Fayette County, Alabama
Nancy EDWARDS RAINWATER
~ The Rainwater Family of Fayette County ~
traveled with a group of her children from Spartanburg, SC, to Fayette
Co., AL, in the mid to late 1840s. At that time Nancy was the
widow of Rev. Miles RAINWATER
Sr. Nancy EDWARDS was born about 1790 in SC and in 1807 married
twenty-year-old Miles Rainwater in Cedar Shoals, Spartanburg Co., SC,
when she was about seventeen. Miles had been born October 31,
1787, in Cross Anchors, Spartanburg Co., SC. He grew up to become
both a farmer and preacher. Miles and Nancy produced a large
family of nine children in South Carolina before he died before 1830
(probably in 1826).
The group Nancy traveled with to Alabama probably included the
following children and their families: her sons Miles RAINWATER
and Silas Mercer RAINWATER
daughters Sarah RAINWATER BOBO
Mary RAINWATER BOBO
Vashti RAINWATER CROSSLEY
and Jane Amanda RAINWATER WALDROP
After arriving in Alabama, Nancy lived with her youngest son Silas, who
still been single at the time they migrated. Silas M. Rainwater
not marry young Mary Jane HINDMAN
until after the group arrived in northern Alabama since she only turned
15 in 1850. Nancy's other children were already married before
leaving South Carolina. Her son Miles Rainwater was married to Hannah
, while daughter Vashti
was married to David
and daughters Mary
and Sarah were married to brothers Spencer
and Levingston BOBO
respectively. Her youngest daughter Jane Amanda married William Wilburn WALDROP
on March 20,
1845, in South Carolina, apparently at Nancy's home. Jane's
marriage probably occurred shortly before the group left Spartanburg
County headed south toward Georgia. If Mary and Spencer Bobo were
members of that family group who left South Carolina together, the fact
that their son Barham Spencer BOBO
was born March
24, 1845, in Georgia would indicate the group left for north Georgia
immediately after William and Jane's wedding four days before.
It is not known for sure that all these members of the Rainwater family
traveled in a single group in 1845. However, census data listing
the birth states and approximate birth dates of their children seems to
indicate that they all left South Carolina in the mid 1840s and that by
the Fall of 1850 they all were living in Fayette Co., AL (and most were
living quite close to each other). The census data even hints
that at least some of the group may have stopped
in Georgia for one or more years before completing the journey to
In the 1850s and 1860s brothers Miles and Silas Rainwater received
federal land grants in the part of Fayette County that later became
Lamar County in 1877. In the same time period, brothers Spencer
and Levingston Bobo received land grants in the part of Fayette County
that remained Fayette County. Census data indicates that Jane and
William Waldrop settled near her brothers and brother-in-laws.
These men made their living farming
the land they settled on and most produced large families to help with
the making a living out of the heavily wooded, sandy soil of the area
that made growing crops difficult. Only Miles Rainwater and his
wife Hannah were not blessed with children. More than likely,
Miles could count on assistance from his brother's and his sisters'
large families in farming his property.
of Rev. Miles Rainwater Sr. and Nancy Edwards
was born April 22, 1808, in SC and died January 19, 1881, in Fayette
Co. AL. Sarah married Levingston
"Leve" BOBO, who
was born in 1806 in Spartanburg Co. SC. Sarah's and Levingston's
seven children were all born in SC before the family migrated to
Alabama. Their children were Tillman
Sebrun (b. December 5, 1828), Starling (b. abt. 1830), Viney (b. 1831), Miles Starling (b. March 3, 1833), Starling Seaborn (b. June 22, 1834),
Elizabeth "Eliza" Jane (b. 1839) and Sterling Absolom BOBO (b. 1841)
RAINWATER was born March 7, 1809, in Spartanburg Co., SC, and
died in 1890 in Lamar Co., AL. He married Hannah HINDMAN (b. abt. 1823) in the
1840s (probably early to mid 1840s before they migrated to AL).
They had no children. Hannah died in the 1870s and Miles' niece Mary RAINWATER (daughter of brother
Silas) moved in and kept house for Miles until she
married Walter A. GUIN in
1884. A few years later in January of 1888, Miles married young Sarah Elizebeth EDWARDS and within
the year his only child Pearl G.
RAINWATER was born.
"Polly" RAINWATER was born February 13,
1810, in SC and died about 1851 in Fayette Co., AL. She married Spencer BOBO, born 1808 in SC, who
was the brother of Levingston Bobo, her sister's husband. Their
first six children were born in SC: Levingston
(b. 1830), Martha Ann (b.
April 19 1832), Mary Ann (b.
1836), James Maddox (b. June
8, 1837), Porter Foster (b.
1841) and Julia Ann BOBO (b.
1842). Their seventh child Barham
Spencer "Bud" BOBO was
March 24, 1845, in GA
and the next son Doctor "Doc" P. was born in 1847 in either GA or
AL. Their last child Harriett
was born in 1849 after the family had settled in AL. After Mary
died in 1851, Spencer needed someone to look after his young
children. So, Spencer remarried and more children were born to
this second union.
RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1814.
RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1817.
RAINWATER (see more below).
RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1821.
Mercer RAINWATER (see more below).
Jane RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, on July 14,
1826, and died May 25, 1896, near Kennedy, Lamar Co., AL. She
Wilburn WALDROP (b. December 15, 1822) in Spartanburg, SC, on March
20, 1845, and they had nine children, all born after they settled in
AL. Their children were Silas
Milton (b. May 20, 1848), Mary
Jane (b. May 30, 1850), Sarah
(b. April 15, 1852; d. 1855), Miles
Calvin (b. April 02, 1854), Lucretia
Mariah (b. April 01, 1856), William
Samuel (b. January 31, 1858), Starling
Van Buren (b. March 03, 1860), Nancy
Catherine (b. June 18, 1862) and Albertha Elizabeth WALDROP (b.
November 14, 1864).
was born in
Spartanburg Co., SC, on March 27, 1819, and died April 12, 1903.
She married David J. CROSSLEY
in SC around 1838. Their first three children were born in
SC. It is uncertain whether the fourth child was born in SC or AL
but the last two children were born in AL. David died between
1852 and 1860, leaving widowed Vashti to raise their children in AL.
of Vashti Rainwater and David J. Crossley:
J. CROSSLEY was born about 1839 in SC.
CROSSLEY was born about 1843 in SC.
CROSSLEY was born about 1846 in SC.
Simpson CROSSLEY was born about 1848 in SC or AL. He
married Sarah Minerva FRANKS
around 1869, and they had eight children: John, George, David C., Emerline, Bertie,
Hattie, Alice and Minnie Lee
CROSSLEY was born about 1850 in AL.
Henry CROSSLEY was born about 1852 in AL.
8. Silas Mercer
born in Spartanburg Co., SC, on July 25, 1825, and died in AL on Nov 8,
1902. He married Mary Jane
, b. June 1, 1835, in SC. They had ten children,
all born in AL.
of Silas Mercer Rainwater and Mary Jane Hindman:
RAINWATER was born in 1854 in AL and married Elijah NEWMAN.
S. RAINWATER was born in the Fall of 1857 in AL and died July 5,
1911. He married Sarah Frances "Fannie" ALLEN.
E. RAINWATER was born around 1859 in AL and married S.R. DUCKWORTH.
M. RAINWATER was born about 1863 and married Walter A. GUIN.
F. RAINWATER was born about 1866.
L. RAINWATER was born around 1868 and married S.R. SMITH.
RAINWATER was born around 1872 and married Liza Jane COLLINS.
W. RAINWATER was born about 1874.
Oscar RAINWATER was born in March 1876 and married Pearl GUIN. (See photo below).
Metta RAINWATER was born April 28, 1883, died May 17,
1915. She married Hosea AYRES
and had five children: Bertie May
(b. abt. 1900), Emma (b. abt.
1902), Silas? (b. abt. 1904), Grady (b. abt. 1906) and Iva AYRES (b. abt. 1907). The
children were orphaned when the parents both died in 1915. It is
thought that Rainwater relatives in AL then took over raising the
children. (See photo below)
1. Federal Census data for
SC and AL.
Return to Fayette County Family Records
Return to Fayette
2. FamilyTreeMaker files posted online.
3. Gildie Mobley (Rainwater Family researcher).
4. Janie Spencer (Guin Family researcher).
5. Gary Stevens (descendent of
Dora Metta Rainwater Ayres; provided family data as well as photographs
of the Ayres family and the couple thought
to be Silas M.
and Mary Jane Rainwater).
6. Paula McCaulla (provided photo of Vashti Rainwater).
7. Bill Shepherd (provided photo of Oscar Rainwater).
This page last updated 28 Jan