Eiland family descendants claim Welch ancestry

Published 2:29 am Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Eiland family of Covington County, Ala., was introduced and covered to some extent in an earlier column. However, additional information allows a further review of this lineage. Descendants understand an early ancestor immigrated from the Country of Wales to come to America.

Some records show the birth of Richard Eiland Sr. occurring in Belfast, Ireland, in 1665. He was married circa 1690 to a young lady named Elizabeth, whose surname was not found. It is uncertain if he or his son, Richard Eiland Jr. was the immigrant ancestor. One record shows Richard Jr. being born in Princess Anne County, Va., circa 1691 or possibly 1681. However, another record lists him appearing on a list of immigrants dated April 24, 1703. (The contradiction could easily stem from the Sr. and Jr. having the same name.)

Richard Eiland Jr. was married in 1714 to Elizabeth Heath, daughter of James and Anne Heath. There is a record of him owning land in 1711 in Princess Anne County. In 1717, he granted 74 acres of land to Richard E. Walker, which appears to be when the line was redrawn between Virginia and North Carolina. In 1731, he served as a member of the First North Carolina Assembly representing Currituck County. He died circa 1733 in Currituck County, N.C.

Richard Jr. and Elizabeth were the parents of George Eiland who was born circa 1715 in Princess County, Va. In 1735, he was married to Sarah James in Currituck County. He received a land grant for acreage in Craven County, N.C, circa 1746. In 1748, he was awarded 159 acres in Johnston County, N.C. plus additional acreage in that county in 1769. At some point, he migrated with his family to St. David’s Parish, Ga., where he died circa 1776.

George and Sarah Eiland were the parents of at least the following four children: John, b. ca 1740; Absalom, b. 1749, d. 1814, m. Nancy Ann Daniel; Isaac, b. 1750, d. 1811, m. Ruth M. ?; and James, b. 1750, d. 1809, m. Nancy ?. The oldest son, John Eiland, served during the Revolutionary War as a member of the Georgia Troops. The second son, Absalom Eiland, is the line being featured in today’s story.

Absalom Eiland was married in 1775 in Fairfield County, S.C., to Nancy Ann Daniel, daughter of James Daniel and Nancy Sankey. He, along with his brother, John, served with the Georgia Troops during the Revolutionary War. For his service he was awarded 287 ½ acres of land in Washington County, Ga., in 1785. In 1808, he purchased 202 ½ acres in Jones County, Ga., from David and Mary Jameson. Absalom was a reputable citizen and served as a deacon in the Baptist Church.

Absalom and Nancy Ann Eiland were the parents of the following children: Asa Absalom; Levi Daniel, b. ca 1785, d. 1872, m. ca 1861 Catherine “Katie” Shaw; Stephen Judge, b. 1788, d. 1853, m. Mary Allen (1789-1865); James; Nancy, m. ? Wilson; and Elizabeth, m. ? Thompson.

The second son, Levi Daniel Eiland, and his wife, Katie, were the parents of a son named Josephus Eiland who was born in 1817. He was first married in 1842 to Drucilla Caffey, and they were the parents of the following children: John Calhoun, b. 1843; James A., b. 1846; William Enoch, b. 1850, m. 1871 R.A. Davis; Charles L., b. 1852, m. 1872 (1) Lenorah Driskell (2) Minnie E. Jordan; Christopher Columbus, b. 1854, d. 1925, m. (1) Susanna Driskell (2) Doney Williams; David M. “Dock,” b. 1858, m. 1879 Mary Jane Layton; Epsy J., b. 1860, m. John L. Barnes; Frances “Fannie” Irene, b. 1863; Thomas Cary, b. 1868; and Ida Iola, b. 1872.

The fifth son, Christopher Columbus Eiland, was first married in Crenshaw County, Ala., to Susanna Drucilla Driskell who was born in 1859 and died in 1914. After residing in Crenshaw County for some time, they moved south to the Loango community of Covington County where he was a farmer. They were the parents of the following children: Herbert Lowell, b. 1876, m. 1898 Maude Estes Cumbie; Fannie Eudora Gertrude, b. 1877, m. ? Kilcrease; Wiley Martin, b. 1879, d. 1902, John Columbus, b. 1881, d. 1926, m. 1901 Lessie Ella Boutwell; William Wallace, b. 1882, d. 1953, m. 1905 Florence Virginia “Jenny” Hartzog; Charles Cary, b. 1885, m. Annie Lee Gay; and Laura Anna, b. 1888, m. 1909 C.H. Grover. Following Susanna’s death, Christopher Columbus was married to Doney Williams, but they did not have any children. They later moved to Baker, Fla., where he died in 1925 and was buried in the Pilgrim Rest Cemetery.

The sons of Christopher C. Eiland were farmers in Covington County, and a number of them became gospel preachers. The oldest son, Herbert Lowell Eiland became postmaster of the Baker, Fla. Post Office.

The third son, John Columbus Eiland, and his wife, Lessie Ella (Blackwell), have a number of children who lived or currently reside in Covington County. They were the parents of the following: Olin T., b. 1904, m. Bonnie Hartzog; Emma Lou, b. 1908, d. 1974, m. Leon Alfred Hutcheson; Roy, b. 1914, m. Mildred Findley; Foy, b. 1914, m. Thelma Bennett; and John Columbus Jr., b. 1923, m. (1) Beverly Hughes (2) ?.

The fourth son, William Wallace Eiland (1882-1953), was married in 1905 in Loango to Florence Virginia “Jenny” Hartzog (1889-1966), daughter of John Hartzog (1847-1928) and Sarah Louisa Trammell (1855-1918). They lived in Loango and farmed for about 20 years and then moved to Andalusia. At their deaths, they were buried in the Fairmount Baptist Church Cemetery in Red Level. They were married for almost 50 years and reared five daughters.

William Wallace and Jenny Eiland were the parents of the following children: Epsie Eulala “Eula,” b. 1906, d. 1969, m. Jess J. Messick (1909-1961); Bessie Louisa, b. 1909, d. 1999, m. John Aubrey Godwin (1909-1994); Ruby Susanna, b. 1912, d. 1973, m. James Farron Wiggins (1909-1983); Shirley Irene, b. 1916, m. Sellers T. Brogden (1908-1981); and Opal Lauree “Pete,” b. 1920, d. 2009, m. Charles Teasley Russell (1918-2003).

Epsie Eula and her husband, Jess Messick, reared two daughters: Charlotte, m. Martin Fuller (1929-1988); and Sue Helen, m. Grady Reeves.

Bessie Louisa Eiland and her husband, John Aubrey Godwin, were the parents of five children: Hilda, b. 1929, d. 2000, m. A.H. Browning Sr. (1927-1992); Frances, m. J.T. Cauley; Sybil, m. Roy Weaver Jr.; Jenelle, m. Dickie Ennis; and Paul, m. Linda Woodham.

Shirley Irene Eiland and her husband, Sellers T. Brogden, were the parents of the following six children: Robert “Bob,” m. Gaynell Johnson; Harold, m. Doreen Silverman; Farrell, b. 1936, d. 1995, m. Sybil Stokes (1931-1990); Linda, m. Carl H. Palmer; Lenorah, m. (1) Charles E. Creech Jr. (1938-1994) (2) Jim Gibbons; and Jean, m. Larry Buchanan.

Opal Lauree Eiland (1920-2009) and her husband, Charles Teasley Russell (1918-2003), were the parents of the following six children: Ophelia, m. Evan “Tank” Merrill; Lillian, m. Amos “Sonny” Holter; Jeanette, m. Sheriel Wilson Stacey; Charles Tracy, m. Diane Huggins; Ray Randall, m. (1) Teresa Barnett (2) Brenda Rodgers; and Peggy, m. Benny Williamson.

There are many descendants of this family who currently reside in Covington County and who have contributed significantly to its well-being.

Sources for today’s story include genealogical data from Rootsweb and a family story in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama written by an Eiland descendant, Jean (Eiland) Buchanan.

Anyone who might find 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: cthomasson@centurytel.net.