Chapter 10: Francis Coleman, 1744-1823.

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The Robert Coleman from Virginia to Texas, 1652-1965

Chapter 10:  Francis Coleman, 1744-1823.

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      CHAPTER 10

      by J. P. COLEMAN

      Born, Virginia, August 16, 1744.
      Died, Washington County, Alabama, August 13, 1823. Age 79.

      On March 13, 1761, Robert Coleman, who died late 1795, bought 100
      acres of land from William Roberts on the west side of 
      Rocky Swamp, Halifax County, NC.  This we have seen in a
      previous chapter. Francis Coleman was a subscribing witness to the
      deed, but he signed by mark. Since the Francis Coleman to be
      discussed in this chapter wrote a beautiful hand and signed his
      own name to documents still in existence, and since he was only
      seventeen years old in 1761 and thus not of legal age to be a
      lawful witness to the execution of documents, the Francis Coleman
      who witnessed the deed of 1761 was most likely the father of
      Robert Coleman.
        However, for reasons immediately to appear, it seems absolutely
      clear that the Francis Coleman now about to be discussed was a
      son of the Robert Coleman who died in Fairfield County, South
      Carolina, in 1795, and a brother of Charles Coleman, who died in
      1788, as well as a brother of Robert Coleman who died in 1809, in
      addition to being a brother or half brother to all the other
      children of the first named Robert.
        Francis Coleman purchased land in Fairfield County, SC,
      from William Martin on January 23, 1772.  On February 11, 1773, 
      he was granted 150 acres on Sandy Fork of Beaver Creek, on
      which all the other Fairfield Colemans later lived.  The patent,
      signed by Lord Montague, described the land as being bounded on
      the Northeast by lands already owned by Francis Coleman, on the
      South by land of Clement Moberley, and on all other sides by
      vacant land.
        As shown by the Fairfield County land records, on March 25, 1788,
      Francis Coleman purchased other land which had been granted
      to William Moberley (Mobley) on March 4, 1760. Robert Coleman was
      a witness to this deed.
        As we have already seen in the chapter on Charles Coleman, who
      died in 1788, Francis Coleman was the executor of the last will
      and testament of Charles Coleman.  Moreover, Robert Coleman, who
      died 1809, was a subscribing witness to that will, which was dated
      December 31, 1787.

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                                            THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY

         February 5, 1791, Land Deed Book N, Page 15, Fairfield Records,
      Francis Coleman sold to Jhn Coleman 200 acres of land originally
      granted to Charles Coleman, reciting that he did so as "lawful
      attorney for Charles Coleman." Strictly speaking, he should have
      described himself as the Executor of the last will and testament
      of Charles Coleman. Robert Coleman, Sr. and Robert Coleman, Jr.
      were witnesses to this instrument of 1791. Nearly ten years
      later, February 5, 1800, David Coleman, son of Robert Coleman who
      died in 1809, made Oath that he saw Francis Coleman sign this
      deed and that he also saw Robert Coleman, Sr. and 
      Robert Coleman, Jr. subscribe their names as whitenesses.
        On March 16, 1801, Francis Coleman, Sr., of Jefferson County,
      Georgia, for five hundred pounds sterling, sold to Hartwell Macon
      410 acres of land in Fairfield County, on Sandy Fork, 
      Beaver Creek, originally obtained by Francis on January 23, l771
      and February 11, 1773, bounded by the lands of Liles and Hampton.
      Robert Coleman, Sr. was one of the subscribing witnesses, so
      evidently Francis had returned to Fairfield to consummate this
        On April 23, 1803, Francis Coleman and Margaret, his wife, of
      the State of Georgia and County of Jefferson, conveyed to 
      Henry I. Macon, 266 acres of land described as being part of the
      tracts sold by John Marlin to Francis Coleman on January 23, 1772,
      and granted to Francis Coleman on February 11, 1773, by
      Governor Charles G. Montague. It was further recited in 1803, that
      the land adjoined Ephriam Lyles, Hampton, and Thomas Means (Land
      Deed Book O, Page 191, Fairfield County Records).
        Of course, this quite positively shows that the Francis Coleman
      in Jefferson County, Georgia, in 1803, was the same
      Francis Coleman who patented land in Fairfield County adjoining
      the Moberleys in 1773, and who purchased land from one John Martin
      in the first month of 1772. It also proves that his was the same
      Francis Coleman who acted as Executor for the Estate of
      Charles Coleman in Fairfield County in 1788.

        Francis Coleman received the following land grants in the State
      of Georgia:

          1790, 250 acres of land in Burke County;
          1795, 400 acres in Burke County;
          1795, 153 acres in Warren County;
          1797, 75 acres in Warren County.

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        Mr. G. Duffield Smith, 3520 Drexel Drive, Dallas, Texas, a
      descendant of Francis Coleman through his daughter,
      Frances Womack, unearthed a record of Francis Coleman in
      Wilkes County, GA, in 1790, when Peter Spencer collected tuition
      for teaching Isaac, Frank and John Coleman .
        In the 1805 Land Lotteries in the State of Georgia,
      Francis Coleman had two draws.

        The records of Jefferson County, Georgia, were destroyed in
      Sherman's March to the Sea. The writer has found an old jury
      list in the Courthouse at Louisville, Georgia, which shows that
      Francis Coleman was number 19 for jury duty in Jefferson County,
      Georgia, July 4, 1799.  Isaac, John and William were noted for
      jury duty on November 13, 1798.

                          EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF GEORGIA

                                                    August 14, 1799


        At the request of Mr. Francis Coleman the bearer hereof I
      address you to present to inform you of his wish to remove his
      property to the Don or Tombigby River, through the Creek
        I have informed him that this liberty can only be granted by
      you, who know the feelings and sentiment of the Indians on such
        I will therefore only further add that Mr. Coleman's seems to
      be a peculiar case--he sometimes since sold out his land here, and
      purchased land in exchange on that River. He is a citizen of
      repute, and I believe, if indulged, would give no trouble to the
      United States or offense to the Indians.
         I am, Sir, with respect, your obt. servt.
                                                   JAMES JACKSON.

      Addressed to Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, 
      Superintendent of Indian Affairs North of Ohio.
         This letter is of record at Page 396 of the Minutes of the
      Executive Department of the State of Georgia for the period

         Land Deed Book A,'Washington County, Alabama, Pages 3-8. 1799.
      Joel Walker for $3,000 cash sold to Francis Coleman a plantation
      of 500

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                                            THB ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY

      acres of land in West Florida on a point immediately above the
      Black Rock on the River Tombeckby [Tombigbee - WDC] about 
      112 miles above the Town of Mobile, [Now in Alabama - WDC]
      bounded by the river on the north, east, south and southwest,
      granted to Charles Walker by the Province of West Florida, 
      January 27, 1777.
        American State Papers-Public Lands-Volume 1, Page 683.  
      Francis Coleman's case. Land claims in the Mississippi territory,
      case No. 116, Land on the Tombigbee River. Recites that
      Francis Coleman was of Jefferson County, Georgia. Application made
      by William Coleman as Attorney in fact for Francis Coleman. States
      that the land is about 112 miles above Mobile.
        This proves, of course, that Francis Coleman of Jefferson
      County, Georgia, formerly of Fairfield County, South Carolina, was
      the same man who moved to Washington County, Alabama.
        On November 19, 1799, William Coleman and John Coleman, sons of
      Francis, were granted passports to go through the Creek Nation to
      the Tombigbee and return.
        Francis Coleman's daughter, Frances, married John Womack. On
      April 12, 1802, Jesse Womack and John Womack were granted 
      passports to the Creek Nation in the western country.
        On April 23, 1804, Francis Coleman, Jr, son of 
      Francis Coleman, Sr, was granted a passport to remove to the
      western country.
        Benjamin Coleman given a passport to the Tombigbee Country, 
      April 30, 1803.
        December 30, 1807, on the recommendation of Isaac Coleman, of
      Jefferson County, passport ordered prepared for William Coleman
      to pass through the Creek Nation.
        On Tuesday, May 12, 1812, a passport was ordered to the
      Mississippi Territory (which included present day Alabama) for
      messrs Francis Coleman, Isaac Coleman, and David Rowe, of the
      County of Jefferson.  The passport included 11 negroes, the
      property of Francis Coleman.

        Mississippi Territorial Census of 1816 listed the following:
          Washington County        Francis Coleman
                                   Jesse Coleman
          Clarke County            Jesse Coleman
                                   William Coleman

        Francis Coleman was a soldier in the American Revolution. This
      fact has been too clearly handed down in the family from
      generation to generation to be denied now. In the DAR Lineage
      books it is stated that

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      he served as a Private in General Elijah Clark's Georgia troops.
      Although Francis was a resident of South Carolina at that time,
      General Clark did much fighting in South Carolina, so Francis
      would have had every opportunity to have joined General Clark's
      forces.  There is no record of his Revolutionary service in
      National Archives in Washington but he died before Revolutionary
      pensions were common except for the indigent, so the writer has
      concluded that this is not significant.
        The writer has encountered writings to the effect that this
      Francis Coleman was the son of Francis Coleman of Caroline County,
      Virginia, the burgess, who was the son of Samual Coleman, of the
      Mobjack Bay Coleman line. Since Francis of Caroline was not grown
      and married until long after 1744 it is obvious for this reason
      alone that he was not the father of Francis Coleman of Washington
      County, Alabama. The family connections of Francis of Caroline are
      elaborately covered in the writings of Judge S. Bernard Coleman.

                                  FRANCIS COLEMAN

                                   FAMILY RECORDS

     Francis Coleman,          b. August 16, 1744, Virginia.
                               d. August 13, 1823, 
                                  Washington County, Alabama.

     Margaret Coleman,         b. December 29, 1750.
       His Wife,               d. April 17, 1804.


     Isaac Coleman,            b. September 25, 1768.
                               d. 1841.
                                  Had a daughter named Vashti, and a son,
                                  Hamilton J. F. His widow, Nancy, died at
                                  Cahaba, April 28, 1856.
     William Coleman,          b. May 13, 1770.
                                    Married, Nancy (Dean) Lawrence.
                                d. 1847.
                                  Lived in Perry County, Alabama.
                                  Had ten children.

     Francis Coleman,          b. June 8, 1772.
                                  Married Mary Womack.
                               d. September 10, 1835, Butler County, Alabama.

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                                                   THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY

     Margaret Coleman,         b. January 6, 1774.
                                  Married Robert Tillman, Jefferson County, GA
                                  May 5, 1793.
                                  Nine children.
     John Coleman,             b. January 3, 1776.
     Benjamin Coleman,         b. April 29, 1778.
                               d. December 24, 1816.
     Frances Coleman,          b. February 14, 1781.
                                  Married John Womack (son of Jesse Womack,
                                  Revolutionary soldier. He was born
                                  December 25, 1776).
                                  Eleven children.
     Abner Coleman,            b. January 17, 1783.
                               d. April 10, 1787.
     Elias Coleman,            b. December 9, 1784.
                               d. October 9, 1786.
     Vashti Coleman,           b. December 19, 1786.
                                  Married (1) John Williamson 
                                          (2) Matthew Shaw.
     Robert Coleman,           b. March 9, 1789.
                               d. October 1, 1789.
     Daniel Coleman,           b. September 5, 1792.
                                  Married Sarah Hawkins.
                                  Three children.

        It will be noted that Francis Coleman had a daughter named
     Vashti, as did Charles Coleman who died 1788. He had sons named
     William, Francis, John, and Robert, as did Robert Coleman who died
     1809. He had a son named Abner, as did William Coleman of

         Children of John Williamson and Vashti Coleman were: 
           Charles Fox Williamson, 
           Carolyn Williamson, and 
           Daniel Mobley Williamson. 

         Daniel Mobley Wiliamson was born
     April 10, 1816, near old St. Stephens, Choctaw County, Alabama,
     and died at the old home place, Millry, on April 30, 1899. He
     married three times and had twenty-three children. His second wife
     was Telitha Worsham.  Octavia Chaney Williamson was a child of
     this marriage.

        OCTAVIA CHANEY WILLIAMSON, daughter of D. M. W. and his
     wife, Telitha Worsham, was born January 24, 1853, at the old home

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     place in Choctaw County, and died May 21, 1926, at Laurel, MS.
     She married (1) John Glenn Whitselt, born October 22, 1851,
     died April 14, 1874. They had one child, Mary Olivia.

        MARY OLIVIA WHITSETT, daughter of John Glenn Whitsett and his
     wife, Octavia Chaney Williamson, was born June 16, 1873, in
     Cherokee County, Texas. At this writing, July 24, 1959, she is
     living at Laurel, Mississippi. On June 14, 1888, she married 
     James Dumont Duvall, who died December 28, 1928. Of this union were
     nine children.  The fifth child was Howard Gibson.

        HOWARD GIBSON DUVALL, was born February 1, 1903, at Lumberton, MS,
     and is now living at Oxford, Mississippi. On March 10, 1927,
     he married Clara Mae Wilson, daughter of Samuel Dee Wilson
     and Clara Alice Barnes. They had two children: Samuel Dee Wilson
     and Howard G., Jr.

        SAMUEL DEE WlLSON DUVALL, son of Howard Gibson Duvall and his
     wife, Clara Mae Wilson, was born May 31, 1928, at Tupelo,
     Mississippi. On December 5, 1948, he married Faye Lewis, daughter
     of Walter W. Lewis and his wife, Belle Carrington. At this writing
     he is living at 735 Beach Boulevard, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

                               OF FRANCIS COLEMAN,
                           WILLIAM C. COLEMAN, EXECUTOR

        Margaret Tillman received the household goods.

        DanieL W. Coleman, of Butler County, received his portion.
        A. W. Coleman, of Butler County, received his portion.
        Jasper W. Coleman, of Butler County, received his portion.
        Evidently these were the children oF Benjamin Coleman.
        Vashti Williamson received her share on November 29, 1823.
        Lucy W. Whiting, Martha Evans, of Dallas County, Alabama.
        Francis Coleman, Jr., acknowledged his share on November 29,
        Isaac Coleman received his share June 25, 1824.
        May 13, 1843, Washington County, Vashti Shaw, formerly 
        Vashti Williamson, acknowledged receipt of her share of negroes
        left her by Francis Coleman.

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                                               THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY

        Margaret B. Hawkins, formerly Margaret B. Coleman, sister of
     William H. Coleman, acknowledged receipt of six slaves, two mules,
     and yoke of oxen. Margaret B. was wife of James G. Hawkins.
        John Womack acknowledged his legacy, May 17, 1843.
        William H. Coleman filed his receipt May 17, 1843.

                              ALABAMA CENSUS OF 1830

     CLARKE COUNTY     William Coleman, born between 1760-1770.
                       Abner Coleman, born between 1800-1810.
     MARENGO COUNTY    Isaiah Coleman, born between 1810-1815.
     DALLAS COUNTY     Isaac Coleman, born between 1760-1770.
                       Isaiah Coleman, born between 1t770-1780.
                       William Coleman, born between 1790-1800.
                       Robert Coleman, born between 1790-1800.
                       Allen Coleman, born between 1800-1810.

        Land Deed Book N, Page 258, Greene County, Alabama, shows that
     William Coleman, son of Francis, was granted 640 acres of land in
     Greene County on September 24, 1835, pursuant to the Act of
     Congress of March 3, 1811, for the Relief of William Coleman and
     others. His wife was named Nancy, and the records recited that he
     was of Dallas County, Alabama.
        On a farm now belonging to John Henry Mosely, on the North side
     of the Farm to Market Road from Millry to St. Stephens, Washington
     County, Alabama, about one mile East of the Bigbee Community, are
     to be found the graves of Dr. William Harris Coleman, born
     September 20, 1820, died October 28, 1883; his wife, Caroline V.,
     born May 30, 1837, and died September 17, 1888. He is said to have
     been married twice and had six children: Maggie, Lena, Frank, Jim,
     Dan, and Felix. I do not know which of the Colemans was his father.
        I have been much assisted in my researches on Francis Coleman by
     Donald B. Clayton, of Birmingham, who has done so much of the spade
     work which has gone into this book, and without whose work this
     book really would not have been possible.
        I have also been greatly assisted by Mr. G. Duffield Smith, of
     3520 Drexel Drive, Dallas, Texas, as well as by 
     Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Duval, of Pascagoula, Mississippi.

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        From Mr. Smith I received the following information as to
     Frances Coleman, who married John Womack.
        John Womack died at Womack Hill, Choctaw County, Alabama.
     Thereafter, his widow, Frances Coleman, went to Texas and lived
     with her daughter and son-in-law, Aurelia Womack Baker and 
     Isaac Baker at Plantersville, Grimes County, Texas, where all are
        Jesse Womack, son of John Womack and Frances Coleman, was a
     citizen of the Republic of Texas.
        His daughter, Eugenia Womack, married James Ledbetter Smith, who
     was the father of Jesse Philip Smith, who was the father of 
     Mr. G. Duffield Smith.

        There is considerable evidence to the effect that Margaret
     Coleman, wife of Francis, was the daughter of James Daniel of
     Amelia County, VA later Prince Edward County, VA when it was formed 
     of Amelia.  His will was probated April 19, 1763, in which he 
     mentions his daughter, Margaret, wife of Francis Coleman. I believe
     this to be correct because on Jan. 10, 1762, James Matthews, Sr. and
     Ann, his wife, in Halifax County, NC sold to William Daniel 142 acres
     of land.  Francis Jones and James Matthis were witnesses to the deed.
     James Daniel had a son named William.

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