Kathlyn and Dick,
I am descended from William through his son James Richards. Dick and I have corresponded many times on the Richards family, so most of what I’ve included in this response is likely “old news” for him. However, I would like to add a few items that may be of interest to both you. At least one item involving Martin, William’s son by Nancy Mercer, may cause controversy. Please consider the discussion of Martin as data from another source rather than an attempt to be argumentative.
Kathlyn is correct about the relationship between William’s wife Nancy and James’ wife Lovey. They were both daughters of Jacob Mercer, a Georgia Revolutionary War Veteran. Per an unpublished 1965 paper by E. Q. Richards, George Washington ended up in Noxubee County, Mississippi after settling in Fayette County, Alabama for a while as Kathlyn noted. I would like to get a reference for the “Fayette County books” that show William and Nancy went with George Washington Richards to Fayette County. I have been studying when and with whom William and Nancy came to Fayette County, Alabama, but I haven’t found a reliable reference that answers my questions. William and family are shown in the Jasper County, Georgia federal census in 1820. It appears that William and Nancy were possibly living with son Martin Richards in Fayette County, Alabama at the time of the 1830 U. S. census. It appears from the census data that William and Nancy’s youngest daughter, Nancy aged 13, was also living in Martin’s household. William and Nancy’s son George was living next door to Martin and James Richards’ daughter Eliza (James) Patterson was on the same census page. It would be great if Kathlyn will share her data and sources on William and Nancy’s move from Jasper County, Georgia to Fayette County, Alabama.
The data I have show James was dismissed from his church for not paying a debt to another church member. James was later reinstated and this dismissal ruled invalid. The public drunkenness charge is one I haven’t seen. I would love to see the documentation on the public drunkenness dismissal as I am trying to build a good picture of James’ life. The “Sesquicentennial Fayette County Broadcaster, Alabama 1819 – 1969”; Fayette, Alabama; September 1969; Page 27 provides the following discussion of the church expulsion I noted above: “In March 1842, the Concord Baptist Church records show that the church became involved in a dispute between James Richards and Daniel Trawick over a debt. A committee was formed to settle the differences. In July the conference was asked the question, ‘What shall be done with a member owing other church members and those outside the church and will not pay them or try to pay them?’ The response was to exclude him. In August the more specific question concerning James was asked. The committee asked if James should pay interest on the note he made with Trawick. The decision was that no interest should be paid. However, in November, the church declared that the August decision was null and void.”
The story of Martin’s disappearance (“His son Martin went to the well for water one night and disappeared in the west. “) possibly disagrees with E.Q. Richards’ account of his fate. (E.Q. said “Martin Richards b. March 13, 1800 in Green Co., Georgia. Married Amelia___. Occupation Clerk Died_________________ in Tuscaloosa or Northport, Ala.”). I’m not sure what to make of the term “in the west”. I offer the data from E.Q. Richards’ paper as a point that likely should be researched farther since E.Q. Richards was a well-recognized genealogist from Noxubee County, Mississippi and was published widely.
Dick is correct in his comments as to John Richards’ death at Goliad. John was with the Mobile Grays unit under Fannin and is listed in several references as one of the victims of the massacre at Goliad. I heard many family stories that said John was killed at the Alamo, but I went to San Antonio and checked the Alamo records – no John Richards. Later I found him in the lists from Goliad. His estate was awarded a significant block of land (2000+ acres) for his service by Texas and records of the General Land Office in Texas document efforts of the family to claim the land. These records provide significant insight into the families of William’s sons James and Willis.
Note to Kathlyn: Like Dick said in his response, I look forward to corresponding with you and sharing what we know.
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