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|Last Updated: 26 Aug 2021 by #0197
MY GRANDFATHER, WILEY WALTON ALFORD
Transcribed and annotated by Faye Mitchell Lawes, AAFA #0062, great-great-granddaughter of Wiley Walton Alford
Faye believes this article, dated 1971, is the result of an interview of Mary E. Alford Kimball (Mrs. Clarence G. Kimball) by Chleo Marie Alford Sanders, the daughter of Wiley Alford’s son Daniel Webster Alford. In about 1981 Chleo gave Faye a typed copy of this and "My Father, Daniel Webster Alford.” They appear to have been typed on the same typewriter.
Chleo was born 5 Jan 1902 and died 25 Jan 1999 in Chattahoochee, Gadsden Co., FL.
My grandfather, Wiley Alford, came to Florida in the early 1800’s. He left a wealthy home and family in Wilmington, N.C.1 because he wanted to work and make his own living without slaves. He had been well educated in North Carolina. He travelled by stage coach and river boats. He visited relatives in Savannah, Columbus, and Quincy.2 He worked a few years in Columbus. In Quincy his first cousin was a Love of the Judge Love family3 . Then he went to Old Aspalaga Ferry4, crossed into West Florida and settled there in Jackson County. He cleared land, built a home and farmed there. There were several non-slave-holding families living near them.
He married Susan Davis. Her father, Reverend John Davis, had been reared and educated in Ireland. He had graduated in the University of Dublin5. He was a Baptist minister and a teacher. There were six children of this union: Allen6, Bynum, Mary Emmeline, Emily Jane, Ellen and Walton. Allen was lost in the Civil War when he was sixteen years. The mother died that year and Mary Emmeline was married to John Bales of a neighboring family. John Bales died young. Mary Emmeline later married John Kennedy who was from Ireland.
Emily Jane was then the hostess of the family at twelve years of age. She later married Reverend J.W.L. Jenkins7, a Methodist minister, and became my mother.
Wiley Alford worked, as did all the family. He was able to send his children to a private boarding school. A Mr. Stephen Rowe was my mother’s favorite teacher. There were excellent teachers then.
Later, Wiley Alford was remarried to Susan Traylor and they reared six children: Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Elizabeth (Lizzie), Jessie, Annie and Halcourt. As there were public schools then they all went to public schools. All of these twelve children: Bynum, Mary Emmeline, Emily Jane, Ellen, Walton, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Elizabeth, Jessie, Annie and Halcourt were married8. They left many descendants in West Florida and other states. All of these children went to schools and most of them went to college. There have been many teachers, farmers, nurses and a few ministers and lawyers among the descendants.
After Wiley Alford had lived in Jackson County a few years he moved south a few miles into Calhoun County near Ocheesee. It was here all the children grew up. My mother, Emily Jane Alford, was granted on the first teacher’s certificates and taught in Florida Public Schools.
There were many Alfords in the Carolina’s. My grandfather’s two aunts and their husbands ran a private college in North Carolina, before the Civil War9. He corresponded with the Carolina relatives, but the children did not keep up the writing.
This large family has a rich heritage. The first Alfords came from Scotland. There are many interesting stories among the Alford descendants.
All of the Carolina Alfords were Presbyterians and the college was a Presbyterian College10.
I hope this information will be of some benefit.
By Faye Mitchell Lawes, Great Granddaughter of Emily Jane Alford Jenkins
1 This is incorrect regarding the immediate family of Wiley Alford. In the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses of Florida, Wiley Walton Alford said he was born in Georgia.
2 Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida
3 Wiley Walton Alford’s mother was most probably Pheriba/Phereby Wooten. The Wootens of Fayette County, Georgia, and the Loves of Gadsden County, Florida, were closely related as written in The Love Family of Gadsden County, Florida - Descendants of Alexander Love, compiled by Pearle Trogdon Love, 1941. One of Pheriba Wooten’s siblings was probably Lurana Wooten who married John C. Love, son of Edward Love, on April 24, 1827. Hence, their children—Samuel Bryant, Henry, Ann Elizabeth and Franklin Alexander—would have been first cousins to Wiley Walton Alford.
Edward Curry Love was “Judge Love.” He was the son of Alexander Love, a brother of John C. Love, and a grandson of the first Edward and Elizabeth Curry Love, and a first cousin on the Love side of the family to John C. Love’s children.
At an election for the Clerk of the County Court, Sheriff, Coroner and County Surveyor held in Quincy, Florida on Feb 3, 1834 among those voting were: P.H. Wooten, Collin Wooten and John C. Love. John C. Love was elected Surveyor and helped locate the capital in Tallahassee. Earlier, John had been employed by the U.S. Government to survey the northern state line of Florida. He also served as the Sheriff in Gadsden County, Florida in later years.
4 The Old Aspalaga Ferry was on the Apalachicola River between Gadsden County and Jackson County, Florida.
5 I have been unable to substantiate this information. Interestingly enough from The Love Family of Gadsden County, Florida..., compiled by Pearle Trogdon Love, we read: “...The family decided, since money was scarce, they would send their eldest son, John, back to Scotland, to the Loves of Edinburgh, for an education....” Could this story be from the “Wooten side of the family”?
6 Also listed as Jasper Allen and Jasper Allen Wooten in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses of Jackson County, Florida.
7 Jonathan William Lawrence Jenkins of Pitt County, North Carolina
8 Eleven children married and are named. Allen (Jasper) died in the Civil War.
9 I have been unable to substantiate this information. The North Carolina college mentioned in this document possibly could have been Old Floral College in Red Springs/Maxton area of North Carolina, where many Alfords lived but there are no records of such at the college’s successor, St. Andrew’s College in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
Some other interesting facts from The Love Family of Gadsden County, Florida... by Pearle Trogdon Love, on pp. 2–3 reads “... Edward was born in 1763... it would appear that Alexander had three sons: the eldest, Edward, then Hector and Angus.... there are descendants of an Angus Love still living in Red Springs, North Carolina. Family tradition says that the Alexander Love, ancestor of the Gadsden County Loves, was born in Scotland but came over directly to the United States ... and had a son, Edward and a daughter when he came to the United States.... he came with Angus McFinlayson.... the Gaelic language was spoken by the Loves who came to Florida in 1822-24.”
10 Old Floral College and St. Andrews College are both Presbyterian colleges.
Photos from Shady Grove Cemetery, Grand Ridge, Jackson Co., FL—www.findagrave.com
Permission granted by the photographers, Alton & Loudonia