A to Z Challenge – J is for James C Howington

Blogging from A to Z April 2013 Challenge

J is for James C Howington 

James was my 3rd great grandfather. He was born in Wake County, NC on 15 Jan 1823 to Nimrod Howington and Milbury Bradley.  He was the second born of thirteen children. He was 5′ 11″ and had auburn hair and gray/blue eyes.

At some point, he ended up in Sumter Co, AL and married Amelia “Ann” Smith on 24 Sept 1843. His son also married a Smith (my great great grandparents), and I heard through family members that she was a Choctaw Indian. The Indians were all but run out of MS and AL in the 1830s following the signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. The ones who stayed changed their names to assimilate into the white European culture. They chose names like Smith, so there is a good chance Amelia was an Indian also.

By 1850, they had taken up residence in Newton Co, MS and had ten children before the start of the Civil War. James signed up with the 5th Mississippi Infantry, Co. A, on 7 July 1862. He was captured 15 Jun 1864 and held prisoner at Rock Island, Illinois. When the war ended, he returned home and they had two more children.

james c howington pow

His great grandparents (my 6th greats) were Robert and Mary Morris. I’ll let you look them up yourself, but it is proof we have been here in the U.S. for a very long time. Oh, all right, I know you won’t go look. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. You’ll go look now, won’t you? Yeah, that was my pappy. We seem to have a rebellious streak in our family.howington james c great grandparents robert and mary morris

James died around 1880 at the age of 57 and is buried in Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, a few miles from his home.

howington James C Howington Headstone

23 responses to “A to Z Challenge – J is for James C Howington

  1. wow my brain can’t keep up with all the great great grandparents relations in this post, I might have to draw a diagram but it is pretty fascinating to be able to trace family routes back that far

    • Poke,
      Sometimes I DO have to draw a diagram. Everyone in the South is so close-knit, they are all married to somebody else’s sibling or cousin. It’s hard to keep track. At one point, I found my grandpa’s little sister had married my grandma’s uncle. That made my grandma’s uncle also my momma’s uncle. Ugh. Welcome to the South! 🙂

  2. How lovely to have this record of your family! Thank you – it was interesting and I enjoyed it! How proud you must be that he was one of the first signers of the Declaration of Independence!

    • Susan, it kind of makes you stand taller when people are nasty. You almost want to look them in the eye and brag that the only reason they are allowed to be jerks is because of Your great grandfather, then tell them to Back Off. 🙂

    • I’ve been struggling over the Choctaw line for such a long time. There are no records. I did find an Indian Census record at the right time in the right area loaded with crazy names like Ah-ka-tah-mee-mah, but can’t make heads or tails of how they chose new names like Smith to assimilate. I have some Smith grandmothers who appeared out of thin air, and I know THAT’S not possible, unless they were Choctaw and had no prior records.
      Good luck in your research. 🙂

  3. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – M is for Morris | a day in the life of patootie

  4. Somehow I stumbled upon your blog while doing some genealogy research. James C Howington is also my 3rd great grandpa through Nancy Adeline Howington. Did you come across that name? I am enjoying reading this history! Where do you get all of these details? This is amazing!

    • Hi Jill! Always nice to meet a new cousin. Yes, I’ve seen Nancy’s name. I have her headstone picture if you don’t have it. Email me at loricraneauthor@gmail and I’ll get it to you. I also have all the military records for James C. I have the family traced to James C’s dad, Nimrod, but everything after that is sketchy. I researched more on the Morris family, and I’m leaning away from them being James C’s great grandparents. Supposedly they had a daughter who married into the Howington family, but if you look her up, you’ll see she never married a Howington. It’s a never-ending task to trace our ancestors.

      • Hi Lori, yes it is! My grandmother told me a story recently how her great grandfather had been a prisoner in the war, which was James. She said it took him a year to walk home and that everyone thought he had died!

        I just had to call her and read your blog to her. She loved it! Her mother, Virginia, was a member of the Pleasant Grove Baptist church. She was a Breland and married a McCullough also from Newton County and they moved to Texas in the early 1900s and we are still here!

      • I can’t even imagine walking from Illinois to Mississippi. How horrible that must have been.

        My great grandma was Mary Elizabeth Howington Burke. The only one of her siblings still alive is Edward Olen “Popeye” Burke. He’s in his 80s now but probably has lots of family stories if you want to track him down. He lives in Little Rock, Mississippi. Maybe your grandma even knows where he is. I guess that would be her cousin (son of John Thomas Howington, Nancy’s little brother).

        We have a million family members at Pleasant Grove – Howington, Burke, Goforth, Combs, Cooksey, Arledge – all married into the family. If you think about it, ask your grandmother if she knows anything about the burial place for James C’s wife. There’s an empty space next to him, but no stone. I wondered if anyone knew for sure if she was there, and perhaps we should buy her a marker.

  5. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – U is for U.S. Military | a day in the life of patootie

  6. Hi Lori, I will be sure to ask my grandmother. That’s strange about the grave.
    Did you ever find any details on Amelia, like who her parents are? BTW, your blog is very inspiring!

  7. Looks like her father was Armstrong Smith. Don’t know who the mother was. I’ll copy and paste an email I found on rootsweb. I only know what’s in it and no more. Haven’t really taken the time to search further. Perhaps it’ll point you in the right direction.
    From: “Harold Graham”
    Subject: Re: [MISSISSIPPI] Benjamin Howington and descendants
    Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 22:27:22 -0500
    Bobbye, I am working on a file to send to you; however, some quick answers:

    1. Pleasant Grove Cemetery is in Newton County (not Neshoba)
    2. Sophie Dansby, age 5, was living in Beat 2, Newton County, Mississipppi,
    in 1880.
    2. James C. Howington md. Amelia Ann Elizabeth Smith in Sumter County, AL,
    on 24 Sept 1843 and moved to Newton County after the birth of their
    first child. They settled in the Battlefield/Duffee area near the Neshoba County
    3. Elizabeth, as she is usually called, was the daughter of Armstrong Smith
    and his first wife, unknown at this time. Armstrong married (2) 1835,
    Sumter County, AL, to Brazila Erial. She is shown with Armstrong in the 1850 Federal Census of Sumter County, AL, no ages given. She is shown in 1880 as living with her step-daughter Elizabeth Howington in Newton County.
    4. Benjamin D. Howington was one of the sons of James and Elizabeth Smith
    Howington and married (1) 1/9/1878, Newton County, Mississippi, Cannie
    Baker who appears on the 1900 Federal Census but apparently died in that

    Harold Graham, Ed. D.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: “Bobbye Davis”
    Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 8:58 AM
    Subject: [MISSISSIPPI] Benjamin Howington and descendants

    > Harold,
    > I do have one connection to the Howington’s through my Dansby line.
    > Do you have amy information on this Benjamin Howington? Was Elizabeth on
    > the 1880 Newton Co. Census his mother and was Cammie his first wife?
    > I wish someone on this lisy knew how to contact Sandra Elaine Howington.I
    > do not know who she is maried to.
    > Descendants of Benjamin Howington
    > 1 Benjamin Howington d: 1916
    > . +Sophie Margaret Dansby b: 29 Nov 1875 in House,Neshoba Co.
    > Mississippi m: Abt. 1913 in Neshoba Co. Mississippi d: 21 Dec 1970 in Philadelphia,
    > Neshoba Co.Mississippi Burial: Dec 1970 Pine Grove Baptist Cemetery,
    > House,Nesboba Co. Mississippi Father: Franklin Sylvester Dansby Mother:
    > Mary Elizabeth Threatt
    > …2 Leo Herman Howington b: Feb 1914 in Mississippi d: 16
    > Mar 1984 in Corpus Christi,Nueces Co. Texas Burial: Mar 1984 Memory Gardens Cemetery,Corpus Christi Nueces Co. Texas
    > +Dorothy Grove b: 14 Oct 1918 in Meridan,Lauderdale Co.
    > Mississippi m: in Columbus, Franklin Co. Ohio d: 01 Dec 1973 in Corpus
    > Christi,Nueces Co. Texas Burial: 03 Dec 1973 Memory Gardens
    > Cemetery,Corpus Christi Nueces Co. Texas
    > …….3 Sandra Elaine Howington b: 25 Jul 1940 in
    > Columbus, Franklin Co. Ohio >

  8. Hi Lori – I’m told that I’m descended from Robert Morris through his son Robert; his son and grandson also named Robert. Supposedly the grandson had a daughter, Rebecca Florence Morris Sample (m. Charles Woodworth Sample). I have a cousin who has been doing research and has some documents, but I’ve been unable to meet with her. In my research that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I don’t see any mention of a Rebecca Morris – that is the missing link. Thank you for your time.

    • I’ve gone back and forth about whether my ancestor is Robert Morris or not. I’ve seen some compelling evidence, but every single time I try to verify the details, they just don’t add up. I think Morris was a common name. I also think many before us have fudged their information. Good luck in your genealogy. It’s an exciting journey!!

      • Thanks Lori – It has been fun reading all of the stories and history. I’ll let you know what happens. I don’t think it adds up, but a story must have been passed down somehow. Perhaps we’re just related and not descended from him.

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