Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Covington - Porter Connection

I would like to thank Duncan C. Covington, who has roots in Attala County, for being kind enough to share information with me about how the Porter family (my paternal grandmother's family) and his Covington family are connected. This is how the story goes:

Henry W. Covington
According to Duncan, Elijah Covington (1791-1845) was born in Virginia and married Elizabeth Carver (1797-1836), the daughter of a Hessian soldier from North Carolina. They were married in 1817 in Freeport, Harrison County, Ohio. Elijah and Elizabeth Covington had 8 children, including Henry W. Covington, who was born January 31, 1832 in Harrison County, Ohio. Henry's mother died in 1836, and Henry lived with aunts and uncles until about 1850, when he went on a flatboat down the Ohio River and Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana. Henry decided to return to Ohio, but as he was traveling up the Natchez Trace, he caught Yellow Fever, and did not return as he had planned. According to the U. S. Census of 1860, Henry W. Covington was in Yazoo City, Mississippi. It was in Yazoo City that Henry later met Laura Ellen Porter, daughter of Samuel Porter and Mary Jane Middleton Porter.

The Samuel Porter Family
Samuel Porter, was b. circa 1797 in South Carolina and married Mary Jane Middleton, b. circa 1805, on May 17, 1825 in Franklin County, Mississippi. Samuel and Mary had several children, including James M. Porter (1832-1885) and Laura Ellen Porter (1840-1864). Samuel was a planter and grew cotton on Section 4, Township 12 North, Range 4 East, in Attala County, Mississippi. This is the section that is just north of Attala County Section 9, where the old J. J. Porter home was located. What remained of the old house, which was built out of cypress, was torn down in the late 1950's. J. J. Porter was my paternal great-grandfather, and some of my family, including me, have books that we took from the old house before it was torn down. One of my valued possessions is a Latin Book that was used by my paternal grandmother, Lelia Porter Branch, which has written inside the cover, "Lelia Porter's Book. Midway School." Lelia Porter was the daughter of J. J. Porter and his wife, Margaret Susanna Meriweather Porter.

The Trip to Yazoo City, Mississippi
Family information passed down to Duncan over the years told how Samuel raised cotton on his land, and how he took the cotton crop each fall on his annual trip to sell it at the Cotton Market in Yazoo City, Mississippi. According to what Duncan has been told, Samuel also took his wife and his children on the trip so the entire family could shop for personal and household goods and farm supplies after the cotton was sold. Since the trip from Attala County, near Goodman, could take about two weeks during that time, the story says that Samuel and his family took along livestock for food. The return trip included carrying along all the items purchased while in Yazoo City. It was on one of these trips to Yazoo City, Mississippi, that Samuel and Mary Porter's daughter, Laura, met Henry Covington, her future husband.

William R. Covington, Guardian
When Samuel Porter died, Laura Porter was 20 years old, and William R. Covington was appointed her guardian.

Henry W. Covington and Laura Porter Covington
Laura Porter and Henry Covington were married on November 1, 1860 in Canton, the County Seat of Madison County, Mississippi. Laura and Henry had a daughter, Lulu Ellen Covington (August 15, 1863-February 12, 1925). Duncan has been unable to find how William R. Covington, Laura Porter's Guardian, was related to Henry W. Covington. He has been told by some sources that William R. Covington may have been related to another Covington family who lived in Canton, Mississippi at the time, and who had migrated to Madison County, Mississippi from Bowling Green, Kentucky.

James M. Porter
My own lineage is through James M. Porter, son of Samuel and Mary Middleton Porter.

Henry W. Covington and Amanda Fulton Covington
Duncan Covington's lineage is through Henry W. Covington and his second wife, Amanda Fulton. Amanda was the daughter of Duncan Fulton, for whom Duncan Covington was named.

1 comment:

  1. Janice, I was captured until the end. I read the name of Laura's guardian and said "now, wait a minute. I thought Henry was alone when he traveled down the Mississippi." At least it appeared that he was alone. Great narrative about yours and Duncan Covington's connection.