Kirkland and Murphy families are united through 1869 marriage

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Although two earlier stories related to the Kirkland family lineage have appeared in this column, additional data has been found that permits an additional one with some coverage of earlier generations.

The earliest Kirkland ancestor to be identified at present from family trees is a Cristian Kirkland who was born in 1585 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Although this writer was not able to document the genealogy of these early generations, some researchers have listed five succeeding Cristian with the name Richard Kirkland. The first Richard married Elizabeth Gray and was born 1610 and died in 1637 in Scotland. The next Richard was born in Ayrshire, Scotland and died in 1772 in Fairfield, S.C., and was married to Sarah Ann Mammock. He would have the immigrant ancestor. The third Richard was born in 1670, died in 1742, and married Mary ?.

The fourth one was Richard Snowden Kirkland Sr. who was born in Ann Arundel, MD., and died in 1772 in Edgefield Co., S.C. He was married to Mary Ann Brown. Following him was his son, Richard Snowden Kirkland Jr., who was born in 1722 in Fairfax County, Va. and died in 1797 in Effingham, Ga. He was married to Elizabeth Sibbell Odom (1730-1772). He rendered service for the Colonists during the American Revolutionary War. Richard Snowden Kirkland Sr. was the father of Benjamin Moses Kirkland Sr., b. 1750 in Orangeburg District, S.C., d. 1806 in Henry County, Ala.

Benjamin Moses Kirkland Sr. was married to Alice Alcey Odom (1740-1796), and they were the parents of at least the following seven children: Susanna, b. 1750, d. 1855; Moses, b. 1760, d. before 1848, m. Nancy ?; Jonathan Gregory, b. 1762, d. 1837; Richard, b. 1764, d. 1913; Benjamin Moses Jr., b. 1772, d. 1848, m. Susanna Britnell (1780-1812); Caleb V., b. 1772, d. 1864, m. 1825 Sarah “Sally” Elizabeth Ransom (1768-1837); William Ransom Sr., b. 1786, d. 1864. The dividing line between Edgefield and Orangeburg Counties ran through Benjamin Sr.’s property.

Benjamin Moses “Leg A Walking” Kirkland Jr. was born circa 1772 in Edgefield County, S.C. He was married to Susannah Britnell (1780-1812), and it is not certain whether he migrated south before or after her death. It appears he had moved and settled in Henry County, Ala., during the 1820s. In 1828, he was chosen by the Alabama Legislature to serve as a Commissioner for Henry County. He was not found there for the 1830 census, but he was there afterwards. It appears he gone back and forth from Alabama to South Carolina. In 1862, he enlisted for service in the Confederate Army as a private in Company A, 8th Alabama Infantry Regiment. In 1870, he was enumerated as a farmer in Abbeville, Ala.

Benjamin Moses Jr. and Susannah Kirkland were the parents of the following children: Ailcey (Aulcey), b. 1797, d. 1864, m. Mathew Brackin; Ruth “Ruthy,” b. 1798, d. 1863, m. 1821 William S. Kirkland; Benjamin H., b. 1800, d. 1878, m. Sarah Kirkland; Willis, b. 1802, d. 1906, m. Rebecca Kirkland; and Josiah, b. 1805, d. 1878, m. Cynthia Watson (1805-1885).

The lineage of the oldest son, Benjamin H. Kirkland, will be followed from this point. He was born in 1800 in Edgefield County, S.C., and was known as “Hopping Ben.” Family legend indicates he was left crippled by a disease during childhood known as “Cloudy Swelling.” Then, sadly, he suffered from a debilitating mental illness late in life. He had migrated to Henry County, Ala., before 1826 and lived out the rest of his life there. At his death in 1878, he was residing in Headland, Henry County, and was buried in the Kirkland Cemetery.

In 1826, Hopping Ben was married to Sarah Kirkland (1808-1892), his first cousin who was the daughter of Caleb Kirkland Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth “Sally” Ransom. Some records show 16 children for them, and others show as many as 20. The following names are generally accepted: Anne Catherine, b. 1827, d. 1898; Jonathan, b. 1827, d. 1830; Nelly, b. 1828, d.1880, m. 1847 Willis Kirkland; Susannah, b. 1830, d. 1878, m. John Calhoun Kennedy; Mary Ann, b. 1831, d. 1840; Moses S., b. 1831, d. 1922, m. Ellen Marie L. Balkcom; Andrew Jackson, b. 1833, d. 1898, m.. 1886 Nancy Ann Andrews; Henry A., b. 1834, d. 1864, m. 1855 Hattie Rebecca Johnson (1830-1880); Dicey, b. 1835, d. 1840; Nancy, b. 1839, d. 1878; Cynthia, b. 1840, d. 1850; Rutha “Ruthy,”, b. 1842, d. 1917, m. Snowden S. Kirkland; Francis Marion, b. 1843, d. 1913, m. 1865 Lydia Brackin (1839-1924); Mahalia, b. 1845, d. 1920, m. 1861 Josiah M. Kirkland; Jackson M, b. 1846, d. 1920; William “Billy” Josiah, b. 1848, d. 1921, m. 1870 Sarah Elmeda Arnold (1852-1935); John Caleb, b. 1849, d. 1920, m. 1868 Nancy Jane Rogers (1848-1923); Francis or Franklin Posey, b. 1851, d. 1924, m. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Arnold (1833-1881); and Josephine “Josey,” b. 1862.

The son, Henry A. Kirkland, was born in 1834 and died at the young age of 30 years in 1864. He had enlisted in the Confederate Army from Henry County in March 1862 and served as a private in Company A, 60th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was wounded in the trenches in front of Petersburg, Va., when he was hit by shell fragments. He died the very next day. He had married Rebecca Johnson (1830-1880) in 1855, and they became residents of the Cureton Bridge community in Henry County. They were the parents of the following children: Snowden S., Madison, Jason, and Marion.

It appears that most of the eligible sons rendered service in the Confederate Army. In addition to Henry, at least three of his brothers enlisted: Andrew Jackson Kirkland and Francis Marion Kirkland in Company E, 60th Alabama Infantry Regiment as privates, and William Josiah Kirkland in Company E, 63rd Alabama Infantry Regiment as a private. Francis Marion enlisted in March 1861, and William Josiah, in 1864. No service record was found by this writer for brothers Jonathan, John Caleb, Jackson M. or Franklin Posey Kirkland.

The daughter, Rutha Kirkland, was married to her cousin, Snowden S. Kirkland (1835-1915). Snowden enlisted in August 1861 to serve as a private in Company A (became B), 6th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Confederate Army. He later became a prosperous farmer in Dale County. Although there is some uncertainly of the accuracy, the following children have been listed for them: Charlie Jefferson, b. 1861, d. 1960; Archie P., b. 1864, d. 1943; Olive, b. 1866, d. 1954; Andrew Bell, b. 1870, d. 1952; Lucy Magaline, b. 1873, d. 1941, m. ? Brackin; Peyton W., b. 1875, d. 1954; Nellie Rosanna, b. 1877, d. 1959, m. ? Hughes or Smothers; Madora “Dora” Ann; and Rutha. Snowden had a son out of wedlock with an Indian maiden who was named Dennis and reared by Snowden.

The third daughter, Susannah Kirkland, was married in 1848 to John Cameron Kennedy, a native of Butler County, Ala. In 1850, the couple was residing next door to her parents, but by 1860 they were found in Dale County. They were the parents of the following children: Mary “Polly,” m. John Cameron; Marinda, b. 1853, d. 1927, m. John Milton Murphy; Rufus; Margaret Peggy; Benjamin; Josa; Abigail; and Nancy.

Susannah and John’s second daughter, Marinda Kennedy, was born in 1853 in Dale County, Ala. She was married to John Milton Murphy, who was born in 1848 as the son of William and Eliza Murphy. John was described as a “rover” and never liked to stay in one place for long at the time, and he even left his family at one time. He and Marinda were the parents of the following children: Rev. Oscar Milton, b. ca 1869, d. 1940, m. (1) 1890 Eliza Gertrude Aman (d. 1918) (2) 1919 Erin Elizabeth McCloud; Margaret “Molly,” b. 1871, d. 1934, m. (1) Ben Tiller (1842-1903) (2) Everett P. Platt (1868-1937); Florence, b. 1874, d. 1953, m. Moses H. Harrington (1860-1944); Savannah, b. 1877, m. Charles A. Clemmons (1862-1937); and Equilla O., b. 1888, d. 1966, m. Abner P. Hoffman.

Marinda and John’s marriage linked the Kirkland family with the Murphy family which was featured in an earlier column. A descendant of this family, Mary Jane (Dykes) Weaver, published her research of several families in the book, Dykes and Kin of Yesterday and Today. Her book along with served as the source for today’s story.

Anyone who finds 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: