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Isham M. Stephens


1880 Birth, GA


1900 US Federal Census Militia Districts 351, Cobbtown & 1192, Blue Ridge, Tattnall Co., GA

Wm J. Stevens 53
Lucy Stevens 47
Fannie Stevens 25
Mary L. Stevens 23
Isam Stevens 21


1920 US Federal Census Militia District 1403, Toombs Co., GA

Isham Stephens 39
Dovie Stephens 36
James Stephens 2 [2 11/12]
William C Stephens 1 [1 6/12]


1930 US Federal Census Militia District 1403, Toombs Co., GA

Isam M Stephens 51
Dovey Stephens 38
Lenton J Stephens 12
William C Stephens 11
Ollie K Stephens 9
David J Stephens 6
Benny H Stephens 4 2/12


1932 Death Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA


Death Certificates

Georgia's Virtual Vault.

Other Sources

Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Ancestry.com. Public trees submitted by members, in particular: Ancestors Of James Daniel Besh_2010-11-26, Morris /Rolison Family Tree, Norfleet & Susan Horne/Horn of Carolina, Lumley Hutcheson Johnson Kin in Ga Ala Miss, Locke Stephens Ancestry, Knight/Eubank Family Tree.
Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Descendants of James David Lindsay. Jim Beshires

Isham Madison Stephens

Isham Madison Stephens
Photo courtesy of Gladys Beverly Stephens
The name Isham is of English origin.
Originally a surname, it means
"from a small village on the River Ise."
Isham is a village and civil parish
in Northamptonshire, England.
The River Ise is to the east of the village.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Isham Madison Stephens was born 22 Feb 1880 in Toombs Co., GA and died 7 Mar 1932 in Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA.

Isham was the youngest child of William J. Stephens and Lucy Ann Lumley and lived his entire life in the Tattnall Co./Toombs Co., GA area. His namesake was his father's older brother Isham Stephens (1848-1924).

Isham grew up in poverty. His father William owned no property and had no regular occupation other than farming and working as a day laborer. It is likely there was little time for much formal education.

Isham's whereabouts between 1910 and 1916 are unknown, but he was likely living in GA.

On 30 Apr 1916 at about age 36, Isham married Dovie Lindsay, who was about age 34 at the time. Dovie, daughter of David Lindsay and Harriet Blackwelder, was originally from Rock Creek, York Co., SC. (The wedding date is based on Federal Census records and the Toombs Co., GA marriage book).

It is unknown when Dovie moved to GA or how she and Isham met. She possibly moved with her siblings who had moved to GA sometime before 1920 or perhaps met Isham while visiting her family in GA.

We know Dovie's younger brother William Arthur Lindsay, Sr. had moved to Tattnall Co., GA sometime between 1912 and 1914. On his website Descendants of James David Lindsay researcher Jim Beshires wrote the following about William Lindsay:

Dovie Lindsay Stephens
Photo courtesy of Gladys Beverly Stephens
The name Dovie is derived from Dove,
meaning "A bird that is a symbol of peace."
It was used in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries.From
babynamesworld.parentsconnect-q.mtvi.com

"Family legend has it that when they decided to move to Tattnall County, Georgia, they came in a mule and wagon and camped along side of the road at night. Eunice (Lindsay) Tootle said they tried to camp behind roadside signs so people wouldn't see them.

They must have come to Georgia between 1912 and 1914, as William Arthur, Jr. was born in Georgia in 1914. They seem to have followed many of the Cooks from Union County. Florence's grandfather, Aaron had just moved to Tattnall County also. They moved to a farm on what is now the Georgia State Prison, and stayed there for many years."

Isham and Dovie settled in Elza, Toombs Co., GA. In his World War I Draft Registration, dated 12 Sep 1918, Isham lists wife Dovie as his nearest relative. His occupation is farming, and is employed by F. M. McCall.

By time of the 1920 Federal Census, Militia District 1403, Toombs Co., GA, Isham and Dovie had two sons: James, about age 2, and William C., about age 1. Isham's occupation was general farming. Their home was rented. On this same 1920 census, we find that Dovie's brother Ellerby Lindsay and sister Nan Lindsay were neighbors

Isham and Dovie remained in the Toombs Co., area. In 1920 daughter Ollie Kate was born, followed by son Isham Madison Stephens, Jr. in 1922.

Isham Jr. tragically died in 1924 at age 2. His death certificate lists cause of death was a gastro-intestinal disease resulting from eating raw potatoes and dewberries. Isham Jr. was buried in the Elza Baptist Church Cemetery in Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA.

Isham Stephens Family Portrait
Isham Stephens Family, sometime before 1930
Photo courtesy of Gladys Beverly Stephens

Another son was born on 30 Nov 1925 but tragically died 2 Dec 1925 in Uvalda, Militia District 1810, Montgomery Co., GA. His death certificate lists his cause of death as premature birth. He was buried in Sharpe Cemetery, Montgomery Co. GA. Family history is Isham and Dovie had twin sons. Could this infant be the twin of Hovas Stephens (Benny H. Stephens)?

By the time of the 1930 Federal Census, Militia District 39, Toombs Co., GA, Isham and Dovie Stephens had five living children: Lenton J., age 12, William C., age 11, Ollie K., age 9, David J., age 6, and Benny H., age 4 1/2. Isham's occupation was general farming. Their home was rented.

Dovie became ill and died 16 Nov 1931 in Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA. Family history is that she died of cancer. There is no death certificate.

Isham died shortly after Dovie on 7 Mar 1932 in Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA. Family history is that he died of Typhoid Fever. Like Dovie, however, there is no death certificate.

Isham's and Dovie's young children had no where to go. No immediate family could or would agree to take them in. Their daughter Ollie Kate Stephens was placed in the Savannah Home for Girls. Sons David and Hovas Stephens were ultimately placed in the Georgia Baptists Orphans' Home in Hapeville, GA. Too old for placement in a youth home, Lenton, about age 13, and William, about age 14, were left to make their own way.

In his website Descendants of James David Lindsay researcher Jim Beshires included this narrative of Dovie's niece Eva Mae Lindsay Skudlarek. Eva Mae was the daughter of Dovie's younger brother Ellerbee Lindsay who lived in the same area as the Stephens family.

"I remember Uncle Isom and Aunt Dovie Stevens. Aunt Dovie was very sick. I believe she had cancer. They had a small farm in Toombs County, Georgia. A short time after Aunt Dovie died Uncle Isom was taken with the Typhoid Fever and died. He left his place to one of his sisters so that the children could be kept together. But she put the children in orphan homes - the boys to one home and Ollie Kate to another. I cried a lot over that as Ollie Kate and myself were very close."

Isham and Dovie were both buried in the Elza Baptist Church Cemetery in Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA along-side their son Isham Jr.

Isham Stephens Jr. Dovie Stephens Isham Stephens

Stephens Family Headstones

From left: headstones of Isham Stephens, Jr., Dovie Lindsay Stephens, and Isham Madison Stephens
Elza Baptist Church Cemetery. Reidsville, Toombs Co., GA Source: Elza Baptist Church Cemetery

 


Descendants of Isham M. Stephens

Children of Isham M. Stephens and Dovie Lindsay are:

  1. JAMES LENTON STEPHENS, b: abt. 1917 in GA; d: 24 Dec 1969 in Vidalia, Toombs Co., GA; pos. married Annie Pearl Atkins.
  2. WILLIAM CALVIN STEPHENS, b: abt. 1918 in GA; d: 11 Aug 1985; m: unknown.
  3. OLIVE KATE (OLLIE) STEPHENS, b: abt. 1920 in GA; d: 11 Mar 1987 in Levy Co., FL; m: David Johnson.
  4. ISHAM MADISON STEPHENS, JR., b: 4 Apr 1922 in Toombs Co., GA; d: 18 May 1924 in Toombs Co., GA; burial Elza Baptist Church Cemetery, Reidsville, Tattnall Co., GA.
  5. DAVID LESLIE STEPHENS, b: abt. 1923 in GA; d: 29 Jun 1993 in 29 Jun 1993 in in Vidalia, Toombs Co., GA; pos. married Hazel Phillips.
  6. INFANT BOY STEPHENS, b: 30 Nov 1925 in GA; d: 02 Dec 1925 in Uvalda, Montgomery Co., GA; burial Sharpe Cemetery, Montgomery Co., GA.
  7. BENNY HOVAS STEPHENS, b: bet. 1925-1926 in Lyons, Toombs Co., GA; d: 8 Dec 2001 in Richmond, Chesterfield Co., VA; m: Gladys Beverly.

Primary Resources

Civil War:

Ancestry.com. Historical Data Systems, comp., U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.
Ancestry.com. Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailor System. U. S Department of the Interior National Park System.
The USGenWeb Project. Company E, 63rd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, CSA.
Ranger95. Company F, 14th Regiment Johnson County "Johnson Greys"
Georgia's Virtual Vault. Confederate Pension Applications.

Other:

Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Ancestry.com. Public trees submitted by members, in particular: Morris /Rolison Family Tree, Norfleet & Susan Horne/Horn of Carolina, Lumley Hutcheson Johnson Kin in Ga Ala Miss, Locke Stephens Ancestry, Knight/Eubank Family Tree.
Find A Grave.
Georgia's Virtual Vault.
Georgia USGenWeb Archives Project
Emanuel County Facts.


Genealogy Disclaimer

Every effort is made to verify the information posted on this site is correct; however, the information is collected from many many different sources and at times is conflicting. In such cases I have used what I thought was the most reliable source.