Ancestor Stories

Frierson Family

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Katherine Frierson Force Martin (1845-1915)

Our Frierson family journey begins with Katherine (Kate) Ogie Frierson. Katherine was the daughter of Samuel Gordon Frierson (1805 - 1857) and his wife, Frances W. Harding (1813-1890).

Kate Frierson Martin
Katie Frierson Force Martin
William Edward Martin
William Edward Martin

Katherine's Timeline:

  • 14 Jan 1845 - Born in Maury County, TN to Samuel Gordon Frierson and Frances W. Harding Frierson
  • 19 Dec 1965 - Married 1st husband, Henry Clay Force in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
  • 1866 - Daughter, Mary Elizabeth Force born
  • 1868 - Son, Peter Evans Force (d.1930) born
  • 1870 - Daughter, Ella Force Barnett (d. 1943) born
  • 1871 - Daughter, Mary Elizabeth Force died
  • 1873 - Son, Manning Caumont Force born
  • 7 Feb 1874 - Husband, Henry Clay Force died
  • Henry Clay Force buried at Carthage Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Hale County, Alabama
  • Sep 1879 - Married 2nd husband Willam Edward Martin in Tennessee Valley
  • 1880 - Daughter, Kate Virginia (Jenny) Martin born in Gadsen, Etowah County, Alabama
  • 1882 - Daughter, Rose Lee Martin born in Gadsen, Etowah County, Alabama
  • 1884 - Son, Willam Marvin Martin born in Gadsen, Etowah County, Alabama
  • 1900 - Enumerated in federal census in Oxford, Sumter County, Florida
  • 1908 - 2nd husband William Edward Martin died, Florida death certificate not found
  • 1915 - Katie death, location unknown

The Frierson family seems to have a great deal of historical information to draw from. They were in some influencial circles. Kate's 1st husband Henry Clay Force is well documented in the pages of history but her 2nd husband, my ancestor, Willam Edward Martin, seems to be a mystery. Additionally, Kate and her 2nd family moved to Florida. William, as the story goes, was a farmer. According to the 1900 census, Katie had 8 children but only 6 were still living in 1900. That leaves one unaccounted for. A letter from Peter Evans Force (1868-1930) to Uncle Manning F. Force August 23 clearly gives an opinion of the type of man, Mr. Martin proved to be.

Henry Clay Force was from a rather famous and important family. His brother, Union Civil War General Manning Force, left behind a treasure of manuscripts that are housed as the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio. Those letters document the 4 known children of Katherine and Henry Clay Force. I suspect that she must have also lost a Martin child that may forever be forgotten.

Finding census records on Katherine as proven to be challenging as well.

A copy of the death certificate for a Katherine Martin who died Dec 8, 1915 in Desoto County, Florida has proved to be another Katherine Martin and not my family member. Both Katherine and her 2nd husband's burial location remain a mystery to me. The last known location for either was in 1900 Census in Oxford, Florida.

Census Records

1850 Tuscaloosa County, Alabama State Census

S. Gordon Frierson

White males under 21 - 3
White males over 21 - 2
White males between 18 and 45 - 1
White males over 45 - 2
White females under 21 - 7
White females over 21 - 8

Number of slaves - 16
Total inhabitants - 32

1860 Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

Francis Beebee, age 49, hotel keeper, value of real estate $10,000, born VA
empty house
Catherine Friersen, age 15, born Alabama
Margerate, age 12, born Alabama
Samuel, age 6, born Alabama
Jeslein, age 3, born Alabama

1870 likely in Hale County, Alabama

1880 likely in Etawah County, Alabama

1900 Oxford, Sumter County, Florida

William Martin, age 67, born South Carolina, marriage year 1880, father born SC, mother born SC, farmer
Katie, wife, born Jan 1845, 8 children born, 6 living, born Alabama, father born SC, mother born Virginia
[Force] Manning, son, born July 1875, age 24, born Alabama, father born SC, mother born Alabama
Martin, William, son, born Dec 1884, age 15, born Alabama, father born SC, mother born Alabama
Force, Harley, grandson, born Dec 1897, age 2, born Alabama, father born Alabama, mother born Alabama

Oddly, they live next door to Harmon Eli Martin. The Harmon Eli Martin family is well documented but, so far, I cannot tie the two families together.

Both William and Katherine's final resting place remain a mystery to me.