(Part 2 - Section 4 - Page 3)

by Col. James Edmonds Saunders
Lawrence County, Alabama
New Orleans, LA 1899

Transcribed and Submitted by Debra Hudson


Early Settlers of Alabama Index      Home    PART 2 Sec 1 Sec 2   Sec 3  Sec 4

Part 2 Section 4  Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 56



Line of Thomas Watkins, (d. 1760), of Swift Creek, Powhatan Co. (once Cumberland.)  Children:


                Thomas of Chickahominy (b. 1714, d. 1783); Stephen (1720, d. 1755); Joel (b. 1716) (trustee for Humphrey-Sidney College 1760). (Hening, XI.)  Benjamin (b. 1725), (first clerk of Chesterfield ancestor of the Leighs); Mary, Mrs. Woodson (b. 1710); Eliz., Mrs. Daniel (b. 1712)of these:

                1.  Thomas, of Chickahominy, married Miss Anderson, of Chesterfield.  They lived near Bottoms Bridge, Henrico county.  Children:

                1.  Henry Watkins m. Temperance Hughes, of Chesterfield, and moved to Prince Edward county.

                2.  Francis Watkins, of Poplar Hill (d. 1826), came to Prince Edward county 1767, married Agnes Woodson.

                3.  Joel Watkins, of Charlotte county, married Agnes Morton.

                4.  Thomas Watkins, Swifts Creek, Powhatan (d. before 1783), married (before 1763) Sally ------, his descendants went to Georgia.

                5.  Betsy Watkins (d. before 1783), married Nathaniel Massie, of Goochland.

                6.  Susannah Watkins m. (1764) Col. Wm. Morton, of Charlotte county, and of the Rev.

                7.  Sally Watkins married Capt. John Spencer, of Charlotte county.

                8.  Mary Watkins m. Stephen Pankey, of Manchester.

                9.  Nancy Watkins m. Smith Blakely, of Henrico.

                10.  Jane Watkins m. Charles Hundley.

                11.  Prudence Watkins m. William Royster, of Goochland county.

                THOMAS WATKINS, of Swift Creek, had a brother, Edward Watkins (wrote Mr. Francis N. Watkins, of Farmville, in 1859), of whose descendants he had gathered much information.

                In 1859, when Francis N. Watkins, (of Prince Edward county, Va.), was cataloging the descendants of his great grand-father, Thomas, of Chickahominy (of whom he published a pamphlet), he wrote to Col. James E. Saunders, of Courtland, Ala., who had married a daughter of Robt. H. Watkins, of Alabama (who was born 1782, in Virginia).  The grandfather of this Robert H. Watkins was James the First (born 1728), second son of William Watkins of Chesterfield county, Va.(See Haydens Virginia Genealogies, Daniel Family, for this James Watkins).  But they could not untie the lines of THOMAS, of CHICKAHOMINY, and JAMES WATKINS, OF PRINCE EDWARD (though a common ancestor was always assumed by their descendants), scions of whose lines married and intermarried, and moved to the new States, side by side, together.  When James Watkins descendants settled in and around Petersburg, Ga., those of Thomas, of Chickahominy, located in and around Augusta.  They also moved to Alabama, pari passu.  But just which of those ancient patentees of Virginia, was their common ancestor is yet unknown.

                Henry E. Watkins, father of Francis N., said there was a tradition in the family, that two brothers came from Wales, and one settled near Richmond, and the other on the Rappahanock; and that M. David Watkins, of Maryland, often visited his father (who was Francis) and called him cousin, and very much resembled him, but they could not trace relationship to a certainty.  But that several families of Powhatan, Appomattox, Pittsylvania and elsewhere in Virginia, were also supposed to be related.  There were also many of the name in Goochland.

                Prince Edward county was taken from Amelia in 1753.  Amelia county was taken from Prince George in 1734.  Prince George was taken from Charles City in 1702.




tradition is that two brothers came to James City county, in the early settlement of Virginia.  One family seated in the Northern Neck (and we have no record of his descendants), and the other brother remained in the Peninsula, between York and James rivers, and was progenitor of the following line.  His widow, two daughters and at least one son survived him.  He was scalped by the Indians, but the time and manner of his death (if by war, or massacre) is lost, and unfortunately, also his baptismal name.  His son,

                WILLIAM1 WATKINS, was born about 169--, and is cited in an old family paper as being of Chesterfield county.  Patents of early Watkins were numerous on either side of James river, in what was then Henrico county, after 1728, may be traced the line of William Watkins.  Name of wife not known.  A close search of records of Chesterfield and Charlotte might throw some light on the names of his wife and of his children, of whom there were six sons and two daughters.  Of these the Family MS. preserved the names of but two sons; Richard and James Watkins as follows:

1.  RICHARD2 WATKINS, born Chesterfield county, Va. (circa 1725).  Wifes name unknown.  Issue, among others:

      (1) Joseph P3. Watkins, (b. -----); removed to Petersburg, Ga., and later to Rutherford county, Tenn.

(2) Richard3 (?) Watkins, born in Virginia, married (1st) Miss Walthall (no issue); and married (2d) Ruth Pope, sister of Col. Leroy Pope, of Huntsville, Ala., and had Dr. Richard Leroy4 Watkins, of Mobile, Ala.; in drug business before the Civil War.  He married (1st) ------, in Claiborne county, Ala., and (2d) Miss Cunningham, of Cincinnati.  Issue (by first marriage):  James5 and Ruth5 Watkins, and several by the second.

(3) Dr. John Watkins, of Burnt Corn, Marengo county, Ala. (born in Virginia 176died before 1850); educated in Virginia.  Formed a medical partnership, in Georgia, with Dr. William N. Richardson (who married Susan, daughter of James Watkins, the second, who was widow of Mr. John Oliver, of Petersburg, Ga.).  He removed to Alabama Territory 1813; member of the Convention (1819) which framed the Constitution for the admission of Alabama into the Union.  It is not known whom he married.  See Picketts Hist. of Ala. For mention of his attendance upon the wounded in the Creek-Indian war.  His descendants have not been reached.  It is said a son lives in Texas.  (See Addenda.)

2.  JAMES2 WATKINS (the first), of Amelia, now Prince Edward, county, Va., born, (probably in Chesterfield county), 5 Feb., 1728; died Wilks county, Ga., 21 Dec., 1800; married (20th Nov., 1755) Martha Thompson (b. Chesterfield county, Va., 10 Dec. 1737, d. Wilks county, Ga., 26 Oct., 1803), daughter of Robert Thompson, of Chesterfield county and Branchs Creek, planter and goldsmith.  Her hair and eyes were darkhis light.  They were of the Baptist faith, and she quite handsome and notable as a housekeeper.  It is said he was sheriff of Chesterfield before removing to Amelia.  They came to Georgia in 1796, and lived with their eldest sons, who had secured homes in Elbert, Wilks and Lincoln counties; four of their sons were of the fair type, and four with dark eyes and hair, and all born in Virginia.  Issue:  1. William3; 2.   James3, Jr.; 3. Sarah Herndon3; 4. Robert H.3; 5. Samuel3; 6. John3; 7. Thompson3; 8. Joseph3; 9. Isham3, as follows:

I.  WILLIAM3 WATKINS, second of the name (b. 20th of October, 1756, d. in Lawrence county, Ala., 28th May, 1832), m. (1785) Susan Clark Coleman (b. 1769 in Virginia, d. in Lawrence county, Ala., 1843), a beautiful and charming woman, ward of the prominent Baptist preacher, Jeremiah Walker.  They moved to Georgia 1790, and to Murray county, Tenn., 1808.  In that year, accompanied by Col. Leroy Pope and Thomas Bibb (Governor of Alabama in 1820), he rode on horseback to New Orleans through Alabama and Mississippi, returning via Natchez, where they were joined by John W. Walker, first United States Senator of Alabama, (brother of the Rev. Jeremiah).  Their route lay through various Indian tribes, and was very interesting.  He removed to Madison county, Ala., in 1819, and finally (in 1827) to Lawrence county, Ala.  His brother, Samuel, and nephew, Robert H. Watkins, having preceded him 1821.  He purchased the now Widow Bird place, near Courtland.  He was active and cheerful in old age, and much sought by young people for his bright qualities.  Issue:

1.  Coleman4;  2. William4;  3. James4;  4. Martha4 (and four died young), as follows:  1. COLEMAN4 WATKINS (b. 1786, d. 1819) m. 1809, Talitha Goode (b. 1792, d. 1874), daughter of John and Ann (Freeman) Goode, of Abbeville District, S. C. (see Goodes Virginia Cousins).  (She m. (II) 1821, Col. Benj. Sherrod, of Lawrence county, whose first wife was the daughter of Samuel Watkins).  Issue:  1. William Willis5 and 2. Samuel Goode5 Watkins, as follows:

1.  WILLIAM WILLIS WATKINS5, of Texarkana, Texas (b. 1810), m. (I) Susan Burt, his cousin, and m. (II) Mrs. Martha Whiting, of Tuskaloosa (widow with two daughters), issue first marriage:  John Coleman6 m. Miss McWeaver, and had Jennie7 and Coleman7;  2. Susan Adelaid6 married Mr. Garber, of Bibb county; no issue;  3. William Willis6;  4. Caroline Eliz.6 m. Edward P. Shakelford, son of Dr. Jack Shakelford, Courtland, Ala., and had Frank W.7, m. (1899) Anna Edwards; Harriet Catherine m. Rev. Ira F. Hawkins, and Caroline Eliz.7;  5. Frank B.6.  Issue second marriage (WHITING);  6. Goode6;  7. Thomas6;  8. Leigh6;  9. Talitha Goode6. 

2.  SAMUEL GOODE5 WATKINS, Muldon, Miss. (b. 1816), m. (I) Caroline, daughter of John Oliver, of Columbus, Miss., no issue, m. (II) Martha Jane, daughter of Robert C. Foster, of Nashville, no issue, m. (III) 1855, Lizzie (b. 1828), daughter of Woodson Daniel.  Issue:  1. Alex. Hamilton6;  2. John Woodson6;  3. Eliz. Daniel6;  4. Goode6.  

2.  WILLIAM4 WATKINS (b. Georgia 1798, d. Huntsville, Ala., of 1859) m. (1826) Harriet (d. 1856), daughter of John Anderson, of Montgomery county, Md.  Issue:  1. John Wm.5 Watkins, of Nashville, Tenn.  (b. Alabama 1827), m. (I) Lydia Harris, and m. (II) daughter of Wm. Hayes, of Nashville.  Issue first marriage:  1. Robert5;  2. Kate5 m. George Dury, of Nashville.

2.  Mary Susan5 Watkins (b. 1830) m. (1853) Lucien Lorance.  Issue:  1. Harriet6; 2. Lorena6.

3.  Ann5 Watkins (b. 1832) m. (1854) Henry C. Bradford, Huntsville, ala.  Issue:  1. Eva6;  2. Charles6;  3. Annie5;  4. Percy Bradford.

4.  Martha5 Watkins (b. 1835) m. (1854) Wm. E. Spotswood, Huntsville, Ala., great-grandson of Gov. Spotswood, of Virginia.  Issue:  1. Ella6 d. infant;  2. Wm.6 d. infant;  3. Lucy Ann6 m. Rev. Charles E. Cabiness, now of Lincoln, Ill., and had Robert7, Mary7 and Elizabeth;

5.  Harriet5 Watkins m. Wm. Fackler, of Huntsville, Ala.;  6. Robert5 Watkins, of Pine Bluff, Ark., twice married; issue not known, and 7. Ophelia5 Watkins.

3.  JAMES COLEMAN4 WATKINS, of Seguin, Texas (b. 1800, d. 1833), m. (1823) Isabella, sister of Wm. Moore, Madison county, Ala.  He m. (II) Letty Williams, niece of Mrs. Wm. Fitzgerald, Sr., of Courtland, Ala.  He m. (III) Mary Calvert (sister of Mrs. Jack Hays, wife of the noted Indian fighter).  Issue first marriage (MOORE):

      1.  Milton5 (d. 1885), C. S. A., m. Ann E. L. McGehee, and had nine children (See Addenda, McGehee.);  2. Samuel H.5, of San Marcos, Texas, C. S. A., Eighth Texas Cavalry, Gen. Wheaton;  3. Susan5 m. Arthur, son of William Acklen, of Huntsville, Ala., and had Blanche7, m. Mr. McKee, of Texas, and has six children; Mattie6 d. y., and Corinne6 d. y.  Issue second marriage (WILLIAMS):  4. Thomas5 d. s. p.;  5. Martha5 m. Capt. James Peacock, of San Antonio, Texas, and has several children;  6. Jennie5 m. (I) Thos. Simmons and had two children, and (II) ------ Woods, and moved to Texas:  issue third marriage (CALVERT):  7. Calvert5;  8. Mary5;  9. Hetty5;  10. Battle5.

4.  Martha WATKINS (b. Murray county, Tenn., 1810, d. Courtland, Ala., 24th October, 1885).  All that was exalted in womanhood and in society, family and church, and a gentle teacher of the young in her old age.  Her influence will long linger in Courtland.  Married (I), 1832, William Vermylie Chardevoyne, son of Wm., who m. (1800) Susanna Vermylie, of an old Knickerbocker family.  The Count de Chardevoine et Crevecour Valu was knighted 1191 at Ascalon, in Palestine, for ye valorous conduct in ye Crusade, and raised to the peerage on his return.  After the fall of La Rochelle the family emigrated to Holland, and thence tothe British colonies in America.  Crest. A heart argent with lance shivered against it.  Motto, Le Ceur Duer.  Arms:  Three chevrons crossed over ye fleur de lys argent on a field azure.  The whole surmounted by ye coronet of a count of France.  Elias Chordavoyne came to New York 1692.(Bairds Hist. of Huguenots of America, and Hist. of the Colony of N. Y.)

Mr. Chardovoyne died in New Orleans of cholera a year after marriage, and leaving a posthumous son, Maj. William Chardavoyne of Courtland, Ala.  The widow m. (II) 1843 Dr. Jack Shakelford, of the Texan war frame.  No issue.(Early Settlers.)

(1)  William Vermylie5 Chardavoyne (b. Courtland, Ala., 1833), merchant Courtland, Ala., and a leading man of the State, Secretary to Governor Lindsay, of Ala., and clerk in the Naval Department at Washington with Secretary Herbert (Cleveland Administration), married (1856) Lavinia Harris, of Huntsville, Ala.  Issue:

1.  Martha Gay6, married (1885) Major Thomas, of U. S. Corps of Engineers, then engaged on the Muscle Shoals Canal of the Tennessee River, whose first locks, (now too small for modern traffic) were contracted for and built by Rev. Turner Saunders*.  Major Thomas died 1887, leaving a son, Edward Vermylie7 (b. 1886).                                                                   

*In 1791, there was a Block House, or Log Fort, at the Muscle Shoals.




2.  Edward Vermylie6 Chadavoyne, Railroad Agent, since his extreme youth, of Memphis and Charleston Road, at Courtland, married (1888) Annie Pippin, of Courtland, Ala., sister of Mrs. Oakley Bynum, and Mrs. Saunders Swoope.  Issue:  1. Eva.  2. Louisa.

[End of descendants of William Watkins].


Descendants of James Watkins the Second.


II.  JAMES3 WATKINS, (the 2d) b. Prince Edward county, Virginia, 20th October, 1758, d. Elbert county, Georgia, Savannah River, ten miles above Petersburg, 10th October, 1824), married, in Virginia, (27 Feb. 1779) Jane, (b. 1762, d. 2d Aug. 1815), daughter of Isham and Mary Ann (Oliver) Thompson of Virginia.  (Isham was son of Robert Thompson, goldsmith and banker.)  (See Thompson and Oliver Families and also Early Settlers.)  Issue:


(1) Garland Thompson Watkins (born Prince Edward county, Virginia, 30th January, 1780, d. 1816), never married.  Educated for the law, served one term in Georgia Legislature.

(2) ROBERT H.4 WATKINS (b. Prince Edward county, Virginia, 1st October, 1782, d. Pulaski, Tennessee, 10th September, 1855).  Successful planter and merchant of Petersburg, Georgia.  Member of Legislature.  Followed his uncle, Samuel Watkins, to Lawrence county, Alabama, in 1821, bringing with him his wifes brother, John Oliver, of whom he was guardian.

He married, in Petersburg, Ga. (25th April, 1805), Prudence Thompson (b. Petersburg, 22d October, 1788, d. Huntsville, Ala., October 1868), daughter of John and Frances (Thompson) Oliver, of Petersburg, Ga.  (See Oliver Family.)  He settled in Lawrence county, Ala., four miles north of Courtland, and built a large red brick mansion, called Oak Grove.  In old age he partitioned out his lands and slaves to his children and removed, in 1849, to Pulaski, Tenn., and made his home near his youngest child, Robert H. Watkins, Jr.  Here they lived in great content until his death, when his widow, with an ample income, thenceforth resided alternately with each of her children, driving to their homes with her own carriage, maid and coachman.  Issue:

      1.  Mary Frances5;  1. Sarah Independence5;  3. James Lawrence5;  4. Virginia Prudence5;  5. Louisa Matilda5;  6. Robert H.5, Jr., as follows:

(1)  MARY FRANCES5 WATKINS (b. Petersburg, Ga., 13th November, 1809, d. at Rocky Hill.  Lawrence, Ala., 6th February, 1889), m. (14th July, 1824) by the Rev. Alexander Sale, James Edmonds Saunders (b. Brunswick county, Va., 7th May, 1806, d. at Rocky Hill 23d August, 1896); son of Rev. Turner and Frances (Dunn) Saunders, and author of Early Settlers.  Her earliest teacher in Petersburg was Mr. Reid, and later on Mr. Nathan Warner (who was afterward a Judge, and married Miss Eliz. Rembert, daughter of Mr. Samuel Rembert, in whose home Mary Watkins boarded while attending school.  (Eliz. Rembert married (II) Mr. Holmes, and lived near Memphis, Tenn.)  Her next school (1819) was the old Moravian Institute at Salem, N. C., remaining there until her thirteenth year.  The next was to Mr. Hopkins, in Augusta, Ga.  Accompanied by her cousin, Louisiana Thompson, they boarded with Mrs. Bacon, sister of the Mayor, Nicholas Ware.  Her father moving to Alabama in 1821, she next attended Nashville Female Academy (Principal, Rev. Mr. Hume) with her cousins, Sarah Manning, and Adeline and Emily Bibb, daughters of Gov. Thomas Bibb, Huntsville, Ala.  Her wedding attendants were:  Eliza Towns, Eliza Booth, Martha Finlay and Minerva Banks; Thomas Saunders, Judge John J. Ormand, Dr. William Booth, and James Pearsall, all of Courtland, Ala.  She has left a diary of much interest, and breathing the deepest piety.  Their children were:  Frances Amanda6;  2. Robert Turner6;  3. Elizabeth Dunn6;  4. Mary Lou6;  5. Dudley Dunn6;  6. Sarah Jane6;  7. James Saunders6;  8. Fanny Dunn6;  9. Prudence Oliver6;  10. Laurence Watkins6;  11. Ellen Virginia6.  (See Saunders Family for these.)

(2)  SARAH INDEPENDENCE5 WATKINS (b. Petersburg, Ga., 4th July, anniversary Declaration of Independence,

1811, d. Florence, Ala., 30th January, 1887) married (1st October, 1829) George Washington Foster, of Florence, Ala.), son of Robert and Rose (Coleman) Foster, of Nashville, and formerly of Virginia.  (See Foster.)  Lived in Florence, Ala., where their stately home was long noted for its hospitality, and they, also, for much charity (both being reared by pious parents).  Mr. Foster gave $10,000 to the Methodist College established at Florence, and she will long be remembered by the poor.  Many sorrows tested her Christian fortitude, but her vitality was great, and nature endowed her, from the first, with that irresistible sense of humor, called dry wit, which kept her noble heart young to the last, and gave a great charm to her presence.  All loved her.  Issue:

1.  Mary Ann6 Foster, d. 1853; married James Simpson of Florence, Ala.  Issue:  Margaret7 Simpson, married Thomas McDonald, of Athens, Ala., and has several children.

2.  Dr. Watkins6 Foster (1885), a promising life ending in sad disappointment, kind and dearly loved son. 

3.  Virginia6 Foster, m. James Irvine, of Athens, Ala., and planter of Florence, Ala., of an old and distinguished family.  Issue:  1. Mary,7 m.  Wm. Houston.  Issue:  several children.  2. James7 m. a daughter of Dr. McAlexander, of Florence.  Ella7 m. Henry, son of Walter Sherrod of Lawrence county, Ala.  Issue:  Virginia8;  3. Emma;7  4. Virginia;7  5. Washington.7

4.  Louisa6 Foster, married Charles Fant, of Mississippi.  Issue:  Several children. 

5.  George W.9 Foster, planter, C. S. A., served with General Roddy (dead); m. Emma McKiernon; both dead.  Several children.

6.  Andrew J.6 Foster, planter, Miss., C. S. A., served with General Roddy (dead); m. Mrs. Helen Potter, of Mississippi.  Issue:  One son.

7.  Sallie6 Foster (b. 1850, d. 1898); m. (1871) Sterling McDonald, brother of Thomas, and lived in the family home at Florence (above).  Issue:  Several children. 

(3)  JAMES LAWRENCE WATKINS5 (b. 10 May, 1814, d. in Huntsville, Ala., 1891), m. (26th April, 1838) Eliza

(b. October, 1820), daughter of William Patton, of Huntsville, sister of Gov. Robert Patton, of Alabama.  He served awhile in Civil War, on General Forrests staff in 1862, and was a large planter in Mississippi and Alabama.  Issue:

I.  Virginia Patton6 Watkins, (b. 1841,     ), m. Charles Robinson, planter, (near Memphis, Tenn.,) in Mississippi.  Removed to Louisville, Ky.  Mrs. Robinsons aged mothering living with her in 1899.  Issue:  Annie7 Robinson m. Mr. Glazebrook.

II.  Dr. William Watkins (b. 1853, d. 22d July, 1882), a young physician with a brilliant future and the idol of his aged parents, died in Huntsville, Ala., after one weeks illness of peritonitis.

(4)  VIRGINIA5 WATKINS, (b. 22nd October, 1816, d. 12th May, 1837), m. (30th October, 1833) Hon. Thomas J. Foster (b. Nashville, Tenn., 1813, d. Lawrence, Ala., 12th February, 1887), son of Robert and Rose (Coleman) Foster, Nashville, Tenn.  He was the youngest of seven sons, a large planter in Alabama.  Member of Confederate States Congress in 1861.  But first, went as Colonel of a regiment; and aided in locating and constructing Fort Henry, under Governor Tilghman of Tennessee.  Was elected to United States Congress in 1865, over General Garth and C. C. Sheats, but prevented by the Radicals, from taking his seat (like other patriots of that trying period).  Of courtly bearing and fine conversational talent, his popularity was great.  He married (II) 1844, Ann Hood, of Florence Alabama.  (Her nephew is the gallant Lieutenant Hood, of the U. S. Warship Maine, which was blown up in Havana Harbor, then serving in the war with Spain.)  Children of this marriage were:  1. James, of Lawrence county, Ala., m. Tillie Toney, and had two daughters.  2. Coleman, unmarried, and educated, with his brother, at Edinburgh, Scotland.  3. Annie m. (1872) Lieutenant Longshaw, of U. S. Army.

Colonel Foster m. (III) Mrs. Longshaw.  His son, Coleman Foster, is a planter on the Tennessee river, Lawrence county, Ala., 1899.

(5)  LOUISA MATILDA5 WATKINS (b. Petersburg, Ga., 29th December, 1819, d. Huntsville, Ala., 1892); married (1st December, 1841) Stephen Willis Harris, of Huntsville, Ala. (son of Judge Stephen Willis and Sarah (Watkins) Harris, of Athens, Ga., a lawyer with the inherited wit of his celebrated father, and with keen powers of observation and satire.  (See Bench and Bar of Georgia.)  She was of noted piety and strength and character.  Her earnestness was characterized by the pair of fine, honest eyes which always seemed to look you quite through.  Her memory pervades the old town of Huntsville like a consecration.  She lived a widow for many years with her only son; and, with her cousin, Mrs. Isaphena Bassett, and Mrs. Frank Mastin (also a woman of grand character), formed a Christian triumvirate, who were affectionately called pillars of the Methodist Church.  With such women, passed that grand ante bellum type of the old slave-owning class, with whom the title Mother, and Mistress were almost the same.  The colored race will never again have such friends and guardians.*  Mrs. Harris early married life was saddened with the death, by accident, of her only little daughter.  Her sons were:

I.  Watkins6 Harris (b. 1843 d. 17th January, 1865).  Wile serving as Captain in Fourth Regiment,

C. S. A., the health of this most pious and talented young officer failed, and he died (a noble offering to his country) at the home of his uncle in Athens, Ga.  (See Harris.)

*Letter of Mrs. S. Willis Harris to her mother, dated Huntsville, 11th May, 1862:  I dont know when we shall meet again, as the Federal forces are here, probably for the rest of the war.  My nephew, Robert T. Saunders, has been a prisoner here two weeks to-day.  Is out on parole, and spends his nights with brother Robert H.  There are in the African Church forty prisoners taken at Bridgeport; and forty others in the Court House, brought in from this and Jackson counties, said to be accessory to burning bridges, tearing up railroad tracks, firing on pickets, etc., and also Bishop Lay, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Bierne, Mr. Gus Mastin, Mr. Tom McCauley, Wm. Moore, Mr. Withers, Mr. McDowell, Mr. Wm. Acklen, Dr. Fearn, and lastly, my husband.  These twelve were arrested on the 2d.  They are required by the General to sign an instrument in writing before they can be released.  Among some prisoners captured 16th April, on a train coming up from Corinth, Miss., is a Captain Bird, son of your brother-in-law, Mr. Daniel Bird.  He is wounded in the thigh, and staying at the College.  * * *

When last we heard from our plantation the negroes were all at work, but the Yankees had been there, broken open some-house, and distributed all the salt and meat among them, and fifteen wagon loads of corn.

We have not heard from my dear son in two months, but I am trusting in God that all things shall work together for good to them that love Him.


To Mrs. James E. Saunders:  MY DEAR SISTER MaryMy precious, noble boy is gone where he shall hear of wars no more.  He died in triumph at 1 oclock Tuesday morning.  I have been present at the death of several who have passed from earth to heaven, but none have left brighter assurance of happiness beyond the grave.  It was not until Sunday morning that he showed signs of speedy departure.  We had been conversing cheerfully on historical subjects, but when I came back into his room, after a late breakfast, he told me he had great difficulty in breathing.  I gave him stimulants, his pulse being very feeble, and he rallied.  After church, the Methodist minister, Mr. Parks, came, at his request, and administered the sacrament of baptism to him and to me, and then the Lords Supper to all the family.  His answers to the minster were marked with emphasis and enthusiasm  *  *  *  It was no sudden resolution of fear; but I had his own assurance, even months before, that he had experienced a change of heart, and he had all along spoken of his approaching death with perfect composure and resignation, and his mind never shone with more brilliant strength than on the last day of his life.  Singularly pure and virtuous as he was, he yet knew it needed  more than mere morality to prepare him for another life.  He said he had resolved to receive the declarations of Holy Writ in the spirit of a little child, and that he relied solely on the atonement of Christ.  His conversations from thence on abounded in the precious promises of the Bible and snatches from the beautiful hymns of Zion.  Just before his death he asked Colonel Hardeman for a prayer, and after this he said Sing.  His mother and all of us sang the old chant of the Christian, On Jordans stormy banks I stand, and when we reached the lines, No chilling winds, &c., he exclaimed, Glory to God! and then he asked me to repeat, I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.  Dont cry, father; there is no cause for grief.  At 12 oclock, in the midst of great suffering from the oppression in breathing, he said:  I am going now; good-bye, mother; meet me in heaven! clasping her hands and kissing her; and so to all of us.  To Allen, his faithful servant, who had accompanied him in all his weary marches and nursed him so lovingly in his illness, he stretched out his hand and said, Good-bye, my good and faithful friend; meet me in heaven!  And when beyond the power of speech, he smiled and lifted his hand, pointing to Heaven.  And so passed away our precious boy.  *  *  *

Affectionately, your brother,    S. W. HARRIS



II.  Stephen Willis6 Harris (b. 1849, d. 1895), planter and lawyer; m. Mary S., daughter of James L. Darwin, of Huntsville, Ala.  He died suddenly while riding horseback from his plantation to his home in town.  He was as quick-witted and talented as his father.  Issue:  1. Mary Lou7;  2. Sidney7 d. y.;  3. Willis7.

(6)  ROBERT H5. WATKINS (b. 10 May, 1824, d. 1866, in Huntsville, Ala.); m. (6 January, 1846) Mary Margaret (b. 29 April, 1827, died 20 June, 1865), daughter of Dr. Benj. and Eliz. (Lindsay) Carter, of Pulaski, Tenn., where they made their home also.  In 1861 they moved to Huntsville, Ala.  Both died soon after the war.  His aged mother, Mrs. Robert H. Watkins, lived at their elegant home awhile, caring for the young orphans.  Issue:

I.  Mary6 Watkins (b. 1846) m. (1868) Yancey Newman, of Huntsville; lives in Birmingham, Ala., where he conducts a drug business with great success.  Issue:  1. Robert7 m. Miss Turner, of Huntsville;  2. Bessie7, married Mr. Stone.

II.  Elizabeth6 Watkins (b. 1848) m. Guilford Buford, of Giles county, Tennessee.  Issue:  Several children.

III.  James Lawrence6 Watkins (b. 2 October, 1851), now of the Government Statistical Department at Washington, D. C. (1899); m. Bettie, daughter of Luke Matthews, of Huntsville, Ala.  Issue:

1.  Lucius M.7 (b. 1876), of U. S. Statistical Department, and Sergeant Company A. (Capt. Pool), 1st Reg. La. Volunteers, in war with Spain 1898; 2. James Lawrence7 (b. 1879) in Huntsville, Ala., also in same company, U. S. Army.

IV.  Frank6 Watkins b. 1853) m. Minnie Murray, of Huntsville, Ala.  Issue:  Several children.  He moved West many years ago.

V.  SallieWatkins (b. 9th May, 1855) m. (19th May, 1873) James, son of Hon. John Patton, of Huntsville, Ala.  Lives in Birmingham, Ala.  Issue:  1. Louise7 Patton;  2. Margaret 7 Patton m. (1895) Mr. King.  Issue:  a son (b. 1898);  3. John7 Patton.

VI.  Robert H.6 Watkins (b. 6th July, 1857) m. Mary, daughter of Governor Lindsay, of Alabama.  Issue:  1. Minnie Margaret7;  2. Mamie7.

VII.  Dr. Lindsay6 Watkins, of Nashville, Tenn., m. (1886) Miss Annie Connolly, niece of Dr. Thos. L. Maddin, of Nashville, Tenn.  No issue.

This ends the descendants of Robert H. Watkins, of Pulaski, Tenn.


III.  MARY THOMPSON4 WATKINS, Polly daughter of James and Jane (Thompson) Watkins (b. 7 March, 1784, d ------) m. (15 Jany., 1801) in Elbert County, Georgia.  Dr. Asa (b. ------, d. 1832, in Huntsville, Ala.,) son of William and Mary (Wells) Thompson.  Issue:  (1) Louisiana5 m. Robt. Manning, no issue;  (2) Asa Watkins5, m. Mary Lewis, of Hancock County, Ga.;  (3) Dr. Wells5, of Waco, Texas, m. Louisa, dau. of James Harrison, Columbia, Miss., no issue:  (4) Indiana5 m. James Manning, of Huntsville, Ala.,;  (6) Darwin5, d. s. p.:  (7) Elbert5 m.  his cousin, Ann, dau. Maj. Benj. and Martha (Watkins) Taliaferro.  (See Thompson family for these). 

IV.  Sarah HERNDON4 WATKINS, (b. in Prince Edward County, Va., 12 Feb., 1786, d. 1871), m.  (19 Jan., 1808): Judge Stephen Willis, (b. 1785, d. 14 Sept., 1827), son of Sampson and Susannah (Willis) Harris of Va.  (See Washington, Lanier, Harris sketch).  Lived in Edenton, Putnam County, Ga.  When quite aged she was still handsome and bright.  She took great interest into he family genealogy, and in 1856, when visiting the family of James E. Saunders, in Lawrence County, Ala., corroborated much of the above data of the elder members of the family, all of whom she knew personally.  She lived in Athens, Ga., after her husbands death.  Issue:

                    1. Sampson W.5;  2. Mary W.5;  3. James Watkins5.

                    4.  Jane Victoria5;  5. Ann Maria5;  6. Arabella Rebecca.

                    7.  Stephen Willis5;  8. Susan M.5;  9. Thomas Eli5. Of these:

(1)  SAMPSON W.6 HARRIS, (b. 1814, d. April 1, 1857), of medium statue, intellectual and agreeable, m. Pauline, daughter of Stevens Thomas, of Athens, Ga.  He moved to Wetumpka, Ala., where he served sixteen years in the State Senate, and Congress of United States, dying in Washington,  D. C., during his term of office.  Issue:  I. Sampson W.6, of Athens, Ga. m. Lucy Todd, of Atlanta, her mother Emily, was sister to Dr. Thos. A. Watkins, of Austin, Texas; II. Hugh N.6; III. Francis6;  IV. Isabella6;  V. Sallie6.

(2)  Mary W5. ----- m. Hugh W. Nesbit.  He died 1839.  They lived on Big Creek, near Memphis.  No issue.

(3)  REV. JAMES WATKINS5 HARRIS, of Cartersville, Ga.  Fair complexion, bright and warm-hearted; and much beloved minister of Methodist church, m. (I) Ann Eliza (d. 1856), daughter of Thomas W. Hamilton, of Augusta, Ga.  He m. (II) ------.  Issue, first marriage:  I. Sarah Virginia6;  II. Annie6;  III. James Watkins6;  IV. Thomas Willis Hamilton6 (b. 1856).

(4)  JANE VICTORIA5 HARRIS, auburn hair, hazel eyes, m. James M. Smyth, of Augusta, Ga.  Issue:  1. Mary Frances6;  II. Samuel6 ; III. Brenda6;  IV. William6;  V. Susan6. 

(5)  ANNE MARIA5 HARRIS (------, d. 1858) m. (1839) Hon. Robt. B. Alexander, Judge of the Superior Court of Georgia, who died at Columbus, Ga., 1852.  They both died young, and their children were reared by their uncle, Stephen Willis Harris, of Huntsville, Ala.  Issue:

I.  Arabella6 Alexander (b. 1840 ------), m. (1858) Rev. Thomas Boykin of the Baptist church, of

a fine old South Carolina familynoted for beautiful women.  (The Rev. Isaac T. Tichenor, a distinguished educator of the South, and Secretary of the Baptist Home Mission in Atlanta, married two of his sisters).  Issue:  Several children, II. Willis6 (b. 1843); III. Robert6 (b. 1851); IV. Mary6 (b. 1847), m. Harris Toney, of Triana, Ala., merchant and planter.  Issue:  Several children.

(6)  ARABELLA REBECCA5 HARRIS (-----, d. 1845) m. Col. Benjamin F. Hardeman, of Oglethorpe Co., Ga.  She had blue eyes and brown hair, was tall with great grace and sweetness of manner, and an accomplished musician.  Issue:  I. Sampson H.6 Hardeman; II. Belle6 Hardeman.

(7)  STEPHEN WILLIS5 HARRIS, lawyer and planter (b. 1818, d. at Huntsville, Ala., 187-), member Legislature in 1856, m. (1841) his cousin, Louisa Matilda Watkins.  Issue:  I. Watkins6;  II. Willis6.  (For descendants, see Robt H. Watkins, above.).

(8)  SUSAN MARTHA5 HARRIS, dark blue eyes, blond and tall (b. 1820, -----), m. William T. Baldwin, of Columbus, Miss., planter.  Issue:  I. Harris6 (------), m. Abbie F. Park, of St. Louis;  II. William6;  III. Susan6 m. Toby W. Johnston, of Columbus, Miss.  Issue:  (a) Juniata7, (b) Harrison7, (c) Edna7;  IV. Sarah m. Martin Teasdale (third wife).

(9)  THOMAS ELI5 HARRIS, planter (b. -----, d. 1855), m. Emily Bolling, of Oglethorpe Co., Ga., and lived in Cass Co., Ga.

V.  MARTHA4 WATKINS (b. 23d August, 1787, died March 17th, 1865) m. (15th Oct. 1807) Major Benjamin (b. Elbert county, Ga., 1782; d. Demopolis, 3d June, 1852), son of Gen. Benjamin and Martha (Meriwether) Taliaferro, of Amherst county, Va., and Wilkes county, Ga.  Gen Taliaferro was captain in the Revolution (see Heitmans Official Register).  He moved to Broad River, Ga., in 1780; member of the Legislature; refused to vote for the Yazoo Act.  Became member of Congress and Judge of the Superior Court (see Gov. Gilmers Georgians).  He had many children (See Taliaferro family).  The son, Major Benjamin, moved to Marengo county, Ala.  Issue:

        (1)  Martha5 Taliaferro (b. march 12th, 1810, died May 20th, 1883) married Uriah Blackshear.  No issue.

        (2)  Elizabeth5 Taliaferro married (before 1840) Dr. Charles Drummond, of Virginia.  Issue:

I.  Mary6 m. Mr. Yeldell and had:  1. Edwin7;  2. Frank7;  3. Fenner7;  4. James7;  5. Lizzie May7, all married (1899) and living in Texas.  

II.  Elizabeth6 m. Robert Yeldell, Jr., and had:  1.  Margaret7; and 2. John7, married and living in Texas.

III.  William6 Drummond, d. s. p.

(3)  Emily5 (or Sarah Amelia) Taliaferro (b. 1818) married Dr. Donald, of Georgia and died 14th January, 1878.  Children:  I. Eugenia6, and II. Benjamin6 (both dead).

(4)  Benjamin5 Taliaferro (b. 1822).  In his young manhood joined the company of Red Rovers, which was organized (of the flower of the youth of North Alabama) by Jack Shackelford, of Courtland, Lawrence county, for the Mexican war.  He was massacred, with his company, in 1836, by order of General Santa Anna, at Goliad, Texas.  Dr. Shakelfords son was also of the victims, and the agonized father, who was spared only to attend the enemys wounded, was led off to a tent, from whence he heard the shots that ended their young lives.  A county in Texas was named for Captain Shackelford.  (See Early Settlers.)

(5)  David5 Taliaferro (b. 15th February, 1824), lawyer, of Demopolis and Birmingham, Ala., student of LaGrange College, Ala., in 1843.  Wit and genius of a fine order are his; of medium height, and fair, with blue eyes.  Married Mary Green.  (He is living in Birmingham, in 1899.)  Issue:

I.  Ida Belle6, married Thomas Watson, of New Orleans;  2. Martha, unm.;  3. Benjamin6 Taliaferro, clerk of K. C. M. & B. Railroad, unm.

(6)  Anna5 Taliaferro (b. 15th February, 1824), (twin with David), and died 30th March, 1894).  Beautiful, with black eyes and charming person.  Married (I) 6th May, 1846, her cousin, Elbert Asa Thompson, and was left a widow with three children.  She moved to Matagorda, Texas, near her relatives, and there married (II), 1856, Dr. Robert H. Chinn.  Her children:

I.  Louisiana6 Thompson, married Harris W. Bowie, merchant and planter of Coultersville, Texas.  No issue.

II. Martha6, d. s. p.,  (III) Elberta Asa6 Thompson, unmarried (who has contributed much data of her family), and (IV) Richard J.6 Chinn, all of Coultersville, Matagorda county, Texas.

(7)  Theophilus Watkins5 Taliaferro (b. 1825, d. California 7th December, 1893).  Went to California when young, and there married the Spanish Donna, Josepha Ariosa, of beauty and wealth.  Issue:

I.  Mary6;  II. Benjamin6; III. Frances6;  none married, and all living in San Francisco, 1899.

(8)  Amanda5 Taliaferro, married Nathan Bradley, of Marengo county, Ala.  She was, like her sister, very pretty with auburn hair and dark eyes.  Issue:

I. Amelia6 m. Porter Bibb, Jr.  Issue:  Thomas, Porter, Bradley, Mamie, Gussie, and others.  II. Annie6 (b. 1849) m. Rev. Wm. Ellington, of Texas.  Issue:  Elmira.  III. Watkins6, living at Belle Mina, Ala., 1887, m. Margaret Rankin. Issue:  Amanda and Elizabeth.  IV. David6, d. s. p.  V. Louis6 m. Sarah Fletcher.  VI.  Kate6 m. Lockhart Bibb.  Issue:  Watty, Porter and others.  VII. Elmira6, unmarried.  (See Thompson and Bibb.)

(9)  Elmira5 Taliaferro (b. 1828, d. 24th May, 1895), married U. T. Blackshear, Jr., (step-son of her sister, Mrs. Martha Blackshear).  Issue:

I.   Eugenia; II. Mary Blackshear, married Mr. Evans, and lives at Opelousas, La.

VI.  JANE4 WATKINS, (b. 13th November, 1789, d. 1837), m. (10th July, 1810) Judge James Minor Tait, brother of Judge Charles Tait, of Georgia.  Tall, dark-eyed, graceful and active and of a vivacious temperament. Her husband was member of Tariff Convention, that met at Milledgeville, 1832.  They removed to North Mississippi.  Issue:

1.  Louisa5 Tait, married (I), Lemuel Banks, of Panola county, Miss., and had several children.  She married (II), Mr. Charles Meriwether.  (See Banks and Oliver.)  2. Antoinette5 Tait, married (I) Andrew Sims.  He was killed in a deer hunt.  She married (II) Mr. Smith.  Several children.  3. Dr. George5 Tait, of Panola, Miss., married daughter of Abner McGehee, of Montgomery, Ala.  (See McGehee Family, and also Banks Family.)  4. Joel5 Tait.  5. James5 Tait (b. 1827). 


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