Last modified 9 Sep 2018


"Family of Elijah Creel & Leviney "Vina" Dearman"
From: Jones County, MS, Lauderdale County, MS and Mobile County, AL

Surnames: Creel, Creal, Dearman, McMillen/McMillin, Gilchrist, Stapleton, Warpole, Wiggins, McCollough, Haley, Parks, Sherrell, Allen, Howell, Austin, Felts, Pendarvis, Varnon, Walker and more. Please use as GUIDE only. Always subject to corrections.


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Thomas Creel and Elizabeth Dearman Page

More Creel obits by: David Sprinkle

"Creel Marriages" from another researcher
Census Records:
"Burials, Deaths Records, Marriages, & Various Records from other Researchers & Websites"  

I received information on 'past' Grandparents from Paul Platt, David Sprinkle, Darla Spooner and Paul Stapleton [Grandson of Leviney "Vina" Dearman Creel Stapleton & Joseph Stapleton] and Kathy All my family records on Elijah & Leviney "Vina" were from their living grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family records, letters, Court Records from Mobile County, AL, Alabama Census Records, Lauderdale County, MS Court House, census records and School Records. Please use as GUIDE only. These are my years of research and are subject to correction. Recently, I have been in touch with Kathy who informed me of the parents of Vina Dearman Creel. She gave me information on her parents and sibing.

G-G-G-Greatparents: Thomas Creel: born abt 1771, Orangeberg, SC; died Oct 1859, Jones County, MS; married Elizabeth Dearman [as stated on other researcher notes to me].
G-G-Grandparents: Wesley Creel & (J)Gerusha Nicholas
Wesley Creel was born 1805, Benton County, TN; died July 1895; married: pos. 1838, Lauderdale County, MS. Gerusha Nicholas was born in Warrior, AL to Jacob Nicholas & Mary Cooper.

Check out old newspaper clipping: Death notice of Wesly Creel, Lauderdale County, MS, in 1895 age 90, born in Benton County, TN

[1].....ELIJAH CREEL b. abt 1845 Jones County, MS d. abt. 1898, Mobile County, Alabama; Death record date from Elijah's living grandchildren. Buried in Magnolia Springs Cemetery, Mobile County, AL.[Source: S. Boling, caretaker of cementry]. Elijah served in the MS Calrt, C.S.A. He lived in Jones County, MS; later moving to Lauderdale County, MS. Then to Mobile County, AL.

Census 1880 MS Lauderdale County
pg 48 S.D. 2 E.D. 92 Sub, District No 1,
enumerated on the 28th-29th June 1880: Elijah Creel in Beat one, white and had two sons, Franklin, 11, and Thomas 9
1880 census Lauderdale County, MS
Creel, Elijah   35  Farmer MS SC  SC
US FED Census On Mobile County, AL 1900
pg 117A, all living in 'Children's Asylium'
Leviney "Vina" is listed as "Viney Creal"
white born May 1865 widow
State born MS Father born MS Mother born MS
[all 5 children listed with "CREAL SURNAME" on this census]
1910 Mobile County, AL Census
Listed under Stapleton household, living in Kosters, Mobile County. Vina, Joe and Hiram all in same household.

..........+ Leviney "Vina" Dearman b. Jan 31, 1866, Meridian, Lauderdale County, MS d. Aug 11, 1929, Mobile County, AL. Burial: Magnolia Springs Cemetery, Mobile County, AL.

Children of Elijah Creel and Vinie (Vina) Creel/Creal

Source Of Record: Alabama Record of Death
Certificate No.: Registration No: 49-0015 Registered No: 17

Name: Stapleton, Vina
Date Of Death: August 1, 1929 Time: blank
Place Of Death: Grand Bay, Mobile County, AL
Residence: Grand Bay, Mobile County, AL
Gender: Female
Race: W
Age: 63
Marital Status: Widower
Spouse: Stapleton, Joe
Date Of Birth: January 31, 1866
Place Of Birth: Meridian, Lauderdale County, MS
Mother's Name: unreadable
Mother's Birthplace: Mississippi
Father's Name: Dearman, Mr.
Father's Birthplace: blank
Cause Of Death: nephritis
Hospital: blank
SS Number: Unavailable
Occupation: housewife
Funeral Home: H. A. Fails, Fails Funeral Home, Moss Point, Jackson County, MS
Doctor: J. N. Thresh, M. D., Grand Bay, AL
Coroner: Unavailable
Informant: H. H. Creel
Date Of Burial: August 2, 1929
Place Of Burial: Theodore, AL
Date Recorded: August 2, 1929

Death record: Mobile County Court House, Mobile, AL Vol 43 pg 21305; Cause of death: nephritis, an infection of the kidney.
[Source:] Paul Stapleton, Grandson of Leviney "Vina" Dearman Creel Stapleton & Joseph Stapleton
Funeral arrangements by Fails Funeral Home, Moss Point, Jackson County, MS. recorded # 2349-83, paid for by her sons, Hiran M. Creal & Hardy H. Creal. Source

Kathy informed me of the parents of Vina Dearman Creel. Parents of Leviney (Devina, Vina, Viney) Dearman were:

Jonathan Dearman, born 1813 in St Clair County, AL, died bef 1880 Lauderdale County, MS. Jonathan was son of Elisha Dearman & Mary Varnon. He married Julia Ann McMulen 1855 in Meridian, MS. Her mother was Julia McMillen/McMullin, daughter of William McMullen & Katherine Gilchrist. Julia was born 1829 in MS, and died abt 1890 in Lauderdale County, MS.

Children of Jonathan & Julia Ann (McMulen) Dearman:

.......... Mary Ann Dearman, b Aug 1855 Lauderdale County, MS; died bef. July 10. 1947
.......... Selecty, b 1857 MS
.......... Thomas Dearman, b May 1, 1859 Lauderdale County, MS d bef July 10, 1947
.......... Leatha Mae Dearman, b May 1, 1861 MS or AL, d Oct 1, 1922 Lauderdale County, MS
.......... Leviney Dearman, b Jan 31, 1866, Meridian Lauderdale County, MS died Aug 11, 1929 Mobile County, MS

Vina is listed on 1870 Lauderdale County, MS as Devina Stroder, living with her mother, Julia (McMillen/McMillin) Dearman Stroder.  Vina married [2] Joe Stapleton, 6 JAN 1902 in Mobile County, AL after Elijah died. Joe was born ABT. 25 AUG 1858 in NY, and died 1923, in Mobile County, AL; Father Mike Stapleton, NY.

............... [2] Julia Creal (Creel) b: December 07, 1887 d: January 12, 1959. Burial: Grand Bay Cemetery, Mobile County, AL.

Julia was placed in Children's Home, Mobile, AL, when Vina could not support the children anymore. Julie never had any children. Julia & Edward lived in Mobile, AL. She was probally named after her Grandmother Julia Dearman. On Mobile County, AL 1900 census as Julia Creal. On index of Grand Bay Cememtry, Mobile County, AL. Death record: Mobile County Court House, Mobile, AL

Obit record of Julia Walpoe:
Mrs. Julia Walpoe, a native of AL and a resident of Grand Bay Ala, for the past 3 years, died at her residence Monday afternoon at 2 O'clock. She is survived by one sister Mrs. Leona McCullough of Mobile, Ala; and one brother Mr. Hardy H. Creel Sr. of Grand Bay, Ala. Funeral services will be held from the Chapel of Higgins Mortuary, Mobile Wednesday at a time to be announced. The family request that in lieu of flowers, a donation to the foreign missions. Funeral arrangements by Higgins Mortuary; INC, Mobile Alabama.

.................. + Edward B Walpole born ? d. 15 Sep 1940 Mobile County, AL. Death record: Mobile County Court House, Mobile, AL death cert.#44 215134

............... [2] Hiram Matthew Creal (Creel) b: March 7, 1889 d: 1953 Burial: Magnolia Springs Cememtry, Mobile County, AL no children.

Hiram was also placed in a Children's Home, in Mobile, AL. On Mobile County, AL 1900 census, as Hiram Creal He is listed on 1900 Mobile County Census with mother Vina/Viney [Dearman] Creal; on 1910 Mobile County Census living with his stepfather Joe Stapleton and Viney in Kosters, AL. Mobile County Court House, Marriage records, Mobile, AL. HALEY, LILLIAN and CREAL, HIRAM  M. married 02/01/1911, bk 43 pg 229; Hiram owned his own business. Hiram was the family member that had the Creel reunions for Elijah and Vina's family in Mobile County, AL. Their deaths are printed on page 45, the book titled: "Anywhere I Wander, I find Facts and Legends Relating to the Creel Family" 1976, written by J. Owens; Hiram 1889 - 1953; Lillian 1878 - 1969 Mobile County, AL

[copy I received from State of Alabama, May 10, 2004]
CERTIFICATE OF DEATH STATE OF ALABAMA -- Hiram Mattrew Creel 752 10709
  1. PLACE OF DEATH: Mobile 49026
  2. USU AL RESIDENCE (where deceased lived)
     a. State: AL
     b. County: Mobile
     c. City: Mobile, beat 10
  3. Name of DECEASED: Hiram Mattrew Creel
  4. Date of Death: May 13, 1953
  5. Sex: Male
  6. Color or race: White
  7. Married
  8. Date of Birth: March 7, 1889
  9. Age last birthday: 64
10. Occupation: Farmer
11. Kind of business: self
12. Birthplace: Theodore, AL, USA
13. Fathers name: no record
14. Mothers name: no record
16. SS# 423-18-5877
17. Informant's name and address: Mrs. Lillian Creal -same address-
18. Cause of Death: Hypertension, heart disease
19. [blank]
20. Autopsy: no
Doctor: William Tuck, MD Mobile, AL, date signed 5/13/53
Funeral Director: Higgins Mortuary, Mobile, Alabama

....................... + Lillian Haley b: abt 1878 d: 1969 m: February 01, 1911; Burial: Magnolia Springs Cememtry, Mobile County, AL; Mobile County Court House, Mobile, AL marriage record bk. 43 pg. 229

.............................. [3] Winnie L. Creal b 1916 [living relatives say she was adopted, maybe a cousin, she was not on 1920 census with her parents]

1930 US Census, Grand Bay And Union Road, Mobile County, Al
Hiram M Creal 41 1888 Alabama Head White Grand Bay, Mobile, Al
Lillian V Creal 42 1887 Wife Grand Bay, Mobile, Al
Winnie L Creal 13 1916 Daughter Grand Bay, Mobile, AL

............... [2] Leona Creal (Creel) b: November 20, 1891 d: March 15, 1969 Burial: Grand Bay Cemetery, Mobile County, AL; no children

On Mobile County, AL 1900 census as Lina Creal. On index of Grand Bay Cemetery, Mobile County, Alabama. Leona was placed in Children's Home, Mobile, AL. Leona's last resident was living with her brother Hardy's family in Grand Bay, AL. [Note:] I meet Aunt Leona [when I was very young] at Grandpa Hardy Creel's home.
Obit: Mrs. Leona Creel McCollogh - A native of Atmore, Alabama and a resident of Mobile, died at her residence Saturday March 15, 1969, at 3 pm. Mrs. McCollogh is survived by one brother, Hardy H. Creel of Grand Bay, Ala; nieces and nephews and other relatives. Funeral services will be held from the chapel of Radney Funeral Home Monday March, 17, 1969, at 3 pm with interment in the Grand Bay Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by Radney Funeral Home, INC, 3155 Dauphin Ext, west of Sage Ave.

......................+ Edward McCollough Mobile County, AL

............... [2] Benjamin Brown Creal (Creel) b: abt 1893. Benjamin Brown was placed in a Children's Home, Mobile, AL. On Mobile County, AL 1900 census as Brown Creal. No record on where he is buried.

............... [2] John W. Creal (Creel) b: abt 1896 d 05/18/ 1917. He was killed while on guard duty in WWI.

Vina purchased a home with some of insurance money from John's death. This death info from the grandson of Vina and Joe, Paul Stapleton. (Paul is son of Joe Stapleton who was born in 1905.) Buried in Mobile County, AL in Mobile National Cemetery: as John Creel. Creel, John W. d. 05/18/1917, PVT A 1 ALA NG INF, Plot: 1 198-C
Alabama WWI deaths: Creel, John W. Pvt. Theodore May 18, 1917 DA Army
John was also placed in a Children's Home in Mobile, AL.
On Mobile County, AL 1900 census as John Creal
1910 Census for Protestant Orphans Home, Mobile County, AL

Alabama Death Record:
Name: Creel, John
Date Of Death: May 18, 1917 Time:
Place Of Death: Dog River, Mobile County, AL
Residence: Theodore, Mobile County, AL
Gender: Male
Race: W
Age: 20
Marital Status: Single
Spouse: none
Date Of Birth: abt 1896
Place Of Birth: Theodore, Mobile County, AL
Mother's Name: Dearman, Levina
Mother's Birthplace:Meridian, Lauderdale County, Ms
Father's Name: Creel, Elijah
Father's Birthplace: MS
Cause Of Death: Acrest (hit) by a L. & N. R R train at crossing
Hospital: Unavailable
SS Number: Unavailable
Occupation: U. S. Soider; PVT A 1 ALA NG INF
Funeral Home: Unavailable
Doctor: Unavailable
Coroner: Unavailable
Informant: Unavailable
Date Of Burial: May 19, 1917
Place Of Burial: Mobile County National Cementry; Plot 1, 198 - C
Date Recorded: May 1917
Source Of Record: Alabama Center for Health Statisics
Certificate No.: 101-17-23094 # 551
Reporter: M. Hagood
Post office: Brewton

Additional Comments: John W. Creel/Creal is also listed in 1896 as living in "Protestant Children's Home" in Mobile County, AL; along with his mother Vina Creel; sisters Julia and Leona Creal; brother Hiram, Brown and Hardy Creal until 1907.
File at:

............... [2] Hardy Houston Creal / Creel b: July 4. 1897, Mobile County, AL, d. May 10, 1976. Buried in Memorial Garden Cementry, listed as Creel. Hardy was placed in a Children's Home, in Mobile, AL. Was a 1st SGT in US ARMY, WWI, going to Italy and France.

Hardy and Della Mae Wiggins married Aug. 4, 1917 in Choctaw County, AL; they received their marriage papers at Mobile County Courthouse (bk. 48, pg. 293). They lived on Union Church Road, before buying a house and land from (Della's cousin and her husband) Vester Trehern & Leander Crenshaw Trehern. Leander Crenshaw Trehern parents were Effie Crenshaw and Minnie Crenshaw (they were second cousons). Minnie's parents were Thomas L. Crenshaw & Delilah S. Wiggins, (Della's aunt & uncle). Hardy's SS application looks like it was filled out by three people, and that Hardy just signed it. Because it is written in 3 handwrittings. And listed with the CREAL as surname.

[Documation] On Mobile County, AL 1900 census as Harry Creal.
Hardy and 1/2 brother Frank Stapleton ran away from the children's home when Hardy was around 12 years old, going to live with Hiram and his cousin Barney Creel.
Hardy is on 1910 Census for Protestant Orphans Home, Mobile County, AL.
On 1920 census Hardy and Della are living with C.C. Wiggins, Della's Dad.
On Mobile County, Al 1930 census
Hardy Creal H., HOH, W M Mar 33 occ farmer
Creal, Della M. wife W F mar 33; Creal
Hardy, Jr son w m S 11; Creal
Maye Belle daughter w f S 11
Creal, J. Harold son w m S 8
Creal, Esther daughter f w S 6
Creal, Ruth daughter w f S 4
Creal, Curtis son w m S 2

Updated - Aug 2007 - with "Creel/Wiggins Family History" from the "Family Bible Records" of Mrs. Della M. (Wiggins) Creel sent from her grandson, Johnny Howell, son of Ruth Creel Howell.

All added material from "Bible Records" will be highlighted in BLUE.

Comments from Della: The Family Bible is dated 1826. Della Mae (Wiggins) Creel indicated that she was told by her grandfather, John T. Wiggins, that the Wiggins family came "through Mobile from Florida" and were of "Scotch-Irish" descent. She also stated that there were Irish in the family with a number of "red-haired" family members. She reported coming to the Mobile area from Butler, Choctaw County, AL. As a girl in 1907-08 or perhaps 1910-12. She was unsure of the dates.

Elijah Creel d. abt. 1898, in Mobile County, AL. Family stories say he was killed by alligaters while hunting in a swamp near his home, he was found by his neighbors and family. Death of Elijah Creel was printed in a book titled: "Anywhere I Wander, I find Facts and Legends Relating to the Creel Family" 1976, written by J. Owens. Hardy's children said Elijah's nickname was "carrot top", due to his bright red hair, and that he was a tall big man and told he worked for law enforcement in Mobile County, AL, and they also said... Elijah may have been murdered in Wheelerville, AL. Hardy's children "were told" Vina had dark hair, olive colored skin, and could not speak good English. After Elijah died, she was cheated on the sale of Elijah's land in Mobile County, AL, by a relative. I have no records of her parents first names (except her father was listed on death record as Mr. Dearman and being born in MS.)

"Creel Family History" taken from Family Bible and recollections of our Grandmother, Della Mae Wiggins Creel, wife of our Grandfather, Hardy Houston Creel: (Written down by Johnny Howell, grandson.)

Elijah Creel (Comments from Della: Elijah was the father of her future husband Hardy, our Grandfather; Elijah died when Hardy was young; she stated Elijah worked for Mobile County Sheriff Department, and was killed on a manhunt; he was riding a pony named Tony and carrying a gun. Tony returned home without Elijah. Elijah's body was found by a creek in Theodore, AL next to the dead body of an alligator. She was unaware of any other circumstances surrounding Elijah's death. His death forced his widow, Vinie (or Vina) Dearing to place a number of their eight older children into an orphanage - including our Grandfather Hardy - due to financial hardship).

Vinie (or Vina) Dearing (spelling of last name difficult to ascertain) originally of Birmingham, AL married Elijah Creel, date not recorded.
(Notes on Vina: Described by Grandma and also Aunt Mae Creel Austin as small in stature and "Spanish-looking", had eight children with Elijah Creel (listed below). After Elijah's death, she had no means of financial support and "lost the land she had" due to this. She placed several of the older children in an orphanage for care. She later remarried Joe Stapleton and had two sons, Joe Stapleton Jr. and Frank Stapleton. I have no information regarding the time of this marriage or the birth of the two half-brothers of our grandfather. I also have no information regarding the relationship of our grandfather to the step-father or half brothers from the Family Bible nor from conversations with Grandma or other family members. I do not know if the other children were retrieved from the orphanage. This was not discussed nor recorded.

Details of this period of time are not clear but my recollection of stories from our grandfather was that he ran away from the orphanage, worked jobs as a teenager and then joined the Army. He eventually went to the American southwest and Mexico in the U.S. fight against Mexican rebel Poncho Villa that he recounted to me on several occasions. He also went to France during World War I and saw fierce fighting in the Argonne Forest region of France. He brought home a hand-made dagger made of a German shell casing fragment inscribed with Le Courneau France 1918 that he gave to me when I was a teenager).
by: Johnny Howell (grandson)

[CLICK here for Webpage:] Family of Hardy and Della Mae Creal/Creel Page

................... + Della Mae Wiggins b: May 20, 1897 d: Jan 18, 1992, buried at Mobile Mermorial Garden Cemetery, in Mobile County, AL.

Married Aug 17, 1917. From SSDI card: she is daughter of Christopher Columbus (LUM) Wiggins and Martha S. (Mattie) Owens of Choctaw County, AL. Marriage Book 48 pg 293 Mobile Co, AL records: CREAL, HARDY H and WIGGINS, DELLA MAE 08/14/1917, but married in Choctaw County, AL with the Wiggins family. Creal on marriage records.
(Note from Della's bible: Della Mae (Della Elizabeth) also appearing in another place as Della Mae (Elizabeth) Wiggins.

~C. C. Wiggins family web page


Wiggins Bible


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