Early Families of Pike and Crenshaw County, Alabama
Background on County Formation, and Family Location
Pike County was formed in 1821, from Henry and Montgomery Counties. Most of the families discussed will be found enumerated in Pike, though a few were enumerated in Coffee County due to changes in the county lines over the years. In 1867, Crenshaw County was formed from part of Pike, Covington, Butler, and Lowndes Counties, and most of the families discussed are found in the areas of Rutledge, Brantley, and Mt. Ida Alabama, with a few remaining in what is currently Pike County.
The Franklin Family
Henry Franklin first appears in the enumeration of Washington County, Alabama in 1810. He, his wife Margaret Boggs (or Baggs), and his children were last found in the Camden District of South Carolina in 1790. He is next listed on the tax list of 1813 of Clarke County, Alabama, with Josiah Brunson, and in the 1816 territorial census of Clarke County, Alabama which lists his household as having two males over the age of twenty one, three males under twenty one, two females over twenty one, three females under twenty one, and five slaves. D.A. Compton, who wrote a book on the Brunson family states that Henry and his family accompanied David Brunson, Jr. to Alabama from South Carolina. I have found no documentation prior to 1830 for David Brunson at this time.
The family of Henry Franklin has been a hard one to trace. No known parentage has been verified, and the children attributed to him have not been fully proven at this time. Margaret Boggs (Baggs) has also been difficult to trace, but a possible sibling has been found in Sumter County, South Carolina. Henry had 5 known sons, Henry Franklin Jr., who appears to have died prior to 1830, Thomas B. Franklin, who is in Clarke County in 1830, William “Barnett” Franklin, Robert Franklin and James Franklin. The households of Barnett, Robert, James, Martha Franklin Brunson, and the family of the deceased Henry Franklin, Jr. are enumerated in the 1830 and 1840 censuses of Pike County. Only the families of Barnett, Martha and Henry C. Franklin (grandson of Henry Franklin) appear to remain in the area after 1840.
In 1828, Barnett Franklin and his wife, Martha Brunson moved to Pike County, Alabama and settled on the Patsaliga River in the vicinity of present day Mt. Ida and Rutledge. Barnett, along with Martha's brother, Josiah Brunson, was a surveyor and helped to run many of the original land lines in that area of Alabama. They were also members of the surveying party that "laid out" Troy when it became the county seat of Pike County. They received land for their services and chose the Patsaliga Valley a mile or two south of Luverne, Alabama. Barnett Franklin died near Troy in Pike County, Alabama. He was killed when a mule kicked him in the head. His descendants are primarily in Florida and Texas, with a few remaining in Alabama.
The family of Martha Franklin Brunson, wife of Benjamin Brunson, moved to Pike County in 1828 in the company of their siblings, Barnett Franklin and Martha Brunson Franklin. The descendants of Martha Franklin Brunson eventually migrated to Texas.
Henry C. Franklin appears to be the son of Henry Franklin, Jr. and is living with his Uncle Barnett Franklin in 1840, and Cousin John Franklin in 1850, married Sarah S.A. Brunson in 1852.
The Brunson Family
The Brunson families of Pike county probably are related to the Brunson’s of the other counties in Alabama, as many of the family seems to have migrated west to Alabama from South Carolina in the first half of the 19th century. Two distinct and different families appear in the 1830 census of Pike county and thereafter. David Brunson Jr. and his second cousin, Josiah Brunson, apparently migrated to Clarke County, Alabama in the early 1800’s from South Carolina. Daniel Brunson, (son of David’s second cousin Josiah), David Brunson Jr., and David’s son, Josiah Brunson are enumerated in the 1830 census of Pike County. They apparently accompanied the Franklin family from Clarke County to Pike in 1828. The seven children of David Brunson, Jr. and the eight children of Daniel Brunson intermarried with many of their neighbors, including the Capps, Wise, Compton, Benbow, Thomas, and Tisdale families. Many of the descendants still reside in the Crenshaw county area; some have migrated to Texas and Florida.
A letter in the Crenshaw County News, written by one of David Brunson’s grandsons talks about several of the family members, and early residents of Pike/Crenshaw County. Source: Excerpt from “Obits and Abstracts 1910-1919, compiled by Joyce English. Also viewable on her website http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/River/1757/
My grandfather Brunson, and I am not sure but my grandfather Jinkens were with the Surveyors when the State was surveyed out, and I think Arrnett Franklin & Daniel Salter were with the surveyors & they selected the Patsaliga Valley for their future home and when they got through with the survey, then moved from their old home in Sumpter District, S.C. and my grandfather Brunson settled near the edge of the swamp as you come out from the Skaines Bridge toward Mt. Ida. Daniel Salter settled near where Mack Franklin now lives and Barnett Franklin settled up in that neighborhood. The Indians were here then, and they were hundreds of bears, wolves and panthers here at that time. It was very amusing to hear my father tell of bear fights he had been in and on one occasion when a bear scared him so bad, he climbed a slick hickory sapling forty feet high.
My grandfather was first stuck on lands in Clark County on the Tom Bigbee River near Salt Springs, and after a while, he sold out to the Benbows & moved to Clark County. After my father was grown he came back to the Valley & married Elizabeth Jinkins and moved to Montgomery county four miles north of Pine Level. In 1852 he came back to the Valley and settled on the ridge that forms the Patsaliga Bluff that was, when I was five years old Precincts 8 and 9. This county was then an uninhabited territory .At that time Henry Athey and Walter Compton lived in between Mt. Ida and the Patsaliga, and a little lower down lived Daniel Plancy & his sons Job & Daniel then down at the Bluff, lived my uncles Ben and David Brunson, and out from the river were Umphrey Capps and Mr. Holiday, and down in the bend where H.W.Carnes now lives. Uncle V.A.T. Underwood lived.
Those families made up the neighborhood on the river, now in Beat 9 there were one or two panthers seen about the swamp after we came back. There were a lot of deer and turkeys and fish in abundance. We could have lived fat, had we have had guns and ammunition. We had flint and steel guns, but as the old Sister told us last week: We only went to town once in a year and gun flints, shoe pegs and copperas were always first on the bill. The women used copperas in their dye stuff in dying thread to make cloth. My mother and sisters wove a lot of coverletts, counterpanes and four tredel Jeans,etc.
In 1858 Uncle Underwood, sold out to Robert and Thame Hill, and he and father moved way down on Brushey Creek west from where Brantley now is. Our neighbors there were few and far between.
At that time James Holland lived where his son W.G. Holland now lives and W.G.'s grandfather, and uncle John lived at the Holland Bridge on the west side of the river, and on the east side on the hill lived Jacob Taylor, where his grand son E.W.Taylor, now lives. Lower down where H.J. Merrill now lives, lived the older Merrills and down at Dozier were Uncle Daniel Dozier & Uncle Solomon Long and the younger Dozier's and Long's. Then turning north upon double Branch were Steve Branch and Briget Price, where the J.F. Bryan place now is Price owned a large herd of cattle. Over east from Price lived Uncle Bird Sasser and his sons where J.J. Sasser now lives. Further up the Conecuh lived John D. Chapman, Esq., and Green and Hampton Montgomery and William Boswell, father of T.J. Boswell of Beat 12.In 1865 William Turner and William DeLoach bought out the Montgomery's & the Turner's are on the old farm at this time Next in rotation, Crossing over on Dry Creek we found John R.Brunson and Bennett Boyett. Boyett owned a large herd of cattle, Jack Jones east side of the river had a lot of cows. On the west side Conecuh east of Dry Creek were Thomas Wyatt and one Mr.Warren, then coming back we found Green Williamson and Abbie Peterson. This brings us back home. It was an easy thing to raise sheep, hogs goats, and cows here then. My father has a lot of sheep and goats and in 1860 James J. Thurston, N.C. Kirkland, James Brabham and Hugh Cameron, came into Chapel neighborhood. Cameron brought a lot of sheep with him, so you see if, we did not have cattle upon a 1000 hills .we had a 1000 cattle upon hills;
I am now living within a few hundred yards of my father's old settlement where he settled in 1858.so you see I have been here a bit of time. Would like to name old citizens from Mt.Ida to New Providence, but am too lengthy already.
from H.D. Brunson May 13,1915
The Barnes Family
One of the most difficult families to trace, John Lunsford Barnes was born in Russell County, Alabama in 1857. One of his daughters, still alive in 2003, supplied the names of her father’s brothers and sisters, and from the census, all appear to have been born in Alabama, though the family hasn’t been found in the census prior to 1870 with the exception of one son in 1860. John Lunsford Barnes mother, Sallie or Callie remarried John A. Smith sometime between 1860 and 1870 in Pike County. She names the state she was born in as Georgia. In 1860, the oldest son, Robert Barnes, is living with Stephen Eiland and his family in Coffee County.
John Lunsford Barnes first married Epsy J. Eiland, niece of Stephen Eiland, daughter of Josephus Eiland about 1880 in Pike County. The Eiland family migrated to Montgomery County, Alabama early in the 1820 and 1830’s, and Stephen and his brother are found in the Pike County area until their deaths. John Lunsford’s second wife was Margaret Eleanor Baker. They lived in Crenshaw county until after 1910 when they migrated to Okaloosa County, Florida.
Oral history has that the father of John Lunsford Barnes died before Marshall Barnes, the youngest child was born in 1860, and that Robert, the eldest son went to war at the age of 14, and never returned home. According to John Lunsford’s daughter Maebelle, Robert returned to visit the family several years after the war, and had settled in Texas. No civil war record to verify his service has been found. The theory is the family missed the census in 1860 while staying with relatives, and part of the pages of the 1850 census appear to be missing, as a Barnes is listed on the slave index and he and his neighbor’s on that index are not included in the census.
We know now that John's father John S. Barnes was born in NC, and his mother Sarah Owens, was born in Baldwin Co. Georgia. The family moved with their Owen's kin to Pike after the death of John S. Barnes.
The Baker Family
Willoughby Baker and his family moved to Pike County from the Sumter District of South Carolina, sometime between 1830 and 1840, when he is found for the first time in Alabama. With him came his two adult son’s, his underage children, and it is felt some of his sisters and their husbands. He and his children resided in China Grove, Pike County. His eldest son, Abner Baker, was a traveling minister, and lived in a variety of counties before settling in Crenshaw County in 1880. Most of Willoughby’s descendants are found in Crenshaw County after its formation. The Baker family continues to have descendants in Alabama, as well as in the Panhandle area of Florida. Associated families with the Baker family are the Christmas, Barefoot, and Prescott families.
The Smith Family
The family of John A. Smith first appears in Pike County in 1860. John A. Smith, and his first wife Mary, are listed as being born in South Carolina. The children of John A. Smith and his first wife were born in Georgia. John A. Smith and his family are found in Pike and Crenshaw counties until their deaths. One of his granddaughters married a Brunson descendant, Dove Johnson.
Possible related Franklin Marriages, unknown relationships
Margaret Franklin to William Robertson 8/30/1816 (no county)
Margaret C. Franklin to George W. Williamson 7/27/1848 Pike County
Mary Ann Franklin to John R. Capps 1/5/1846 Pike County
May Franklin to Michael S. Winford 2/17/1817 (no county listed)
Patsy Franklin to John Morrow 11/27/1823 (no county)
Rebecca A. Franklin to James D. Lide 8/15/1850 Clarke County
James E. Franklin married Emily A. Gaeny 3/20/1844 Pike County, AL
Margaret Franklin to James Hicks 1/29/1844 Clarke
Mahala Franklin to Alley G. Hill 12/26/1832 Clarke
John E. Franklin to Christain McCleod 1/14/1847 Clarke
Jane F. Franklin to William J. Raney 2/26/1840 Clarke
Jane Franklin to John Windford 1/6/1817 no county
J. C. Franklin to Mary A. Ray 10/23/1850 Clarke
Ann Franklin to Allen Johnson 8/5/1820 no county
Possible related Brunson’s
Brunson, Arminta L. to Henry McClinton 12/24/1838 Clarke
Brunson, George A. to Margaret Pickens 10/11/1845 Clarke
Brunson, George A. to Mary Russell 8/27/1843 Clarke
Brunson, George N. to Mary a. Simmers 6/25/1845 Clarke
Brunson, James to Mary DeLoach 12/14/1837 Clarke
Brunson, Joel to Mary Hickman 1/06/1848 Barbour
Brunson, John to Elender Smith 4/8/1841 Clarke
Brunson, Marion A. to Catholine C. Mallard 5/6/1846 Pike
Brunson, Martha to John Guy 4/26/1847 Clarke
Brunson, Milley to Gilbert Guy 8/22/1835 Clarke
Brunson, Nancy to James D. Walker 10/19/1839 Clarke
Brunston, Polly to Joseph Montgomery 5/25/1818 no county
Brunston, Susanna to James Craig 2/11/1815 no county
Possible related Thomas’s
Thomas, Adeline to Daniel Bradshaw 5/23/1842 Pike
Thomas, Catherine to Henry Jordan 5/8/1838 Pike
Thomas, Cecily A.S. to Abraham Fulmore 12/25/1840 Pike
Thomas, Charity to William Boutwell 12/12/1839 Pike
Thomas, Etheridge to Martha J. Small 2/15/1838 Pike
Thomas, James to Elizabeth Gamies5/10/1837 Pike
Thomas, Jemima to Hamilton D. Sherley 12/3/1843 Pike
Thomas, John Jr. to Mily Ann Bell 2/1/1844 Pike
Thomas, John F. to Martha J. Gilmore 8/2/1841 Pike
Thomas, Mary Ann to James W. Braswell 6/9/1846 Pike
Thomas, Sarah to Thomas L. Fryer7/1/1839 Pike
Thomas, Temperance B. to Marvill Mclendon 11/6/1833 Pike
Thomas, Theophilus to Effy Coker 8/27/1833 Pike
Thomas, William to Sarah Cope 2/21/1843 Pike
Thomas, William to Sarah Smith 10/15/1836 Pike