This narrative of Abraham Box and his family is possible due to the contributions of many genealogists.Verna Woods Stone and I began cooperative efforts to resolve what wasperceived as mistakes in our family histories as presented in the “The Box Book with McElroy and Floyd” compiled and published in1975 by Ophelia Richardson Wade.The corrections of the mistakes we found should not be taken as disparaging the efforts of Mrs. Wade and her cooperators as their book still stands as a monumental compilation of Box family records.However, the digitalization of genealogical records and the publishing of many indexes of county records has made many more records available.Verna and I traded many e-mails and talked about genealogical puzzles for hours by phone and incorporated the research of too many researchers to name here.However, there are some that I must acknowledge because of their contributions at critical times that pointed the way to the door through many of the so-called “brick walls.”Joyce Pruhs, Julie Wills, Beth Streu and Jan Wagner were among the most prominent of these researchers.Jackie Peters who participated in our e-mails and on-line and library research had an uncanny knack for picking up on association of names that often resulted in major advances in our research.What is presented in this narrative is our interpretation of the documentation that is available.The documentation is incomplete and we expect there will be corrections in the family story as presented.We will count those as progress in the Box family research.
Abraham “Abram” Box was born to John Box and his wife, Rachel, in South Carolina between 1760 and 1770.He was listed in the Will of John Box dated Nov 22, 1815.The Will also named Abraham’s living brothers at that time as Shadrack, Robert, and Benjamin Box and living sisters as Molly Box South, Rachel Box Banks, and Jemima Box Sneed.The naming of grandchildren in the Will was an indication that a brother, John Box, Jr., and an unnamed sister who had married a Williamson were deceased.
The first documentation of Abraham Box was on a deed in Laurens County, South Carolina dated Jun 10, 1788, in which Abraham Box bought 114 acres on Reedy River from Samuel Neighbors for 100 pounds sterling.This property bordered on John Box (his father) and Samuel Neighbors' land.His wife, Catherine Lindley, is named in Lindley genealogy and is confirmed by dower rights in several land deeds and naming patterns.There are no documents that specifically names his children.The children associated with him are those based on family trees posted on Ancestry and which are consistent with documentation.
In the 1790 Census of Laurens Co. SC, the household of “Absolom” Box, presumed to be the household of Abraham Box, was enumerated adjacent to the household of John Box, father of Abraham Box.The household included Abraham, a wife (Catherine Lindley), one daughter (Rebecca Box Jones, recorded as born in 1782 in the 1850 census of Pontotoc Co., MS) and one son (Robert Box, recorded as born in 1785 in the 1850 census of Tippah Co., MS).
On Apr 20, 1791, Abraham Box made a deposition before Joseph Downs, J.P. of Laurens County, South Carolina relative to ownership of land on Reedy River by his father, John Box, and his uncle, Henry Box, that also mentions David Alexander who was also associated with Henry Box in a Washington County, North Carolina land transaction in 1786.
Shortly after the census of 1790, Abraham Box was involved in a number of land transactions.On Nov 11, 1791, he was issued a plat for 210 acres on Big Hollow Branch on Reedy River that was bordered by Isaac Huger, Samuel Putt, and Benjamin Townsend.The Isaac Huger listed as a neighbor was apparently General Isaac Huger of Revolutionary War fame although his biography lists him as a resident of Charleston. On Sept 1, 1794, Abraham Box was issued another plat for 50 acres on Reedy River.And in 1796, "William Hall of Charleston, oldest son and heir of Aquilla Hall, deceased," sold 100 acres on Reedy River identified as "original grant to James Abercrombie" to Abraham Box.Then on Mar 3, 1796, Abraham Box and his wife, Catherine, sold to Thomas Kelly the 210 acres on Reedy River that bordered General Isaac Huger and James Dorrough, Samual Potts and Benjamin Townsend.
In the 1800 Census of Laurens Co. SC, Abraham Box was enumerated in the area known today as Princeton, South Carolina, along with his father, John Box, his brother, Benjamin Box, and John Jones and his son, Andrew Jones.Abraham was listed as a male born between 1756 and 1774, his wife (Catherine) was also born between 1756 and 1774.Their household had one daughter (Mary, born in 1798 as recorded in 1850 census of Humphrey Co., TN, as the presumed wife of William Spicer; (she had first married Elisha Stewart) listed as born between 1790 and 1800; one son ( James who was not listed in their household in 1790) listed as born between 1775-1784; one son (Robert, born in 1785) listed as born between 1785 and 1790; and one son (John, born in 1796 as recorded in the 1850 census of Tippah Co., MS) listed as born between 1790 and 1800.There were also 4 slaves listed in Abraham’s household.
Also in the 1800 census of Laurens Co., SC, Andrew Jones was enumerated beside John Jones, presumed to be his father, and Andrew’s household includes a woman presumed to be his wife, Rebecca Box, age 16-25, and a male under 10 whose name is unknown.It is believed Rebecca Box was a daughter of Abraham Box and granddaughter of John Box and the Andrew Jones' household is on the same census page as those of John Box and his son, Benjamin Box.
In the early 1800's it seemed Abraham Box and his family were selling property in preparation for a westward migration.On 27 Oct 1803, Abraham and his wife Catherine Box sold to David Smith (who was married to Rebecca Lindley, a sister of Catherine Lindley) of Pendleton Dist, for $450 sterling 100 acres on Reedy River that was “part of an original grant to James Abercrombie, which was conveyed to Acquilla Hall; then by Wm. Hall, son and heir-at-law of said Acquilla Hall, deceased, to said A. Box.”
On 21 Feb 1804, his presumed son-in-law, Andrew Jones, sold property on Horse Creek by a deed that was witnessed by Abraham Box and on 7 Sept 1805, Andrew Jones sold property on Horse Creek by deed that was witnessed by Shadrack Box, brother of Abraham Box, in which Rebecca Jones waived her dower rights by making her mark "X."
On Feb 8, 1806, in Laurens Co., SC, Abraham Box was one of six men who signed a Certificate of Freedom issued by Arthur Taylor to Sam, a negro man, 36 or 37 years old, 5 ft. 10 in. tall, who was a blacksmith.It seems Arthur Taylor also had to put up a security bond of $500 with Wm. Arnold, J. P.The Certificate noted Sam was not of bad character, capable of gaining an honest livelihood. The Certificate was witnessed by three men in addition to the six who were signees.
On Feb 5, 1808, Abraham Box sold for $174 a tract of 100 acres on Reedy R. and also a cotton machine.And on Jun 2, 1808, Abraham Box sold to William Young land that was part of 3,000-acre grant to Shubrick.His wife, Catherine, waived her dower rights.And on Nov 22, 1808, Abraham Box sold to Andrew McKnight, Sr. for $800, 400 acres that bordered on Blackstock on the North side of Reedy River and his wife, Catherine, waived her dower rights.
On Feb 7, 1809, Abraham Box sold a tract of 110 acres for $220 described as "where I now live on the southside of Reedy River near the 'tumbling shoals' in said district" and bounded on east by said river; west by Samuel Neighbors, north by William Arnold, and south by John Borland's land.The selling of a cotton machine (cotton gin?) coupled with the slaves owned by Abraham Box suggests he was an early cotton farmer.
The records show that a portion of Abraham’s family was in Kentucky in 1810.The 1810 Census of Livingston Co., KY, shows Andrew Jones, son-in-law of Abraham Box, enumerated on one side of Robert Box, son of Abraham Box, and Asa Mitchell, brother-in-law of Robert Box, on the other side of Robert Box.
Abraham Box was not found in any 1810 census. The 1812 Tax Roll of Franklin Co., TN, listed Abraham Box along with 2 Robert Boxes, 2 John Boxes, 2 Jacob Boxes, Stephen Box and Edward Box.The records relating to the 1812 Tax List indicate some persons were counted twice.There is no documentation that indicates the concentration of the Box family was anything other than coincidence as only land records for Robert Box who married Jane Goodwin and Stephen Box have been found.
Abraham subsequently moved on to Hickman Co., TN. Abraham Box purchased land, 180 acres on both sides of Tumbling Creek, a fork of Duck River, for $700 in Hickman Co., TN, as shown in a deed dated Dec 22, 1813.
In the 1820 census of Hickman Co., TN, Abram (Abraham) Box born before 1775 and his wife (Catherine) also born before 1775 were enumerated with a son (Lindley Box) born between 1794 and 1804 and 3 slaves. Nathaniel Simpson and wife, who were the parents of Martha Box, daughter-in-law of Abraham and Catherine and wife of John Box, lived a few doors from Abraham Box.Also on the same page of the 1820 Hickman Co. census was a James Box, presumed to be a son of Abraham and Catherine Box.His household consisted of a male born between 1775 and 1794, a presumed wife born between 1775 and 1794, four young females born between 1810 and 1820, and one female born between 1800 and 1810.
In the 1820 Census of Perry Co., TN, adjoining Hickman Co., Robert Box, believed to be the son of Abraham Box, was enumerated in a household as a male born between 1775 and 1794 along with his wife, (Patsy Mitchell), born between 1775 and 1794; with one male born before 1810 and three females born before 1810 and 1 female born between 1795 and 1810.John Box, also believed to be the son of Abraham Box, was enumerated in a household as a male born between 1794 and 1802 with his wife (Martha Simpson) born between 1794 and 1804 with their two daughters born between 1810 and 1820.
Ten years later in the 1830 Census, the household of Abram (Abraham ) Box was in Hickman Co., TN, and consisted of him and his wife, (Catherine), both born between 1760 and 1770 and 4 slaves. Their daughter Mary “Polly” Stewart, widow of Elisha Stewart, was listed on the adjacent census page.Abraham’s son, John Box, was in neighboring Dickson Co., TN, and was enumerated on the same page as his father-in-law, Nathaniel Simpson.Robert Box, Lindley Box, and Rebecca Box Jones were enumerated in Hardeman Co., TN.A James Box that could match the age of the presumed son of Abraham was not found in 1830.
Tennessee Land Grant Index records show that Abraham Box and John Box received consecutively numbered grants in 1831 in Hickman Co., TN.John Box was noted in land deeds in Tippah Co., MS, in 1837 and was in the census of Tippah Co., MS, in 1840 and 1850 along with his brother, Robert Box.
No further documentation of Abraham or his wife, Catherine Lindley Box, was found after 1831, however, Abraham and Catherine Box left a heritage of six known children and at least 38 grandchildren:
Rebecca Box, born 1782, married Andrew Jones and had thirteen children and was last enumerated in the 1860 census of Pike Co., AR;
Robert Box, born 1785, married Patsy Mitchell and had seven children and was last enumerated in the 1850 census of Tippah Co., MS;
James Box (born between 1775 and 1784 in the 1800 census) was last enumerated in the 1820 census of Hickman Co., TN, as a male 26-45 (1775-1795), married ??with 6 children.
John Box, born 1796, married Martha Simpson and had four children and was last enumerated in the 1860 census of Stewart Co., TN;
Mary “Polly” Box, born 1798, married Elisha Stewart and had 4 children, married William Spicer and was last enumerated in the 1860 census of Humphrey Co., TN.
Lindley Box, born 1802, married Rebecca Steele and had four children and was last enumerated in the 1840 census of Humphrey Co., TN.