The First Marriage of William Elias Sykes



William Elias (Buck) Sykes was born in Smith County on October 16, 1831 and died in Smith County on January 12, 1908. Huldah was born on May 21, 1837 and died on March 25, 1860. Huldah is buried in an unmarked grave on property that was owned by Bettie Moore in the 1970's. Buck is buried in the Sykes Cemetery in Sykes, Tennessee. Buck and Huldah had two sons:

1.  John Monroe Sykes was born on June 29, 1856, and

2.  James (Jim) Hamilton Sykes was born on October 5, 1858 and died on January 7, 1919. Jim is buried in the Sykes Cemetery.

No additional information has been located on John Monroe Sykes but it is believed that he died at a young age. After the death of Huldah, John Monroe’s mother, a lawsuit was instituted to settle her father’s estate and her share of the estate was distributed to William as guardian of their minor son James H. Sykes. Since John Monroe was not mentioned in this July 1869 settlement it is assumed that he was not alive. On October 28, 1860, Buck married Amanda (Mandy) Virginia Turner, Mandy was born on February 19, 1838 in Smith County and died on her 84th birthday on February 19, 1922, in Smith County. Mandy is buried in the Sykes Cemetery. Buck and Mandy had eight children and the available information on this family can be reviewed elsewhere on this web site, "Descendants of William's Second Marriage".

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


 Children of James Hamilton Sykes and Minerva Ellen Dowell

James Hamilton Sykes married Minerva Ellen (used the names Mary and Ella) Dowell in Smith County on January 20, 1881. Mary was born on September 7, 1859 in DeKalb County and died on September 20, 1920 in DeKalb County. Mary is buried in the Sykes Cemetery in Sykes, Tennessee. Jim and Mary moved to DeKalb County soon after they married. Jim owned and operated the hotel in Temperance Hall where he also maintained a general store and operated his undertaking business. We have been told that his display of coffins inside the entrance of the hotel was very impressive. The DeKalb County records indicate that Jim's undertaking and burial business was very prosperous. Jim and Mary had five children.

1.  Carrie Elizabeth Sykes, was born on November 14, 1881 and died on November 29, 1920;

2.  Minnie Mae Sykes, was born on September 29, 1884 and died on October 13, 1884;

3.  William Arthur Sykes, was born on January 7, 1886 and died on August 29, 1945;

4.  James Cleveland Sykes, was born on August 16, 1889 and died on February 28, 1919; and

5.  Willis Hershel Sykes, was born on April 25, 1895 and died on January 4, 1919.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


Children of Carrie Elizabeth Sykes and Corbin Comer Reynolds

Carrie Elizabeth Sykes married Corbin Comer Reynolds on December 23, 1900 in DeKalb County. Corbin (C.C.) was born on September 26, 1877 and is believed to have died on July 10, 1962. Carrie and C.C. had seven children. Although the names of their children are known from the 1920 DeKalb County census, very little information has been located on these children since their mother died in 1920. Their children were (1) Lora L. Reynolds, born in about 1903, (2) James G. Reynolds, born in about 1904, (3) Ella J. Reynolds, born in about 1906, (4) Ruby Louise Reynolds, born in about 1909, (5) Carrie Pauline Reynolds, born in about 1913, (6) Cora G. Reynolds, born in about 1917, and (7) Mary Venice Reynolds, born in about 1918. Mary is shown in the 1930 DeKalb County census living with her aunt Electa Rose (Corbin's sister) and Electa's husband Ira B. Rose. Recent information received from the great grandson of Ira B. Rose indicates that Mary Reynolds married Frank McDonald. The writer believes that he has located Corbin C. Reynolds and James G. Reynolds living in separate boarding houses in the Detroit, Michigan area in 1930. There are many Reynolds families living in the DeKalb County area and some of these have been contacted in an effort to complete the genealogy of this family. If the reader has any additional information, please contact the writer.

Minnie May Sykes

Minnie May Sykes died young and is buried in the Sykes Cemetery.

Children of William Arthur Sykes and Flossie Frazier

William Arthur Sykes married Flossie Frazier on December 26, 1907 in DeKalb County. Flossie was born in DeKalb County on February 7, 1890 and died on June 15, 1945. Arthur was the mail carrier and owned a general store for a short time and he owned a large farm. Arthur and Flossie are buried in the Gordonsville Cemetery. Arthur and Flossie had two children.

1.      Dennis Ward Sykes was born on December 20, 1908 and died on December 26, 1990 and is buried in the Gordonsville Cemetery; and

2.      Glyn Dowell Sykes was born on June 12, 1912 and died on June 12, 1950 and is buried in the Gordonsville Cemetery.

James Cleveland Sykes

James Cleveland Sykes never married and is buried in the Sykes Cemetery.

Children of Willis Hershel Sykes and Beulah Mai Close

Willis Hershel Sykes married Beulah Mai Close on December 10, 1916. Beulah was born on March 5, 1895 and died on December 9, 1918 from complications during the birth of their son. Hershel and Buelah are buried with their unnamed infant son in the Temperance Hall Cemetery in DeKalb County.

* * * * * * * * * *


Grandchildren of Carrie Elizabeth Sykes and Corbin Comer Reynolds

There is insufficient information currently available for the writer to provide any additional genealogy of the Carrie Elizabeth Sykes and Corbin Comer Reynolds Family. If anyone reading this has any information on this family, please contact the writer.

Grandchildren of William Arthur Sykes and Flossie Frazier
Dennis Ward Sykes

Dennis Ward Sykes first married Bonnie Nixon on September 3, 1932. Bonnie was born on April 10, 1911 and died on March 2, 1972 and is buried in the Gordonsville Cemetery. On August 7, 1974, Dennis Ward second married Barbara McCallum in Lebanon, Tennessee. Barbara was born on November 11, 1914 in Ruston, Lincoln Parrish, Louisiana. Barbara was first married to Jack Kelly and currently lives in west Tennessee. Dennis did not have any children.

Children of Glyn Dowell Sykes and Ethel Love Harper

Glyn Dowell Sykes married Ethel Love Harper who was born on July 2, 1914 in Smith County and died on December 30, 2004. Glyn and Ethel had three children:

1.           Gerald Shannon Sykes was born on April 17, 1937.

2.           Larry Glenn Sykes was born on June 24, 1943, and

3.           Ronald Harper Sykes was born on June 22, 1947.

After Glyn Dowell died, Ethel married J. T. Hayes. Ethel and J. T. did not have children.

Comments About William’s First Marriage

 The writer is a descendant from the second marriage of William Elias Sykes to Amanda Virginia Turner and recognizes that the information about the marriage of William Elias Sykes to Huldah D. Basinger is very limited. The writer was not aware of this marriage until August 2003, and was not aware that their son Jim had a family until Jim’s family was located in the 1900 DeKalb County Census in September 2003 while the writer was searching for descendants from Buck’s second marriage. All information that is currently available to the writer on Buck’s first marriage is being provided here for the purpose of assisting others with their research on these families. The writer lives near Smith and DeKalb Counties and is willing to assist any other researchers whenever possible.

The remaining descendants from William's first marriage remains private at this time. Any member of this family may obtain additional information by contacting the writer.


Comments or Questions Jim Sykes.

Last Updated November 2005