The Free State of Jones

1870 Knight Company roster!

The following names are taken from the handwritten roster of the Knight band that Newt Knight submitted to Congress in 1870. That was the year that Newt began petitioning Congress to compensate him and his men for having fought on behalf of the Union Army.  He included the names of 54 men that he described as having remained “true” to the band and to the Union.

Understand that this is not the original roster that Newt kept hidden in the woods during the war. Family members retain that original, which is quite brittle and fragile. Rather, this roster was created after the war and presented as evidence to support Newt’s petition. I’ve listed all the names here, with original spellings and in original order.

I hope you enjoy the search, and if you’d like more information about what is written on the roster about a particular man, just ask! Officers are followed by privates:

Captain Newton Knight

1st Lt. J. M. Valentine

2nd Lt. Simeon Collins

1st. Sgt.  J.J. Collins

2nd Sgt. W. P. Turnbow

1st Corp. Alphus Knight

2nd Corp. S.G. Owens

Tapley Bynum

P.M. Bynum

Montgomery Blackwell

J.M. Blackwell

J.M. Collins

B.F. Collins

M.C. Collins

M.M. Coats

S.C. Coleman

B.F. Cawley

R.J. Collins

James Ewlen

J.M. Gunter

Tucker Gregg

R.H. Hinton

John Hogan

J.M. Hathhorn

G.M. Hathhorn

W.B. Jones

M.W. Kurven

S.W. Kurven

J.M. Knight

G.F. Knight

H.C. Knight

B.F. Knight

Lazrous Mathews

Ausberry McDaniel

C.F. Prine

Daniel Redock

W.W. Sumrall

John Ira Vallentine

Paterick Vallentine

M.B. [probably W., not M., for William] Vallentine

R.H. Vallentine

Eliga Wilborn

T.L. Welch

R.J. Welch

W.M. Welch

H.R. Welch

Younger Welborn

W.T. Welborn

N.V. Whitehead

T.J. Whitehead

D.W. Whitehead

James Yates

Thomas Yates

Joseph Youghn

Moses Richerson

205 replies »

  1. In the original book about Newt Knight, there is reference made to the Walters and Reeves, who either assisted or sympathized with the band. This book has another list that has the name of Mose Walters on it. I would be most appreciative if you would share any information you may have located on him during your research.


    • Hi my name was Prine before I was married, could you tell me more abou C. . F. Prine from the roster we grew up in Sand Hill.


      • Hi Betty,

        Sorry, but I don’t really know anything about C.F. Prine. Just ran a check on, and he appears to have been born in 1838 and died in 1904. He’s reported as the son of John Alexander Prine and his wife, Mary A. Williams. C.F. appears to have been born in Marion County, MS, but his brother is reported on family trees as born in Jones County. If I find more, I’ll let you know.



      • As a child my father always spoke of Lazrous Mathews, his grandfather, riding with Newton Knight. Lazrous Mathews is buried in the Matthews cemetery in Shady Grove Mississippi. As is his son James Lodrick Matthews, my grandfather. My father is buried in Ruston Mississippi. My family, Lazrous Mathews, James Lodrick and my father, Edwin Blanks Matthews were all born in SOSO Mississippi. If you know of anymore details of Lazrous Mathews I would love to know.
        Lazrous’ wife is also buried in the Matthews cemetery in Shady Grove.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Edwin,

        Thanks for asking about Lazrous Mathews. If you’ve read my book, Free State of Jones, you already know that Judge Benagah Mathews was a strong supporter of Newt Knight, and put together his claims file for submission to Congress. In ch. 6 of my 2010 book, Long Shadow of the Civil War, I wrote more about Benagah in an essay titled “Fighting a Losing Battle,” in which I tell the history of Newt’s claim process in much more depth than I did in Free State of Jones.

        I suspect you’ve seen the 1860 Jones County census, which lists “Lazarus” as a 28 year old farmer, born in Georgia, who owned 300 acres of land. His wife’s name was Sabra E.; they had one daughter named Mary S., age 1 year.

        Lazrous lived among the strongest Unionist families Jones County: Valentines, Welches, and the Mark Bynum household are all nearby.

        Lazrous appears to have been a son or a brother of Benagah Mathews, who was 50 years old in 1860. They lived on neighboring farms. In 1850, as a 17 year old, Lazrous lived in the household of 74-year-old John Mathews, who may have been father to both him and Benagah.
        Many years ago, I also found a brief reference to the “Mathews brothers” in an old history of the Union Line community, compiled by Mrs. J.W. Moss in 1926. In describing where the earliest settlers lived, Mrs. Moss described the town of “Mossville.” She mentioned the early home of Joel Welborn, and then wrote: “east of us the Mathews brothers, Ben, Jack, and Laz, lived near Pleasant Home Church, and Fed(?) Holifield and his three sons, Jack, John, and Joshua, lived across Tallahoma . . . .”

        I hope this is helpful.



    • Birth: Mar. 8, 1831
      Georgia, USA
      Death: Oct. 8, 1887
      Jones County
      Mississippi, USA

      MOSE OLIVER “Old Mose” WALTERS,Sr.

      U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
      Regiment Name: 18 Mississippi Infantry- Company: A.

      Old Mose is buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Laurel. Ms. We walked the whole cemetery in 1969, with no success of finding his grave site. No one to my knowledge has ever found a gravestone marking his gravesite. Some of the children of Marian and Mose Oliver Jr. that were still living in the Laurel area (1969) do not know which section he is buried in. ** I have placed the Angel Marker on Great Grandfather’s Memorial Page because we do not know where he is buried to place a stone on his site.

      Some of the family researchers say he died of “old war wounds” and maybe partly, but my mother, Mattie Oma Walters Coe, told me that Old Mose died of “face cancer.” (Mother in the daughter of Old Mose’s first born son, Henry Crig Walters and his first wife Synthia Anne Franklin.) I do not know if he had the cancer before his second wife, Syvillie Ann Watters or Walters died from child birth in about 1883 or after she died. The doctor told him that he should go where he had living relatives to help take care of the children, because he would die from the face cancer. He returned to Jones County, Mississippi in about 1883-1884. My grandfather, Henry Craig Walters, took his dad, the children and his sister Sarah J. (Sallie) back to Mississippi. One of Henry Craig’s daughters, Willie Durklon Walters was born September 10,1884 during the time they were in Mississippi before returning to Texas. Henry was back in Texas when his next child was born. ***

      Old Mose’s cancer was confirmed by Nannie Mae Walters Jones, (daughter of Mose Jr., youngest son of Old Mose and his second wife Syvillia A..

      Old Mose and his first wife Synthia Anne Franklin,(my grandmother.) were married in about 1850, probably in Rankin County, Ms. She died about 1961 after having her three children, Henry Craig 1851; Sarah J. (Sallie) Walters Goodman Holifield born in 1855, she married January 9,1874 to a Mr. S.D. Goodman in Groesbeck, Limestone, Texas. She had one child and the baby died and so did Mr. Goodman before they went back to Mississippi in about 1883 – 1884. I have no more information on this, only what my mother told me about her Aunt Sally); and Early Columbus Walters b. 1858 in Rankin or Jones County, Ms. and died in Dallas, Texas June 3, 1923.

      Some researchers think there was another child born, Frank V., but I do not know. He was not listed in the 1870 Rankin County Census with his dad, step mother and the other children.

      Mother said that both, Old Mose and Syvillie applied for Bounty Land, of a 150 acres each when they came to Texas after the 1870 Jones County Census. (no proof) Mother said they lost the land because they could not pay the taxes. It would seem that Old Mose did have the cancer before Syvillie died which caused him to loose the land as he was too ill to work the land. I think they must have come to Texas in about 1871 or 1872. The family was listed in the 1880 Tyler County, Texas census. Henry Craig was married and in the 1880 Ttinity County, Census. I have never found Sallie in the 1880 census.

      In 1969 when we visited the youngest son of Old Mose, Mose Oliver,Jr. and his family in Ellisville, Mississippi he had dementia and was unable to remember the answers for my questions that I had prepared to ask him. He was a sweet, gentle man and I loved him the minute I met him, a great pleasure to have known him regardless of the circumstances. I would have loved to have hear him preach the World of our Living God.(He was ordained for the work of the Lord in 1909.)

      Nannie Mae said the story about Old Mose came down through the family that he loved to eat and the family would put a bandage over the side of his face where the cancer was but it would fall off. She was told that you could see through the hole in his face where the cancer had eaten. This did not bother anyone because they loved Old Mose so much and knew he would be leaving them soon.** Love for one another will always cause us to over look so many things.

      Family links:
      Synthia Anne Franklin Walters (1835 – 1861)*
      Syvillie Ann Watters Walters (1844 – 1883)*

      Henry Craig Walters (1851 – 1920)*
      Sarah J. Walters Goodman Holifield (1855 – 1926)*
      Early Columbus Walters (1856 – 1923)*
      Robert Marion Walters (1863 – 1940)*
      Alice Syvillie Walters Goins-Etue (1867 – 1940)*
      Holden Samuel Walters (1868 – 1950)*
      Wiley Wayne Walters (1872 – 1958)*
      Marshall Monroe Walters (1879 – 1968)*
      Mose Oliver Walters (1880 – 1970)*

      *Calculated relationship

      Five more children not listed above are, Robert Marian Walters; Alice Syville Walters; Holden Samuel Walters; Wm. Stacy Walters; Moses Oliver Walters,Jr.; Twins, Robert and unnamed boy.

      I have placed the Angel on Great Grandfather’s Memorial Page because he does not have a grave stone that we have been able to locate in the Hickory Grove Cemetery, Laurel Jones, Mississippi where he is buried.

      Note: ** I have some old wills of several Walters who lived and died in Franklin County, Georgia. Our Mose Oliver Walters,Sr. was born in Georgia, so our Mose,Sr. might possible go back to these Walters, but I have no proof now. ccgs,

      Hickory Grove Cemetery
      Jones County
      Mississippi, USA


      • Birth: Aug. 3, 1880
        Tyler County
        Texas, USA
        Death: Oct. 18, 1970
        Jones County
        Mississippi, USA

        “REST IN PEACE” dear Mose was my mother, Mattie Walters Coe’s half-uncle on her dad’s side.

        A trip was taken to Ellisville, Mississippi in 1969 to meet this fine gentleman for the first time. We,(my mother, her brother Henry Walters, my sister Juanita Coe Dyess and family) fell quickly in love with him as he was so sweet and gentle. He had already passed telling us his “Family Stories” because of dementia. Our hearts were sadened over this.

        We meet some of his children and they also welcomed us with open arms as well as their hearts. We had a wonderful time with all of his family.

        *The following document was passed on to me by one of his children.
        August 22 A. D. 1909
        State of Miss. County of Jones.

        Pleasant Ridge regular Bapist Church of Christ in conference, the 22nd. of August A.D. 1909. This is to certify that we do set a part this our beloved Brother, M.O. Walters to the full work of the Ministry. The presberty consist of Brothers, J.W. Morris, J.V. Parker,and W.H. Ponder. We the presberty do declare M.O. Walters a regular ordained minister of Christ.

        Done and signed in order of conference.

        J.W. Morris, M.D.
        B.W. Walter, C.C.


        ELD. M O WALTERS BORND 19-80

        ordained 1909 aug. 22, 1909 19.56

        preching 47

        (Mose must have figured up his years of preaching the Wonderful Word of God in the year 1956. To much is given, much is required…thus his life was spent henceforth from 1909, preaching the Gospel of Christ.)C.C.G.S.(SEE PHOTO TO RIGHT.)

        Family links:
        Moses Oliver Walters (1831 – 1887)
        Syvillie Ann Watters Walters (1844 – 1883)

        Mary Tabitha Holifield Walters (1880 – 1942)*

        Nolan Nathaniel Walters (1914 – 1986)*

        Henry Craig Walters (1851 – 1920)**
        Sarah J. Walters Goodman Holifield (1855 – 1926)**
        Early Columbus Walters (1856 – 1923)**
        Robert Marion Walters (1863 – 1940)*
        Alice Syvillie Walters Goins-Etue (1867 – 1940)*
        Holden Samuel Walters (1868 – 1950)*
        Wiley Wayne Walters (1872 – 1958)*
        Marshall Monroe Walters (1879 – 1968)*
        Mose Oliver Walters (1880 – 1970)

        *Calculated relationship


        Shows Cemetery
        Jones County
        Mississippi, USA

        Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

        Maintained by: Charlene Coe, Guadagnolo…
        Originally Created by: Marshall Parker
        Record added: Jun 05, 2010
        Find A Grave Memorial# 53286311


      • Mel, I’ve found the exact identity of W. T. Welborn difficult to determine. I finally came to the conclusion (which I state in my book, Free State of Jones), that he was William Turner Welborn, born 1833, the brother of Younger Welborn, born 1824. It’s confusing, however, because Ethel Knight listed both a “W. T. Welborn” AND a “Turner Welborn” as members of the Knight Band.



      • Thank you for your quick reply 🙂 I ran into a profile for Younger Welborn on WikiTree which started me on this hunt for their family. I made the assumption the Younger listed on the roster was the son of Aaron Welborn and Elizabeth (Younger) Welborn. Is this the case ?

        There is a William (Billy) Welborn – the brother of Younger – listed on WikiTree but he does not have sons named Turner and Younger Welborn Jr listed as of yet.

        I want to try to make sure the information presented on WikiTree is correct. Any information or leads that you can share would be appreciated.

        Sons of Aaron Welborn
        Younger Welborn LINK:
        William Billy Welborn LINK:


      • Mel, according to my records, the Younger Welborn that you found on WikiTree is the uncle of the Younger Welborn born in 1824. The elder Younger’s brother, William “Billy” Welborn, born 1800 and married Sarah Bryant, was the father of the other Younger Welborn, as well as of William Turner Welborn. The elder Younger (b. 1805), married Elizabeth Bryant. Their children included Aaron Terrell, b. 1827, Wm. Elbert, b. 1830, Savilla, b. 1842, and Tolbert, b. 1844.

        As for who the parents of William “Billy” and Younger (b. 1805) were, I never found solid proof (someone else may have better information than me), but it was either James Welborn, b. 1764 and married Rebecca Younger, or it was Aaron Welborn, b. 1766 and married Elizabeth Younger. Both James and Aaron were the sons of James Welborn, b. 1736, and his wife, Isabel Teague.

        Hope this puts you on the right track.



      • Thank you. So it is the Younger Welborn born in 1824 that is listed on the roster and his brother W. T Welborn (William Turner Welborn.) is the other on the roster.

        I am so glad I ask I had made the assumption it was the elder Younger on the roster.


      • Yes, that is correct. The two Youngers can be very confusing, particularly since one easily assumes that they are father and son rather than uncle and nephew!

        Glad I could help.


  2. Okay, I may not have the answer about Mose Walters, but I do have a theory.

    I have spent this morning going through my census files and have found no Mose Walters in the Jones County area except two who were born in the 20th century, and a few others living in Texas, also of the wrong age.

    In his book, Tom Knight tells the story of Nancy Walters (a story retold by Ethel Knight and myself in our respective books) and how she stood up to the Confederate Cavalry after they raided her farm for food. Nancy had two sons, Archibald and Merada, who both fled to the Union Army after Col Lowry’s April 1864 raid on Jones/Covington County. Both Tom and Ethel (who built her list from Tom’s) list Archy Walters and Mose Walters as members of the Knight band, but not Merada. Might Mose have actually been Merada? perhaps “Mose” was a nickname for Merada, or more likely, I think, Tom misread the name–it certainly wouldn’t have been difficult to do that, and there are other instances where he misread either Newt’s or someone else’s handwriting.

    Unfortunately, Newt, by his own admission, pared down the list he gave to Congress in 1870, so we’ll never know exactly which Walters men might be on the original roster unless it is someday made public–if that is even possible. When I saw the original roster, years ago, it was so tightly furled that it couldn’t be read.

    I welcome additional information or insights from others on the elusive Mose Walters.



      • Micheal,

        I believe I do have more information on W.B. Jones in my files. However, right now I’m on an extended visit to Texas, which will soon be followed by an extended road trip through Louisiana and Mississippi. I likely won’t return to my Missouri home, where my files are kept, until late March. In the meantime, I’m adding your name to a list I’ve created of people’s questions to answer once I get back home. Sorry I can’t tell you anything sooner.



      • Michael, Can you supply any information on W. B. Jones, i.e., age or DOB, place of birth, family members, place of death? I’ll be glad to have a look and see if I can find anything on him until Vikki returns home.


      • The W.B. Jones that is my great grandfather is named Willis B. Jones, born on February 25, 1843 and died on April 7, 1916. He is buried in a small Cemetary in Forrest County, Mississippi called “Jake Alone Cemetary”. I believed he lived in either Jones or Jasper county during the civil war. Thank you for any help.



      • Michael, I’m pretty sure this is Willis B. Jones, because that’s a name I do have in my files. But I want to check first and make certain, because I think there may be two men named W. B. Jones in my records.



      • According to the 1860 census Willis B. Jones lived in Jones county which would have made him 17 at the time I believe. He was born in Alabama. I do believe this is my relative.



      • Michael,

        Other than Willis Barfield Jones being one of the men from Jones County serving in the 1st Regiment New Orleans Infantry USA,I did find his connection with the Jones-Kervin/Kirvin/Kurven line. Two of his relatives are on the 1870 Knight Company Roster with him, i. e., M. W. Kurven and S. W. Kurven. M. W. Kurven was his brother-in-law, the husband of Amanda Frances Jones. These men are probably related to many of the others on the list either by blood or marriage.

        B. Anderson


      • Michael:

        The following is a synopsis of information I have on Willis B. Jones, mostly derived from his Union pension record and census data:

        Willis was born 25 Feb 1843 in Washington County, AL, the son of John D. and Sarah Jones. The family can be found in Jones County, MS on the 1860 U.S. census with Willis listed as age 16. He apparently did not comply with the 1862 Confederate conscription and eventually joined the Knight Band. Thomas Knight, Ethel Knight, and the 1870 Newt Knight petition all list him as a member of the Knight Band under the name “W.B. Jones.” Thomas Knight stated he was “cut off” and enlisted in the Union Army in New Orleans.

        His Union pension file records that he was born in Washington Co, AL on 25 Feb 1843 and married Elizabeth Slate. The family can be found in Wayne County, MS on the 1880 U.S. census (mistakenly transcribed as ‘Will Janes’ but with a correction submitted). Elizabeth died in 1893 and Willis remained a widower thereafter.

        Willis B. Jones enlisted in the Union 1st New Orleans on 30 Apr 1864 and was assigned to Company E. He served until honorably discharged on 1 Jun 1866. He applied for a disability pension based on rheumatism in 1890 and was approved 2 years later. He died 7 Apr 1916 in Forrest County, MS.


      • Vikki,

        I’m not Ed, but I’ll give you what I have for the family. I’m assuming that all of the children were borne by Elizabeth and Willis is the father. I have not found marriage documentation.

        1880 Census
        Wayne Co., MS
        05 Jun 1880
        Will Janes/Jones head 39 b. 1841 AL SC SC
        Eliza Jones wife 24 b. 1856 AL SC SC
        Camerth Jones dau 10 b. 1870 AL SC SC
        June/Jane Jones dau 8 b. 1872 AL SC SC
        John Jones son 6 b. 1874 AL SC SC
        Emer/Emma Jones dau b. 1877 MS MS MS
        Ira Jones son 1 b. 1879 MS MS MS

        1900 Census
        Perry Co., MS
        07 Jun 1900
        Willis B. Jones head 57 b. Feb 1843 AL SC NC Wd.
        James Jones 18 b. Jul 1881 MS MS MS
        Sam Jones 15 b. May 1885 MS MS MS

        1910 Census
        Forrest Co., MS
        07 May 1910
        Willis B. Jones head 67 b. 1843 AL AL AL m1. 41 yrs.
        Elizabeth wife 60 b. 1850 MS MS MS m1. 41 yrs. 13/8
        Harry Jones son 17 b. 1893 MS AL MS S
        James G. Jones head 28 b. 1882 MS AL MS m1. 4 yrs
        Mamie E. Jones wife 19 b. 1891 AL AL AL m. 1. 4 0/0

        Note: Also on this page in 1910:
        Lester Jones nephew 15 b. 1895 MS MS MS S l/w the Ben. C. Patrick family.
        Dellia Jones niece 14 b. 1896 MS MS MS S l/w the Andrew R. Anderson family.

        If I locate anything else on him and his family I’ll post it here.

        B. Anderson


      • Thank you Brenda. I have very little info on my grandfather, Sam Jones. He was a “rambler” and had several children prior to meeting my grandmother and my father was born. Sam was married albeit briefly to Marie M. Jackson, my grandmother. She was born 19 Dec 1896 and passed away in 4 Oct 1985. She is buried in Union line cemetary in Soso, MS. The Cemetary was land once owned by her father James Wesly Jackson. I have no other info on Sam or what happened after he left my grandmother.

        BTW I am so grateful for all the help from everyone.



      • Michael, I believe the Elizabeth (2) in the 1910 census is the 2nd wife of Willis B. Jones as her age and state of birth are different. Not unusual in census records, but in this case I believe they are.

        I located the gravesite of Elizabeth “Jettie” Slate Jones in Wayne County, Mississippi, This is where Willis & Elizabeth (1) were living in 1880 & prior to him being a widower in the 1900 census of Perry County, MS. Perry County adjoins Wayne & Forrest County, MS and is in the same cluster as Jones, Jasper & Covington counties.

        Elizabeth “Jettie” Slate Jones b. 24 Nov 1851 d. 19 Mar 1893 bur Zion Rest Cemetery, Eucutta, Wayne Co., MS, FAG #94248237. Note: A recently placed marble headstone has been placed on this gravesite where the original marker is located. There is a photo of the gravesite on Find A Grave. If you are not familiar with the site it is free & useful in locating and being able to see photos of your family members.

        Hope this helps in documenting your family and I’ll be back if I locate more. Ed Payne may have more on your line and I’m sure Vikki will have interesting information to share.


        B. Anderson


      • Mike, I have posted photos of band members Jasper Collins and James Morgan Valentine elsewhere on Renegade South. I have seen a photo of W.W. Sumrall (printed in Ethel Knight’s Echo of the Black Horn), but I do have a copy of it. Do any of our readers know of more such photos?



      • I just happened across this website. You are talking about relatives. My great great grandfather is William (Willis) Barefield Jones 2/25/1843 Virginia – 4/7/1916 buried at Jake Alone Cemetery located behind John McLeod Log House on Elks Lake Rd N.W. of Paul B Johnson State Park, MS, my great great grandmother, his wife is Elizebeth “Jettie” (Slate) Jones 11/24/1851 – 3/19/1893 Buried in Zion’s Rest Methodist Church Cem. N/E of Eucutta, MS; their son is John Wilkins Jones Eucutta, Mississippi, his 1st wife my great grandmother is Corinth Nora (Williams) Jones B: 5/28/1884 Sandersville,Mississippi D: Arkansas; he had two more wives,Mollie (Shedd) Jones 1871(75 ?) Hattiesburg,MS-1899 Crossett, Arkansas(his 2nd Wife) and Susie Jones, Crossett, Arkansas(his 3rd Wife) with 3 sons; John and Nora’s son, my grandfather is William “Bill” M. Jones , the owner of Bill Jones Auto Service in Jackson MS. for over 70 years, his wife my grandmother is Annie Mae (Campbell) Jones, their daughter, my mother is Mildred Louise (Jones) Dempsey, her husband, my birth father is Floyd Green Harris Jr. Pearl MS. Some extra info on John Wilkins Jones- He abandoned his first wife (my great grandmother) Nora, and his 2 sons, They were placed in an orphanage until the age of 16. My grandfather William M left the orphanage and raised himself from that time on. His brother Ed was adopted by the Moss family in Alabama. John Wilkins move to Ark and married his 2nd wife Mollie Shedd which he also abandoned with their childred,, Then he moved to TX where he married his 3rd wife Susie. This is where the story gets confusing, he was not very well liked in by my grandfather, so he was not discussed very much.Per my grandmother when he died he was back with his 2nd wife Mollie in Ark. Going further back. William Barefield Jones’ father my great great great grandfather is John” Jim” D. Jones B:1816 SC -D: 1880 Ellisville MS, his wife is Sarah Elizabeth (Barefield) Jones B:1818 NC-D:1880 Jasper MS Choctaw Co, MS. (we believe she may be Choctaw, but we haven’t been able to confirm it there are not records on her) their children are Albert Jones,Willis Barefield Jones,Fletcher Jones,Alice Jones, and Mandy Jones. That is as far back as I know positively of my “Jones” side of the family. One other bit of info. William Barefield Jones had a daughter my great aunt Jo Anna (Jones) Patrick. From her husband’s great grandparents she has direct lineage to our cousin the current Queen Elizabeth II of England. On my grand mothers (Annie Mae Campbell) side, my 14th great grandfather father is Robert the Bruce King of Scotland (Direct father to son unbroken lineage until my grandmother then it is father to daughter). If you want to not more let me know . I have family photos of everyone and much more family tree documented back to Scotland and Wales. On my birth fathers (Floyd Harris) side my great great grand father was the original land grant owner of Harris Mountain. I have relatives in Collins, MS, Ark, KY, TX and N. Carolina, Florida and CA. One of my grand mother’s 6 sisters is Cora McCoy wife of Tolbert McCoy of the Hatfields and McCoy feud in Kentucky.


    • I remember my grandmother, Owens Knight’s wife speaking of a Mose.


      • Barbara, do you know the approximate years that your grandmother would have known Mose Walters or known of him? Do you remember any stories she may have relayed about him? There were other Mose Walters, born in later years, but the Mose I am particularly interested in was born about 1829. If you don’t think it was him, I would appreciate hearing stories about the others.


    • In this string there is a Cecil Roberts that replied about Willis Barefield Jones. The reply was December 2017. Is there any way that I can contact him for more information? Or can my information be passed on to him?

      Mike Jones


  3. Vikki,

    My Mose Walters/Waters was born about 1829 in Georgia and had already been married, widowed and left with young children. In 1860 he is living in Rankin County, MS and his young children are not with him. His 1st wife and the mother of these children is said to have been a Franklin. Her first name is thought to have been Cinthia/Synthia/Cintha or Nancy.

    It is said that he had a connection to the Newton Knight band, so I believe this may be him on the second list. The Merada/Merady Walters is about ten years too young to be mine.

    My Mose was in Jones County around this time, because this is where he found his 2nd wife, Savilla, a daughter of Robert Walters.

    He enlisted in the Confederate Army in Rankin County, MS and fought at Vicksburg, at the 1st & 2nd battles of Bull Run/ Manassas Junction where he received a severe head wound.

    His 2nd wife, Savilla, died in Texas after the war and he returned to Jones County, MS with his children in tow. He died soon after returning and according to the Confederate Grave Registration papers, he is buried at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Laurel, MS. His grave site has not been located and there is no record at the cemetery office of his burial site.

    I would really appreciate your input on this.


    B. W. Anderson


    • Very interesting! But still a mystery to me, I’m afraid. Armed with your information I went through my files again. I found Savilla A., age 17, in the household of her parents, Robert and Quilly B. Walters, in the 1860 census, but nowhere else. I still did not find your Mose Walters living in Jones or surrounding counties after the war.

      One interesting tidbit in all this is that Robert Walters’s wife, Quilly, or Quilla (Aquilla?), was a Collins. I had never encountered a Collins by that name; she doesn’t appear in any genealogies of the Stacy Collins family that I have seen. But if she is connected to that tribe, that would link the family to the Knight Company, which included several sons and grandsons of Stacy Collins. Stacy’s daughter, Sarah, also married a Walters.

      It’s maddening to feel close to finding a link to Mose, but still coming up short. Haven’t given up, but am at an impasse.



    • I’ll do what I can until you finish your journey. I don’t have all the resources or contacts available to you, but I’ll do my best. You have fun and be safe.


    • The cemetery where Willis B. Jones is buried is in the Dixie Community near Hattiesburg. I did locate a little more information on him. A Willis Jones is listed as one of the Union men who were members of the 1st Regiment New Orleans Infantry from Jones County, MS. The source is and Michael may find more of his military records there. I have a paid subscription, but I believe they offer trial memberships.


  4. Mr. Anderson: This mystery of the “Mose” Walters on Thomas Knights roster is also of interest to me. I am descended from the Jones County Walters line (Willoughby Walters) and well as the Stacy Collins line. There have been a number of efforts to link the Rankin County Moses Walters with the Jones County Walters with no definite proof. The listing of Mose Walters on the roster only adds to this.

    Thomas listed 3 Walters: Archy, J.L., and Mose, with Mose noted as a later enlistee. He also wrote that Mose was a member of a band of renegades located near Myrick who originally operated separately from the Knight band. Although not on his roster, Thomas mentioned Meg and Warren Walters as members of the Myrick band (p 49, 69, 76).

    Ethel Knight removed J.L. Walters from her list and the 1870 Newt Knight list contains no Walters. But the following Walters from Jones County applied for (or had relatives apply for) Union pensions: Albert, Archibald, Drury, Hanson, Joel, Merada, and Richard.

    I know that the Rankin County Moses Walters served in the CSA and, as you wrote, was wounded and discharged in Sep 1862. So he could have gone to Jones County. But I have him in 1870 in Rankin County, age 41. So I’d like to more about the guy buried in Hickory Grove. If he is the same person as the Rankin County Moses Walters, it would establish more of a link.


    • Thanks, Ed, for applying your extensive knowledge of the Walters and Collins lines–and your careful reading of Tom Knight’s book–to this discussion. I think we’re getting somewhere!


    • I would like to follow up on Ed’s points about the Myrick deserter band, which was apparently affiliated with, but not part of, the Knight Band. First, the independent nature of this band might explain why Newt Knight did not list its members on his 1870 roster. Second, among Myrick’s earliest founders were the Walters family, which might indeed explain the presence of Mose Walters on Tom Knight’s list. The following are direct quotes from the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) interviews and essays written in the 1930s, and available at the state archives in Jackson. From
      WPA RG 60, vol. 317:
      “. . . . the Fergusons came into this section in 1811 . . . . the Blackledge and Walters families homesteaded at Mill Creek, about four miles north of Myrick . . . . James [Edwards] Walters was the first to patent his land and he was soon followed by John Clark and Archie Walters . . . . Henry Myrick next moved in . . . . Martin Valentine then moved over from the western part of the county and married Archie Walter’s daughter. . . . Camp Point (always alluded to by the old people as Camp Pointer), [was] the deserters’ hide out in east Jones County . . . two miles northeast of town. It is in Mill Creek Swamp at the foot of a ridge cut through the swamp, and from this point is easily reached by the ridge.”



  5. Ed,
    Moses Walters may be related to the Mill Creek/Myrick Walters and he married into the Robert Walters family of Ellisville. This line is the Walters-Anderson-Blackledge line you spoke of.

    My Walters cousins and I have pondered what brought him to Jones County during this time. His children, the ones we can locate, were still in Rankin County with apparent relatives.

    After his marriage to Sevilla, they moved to Rankin County and then to Texas, where she died about 1883. We think he returned to Jones County with the younger children, so they could be taken in by relatives after his death.

    Three of his sons by Sevilla became Baptist preachers and possibly one by his 1st wife. I believe that his oldest son, from his marriage to Sevilla, was already ordained or about to be, when he died. This son was Marion Walters and he started his ministry at the old Hickory Grove Church in Laurel. He also helped raise and care for his younger siblings.

    This is the reason I think he is indeed buried at Hickory Grove Cemetery in the old section. I believe he may be buried near a great grandson, who died some years later. There are many Walters-Bush relatives buried in this section and too many other related lines to even try to type here.

    We do have some documentation of a land transaction in Rankin County which we feel is our Moses Walters. I have listed the source below.

    07 Sep 1852
    Rankin County, MS
    07 September 1852 a land transaction in Rankin County, Mississippi between Abram Walters, Sr.; MOSES WALTERS & his wife, Nancy; Richard Walters & his wife, Nancy; and Abram Walters & his wife, Susan [Source: MS Deed Index 1851 – 1854, Vol. II.]

    We believe these are brothers, but are not sure if this Abram Walters, Sr. is their father, uncle or other relation.

    Your thoughts on this.

    Brenda Anderson


  6. Brenda: To be frank I had been dismissive of the Moses Walters connection to Jones County Walters because some folks have tried to insert him in any family tree where he could conceivably fit, however badly–such as making him a son of George Willoughby Walters and Sarah Collins Walters (my gr gr gr grandmother). Because of this I didn’t check to see whether better documented evidence of a link might exist. But after reading your inquiry, reviewing the genealogical work of Claudia Doggett, and revisiting the census records–I must admit I’m beginning to see the light.

    Here is some conjecture based on the facts as I understand them:

    1) The Moses Walters and Abraham Walters on the 1860 census in Rankin County, and assorted Walters living in nearby households (T.E., D.J., and Amanda) were probably cousins of the Jones County folks. Something (Yellow Fever?) seems to have killed the younger ones’s parents and Moses’s first wife. Moses’s children by his first wife, who would account for the teenagers that later appear in his 1870 household, had been sent to live with relatives.

    2) Moses and Abraham Walters may have been brothers. Both claimed they were born in GA and both appear to have joined the same regiments. Circumstances also suggest a connection with the Moore families in their vicinity.

    3) The relationship between Moses and Sevillia Walters certainly suggests that Moses was in Jones County in 1863. If so, and if Confederate cavalry troops were running roughshod over her family, Moses could well have gravitated towards the Myrick renegades. After all, Sevillia’s older brother Richard, although not listed on the Knight rosters, was one of those who fled to New Orleans after the Lowry Campaign and enlisted in the Union 1st Louisiana according to his pension application.

    4) Moses and Sevillia moved to Tyler County, TX after the 1870 census, where other migrants from Jones County (among them several of Sarah Collin’s sibling) had first moved ca 1850. On the same page of the 1880 census where Moses and Sevillia are listed one finds his brother-in-law Robert Walters as well as the Noah and Isom Walters households–all having come from Jones County.

    Thomas Knight admitted his roster was incomplete. That’s why Vikki’s book was so crucial in establishing which Piney Woods family groups contained, at a minimum, deserters from the Confederate cause and, at most, true ardent Unionists. So my take is that where you find one member of a family listed either on one of the Knight Band rosters or among those who enlisted in New Orleans and later filed for a Union pension, there were probably others.

    It is quite possible that Moses rode with the Knight Band not out of deep seated convictions but simply due to the loyalties of his in-laws. Having reviewed the military records for “Moses O. Walters” in the 18th MS Infantry, I now plan look up those for “Mose” Walters in the 6th MS Infantry and the ones for Abraham Walters in the 6th and 18th MS Infantry.

    All this is to say that, based on your inquiry, I have taken a closer look and changed my opinion about the possible connection between the Rankin County Moses Walters and the Knight Band. If you wish to go further into this, please have Vikki supply me with your email and we’ll go off-line. But Vikki: I promise we’ll post anything solid that turns up.


    • Just want to remind folks that Ed Payne’s article on his GGGGrandmother, Sarah Collins Walters Parker, will be published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Mississippi History.



  7. Quick follow-up. “Mose” Walters was listed by Thomas Knight as one of the “later enlistees” which is consistant with him initially having been associated with the Myrick band. As Vikki noted, the Myrick band–which had several Walters men in it–was probably under-represented on the surviving rosters of the Knight Band. The Union pension applications are a better source for documenting their involvement. Going to New Orleans to enlist in the 1st Louisiana in 1864, in my view, was evidence of hard core Unionist sentiment vs being an economically hard pressed Confederate deserter lacking much political sentiment either way. By my count at least a dozen Jones County men died during their federal enlistment in New Orleans–all of disease.


  8. Ed,
    We have many “cousin’s” interested in getting the correct connections out there. Those not willing to attach someone to a line because it looks like it may belong. Claudia is one of those cousins and I’m sure you are aware of some others, Jimmye Watson & Shirley Baran, to mention a few. I am going over your post with my fine toothed comb, to glean what I can. It is perfectly fine with me if Vikki gives you my email address.



    • I have passed your email address on to Ed. Be sure and post back when you come to a decision about Mose Walters and the Knight Company!



  9. Wow! All of this is so interesting.
    I sure hope one of you can help me out.

    I’m desperately searching for the Parents of Mose Oliver’s father Mose Walters. Oliver’s mother was Mildred Peele.

    My My Father was Robert Wiley (Wilbur) Walters (1929-2005) who was born in Natchez Mississippi and died in Archibald Louisiana. He married Beulah Mae Williams (1936-2004) who was born in Rayville and died in Archibald Louisiana.

    His father was Wiley Elisha Walters (1909-1965) who was born in Ellisville, Jones County Mississippi and died on Bee Bayou Louisiana. He married Bernice Cameron (1912-1943) who was born and died in Natchez Mississippi.

    His father was William Stacy Walters (1871-1955) who was born in Jones County and died in Richland Parish, Louisiana. He married Joann Blackwell (1870-?).

    They’re who I’m named after – Stacy Joann Walters!

    Anyway, Stacy’s father was Mose Oliver Walters (1841-1887) who was born in Georgia and died in Rankin County Mississippi. He apparently married several times, one time was with Savilla Walters(1843-1883) born in Mississippi and died in Texas.

    Mose’s father was Moses Walters (abt 1820-1871) who died in Mississippi. He married Mildred Peele (abt 1820-1895) around 1840 in North Carolina when they were both around 19 years old. That’s where my research goes cold. I have been unable to find his father’s name.

    I’d appreciate any help you can give me as our family Bible has long since been gone and anyone who might know the answer, has long since been deceased. I would’ve been at a dead end with Mose Oliver Walters if not for the Peele family bible that notates Mildred’s marriage to Moses Walters.

    Thanks for you time.

    Stacy Walters


    • Hi Stacy, glad you found us here at Renegade South! I have alerted both B. W. Anderson and Ed Payne about your post, and I will look at my own files as well, although I have not specifically traced this line.

      Good luck,


    • Hello Stacy. My great grandfather Moody Murphy Adcock senior also moved to Archibald after he moved to Richland parish Louisiana from Ellisville Ms. Do you think that my great grand father and your grandfather knew eacb other ?


    • It appears we’re related. 🙂
      My great-great-great grandfather was Stacy Walters. My great-great-great-great grandmother was Mary Joann Blackwell. 🙂


  10. Moses Walters of Rankin County is, as Shirley Waters Baran wrote in the Jones County genealogy book “Echoes From Our Past, a “man of mystery.” What is needed is a forum for collecting the various bits of knowledge that come to light and honestly labeling all undocumented facts as such.

    The Moses Walters who, by most accounts, was the father of Moses Oliver Walters (1881-1970), I first find on the 1860 census in Rankin Co, MS, age 30 (=1830). This conflicts right off the bat with his father being born in 1821. This Moses is a farm laborer in the h’hold of J.W. Moore. No wife, no children. Next door is Abraham Walters, age 29 (=1831) who, like Moses, listed himself as born in GA.

    Are Moses and Abraham brothers? Both served in the same units during the Civil War: 6th and 18th MS Infantry, Co. A. The records for Moses / Mose / M.O. Walters state he was captured at Vicksburg and went home on parole. However, he is listed as present in Jul-Aug 1864 and surrendered with his unit in Citronella, AL in Mar 1865. But this leaves a year unaccounted for between Jul 1863 and Jul 1864 which happens to be the prime era of the Knight band.

    The compiled military records for Abraham present a puzzle (you expected otherwise?). I believe his records got mixed with those of a Isaac Walters because both share identical notations about being in confinement for desertion in 1863. However, Abraham’s record also contains conflicting information that he was captured at Big Black (part of Vicksburg campaign) and died of typhoid at the Confederate States Hospital in Petersburg, VA on 9 Aug 1863. I plan to check the actual muster rolls at the MS Archives to see if they can clarify this.

    There is unsourced lore that Moses Walters’s first wife was either Synthia or Nancy Franklin. I’ve found a William Franklin of Smith Co (1850 census) who might be a candidate for the father-in-law. The children of this union (per Claudia Doggett) are said to be: Henry Craig, Sarah J., Earle, and Frank. Offering support for this is the 1870 census on which Moses and second wife Sevilla (daughter of Robert Walters of Jones Co) are in a h’hold with 3 children under 6, but also 3 teenagers: Henry, Sarah, and “Early.” (And back on the 1860 census for Rankin Co a “H.C. Walters” age 9 is living in the h’hold of J.P. Franklin age 27 and Annie Franklin age 64.)

    For some time I dismissed attempts to connect the Moses Walters in Rankin Co in 1850 and 1870 (and Tyler TX in 1880) and the “Mose Walters” on the Knight Roster. However, Moses O. Walters had to have some connection with Jones Co in order to marry a wife from there circa 1864. And when I check the military records for the Moses O. Walters who surrendered in Citronella, AL, he listed his place of residence as… Jones Co.

    From the above FACTS, I can offer the following POSSIBILITIES: 1) It is pretty likely the “Mose Walters” on the Knight Roster is Moses Oliver Walters born in GA ca 1829/30, 2) Abraham Walters was probably his brother, 3) the Rankin Co Moses was probably a cousin of the Walters in Jones Co, 4) Moses’s first wife was probably a Franklin and died ca 1858/9, after which the children were sent to live with relatives, 5) Moses enlisted in Apr 1861 a year ahead of any treat of conscription, 6) However, Moses may felt his war was over when he signed a parole at Vicksburg–and learned of the death of Abraham, 7) Moses went to Jones Co where he fell in with Walters relatives who were renegades in eastern Jones Co (near Myrick) and later joined the Knight band. Moses probably surrendered to Confederate forces at some point between Apr-Jun 1864 and was returned to his unit, where he served until the end of the war.

    If I understand your information correctly, you are saying that the Moses O. Walters was the son of another Moses Walters (1820-1871) and Mildred Peele. This, as I noted, doesn’t fit with the ca 1830 birth of Moses O. Walters. All I can do is suggest using the possible link with Abraham Walters, plus the Moore and Franklin families. Furthermore, my bet is that Moses was born in central GA in either Twiggs or Wilkinson Co, because that was waypoint for many on the route from the Carolinas to MS.

    The following are people I know of who have researched this part of the Walters line:

    B.W. Anderson (see posts above)
    Claudia Doggett
    Jimmye Walters Watson

    Good luck,
    Ed Payne


  11. Hi Cousin!

    I think Ed Payne has pretty well summed it up on our elusive Moses Oliver Walters, Sr. The critical missing year for him is the 1850 census. We have not located him in this census and it would probably give us a better handle on his location, marriage, name of his wife and her family. Alas, our progenitor, didn’t leave any clues as to who his parents were.

    If you would like, Vicki can give you my email address and she can be assured we will shout it to the heavens and post it here if we locate the parents of Moses Oliver Walters! There are some very persistent researchers working on this line and when we find the missing information, every piece of the puzzle will fall into place.



  12. I recently finished reading “The Free State of Jones”. I was raised in Jones County, and have always been very interested in finding out about its history before and during the Civil War. Your book is extremely informative and interesting; one of the interesting things I discovered is that my family is related to some of the Knight company’s members and supporters (through Thomas Sumrall).

    We had an ancestor from Jasper County who was a deserter, and I have been trying without success to find out if the deserters in Jasper County were organized or if they had any contact with those in Jones County. His name was Noah Meeks; he deserted in mid-1863 and was caught and killed in Jasper County in November 1863. I wonder if you or anyone else out there can suggest someone or some place where I might find more information.

    Thanks for whatever information you might have!

    David Morgan


    • Hello David,
      I have been going through records in hopes of finding some information on Noah Meeks. In Confederate military records, I found an N.H. Meeks who served in Co. A of the 7th battalion, MS Infantry, the same unit that many Knight Company men served in. Unfortunately, I found only a brief muster roll that provided little more than N.H. Meeks’s enrollment date (May 13, 1862); i.e. the record didn’t say whether he deserted at some point, but it did have the words “Discharged Inspection” written under “remarks.” I do not know what that means, but hope to find out.

      A brief check of the Jasper Co, manuscript census for 1860 (which I’m sure you’re quite familiar with) shows an N.H. Meeks living with Sarah, age 60 (his mother?), and M.T., age 18 (his wife?), and B.A., 5 months old (his child?). I noted the Sumralls who lived nearby, especially Drury Sumrall, Baptist Minister, the brother of Giles Sumrall, who is discussed at some length in my book.

      I next consulted my Reconstruction files. There, I found both Drury Sumrall and one Robert Meeks, whose actions and/or appointments during Reconstruction indicate they were likely Unionists during the war. Robert Meeks was appointed j. p. of the Central District of Jasper County on June 1, 1869 by military orders. By 1870, he was sheriff. On January 15, 1870, Robert Meeks and Drury Sumrall both signed a petition to Republican Governor Adelbert Ames protesting the imprisonment of a freedman, Lewis McCarty, on false charges. On June 14, 1871, Sheriff Meeks informed Gov. Ames of another abuse of a freed person, this time the brutal shooting murder of a black child, Lucy McCormick. Sheriff Meeks named the perpetrator in his letter and complained that he had “not yet been apprehended.”

      I am not certain exactly how Robert Meeks and Drury Sumrall are related to Noah Meeks, or if N.H. Meeks is your Noah, but I think we have a good beginning here in tracking your family’s Civil War Era story. Are there others out there familiar with these Jasper County families? If so, I hope we hear from you.



    • my relatives were sumrall. levi and thomas. are in my familys tree. My grandfather was Victor Sumall. My Grandmother was Bertie May Neal. My Name is floyd Patrick. I have the Patrick and Sumrall family tree on rolls of paper. My email is


  13. Thanks very much for the reply and information, especially about Robert Meeks during reconstruction. The N. H. Meeks in the 1860 census is Noah Meeks; M. T. is his wife Mary, and B. A. is Benjamin (my great-grandfather). Sarah Meeks is Noah’s mother; his father died a year or two before 1860. Noah had two brothers living near him in 1860; H. R. Meeks next door is one of them. His other brother was Robert Meeks, on the previous page of the 1860 census. I don’t know of anybody else named Robert Meeks in Jasper County in 1860, so Noah’s brother may be the same Robert Meeks who became sheriff during Reconstruction! Together with Noah’s desertion this would suggest that nobody in the Meeks family was very supportive of secession.

    I had not encountered the 7th battalion service record for N. H. Meek(s), but it may be Noah because it says that he enlisted in Jasper County. I have service records for him from the 20th Mississippi regiment that say he enlisted 3 Dec 1862 at Garlandsville, which is in Jasper County. These are the records indicating that he deserted in mid-July 1863. They also have a document signed by Mary Meeks (and Robert Meeks as a witness) indicating that she was his widow so she could get his back pay. So he may have enlisted in the 7th battalion, then the 20th regiment. I wonder why he was discharged from the 7th battalion.


    • David,
      I’m so glad that I was able to provide useful information on your Meeks family. If you’re interested in finding more on Sheriff Robert Meeks, or on actually seeing the documents I described, you can access them in the “Governors Papers” of both Alcorn and Ames, held at the State Archives in Jackson. I’m betting that Robert Meeks’s name, or even his words, appear on even more documents, given the particularly violent and lawless era of Reconstruction in which he served.

      If I can help any more, let me know.



  14. Hello again!
    It’s Stacy Walters who was recently looking for answers as to the parents of Moses Oliver Walters who married Savilla Walters.
    I’m including all of the great theories that have been posted on this board in my personal genealogy book.
    Mr. Ed Payne seems to be a living dictionary of Jones Walters facts. I’d like to speak with him via email and pick his brain if that’s okay.
    Ms. Vikki has my private email but I sift through my junk email regularly at STACY underscore RADIO at HOTMAIL dot com. It’s all one word with the symbol for underscore. Maybe by spelling it out like that, the programs that comb the internet for web addresses won’t pick up on mine.


    • Hi Stacy, nice to have you back. Yes, Ed Payne is absolutely an expert on genealogies of the Collins-Walters family lines and more!

      It’s great to hear about your plans to gather up stories from this blog for your own genealogy book, and I hope you hear from more folks in the future. Do you still need Ed’s private email number, or do you already have it? If you don’t, I’ll ask his permission to pass it on to you.



  15. I am the great great grandson of William Patrick Valentine, Allens youngest brother, who went to Texas about 1849.
    I was wondering why there is so little information about
    J.M. Valentines part- especially since he is listed as Newt’s
    1st Lt. and the part of any of the rest of the Valentines during the conflict.
    Calvin E. Valentine


    • Hi Calvin,
      You are certainly right that the Valentines–particularly James Morgan–played an important role in the Free State of Jones! In fact, my forthcoming book, LONG SHADOW OF THE CIVIL WAR, will discuss Morgan in two different essays. The same essays also include quite a bit on his sister, Tolitha Eboline, who married Warren Jacob Collins and moved to Texas with him. (See also my book, FREE STATE OF JONES, for discussions of the Valentines, if you haven’t already.)

      Yep, a post on this family is overdue, and I will make it a point to do so very soon. Meanwhile, if you (or others) have stories to offer, I welcome them.



    • I am the fourth great grandaughter of William Patrick! So cool to meet distant relatives. I have engulfed myself into this research for many years now. I’d be happy to share any and all of my findings regarding the Valentine family!


  16. I have a book published in 1947, written from an interview with Newt Knight’s son, Thomas. Many details,names,events and places. Also the original Muster Roll of the Knight Company of the Free State of Jones. To my knowledge no one has a copy of this book. The Lauren Rogers Museum ask me to please bring it and let them look at it but I have never done so due to no opportunity. I’m sure that it is most factual considering the source. The book is old and in bad shape but still a treasure.


    • William Valentine,
      Since you are a Valentine (and I am from JM Valentine too), do you have any stories about the Valentine’s that you know on your own, or from your 1947 book from the interview with Newt Knight’s son?


  17. William,

    How interesting! Was this an interview conducted in response to Tom Knight’s book about Newt Knight, or are you by chance referring to Tom Knight’s book, first published, I believe, in 1946? That would be THE LIFE AND ACTIVITIES OF NEWT KNIGHT AND HIS COMPANY, which I drew on extensively when I wrote THE FREE STATE OF JONES.

    If you have a published interview with Tom Knight that is different from the above book–or perhaps added to a later version of it–you have a real gold mine, and I hope that you will donate it to a trusted archive. The Lauren Rogers Museum would be great; so would the McCain Library at the University of Southern Mississippi.

    If what you have is the same Tom Knight book published in 1946, it is still rare, and would be valued by any special collections library. The only way I was able to obtain Tom Knight’s book when I was doing my research was through the late Earle Knight, who kindly allowed me to make a copy of his copy.

    Thanks so much for sharing this information!



  18. In case other Ates family researchers arrive here–Vikki mentions in her book that the Yates family are the Ates family. A difficult bunch to research, at least my line, as I believe James Ates was the father of John Washington Ates who was the father of James Isom Ates and Thomas Ates. The later James Ates was my greatgrandfather. I had always heard there was a grandfather hung as a deserter during the Civil War but didn’t have a first name.


  19. Yes, thanks for pointing that out, Ann. In the 1860 federal manuscript census for Covington County, MS., the surnames of both James and Thomas Edward Ates are listed as “Yates.” I decided to go with the name “Ates” because it seemed the more accepted local version.



  20. Hi Vikki,

    What a pleasant surprise to find you again after so long a time. Your other e-mail became unworkable, so I couldn’t find you.

    In reading you blog posts, I was drawn to the Newt Knight Roster. I noticed there was no Aaron T. Welborn listed. I don’t know how to get into the “original” you cite, so I can’t check it there. Do you know if he is listed at all.?

    Also, I really enjoyed your music on the website. The band is great. I never told you, but I spent about ten years travelling w/ Billy “Crash” Craddock in Country Music. I was a singer with his group, “THE SOUTHERN KNIGHTS”.

    My wife, Sonja (who is the gr. gr. granddaughter of Aaron Terrell Welborn) and I went to visit Herman Welborn before he passed away. We intended to visit for just long enough to see the cemetery but were given the grand tour of the Welborn property with a detailed history of it all. Our hour or so visit turned into an all day affair. He & his wife were wonderful. My wife came home and re-read your “FREE STATE OF JONES AGAIN”. She said that Herman had made the book come “alive” for her.

    Be sure to keep our address and write back. Its been several years and that’s just too long.

    Ken Hughey


  21. Hi Ken!

    It’s great to hear from you after all this time. Am pleased to learn that you and Sonja had a good, long visit with Herman and Martha Welborn before Herman’s death; I know that must have been an exciting and enlightening day.

    The precise connections of Sonja’s ancestor, Aaron Terrell Welborn, to the Knight Company have always been difficult to pinpoint. His name does not appear on the 1870 roster posted here. But, as I point out, this roster is not the original wartime roster.

    I have heard that there were three bona fide rosters kept by Newt Knight during the war. One of them was passed on to Anna Knight, daughter of George Ann and probably Newt, and is in the possession of her kinfolk. I have seen this roster, but it is rolled up tight and needs to be unfurled by a professional archive preservationist in order to be read.

    It appears that Tom Knight possessed one of the original rosters. He published a list of the men listed on it, and one of those men was “Terrell Welborn.” Tom is supposed to have passed on his materials to Ethel Knight, and she published another version of the list in Echo of the Black Horn. She did not list a “Terrell”, but rather a “Turner” Welborn. Newt’s handwriting is sometimes difficult to read, which may account for the discrepancies between Tom and Ethel’s lists.

    In 1870, when Newt Knight produced the roster posted here, he explained to his friend Benagah Mathews, who put together that first claim file for him, that he had omitted some men’s names because they had not “held true” to the cause of the Knight Company. However, Aaron T. Welborn did remain true to the Knight Company. In 1890, at the age of 52, Aaron supported Newt Knight’s efforts to gain compensation for the Knight Company by signing a petition that stated that Newt and his men actively supported the Union until the war was over (I have a copy of this petition, which is included in Newt’s Court of Claims files from 1887-1900, held at the National Archives in Wash. D.C.)

    I don’t know exactly where this leaves things. To know for certain whether Aaron Terrell Welborn was ever actually a member of the band, or simply a supporter of it, we would need to see an original wartime roster.

    On a lighter note, I’m pleased to hear you like the music featured on my Renegade South website and very impressed to learn that you were a singer with Billy “Crash” Craddock and his band, “The Southern Knights!” Dr. G. of “Dr. G and the Mudcats” is my husband, Gregg Andrews. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read his post about how he came to write “Jones County Jubilee,” the song featured on the website.

    Great hearing from you. I hope one of our readers can perhaps shed further light on Aaron T. Welborn’s exact connections to Newt Knight and the Knight Company.



  22. I am seeking more info on a certain “Babe White” who was supposedly part of Knight’s company. He supposedly shot and killed my great-uncle Bennet Jackson Rushton on 2 Feb 1864. But, I don’t see his name in this roster . . .


    • To William Morgan:

      I wish I could help you, but I have never seen a “Babe White” listed on any version of the Knight Company roster, including the 1870 version that I have posted here, nor in the version printed in Tom Knight’s 1935/1946 book, or that contained in Ethel Knight’s 1951 Echo of the Black Horn.

      It’s possible that this Babe White hung out with the Knight Band during the war; there were a number of men who did that without ever becoming an actual member. Newt Knight kept a roster of “official” members throughout the war years that he periodically updated. That roster is still in the hands of family members.

      Where was your great-uncle living at the time he was shot and killed?



  23. William:
    I don’t have any information on the “Babe” White you seek. My Moses Walters is not listed on the 1870 list submitted to Congress by Newt Knight, but was mentioned in “the book” on a different list and with a different group in the eastern section of Jones county. I don’t have the information on those listed with that group. (See my original post on 21 Jan 2009.)
    Hope this helps.
    B. Anderson


  24. I’m also a decendant of Bennett Jackson Rushton (GGG Grandfather) and please let me know any information that comes up in regard to this matter and any other information on Bennett Jackson Rushton’s ancestors. Thanks,

    Wes Smith

    (Lawrence G. Smith/Mamie Rushton/Tyrus D. Rushton/Andrew Jackson Rushton/Bennett Jackson Rushton)


    • I’m also researching the Rushton line. Our family descends from Joseph Rushton (brother to Bennett Jackon Rushton). Hoping to find information on their parents.


      • I am a descendant of Joseph Rushton thru his daughter Serilda Josephine Rushton Ragland I have some info about him and his pottery that has become an archeological sensation in Alabama its written abt in a book called Alabama folk pottery by joey brackner I have spoken with Mr brackner and there have been digs out at the old homestead in Randolph co


  25. Wes,

    I hope that one or more of our readers will know something about Bennet Jackson Rushton, who has now been mentioned twice on this post. At the very least, perhaps you and William Morgan, the first person to mention Rushton, can share information with one another.



    • Vikki

      Bennett J. Rushton was my Great-great Grandfather. He and his brother operated a pottery works about six miles east of Laurel.

      Bennett was murdered in January, 1864. A 1930’s publication listed his killer as Babe White, a member of the Knight Band. Other sources say he was killed by one of his slaves.

      Bennett is buried in Rushton Cemetery located on Magnolia Road behind Pineview Baptist Church, Jones County, Mississippi.

      Frank McKenzie


      • Hello, Judge McKenzie, thanks for posting on Renegade South. Could you share with us the source of your understanding that Babe White was a member of the Knight Band? I realize that a good number of men likely drifted in and drifted out of the band, but Newt’s 1870 roster does not list a Babe White, nor do Ethel Knight or Tom Knight’s books list or mention him.



      • Vikki:

        The publication where I found the reference to Babe White as the murderer of B.J. Rushton is: “Mississippi: A Guide to the Magnolia State” at page 448. This work was published in May, 1938, by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration. It is found on Google Books. It also has other references to Newt Knight.

        Could it be that the White mentioned was actually a Whitehead who was listed on the roll of the Knight Company?

        Frank McKenzie


      • Frank,

        Thanks for supplying the citation for the statement that outlaw Babe White was a member of Newt Knight’s band of men. I assume the unpublished Works Progress Administration (WPA) papers were the source of that statement, but I have found nothing in the those papers, which are housed at the state archives in Jackson, that contains such a statement.

        Back when I was researching the Free State of Jones, I found a couple essays in the WPA papers that mention Babe White by name and provide a graphic description of the entire White family’s career as horse thieves and cattle rustlers–including the sisters, Susie and Mandy White. I discussed this band of thieves in my book The Free State of Jones on pages 137-138.

        Neither of those essays mention an association between Babe White and Newt Knight. I did, however, find a sentence in one of them that might have led to confusion on the part of a reader. In referring to Mandy White’s transferral of stolen stock, WPA writer Addie West wrote: “One time Mandy carried Dave Blackledge’s mare to Newton and sold her.” It seems clear to me that West was referring to the TOWN of Newton, but I wonder if a researcher for the Mississippi guidebook might have mistaken that reference as having been to Newt Knight?

        I am going to type up those WPA essays and display them as a new post here on Renegade South so folks can judge for themselves what was written in the original unpublished WPA papers of 1936.



      • Bennett Rushton is an ancestor of mine and I have been trying to find out who his parents were any help?


  26. Vikki,

    Do you have more information on R. J. Welch listed on the 1870 Knight Company Roster. My 3rd great-grandfather was James Richard Welch married to Mary Marzilla Valentine. You show their family tree in your “Free State of Jones” book. I believe Riley James Collins was his brother-in-law. Do you think this is the same person? I find it interesting there are no Walters on this roster. My 2nd great-grandfather, Joel William Walters, went to New Orleans and fought with the Unions 1st New Orleans Infantry Regiment. He survived and returned to Jones County. He was married to Tabitha Jane Welch, the daughter of James Richard and Mary Marzilla Valentine Welch.



    • Hi Jan,

      I will study my records and get back to you on this. Not sure I can clarify indentities with certainty, but I’ll see what the records suggest.

      Anyone else care to speculate?



    • Hi Tiffany,

      B J Rushton was my 4x great grandfather. His mother was Nancy Evans and his father is thought to be Robert Rushton.



      • Did Bennett and Joseph have a sister named Serilda I know his daughters name was Serilda Josephine Rushton Ragland but a Mr. Price is publishing the claim and there is no support that I can find


      • Yes, Bennett and Joseph had a sister named Syrildia. Her first husband was George W Reeves and they had a son named Columbus DeMerville Reeves (Bennett was named his guardian on 12 May 1851). Her second husband was William B Edge and they had three children that died as infants. Who is Mr. Price?


      • Mr. Price is a man named Gary Price whom him and his wife located the old pottery shop of Joseph Rushton in Randolph co. Al and took every piece they found. I emailed him inquiring about the pottery and he was not very nice and bc at the time I didn’t know about Joseph’s sister Serilda only that his daughters name was Serilda he disregarded any further correspondence. I have found out so much about the Serilda I once didn’t know had existed now with the help of info I found in several different sources including local marriage records and census info from the local library and the 1985 edition of Taproots and yes Nancy Evans Rushton and Robert were her parents Joseph and Bennett were her brothers she married George Reeves and William B Edge had one son Columbus Demerville Reeves and raised a granddaughter Georgeann or Georgie Reeves whom married William D Folsom. Joseph and his brother Bennett married sisters Joseph married Martha Lorance 12/23/1834 and Bennett married Emily Lorance 9/28/1834 were daughters of Samuel Lorance, and both are recorded as their mother Nancy Evans Rushton as have giving permission for their marriages and that Robert Rushton had already died by this time. Joseph Rushton and Martha Lorrance are buried in Randolph Co. Al at Old Cedric Cemetery.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Jan,

    According to my records, James Richard Welch would have been about 45 in 1862. He seems a bit old to have joined the Knight band, but, like Simeon Collins, he may have joined after the Confederacy raised the age of conscription. However, I’m wondering if R.J. Welch may have actually been R.T. (richard thomas) Welch, since initials were sometimes transcribed incorrectly. R.T. Welch deserted, like many Knight band members, after the battle of Corinth, at which he was wounded. This also might be the same Richard Welch, age 21 in 1864, who joined Co E of the 1st New Orleans Infantry near the same time that Riley J. Collins and Joel Walters joined.

    One more piece of information from military records: there is an R.J. Welch listed as a POW at Blakely, AL on April 9, 1865. But there is also a Ransom J. Welch listed as a POW in Citronelle, AL on May 10, 1865, who was perhaps the same man.

    I can’t say why none of the Walters were included on Newt’s 1870 roster. Perhaps because many joined the Union Army in New Orleans? Newt included some of the New Orleans Unionists, however, such as Riley J. Collins and Prentice Bynum. Perhaps the Walters themselves did not wish to be a part of Newt’s claim. I simply don’t know, and I’m open to others’ ideas about this.



    • Sorry you had a bad experience with Gary Price. He and I have communicated several times over the past few years and he was always helpful. I also connected with another Rushton descendant several years ago who just started sending my copies of his research. My email is if you want to keep talking.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I am interested in finding out the relationship of Luther A Sumrall 1870 census Paulding Jasper county, Mississippi in the Drury and Nancy Sumrall household.

    Do you know who Luther’s parents were?
    Thank You,
    Betty Sumrall Bell


    • Betty,

      I am leaving for Richmond in the morning, and shortly after my return, my husband and I are moving from Texas to Missouri. I will try to access my files before the movers get here, but it might not be possible.

      I am almost certain I have no information on the parents of Luther A. Sumrall, although I do have some information on Drury Sumrall’s political activities during the Civil War era. I’ll try to locate that information and post it here when I return from Richmond.

      Thanks for commenting,



  29. Betty,
    I’ve looked through the census records showing the Drury Sumrall family. Is there some reason you do not think Luther could be the son of Drury and Nancy? Do you have any further information on who his parents may be? I’ll be happy to help you search for documentation if it’s available.


    • Brenda, your point is a good one. It would seem likely that Luther Sumrall is the son of Drury.

      Unfortunately, this discussion will have to stay on hold for a few days until I return from Richmond.



  30. Vikki,
    So, you’re leaving the Lone Star state for the Show Me state. Have a safe trip to Richmond and let us know when you’re settled in in your new home.


  31. Betty,
    As far as I can ascertain, Luther is the son of Drury & Nancy. Below is the information I’ve located on him.

    In the 1870 census of Jasper County, MS 8 year old Luther A. Sumrall is in the household of his parents Drury & Nancy (Perry) Sumrall. Others in the home are 2 of their daughters Mary O. & Arabell Sumrall and Obediah E. Fartheree, relationship unknown. Drury’s occupation is listed as Druggist. All of the children were born in MS and his parents were born in SC & NC. He being so young may not have known where his parents were born.

    In the 1880 census of Palo Pinto, TX 18 year old Luther Sumrall was living in the household of Charity P. Craft and her sons. Luther was b. abt 1862 in MS and his relationship to this family is a laborer on the farm, boarding with the family. Both his parents were born in MS according to the census record. NOTE: In this same census the parents of Luther Sumrall are still alive and living in Jasper County, MS. Drury’s occupation is that of Miller in this census. He is 79 b. 1801 SC and his wife Nancy is 64 b. 1805 NC.

    In the 1900 census of Palo Pinto, TX 38 year old Martin L.(uther) Sumrall is found with his wife, Allice M., and five children: Thomas E., Annie F., John F., Jerry W. and Ira C. His wife was born May 1860 in Missouri, given birth to 11 children and 6 survive.. He was born August 1861 in MS as were his parents.

    In the 1910 census of Jack, Texas 48 year old Martin L.(uther) Sumrall is with his 2nd wife, Lula Mnu Pate. This is a blended family with his children being: Thomas E., John F., Jerry W., Ira C., Maggie J. and his daughter Annie F. has been married for a year to an Unknown /Garritt/Garrett. Lula’s children are: Dowell W. Pate, Fred H. Pate, Angie G. Pate, Rufus L. Pate & Willie L. Pate. Also living in the household is Mammie D. Sumrall, the daughter-in-law of Martin Luther Sumrall & the wife of Thomas Sumrall. They have also been married for a year.

    In the 1920 census of Palo Pinto, TX there is an R.L. Sumrall, 58 years old born in MS. It appears that he has married his step-gaughter Angie G. Pate, age 20 . and now has children by her: Hazel E., Will H., Woodrow & M. L. The enumerator may have mixed up the initials of the father & son.
    Note: His name & initial appear to change with each census., i.e., Luther A., M.(artin) L.(uther), and R.(?) L.(uther).

    In the 1930 census of Sayer, Beckham, OK finds M. L. Sumrall with his 3rd wife, Angie (Pate) Sumrall and their children: W. H., Woodrow, M. L., Jr., B. C., Ruby & James M. Also listed is his stepson, R. L. Pate, who is also the son of his 2nd wife and the brother of his 3rd wife.

    According to other researchers there were two other male children born into Drury & Nancy’s family, who are not found in any of the census’ with them. I did not find any documents showing that the other two males were related, but feel that Luther is probably their son. He would be a late in life baby, which was not uncommon during that era.

    These same researchers seem to think that Nancy’s actual year of birth is probably 1816, which would put her age around 46 when Luther was born.

    I have not determined a relationship between Luther and the Craft family he is boarding with in Texas. He may be related or helped this family move to Texas prior to the husband’s death. The Craft’s lived in neighboring Smith County prior to their move to the Lone Star state.

    Luther’s mother (1880) and father (1886) may have died while he was in Texas or he returned there after their deaths.

    I don’t know how much help this is, but hope you can find more records to support what is here.


  32. Betty,
    In the 1880 census information for Nancy, I inadvertently put her year of birth as 1805 instead of 1816.


    • Tammy,
      What information are you looking for? Are you needing family or military information? I am related to the Kervin family through marriage and don’t have much information on the line.

      I have the following in my notes, but it has not been verified by me.

      M.W. KURVEN:
      Morris Watson Kurven/Kervin married first to Amanda Frances Jones. After her death, he married Mary Viola “Dollie” Landrum on 10 Nov 1895. They had ten children and lived in the Jones and Covington County areas. Morris W., Amanda (Jones) Kervin & Mary V. (Landrum) Kervin are all buried at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery over the line in Covington County. M.W. Kervin had a son named Morris Watson b. 1879.

      S.W. KURVEN:
      Samuel Winsom/Wilson Kervin married Cynthia Martha Ann Powell and they had a son named Charles Winsom/Wilson “Charley” Kervin. He married Estella Minnie Craven and both are buried at Union Line Cemetery near Soso, Jones County, MS. Most of their children and some of their grandchildren are also buried there.



  33. Hi Tammy,

    I am about to move to Missouri, and cannot answer genealogical questions for about the next month. In any case, I don’t think I have much on this family in my files, but will check when the move is completed.

    Perhaps readers out there will share information about the Kurvens here on Renegade South.



  34. Brenda,

    You are mostly right about Morris Watson Kervin, Jr. and his family but, the S.W. Kervin listed on Newt’s rooster was not Sam married to Cynthia Martha Ann. S.W.Kervin was a brother of Morris’ (Samuel William-William Samuel). Morris Kervin, Jr.’s parents lived and raised thier family in Red Level, Covington Co. Alabama, the family reunion is held in Red Level each year.

    The Sam Kervin that lived his entire life in Soso, MS. was the son of Morris Watson Kervin, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Welch (daughter of James Richard and Mary Marzilla “Valentine” Welch).

    For more information on this Kervin family check-out SOUTHERN BRED FAMILIES tree on

    Morris Watson Kervin, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Welch were my great grandparents.



    • Hello.. My name is Aaron Adcock. My relationship to the Kervins is my mother Kelly Kervin,her father was Rex G Kervin,his father Dozier Daniel Kervin,his father Morris Watson Jr and mother Dollie Landrum. I have been researching my family on ancestry. Com and going through the census records can be a bit confusin when I get to MW Kervin. Does anyone on here have any information on Dollie Landrum ? I was told she was a young indian woman. Also If there is any history on MW kervin Jr I would love to hear it. I did see a MW Curvin in a confederate union. Thanks in advance for any info


  35. Tammy,

    Thank you for correcting that information on site and I will correct it in my notes. As I noted in my earlier post, I am related to the Kervin family through marriage only and did not have much information on them. I also have a connection by marriage to the Valentine family. Go figure… if anyone passed through or lived near to Jones County, we must somehow be related! :0)



  36. Vikki, Ann & Tammy,

    Sorry for the confusion. My reply was meant for Ann concerning, my earlier reply to Tammy, concerning the Kervin line. Are you confused enough yet?

    Thanks Vikki & Ann for correcting and answering my post.



    • No problem, Brenda. I think you and Ann are getting great information out there for our readers, and I appreciate it–especially since I’m in the middle of moving from Texas to Missouri as I write this.




  37. Hello,

    Brenda, you may be right about the fact if anyone ever passed through Jones County, they may be related. I am interested in how you are related to the Kervins and Valentines by marriage. I thought I was in a minority being related to both.

    Ann Valentine


  38. Ann,
    I am related to the Kervin family by marriage, my father’s brother married Charley Kervin’s daughter, Rita. Aunt Rita is buried near Soso in the Union Line cemetery with other members of the Kervin family.

    My connection to the Valentine line is further back and it is through one of my Walter’s women marrying one of the Valentine men. I am distantly related to the Valentine family on Spurline Road in Ellisville, near Mount Moriah Baptist Church.



  39. Brenda,

    Thanks for sharing the information about your relationship with the Kervins and Valentines. Charley Kervin’s daughter (Joyce) attended a get-together held in Gitano in 2008. Several families were repersented including Valentines, Jeffcoats, Welches, Knights, Bynums, Kervins, Harpers, Walters, Holifields, and others. We all had a great time discussing how we were related to each other. We visited the Rachel and Newt Knight cemetery that is located near land once owned by my grandfather and sold to Jeff Knight, around 1910. We also walked Union Line cemetery and reminisced about relatives buried there. We stood in the log cabin where Mary Marzila “Valentine” Powell had lived and died during the civil war. We honored Doyle Kervin (brother to Charley) at the American Legion in Soso. Well, I could go on and on—

    Your Walters married to a Valentine; could it have been Marzy Walters (daughter of Archibald and Annis Clark) married to Martin Van Buren Valentine??



  40. Ann,
    I really don’t have a clue, since I have not researched the Walters-Valentine connection. My grandparents lived in Jones County and were members of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church located on “Old Highway 15 South” near Ellisvile Junction. The Valentine family that I knew, lived on Spurline Road which intersects with Old Hwy. 15 S.

    The only names I remember are Anelle and Lona, and I think Lona was the daughter of Anelle. My source of information was from my grandmother Walters on the relationships. I did find Columbus Lamar Valentine b. 04 Aug 1909 d. 29 Dec 1981 and Anelle Valentine b. 26 Nov 1925 d. No date inscribed at the Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

    At one time the Laurel Leader Call ran old photos in their newspaper asking people to identify them, and there was a photo of a Valentine family and I was told that we were related. I believe one of the older women in the photo was identified as Lona. This Lona was much older than the Lona that I knew. If you can identify these folks maybe I’ll have a place to start. Wow, talk about confusing!

    Sure wish I could have seen Aunt Joyce, I believe she’s the last of Charley & Minnie’s children. I have great memories about Maw & Paw Kervin!

    The log cabin you spoke of… I believe it’s near the Union Line cemetery. If, that’s not it, I don’t know where its located.



  41. Subject: Drury Sumrall

    My mother (Tommie Jean Burrow Sumrall) knew Martin Luther Sumrall sr. born 1861 in Paulding, Mississippi. He was her father-in-law. My deceased father was Martin Luther Sumrall jr. born 1920 Palo Pinto, Tx. died January 1972, Yuba County, California.

    You made several comments regarding Luther A. Sumrall in the 1870 census in Paulding,Jasper, Mississippi.

    I believe that you are correct when you say that he was a “late life child” for Nancy and Drury Sumrall. I too wonder what happened to the two other Sumrall boys born to Nancy Perry and Drury Sumrall.

    My mother is still alive and well. . . She has an excellent memory at 88 years of age. My mother tells me that M.L. Sumrall Sr. always told her that his father back in Miss. was very “mean” to him and that he ran away from home when he was around 10 years old… This would have been when he left Mississippi for Texas. He propably left sometime between 1872 and 1877. He appears in the 1880 census in Texas. I have always been curious as to what happened to all of that property Drury owned back in Mississippi. His name was listed on many land grants in Mississippi. I have not found any evidence showing that his sons took over any of the properties in his old age.

    The name Craft was never mentioned to anyone in our family. I believe that Martin Luther Sumrall sr was a hired hand working for the Crafts. I do not believe that we are related in any way.

    M.L. Sumrall sr. died in Sayre, Oklahoma in 1940 and is buried in the Delhi Cemetery in Beckham County.

    According to my mother, Martin Luther Sumrall sr. was quite a mean and cruel individual. All of his biological children and step children were scared to death of him! Mom says that he was quite focused on religion. She says that he constantly quoted the bible, read it every night to the entire family and preached to all of the children on a regular basis. Sounds like Drury’s son!!

    His third wife Angie Pate Sumrall (his step daughter) was my grandmother.

    She married him when she was 15 years old after her mother Lulu Greenhaw Pate Sumrall died.
    The members of the blended “Sumrall family” were all very very poor and desperate. The family traveled around Texas and Oklahoma as migratory workers.

    My mother tells me that all of the children were very hard working individuals who were determined to improve their lives. They finally landed in Sayre, Oklahoma and stayed there until WWII.
    All of the Sumrall and Pate boys joined the military and moved with their wives and children to the west coast during WWII. They all had successful lives and families.

    Betty Sumrall Bell
    Silicon Valley California


  42. Betty, this is fascinating history, the sort that I wish I’d had when I was writing Free State of Jones and Long Shadow of the Civil War. The religious history is especially interesting, as Giles Sumrall (see Free State of Jones) appears also to have been a devout Calvinist–definitely a family tradition, it seems. The postwar Sumrall history reminds me of stories I heard from my father about his own. (My dad also migrated to the west coast after WWII, where he finally prospered.)

    Thanks for returning to Renegade South and posting your family’s story. I’m sure B.W. Anderson (Brenda) will find it fascinating as well.



    • Our Valentine Family James Morgan Valentine & wife Eliza Jane Coats probably were Calvinists prior to 1881, but May 1881 they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS Church), as did also their children and spouses. William Bryant Valentine joined the same church in 1882, and their father William Allen Valentine and his wife Cynthia Eveline Welch joined the same church in 1883. They would hold Sunday church services primarily at James Morgan Valentine’s house and two men had to stand outside with shotguns to prevent neighbors from disrupting the meetings. Eventually in 1885, James Morgan Valentine, his wife, and his adult children decided to just move west to Colorado. In 1886, James Morgan Valentine’s wife died in Colorado. He returned to Mississippi and married Mary Mason Knight (Albert Knight, Jr’s daughter) in 1890. Mary Mason Knight also joined the LDS Church, but they stayed in Mississippi until they died in 1901 and 1910 respectively.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Vikki & Betty,

    I’m glad I could help a little on the matter of Drury Sumrall and we can hope that someone will happen upon this wonderful site and tell us about the two missing Sumrall boys born to Nancy & Drury.

    Betty, I agree with Vikki, your families story is wonderful. The hardships they endured and how they persevered to become the family you are today!

    If I can be of further assistance, just let me know.



  44. Dear Ms Bynum,

    I saw an image of the handwritten Knight company roster that showed a Montgomery Blackwell on the list but was not on the list here on your site. My GG-grandfather was Richard Montgomery Blackwell Born 1 Mar 1847, and he was married to Zorada Keziah Knight, Newt Nights 1st cousin. Do you know anything about his involvement with Newt’s company?


    • Dear L. K. Heckethorne,

      You are absolutely right! Montgomery Blackwell’s name is on Newt Knight’s 1870 roster. and I inadvertently left it off. (You will see I have corrected my mistake.)

      In 1895, at the age of 48, your GG-grandfather also provided a deposition for Newt Knight’s petition for compensation of the Knight Company. Tell you what, I will make that deposition my next Renegade South post.

      Thanks for your comment!



      • I just enjoyed an incredible tour of Jones County given by Wyatt Moulds of JCJC. My wife is Michelle Blackwell and is a direct descendent of Robertt Montgomery Blackwell through her father Walter Marion Blackwell, Jr. Montgomery Blackwells grave is located at Leaf River Cemetery in Covington County. Hoping to get up there this week.


      • Thanks for your comment, Tony! Sounds like you’re learning history in one of the most enjoyable ways possible–a tour by someone who knows the geography and the history!



  45. Thanks Vikki,

    By thye way where did you find the deposition Montgomery Gave? I would like to find a copy to include in my family tree. I have quite a bit on the blackwells and knights, but am always looking for more



    • You’re welcome L.K.

      Montgomery Blackwell’s deposition is located at the National Archives in Wash DC. It is included in “Records of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1835-1966, Record Group 123, Committee on War Claims, Claims of Newton Knight and Others, #8013 and 8464.”

      I included a chapter about Newt’s claim in my latest book, Long Shadow of the Civil War, and will write more on it in my upcoming post on Montgomery.

      Incidentally, I have a connection to the Blackwell family through a great-aunt, Anna Bynum Blackwell. She is a widow in the records I’ve seen, and I’ve never learned which Blackwell she married.



  46. Hi Vikki,
    I am continuously working on my family tree so I am always interested in new informatuion about the ever growing relations from Jones county.

    Is Bynum your maiden name or married name? I am on and can probably figure out how the great aunt you nemtioned fits into the Blackwell-Knight connection.

    If you wish you may e-mail me privately.


  47. Hello L.K.,

    Yes, Bynum is my maiden name. It would be great if you located the identity of Anna Bynum Blackwell’s husband!



    • Hi Vikki,
      Iv’e been working on finding out about your Great-aunt Anna Bynum-Blackwell while working on my family tree but so far haven’t figured it out. Do you have her fathers name or any other information that might help me? This is intriquing, I have bynums in my tree but they are connected with the Knights, but not the Blackwells…..yet



      • Larry,

        Anna Bynum Blackwell was the daughter of William Bynum, born 1763 in North Carolina. She was the sister of my direct ancestor, William Bynum II, born 1795. Other brothers included Mark, Jesse, Drury, and Benjamin. Tapley Bynum, shot for desertion in 1864 by Confederates, was her half brother through William I’s second marriage.

        I’m curious about the kinship connections you found between Bynums and Knights.



      • Hi Vikki,
        I think I have this just about figured out. Just a couple more pieces of information and I think I can tell you how the Bynum and Knight families are related and how you and I may be related. What were your father and grandfathers first names?



      • Larry,

        My father’s name was Oma Stanley Bynum; his father was Aden Gallington Bynum, son of William Bynum III.



  48. renegadesouth, awesom site, cant say enough. I am a direct decendant of M.W. Kervin jr. my father is A. Shelby Kervin hence A. S. youngest of this clan. Looking for any and all info. Especially his mother my grandmother..Mary Viola Landrum “Dollie”, have researched ..brick wall……after another…….brick wall..Dollie born 3/3/1880 married Morris Watson Kervin Jr. 1895 they had 7 children . D.D. Dosier Daniel … Margie… Bessie…. Zella…. Lena Pearl……A.S. and Loyd. …………Dollie passed away in 1918 at age 38 and is buried along side M.W. in Bethel Cemetary in Seminary,Ms….can anyone help with my grandmother…..YES my grandmother…..Morris was approx. 68 and Dollie was 15 when they married……..


  49. Hi Vikki,
    I havn’t been able to find out who the Blackwell was that married Anna Bynum. It’s likely that she married after moving to Jones county. As you know the Blackwells were nearly thick as fleas there. Still, I may try again.

    I figured out the link between the Bynum and Knight families though… least the one I know of, it’s entirely possible that there are more. It is not a direct marriage.

    Probably the best way to say it is that your grandfather Aden Bynums brother Leonidas married Martha Stringer, her 2nd cousin Amos Claud Stringer married Alice Melissa Knight who was the great-granddaughter of John Jackie Knight and she was 1st cousin of Newt Knight. She was also 1st cousin to my great-great-grandmother Zorada Kiziah Knight who married Montgomery Blackwell. Confusing enough?

    As far as how you and I are related…….I used the relationship calculator on and it says that you are: the Grand neice of husband of 2nd cousin of husband of 2nd cousin 3 times removed…..phew, what a mouthfull.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

    Larry Heckethorne


    • Very interesting–thanks for the information on Martha Stringer’s Knight connection, which I was not aware of. On the Shows side of my family there’s also a non-biological connection to the Knights. My great-grandfather, James K. Polk Shows, married a Knight woman who died young before he married my great grandmother, Margaret Reeves.

      On our own kinship–I have a feeling that every Jones County person who has participated on this site is probably related in some distant way!



  50. Hello i am told that i have a kinship to Newt Knight from Albert Jr..but that is all i know cna you shed some light on this and what invovelment Albert Jr had on the civil war? My Father’s name was John Edgar Knight Sr. and his father was John Henry Knight and possible his father was Albert Knight Jr.

    You help will be most appreciated

    Thank you , I remain
    Elizabeth Lebovitz


    • Elizabeth,

      Albert Knight Jr. was the brother of Newt Knight; they were sons of Albert Knight Sr. and his wife, Mason Rainey. I’m not certain what Albert Knight Jr. did during the Civil War; don’t have a military record for him, and do not find him listed as a member of Newt Knight’s band. However, his brother-in-law, Benjamin Franklin Corley (Cawley) is listed as a member of the Knight Company. Albert was married to Corley’s sister, Patsy. I believe Benjamin and Patsy’s parents were Balaam and Mariah Corley.

      I’m not familiar with the genealogies of John Henry or John Edgar Knight. Do you know who they married?

      Wish I could be more helpful.


  51. Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your questions. I’ll visit my files in the next few days and see what I find that might be helpful to you. Meanwhile, any readers who have knowledge on this branch of the Knight family should feel free to comment!



  52. My greatfather is JM gunter as it appears on the knight roster. My greatgrandmother Selina Knight Gunter told my father and his mother that JM Gunter was hanged by the confederate soldiers in the swamps of Mississippi.We have search for his grave in and around the area with no luck. we have found Newton Knight Grave the man that owns the property was nice enough to give us a key but JM Gunter was not there. If anyone reading has any information please let me know.


  53. Charley Kervin and Minnie Cravin Kervin were my great grandparents. My grandmother Gladys Kervin Revels in my grandmother and is living in an assisted living home in North Carolina.


  54. Ann,

    What great news to hear that Aunt Gladys is in NC and well. Are you Aunt Ruby’s daughter? Anxiously awaiting your reply.



  55. First I want to say what a great site this is; I’ve been reading and learning alot. I would also like to say thank you to Vikki Bynum, Ed Payne and everyone else that has been contributing such great information here. Oh, and I just ordered (literally, as in minutes before writing this post) two of Vikki’s books; Free State of Jones and Long Shadow of the Civil War and am so looking forward to reading them.

    As a decendant of Morris Watson Kervin Jr, I send greetings to all my kin I’ve seen that has posted on this site. My line runs from Morris Watson Kervin Jr to Samuel Winsom Kervin to Ira Kervin to Billy Lavell Kervin, my father. Which finally leads me to the main reason of this post….

    I would be very interested in any information about the Kervin involvement in Knights Company and were Morris Watson jr. & William Samuel (his brother) the only two Kervins involved?

    I am also interested in a comment made by Ann Valentine, “The Sam Kervin that lived his entire life in Soso, MS. was the son of Morris Watson Kervin, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Welch (daughter of James Richard and Mary Marzilla “Valentine” Welch).” Can you point me to any documentation, a census record or something, that proves that connection. I have it in my tree just as Ann has stated it, but so far have been unable to find any definative proof of the Morris Watson – Mary E Welch connection or their having any children, although I believe they had at least 6 children together. It appears he was having children with Amanda Frances Jones and Mary Elizabeth Welch during the same time period. So any help anyone could give on this would be very helpful.

    Finally, and I sure hope this isn’t against any of this sites rules, if so, my apologies, … To All You Kervins out there .. The Kervin Family Reunion will be held Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 10:30 am. The annual reunion will be held at Wecome Church adjacent to Kervin Cemetery on the original land settled by Morris Watson Kervin, Sr. in the early 1800s. A covered dish dinner will be served at 11:00 am. All family, friends and neighbors are welcome to attend. Guests are asked to bring a covered dish and any old documents or photos they have and would like to share. For further details, contact Lee Dean Kervin, Jr. at 334.469.5493 or via Facebook


    • Thanks, Randall! I hope some of our readers can answer your questions, and also that Kervin descendants and have a great family reunion.



  56. Randall:

    I can’t point to any direct involvement by other members of the Kervin family in the Knight Band other than the listing of “M.W. Kurven” and “S.W. Kurven” on the 1870 roster (“Kerven” in Thomas Knight’s book). It appears that Morris W. Kervin Jr was the only son of Morris W. Kervin Sr to have relocated from Alabama to the Mississippi Piney Woods prior to the Civil War. As you probably know, the 1860 federal census for Jones County enumerated him living with his new wife (Amanda) Francis in the household of her father, John D. Jones.

    However, as Vikki pointed out in both of her Civil War books, relationships other than blood ties could influence wartime loyalties. In the John D. Jones household of 1860 were two brothers-in-law of Morris Kervin who joined the Knight Band–John M. Jones and Willis B. Jones. In the aftermath of the Lowry campaign both headed south and joined the (Union) 1st New Orleans Regiment on 30 April 1864. On 12 Mar 1866–eleven months after Appomattox–John deserted and returned home. His older brother Willis served until the regiment was disbanded in June 1866. In 1885 John successfully petitioned, under more lenient pension regulations, to have his desertion charge removed. Both John and Willis Jones later received pensions for their Union service.

    Ed Payne


  57. Randall:

    As a follow-up: while at the MS Archives today, I did a check on Samuel Kervin. First, I noted that there are currently 22 public trees on Ancestry for “Samuel Kervin” born in MS in 1867 and ALL list Morris Watson Kervin as his father and 13 of these cite Mary Elizabeth Welch as his mother. However, just because Ancestry public trees say it’s so–doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    Samuel Kervin died in Soso, MS on 3 April 1934 at age 67. His MS death certificate is number 6039 and gave a birth date as 28 Sep 1866. His father was listed as “Marshall Kervin” and his mother’s maiden name as “Lizzie Welch.” The informant’s name is hard to decipher but seems to have been Viola Gambell (possibly Gambrell).

    Most genealogies for Samuel Kervin list William Harrison Kervin as a younger brother. William died in Harris County (Houston) TX on 10 Dec 1952. His death certificate is available on Fold3, a genealogical site to which I subscribe. It is number 60142 and the informant was Mrs. Lora Lee Kervin. She stated that his father was “Morris Kervin” and mother unknown. William’s date of birth was listed as 28 Mar 1869.

    The available evidence tends to confirm that Mary Elizabeth Welch was the mother of the two boys. She married James Jackson circa 1876 and can be found in his household on the 1880 census along with “Samuel Jackson” age 13 and “Harrison Jackson” age 11. On the 1920 census of “Sam W. Kirvin” in Jones County, his mother is living in the household. She was 77 year old and listed as “M.E. Kirvin.” The surname “Jackson” was originally written down and then crossed out.

    And it can also be noted that on the 1910 census for “Samuel N. Kervin” in Jones County his household includes a son, age 9, who he named “Marshall.”

    Meanwhile, Morris W. Kervin can be found (under various spellings) on the 1860 and 1870 census in Jones County, and on 1880 census in Covington County. In all cases his wife was Amanda Francis Jones Kervin. Did Morris W. Kervin maintain two families or was there another man named Marshall Kervin who died circa 1874? Like many questions, this lead us back into inquiries about the social upheaval produced by the Civil War in the Piney Woods.

    Ed Payne


  58. Wow, thank you Ed for all the work you put in and all this great information. I am really new to genealogy and growing up I knew absolutely nothing about my family. I didn’t even find out the name of my fathers parents until about a year ago when I ordered a copy of his record from social security. So any and all information I get I so appreciate. Thank You!


  59. Randall, you are more than welcome. Mary Elizabeth Welch is proving to be one more fascinating case study of the Civil War widows of Jones County and I hope to include her in the series. I’m notifying Vikki to provide you with my email address. I hope you might be willing to share some insights on the information I’m finding.


  60. Ed, wow, I would be honored to help in any way that I can.

    I had meant to reply to your initial post sooner, but had to collect my thoughts as you did land a couple bomb shells on me that kind of took me by surprise. I guess it’s true that often times; the search for answers just leads you to a whole new set of questions. All this time I have been thinking all I needed to do was find the documentation that connects Mary Elizabeth Welch to Morris Watson Kervin Jr. and now I am faced with the realization, I have no proof that my great grandfather Samuel Winsom Kervin is actually the son of Morris Jr. as is generally believed.

    Morris Watson Kervin Jr was married to Amanda Francis Jones and is believed to have fathered children with at least 3 different women, including Mary Elizabeth Welch and a 15 year old Dollie Landrum when he was in his 60’s. While I find this shocking by today’s standards, I had read somewhere that this was a somewhat common behavior of the men in the Piney Woods during that time. As to Mary Elizabeth Welch, I have her listed as being married to James M Youlin (1840-1865) circa 1859, Morris Watson Kervin (1836-1915) circa 1866, and James Fredrick Jackson (1847-1937) circa 1876. US Census places her with James Youlin in 1860 and with James Jackson in 1880, but so far I have not been able to locate her in and Census of 1870, which could be key in connecting her with Morris Jr., then again …

    I have much of the information that you referenced in your post, such as the US Census records you cited, and one of the Family Tree’s you spoke of at Ancestry may well have been mine. But I do not have and cannot find this MS death certificate, number 6039, which you mentioned. I have searched at Ancestry and Fold3 for it and cannot find it. I believe the Viola you mentioned would be Mary Viola Kervin Grambell (1889-1971) who was the daughter of Samuel Kervin and wife of John S Gambrell. But the only Marshall Kervin I am aware of or have been able to find is Samuel’s son Marshall M Kervin (1896-1969), which would be the Marshall you mentioned from the 1910 Census of Samuel N Kervin. What stands out most to me is the amount of information I have been overlooking. Although I had a copy of the 1880 census page of James Jackson, since it wasn’t a marriage I thought I was interested in, I never noticed Samuel and his siblings being listed as sons and daughters of James Jackson. This really makes me wonder what else I might have overlooked.


  61. Samuel Winsom Kervin is my grandfather’s brother and I am looking for any relatives and pictures of them. I would really appreciate it all the information that anyone has on them and there relatives.


  62. Randall, Lisa…I am Ann Valentine, and I am the owner of ‘SOUTHERN BRED FAMILIES’ on Even though I have not been able to work on my family tree for almost two years due to personal reasons, I can assure you that the lineage of Morris Watson Kervin, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Welch is fact not fiction. There was a family booklet published a couple of years ago about Sam Kervin and that book refers to Morris and ME being married, but that was stated as not to offend some of our Welch descendants in Jones Co. They were not married! Morris was married to Amanda Frances Jones, but ‘kept’ Mary Elizabeth; I do believe that love may have been involved due to the span of years that they were together producing three children. Also, Morris never denied that they were his children and made his children by AF and Dolly aware of this, and the children were all known to be brothers and sisters and many stayed in touch with Sam, and family members of the other two children.

    My grandmother was Mary Jane Kervin Valentine…she was the daughter of Morris and Mary Elizabeth and sister to Sam and Harrison “Bud” Kervin. Mary Jane was married to Martin Ellis Valentine (son of Levi and Martha Valentine) Mary Jane died after giving birth to my daddy.

    I know that I am rambling, but: Morris Jr. and his brother S.W./W.S. were both in MS and most likely are the ones listed on Newt’s roster. Morris took a shotgun to his brother and ran him all the way back to AL after he had made advances towards one of his daughters.

    I would be interested in knowing about the ones that attended the family reunion. By any chance did Joyce (Charley’s daughter) and did any of the descendants of Morris and Amanda or Dolly attend?? Morris was married to Dolly and did have children by her. Morris was a rambunctous old man and it is rumored that he fathered children by several women (including an ancestor of Trent Lott) but only claimed those by Amanda, Dolly, and Mary Elizabeth.

    Back to Mary Elizabeth Welch: She was married to James Youlin (James died from freezing to death on a train somewhere in MS,after being released as a prisoner of war) he and ME had one daughter (Mariah) she married James Jackson’s brother William Jackson.

    Randall, when viewing ‘SOUTHERN BRED FAMILIES’ look at Mary Elizabeth’s three sets of children. After three men in her life she ended up living with Sam after James Jackson left her for a younger woman (Ella).

    Just a little food for thought….Lisa, Joyce told me that your grandmother may have had the Sam/Charley Kervin pictures and or family bible…do you know anything about them???

    My email is


    • My name is Lynda Matthews Landry and have just recently been studying my ancestry. Mary Jane Valentine is listed as a daughter of Darrell Valentine. They lived close to us as I was a child. It is very confusing. My Great Grandfather was Lazrus Matthews and my Grandfather was James Lodrick Matthews. Is there any information you can give me? My e-mail is


      • Hello, I have just found this site and am so full of questions. I am a direct decent of Lazrous Mathews as he was my Great Grandfather as well Grandpa Buddy was my grandfather as well. Wow, you must be my Uncle Byron’s daughter Linda Gail. Is that correct? My email address is


  63. Correction: above I typed Mary Elizabeth Welch and James Eulin-Youlin/Yulin daughter as Mariah, but it is Mahala. I do not have my family tree info. in front of me. Also, I think James died on the train in MS, but they may not have made it that far down…will need to check.



  64. Greetings Lisa…

    Samuel Winsom Kervin is my great grandfather and I too am researching the family. While I have yet to find any pictures of Samuel Winsom, other than of his headstone, I have collected pictures of other members of the family. I would be very interested in sharing information with you. Perhaps Professor Bynum would be nice enough to pass my email address on to you.


    • Greetings Randall….

      My grandfather’s name is William Harrison Kervin. I do have a photo of him when he was 30 years old. I would appreciate any
      information and photos of any of them.



  65. Greetings Cousin Ann…

    Thank you very much for your posts, and I have to tell you, I am very familiar with your tree on ancestry . com, as I have referenced it often while putting together my family tree. I will be contacting you via your email and hope to continue this conversation and share information on the family.

    As to Mary Elizabeth Welch, with the help of Ed Payne, I think I have a fairly accurate picture of her life and also believe that she was being “kept” by Morris Watson Jr after the death of her husband James Eulin and prior to her marriage to James Jackson. While all the information seems to fit and makes sense, I would still like to find some kind of documentation that would prove it once and for all. You mentioned a family booklet about Sam that was published a couple years ago.. I would be very interested in learning more about that book and the possibility of obtaining a copy of it.

    The 1860 Census places Mary Elizabeth living with her first husband in Ellisville, Jones, Mississippi. What I also find interesting about this census, is their neighbor, Morris Watson Kervin jr and his wife Amanda Jones. May of 1862 her husband James Eulin Enlisted – Co. F, 7 Battalion Mississippi Infantry (CSA), most likely to keep from being conscripted. His service record shows that he deserted prior to the Battle at Vicksburg and is most probably the James Ewlen that appears on Newt Knights’ Company Roster. At this point, he either voluntarily surrendered or was caputured by CSA troops that were sent into Jones County to squash Knights’ Company and was forced back to his Battalion. His military records then shows that in July 1864 he is back with his battalion and has been captured at Kennesaw Mtn, GA by Maj General Shermans forces during their march to Atlanta. He then spends the next seven months as a prisoner of war at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana, In Feb 1865, he was Paroled at Camp Morton, Ind., and forwarded via Baltimore, Md., to Point Lookout, Md., for exchange. James Eulin died at Piedmont, West Va. 23 Feb 1865, Enroute for exchange.

    As to the Family reunion, unfortunately I was unable to attend. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t arrange a portable oxygen concentrator through the VA in time. But I did hear about 35 Kervins, mostly of decedants of Morris Watson Kervin Sr through his son John Franklin Kervin. I was told that it has been several years since any of Morris Watson Jr’s line has attended.


  66. Kervins: 1. The booklet about Sam Kervin was compiled by Roy Hammond and Susan Blakeney of Jones Co. genealogy dept. of the library. It may be found at the library or at the Soso Community Center & Legion Post where a picture of Doyle Kervin (son of Sam) and first casuality of war: died 7/30/1919 from an accident in a G-2 Submarine, near Pleasure Beach, Waterford, Conn. 2. Information about Morris Jr. and Mary Elizabeth has come from family. I grew up knowing this (my daddy told me everything that he knew about his family and everybody else that lived in and around Jones, Jasper, Smith, Covington, and Clarke Counties.) 3. I have verified the nature of the relationship with Bill Kervin (son of John Doyle & grandson of Morris Jr. & Amanda Frances) Janice (family researcher descended from Morris Jr. & Amanda Frances) and Aunt Ginny (daughter of Mary Elizabeth & James Fredrick Jackson) W.R.Harper (cousin of mine, life long resident of Soso, family researcher) and Martha Doris Welborn (related to us on the Welch side, whose husband was the grounds keeper of Union Line Cemetery, Soso, MS. and a researcher of family and everyone that lived in and around that area and of everyone buried in the cemetery. Ira Kervin died 3/29/1975 and is buried in Union Line Cemetery. The land for old part of the cemetery was donated by James F. Jackson because he did not want Mary Marzilla Valentine Powell to be buried in the Old Valentine Cemetery due to it flooding. 4. Harrison “Bud” Kervin info. came from my research and from Connie Kervin his granddaughter…there are many pictures of him and his family on “SOUTHERN BRED FAMILIES.” 5. Info. on Morris Sr. family is through my research with the help of Josie Kervin great-granddaughter of Eliza Jane (daughter of Morris Sr. and Eliza Kervin) 6. Randall, I am so sorry that I have not been able to find a picture of Sam and his family with the exception of the one picture of Joyce that I took a few years ago. 7. Pop (Bill Kervin or I should list him as Willis Dunn, Sr.) remember visiting Sam many times with his dad and always called him Uncle Sam, as he was considered the brother of John Doyle and the other siblings. My understanding is that Morris Jr. and his “three women-Amanda, Dollie, and Mary Elizabeth” all new each other and all of the children were taught that they were all brothers and sisters.

    All for now….Ann


  67. Wow …. Great Info Ann, thank you very much! That answered several questions, and of course raised several more .. hahaha

    I also want to thank Professor Bynum for allowing this little side track into Kervin Family Geneaology on her blog-site. I have learned so very much here.


  68. FYI

    Bryant WELCH · Sex: M · Birth: 1786 in Sumpter or Cemden County, South Carolina · Death: 1830 in Lawrence County, MS what is now Jones County, MS · Note: From Laurel Leader Call Article:
    On Display at Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel, Mississippi:
    Bearing the signature of President James Monroe, a 143 year old land grant issued to Bryant Welch is at Lauren Rogers Library for safekeeping.
    The grant is for 159 acres of land that lies near Pitts Bridge, south of the Hebron Community of Jones County. When the grant was issued on October 30, 1825, the land was a part of Lawrence County. It is now in Jones County.
    W. L. (Uncle Will) Welborn owns the treasured document and filed it for safekeeping at the library. Bryant Welch was the maternal great grandfather of Uncle Will Welborn.
    The grant also bears the signature of George Graham, Commissioner of the General Land Office of the United States in 1843.
    Also two grants issued to James L. Welborn (see that individual’s notes).

    In 1823, the Government passed “An Act making further provision for the sale of Public Lands.”, and Bryant Welch appeared at the St. Stephens Land Office in Alabama, in time to be No. 7 among purchasers of land. His Certificate of Purchase was No. 7, and filed Volume 1, Page 7, of 20 October, 1823. The land purchased by Bryant Welch was the NE Quarter Section, described as containing 159 and 67 1/2 / 100 acres, in Section 22, Township 8, Range 14 West, Lawrence County, Mississippi. In other words, he bought the quarter section which included his homestead, where he lived until his death in 1830, age 44. He left 10 children.

    Bryant Welch died in 1830, leaving a widow and nine children. On February 9, 1880, minor heirs of Ebaline (Welch) Collins asked the Court to settle the Estate of R. J. Welch, who died intestate in October, 1879. For some reason not known, R. J. Welch had been given a life interest in the entire Estate of Bryant Welch and Sabra Martin Welch, consisting of 480 acres of land.
    Heirs of R. J. Welch were:
    Widow, Mary M. 1 Share $25.19
    W. M. Welch—Mary Allen, Betty, and Clem are descendants of Will
    Tabitha Walters–Jan is a descendant of Tabitha
    Elizabeth Jac kson—Ann is a descendant of Elizabeth (Mary Elizabeth)
    Marston M. Laird
    George Welch–Martha Doris is a descendant of George
    Joel Welch
    Matilda Clark
    Virginia Hinton
    Minors of Frances Bynum:
    Amelia Arvilla Bynum
    Mollie Bynum

    Mrs. Susan (Susanne) Valentine sold to Tabitha Welborn
    Mrs. Massie Chambers sold to Tabitha Welborn
    Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson sold to Tabitha Welborn
    Mrs. Judith Bynum sold to Geo. Gibson, Covington County
    Timoth Welch, Deceased 1 Share $25.19
    Widow, Caroline
    B. F. Welch
    Mary Ellzey
    Ebeline Powell
    John Welch
    Timothy Welch
    Minors of Timothy Ellzey, Deceased, Rayville, LA. $3.15 each
    Timothy Ellzey
    Susan Ellzey
    Lula Ellzey
    Mrs. Tabitha Welborn 1 Share $25.19

    N. E. Quarter Section 22, T 8, Range 14 West. Sold for $336.00
    Costs $27.45
    Solicitor 50.00
    Taxes 30.85
    $108.30 108.30 $227.70

    1. R. J. Welch, children and wife
    2. Cynthia Valentine
    3. Mary Powell
    4. Massey Chambers
    5. Judith Bynum
    6. Elizabeth Anderson
    7. Susan Valentine
    8. Timothy Welch
    9. Tabitha Welborn

    Sold and settled on 6 March, 1895.

    Listed as head of family in Census of 1816 in Wayne County


    • Hi Ann…So glad you are sharing this information about our family line. I do have a correction to make on which of Richard James Welch’s children I’m descended from. Tabitha Jane Welch and her husband Joel William Walters (who fought for the Union during the Civil War) are my great-great grandparents not Tabitha Elizabeth Jackson.

      Had I known the the land grant issued to Bryant Welch was at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel I would have gone there to see it. Looking forward to doing that on my next trip….hopefully in July for the Bush Reunion.

      Thanks for sharing this information on our shared family tree. It is great to have you in the “hunt” again…



  69. Hello Jan,
    I will email you later, but Tabitha Jane Walters is listed as daughter of R.J. Welch and Tabitha Elizabeth Welborn is listed as the daughter of Bryant Welch; in the above will.

    I know that you have done exstincive research on the Welch family. You need to update our family tree…do you still have access?

    Sending love to all,


  70. Based on the records I have, I would venture to say the Welch’s listed in this company are Timothy Lawrence & Hiram Rankin (brothers), William M. (cousin of Timothy & Hiram) and Ransom Jay, who would have been an uncle to Timothy & Hiram if I am not mistaken.

    Also, the Valentine family married into the Welch family, and judging by what I have I think I can fill in some of those names as well…

    Sara Welch & Darrel Valentine had a son named William Patrick, this could be the Patrick Valentine we see in the list.

    John Ira Valentine, William Bryant Valentine, and Richard Hampton Valentine were all brothers. Their parents are Sinthia Eveline Welch & William Alen Valentine.

    Some of the Knight family also married into the Welch family as well, but I haven’t researched them to see who may also be related to the Welch’s in this company.


  71. Sinthia Eveline Welch would have been Timothy and Hiram’s aunt, and Ransom’s cousin. Her brother would have been John Ira Welch, who in turn was Timothy & Hiram’s father.

    As a side note, there was more than one John Ira Welch, which has caused some confusion to who’s lineage may be who’s. I have more information on that but it doesn’t really pertain to the Knight Company.


  72. Glad you posted the link to your other comment over on the Welch Landing post. I encourage readers to read Luc Welch’s more detailed genealogy of the Welches by clicking that link.



  73. I did a little more digging into my paternal grandmother’s side, and discovered there is a William H. Knight that I am directly related to. Turns out he was my g-g-g-g-grandfather on her side of the family. A little more digging revealed a very close relation to Newton Knight, he was Newton’s uncle. So it seems that Timothy Lawrence Welch is my 1st cousin, 3 times removed. And Newton Knight is also my 1st cousin, 5 times removed. Very interesting indeed.


    • Luc, once you’re in with these folks, the links only multiply! It seems to me (impression only) that there are two major family networks that comprised the Knight Band-and you now span both of them.


      • Indeed you are right about the links multiplying! Newton Knight’s brother, James W. Knight, married a Judy V. Welch. Judy’s father was Henry Welch, brother of Bryant Welch. Judy and Timothy Lawrence were 1st cousins, once removed.


  74. Wanda:

    I’ve found no record of “John Pace” on either the Knight Rosters or among the Piney Woods enlistees in the Union 1st New Orleans. Of course, this does not mean that John could not have been among the Piney Woods citizens who dissented over session and/or wartime Confederate authority.

    Census records show a John Pace on the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Smith County. He was born in Alabama ca 1837-9 and appears to have been on of several children of Elizabeth Jamison by a prior marriage. While there are several men named John Pace who served in the Confederacy, it is difficult to determine if one of these might be the same person without at least a middle initial.

    Any information or family lore on why this John Pace might be connected with Civil War dissent would help.


    • He was either John A. or John W. He was married to Celia Huff Pace. His mother was Annis Pace born in Kentucky. Don’t have his father’s name or her maiden name. He was in Smith Co/Rankin. Some relatives say he was shot as a deserter from Battle of Shiloh and some say he was killed there. (no date) and don’t know where buried. Thanks for any info.


  75. Wanda:

    Awhile back I wrote an article for Renegade South about some interesting Mississippi Civil War documents that can be accessed via the LDS FamilySearch website (“Piney Wood Research: Civil War and other documents available on FamilySearch”). Among these are applications for Confederate pensions by veterans and their widows.

    In 1900 and again in 1916 Celia Pace applied for such a pension. She cited her husband as “John A. Pace” who served in Company F of the 39th MS Infantry. She listed his commanding officers as Capt. Charlie Banks, Col. W.B. Shelby, and Col. Ross. As for her husband, there is simply the notation that “he died in service” in July of 1862.

    Unfortunately, none of the databases I checked contain any records for a “John A. Pace” or a “J.A. Pace” in the 39th MS Infantry (a “J.R. Pace” who served in Company D is clearly a different person). That is a bit unusual but certainly not unheard of when dealing with Confederate records. But Company F was formed in Simpson County — the county where John A. Pace was enumerated on the 1850 and 1860 censuses along with his mother Annis. And I found records for the following officers in the 39th MS Infantry: Lt. Col. William E. ROSS; Col. Winehester B. SHELBY, and Capt. C.B. BANKS (commander of Company F).

    The MS Department of Archives and History lists some records for Company F of the 39th MS Infantry, but they appear to date from later in the war (1863-4). So the circumstances surrounding the death of John A. Pace may remain an unsolved mystery.

    This is a link (hope it works) to the first of four images of Celia’s two pension applications:


  76. Hello! I was reading about the Walters family from Mississippi. My Grandfather was born in Sebastopol, Mississippi, and I have hit a wall with my research. I have traced back to John Walters b. 1801 in Colleton, SC. Does anyone know anything about Walters’ that came from South Carolina to Mississippi? Thank you!


  77. I snagged a photo that is supposed to be of William Wesley Sumrall on Ancestry. It was originally posted to the Joplin Family Tree. There are no details with the photo. Chuck


  78. Is the B.F. Knight on the 1870 Knight Company roster Benjamin Franklin Knight 1817-1858? And, is Alphus Knight the son of Benjamin F. Knight? Also, I have seen Alpheus Knight 1844-1896, is this one and the same? If so, these are my kinship! Thank you.


    • Hi Sherry,

      No, the B. F. Knight on the roster is not the one of your message. The one who joined the Knight Band was the son of Wm. H. and Mary Youngblood Knight.

      Yes, Alpheus Knight was the son of Benjamin F. Knight, 1817-1858.


      • Thank you for responding.

        Is my Benjamin F. KNIGHT 1817-1858, the son of John Jackie Knight and Keziah Davis Knight?

        I am thoroughly entrigued with the family of Knights, of which I’ve never heard of, and look forward to reading you book!

        My line of Knights, the best I can tell (please correct me if I have it wrong) –

        Starting with my great grandmother…Dovie Zorado Powell Rogers 1890-1934>Jane Knight (Elizabeth Jane or Jane Elizabeth) 1870-?>Alpheus Knight 1844-1896>Benjamin F Knight 1817-1858>John Jackie Knight 11773-1861>Miles Knight

        Thank you!


      • Well, you are definitely descended from the Knight Band of the Free State of Jones! Yes, Benjamin F. Knight, b. 1817, is the son of Jackie and Keziah Knight. Alpheus Knight was a first cousin to Newt Knight, and an important member of the band. In regard to John “Jackie” Knight, I do not agree with some genealogists’ insistence that Miles Knight was Jackie’s father. Key evidence shows that to be highly unlikely if not impossible.



    • Sherry,

      We come from the same line of knights. Dovie-Jane-Alpeus-Jackie Sr. I know Dovie had 9 children, Daisy Grace Rogers (cooper) would be my great grandmother, and her daughter Dorothy Cooper Logan would be my grandmother.


      • Hello cousin! Daisy was my great aunt. My grandfather was her brother James Rogers who was first married to Edna Cooper. Edna was Edgar’s sister. Dorothy and my dad Earl were double 1st cousins. My name is Sherry Rogers Carter and I live in Mobile, AL. My email is or look me up on Facebook if you’d like.


  79. Joseph Yawn was my 3rd great-grandfather and the husband of Newt’s sister Martha Knight. I was wondering if he is the Joseph Youghn from the roster. I have found several misspellings of his name on census records.


    • Joshua: Yes, this is the same person — found on the 1870 census of Jones County as “Joseph Yawn.” In “Free State of Jones” (pg 122), Vikki mentions Joseph Richard “Dick” Yawn’s membership in the band and his later marriage to Martha. She also includes a few wartime incidents that Martha passed down to a descendant.


  80. Ed, do you believe the J.W. Walters on the New Knight Roster is Joel William Walters, my great-great grandfather who joined the Union in New Orleans?


  81. Victoria,

    Where can a copy of the Later Knight Band Roster be found? Library of Congress?? Also – it is mentioned that the original is still with family. Would they consider providing copies of this document before it is forever lost to history? I would certainly be very interested in a good color copy to add to our family gene. files! Thank you for your help!


    • Howdygal, I found the 1870 roster included with Newt Knight’s claim files as part of the evidence he offered to support his petition for reimbursement. That file is located at the National Archives in Washington, DC, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Record Group 233, Newton Knight Folder.

      As for the original roster that Newt Knight kept in the woods during the war, the direct descendant who inherited it has recently loaned it to Mississippi State Archives in Jackson. I don’t know what the status is at this time for viewing the roster.



  82. Just came across this and wow, what a find. I am related to the Blackwells, but I don’t know if these specific two are in my lines, but I am certainly going to find out now. I am descended from Bush Blackwell.


    • Good luck making a connection, Lisa! I’ve not heard of Bush Blackwell, but if he’s from Jones County, I’m betting on a connection. (My great-aunt Anna Bynum married a Blackwell, but I don’t know his first name.)


  83. Lisa: Some time back I researched the individuals on the Knight Roster, trying to match them with census records. Here is some information on the Blackwells that may help:

    “Montgomery Blackwell” seems to match Richard Montgomery Blackwell (1847-1912). He was the son of Elmonder (or Elemander) Blackwell (1815-1870) who had been born in TN. Montgomery spent most of his life in Covington County, MS. He married a first cousin of Newton Knight, Zorad Keziah Knight. Some sources claim Elmonder as the son of Morris Blackwell (1799-1871) b in SC and died in MS. Richard Montgomery Blackwell can be found on the federal census of 1850 as “Richard M.” and 1860 as “Montgomery,” both in Covington County. In 1870 he lived in Jones County as “Richard M.” Blackwell.

    My best guess is that “J.M. Blackwell” was James Blackwell of Jasper County, born ca 1843. He was born in AL, a son of James Blackwell b 1806 in SC. He appeared on the censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870 in Jasper County listed as “James Blackwell.” By 1880, he and his wife Henrietta (nee Craft) had moved to Clarke County. I have no information on him after that.

    You cited your relative as “Bush Blackwell.” Even though “Bush” or “Bushrod” (the full name) would seem unusual, three males having that name lived in Jasper County prior to the Civil War: 1) the son of G.W. Bush, b ca 1847 , 2) the son of Swinton Bush, b ca 1846, and 3) a man whose tombstone reads “Bush Rodd Blackwell” b in 1828 and died in 1876 (listed on Find-A-Grave).

    The Bush b 1828 probably served in the CSA, 37th MS Infantry. He saw action in Perrysburg, KY; Vicksburg, MS (when CSA troops surrendered, he signed a parole); and the Atlanta campaign. His records document his capture on 20 Jul 1864 and transfer to Camp Douglas in Chicago, IL. He managed to survive the harsh conditions there and received his release on 12 Jun 1865.

    Were these three men related? It certainly seems likely with James and Bush (whichever one) since their families both settled in Jasper County. And it might also be true with Montgomery Blackwell, if a generation or two further back.
    The Blackwells, whether relatives or not, are another example of men within the same general area whose particular circumstances resulted in the adopting different loyalties during the war.

    Best of luck — Ed Payne


  84. T.L. (Timothy Lawrence) Welch was my 2nd great grandfather (paternal). All the Welches, Bynums and Valentines (by marriage) are relatives.

    Thank you for this information! I have found the first page of the original roster, but would love a copy of the second page with T.L. Welch listed.

    Chelle Ellis (nee Michelle Welch)

    Liked by 1 person

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