Nelson descendants had roots in Tallapoosa County

Published 1:41 am Saturday, March 9, 2019

Some members of a Nelson family line moved to Covington County during the late 1800s. Their earlier ancestors had migrated from Surry County, N.C., to Columbus County, Ga., and they eventually settled in the Dadeville area of Tallapoosa County, Ala. The earliest ancestor identified for this family is Charles Nelson who was born in 1770 in Surry County.

Charles Nelson was married to Lydia Hand, daughter of Henry Hand Sr. (1735-1811) and Sarah Miller (1740-1811). Lydia was born in 1775 in North Carolina and died in 1862 in Tallapoosa County, Ala. Charles had died much earlier in 1805 when the family resided in Columbus, Ga. Charles and Lydia Nelson were the parents of the following five children: Jesse C., b. 1796, d. 1855; Mary Polly, b. 1798, d. 1804; John, b. 1799, d. 1888, m. (1) Sinderella Simmons (2) Sarah Jane Yarbrough; Jane “Jennie,” b. 1801, d. 1887; and Ebenezer, b. 1803, d. 1860.

The second son, John Nelson, is the lineage to be following in today’s story. Charles was born in 1799 in Columbus County, Ga., so he would have only been about six years of age when his father died there. In 1821, John was married in Warren County, Ga., to his first wife, Sindrella/Sindrilla Simmons who was born in 1804 in that county. (The name of Sindrella is also spelled as Sindrilla throughout several generations.) Sadly, she only lived about five years after their marriage and the birth of two children. She and John were the parents of the following: Emily, b. 1822, d. 1880, m. (1) 1843 William G. Jacks (1820-1849) (2) 1862 John Johnson; and John Washington, b. 1824, d. 1897, m. Elizabeth Ann “Eliza” Wallace (1830-1915).

The daughter, Emily Nelson, and her first husband, William G. Jacks, were the parents of two children: John Henry, b. 1843, d. 1854; and Anderson Edward, b. 1847, d. 1914, m. 1864 Matilda E. Champion (1847-1928).

The son, John Washington Nelson, was married to Elizabeth Ann “Eliza” Wallace in 1851 in Dadeville, Tallapoosa County, Ala. They moved to Texas and he died there in Linden, Cass County. They were the parents of the following children: Josephine, b. 1853, d. 1924, m. Luther Stillwell; John Alexander, b. 1854, d. 1927, m. Catherine “Katie” Carter (1852-1926); George Berry, b. 1855, d. 1910, m. Miriam Kelly (1863-1952); Lydia, b. 1860; N. Francis Marion, b. 1862, d. 1901, m. Frances “Fanny” Louisa Sneed (1856-1918); Evaline, b. 1865; Louisiana Eliza, b. 1866, d. 1930, m. James Andrew Jackson (1862-1950); James Madison, b. 1870, d. 1942, m. (1) Mary Elizabeth Gilbert (1875-1962) (2) Ada Belle Yarbrough (1882-1985); and Roxea O., b. 1873.

Following Sindrella’s death in 1826 in Warren County, John was married to Sarah Jane Yarbrough, daughter of William Moses Yarbrough (1769-1835) and Mary Brooks (1777-1835). Sarah Jane was born in 1808 in Abbeville County, S.C. After marrying John Nelson, she migrated with him from Warren County, Ga., to Tallapoosa County, Ala. They apparently make this move soon after their marriage as their first child was born in 1829 in the Town of Dadeville, Ala.

John and Sarah Jane Nelson were the parents of the following children: Little Berry Ward, b. 1829, d. 1892, m. Martha Ann Frances Carter (1832-1901); Angeline, b. 1832, d. 1920, m. Thomas Jefferson Cross (1822-1904); Sindrilla, b. 1834, d. 1905, m. (1) James Thomas “Tom” Stephens (1832-1862) (2) Charles Zachery “Charley” Nelson (1846-1916); Lavina Louisa, b. 1836, d. 1893, m. John Wesley Wallace (1831-1879); Wiley Andrew Jackson Sr., b. 1838, d. 1862, m. Mary Ann Hand (1840-1911); Francis Marion, b. 1840, d. 1920, m. Martha Ann Champion (1842-1928); Jesse Floyd, b. 1842, d. 1895, m. Martha Leytitia “Lucille” Mclear (1845-1900); Barron Dekalb, b. 1845, d. 1930, m. Margaret Louise “Marg” McGuire (1844-1882); Alexander Hamilton, b. 1848, d. 1921, m. (1) Amanda Louisa Yates (1849-1891) (2) Mary A. Permenter (1841-1920); and Charles Elbert or Ebenezer, b. 1850, d. 1926, m. (1) Martha E. or Margaret Gardner (1856-1873) (2) Sarah Ellen Fields (1855-1948).

John and Sarah Jane Nelson’s oldest son, Little Berry Ward Nelson, was married in 1850 in Tallapoosa County, Ala., to Martha Ann Frances Carter who was born in Pike County, Ala., in 1832. They were among the children of John Nelson who moved to Cass County, Tex. They became the parents of the following 10 children: William Coller, b. 1850, d. 1856; John Napoleon, b. 1851, d. 1857; Jones Marlin, b. 1852, d. 1922, m. Lucinda Drucilla Hampton (1855-1903); George Washington, b. 1854, d. 1929, m. Martha Goodson; Amos Berry, b. 1856, d. 1892, m. Jane “Mattie” Crow (1859-1901); Sarah Jane “Sallie,” b. 1859, d. 1944, m. Daniel William Gilford “Bill” Boone (1850-1914); James Robert, b. 1861, d. 1863; John Hamilton, b. 1862, d. 1940, m. Francis “Fannie” Ora Black (1865-1919); Henry DeKalb, b. 1856, d. 1952, m. Ella Eugene Whitaker (1873-1959); and Emanuel, b. 1875, d. 1948, m. Hettie Esther Farrio Keasler (1877-1962).

John and Sarah Jane’s oldest daughter, Angeline Nelson, was married in 1851 in Tallapoosa County to Thomas Cross. Only one child, Mary Mandora Cross, was found for them, and the record listed her married name as Towry. Thomas died in 1904 in Polk County, Ark., and Angeline died in 1920 in Pottawatomie County, Oka.

The next daughter, Sindrilla Nelson, was married to James Thomas Stephens, son of James S. Stephens (1794-1845) and Gilly Barber (1796-1870). They moved to Lincoln County, Oka., where Sindrilla died in 1905. They were the parents of the following children: Clarinda Lucinda “Clara,” b. 1851, d. 1924, m. Henry Crawford Miller (1845-1925); John William “Jack,” b. 1853, d. 1937, m. Sarah Emily Dean (1852-1889); Edna Alma, b. 1855, d. 1935, m. Joseph R. Abrams (1850-1933); Christiana, b. 1856, d. 1914, m. Sanford W. Cotney (1856-1924); and Thomas Jefferson, b. 1859, d. 1941, m. Elizabeth Narcissus “Bettie” Simpson (1861-1921).

The next daughter, Lavina Louisa Nelson, was married in 1855 to John Wesley Wallace, son of Jefferson Jay Wallace (1812-1849) and Lydia Cross (1812-1859). This family also moved to Cass County, Tex., where they reared the following children: Georgia Ann Elizabeth, b. 1856, d. 1933, m. ? Pratt; Martha Ann, b. 1857; Jefferson Davis, b. 1861, d. 1900, m. Nancy Lavera Henderson (1853-1942); John Franklin, b. 1866; Mary Elmira, b. 1869; Decalb Monroe, b. 1871, d. 1936; and Sarah Jane, b. 1876.

The next son, Wiley Andrew Jackson Nelson was married in 1860 to Mary Ann Hand. Although his company was not found, he served as a private in the Confederate Army. He died in 1862 in Knoxville, Knox County, Tenn., and was buried there in the Confederate Cemetery. He and Mary Ann were the parents of one son, Wiley Andrew Jackson Nelson Jr., who was born in 1863 months after his father’s untimely death. Wiley Jr. was born in Shelby County, Ala., in the area of Calera. He died in 1925 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but was buried in Calera. Wiley Jr. was married in 1884 in Shelby County to Feby Vilantie Henderson (1861-1933).

Since family lineage data are available on the additional children in this family, a second column will be written for next week. The youngest children and families lived and reared their children in Covington County, Ala.

The primary source for the genealogy covered today was from family trees presented on Anyone who may discover an error in the above or who has additional information on the Nelson family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL, 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: