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1790 NC - 1858 IL
1795 TN - 1863 IL

Published in the AAFA ACTION, Issue #61, Summer 2003, pages 46-48.

Charles Alford and Mary Elizabeth Tipton
By James William "J.J." Johnson, AAFA #1189
[Copyright 2002-2003. All Rights Reserved.]
Charles Alford was born on Thursday, September 30, 1790 in North Carolina. As a small boy, he migrated to Loudon County, Tennessee with his family. His parents settled in the Sweetwater Valley near the village of Philadelphia, Tennessee. Sometime before 1814, he married Mary Elizabeth Tipton, said to be the daughter of Mashack Tipton. Mary Elizabeth was born on June 30, 1795 in Harriman, Tennessee.

It is probable that the John Alford living nearby was his brother. John was born about 1786 in North Carolina. His wife, Jane, was born there about 1792. Their children (ages in 1850) were: Luisa 20, Thomas 18, Margaret 15, Rebecca 13 and Alexander 6 - all born in Tennessee.

Charles Alford's family moved about considerably: they were in Blount County, Tennessee about 1814; Limestone County, Alabama about 1819 and enumerated in the U.S. Federal Census at that location in 1820; in Sevier County, Tennessee in 1828; in Cocke County, Tennessee in around 1833; in Roane County, Tennessee from 1834 until some time after 1850; and finally in Macoupin County, Illinois, where Charles died on Wednesday, March 17, 1858.

Charles Alford paid real estate taxes in Roane County, Tennessee in 1834, 1835 and 1836 and, although he was called a farmer, he would be best described as a rancher or horseman.

Charles Alford died on Wednesday, March 17, 1858 in the South Palmyra Township of Macoupin Co., Illinois at the age of sixty-seven. He was buried in the Old Union Cemetery in North Palmyra Township of that same county and was survived by seven sons and daughters and many grandchildren.

(Note: It is possible that another son existed, whose name was Riddle Alford, however that name did not appear on Charles Alford's Will as one of his sons. It is equally possible that Riddle Alford was a son of Charles and Mary, but had died at an early age.)

Two days before his death, he wrote or had written his Last Will and Testament. (Note: Given the gravity of his illness, it was probably penned by someone other than Charles.)

By testimony, he lived, at the time the Will was written, in Macoupin County, Illinois. If he had published any other Will prior to this one, it was revoked and made void by the one under examination.

In his will, his first concern was the debts accrued by his funeral expenses and any other debts that he might owe. So, he directed that all of these items be paid first from his estate.

Next, he bequeathed to his "... beloved wife, Mary Alford..."
  • household and kitchen furniture,
  • any livestock she might want and
  • half of the real estate that he owned.

    Mary Alford was allowed by this document to sell her portion of the real estate, if she desired to do so, however, when she died in 1863, she mentioned in her Will " ... all the real estate left me by the will of my beloved husband..." From this, it appears that she did not sell the property.

    Thirdly, Charles Alford directed that the other half of his real estate be divided equally amongst his children, who were named in the Will and included:
  • John C. Alford, husband of Sarah Maddy,
  • William Donald Alford, husband of Minerva Jane Butcher,
  • Matthew Nelson Alford, husband of Martha Caroline Young,
  • Rachel Rebecca Alford, wife of George Franklin Riddle,
  • Mashack Tipton Alford, husband of Sarah Rebecca Edwards,
  • Robert F. Alford, husband of Alsa Evans and
  • Sarah Alford, wife of B.S. Riley.

    Finally, he named Joseph Liston as executor of his estate. This was probably Joseph Liston, Senior, a resident of Macoupin County, Illinois, and may have been a long time neighbor.

    Charles Alford signed his name to the Will and it was witnessed by:
  • P.F. Lightfoot and
  • G.J. Sinnett.

    On March 22, 1858, the Will of Charles Alford was filed in the Probate Court by Joseph Liston through the County Clerk, Enoch Wall, and, after being dutifully sworn, witnessed by George J. Sinnett and Philip F. Lightfoot.

    Liston was also sworn as the Executor of the Estate of Charles Alford and charged with the duties elemental to that position as stated by Charles Alford. Once done, he was to present his report to the Probate Court again for approval.

    On 5 Feb 1865, Joseph Liston, Executor of the Estate of Charles Alford, presented to the Probate Court a final settlement of Alford's estate. (Note: During the time between the filing of Charles Alford's will in March of 1858 and the Report of the final settlement in February of 1865, several transactions no doubt were processed and reported to the Probate Court; however, at the time of this article, we do not have those records.)

    According to Liston, the Estate of Charles Alford, on the date of the final settlement, was worth $178.71, cash moneys. From these proceeds, the following disbursements were recommended:
  • Robert Alford $25.14
  • John C. Alford $25.14
  • G.F. Riddle $25.14
  • M.T. Alford $25.14
  • M.N. Alford $25.14
  • William Alford $25.14
  • B.S. Riley $25.14

    G.F. (George Franklin) Riddle was the husband of Rachel Rebecca Alford, while B.S. Riley was the husband of Sarah Alford. It was customary in those days to award moneys inherited by females to their husbands.

    The remainder of the $178.71, which was $2.73, was probably used to pay court and filing expenses.

    Upon examination, the Court approved the disbursements and approved the Report submitted by Joseph Liston.

    Mary Elizabeth Alford, wife of Charles Alford, died on 18 Feb 1863 in North Palmyra Township of Macoupin Co., IL. She was buried in Old Union Cemetery. (Note:It is believed that some of her siblings lived there also.)

    In 1861, being unable to write, she had someone write her Last Will and Testament in Macoupin County, Illinois.

    To two ofher children, she bequeathed the following:
  • Robert Alford $1.00
  • Mashack Tipton Alford $1.00

    To the remainder of her children, that is, John C., William Donald, Matthew Nelson, Rachel Rebecca and Sarah [Elizabeth], she bequeathed in equal shares "... all the real estate left me by the will of my beloved husband, Charles Alford..."

    Given these gifts, the children, absent Robert and Mashack Tipton Alford, were charged with the responsibility for paying any debts owed by Mary Alford at the time of her death.

    She further directed that some of her personal property be sold in order to give Robert and Mashack Tipton Alford one dollar each. The remaining personal property was left equally to Rachel Rebecca and Sarah [Elizabeth] Alford.

    As with her husband, Joseph Liston was appointed as the Executor of her Estate and Mary's written declaration made invalid any previous Wills that she may have made.

    Mary placed her mark, an X, beside her name.

    Witnesses of the signing of this Will were:
  • D.N.Solomon and
  • W.J. Vanwinkle.

    On 21 March 1863, about one month after her death, her Will was filed at the Macoupin County Courthouse with the County Clerk, G.W. Holliday. D.N. Solomon and W.J. Vanwinkle, dully sworn, testified to the fidelity of Mary Elizabeth Alford's Will.

    The children of Charles Alford and Mary Elizabeth Tipton were:
  • John C. Alford (1814- ),
  • William Donald Alford (1817-1892),
  • Matthew Nelson Alford (abt 1819-1868),
  • Rachel Rebecca Alford (1812-1882),
  • Mashack Tipton Alford (1828-1905),
  • Robert F. Alford (1833-1887) and
  • Sarah Elizabeth Alford (1837- ).

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