From Virginia to Hood County, Texas
Contributed by Jo Ann Randle Massey
Since so little is known about the first Hezekiah Massey in Virgin- ia I am beginning with Hezekiah Massey, Jr. born about 1725 there. Elizabeth was his mother’s given name as noted on her will filed after her death in 1745 in Brunswick County. This was prior to the time that other counties were carved from Brunswick. Hezekiah, Jr. lived with his mother prior to her death. He married Lydia _______ at an unknown date, sold his property in Virginia and moved to North Carolina. In 1755 he was on the Granville Co., N.C. poll list; this was before Bute/Franklin counties were cut therefrom. In 1771 Lydia was appointed Administratrix of the Estate of Heze- kiah, Jr., with a sponsor of the appointment being William, be- lieved to have been the eldest son.
The sons named in the will are William, Hezekiah (III), Charles, and Richard. The daughters named are Elizabeth, Fannie, Mary, and Susannah, who married Moses Darnell in Franklin Co., N.C.
Hezekiah III was born in NC ca 1755; he married Nancy________, and he may have had a previous wife named Sarah. He died in Wake Co. NC, leaving a will, in 1826. His daughters: Lavinia, b. 1779, married Zachariah Privitte; Winney, b. 1785, married 1809 Israel Privitte with Elizah Massey as bondsman; Nancy married (1) 181) William Hall, (2) 1814 John (James? ) Privitte; _______ married Benjamin Pendergrass; Zany (Zana) 6 1795 in Wake Co. married 1827
Wilton Bolton. His sons: James, b. ca1787 in Wake Co. was alive at the time of his father’s will in 18~6, living on “Beaverdam Branch” was married in 1007 to Sarah Bolton; Elijah Massey (Lige) b. ca 1780/5 in NC. He was a member of a “double wedding” in 1807 in Wake Co. when he wed Thenia Bolton and an Eli Massey married Catherine Bolton, with brother-in-law Benjamin Pendergrass acting as bondsman for both bridegrooms.
Shortly after Hezekiah III died in 1826, Lige and Thenia moved to Pickens Co., Alabama, where he died sometime after the 1840 census of Pickens was taken. His known daughters are Bettie (Betsy) who was burned to death, “Sookie,” and Catherine. The only son known by me was William R. Massey who brought his family to Texas and on to Hood County. William was born in NC 18 Feb. 1825, and he married ca1850 Caroline Catharine Glenn, b. 3 June 1837 in Franklin Co., AL. Her parents were James Edward Glenn and Sarah Brawley.
Until 1859-60. William and Caroline lived near Russellville, Frank- lin Co., Alabama. They then started their trek to Texas, through Arkansas, with the Masseys and the Glenns traveling together. The Masseys settled on Bear Creek in Johnson County when first coming toward Hood County, and they eventually reached Fall Creek around 1867, along with the Glenns. Fall Creek rises in the north- eastern part of Hood and flows south twelve miles to join the Brazos. It is a pretty part of the county.
The land on which they settled can now be located about 200 to 300 yards just east of Pecan Plantation’s front gate on Highway 167 and across 167 from the Murry Johnson farm. Some of the old corral poles are still in the current fences. But there William and Caroline lived, busy farming and rearing their children. A family group sheet details their family. They are both buried in the Fall Creek Cemetery. William died August 26, 1906, and Caroline on March 1, 1916. Caroline’s mother. Sarah Brawley Glenn, is also buried there. Her marker reads: “Sarah Glenn. Our Mother, Wife of Jas. E. Glenn, Died April 24, 1868, 67 yrs 5 mos 25 d’s.” No birth date is given, but it figures to be March 70, 1800. Where her husband is buried I do not know.
My husband’s grandfather was William Alfrod Trimble Massey. the Trimble name was for a doctor back in Alabama, and his name was shortened to Alf or W.A.T. by his family. He died on October 27, 1970, so I didn’t know him personally, but I was fortunate to know his wife Sarah (Sally) well. She died on April 7, 1958, and they are both buried in Fall Creek Cemetery. Their children: James William b. Aug. 27, 1887 m. Elva Johnson; Ora b. Feb. 17, 1891 m. Joseph J. Roberts; Vida b. Feb. 11, 1897, m. Pearce Gee; Alfred Jefferson b. May 18, 1895r d. Oct. 1896; Caroline m. Arnold Cramer; Mary m. Bob Bell; Pinkie Ir. (1) Buster Sledge (2) Horace Graham; Samuel Stetson b. Cot 10, 1898 m. Dollie Gee. They lived on Wright Branch east of the old Fall Creek bridge about 2 miles out on the prairie, which included some of the Manly homestead,
The son, Samuel Stetson, also settled on this same farm and raised his family there. Children: Samuel Stetson, Jr. m. Jo Ann Randle and live in Granbury; Bobbie and Ann Massey live in Godley; Freddie and Louise Massey live in Cleburne; Eddie Massey (twin) also lives in Cleburne; Twylah Gay and Robert Rice are in Houston; Dennis and Jane Massey live outside Cleburne, TX. Don and Sara Massey live at Godley. His parents, Samuel Stetson (Stet) and Dollie Massey live in Cleburne.
My husband, Sam, laughingly says that he is related to half the population of the county. Masseys have married into other pioneer families of the Fall Creek community, some before they arrived in Texas, and his pedigree chart looks like a roll call of earlysettlers. Acreage that my husband and I now own, which is south of the ori- ginal Massey homestead, contains an interesting part of the early history of the county. In 1847 George Barnard built a trading post in the southeast corner of Hood County and where he quite successfully traded with the Indians and also supplied goods and materials to the Texas Rangers. A small community grew up around the trading post and a petition was made for a post office to be called Barnardsville. Several fights occurred in the community while this petition was pending, and as result the name was changed to Fort Spunky, Texas. It would be interesting now to know the cause of all that belligerence. Only some stones remain to mark the location of Fort Spunky. We have felt it appropriate to name our company the Fort Spunky Cattle Company.
Contributed by Jo Ann Randle Massey
From HCGS Newsletter, NO.29, February, 1991