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Fayette County, Alabama

~ Griffin & Sarah (Shepherd) Trull ~

I am Lynn Fusinato, a great-great-granddaughter of Griffin and Sarah "Sally" Trull.  I am looking for other descendants of Griffin and Sarah in order to find out more information about the family history and in hopes of finding a tintype (or photocopy of such tintype) made of Griffin Trull in the 1870-1875 time frame.

Sarah Shepherd TrullThis tintype of Sarah Shepherd Trull (click on photo to enlarge) was handed down through their youngest daughter to a cousin of my father.  I suspect that a tintype of Griffin probably was made at the same time as Sarah's and possibly was passed down through the line of a different one of their children.

If anyone is interested in sharing family history information and pictures, please contact me.

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Griffin Henry TRULL was born 20 Jun 1807 in Anson Co., NC, and was one of the ten children born to barrel maker Stephan TRULL and his wife Mary GRIFFIN.  In the early to mid 1830s Griffin married Sarah SHEPHERD, who was born 15 Jul 1811 in Anson Co., NC, and was the daughter of William SHEPHERD Jr. and Elizabeth YERBY.

Around 1845 Griffin, his wife and five children moved to Fayette Co., Alabama, along with a group of Trull and Shepherd relatives.  The family traveled to Alabama in oxen-pulled wagons and a buggy with splatter boards covering the wheels.  The group included the family of Griffin's brother Stephan Jackson "Jack" TRULL, Sarah's invalid mother Elizabeth and a number of Sarah's siblings and their families. 

Griffin and Sarah settled in Newtonville not far from the families of two of Sarah's brothers, Isaac and Jacob SHEPHERD, who already lived in that area.  These two brothers had migrated to Alabama in 1825 and 1836, respectively.  Elizabeth Yerby Shepherd and some of her unmarried children also settled in that area in a log house that was on the other side of Bear Creek from her son Isaac's home.  Tragically, about three years after moving to Alabama, Elizabeth Shepherd was murdered by Phereby, the young slave girl she had brought from North Carolina to take care of her.

Griffin and Sarah resided in Fayette County until the late 1860s when they sold their land to their son-in-law Jackson PRICE and moved to neighboring Tuscaloosa County.  In 1872, they moved again, this time into a log cabin on property they bought in Lamar Co., AL.  Later, they built a larger house on their Lamar County property near a crossroad and also built a store, a post office and a gin.  Sarah fell from their gin, suffering a broken back that left her an invalid unable to walk for the rest of her life.  In the 1880s Sarah and Griffin "broke up housekeeping" and started living a few months with each child, as was the custom in those days.  Sarah had a special large chair that she normally sat in, and this chair would be lifted into the wagon bed for her to ride in when it was time to rotate to the next child's home.

Griffin helped establish the Meadow Branch Baptist Church in 1878, selling the land for the church and cemetery to the church deacon for $5.00.  Both Griffin and Sarah were buried at the Meadow Branch Church Cemetery.  Sarah died first 20 Jun 1892 and Griffin died 24 Jul 1898.

Children of Griffin Henry Trull and Sarah Shepherd:
  1. William Jasper TRULL, born 29 Mar 1835 in Anson Co., NC; died 20 Mar 1908 in AL. 
    He married Laura Virginia KIRKLAND in 1859.

    Jasper joined the Confederate Army at the beginning of the Civil War.  His wife Laura and their two young children probably lived with his parents while he was away fighting for safety reasons.  According to family legend, Jasper walked all the way from Richmond, VA, to Fayette, AL, at the end of the war because there was no room on the trains, which were full of seriously ill or dead soldiers.  After the war, Jasper and Laura moved to near Kennedy, AL, where they farmed and they raised 12 children.  In November 1891, the family moved to the Winfield area of Marion County where Jasper and Laura remained until they died.  In 1902, Jasper was elected the first mayor of Winfield and served in that capacity for several terms.

Cornelia Trull
  1. Cornelia Ann TRULL, born 15 Aug 1838 in NC; died 08 Sep 1902 in AL. 
    She married (1st) Dr. Robert M. WOODS around 1854; married (2nd) Murry Jackson PRICE about 1865.

    During the Civil War, Cornelia's husband Dr. Woods died of fever leaving her with two or three young children to raise.  The eldest child Robert W. WOODS grew up to become a prominent doctor and merchant in Bankston, AL.  Another son William became a teacher. 

    Cornelia hired her second cousin Jackson Price to run her deceased husband's farm after the Civil War and, after falling in love, married him.  They had four children together, three boys and a girl.  They raised their combined brood of children on farms in Fayette and Lamar counties, AL.  Around 1894, Cornelia's niece Alice had a nervous breakdown as the result of caring for both her husband and her aged grandfather, Griffin Trull.  So, Cornelia and Jackson brought Griffin to live with them and cared for him until his death in 1898.  In addition, when their second son Manly PRICE and his wife died in 1896, Cornelia and Jackson took in their young orphaned grandchildren also.

Jake Trull & Waldrop family
  1. Jacob Giles "Jake" TRULL, born 12 Jun 1839 in NC; died 24 Mar 1908 in AL.

    Jake served in the Confederate Army during the Civil war with his two brothers, Jasper and Lewellan.  After the war, he owned a store and, since he never married, he lived with his parents until they broke up housekeeping.  Then he moved in with his youngest sister Elizabeth WALDROP, her husband and their five children.  His niece Irene said on a Christmas after Jake moved in with them, he told his nieces and nephews that they had been so bad that Santa Claus was going to bring them only ashes and switches.  Christmas morning the children were all dreading what they would find waiting for them by the hearth.  Much to their surprise and delight, Santa had brought them all lovely presents but had left ashes and switches for Jake!  Some years later, Jake told his niece Sally about his war experiences.  He said that during the war the men were always hungry; that in his unit the orders were to feed the horses first and then the enlisted men; i.e., a horse was worth more than a mere enlisted man.  So the men were forced to wait until the horses ate their corn; then grab the few grains left by horses, roast them and that was their supper.

Lewellen Trull
  1. Lewellan "Bad" TRULL, born 18 Sep 1842 in NC; died 22 Dec 1922 in AL. 
    He married Martha Jane "Sis" SUDDUTH around 1868.

    No one today seems to know why or when Lewellan was given the nickname "Bad."  During the Civil War, he joined the CSA like his two older brothers.  One time when he and Jake were at home on leave, they were warned that Union soldiers were sweeping the area looking for Rebel soldiers.  The two brothers managed to escaped detection by hiding in a field of tall corn.  After the war, Bad and his wife Sis raised a large family of nine children in Lamar Co., AL.  Sis was a devout Baptist and a founding member of the Meadow Branch Baptist Church.  She married Bad despite the fact that he often drank alcoholic beverages.  However, her tolerance of sinning had its limits.  In the early 1900s, she was the ringleader in having a number of church members excluded from Meadow Branch for dancing at a Christmas party.  Her husband's brother Newton and sister-in-law Kate were among those excluded.

  1. Melissa TRULL, born 22 Jul 1844 in NC; died 02 Aug 1876 in AL.
    She married Thomas GARDNER around 1869.

    Melissa first fell in love with a Mr. DOLLAR and they became engaged.  He bought a new suit in preparation for their wedding and was trying it on for his sisters at home when shots rang out.  He rushed to the front of his house to see what was going on and was killed by a renegade soldier who had just shot his father.  Melissa was heartbroken.  Eventually she married widower Thomas Gardner of Tuscaloosa County who had a small daughter.  Tom and Melissa had two children of their own (Alice and William GARDNER) before she died at age 32.  Her daughter Alice grew up and married William J. "Bud" FREEMAN, who was ill for many years.  When Sarah Trull died, grandfather Griffin Trull came to live with Alice.  However, after a year or so, Alice reportedly had a nervous breakdown as a result of the years of caring for her sick husband and then her grandfather too.  Her Aunt Cornelia took over the care of Griffin Trull.

Em Guin & Hon Trull
  1. Mary Josephine "Hon" TRULL, born 27 Jul 1846 in AL; died 30 Jan 1920 in AL.
    She married Amasiah M. "Em" GUIN, 31 Oct 1871.

    Mary was called "Hon" by her family apparently because she was such a honey.  Her husband "Em" Guin was a CSA veteran who had been wounded at Gettysburg in 1863.  She and Em began courting after her family moved a couple of houses away from his uncle Holden GUIN in Tuscaloosa County.  After they married, the couple settled in Lamar County, in the area that later became the town Guin, AL.  There they farmed and raised seven children, including a set of twin girls.

    Em's grandson, Dempsey WILLIAMS, was 11 years old when Em died but still remembers the following stories Em told about the War.  Em told of the troops being very cold and hungry and poorly supplied.  When the men were threatening to quit and go home, their commander General JACKSON, like many generals throughout history, told the men that the supplies were on the way and things would be better soon if they would just stay a little while longer.  Em said this commander road his horse with his feet in the stirrups stuck straight out in front of him, sitting so stiffly in the saddle that he was like a stone wall, and that is why they called him "Stonewall" Jackson.  After one terrible battle, Em and other soldiers were trudging wearily away to wherever they had been ordered to go next when he heard the cries of a mortally wounded Yankee soldier asking for water.  Em was the only one to pay any attention to the pleas.  He walked over and gave water from his canteen to the man.  Then, with a sigh, Em moved on out.  As he was walking away, Em heard a sound from behind and turned to see the wounded man trying to aim his gun so he could shoot Em, but the man was too weak.  Em just turned and walked on saddened by the tragedy of war.  Another time when Em was moving away from a battle, he came on the body of another Yankee soldier lying in the woods.  On the man's chest lay his gold watch.  Evidently as the man lay dying, he had pulled out his watch and was looking at it when he expired.  Em knew that taking that gold watch would be profitable to him and that the next soldier to stumble on the body probably would take it.  But Em could not bring himself to part that poor, dead man from the watch that obviously meant so much to him.  After being paroled at the end of the war, Em finally arrived at his home filthy dirty and covered with lice on the day his sisters were out in the yard boiling and washing clothes for the week.  When they saw him, his sisters came running to welcome him home with hugs and kisses.  But he told them not to come near or touch him or they would become infected with lice.  The girls put a washtub in a shed and filled it with hot water for him to bathe.  He hung his filthy clothes on a stick his sisters held out to the door of the shed so they could carry the clothes straight to the wash fire to burn without touching them.  Only after he was cleaned and dressed with clothes they brought him from the house did he finally accept his sisters' and mother's hugs and kisses.

  1. Thomas J. TRULL, born 05 Apr 1848 in AL; died 25 Oct 1881 in AL.
    He married Anna "Annie" COOK in the early 1870s.

    Tom was a schoolteacher before he married.  After marrying Annie, Thomas became a farmer in Lamar County, and they had four young children at the time he died.  Ten years later Annie died of cancer and her children were taken in for a while by Cook and Trull relatives, in particular by Annie's sister Kate who was married to Thomas's brother Newton TRULL and by Annie's brother John S. COOK, who lived near West Point, MS.

Miles C. Waldrop
  1. Elizabeth McKenneth TRULL, born 12 Jul 1852 in AL; died 04 Jul 1938 in AL.
    She married Miles Calvin WALDROP around 1883.

    Lizzie, as she was known, was a young pre-teen during the Civil War and lived with her parents on their Fayette County farm.  During the war, it was her duty to hide the family cow in the woods when Yankee or Rebel foragers came through the area looking for cows, hogs or other food.  After the family moved to Lamar County in the 1870s, Lizzie helped her father run the store and post office.  She took over running the household and looking after her mother when Sarah was permanently injured in a fall from the gin.  Later, niece Metta TRULL (daughter of Lewellan) moved in with Griffin's family and learned to run the house and care for Sarah.  As a result, Lizzie was finally free to marry Miles Waldrop.

    Lizzie and her husband lived on a farm out from Kennedy, and there they raised five children, three girls and two boys.  After Lizzie's parents broke up house keeping, her bachelor brother Jake moved in with her family and remained with them for the rest of his life.  Lizzie and Miles attended Meadow Branch Baptist Church from the late 1870s until the early 1900s when they moved their letters to the Baptist Church in Kennedy following the exclusion of her brother Newton and his wife from Meadow Branch.  However, when they died, both Lizzie and Miles were buried at Meadow Branch Cemetery where Lizzie's parents and other Trulls rested.

  1. Newton L. TRULL, born 20 Mar 1854 in AL; died 05 Mar 1920 in AL.
    He married Emma Kate COOK around 1880.

    Newton was a farmer, a Justice of the Peace and finally a realtor.  Newton and Kate had two daughters, Vera and Nola TRULL.  In addition to raising their daughters, Newton and Kate helped raise the orphaned children of their siblings Annie COOK and Thomas TRULL and also their granddaughter Maxine WASSER after their widowed daughter Vera died at a young age.  For some twenty years, Newton and Kate were active in the Meadow Branch Baptist church.  Newton even served as secretary of the church for a while.  However, their membership in the Meadow Branch Church ended in the early 1900s soon after Newton and his wife were excluded from the congregation, apparently because they had participated in dancing during a lively game of "Charlie" at a Christmas party.  After making a confession to be reinstated into the congregation, Newton and Kate moved their letters to the Baptist church in Kennedy.  When they died, they were buried in the Kennedy cemetery, not at Meadow Branch where many of the other Trull family members are buried.

Please send additions/corrections to

Lynn Fusinato

1.  Federal Census data for NC and AL.
2.  Henry Trull, Trull Book.
3.  Lillian Strictland Matthews, a Trull Family History.
4.  Irene Harthcock, a Trull Family History as told to her by Irene Waldrop Holloman.
5.  Marguerite Callahan, "Farewell Phereby," article in Looking Back, Fayette County, AL 1824-1972.
6.  FamilyTreeMaker files posted online.
7.  Janie Spencer, Guin Family researcher.
8.  Frank Moore, Bill Trull, Betty Allen, Dempsey Williams, Judy M. Miller, Steve Richards and
     Floyd Miller Jr. (Trull descendents).

Return to Fayette County Family Records
Return to Fayette Co., AL

This page last updated 29 Jan 2005.