Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

BIOGRAPHY: Richard Breckenridge born November 2, 1781


(Richard Breckenridge wrote a diary when he made a trip to survey his future home site in Alabama in 1816. Excerpts from his diary will be shared on this website. Type his the name Breckenridge in the search box to find the excerpts)




Marengo County, Alabama

Richard Breckenridge was born in Screven Co., Ga., Nov. 2, 1781, and died in Marengo Co., Ala., Dec. 9, 1840.

He was of Scotch-Irish stock, his grandfather, John Breckenridge removing to North Ireland from Scotland. His son, James, marrying in Ireland, emigrated to the Southern Colonies about 1775, accompanied by Samuel and Mary Gibson. They located in Screven Co., Ga., where James Breckenridge and wife died, leaving no daughters, but five sons, John, Joseph, Robert, Richard and James (who died young).

Several of the family removed to Tenn., and Richard Breckenridge was in the Creek War of 1812. After the trip, he narrated in his diary, he came overland to Columbus, Miss., and there built boats, in which he embarked with his family and effects, and floated down the Tombigbee river to Marengo County where he remained.

His wife to whom he was married Sept. 11, 1806, was Mary Ann Gibson, born Jan. 4, 1784, and died 1839, the daughter of Samuel and Mary Gibson above. The latter came to Ala., and lived in Marengo Co., and later moving to Sumter Co., where they died.

Richard Breckenridge had eleven children, all of whom grew to maturity and married, except two. Two sons were named  John T. Breckenridge (h. 1815), resides in Peede, Tex., and Richard Breckenridge (b. 1827), in Neshoba Co., Miss.

Descendants of Richard’s brother, Robert Breckenridge, resided in Alabama. The family was originally of the Presbyterian faith.

Note:  Richard Breckenridge with some companions upon leaving their home in Tennessee first came to the Tombigbee country, about Columbus, Miss. Here they separated and he set out alone. One night, at his camp, while chopping wood, he accidentally cut his foot severely with a hatchet. It bled very profusely, which rendered him so weak and helpless that he was compelled to remain four days at this camp. He finally managed to crawl to his mare, which was hobbled near by, mounted her and rode back to an Indian’s cabin which he had passed the day before the accident. Here he remained several days, until he recovered sufficiently so as to resume his journey. The red man was very kind and attentive in administering to his comfort and necessities.


  1. Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society, Volume 3 By Alabama Historical Society 1899


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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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  1. Sounds so much like my ggggdaddy who also came about the same time and was one of the first settlers in Gardendale AL. He as well came from TN. John Belcher

  2. […] first year of Tuscaloosa—it might be of some interest to make some selections from the Journal of Richard Breckenridge, who, with some companions, visited the little settlement that year. He was looking for a location […]

  3. […] first year of Tuscaloosa—it might be of some interest to make some selections from the Journal of Richard Breckenridge, who, with some companions, visited the little settlement that year. He was looking for a location […]

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