Fayette County, Alabama
William Wilburn WALDROP
~ Waldrop Family of Wesley Chapel ~
were settlers in Fayette County, Alabama, in
the mid to late1840s.
They were of Scotch-Irish descent and both were born in Spartanburg,
South Carolina - William on December 15, 1822, and Jane on July 14,
1826. Not long
after they were married in Spartanburg on March 20, 1845, they traveled
wagon train with a group of Jane's relatives to Alabama where they
land that was located in the vicinity of Covin and the Wesley Chapel
community. In 1867 that land became part of a newly formed county
County, which was renamed Sanford County in 1868 and finally Lamar
The group of relatives probably included Jane's mother Nancy
and Silas Mercer RAINWATER
, her sisters
Sarah Rainwater BOBO
, Mary Rainwater BOBO
, Vashti Rainwater CROSSLEY
of these siblings. In addition, William's younger brother Robert
and his wife Joanna may have traveled with the group when they first
It is not known for sure that all these members of the Rainwater family
traveled in a single group in 1845. However, census data seems to
indicate that they all left SC in the mid 1840s and that by the fall of
1850 they were all living in Fayette County (and most were living quite
to each other). The census data even hints that at least some of
may have stopped in Georgia for one or more years before completing the
journey to Alabama.
William W. Waldrop's brother Robert
was born in South Carolina around 1828 and married a
much older woman Joanna (or Jona)
born in South Carolina in 1807. Robert and Joanna left SC in the
late 1840s and may have traveled with William W. Waldrop and the
Rainwater family group. However, Robert and Joanna stopped in
north Georgia and
remained there for some 16 years or more before moving on to
Their son Samme (Samuel) WALDROP
was born in GA around 1848 and in 1860 the family was
living in Paulding Co., GA. During the Civil War, Robert served
Georgia regiment of the CSA. It is not known what happened to
it is suspected that he may have died either during or soon after the
War. Possibly his death is the reason Robert and Joanna moved to
1880 census records show Robert and Johanna had settled near Jane and
Waldrop and the other Rainwater family groups by that year.
in early 1894 and a few years later Robert married a 20-year-old woman
whose name (probably Willie
) is difficult to read in the 1900 Census of Lamar Co.,
AL. In October 1899 he and his new wife were blessed with a
daughter Alma WALDROP
about fifty years after the birth of Robert's first child. When
died a few years later, he was buried alongside
Joanna in the Wesley Chapel (Methodist
located near Covin in Fayette County
According to the 1860 Census, a Francis
, his wife Julia
their four small daughters (Bidda?,
Elizabeth, Malissa and Nancy WALDROP
) lived next
door to William W. and Jane Waldrop. Francis was born in SC
1824 and may have been another brother or cousin of William W.
there is no family record of a blood relationship with Francis like
there is for
While it is known that brothers William and Robert came from the
Spartanburg area of SC, it is not known whom their parents were.
possibility is a Samuel Waldrop who was listed in both the 1830 and
1840 censes data for Spartanburg Co. SC and had sons the right ages to
correspond to William, Francis and Robert Waldrop. Possibly the
reason both William and
Robert named sons Samuel is because that was their father's name.
Unfortunately, census data for those years only lists the
head-of-household by name and dependents are listed by count in age
brackets for each sex. So,
there is as yet no definite proof as to whether or not that Samuel
those Spartanburg censes was the father of William and Robert.
William and Jane Waldrop ~
After arriving in Fayette County, William and Jane Waldrop built a
large log house on their 240-acre homestead and cleared some of their
wooded land in order to farm it. There they raised a family of
children (who reached adulthood) despite the fact that the poor, sandy
soil of their homestead made farming difficult. Even though
farming of their
land required the help of all of the family, their children attended
little one-room schools in the community a few weeks each year because
and Jane believed in the importance of educating their children.
At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, William enlisted in the
Confederate army where he attained the rating of Sergeant in Company I,
8th Alabama Calvary Regiment (later the 9th when the 8th was absorbed
the 9th Alabama Cavalry Regiment). While he was gone, his wife
their six children had to work hard to make a living on their farm and
suffered hardships and deprivations in those difficult times.
William must have made it back home several times during the war as two
more children were born before he was honorably discharged from
military service at
Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in 1865. During the four years he was
fighting the war, he received two flesh wounds in his legs and he might
given furloughs to go home to recover which was common practice during
Jane died May 25, 1896, and was buried at the Wesley Chapel
William lived with the lively family of his daughter Nancy C. SMITH
five years after his wife died. Then, on December 8, 1901,
married his second wife Bethany
, a widow with a young son. They had
no children together. William died four years later at age 81 on
September 15, 1905, and is buried next to Jane at the Wesley Chapel
of William Wilburn Waldrop and Jane Amanda Rainwater:
- SILAS MILTON WALDROP was
born May 20, 1848, in Fayette Co., AL, and
died January 08, 1927, in Lamar Co., AL. Silas was not only a
but also a preacher. He married Nancy
YARBROUGH on Oct. 19, 1871, and,
before Nancy died at age 39, they were blessed with five children (Dela, Coleman,
Milton Miles, Sara Bertha and Samuel
Murphy). Silas soon married second
wife Mary Jane STILLMAN and
they had two more daughters (Elora
Jane). After Mary Jane died, Silas married a third time to
Nancy Ellen DENNIS but
this last union produced no children. Silas' children all married
many grandchildren resulted from these unions. Dela married a LASTER. Coleman, who
lived near Bluff, married first Virginia
RAY and then Ethel COLLINS.
Sarah Bertha was married to William
Bailey HOLLIMAN and they also lived
near Bluff. Milton and Samuel married girls from the Wesley
area, Alice LASTER and Mattie COLLINS, respectively.
Both couples raised
their families in the Covin area. The two youngest
daughters Elora and
Mary Jane married Toliver Walton
SHELTON and Murray TRIMM,
- MARY JANE WALDROP was
born May 30, 1850, in Fayette Co., AL, and died November 28, 1930, in
Lamar Co., AL. Mary first married a WINDHAM
and later married William "Billy" THOMAS. Mary Jane and Billy
lived for a
while in Guin, AL. Around 1920 a widowed Mary Jane lived next
door to her
brother Starling's family in Sulligent, AL.
- SARAH WALDROP was born
April 15, 1852, in Fayette Co., AL, and died
just a few years later on September 13, 1855. Sarah was only
- MILES CALVIN WALDROP was
born April 02, 1854, in Fayette Co., AL, and
died Jan. 14, 1929, in Lamar Co., AL. Around 1883, Miles married Elizabeth McKenneth TRULL,
daughter of Griffin H. TRULL and
SHEPHERD. They lived on their farm near Kennedy, AL, and raised
three girls and two
boys (Winona Irene, Henry Griffin,
Charles A., Kitty Lou and Sarah
Irene married Walter HOLLOMAN
of Missouri and had six children while they
lived in Kennedy, AL, during the first thirteen years of their
Their seventh child was born after they moved to Mississippi.
Henry became a
doctor and married Winnie HODO
of Alabama. Winnie and their newborn child died during WWI
and, after the war, Henry married Isabelle
AGNEW of Mississippi. They settled
in MS where their three children were born. Charlie married Mattie MCDANIEL
and they raised their seven children on a farm close to his parents'
from Kennedy. Kitty married James
Wafford "Judge" RICHARDS and they
raised their eight children in Kennedy in the house they bought from
Irene and Walter when the Hollomans moved to MS. Sally married Floyd MILLER from
Millport and lived in LA, AR and MS before they settled in OK with
children during the Great Depression.
- LUCRETIA MARIAH WALDROP
was born April 01, 1856, in Fayette Co., AL,
and died July 04, 1934, in Lamar Co., AL. Lucretia Mariah, called
"Aunt Lou", was a midget
and she never married. Many of her nieces were named "Lou" after this tiny lady
and she definitely left a lasting impression on her many nieces and
nephews. She usually lived with her brother
Starling's family but she often visited with her other siblings'
especially at Mary Jane's when she lived next door to Starling in
Sulligent, AL. (Pictured below with Starling's family.)
- WILLIAM SAMUEL WALDROP
was born January 31, 1858, in Fayette Co., AL,
and died around 1893 in Lamar Co. AL. William never married
and died young at age 35.
- STARLING VAN BUREN WALDROP
was born March 03, 1860, in Fayette Co.,
AL, and died August 01, 1944, in Sulligent, Lamar Co., AL.
married Roxanne "Annie" GODFREY in 1886 and they raised
twelve children who reached adulthood (William
Carey, Virgie Lou, Thomas Madison, Madorah "Dora", Elizabeth, Delia Jane, Sam Ray, Noah Miles,
Herman Brian, Lucy Irene, Chester Starling, Annie Grace and Arvel Gray). For many years
couple lived near the old Waldrop homestead, close to his parents and
uncles Robert Waldrop, Miles Rainwater and Silas Rainwater.
farmed and taught school in the area. Between 1910 and 1920,
Annie finally moved to Sulligent in order for their children to attend
good schools. He helped his children to get higher educations:
became teachers and three graduated from business school. William
married Gladys WILLIS and they
raised seven children in Sulligent, AL.
Virgie was a favorite of everyone in the family. She never
married but she did
become an elementary school teacher and taught in Fayette, AL.
Dora married Zeb ROLAND and
four children in north AL. Delia married Reuben Leon MOSLEY Sr., and
for many years she taught school in Fayette where she
and Reuben raised their two sons. Lucy, who married James Gaston
GOLSAN, also lived in Fayette and had two sons. Chester
MACFARLAND and they had one son. Annie Grace married Lura Austin SHEPHERD and
raised two sons. Arvel married Frances
LEE and they raised their family of
two boys and one girl in north AL.
- NANCY CATHERINE WALDROP
was born June 16, 1862 in Fayette Co., AL, and died November 18, 1957,
in Lamar Co., AL. Nancy married farmer John Thomas SMITH in 1886 and gained
an instant family since Thomas already had two small children (Felix and Deana SMITH). Then, Nancy and
John had seven more children of their own: son Manly and daughters Tulie, Wilma, Johnnie Flora, Frankie, Naomi
and Lois SMITH. After
Nancy’s mother Jane died in 1896, her father William W. Waldrop moved
in with Nancy and her growing family for about five years before he
remarried a young widow and set up housekeeping in a quieter household.
Nancy’s children grew up and
all of them married. Son Manly married Ellie JOHNSON and they had six or
seven children. Tulie married Melton
FRAZIER and Naomi married Charlie
QUARLES, but it is not known if they had any children.
Johnnie Flora married Henry Grady
BRYANT and had a large family of nine children. The other
three daughters had more modest families. Wilma, who married Arthur O’Vollie BLAKENEY, and
Frankie, who married Robert ESTES,
each had four children while Lois, who married John William SMITH, had one
- ALBERTHA ELIZABETH WALDROP
was born November 14, 1864, in Fayette
Co., AL, and died July 11, 1902, in Vernon, AL. She was called "Bettie"
and was the last of the Jane and William Waldrop's children. In
1888, Bettie married Simeon "Semme" Martin THOMAS (nephew of Mary
Billy THOMAS) and they had six children before her untimely death in
1902. The children were Edna
Lenore "Nonnie", Jennie Bell, Effie Lunnie, Silas
Martin, Mittie Lou and Berta
Estelle THOMAS. Nonnie married James Allen SHACKELFORD; Jennie
married Daniel Wells SIZEMORE;
Effie married Edgar Dennis MCDANIEL;
Silas married Maudie SORRELS;
Mittie Lou married Bluford Bradley
and Berta married Dewey RUSHING.
1. Federal Census data for
SC, GA and AL.
McGee Foster Stough, article written in 1977 on the Waldrop family for
her "Winding Trails"
genealogy column published in The Fayette County Broadcaster.
3. FamilyTreeMaker files posted online.
4. Gildie Mobley (Rainwater family researcher).
5. Steve Richards, Billy Shepherd, Malinda Jane Mosley
Walker, Flora Bryant McCool,
Sammie Lee McDaniel
Elliot, Norma Jean McDaniel Pinkerton and Sara J. LaDuew (Waldrop
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This page last updated 07 Feb