5/12/14

Pittman Brothers From Paulding and Cobb Counties

Rene Marion Pittman and Joseph Marshall Byrd Pittman were two of the three sons of Ichabod Byrd and Frances Jackson Stone Pittman.  Both were born in Columbia County, Georgia as was their older brother Thomas Augustus and sister Selina Ann. 

As the 'Third Generation' of Pittman Georgians, Thomas, the oldest child's story was featured first...'Father of Fifteen-Husband To Two', and Selina's story...Selina Rides Upon the Wings of Time...told second.  Rene Marion was the second child and Joseph Marshall the fourth and youngest. 

The two brothers lived most of their young years in Gwinnett County with their parents and siblings.  Brother Thomas remained in Gwinnett County for most of his life, and sister Selina stayed close to brother Joseph following her marriage and early death.  All however, stayed in close proximity to three counties in North Georgia...Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding where they owned fertile farm land and raised their families.  
Joseph Marshall Byrd was named after his great grandfather the Reverend Daniel Marshall, and his father Ichabod Byrd.  Records often refer to Joseph as J.M.B. Pittman...such was the listing in the 1864 Census for Reorganizing the Georgia Militia.  Fourteen years earlier in the 1850 Census his name was listed as Joseph M. B. Pittman.  In the Census of 1870, he was listed as Joseph Pittman.  

The name 'Byrd' seems to be isolated to Ichabod and Joseph.  As unusual as 'Byrd' is, it does not appear in the fraternal Pittman ancestors dating back to the late 1600's and the Colonial Pittmans.   'Byrd' is not found in any of the female ancestors given or surnames dating back to the same period. 

Joseph married at age 23 to his first cousin Elizabeth Harriet Stone in 1846.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Washington W. Stone, the brother of Joseph's mother Frances.  Four years later in the 1850 Census Joseph is listed as a Farmer in Cobb County with real estate valued at $5000.  He and Elizabeth have one daughter, Eugenia born in 1847.  Living on adjoining land to the Pittman farm is sister Selina and husband Drury Dunn and their eight children. 

In nearby Coxes District, Cobb County, brother Rene Marion and his family of wife Mary Ann Howell and five children are listed in the 1950 Census.  The Census is not as complete as in Joseph's District and does not state the value of Rene's property, but it is assumed from earlier records that both have been heir to their father's property which had been handed down through the generations from a Colonial Land Grant.

Over the next ten to twelve years with the onslaught of the Civil War much if not all of the Pittman land holdings in Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding counties was lost.  Joseph and Elizabeth appear in the 1864 Census for the Reorganizing of the Georgia Militia as living in Paulding County.  The last of their twelve children were born in 1865 with twin boys, George Irwin and William Hansel.   Of the twelve children, the twins and one sister Mary Alice Bella 'Bell' lived to adulthood.

In the 1870 Census Joseph (47), Elizabeth (47), Mary 'Bell' (19), Hayes (12) George and William (5) were still living in Paulding County.  His occupation was listed as a farmer with his real estate valued at $500 and personal property of $100.  Three years later in 1873 Hayes died at age 15.  After 1873 there are no 'confirmed'  records of Joseph, Elizabeth, Mary 'Bell' or the twins until the 1900 Census for George Irwin and William Hansel who were 34 years old. 

Between the two confirmed records, a gap of over 25 years, there are sketchy, hearsay, and unconfirmed Census records as well as the Howell Family Cemetery headstones to piece together the lives of Joseph and Elizabeth.

It is known that Mary 'Bell' married a Thomas Clay probably during the early 1880's.  In the 1900 Census she is listed with brother George Irwin as Bell Clay, 45 yrs., single and no children.

In the 1880 Census, there is one Joseph Pittman (57) found in neighboring Fulton County in a town called Bulkhead.  If it is Joseph M.B. Pittman, the indication would be that he left his wife and fifteen year old twin sons in Paulding County while he supplemented his income as a traveling 'Peddler'.  Likely, Joseph, Elizabeth and twin sons were either missed during the Census taking or were living with daughter Mary 'Bell' Clay...no records for her and husband Thomas have been found.  Due to the destruction of the 1890 US Census by fire at it's headquarters in Washington D.C., there are no records for anyone until the 1900 Census. 

Joseph Marsha lByrd Pittman HdStn
Joseph Marshall Byrd Pittman died March 14, 1890 before the 1890 Census was taken in April-June.  However, his wife, twin sons and daughter Bell Clay would have been enumerated and some record of their whereabout known had the 1890 Census had not be destroyed in fire.

Elizabeth Harriet Stone died on June 6, 1893 and was buried beside her husband in the Howell Family Cemetery.  It is assumed that they are buried here as an available gravesite from the wife of Rene Marion, Mary Ann Howell Pittman.  As her fraternal family cemetery, Mary Ann buried her husband Rene Marion in 1873 here.

 It also assumed from the inscriptions on Joseph and Elizabeth's headstones, that the monuments were erected some years after their deaths by their granddaughter Alma Pittman Croft, daughter of twin George Irwin.  George Irwin and his wife are also buried at the Howell Family Cemetery with headstones similar to his parents and with an inscription noting the donation of the stones by Alma Pittman Croft.

William Hansel, twin brother to George died three years before George on February 14, 1940, in Gwinnett County and is buried there.  Mary Alice Bellah 'Bell' who was listed with brother George Irwin in the 1900 Census died on December 30, 1911, at age 60, and although no records of death or burial have been found, it is assumed that she was still a member of brother George's household. 

All in all, it appears that Joseph Marshall Byrd and his first cousin wife Elizabeth Harriet Stone began their lives together in times of prosperity.  With the loss of seven children some of whom died at birth and others as toddlers or teens, the following years were filled with tradgedy and hardship.  Although they survived the Civil War, their family farms and many relatives did not. Their descendents through twins George and Willliam for the most part, remained in Georgia in and around the three counties of their parents and grandparents....Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding.
Please refer to the FIND A GRAVE Link List on the Sidebar for
Memorials and more information for the Pittman Ancestors named in this post.

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