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Joseph A. Nelson, Sr.

     Joseph A. Nelson, Sr. son of William Nelson and Elizabeth Barrenton/Barrington of Carteret County, North Carolina was born in 1773 on Hunting Quarters Plantation, Carteret County, North Carolina. He died 9 Nov 1856 in Baldwin County, Alabama. He was a planter.

     On 16 July 1794 in Carteret County, North Carolina Joseph married Abigail Styron, She was the daughter of Samuel Styron and Hannah Hamilton Hill. Samuel Styron was an American Revolution Patriot. I have proven his service and his father's, John Styron, for DAR.

     To this union were born eight children, they are:

  1. Abisha Nelson b 11 Mar 1795 - d 1879, twin to Thomas.
  2. Thomas Nelson b 11 Mar 1795 - d June 1861, twin to Abisha.
  3. Lovey S. Nelson b 1797 - d after 1880.
  4. Samuel Nelson b 13 Feb 1800 - d 31 Mar 1851.
  5. Elisha Nelson b 26 July 1804 - d 9 Oct 1880.
  6. William "Amosa" Nelson b 1806.
  7. Joseph A. Nelson, Jr. b 6 Aug 1809 - d 10 June 1896.
  8. Mary Nelson b 1811 - d after 1859.
All of these children were born in Carteret County, North Carolina.

     Abisha Nelson married Elizabeth Bishop on 15 Jan 1819 in Carteret County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Asa Bishop and Miriam Nelson, daughter of William Nelson and Elizabeth Barrenton, and a sister to Joseph A. Nelson, Sr.

     Rev. Thomas Nelson married twice, first to Katurah 'Kitty' Hall on 3 Mar 1815 in Portsmouth, North Carolina. She was 18 and he was 20. She was the daughter of Simon Hall and Phoebe. While moving from Greene County, Alabama to Sumter County, Alabama, the family was caught in a heavy snowstorm. They stopped and camped but Katurah became ill and died, leaving Rev. Thomas with eleven children. He married second on 24 Aug 1834 Mahala Ann Lyon from Tennessee. Their first three children were born in Sumter County, Alabama. They migrated from Sumter County, Alabama, to Baldwin County between 1839 and 1842 settling in the area of Bon Secour, Alabama. He preached at the Shell Banks Baptist Church in Shell Banks, Alabama. He and Mahala had ten children of their own, making a total of twenty-one children for Rev. Thomas. He died in June 1861, probably at his home in Bon Secour, Baldwin County, Alabama. He was a vibrant Baptist Minister and made his mark in Alabama history as well as two of his brothers, Rev. Elisha Nelson and Rev. Joseph A. Nelson, Jr., all three were Baptist Ministers and are given credit for bringing the Baptist Religion to the South. He was the founder of Gaston, Sumter County, Alabama, built the first store in Gaston, and owned the Salt Works in Bon Secour, which played a big part in the Civil War.

     Lovey S. Nelson was born in Carteret County, North Carolina, probably at the family estate, Hunting Quarters Plantation. She married the 25 Sept 1823 in Marengo County, Alabama, Metzger Asa Litchfield, born in 1797 in South Carolina. They migrated to Baldwin County, Alabama and are buried at Fish River Cemetery.

     Samuel Nelson married the 3/31 Mar. 1851 in Sumter County, Alabama, to Nancy Fulford. She was born in 1833 in Alabama. I have searched and searched for her parents but with no luck. I know very little about Samuel and Nancy.

     Rev. Elisha Nelson was 19 when the family migrated to Marengo County, Alabama in 1823. He married Elizabeth 'Eliza' Jane Fulford the 11 Feb 1830 in Marengo County, Alabama. They were married by Cainan Pistole; J.P. Eliza was the daughter of Clifford Fulford and his first wife, Alice Ann Fulford, widow of Icabod Harris. Alice Ann was the daughter of Capt. John Fulford and Abigail Wiliston. Rev. Elisha Nelson was a hardshell Baptist, who believed in Toot washing' to instill humility. He refused pay for his ministry saying it was 'his calling.' He made his living by farming and fishing. In 1854 he purchased a parcel of land containing 606.77 acres at Gulf Shores, Baldwin County, Alabama on Ft. Morgan Parkway where Miller Memorial is today. There is a rose bush in Miller Memorial that was beside his home that still blooms. He was a friend of education and kept school in his home. He died 9 October 1880 and is buried at Miller Memorial, which he founded.

     William "Amosa" Nelson was born in Carteret County, North Carolina. He married the 21 Aug 1831 in Marengo County, Alabama, Elizabeth Harmon, the daughter of John Harmon. They were married by J.H. Wells, M.G. Amosa served as a 2nd Lt. in the Civil War in Co. B, Warren's Battalion, Alabama Cavalry; in Co. C, 10th Alabama Cavalry; and in Co. C, 11th Alabama Cavalry.

     Rev. Joseph A. Nelson, Jr. was the third son of Joseph Nelson, Sr. to become a Baptist Minister of high standing. He was an Alabama Congressman, a husband, a father, and a friend. "Few men of his time reached the attainment of spirit realized in the life of his leader of men ...." Rev. Joseph married three times. His first marriage was to Sarah "Sally" Lyon on 30 Nov 1830 in Greene County, Alabama. Sally was a sister to Rev. Thomas' second wife, Mahala Ann. They had four children. She died suddenly in 1842. He married second, Margaret Isabella Miller on the 11 Aug 1843 in Sumter County, Alabama. Margaret was born in Georgia. They had thirteen children. In 1868, when their home in Barnwell, Baldwin County, Alabama was destroyed by fire, Margaret was seriously injured and died. Thomas married third in 1869, Cornelia Frances Alford, born 15 July 1844 in Alabama. She was a widow. They had six children of their own. That is a total of twenty-three children for Rev. Joseph. Family lore says he had twenty-seven but I only have names for twenty-three, maybe there were stillbirths, or deaths at birth that were not named. Family lore said it took two doubled team wagons to take his family to church on Sunday. He always invited the congregation to dinner at his home after church. Someone always went home with them. He was the minister at the Barnwell Baptist Church and founded the Brook Cedron Cemetery on Hwy. 98 near Barnwell, Baldwin County, Alabama where he and his wives are buried along with a lot of his descendants. He died peacefully in his sleep.

     Mary Nelson was born in Carteret County, North Carolina. She married Stephen Thomas Robinson, son of John Robinson and Susan Brewster the 26 Nov 1829 in Linden, Marengo County, Alabama.

     Joseph A. Nelson and Abigail Styron raised a large family and left many descendants along the Gulf Coast and probably in every state of the union.

     Written 2001 for The Baldwin County Heritage Book.
Submitted by: Vallie Polk, 651 Hwy. 468, Brandon, MS 39042 and
Written by: Betty Callaway Perkins, 222 Hickory Ridge, Belleville, IL 62223.