Friday, October 2, 2009

My HOLLINGSWORTH FAMILY from Monroe County Mississippi

by Terry Thornton

My maternal grandparents were WILLIAM ALFRED HOLLINGSWORTH and OPHELIA ELIZABETH NIX HOLLINGSWORTH. William was born in Monroe County Mississippi July 22, 1869; he died May 12, 1951 in Calhoun County Mississippi and is buried there at Elzey Cemetery north of Vardaman. Ophelia was also born in Monroe County about 1871 and died May 2, 1935. She, too, is buried at Elzey Cemetery in Calhoun County.

This short report will examine some of what I know about the HOLLINGSWORTH family of early Monroe County and speculate about some of what I don't know about my lineage back twelve generations.

The earliest Hollingsworth I've heard discussed was my great-great-grandfather JAMES "Jim" WILLIAM HOLLINGSWORTH (he is listed as "Jim" Hollingsworth in most of the family references I've seen; others list him as William H. Hollingsworth). Born in the Carolinas about 1795, he married DORCAS WEAVER in Monroe County Mississippi on January 27, 1846. Dorcas was the daughter of Frederick Weaver, pioneer settler of Monroe County and for whom Weavers Creek is named; Frederick is my great-great-great-grandfather. The son of Dorcas and Jim Hollingsworth, LEONIDAS DeKALB HOLLINGSWORTH 1846 - 1905, is my great-grandfather.

It is through the wife of Leonidas, CLARENDA ELIZABETH SMITH 1842 - 1923, that I am kin to the SMITH and to the MURFF families of early Monroe County.

Clarenda and Leonidas DeKalb Hollingsworth were married in February 18, 1866. They had the following nine children, several of whom are buried with Clarenda and Leonidas at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Monroe County near Hamilton.

1. Alice Gertrue Hollingsworth 1867 - 1920; married Aaron Nix, both buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery
2. William Alfred Hollingsworth 1869 - 1951; married Ophelia Nix; both buried at Elzey Cemetery, Calhoun County
3. Martha Velula "Lula" Hollingsworth 1871 - 1953; married (1) George S. Cockerham (2) John W. Odom; George Cockerham is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery; Lula is buried at Jones Cemetery
4. Wyley Newton Hollingsworth 1873 - 1946; married Mattie K. Cockerham
5. Lelia "Lee" Eliza Hollingsworth 1875 - 1931; never married; buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery
6. Margaret "Maggie" Lucinda Hollingsworth 1878 - 1902; married Herman E. Springfield; Maggie is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery; Herman is buried at Pleasant Grove Methodist Church Cemetery
7. Lonnie Thadeus Hollingsworth 1880 - 1952; married Mattie F. Caruthers; Lonnie is buried in Lutie Cemetery, Theodosia, Ozark County, Missouri
8. Clennie Hollingsworth 1882 - 1895; buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery
9. Cleveland Hollingsworth 1884 - 1974; married (1) Ludie A. Howell (2) Alice Wardie Gill; Cleve and Ludie are buried at Howell Cemetery

What is interesting is that the documention for my Hollingsworth family is difficult to trace prior to the marriage of James William Hollingsworth and Dorcas Weaver in the 1840s. Some researchers state that the earliest Hollingsworth into the new county of Monroe was another WILLIAM HOLLINGSWORTH who died shortly after arriving in the newly fledged county in December 1822. The court system was not yet established in Monroe County in 1822 and this William Hollingsworth's estate was administrated by officials in the closest county with an established court, Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, more than 200 miles away.

Barnet Hollingsworth of Monroe County was named as the administrator of his father's estate --- and little is known of the family. Barnet and his immediate family migrated to Arkansas about 1836.

This early WILLIAM HOLLINGSWORTH in Monroe County is presumed to be William Jr., father of James William Hollingsworth. He was from Union County South Carolina and married to Lucinda Coleman. Lucy's sister was married into the Crosby family. About 1804, a large group of Hollingsworths (at least four maybe five brothers and father William Sr., wives, children, and several adult cousins) joined with the Crosbys and migrated to Knox County, Indiana. There they bought land --- and there several of the Hollingsworths are listed on the census.

Between 1818 and 1822, the Cosbys and some of the Hollingsworth families migrated to Monroe County Mississippi --- where William Hollingsworth Jr. died in 1822. His burial place is not known nor have the burials places of his son James William and daughter-in-law Dorcas Weaver Hollingsworth been determined in Monroe County.

The Crosby family of Monroe County is well documented in their role with the Mississippi Saints --- the early Mormon group which left from Mormon Springs in Monroe County for the new territory in Utah in the 1840s. I find no evidence that any of the Hollingsworth men converted to Mormonism --- although some of the Hollingsworth women from these early families may have married into the Crosby group and thus migrated to Utah along with the other Mississippi Saints.

An unproven Hollingsworth lineage which floats about on the Internet would state that my line is as follows:
  • Me >
  • My mother, Letha Hollingsworth Thornton 1904 - 1983 Mississippi>
  • My grandfather, William Alfred Hollingsworth 1869 - 1951 Mississippi >
  • My greatgrandfather, Leonida DeKalb Hollingsworth 1846 - 1905 Mississippi>
  • My g-g-grandfather, William Hollingsworth (some list him as James Wm; others as William H.) born about 1795 North Carolina - died ? Mississippi >
  • My g-g-g-grandfather, William Hollingsworth Jr. 1776 South Carolina - died in Monroe County December 1822) >
  • My g-g-g-g-grandfather, William Hollingsworth Sr. (was in Indiana with the Hollingsworth and Crosby group) 1740 South Carolina - 1809 Indiana >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, Joseph Hollingsworth 1709 Delaware - 1756 North Carolina >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather,, Thomas Valentine Hollingsworth 1661 Ireland - 1727 Delaware >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather Valentine "the Imigrant" Hollingsworth 1632 - 1710 Delaware >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, Henry Parkes Hollingworth 1598 - 1672 Ireland >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, Robert Hollingsworth born 1547 England >
  • My g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, Valentine Hollingsworth >
Although much of the lineage above is speculative, it is fun to speculate about it! And perhaps some cousin somewhere has the documentation to prove that this lineage is completely accurate. But for now, all I know is that I descend from Leonidas DeKalb Hollingsworth, son of James William Hollingsworth both late of Monroe County, Mississippi.


Evans, W.A. Monroe County Mississippi Cemetery Records. 1938. As reprinted by Lowndes County Department of Archives and History. 1980.

Evans, W.A. Mother Monroe. Hamilton, Mississippi: Mother Monroe Publishing Company. 1979.

Headstone Information for 105-Year-Old Lutie Cemetery at Theodosia, White River Valley Historical Quarterly, Volume 4, Number 9, Fall 1972 available online at

"Hollingsworth Lineage: adapted from Earl Jones Genealogy available online at

"Leonidas DeKalb Hollingsworth of Monroe County, Mississippi" from Dunbar Rowland (Editor), The Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi, 1904. Nashville, Tennessee: Press of the Brandon Printing Company, 1905. Pages 551 - 552 as published online at

Monroe County Discussion Group. Various emails to Terry Thornton about the Crosby and Hollingsworth families of early Monroe County, Mississippi, 2006 - 2008.

Murff, Paul B. assisted by Vaughan Evelyn Murff. The Descendants of Randolph S. Murff, 1784 - 1955. Floydade, Texas. 1955, as revised by Margaret Balentine Ashmore 1982 and as updated and reprinted in digital form by Jan Murff Melton on CD, July 17, 2007.

Thornton, Terry. Index to Online Cemetery Records, Monroe County, Mississippi. Available at Monroe County Mississippi GenForum.

Thornton, Terry. Mother Monroe Every-Name Index. Available online at the archives of the Itawamba County Historical Society,

Young, Robert. The Ancestors of "Will" and "Phelie" Hollingsworth. Prattville, Alabama: privately printed. October 18, 1994.


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