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BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
Lawrence County, Alabama
Crockett McDonald was the second probate judge of Lawrence County and was very successful in his aspirations. Unlike his predecessor, “he was rather a taciturn man, with strong common sense, and strict application to business.” He was born May 4, 1801, in Kentucky, came to Lawrence County in 1824 and to Moulton in 1826 and was a preacher of the Christian (or Campbellite) church.
“In less than four years, his industry and fine business capacity sustained by his known integrity, were fully appreciated by the people of Moulton; for he combined in his own person, and at the same time, the offices of justice of the peace, postmaster, treasurer of the county, mayor of Moulton, and preacher, and it seems to me, I have omitted one or two more of his pursuits. He had a good clear head for arranging business, and I never heard that any suffered from the pluralities combined in one hand. A strong proof of this is to be found in the fact that he was elected probate judge, and held the office until his death.” Crockett McDonald is listed as Postmaster May 7, 1832. Crockett married Elizabeth Waldrop March 17, 1825, in Lawrence County, Alabama.
Crockett was listed as owning one slave in the 1850 Lawrence County slave census. In the 1850 census of Lawrence County, Alabama, Crockett is listed as a Postmaster, age 49 with his wife Elizabeth, age 43 and his children, all born in Alabama:
- James H. McDonald (1826-1884)
- William McDonald, druggist (born 1829 AL)
- Mary McDonald (b. 1832 AL)
- Caroline McDonald (b. 1834 AL)
- Edward C. McDonald (b. July 21, 1836 – d. Nov. 3, 1907, AL) married Sarah C. (b. 1840 – 1923) both are buried in the McDonald Cemetery in Lawrence County, Alabama.
- John McDonald (b. 1840 AL)
- Robert McDonald (b. 1842 AL)
- Cecelia McDonald (b. 1845 AL)
- Tandy McDonald (b. 1848 AL)
James H. McDonald (b. Oct. 18, 1826 – d. April 17, 1884) is listed separately as a clerk age 23 and born in Alabama. He married Mary Ann and is buried in the McDonald Cemetery. They had a son, named Percy McDonald who died young and is buried in the same cemetery. The census also includes a Sarah McDonal age 75 from SC living near Crockett McDonald who could possibly be his mother.
An old document for sale on eBay, revealed a case of Crockett McDonald during his administration as probate judge in 1856 stating the following; “This document from Alabama, Lawrence County Alabama is dated the 22nd of December, 1856. The document is addressed to and signed by C. McDonald, judge of probate, dividing a group of slaves between a father and son, Tomas J. Tweedy and Jos. M. Tweedy. Witnessed and signed by Lewis Dunlop, justice of the peace and three commissioners, Thos. Ashford, Jas N. Crow, and Frs. W. Sykes who were chosen “to value & divide certain negros”. Contains the names, value and ages of seven slaves, the oldest, Nancy, 60 years old, valued at $300, and the youngest, Robert, a 6-month-old child is valued together with his 23-year-old mother Lizzy at $1,225. Another six-month-old boy, James, and his 35-year-old mother, Louisa, are valued at $1,025.00.
“After valuing said negros they were divided into two lots as nearly equal in value as the commissioners could divide there having due regard to law…” “Two pieces of paper with No 1 & 2 were placed in a hat & Jos. W. Tweedy was appointed to draw from the hat a number … he drew No 1.” “That T. T. Tweedy having the least valuable lot by two hundred and twenty-five dollars, is intitled (sic) to that amount from …Jos. W. Tweedy”
An advertisement in THE ADVERTISER, printed by E. Q Burch of Moulton Jan 17, 1846 revealed the following information as postmaster of Moulton, Alabama.
“Taken up by John W. McCain, living one mile South of Byler’s Turnpike, one Brown Horse, about eleven years old, both hind feet and the right foot white, blind in the right eye, about 141/; hands high, appraised to $15. Hodge L. Stephenson, J. P.” Also in the paper, Thomas S. Davis and Gilbet N. Ware announced they would be candidates for tax collector at the next election. Also published was a list of letters remaining at the post office at Moulton on January 1, 1846, which “if not taken out by the 1st day of April next will be sent to General Post Office as dead letters” and was signed by C. M. McDonald, postmaster.”
Crockett’s son James H. McDonald was the fifth probate judge in 1880. Another son, William S. was postmaster of Moulton Dec 26, 187, and married Miss Alexander while a third son Edward C.. married Sarah C. Ligon, daughter of Judge Ligon. Edward became a clerk in the office of the probate judge. Crockett’s son David C.. was a clerk of the Circuit Court but resigned the office and moved away.
Crockett passed away June 30, 1857, in Lawrence County, Alabama and is buried in the McDonald Cemetery along with several of his children.
- Saunders, Col. James Edmonds, Lawrence County, Alabama EARLY SETTLERS OF ALABAMA, NOTES, AND GENEALOGIES, by his granddaughter Elizabeth Saunders Blair Stubbs, New Orleans, LA. 1899
- Gentry, Dorothy, Life, and Legend of Lawrence County, Alabama p. 31
- Hunting For Bears, comp. Alabama marriage information taken from county courthouse records. Many of these records were extracted from copies of the original records in microfilm, microfiche, or book format, located at the Family History Library.
- Find A Grave.com #87290596 #87290380 #42627103 #42627052
This biography is included in the E-Book First Families of Lawrence County, Alabama Volume I