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Early Settlers of Alabama

Early Settlers of Alabama

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Published by Larry Feldhaus

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Larry Feldhaus on May 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Early Settlers of AlabamaThe Philips Family was descended from Philip Philips, who was born in Wales. He settled first inPennsylvania, then Kentucky, and thence to Davidson county, Tenn., near Nashville, about 1795
.I have information of four of his children —
1. Nancy, the wife of Daniel Gilchrist
2. Her brother Judge Joseph Philips
and his wife, I knew well in Nashville sixty years ago, when I was araw young student of law. I boarded opposite their dwelling, and well remember the kindnessshown me by this family. The judge was a man of varied experience and extensive learning for thatday, and of pleasing manners. I returned to Alabama, and a term of thirty-six years passed away,during which, Judge Philips had departed this life; but his wife survived him.
Their daughter hadmarried Major John W. Childress, of Murfreesboro.
I was prostrate, in 1863, at that place, from awound supposed to be mortal, when Mrs. Philips paid me a visit of sympathy. She brought herwhole family several times afterward,
consisting of her daughter, Mrs. Childress, Major Childress(who was a brother of Mrs. President Polk)
, and their lovely daughter, Miss Bettie, who afterwardmarried John C. Brown, a major general of distinction during the civil war, and afterward, Governorof Tennessee. I understand they have several living children — all daughters. My readers willpardon me for extending the notice of this branch of the Gilchrist family so far, for their kindness tome in the condition, prisoner in the midst of a hostile camp, has made a deep impression on mymemory, and on my heart.My friend, Dr. James Wendel, of Murfreesboro, informs me that
" Major John W. Childress firstmarried the daughter of Elisha Williams, whose wife was a Philips, sister to Judge Joseph Philips
She died leaving six children, four sons and two daughters. The elder one married J. M. Avent, alawyer of Murfreesboro. The other (as you state) married Gen. John C. Brown; both are living.Three of the sons are dead. His second wife is a daughter of Judge Philips; of course, cousin to thefirst.
Major Childress died in October, 1884, leaving six children by the second wife ; three sons and threedaughters. Judge Philips died in 1856 or 1857. His widow at the advanced age of ninety, or more,died in November, 1881. Gen. Robert Purdy and wife I knew in my boyhood days. They died in thisplace, she some years before him.
The sisters of Mrs. Daniel Gilchrist were Eleanor, Elizabeth and Mary.
Eleanor married Major James Neely, and Rev. Philip Philips Neely, D. D., a Methodist minister of celebrity, was their son. In the latest history of Alabama, by Brewer, a sketch of his life is given. Theauthor after mentioning a number of representative men who have lived in Mobile, and of thelearned professions, such as John A. Campbell, of the Bar; Josiah C. Nott, of Medicine; John Forsyth,of the Press; Jones M. Withers, of the Army; and Raphael Semme, of the Navy, selects Dr. P. P. Neelyas the representative man of the pulpit, in a city always noted for the ability of its ministers. Inconcluding his sketch he introduced the following estimate of him as an orator, furnished at therequest of the author, by Bishop Payne: "As a preacher Dr. Neely had few equals. He was keenlyalive to the beautiful and sublime, and his rare powers of description enabled him to portray hisvivid conceptions with thrilling effect."He was always attractive and instructive, and sometimes was almost overwhelming. His pleasingand impressive person, his tall and erect form, his easy and graceful manners, and his clear andmusical voice, like a fine toned instrument in the hands of a skillful musician, gave him greatadvantages. The writer's acquaintance with him commenced in his youth, and he is familiar with theincidents of his life. On one occasion, when Mr. Neely was young, Bishop Bascom made his home atthe house of the writer while presiding over a Conference at Mobile. One night, when Mr. Neely wasto preach, the bishop went in late and took a back seat, but in time to hear his whole sermon. Onour return home the bishop was asked what he thought of the preacher. He answered,emphatically: " That man has eloquence enough, as a popular speaker in a disturbed country, toproduce a revolution." One volume of his sermons was published in his life time, and another, forthe benefit of his widow, since his death, and they are worthy a place in any collection. Anothersister of Mrs. Daniel Gilchrist, was
Elizabeth, who married Gen. Robert Purdy, and still another,
5. Mary, who married Mr. Elisha Williams.
Daniel Gilchrist and Nancy Philips reared a family of four children, and reared them well, and they, intheir turn, have reared children, and although the connection is so large, I know of no failure amongthem. The old gentleman died 24th July, 1850, and the old lady in May, 1863. I will notice their childrenin regular order.1. Malcolm Joseph Gilchrist (Malcolm the Third) was born 5th February, 1821. , He has always been acotton planter, cultivating plantations both in this valley and the Mississippi" bottom. In November,1847, he married Prances Poster, daughter of James H. Poster, and his wife, Narcissa (who was thedaughter of the Rev. Turner Saunders, and sister of the writer, and who was born in 1825 and died in1856). Their children were(1) James Harvey, who was born in 1850, and married Nannie Bankhead in 1874. They have onlyone child, who married (in 1896) Lawson Sykes, grandson of Mr. Oakley Bynum, Sr., of Courtland, Ala. (The father of Mr. Bynum, Drew S. Bynum, came from North Carolina) .(2) Malcolm (the Fourth), who was born in 1853, and married Mary F. Burkhead, who soon died,leaving one child. (3) Philip, who was born in 1854, and died, unmarried, in Mississippi.

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