Starting this week, I’m changing my Surname Saturday format. I have made my way back 10 generations in my database and am getting to surnames that have very limited information. This new format will focus on a specific couple in my direct line each week in more detail than before.
William Washington Lanier was born on 15 Mar 1813 in Jasper County, Georgia, the son of James Lanier and Polly Smith. Between 1820 and 1830, his family moved to Meriwether County, Georgia.
Charlotte T. Jackson was also born in Jasper County, Georgia. Her birth date was either the 3rd or 15th of November, 1818 (depending on whether you believe her headstone or a family Bible owned by one of her grandsons). Her parents were Samuel W. Jackson and Lavinia Malone who had also moved from Jasper County to Meriwether County between 1820 and 1830.
William and Charlotte were married on 22 Oct 1835 in Meriwether County and by 1840 they were living in Randolph County, Alabama. Randolph County is located along the Alabama-Georgia border. Charlotte’s parents had also made the move to this area and settled in neighboring Heard County, Georgia. William and Charlotte may have moved back and forth between Alabama and Georgia during the time period of 1847 to 1862 as their children born during those years either have Georgia consistently listed as birth place or sometimes list Georgia and sometimes list Alabama. By 1870, they had moved to Chambers County, Alabama (just south of Randolph) where, it appears, they remained for the rest of their lives.
William was listed as a farmer in census records but there are no deeds to show that he ever owned property in either Randolph or Chambers County.
Eleven children were born to William and Charlotte between 1836 and 1862. William died at Fredonia in Chambers County in 1892 on either January 28th or February 11th. Charlotte also died in Fredonia in 1892. Her date of death is also questionable – either September 26th or October 20th. (These conflicting dates, like Charlotte’s birth date, are between their headstones and information recorded in a family Bible that belonged to one of their grandsons.) Both William and Charlotte are buried at New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery in Fredonia.
William and Charlotte’s children:
James Jackson was born on 13 Oct 1836, probably in Meriwether County. He enlisted in Company F of the 21st Georgia Infantry of the Confederate Army on 28 Feb 1862 at Antioch, Georgia. He was wounded at Manassas, Virginia on 28 Aug 1862 and was captured by General Sheridan’s forces at Strausburg, Virginia on 22 Sep 1864. James was sent to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, arriving there on 3 Oct 1864, and was exchanged on 17 Mar 1865. He married Mary J. Knard about 1865 and they had 10 children. James died on 21 Jun 1902 and was buried next to his parents at New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery.
Jefferson F. was born on 3 Nov 1838, probably in Randolph County. Jeff enlisted in Company I of the 13th Alabama Infantry of the Confederate Army on 19 Jul 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama. This unit was formed by men from several counties including Randolph. He was reported absent starting in February, 1862 and later muster rolls stated he was “supposed to be dead.” There is no evidence that he ever married or had children.
John D. was born on 29 Dec 1840 in Randolph County. Nothing further is known about John except that he may have died young.
William W. was born on 16 Sep 1844 in Alabama. He joined Company B of the 5th Battalion Hilliard’s Legion of the Alabama Cavalry on 11 Mar 1862 in Rock Mills (which is in Randolph County). This unit later became part of the 10th Cavalry, CSA. The last muster roll for William was dated 30 Jun 1864 but there is no record showing he was discharged. It is unclear what happened to William after the Civil War or even if he survived it. Many researchers list him as marrying 1st Beatrice Boazman and then Emma Boazman and dying in 1931 in Birmingham, Alabama but the death certificate for that William Lanier lists his parents as Leo Lanier and Martha Malone so he was not this William.
Joseph Smith was born on 2 Jun 1847 in either Alabama or Georgia. He married Nancy Jane Bennett, the daughter of John T Bennett and Martha Lucinda Gamble, about 1869. Joseph and Nancy Jane had at least 12 children and maybe 14 but only 10 survived childhood. Joseph died on 1 May 1909, probably in Mississippi.
Mary E. was born on 4 Sep 1849 in Georgia. She died sometime after 1870 and probably before 1880. Her headstone only has this date and some researchers show it as her date of death but Mary was listed with her parents in both the 1860 and 1870 census. Her nephew’s Bible lists this date as her birth date but doesn’t list a date of death. She is buried in New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery next to her parents.
Sarah Ann was born on 19 Dec 1852 in Georgia. She married Andrew Jackson Proctor on 15 Oct 1871 in Troup County, Georgia. They had 11 children and Sarah died on 17 Apr 1904 in Troup County. She was buried in Hillview Cemetery in LaGrange (Troup County).
Melissa Caroline was born on 21 May 1854 in Georgia. She married Nathaniel Rufus Adamson and they had 5 children. Melissa died on 8 Aug 1927 in Troup County and was also buried in Hillview Cemetery.
Susan Charlotte was born on 15 Dec 1858 in Georgia. She married James J. Orrick abt. 1876. They had 8 children and Susan died between 1900 and 1910.
Frances Elizabeth was born on 12 Jun 1859 in Georgia. She was married three times and had 8 children. She 1st married Thomas Elbert Waller, 2nd John A. Sheppard and 3rd William Jasper Clark. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett, Chambers County, Alabama beside her 2nd husband.
George David was born on 2 Jun 1862 in Hickory Flat, Chambers County, Alabama. He married Epsy Gunn Hammack on 25 Oct 1883 in Chambers County. They had 5 children and moved to Bell County, Texas between 1900 and 1910. After Epsy’s death, George married Rhoda Price Shelton on 22 Oct 1925 in Bell County. George died on 22 Apr 1936 in Bell County and was buried there in Greathouse Cemetery.
William and Charlotte were my 2nd great-grandparents through their son, Joseph, If you have a connection to this family, leave a comment here or e-mail me.