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Fayette County, Alabama
 
~ The Rainwater Family of Fayette County ~

Generously contributed by
Lynn Fusinato


Nancy EDWARDS RAINWATER 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 and her 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 may have still been single at the time they migrated.  Silas M. Rainwater probably did 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 HINDMAN, while daughter Vashti was married to David J. CROSSLEY and daughters Mary and Sarah were married to brothers Spencer BOBO 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 Alabama.

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.

Children of Rev. Miles Rainwater Sr. and Nancy Edwards
1.
Sarah "Sally" RAINWATER 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)
2.
Miles 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.
3.
Mary "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. May 6, 1842).  Their seventh child Barham Spencer "Bud" BOBO was born 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 Frances "Elisa" 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.
4.
Wiley RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1814.
5.
Amelia RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1817.
6.
Vashti RAINWATER (see more below).
7.
Mariah RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, in 1821.
8.
Silas Mercer RAINWATER (see more below).
9.
Amanda Jane RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, on July 14, 1826, and died May 25, 1896, near Kennedy, Lamar Co., AL.  She married William 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).



Vashti Rainwater
6. Vashti RAINWATER 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.

Children of Vashti Rainwater and David J. Crossley:
1.
James J. CROSSLEY was born about 1839 in SC.
2.
Ellelosi/Emeline CROSSLEY was born about 1843 in SC.
3.
Malissa CROSSLEY was born about 1846 in SC.
4.
Monroe 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.
5.
Asberry CROSSLEY was born about 1850 in AL.
6.
William Henry CROSSLEY was born about 1852 in AL.



Silas and Mary Jane Rainwater
8. Silas Mercer RAINWATER was born in Spartanburg Co., SC, on July 25, 1825, and died in AL on Nov 8, 1902.  He married Mary Jane HINDMAN, b. June 1, 1835, in SC.  They had ten children, all born in AL.

Children of Silas Mercer Rainwater and Mary Jane Hindman:
1.
Hannah RAINWATER was born in 1854 in AL and married Elijah NEWMAN.
2.
Miles S. RAINWATER was born in the Fall of 1857 in AL and died July 5, 1911.  He married Sarah Frances "Fannie" ALLEN.
3.
Martha E. RAINWATER was born around 1859 in AL and married S.R. DUCKWORTH.
4.
Mary M. RAINWATER was born about 1863 and married Walter A. GUIN.
5.
Sarah F. RAINWATER was born about 1866.
6.
Alice L. RAINWATER was born around 1868 and married S.R. SMITH.
7.
Wiley RAINWATER was born around 1872 and married Liza Jane COLLINS.
8.
Silas W. RAINWATER was born about 1874.
9.
Lewis Oscar RAINWATER was born in March 1876 and married Pearl GUIN.  (See photo below).
10.
Dora 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)

Oscar Rainwater          Ayres Family

Please send additions/corrections to
Lynn Fusinato


Sources:
1.  Federal Census data for SC and AL.
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).




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This page last updated 28 Jan 2005.