Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tale of the Tidwell's: The Descendants Part II

I love long weekends don't you? Long weekends allow me time to really reflect on the ancestors. This Memorial Day weekend I've been continuing my search for my paternal grandmother's family the Tidwell family from Fordyce, Arkansas. Grandma Naomi would be proud, as she was the first of her immediate family to pass prematurely. Although, I didn't know grandma, this work makes me feel closer to her.

The Tidwell family, were found in Warren, Arkansas in 1870 the first census that African Americans were recorded by name. The move to Fordyce, seems to have begun with the acquisition of more land by Andrew Tidwell, and shortly after Sarah Tidwell, the first daughter of Andrew and Evaline married John Rowell, then the family changed from a family of subsistence Farmer's to working in the sawmill industry. Some, became teachers, and Clergymen esteemed professions for their day.

Andrew J. Tidwell, acquired this additional land grant and dedicated it to build a Church in Camden, Arkansas, called Zion Hill Baptist Church. Please read: The Tale of the Tidwell's click here to find more about it. By 1890 he owned 160 acres. His son Reverend, James Edgar Tidwell would serve this church from1937-1951.


Andrew and Evaline Tidwell had ten children together. We recently discussed the first five children in Tale of the Tidwell's of Fordyce: The Descendants Part I, and now I want to examine the next five children of my great great grandparents Andrew and Evaline.

Children of Andrew Jackson Tidwell and Evaline Faulkner

In 1870, and 1880 Andrew Tidwell and his growing family lived in Clay, Bradley Arkansas also called Warren Arkansas where most of his children were born. On 10 Dec 1877 he purchased his first land grant, utilizing The Homestead Act of 1862 click here.   By 1900 he owned this land. In 1902, he purchased more and dedicated ground to build a church, by then he lived in Fordyce, Arkansas with his wife and four of his children. Here are the next five descendants of Andrew and Evaline Tidwell:

Marsilla Tidwell female, married Monroe Green

Monroe Green born about 1872 was the son of Jack Green, he worked as a servant in 1900 Warren Arkansas, in the household of William F Barry and Mary J Barry. At the age of twenty-two when my second great Aunt Marsilla born 1875 was nineteen on the 14 day of Oct 1894 they married in Bradley, Arkansas. I would love to know more about them, did they stay together, did they have children together, and where did they end up? My one 'Green' family surname match with ancestry from Arkansas, a DNA cousin tested on AncestryDNA has not yet published a tree.

Arkansas Marriages 1837-1944 database with images Family Search (

Millard Tidwell my great grandfather married Carrie Elliott

My great grandfather Millard Benjamin Tidwell was born 21 January 1879 in Warren Bradley Arkansas. In 1900 at the age of twenty one he still resided with his parents, Andrew, enumerated as Tony in this particular census, and Evaline Tidwell. Millard Tidwell, married my great grandmother Carrie Elliott, on 22 November 1908 at the age of twenty-eight when she was just eighteen, born 18 Oct 1891.  A cousin Joe Bragg was the witness. Carrie, was born in Cass,Texas the daughter of Joseph "Joe" Elliott and Elizabeth "Bette" Haskins living in Camden, Ouachita Arkansas. Millard would find employment at the Arkansas Lumbar Company at the same place in which he died in 1926. They would have six children:
Arkansas County Marriages 1837-1957 database with images Family search (

  1. Thelma Tidwell born 4 Aug 1909 married Willie Herad Jackson, together they would have eight children she passed 14 January 1993.
  2. Naomi Tidwell born 1912 (my grandma) married Roosevelt Bass Sr. born 1 September 1905 in Union, Louisiana together they would have three children she passed in 1933. He in August 1969 Los Angeles.
  3. Vincent Tidwell married first Lena born 1917 (LNU) and second Ethel Kearney he passed in 12 April 1985 in Texas.
  4. Eilene Tidwell 9 Sept 1919 married first Alvin L Moore and second Sherman Vaughn she died 26 December 2004 in Kansas.
  5. Celestine Tidwell born 31 December 1922 she married Johnnie Robinson together they had three children she passed 22 April 2003 in Imperial, California.
  6. Oliver Tidwell born 3 August 1924 married Pauline (living) died 21 August 2015 they had one son.
My great grandparents Millard and Carrie Tidwell stayed on in Warren, Arkansas until 1920, and this 1920 census, and her marriage certificate is the only evidence that I have left of the life of my grandmother Naomi Tidwell. She is why I do this now, and will continue to speak her name: Naomi!

Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Pennington, Bradley, Arkansas; Roll: T625_55; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 24; Image: 174

Columbus Tidwell born 9 February1882-died after 1940 in Detroit, Michigan

Columbus Tidwell would marry several times. The first marriage was to Jennie Brantley, one child was reportedly produced from this union, although the descendant who DNA tested doesn't match my dad and me. His second marriage also produced a child. He married Mary Anderson and together they had one child a girl, and possibly a second. Columbus Tidwell moved to Detroit, Michigan and in 1930. He lived on Dubois Street and was employed at General Motors.  By 1940, he worked for the Government digging ditches. He married a third time to Annie Lee (in the1940 census) or EmLee (in 1930 census), most likely the same person born about 1893. More is yet to be known about Columbus. Instead of his marriage certificates, I've decided to post his draft registration card. I wonder who Mira Barlow was the person recorded as the one person who would always know where he lived?

U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards 1942, Michigan

Brunette Tidwell, daughter

Brunette Tidwell born February 1883, the daughter of Andrew and Evaline Tidwell married first Henry Williams and second John Brantley. At the age of eighteen on 13 July 1901 she married Henry Williams, in Fordyce Arkansas. He was twenty-three. On 3 Oct of 1906 in Fordyce, Arkansas she would marry John Brantley born 1882 in Louisiana. John was employed as a Trucker at the Arkansas Saw Mill. Brunette died sometime after 1940. This union would produce two children:

Children of Brunette Tidwell and John Brantley

  1.  Annie Brantley born 1908
  2. Connie Brantley born 1913-2001 married a Shepard!
More on the Brantley branches as more becomes available...

Curley Evelyn (Kerlie) Tidwell,  female born April 1886

Finally, Curley Tidwell was the last born daughter of Andrew and Evaline Tidwell, she would marry three times. In 1920, she would be found in Fordyce, Arkansas on Bragg Street. She first married Robert Walsh on 23 February 1908. Second, she would marry Raymond Davis, on 7 July 1936 both marriages in Fordyce, Arkansas. In the 1920 census she would be enumerated as the wife of Robert Walsh and living in her household would be her niece, Ocie Jones her neice's husband John Jones and their two children, Clyde and Clarence Jones and Ocie's husband's brother, George Jones who would later marry Susie Tidwell. Robert Walsh owned his home, he was employed as a laborer at the Stave Mill. No known children were born of either of these two unions. Curley later married Robert Strong 2 May 1942 while living in Memphis Tennessee. She passed away in Memphis, Tennessee sometime after 1940.

Source Citation: Census Year 1920 Census Place Fordyce Dallas Arkansas, Roll: T625_61; Page 27A; Enumeration District 29; Image 121
Arkansas County Marriages 1837-1957 database with images Family search (

That concludes the the Descendants of Andrew and Evaline Tidwell, if you have any questions, or just enjoy this blog please leave a comment in the comment section for more information, the Tale of the Tidwells continues....


  1. I enjoyed reading your post . My relatives also worked at the sawmill.

    1. Thanks Delia. I'm sure that our ancestors must have met.