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McCreary family celebrates proud heritage at annual “picnic”

The family and lineage of Elijah McCreary of Conecuh County, Ala., was featured in last week’s column. More genealogy of this McCreary family will be presented in today’s writing. The story begins with the family of Elijah’s son, Andrew Jay McCreary, who was born in 1860 in Conecuh County.

Andrew Jay McCreary was married in 1882 to Ida E. Findley (1859-1923), daughter of John Jack Findley and Martha Allen Raburn of Loango, Covington County. They lived in the McCreary community where Andrew managed a farm. They were the parents of the following children: Arthur Allen, b. 1882, d. 1929, m. Ursie Hart; John Findley, b. 1886, d. 1969, m. Florida Callaway; Anna Elizabeth, b. 1888, d. 1972, m. Franklin Robinson McCreary; Fred Otto, b. 1892, d. 1952, m. Ella Mae Callaway; and Ida Lillian, b. 1894, d. 1984, m. Gary Harper.

The oldest son, Arthur Allen McCreary, was born in 1882 at McCreary. In 1907, he was married to Ursie Hart, daughter of Reuben Hart and Sarah Jane McGowin. Within two years, they moved to the Reuben Hart plantation located about five miles south of Brooklyn. Arthur became engaged in extensive farming raising cotton and other crops, and at one time, he was part owner in a cotton gin. He was able to pay off a mortgage on some of the land of $8,000 held by his father-in-law. Unfortunately, he died in 1929 of pneumonia around Christmas time during the depression. The oldest son, Virgil stayed home to operate the farm, but with hogs and cotton at 4 cents per pound, the farm lost $4,000 that year. To survive, the family shut down the farm and moved to Auburn and opened a board house, which enabled them to keep the farm and Virgil earn his degree in veterinary medicine. Arthur Allen and Ursie were the parents of the following children: Virgil Dudley, b. 1907, d. 1982, m. Rosa Iva Hinote; Andrew Jay, b. 1911, d. 1985, m. Annie Mae Henderson; Ruby Eulalia, b. 1913, d. 1984, m. William Thompson Christopher; and Sarah Elizabeth, b. 1916, d. 1991, m. James Horace Sellers.   

Virgil Dudley McCreary was married in 1936 to Rosa Iva Hinote, daughter of Walter Hinote and Rosa Williamson of the Brewton area. Virgil was graduated from A.P.I. (AU) and worked as a veterinarian beginning practice in Brewton where he inspected meat for the City. In 1950, he was appointed to the State Board of Veterinary Examiners. He later became the director of a swine lab in Elba until his retirement. He was a part of the eradication of hog cholera in Alabama with the last case being in the Friendship community in Coffee County. Virgil and Iva were the parents of one daughter, Mary Carole, b. 1942, d. 2014, m. 1960 Roy Barton Ward, son of Roy A. Ward and Nell Pulaski. Mary Carole and Roy were the parents of four children: Jon Dudley, b. 1962, m. Teresa Walden; Allen McCreary, b. 1965, m. Kimberly Thomas; Susan Carole, b. 1967, m. (1) Brigham Charles Taplin (2) Dr. Michael Joseph Flores; and Mary Nell, b. 1969, m. Dennis Eishen.

Virgil’s oldest son, Jon Dudley, and his wife, Teresa, are the parents of two children: Tara Lynn, m. Samuel Wayne Bush; and Alex McCreary, m. Allison Nicole Yant. Tara Lynn, a licensed attorney, works with her husband, Sam, in his pediatric dentistry office in Montgomery. She graduated third in her class at Cumberland School of Law. Alex is a senior in dental school. Virgil’s second son, Allen McCreary Ward, and his wife, Kimberly, are the parents of three children: Sydney Flora, Collin McCreary and Ella Gabrielle. Virgil’s daughter, Susan Carole Ward, and her husband, Brigham Charles Taplin have two sons: Ryder Eli and Lyle Charles. Susan is currently married to Dr. Michael Joseph Flores. Virgil’s youngest daughter, Mary Nell Ward, and her husband, Dennis Eishen, have two sons, Zacary Shackelford and Jake Ward.

Arthur Allen’s second son, Andrew Jay McCreary II, was married in 1845 to Annie Mae Henderson (1910-2004), daughter of James Henderson and Kate Robinson of Andalusia. He served as a veterinarian during WW II and married Annie upon his return. He then went into private practice in Pensacola. They were the parents of Andrew Jay Jr, b. 1947, m. Carole Fluegge; James Henderson, b. 1949, d. 2016, m. Sue Ellen Malone; and Dudley Burney, b. 1952, d. 1966. Andrew Jay Jr. adopted three children: Aurors, James Shane and Aaron. James Henderson and Sue Ellen had three children: James Henderson Jr., (dentist in Pensacola), b. 1976, m. (1) 2001 Katie Gilbert (2) 2009 Leah Dugan; Joseph Patrick (engineer), b. 1978, m. Anna Shoor; and Molly Malone (professor), b. 1981, d. 2005, m. Chad Andrea.

Arthur Allen’s oldest daughter, Ruby Eulalia McCreary, married in 1934 William Thompson Christopher (1912-1950), son of Dr. Frank Evans Christopher and Susie Edna Watkins. They were the parents of three children: Arthur Frank, b. 1934, d. 1999, m. Mickey Luvern Downey; William McCreary, b. 1937, d. 1999, m. Lou Nell Lindsey; and Martha Sue, b. 1943, m. George William Baker.

Arthur Allen’s youngest daughter, Sarah Elizabeth McCreary, married James Horace Sellers.  They were the parents of three children: Edward Durden, b. 1949, d. 2009, m. Joan Marie Farrell; James D., b. 1953, m. Bonnie M. Scarcliff; and Vera Pamela, b. 1944, m. (1) David W. Slaton (2) Edward Flynt Northington (3) Anthony Russell Slaton. 

Andrew Jay’s second son, John Findley McCreary, was born in 1886 in the McCreary community where he lived and reared his family. In 1910, he married Florida Callaway (b. 1888), daughter of Edward Douglas Callaway and Georgia Boyett. They were the parents of the following four children: Georgia Vonceil, b. 1911; Ida Florida, b. 1914, m. Jack Harper; John Kendrick, b. 1918, m. 1953 Betty Joe Stallworth, daughter of Joe and Rebecca Stallworth; and Edgar Calloway, b. 1925, m. Annie Ruth Findley. Georgia Vonceil taught school for a number of years in Alabama including East Three Notch Elementary in Andalusia.

John Findley’s daughter, Ida Florida McCreary, was born in 1914, and she married in 1936 Jack Harper, son of Ralph Harper and Hettie Smith. They were the parents of the following two sons: Glen Terry, b. 1937; and John Ralph, b. 1939. John Findley’s son, Edgar Callaway McCreary, was born in 1925 and married Annie Ruth Findley, daughter of George Cyrus Findley and Vergie Elizabeth Fuqua. Edgar and Annie were the parents of two children: John Findley, b. 1951; and Susan, b. 1953.

Andrew Jay McCreary’s oldest daughter, Anna Elizabeth McCreary, was born in 1888 and was married in 1913 to Frank Robinson McCreary, son of Wilson McCreary and Addie Robinson. They were the parents of the three following children: Elijah Wilson, b. 1914, m. Lois Brock of Sand Mountain, Ala.; Frank Robinson, b. 1917, m. 1912 Alice Rich, daughter of Samuel Oscar Rich and Helen Early Chaffin; and Addie. 

Anna Elizabeth McCreary’s oldest son, Elijah Wilson McCreary, and his wife, Lois Brock, were the parents of three children: Wilson Elijah, b. 1941; John Brock, b. 1943; and Jane Ann, b. 1944. Anna Elizabeth’s second son, Frank Robinson McCreary, and his wife, Alice Rich, were also the parents of three children: Helen Elizabeth, b. 1942; Frances Lillian, b. 1947; and Frank Robinson III, b. 1948.

Andrew Jay McCreary’s son, Fred Otto McCrary, was born in 1891 in Conecuh County. He rendered service during World War I for 11 months, and most of his tenure was spent in France. In 1920, he was married to Ella Mae Callaway, and they became the parents of the following children: Lillian Estelle, b. 1921, m. 1948 Thomas Fleetwood Reynolds, son of William W.R. Reynolds and Elizabeth Bonner Neville; Neta Virginia, b. 1924, m. 1949 Edward H. Buckner, son of Hershel Zeb Buckner and Lela Maude Pearson; and Arthur Fred, b. 1927, m. 1952 Mary Alice McIntyre, daughter of Gary L. McIntyre and Fay Harper.

Andrew Jay McCreary’s youngest daughter, Lillian Ida McCreary, was born in 1894 in Conecuh County. In 1921, she was married to Gary Harper, son of John Harper and Mary Murphy. They were the parents of two children: Lt. Judson Cary, b. 1923, d. 1944, killed in action during World War II; and Lillian Mildred, b. 1926, m. 1947 Murry Stinson. Lillian and Murry were the parents of three children: William Judson, b. 1949; George Murphy, b. 1950; and Lillian Cary.

There are a couple of well-known McCreary descendants residing in Andalusia. The two are brothers and the sons of Mary Carole (McCreary) and Roy Ward and grandsons of Virgil Dudley and Iva McCreary. Jon and Allen Ward are both popular dentists in Andalusia, and Allen’s wife, Kimberly Ward, is an orthodontist. It is quite remarkable that there are at least seven dentists in this family: In addition to Jon, Allen and Kimberly Ward, there are James Henderson McCreary, Sam Bush, son-in-law of Jon Ward, and Jon’s son, Alex Ward, is a senior in dentistry school.

This McCreary family has a proud heritage and gathers at an annual “picnic” at Thanksgiving. Since 1910, around 100 relatives show up for this event at McCreary located on Ard Creek.

Sources for today’s story include, a family history compiled by Andrey Jay McCreary at Thanksgiving 1954, and other family records provided by descendants.

Anyone finding 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.