The Free State of Jones

What’s in a Marriage? Bynums on both sides of the Civil War Divide

By Vikki Bynum

One of the genuine surprises of my research on The Free State of Jones was the discovery that my own Bynum ancestors were deeply involved on both sides of Jones County’s inner civil war. I learned about the Free State in a history book, not from my father, who never mentioned Newt Knight or the Knight Company to me before his death in 1990. In that way, I’m like a lot of folks who had no idea their ancestors were in the middle of such an important Civil War story until later in their lives.

There were many Jones County families, like the Bynums, who supported opposing sides of the war. My great-grandfather, William A. Bynum, son of William, born 1795, son of “Old” William, born 1763, fought on the side of the Confederacy. Like many Jones County men, he deserted the Army for a time and was charged with being AWOL. However, rather than join the Knight band, he rejoined the Confederacy. During Reconstruction, he, his father, William Senior, and his brother, John H. Bynum, all signed petitions opposing Newt Knight and his followers.

But it was a very different story for Tapley Bynum, who was a half-brother to my GGGrandfather, William Senior. Tapley deserted the Confederate Army, joined the Knight band, and was shot to death by Confederate soldiers, allegedly while at home visiting his newborn daughter.

Why were such different courses taken by members of the same family? A careful study of family alliances offers at least a partial answer. It appears that certain branches of the same family were pulled in different directions according to the families they married into. And here is where the Collins family once again emerges as one of the most important Unionist families in the region. It appears that if a branch of a family married into the Collins line, they were especially likely to be Unionists before, during, and after the war.

Newt Knight himself was influenced by the Collinses. At the end of his long life, he credited Jasper Collins with convincing him that the Twenty Negro Law made the Civil War a “rich man’s war and poor man’s fight.” Jasper then deserted and Newt did, too. It’s not so much that folks became Unionists after meeting or marrying a Collins; rather, it seems that such connections solidified their own Unionist tendencies. Jones County voters, after all, elected an anti-secession delegate to the 1861 Mississippi State Convention.

The importance of family alliances is demonstrated by two sons of Old William, Mark and Benjamin, both of whom were Unionists. During the war, “old man Mark Bynum” (born 1801) delivered a wagonload of provisions and arms to the Knight band. And well he might: his daughter, Lydia, was married to band member Simeon Collins. Benjamin Bynum was married to Simeon’s sister, Margaret. Their son, Prentice M. Bynum, joined the Knight Company during the war. Oh, and Mark and Benjamin also had a sister, Nancy Bynum, who married the oldest Collins brother, Vinson, another staunch Unionist. These branches of the Bynums married into Unionist branches of the Mauldin, Welch, and Holifield families as well. Opposition to secession and, later, the Confederacy, was most certainly a family affair.

In contrast to the above Bynums, however, who were prosperous but nonslaveholding farmers, there was a slaveholding branch of the family. Old William, the original migrant to Mississippi, had owned three slaves. He passed these slaves onto his oldest son, William, who owned them at the time of the war (this William’s son, William A. Bynum, was my direct ancestor). Not surprisingly, these Bynums married into other slaveholding families. And, during the war, they identified their fortunes with those of the Confederacy.

Tapley Bynum, the last of Old William’s sons (William was 74 years old when Tapley was born!) seems to have been raised primarily by his older brother Benjamin, and Benjamin’s wife, Margaret “Peggy” Collins. He was only eight years older than their son, Prentice, and the young men may have joined the Knight band together. On a cold January morning, the decision to defy the Confederacy cost Tapley his life. Later, Confederate Col. Lowry’s raid on the county convinced Prentice to flee to New Orleans, where he joined the Union Army and survived the war. During the 1890s, Prentice Bynum became a Populist, as did his uncle, the venerable Jasper Collins.

Update, August 30, 2015: The following two photographs were supplied by Ruth Anderson, a descendant of Benjamin and Margaret “Peggy” Collins Bynum. Peggy Collins Bynum was the sister of three Knight band members: Simeon, Riley, and Jasper Collins. Her and Ben’s son, Prentice Bynum, also joined the Knight Band, as did Ben’s youngest brother, Tapley Bynum. 

Margaret "Peggy" Collins, wife of Benjamin Franklin Bynum. Photo courtesy of Ruth Anderson.

Margaret “Peggy” Collins Bynum, b. 1821, wife of Benjamin Franklin Bynum, b. 1808. Photo courtesy of Ruth Anderson.

Grandsons of Benjamin F. Bynum and Peggy Collins Bynum. Front row: Alec, Charlie, Boston, Shubert. Back row: Marvin, Ben, Darling, Walter.

Grandsons of Benjamin F. Bynum and Peggy Collins Bynum. Front row: Alec, Charlie, Boston, Shubert.
Back row: Marvin, Ben, Darling, Walter.

The Confederate side of the Bynum family is represented in two photos, below. William A. Bynum and John Hall Bynum, sons of William Bynum II, born 1795, both served in the Confederate army.

Front row: Sophronia Tisdale Bynum and William A. Bynum. back row: Aden G. , Wm. Washington, Annie, Bessie, Leon S., and Ina Bynum.

The William A. Bynum family. Front row: Sophronia Tisdale Bynum and William A. Bynum, early twentieth century.
Back row: Aden Gallington , Leon S., Eugenia “Annie”, Bessie, Wm. Washington, and Ina C. Bynum. Collection of Victoria Bynum.

John Hall Bynum, brother of William A. Bynum and late-nineteenth century clerk of the Jones County Court.

John Hall Bynum, brother of William A. Bynum and late-nineteenth century clerk of the Jones County Court. Collection of Paula H. Moore.

73 replies »

  1. That is a rather interesting connection you point out. Perhaps, in those days, as it has been for me in recent weeks — you just can’t say no when Jasper starts talking sense! 😉

    • My Aunt, Marion Mead Bynum told me over 25 years ago when she was here in California, to read the book. Her husband G.A. Bynum had worked on the book with my mama’s aunt. Ruby Bynum Sanders. My brother mentioned that someone tried to contact my mom about a book and he told them my mama, Katie Ruth Bynum Anderson, was too old or something like that. So sad because my mom is 90 years old today and still talks about her cotton picking hands. Her Dad was Charles Bynum Sr. Route 5, Laurel. Just like you said in one of the forwards, I had no idea about any of this until i was trying to get my mothers ss# from Jones County your site came up and i have been overcome with interest and want to know more. My uncle Charles Bynum Jr. was s scholar regarding the subject but unfortunately passed the end of last year. My mom is the only one living of her generation of Bynums. In closing i would like to say how perfect you put it in TFSoJ forward when you said, “Now I Understand”.

      • Hi Ruth,
        I am quite familiar with your branch of the family, and I have a copy of Ruby’s book on the Bynum–Herrington connections. Like you, I was late in coming to know the Bynum family history. My dad really didn’t know much about it himself. Your branch, I believe, was known as the “Calhoun Bynums,” whereas mine was the “Ellisville Bynums,” although my dad’s immediate family lived in Moselle and Seminary.

        It’s nice to meet you, and thanks for noticing my dedication remarks to my dad. It meant so much to me to understand his roots, and it explained a lot to me about who he was.

        Thanks for your comments!

      • I forgot to tell you that she looks very Indian. We have always said that as does everyone that sees it.

  2. Hi Greg,

    Jasper certainly looms large as a major influence on many of his kinfolks’ lives. In your case, you are also directly descended from Mark Bynum, Lydia’s father, who supplied the Knight Company with that wagonload of provisions.


    • Hi,
      I went to to look up my mama, Katie Ruth (Bynum) Anderson’s heritage and have been blown away. Our families have been traveling in pacts, is one way to put it, since before they journeyed to the Americas. My Great Great Grandma was Peggy, (Margaret) Bynum. Born Collins. Her husband was Ben Bynum. Bynum, Collins, Loftin, Sumrall, just to name a few of our families moved from New York to Virginia and then to Georgia, it seems, then some decided to settle in Mississippi and it seems like right after the civil war a bunch of Bynum’s went to Texas. I saw the Anderson name in our tree, it is directly tied to the Herringtons, which is how we are directly related to our past presidents Bush. Sounds like you have just begun your journey Greg. Happy Trails because our lineage I have traced back through DNA all the way to 600 b.c. and thanks to Vikki I have gained so much knowledge and pride. She has taught me to go and find it myself. Stories that are fact become legend to many, from our heritage that is so rich is mind boggling. Enjoy. I will find the Anderson link and get back to you. When I get my family tree at in order you will be welcome to go there. I am in Contact now with of our kin all over the world. My moms first cousin twice removed has over 60,000 in his tree and what a blessing he is. I have pictures of our decendants from the 1500s. Paintings of course that will blow your mind.
      I will get that info for you.
      Have fun.

      • I think I found some info that helps. Stacy Collins-born in1786 married Sara Anderson in 1808. They had a whole bunch of kids. One of which was Jasper Collins in 1827. He is my great uncle 5 times removed. His sister was My great great Grandmother Peggy Collins that married Ben Bynum. I know it probably sounds confusing. You will get it. Just keep on asking.

  3. I’m so excited to read your blogs. My grandmother was Josia Phine Collins, daughter of Harrison T Collins, son of Sim Collins and Lydia…You leave me wanting more…

  4. Hi Gwen,

    I’m so pleased that you like the blog! Over the years, I have had contact with several fine researchers who were descendants of Simeon and Lydia (Bynum) Collins–especially Mary Bess Gamaro-Adams, Regina Roper, and James McNabb. They really helped me to connect the Mississippi-Texas lines, and to trace their frontier migrations.

    My upcoming book, The Long Shadow of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming spring 2010) will contain more on this family than did my previous book, Free State of Jones. It will contain even more on Simeon’s brother, Warren Jacob Collins.

    So stay tuned–I will also be returning to the Collins-Bynum family in future blog posts.


  5. Hi Vikki,

    I’m really looking forward to your next book, ‘The Long Shadow of the Civil War’. I love the fact that you write about characters who could easily be lost to the ages. Events also. Some years ago, I shared your book, ‘Unruly Women’ with a couple of African American professionals. One being Norman Chambers, Ph.D. who taught for many years at SDSU here in San Diego. The very fact that white women actually married and lived openly with Black men in NC and elsewhere was something that greatly suprpised everyone who have an interest in this subject. And while you note this was not common practice, the very fact that it happened at all surprised many of your readers. Like Big time!!! Who knew??

    Your story telling is a treasure to read and all the more so due to the nature of your enlightening subject matter.

    I value and thank you for your excellent work.

    Warmest regards,

    Another Vikky (Vikky Anders) in San Diego

  6. Hi Vikky,

    Thank you so much for taking time to comment. You and I have a long history of communication–about both the past and present–that precedes this blog, and I hope it continues for years to come.

    There are two chapters in my upcoming book–one on Reconstruction in N.C., the other on the descendants of Newt, Rachel, and Serena Knight, that deal in depth with interracial relations in the post-Civil War South. Each continues the stories that I told in Unruly Women and Free State of Jones, so I think you will enjoy them.


  7. Vikki,

    Loved your book “Free State of Jones”!

    I am descended from Mark Bynum (b.1801). His daughter Catherine (m. John Ira Welch) was the mother of Simeon C Welch. His daughter Frances E Welch married Richard Henry Cottrell, who’s son Erastus Simeon Cottrell was my dad’s father. So my g-g-g-g-grandfather Mark Bynum is our common ancestor.

    I am beginning to work on finding as much information as I can about Simeon C Welch now, and look forward to reading your blog to help get me into the right frame of mind. Thanks for your work, and for your inspiration!

    Your Piney Woods Cousin,
    Clyde R “Rick” Cottrell, Jr.
    Indianapolis, IN

  8. Hello Clyde,

    Good to hear from you! Your Mark Bynum line represents the strongest Unionist line in the Bynum family, and the one that intermarried most often with the Collins and Welch families. Mark is mentioned in my upcoming book, Long Shadow of the Civil War, for his support of the Knight company, and as the father-in-law of Simeon Collins. I’d like to know more about Simeon C. Welch, and also about the popularity of the name “Simeon” among these families.

    I would love to know more as well about Mark Bynum and his wife’s family, the Mitchells, who appear to have been from the North. (I am descended from Mark’s brother, William.)

    Please keep us posted on your research.


  9. I really enjoyed The Free State of Jones and I’m wondering where I can find more info on my ancestors that were involved and about their part in all that happened back then. I know that my gr gr grandfather’s William Harrison ‘Harris’ Mauldin and Benjamin Franklin Dykes were with Newt Knight, but not much else. I’m also related to the Welborn’s and many others from that area.

    • Hi Nelda,

      You are certainly descended from many families that were intimately involved with the Free State of Jones, and specifically with the Knight band. It’s my understanding that Benjamin Franklin Dykes and Newt Knight deserted the MS 7th battalion infantry together. The Welborns, like the Bynums, had branches of the family on both sides. The Mauldins intermarried with these families, and were also strongly Unionist.

      Nice to hear from you. If you have specific questions, I, or perhaps others, will be happy to try and answer them.


  10. We have both Collins and Bynums in our family. I wonder if many moved south to GA later in the century.

    This was a fascinating read. I will look for your book.



    • Hi Marc,

      One of the early Georgia Bynum settlers, Sugars Bynum, had a son, Reuben Bynum (1808-1881), who married Emily Collins (1821-1886). Both Reuben and Emily were born in North Carolina. They are buried at Rehoboth Baptist Church, Shellman, Randolph County, Georgia

  11. Thanks for your comment, Marc! I hope you enjoy The Free State of Jones.

    From everything I’ve read and researched about the Bynums, it appears they first migrated to Virginia from England or Wales early in the 17th century. By the 1800s, my branch was in North Carolina. From there, the names between branches overlap so much that I can’t pinpoint their exact route to eventual settlement in southern Mississippi around 1817. After studying census records, however, it seems certain my ancestor, William Bynum, born 1763, lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia before settling in what became Jones County, MS, in 1826.

    The Collinses followed a similar migratory path, and it’s possible that some members from both families either remained in Georgia, or returned there later. If you provide some names, I or Renegade South readers may be able to find a link.


  12. Wow! I came across the site by chance and what an interesting read! I will also have to look into the book ya’ll were all talking about as well.
    William Sr. I believe is the brother of Kinchen Ross Bynum who I am a decendent of. I can not remember exactly who but I do know my Bynum ancestor changed sides of the civil war more than once. The story is that his commanding officer had tried to order him to give him his horse, he refused, left camp in the middle of the night, joined the North side until he killed that man who had wanted his horse and then changed back to the side of the South. Not sure but I think it was Kinchen, who ended up ultimately in Arkansas.

      • What a journey this site has taken me on. I now have taken our lineage back to 1468a.d. What a rich heritage we have. Kings, Queens, Lords and Ladies. I have pictures of some of the names. Pictures of castles and stories about our familys. We are directly related to Ullyses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States. Lance Bass and even Tom Petty. Vikki, what an awesome teacher you have been. Always thought i was English from the Bynums and now know Scottish is the root that left to England. Love all of your books Vikki. Just got the revised Free State of Jones and just love it. Thank you.

      • Thank you for your comment, Ruth. Family history is a fascinating journey. Must admit I’ve never connected the bynums with Scotland–I thought they hailed from England (Baynham, Bineham) and Wales (Ap Enon, Beynon, Bynon).


      • Dustin,

        Thanks–Please see my response to Mimi Bynum Johnson. I’d really love to more about Kinchen Ross Bynum.


    • Thanks, Mimi!

      Very interesting! I’m wondering if you and Dustin Bynum can tell me more about Kinchen Ross Bynum. I’ve heard the name but have no information on him–his dates, where he lived, genealogical facts, etc. Would appreciate it very much!


      • what ive found on kichen is he was on the union side 2nd regment out of arkanas.. find a grave had the info..

    • with all my reserch.. its like all roads lead to kinchen ross… im going to start there an try to find more… its hard to since i dont want to spend money to find out …but i belive kinchen is the key to unlock more from that time an place

  13. Hi Mimi,

    Very interesting! Where did Kinchen Ross Bynum live before moving to Arkansas? The William Bynum Sr., born 1763, who eventually migrated to Jones County, MS, started out from North Carolina. I am familiar with the name Kinchen, but have never seen him listed as this William’s brother (he also appears to have been considerably younger). One of the problems with researching the Bynums is that so many were named William or James, generation after generation.

    If Kinchen Bynum is more distantly related to the Jones County Bynums, his lack of loyalty to the Confederacy is an interesting parallel to those Bynums who joined up with Newt Knight and the Knight Company.

    Your story also demonstrates that many men simply wanted to survive the war, and felt no particular loyalty to either side. Whichever side endangered their families or farms most directly was likely to feel their anger.


  14. I love the information above about the Bynums. Apparently I am a descendent of John H Bynum born 1854 in Georgia. Over the past few weeks, I have begun looking into our ancestry and trying to find the lines back in history. Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Hi Jimmy,

      I have a brother named Jimmy and my great-grandfather William had a brother named John H. Bynum (the H was for “Hall”).

      There are many Bynums throughout the South, but most seem to have descended from those who first came to VA, then moved to NC, and from there fanned out onto the frontier. Have you investigated censuses, the best first place to begin. Of course, there’s all kinds of material on

      If you have any specific information beyond that one name, feel free to post it–you might hear back from Renegade South readers.

      Thanks for writing,

  15. We have a PM Bynum that was appointed to the Lamar County Board of Supervisors in April of 1904. Is this the same man?

    • Yes, Chuck, that PM Bynum is the same Prentice M. Bynum who appears prominently in my last two books, Free State of Jones and Long Shadow of the Civil War.


    • PM Bynum was my grandmother’s father. I have visited his gravesite at Rawl’s cemetery located between Sumrall and Hattiesburg.

      • Thank you for your comment, Bill. I had never heard of Prentice Bynum until I began my research on the Free State of Jones. He is a distant cousin of mine; his father, Benjamin, was the brother of my GGGrandfather, William Bynum (b. 1795).

        Prentice M. Bynum had quite a career as a Mississippi Populist (the People’s Party). I wrote more on him in my book, Long Shadow of the Civil War, than in The Free State of Jones.


  16. Looking for my folks, can you help? Im from Panama City Fla, father John Franklin Bynum, born in Panama City; his father was John Carl Bynum and mother was Mary Rose Carlos Bynum

    • I’m sorry, John, I don’t recognize your Bynum names. The Bynums are pretty widespread throughout the South since, after starting out in VA/NC, they fanned out throughout the South and Southwest. There are many in SC, AL, GA, TN. TX, and OK, as well as MS. The Jones County, MS, Bynums, who are the subject of the posts on Renegade South, descended from William Bynum, born 1763 in NC. He appears to have lived in SC and TN before settling in MS.

      Best of luck in finding connections through Renegade South!


    • Hi Hi Cousin John Hubert Bynum,

      Yours is part of a Bynum branch that stayed in Georgia after arriving through the Carolinas. There are three main Georgia Bynum branches, and yours is the one connected to the two Revolutionary War veterans who drew winning Georgia land lottery tickets: Reubin Bynum and Sugars Bynum. Very likely they were 1st cousins or brothers. Sugars Bynum’s family settled in what became Randolph and Quitman Counties, in the towns of Shellman and Cuthbert, Georgia.

      Two great-grandsons of Sugars Bynum, Jack Thomas Bynum and Edward Hall Bynum, relocated further south to Blakely Georgia in the 1870’s or 1880’s. One of Jack Thomas Bynum’s sons, John Carl Bynum, is your grandfather. Of course you will know that Carl Bynum moved to Panama City, Florida where he married your very memorable Italian grandmother, Mary Rose Carlos.

      The big problem for researching this Southwest Georgia Bynum branch–and the very knowledgeable Bynum researcher Bob Baird has agreed–is trying to connect these particular Georgia Bynums back to the Carolina Bynums. It has proved to be extremely difficult. At this point we simply do not have enough records remaining to determine exactly how they are related.

  17. I have a picture of a woman my Grandfather Charles Bynum Sr. let me have over 50 years ago. He told me it was his Grandma and that she was a mid wife. I think he was born in 1889 and she looks very old so i am sure you could tell me something. I don’t know how to upload the picture for you to see or i would. I hope i can show you. If you get back to me i will get it to you.

      • So nice of you to respond. It is an honor to meet you. Your books have opened up a whole new world to me and i am thankful. The actual picture which is actually pretty large for a portrait. It is on like a cardbord of some kind. Very sturdy. I think they all had the same hairdresser and dentist. Any info or even educated guesses will be much appreciated. Thanks Again, Sincerely, Ruth Anderson

      • I am sorry I haven’the been able to get the picture to you. I believe it is of an important person in your studies. I have a photo of the actual picture I can send you if you would like. I am not clear on how to get it to you any other way. I also have a picture of my Grandpa Bynum sitting in his rocker on the porch of the old house holding that picture. I know you will love it. I have had so many people tell me to get rid of it unless she is famous. Ha ha. I kept it and look, she just might be famous someday. Thanks for your time Vicki. I’m enjoying telling my Mama all these stories her ancestors.

      • Ruth, if you would like to send me hard copies of those photos, I can send you a mailing address.


      • Yes please give me your address and I will get copies to you. My sister Lyla, passed away 2 yes ago this month and I am the only one that cherishes our history that is left in this family. I’ve been reading and telling Mama the stories. Her mouth will drop open in surprise and I can tell she is listening and loves it. If you can send I me an e-mail address that I can send pictures to I will send I them as I find them. Oh I want to say that everyone that hears your husbands theme song loves it out here in California and I do to. Thank you. Sincerely,

  18. I’m currently plowing through Family Maps of Jones County, Mississippi (at least the third time) by Gregory A. Boyd, J.D., and published by Arphax Publishing Co. ( The book is a compilation of land patents obtained from the General Land Office of the Bureau of Land Management. There are three maps of each township in Jones County; the first shows the location of land patents to include the name and year that the patent was issued, the second shows roads, towns and cemeteries, and the third map shows rivers, creeks railroads, towns and cemeteries. When you compare census records of the time to the maps you can often determine the direction that the census taker was going…east to west or north to south. You can also get a feel for the interactions of neighbors within the many communities. There are many Bynums shown throughout the county…Tapley, William, Benjamin, Gustavus, Hiram, Nancy A, Annie, and others. Tapley and Benjamin show patents in T9-N R12-W (map group 8) in the north central part of the county. Their patents were issued in 1859. Map group 32, just to the west, shows holdings of William W. Sumrall whose land borders that of Benjamin. William’s patent was issued in 1891. Chuck

    • I would love to see those maps. Bynumso were kin to the Sumralls. My Great Great Grandfather is Benjamin Bynum. His wife, my Grandma was Peggy Bynum born Collins. They all came from England and traveled many a mile together before settling in Jones County. The Loftins were also married into the Bynum family. McBee is another name that goes all the way back to the 1700s. Even before probably. Wish you could post those maps.
      Thanks for the posts.

    • I just recently bought this book, too, Chuck, and have only just begun to plow through it. Fascinating it is!


      • I feel the same way, Chuck. If I’d had this book when I was researching FSOJ, it would be all marked up, with the primary families color-coded throughout! Love seeing the relation of cemeteries to family lands; can also track the neighborhoods of the different branches of the Bynums in a way not possible before. Wish I could post the maps here, but there are copyright issues. The book, by Gregory A. Boyd, J.D., is available on Amazon at a reasonable price.


    • Dear Chuck,
      Want to let you and Victoria know that I received the book of land grants and maps by Gregory Boyd. What a blessing it is. Now as I add new names to the family tree I can look on the maps and see right where they lived. I love it . I called and ordered it directly from the authors wife. We talked and she said Greg the author was her husband and he was from Mississippi. In a text a few days ago she told me that Greg went and bought The Free State of Jones the very next day and was excited about the movie too. Thanks for the info on the book and as always Thank You Vikki for all of your books and being the awesome and kind person you are. Have a great day.

  19. Mine is marked up…highlighted, red-lined and dog eared…it’s a mess! Mount Moriah Cemetery is about dead center of map group 19. Nancy Pitts Walters, mentioned in Ed’s “Jones County Widows”, is buried there along with her second husband Hanson Walters. Nancy was my third great grand aunt. The patent of Daniel Pitts, Nancy’s father and my fourth great grandfather, is adjacent to the cemetery. It would be safe to say that I am related to at least a third of the 824 known people buried in that cemetery. I highlighted all known relations in that map group…Shoemake, Walters, Pitts, Landrum, Rose…and it lit up like Times Square. Robert Porter Boyce, my third great grandfather, had a patent in map group 10. Robert’s first wife, Elizabeth Catherine McScrews, was mentioned in Ed’s “Unionism and a Murder in the Family”. She was the mother of Nancy Nelson, who was the mother of Robert Spencer. Elizabeth Catherine is buried in what is shown as the May Cemetery. It is also known as the Old Maid, Ferguson, and Good Hope Cemetery. Robert and Elizabeth’s daughter, Catherine McScrews Boyce, married John Ferguson. Several of their children married into the Trest, McGill, McDonald, and Walters’ families. I highlighted all know relations in that map group. I also highlighted every name that I thought was of Scottish origin. About three quarters of the patents in that map group are highlighted…a true Scots community! I’m thinking about tearing out all the pages and pasting them together to put on the wall. Maybe I need another book! Chuck

  20. What if I highlighted patents for members on the “Roster”…do you think you could get permission to post the pages that apply? I believe the earliest patent I’ve seen is 1859. I don’t know how many members would have been landowners and I don’t know how scattered they would have been. It may involve too many pages to post. Your thoughts? Chuck

  21. This is what I have come up with using Newt’s 1870 Roster that Ed posted:
    There are no patents listed for 27 of the 55 names listed.
    There are 17 names on the Roster that match names associated with patents.
    The remaining 11 names are possibilities as the initials and spellings of the last names don’t exactly match.
    The members whose names match or are possibilities are scattered over 12 Townships with the greatest concentration in Townships 10-N Range 13-W (Map Group 2)(7 total), including both Jones and Jasper Counties and where Newt’s patent is listed, Township 9-N Range 13-W (Map Group 7)( 8 total), Township 9-N Range 12-W (Map Group 8)(6 total), Township 8-N Range 14-W (Map Group 11)(4 total), and Township 8-N Range 13-W (Map Group 12)(5 total). All of these Townships are located in the Northwest quarter of Jones County. There is only 1 name listed in the southern half of the County and none in the eastern Townships.

  22. Hello… I am researching this Bynum line for a friend of mine and her 2x great-grandmother was Charity E. Bynum of Jones Co. She is found on the 1850 census with Tapley, and William Bynum who was born c. 1763. They are living next door to Benjamin & Margaret Bynum. I had assumed both Charity and Tapley were the children of Benjamin & Margaret who had perhaps been sent next door to assist with the care of their very aged grandfather, William. That was just a guess based of the ages of Charity and Tapley, however, I see you reference William having a son at the age of 74. Would it be plausible then that Charity is also his child and not a grandchild? Is there anything known about the wives of “Old” William (potentially the mother of Tapley and Charity)?


    • Dayna, thanks for your question. The Charity Bynum who appears as Tapley’s sister in the 1850 census died shortly after her birth, as did her mother, Sarah (maiden name unknown). Because the children’s father, William, was a widower of advanced age, his grown son Benjamin, and Benjamin’s wife Peggy (Collins) raised Tapley alongside their own children.

      There must have been more than one Charity Bynum; will have to research that!


      • Ok, thank you for whatever light you can shed on this! The Charity E. we are tracing is found on the1900 census in Amite, MS as being born in Sep 1841 in MS, with both her parents from MS and married to a John Clark in 1880. In 1910, she is found in Tangipahoa, LA with John Clark and their son, but also with two of her children from her previous marriage to Fate Sanders; Mary Sanders-Welch and George Sanders. Mary says she was born in MS while George was born in LA.

        George Sanders dies in 1920 in Tangipahoa, LA and his death index below lists his mother’s maiden name as Bynum.

        Name George Washington Sanders
        Event Type Death
        Event Date 11 May 1920
        Event Place Roseland, Tangipahoa, Louisiana
        Gender Male
        Age 47
        Race White
        Birth Year (Estimated) 1873
        Birthplace St Helena
        Father’s Name Fate Denders
        Mother’s Name Charity Bynum
        Certificate Number 5695

        Interestingly enough, her daughter Mary Sanders-Welch dies 20 years later in 1940 and her death certificate lists a different maiden name for Charity, so I took the earlier record as probably having the more accurate information.

        Name Mary Elizabeth Welch
        Event Type Death
        Event Date 03 Jul 1940
        Event Place Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana
        Gender Female
        Age 82
        Race White
        Birth Year (Estimated) 1858
        Birthplace St. Helena, Louisiana
        Father’s Name Fate Sanders
        Mother’s Name Charety Duck
        Spouse’s Name Wm D Welch
        Certificate Number 9746

        Charity being a Bynum fit as she is listed as 11 years old on the 1850 census with William Bynum, and a Charity Bynum is not found in 1860 that I can see, however, she would have been married to Fate Sanders by then. I cannot find them anywhere though. I cannot find any marriage record for either a Charity Duck or Charity Bynum, nor have I been able to find any birth records of Mary Sanders in MS, or her other children born in LA. I cannot locate a Charity Duck in MS either, so I’m back to Charity Bynum.

        Assuming Charity’s middle initial stands for Elizabeth, I searched for an Elizabeth Duck. I do find one Elizabeth Duck in Amite, MS but she is a few years older than Charity and marries a J. W. Neylands, so not the same person.

        Thank you for double checking your Charity Bynum’s and I sincerely appreciate whatever guidance you can give!!

      • Hi Dayna,
        I looked in my family tree and here are a few of the Charity Bynum’s I found. Charity P Bynum, 1890-1991. This was my grandfather’s cousin. Charity Bynum 1839-?. This was Tapleys Sister, which was Ben Bynum sister. Charity Elizabeth Bynum 1864-1907 which was a sister in law to my gr. gr. Uncle. So if Ben Bynum is my Great Great Grandfather it would be one of his siblings sister in laws. There are a couple more named Charity’s in my tree with the maiden name Bynum. Let me know if you need info for them too and I will get it. Hope it helps.
        Sincerely, Ruth

  23. Thank you so much for looking! It appears I’m back to the Charity listed in 1850 with William Bynum as an 11 yr old since she’s the only one fitting age wise. I’m looking for a Charity born about 1841. And we know for sure that Charity listed with William died between 1850 and 1860?

    I’ll have to do some more digging 🙂 This is why you have to love genealogy!

    • Dayna,

      Forgive me for being so late in replying to your last message. I finally went back into my records to find the Bynum Bible entry in which Sarah Bynum’s death in 1839 is recorded. I believed that I would confirm that Charity, the child Sarah died giving birth to, had also died.

      But I was wrong! There is no death recorded for Charity. Genealogist Ruby Bynum Sanders notes that she found “no further records” on Charity after her birth in 1839. So there is reason, after all, to suspect that this Charity may indeed be the Charity you are looking for.

      Thank you for your patience.


      • Sorry to butt in again but in researching I came across a news article in the Daily Times News (Burlington, N. Carolina.) It was an obituary for a Katie Anderson (which is too weird because that is my mothers name), It states she was the daughter of the late James S. and Charity Bynum Lane. Could be a lead. Hope it helps.

      • Thanks, Ruth! So, Tapley’s sister, Charity, may have married a James S. Lane. Any dates in this obituary that might shed more light?


      • Thank you, Ruth! Unfortunately, that is not my Charity as our Charity was married to a John Clark, Sr. until well into her 60’s (found together on the 1900 census still married), and well beyond childbearing years by the time John died and she would have been free to remarry or have additional children… Who knew there were so many Charity Bynums in the same area?!

      • Hi Dayna,

        Ruth Anderson accidentally added her latest comment about Charity to the wrong post, so I’m cutting and pasting it here:

        “I asked Faye about Charity and she does not know what happened to her. She said if Ruby didn’t know then nobody knows. She said she probably died and they buried her in an unmarked grave. She is right about Ruby and any one else that knew is dead. Sorry.”

        From Ruth via Vikki

    • The Newspaper was October 3, 1939. It is just something I happened upon and may be nothing. Even more of a coincidence I came upon my most beloved cousin Margaret (Faye) Holcomb (Finnegan). She is a literal scholar as far as our Bynum heritage goes and she was telling me today on the phone about our cousin Tapley and his sad demise. Said her dad was always telling the story of how Tapley was shot and explained how he had died right up the hill from their house and land where we visited every summer. I will ask her tomorrow about Charity and I bet she will know. I will be sure to let you know.

      • Thank you, Ruth. We look forward to any new insights you can provide about the life and death of Tapley Bynum and his sister, Charity.


  24. I was so excited to learn about you and the Texas line of Bynums! I am a Bynum, our family is from Virginia and Kentucky. My family fought for the Confederacy. I dug out the genealogy research my mother has done in the past few years and this whole thing has rekindled my interest in that. I always heard there was a Bynum line in Texas when I was growing up so it is really cool to find you. I have ordered The Free State of Jones and am looking forward to reading it (and your other books!)

    • Hi Cindy; welcome to Renegade South! My particular Bynum line is from Mississippi, though I now live in Texas. I think virtually all the Bynums migrated first to Virginia in 1600-1700s, then fanned out on the various frontiers. We’re everywhere in the South and Southwest!


  25. My great grandmother was Dany Arizona Bynum. She is a descendent of Mark Bynum that was born in 1801. She lived in Louisiana and had several children with Preston Wardell. I would love to exchange information if you don’t have much on the Louisiana line of Bynums.

  26. I have only recently stumbled onto this site. I am fascinated and unbelievably SO CONNECTED to all these people through my maternal grandmother’s line. I descend (and was named after) my gr. grandfather, the son of Francis Abarilla Collins who married Leonard Lee Loftin. Francis’ parents, Simeon Collin and Lydia Bynum were my gr. gr. gr. grandparents. I am currently reading “The Long Shadow of the Civil War” and am amazed at how my ancestors are featured throughout the book, both in MS and in TX.

    Some questions:

    1. I would love to contact the researchers you mentioned who were descendants of Simeon and Lydia (Bynum) Collins – especially Mary Bess Gamaro-Adams, Regina Roper, and James McNabb. Would you be willing to privately share their contact info.?

    2. Was there a direct “link” (familial”) between those you wrote about in the Quaker Belt of NC and MS (as there was between MS & TX)? In other words, was there a migration of ideas through the people who physically migrated?

    3. Another one of my direct ancestors though a different branch (my maternal grandfather’s) of the family tree was Henry Gardner who signed the petition to change the name of Jones Co. His wife was the daughter of Isham Walters who may have been related to several of the Walters who also signed that petition. I know very little about this line. Do you have any leads on the Gardners?

    4. I also may be related to B.F. Dykes, a member of the Knight Co., through yet another branch of my family tree (my paternal grandfather’s line). So, in my case, all roads seem to lead back to Jones Co., MS. And I’ve never even visited there.

    5. Finally, have you ever visited the Big Thicket in Hardin Co., TX?

    Thanks for the excellent, meticulously documented work you have done in your books and on this blog. I love how you have made history come alive and how the people and events of the past have shaped and continually touch our own lives.


    Stacey P. (ultimately named after my 4th gr. grandfather, Stacy Collins)!

    • Hi Stacey, it’s great to meet you, and thanks for taking time to write such a great post about your ancestral connections to both Jones County, MS, and the Big Thicket of Texas.

      I don’t give out personal connection information on people without their permission, but I can send your info to the people you requested in #1, above, and ask them to either release their info or contact you directly.

      In answer to #2, if you review chapter one, “Jones County’s Carolina Connection,” you will find definite genealogical connections between Jones County’s Knight Company members and the Quaker Belt of North Carolina. Those ancestors migrated out during the Revolutionary Era and moved out onto the Southwestern frontier. I have never been able to authenticate a definite male ancestor for Newt Knight. We know, however, that his grandmother, Mary Knight, was from Hertford County, NC, but we don’t know her maiden name or her husband’s name. I suspect it was Jesse Knight of NC. The NC Knights were said by some members of the family to be Quakers; so was the family of John “Jackie” Knight wife’s, Keziah Davis. They migrated to Wrightsboro, GA, early in the century, which was originally a Quaker settlement.

      No one has yet authenticated the Collins line beyond Stacy, although it is certain that his forebears migrated from NC to SC, and Stacy from SC to GA to MS to TX.

      The Jones County Welborn and Bynum ancestors are found in NC during the era of the American Revolution. I think the ancestors of the Welches, Valentines, and Walters can reliably be placed there, too, as well as in SC shortly thereafter.

      Yes, I do think the families were schooled in cultural ideas born of the Revolutionary era and their frontier experiences that survived to the era of the Civil War. I develop that idea in my book, FSOJ.

      Sorry; I know nothing about the Gardners of Jones County. Yes, I have visited the Big Thicket of Texas, both while doing my research on The Long Shadow of the Civil War, and while over for conferences in Beaumont.

      Great to hear from you, and I invite other readers to respond to your questions as well.


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