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Fayette County, Alabama
~ Daniel Ford of Fayette County ~

Daniel FORD and his family moved to Fayette County ca. 1824, probably a few months before John HOLLINGSWORTH and his family arrived.  Daniel was born in Marion District, South Carolina.  He was descended from Preserved FORD of England and Mary BRONSON of New England.  He married Elizabeth SMITH, either in Georgia or North Carolina, ca. 1811.  They settled near the mountain that today bears his name, Ford’s Mountain.  He was a farmer by trade and evidently, judging by his will, a rather prosperous one.  He and Elizabeth had the following children:

Emily Elizabeth Ford Fowler

(1) Emily Elizabeth was born 5/12/1814 in South Carolina.  She married Richard FOWLER, son of John Daniel and Elizabeth FOWLER, another of Fayette County’s pioneer families.  They settled in Fayette County.  Many of their descendants still reside in the county.

Sarah Jane Ford White

(2) Sarah Jane was born in 1815 in South Carolina.  She married John WHITE and they too settled in Fayette County.  Many of their descendants lived in the county, and some still do.

Keziah Ford Sparks

(3) Keziah was born in 1819 in South Carolina.  She married Elijah SPARKS.  I believe they moved to Texas, and I have not been able to locate their descendants.

James Ford

(4) James Ford (my gg-grandfather) was born 3/22/1821 in Georgia.  He married Elizabeth WEST, and they settled in Fayette County also.  Several of their descendants lived in the county until the last ten years or so.  Only a few remain.  Many of them moved to Texas, Oklahoma and California in the early 1900’s.

Malinda Ford Harris

(5) Malinda was born 11/1823 in Georgia.  She married Adlai HARRIS.  HARRIS was one of the county’s first representatives to the legislature, where he served several terms.  The family was prominent in Fayette County for a number of years.  Some were merchants, doctors and lawyers.  Only a few, if any, remain.

Martha “Patsy” Ford Hollingsworth

(6) Martha “Patsy” was born 3/23/1824.  She was possibly born during the move from Georgia to Fayette County.  She married Jeptha HOLLINGSWORTH, John’s son by his first wife, Matilda White HOLLINGSWORTH.  Many of their descendants remain in Fayette and Tuscaloosa counties.  They have a sizable reunion each year.

Daniel Newton Ford

(7) Daniel Newton Ford was born in Fayette County on 5/26/1826.  He married Jane HOLLINGSWORTH, John and Zilpha’s second daughter.  “Newt” was killed during the Civil War.  In fact, he was the first one killed at the battle of Fort Donaldson in Tennessee.  His nephew (John Berry FORD) was the second to fall.  Newt’s widow Jane moved with the family to Texas in the late 1800’s.  I have been in contact with their descendants.

Mary “Polly” Ford Hallmark

(8) Mary “Polly” was born in 1828.  She married James Washington HALLMARK.  He also died during the Civil War.  James HALLMARK was in the Union Army.  Many of their descendants are still in the area today.  Most [live] in Marion and surrounding counties, however I was contacted by one on Idaho.

Margaret Ann Ford Fowler

(9) Margaret Ann was born on 10/14/1832 in Fayette County.  She married John Wesley FOWLER, son of John Daniel and Elizabeth FOWLER.  They also settled in Fayette County.  Many of their descendants are in Fayette/Marion counties today.  Many also can be found in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Eliza Ford Smith

(10) Eliza was born in 1835.  She married Jedediah SMITH.  He too was killed in the Civil War.  I have very little information on this family.

John L. Ford

There is a possibility Daniel and Elizabeth had another son, John L. FORD.  He was mentioned in Daniel’s will and was known to have lived in Arkansas at the time.  I have not been able to prove his relationship.

The FORD family is another family that was ravaged by the war.  Also, divided loyalties between sons and sons-in-law is clearly evident.  There were several FORDs from Marion and Winston counties who were regarded as Union Loyalists during the war.  Whether they were kin is unknown.

Daniel and Elizabeth were members of the Old Brand (New River) Primitive Baptist Church.  The church records give an account of their membership as well as attendance for several years prior to her death.  Elizabeth died in 1849.  Daniel then married Dolly.  Her last name is not known to this writer.  I have been in contact with one of Daniel’s gg-granddaughters in Texas, and she has a sweater vest that was knitted for Daniel by his second wife Dolly.  They too continued their membership at Old Brand.  Daniel died on 4/22/1859.  Elizabeth had preceded him by ten years. […] It is assumed that they are buried in the Hollingsworth Cemetery on Ford’s Mountain.  No markers have been found.

James, Daniel’s oldest son, applied for a permit to build a toll bridge across the Sipsey River on 2/28/1859.  It was to be located on the Jasper Road.  I would assume [this to be] near where the existing bridge is today on Highway 102.  The tolls were: Each horse and wagon – four bits, each two-horse wagon – two bits, man and horse – one dime, man on foot – five cents.  James was the executor of Daniel’s estate with John HOLLINGSWORTH as an appraiser.  Daniel left a considerable estate for the times in which he lived.  I have a copy of the will, handwritten of course, and it consists of probably 35-50 pages.

The connection between the FORD family and the HOLLINGSWORTH family is evident.  Clearly, John HOLLINGSWORTH and Daniel FORD were friends.  Two of their children married the other’s children.  They shared many descendants.  Many of their descendants married in later years, such as FOWLERs, HALLMARKs, McCOLLUMs and McCALEBs.  They were neighbors and community leaders.  Both men had a tremendous impact on their community and the county as a whole.  They were truly pioneers.

This article originally appeared in The Hollingsworth-McCaleb Quarterly, 1:4 (31 Dec 2002), pp. 7 & 8.
Used by permission of the author & editor, Larry E. Whitehead.
Mr. Whitehead produces both The Hollingsworth-McCaleb Quarterly and The Whitehead Quarterly.
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This page last updated 01 Jan 2004.