Forgotten Trails

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

By Staff
Findley family early settlers in Escambia County
I have told you about this family before, but it bears repeating. I have some additional material that I don't think I had when I covered them before.
Magilbry Findley was born in 1796 in South Carolina. He served in the military in 1814/15 in the War of 1812 and is reported to have been present at the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. It was probably during that time that he got his first look at what was to become south Alabama. He appeared on the census in 1820, 1830, 1840 and 1850 for Conecuh County. In 1860, 1870 and 1880 he was listed in Covington County. He signed his will 22 July 1870 and died 16 Jan. 1884. He was buried in a family plot in Loango, Ala. in Covington County.
There is a record of some of his exploits in the Escambia County Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXIII that recount some of his colorful history.
He married Dolly Johnson about 1817. She was born about 1802 in Georgia and died in 1857 in Loango. She was also buried in the family plot there.
The family moved to the area and located near Roberts in later moved to Covington County. The story of their trip is told in the historical quarterly of the building of his first home in the wilderness. He was building a double pen log house one day and was there by himself when he saw an Indian approaching, so he hid in the rafters. The Indian stopped by the house, looked around and didn't see anybody, so he picked up some of the building material and started to walk off with it. Findley jumped down from his hiding place, picked up a piece of board and hit the Indian on the head. He quickly dropped the material and ran away.
Magilbry and Dolly were the parents of at least eleven children, William Andrew Findley (1817-1888) who married Sarah Ann Rebecca Parker, John T. "Jack" Findley (abt. 1820) who married Martha Ellen Rabon or Raburn, Martin Findley (1824-1917) who married Mary Elizabeth Craker, Riley Findley (1829) who married Susan Sarah ???, Celia Gillama Findley (1832-1899) who married John A. Franklin, Bluford Findley (1833-1931) who married Mariah Hixton, Mary Ann Findley (1837-1917) who married Solomon Jackson, an infant (abt 1836), George M. Findley (1837-1917) who married Gillama Stelly and Martha Ann Findley (1840) who married Nick Harwell.
William Andrew Findley (24 Aug. 1817-27 Dec. 1888) appeared on the 1840 and 1860 census in Conecuh County. He served in Co. E. 15th Alabama Regiment in the Confederate Army. In 1870 he appeared on the first census taken in Escambia County and when he died he was buried at Elim Cemetery. He married about 1839, Sarah Elizabeth Ann Rebecca Parker (27 Jan. 1820-7 Sept. 1910), daughter of John Parker and Winnie Hunt. She was buried at Elim Cemetery with her husband.
They were the parents of ten children, Robert Lumpkin Findley (abt. 1840-after 1860), Eliza E. Findley (3 Nov. 1841-12 Sept. 1887), Mary Jane Findley (abt 1842), John Madison Findley (abt. 1844) who married Adaline Manning, William Harrison Findley (1845-1917) who married Mary Ann Harper, Sarah Ann Findley (1850-1928) who married William Henry Peebles, 'Winnie Findley (1856-1931) who married Pickney S. Purvis, George Riley Findley (1857-1928) who married Nancy Elizabeth Hart, Martha Findley who married James Elijah Bush and Davis Mcgilbra Findley (1861-1947) who married first Mary Jemima Bush and second, Mary Spence.
I will continue with this family next week. I have accumulated a lot of material on the Findley family and as it covers a lot of family connections, I want to get it all in. Although Magilbry Findley died and is buried in Covington County, he and his descendants have made a hugh impact on what is now Escambia County.
This is a large family that intermarried into several other pioneer families. Many people who live in the are today can trace their lineage back to the Findley family.
I invite you all to let me know if there is some family that you are interested in and I will see if I have anything on them. I would be glad to print what I can in some future columns. It is so very rewarding to get feedback from the readers who find some useful information that may lead them on the adventure of researching their family tree. I have recently done a column on the Calhoun family and another on the George family. Both have gotten responses from readers who have seen some of their ancestors listed in the families.
Happy Hunting!
– Lydia Grimes is the Features Writer at The Brewton Standard. She may be contacted at

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