Foreword-The Great Adventure

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The Robert Coleman from Virginia to Texas, 1652-1965

Foreword-The Great Adventure

                            By J. P. COLEMAN

                    With the Assistance of Many Others

- author's notes -

                       Those will not look forward to
                       their posterity who never look
                       backward to their ancestors.

                                EDMUND BURKE

                      Happy he who with bright regard
                      looks back upon his father's fa-
                      thers, who with joy Recounts their
                      deeds of grace.


     Privately Published in 1965
     by JAMES P. COLEMAN, Ackerman, Mississippi

     Manufactured in the United States of America
     by Kingsport Press, Inc., Kingsport, Tenn.

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                           JAMES PLEMON COLEMAN

- 3 - .


                        MRS. MARGARET JANET COLEMAN

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Author's bio:


     Born near Ackerman, Mississippi, January 9, 1914.
     Graduated Ackerman High School, 1931.
     Attended the University of Mississippi, 1932-1935.
     Graduated in law, LLB, The George Washington University, 1939.
     Doctor of Laws Degree, The George Washington University, 1960.
     Elected District Attorney of the Fifth Circuit Court District, 1939,
       and re-elected 1943.
     Elected Circuit Judge of the same District, 1946.
     Appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court, September 1, 1950.
     Appointed Attorney General, October, 1950. Elected without opposition
        to a full four year term, 1951.
     Elected Governor of Mississippi, 1955. Chairman of the Southern
       Governor's Conference, 1959.
     Elected to the Mississippi Legislature for the term, 1960-1964.
     Only man in the history of Mississippi to serve in all three branches
       of State Government by election of the people.
     Since 1960 has practiced law in Ackerman, Mississippi, with an office
       in Jackson.
     On May 2, 1937, at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington,
       D. C. was married to Miss Margaret Janet Dennis, daughter of 
       Mr. and Mrs. Josiah B. Dennis of Williamsport, Indiana.
     One son, Thomas Allen Coleman, named for his grandfather, was born
       May 14,1941. He is now a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army,
       stationed in Korea. He received his B. A. degree from the 
       University of Mississippi in 1962 and LL.B. degree in 1964.
     Member of the Fentress Baptist Church.
     Democrat. Delegate to the National Conventions, 1940 and 1956,
     Chairman of the Mississippi Delegation at the latter. Presidential
       elector for Roosevelt and Truman, 1944. Democratic National
       Committeeman for Mississippi, 1952.
     On June 22, 1965, nominated by President Johnson to be a Judge of the
       United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and confirmed
       by the Senate, July 26, 1965. Took the Oath of Office, August 16,

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     The first Coleman of the line described in this book was Robert, who
     settled on the South side of the Appomattox, where it joins the
     James, 1652.  His descendant, Robert Coleman, settled in
     Halifax County, NC, in 1756.  His son, Robert, moved to what is
     now the Feasterville Community, Fairfield County, SC in 1775.
     Thereafter, the family spread to Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.
     This book is an attempt to tell the story of the family from l652
     to 1965, and is arranged in yearly sequence.

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     After their removal to South Carolina, the Colemans became so
     extensively connected with the Feaster Family that this Book might
     more appropriately have been named the Coleman-Feaster History.  The
     Feasters appear throughout, and the extensive Feaster Genealogy
     written by Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman will be found in Chapter 22.

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     The quotations appearing in the frontispiece would indicate that
     interest in one's forbears is, and should be, a most normal human
     trait. Over the years, as I grew older, it became my greatest hobby.
        Like most Southerners of my generation, I grew up on a small farm.
     Prior to the Civil War my family had been comparatively wealthy.
     Great grandfather Daniel Coleman owned l763 acres of land, over a
     hundred slaves, and lived in a sixteen room house. The Civil War put
     an end to that way oF life.
        When a boy and a young man, I did all the hard labor which was so
     common prior to farm mechanization. Although hard labor was con-
     stant and opportunities were few, it was really a good life.
        In many ways I shall always look back on it with much pleasure. In
     a day when family ties and family connections were especially prized,
     I was blessed with a regular multitude of kinfolks. And I still am.
     With great satisfaction, I point out that regard for family is still
     strong in our section of this great Country.
        In the nineteen twenties and thirties we had no radios or
     television sets. There were not many automobiles and no real roads.
     Outside the never ending task of wresting a living from the soil
     (using only man, mule, and the muscle of both) the great activities
     were visiting among friends and relatives, the church, the country
     school, and red hot politics. In our community we had prayer meeting
     on Saturday night.  Of course, there were simple parties such as
     would be expected in rural communities. There was no dancing except
     the square dance, sometimes given at someone's home, but this was
     generally frowned upon. Except for funerals, serious illness, or some
     other unusual event, the family worked together from Monday morning
     until Saturday noon, and many times if necessary we worked on
     Saturday afternoon. One was very close to his immediate family, his
     relatives, and his neighbors. They were indispensable.
        I was particularly close to my Grandfather Coleman and my 
     Grandfather Worrell. On visits to their homes, or upon their visits
      to ours, we often would talk far into the night about old times, 
     about members of the family in other days. The seeds of future 
     interest were firmly planted,

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     but most regretably I wrote nothing down and could not understand
     all of what I heard.
        For example, I knew only the given name of great great
     grandfather, Allen Coleman, of Fairfield and Chester Counties, 
     South Carolina. I.htm#N000161">I had learned of him by accident when I found his 
     will stored away in the "wardrobe" of my great Aunt Missie Bruce, 
     the former Laura Eugenia Coleman. I was her special friend, too, and
     always wrote her letters for her when she was very old and wished to
     write to her many children.
        It was not until May, 1949, when thirty-five years of age and then
     serving as a Circuit Judge, that the doors of my family history began
     to open in definite form. l do not remember the day of the month,
     but I had been to Washington for an interview with President Truman
     on a matter Which I was then interested. I took the Seaboard
     train back to Birmingham, but got off in Chester, South Carolina,
     at about two o'clock in the morning. Two days later, on a Saturday
     afternoon, Mr. Pegram, the newspaper editor in Chester, took me to
     the family burying ground of Allen Coleman, east of Blackstock on
     the Great Falls road.  Mrs. Hattie Hardin, a great lady and the
     Probate Judge of Chester County, had put me in touch with 
     Mr. Pegram as being one who knew more about family burying grounds
     than anyone else in Chester County, which turned out to be a fact.
     To my keen regret, Mr. Pegram died soon afterward, and I have often
     thought that had I.htm#N000190">I not met him just when I did those doors might
     have remained closed forever. I would have been denied one of the
     great adventures of my life, a fifteen year journey into the history
     of the Coleman family.
        Another result of the visit to Chester was that I learned of the
     Coleman-Feaster-Mobley reunion held on the fourth Sunday in July
     every year, at Feasterville, in Fairfield County. From Fairfield,
     Allen Coleman had moved just over the line into Chester in 1817, when
     he was forty-four years of age. In July, 1950, I went to the
     Reunion, and, of course, have been back many times since.
        lt was at this Reunion that I met Donald Clayton, of Birmingham,
     the Genealogist of the Coleman-Feaster-Moberley family association;
     Mrs. Etta Rosson, then of Shelton, who has spent many years
     reducing Coleman family history to written form; Misses Julia and
     Mary Faucette, of Feasterville, who have furnished such a great
     wealth of source material for this history which you are about to
     read; Frank Coleman, of Dallas, who has contributed so much in
     general family research, as well as details of the family history
     in Texas, and many others who will be mentioned in the course of the
     book. Thanks to what they knew, and the inspiration

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     they furnished it was soon resolved to write a history of the Coleman
     family. It was resolved that this history would be more than a
     genealogy.  I would do my best, from every available source, to
     reconstruct their lives, times, personalities. The result has been a
     delightful excursion that I regret to see coming to a close.
     Particularly in the company of Frank Coleman, of Dallas, I have
     made field trips and courthouse visits in Texas, Mississippi,
     Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. It
     has been my pleasure to meet strangers who became warm personal
     friends. I have learned history that could never have been found in a
     textbook. I.htm#N000233">I now feel as if I had personally known and lived with
     everyone of my Coleman ancestors and their kindred.
        Of course, when this began, I was chiefly interested in my own
     direct line. The subject was so interesting, and the assistance
     from so many people was so enthusiastic, that it has been
     impossible to resist the temptation of "digging up" all our related
        I must, however, give this word of warning and apology. Since we
     go back to 1652, the field is so broad and so long, it cannot be
     pretended that I have been able to locate or mention every Coleman
     who ought to be listed in this Book. It would be a marvel if I had
     been able to avoid errors.  Continuing research has actually proven
     many mistakes which first were accepted as facts. Many completed
     chapters have had to be rewritten several times in the light of
     additional discoveries. We have tried to omit everything which was
     not capable of documentary proof. Tradition often proves to he
     mistaken. I.htm#N000246">I am amazed, however, at the frequency with which I have
     been able to verify tradition by written proof, much of it hidden
     for scores of years. So, if the reader should find me guilty of
     omissions and errors it is hoped he will understand the enormity of
     the undertaking and that his forgiveness will be equally generous.
        You will find that I am not the sole author of this Book. A good
     many chapters have been written by others. To me, the most valuable
     part of it was written long ago by Cousin Jennie I. Coleman, who had
     no idea that her effort would one day be published. Donald Clayton
     has not written any particular chapter as such, but the vast fruits
     of his long and extensive research will appear in every chapter, and
     he certainly receives credit accordingly.

        Now that, so far as able, I have collected the history of the
     Coleman family all the way back to Wales, and reduced it to written
     form, I leave it to my son, Thomas Allen Coleman, recent law school
     graduate, to see what he can someday learn and write about the
     family in Wales.

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        I want to say a word of special thanks to every person who has in
     any way assisted in the compilation of this Book. Obviously, it is
     impossible for me to name them all. in addition to those already
     mentioned, l could not possibly omit Miss Margaret Coleman, of
     Winnsboro, and my lawyer kinfolk, George Coleman, of the same Town.
        Moreover, special mention is due the following professional
     researchers who cheerfully accepted my employment and did massive
     research which eventually came to be used in this Book: Mrs. Leon
     Anderson, Halifax, North Carolina, Mr. Malcolm C. W. Tomlinson, of
     Washington, D. C., Mrs. Joyce H. Lindsay, of Richmond, Virginia,
     Mrs. Inez Waldenmaier, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. Mary J.
     Rogers, of Raleigh, North Carolina.
        Special credit must go to Circuit Judge S. Bernard Coleman of
     Fredericksburg, Virginia, an authority on the descendants of Robert
     Coleman of Gloucester County, Virginia. You will find frequent men-
     tion of Judge Coleman in this Book.
        Neither must I forget the warm welcome which was received from
     public officials in Hallettsville Texas, Eutaw Alabama, 
     Louisville Georgia, Winnsboro South Carolina, Tarboro North Carolina, 
     Raleigh North Carolina, Halifax North Carolina, and all over 
     South Side Virginia.  To visit these places, to live in them for 
     a time which was only too brief, and to know these people, have 
     been great enrichments in a busy life.
        In grateful mention I must also include the Library of Congress,
     the National Archives, the Virginia State Library, and the
     Departments of Archives and History in Alabama, Georgia, 
     South Carolina, and North Carolina.

        I must as a matter of record in this Book, express my special
     gratitude to my faithful secretary, Miss Nellie M. Commander, of
     Ackerman, Mississippi.  For this entire fifteen years, she has typed
     and re-typed the pages and chapters appearing in this Book.  In this
     respect she has almost been a co-author.  In like manner special
     thanks are due my wife, Mrs. Margaret J. Coleman because she never
     complained of the many absences from home or the money spent in the
     prosecution of this work.

                           J. P. COLEMAN
                           Ackerman, Mississippi

- 16 - .


                           COLEMAN FAMILY DIARIES

     One of the tremendously interesting and beneficial by-products of
     writing this Book has been the discovery of so many Coleman family
     diaries in the possession of various members of the family. I keenly
     regret that the limitations of space prevent us from reproducing them
     in this work.  They give a most interesting picture of human
     personalities and the times in which they lived.
        I.htm#N000318">If my time holds out and funds become available, I propose at some
     future time to print these diaries in book form. My grateful thanks
     are extended to Frank Coleman, Misses Julia and Mary Faucette, and
     Misses Kathleen and Mary Bess Coleman for allowing us to copy the
     following original diaries:

        1. The diary of William Ragsdale Coleman's trip to Texas in
        2. The diary of David Andrew Coleman, 1852-1859.
        3. The diary of Andrew J. McConnell, Jr., Civil War Diary.
        4. J. A. F. Coleman's Doings, 1848.
        5. The Civil War Diary of 
     First Lieutenant John Albert Feaster Coleman.

                      MR. DONALD BREVARD CLAYTON, SR.
                            Birmingham, Alabama

        Born Columbia, South Carolina, August 8, 1890, the son of 
     Albert W.  and Mary Victoria Feaster Clayton.  Educated in 
     Fairfield County, SC schools and obtaining a B.S. in 
     Electrical Engineering, Clemson College.  He married
     Mary Wynette Mathews of Sylacauga, Alabama, June 3, 1916. One son,
     Donald Brevard Clayton, Jr., born Hendersonville, North Carolina,
     April, 1917. Employed in his profession in Birmingham, Atlanta, and
     Asheville until 1918, when he began an electrical contracting
     business as the Mill and Mine Construction Company.  One of the
     organizers of Electric Contractors, Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, in
     May, 1939, and did all of the electrical work of the Ingalls
     Shipbuilding Corporation until 1948. Since 1948 engaged in general
     electrical construction work in Alabama and Mississippi. Former
     Member of the National Guard.  Member of the Independent Presbyterian
     Church of Birmingham.  Republican. Genealogist of the
     Coleman-Feaster-Moberly Family Association, of Feasterville, South
     Carolina. On August 1, 1965, Mr. Clayton moved to  
     211 Barclay Lane, Lexington, VA, where he now lives.

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                      MR. DONALD BREVARD CLAYTON, SR.

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                                       THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY

                              FRANK R. COLEMAN

        Born in Hallettsville, Lavaca County, Texas, May 30, 1895. Son of
     Thomas Blowett Coleman and Martha Jane Simpson Coleman. Grandson of
     William Ragsdale Coleman and Sarah Newport Head Coleman.  Great
     grandson of Wiley Roe Coleman and Sarah Ragsdale Coleman.
        Graduated from Hallettsville High School. B.S. in electrical
     engineering, Texas A & M College, 1916.
        Served two years and two months in World War I as First
     Lieutenant, Supply Officer and Paymaster, 343 Machine Gun Battalion,
     90th Division. Served in the Army of Occupation in Germany in the
     Fourth Army Corps.
        Married Mallie Ada Little, January 20, 1920, Dallas, Texas. Two
     children, Ritha Marie, now Mrs. Frank W. Butler, and Ralph Marion,
     who married Margaret Jeanine Springer.
        Employed by the City of Dallas in City Building Inspector's Office
     for over twenty-six years prior to retirement.
        Baptist, deacon of Cliff Temple Baptist Church. Active in Church
     and Boy Scout work. Past president of the Coleman-Feaster-Mobley
     Family Association of Feasterville, South Carolina.

                       MISS JULIA ELIZABETH FAUCETTE

        Born Feasterville, Fairfield County, South Carolina, October 9,
     1888, the daughter of Charles Washington Faucette, Jr. and Mary
     Feaster Coleman Faucette. Educated at Feasterville Academy and 
     Furman University. At the age of twenty began her teaching career, 
     which continued for thirty-seven years in the public schools of 
     South Carolina.  She retired in 1957, and has since continued to 
     live at Clanmore, the ancestral home of the Faucette family, in 
     Feasterville, SC.  Her sister, Miss Mary Faucette, lives with her.
        Miss Julia Faucette is a member of the Salem Presbyterian Church, 
     the DAR, the UDC, and the University of South Carolina Society. She 
     is also a member of the Eastern Star and is a charter member and 
     director of Fairfield County Historical Society. Has maintained an 
     active, life-long interest in the preservation of family records, of 
     which she and her sister have the most valuable collection of 
     originals to be found in the Coleman family, and which they have 
     generously put at the disposal of all interested in the production 
     of this book.

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                          MISS NELLIE M. COMMANDER

        Born near Ackerman, Mississippi, April 22, 1920, the daughter of
     Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mitchell Commander. Graduate of Ackerman High
     School, 1939. Since 1941 Secretary to J. P. Coleman, of Ackerman, MS,
     during the times he served as District Attorney, Circuit Judge, 
     Attorney General, and Governor.


        Born at Columbia, South Carolina, September 8, 1894, the daughter
     of Howard Leitner Allen and Sarah Isabelle Coleman.
        Educated at Feasterville Academy and Draughon's Business College.
     One of the leaders in the organization of the Coleman-Feaster-Mobley
     Association, of Feasterville, South Carolina.  One daughter, Mrs.
     Henrietta Rosson Morton, wife of Reverend Theodore R. Morton, Jr.,
     Methodist Minister.
        Member of the D.A.R. for forty years, in which she has served as
     Chapter Regent, State Genealogist, and State Treasurer.  Has compiled
     many volumes of genealogical records which are in the National and
     South Carolina D.A.R. Libraries.  Resided in Germany for fifteen
     months, with extensive travel in Italy, Switzerland, Austria,
     Holland, Belgium, France, England and Luxemburg.

- 20 - .


                            MR. FRANK R. COLEMAN

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     MRS. ETTA ROSSON, who, like Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman, has done so much
     hard work and valuable writing about the history of the Coleman

- 22 - .


     MISS JULIA FAUCETTE, Feasterville, S. C., who has done so much to
     preserve Coleman Family History.

- 23 - .


                          MISS NELLIE M. COMMANDER

- 24 - .


     From left to right: Miss Mary Faucette, Frank R. Coleman, 
     Governor J. P. Coleman, Miss Julia Faucette, and Marion D. Ogburn, Jr. 
     On the Steps of the Boarding House. Reunion of 1956


     THE BOARDING HOUSE, Feasterville, SC, where the Coleman-Feaster-Moberley 
     Family Reunions have been held for many years on the fourth
     Sunday in July.

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     CLANMORE, the Faucette family home, built about 1845. Many of the
     original Coleman family records and relics are kept here.

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     ROSSON and BO FEASTER, standing on the Boarding Housesteps, 1950.

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     Principal Business Street in Chester, SC, looking up toward the
     Confederate Monument.

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Contents | F | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4