Thursday, July 28, 2011

Austin S. Moxley

The "find of the day" as Cousin Don Dulaney would say, were the records for Austin Smith Moxley, that were just waiting to be discovered in the Fayette County courthouse.  Fayette County was organized in 1824, one of the earlier counties in the state of Alabama which itself wasn't created until 1819.  A disastrous courthouse fire in 1866 destroyed most of the early records for the county, and later fires also resulted in a loss of records.   So it is a small wonder that we found the records we did for A. S. Moxley.

All of the Moxleys in Itawamba and surrounding counties are descended from Austin Smith Moxley, and his wife Emily C. Sims, through their son Henry Thomas Moxley.  Another son, Drury, lived in Itawamba County but had no children.   Son Joseph also lived in Itawamba County, but it appears that he also had no surviving children from his two marriages [UPDATE:  Joseph did have several children from his first marriage, but these lived in Shelby County, Tennessee.]   Son Richard moved to Arkansas, and no information is known about him.   Austin and Emily had one daughter, Mary, who apparently died before 1880. 

Back to Austin Smith Moxley.... he was a Virginia native, probably the son or grandson of Christopher Moxley and Jane Smith of King George County.   Austin appears to be in Marion County, Alabama in the 1840 census, listed as A. S. Moxley, with an older female (mother? sister? and several small children).    He married Emily C. Sims about 1843, and their first child Henry Thomas Moxley was born July 12, 1844. 

One of the earliest, if not THE earliest, surviving record book at the Fayette County courthouse is Records of County Officers Bonds.    On page 85, an officer's bond was recorded which indicated Austin S. Moxley was elected April 25, 1846 as Justice of the Peace.    On the bond with Austin were Joseph P. Henry, James A. Givens and John R. Kirkland.  On page 132, another bond was recorded March 30, 1847 for Austin S. Moxley as Justice of the Peace.

In the 1850 census, we find Austin and his family enumerated in Fayette County.

1850 Census
Fayette County, Alabama
Beat 2 Division 16
(living next to Jesse Pennington and other Pennington families!)
A. S. Moxley 25 VA 'schoolteacher'
Emily C. 24 AL
Henry T. 6 AL
Jasper (this is Joseph) D. 4 AL

Also in 1850, the Slave Schedule for that year showed a nine year old black male owned by A. S. Moxley.

Land Patent records on file with the Bureau of Land Management show an 1852 patent issued to Austin S. "Mosley" for a tract of land located in present-day Lamar County, then part of Fayette County.   Based on the land's description, it was situated in the Bedford community north of the town of Vernon.

So just who was this guy?  Austin S. Moxley was my husband's GGGG grandfather.  Austin's granddaughter, Alice C. Moxley, married Thomas A. "Bunt" Dulaney, and their granddaughter is Shirley Dulaney Mills.

More to come on another post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Trip to Fayette

Yesterday was a beautiful day, hot yes, but a nice day nonetheless.  Momma and I were up early to drive over from Fulton to Fayette, the county seat of Fayette County, Alabama.   We both were surprised at the neat little town of Fayette.  The leaders and citizens have done much to improve and update their downtown area... very impressive.  After a morning in the records room at the courthouse, below, we had very good lunch at Ricky G's Diner before heading to the county's genealogical resources on the second floor of the library.    We didn't mean to stumble upon the headquarters for Golden Eagle Syrup company, but lookee here we did!  Long-time readers of this blog will remember my post nearly three years ago about this famous southern biscuit syrup.   Momma wants to go back later for a tour of the facilities!   The old brick building is about a block away from the old railroad depot.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fessie's Birthday

Fessie Manuel Pennington was born 99 years ago today, July 22nd.  I couldn't let the day get by without a remembrance of him.   Above is a picture of Fessie with his first grandchild.... me!  I am a July baby too!   Below is the earliest photo we have of Fessie, taken about 1914.  He sure was a cute baby.