b. 1904, d. 1994; Howell “Buster,” b. 1908, d. 2001; and Howard “Cracker,” b. 1908, d. 1992.

The son, Arthur R. Sullivan, was born in 1869, and was married to Maggie ?. They were the parents of the following children: Francis Marion, b. 1894, d. 1928; Allie Mae, b. 1897, d. 1996, m. Homer Shaver Hugghins; Ruby Lee, b. 1899, d. 1986, m. John Decatur Moorer; Clarence Erby, b. 1901, d. 1902; Hulda, b. 1903, d. 1993, m. George Terry; Willie Alva, b. 1905, d. 2001, m. ? Huggins; Ernest Clayton, b. 1911, d. 1998; and Lorna Margerette, b. 1915, d. 1999, m. ? Hood.

Arthur R. Sullivan’s youngest daughter, Allie Mae Sullivan, was born in 1897 and was married to Homer Shaver Hugghins. They resided in the Red Level community where they reared their children. They were the parents of the following children: Harry Cecil, b. 1922, d. 2017, m. 1951 Joyce Anetta Branyon (1931-2016); Marlin Shaver, b. 1926, d. 1995, m. 1948 Amelia Grace Posey (1928-2009); Eleanor Jean, b. 1928, d. 2013, m. (1) 1947 Shade Adkinson Williams (2) John Willis Johnson; John Thomas, b. 1929, d. 2009, m. 1952 Anne Grantham; Allison Sullivan, b. 1934, d. 1997, m. 1969 Elba Iris Faison; and McRhee, b. 1937, d. 2009, m. Faye Patterson.

Francis Marion’s youngest daughter, Maude Irene Sullivan, was born in 1881, and was married to Robert Edward Lee Cassady, son of John Calvin Cassady and Amanda Carolina Prestwood. They were the parents of the following children: Rebie, b. 1897, d. 1963; Willie, b. 1899, d. 1902; Dewitt, b. 1902, d. 1918; Mary Reid, b. 1904, d. 1905; Clyda, b. 1906, d. 1966; Robert Edward Lee Jr., b. 1909; Maggie Lou, b. 1910, d. 1920; Jack Venters, b. 1914, d. 1968; Ralph Wilford, b. 1917; and son (private).

There are many Sullivan descendants currently residing in Covington County, and there are other Sullivan family lines living here as well.

The sources for this story include, and the family records of Kay Hugghins and Jason Williams who are descendants of Allie Mae Sullivan and her husband, Homer Shaver Hugghins.

Anyone who may 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, November 1, at the Confederate Memorial Park, which is located along US 331 between Brantley and Luverne. David Coggins, park manager and commander of the Southeast Alabama Brigade of SCV, will conduct a guided tour with descriptions of the monuments and statues. Guests and prospective members are always welcome.