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Welcome To The Willingham Family History

Before I get started, I would like to thank the many family members who all helped me on this adventure, and especially the two who had family bibles that verified names and gave us precise dates. Avon Willingham, who descended from Park Willingham and Nancy Willingham Trotter who descended from Amos Jackson Willlingham. Both of them were great in sharing their information as well as many family pictures. Aunt Ruby who got us started with a list she had gotten from her mother was also especially helpful. This is not a work of just one person, it has been a family adventure, worked on by a number of us, for a number of years.

Back in the mid 1850's 'Old' Amos Willingham left Randolph Co., Alabama and moved his young family to Upshur Co., Texas. I refer to him as 'Old' Amos as we had a few more Amos's in the family. His youngest son, Josephus Newton Willingham was the only child out of 9 children that was born in Texas. Josephus, or Joe, as he was known to most people, also happens to be the one that my husband is descended from.

'Old' Amos was born in Oglethorpe Co., Georgia in 1810. In that year there were 2 Jesse Willingham's and 2 Thomas Willingham's listed in Oglethorpe County. I have always believed that one of the Jesse's was his father. I had just about decided that Jesse, Sr. was Amos's father when a family bible was uncovered that stated his fathers name as Thomas and his mother as Rebecca. At first I disputed this, but have since conceded to the fact. It has been discovered that Rebecca was more than likely born in Georgia. Also the Jesse,Sr. was Amos's grandfather, and not his father. People often named their first son after the father's father, second son was usually named after the mother's father. This seemed to be the pattern that Amos and Jane followed.

Amos's first son was Jesse Cleveland Willingham, his second son was George Haney Willingham, named after his wife's father. He did name his second daughter Rebecca, and other family researchers will agree that she was probably his favorite.

He married Jane Belle Haney, daughter of George and Sarah Haney of Jackson Co., Georgia. George Haney/Haynie is buried in McElhorron Cemetery, near Winder,Georgia. He was found on a list of "Graves of Revolutionary War Patriots'. Somehow, both Amos and Jane ended up in Newton Co., Georgia and were married there. This might be a good time to point out that in 1830 of Newton Co., Georgia, both a Jesse and a Thomas were listed on the census.

Amos and Jane had three sons who fought in the Civil War and only one returned. Jesse Cleveland was listed on the'Masonic Brethren Killed In Civil War' list of Upshur County. Jesse was also listed on the 1860 census of Upshur Co., Tx. as an artist. We were not sure about George until the family bible was shared by Nancy Trotter. Jesse and George never married, and were the only two children born in Newton Co., Georgia. The third son who fought in the civil war was Amos Jackson.

My husband's direct line of ancestors can all be found at one cemetery. Shady Grove Cemetery in Upshur Co., Texas. We spent days in that cemetery recording names and dates, it was not only one of those hot Texas summer days, but I must say the fire ants kept us on the move. Numerous relatives are out there, but I was pleasantly surprized to find his direct line all together. I really could kick myself for not taking pictures though. We don't live that far from there, we are in the same county, it's just a matter of getting out there some time when the weather is nicer and mainly, when I think about it. I am usually involved in something else when I remember I need to go do that.

The next page will get into a little more detail on the different family members. Please be sure you check all the pages, we have some wonderful photos too.

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Willingham's Links

Children of Amos & Jane Willingham
Some Old Willingham Photos
Children of Joe and Josie Willingham
Other Willingham Photos
The Sansom Family
The James L. Sansom Family
Samsom Related Photos
The Cox-Willingham Connection
Willingham Vacation Photos
More of our 2003 Vacation
My Oneida Family