by Gary D. Duke, 2005

This document is copyright (c) 2006 by Gary D. Duke. All rights reserved. The copyright must appear on all copies. Send Comments to Gary D. Duke

Home Page

Previous Menu


(See postscript written 4-6-2009)

In Lowndes County, Mississippi, and Fayette County, Alabama, in the 1820's and 1830's, R. Felix Wood was an important man, both to the community and to my Duke and Foster ancestors.

Felix (the “R” comes from his gravestone-don’t know what it stands for) Wood was born November 17, 1792 in South Carolina. He was in Madison County, Alabama by 1818 because he married there on 1-1-1818 to Lockey Adams. I will relate below a controversy about her maiden name.....it was Adams on their marriage record and is Adams on her gravestone but it is strongly believed by some that she was a sister to Elisha Boucher making her maiden name Boucher, rather than Adams.

Madison County, Alabama, is at the extreme north boundary of Alabama, adjacent to Lincoln County, Tennessee. In 1795 there was no Alabama or Mississippi - Georgia extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. In 1805 the Chickasaw Indians ceded to Georgia some western lands of theirs, which included the area of Madison County and white settlers began to pour in. The County of Madison was organized 12-13-1808 and, in the first state census in 1809, a man named John Wood is listed in Madison. He was still there in 1811 and in 1812 tax lists there was also a James B. Wood. By 1815 there was also Bennett, James and Peter Wood. There is a Will of Rebecca Wood in 1819 Madison County which I have not seen.

Marriage Record - Madison Co, Alabama

01-01-1818 Felix Wood m Lockey Adams

01-20-1818 Chapman Tayon m Matilda Adams

05-03-1819 John Wright m May Y. Wood

State census records for 1816 and 1819 Madison list Isaac, Jonathan, Joseph, Littleberry, Thomas and Henry W. Adams......one or more of these may be related to Lockey.

A census record for Humphreys County, Tennessee in 1820 may be the right Felix:

Felix G. Wood 1001-0010 (male 16-26, female 16-26, male 0-10)

Thomas Boucher, born in Virginia before 1780, was listed in Tax records for Lee County, Virginia 1796 - 1800, but he moved to Smith County, Tennessee about 1800. He was in Warren County, Tennessee, by 1804 and got some land there in 1809. He was a witness on a deed in Madison County, Alabama, in 1819 in which James McGowan sold land to Seth Rogers.

In 1820 he was living in Dallas County, Alabama, and by 1827 he had moved again to Fayette County, Alabama. I believe he died there before 1830. Thomas Boucher’s first wife was named Rachael ____ and they had:

Joshua Boucher 1798 VA became Methodist Minister

*Lockey Boucher 08-05-1802 TN (probably not - see below)

Elisha Boucher 1804 TN

Thomas G. Boucher 1817 TN

Wife Rachael ___ died and Thomas remarried in Bibb County, Alabama, on 3-23-1825 to Margaret Ann Cates and had:

Joseph Jasper Boucher 1826 AL

(This list of children all taken from the “Boucher” family website)

After Thomas Boucher died, Felix Wood became guardian of Thomas G. Boucher but Thomas’ second wife Ann became guardian of her son Joseph and Ann moved east to Shelby County, Alabama, taking Joseph along. By 1850 Joseph had married to Frances ___ and had two sons. They lived in Shelby County and his mother, Ann, 56 years old, lived with them.

When his father moved to Dallas County in 1820, Elisha married there on 6-7-1825 to Sarah Rebecca Jones and then they all moved to Fayette in 1827 where Sarah Jones Boucher died in 1834. Elisha then remarried on 2-2-1836, with Felix Wood as Minister, to Sarah Keziah Duke, a daughter of Moses Duke and Sarah Foster. Elisha died before 1880. He had these children:

with Sarah R. Jones- she died 1834

Lewis Alexander 12-19-1825 AL

Rebecca Ann 09-09-1827 AL

Richard Asbury 05-09-1829 AL

Sarah J. 1832 AL

Thomas Calvin 03-09-1833 AL

with Sarah K. Duke- she died after 1880

Rachael Caroline 1838 MS

Moses David 1839 MS

Mary Emily 1840 MS

Joshua R. 1843 MS

Lockey Virginia 1849 MS

Martha 1852 MS

Florida Ophelia 1854 MS

William Wiley 1856 MS

(Information from “Boucher” family website)

Alabama Land Records - Fayette County

04-01-1827 Felix Wood NE1/4 t16s r14w s12 160a

04-10-1827 Thomas Boucher E1/2SW1/4 t16s r13w s4 80a

07-02-1827 Thomas Boucher E1/2NW1/4 t16s r13w s4 80a

(Some Fosters also moved to this area in these years – see “Foster” sketch)

These lands, although in Alabama, were right on the western boundary adjacent to Mississippi and the families began to get land just across the state line into Mississippi.

In the 1830 US census, in Lowndes County, Mississippi, were:

Felix Wood 212001-11001 (male 30-40)

Richard Wood 000001-11001 (male 30-40)

John McGowen 101001-02001 (male 30-40)

Although Felix lived in Mississippi (less than a mile inside it from Alabama), he continued to get land in Alabama:

Alabama Land Records

03-03-1837 Felix Wood *SE1/4 t17s r17w s13 141a

03-03-1837 Felix Wood *NE1/4 t17s r17w s24 159a

04-01-1837 Elisha Boucher portion F t17s r17w s24 44a

09-02-1839 Felix Wood E1/2SE1/4 t16s r16w s3 80a

E1/2NE1/4 t16s r16w s3 80a

09-02-1839 Felix Wood W1/2SW1/4 t16s r16w s29 80a

09-02-1839 Felix Wood E1/2NW1/4 t16s r16w s31 80a

09-02-1839 Felix Wood W1/2NE1/4 t16s r16w s31 80a

02-27-1841 William Belk W1/2NW1/4 t17s r17w s24 80a

*sections 13 & 24 actually straddle the state line...his portions both fell on the Alabama side.

All of these 9-2-1839 entries were after Felix had died. It was common to obtain a land grant and use it for many years before ever filing it for record with a Court. These 9-2-1839 recordings were probably done during the administration of his estate. Elisha Boucher got the irregular portion of section 24 on the Alabama side south of Felix’ land while another relative, William Belk, got the land, inside Mississippi, which adjoined Felix on the west side.

Mississippi Land Records

01-10-1832 Felix Wood W1/2NE1/4 t17s r17w s22 80a

10-09-1834 Felix Wood W1/2NW1/4 t17s r17w s23 80a

01-02-1841 Felix Wood E1/2NE1/4 t17s r17w s22 80a

E1/2NW1/4 t17s r17w s23 80a

02-27-1841 Felix Wood NE1/4NE1/4 t17s r17w s23 40a

(This was as “assignee” of Thomas L. Foster)

As stated above, both of the 1841 land acquisitions were recorded after Felix had

died.....we don’t know when he actually obtained the grants.

Felix was a Methodist minister and assisted in the founding and development in 1828 of the Piney Grove Methodist Church, the first Methodist Church in all of Lowndes County. This Church was in Mississippi but only ½ mile from the Alabama line and Felix had land all around it. Perhaps because he was a Minister, or perhaps it was just his personality, but Felix seemed to be involved in every legal matter involving any of the Dukes, Fosters, Bouchers, Tunnells, Mixons, etc. He was frequently an administrator of estates and served as Guardian for minors, including Thomas G. Boucher in 1834.

Felix was also a large slaveholder. He, at one time or another, owned over 1200 acres of land and in the 1837 State census, he owned 44 slaves. After his death in 1837, in the 1840 US census for Lowndes County, his wife Lockey still owned 40 slaves

Felix and Lockey Wood had these children:

Francis Adams Wood 11-04-1818 AL died 1840

Thomas Boucher Wood 05-20-1820 AL died 02-14-1879

John Morrison Wood 10-04-1824 AL died 02-12-1891

Joshua C. Wood 1826 AL

Caroline Wood 1827 AL

Robert K. Wood 1829 AL

Felix Wood Jr 09-27-1835 MS died 07-19-1881

Lockey Wood 1836 MS

Felix Wood died in Lowndes August 27, 1837, when only 45 years of age. Only three months before his death he appeared at Court concerning the estate Administration for Stephen Tunnell. His wife, Lockey, administered his estate. Sorry to report that I don’t have the details of that Administration. Felix is buried in the Piney Grove Methodist Church cemetery.

In 1840 Lowndes County lived:

William Belk 0022001-0001001 male & female 40-50

Sarah Tunnell 11111-0110001 female 40-50

Lockey Wood 01214-101101 female 30-40

Elisha Boucher 121001-01101 male 30-40

Lockey had eleven younger people living in her home in 1840? But she and Felix only had eight children? Looking at their ages, it appears that all eight of her children were still living at home in 1840 and we know, from a statement he made in 1901, that Felix Wolf Sparks, a 13 year old relative whose family lived in Fayette County, Alabama, lived with Lockey from 1838 until 1845. There may have been more of the Sparks children living there, or even children from other relative’s families, because we note again that Lockey owned a lot of land and had 40 slaves so there would have been plenty of room and plenty of work to be done.

On 4-3-1844 Lockey remarried in Lowndes to James Davis, he born 11-28-1804 in Tennessee. This was a second marriage for both of them. In the 1850 census they were:

James Davis 45m TN

Lockey “ 47f TN

John T. “ 16m AL

Lockey Wood 14f MS

Mary I. Davis 3f MS (This is Lockey’s daughter)

James Davis is listed as owning eight slaves which are probably actually Lockey’s. She had probably dispersed or sold many of the slaves during the Administration of Felix’ estate. They lived near to Sarah Tunnell and her five kids. Also nearby were Richard Wood, 54m SC and John Wood, 56m SC, and their families. I suspect these are both Felix’ brothers.

Lockey’s daughter Caroline had married to R. G. Murray and they lived in Fayette, Alabama, with three children. Her son John M. had married and lived with his wife Malinda and two children in Lowndes and her son Felix lived with John. Two other sons, Thomas B. and Robert K. had traveled to east Texas and, in 1850, both were still single and both lived in Anderson County in the home of Joseph B. Pinson and his wife Elizabeth R. Pinson is 41 born Georgia and his wife is 40 born Georgia. I don’t know their exact relationship but in the book, “History of Chickasaw County, Mississippi” it says “the board of supervisors met near Houlka on 6-20-1836 to select a site for a seat for the new county. Joel Pinson suggested a site which was accepted and the town was named ‘Houston’ in honor of Sam Houston of Texas who was a close friend of Pinson”, so the Pinson family was in the same area in Mississippi as was the Wood family

I don’t know where Lockey’s other son Joshua C. was in 1850.

In the 1860 Lowndes census the family is doing well:

Robert K. Wood 30m MS $8000r.e. $3200p.p.

Martha “ 24f AL

John “ 3m MS

Lockey “ 1f MS

Lockey Davis 64f TN $5000r.e. $10,000p.p.

Isabella “ 13f MS

Caroline Murray 32f AL $8000p.p.

James “ 15m AL

Mary “ 11f AL

John Kemp 73m AL (not sure who this is)

Thomas Boucher 43m AL

James E. Gaston 25m MS (farm manager-unrelated)

In the 1860 Slave schedules, Lockey Davis still owned nine slaves. Her husband James died in 1852 and they are again listed in her name.

Not far away in this same census lived John Wood, 66years old, and his family and Richard Wood, 64 years old, and his family which included a 65year old woman named Margaret Farris born in SC who is probably his sister.

By 1870 Lockey is still in Lowndes, living with her daughter Caroline.

Lockey Davis 68f TN $1500r.e. $100p.p.

Caroline Murray 42f AL

James “ 24m AL

William “ 19m AL

Obviously, the Civil War didn’t do much for their fortunes..............Many of Lockey’s sons had moved to Texas, including John M who lived in Anderson and then Burnet Counties, Thomas B who lived in Henderson County and Felix who lived in Hill County...all of them married with families.

By 1880 things have changed. Lockey has moved east to Etowah County, Alabama.

Virgil Hawthorne 32m AL minister

Billie “ 32f MS (daughter Mary Isabella Davis)

3 kids

Lockey Davis 77f TN mother-in-law

I don’t find Lockey after that 1880 census, except I know she died June 9, 1900 and is buried in the Piney Grove Cemetery in Lowndes County. And her name is listed as “Lockey Adams”.

The gravestone is interesting. It is located in a chained-off section containing several members of the Wood family. The largest and central stone is slender, about six feet tall, and has inscriptions for three people: R. FELIX WOOD with his birth and death dates is at the top, LOCKEY ADAMS with her birth and death dates is next, and JAMES DAVIS with his birth and death dates is at the bottom. So, Lockey is there with two of her husbands.

Everyone” says that Lockey was a sister to Elisha Boucher.......but her name when she got married was Lockey Adams.....not Boucher. I note that Thomas Boucher was living in her household in 1860...if she was a Boucher, then he was her brother. If she was not a Boucher, then why was he living with her? If she was not a Boucher, then why did she name her second son Thomas “Boucher” Wood? Of course, we can also ask why she named her first son Francis “Adams” Wood? Lockey was born 8-5-1802 so she was 15 years, three months and 25 days old when she married Felix Wood on 1-1-1818. If her family name was Boucher, she hardly had time to get married, have her husband die, she meet Felix and get remarried. So why is she listed on the gravestone as Lockey “Adams” ? The best guess is that, since she is buried there next to TWO husbands, they chose to use her maiden name and place it between the two husbands.........as good a guess as any. Except for that marriage record, I’d say she had married a third time and that was the final name.........with both marriage and death saying it was Adams, I think we have to accept Adams........she was an Adams, not a Boucher. A step-sister? A final comment: IF Lockey was not biologically a Boucher, she was certainly considered to be one by her relatives. She was called “sister to Elisha” by a grandchild in a letter written many years later and her son Thomas B. Wood was called “nephew” in a letter written by Joshua Boucher, brother of Elisha Boucher.

PSS: Other researchers, since I wrote the above Felix Wood story, have clarified the information about Lockey Adams. Her maiden name was Adams, not Boucher. She was born 8-5-1802 in Davidson, TN, to Francis L. Adams and his wife Isabelle Young.

It was a stormy marriage.

Francis L. Adams was born ca 1766 in South Carolina & in the late 1700's migrated to the area along what was to become the Tennessee/Alabama boundary. On 3-29-1799 in Davidson county, TN, he married Isabelle Young. She was born 2-27-1770 in Pennsylvania. They lived in Davidson County for a few years but moved south into what was to become Madison County, Alabama around 1800. Francis & Isabelle had three daughters: Sarah born 5-27-1807 (date?) who later married Brutus Finley & lived in Kentucky, Nancy born ca 1800 who married James Tapley in Alabama but they later moved to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, and Lockey born 8-5-1802 who married R. Felix Wood in Madison County, AL & their story is related above.

The family dissolved in late 1806 as related in a divorce action filed by Francis Adams in Madison County, AL on 6-27-1822. On that date Francis sought divorce from Isabelle alleging they had lived together after marriage until early Jan 1807 when Isabelle committed adultery and ran off, deserting him. Isabelle, although she then lived in KY, responded to the suit and agreed that they had married, lived together until late 1806 but that Francis had then deserted her and their children. She denied any adultery. Before Francis left, he rented their farm to his brother Joseph Adams. Fortunately, Joseph agreed to allow Isabelle & the girls to continue living there. But, a few months later, Francis returned and, through threats, forced her & the girls to leave the farm. Francis then again left the area. Isabelle & the girls moved in with her mother until Nov 1817 when they and some other relatives all moved to Christian County, KY, where they still live.

The court dismissed the suit & required Francis to pay all costs.

(With this family history, I am surprised that Lockey & Felix Wood named their first child “Francis Adams Wood”)