OUR ANCESTOR, WILLIAM H. ERWIN

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He was a grandfather to all of us who are descendants of Lot Garrison and Margaret Erwin. For me, he was my great-great-great grandfather. He was the father of our Margaret Erwin. From the records that we have found, he is certainly a man that we can all be proud of!

William H. Erwin is all we know of his name. Never have I seen a middle name written out for him. In documents that we have found with his signature, he always wrote it as “William H. Erwin or “Wm. H. Erwin.” Perhaps because there was another William Erwin in the Adams County, Mississippi vicinity where he lived as a young man, our William felt it necessary to include his middle initial to distinguish himself from that other older William. No documentation we have located spells out his middle name. Even in his Family Bible, he wrote his name as “William H Erwin.” His namesake, William H. Garrison (Lot and Margaret's second son), is also listed in documents as “William H. Garrison,” with no indication of what the middle name might be.

Other related Erwin men who have been located, and whose names were William, were named William Henderson, William Henry, etc., but not our William. He chose, for some reason, to go down in history as “William H.” Perhaps he didn't like his middle name, or maybe he only had the initial as his name. It would not be that he couldn't spell it, for documentation we have located has shown him to be quite an educated man.

The William H. Erwin Bible... (and associated papers)

Grandpa William helped all of us a great deal with our family history by writing down many of the names and dates that family history enthusiasts always want to know. Several well-respected genealogists have stated that William H. Erwin's Bible is the best documentation of preserved family history that they have seen. As we locate other Erwin documents in courthouses, etc., their names and dates always have agreed with what Grandpa William wrote down for us in his family Bible. The earliest date he recorded in the Bible was for his parents' marriage in 1766. His father was James Erwin and his mother was Jennet Andrews. Other records, including an actual copy of their marriage license, tell us that truly they were married on that date while they lived in Rowan County, North Carolina.

This Bible has been handed down through the years, ending up today in the caring hands of his great-great-great-grandson, Reverend Jesse Lawrence "Sonny" Garrison of Liberty, Mississippi. Thanks to Jesse, this treasure has been made available both to the family and to the masses by photo copies and by transcription. The Bible was also put on display at our Garrison family reunion in September of 1999 for all who might want to see its pages.

The first family record page of this wonderful old Bible first lists the marriage of William H. Erwin and his wife, Mary Lacry Brasfield, as being February 19, 1801. This is followed by the marriages of four of his children. In the other column on that page, he lists the marriage of his parents, James Erwin and Jennet Andrews as October 12, 1766. To make sure that later readers realize who they are, William writes, "The above is the father and mother of the family of wich (his spelling) Wm. H. Erwin is part." Then he lists the names and birthdates of all his brothers and sisters.

According to Grandpa William's Bible record, he had five brothers and sisters. They included:

"John Erwin- born January 21, 1769­

James Erwin- August 5. 1771­

Joseph Erwin- born May 1, 1774

Isaac Erwin- May 5, 1776

Margret Erwin- born Nov. 22, 1778"

On the next page, in the Births Section of his Bible, he lists his name first: "William H. Erwin was born November 19, 1781." This would mean that our William, with his 1781 birth date, was the youngest of James' and Jennet's children. "Mary Lacry Erwin (William's wife) was born August 15th, 1783."

Below the birth dates of his brothers and sisters, William drew a simple line. Underneath the line, he lists the names and birth dates of four individuals that none of us have been able to tie to our family. These names include the following:

 "Jasper Ingram was born July 16th 1823

Robert C. Ingram was born December the 182- (can't read last number)

Marthy Jane Ingram was born July 22' 18- - (cannot be sure of last 2 numbers, may be 23)

Melissa Ann Rollins was born November (may bet 827, covered with tape) "

Maybe one day, someone will be able to solve the puzzle of these names. Who are they? Were they children the Erwins helped to raise? William does a good job of explaining all other names located in his Bible record.

The copyright date in the old Bible is 1811, which means that it could have come into William's possession after he and Mary Lacry had been married for a while, and after several of their children had been born. Apparently, when he did get possession of the new Bible, he got busy filling in the vital family information. He kept a wonderful, complete record until the time of his death. Then, no new entries were made. Someone did list his death. Maybe the family did not want to mar his perfect family record. Genealogists who have viewed the Bible marvel at its quality family history record.

Within the Marriages Section on the first page, he lists his own marriage as well as the marriages of several of his children. First, he lists his marriage. "William H. Erwin and Mary Lacry Brasfield were married February 19',1801." Then the marriage of his son, Isaac L Erwin to William's niece, Margaret Erwin. Isaac I. Erwin and Margaret Erwin were married April 24th, 1823. A notation inside the front cover of the Bible says the following: "Margaret Erwin, daughter of John Erwin and wife of I.I. Erwin was born April 14, 1810 [or 1806]." At that rate, Margaret was right at her thirteenth birthday [or her seventeenth] when she and Isaac were married. Isaac was age twenty-one. They had made application for their license on April 19, 1823. The marriage date in the Bible is in complete agreement with Isaac and Margaret's marriage license which was located in Adams County, Mississippi. Furthermore, their marriage was performed by and signed by William H. Erwin, Minister of the Gospel. William was a Baptist minister.

The next marriage listed was that of William's daughter, Luseney. It says, "Luseney Erwin and Stephen Kennedy were married Nov. 27 1823." In the births section, her birth date is listed as "Jany 4, 1809 [or 1807.]". The writing is not easily read in that area. Other documentation shows her birth date as January 4, 1809. At that rate, she would have been nearly fifteen years old at the time of her marriage. Her marriage papers located in the Natchez Courthouse show that this date is correct for her marriage also. (Later records on Stephen Kennedy state that he was born in Edgefield, SC on September 2, 1780. If those records are correct, Stephen was as old as Luseney's father, William. William was forty-two years of age at this time.)

Her marriage papers are preceded by a handwritten note, signed and dated by William H. Erwin. The note is as follows: "The Judge of Probate will please grant Stephen Kennedy license to marry my daughter Lucina. Signed by Wm. H. Erwin. November 24, 1823." (The bond papers which were filled out by an official of the court, and he spelled her name as "Susanna Erwin." Her name has different spellings on various documents that have been found. In some instances, penmanship could be the problem. In other instances, her name seems to be misunderstood by the person doing the writing. It seems that everybody spelled like they wanted to.)

The license reads as follows:

"In virtue of a License from the Probate Judge of Adams County, I have this day celebrated the Rites of Matrimony between Stephan Kennady [sic] and Lucennath Erwin. Given under my hand, the 27 `h day of November 1823.

Signed by Wm. H. Erwin, M.G." (The initials M.G. following his name denotes that he was a Minister of the Gospel.)

The marriage of William's son, Zadok B. Erwin was listed next in the Bible. It says, "Zadok B. & Rachel Erwin was married October 28--- 1827." Inside the front cover is another notation: "Rachel Erwin, daughter of John Erwin and wife of Zadok B. Erwin born September 7, 1811." If our birth date is being read correctly, Rachel was sixteen years of age when she married, and Zadok was twenty-three. Court records found have shown that John Erwin, the brother of William Erwin, had marital problems, causing a divorce between John and his second wife. The problem was severe enough for William to feel that he needed to step in and assist the family in several ways. Later, it will be seen that he donates items to his nieces and nephews, children of John.

The following handwritten note was found at the top of the page in Zadok and Rachel's marriage papers: "Reuben A. Erwin made oath he saw John Erwin subscribe the above certificate of consent and became a witness thereto Oct 24',1827. Woodson Wren, Regis." The actual marriage license was signed by William H. Erwin, since he performed their wedding ceremony. Their license reads as follows: 

"State of Mississippi    Adams County

In virtue of a License from the Register of the court of said county,

I have this day joined in the holy state of Matrimony Zadok B. Erwin & Rachel Erwin.

Given under my hand, this 28' day of October, 1827.

Signed by: Wm. H. Erwin, M.G."

The next marriage entry was for William's daughter, Margaret Erwin. It says, "Margaret Erwin & Lot Garrison was married January 24- - 1828." (Their marriage papers have also been located in Natchez. Details on their marriage are included in the story, "Grandpa Lot," in this book.)

Marriage licenses for all of the above marriages were located at the Chancery Clerks Office at the Natchez, MS, Courthouse by Mary Broussard of Denham Springs, LA, and Sylvia Smith of Franklinton, LA, on March 4 and 5, 1999.

Family Bible Record... Births...

On the next page of William's Family Bible, he began listing the births in his and Mary Lacry's household. The following will be the notations which he made concerning these births, including their own: 

 "William H. Erwin was born November 19t, 1781.

Mary Lacry Erwin was born August 15th 1783

Isaac I. Erwin eldest son of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born March 11th [or 4th] 1802

Zadok B. Erwin second son of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born January 10' 1804

Reuben A. Erwin third son of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born July 4'b 1806

Suseney (or Luseney) Erwin first daughter of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born Jany 4" 1809

Margaret Erwin second daughter of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born June 12'' 1812

 The entries continue in the second column of the page with:

 "Jane A. Erwin third daughter of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born April 10' 1815

William Z. Erwin fourth son of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born June 12' 1818

John B. Erwin fifth son of William H. and Mary L. Erwin was born April 17th 1820."

His record shows that he and his wife Mary had eight children over a period of eighteen years. Southern women during this time of history spent a large part of their lives either pregnant or nursing. In his family record, William makes sure to specify the order of each son and each daughter within the family, as well as their specific birth dates. (Notice that none of the children were given his middle name beginning with an H).

A bold flourishing squiggly line then separates his children's births from those of his grandchildren. Notice that only four years lapse from the time his last child is born until his first grandchild is born. At the bottom half of the second column on the Births section, he begins with the following: 

"Andrew Jackson Erwin first son of Isaac I. and Margaret Erwin was born February 24th 1824.

Stephen Gallatin son of Luseny and Stephen Kennedy was born Sept. 17th, 1825

Mary (some initial or Margaret- part is not readable) Erwin daughter of Isaac I and Margaret Erwin was born July 23rd 1826"

The reverse side of that page continues with the following births: 

"Felix H. Kennedy second son of Lusenea & Stephen Kennedy was born the 15 of December 1828

Benjamin F. Erwin second son of Isaac I & Margret Erwin born 15 March 1828

Claybourn H. Erwin first son of Zadok B. & Rachel Erwin was born 16t' October 1828

John Garrison first son of Margaret & Lot Garrison was born the 24th November 1828

Fielding G. Erwin third son of I.I. & Margret Erwin was born on the 22 June 1830

Wm. H. Garrison born Novem the 7 1830

Robert T. (could be J. or I.) Erwin borned November the 25 1830

Elize Jane Kenneday first daughter of Stephen and Luseney Kenneday was born The 14 October 1830."

Did you realize that in the years 1828 through 1830, eight new grandchildren were added? Parents were listed with all but two of these grandchildren. Wm. H. Garrison was the second son of Lot and Margaret Garrison. I am not sure whose child Robert was, but it must have been Zadok. Isaac and s wife had just had a child in June. (Note that William's "H." is in the names of some of his grandsons).

The Deaths Record is the shortest of all the sections in this Bible. The first death listed is that of  “John B. Erwin son of Wm. H. & Mary L. Erwin died December 8, 1827.” Little John would have n only seven years of age.

The second entry is, “Benjamin H. Erwin second son of  I. I. & Margret Erwin died on the 28 [or 29] y, 1830.” He was just a little over two years of age.

The third entry is, “Isaac I. Erwin son of W.H. & Mary L. Erwin died January the 19 1831.” This left Isaac's young wife with three young children at home to provide for. One of their young sons had died just six months before.

The fourth entry is, “Jane A. Erwin Daughter Wm. H. & Mary L. Erwin died on Friday the Ist September 1831.”

At the top of the second column on the Deaths Section is the following: “Wm. H. Erwin died January the 8 (or 9, hard to read) 1832 in his fiftieth first year.”

The entire section of family pages from the William H. Erwin Bible was copied and inserted in my book. After computer scanning I found information visible which had been unreadable for many years.

An Explanation of Some of This Information:

William and Mary Lacry were married when he was a little over nineteen years of age, and she was not yet seventeen and a half.

When Mary was eighteen years of age and William was age twenty, their first child, Isaac, was born. William was age thirty and Mary Lacry was age twenty-eight when my great-great grandmother, Margaret Erwin, was born to them. Their last child, John B. Erwin, was born when they were ages thirty-six and thirty-eight.

The year after their last child was born, William had quite a few sales of goods and property, and donations recorded in Adams County Mississippi. These documents were located by Mary Broussard and myself on a family history trip to Natchez on March 4 and 5 of 1999.

In one of these documents, William “sold” a female slave named Mariah of approximate age of eleven years to his niece, Rachel Erwin, for the price of one dollar. This document was dated March 1, 1821. The document further states that the Justice of the Peace of Adams County signed and sealed the document on August 24, 1821. Woodrow Wren, Clerk, signed that the document was received to be recorded into his office on that same date. (Rachel was William's ten-year-old niece, the daughter of his brother John Erwin. She would later marry William's son, Zadok.) It was signed "Wm. H. Erwin."

On the same date, March 1, 1821, William sold to his nephew Joseph Erwin, “one negro man named Stephen, about thirty-five years of age.” Again, this sale was for the exchange of one dollar and signed “Wm. H. Erwin.” This document was also signed by the Justice of the Peace, as well as the Clerk on August 24, 1821.

On the same day, March 1, 1821, William had a third sale of a slave. This one was to his niece, Jane Erwin, for ownership of “a negro woman named Betty about thirty-five years of age”... for the price of one dollar. Again, this document entered the courthouse on August 24, 1821. (In reality, in those days, slaves were more costly than land).

Many documents were located for William, but I have chosen to enter only a few of them into this story. In the following deed, William seems to be getting rid of a lot of his Adams County possessions by selling them to his son, Zadok B. Erwin “for the sum of Five thousand dollars of good and lawful money of the United States....”

The following is a list of all the items mentioned in the document: 

“all the slaves stock and household and children furniture and plantation tools,

hereinafter particularly mentioned that is to say fourteen slaves namely:

Jep forty years old, Pleasant thirty five years old, Sarah thirty five years old,

Courtney thirty years old, Celia thirty years old, Hannah twenty two years old,

Daniel fifteen years old, Lewis four years old, Edmond two years old, Harriet

three years old, Wilson one year old;

also, twenty five head horned cattle, twenty hogs, two horses, one yoke oxen,

one wagon, household and kitchen furniture, and my library of books.”

This was put into effect with:

“I the said Wm. H. Erwin have put the said Zadok B. Erwin in full possession by delivering to him.... One Silver Spoon at the sealing and delivery of these presents in the name of the whole premise....”

The Bill of Sale ended with this statement:

“In witness whereof I the said William H. Erwin haveto set my hand and seal this fifth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight and twenty-seven.”

 It was “signed by Wm. H. Erwin (Seal) Signed & Sealed in presents (in the presence of) I. Erwin Ahab (?) Holmes”

David Pipes, Justice of the Peace in Adams County, signed the document on February 8, 1827. The County Clerk, Woodson Wren signed saying, “I certify that the foregoing and (unreadable) deed was ved into my office to be recorded on the 14' day of April 1827.”

William must have prepared in advance for his legal actions, for often several transactions took place same day.

Again, on February 5, 1827, an indenture was made between William H. Erwin and his son, Zadok. This time the agreed upon sum was “...two thousand four hundred and ten dollars of good and lawfull money of the United States .... for all that parcel of land situated in (Adams) County on the Waters of Wells Creek containing two hundred and forty one acres be the same more or less part of two several larger tracks and bounded as follows: beginning at a beech on a bayou at the mouth of a small gully and running N 45 degrees E 49.00 chains to a sweet gum on the east side main road to Natchez thence S 45 degrees E with (unreadable) the of John Erwin's donation Clame B N 191 36.50 chains to a s. gum corner of said claim, thence S 45 degrees W 62.48 chains to a stake on Holmes line thence N 45 degrees W 5 chains to two magnolias on the west bank of the Bayou, John Holmes corner. Thence up the Bayou with its several meanders....”

This document was by Wm. H. Erwin (Seal). Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Isaac I. Erwin and Ahab Holmes” The Justice of the Peace, David Pipes, signed and sealed the document on February 8, 1827. The County Clerk, Woodson Wren, by his Deputy, Jos. Green, recorded it as being received into his office “on the 14th day of April, 1827.”

These last two documents in which William "sells" much of his land and his other possessions to his son, Zadok, lead me to believe that he was perhaps, making preparations to move to East Baton Rouge Parish soon. We know that he and Mary and some of their children were in Louisiana for the 1830 census."

That 1830 East Baton Rouge census shows twenty-seven persons living in the Wm. Erwin household. Closer study, however, indicates that nineteen of them are slaves, while the remaining eight persons are of the white race.

The following shows the makeup of the "Free White Persons" of the household (In parentheses will be who I think each entry might be. SKS):

Males to age 5

Males age 10-15

Males 20-30

1

1

2

(Zadok's baby son, Claybourne H. Erwin, age 1 +)

(Wm. 's son, William Zachary, age 12)

(Zadok B. Erwin and Reuben A. Erwin, Wm. 's sons)

Males 40-50

Females 10-15

Females 15-20

Females 40-50

1

1

1

1

(Wm. H. Erwin)

(Jane Andrew Erwin, Wm. 's youngest daughter)

(Rachel, Zadok's wife- age 18 or 19)

(Mary Lacry Brasfield)

 

  Of the nineteen slaves in the household were the following:

Males to age 10

8

Females to age 10     3

Males ages 10-24

3

Females 10-24          1

Males age 24-36

1

Females 24-36          2

Males age 36-55

1

 

We feel that William, his wife Mary, along with their two youngest children, Jane Andrew and William Zachary, are definitely present for this census. Because twenty-three-year-old Reuben A. has not been married yet, he is probably one of the twenty to thirty-year-old males in the household. He is later found in East Baton Rouge Parish census tables, and his parents donate a piece of East Baton Rouge land to him. William and Mary deed land to these three children, Reuben A., Jane Andrew, and William Zachary, in June of 1830 (See following deed). William gave/sold land and household possessions to Zadok in Mississippi before he left.

Perhaps Zadok and his young wife, Rachel, are also in William's household at this particular time. Rachel, at age eighteen or nineteen, is expecting her second child in November of 1830. She and Zadok already have one little son, Claybourne Fielding Erwin, who was born in October of 1828, making him about one and a half years old at the time of this census (These persons could account for the 8 "Free White Persons" in the census. Census tables in 1830 only list the name of the head of the house).

A land deed has been located in the Baton Rouge Courthouse showing William H. Erwin possibly preparing for some of his family members to make their move from Mississippi to East Baton Rouge Parish Louisiana." In this document, William bargains with Philemon Thomas to purchase three hundred and eighty-two acres of land, payable in two payments. The first payment would be due on the first of March in 1830; the remaining half would be paid on the first of March in 1831. This land was described as being "about eight miles from the Town of Baton Rouge,"...bounded on one side by the "land of James Stokes beginning at a white oak…”

On the same page of the Notary Conveyances Book is another statement, dated 21 March 1830. In this situation both William H. Erwin and Philemon Thomas re-appear before Mr. Crawford, the Notary Public. This time, they wish to reverse the sale of the same 382 acres of land purchased in December of 1829. William did end up with the land because he donated most of it to three of his children in the following act of Donation.

In the same Notarial Conveyance Book, was found a document in which William H. Erwin and his wife, Mary Brasfield, distribute land to three of their children who accompanied them to Baton Rouge. 

“First: To Reuben Alexander Erwin the hundred acres of land situate in this Parish, being part, and the West end of [..unreadable..] three hundred and eighty-two acres of land acquired by William H. Erwin [..unreadable..] passed before the 22 March 1830 from Philemon Thomas/vide Folio 184 in this Register./ The said one hundred acres is adjoining that of D. William B Scott, and runs parallel with his line and [..unreadable...] at the sum of Three Hundred Dollars…….” 

“Secondly: To Miss Jane Andrew Erwin one hundred acres of Land a part of the above described Tract, and adjoining the [..unreadable..] to Reuben A. Erwin is above recited, and valued also at a sum of Three Hundred Dollars…….” 

“Lastly; to William Zachary Erwin, One Hundred Acres of Land, adjoining in the same Tract, the donation to Miss [..unreadable..] Erwin, valued at the Same price, of Three Hundred Dollars.” 

“To have and to hold unto the said Reuben Alexander Erwin, Jane Andrew Erwin, and William Zachary Erwin, their heirs or assigns, each separately, and distinct into the above described property, warranted and defended [..unreadable..] all claims and demands whatsoever…….”

Later, in this same document, the notary was said to have taken “...Mrs. Mary Brasfield apart and out f the hearing of the said husband…” to explain her rights to the land. Mary assured him that she understood her rights, and that she wished the land to be donated to these three children.

Reading on further in the document, it states “...and the said Reuben Alexander Erwin, here present having attained the age of Majority, accepts this of this Donation made in his favor, under the title of nation....” “...and the said William H. Erwin and Mary Brasfield his wife by him duly authorized, declared that they accepted of the two several donations made to their two children, to wit, Jane drew Erwin and William Zachary Erwin, both minors, for their several and exclusive use and benefit when they shall have attained the age prescribed by Law, under the title of Donations....”

“In witness, whereof the said William H. Erwin has hereunto signed his name, and Mistress Mary field not knowing how to write has made her ordinary mark, and William Zachary Erwin has written his name, in presence of Messieurs R.H. Burnett and Anthony Webb.”

“Witnesses of this Parish who signed as such and me, Notary on this Seventh day of June, One Thousand eight hundred and thirty…….”

This document is then signed by the witnesses mentioned above, plus Ch. W. Crawford, Notary Public. As William's signature is his “Wm. H. Erwin.” Mary Brasfield made her X mark, and her name was also signed by William as “Mary X Brasfield” (showing her mark between). It was also signed by “Reuben A. Erwin.” Under Reuben's signature is written, “accepted for Jane Andrew Erwin [..unreadable..] Erwin. Wm. H Erwin - Mary X Brasfield” (showing her mark again). This same document was found copied in a Donation Book at the Courthouse in Baton Rouge.

We were able to learn several things from this one document. First, we learned the middle names of the three children mentioned in the act of donation: Reuben Alexander, Jane Andrew, and William Zachary. We also learned that William's wife, Mary Brasfield could not sign her name. Both sons, Reuben A., and William Z., were able to sign their names. We don’t know if Jane Andrew Erwin could or could not sign her name, or if perhaps she was just not present at the signing of the document. Even though Mary Brasfield could not sign her name, she seemed to fully understand the legalities involved in the giving of the land to these children.

This document becomes even more complicated in the months following its first signing. Deaths in the family occur, causing some changes to be made to the original. Written in the left margin of the original document are these words: “On this eighth day of February, [...unreadable...] before me Charles H. Crawford Notary Public in and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, was exhibited before me legal proof of the death and disposition of the property named in the written act of the late Jane A. Erwin, and in [..unreadable..] the mortgage retained in her said donation is hereby released[?] Baton Rouge Eighth of February A.D. 1834. Signed: Ch. W. Crawford Not. Pub.”

We further learned from the Erwin Bible that “Jane A. Erwin Daughter Wm. H. & Mary L. Erwin died on friday the 1St September 1, 1831.”  We also learned from the Bible record that William H. Erwin died January 8 or 9, 1832, about four months later.

Another addendum to the original land donation act by William was because of William's death. This addition reads as follows: “We Zadok B. Erwin and Lot Garrison/ husband of Margaret Erwin/ both heirs of their Father William H. Erwin, do solemnly swear that [..bad inkblot (must be Jane)..] Erwin died before her Father the said W.H. Erwin, and that the land mentioned in a donation passed before Charles W. Crawford Notary Public in and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge was legally divided amongst all the heirs of the said succession, and the mortgage reserved is in consequence (?) released on the part of the heirs.” This document is dated: “Baton Rouge the Eighth day of February A.D. 1834.” Prior to the signature of the Notary Public is the following notation: “Sworn before me on this 8th Feb. 1834.

Ch. W. Crawford.”

It was then signed by both Zadok B. Erwin and Lot Garrison.

Zadok must have come from his home in Mississippi to help take care of legal matters after the deaths of his father and his sister. With both William H. Erwin and Isaac I. Erwin deceased, Zadok was undoubtedly considered the patron of the Erwin family. He was now the oldest living male of the entire William H. Erwin family (Zadok's full name was Zadok Barrow Erwin, named for the husband of William's only brother-in-law, Zadok Barrow).

Background of Mary Lacry Brasfield Erwin

William's wife, Mary Lacry Brasfield, has not been so easy to trace. No real effort has yet been made to trace this line, though. We believe that Mary Lacry's parents were Reuben and Peggy Brasfield. Children of Reuben and Peggy are listed as Zachariah Brasfield, born about 1778; Jackson Brasfield; Sarah Brasfield; Leney (Terry) Brasfield; Elizabeth Brasfield; and Mary Brasfield.

References

  1.       Isaac I. Erwin & Margaret Erwin, Marriage Records, 19 April 1823, Marriage Book 3: Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Adams County, Natchez, MS. Hereinafter cited as I. Erwin-M. Erwin, Marriage Book 3.

  2.       Stephen Kennedy-Lucina Erwin, Marriage Book, 27 November 1823, Marriage Book 5: 67, Chancery Clerks Office, Courthouse, Adams County, MS. Hereinafter cited as S. Kennedy-L. Erwin, Marriage Book 5.

  3.       Zadok B. Erwin-Rachel Erwin, Marriage Contract and Marriage License, 28 October 1827, Marriage Book 5: 99, Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Natchez, MS. Hereinafter cited as Z. Erwin-R. Erwin, Marriage Book 5. 

  4.       Lot Garrison & Margaret Erwin, Marriage permission and marriage contract, 28 January 1828, Marriage Book 5, May 18, 1826-June 4, 1835: 114, Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Natchez, MS. Hereinafter cited as Garrison-Erwin, Marriage Book 5.

  5.       Wm. H. Erwin to Rachel Erwin, Sale of Slave, Land Deeds Record Book P: 259. Chancery Clerk's Office Courthouse, Natchez, Adams County, MS. Located by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith.

  6.       Wm. H. Erwin to Joseph Erwin, Sale of Slave, Land Deeds Record Book P: 260. Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Natchez, Adams Co., MS. Located by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith.

  7.       Wm. H. Erwin to Jane Erwin, Sale of Slave, Land Deeds Record Book P: 260-261. Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Natchez, Adams Co., MS. Located by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith.

  8.       Wm. H. Erwin to Zadok B. Erwin, Sale of Goods, Land Deeds Record Book P: 536-537. Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Adams Co., MS.

  9.       Wm. H. Erwin to Zadok B. Erwin, Sale of Land, Land Deeds Record Book P: 535- 537. Chancery Clerk's Office, Courthouse, Adams Co., MS.

  10.       The 1830 Population Census, East Baton Rouge Parish Louisiana, 5th Census, Isaiah F. Polk census taker, Microcopy #M19, Ro11 33, # 43, located at Washington Parish Library, Franklinton, LA by Sylvia Smith.

  11.       Philemon Thomas to Wm. H. Erwin, Vendor Index, Notary Conveyances, #414, pp. 111-112 (2_ December 1829). Cannot read second digit of date. Located in Clerk of Court Office, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish LA by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith.

  12.       Donation of land to Reuben A. Erwin, Jane Andrew Erwin, and William Zachary Erwin from William H. Erwin and Mary Brasfield. Notorial Conveyance Book, #545, pp. 251-253, June 7, 1830. Located in Clerk of Court Office in Baton Rouge Courthouse, Baton Rouge, LA by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith. Hereinafter cited as Donation of Land to Erwin Children.

  13.       Wm. H. Erwin/Mrs. Mary Erwin, Donation of Land, Donation Book DC 1830, #2. Located in Clerk of Court Office in Baton Rouge Courthouse, Baton Rouge, LA by Mary Broussard and Sylvia Smith.

  14.       Donation of Land to Erwin Children, February 8, 1834.

  15.       Ibid.

  16.       Brasfield/Brassfield Genealogies, compiled and edited by Annabelle C. and Edward N. McAllister, 1959, Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI.                                                     

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The preceding article is an excerpt from A Gathering of Garrisons: The Ancestors, Family and Descendants of Lot Garrison and Margaret Erwin, a 722-page book written by Sylvia Kelly Smith, and is reprinted by permission.    -Ed.

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A Gathering of Garrisons—A Review of the Book

(Excerpts from a review done by Damon Veach in his "Louisiana Ancestors" column written for major Louisiana  newspapers. This particular version was found  in the January 12, 2003 issue of The Sunday Advocate Magazine, pp. 24 & 26, published in Baton Rouge, LA.)

"Garrison Book contains info on several other surnames: Sylvia Kelly Smith of Franklinton has come up with a remarkable book that reflects exceptional work. A Gathering of Garrisons: The Ancestors, Family and Descendants of Lot Garrison and Margaret Erwin is about more than just the immediate families. Smith captures many other surnames in the process, such as:

  • ‘Lot Garrison was a son of Leonard Lawrence Garrison and his second wife, Elizabeth Gray, and he was born Oct. 31, 1805, in Greene County, Pa. He died July 3, 1847, in Louisiana.’

  • ‘Margaret Erwin was born June 12, 1812. She was a daughter of William H. Erwin and Mary Lacry Brasfield of Adams County in Mississippi. William was the youngest son of James Erwin and Jennet Andrews. Margaret died April 9, 1886, in Louisiana.’

  • ‘According to the 1830 census of Louisiana, Lot and Margaret were in East Baton Rouge Parish. They were living with their baby son, John W. Garrison, and Margaret's parents were living next door. John had been born in Mississippi on Nov. 28, 1828.’

This huge book is fully illustrated and easy to read. It contains an enormous amount of data on the Garrisons and allied lines. Another thing that is impressive about this book is the documentation of all material presented therein, and the design and layout are also excellent. This one is a must-have addition to any major genealogical collection, and it is an absolute gem for any family member.”

Mr. Veach did not know the cost  of the book, so he couldn’t put it in his article. The price is $55.00, which includes shipping, and can be purchased direct from the author. She can be reached by phone at 985-839-3946, by e-mail at saks@huntcom.net, or at Sylvia K. Smith, 105 Fleetwood, Franklinton, LA 70438.    -Ed

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