Monday, January 12, 2009

My Great Grandfather Richard L. "Dick", from Alabama and Texas

My maternal great-grandfather Richard L., nicknamed "Dick", was born on August 23, 1853 in Alabama to James Malachi (1830-1922) and Henrietta E. Williams (1828-1897). Dick's family came to Antrim Community in Anderson County, Texas about 1848-1849. His father served in the Confederate States of America Army for four years as a Private in Company K, 22nd Texas Infantry, from 1861-1865.

Dick's life began in Alabama, but he lived about the last 60 years of his life in Houston and Anderson Counties in east Texas as a farmer, mostly in the rural area southwest of Palestine and Elkhart, in a community called Antrim where he and his wife Mary raised their nine children.

By 1870, Dick moved with his family to Houston County, Precinct 5, near Grapeland, Texas. The nearest post office was at Crockett, Texas. Dick, 17, was a farmer, along with his father, James Malachi, 45,  his older brother, John Williams, 19, and younger brother, Benjamin "Bennie" S., 15. His youngest brother, James Frank, was 10. The father's real estate was valued at $500.00 and personal estate was valued at $200.00.

Nancy Smith Williams (1810-1870), 59, born in Alabama, also lived with the family in 1870. She was Richard L. father's mother-in-law. Her daughter was Henrietta E. Williams. The Williams family arrived in the Antrim Community about 1850. 

In 1877, Dick, 24, married Mary Ellisor, 18, whose parents were Joshua Malachia (1833-1876) and Lucy Ann Chaffin Ellisor (1837-1908). By 1880, Dick, still a farmer, 26, moved with his wife Mary, 21, and two daughters, Linnie, 1, and Mary Etta, 6 months, to Anderson County near Elkhart, Texas to Antrim Community.

By 1900, Dick, farmer, 47, lived at Elkhart, Texas in District 8 Enumeration District, Justice Precinct 2, Voting Precinct 5, with his wife Mary and children, Linnie, 19, James, farm laborer 16, John Edward, farm laborer, 13, Luna Lenora, 10, Ethelinda, 8, Richard Lusky, 6, Bennie C., 3, and Nora Azalee, 1. Dick stated he was unemployed for 4 months. Daughter Mary Etta was not listed in the US 1900 Census.

By 1910, Dick, farmer, 56, lived with his wife Mary, and daughters Luna Lenora, public school teacher, 20, Ethelinda, 19, Richard Lusky., farm laborer, 17, and Nora Azalee, 16.

I am indebted to second cousin Ivey Maurice Brinson, whose grandmother was Linnie Simpson and whose great-grandfather was Richard L. "Dick".

Ivey Maurice's grandmother and my grandfather, Richard "Lusky", were older sister and younger brother. Maurice shared the photographs of Dick, Mary, and their descendants and information about the Antrim Community and School in Anderson County, and Antrim Cemetery in Houston County, Texas that he, his sister, and father helped to maintain for many years.

The story here is not documented with citations. However, correct and proper citations are located in my Ancestry Family Tree as well as in Legacy Family Tree. I photographed many Antrim Cemetery headstones in July, 2008.

The home of Richard L. "Dick" and Mary Ellisor, no known date, Antrim Community, Anderson County, Texas. From left to right: Richard L. "Dick", John Edward (known as John Ed), unidentified, and Robert "Rob" Little

Headstones of R. L. (August 23, 1853-February 7, 1917 or 1920) and Mary (December 30, 1858 or 1859-1943) at Antrim Cemetery  Houston County, Texas. 

Left photograph: Richard "Lusky", (1893-1978), my grandfather; John Edward "Ed" (1886- ), Gramma Mary Ellisor (1858 or 1859-1943), Mary "Etta" (1880-1950), "Luna" Lenora (1889-1971), Ethelinda "Ethel" (1891-1965, and "Nora" Azalee (1898-1964).

Center photograph: Jasper Simpson (1861-1942) and his wife Linnie Simpson (1878-1924), Ivey Maurice Brinson's grandmother, on their wedding day in 1900.

Right photograph: "Luna" Lenora, Richard "Lusky", my grandfather, and Ethelinda "Ethel", no known date.

Antrim Community School Children in 1920, Anderson County, Texas. Fourteen of the children were mine and Ivey Maurice Brinson's ancestors.

Note: I recall my mother, Opal "Murriel" Hollingsworth and her sister, my aunt Nora "Azalee" Snow talking about their relatives and calling them by these names: Aunt (pronounced "Aint") Etta, Aunt "Aint" Ethel, and Uncle Ed. I recall when I was a child that I visited most of these relatives, but did not realize the significance of asking questions about their lives. The only one I know to ask now is my second cousin Ivey Maurice Brinson, whose mother told him many stories about his ancestors.


  1. You made my day.Please let me know more.I have finally mellowed with age and want my 2 sons and grandkids to no about thrir heritage.Yours Truly, Gary Simpson address>837 ACR 2915 Palestine,Tx. 75803 Cell#903-391-4836>Home# 903-538-2819>>Email/

  2. I want to correct the name of my grandfather, Jasper Simpson..Someone listed his middle name as Troy but it was Toney..When he was 25 he married a lady named Mary Jane Payne..She was half Cherokee..They married in Washinton County, Alabama in 1886..Heard they had kids together but not sure or if they even divorced before he came to Texas on horseback..After settling in Anderson County he married Linnie Gray Simpson and my father Jasper Rucker Simpson was born in Grapeland..


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