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Biography: Rev. Nathan Hubert Abernethy born September 29, 1882

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Chambers County, Alabama


Nathan Hubert Abernathy was a Methodist minister. He was born September 29, 1882, at Lafayette, the son of John Thomas Abernathy and Dorthula Nelson (Cole) Abernathy, who lived at Buffalo, Chambers County, Alabama. John Thomas (b. May 31, 1854-d. September 28, 1908) and Dorthula (b. Jun 5, 1854-d. Oct. 18, 1933) are buried in Verbena Cemetery, Chilton County, Alabama. He worked at Leverett’s old mill. John’s parents were James William Thomas Abernathy and Frances Joanna Creed.

The following is the obituary of James William Thomas Abernathy:

March 28, 1917 issue of the LaFayette Sun:

Death of Mr. J. W. T. Abernathy.

Mr. James. W. T. Abernathy died at the home of his son, Mr. R. F. Abernathy, near Cusseta, last Monday. On Tuesday afternoon the remains were carried to the home of Messrs. W. D. and Lee Hunter, at Buffalo, relatives of the deceased, and the burial took place at 11:00 o’clock this morning at Macedonia, of which church the deceased was a faithful member. The funeral services were conducted by Elder J. T. Satterwhite in the presence of a large congregation of relatives and friends.
Mr. Abernathy was one of the oldest citizens of the county, being in his 84th year. He leaves three sons: Mr. R. F. Abernathy, with whom he was living at the time of his death; Mr. S. M. Abernathy of New Orleans, La., two brothers, Mr. D. H. B. Abernathy of this county, and Mr. S. J. S. Abernathy of Palo Pinto, Texas. Also one sister, Mrs. Addie Dorman of Altoona, Ala. The deceased was a Confederate veteran, having served in Company I, 37th Alabama Regiment.

Frances Joanna Creed, Nathan’s grandmother was the daughter of Chamber County, Alabama pioneers, Meshack Creed (Jun 9, 1809- Apr. 29, 1887) and Susan McDonald Creed (1814-1902). Meshack’s obituary is From “The Gospel Messenger”, Vol 8, No. 11 – Nov 1886

Brother Meshack Creed died at his home in Clay County, Alabama, April 29, 1886, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. He was a native of North Carolina, and married Miss Susan McDonald, of Surry County, in that State, January 1830, after which he moved to Harris County, Georgia and was received into the fellowship of the Baptists at Mountain Creek Church, before the division of the Baptists, and baptized by Elder J. R. Cooper. Subsequently he moved to Alabama, and for several years was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church at Macedonia, Chambers County, Alabama.

Meshack and his wife are buried at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Clay County, Alabama.


Nathan was the gr-grandson of the pioneer to Chambers County, Alabama, Samuel B. Abernathy (b. Apr. 5, 1798 SC – d. Jan 3, 1878 Chambers Co., AL) and his wife Jane (Boyd) Abernathy (b. Jan 1799 Newton Co., GA. – d. Jan 3, 1878 Buffalo, Chambers County, Alabama.The following newspaper clipping reports Samuel Abernathy’s death:

Obituary is from an 1878 LaFayette, Alabama
newspaper, “The LaFayette Clipper”:

Mr. SAMUEL ABERNATHY died at his residence, 4 miles north of LaFayette last Monday morning at 4 o’clock

Mr. ABERNATHY was born in Newberry District, South Carolina, April, 1798; he would have been 80 years of age next April. He moved to this county in 1848, and from that time to the day of his death he has been known as a man of the most thorough integrity; his word was as good as his bond. For upwards of fifty years he had been a consistent member of the Primitive Baptist church, and during all those years he reflected honor on his profession; and in his death he triumphed in that faith which had been the guide of his long life. He was a good citizen, an humble Christian, and an upright man.

Peace to his ashes.

From the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church is the following:

Samuel Abernathy was borned April 15, 1798 and died Jan. 28th, 1878. Joined the Baptist Church of Christ in DeKalb County, GA. the 1st Sunday in Jan. 1829. Brother Abernathy became a deacon soon after uniting with the church and lived an efficient and an untarnished member the remainder of his life and died as he had lived with an unshaken faith in Christ without a blemish upon either his moral or Christian character. His life was truly an exemplary one adorned with the beautiful characteristics of a Christian’s walk in both state and church, in the fear of his Lord and Master and though he be dead the effulgent rays of his living example will never cease to shine.

From the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church is the following on his wife’s death.:

Jane Abernathy, the wife of Samuel Abernathy, was born Jan. 9th, 1799, and died Aug. 20th, 1870. She also joined the church at the same time and place of her husband and like her husband wore the robe of uprightness. She was a devoted companion and an amiable mother. Her walk was pious and her conversation Godly, and died in the triumphs of that faith which had been to her through life an anchor to the soul.


John Thomas and Dorthula had the following children:

  1. John Clarence Abernathy (b. Chambers Co., AL – d. Dec. 11, 1918 Jefferson Co., Al) married Annie Lou Gaylor
  2. Alice Brown (Abernathy) Hodnett ( Dec. 12, 1880- Oct. 6, 1919) married William Burleigh Hodnett
  3. Rev. Nathan Hubert Abernathy (Sep 29, 1882- Jan 16, 1949, Walker County, AL) married Sara Haskell Betts
  4. Dollie Pearl Abernathy (May 15, 1889- May 15, 1889)
  5. Mary Lillian Abernathy ( June 25, 1892-Mar 22, 1898)
  6. Thomas Nelson Abernathy (Mar. 31, 1896- Oct 4, 1985) married Viola Eugenia ‘Jean’ Powell
  7. Robert Abernathy

Nathan was the grandson of James William Thomas Abernathy (b. Aug 3, 1833, DeKalb Co., GA – Mar 26, 1917, Cusseta, Chambers Co., AL) and Frances Joana (Creed) Abernathy, (Oct 3, 1832 DeKalb Co., GA – July 22, 1910 Chambers County, AL) and of Davis Lawson Cole and Nancy (Rosenberry) Cole, all of Buffalo.

Nathan spelled his surname “AbernEthy” while others in the family spelled in “AbernAthy.”

He was educated in the rural schools of Chambers County and spent one year at Southern University, Greensboro, and three years at Birmingham college. In 1911 he entered the North Alabama Conference, Methodist Episcopal church, South, and from that date filled stations in north Alabama.

He married Sarah Haskell Betts December 18, 1912, at Birmingham. She was the daughter of William Weaver Betts and Leila (Hamlet) Betts of that place and the granddaughter of Albert Boardman Hamlet, who served as a sergeant in the Sixth Alabama cavalry regiment, C. S. Army. Their children were

  1. Nathan Hoyt Abernathy
  2. William Hubert Abernathy
  3. John Abernathy
  4. David Abernathy

Nathan died January 26, 1949, while serving as district superintendent for the Jasper (Walker Co. ) district of the Methodist Church. His obituary states the following:


Jasper, Jan. 19 (Special)–Final rites will be said this afternoon in Jasper First Methodist Church at 2 p.m. for the Rev. N. H. Abernethy, 66, Jasper district superintendent of the Methodist Church, who died Monday night. The body will lie in state from noon until time for the service.

Rev. Abernethy died in Walker County Hospital due to a heart condition. He entered the hospital Jan. 14. He had been district superintendent nearly four years and six years ago was pastor of Fairfield Methodist Church.

He had been pastor of the Eleventh Street Methodist Church in Gadsden and held other pastorates.

Officiating at the service will be Bishop Clare Purcell, of Birmingham, and Rev. Edwin Branscomb, of the First Methodist Church, Jasper. Burial will be in Oakhill Cemetery.

Surviving are the widow; four sons, Bubert [misprint for Hubert], Hoyt, John and David, the latter two students at the University of Alabama; two brothers, Thomas Nelson and Robert Abernethy, the former of Bessemer Rt. 5 and the latter of Marbury, Ala.; and a sister, Mrs. L. B. Sorrell, of Birmingham.

Honorary pallbearers will be the ministers of the Jasper and North Alabama districts.

Active pallbearers will be the Rev. Wallace Lovett, Winfield; Rev. J. L. Wheeler, Jasper; Rev. Robert Buggs, Cordova; Rev. Ben F.Tingle, Bessemer; Rev. Nelson Guthrie, West End; Rev. O. K. Lamb, Tuscaloosa; Dr. Paul S. Halet, Jasper, and Rev. A. L. Archibald, Huntsville.”

Rev. Abernethy’s widow Sara survived him more than 30 years.

Rev. Nathan Abernathy is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Jasper, Walker County, Alabama.



  1. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  3. Newspaper clipping of obituary-Mary Abernathy Meyer <[email protected]>
  4. Find A Memorial # 52685139 # 25860154 # 25860153 # 52707847 # 52684711 # 52708032 # 52708558 # 52708754 # 33900482 # 52681963

This biography is included in the Book Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Vol. III

Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume III (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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