Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Musgroves and Leveretts: Facts


The last post was about the rumored father of grandma Betty Leverett's children. A Leverett family researcher has concluded, based on family stories, our second great grandfather, David Musgrove, fathered at least some of them.

So, how do those stories compare to the historical record?


1860 Federal Census

1860 Federal Census
Clinch County, GA
(click to enlarge)
In the 1860 Federal census, our second great grandfather, David Musgrove (at thirteen, the oldest son),  was living in Clinch County, Georgia, with his mother and two younger brothers in the home of John F Collins, the father of his future wife, our second great grandmother, Betty Collins.

David's father, grandpa James Walter Musgrove, was dead. Grandpa John Collins left his wife, grandma Aleph (Butler) Collins, and their children in Baker County and moved to Clinch County, where he lived in common law with grandma Elizabeth (Bryan) Musgrove, David's mother.

Marriage License 1867

John Collins and Elizabeth Musgrove
Marriage License
(click to enlarge)
John and Elizabeth (Bryan Musgrove) Collins legally married August 27th, 1867 in Berrien County, Georgia. By then, grandpa Collins daughter, Elizabeth, had met her step-brother, David, and had her first daughter with him.

(Though it's rumored David Musgrove and Betty Collins wed in 1865, this researcher has found no record of the marriage.)

Betty Leverett, unwed and suffering from epilepsy, gave birth to grandpa John Leverett in 1869. She was pregnant in 1868, the year John Collins and Elizabeth Musgrove were charged with 'adultery/fornication'. The father of Betty's child  was rumored to be a Musgrove boarder living in the same house.

Clinch County Court Records Index

Clinch County Superior Court 
Criminal Index
(click to enlarge)

The case against John Collins and Betty Musgrove was 'nolle prossed' (dropped) in 1869.  The Court Minutes of the case are in Book A of the Court Records, according to the index. Unfortunately that book is missing.

1870 Federal Census

1870 Federal Census
Clinch County, GA
(click to enlarge)
According to the 1870 Federal census, one year after their charges were dropped, Grandma and Grandpa Collins still live in Clinch County, with Elizabeth Collins sister, Ellen, (B Leverett, 41 years old; the B stands for 'Bryan') and Ellen's daughters.

The Leverett family story is William Leverett threw out his daughter, Betty, when she got pregnant. Her mother and sister left with her; they moved into the girls' aunts' house.

John (J W) Leverett is one year old on the census. He was born around 1869, the year after David Musgrove's second daughter with Betty Collins was born. David Musgrove and Betty Collins, with their two girls, aren't counted in 1870 at the Collins home. David's first son with Betty Collins, David John, was born in 1871; Betty Leverett's second son, Samuel Leverett, was born in 1873.

Charles and James Musgrove, 24 and 18 years old, respectively, are boarders and farm hands living in the house  with cousins Betty and Mary Leverett, 21 and 19, respectively. Charles didn't marry until he was 27 years old; James, 24. Finally, Joseph Collins, a seven year old 'mulatto' boy, rounds out the household in Clinch County in 1870.

1880 Federal Census: Pierce County, Georgia

1880 Federal Census
Pierce County, GA
(click to enlarge)

On January 31st, 1876, according to a land sale record in the Pierce County, Georgia courthouse, John Collins bought 345 acres of land there for $500.00.  By the 1880 federal census, the Collins-Bryan-Musgrove-Leverett family was living there. It was from this county grandma Betty Leverett was later institutionalized.

At their Pierce County home in 1880, our third great grandparents were raising Joseph Collins, a fifteen year old 'black' boy and her sister's three children; grandpa John, uncle Samuel and aunt Ida. At three years old, Ida was born around 1877. She would die before the next census.

Meanwhile, David and Betty (Collins) Musgrove had two more daughters and another son, in 1875, 1879 and 1880, respectively. Betty Leverett, no longer living with her sister, would have her last son, Charlie, in Pierce County on the 1st of March, 1881. Our great grandfather, Edward Columbus Musgrove was born on the 20th of April, 1883, in Pierce County.

John Leverett would marry Lucy Williams. Her daughter, our great grandmother, Macie Williams, was four years old when they wed. Her father was rumored to be 'a Strickland boy'. Nine years later, at thirteen, she married our great grandfather, Edward Columbus Musgrove.

This family page represents the most current state of our research. It will be updated as new or conflicting information becomes known. If you have any information on this family, please contact me or add a comment to this page.

NoteRelationships are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove. 

*Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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