Friday, December 27, 2013

The Life of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr. {1884-1972}

Marcellus Pipkins was born on February 17, 1884 to the late William and Ella (Parker) Pipkins in Panola County, Texas. His daughter, Mary Lee, recalls her father mentioning that his mother was part Choctaw Indian and that she died when he was a child.
Research has found that Ella was born in Missouri around 1857 and brought to Caddo Parish, Louisiana in the [early 1860's] along with her mother & step-father, Jane and Thomas Wells. 

Marcellus told his children that his father William was the son of a Slave Owner. Records indicate that William was born around 1857 in Keatchie, De Soto Parish, Louisiana to slaves, John (Dark complexion) and Mary (Mulatto complexion) on the farm of Matilda Collins, widow of Moses Collins who died on October 4, 1855. It was sometimes common for children to have different fathers during slavery if the husband was sold away or through other circumstances. John, Mary, and most of their children remained intact as a family unit throughout slavery because of this I believe that John is the father of William and not a Slave Owner. Y-DNA testing of a direct male descendant (My Uncle R.) reveals his haplogroup is [E-M2 shorthand for E1B1A] which is African. It's likely that William's mother Mary descends from the White Collins family who held her and her family during slavery as her maiden name on several documents is listed as Collins. She is listed as "Mulatto" and sometimes "Griff" in the slave transactions. UPDATE (5/2/2016): Autosomal DNA reveals that Mary is most likely the daughter of Moses Collins as I have several DNA matches to his descendants.

1900 U.S. Census
Locality Justice Precinct 4, Panola County, Texas
ED, Sheet, Line Enumeration District 69, Sheet 11A, Line 09
Enum Date 14 June 1900
House Family Name Birth Date Relationship Occupation Birth Place
Self Fath Moth
176 179 William Pipkins Apr 1853 Head Farmer LA MS MS
Ellen Pipkins Mar 1855 Wife LA TN TN
Arthur Pipkins Nov 1883 Son Farm Laborer TX LA MO
Marcelus Pipkins Feb 1886 Son Farm Laborer TX LA MO
Easter Pipkins Oct 1896 Daughter TX LA LA
Mattie Johnson Feb 1892 Step Daughter LA LA LA
Alonzo Johnson Aug 1894 Step Son LA LA LA

According to Aunt Mary, Marcellus did not have any formal schooling, but he learned to read & write by studying the Bible. She remembers her father as "a Holy Ghost filled man who knew the word". At the time of his death he had been a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church for 45 years, this is accurate according to the church history. He was ordained as a deacon in 1927 under the leadership of Reverend A.R. Richardson.  

A photo of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr. that
I received in 2007 from Pastor Roger

Jackson of Antioch Baptist Church 
in De Berry, TX

On December 4, 1910, he united in Holy Matrimony to Roberta Perkins daughter of Jim Perkins &  Mandy Golden. Oral history states that Marcellus and Roberta briefly lived in Wagoner, Oklahoma and that Marcellus went to rescue his nephew Jim and niece from someone in the area.
After several years of marriage they had three children together Tharnar James PipkinsMarcellus Pipkins, Jr, and John Pipkins who died as an infant or a young boy. The death of  the child drove Roberta into a deep depression, some relatives have claimed she was "crazy". According to Marcellus, she had lost her will to live and just gave up. She passed away in 1930 and her husband would go on to marry Lois Allen on October 28, 1930. Lois was the daughter of Frone and Mattie (Scott) Allen and granddaughter of Bettie (Cook) Scott who was stated to have been a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. My DNA reveals a possible family connection between Roberta Pipkins & Lois Pipkins, which I have yet to determine at this time. [Click here to learn more about Roberta]

Marcellus and Lois had four children together Maggie Lee PipkinsDavid PipkinsHosea Pipkins, and Mary Lee Pipkins. Together they reared six children in Bethany, Louisiana a small community on the Louisiana and Texas state line. Research indicates that Marcellus was a farmer, who worked for G.N. Brummel in Bethany, Louisiana. He also owned property located near Antioch Baptist Church.

Marcellus died on March 3, 1972  at the age of 88 and is buried at the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in De Berry, Texas. He was loved by many, many people...there are several people living today who either knew him personally or heard of him from various friends and family. He was affectionately known as "Paw Paw" by his grandchildren and "Cousin Cellus" by other relatives

Death Certificate of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr.

Heirs of William Pipkins

Children with Ella (Parker) Pipkins [married: February 2, 1877, Caddo  Parish, Louisiana]:
  • Henry Pipkins [b. July 16, 1878 - d. November 24,1918, Bexar County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Florence Rolley and (2nd) Donia Trial
  • Daisy Pipkins  [b. Abt. 1880 - d. After 1903, Caddo Parish, Louisiana]
    • Spouse: Elzie Scroggins
  • Arthur Pipkins [b. November 25,1881 - d. December 13,1921, Caddo Parish, Louisiana]
    • Spouses: (1st) Mattie White and (2nd) Mollie Kelly
  • Marcellus Pipkns [b. February 14, 1884 - d. March 3, 1972, Panola County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Roberta Perkins and (2nd) Lois Allen
Children with Elizabeth (Perkins) Crutchfield [Non-Marital Liason]:
  • Parilee Pipkins [b. September 11, 1893 - d. March 5, 1963, Dallas County, Texas]
    • Spouses: (1st) Unk. Dean and (2nd) John Jernigan
  • Viola Pipkins [b. February 14, 1899 - d.November 11, 1985, Panola County, Texas]
    • Non-Marital Liaison: Willie Tatum
Children with Ellen (Mack) Johnson-Pipkins [married: September 21, 1899, Panola County, Texas]:
  • Easter Pipkins [b. October 21, 1896 - d. February 15, 1973, Tillman County, Oklahoma]
  • Morris Pipkins, Sr. [b. July 4, 1899 - d. September 8, 1986, Dallas County, Texas]
    • Spouse: Agnes Golden

*Please note that the Johnson children [Mattie & Alonzo] listed in the household of William & Ellen in 1900 and 1910 are not HIS children. They are children of Ellen's from a previous relationship she was said to have had several Johnson children who were not listed in the household.* Unfortunately there are several family tree's on that have erroneously listed the two children previously mentioned as offspring of William Pipkins. My Aunt Mary mentioned that her grandfather William divorced Ellen Johnson as she treated his children [Ella's kids] badly and only made sure that her children were taken care of.*

Terrence A. Garnett
[December 27, 2013]

 Source Citations:

  1. Succession of Moses Collins; DeSoto Parish Clerk of Court; Volume E, p. 474-499
  2. Succession of Matilda Collins; DeSoto Parish Clerk of Court; Volume F, p. 242-249
  3. "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Dec 2013), Willaim Pipkins Household, Justice Precinct 4, Panola, Texas, United States; citing sheet , family 179, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241663.
  4. Oral History Interviews [2006, 2007, 2009, 2010] with Aunt Mary, Uncle David, and Uncle Hosea [deceased].
  5. Pipkins, Marcellus: "Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Dec 2013), Marcellus Pipkins, 03 Mar 1972; citing certificate number 22556, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2223766.
  6. Pipkins, Wm & Ellen Parker [February 2, 1877]: Caddo Parish Marriages; Clerk of Court, Shreveport, Louisiana.
  7. Pipkin, Bill & Ellin Johnson [ September 21, 1899]: Panola County Marriages; Volume F: Page 559, County Clerk’s Office, Carthage, Texas.
  8. [History of Antioch Baptist Church in De Berry, Texas]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Luel Carr Passed Away in Terrell, Texas


Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013; 1:15 pm
Funeral Home: C. A. DuBose
Mrs. Carr, one of 14 children, was born March 12, 1921 and departed this life, October 27, 2013. Public viewing is from 2:00 to 6:00 Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at the C. A. DuBose Memorial Chapel. Funeral services are 1:00 Saturday at Union Valley Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the New Oakwood Cemetery. All services are entrusted to the DuBose Funeral Home.

In 2007, my mother and I traveled to Terrell, Texas to meet with an older cousin and other Pipkins relatives. This cousin and I had spoken over the phone for quite sometime as she told me stories and gave me information concerning her grandparents Owens Pipkins, Sr & Littie Rolley Pipkins. At that time she informed me that her Aunt Luel was still living [she was the last living 1st cousin of my great-grandfather Marcellus Pipkins, Sr] and resided in Terrell in a nursing home. Cousin Luel was one of the younger children of Owens and his wife so she did not have the opportunity to meet or know any of her grandparents who were former slaves [John & Mary Pipkins and Beth & Lugendy Rolley]. In early November of this year while doing a google search I came across the obituary of cousin Luel and learned she passed away in October. Though I've visited Terrell, Texas several times over the past few years I never had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Carr.

Information from my research
Owens Pipkins, Sr---Spouses: (1st) Adaline Adams and (2nd) Littie Rolley, daughter of Beth & Lugendy Rolley]
  1. John A. “Johnny” Pipkins (Spouse: Bunnie V. Wynn, daughter of Willie Wynn & Alice “Allie” Golden)
  2. David Pipkins (Spouse: Effie Mae Johnson, daughter of George Johnson and Rosetta Bell)
  3. Clotie Pipkins Adams
  4. Dailey Pipkins (Spouse: Ruby)
  5. Mittie Pipkins Williams (Spouse: Emmitt Williams)
  6. Lenzy Pipkins, Sr. (Spouse: Geneva Sheppard, daughter of Grant Sheppard & Dona Hardy)
  7. Annie Lee Pipkins (Spouse: Tom Davis, son of Levi Davis & Harriet Akins)
  8. Lorraine Pipkins
  9. Cliffer Pipkins (Spouse: Rhoda)
  10. Owens Pipkins, Jr.
  11. Lillie Lee Pipkins Anderson (Spouse: Calvin Anderson)
  12. Luel Pipkins Carr
  13. Litha Ann Pipkins Britton (Mother: Hannah Perkins, daughter of Hiram Perkins & Julia Ann Lynch; Spouse: Zebedee Britton, son of Samuel Britton & Susan Jackson)
  14. Dennis Pipkins (Mother: Hannah Perkins, daughter of Hiram Perkins & Julia Ann Lynch; Spouse: Minnie Lee Davis, daughter Sam Davis & Julie Ann King)

Terrence A. Garnett

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013: Tharner James Pipkins {WWII}

My grandfather, Tharner James Pipkins {1924-2001} at the age of nineteen (19) enlisted in the Navy where he served from June 12, 1943 to February 17, 1946. After leaving the Navy he joined the U.S. Air Force where he served from April 4, 1946 to December 9, 1946 receiving an honorable discharge. According to some family members my grandfather joined the Navy because he did not get along with his step-mother Lois. In my 2010 interview with my grandfather's sister Mary Lee she mentioned the following:

"Mama [Lois] took care of James after he came home from the war; he was shaken up by what he had seen. He would have nightmares about it."
Growing up I was told that my grandfather was in the army, but I never really heard him speak much about it. Sadly, I have no military pictures of my grandfather {The oldest photo I have of my grandfather is of him at Church in the early 1950's}. My grandfather was laid to rest at Houston National Cemetery.
Tharner Pipkins
                                                            Gender: Male
                                                            Birth Date: 26 Apr 1924
                                                            Death Date: 1 Apr 2001
                                                            Cause of Death: Natural
                                                            SSN: -------------
                                                            Branch 1: NAVY
                                                            Enlistment Date 1: 12 Jun 1943
                                                            Release Date 1: 17 Feb 1946
                                                            Branch 2: ARMY
                                                            Enlistment Date 2: 4 Apr 1946
                                                            Release Date 2: 9 Dec 1946


Source Citation:
  1. Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records) in the Series: World War II Army Enlistment Records, created 6/1/2002 - 9/30/2002, documenting the period ca. 1938 - 1946. - Record Group 64 
  2. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Af f airs.

Monday, October 28, 2013

REPOST {June 25, 2010}: Roberta's death

A repost [with revisions] from my previous blog:
For a few years now I have been trying to find out what happened to my great-grandmother Roberta Pipkins.  I first learned of her name when reading the obituary of my grandfather who passed away in 2001 and that "Mama Lois" [who I thought was my grandfather's mother] was his step-mother by whom my great-grandfather, Marcellus had four children with.  According to my Aunt Mary [grandfather's half-sister] she knew a few of Roberta's siblings Columbus Stephens [married Lois's sister Minnie Allen], Harmon Brown and Roberta's Aunt Jennie Tony. She mentioned that Roberta's mother, Mandy had died early on in life and her children were raised by various relatives. All of Roberta's siblings had different fathers and took on the surnames of their respective father's. Roberta met and married Marcellus Pipkins, but it would be years before they would finally have children. My grandfather's obituary stated that his mother died when he and his brother were just children and they were later reared by Marcellus & Lois Pipkins.
Marcellus Pipkins married Roberta Perkins on December 4, 1910 in Panola County, Texas.
They had the following children:
1) Tharnar James Pipkins (b. April 6, 1924 - d. April 1, 2001) - My grandfather "Buddy/James"
2) Marcellus Pipkins, Jr (b. May 6, 1925 - d. July 4, 1993) - Uncle Junior 
Roberta was last seen on the 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. She appears to have passed on sometime after the Census was taken because later that year her husband, Marcellus Pipkins married Lois Allen on October 28, 1930 in Panola County, Texas.
[1930 U.S. Federal Census,  Police Jury Ward 7,  Caddo Parish,  Louisiana; Enumerated: April 3, 1930; Dwelling #42, Family # 43, Roll 788; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 70; Image:  208]. 
The family lived next door to Henderson Wynn [Roberta's first cousinand Mariah Golden [Roberta's Aunt]


From: C. Esther (Cousin) 
Date: March 21, 2007
Communication: Email

You may come upon resistance in getting information about Roberta. It is said by some family members, 
that Roberta was "crazy".  Don't know exactly what that means, but that is the gossip. All of the folks that I've spoken with only give brief information on Roberta."
Person Interviewed: Mary K. (Great Aunt, grandfather's half-sister)
Date: March 2007
Communication: By phone and in person
"Roberta and Marcellus had lost a son in child birth or when he was just a little boy and she was never the same
after that. Daddy said it was if she had lost the will to live, she stopped taking care of herself and eventually she just died."
Aunt Mary said she believes the child was named John Pipkins.
Person Interviewed: Alma Golden Jones (Cousin) 
Date: October 16, 2007
Communication: By phone
Cousin Alma lived in Deberry, Panola County, Texas at the time of our conversation.
She is the granddaughter of Jennie Tony, Roberta's AuntAlma was born on August  04, 1923 in Panola County, Texas and died January 31, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. 
She mentioned that she knew "Cuzin Cellus and Berta". Based on her year of birth Alma would have been around 7 years old when Roberta died.
Person Interviewed: Lillie Mae Stephens Webster (My grandfather's 1st cousin & Roberta's niece)
Date: January 10, 2008
Communication: By phone
Lillie Mae was born on March 10, 1923 in Panola County, Texas and died on March 23, 2009 in Houston, Texas.
She said she didn't know who Roberta's father was, but she said Marcellus and Roberta lived in Oklahoma and then moved back to Texas where she died. I asked her if Roberta went insane or was crazy, she said "oh no honey I ain't never heard of my aunt Berta being crazy".
No death record has ever been found on Roberta Pipkins in Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma. Based on the information my Aunt Mary gave [told to her by her father Marcellus Sr] it appears that Roberta suffered from major depression and depending on her actions could have been mistaken or viewed as insanity during that time period.

Terrence A. Garnett
[October 28, 2013]

 Source Citations:
  1. Pipkins, Marcellus & Rhoberta Perkins: Panola County Marriages; Volume I: Page 260, County Clerk’s Office, Carthage, Texas.
  2. Pipkins, Marcellus & Lois Allen: Panola County Marriages; Volume N: Page 134, County Clerk’s Office, Carthage, Texas.
  3. Pipkins Jr, Marcellus C: "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2013), Marcellus Pipkin Jr, 7 July 1993; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  4. Pipkins, Tharner James: "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2013), Tharner J Pipkins, 1 April 2001; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  5. "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2013), Marselles Pipkins, Police Jury Ward 7, Caddo, Louisiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0070, sheet , family 43, NARA microfilm publication.
  6. Webster, Lillie Mae: "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2013), Lillie Mae Webster, 23 March 2009; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  7. Jones, Alma: "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2013), Alma Jones, 31 January 2008; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Court Case from the Southwestern Reporter [J.Brooks - Appeal]

BROOKS J. Appellant was convicted of assault with Intent to murder Henry Pipkins and his punishment assessed at confinement in the penitentiary for a term of two years hence this appeal.
Appellant and Will Wilson came to the house of Margaret Pipkins on September 25 1898, riding. 
At the time of their arrival the injured party, Henry Pipkins was tussling over the possession of a mule with one Elzle Scroggins. Wilson said to Pipkins "Turn the mule loose," and grabbed Pipkins by the arm, tearing his shirt sleeve.
Appellant then said to Wilson "Take this pistol and make him turn loose, for I know you will use it," whereupon Wilson took the pistol from appellant and shot at Pipkins. Pipkins turned the mule loose,c and ran In the house, which was about 30 or 40 steps away. 
Wilson then went around to the back of the house, his pistol In hand, and came Into the house through the back door. Pipkins ran out and went home. 
Various witnesses for the state testify to these facts, and this theory Is denied by appellant. After a very careful scrutiny of the court's charge, we are constrained to say that It is admirably drawn, and covers every legitimate issue raised by the evidence. 
Martin v State, 35 Tex. App 576, 8 S. W. 682. Appellant, in his motion for new trial, attached thereto the affidavit of his attorney, WR Anderson; setting up what purports to be a statement of how said attorney understood the witnesses to state the facts prior to the trial, and during the course of the trial the witnesses named In said affidavit swore to a converse statement to that which the affiant says they made to him. 
After said witnesses had testified, appellant's attorney was placed upon the stand, and testified to the facts as he understood the same had been detailed to him by said witnesses. 
There is nothing in the record to show that he asked the court to postpone the trial on the ground of surprise in order that he might obtain other witnesses; and while It Is true he says that some witnesses testified in another trial, the companion case to this the contrary of what said witnesses testified in this trial yet he fails to disclose the name of such witnesses or by whom he expected to contradict said witnesses. 
There are none of the elements of surprise, as contemplated by the statute and decisions of this state authorizing a new trial. No error appearing in the record, the judgment Is affirmed.

Henry Pipkins- is the older brother of my great-grandfather, the late Marcellus Pipkins, Sr (1884-1972).
Henry died in 1918, according to my Great Aunts & Uncles their father, Marcellus mentioned Henry frequently when they were growing up. My grandfather and his siblings were close to Henry's son Jim Pipkins.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2014 Ancestor Challenge

TERRENCE GARNETT: To Locate the slave owner & parents of Ellen & Elsie Stanley.

Challenge: To determine if Ellen & Elise were owned by James I. Neely, Rebecca D. Stanton Neely Reagan, and Thomas Jefferson Reagan. To find out the names of Ellen & Elsie's parents.

Ancestor(s): 3rd Great Grandmother Ellen Stanley
Others: Elsie Stanley Hughlon, James I. Neely, Rebecca D. Stanton Neely Reagan, & Dr. Thomas Jefferson Reagan.

Years: 1840-1865

Tribes: Texas - Panola County
             Louisiana - Caddo Parish
Written: November 6, 2011
By: Terrence A. Garnett

It was the summer of 2006, a month after I graduated from High school when I began this quest to unearth my family history. By the end of the year I was able to locate several ancestors, thanks to the oral history and other information given to me by my elderly relatives. The stories and information enabled me to trace my family lines back to the 5th and 6th generation; one person in particular was Ellen Stanley found in the 1880-1920 Census living in Panola County, Texas near the Texas/Louisiana state line. Based on the various census years, Ellen was born in either Louisiana or Texas sometime between 1851 -1858. According to family members all of Ellen’s children had different father’s one of those children was Mandy (my 2nd great-grandmother) who was said to be the outside child of Ellen & James “Jim” Golden. Mandy's marriage record & the death records of her children confirmed her maiden name was indeed, Golden (DNA has since confirmed this). Unable to locate Ellen living in Louisiana or Texas in 1870 under her surname, I had given up hope of finding anything more about her.

Earlier this week I was reviewing some notes on my fourth (4th) Great-grandparents, Nelson & Agnes Golden of Panola County, Texas. I decided to revisit the 1870 Census to take a look at their neighbors and immediately noticed a sixteen (16) year old Ellen Ragan in the household of Alsey Ragan living next door to the Golden's. I thought to myself could this be my ancestor Ellen Stanley?
I recalled that in 1880, Ellen was living in the household of John Huland in Panola County, Texas. Unfortunately no relationships were stated for anyone living in the household. I surmised there was some type of connection between them based on the birthplaces listed for John, Ellen, and Elsie parents and the similar family names among the Stanley & Huland/Hughlon children and grandchildren.

In an effort to find out more I went to to look at the “Texas Deaths Records, 1890-1976” and “Louisiana Deaths Index, 1894-1954”. My search revealed the death of a Josephine McKinney who died on December 12, 1937 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.

Name: Josephine McKinney
Death Date: 12 December 1937
Death Place: Lachute, Caddo, Louisiana
Gender: Female
Race: Black
Age: 66
Est. Birth Year: 1871
Birth Place: Deberry, Texas
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Si McKinney
Father’s Name: John Hughlan
Mother’s Name: Elsie Standley 
Certificate No.: 15884 (Vol. 37)
Josephine’s death records confirmed the relationship between Ellen & Elsie. I believe that Elsie & her sister Ellen may have been owned by Thomas J. Reagan a Doctor in Panola County, Texas. T.J. Reagan married Rebecca D. Stanton Neely, widow of James I. Neely.


1. Who were Ellen & Elsie's parents? 
2. Did they have any other relatives in the area?
3. In 1870, the sister's are listed under the surname Ragan, could they have been previously owned by Dr. Thomas Jefferson Reagan?

 References Needed for Review & Analysis:
  • Review Probate minutes for James I. Neely
  • Panola County Final Estate (Probate) Records of James I. Neely (I apparently never got around to ordering this on microfilm according to my 2011 notes).
  • Property Records (Deeds) for James Neely, Rebecca Neely Reagan, and Thomas J. Reagan.
  • Texas (Panola County) Tax Records for James Neely & Thomas J. Reagan.
The 2014 Ancestor Challenge officially began on October 1, 2013 and ends on April 1, 2014.
Click the link to view my current progress: TG_SAC2014
Heirs of Ellen Stanley & Elsie Hughlon: Stanley Descendants

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Slaves of James Neely

The Will of James I. Neely
Microfilm #: 1004551
Final Estate #: 229
Volume: C (1855-1862), Pages 490-500
County and State: Panola County, Texas
Will Filed: March 8, 1856

The State of Texas || I James I. Neely being of sound mind and memory
County of Panola    || hereby make and publish this my last will and testament.
First} after my decease it is my request and desire that my remains should be conveyed to the town of Vienna, County of Dooley in the state of Georgia where my mother and sister reside for interment.

Second} I  give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Rebecca D. Neely the use, improvements and income of the land on which I reside with the opportunity thereof the land to be divided and one half sold for the payment of my just debts. My wife to have and to hold the remainder of said property for and during the term of her natural life.

Third} I also give and bequeath to my wife , Rebecca D. Neely the following described negro property to wit:

  • Tom, Negro of Yellow Complexion, age 43 years.
  • Unity, Negress of Yellow Complexion, age 45 years.
  • Augustus, Negro of Yellow Complexion,  age 18 years.
  • Blackshire, Negro of Yellow Complexion, age 14 years.
  • Hector, Negro of Dark Complexion, age 30 years.
  • Sam, Negro of Dark Complexion, age 21 years.
  • Reubin, Negro of Dark Complexion, age 19 years.
  • Mary, Negress of Dark Complexion, age 17 years and her child age 11 or 15 months.
  • Jane (Jenny), Negress of Dark Complexion, age 29 years also Louisa her child of Yellow Complexion, age 8 years.
  • Jack, Negro of Dark Complexion, age 54 years
  • Also my interest in the Negress Milly (Emeline) and her child Laura with her increase.

 My said wife to have and to hold said negro property for her use and benefit during the term of her natural life.

Fourth} It is my will and desire that the following negro property to wit:
  • Jim, Negro of Dark Complexion, age 45 years.
  • Betsey, Negress of Dark Complexion, age 37 years
  • Judy (Judah), Negress of Dark Complexion, age 18 years with her two (2) children: Georgia, Negress, age 2 years and her infant Charles
After my decease be sold and the proceeds applied to the payment of my just debts. The balance that may remain to be appropriated for the use and benefit of my said wife Rebecca D. Neely.


Many of James Neely's slaves took on the Neely/Neily/Nealy surname after emancipation according to Census and marriage records. Hector, Sam, Reubin, Milly, Laura, Judy, and Georgia.

Terrence A. Garnett

My Grandfather's family...

Lately, my Panola County, Texas ancestors have been the focus of my research efforts. Although I've been researching my family history since June of 2006, I've come to realize that there is so much more to uncover about my Panola County roots.

My Maternal Grandfather, the late Tharner James Pipkins (1924-2001) was born and raised in the community of Bethany near DeBerry, Texas (located on the Texas & Louisiana state lines). My main focus is to share what I have found over the course of my research concerning his Paternal & Maternal ancestors some of whom have been in Panola county since it's formation in 1846. I also plan to document other African-American families from the area.

The family of Marcellus Pipkins Sr. 
   (photo from the collection of Linda Golden)