Note: N2863 All indications are that John Lawson and his family came into Walker County after 1830 and before 1835. I believe he settled on Cane Creek, which is about 3.5 miles south of present day Townley, 4.5 miles south of Holly Grove and about 3 miles west of Pleasant Grove. In 1824 Holly Grove was the community center and post office of all the early settlers. This land on Cane Creek would be the same or some of the same land he sold to John Myers, 16 March 1876, which is about 7 years before his death.
In the �History of Walker County, Alabama� by John Martin Dombhart, he states �The Boshell, the Pike, the Keeton, the Cooner, the Lawson, and the Romine families were established in this section before 1835.�
John and Vinyard Lawson were enumerated in the 1840 Walker County Census. They were listed as families' 14-4 and 14-5, which would indicate their households were close to each other. Since Vinyard�s age is listed at 20 to 30 years, probably closer to 20 years, I believe he is the son of John Lawson.
John, age 40 - 50 years, has five other males living in his household, one under 5 years, one 5 - 10 years, two 10 - 15 and one 15 - 20 years old. He also had four females, one 5 - 10 years and one 10 - 15 years, one 40 - 50 and an elderly woman 70 - 80 years old living with him.
Other families living around John and Vinyard Lawson were Henry Townley, John Guttery, James Blythe, Wiley B. Manasco, Isaac Nelson, John N. Nelson, James G. Ussleton (Ussery), Hiram Barton and John Sutton.
John was enumerated in the 1850 Walker County Census, taken 26 November 1850, District 11, post office Jasper. His age is given as 60 years, that he was born in North Carolina, and he is listed as a farmer. I believe John is still living on or close to the same land he had in 1840. It lists Sarah, age 59 years, as his wife; a son, Patmon, age 18 years; a daughter, Mahaley, age 16 years; a son, William, age 12 years and inmate, Caty, age 80 years (maybe his or his wife's mother?).
Other families living around John are William P. Fike, Green Inman, Martin O�Rear, Mathew Miller, Andrew Nelson, John Nelson, Richmond Townley, Samuel Wood, Isaac Nelson, McMinter Boshell, John Tune, and Ishum Guttery. We believe two of John sons; Patmon and William married two of Martin O�Rear�s daughters. Also, it is of interest that the records shows that the family living next door to John, Richmond Townley and his wife Mary (Lollar) Townley, had lived and were married in 1822 in St. Clair County, Alabama.
John and Sarah Losson are enumerated in the 1860 Western Division, Post Office Jasper, Walker County, Alabama Census with real estate valued at $300 and value of personal estate is $370. It states John was born in North Carolina and Sarah in South Carolina. He could not read or write. Age is given as 68 years. Name is spelled Losson. Also an Elizabeth Earnest, age 21, female, housewife, born in Alabama and a 3-month child named Thos R. are living with him in the household. Could Elizabeth be the daughter of John and Sarah or the daughter of one of his sons? There is an Elizabeth Earnest, age 14 years living with her parents, Richard and Mary Ann Earnest in the 1850 Walker County Census, could be her?
In the 1866 Alabama State Census for Walker County, John Lawson is enumerated. His age is give as 70 - 80 years. He has a female living in the household and her age is given as 70 - 80 years. I assume this is Sarah.
In the 1867 Voting Registration Loyalty Oaths, taken 18 July 1867, John Lawson indicated he was born 1787 in North Carolina.
John & Sarah are listed by themselves in the 1870 Census twice, his name is spelled Jno in the first and John in the second one, his age is given as 70, farmer, value of real estate $300 and personal estate $200. This time it indicates they were born in Georgia?
John & Sarah are listed in the 1880 Township 14, Range 9, Beat 7, Walker County, Alabama Census, name is spelled Losson, his age 100 years and her age is 88 years, farmer, and this time it indicates they were born in Virginia?
Not sure who is giving the information to the census taker, but I tend to believe John was born in North Carolina, since this is what was stated in the earlier census and what he stated in the �Return of Qualified Voters�. However, John and Sarah�s children indicated in the various censuses that both were born in South Carolina?
In the Files Cemetery, about one mile west of Beech Grove Freewill Baptist Church just off state highway 102, and about 4 miles southwest from Townley in Walker County, there is the grave of a John Lawson, died 3 Nov. 1883 - age 103 years. His wife Sarah is buried next to him.
I obtained a copy of the following land transfer from the land records at the Walker County Court House in Jasper. John and Saly Losson sold to John Myers for $200.00, the following described real estate in Walker County, the SW1/4 of the SE1/4, Section 36, Township 14, Range 9 West, and NW1/4 of NE1/4, Section 1, Township 15, Range 9 West, NE1/4 of NE1/4 of Section 1, Township 15, Range 9 West containing 60 acres more or less. The transaction took place 16 March 1876. John M. Files, Justice of the Peace, indicated that John and Saly Losson were known to him and witnessed them putting their "mark" on the deed. This land is located about 3 to 3.5 miles due south of Townley. Both John and Sarah (Saly) are buried in Files Cemetery. Parts of this land belong to a Thomas and Rebecca Carroll before John obtained it. Thomas was from Georgia and Rebecca was from South Carolina.
The land records also indicate that Vinyard Lawson, Albert Lawson (Vinyard�s son), Daniel Lawson, Patmon Lawson, William and his wife Susan Lawson, William and Nancy Lawson Rutledge and James C. and Mahala Lawson Cooner own land in the area surrounding John�s land. All of these individuals are John�s sons, daughters and a grandson. All their land is south of Townley and southwest of Pleasant Grove.
Our Lawson�s - like many other Southern families - probably came to Alabama from North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia initially and became farmers like so many others of the first settlers of Alabama. In his later years John settled in the hill country of Walker County and his farm probably consisted of a log cabin and a small piece of land where he grew the items necessary for his family to live. For cash, he may have planted and raise some cotton.
But where did John and Sarah come from? Some of the information that we have found indicates they may have lived in another part of Alabama before moving to Walker County. On John�s daughter�s, Mahala Lawson Cooner, death certificate it indicated that her mother�s maiden name was Baugh. The family members state that this was a misspelling of her maiden name and it should have been Ball. The certificate also indicates both were born in South Carolina.
In Book 1, page 296 of the Madison County, Mississippi Territory marriage records, a John Larson and Sarah H. Ball applied for a marriage license 26 November 1816. We have not found a record to show that it was executed but according to the records of Madison County this was not uncommon. This would indicate John and Sarah were in Mississippi Territory (Alabama) in 1816. Most of the records for northern Alabama were kept in Huntsville, Madison County until after Alabama became a state and other counties were established. Could this be our John and Sarah? If the birth dates for John and Sarah are close to being correct, then John was about 29 years old and Sarah was about 24 years old when they got married. This is uncommonly old for a couple in frontiers of the West. Maybe it was the second marriage for both?
Some members of the family indicate Nancy Lawson was the illegitimate child of Sarah and a man name Ball and went by the name of Lawson. However, others indicate she was the daughter of John and Sarah Lawson and that Sarah�s maiden name was Ball?
However, in Bruce Myers� personal notes, in his 1850 Census, states, �Nancy was a daughter of Sarah Wilson (or Nelson) and a man by the name of Ball-Sorck (Ball or Sorck?). After Sarah married John Lawson, Nancy went by the name of Nancy Lawson.� Could Sarah have been married to a Ball before she married John and used her married name of Ball on their marriage application or was this maiden name? See Sarah's note for more information.
This is part of Nancy (Lawson) Rutledge�s obituary - The Daily Transcript Terrell Texas dated Saturday June 30, 1900, �In Memoriam Grandma Rutledge, who departed this life June 27, 1900 was born in St. Claire County, Alabama, April 3, 1816.� If marriage license that I have found is John and Sarah Lawson�s then Nancy may not have been John�s daughter. The obituary also indicates that John and Sarah may have lived in St. Clair County, Alabama before moving to Walker County.
An interesting sequence of names is found in the 1816 Monroe County, Mississippi Territory Census. John Losson (Lawson), Vineyard (Vinyard) and Jesse Crawford and Golder (Goulder) Fields were listed in this census. Vinyard and Jesse are names used by a number of Lawson�s for their children and one of John and Sarah Lawson�s grandsons was named Goulder Fields Lawson. (He was second son of Vinyard and Julia Ann Lawson.) In later records we find Vinyard and Jesse Crawford and Goulder Fields in St. Clair County. Goulder Fields and John Lawson of Walker County were both from North Carolina and about the same age. I believe the area John is from is Stokes County, North Carolina and you will find a number of Fields living in that county about the time both John and Goulder were born.
The John Losson (Lawson) in the 1816 Monroe County, Mississippi Territory Census had a very large family and may have been John Lawson, of Walker County, or his father or another John Lawson? The census lists one male over 21 years, 4 males under 21 years, one female over 21 years, two females under 21 years and one slave. Walker County John Lawson would have been about 29-36 years old and would not be one of the children. Could he have been the head of the household taking care of his mother? John and Sarah were married in November of 1816, which may have been after the census. Could this have been John�s father or a close relative?
However, this may not be our John? I looked at all the neighbors of this John and it looks like this John may have been located in or around Wilcox County, Alabama and not the St. Clair County area. There is a John Lawson that was located in Wilcox County in 1820, this may be him?
By 1820, a John Lawson (Walker County John, we believe), Elizabeth Lawson (who may have been his mother, first wife or sister-in-law), Vinyard Crawford, Golder Fields and a Major Vingard were neighbors in St. Clair County, Alabama. Major Vingard or Vinyard is living next door to John Lawson. They are all listed in the 1820 St. Clair County, Alabama Census. Vinyard Crawford and Golder Fields had been granted land in northern St. Clair County in 1819.
In John Lawson�s family there is one male over 21 years, one male under 21 years, one female over 21 and one female under 21 years. This would fit our John Lawson in Walker County. John and/or Sarah�s first child, Nancy, was born about 1816 and their first son, Vinyard, about 1819.
In Elizabeth Lawson�s family there is 5 males under 21 years, one female over 21 years and 2 females under 21 years. Elizabeth could have been the wife of the John Lawson in the 1816 Monroe County Census or a close relative such as mother, sister or sister-in-law? William Lawson, who I believe is a son of Elizabeth Lawson, is enumerated in the 1830 Purdy Township, McNairy County, Tennessee Census. In his household are 2 males under 5; 2 males 20-30; 1 female 15-20; 1 female 20-30; and 1 female 50-60. Could this female age 50-60 be Elizabeth? If this is Elizabeth Lawson who was enumerated in the 1820 St. Clair County Census, then there is a very good chance that Elizabeth is John Lawson�s, of Walker County, mother?
John Lawson, Golder Fields, Lawson Hopper, Jency Lawson, William Clark, Robert Lawson and Vinyard Crawford are enumerated in the 1830 St. Clair, Alabama Census. All the families, except Vinyard Crawford and Robert Lawson, were listed in the census as living within 7 households of each other in an area called Crawford�s Cove near Union Church in the northern part of St. Clair County. Vinyard Crawford�s land is very close to Goulder Fields and even through the census does on show it, he is also living very close to the above families. Robert Lawson was living in the town or south of Ashville.
I have spent a great deal of time gathering information on Robert Lawson. In later census it indicated he was from Ireland. Other information indicates he came into Alabama from Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee. He owned land in the southern part of St. Clair County and may have at one time lived in the town of Ashville. He and his sons held public office in St. Clair County and you will find their names on many documents in the courthouse. I believe they were educated men and always signed their names. Robert�s two oldest sons were named James and John Lawson. (Our John of Walker County always placed and �X� when signing documents.) They may have started building the first hotel in Ashville, but either run out of money or decided to leave and it was sold before or shortly after completion. He moved to Talladega County with his sons where he opened another hotel. I have concluded he was a different line than the Lawson�s of Crawford Cove but could be a distance relative?
Jency Lawson could have been a daughter or daughter-in-law of Elizabeth Lawson. I based this on her age given in the 1850 St. Clair census. It indicated she was 50 years old, which indicates she was born about 1800 in North Carolina. It is interesting that she is living very close to John Lawson and may have been related through marriage. However, Jincy or Gincey was listed in the 1830 and 1850 censuses of the St. Clair but never with a husband. A Jincy Lawson is listed in the 1840 Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Her family is living next door to the families of William and Daniel Lawson. The index listed her name as Tincy but Floyd Lawson, who first found it, said if you look at the microfilm you would see that it is Jincy. She was also in the 1841 and 1845 Tishomingo County, Mississippi Tax List. She must have moved back to St. Clair County before 1850.
Jerry Jones of St. Clair County has been studying the history of the county for many years and he believes Jincy was a daughter of Elizabeth Lawson and never married. We believe she had 10 children (one died young) and a number of them moved to Izard County, Arkansas about 1854.
Lawson Hopper was the son-in-law of Goulder Fields. He married Malinda Fields and they were listed in Goulder Fields� will filed in the State of Alabama, Court of Probate, Special Term, Marshall County, on 9 April 1856. Lawson and Malinda Hopper moved in Blount County, Alabama before 1850. With a first name of Lawson, I would also believe he was related to a Lawson family in some way. The 1850 Blount County, Alabama Census indicates he was born in Georgia.
Goulder Fields and his wife Christian sold 160 acres of land in St. Clair County, 24 January 1829. They move to Marshall County after 1830 and are listed in the Marshall County, Alabama Census in 1840.
Vinyard Crawford who was born in Tennessee, according the 1850 St. Clair Census. He was 70 years old in this census and then moved to Scott County, Arkansas where he was enumerated in 1860. His age was given as 80 years and born in Tennessee in this census.
William Clark was listed in the marriages records as marrying Elizabeth Lawson, 30 August 1823 in St. Clair County, Alabama. They were living very close to John in the 1830 St. Clair Census. Believe she may have been a daughter of Elizabeth Lawson and a sister or close relative of Walker County John.
One problem with 1830 St. Clair Census is that it indicates John�s age is between 20 - 30 years. If this is our John Lawson and the same man in the 1820 census, then his age should have been between 30 and 40 years. However, it also indicates that Golder Fields age was between 20 - 30 years and I know from later records that this was incorrect. Therefore, I believe that the ages for both men were listed incorrectly, which is not uncommon in the census.
In John�s family in the 1830 St. Clair Census there are four males, ages 5 - 10 years; one male, 20 - 30 years; one female, under 5 years; one female, 5 - 10 years; and one female, 20 - 30 years. The number of children and ages would fit very well with the John Lawson in Walker County in the 1840 census.
Vinyard (John and Sarah's first son) and Julia Ann Logan Lawson�s second son was named Goulder Fields Lawson. I believe Vinyard and Julia Ann were married in Walker County after David Logan came to the county from Kentucky. We believe Julia Ann Logan was a daughter of David. However, there is a John Lowgan listed in the 1820 St. Clair Census and a William Logan in the 1830 St. Clair Census. Could she have been to one of these Logan�s? The records in Walker County Court House were destroyed in three different fires and the earliest marriage records are from 1877. So we have been unable to obtain a record of their marriage. I searched the St. Clair records and did not find a marriage record for them.
There are a number of documents from St. Clair County where Goulder Fields, John Lawson (Losson), and Vinyard Crawford were listed on them as witnesses or involved in some type of transaction, which would indicate they knew each other. The following are notes from documents, dates and names that we found; --
First Court Records 1819-1849, page 48 Taken up by Thomas Patton on the head of Greenwoods Creek � one cow and calf appraised to eight dollars by us � supposed to be twelve years old � marked with a crop of the right ear and a under leit (spelling?) of the left iers (ear or eye?) � before me William Ward and of the acting Justices of the Peace of St. Clair County this 31 October 1821. Paid $4.00 Vinyard (X) Crofford John (X) Lawson
On a land transaction, dated 25 December 1823, between Elizah Harrison and William Ward, Golder Fields and John Lawson placed their marks as witness for the sale of the land.
Superior Court Minutes 1819-1826, page 212, dated October 1824; State verses John Lawson, Gilbert (Goulder?) Fields and Samuel Jones (Jones late of the County of St. Clair) on the 7 October 1824 with force and angus assaulted John Mullins did beat, bruise, wound and ill treat and other wrongs to the said John Mullins then and other aid to the great damage of the said John Mullins and against the peace and dignity of the Sate of Alabama.
Next entry State vs. John Lawson and Samuel Jones They pleaded not guilty. They were found not guilty. Golder Field assaulted John Mullins. Jury trail set for April Term 1825 and found guilty and find $20.
Note from Ann Bowman on the above information that may indicate that Samuel Jones may have been married to Goulder Fields� sister? From: "Ann Bowman" <[email protected]@satx.rr.com> Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 09:36:49 -0500 I found your file on Goulder Fields on Ancestry.com. I am trying to find the parents of Lucinda Fields who was born about 1780 in South Carolina in died in Milam County, Texas. She married about 1807 to Samuel Jones.
I had found a bit of information on Goulder Fields a while back and wonder if he could be Lucinda's brother? I notice your file on Goulder Fields lists a court case that mentions a Samuel Jones.
Samuel and Lucinda Jones lived in Maury County, Tennessee (oldest child Aquilla Jones gives his birth as 1808 in Maury Co, TN) , Blount County, Alabama (6th child Eli Jones birth is given as 1818 Blount Co), and Milam County, Texas. Ann Bowman
Information from the Orphans Court Records 1827 - 1844; It states the Commissioners Court that was held on 19 August 1829 appointed the overseers of the state roads. On page 94, Fields Road from fork road near Esq. Thomasons' to Curtis G. Beason - Thomas Goodwin overseer, Thence to Judge Boyd�s' Plantation - John Lawson overseer.
Information from the Orphans Court Records 1827 - 1844; On page 135 the Commissioners Court that was held on 9 August 1830 appointed apportioners in Captain Walker's Beat, John Lawson, William Phillips and Curtis G. Beason.
Curtis G. Beason (Beeson) was the son of Edward Beeson who was born in Guilford County, North Carolina. After serving in the Army of the Revolution in 1778 Edward moved to Stokes County, N.C., then moved to Tennessee and later he moved near Scottsboro, Alabama before settling in St. Clair County. Edward built a log cabin near Ashville, on what is now the Double Bridge Road between Steel and Ashville. Curtis married Martha Clark the daughter of Henry and Margaret Susanna (Lightfoot) Clark, 29 July 1824 in St. Clair County, Alabama.
From the same Court Records, Page 184, August 1832, Road from Cove Road to Boyd�s' Plantation, 3rd grade, overseer Lawson Hopper. This is the same road John Lawson was overseer in 1829.
I have reviewed all the land records for the men mention above with John Lawson and the land they owned was in the northern edge of today�s St. Clair County. They were on today�s county lines of Etowah and Blount Counties. Some of northern part of 1820-50 St. Clair County became Etowah County in 1860. I cannot find any documents that indicate John Lawson owned any land in this area. He must have been working for someone and living on their land, maybe Goulder Fields? Interesting John Lawson left the area about the same time as Goulder Fields and Jency Lawson.
Since I believe John is the one in St. Clair County, what does the Census indicate?
Census County, State Name Age Where Born 1820 St. Clair, AL John Lawson over 21 -- 1830 St. Clair, AL John Lawson 20-30? -- 1840 Walker, AL John Lawson 40-50 -- 1850 Walker, AL John Losson 60 North Carolina 1860 Walker, AL John Losson 68 North Carolina 1866* Walker, AL John Lawson 70-80 -- 1870 Walker, AL John Lawson 70 Georgia 1880 Walker, AL John Losson 100? Virginia
*This was a state census taken after the Civil War.
When was John born? John's gravestone states he died 3 Nov. 1883 - age 103 years. This would indicate he was born about 1780. In Bruce Myers records he indicated that John was 93 years old when he died which would indicate he was born about 1790. This date is supported by the 1850 census. However, he stated in the 1867 "Return of Qualified Voters" for Walker County, that his date of birth was 1787 and born in North Carolina. Since it would have been John giving the information at the "Return of Qualified Voters," I tend to believe his date of birth is around or just after 1787.
If the John Lawson in Walker County is the same John Lawson in St. Clair, then he must have left St. Clair County after the 1830 census and before 1835. By 1840 his oldest daughter, Nancy, has married William M. Rutledge and his oldest son, Vinyard, has married Julie Ann Logan. The St. Clair John Lawson had 6 children in the 1830 census; therefore, he would have had 4 of these children, 3 boys and 1 girl, show up in the 1840 census. That is what we find in the Walker County Census. Also Nancy (Lawson) Rutledge family indicated that she was born in St. Clair County, Alabama. I believe this supports that the two John Lawson�s are the same person.
To add support this, I check the families in Walker County and found that D. Townley, R. Keyton (Keeton), Thomas King, John King, D. Brown, John Allen, Hugh Loller, H. Sides, Levi Sides, William Sides, John Smith, Stephen Sides and David Brown were listed in the 1820 St. Clair Census and move to Walker County. John�s next door neighbor in the 1850 Walker County Census, Richmond Townley and his wife Mary (Lollar) Townley, had lived and were married in 1822 in St. Clair County, Alabama.
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