AUTHOR SUNDAY – The old County of Butler has cemeteries of many early pioneers of Alabama




Sherry S. Johnston


In researching the Sims line, I came across the Hilson name enumerated alongside the Sims family in the 1880 census, and it turned out that the person I was looking at was a mother-in-law to Bro. Sims; this lady is interred at Shacklesville Cemetery along with her husband, in one of those unmarked graves mentioned in a previous column. Many of the cemeteries visited over the last month show Sims among the stones: Rev. Americus Arastus (A.A.) Sims, born 1855 & died 1895 is at Shacklesville; as well as several Sims are at Mt. Pisgah.

Butler County, Alabama
Butler County, Alabama

According to information included in Rev. J.W. Joyner’s book: “A History of the Baptists in Butler County (1819-1957)” the Shackleville Baptist Church was organized on the 4th Sunday in January 1881.

Charter members of this church included B. F. Saucer, J.J. Fail, W. B. Hobbs, B.M. Reaves, J.W. Edward, Sallie Blackmon, D.L. Hawthorne, Elidie Harthorn, Edward Weaver, Mary Fail, R.G. Hobbs, Julie Reaves, and R.S. Parmer. The following were pastors serving the church: Seaborn Moore, L.B. Cohron, W.L. Hughes, J.L.P. Cook, J.B. Byrd, S.J. Williamson, J.R. Griffith, F. M. Fletcher, T.L. Lee, M.C. Griffin, D.W. Eiland, and a Brother Kelsoe. Shackleville Church was part of the Pine Barren Association.

Originally, the Baptist Associations in AL date back to 1816 when the Beckbe Association was formed; and it was changed to Bethlehem Association in 1827. The purpose of the association was to support local churches, help start new churches and do local ministries. They met annually and covered a large territory. Some of the missionary Baptist Churches in our area, including Butler County, were affiliated with Conecuh, Bethlehem, Pine Barren, Alabama or Zion Associations. Many of these names are found buried in those cemeteries visited in Butler County a few weeks ago.

Butler County Courthouse in Greenville, Alabama


A side note-having just enjoyed the first vacation in many years, Written in Stone was absent for the last two weeks, and thanks to all of you who have called and said you missed it! I took a couple of trips-went to NC for one week; traveled to Orlando FL for the second week; and of course, I combined work and pleasure by visiting a cemetery near Orlando last week, and will be sharing more of that with my readers in a future column. As we go to print, several area churches are planning or they are in the midst of revivals or homecomings. Please consider attending these important functions, as the smaller area churches are beginning to see a sharp decline in attendance, and we owe it to our ancestors for keeping them an active part of the community in which we live.


WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with links to Free On-line resources As family historian, do you have friends and family ask you how to get started in family research? This is a hard question to answer in a few minutes. Refer them to the book below to help them get started in this fun hobby. It also makes a great gift to help someone get started!



  1. How wood I find my gr-grmother in this cemetery the family did not have the money for a headstone. But she is in this cemetery. Can any one help me Thanks Kathy Lyttle

  2. Dee,there is a book mentioned in this article that you might be interested in about genealogy .

  3. Love my news letter, sorry to say, I don’t take enough time to sit down and read every article but I should. Checking my e-mail this morning and saw the article on Butler County, My grandmothers was born and raised there and I think they still live there. I do not know anything about that side of my family and I know I should find out so my daughter would have all this information. The only thing I do know is my great grandfather name was Britton Linton, my grandmothers mane was Emma Estale Linton. Not sure if her middle name is spelled right I was told that was the way it was spelled. I would to find out more information and I know I need to go to Butler County and start doing the research. Sorry for the long story but I was so happy to see this article. Thank You

    1. Hi, Brenda! Some years ago, there were some Linton’s in Pike Co. just South East of Goshen, and Brundidge, Al. . (Google it) There are quite a few Linton’s in Goshen. There is a Linton Tractor Inc. in Goshen, & Brundidge. Good Luck!


      1. Brenda, I know it’s been a few months since you made your comment but I’m just now seeing it. I’m trying to research the Linton line in Butler, Crenshaw and Pike Counties. I’d love to talk to you. If you (or anyone else interested) see this, please email me at [email protected]!

  4. Can you tell us what cemetery’s you visited in Orlando, Fl.? My people were in that area long before Dissey World every thought about being there.

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