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John William Powell

I have traced my Powell roots to Robeson County, North Carolina, where William G. Powell lived before moving to Jefferson County, Florida in the 1830s. William G. Powell, his wife, and one or two of their children died within a year of each other in the early 1850s. Their oldest son, John William Powell (my ancestor, born in 1828) moved with his brother Moses and two younger siblings to Carroll County, Mississippi after the other family members died in Florida. John William was in his early twenties at the time of the move. The three younger sibblings lived with a Daniel Powell (presumably a relative) when they arrived in Carroll County. John William lived and worked on a neighbor's farm.

Powell joined the Confederate forces at the beginning of the Civil War when Company B of the 15th Mississippi Infantry (the Winona Stars) formed in Carroll County in March 1861. He served until April 1865 when his unit was a part of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston at Durham Station, North Carolina, weeks after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

Much of his service was spent in the Pioneer Corps, working in advance of the infantry to re-build roads and bridges and various battlements.

On his return from the war, he married his first cousin Virginia Herring.

He died July 16, 1914 and was buried with Confederate honors in the Bethlehem Cemetery near Winona, Mississippi. Virginia’s Confederate widow’s pension application indicates he owned property worth $250 at the time of his death.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who might have any information concerning this branch of the Powell family. In particular, I would like to know the origins of the Robeson County, North Carolina Powells. I assume they came from Wales (Powell is a common Welsh name), and I would guess they arrived in the United States in the middle to late 1700s. I am also interested in learning more about Daniel Powell who may have been among the first family members to arrive in Mississippi.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi John,
There seems a bit of sadness in his face. Or perhaps he was unsure of the photographer.

The only John William POWELL I have in the database even close to your ancestor was born in 1821 and died 1889 and married 1856 to Indiana Virginia Scoggins of Brunswick County, Virginia.

Allow me to add your Powell group and we'll keep an eye out for him.

Happy Dae·
ShoeString Genealogy
Actually, I'm in good shape from John William Powell forward. My mysteries are the Robeson County, NC Powells, what happened to the family while they were in Florida, and who Daniel Powell was and how he was related. Unfortunately, I'm working in the period before the every-name census, so everything is pretty obscure.

As to the sadness, you have to remember what photography was like in that era. Shutter speeds were very slow and the subject always had to remain very still. You won't often find a photograph from this period where the subject is smiling because they would have to hold the smile so long. On the other hand, I suppose he did have a lot to be sad about.
Hi, my line is from Robeson, or around that area. I think. Perquimans Mt., N.C. 3rd GGF Levi Powell (1799-1862) his father Elijah Powell(1753-1831) and mother Morning Wilson. Both died in Clay County, Ky. I have the rest GGF's back to 1628. (info from cousin Dennis Powell) William Powell b.1625-? and Susanna Bullock b. 1628. My Grandmother Pear McCoy Powell in Ok, had a picture of my GGF Thomas Jefferson Powell(1857-1911) b. Ky d. Ok. It is an late 1800's or early 1900's with him with a suit on. Grandma Pearl, said that he was in his work overalls when he took the picture, but they painted the suit on him, and doctored the photo.
That's very interesting, and there could well be a connection between those Powell families. I don't think Perquimans County and Roberson County are very close, however. Thanks for the comment.
Hi John,
I have my Levi Powell 1799 birth and died 1862. Levi was my Third Great grandfather. Levi was born in NC but do not know where in NC? His father was born in Perquimans, NC. His Father was Elijah Powell.
If you think your Levi is the same man please write back to exchange info.

Dennis Powell
Hi John

My Powell line goes back to Robeson Co in the mid to late 1700's. From there most of them moved to Georgia around 1800, presumably because of the Land Lotteries there. I doubt my line is connected to the one you elicit but it's possible as there are several members of the family who I have not been able to document. If there is a male Powell in your line I would encourage him to have his DNA tested and join the Powell Surname Project. It's pretty clear there are at least ten Powell lines that go back to the late 1600's/early 1700's in the US.

At any rate, a distant cousin of mine, who unfortunately passed away, did extensive research on the Powell's in Robeson/Bladen/Cumberland in an attempt to take my line further back. There were a lot of Powells in the Robeson area between 17500-1800; I would guess at least four family lines. Here are some of the ones I know about:

Ambrose Powell ~1720 line:

Charles and John Powell ~1740

James, William, Charles Jr, Ambrose Jr, Henry? ~1760-1790

[ This is my line. My cousin came up empty in researching past Robeson. He felt Duplin was the most likely place this line came from. Some recent information, through a male Powell connected to me DNA wise, suggests that we may have come from the Culpeper Co., VA/ Rappahannock Co., VA ]

Douglas Powell line

[ I believe Douglas Powell was from the Brunswick Co VA line. ]

Isaiah and Lewis Powell

[ I believe this line is from Bertie Co, NC ]

[ Brittain and Hardy Powell ]

I believe these are from the Walter Powell of Somerset MD line

As an example, here are the Powells listed in the 1790 Robeson Census

AMBROSE POWELL [ My most distant ancestor ]
AMBROSE POWELL [ Charle's son ]
CHARLES POWELL [ Ambrose Sr's son and also in my line ]
KATIE POWELL [ I think this is actually Cadar Powell probably connected to Lewis ]
LEWIS POWELL [ Probably of the Bertie line, followed my line to GA ]
WILLIAM POWELL [ Another son of Charles? ]

PS. I would not assume any given line is from Wales. The Powell name is seemingly Welsh in origin and there are a lot of Powells in Wales, but there are also a lot of Powell lines and I routinely come across evidence of lines coming from other places. Many came from non Wales England, some were Ulster-Scots who probably came from Scotland, etc. There were definitely a fair number of Welsh coming to America, especially to Cape Fear NC (Duplin County) and Pennsylvania, but Robeson had Scots, English, etc so I wouldn't assume anything (Or at least I don't). The county and state lines were in flux during this period, so you also can't count on just looking at Robeson County.

For years we have trying to verify the connection between the Bridges and Powell families of NC.

Your mention of Brittain and Hardy Powell of Robeson county interests me greatly.

I have a Hardy Bridges who was born in 1801, possibly in Hancock, GA. His Father John Bridge(r)s died in Dec 1802 in Hancock, GA. In 1850 Hardy in in Greene County, GA. Living in his household is a Cherry Bridges, age 85 , born in NC. Also in the household is a Hugh Powell, age 75, born in NC. It has been assumed that Cherry Bridges was the Mother of Hardy and Hugh Powell was the Brother of Cherry Bridgers.

Based primarily on DAR records recorded in the 1950s, it has been accepted for the past 60 years that Cherry, Hugh and Thompson Powell were the children of Lewis Powell of Bladen and Robeson Counties NC. However, when Lewis Powell dies in Dooly County, GA., his will makes no mention of these 3 children.

There was a Thompson Powell in Robeson County in 1790. In 1803, Thompson Powell and Hugh Powell are mentioned several times in various transactions in the estate records of John Bridgers. It is easy to assume that they are brothers-in-law. The DAR record even indicate that Thompson Powell married a Charlotte Hardy Bridges.

I am beginning to believe that Cherry, Hugh and Thompson were siblings, but their Father was not Lewis Powell.

What info do you have on the Hardy Powell in Robeson county?

John Bridges
Pensacola, FL

I will have to go through my notes and verify this. My cousin found evidence of Hardy and Brittain in Duplin/New Hanvover Counties and I believe he later found evidence that they were briefly in Robeson, but I can't find the letter where he gave proof for this. Here is one of his letters talking about Hardy, however:





Here is a response from my cousin which references may of your questions - it's not to/from you but it I'm guessing they are connected to you since they are asking the same questions:


Hi,I;m Dixie Gilbert. I am just about as sure as I can be that Brittian Powell is my 2nd gggrandfather. Tracing the women in the family is another story.I live in Pensacola,FL.I  have been  working on my tree for about two years. I understand that when some of the Powells left NC,they moved here,too .hope to hear from your branch soon.

Hello John, my great grandmother Kittie M Powell,  was born Sep 13, 1875 and died Dec 28, 1953. She married Elias Milton Harrington and resided in Robeson county their entire life. They had five children one of which my grandmother (Ellen) who married into the Andrews. Anyway, i have hit a wall when it comes to the Powell side of the search after her.  I found some info that her parents names might have been Ailey Stanley and Nicklos(?) Powell

My family of Powell seems to be hard to trace in Robeson County as well. About the same time frame. Hybert Washington Powell, William R Powell, others possibly a Nawls or Rawls Powell too. Would love to find out more. This family seemed to migrate bqck and forth down the road to the Lake View, Mullins area.





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