OLD BIGGS SETTLEMENT CEMETERY
Sherry S. Johnston
As I walked among the gravestones in the old Biggs Settlement Cemetery, there were many names I recognized. Of course, I knew the Biggs to be associated with my good friend, Ann Biggs-Williams, as well as others. Still, the name of John Roley intrigued me; so I began to research him some more, and discovered another good friend of mine was related to him, both as his own as well as his wife’s family.
Ken Johnson suggested that his great great grandfather, John Roley, was born in London, England about 1813. Family legends claim that as a young teenager, John stowed away on a ship bound for America. Other family stories indicate that he was legitimately employed by a shipping business in London, sailing to America on shipping business.
Evidently, he found work as a sailor for many years; and in a Florida coastal town, he fell in love with Jane Larrimore who was born 4 October 1824 to James & Feraby (Tootle) Larrimore of Tattnall Co., GA. Lovestruck, John Roley, deserted the shipping business and married Jane in Tattnall Co, GA on 8 December 1842. It was in the 1850s that the Roley family migrated to Monroe County, AL. The Roley’s had a very large family, with 11 children. John Roley died 22 July 1884 and was buried in the Biggs Settlement Cemetery near Peterman, AL. Jane died 15 April 1896 and is supposedly buried in the Hendrix Family Cemetery near Frisco City, AL
Although John & Jane never lived in Escambia County, FL, 7 of their 11 children did, having moved to the Bratt Community sometime during the 1900s. The families with Monroe and Conecuh connections include John Jackson Roley, b 1848, married Mary Ellen Fore, b 1850—they are buried at Mexia, Monroe Co., AL. Thomas Henry Roley, b 1850, married Martha Morelle Hendrix, b 1859—she is buried at the Hendrix Cemetery, he at Godwin Cemetery; George H. Roley, b 1852, married Isabella Charity Ann Biggs, b 1849—are buried at Biggs Settlement Cemetery, Monroe Co., AL; Armittie E. Roley, b 1854, married James Marion Kirby, b 1836, buried at Godwin Cemetery. Laura Jane Roley, b 1859, married James Lee Brown, b 1854, buried at Pine Level Primitive Baptist Cemetery in Atmore, AL; Joseph Glenn Roley, b 1861, married Elizabeth Blanton, b 1867, buried at Godwin Cemetery; Emma Rosetta Roley, b 1863, married Oliver Jefferson Wiggins, b 1858, buried at Godwin Cemetery; and other children. A large percentage of the citizens of today in Bratt FL can claim kin with the Immigrant, John Roley.
For more information on the Roley family of England, America, Monroe County, AL & Escambia County, FL visit the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library.
Do you need some guidance in your tracing your family tree? Genealogy is a fun hobby that can include the whole family.
Save time and avoid pitfalls in your research. Where Do I Start? is filled with simple, no-nonsense instructions to set you on the path of your families’ ancestry with the following information:
- WHERE TO FIND – on-line resources, experienced genealogists will not be aware of many of these. 1
- COURT RESEARCH – how to do court house research, where to find birth, death, social security records free on-line.2
- EIGHTY – ONE QUESTIONS – you should ask your elderly loved-ones before it’s too late. 3
- TIPS ON BREAKING DOWN THE WALL – Everyone faces some difficulties in research, often called a ‘brick wall’ but WHERE DO I START? provides suggestions for overcoming them. 4
Download Where do I Start? to your Kindle in less than 30 seconds or to your PC, iPAD, iPhone, MAC or Android device with FREE Apps from Kindle.
Donna shares how she “got bitten” by the genealogy bug. She imparts her amazement at how much can be learned about the history of this country as well as one’s own family by researching one’s family tree. And what’s more amazing is that she was able to go back with her family to the 1600s in England, over 400 years.
The author has a website where she is asked many “how to” questions by the participants. She advises one to use a computer for their research and seems to describe the use of genealogy software as an easy task and quite intuitive. She identifies many excellent genealogy websites for the new user, some of which I hadn’t known about despite my history of 20 years of searching for my family tree, much of it on the internet. The author provides sample interview questions for eliciting past stories from family elders. She gives quite a few tips on how to organize your materials to make the best use of your time. She includes everything a “newby” to the genealogy research field will need to get started and more. And for those with more experience, she includes tips on how to break down the “brick walls” that researchers inevitably encounter and she advises readers to challenge the assumptions in family lore and stories when the brick wall is hit. She also identifies many of the pitfalls inherent in requested records. And if you’ve ever gone to a courthouse to search without preparing yourself for the kinds of questions you’ll need to ask, you will appreciate the author’s advice about getting ready first. You’ll save yourself time in the long run.