Saturday, July 9, 2011

James Madison Pearson, 1817 - 1891

Quaker Origins

For the most part, it seems, we have been a family that likes to travel.

My earliest known ancestors came from the area around Manchester, England. At that time the name was spelled "Piersonne", a spelling that suggests a French origin, but that is mere conjecture.

Note. This needs to be revised, so don't take it for gospel. See Roots Web on Pearson.

The first Pearson came to Pennsylvania along with William Penn. Enoch Pearson, my great x 4 grandfather, was born in Bucks County Pennsylvania in 1757. But, then he moved on to North Carolina in order to marry Mary White of Granville County North Carolina before going on to South Carolina where William Head Pearson, my great great great grandfather was born. He up and went to Jasper County Georgia where my great great grandfather James Madison Pearson was born.

There is something which drives all of us on. For the Pearsons, there were many reasons - religious, war, land, inheritance, or just a plain and simple desire for change.

I have heard the phrase "roots and wings" to describe how it is that parents instill in their children both a need to be grounded in familiar principles and a hope to soar. But, I think the phrase also describes the nature of families. Some stay and continued the landed traditions. Others leave and start a new adventure.

The Pearsons of Tallapoosa County

Why James Madison Pearson left Jasper County Georgia for Alabama is unknown. Was it opportunity?

What is known from history is that, in 1814, following the Creek War, Andrew Jackson forced the Creeks to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson. As part of the treaty, the Creek Nation ceded 23 million acres, half of Alabama and part of southern Georgia, to the United States government

Tallapoosa County was organized in 1832 with Dadeville the county seat. Courthouse records with the Registrar of Deeds first place James Madison Pearson in Dadeville around 1840.

His sons included Dr. Benjamin Rush Pearson, my great grandfather, and General Charles Lafayette Pearson, my great uncle. Dr. Benjamin Rush Pearson eventually moved to Montgomery, Alabama to practice medicine. He, however, kept up his contacts with Dadeville where my grandfather was born and spent many summers growing up. Charles Lafayette Pearson continued to live in and around Dadeville after his father's death, increasing the land holdings that his father had begun.

The Pearsons who still reside in Dadeville are descendants of Charles Lafayette Pearson.

James Madison Pearson (1817 -  1891), my great great grandfather, was born in Jasper County Georgia. In 1841 he married Elizabeth Ann Brown in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. She was then 18 years of age and he - 24. They had nine children. Elizabeth died in 1855 at the age of 32. James remarried to

Dr. Benjamin Rush Pearson (1849 - 1906) my grandfather was born in Tallapoosa. He was the forth child. He married Sallie Coleman Ferrell on the 3rd of December 1873. Dr. Rush practiced medicine in Montgomery Alabama.

James Madison Pearson (...) my grandfather was ... James Madison Pearson married Marguerite Chevallier Meine

Elmire Pearson () my mother married Arthur H. Davis, my father ...

General Charles Lafayette Pearson Cemetery

James Madison Pearson died in 1891 and is buried along with his wife, Elizabeth A. Brown, and son, Charles Lafayette Pearson, in the General Charles Lafayette Pearson cemetery. The cemetery is located to the east of Dadeville off Highway 280, a mile north and west on Slaughter Crossing. The cemetery is small. It rests on a hill deep in the piney woods, close to the railroad tracks.

The cemetery is not easy to get to as it is now on property owned by a lumber company. The road off of Slaughter Crossing is closed to traffic and it is necessary to walk the final mile or so to the cemetery location.

Since the cemetery has but few markers, I have included a listing of the markers made by Barbara Taylor here:

Turn off Hwy 280 onto Slaughter’s Crossing Road. Go .9 mi - turn left,
over RR track, take right at 1.6 ½ miles, R at 2.4
(walk to top of hill, cemetery is on the left.)
N32 degrees 49.788 minutes W 085 degrees 41.344 minutes

Gen. C. L. Pearson April 10, 1854 Jan. 12, 1940
One or two broken
James Madison Pearson 17th Oct 1817 Died 11th Nov. 1891 Age 74 yrs. 25 days.
Son of Wm. H. & Mary W. Pearson born Jasper Co, Ga.
Edward W. Pearson Nov. 21, 1860 July 31, 1862 Son of James W. and Elizabeth A. Pearson
Mrs. Elizabeth A. Pearson Wife of James M. Pearson and Daughter of James N. & Martha Brown
Born in Morgan Co., Ga. 12th of Nov. 1823 Died 9th Aug. 1861 37 yrs. 8 mos. 27 days
Amanda F. David April 12, 1834 Sept. 29, 1853
Wife of Jonathan S. David & Daughter of Wm. M. & A. K. Brawner
Jonathan S. David Born Madison Co., Ga. Dec. 6, 1819 Died Lee Co. July 26, 1871 Aged 51
Yrs. 7 mos. & ___ days CSA marker: Ala State Militia Home Gds Confederate State
Army June 6, 1819 July 2, 1871
Lucy David Consort of William David Daughter of Jessee and Elizabeth White
22 June 1786 March 22, 1857 70 yrs. _________
Henry P. David Born Madison Co., Ga. March 1st, 1818 Died Tallapoosa County, Ala.
June 9, 1860 42 yrs.3 mos. 5 days
Allen R. David Son of J. S. & M. J. David Born Tallapoosa County, Ala. Jan. 2, 1856 Died
Macon County, Alabama May 27, 1860
Hosea B. David Jan. 21, 1859 Dec. 9, 1884
John W. David Son of W. P. & M. C. David May 19, 1854 Sep. 1856 2 yrs 3 mos. 2 days
William Ritchie Son of Leman & Sarah Davis Pitts Born Madison County, Ga. Oct. 20, 1828
Died Tallapoosa Co., Ala. June 4, 1876
Margaret C. Smith Jan. 28, 1831 April 5, 1914
Charlott Frances Smith Dau. Of Robert & Nancy Smith Born Tallapoosa County, Ala Aug.3, 1837 Jan. 6, 1911
Mary Ann Smith Dau. Of Robert & Nancy Smith Born Newberry Dist., S. C. Dec. 15, 1822
Died Tallapoosa County, Ala Nov. 6, 1895
Robert Smith Born in Ireland, March 31, 1796 Died Tallapoosa County, Ala Apr. 17, 1880
Nancy Smith Wife of Robert Smith Born Newberry Dist., S. C. Nov. 13, 1798
Died Tallapoosa County, Ala. Oct. 28, 1882
Nancy J. David Dau. Of Robert & Nancy Smith Wife of Henry P. David Died Aug. 20, 1863
37 Yrs. 11 Mos. 7 days
M. Maxcy Smith June 10, 1874 June 7, 1934
Rosa H. Smith July 2, 1872 Apr. 25, 1928
James Maxcy Smith Capt Co G 34 Regt Ala Inf Confederate States Army April 19, 1832(3) Feb. 8, 1910
Sarah McCord Smith Oct 2, 1842 Feb. 18, 1924
Several Unmarked believed to be slaves graves


  1. Please contract me at or 334-663-6967. I am trying to find this cemetery, and we have much to discuss.

    1. I am sorry, I have neglected this blog for others and did not see your message until after I received your letter.

      The cemetery is a bit of a hike through private property, but if you have the time, it is worth a visit.


    2. I am sorry, I have neglected this blog for others and did not see your message until after I received your letter.

      The cemetery is a bit of a hike through private property, but if you have the time, it is worth a visit.