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The Wilbourn/Starling Family; Adolphus, Malius, Wyatt

Updated July 23, 2012

I am researching the Wilbourn/Wilbon/Wilburn family from Macon/Terrell County, Georgia. As passed down through oral history, three brothers, Adolphus, Malius and Wyatt were born into slavery on the Wilbourn plantation in Macon County, Georgia. The three brothers, while very young boys, were taken from their natural mother and given as part of the dowry for the daughter of the plantation owner, when her hand was given in marriage to her husband Mr. Whittaker. They were taken to and lived on what is now called Gardner Place in the small rural town of Bronwood, Georgia just outside Dawson. After the Civil War, when they were young men, they returned to Macon County for their mother and brought her to live in Bronwwod, Terrell County, Georgia, where they all resided until their deaths.

I have used three different spellings of the last name, because it is unclear the correct spelling of the last name. It is my hope my research will help answer that question. The 1870 US Census record documents the spelling of the name as "Welborn" (view the document below).

The 1910 (Thirteenth) and 1920 (Fourteenth) US Federal Census Records indicates the census enumerator (the person who took the census) spelled the last name "WILBURN".

Further evidence of the spelling of the Family surname can be found in the Georgia Marriage Index, 1851-1900 for Walker "Wilburn" on the Web Site.

August, 2003 I attended, for the first time, the Wilbon-Rabon Family Reunion held in Dawson, GA. I was fortunate to meet many family members on the Malius side of the family. We toured the plantation (view the photo below) where the brothers were brought when they left Macon County, and the family cemetery where I was able to capture several ancestor grave head stones. The family believes Adolphus is probably buried there, but the grave has no marker so I was unable to locate evidence of his burial. I did finally locate his death certificate and it indicates he is 88 years old; he died November 28, 1922 in Sumter County, Georgia, and it verifies he is buried in the Shiloh Cemetery in Bronwood, GA.

Anyone looking for death information for an ancestor maybe able to find them at the web page I have added many family members on this web site.

The Wilbourn/Stalling family has not had a family reunion since 2006. A cruise was planned a couple years ago, but was later cancelled because of low responses. I believe Roberta (Bert) Richardson/Lovett is working on someting for 2011. If and when I get confirmation on the status, I will post the information.

Your help is still needed with data collection, so please send your family information to me via my e-mail address listed on this page.

Please come back and visit soon, and share this Web Site with other family members.

Aileen D. Counts
Detroit, MI United States

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Family Photos

  • Adolphus Wilbourn and wife Alice Mae Wimberly (35 KB)
    Discovered through the 1910 US Federal Census Records, Adolphus age is recorded at 63, born 3-1845. Alice Mae's age is recorded at 56, born 1-1849. In the 1920 US Federal Census Records his age is recorded at 70 and living alone. Assumed he was born sometime in 1847 or 1850.
  • Leola Wilbourn - Davis (4 KB)
    Leola Wilbourn (1-23-1893 until 10-13-1940), wife of Whitely Davis, daughter of Walker Wilbourn and Ella Wilbourn (Brown), granddaughter of Adolphus Wilbourn and Alice Mae Wilbourn (Wimberly), and my grandmother. Date of photo unknown at this time.
  • Walker Wilbourn and wife Ella Brown (64 KB)
    Walker (11-28-1868), son of Adolphus, and Ella Brown (4-11-1867) were married November 2, 1890 in Terrell County, Georgia. Source, Georgia Marriage Index, 1851-1900 on the Ancestry.Com Web Site. Note: The name is spelled Wilburn. Date of photo not known.
  • Family Reunion Picnic - Detroit July, 2000 (25 KB)
    Photo taken Saturday, July 22, 2000 at the Family Reunion Picnic at Shepard Park, Oak Park, Michigan.
  • Alma Wilbourn (103 KB)
    Alma Wilbourn, the daughter of Walker and Ella Wilbourn, was born May 14, 1894 in Terrell County, Georgia
  • Aileen Delores Counts (28 KB)
    Photo Taken 1996. Hello, glad to meet you. I am the author of our Family Home Page, and the 3rd great-granddaughter of Adolphus and Alice Mae and 2nd granddaughter of Walker and Ella. Thought you might want to put a face with the name. Hope to see you all at the Michigan Reunion starting July 20, 2000.
  • Doc Davis (8 KB)
    Doc Davis is the son of Whitely and Leola Davis, was born January 23, 1920 in Poulan, Georgia, died April 2, 2004, in Providence Hospital Southfield, Michigan.
  • The Plantation in Bronwood, GA still stands. (179 KB)
    The house on the plantation (Gardner Place) where the three brothers were brought from Macon, GA still stands. The photo was taken August 2, 2003; on a tour of the plantation while attending the Wilbon-Rabon reunion.
  • Alice Mae Wilbourn-Lewis (13 KB)
    Alice Mae Wilbourn-Lewis, the daughter of Walker and Ella Wilbourn, was born May 5, 1907 in Terrell County Georgia and died December 10, 1992 in Detroit, Michigan. Date of photo is not know at this time.
  • Detroit News Article - Wednesday, April 5, 2000 (215 KB)
    This is a clipping I found in the Detroit Newspaper Wednesday, April 5, 2000. The caption reads "Howard University geneticists can locate region of Africa with blood analysis". Thought I should share this with the family.
  • Dublin and Carrie Wilbon (16 KB)
    Dublin, son of Adolphus and Alice Mae Wilbourn. This photo was taken in his later years with his second wife, Carrie. The date of this photo is unknown.
  • Downtown Bronwood, Georgia - 2003 (132 KB)
    Photo taken August 5, 2003, after the Wilbon-Rabon Family Reunion. This is a view of downtown Bronwood. All the shops are closed, and it appears there have been few changes and there is no litter.
  • Horace Wilbon (6 KB)
    Horace Wilbon, son of Malius and Emmaline Wilbon (grandfather of Mary Emma Coleman-Harris). Date photo was taken is unknown.
  • Copy of 1870 U.S. Federal Census Record (56 KB)
    This is a copy of the 1870 U.S. Federal Census Record that documents Phillis Wilbourn, Adolphus and his family, Malius, Wyatt, and the other children of Phillis.
  • Waneda Davis-Cash and husband Charles Cash (8 KB)
    Waneda Davis-Cash, daughter of Leola and Whitely Davis, was born March 25, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, and died June 3, 1999 in Detroit, Michigan. Her husband, Charles still resides in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Adolphus Wilburn Death Certificate (54 KB)
    This document was found on the Georgia Virtual Vault web site; and his name is spelled Dophus Wilborn.
  • 1870 U.S. Federal Cesus Record -Full Page (1224 KB)
    1870 U.S. Federal Census Record - Full Page
  • Sarah Lee Davis-Solomon (214 KB)
    Sarah Lee Davis-Solomon, daughter of Leola and Whitely Davis, was born January 29, 1917 in Poulan, Georgia, and died December 9, 1988 in Detroit, Michigan. Her husband, Dan Solomon, preceded her in death November 6, 1971.
  • William Starling husband of Georgia Wilbourn (15 KB)
    Husband of Georgia Wilbourn. Georgia was the daughter of Adolphus Wilbourn. Georgia was born March, 1883. There is no photo available of Georgia at this time. Perhaps someone in the family can provide a photo of her. Date of this photo not available at this time.
  • Arriella Starling Richardson (9 KB)
    2012 oldest living Wilbourn descendant; born May 22, 1912 - 100 years old.
  • 2003 Wilbon/Rabon Reunion at Shiloh Baptist Church (30 KB)
    These are the more senior members of the family in attendance at the 2003 Wilbon-Rabon Family Reunion; photo taken Sunday, August 3, 2003.
  • Dorothy Fairchild (98 KB)
    Dorothy Fairchild, daughter of Mattie and Bill Fairchild, was born April 22, 1925, and died September, 1940 at the early age of 15. Date of photo is unknown.
  • 2003 Wilbon/Rabon Reunion at Shiloh Baptist Church (31 KB)
    These are the younger family members at the Wilbon-Rabon 2003 Family Reunion; photo taken Sunday, August 3, 2003.
  • Whitely Davis (7 KB)
    Born in Florida May 18, 1891, died May 17, 1985; husband of Leola Wilbourn; and my grandfather. Photo taken May 25, 1974 at 22007 Sharkey Drive, Clinton Township, MI
  • Mattie Wilbourn (13 KB)
    Mattie Wilbourn 12-27-1895 until 11-4-1957; daughter of Walker and Ella Wilbourn. Photo of her husband, Bill Fairchild is not available at this time. Date of photo not available at this time.
  • Dublin Wilbourn (10 KB)
    Dublin Wilbourn, son of Adolphus and Alice Mae Wilbourn, was born April 1876 in Terrell County, Georgia. He married Anna who was born in 1881; date of this photo is unknown.
  • John Wesley Davis (3 KB)
    John was born January 11, 1919; died August 31, 1989, and is the son of Whitely and Leola Davis. Photo taken June, 1975.
  • Della Wilbourn-Williams (5 KB)
    Della (Wilbourn) Williams, oldest daughter of Walker R. and Ella (Brown) Wilbourn was born August 14, 1891 and died April 16, 1919. Her married name was Williams, but the family does not remember her husband's first name. This picture was painted, but the date it was painted is not known.

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