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. Aunt Mary Lee, daughter of Marcellus, relayed that her father mentioned that his mother Ella was part Choctaw Indian, and she died when he was a child. Through research, I found that Ella was born in Missouri around 1857 and brought to Caddo Parish, Louisiana in the early 1860s along with her mother and stepfather, Jane and Thomas Wells

Marcellus told his children that his father William was the son or grandson of the slave owner. Records indicate that William was born around 1857 in Keatchie, DeSoto 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 common for children to have different fathers during slavery if the husband was sold or through other circumstances. John, Mary, and most of their children remained intact as a family unit throughout slavery, which is why I believe that John, not a slave owner, is the father of William . Y-DNA testing of a direct male descendant (my mom's half-brother) revealed that his haplogroup is E-M2, shorthand for E1B1A, which is African. It seems 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 and 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, Marcellus had been a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church for 45 years, which is accurate according to the church history. He was ordained as a deacon in 1927 under the leadership of Reverend A.R. Richardson.   

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 and Mandy Golden. Oral history states that Marcellus and Roberta briefly lived in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and  one family member told me the story about the time Marcellus went to rescue his nephew, Jim, and his niece, Lillie, from someone in the area.

After several years of marriage, Marcellus and Roberta had three children together: Tharner 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, and some relatives have claimed that 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 went 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 and Lois Pipkins, which I have yet to determine at this time.

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 he is buried at the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in DeBerry, 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.

Marcellus and Lois Pipkins

Death Certificate of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr.

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.

Cousin Luel Pipkins Carr - From the Photo collection of Marian Davis

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