Zachariah ABNEY

M, b. 10 September 1835, d. 10 August 1911
Zachariah Abney
Image credit: Abney H. Brewer
     Zachariah ABNEY was born on 10 September 1835 at Abney Plantation "Trail's End" in Randolph, Bibb (now Chilton) County, Alabama, son of Thomas Hamilton ABNEY and Mary Ann Holmes.1,2 He was educated in Brierfield, Bibb County, in the common schools.
     Zachariah ABNEY appeared on a census, enumerated 1 June 1840, in the household of Thomas Hamilton ABNEY and Mary Ann Holmes in Bibb (now Chilton) County, Alabama.3
     Zachariah ABNEY appeared on a census, enumerated 1 June 1850, in the household of Thomas Hamilton ABNEY and Eliza Ann Echols in Bibb (now Chilton) County, Alabama.4 He and Samuel ABNEY IV attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa between 1855 and 1857. According to family tradition, they were the first twins to graduate from the University. He later read law in the office of Senator John T. Morgan in Selma and was admitted to the bar there in 1859.5,6 He was associated with Samuel ABNEY IV was teaching school in 1858 in Montevallo, Shelby County, Alabama.6
     Zachariah ABNEY appeared on a census, enumerated 1 June 1860, in the household of Thomas Hamilton ABNEY in Bibb (now Chilton) County, Alabama.7
     In a 28 Sep 1861 letter to thieir brother Alexander H. Abney in Texas, Samuel wrote the following about Zach: "I suppose you have not heard that Zach & George [their nephew George Woodruff] are near Washington. They are in Gen. Johnston's Division. They went on the 1st of June in the Bibb Greys, a company from this county. Zach writes home very interesting letters home. He says he has undergone great hardships, but braved them cheerfully. He went as a private, but his mess was composed of high-toned gentlemen. You know it is almost impossible for a man of sense to get office of any kind in this county.
     There was a host of people at this place on the day the Bibb Greys took the Cars. The people gave them a dinner on that day. Zach was called on at the of the dinner. He came out and made a very appropriate and touching address, so much so, that I was surprised, but few refrained from tears. I went with him to Selma, bade him adieu on board the steamer. There were three other companies aboard, thousands of people on the wharf, banners floating in the wind, Dixie performed by a good band. It was altogether a grand sight. They set sail amid the waving of snowy-white handkerchiefs and deafening show of devotion to the Sacred Cause in which we are engaged."
     Rhonda Coleman Ellison wrote concerning the departure of the Bibb Greys, "These officers were all in their twenties, like most of the other members of the company. The Bibb Greys, as they were called, procured some tents and camped briefly" were a cadet from the University of Alabama came to drill them. "The day before the Bibb Greys left for the war zone, they paraded around the courthouse square to the applause of an estatically admiring crowd, and then received a silk battle flag ordered by the women of the community from Selma... Many citizens accompanied the young volunteers on their triumphant ride to the nearest railroad station, at Randolph."8,9
     Zachariah began military service at age 25 on 11 June 1861 in Centreville, Bibb County, Alabama, he enlisted as a private in Co. F 11th Alabama Infantry. Zach was present at Seven Pines, Gaines Mill, Frasiers Farm, 2nd Manasses, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Hanover Junction, Atlees Station, the Siege of Turkey Ridge, Wilcox Farm, Reams Station, Whites Tavern, Davis Farm, and Burgess Mill. On 4 September 1862 he was elected Brvt. 2nd Lieutenant. He was promoted to 2nd lieutenant 5 January 1863 at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Zach was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness, and received a promotion to first lieutenant 16 August 1864 at White's Tavern. He was promoted 27 October 1864 to captain of Company F at Burgess Mill following the death of Captain Caddell.10 He was discharged on 14 April 1865 in Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. He surrendered along with the Army of Northern Virginia. At the time he was captain of company F, 11th Alabama Infantry.
     Zachariah ABNEY appeared on a census, enumerated 1866, in the household of Thomas Hamilton ABNEY in Bibb County, Alabama.11 He and Charles S. G. DOSTER were attorneys in the law firm of Abney and Doster in Prattville, Autauga County, Alabama. Zach first practiced law in Randolph before moving to Prattville after the war. He was Autauga County Register in Chancery beginning in 1883 for 28 years until his death. He was a Democrat and a Methodist.
     Zachariah married Alexandria Victoria DOSTER, daughter of Absolum G. DOSTER Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth ALEXANDER, on 31 March 1867 at the residence of Capt. A. Doster in Prattville, Autauga County, Alabama. The Reverend Hardy Brown performed the ceremony.12,13
     According to Nell Abney, Zach built his house on the site of the early home of Thomas and Rebecca Hill. Their log cabin had been built in 1819 and was the site of the first court in Autauga county. This was near the Indian Springs Post Office and the original Union Baptist Church. Doster Road was part of the old Prattville to Washington Road. Alabama's first governor, William Wyatt Bibb spoke under an oak tree near the location of the Abney home.14
     Zachariah ABNEY bought land from Charles S. G. DOSTER and Caroline E. DOSTER on 6 February 1875 in Autauga County, Alabama. For $800 the parcel included the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 21 and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 16 of township 17, range 16, containing 80 acres. It was witnessed by N. D. Lamar and Kate Doster.15
     Zachariah ABNEY, Samuel L. ABNEY and Augusta ABNEY appeared in a newspaper article 14 March 1890 in the The Prattville Progress, published in Prattville, Alabama. "Miss Gussie Abney, of Maplesville, Ala., and Mr. Sam Abney [son of Alexander Abney], of Texas, have been on a visit to their uncle, Capt. Z. Abney."
     Zachariah ABNEY appeared in a newspaper article 2 February 1900 in the The Prattville Progress, published in Prattville, Alabama. Messrs. Z. Abney and H. S. Doster went up to Maplesville Thursday to be present at the marriage of Miss Augusta Abney to Mr. Jacob Knupp.
     Virginia ABNEY and Zachariah ABNEY appeared in a newspaper article 17 May 1907 in the The Prattville Progress, published in Prattville, Alabama. Capt. Z. Abney was in Maplesville last week, having been called there by the death of his sister, Miss Jennie Abney.
     Zachariah and Samuel ABNEY IV were participates in the Confederate Veterans Reunion and dedication of the new Confederate Monument on 22 July 1910 in Bibb County Courthouse, Centreville, Bibb County, Alabama.
     Zachariah ABNEY died on 10 August 1911 in Prattville, Autauga County, Alabama, at age 75.16 He was buried in Doster Cemetery.
     His obituary appeared 17 August 1911 in the Prattville Progress, published in Prattville, Alabama. Captain Abney is Found Dead in Office - Prattville, Ala.-- Captain Z. Abney, register in chancery for this county, was found dead in his office this afternoon at 5 o'clock. He had been at his desk all day attending to the business of the office in the usual way and apparently in his usual health. A business caller at his office left him but a few minutes when the Court House janitor making his afternoon rounds caring for the building found his body sitting up erect with his head slightly thrown back as if asleep and arms folded across his lap. By all signs a quiet death overtook the deceased while reading the daily paper.
     The deceased was about 75 years old, was native of Bibb county, now a part of Chilton, near Randolph, had resided about two miles out of this city for about forty years. He removed from his native place after his marriage to Miss Doster, daughter of the late Absalom Doster, and sister to the late Charles R. G. Doster.
     The deceased practiced law at this place for 33 years, acting as register in chancery for a great part of that time. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Church of this place and beloved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by a number of people who knew him well.
     He is survived by one brother, Samuel Abney, of Maplesville, and one daughter and two sons: Miss Lina Abney, and Samuel and Zack Abney, all residing near Prattville.
     Captain Z. Abney followed the Confederate flag throughout the Civil War, and those who knew him well say he was one of the best soldiers in the lost cause. He was a captain and much loved by all his men.
     The remains were buried at the Doster graveyard on the Absalom Doster homestead at 4 o'clock on last Friday afternoon, the funeral services being conducted by Rev. Dickinson, pastor of the local Methodist church.
Last Edited=2 Mar 2020

Children of Zachariah ABNEY and Alexandria Victoria DOSTER


  1. [S366] Samuel Abney, "T. H. Abney file", Cerified copy of family record supplied by Sam Abney to Alabama Department of Archives and History.
  2. [S276] Edgefield Chapter South Carolina Genealogical Society, ABCDs of Edgefield, Thomas Hamilton Abney Bible, pg. 115.
  3. [S241] 1840 U. S. Census, Bibb County, Alabama, Thos. H. Abney household, pg. 100.
  4. [S4] 1850 U. S. Census, Bibb County, Alabama, pg. 112, Thos. H. Abney household #750.
  5. [S194] Thomas McAdory Owen, Alabama Biographies, pg. 6, Thomas Hamilton Abney and Zachariah Abney.
  6. [S433] Thomas Waverly Palmer, University of Alabama, pg. 125.
  7. [S121] 1860 U. S. Census, Bibb County, Alabama, Thos. H. Abney household.
  8. [S1047] Letter, Samuel Abney to Alexander H. Abney, 28 sep 1861.
  9. [S187] Rhoda Coleman Ellison, Bibb County, Alabama, pg. 117.
  10. [S434] Civil War Database, online, Zachariah Abney file, downloaded 8 August 2001.
  11. [S605] 1866 Alabama State Census, Bibb County, Schedules 1 & 3, T. H. Abney, schedule 1, roll S-880509, pg. 13 (printed).
  12. [S439] Larry E. Caver, "Autauga County Heritage," e-mail to John K. Brown, 17 Oct 2001 attachment: "Death and Marriage Notices from Missing Issues of Autauga County Newspapers", includes Autauga Citizen, 4 April 1867.
  13. [S160] Autauga Ancestry, Vol. 11 No. 3, Fall 2001, pg.16.
  14. [S759] Larry W. Nobles, Old Autauga: Portrait of a Deep South County, Pg. 52.
  15. [S307] Autauga County Deeds: Vol. ?, pg. 52-53.
  16. [S18] Autauga Genealogical Society, Autauga Cemetery Records.

Information on this site has been gathered over many years from many sources. Although great care has been taken, inaccuracies may exist.