USGenWeb logo

USGenWeb : AlGenWeb :County Index
Webmaster/County Coordinator for this site: Allison M. Saxman

If you have any comments or questions about the site or encounter any problems, please email Allison! Thank you!


You are Unique Visitor #
since November 2, 2001.

Records available on this site:

African Americans
Deeds & Land
Justice Court Journals
Special Collections
Wills & Estates
1901-14 Voters Reg.

Other Resources

County Books
County History
County Resources
Family Reunions
Genealogy Columns
Lookup Volunteers
Other Online Resources
Our Families Online
Submit Your Data
Surnames & Queries
Unknown Photos

Nearby County Websites Fayette Co., ALGenWeb
Marion Co. AlGenWeb
Pickens Co. AlGenWeb
Tuscaloosa Co. AlGenWeb
Walker County AlGenWeb
Itawamba Co. MSGenWeb
Itawamba County, MS
Lowndes Co. MSGenWeb
Monroe Co., MSGenWeb 2
Monroe Co. MSGenWeb




US GenWeb Archives button

USGenWeb Archives for Alabama

Mordecai Family & Walnut Grove

By Sabra N. Sudberry, as published in the West Alabama Gazette, Millport, AL 3/26/03

© Sabra N. Sudberry, 2003.

Lamar Co.Heritage: Mordecai Family and Walnut Grove

Mordecai Moses Mordecai

The Lamar Co. Genealogical and Historical Society was in one of the feature stories in this month’s “Alabama Living”magazine that is sent to members of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative. Writer Kay Marshall came to the January meeting and interviewed Bo Morris. When she learned he came from the Burrow family (his great uncle was Rube Burrow),  she had a new lead for a story her son was writing. Anyone wanting to get a copy of the magazine can go by the office in Guin.
      Week before last the genealogical society met at night after the deadline of this newspaper. It was a very long, but productive meeting. We have some major plans for some things we need to do for this next year. We need all the support we can get, so if you have not renewed your membership, please do so, and if you have never been a member, it’s time you joined! Send $16 to P.O. Box 793, Vernon, AL 35592.  One of the things we decided was to go from marble markers to granite to mark the abandoned cemeteries. Granite holds up better, and is cheaper. We decided that we could mark more cemeteries this way.
       Anyone can donate money for a monument to mark a cemetery. It tells a little history of the cemetery if known, name of the donor and date donated. Presently the cost is $75. We also accept donations for road signs to identify the location of these cemeteries. It lists the name and donor of the sign. The cost for these is $55. Seems a little strange doesn’t it, that  a metal sign costs almost as much as a granite stone!
      Curtis Graham attended our meeting last week. It was good to have him and his support. Hopefully we will be working closely with him in the next year to accomplish some major goals for the preservation of county records. Stay posted, and hopefully I will have more information in the months to come.
      Thursday, March 20, a number of folks met at Walnut Grove Cemetery to do a cemetery survey. I am proud to announce that it is completely finished! Some arrived early, and left in the early afternoon, some arrived later and stayed 'til dark, and some stayed from early morning until dark. If you know me very well, you can guess which one I was! Many, many thanks to Flora McCool and her sister Faye, Kay Koonce, Jim Dierking, Rachel McReynolds, Billy and Jeanette Lawrence, Arnold and Faye McReynolds, Thurman and Margaret Shackleford, and Bobby and Rachel McReynolds, and one jealous donkey, [see photo] who kept us entertained, and who resided next to the cemetery. He kept braying when we had contact with each other or did not acknowledge him.
       Kay, Jim and I were at it until it was absolutely dark. If it had taken any longer, we’d have had to get the flashlights out! I have been known though to pull the car up to the markers before when I had no flashlight! Rachel finally came looking for us as it was getting so late. We followed her home and had the most wonderful meal. I was sick I ate so much. Forget the macrobiotic diet! For a little while I forgot I had cancer! Rachel makes the best peanut butter cake I have ever had. In fact, everything she made was great. Thanks so much Rachel! After dinner (some got to eat lunch and dinner there!) we retired to the living room, where Rachel pulled out a copy of a book she had entitled, The Millers of Millersburg. I was exclaiming and gasping that this book was exactly what I had been writing  when I wrote the McGee stories. It seems Sharlene Stough’s research was taken from this book, except for the John Russell McGee section. This book was written in l922 by John Bailey Nicklin, Jr. Clinton Fortner had a copy of it that Rachel copied. I must give credit for most of that research therefore, to Mr. Nicklin, who of course has long since passed away. This book had history of many Lamar Co. families, including the Kuykendalls, Millers, Beenes, and many, many others. Mr. Nicklin was some genealogist.
      I must make a clarification about last week’s column. If you read it you noticed it said “This week’s photo is…” twice. I asked Peyton that one of those be removed, but it was not, so that is why that sounds strange. That is okay, for I would have used all of the pictures eventually anyway -just wanted to explain that.
     My thoughts and prayers go out to my cousin, Janea Butts and her family. Times are rough right now, and her mom suffered a stroke recently. I am very sorry to hear about this. Likewise, my friend, Lois Morris, who also suffered a stroke, is now home from the hospital, and determined to recover. She’s a fighter, all the way around. 
     Last week I began discussion of the Mordecai family. With this article is a photo of Mordecai Moses Mordecai, whom I discussed. He was born in 1727 and died in l809. A note in Keith Mordecai’s research describes the original portrait: “This portrait, here illustrated in a photograph obtained for the author by D.A. Byck of Savannah, was first shown to us in l961 by its owner, Mrs. Marie Grady of Savannah. From its inscription, “born Telz, Jan. 16 in the Masonic year of light 5727 (l727), the author identified the portrait as that of Mordecai Moses Mordecai of  Telz.  Subsequent research proved Mrs. Grady’s direct descent from Mordecai. The portrait, apparently a pen and ink drawing on ivory, shows the subject wearing a Masonic emblem and an apron inscribed, And God said, ‘Let there be light! And there was light,’ Genesis 1:8.”
      Mordecai Moses Mordecai was born in  the Lithuanian town of Tels (also written Telz, Telshi). His father was evidently a rabbi, Moses, son of Mordecai. On his arrival in America, our Mordecai discovered a Moses Mordecai residing in eastern Pennsylvania. Probably to avoid confusion our subject styled himself with his father’s and his grandfather’s names as Mordecai Moses Mordecai, usually adding “Telz.” He left his birthplace in northwestern Lithuania to become the first known Jew from his area to arrive in North America.
      When he first appears in public records, the year is l760, and he has just married Zipporah de Lyon of Easton. The DeLyon clan had arrived in Easton from Savannah, but along the way Abraham de Lyon, father of Zipporah, had died. Abraham’s widow, nee Esther Nunez, and at least four of her five daughters settled in Easton, where  three of the daughters found husbands.
      On June 1, l760, Mordecai and his bride became the possessors of a piece of property in Northampton County on the site of the subsequent Allentown, but they seem to have made their home in Lancaster. For on May 4, l761 Mordecai wrote from Lancaster to Philadelphia’s rising young merchant, Michael Gratz, that his wife was expecting their first child in December, and was  losing weight from morning sickness.
      I include part of a letter that Mordecai wrote, all of it not included in this column due to space this week: … “I wish to inform you that I arrived, thank the Lord, on Monday, Hoshana Rabbi (i.e. the 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles=October l9, l76l), here to my house before noon in peace and without any harm. I hope the same is true with you (that you are well). I also wish to inform you that Mr. (Joseph) Simons was well pleased with the (black) wench. I hope he will pay for her and that you will send her through Weiner Kaiser to whom we gave order to  bring and take care (of her).”
      Next week will continue this interesting story about the Mordecai family. If you need to contact me, please email or write P.O. Box 972, Sulligent, AL 35586, or call 205-384-4001. Notes can also be left for me at the Vernon library to be placed in my box there.

Webmaster's Note:  Sadly, Sabra has passed away since submitting this article to the site.

Sabra's jealous little friend at Walnut Grove Cemetery March, 2003 (photo courtesy of Kawatha "Kay" Koonce)



All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins.  Any commercial use, or other electronic posting of any files/pages without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited.  All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions.  All persons contributing material for posting on these pages does so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.

ALGenWeb is a part of the USGenWeb Project
Send comments about the state project to: Richard White
Send comments about this page to:  Allison M. Saxman

USGenWeb County Page Guidelines/Standards


USGENWEB and/or ALGENWEB makes no claims as to the validity of the information contained in this site and visitors are advised that each new piece of information should be researched and proved or disproved by weight of documented evidence. It is always best to consult the original material for verification.

The information posted to this site is the sole work and property of the submitter and/or the transcriber and has not been altered nor verified by the webmaster of this site. An effort has been made to give credit to all submitters and all documents that have been transcribed by the webmaster, other volunteers, or other individuals that submit information for posting to the site.

©2001-2009 by Allison M. Saxman