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William Nelson West, b 1775

[Karen West Scott published a comprehensive book, Descendants and Family History of the William Nelson West (1775-1846) Family. For more information, see here.]

William Nelson West was born in NC? / VA? 31 July 1775, and died 25 Oct 1846 in Tallahatchie Co., MS, at 71 years of age.

He married Alsey Rogers in Sumter Co., SC, circa 1801. She was born 12 May 1785, in Sumter or Marion District, SC. She was the daughter of Shadrach Rogers and Hope (probably) Bethea. Alsey died 07 September 1862 in Smith Co., AK, at 77 years of age. We are grateful to Alsey Rogers West for relinquishing her portion of the estate of her husband because that document names nine of their children.

A census listed William is listed in the 1820 & 1830 US Census in Covington Co., MS. Not much is known about William Nelson West before he appears in South Carolina with his father-in-law, Shadrach Rogersin a deed in 1799. Sam W. West's book, The West Family Album, says he was born in "Old Virginny" and had a doctor with his family "but twice."

Two Benjamin Wests, who a descendant, Charles West (1998) says came from England in 1757 to Claremont/Sumter Co., SC, had land in the same area as deeds which William N. West appears on. This is a fruitful area for additional research.

Birth and death dates of William and Alsey (Rogers) West come from a family Bible which has been transcribed and the present owner of the Bible is unknown. The Wests lived briefly in Louisiana before they moved to southern Mississippi by 1819.

A William West Sr. and William West Jr. were granted land from the Land Office west of the Pearl River in 1806. We do not know if they are related to our family, or, in fact, if this could be our William N. West (who by age would have to be the "Jr." in the transactions.) Records in South Carolina indicate that our William Nelson West was there until about 1818.

William and Alsey West married by February 1802. Alsey Rogers West was probably born in Marion Co., SC. Shadrach and Hope Rogers moved to Sumter Co., SC by 1799 and had previously lived in Marion Co., SC.

South Carolina Records

All SC references for these Wests so far located are in Sumter (or under earlier legal designations of the same area, i.e., Sumter was created in 1798 from Camden District, SC).

Sumter Conveyances CC: 513:

1. Thomas Odle and Ann Odle his wife of Claremont Co., SC for 30 pounds to Thomas Kolb all that tract in Craven now Claremont near Sammy Swamp waters of Black River...part of 300 acres granted to Thomas Odle 2 Marcy 1786...John Barkloth, John Freeman. /s/ Thomas Odil, Ann (x) Odil. 11 February 1799. Wit: William West, Shadrach Rogers.

2. 8 March 1799. Claremont Co., SC: Personally appeared before Jesse Nettles. . . William West . . . made oath that he saw Thomas Odil and Add Odil sign. . .and also he saw Shadrach Rogers subscribe his name a witness at the same time. Recorded 8 January 1812. [This deed possibly was recorded earlier in a lost deed book and brought in to be rerecorded; certain deeds in Conveyance Book B have such notations and, clearly, many early deed were lost.]

Sumter Conveyances Book C: 291:

1. Jacob Elmore and Mary his wife of Claremont Co., Sumter District for $400 paid by Jacob Osteen . . . 400 acres near Sammy Swamp Branch, waters of Black River . . .bounding south on land granted to Eusabeus Stone North . . . granted to Thomas Odle . . . plat certified 17 March 1786. /s/ Jacob (x) Elmore, Mary (x) Elmore. 19 January 1808. Recorded 29 July 1808. Wit: Wilson West, William N. West. (The plat shows Nasty Branch.)

Who was Wilson West? He was possibly a brother or father of William N. West, as the name is found among William N. West's grandchildren. A Wilson West married between 13 May 1808 and 8 September 1812 Martha, widow of Ashberry Sylvester (Wills A, 135 & Roll 55). He is a witness several times and received a land grant in 1803 for 285 acres of Halfway Swamp, waters of Santee River, bordered by land granted to General Richardson, Capt. Edward Richardson, John Bradley, Thomas Maples, and Arthur White. In 1805 he recorded 285 acres on Halfway Swamp & Santee River, Sumter District (may be same land as 1803, need to check). He bought at an auction of Isaac Lenoir decd in 1824 and at an auction of Nathl. Bradford decd. in 1825 (Potts Sales II: 93 and 103).

Sumter Conveyances, Book C:296-7:

1. Jacob Elmore for $150 . . . paid by William West. . . 92 acres . . .part of tract granted to Josiah Furman . . . 22 December 1808. Jacob (x) Elmore. Recorded 8 August 1808. Witness: Jos. Holladay, Elisha (x) Rogers. [The plat shows Jas. Newton's land, Joshua Hedge's land, and Bush Branch. Bushy Branch formed a fork with Nasty Branch on the waters of Black River; see Book F: 21-22.]

Sumter Conveyances, Book CC: 265-6:

1. William N. West of Claremont Co., SC. . .for $150 . . . paid by Abel Sheriff . . . 92 acres . . .part of a tract granted to Josiah Furman . . . 17 August 1810. /s/ William N. West Recorded 11 September 1810. Witness: Shadrach Rogers, Timothy Rogers. For conveyance to WN West and copy of plat, see Book C, page 296 and 297.

In October 1813, William N. West was a jury member (Judg. F:22); on 14 October 1814, he signed as "Wm. N. West," the petition for Samuel Clark which was also signed by his father-in-law, Shadrach Rogers, and two of his brothers-in-law, Reddick Rogers and Esquire Thames.

A Brief Stop in Louisiana

William N. West's daughter, Charity, was born 14 September 1818, and always gave her place of birth as South Carolina. The family must have moved to southwestern Louisiana between her birth and when they first appear in Baptist church records in April, 1819.

William and Alsey West joined the Hephzibah Baptist Church in East Feliciana Parish, LA by letter on 17 April 1819. Many of his wife's Rogers brothers were living in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Josiah Knighton, John Hopgood, Reuben Doughty, Danial Eads, Levy Doughty and Shadrach Rogers were all members of the congregation in 1824.

On to Mississippi

He is found in the 1820 & 1830 census of Covington Co., MS and in the 1840 census of Newton Co., MS. Reddick Rogers and Squire "Thims" are also on the taxs lists for 1820, and 1821. William N. West appears on the Covington Co. tax rolls in 1823 and 1824. In 1825 and 1827, he appears on the tax lists, but was not required to pay poll tax. He paid again in 1828, but did not pay in 1829, 1831-1834. He paid taxes on six slaves in 1834.

The family apparently moved to Newton Co., Mississippi, about 1834 and appears on the Newton Co., MS tax rolls from 1838.

William West and Alsey West were among the founding members of Bethel Baptist Church in Newton County (11 February 1839), and William West was named a deacon. Several of their children were also members, including Charity West in February 1839 (by 1849 she listed as Charity Thompson), and in February 1840, Dorenda Daughdrel [sic] is listed. Although nothing is know of the family's church membership in South Carolina, it is worth mentioning that one of the oldest churches in Sumter Co., SC, was Bethel Baptist Church, "located about eight miles south of the city of Sumter on Nasty Branch, an arm of Black River....The first building was of logs and apparently on land belonging to Hezekiah or Jesse Nettles." (Historical Sketches of Sumter County, Its Birth and Growth, Cassie Nicholes, Sumter Co. Historical Comm.: 1975, p. 148) (See also references to WNW's land transactions in SC, above.) The plats show that Shadrach Rogers' land and the lands of Hezekiah Nettles and Jesse Nettles had a common boundary line, and Shadrach Rogers sold one tract to Hezekiah Nettles (Book EE:146).

The records of Leaf River Baptist Church, Covington Co., MS, for 19 April 1834, state: "The following named persons formerly members of the Church at Bethel, now dissolved present letters of dismission and were received viz. Matthew Thames, Elizabeth Thames his wife, Meshach Rodgers, his wife Elizabeth Rodgers, and Hopey Rodgers."

William Nelson West was on the 1844 Newton Co. tax list and on the state census in 1845. He then moved to Tallahatchie Co., MS where he made his will in 1846. His son Elisha West lived there.

Tallahatchie Co., MS Deed Book B:304, 10 January 1846. Morgan McAfee and Salina W. McAfee, his wife, deed to William West of Tallahatchie Co. for $1,200.00 "N (or W) 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 30, Twshp 24, Range 3 East. 120 acres."

Alsey is back in Newton Co. in the 1850 Census. She is listed as "Alay West", as being 66 years old, a farmer, worth $800 and born in SC. She was living next to Shadrach Nelson West, her son.

We can conclude that Alsey West, and possibly William N. West, joined Sculmore [actually Ascalmore Church] Church in Tallahatchie County and that Alsey returned to Newton Co. after William's death and joined Mt. Vernon.

By the 1860 census, when Alsey was 75 years old, she had moved to Smith Co., MS. The census shows her in the household of William Daughdrill with his wife Dorinda. Alsey may have moved from Newton Co. because her son, Shadrach West, was moving to Louisiana. Shadrach West asked for a letter from Bethel on 15 October 1859 and moved with several members of his family to Caldwell Parish, Louisiana.

Alsey West died in Smith Co., MS, on 7 September 1862. Although she had apparently moved her membership to a church in Smith Co., her attachment to Bethel Church remained strong. The records of Bethel Church (Newton Co.) contain the following: "15 October is ordered that Sister Alsa West letter be sent for by Bethel Church & again be recorded on the Church Book, it being her dying request."

Probate Records - Abstracts

Both a transcription of William Nelson West's Will and the full transcription of Alsey West's Relinquishment may be viewed here.

Will of William Nelson West

William West left a will in Tallahatchie Co., MS, Will Book A:75-78, proved December 1846 Court Term. He leaves his estate to his wife and children . He mentions "my wife" and names only three children. He establishes a trust for Dorinda Doddle [sic--Daughdrill] and her children to be managed by Elisha West. The will was signed 31 Aug 1846 in the presence of George W. Rice, George H. Page and James Hamlett. The judge ordered publication in the Mississippi Democrat, a newspaper published in the town of Carolltown, MS, for six weeks.

Alsa West Relinquishment To Children

On 5 July 1847 (Tallahatchie Co. Deed Book E:82), Alsa West relinquishes her portion of William N. West's estate to her children. To quote:

"Now therefore, I Asa West in consideration of the love and affection I have for the said Elisha West, William J. West, Jesse West and Shadrick N. West; Elizabeth Furlow, Pediah Harvey, Charity Thompson, Alafar Holland, and Dorinda Doddle [sic] all of whom are the children of the said William N. West and the said Alsa West, and being the only children of the said Wm West and for _ further consideration of the sum of one dollar on hand paid the receipt hereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby sell, relinquish, and convey to the aforesaid Elisha West, William J. West, Jesse West, Shaderick N. West, Elizabeth Furlow, Pediah Harvey, Charity Thompson, Alafar Holland and the said Elisha West in trust for his sister Dorinda Doddle [sic] all of the right, title, interest and claim I have in and to the following real and personal estate of the said William N. West, decd, . . .to wit: The West half of the North West quarter and the North half of the West half of the South East quarter of Section (Thirty?)_ , Township twenty four, Range three East containing about one hundred acres _ the __ __ of land lying and being in the county of Tallahatchie on Sculmore creek, also the following named Negro slaves, one negro man named Rei aged about 22 years, one negro boy named Abe, aged about 14 years, one negro girl named Minerva, aged about 26 years, and her two children Sam and Sarah, the former a boy aged about 6 years. and the latter a girl aged about three years, one negro boy named Little Abe aged about six years, one negro boy named Henry aged about 18 months, and one negro girl named Cresa aged about five years....In testimony whereof I the said Alsa West have herunto set my hand and seal this first day of January A.D. 1849.

"/s/ Alsa (x) West.

"Attest: James W. Rhew, J.H. Dogan." Certified that foregoing deed was recorded in Deed Book E, pages 83, 84, & 85 in Charleston the ?5th day of July 1844 by Jones G. Kendrick, clerk of Probate Court. Proved 1 January 1849. Rhew & Dogan's signatures proved 7 April 1849 by H.D. Bridges, J.P. Recorded on _th July 1849 in Deed Book E, p. 83-85 by J.G. Kendrick, clerk."


William Nelson West and Alsey Rogers had the following children:

1. Shadrach Nelson West was born February 14, 1802.

2. Elizabeth Hope West was born in SC 1806. She married James Furlow in Covington Co. or Newton Co., Mississippi, CA 1830. James was born 1801 Mississippi. They lived in Smith Co., Mississippi in 1850.

3. Piddie Ire West was born ca 1810. She married Michael Harvey. b ca 1829. Tallahatchie Co., MS Deed Book E: 3-4, 19 December 1848: Pediciah Harvey (nee West) gives power of attorney to Neal Thompson. She was living in Smith Co., MS. No doubt this is for the purpose of settling her William N. West's estate. Is Neil Thomson the same as Noel Thompson who was the husband of Charity West Thompson Haralson?

4. Dorinda West was born in SC January 16, 1813. Dorinda died June 7, 1898 in Lawrence Co., MS, at 85 years of age. She married William Turner Daughdrill in MS, November 16, 1834. William was born 18 Oct 1808 in SC. William died 16 Nov 1892 in Lawrence Co., MS, at 84 years of age. He was the son of James and Celia (Turner) Daughdrill. Her family lived in Jasper Co., MS in 1840; Newton Co., MS in 1850; Smith Co., MS in 1860; Lawrence Co., MS in 1870; and Jefferson Co., MS, in 1880, according to census records. She and her husband are buried in Shiloh Baptish Church Cemetery in Lawrence Co., MS.

5. Elisha West was born in SC 1815. Elisha died after 1868 in West Point, White Co., AK. He married twice. He married Susan __ in MS, CA 1835. Susan died 1853 in Tallachatchie Co., MS. He married Clarissa Jane __ in Tallachatchie Co., MS, after 1853. He was co-executor of his father's will.

Elisha West's will was signed on 7 April 1868 in White Co., AK, and proved on 1 May 1883 in White Co., AK. He names his wife, Clarissa Jane West, as executrix and Benjamin Isbell as executor. Named children in his will include: George West, Caladonia Stevens, & William Nelson West. The rest of the estate was given to Clarissa Jane West, to pass to the children (not named) of Elisha and Clarissa Jane.

6. Charity West was born in SC 14 September 1818. Charity died 1 DEC 1901 in Bonita, Montague Co., TX, at 83 years of age, She married twice. She married Noel Thompson in Newton Co., MS, ca 1839. Noel was born ca 1812 in Montgomery Co., GA. Noel died ca 1860 in Newton Co., MS. The Daughdrills records show him born between 1811 and 1814 in Georgia and dying between 1860 and 1863 in Newton Co., MS.

She married Elijah Elias "Eli" Haralson about 1862. Elijah was born 16 March 1807 in GA., and died 16 February 1884, in TX, at 76 years of age. He and his family moved from Troup County, Georgia to Alabama about 1841 and then to Scott County, MS about 1858. Eli and Charity moved to Texas in 1869 and were living in Montague Co., TX in 1879. They lived on the old Chisholm Cow Trail, one-half mile of Gordon Lake in Montague Co., TX. Gordon Lake is dried up now and is just north of Center Point Cemetery where Eli and Charity are buried. This information comes from Sandy Helms.

7. William Jasper West was born in Covington Co., MS April 9, 1821. William died February 6, 1893 in Copiah Co., MS, at 71 years of age. He married Martha Wells circa 1840. He is buried in Pleasant Hills Cemetery. He is in the 1840 and 1850 census in Newton Co., MS, and in 1870 he was in Lincoln Co., MS. Note that he died in Copiah Co., MS.

8. Alafair West was born in Covington Co., MS 1824. Alafair died 31 December 1904 in DeWitt Co., TX, at 80 years of age. She married James Berry Hollan in MS, ca 1842. James was born 15 September 1827 in Scott Co., MS. James died 30 March 1903 in Yoakum, DeWitt Co., TX, at 75 years of age. He is the son of the Rev. Wade Hampton Hollan and Emily Kelly Hollan. Wade Hampton Hollan and his wife were both born in South Carolina and moved to Texas via Mississippi and Caldwell Parish, Louisiana. They were Baptists.

9. Jesse Nighton West was born in Covington Co., MS on 9 January 1829. Jesse died 11 May 1904 in Greer Co., OK, at 75 years of age. He married twice. He married Frances Rachael Jolley in Williamsburg, Covington Co., MS, 18 February 1845. Frances was born 12 May 1828 in Covington Co., MS. Frances died 15 November 1899 in TX, at 71 years of age. He married, second, Mrs. Annie Watkins. His birth and death dates are from a family Bible and were transcribed by the Daughdrills. According to Sandy Helms, he was said to have gone to Old Mexico during the Civil War.

Credits & Thanks

Carol York, Karen West Scott, Gary Leonard, and Sandy Helms have been most generous in sharing generously records collected for this family.