I am having the same problem with my surname beyond my grandfather, Wesley Mussel White. Rumors say that it was shortened from Musselwhite to White many generations ago.My grandfather, Wesley Mussel White, was born circa 1885 and was allegedly from the area of Anniston, AL.He married Armanda Jane Meadows, born in 1888 from Carrol Co., GA, and they had 11 children.Four of the 5 sons had the middle name of Mussel.
My grandparents moved to Louisiana later on, and most of their 11 children (if not all of them) were born at Choudrant, LA which is in Lincoln Parish, just a few miles from Ruston. I remember faintly as a child going to visit Aunt Molly in Choudrant or Calhoun, who I believe was my grandfather's relative.
Could Wesley Mussel White be a relative of John M. White, maybe a son or nephew?