Except where the sources are listed, some of the data in this history has not been proven by documentation and should not be taken as fact until proven! Please verify the sources on your own and make your own judgment!
James Paul Grace
his book report is the results of many years of hard work and research and will be freely given to any Grace family members or other interested parties that request a copy. It is my desire that, as you read it, you will be inspired to take up the research where I have left off and carry it on down through the future generations. I am by no means giving up the research but will continue tracing our ancestors back as far as possible.
Many have wondered why I am doing it. They find it hard to understand why anyone can be interested in what happened years ago. I have no real answer, at least an answer anyone would understand, except as the Psalmist David in the Bible said, "That I might know myself". I have a desire to know who I am and why I am what I am, if that makes any sense. I know that my characteristics came from my ancestors and after spending years researching my family history I know that it has helped me to better know my self.
In addition to these family history files, I have written a book on my Memoirs. In these memoirs, I have attempted to put all my memories of my growing up years into words. It is near completion and when it is finished, it will be distributed to family members upon request.
As you read your family history keep in mind it has been proven by facts and documents whenever possible, but facts were not always available, therefore a lot of this family history has not been proven with documents. My desire was to include as many names, birth dates and children as I can find but I have not had access to all the information I need. If you find any mistakes or names and dates missing, please mark the corrections in the margins, remove the sheet from this book and return the page and I will enter the corrections and return a new page to you.
I have had help from many sources and have found many cousins I never knew I had. My thanks go out to you all for sharing your research with me. I have heard from distant relatives from all across the United States and many parts of the world, from New York to California, and from Scotland, England and South Africa. Thank you all so very much for your contributions.
I have tried to make this history more easily read and understood by eliminating all the sibling branches that make family history documents so hard to read. I included only the direct Grace line from the oldest ascendant that I have found down to the present day generation.
I have on file a more complicated complete history of all the descendants of John Grace consisting of nearly 4000 names, all related in one way or another. Included in this complete history is an Index of all the names listed in alphabetical order and a history of all the children and their offspringís. These files are available upon request to any family member that wishes to see your particular Grace line.
I have not included any documents, pictures or sources of information although I have many such documents in my possession such as land records, census reports, and copies of old history books, newspaper articles and many other items that I have collected over the years.
No part of this Grace family history book may be sold for profit without written permission by its author and owner James Paul Grace nor shall it be donated to any organization that will sell the information for profit. It may not be changed in any way except for provisions made in paragraph four above. However, it may be used free of charge by anyone for genealogy purposes.
Author, James Paul Grace
1879 S. 500 E.
Mill Creek, IN 46365
Phone 219-369 9924
nlike the Biblical phrase where we know that in the beginning there was God, The Walker County, Alabama Grace's seem to have no beginning, at least not one that this author has found, so the search will go on, even if, seemingly, there is no records of them anywhere. This author is confident that some day, somewhere, a clue will turn up that will open the door and reveal the origin of the first Grace.
There are several versions of the origin of the 'Grace' name it's self. One of this author's favorite versions is a handwritten document of research that was done by, (author unknown,) that was left unclaimed at the LDS Family History Center of Birmingham, Alabama and sent to this author by a cousin, Patsy Clayton of Birmingham.
The document states that around 1184 AD, in Ireland, Raymond Fitzwilliam, who was the eldest son of William Fitzgerald, (one of the sons of Strongbow,) got the name 'Raymond Le Gros' because of his great size and strength. The name stuck with the family until many years later when Raymond Le Gros's descendents changed the name to 'Grace'.
According to the document, the Graces were Barons of Courtown and held extensive territories in County Kilkenny, Ireland, called 'Grace Country'. The Graces lost their hereditary Estates in the War of the Revolution. John Grace, the last Baron of Courtown, forfeited 30,000 acres of land in County Kilkenny for his adherence to King James ll.
There are some earlier researchers that dispute some of the above, they say that Raymond Le Grosí had no Male offspring therefore the Graceís could not have descended from him.
rom early History there were nine Graces that emigrated to Maryland over a 14 years span from years 1658 to 1672, anyone of them may very well prove to be the start of the Walker County, Alabama Grace line. Following is a short history of this early Maryland.
History shows that Barons were granted large tracts of land in America. A proprietary form of government was then established, and since all this land was useless without people to work it, these owners set up conditions for immigrants to settle on free land.
A certain amount of land was given to those furnishing their own transportation to America, (this was called immigrated status) or anyone furnishing transportation for others, (called transported status.) Landowners sometimes transported immigrants as a servant with a contract to work for a specified amount of time to pay back the cost of their transportation, (this was called indentured servant status.) Usually after the contract was satisfied, the landowners gave the indentured servants some money and/or land and other items to start their own livelihood.
The first Grace that is known to this author to own land in Maryland was Henry Grace who was transported as a servant in 1652. William Grace, under a transported status without a contract to serve, followed him six years later in 1658. Another William was transported in 1660, perhaps a son or a father of the first William.
In 1665 two more Graces came, Michael and John. John Grace came as a servant and in 1666 after one year of service to work out his contract, he was granted 50 acres of land. That same year it appears his wife Ann came to America to join him. It is not clear if she was granted any land. John's Will is mentioned in the book, "Maryland's Calendar of Wills", Vol. # 1, page 120. Date of the Will's writing was 10 January 1675 and was probated 21 March 1675. John made his wife Ann the Exex. and sole Legatee. The Will was filed in St. Marys County, Maryland. John also witnessed a signing of the Will of John Piper on 23 Oct. 1674 in St Marys County
Michael Grace had to work out two years of service and in 1667, he was also granted 50 acres of land. Two more William Graces, one in 1667 and the other in 1672, followed Michael. 'Ol' Nathaniel Grace came to America in 1673. Another Nathaniel Grace that came to Maryland in the first half of the 1700' is a very likely candidate for the Walker County Grace lines.
If this authors line of Walker County, Alabama Graces descended from Maryland, then it would probably be from one of the Graces above. Of these nine Graces, the most likely candidate would be John Grace. He came in 1665 and was joined by his wife, Ann, a year later in 1666.
Early Graces of Virginia
here is an equal possibility of the Walker County Graces descending from Immigrants that first came to Virginia. There were George and Robert Grace that came in 1635. Roger Grace came in 1637 and another George in 1639, however, these four Graces are not likely to be connected directly to the Walker County Graces because first names were generally handed down from one generation to the other as an honorary thing, and there are no George, Roger or Robert's in the Walker county line of Graces.
Then there was 'Ol' William Grace and his wife Ann who came to Westmoreland County, Virginia about 1746 and another William that came in 1747.
The best choices of these two are William and Ann of Virginia. Their descendents migrated from Virginia to Delaware to North and South Carolina and to Greene County, Georgia where this author's great, great Grandfather John Grace was born. Even though, at the time of this writing, there is no connection tying these two Greene County Graces together, it is assumed that they are connected and this is indeed the Walker County Grace line.
In the following pages is the history of the Walker County; Graces as far back as they have been traced and proved, starting with the unknown parents of this author's great, great grandparents, John Grace and his wife, Mary Polly Caldwell.
By James Paul Grace
(Information about earlier generations is desperately needed.)
Generation No. 1
OHN GRACE, this author's great, great grandfather whose parents are unknown, was born October 3, 1798 in Greene County, Georgia, and died Nov 16, 1889 in Walker County, Alabama. He is buried at Tubbs Graveyard, southwest of Jasper, Alabama. He married MARY (POLLY) CALDWELL before 1824 in Georgia. She was born about 1802 in Georgia, and died after 1890 in Walker County, Alabama. Polly is a nickname for Mary. According to the 1880 census, Polly's Father & Mother was also born in Georgia. Although many researchers has Caldwell listed as a surname for Polly, this author has found no record to prove that Caldwell is her last name.
The only record that has been found that John was born October 3, 1798 in Greene County, Georgia, came from Johnís signed oath where he listed his birth as 3 Oct 1798 in Greene County, Georgia. This was when he signed the 1867 Voting Registration Loyalty Oaths and Individual Pardons of Walker County, Alabama, which was an oath that had to be signed and sworn to, following the Civil War in order for southerners to vote in the elections. However listed elsewhere below is a list of six documented records that places his birth year on, or about, 1798.
Johnís gravestone shows his birth date as February 14, 1789. This author tends not to accept this date as fact because he would have been over 100 years old when he died, which is possible but not very likely and since the Loyalty Oath shows the Greene County birthplace and date signed by his own hand, it is more believable.
Other sources show that John was born near Zebulon in Pike County, Georgia 14 Feb 1789, (the same date on his gravestone,) it is not very likely that he was born there because this was 33 years before Pike County existed. The area was Indian occupied at that time and is highly unlikely that any settlers were living anywhere near there in 1789.
No records have been found of John between his 1798 birth in Greene County and the 1830 census record of Pike County. He may have been in Tattnall County part of this time period.
They first showed up in Pike County in the 1830 Census and this author believe they came to Pike County after the Indian lands were opened up to settlers in the latter 1820ís. Whether they were married and came to Pike County together or married after they came is unknown but this author believes they were married before coming to the area and may have had their firstborn son Daniel with them when they came. As of the date of this printing no record of their marriage has been found
We know by census reports that John and Polly were natives of Pike County, Georgia, John having come from a family of farmers, although he was a basket maker in later years, (see the 1880 census,) probably because his old age limited him from any physical labor. They lived most of their early and middle marriage years in Pike County, Georgia and from what can be determined, all their children, with the possible exception of their firstborn, Daniel, were born in Pike County. John was about 26 when his first child Daniel was born about 1824 and about 47 years old when Richard Young, his last child was born.
Around 1859 John and most of his family moved to Walker County near Jasper, Alabama. How the family knew about Jasper is not known, however, what is known is that at the age of about 61 and after living most of his life in Georgia he, with his wife Polly along with most of their children, with the exception their 2nd son William, packed up and moved from Pike County, Georgia to Walker County, Alabama. They settled near the small community of Jasper where John entered Government land with 120.83 acres located a few miles south west of Jasper and what is now McCollum, between highway 69 and the old Tuscaloosa road, (land records and maps are in this author possession.)
Jasper was first settled in 1815 and was named after a Revolutionary war Sergeant. It was only a small community of less then 200 populations when the Graces decided to settle there in 1859. It did not become an incorporated town until 1888, 29 years after John and his family moved to the area.
The land they settled on was made up of 80.6 acres in the South 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of Section 30, Township 14 South, Range 7 West and an adjoining 40.23 acres in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 31, Township 14, and Range 7 West.
This author has a copy of the land deed that shows the signing was dated April 1, 1859. It is quite possible that one or more family members came earlier and located land but this is purely speculation, there is nothing showing that they did this. Three of Johnís sons, Joshua B., James Andrew and Daniel W. also moved onto Government lands in the surrounding area.
Many sources show conflicting birth dates for John. These sources sets his birth date anywhere from 1787 to 1789. As mentioned above, his Gravestone at Tubb's Cemetery shows the birth date as Feb 14, 1789 but this date is believed to be incorrect.
The following are six proven documents that this author believes will show the above dates to be incorrect and confirms the year 1798 to be the correct date. It is further assumed that the date on the Gravestone is in error and most of the other conflicting dates were taken from the gravestone and published by other researchers as facts.
The 1787-1789 dates are believed to be the wrong birth dates for the following reasons.
1: The 1867 Voting Registration Loyalty Oaths Individual Pardons, Walker County, Alabama, an oath that had to be signed, following the Civil War, in order to vote in the elections was sworn to by John Grace listing his birth as 3 Oct 1798 in Greene County, Georgia.
2: From the files of The Southern Claims Commission, Nov 1871, John was a witness to a claim filed by James Dutton where James asked for compensation for goods taken from him by Union Soldiers in the Civil War. John Testified under oath and stated his age as 73. This would also make his birth year 1798.
3: The 1880 census of Walker County, Alabama list his birth year about 1798.
4: The 1866 census of Walker County, Alabama list it between 1796 and 1806.
5: The 1860 census of Walker County, Alabama list it as 1797/1798.
6; The 1850 census of Pike County, Georgia list John's age as 61, this would place the year about 1798.
The 1860 census of Walker County, Alabama, Western division June 12, 1860, family # 18, list,
John Grace, age 63, Male, Farmer, born in Georgia. (This would make his birth year 1797-1798)
Mary Grace, age 58, Female. (This would make her birth year about 1802)
Nathaniel Grace, age 18, Male, Farmer
Richard Young Grace, age 15, Male, Farmer
The 1866 Census of Walker County, Alabama, page 19, list a
John Grace and 1 Female, both between the age of 60 and 70, (making their birth year between 1796 and 1806.)
This 1866 census also listed, two of John's sons living in the same neighborhood, Nathaniel Grace with 1 female (no Children), both of their ages between 20 and 30 and, James Grace ages 30-40 with 1 female age 20-30 and 2 male children under age 10.
The 1880 census of Walker County, Alabama, page 10, Enumeration District #280, Beat # 1, Township 14, list a
John Grace Sr. age 82, (making his birth year 1798,) born in Georgia, father and mother was born in Maryland. His occupation was basket maker. His wife Mary, age 78, born in Georgia, father and mother born in Georgia, occupation, housewife, no one else was living in the household.
The inscription on John's gravestone at Tubb's cemetery reads exactly as follows, including the wrap around words. Note that if these dates were correct John would have been 100 years and 9 months old at death.
THE 14 IN
1789 & DIED
NOV 16 1889
On Polly's, gravestone at Tubb's cemetery the inscription reads exactly as follows, including the wrap around words.
189 (The last digit of the year was not legible.)
Since the 1860, 1866 and the 1880 census list Mary Polly's birth year as 1802 it will be assumed until farther proven that her birth is wrong on the Gravestone also.
John and Polly had nine boys and one girl.
1: DANIEL GRACE was the oldest, he was born about 1824 in Georgia, it is presumed in Pike County but there is no record to prove this. Daniel married Salina HILL OR HALL.
Land records show that Daniel W. GRACE entered government land in Walker County, Alabama south west of Jasper on October 1, 1860. The land description is as follows. The SW1/4 of the SW1/4 of Section Four (4) and the SE1/4 of the SE1/4 of Section Five (5) in Township Fifteen (15) of Range Eight West (8West). This is assumed to be the same Daniel, son of John and Polley Grace. It is also assumed that Daniel came to Alabama the same time as his parents
2: WILLIAM GRACE, was born about 1826 in Georgia.
Notes for WILLIAM GRACE: It is speculated that William never came to Alabama and that he lived near Rome, Georgia, however, no record of this has been found.
3: JOHN GRACE, JR. was born about 1828 in Georgia. He died in Walker County, Alabama. John married HANNAH CULPEPPER, about 1854 in Georgia; Hannah was born November 15, 1835 in Georgia and died May 17, 1887 in Walker Co, Alabama.
Notes for JOHN GRACE: Some researchers show John first lived in Pickens County, (assumed to be Georgia) and came to Walker County, Alabama from Pickins County shortly after the civil war, which ended in 1865. This may have come to Pickins County, Alabama. According to the birth dates of his children. John Jr. was living in Georgia until some times after his son Joseph was born there in 1866. All his children before this were born in Georgia and those after 1867 were born in Walker County, Alabama. This would make his move around 1866/1867.
4: JAMES ANDREW GRACE was born February 11, 1833 in Zebulon, Pike County, Georgia. He died August 2, 1914 at Parrish in Walker County, Alabama and was buried in Tubbs cemetery; He married EMILY ODOM on January 26, 1860 in Walker County, Alabama. Emily was born March 5, 1840 in either Pike or Coweta County, Georgia; She died July 9, 1925 at Oakman in Walker County, Alabama and is buried in Tubbs cemetery.
Notes for JAMES ANDREW GRACE: He came to Walker County (probably with John Sr.) about 1859 and settled on government land near Jasper.
This author has land records showing James moved onto government land about the same time and in the same general area, near Jasper where his father and brothers moved.
The land description is as follow's. The SE1/4 of the NW1/4 and the W1/2 of the SW1/4 and the NE1/4 of the SW1/4 of Section Thirty Six (36) in Township Fourteen, Range Eight West.
The following information (in part) about James Andrew came from the book, "History of Walker County, Alabama" by John Martin Dombhart. It lists the following four sources. (Census of Confederate Soldiers 1907, Mountain Eagle 1914, Grace Family Record, and Gravestones)
"James Andrew Grace, a son of John and Mary Polly (Caldwell) Grace, was born 2-11-1833, in Zebulon, Pike County, Georgia. He came to Walker County About 1859 and settled near Jasper. In the fall of 1862 he enlisted at Jasper as a private in County B, 10th Alabama Cavalry under Captain Whatley, and served until the close of the war."
"Returning to Walker County., Alabama he farmed until his death on Aug 02, 1914. He is buried in the Tubb Graveyard."
"He was a Free Will Baptist preacher and desired to be buried in a home made coffin and that his bible be buried with him, his wish was granted. He was married to Emily Odom, a daughter of James & Mary E. (Odom) Odom. She was born in Georgia on March 05, 1840 and died Jul 09, 1925. She is also buried in the Tubb graveyard."
James is buried beside his wife Emily (Odom) Grace at Tubbs Graveyard. The inscription on his gravestone after his name reads as follows, PVT, CO B, 10th AL CAV, and Confederate States Army.
Some sources show Emily was born March 5, 1840 in Coweta, GA.
5. SOLINA OR SALINA GRACE was born about 1834 in Georgia, presumed in Pike County, she married JOHN K. KNIGHT on December 26, 1849 in Pike County, Georgia; John was born on October 15, 1824 in Newton County, Georgia.
Notes for SOLINA OR SALINA GRACE: per the Pike County, Georgia Marriages from 1822 to 1850, her given name was Sabina B Grace
6. JOSHUA (JOSH) BENTON GRACE, this authors great grand-father, was born March 2, 1834 in Upson County, Georgia and died May 16, 1875, Walker County, Alabama. He is buried at Davis cemetery. He married MARY ANN ADCOCK on September 21, 1856 in Paulding County, Georgia. Mary was born December 16, 1838, Georgia and died October 21, 1923 in Walker County at Route #1, Oakman, Alabama.
7. JACKSON GRACE was born about 1836 in Smith County, Tennessee. This is confusing because no other reference to Tennessee is found in Johnís family. More research is needed.
8. THOMAS GRACE was born about 1837. He was in Pike County in the 1850 census of Pike County, Georgia. No other records have been found and more information is needed.
9. NATHAN PENNINGTON GRACE was born May 7, 1842 in Zebulon, Pike County, Georgia. he died January 7, 1913 in Walker County, Alabama possibly near Pleasant Grove and is buried at Tubbs cemetery; he married, (1) MISSOURI J. ODOM BONNER. Missouri was born in 1840; Nathan married, (2) MARTHA E. RANDOLPH on December 12, 1883 in Walker County, Alabama. Martha was born on September 19, 1840 in Georgia; she died on June 8, 1883 in Walker County Alabama and was buried in Tubb's Cemetery. Her grave is located on the south side, beside John Sr.ís grave.
Notes for NATHAN PENNINGTON GRACE: He came to Walker County about 1859, (probably with John Sr;) and settled near Jasper. His wife, Martha Randolph, was the sister of Jane (Randolph) Myers who was married to Nathan's brother, Richard Young Grace.
On Aug 20, 1861 he enlisted as 2nd Corpral, County 1, 50 ALA INF. under Captain Long and on Dec 20, 1863 re-enlisted in CO E 5 ALA Calvary under Captain J.T. White.
Civil war records from the 1st Alabama Calvary show Nathan Grace, born Pike County Georgia, a farmer enlisted as a PVT; on 3 / 21 / 1864 in Company 'G' at the age of 22. ?MI. 4/13/1864, Decatur, Alabama. He was promoted to Corp. on 5 / 1 / 1864. ?MO 10 / 20 / 1865, Huntsville, Alabama.
Notes for MISSOURI J. ODOM BONNER: She was the widow of James Bonner. Word has it that Missouri J Odom was very mean to Nathan Grace's children and they all left home at an early age
10. RICHARD YOUNG GRACE was born April 22, 1845 in Zebulon, Pike County, Georgia; and died April 18, 1915, in Monroe County, Mississippi; he married NANCY JANE RANDOLPH MYERS in Georgia. She was the widow of Richard Myers and a sister to Martha Randolph who was married to Richard's brother Nathan. Nancy was born on April 26, 1843, she died January 31, 1931.
Notes, (from an unknown source,) for RICHARD YOUNG GRACE: About 1876 Richard settled in Monroe County, Mississippi approximately Five miles east of Aberdean in what is now Lackey Community, his house is still standing and occupied. There is no record found if he first came to Walker County with his parents before moving to Mississippi but since he was only 15 at the time, it is assumed he did.
Generation No. 2
Joshua (Josh) Benton Grace was a descendant of John Grace and John Grace's unknown father. He was born March 2, 1834 in Upson County, Georgia, the adjoining county to the south of Pike County, which may have later become part of Pike County. Joshua died May 16, 1875 in Walker County, Alabama and was buried in Davis cemetery just north of Oakman, Alabama. He married Mary Ann Adcock when she was eighteen years old, on September 21, 1856 in Paulding County, Georgia. Mary was born December 16, 1838 in Georgia, she was the daughter of Edmund Adcock and Elizabeth Parks.
Joshuaís birthplace has not been proven with documentation. In the 1880 census of Walker County, Alabama, Joshua's son William Andrew list both his parents were born in South Carolina, however, his parents lived in Georgia at the time of his birth therefore the South Carolina birthplace is discounted.
Mary Ann died Oct 21, 1923 at the ripe old age of about 85. She was buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Walker County, Alabama, having lived in that community most of her married life. Mary lived about 48 years after her husband died and never re-married. Her age and birth date is in question but since most of the fact point to the birth and death dates above, they have been determined to be nearest to being correct.
Joshua Benton Grace was a Civil War veteran and those that knew called him Josh, (The death certificate of his son, William Andrew Grace, confirms his father went by the nick-name of Josh.)
Josh and his wife Mary were true pioneers. It must have taken a lot of courage after only two and a half years of marriage to leave part of their family and their home in Pike County, Georgia, to venture into the unknown. (Although it appears that, her folks had already moved to Alabama.) Therefore, in 1859, when he was about 25 years old, Josh and Mary came to Walker County, Alabama with his parents and most of his brothers. They took with them their 2-year-old son William Andrew and their 1-year-old son John Edmond into an unsettled country, to dig out a living from the wilderness land.
Josh settled on 159.79 acres of government land near Jasper. This was virgin land and he was the first to settle on it. The Land was located on what is now called the Banks Loop Road, located a few miles south of McCollum and a little ways east of the Pleasant Grove road and the now existing highway 69.
Land records in this author's possession show that Joshua Benton Grace entered Government's public land with 159.78 acres. The land was made up of the South East ľ of the South West ľ, the South West ľ of the South East ľ of Section 4 and the North Ĺ of the North East ľ of Section 9 all in Township 15 South, Range 8 West. At the time of Josh's death in 1885, he still lived on this land. The land grant was made out to him and his heirs.
Joshuaís brother, James, had settled 6 months earlier a couple of miles to the west of Josh's land.
The signing of Josh's land deed was at Tuscaloosa, Alabama and dated July 2, 1860. It is assumed that Josh came to Alabama at the same time his parents and brothers came. Since the land records were dated 6 months later there is some speculation that Josh may have gone first to Pickens County, Alabama where his brother, John Jr. was believe to have lived prior to moving to Walker County after the civil war, which ended in 1865. It is quite possible that he came earlier and located land in Walker County for the family but this is purely speculation, there is nothing showing that he did this.
Joshua Benton Grace is buried at Davis cemetery located 1 3/4 miles north of Oakman going toward Coal Valley, turn right, just before the bridge, down an old road and go 0.9 mile on the road to the east of the main highway, take a left at the forks and the cemetery is in the woods on the left. The graveyard is very small and has been abandoned. His wife Mary Ann was not buried in this cemetery.
The year following Josh's death, A petition, dated Jan 1,1886, was filed with the probate court of Walker County by Josh's son John E. Grace. It petitioned the court in behalf of the nine children to allow them to sell the mineral rights, specifically the coal that was under the land. The petition states that all the children were residents of Walker County except William Andrew Grace, who lived in Miller County, Arkansas. The petition stated that each child was 1/9th owner of the land.
Apparently, Josh's wife Mary Ann was not on the deed, because the petition to the court states that each of the 9 children owned 1/9th of the land. Because of the minor children they could not sell the coal rights to the land after he died without first petitioning the court for permission. The Mother, Mary Ann was appointed custodian to sign for the minor children.
Mary Ann Adcock's death certificate, signed by Dr. Stevenson of Oakman, Alabama, states the cause of her death was old age (95 years, 3 months and 3 days old.) The birth date on the certificate shows 10 years age difference between that listed on the family page and the census above. This has to be resolved and is still being researched.
The following facts suggest that there may have been a separation or divorce but this is purely speculation.
Mary Ann lived alone with her un-married children at least part of the time both before and after Joshua's death. The 1880 census shows Mary Ann living with 7 of her children, as the head of the household. This was 5 years before the death of her husband, Joshua. She was not buried in the same cemetery with Joshua, which in itís self doesnít mean anything because most of her children were buried in the cemetery where she was buried.
Joshua had apparently removed or never had her name as part owner and heir to his land according to the petition described earlier. Land record in this authors possession shows the deed made to him and his heirs, which should have included her, however, it was customary in the old days for women not to be on a land deed. There may also be other reason not now apparent for her not being part heir and not living with him. It is still being researched.
Children of JOSHUA GRACE and MARY ADCOCK are:
1. WILLIAM (BILL) ANDREW GRACE, this authors grandfather, was born July 8, 1857 in Georgia, probably Pike County. He died July 28, 1919 in Walker County, Alabama and was buried at Pleasant Grove cemetery south of Townley. Bill married SUSAN JANE BANKS on January 13, 1879 in Walker County, Alabama, Susan was born on October 22, 1861 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Georgia, and she died July 13, 1923 in Walker County Alabama (near Townley).
2. JOHN EDMOND GRACE was born September 14, 1858 in Georgia. He died February 4, 1934 in Walker County, Alabama. John married ELIZABETH ANN (ANNIE) SPARKS on November 6, 1874 in Walker County, Alabama, (other sources has their marriage date as November 6, 1889 not 1874.) Annie was born in 1861 in Walker County, Alabama; she died in 1936 in Walker County.
Notes for JOHN EDMOND GRACE:
His parents brought him to Alabama while still an infant. He spent most of his life in Walker County. He was a farmer, but spent some time in public office, serving as a deputy sheriff and as county commissioner for 2 terms.
3. JOSHUA BENTON GRACE JR was born June 8, 1860; he died March 16, 1943 in Walker County, Alabama. Joshua JR. married. (1) MARTHA JANE BANKS on December 29, 1884 in Walker County, Alabama. Martha Jane was born February 2, 1866 in Fayette County, Georgia; she died November 7, 1886 in Walker County, Alabama; Joshua JR. married (2) SARAH JANE DUTTON on October 18, 1887 in Walker County, Alabama; Sara Jane was born February 3, 1870 in Fayette County, Georgia. Sarah died March 7, 1941 in Walker County, Alabama and was buried at Pleasant Grove cemetery.
Notes for MARTHA JANE BANKS:
Martha is a sister to the following three Bankís, Susan Banks, (wife of William Andrew,) Noah Webster Banks, (husband of Martha Jane Grace,) and William Jackson Banks, (husband of Margarette Jane Grace.) Note that these four Banks siblings married four Grace siblings, (two Banks sisters and their two brothers married two Grace brothers and their sisters.)
4. ELIZABETH GRACE was born in 1861 in Walker County, Alabama. Elizabeth never married; she died about 1942 in Walker County, Alabama and was buried at Pleasant Grove cemetery.
5. MARY ELLEN GRACE was born October 12, 1865 and died April 8, 1941; she married ISAAC M DAVIS on February 6, 1883, Walker County, Alabama.
6. ISOBELA ISOBELLA OR ISABELLE GRACE was born in January of 1868 and died December 20, 1913; she married WILLIAM M. BONNER, July 14, 1888 in Walker County, Alabama; William was born about 1864.
Notes for ISOBELLE GRACE and WILLIAM BONNER; The 1910 census of Walker County, precinct 28, (Boldo,) show The family living in the Boldo Community with the family of five children. They had a total of nine children with three dead in 1910
7. MARTHA JANE GRACE was born November 2, 1866 and died. May 10, 1918 in Walker County, Alabama. She married NOAH WEBSTER BANKS, after January 1, 1886. Noah was born August 20, 1868 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Georgia; he died November 9, 1948 in Walker County, Alabama.
See Notes above on the four GRACE/BANKS brothers and sisters marriages
8. MARGRETTE JANE GRACE was born May 23, 1872 in Walker County, Alabama at the old Grace place near Oakman, Alabama; she died August 14, 1940 in Walker County, Alabama at the old Banks house in New Hope Community. Margrette Jane married WILLIAM JACKSON BANKS, November 7, 1892 in Walker County, Alabama. William Jackson was born January 15, 1872 in Fayette County, Georgia, and died December 25, 1952 in Walker County, Alabama at Harvey's house in New Hope Community.
William could not read or write and always printed his name.
9. EMMALINE (EMMA) SALINE (SALINA) GRACE was born on February 14, 1875 and died about 1959; she married JOHN WESLEY MYERS; John was born in 1875.
The 1880 census of Walker County, Alabama Township 15, Beat 8, (Pleasant Grove,) list's the following,
( note that the spelling was copied exactly as written in the Census book.)
Mary Grace, head of household, age 44, (making her birth date about 1836), born in Georgia, both parents born in Georgia
Joshau, age 26 (this would be Joshua Benton Jr.)
Elisobeth age 17
M.E.(this would be M. Ellen) age 14
Isobla, age 13?
M.J (this would be Martha Jane) age 10
M (this would be Margarette) age 7
Emiline (this would be Emmaline or Emma Saline) age 6.
In the 1920 census of Walker County Precinct. #8, Pleasant Grove, Line #5, shows that
Mary Grace, who was over 80 years old, and her daughter Elizabeth, (who never married,) was living with Mary's son-in-law and daughter, William J. Banks and Margarette. The census lists the following;
Banks, William J., Head of household, Age 47, born in Georgia, his father and mother was born in Georgia. He married Margette? A.(Grace), age 47, she was born in Alabama and her father and mother was born in Georgia.
Mary Ann's birth date would be about 1838 according to this census report,
Note that spelling was a problem to most census takers. Most of the time, a name was not pronounced right and they simply spelled it as it sounded.
The following Inscription is from a gravestone at Pleasant Grove cemetery; copied exactly as shown.
DEC. 16, 1888
OCT. 21, 1923
A gravestone next to Mary Grace bore the name Elizabeth Grace 1861-1942 and is most likely her daughter.
Generation No. 3
This Authorís Grandfather
WILLIAM (BILL) ANDREW GRACE was the son of JOSHUA (JOSH) BENTON GRACE and the grandson of JOHN GRACE. He was born July 8, 1857 in Georgia, probably Pike County since his parents lived there in 1857. Bill died July 28, 1919 in Walker County, Alabama and was buried at Pleasant Grove south of Grace Chapel. According to their Marriage Certificate, which is in this author's possession, on January 13, 1879 at the age of twenty one William married eighteen years old SUSAN JANE BANKS in Walker County, Alabama.
Susan, the daughter of SANFORD BANKS and SARAH (Sallie) MITCHELL, was born October 22, 1861 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Georgia and died July 13, 1923 in Walker County, Alabama. She was also buried at Pleasant Grove cemetery. Susan moved with her parents from Fayette County, Georgia sometime between 1876, (the date her brother George Daniel was born in Fayette County) and January 13, 1879 when she married William Andrew Grace in Walker County. According to the 1900 census of Walker County, Susan could not read or write.
William, also known as "Bill" Grace, came to Walker County before he was two years old. They moved from Pike County, Georgia, sometime after September 1858, (the date his younger brother John Edmond was born in Pike County,) and before July of 1860, (the date his father purchased land in Walker County.) More then likely they moved in the year 1859 because that is when Williamís grandfather purchased land in Walker, County. It is assumed that the whole family moved together, however there is no proof of this.
The following year after their marriage, the 1880 census of Walker County, Alabama shows William, at age 22 and Susan B; age 18, (no children,) living in either beat 6 or 8, (Oakman/Pleasant Grove area,). William Andrew's maternal Grandmother, Elizabeth Adcock, had moved to Miller County, Arkansas after her husband Edmond Adcock died, so she could be near her other children that were living in Arkansas at that time, so, somewhere around 1881, William and Susan also moved to Arkansas.
The probate court records of Walker County, Alabama prove this move to Arkansas. When Williamís father, Joshua Benton Grace died, a petition was filed with the probate court to allow Williamís mother, Mary, to sell the coal rights to their land. Since all the children were heirs and some were minors, the petition had to be filed in behalf of the minor children, in which Joshís surviving wife Mary was appointed Guardian of these children. These records show William Andrew lived in Miller County, Arkansas on January 1st, 1886 and residing in Saline County, Arkansas Feb 20, 1886. (References to these court records can be found at the Court House in Jasper, Alabama--FHF 1503324 item 4, page 382. FFH 1503323, item 3, page 242, Oct 11, 1919 records of Joshua Graceís ESTATE.) These records show that William moved from Miller County to Saline County between January 1st and February 20th 1886.
While living in Arkansas William and Susanís first child was born, a daughter born in March of 1882, they named her Mary Ida. In October of 1887 their twin boys Lloyd and Floyd were born. Ada, another daughter was born Feb 20 1884, she was probably born in Arkansas also.
There is a six years age difference between Mary I and the twins, Joshua Floyd and William Lloyd which probably mean's children who died, possibly Sylvester Grace who died young, an is believed to have died in Arkansas.
The 1890 Census of Walker County, Alabama shows them back from Arkansas and living at High Hill in beat 10. High Hill is located in southern Walker County, south of Good Springs and just south of Littleton Fish camp. The 1900 census shows them still living there. This is where the rest of William and Susanís children were born. The census did not show their daughter Ada living with them, she was probably already married and living in her own home then.
Sometime after the turn of the century, William moved his family to the Boldo area, a few miles east of Jasper. According to the book, ďThe Bold Doe,Ē a history of Boldo written by Willie Barton, Williamís family moved to what was then known as North Boldo. The book also listed him as a speaker for the closing exercises of the Boldo School at the ending session in September of 1908. Sometime after 1900, William Andrew moved to a farm between Jasper and Boldo located just east of Polley Creek off of highway 69 near Japps Lake or Japp Sims Pond. The book said he moved to North Boldo from beat 10 so it is un-clear whether he moved directly unto the farm he bought just east of Polley Creek which would be West or South West Boldo, or if this move came later. He was living on this farm when he died in 1919.
The 1910 census of Walker County, precinct 28, (Boldo,) show the Grace family living in the Boldo Community with the family members listed below.
Grace Wm. A. 52, married 33 years, born in Georgia, farmer, and can read and write.
Susan B. 48, 11 children, 10 living, born in Georgia, and can't read or write.
John 20, born in Alabama, farmer, and can read and write.
Titus 19, born in Alabama, farmer, and can read and write.
Rosa 17, born in Alabama, farm laborer, and can read and write.
Lena 15, born in Alabama, farm laborer, and can read and write.
Verley 12, born in Alabama, farm laborer, and can read and write.
Oscar 10, born in Alabama, farm laborer, and can read and write.
In the 1920 census, it shows Susan living in the Boldo community near her two sons, Floyd Grace and Titus Grace. She was living alone with her youngest son Oscar and an older daughter Lena who never married and lived most of her later life with her sister Rosie Pruit.
A death certificate of W. A. Grace, in this author's possession, confirms Williamís birth and death dates. It also shows his birthplace as Alabama, which disagrees with the 1880, and 1900 census report of Walker County that shows Georgia as his birthplace. According to this death certificate the cause of his death was Pulmonary Abscess following 6 months of Influenza and that his age was also a contributing factor.
In June of 1997 and again in March of 1999, this author visited the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, found and photographed the graves of W. A. GRACE and Susan B. GRACE. The birth and death dates listed were copied from these gravestones. Both graves have a cement top or cap instead of a dirt mound.
The following Inscriptions were copied from Williamís gravestone exactly as printed.
W. A. GRACE
JULY 8, 1857
JULY 28, 1919
Susanís gravestone next to William, was also copied as shown
W. A. GRACE
OCT. 22, 1861
JULY 13, 1923
As mentioned above the marriages in these Grace and Banks families are unusually. Susan Jane Banks, her sister Martha Jane Banks and two of their brothers, Noah Webster and William Jackson Banks, all married Graces from the same family. Susan Jane Banks married William Andrew Grace. Martha Jane Banks married Joshua Grace Jr. Noah Webster Banks married Martha Jane Grace and William Jackson Banks married Margaret Grace.
According to several sources, Graces were short people.
Generation No. 4
This Authors Father
John Harris or Harrison or William GRACE the son of William (Bill) Andrew and the grandson of Joshua (Josh) Benton GRACE was born June 13, 1889 in either Walker County, Alabama or Arkansas, (no place of birth has been proven.) He died Dec 26, 1941 in Walker County, Manchester, Alabama, at his home in the Thach Community and is buried at the Boldo cemetery. He married Martha "Mattie" Cordelia Chain on July 26, 1913 in Walker County, Alabama. She was born May 24, 1896 in Jefferson County, Alabama, (no place of birth has been proven.) She is the daughter of John and Nancy Bell Abel Chain. Mattie died Aug 17, 1969 in Jefferson County, Birmingham, Alabama at the University Hospital and is buried at the Boldo cemetery.
There is a question in this author's mind as to the real middle name or names of my father John Grace. I remember when I was a teen-age boy and I farmed the family farm, I paid some back bills owed to Jake Philip's cotton gin in Jasper. The bills were under the name John W. Grace, other bills were sent to John Harrison and John Harris Grace. In addition, there are tax receipts in this author's possession under the name John W. Grace. This authorís birth certificate lists my father's name as John William Grace and the birth certificate of my sister, Emma Grace list her father's name as John W. Grace.
The 1900 and 1920, Census of Walker County Alabama shows his middle Initial to be "H." I don't know where the W. or William came from. There is no birth certificate on record in the state of Alabama for John Grace and after carefully studying the records of his father there is a possibility that he may have been born in Arkansas.
The first record of John was in the 1900 census of Walker County where he was found at the age of 10 living with his parents in precinct 10, High Hill Community which is located south of Littleton's fishing camp in beat 10.
The places where John lived and the sequence and time span he lived at each place have not been established. According to conversations with older brothers John's father, William Andrew, moved from Beat 10 to a farm between Jasper and Boldo near Japps Lake or Japp Sims Pond located east of Polley Creek. John probably grew up on this farm and may have lived there when he married.
According to those conversations and according to the 1920 census of Walker County John lived in the Empire district in the Turpentine/ Marrylee community near Sipsey and Dillsworth at the beginning of the 1920's. He lived on top of the hill from where he was the operator of a ferry across the Sipsey River, the ferry was located about 100 ft. south of the mouth of Mulberry Creek. They were still living there in 1924
This author has no record where they lived between the time they married and when they moved to the Sipsey area. By 1920, they already had four children. Annie, the oldest child, was five years old and Harlen, the youngest, was almost a year old.
They moved from the Sipsey area to Grandpa Chain's place located almost in Sumiton, Alabama where they lived a year or two. From there, they moved to Polk Longs place near the Sipsey River just above where Smith dam is now located. The children went to a small school near by. Their small daughter, Mattie Lee died in this house at 14 months old, placing her death about August 1925.
John lived on a farm just west of Poley Creek, between the Boldo Community and Jasper. This area is now the eastern suburb of Jasper and about 1929 he bought a small 30-acre farm in the Thach/Lamon Chapel Community north of Manchester, Alabama. They rented a small house from Wheeler Skinner while they cleared the land and built a house. John inherited money from his father's estate at Japp Sims Pond to buy the 30 acres at Thach. He lived there until his death in 1941.
The 1920 census of Walker County Precinct 17, Empire District, Line #141. TURPENTINE / MARRYLEE shows the following.
Grace, John H., head of household, age 31, born in Alabama, father born in Alabama, mother born in Georgia.
Mattie, Wife, age 23, born in Alabama, father born in Alabama, mother born in Alabama.
Annie, daughter, age 5 ?/12, born in Alabama.
Allen, son, age 3 ?/12, born in Alabama.
Garvie, son, age 1 ?/12, born in Alabama.
Harling, son, age ?/12, born in Alabama.
John was a devout Christian and a member of the New Hope Holy Church of Christ near Rose Hill, Alabama. He died on Christmas night, in the early morning hours about 1:30 A.M., December 26, 1941.
This author shall try to relate what happened on this Christmas night in 1941.
"It seems that the entire month of December was filled with tragedies. They began with the Japanese's bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th and the declaration of war by the United States against Japan a few days later."
"Dad's health had gotten increasingly worse and on December 24th, Christmas Eve day he had gotten bad enough that Mama had to stay home from our family shopping trip to Jasper which we usually took each year on Christmas Eve. On our way home late that afternoon, a drunken driver ran into the back of truck we were riding in. Fortunately we escaped with minor scratches and bruises."
"The next day was a sad Christmas with Dad in the shape he was in so none of the children had gone home when the day was over."
"I shall never forget these events the night he died and I will try to relate to the best of my memory what I saw and heard in the early morning hours of December 26, 1941."
"My brother-in-law James Blackwell awoke me around midnight to tell me that my dad was dying. I was only eleven years old and I screamed out but James put his hand over my mouth to silence me. He then said that Dad wasn't dead yet but if I wanted to see him alive I should get up. I ran to the foot of dadís bed."
"When I entered the room dad was being held up in a sitting position by my brothers, Allen and either Garvie or Harlen and his eyes were rolled back in his head and all appearances were that he was dead. The boys were working with him, trying desperately to revive him, and shortly his eyes begin to flutter and opened. As the glazed look in his eyes cleared, he looked around at us while a big smile broke out on his face and these words will always be precious to me. " I've been with Jesus," he said."
"He proceeded to call us individually, one by one to his bedside to talk to us. He told me he was going to be with Jesus and he wanted me to be good and meet him in Heaven. After he talked to every one he died."
He was buried at Boldo Cemetery at 2:00 P.M. on Dec. 27 1941, The Rev. Walter Webb and Joel Yates from the New Hope Holy Church of Christ, conducted the funeral service.
Medical Information about the death of John Grace:
Cause of death listed on his death certificate was TB of the throat and lungs.
The death cause is in question. Different Doctors diagnosed heart dropsy, red corpuscles eating up the white corpuscles and rheumatism; they just didn't seem to know what was wrong. He also had lost the use of his legs.
Notes for John's wife, Martha (Mattie) Cordelia Chain:
At the time of Mattie's death, she lived at Route 5 Jasper, Alabama near Cordova, Alabama in a house provided by her son-in-law and daughter, Gilbert and Emma Twilley. She was a member of the Pine Grove Holy Church of Christ near Boldo. While working in her garden, she had a stroke and died a few days later in the University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. She was buried in the Boldo Cemetery.
Her health was average throughout most of her life. A few years prior to her death, she had surgery to remove a kidney. She told this author that shortly after leaving the Hospital after the kidney removal she attended Church service at Hunters Chapel, where her son Harlen was pastor. She asked the Elders to anoint her with oil and pray for her healing, after the prayer, she made a public statement that God had healed her. After her death, it was reported that tests made revealed she still had both kidneys.
Medical report shows the cause of Mattieís death was Bilateral Subdural Hematoma, (a Stroke.) Contributing, but not related to cause of death, was Congestion of right lung, Atelectasic
1. Annie Bell Grace, born April 4, 1914. She died of cancer in 1963 at the Peoples Hospital in Jasper and was buried at Bennett's cemetery, Walker County., Jasper, Ala. Annie married James Solomon Blackwell on October 11, 1934 in Walker County, Alabama. James was born about. 1915, he died in 1963 from severe burns that he received at a used car lot located across the street on the West Side of the Peoples hospital. He was working late as an auto Mechanic for the used car lot and while attempting to start a fire in a pot-bellied stove, he poured gasoline into the stove that was still hot from a previous fire and it exploded in his face, catching him on fire. He panicked and ran into the street, which spread the fire to all his body.
He died a day or two later at the Peoples Hospital in Jasper, Alabama and was buried at Bennett's Cemetery In the Lamon Chapel / Thach Community.
2. Allen Garfield Sr. Grace, born June 18, 1915 in Walker County. Alabama. He died January 17, 1950 in Peoples Hospital, Walker County, Jasper Alabama,. He married Della E. Robertson on July 10, 1934 in Walker County. Alabama. She was born in 1920.
Allen had either Rheumatic or Scarlet fever when he was a young man, which damaged his heart and finally killed him at about 35 years old. He is buried at the Boldo Cemetery.
3. Garvie Lee Grace was born August 6, 1917 in Walker County, Alabama. He married Mary Alene Twilley on June 24, 1941 in Walker County, Alabama. She was born Apr 11, 1926 in Cullman County, Alabama.
4. Harlen Andrew Grace was born August 8, 1919 in Walker County, Alabama. He married Mary Lucille McGill on July 5, 1941 in Walker County. Alabama.
Harlen served in the army, in North Africa, Sicily and Italy as a cook during world war ll. He became a preacher after the war and was pastor of several Holy Church of Christ churches in northern Alabama.
5. Johnnie Lee Grace was born April 14, 1924 in Walker County, Alabama and died November 23, 2001 in Morgan County, Alabama. He was burried Nov 26, 2001, in the Boldo Cemetery, Walker County, Alabama. He married Lorene Nix on November 29, 1943.
Johnnie served in England in the Army's Ordnance Corp as a medic during World War ll. A German V2 Rocket bomb wounded him. After the war, he worked at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville until his retirement.
6. Mattie Lee Grace was born April 14, 1924 and died in August of 1925 in Walker County and was buried in the Boldo cemetery Mattie Lee, a twin to Johnnie Lee, died very young and was buried at the Boldo Cemetery.
7. Willie Lester Grace was born July 12, 1926 in Walker County, Alabama. He married Betty Jean Bennett February 1, 1947 in Walker County. Alabama.
Willie entered World War ll near the war's end. He served in Korea in the Army's Engineer Corp. He was a heavy equipment operator.
8. James Paul "Jim" Grace was born February 13, 1930 in Walker County, Manchester, Alabama in the Thach/Lamon Chapel community on the family's 30-acre farm, located 6 miles north of Manchester, Alabama and approximately 1 mile east of Thach School.. He married Willodean (Deana) Robertson on September 5, 1950 in Itawamba County, Fulton, Mississippi. Willodean was born August 5, 1930 in Walker County, at Corona "near Oakman", Alabama.
In May of 1961 the family attended the FreeWill Baptist Mission Church which were holding services in the Union Hall on State street in Elkhart, Indiana. On Sunday night May 11, 1961 Jim and Deana went to the alter and re-dedicated their lives to God. This was the beginning of a lasting relationship with God.
The family attended the First Free Will Baptist Church where Jim served as Sunday School Superintendant and Deacon of the church.
By 1968 the family had began to sing southern Gospel music and travel frequently on weekends. In 1969 a Volkswagen van was purchased to travel in and this resulted in the family putting all our efforts into our singing evangelistic ministry. Later a used greyhound bus was purchased and remodeled and over the next 30 years, the Singing Graces traveled weekends giving concerts in thousands of churches, and auditoriums throughout the United States
After his retirement Jim moved with his wife Deana to Mill Creek, Indiana into a new house he and his son Ken built on 2 acres of land given to him by Ken.
9. Jessie Sanford Grace was born January 10, 1934 in Walker County, Alabama. He married Reba Alread.
10. Emma Almeda Grace was born April 4, 1935 in Walker County, Alabama in the Thach Community. She married Gilbert Leon Twilley on September 22, 1951. Gilbert was born May 20, 1932 in Cullman County, Alabama. Gilbert served in the Army.
© 2002 by James Paul Grace
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© 2002-2008 by Ann Allen Geoghegan
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