MONTGOMERY was born 1765 in South Carolina1,
and died 1850 in Lafayette Co., Mississippi.
He married Rebecca Coffee.
was born 1774 in South Carolina2, and died
1859 in Pontotoc Co., Mississippi3.
Little of the origins
of Robert Montgomery is known for certain. He was born in South Carolina
(this much can be confirmed by the 1850 census), and is said to have eight brothers.
Lancaster County is the most likely place
in South Carolina for Robert to have come from. Indices for the
earliest Federal Census (the 1790 census) list five Robert Montgomery's in
South Carolina. All of them come from Lancaster County. The
condition of the 1790 census is not great. The ink has washed off many
pages of the census rendering page after page illegible. This is
particularly so in Lancaster County, so it is possible that there are more
than five individuals with the Robert Montgomery in Lancaster County and in
South Carolina in general.
Genealogies exist for a couple of
prominent Montgomery families of Lancaster County. One such published
genealogy is The Montgomerys of South Carolina, Mississippi and Other
Southern States, compiled by Catherine Cameron Wilkerson Bryan of West
Point, Mississippi, published in April, 1959. Although she was
primarily interested in "the descendents of Hugh Montgomery, who settled in
the Lancaster District of South Carolina, as early as 1757," her work
references several other Montgomery families in the Lancaster District
including the families of William Montgomery and Ninion Montgomery, Sr.
None of the evidence included in this book provides any solid clues about
our Robert; however, there seems to be a fair amount of undocumented
speculation and potential confusion and cross over between the individuals
of one family and another. I think this may be particularly so with
the many Roberts of Lancaster County.
There are, however, several solid pieces
of evidence which indicate that our Robert moves out of South Carolina into
Monroe County, Mississippi by the early 1820's.
He is listed on the 1821
Literary Tax Fund assessed a tax of 12½ cents (the lowest rate). Also
listed on the role are members of the Gideon (including James), Cooper and
Spencer (including William) families. This tax list was transcribed
and published in the Mississippi Genealogical Exchange, vol. 25 (1979), p. 61.
Next is the
marriage of his daughter, Margaret Dixon Montgomery She was wed in Monroe County, MS on
March 4 or 5, 1823.
A deed dated April 12,
1825 (L-138-9). "Robert Montgomery of Munro Co. Mississippi (Late of
Lan. Dist.) to Robert Kirk, sr. of Lan. Dist. for $310 - 414 acres on both
sides of Camp Creek. Said land originally granted to my deceased
father, and by him in Last Will and Testament bequeathed to me April 12,
1820. Robert Montgomery. Witnesses: John Terry, Isom Houze."
My source for this deed is a handwritten transcription found in
Montgomery files at the Lancaster County Public Library. I suspect the
date of the father's last will and testament may have been mis-transcribed
because of the similarity in dates to the deed date. I hope to have
this verified. It would be very helpful to track the last will and
testament down since Robert here does not mention his father by name.
His youngest daughter,
Rebecca Jane Montgomery was wed
to James Gideon on December 24, 1825 in Monroe County. The Gideon
family is known to be amongst the earliest families settling in Monroe
County (circa 1816) when they arrived in a company of five families with the
Reverend Fredrick Weaver from Russell Valley, AL. Here are some
historical information about Monroe County.
The 1830 Census for
Monroe County seems to confirm Robert's presence there. He is living
next to son-in-law William Spencer, in close proximity to sons
Montgomery, George Cooper, as well as to O. H. Spencer, brother of William Spencer.
All family data in these households match up with what is know about them.
His son John is reputed to have settled in Monroe
County. Another son, Hugh, may have
Family migration continued between the
years 1830 and 1840. Indian Lands to the northwest opened up in the
mid-1830's. By 1837 Robert had settled in Pontotoc County, Mississippi
(formed from the Chickasaw Cession on 8 February 1836): He is listed
on the 1837 State of Mississippi Census in Pontotoc County living near the
following: James N. McClish, William Spencer, Robert Montgomery,
Samuel Spencer, James Gideon, Thomas C. Stuart (order of heads of household
names on page one of the census) and George Cooper (listed on page two of
He is again listed in Pontotoc on the
1840 federal census along with a large portion of
his extended family, including James and Rebecca Jane (Montgomery) Gideon, Annie Battle Montgomery,
Margaret (Montgomery) Spencer,
George and Mary/Polly (Montgomery) Cooper,
and John McFarland (Possible relation to Hugh and Annie Montgomery's
daughter Minerva's husband, Leander McFarland).
By 1850 Robert and Rebecca are found on 1850 Lafayette Co., Mississippi Census living with James and
(Rebecca) Jane (Montgomery) Gideon,
daughter and son-in-law. The Gideon farm was located in that part of
Lafayette County ceded to form Calhoun County in 1852. Land records
show it located about one half mile west of the town of Sarepta.
Robert's occupation is
listed as "Farmer." He died during this year, but was apparently
still alive as of the census date.
Rebecca Coffee's origins are also
unknown except that
she was born in South Carolina. There are several prominent Coffee families in
the Lancaster District. There are no known connections between any of the
families and Rebecca. Her death at age 81 in September 1859 to causes
unknown after a 3 month illness is recorded on the Pontotoc Country Mississippi
Mortality Schedule for 1860.
Links to supplemental discussions about questions related to Robert Montgomery
Settlement of Lancaster County, South Carolina
Children of ROBERT MONTGOMERY and REBECCA COFFEE
JOHN MONTGOMERY, of Cotton Gin Port, Monroe County,
Mississippi; married AGGIE (?).
HUGH MONTGOMERY, b. 1790, South Carolina; d. 1833, Monroe Co.?, Mississippi.
MONTGOMERY, b. June 01, 1804, South Carolina; d. August 13, 1866, Pontotoc
MONTGOMERY, b. 1808, South Carolina; d. 1870, Calhoun Co., Mississippi.
MONTGOMERY, b. Abt. 1810, South Carolina.
MONTGOMERY, b. South Carolina abt 1813; d. Tennessee btw. 1832 and
JANE MONTGOMERY, b. 1815, South Carolina.
1850 Census Lafayette County, Mississippi, page 288, This census confirms
that Robert was born in South Carolina. Lists
SC as his birth state.
1850 Census Lafayette County, Mississippi, page 288, lists South Carolina
as birth state. Living in the home
of James Gideon with: James Gideon, Jane,
Nancy, William, John, Word, James Gideon and Robert Montgomery.
1860 Mortality Schedule, Pontotoc Co., Mississippi.
4. 1837 State of Mississippi Census, Pontotoc
County, transcribed in Mississippi Genealogical Exchange, vol. 25 (1979), p. 29.