Jacob Alford, son of Julius and Lucy, was born 15 August 1761 in Bute County (which later became Granville Co. and is now Franklin Co.), North Carolina.[i]He was only ten years old when his father died. Jacob inherited land and farm animals.
I give to my welbeloved [sic] son Jacob the Land & plantation whereon I now live lying on both sides Tarr River, together with Six Cows and Calves Six Sows and Piggs [sic] & one breeding mare to him and his heirs forever.[ii]
Like his father, Jacob can be found in various counties in North Carolina because those county lines changed several times.
Jacob Alford was born on August 15, 1761 in Granville County, North Carolina. In 1764, without moving, three-year-old Jacob found himself living in Bute County. Bute was formed when Granville County split to make Bute County. In 1779 Jacob found himself living in Franklin County. Again, he had not moved. This time North Carolina had completely abolished Bute County and divided it into the counties of Franklin and Warren.[iii]
Jacob‘s father, Julius, had served in the North Carolina Militia during troubles with the Native Americans and Jacob served in the Revolutionary War, according to his grandson, Walter Edwin Tynes.
Only one record has been found detailing Jacob’s personal involvement in this war. In 1926 Jacob’s grandson Walter Edwin Tynes (son of Harriet Jane Alford Tynes) wrote a diary referring to his great-grandfather as a ‘Revolutionary Patriot’. Jacob was only fourteen years old when the Revolutionary War began, but he was twenty-two years old when it ended.[iv]
It is likely that Jacob Alford did have a role in the war when we look at North Carolina’s military involvement in obtaining independence from Great Britain. The state legislature established a state militia. All free white males between the ages of 16 and 50 were obligated to serve. Unfortunately no accurate muster rolls of the militia were kept during the war. Additionally there were artillery and horse companies that were paid, armed and maintained by the state. There were also ten regiments of the Continental army formed in North Carolina.[v]Jacob remained in North Carolina through the war and through the early days of the formation of our national government.
Jacob married twice while still in North Carolina. He first married circa 1785 to Elizabeth Bryant (b 20 June 1765)[vi]. They had three children: Needham Judge Alford (b 12 July 1789 NC), Sarah (Alford) Pierce (b c 1791 NC) and Edwin Barksdale Alford (b 25 November 1792 NC). Elizabeth died about 1792.[vii] Our direct ancestor, Edwin, would not have remembered his mother. He was raised by his stepmother, Frances Seaborn (b 29 September 1766 VA).[viii]Jacob married Frances soon after Elizabeth’s death, most likely because he had three children who needed a mother. Jacob and Frances had several children together. Their first child, Lucy (Alford) Maines b c 1793, was born in North Carolina.[ix]
Whether Jacob Alford was looking for adventure, economic improvement or a fresh start in life, he was motivated to move further south, moving his family to Georgia. In 1788 Georgia had become the fourth of the United States of America. Georgia was a state-land state in which land was distributed first by the governor and then through land courts established from 1783 to 1909.[x]Jacob and family were probably in Georgia for less than ten years.
By 1795 they had migrated to Montgomery County, Georgia. Jacob moved to Georgia with other Alford families, his brothers Job and Goodrich Alford and his first cousins James and Julius Alford.[xi]
Jacob settled his family in Montgomery County, Georgia. In 1798 he paid taxes there for 143 acres of ‘swamp land’.[xii]Three more children were born to Jacob and Frances in Georgia: Julius C. Alford (b c 1798), William Alford (b 1804) and Nancy (Alford) Berryhill (b c 1805).[xiii]Jacob did not remain there long, continuing to move further south.[xiv]
Jacob Alford had moved from Cumberland County, NC, to Georgia about the turn of the century. He was granted 450 acres of land in Montgomery County, Georgia, in February 1802. He apparently stayed in Georgia until 1806, when his name disappeared from the records there.[xv]
Jacob Alfordleft Georgia and settled in the Louisiana Territory before it became a state. In 1803 the United States, under President Thomas Jefferson and assisted by the U. S. Minister to France, Robert R. Livingston, purchased 828 square miles of land that doubled the size of our country. TheLouisiana Territory stretched from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north. Part or all of 15 states were eventually created from the land deal. Western expansion into this new area began immediately. In 1804 a territorial government was formed. In 1812 the first state in the territory was formed, the state of Louisiana.[xvi]
Jacob and family lived in the area.
By 1807 he was in the area known as Spanish West Florida, where his twin sons were born. He was given head rights on over 600 acres. The northern boundary of his property was the line between the Mississippi Territory and Spanish West Florida. The eastern boundary was the Bogue Chitto River.[xvii]
This area would later become Wamerton, Washington Parish, Louisiana.[xviii]According to the Alford American Family Association Jacob and his family wanted the boundary between states drawn so that their land would be in Mississippi rather than Louisiana.
Had our ancestors in Washington Parish gotten their way we would be writing about families of a prominent southern Mississippi County now rather than a Louisiana Parish. Around 1811 about 200 of the men of the area, including our Jacob Alford, his son Needham Alford and son-in-law William Maines signed a petition to congress asking that the area be made a part of Mississippi. Most of the early settlers came from Georgia and the Carolinas and were of English descent and preferred to be a part of similar Mississippi rather than a part of Louisiana which was largely French speaking. After all, just seven years prior Louisiana was part of France.[xix]
The 1812 tax list included Jacob Alford and wife as one man, one woman and nine children. He was taxed on two horses and 21 ‘stock cattle’.[xx]
Four children were born to the family in Louisiana. Twins, John Seaborn Alford and Seaborn John Alford, were born 11 October 1807. Joseph W. Alford was born circa 1816 and Martha (Alford) Stovall was born circa 1820.[xxi]These children were young when Jacob died 16 July 1824.[xxii]
There was a difference of opinion in our Alford family as to where Jacob was buried. Two of Jacob’s great-grandsons Claude Alford and Glenn A. Alford maintained that Jacob was buried in an unmarked grave in the Brock Cemetery in Pike County, Mississippi. In 1984 these descendants felt so strongly about this they placed a sign in the cemetery marking his grave. I visited the Brock Cemetery in June of 1996, and all that remained of the sign was the iron stake. Other members of the family claimed Jacob was buried in a grave at the Louisiana/Mississippi border on land he once owned in Washington Parish. Pat Brock Smith, a descendant of Jacob who presently lives close to the Brock Cemetery, remembers, as a child, her aunt Thelma Smith (also a descendant of Jacob’s) showing her what she believed was Jacob’s grave. Pat said her aunt took her by the Brock Cemetery, by some crape myrtle trees, and then down a path for fifty feet or so to an area that was grown up with weeds. Here she was shown some sandstone rock markers, one of which was supposedly Jacob’s grave. Since this time, according to Pat, the land had been cleared by hired help or loggers, and it was impossible to know exactly where the old sandstone markers once were.[xxiii]
In the 1830 US Census Frances ‘Franky’ B. Alford is listed in Bogue Chitto. She was a widow by that time.[xxiv]Her death date is unknown.
[i]Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage[Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005) 27.
[ii]“Will of Julius Alford,” The Alford American Family Association(alfordassociation.org: accessed June 2017) AAFA Wills.
[iii]Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage[Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005) 27.
[iv]Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage[Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005) 27.
[v]Powell, William S., North Carolina Through Four Centuries(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989) 190 – 191.
[vi]“US and International Marriage records, 1560 – 1900,” Ancestry(ancestry.com. Accessed May 2017). Jacob Alford m. Elizabeth Bryant.
[vii]Conerly, Luke Ward, and E. Russ Williams, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi 1798 – 1910 and Misc. Legal and Family Records Pertaining to the Areas of Pike and Walthall Counties, MS(Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978) 92 – 98.
[viii]“US and International Marriage Records, 1560 – 1900,” Ancestry(ancestry.com. Accessed May 2017) Jacob Alford m. Frances Seaborn.
[ix]‘The Alford American Family Association,Alford Genealogies(alfordassociation.org: accessed 2016).
[x]“Georgia Land and Property,” Family Search Wiki(familysearch.org. Accessed 2017).
[xi]Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage[Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005) 36.
[xii]Descendants of Jacob Alford; AAFA Genealogies, 2008; The Alford American Family Association (alfordassociation.org: accessed May 2018).
[xiii]‘The Alford American Family Association,Alford Genealogies(alfordassociation.org: accessed 2016).
[xiv]Conerly, Luke Ward, and E. Russ Williams, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi 1798 – 1910 and Misc. Legal and Family Records Pertaining to the Areas of Pike and Walthall Counties, MS(Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978)95.
[xv]Heard, Ruby Alford and Gil Alford, Early Mississippi Alfords(AAFA Action III 1990) 35.
[xvi]‘Louisiana Purchase’, History Channel.com.
[xvii]Heard, Ruby Alford and Gil Alford, “Early Mississippi Alfords.” (AAFA Action III 1990) 35.
[xviii]Conerly, Luke Ward, and E. Russ Williams, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi 1798 – 1910 and Misc. Legal and Family Records Pertaining to the Areas of Pike and Walthall Counties, MS(Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978)95.
[xix]The Alford American Family Association,Alford Genealogies(alfordassociation.org: accessed 2016).
[xx]Williams, E. R., A Potpourri of Historical Data Concerning the Founding Families and Individuals of Washington Parish, Louisiana, 1798 – 1860(Monroe, LA: Northeast Louisiana University, 1990) 1.
[xxi]The Alford American Family Association,Alford Genealogies(alfordassociation.org: accessed 2016).
[xxii]The Alford American Family Association,Alford Genealogies(alfordassociation.org: accessed 2016).
[xxiii]Saunders, C. A., My Alford Heritage[Limited Edition] (Texas: Morgan Printing, 2005) 38.
[xxiv]Williams, E. R., A Potpourri of Historical Data Concerning the Founding Families and Individuals of Washington Parish, Louisiana, 1798 – 1860(Monroe, LA: Northeast Louisiana University, 1990) 11.
- Luke Ward Conerly, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
- Alford American Family Association
- “My Alford Heritage” by Carolyn Alford Saunders.
- Heard, Ruby Alford, Gil Alford. “Early Mississippi Alfords.” AAFA Action: The Official Publication of the Alford American Family Association III (1990):p. 35
- Clawson, Alma Dell Magee. Fields of Bloom. Privately printed. 1972.
- Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
- Fortinberry, G. K. Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family. Privately Printed. 1942. Family History Center microfilm #1036152.