Claiborne County MSGenWeb:



RICHARD SINGLETON, b. 1758, SC, Sumter Co, d. Claiborne Co MS 1811. Married Martha James, niece of Mary James, wife of Col Matthew Singleton (b. 1730 Isle of Wight ENG, d. Sumter Co SC 1787). RICHARD SINGLETON was a son of ROBERT SINGLETON, (b. 1726 Isle of Wight ENG. d. Sumter Co SC 1800). Robert Singleton disinherited both sons RICHARD SINGLETON & JOSEPH SINGLETON who sought disbursement of their inheritances from Robert Singleton while he was still living. This request for payment in advance of expected inheritance shares apparently caused Robert Singleton get angry and to only leave them each 11 pence in his will and not name them at all as "remaindermen" in his, Robert Singleton's, Will summary clause.



JOSEPH JAMES SINGLETON, later referred to in GA (where he removed to Jackson Co GA) as Dr. J. J. Singleton (he became prominent in public education promotion which may be where he got his "Dr" title, or, since his son was a Methodist Minister (Rev) it is possible that Dr. stood for "Rev."; ELIZABETH SINGLETON, named after Martha James Singleton's sister ELIZABETH SINGLETON, another niece of Mary James Singleton and Col Matthew Singleton. (ELIZABETH SINGLETON married Richard's older brother Joseph Singleton, who also removed to Mississippi and joined Richard Singleton in 1808 in Claiborne Co, Miss in signing a Memorial to the President; HIRAM SINGLETON, named after the son of a parallel line of lowland SC Singletons to whom this Singleton line was kin by marriage twice through the RICHARDSON family of SC; RICHARD SINGLETON, Jr. his Dad's namesake; and JOSEPH SINGLETON.


At his death in 1811 Richard Singleton's estate, per Claiboirne County's Orphans Court Records from 1811,(Oprhans Court had probate duties when the amount of an estate was below a certain figure, ie, a small estate value)was said to be worth $157.23, and he had $67 realizable in cash from cotten seed sales proceeds due him. The balance of the estate was in debts. As of 1956 a Clara Singleton Petty of Chapel Hill NC had photostatic copies of these Claiborne Co Miss. Orpahans Court records of Richard Singleton's estate. She is the source of the info in this paragraph, and

the above reference to the two sons, Joseph and Richard Singleton, asking for estate shares prematurely, which angered their Dad, Robert Singleton (1730-1800) causing him to disinherit them both.


A long line of GA Singleton grandsons, gt grandsons, etc. ensued from this RICHARD SINGLETON, many of whom became degreed engineer graduates of the old Alabama Polytechnic Institute, today's Auburn University. Today, 1999, a street in the town of Auburn, Alabama is named after one of the Singleton son descendants who took two engineering degrees at today's Auburn University concurrently, civil and mechanical small feat in anyone's book!


The 1999 modern day firm of SINGLETON ENGINEERING on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA was founded and is still owned by the direct engineering descendants of this same Richard Singleton who caused his father, Robert Singleton (b. 1730, d. 1800) disinherit him apparently for merely asking for his estate share before his Dad had passed away. This branch of the Singleton family had valuable talents, all they needed was advance education to polish off their skills!]


Contributed by:

George Lightfoot Singleton, Col. USAF, Ret.


Harriet Heath Marler, the daughter of Adolph Heath and his unknown first wife, was born October 15, 1835 at Port Gibson, Claiborne, Mississippi. Harriet Heath married Allen Marler 2 Feb 1832. Allen Marler was born at Port Gibson 14 Apr 1809 to Ithamer Marler, and his wife, Lydia Norton.


In the early part of their married life, Allen was a renter and overseer on several plantations. In 1845, he bought his father's home place. They soon became well-to-do plantation owners in Claiborne county. They possessed a good deal of landed property and colored servants to operate it.


Harriet Harriet was converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (Mormons) through the teachings of her father, Adolph Heath. Allen and Harriet were baptized in Sep 1845.


In March of 1850, Harriet and Allen with their eight children, and Harriet's brother, Samuel, his wife, and two little boys left their home, loved ones, and friends and all that was dear to them to make the long and arduous journey to Zion. They took with them a Negro mammy to help with the children.


Allen hired a team to take them twelve miles to the Mississippi River where they took a boat at Grand Gulf and traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, where they changed boats for the Missouri River and traveled until they reached St. Joseph, Missouri, where they planned to buy equipment to cross the plains.


Before the boat reached St. Joseph, the dread disease of cholera had broken out among the Marler family. A child in arms was seriously ill. The captain of the boat, fearing that his boat would be quarantined if a sick person was found aboard, insisted that they leave the boat at once. It was a dark, stormy night and they were strangers in the city. The mother carried the child in her arms and the father held an umbrella over them as he tenderly guided the family along the wet, unfamiliar streets until they found a place of refuge for the night. When they finally reached a place where they could stay, the child was dead. It had died in Harriet's arms, without her realizing it. All the members of the family, except Sarah Jane contracted the fearful malady; as did the members of Harriet's brother, Samuel's family. Although she was only fifteen years of age, Sarah had to go through the great ordeal of preparing her loved one's bodies for burial. She performed this sad task lovingly and reverently, and at the same time kept up her vigilant care of the members of the household who were ill. Within less than a month's time, her father, three sisters, her two little boy cousins, and the Negro mammy all succumbed to the disease. It also took the life of a premature baby girl of her mother which died at birth.


During Allen's illness, he seemed to realize that he was not going to recover. He told Harriet that if he passed on, she had better return to Mississippi. "You had better use your money to go back home to your own people," he said, "instead of trying to go on to Utah. There will be too many hardships for you to endure alone."


And now Allen was gone, and the row of graves large and small told the tragic story of their sacrifice. The survivors were soon well again and the time came when they must decide on their next move.


This heart-breaking event was a crucial test to Harriet's faith. She scarcely realized, herself, what great odds were in the balance. The fate of generations yet to come hung on the decision she would make. It was the most momentous hour of all her life. Down the flowing Mississippi to the south lay her sunny home with warm hearted friends and tender ties. To the west stretched hundreds of miles of barren desert, with promise of hostile Indians, arduous toil, privations, and discouragements. She took it to the Lord in prayer. When her decision was made, it was final. After remaining in St. Joseph for about one month, they took up their journey for the West.


They had set their faces toward the West. Come hardships, come death, it mattered not; she had started for the Rocky Mountains and the Latter-day Saints and there would be no turning back for her.


And so, instead of taking passage back to Mississippi, Harriet bought equipment to cross the plains. She and her remaining five children joined a company of Saints and pressed onward toward the goal of their highest hopes. They arrived in Salt Lake on 2 Oct 1850. In Salt Lake, they made camp on the Jordan River, and met in conference with the Saints on the 6th of October. After the conference, Harriet, her two daughters, Sarah Jane and Susan; and her three sons: William, George, and Allen, went to Pleasant Grove, Utah, with three or four other families, where they established their home, being among the earliest settlers in the town. Their home is one of the first homes built in Pleasant Grove. Their first home is now a museum of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in Pleasant Grove. Harriet's brother went on to California--fully intending to return to Utah, but he never did.


Harriet was known as the rich widow. When Harriet came west, she brought with her some very fine-blooded stock-- milk cows of exceptional value--and large fine-blooded brood mares. These animals increased in number and were sold throughout this section of the country to the advantage of all who owned them. The hard winters of 1855 and 1856, took nearly all the stock and through other reverses, the family passed through much poverty and trying times.


In the winter of the year after their arrival, Sarah Jane married Bailey Lake. They had become acquainted while crossing the plains together. His father was the captain of the company in which they traveled. Sarah and Bailey moved to Ogden and lived in a log cabin in Farr's Fort. Later, she lived in North Ogden for a few years.

Sarah and Bailey persuaded Harriet to come to North Ogden and live. Harriet purchased twenty-five acres of choice meadow land, located east of the present highway in North Ogden. She had a comfortable home and was happy and content in her work.


Bailey went on a mission to Salmon River to the Indians and was killed while discharging his missionary duties by some hostile Indians. Sarah Jane later married Pleasant Green Taylor and went to live in Harrisville, where she resided the rest of her live.


After Sarah Jane moved from Harrisville, Harriet often went to see her, riding horse back. She used a side-saddle and had a beautiful embroidered saddle blanket. She was a good rider and enjoyed getting out in the open.


Harriet's other daughter, Susan, was a beautiful, dark-eyed young lady. She met Henry Harmon at a place of amusement in North Ogden where she was teaching a game to a group of young people. Soon after their marriage, they were called on the Salmon River Mission along with their brother-in-law, Bailey Lake. Soon after Bailey was killed, Susan nearly died while giving birth in freezing temperatures. Harriet nursed her daughter back to health and took care of the newborn infant.


Harriet's daughters were women of high moral character and gracious womanly traits. Harriet's own wholesome manner and gracious southern hospitality were reflected in their behavior.


In 1856, Harriet's son, William Norton Marler, married Lucetta Maria Gates. Her son, George Washington Marler married in 1863, a Welsh girl named Mary Mathews. They settled in Providence, Utah. William later followed his brother to Providence for several years, then to Clifton, Idaho. Her son, Allen, the youngest of the family, was only seven years old when he walked a good deal of the way across the plains. He married Amanda Melvina Taylor, a daughter of his brother-in-law, Pleasant Greene Taylor, by a previous wife. Later he married Mary Eliza Shurtles.


Harriet was a very bright, intelligent, progressive woman. She was liberal in helping those in need, and always had an open door to relatives and friends traveling through the country. She was a prayerful woman, having learned early in her pioneer work to depend on her God for solace and strength in her hour of sorrow. She was God-fearing, prudent, dependable, always able to see the rainbow above the clouds--walking in faith to the journey's end.


Harriet passed away 23 Dec 1869 at her home in North Ogden, Utah.


Contributed by:

Cheryl Harmon Bills

J. P. T. Montgomery
was born in Claiborne County, Miss., in 1854. Though a slave he was permitted to accompany the children of his owner to school and was taught the rudiments of English as they passed along over them. He moved to Port Gibson, Miss., in 1866, and from there to Hurricane, Warren County, Miss., where he had the opportunity to take a course of private instructions under Mary Virginia Montgomery. He also took instructions under three of four other well known tutors. He studied law in the office of Capt. J. J. Whitney, an ex-Confederate soldier and State Senator from Jefferson County and was admitted to the bar at the May term, Circuit Court 1881. Judge J. B. Chrisman was at this time presiding in this district, and Judge G. W. Shackford, Major J. W. Reed and Michael Howard comprised the committee by which he was examined. Added to his qualifications as a lawyer, Joshua Montgomery was a practical engineer and a civil engineer, and many of the boundary lines between properties in this neighborhood were defined by him. He came to Mound Bayou 1887-88 and bought a small farm just out of town and some real estate within the corporate limits. He held the position of City Attorney until his death -- 1913.
From the National Archives






In 1923, V. Y. Jones, Jr., was born in rural Claiborne County, MS, into the pioneer George Jones family which had lived there in the Natchez District since 1791.  As a boy, he had walked many miles behind a mule down the furrows of the family’s small farm near McBride, before he ever entered a cockpit, and he talked with a long, slow Southern drawl that belied his high intelligence and natural ability. 


His parents were Vernon Young Jones, Sr., and Una Jacob Jones, and his only sibling was his younger brother Elmo C. Jones.  Both boys joined the service during the war, with V. Y. going into the Army Air Corps and Elmo enlisting in the Navy. The family were staunch Baptists, attending the Beech Grove Baptist Church, founded almost a hundred years earlier by their ancestors – a place where V. Y.’s dad and uncle were deacons, his mother played the piano, and the boys and their numerous cousins were members also.  The boys attended the Pattison School.


After his initial training, V. Y. was assigned to the 82nd Fighter Squadron of the 78th Fighter Group in 1943.  His roommate in Duxford, England, was Richard A. “Dick” Hewitt.  According to Hewitt’s, Target of Opportunity - Tales and Contrails of the Second World War, "Chapter 10 - Memorable Missions – Brunswick," 2nd Lieutenant, V. Y. Jones’s flew his last mission in his P-47C on February 10, 1944.  His group was sent to escort the B-17’s in their bombing of the medieval town of Brunswick,  a major center of the German war machine located in the heavily industrialized Ruhr Valley, about 120 miles south of Berlin.  The target, therefore, was heavily defended, and the bombers faced tremendous flak, as well as attacks from the German ME-109s and FW-190s.  The Thunderbolts were there to see that our bombers delivered their loads and made it back to Duxford safely.


Chuck Clark was the “White Flight” leader, according to Col. Hewitt, and V. Y. was his wingman.  When the German fighters arrived on the scene, they were the first to peel off in pursuit of two 109’s.  In Col. Hewitt’s own words, he describes what happened shortly thereafter: “Then I heard Jonesy's voice. He sounded frantic as he called ‘someone get down here! I've got a 109 on my tail and I can't shake him!’ The Jug was about an even match for the 109 or 190 at high altitude, with it's dive and zoom advantage, but not at lower altitudes and especially at treetop level. At slower speeds, either enemy aircraft could out turn the '47. It was just not a good place to get caught. I called for V.Y., but got no answer.  Apparently alone, at 15,000 feet, I was not about to go searching blindly. Munson, Clark, Swanson or Ludwig had to be closer than I and perhaps heard his plea for help. Not sure who the #3 or #4 were in Clark and Jonesy's flight, but they should also be in the area and have heard him.”  Amidst the heat of the battle and in the act of simply surviving, Hewitt brought down his first enemy plane, and somehow lost track of V. Y.  He remembered the call for help when he returned to the “Duck Pond”: “Then I remembered Jonesy.  With Ludwig's plight, I had almost forgotten about him. His plea to ‘get that 109 off my tail’, I'd never forget.  He, Paul Kellor, Grant Turley, and I had ‘roomied’ since Granger's loss. Was I gonna lose another room mate? And how many other 78th pilots would be lost today?”


As it turned out, V. Y. Jones never came back - KIA, lost over Germany, at the age of 21. His tour had lasted only three short months.   His body was never recovered, but his name is recorded and remembered on a marble wall, in the Tablets of the Missing, at the Cambridge Military Cemetery, Cambridge, England, about six miles from Duxford, along with many other fine young Americans who died that fateful day and other similar days protecting their comrades and the freedom of others. 


He was credited with 1.5 air victories confirmed and 1 air victory probable while he flew with the 78th Fighter Group. He was aboard P-47D tail #42-7883 when downed over Tongren, Germany, on his final mission. V. Y. Jones was posthumously awarded the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters.


Submitted by Sue B. Moore



Dougald G. McCall

The first account we have of the McCall family is a paper written by Dougald McCall dated Wednesday, January 1, 1851. The following is a statement he left, “ I thought it would be right to leave something to tell who I was, and from whence I came. I have not much knowledge of my family. I lost my father when I was quite young, not more than two and a half years old. My father was named Samuel, and his father was Hugh, and his father was John, and his father was named John, is as far back as I am able to learn their origin. My mother’s name was Nancy or Ann; her maiden name was McLaughlin; of them I do not know anymore. I was the youngest of the family; there were eight of us, five sons and three daughters, Hugh, John, Daniel, Catherine, Ann, Christene, Duncan, and myself. I was born in Scotland in Argyllshire on the 12th of January 1790. My parents landed in Wilmington, North Carolina about Christmas of that year. I lived in South Carolina until March 7, 1808. I landed in Natchez Mississippi on the 8th day of May. I have been here ever since.” This statement was signed, “Dougald G. McCall”. Dougald and his brother, Duncan, had left S.C. going through the country to Nashville, Tenn. where they were separated for a while; Dougald taking employment with a horse drover to help drive horses to Natchez, coming through Choctaw Indian Nations, who were in possession of this land at the time. He arrived at Natchez on May 8, 1808. His brother Duncan had taken employment as a hand on a flat boat going down the Cumberland, Ohio, and Miss. Rivers. Dougald arrived in Natchez before his brother. We don’t know how long they remained in Natchez. Dougald’s first employment was riding for the U.S. Mail from Natchez to Nashville, Tenn. Over the route he had just come. He had many hardships and perils that he encountered in crossing the over-flow stream, and then there was the cold and inclement weather. We don’t know how long he followed this occupation. Dougald was known to be a man of strong religious faith. In his travels he had seen what drink and gambling had done to men he had met, so he made a decision to not drink liquor. He was of the Methodist belief, and served as class leader and steward up until his last days. In 1825, he married Susan B. Coleman, daughter of Jerimiah and Pheroba Jones Coleman. She was born in the Mississippi Territory, now Adams County, Miss. They settled near Rodney, Miss. On a place they called “The Hills”, near a Presbyterian School, Oakland College, which is now known as Alcorn University. Dougald served as a trustee at the school. He became a Planter and later owned a Mercantile Store in Rodney. The banks failed in 1837. Dougald had gone security for many of his customers and was fighting lawsuits for himself and two other large estates for which he was administrator, for years.  He and Susan had four children, one died as a young child, his name was Horace. His two sons Duncan and Edwin were educated at Oakland College, Duncan graduated in 1845, and Edwin in 1856. Dougald died in 1854, and was buried at the McGill Cemetery near his home. After his death Edwin lived on with his mother. Duncan had married Margaret Clifton of Louisiana. They had moved across the river to a family owned plantation called Clio, in Tensas Parish La. By this time Dougald and Susan’s only daughter had married William W. Watson of Tensas Parish and was living on a Plantation named Cross Keys. Shortly before the Civil War started Edwin was married to Mary Bowman, and soon went to war. Duncan was not able to serve because of an old leg injury. He and his family moved to Texas, and settled in Cherokee County. After the war, Edwin followed and his family remained in the Jacksonville Texas area until his death. Duncan was back and forth for a few years from Texas to La. finally settling in Texas. This family’s lives changed drastically after the war, as did all of the families of that period. Some of the Blacks who had been with the McCall’s in La. chose to come to Texas with them, so they could start new lives. After the slaves were freed some were at a loss as to how where to go and how to start out to make a living. This was a period of much change! The McCall family was always interested in history and left a wealth of information for their family to come. A great granddaughter of Dougald McCall, Josie Lee Ramsey Garner was our family historian. She compiled most of this information.   She died in 2000, and I would like to dedicate this article to her memory.

Avis Wells Walton- 3 greats granddaughter of Dougald G. McCall

Lake Jackson, Texas



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