Josiah Covington

E-Mail to HCGS from Paul Vandergriff 08/27/1999

Your website is great, and it is quite helpful for me since many of my deceased ancestors lived in and are buried there. These include Josiah Covington (Judge Davis’ Records also indicate that he is shown as Joseph and Joshua) and wife, Susan McPherson (her first marriage to (?) Rayburn). Their marriage in 1855 is recorded in Johnson County, Texas. There are many questions about Josiah Covington, some of which are shown below.

Josiah Covington may have actually married for second time (that marriage being to Susan McPherson Rayburn/Raburn) in what is now Hood County, Texas with recording of 1855 marriage in Johnson County. This 1855 marriage was probably his second. Judge Davis’ notes in Hood County Library, Granbury, Texas say his given name was also spelled Joshua (E.P. Abbott Affidavit of 20 Oct 1921) and Josiah (1878 Tax List). His name is spelled “Josiah” on Johnson County, Texas Marriage Records and “Joseph” on 1880 Mortality Schedule, Page 118, Precinct 5, Hood County, Texas and on Sallie Covington Guiles’ Death Certificate. His tombstone probably shows “Josiah” with date of death as 5 Sep 1879.

Shown as Josiah Covington on 1878 Tax List, Hood County Abstract No. 498, Jno Schroder Survey, probably had 20 acres.

Federal Census for 1830, Rutherford County, North Carolina shows a Josiah Covington with 1 male under 5, but the ages for him and his wife do not appear to be shown. One Covington Researcher speculates that where two males, 20-30 are shown on this Census, there is an error. This particular entry should be shown as one male and one female. Federal 1850 Census Records, Williamson Co, Texas and taken 23 Aug 1850 show Josiah Covington’s age as 41, which, if correct, would give birth year of 1808/1809. While this brings some doubt as to whether this is the same Josiah Covington who is later found in Hood County, Texas, he probably is. Note that on this same Census, his wife, Unity, is shown as 39, but on the 1870 Census for Burnet County, Texas she is shown as 63, indicating her age is incorrect on either the 1850 or 1870 Census. Josiah’s age could be wrong on 1850 Census, 1880 Mortality Schedule or perhaps on his gravestone.

Neither Josiah Covington nor his subsequent family are shown on Hood or Johnson County, Texas Censuses for 1860 or 1870. Was he in Oklahoma as indicated by “The Covington Explosion;” did he really think Unity Fendren Covington was deceased in 1855 when he married Susan McPherson Rayborn; was there some reason (possibly legal) that he could not contact his grandchildren then–if he is the same Josiah Covington why did he not contact grandchildren of his first marriage to find out whether Unity Fendren Covington was really dead; did he go on Hood County Tax Roll in 1878 because first wife, Unity Fendren Covington, was then deceased; was his given name perhaps spelled variously (Josiah, Joseph, Joshua) to deliberately confuse? See “The Covington Explosion” comments, page 10ff.

According to a will signed by Josiah Covington, Sr. of Rutherford County, North Carolina on 6 Mar 1818, son Josiah (Jr.) was not then “of age.” This would tend to confirm that Josiah Covington, Jr. (the presumed Hood County Josiah Covington) was then under 21, so he could have been born as early as 1797. This could indicate that the Josiah Covington (Jr.) birthdate of 1 Jan 1798 as shown on his gravestone in Long Creek Cemetery, Hood County, Texas is correct.

He is shown on 1873 Registered Voters Precinct 1 List for 1873, Hood County, Texas and is listed there as Josiah Covington as reprinted by HCGS in February 1990.

William Russell and Mary L. Jackson,
“The Covington Explosion,” Copyright 1983,
EAKiN Publications, Burnet, Texas