Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Post from the Past

Today I am going back to 2008 and the post I wrote on my great grandfather John Cecil Council. If you weren't one of my readers back then you might enjoy reading about my ancestors.

John Cecil Councilborn in Barbour County, Alabama in 1833, was my great grandfather. He was the son of Temperance Weaver Council. John, in 1845, was one of the first settlers in Wakulla County Florida. He, along with his mother, his sister Susan Council and her husband, Boyet or Lott, either traveled with the Pelts and Poseys or arrived about the same time and they all settled in Crawfordville, Florida. John Cecil acquired a good bit of land around the county. He married Frances DeLaura Posey who birthed a large family before she died.

John then married Missouri Redd. She was referred to as Miss Missouri. The two of them raised a second large family.

At the age of 28, and with children at home, John joined the Florida Militia during the Civil War. He was captured off the coast near his home while fishing to provide food for his unit. The Union ships took him and others captured with him to Shipp Island, off the coast of Louisiana.

When the southern prisoners first arrived on Shipp Island, there were no barracks, only tents, no protection from the wind, rain and large mosquitoes that carried disease. John Council took a leadership role among the prisoners as they set about building their own huts and shelters.

Back home Fanny, his wife, along with a black woman helper kept the farm going and raised the crops and hogs and cattle. She picked the cotton and had it bailed. Fanny's first born was a daughter, Georgianne Council. (1857-1957) Like her mother, Georgianne was strong and resilient. She knew how to use a gun and tramped through the thick woods to kill game for the family.

Georgianne lived a long life. A one hundredth birthday party was held for her and written about in the Wakulla County newspaper, but I hear from cousin Sandra that her birth date might be in question. No matter. Aunt Georgianne was a real pioneer woman who could do the work of any man and actually the work of more than one man from what I've heard. More about her later.

John Cecil Council was highly respected in his community. He was one of the founders of a church in Wakulla County, and was a leader of that church. He lived a long life and fathered his last child when he was in his early seventies.

Over the years I've researched this great grandfather of mine, and I met his youngest daughter as well as hundreds of his descendants. I have copies of his military records, his pension papers, his last will and testament. I've collected stories I've heard about him and hope to one day put them together for my family members.

John Cecil's oldest son, Tom, was my grandfather. Tom and his wife Sarah (Sallie) head the family I write about in Profiles and Pedigrees, Thomas Charles Council and his Descendants.

In this marriage, Tom died young and left Sallie to carry on without him. Tom and Sallie raised ten children, Mae, Charlie, Maude, Oleo, Horace and Hortense (twins), Lillian, Annie, and Coy (my father). Their first born son, John Henry, died at the age of fourteen from malaria. He is buried in the Council Family Cemetery outside of Crawfordville, FL.

Since this was first posted in 2008, my brother Hal Council and his wife, Yvonne, moved down to Wakulla County and in 2010 both of them passed away within three months of each other. They are buried, also, in the Council Family Cemetery where John Cecil and both of his wives are interred. They rest near John Henry's grave. When Tom's family moved up to Georgia in the early 1900s, John Henry's brothers built a one foot wall made of sea shells surrounding his grave. That wall, showing their love for their brother, still stands today.



Vagabonde said...

How wonderful to know so much about your great grandfather and family from that long ago time. It certainly must have been different in Florida in those days – heat and mosquitoes and no air conditioning. He must have been what I think they call a “green” fellow, no, fathering a child in his early 70s? They sure had large families then.
I heard that my great great grandmother, in France, had 22 children! She was titled with no money and married a rich farmer. I wish I could research her past, but it is in France, so it’s not possible. You must have many relatives – how fortunate. I really enjoyed reading about your ancestors.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Vagabonde, you can do much research online now and I'm sure you would find information on your French GG grandmother. I did lots of digging when I was researching my family history, but have just about given it up in the past few years. I hope some of the younger relatives in my family will take over as family historian. I can give them all my research and notes. Yes, I do have lots of extended family, but I have no children,and only one sister and brother left.

DJan said...

This is a wonderful story about a very resilient family. I enjoyed thinking about being a pioneer woman while I read it. I hope if I were ever tested like these people were that I would stand up like they did and make the world a better place. :-)

Glenda Beall said...

Djan, you would meet that test with flying colors, I'm sure. I think you are made from the fabric of those pioneer women. I'm not sure I would have made it though. But I proclaim to my family, we come from resilient women.

Ellen Schofield said...

Very interesting story, Glenda. The way you wrote it was just right - enough to pique my curiosity, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Thank you, Ellen. There is much more to tell, but on a blog post, I need to keep it concise and hit the main points. I tried not to make it boring.