Rev. Elisha Nelson was born the 26 July 1804 in Carteret County, North Carolina, probably on the family estate, Hunting Quarters Plantation, near present-day Sea level, North Carolina. The plantation consisted of 697 acres. There is a large lake nearby called "Nelson Lake."
Elisha was the son of Joseph A. Nelson, Sr. and Abigail Styron, daughter of Samuel Styron and Hannah Hamilton Hill, daughter of Capt. Wise Hill of Portsmouth, North Carolina. Joseph A. Nelson, Sr. was the son of William Nelson and Elizabeth Barrington, daughter of Nathan.
Elisha was 19 when his family left North Carolina for Alabama by "oxen train." This trek took two to three months. We know they were there by 25 Sept 1823, when Lovey S. Nelson married Metzger Asa Litchfield in Marengo County, Alabama. Lovey was the daughter of Joseph A. Nelson, Sr. They probably left 1 June 1823.
Someone had to walk every step of the way by the oxen. There were no roads, they followed Indian trails and laid logs to cross swamps and small streams, went through Indian Territory, and they had to take all their supplies with them as there were no stores along the way. It was beautiful country but rough going.
On 11 Feb 1830 in Marengo County, Elisha took for his wife, Elizabeth "Eliza" Jane Fulford, daughter of Clifford Fulford and Alice Ann Fulford, daughter of Capt. John Fulford and Abigail Williston. Eliza was born 22 Sept 1813, Carteret County, North Carolina.
Elisha and Eliza stayed in Marengo County, Alabama until 1842. As new sections of land were opened to the settlers, most of the other Nelson Families moved to Greene County, Alabama in 1830, and from Greene to Sumter County, Alabama in winter 1834-1835.
When most of the Nelson Family decided to move to Baldwin County, Alabama in 1842, Elisha and Eliza decided to go with them. They settled in the Shell Banks area where Elisha preached at the Shell Banks Baptist Church. Shell Banks is on the Southern most peninsula of Alabama, near Fort Morgan. Probably at that time the easiest way to get there was by boat. Baldwin County was more like Carteret County, North Carolina, from whence they came.
Elisha had become an accomplished and noted Baptist Minister in the South, as were two of his brothers, Rev. Thomas Nelson and Rev. Joseph A. Nelson, Jr.
The Trio are given credit in Alabama History for bringing the Baptist Religion to the South.
This trio of Baptist Ministers, Rev. Thomas Nelson of Bon Secour, Alabama, Rev. Joseph A. Nelson, Jr. of Barnwell, Alabama, and Rev. Elisha Nelson of Gulf Shores, Alabama, all brothers originally from Carteret County, North Carolina, made their mark in Alabama History and the Baptist Church as "Men of God."
Rev. Elisha Nelson was considered a hardshell, foot washing, Baptist Preacher. He did not accept pay for his preaching. He considered preaching to be "his calling," and his duty to God and his fellowman. He made his living fishing, shrimping, and farming.