McLaughlin family descendants migrated to Rose Hill, Ala.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

By: Curtis Thomasson

An interesting family name that is not heard around these parts very frequently in the present time was a well-known one during the 1800s in the Rose Hill community of Covington County. However, there are three households listed in the current Covington County telephone directory, and there are probably others who are not listed in this publication.

Fairly recently in 2012, a descendant of this family, Wayne McLaughlin, a retired dentist, who resides in Auburn, Ala., authored an informative book, Blue Springs, in which he outlined several related families who were residents of that community. His McLaughlin family was one of those, which prompted today’s story. Appreciation is expressed to Sherry Johnston, genealogist at the Evergreen Public Library, for making known the availability of this publication.

Wayne McLaughlin and other relatives have been researching this family for many years, but to date they have been unable to document the lineage beyond Duncan McLaughlin, who became a resident of the Rose Hill community in Covington County. The family would very much like to identify and document earlier generations of this family.

The Duncan McLaughlin mentioned above was born circa 1804 in North Carolina. (Another record shows South Carolina.) He was married to a lady named Martha whose maiden name is not known at this time. She was born circa 1800 in either North Carolina or Virginia. They appear to have married in South Carolina during the late 1820s. The gentleman who appears to be their son, John Lee McLaughlin, was born there in 1830. The family migrated from North Carolina to South Carolina where they resided for at least a generation.

Family memories reveal that the family moved further south to the State of Georgia where they remained for a reasonably short period of time. They later moved on to Covington County, Ala. This is the point when researchers have documentation of the family. The Federal Census of 1860 enumerates the family of John Lee McLaughlin residing in the Rose Hill community of Covington County. He and his wife are both 30 years of age, and Duncan and wife, Martha, are residing in the household with him being 56 and Martha, 60 years old.

By the recording of the 1870 census for Covington County, Duncan McLaughlin was no longer listed, so he had apparently passed away. At that time, John Lee was 40 years old, and his wife, Elizabeth, was 39. Martha was living in their household at 73 years of age. Duncan was most likely buried in one of the cemeteries in the Rose Hill community, maybe even the Rose Hill Cemetery itself.

John Lee McLaughlin, a native of South Carolina, was married to Sarah Elizabeth Owens who was born in 1829 in South Carolina. She was the daughter of Henry Owens and Aily-Alcy Lunsford. Some records show Henry as having been born circa 1794 in England and Aily-Alcy, in 1790 in New York. Henry died in 1860 in Chattahoochee, Ga., and Aily-Alcy, in 1870 in Pike County, Ala.

John Lee and Sarah were married circa 1850 and were in Covington County, Ala., in 1850 when their first child was born. They settled in the Rose Hill community where John Lee engaged in farming. They became the parents of the following children before John Lee volunteered to serve in the Confederate Army: Sarah H., b. 1852, d. 1938. single; Henry Robert, b. 1854, d. 1910, single; Joseph Hightower, b. 1956, d. 1935, m. Annie Adline Dozier (1862-1929); and Mary E., b. 1858.

John Lee McLaughlin enlisted fairly early, 1961 or 1962, for service in the Confederate States of America and was assigned to Company A, 42nd. Alabama Infantry Regiment. He survived the war and returned to his family and continued farming. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had two additional children: Thomas Charles, b. 1868, d. 1949, m. Sabina Elizabeth “Betty” Lord; and Johnnie Lee, b. 1870; d. 1958, m. John Franklin Croft. Their children made their homes in the Rose Hill community. John Lee died circa 1870, and Sarah Elizabeth, in 1919.  Both were buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery.

The oldest child, Sarah H. McLaughlin, was born in 1852 in Covington County and appears to have remained single. She died in 1938 in the Dixie community and was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery.

The oldest son, Henry Robert McLaughlin, was born in 1854 and resided in Rose Hill. He appears to have remained single also. When the 1900 federal census was enumerated, he was a farmer at 45 years of age and head of a household including his mother, Sarah Elizabeth, and his siblings: Sarah, Mary E., Charley T., and John Lee. When the 1910 federal census was taken, Robert was 55 years old and head of a household including his mother at 83, his sister, Sarah, at 58 and four Caton children: Ruth P., Buna May, Noah W., and Annie B. Joseph died during that year and was buried in the family plot in the Rose Hill Cemetery.

The second son, Joseph Hightower McLaughlin, was born in 1856. In 1879, he was married to Annie Adline Dozier (1862-1929), daughter of Paul Dozier (1828-1999) and Rebecca Adaline Holley (1835-1917). Although Annie was born in Biloxi, Miss., the family had apparently returned to the Rose Hill/Dozier area. Joseph supported his family through farming. He and Annie later moved to Santa Rosa County, Fla., where she died in 1929, and he, in 1935.

Joseph and Annie McLaughlin were the parents of the following children: James Daniel, b. 1880, d. 1935, m. 1911 Alma Dovie Whigham (1892-1983); Rebecca Elizabeth, b. 1882, d. 1967, m. Robert Lee Moore (1878-1910); Ida M.; David B.; and John R.

Nothing more was found regarding the second daughter, Mary E. McLaughlin, other than she was born in 1858 and in the household of her brother, Robert McLaughlin, in 1880 at the age of 18.

The next son, Charles Thomas McLaughlin, was born in 1868, and resided in the Rose Hill community. He was married during the early 1890s to Sabina Elizabeth “Betty” Lord. They were the parents of the following children: Almira “Myra” E. or U., b. 1893; Ira. T. or Ceron, b. 1895; Verbie I, b. 1896; and William “Willie” Ralph, b. ca 1901. It is not known why the census taker listed Charles as widowed in 1910 with Sabina not being enumerated. Yet, in the 1920 census, Sabina is present and the children have left the household. Then they had two additional children: Charles Thomas Jr., b. 1920, d. 1993, m. Martha Mae Boykin (1923-2006); and Henry Robert, b. 1922, d. 1981.

The youngest daughter of John Lee, Johnnie Lee McLaughlin, was born in 1870 and made her home in Rose Hill. She was married in 1892 to John Franklin Croft, son of Lewis Croft (1822-1910) and Augusta A. Vandiver (1829-1880). They were the parents of the following children: Rosa Lee, b. 1895, d. 1941, m. William T. Cook; Vera, b. 1898, d. 1990, m. Henry Luther Greer; Cleon, b. 1899, d. 1979, m. Juanita W. ? (1812-1991); Malcolm, b. 1902-1955, m. Helen R. Head (1914-2013); Charles Bruner, b. 1906, d. 2000, m. Mamie Thelma Carter, b. 1911-2000); Mildred “Sook,” b. 1908, d. 1988, m. Robert Harper (1902-1989); Parker, b. 1910, d. 1983, m. 1946 ?; Levie Douglas b. 1913, d. 1995, m. Evelyn Estelle Tison (1919-1979); and Sarah Elizabeth, b. 1915, d. 2005, m. (1) ? Gunter (2) Cecil R. Milligan (1913-1974).

This review of the McLaughlin family is concluded with the grandchildren of John Lee McLaughlin, a resident of Rose Hill community of Covington County.

Sources for this story include and Wayne McLaughlin’s book, Blue Springs, a story of a community in Barbour County, Ala.

Anyone who may 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: