Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lamar County Connections

I spent most of Friday morning in the Lamar County courthouse. It is hard work, and the old records books are heavy and usually dusty, but the pay off is usually good as land records and deeds can provide a lot of information. William Sloan was enumerated in the 1860 census for what was then the western district of Fayette County. In 1867, this part of Fayette County was split off, along with a southern portion of Marion County, to form a new county named Jones County, after a prominent settler of Fayette County. Jones County only lasted a few months and was abolished altogether in November of that same year. In 1868, a new county was formed again out of Fayette and Marion counties, and this time Sanford was selected as the new county's name, in honor of H. C. Sanford of Cherokee County, Alabama. If you search for ancestors from Lamar County in the 1870 census, you must remember that at that time, the county was named Sanford. It became Lamar County in 1877, named, oddly enough, after Mississippi's senator from Oxford, L. Q. C. Lamar, who was greatly admired throughout the South at that time.

Back to the courthouse. The record room yielded several deeds for this family, and I'm still sorting them out. I'll also need to make a trip to the courthouse in Fayette County to investigate earlier deed records. What I learned on Friday is that William Sloan, and wife Caroline, sold 40 acres located in Section 27, Township 14 South, Range 16 West (the top arrow) in 1869 to his brother, Samuel Sloan. Shortly thereafter, the family left for Itawamba County where they are found enumerated in the 1870 census. In 1872, another forty acres was sold to brother Samuel, ocated in Section 34, Township 14 South, Range 16 West (the bottom arrow).

William's land was located in the Bedford community of Lamar County, also called Military Springs at one time, and was just northwest of the town of Vernon. William's son, Jackson, was born in 1853, and according to his death certificate, with information provided by his wife, in Bedford, Alabama. So now I know exactly where my great-great grandfather was born, although a trip to the exact area will have to wait for another day. It is nice to have a map to provide the visual clues. My map is much larger than the one you see, so don't worry about my figuring how out to get there. I've got it marked.

Now I've got to look at the deeds of William's siblings to see where all they lived. As an interesting note, there are no descendants by the name of Sloan left today in the area. Several of William's siblings did not marry, and the of the ones that did, only Joseph had any children. The "last Sloan standing" was Joseph's son, Samuel R. Sloan, who died in 1959, and his will left all of his property to his daughter-in-law, Mae, who was the widow of his son Cleveland C. Sloan.

Bo Morris, local Lamar County historian, once told me that Sam Sloan was an industrious fellow who owned quite a bit of real estate, but never owned an automobile (he died in 1959). Bo's grandfather once overpaid Sam 14 cents, and Sam walked two and a half miles - one way - to repay the 14 cents.

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