The Map of Alabama and Our Family Pt1

Where my mind’s at this morning, is thinking through how the different branches of our family intersected, and where.  The anchor in my mind of our families is the group of folks we find in Chambers County, Alabama from the 1870’s on leading to the marriage of Joe Heard and Ruth Lucille Whitaker.

1810 Alabama and Our Family

Of course the timeline for our ancestors goes back to the beginning of time, but let me use the year 1810 for this exercise.  1810 is the approximate year of birth for Major Bailey, one of the first ancestors we were able to find pre-emancipation records for.  1810 was only 7 years after the Louisiana Purchase.  There was no such thing as Chambers County.  There was no such thing as Alabama.  These lands to later be the home of our family were at that time designated as Creek Lands in the Mississippi Territory.

In our Heard line we don’t pick up the trail until more than 50 years later when we see our Wess Heard in the 1870 Census.  He is a mere 17 at the time.  The circumstances of the 1870 Census lead us to believe he and his family had been laboring for Stephen T. Heard, son of Carroll Barnard Heard, who was son of Governor Heard. [Stephen T Heard had a distant cousin Richard Kent Heard who was born in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1830, but more about him in a moment.]  Wess Heard and family are in Dooley County, Georgia in 1870.  We don’t pick up Mattie Allen, for sure, until after her marriage to Wess Heard, though we believe she is in the household of Minnie Heard in the 1880 Census in Murray County, Georgia.

Over on the Huguley-Whitaker side of things, we have Frank Huguley born about 1845.  The 1870 and 1880 censuses are in conflict as to whether he was born in Georgia or Alabama.  In my earlier discussion of the 1866 Alabama State Census for Chambers County,  as compared to the 1870 census, I point out one of Frank’s neighbors: ” W.H. Huguley (white) is William Henderson Huguley, son of George Huguley (white) in the 1866 census excerpt discussed above.”  In my research in to Hezekiah F Erwin (documented in another entry), I had found, in the documentation of an Alabama Supreme Court case, “Wyche S. Jackson, administrator of Hezekiah F. Erwin, was the son-in-law of George Huguley and brother in law to W. H. Huguley and Reuben Jones. They were at the time of signing the bond all men of wealth.”  Elsewhere I’ve discussed the Erwin, Winston and other connections as it relates to our relatives Major Bailey and Susan Jackson. Perhaps when our Carrie Bailey (granddaughter of Major and Susan) married Stonewall Huguley AKA Whitaker it was the culmination of multi-generational connections. Based on the geography of George living next to Frank, and the accumulation of DNA cousins leading back to the same lines, George Huguley is the chief candidate as father to Frank Huguley.  Even if the relationship was only one of servitude, the migration pattern of George would be important in understanding the roots of our kin.

While looking for biographical information on George Huguley I came across these two offerings.

Comments on Geo Whitfield Huguley by Thad Huguley: George Huguley married Mary “Polly” Dallis in Lincoln County, Georgia, on June 7, 1827. Around 1833, they uprooted and moved the family to Troup County, Georgia. He then moved to “New Alabama,” as recently opened territory across the Chattahoochee River was called, and he settled in Chambers County in what we now know as Huguley, Alabama. In 1866, he built the first cotton mill in Chambers County, which was the beginning of what would become West Point Pepperell. Polly was only 39 when she died in childbirth, but in that short time she gave birth to 11 children…
More information on George Huguley can be found here:
Above I showed an Alabama map from 1810.  That map and the following are from:
I want to return to the discussion of the map of Alabama, and what was it like when our earliest traced ancestors arrived.  From the above we know that George Huguley  came to “New Alabama” shortly after 1833. (Perhaps 12 years prior to the birth of our Frank.)
1831-1832 Map of Alabama
What the above map illustrates is that in 1831 in the middle of the state and extending to the eastern boundary of Georgia were three large counties: St. Clair County at the top of the three, then Shelby County, and the most southern of the three was Montgomery County.
In 1832 this eastern portion of Alabama underwent many changes.
1832 Alabama Map Changes
Among the newly created counties was Chambers and Tallapoosa on it’s western border.  Just south of these two were Macon and Russell counties.   As I accumulate records and try to understand the roots of our family, I’m left to wonder when I find the same surnames across these counties just named, are they all of the same root families?  When you see it in these maps, all these counties of interest bordering one another, that we might have the same families spread-out is very plausible.  But later as more counties are formed and the originals subdivided it perhaps suggests the illusion that they are now farther apart.
1839-1840 Map of Alabama
1843-1846 Map of Alabama
1866 Alabama Map
The 1866 map to my eyes just looks more clustered than a look back to the 1831 map. The map of “our” part of Alabama was pretty stable between 1846 and 1866 when Lee County was inserted between Chambers and Russell, among other changes.
What started me on this journey of looking at maps of Alabama and wondering if certain counties were close to one another at one time, was a search for the roots of our Heard line.
In my notes from an interview with a niece of our Joe Heard was the following piece of information, “She confirmed Grandma Mattie had lived with her family after the passing of Wes Heard.  She had understood that Wes Heard had lived in the area of Tallapoosa before moving to “Greenwood” then Lanett.
Dudleyville The map shown here is from wikipedia.  When looking at the eastern border of Alabama, it’s easy to spot Russell County with its little triangle pointing eastward.  Above Russell is Lee, above Lee is Chambers.  West of Chambers is Tallapoosa, and as illustrated, Dudleyville is in Tallapoosa barely inside it’s border with Chambers County.
Above I included the line “[Stephen T Heard had a distant cousin Richard Kent Heard who was born in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1830, but more about him in a moment.] ” Actually I’ll save this until ‘part 2’.  To tell this story I needed to establish Dudleyville in relation to Chambers County.  Can we use our DNA cousins to tie to together the genealogy as well as the Geography?

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