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View Tree for Jonathan Benjamin MasseyJonathan Benjamin Massey (b. 27 August 1780, d. 21 November 1829)

Jonathan Benjamin Massey (son of John (by hypothesis) Massey and Susannah Massey)1 was born 27 August 1780 in NC1, and died 21 November 1829 in Jefferson Co., Al. b. Green-Massey Cemetery1.

 Includes NotesNotes for Jonathan Benjamin Massey:

Jonathan Benjamin Massey was born 27 August 1780 in North Carolina, and died 21 November 1829 in Jefferson County, Alabama. He married Lauriett Motlow, born 9 June 1791, Greenville County, South Carolina. She was the daughter of John Motlow (1757-1812) and Agnes McElhaney Motlow (1760-1825) The Motlows reared their family on the North Saluda River in Greenville County. After John died, the family moved to Lynchburg, Tennessee. Jonathan Benjamin married in Greenville in 1813.

Jonathan and Lauriett moved to what is now known as Pinson Valley and began raising their family. Jonathan died in 1829 and Lauriett later. Both are buried in the Green-Massey Cemetery near Green Station in Pinson Valley. Neither grave has a marker. In Mary Gordon Duffee’s "Sketches of Alabama" she wrote: "Ten miles northeast of Elyton, upon the Huntsville road, in the midst of a majestic grove of oak trees upon a grassy lawn, surrounded by gardens, orchards and an extensive plantation, stood a neat dwelling-house known far and wide as the hospitable home of one of the loveliest, most refined and honorable families of the valley; for here dwelt Mrs. Laura Massey, a venerable and charming old lady. Without a single exception they were all people of a lofty type of honor, grace of manners, kindliness of heart and untiring friends of the poor; were thrifty and industrious and equally as liberal in the use of their means; indeed, to be once a guest at their home was to cherish ever afterwards the sweetest recollections of such a sojourn. It was an old-time typical southern family in an old time home, with many well-fed, happy slaves, and well-tilled acres to maintain them. The men were manly, brave and educated; the girls gentle and modest, the mother just such a dear, sweet old soul as we love to meet and go to for counsel and comfort."

Their oldest son was General John B. Massey born 8 January 1814 and was later married to Catherine E. Green on 17 January 1858. She was the daughter of George L. Green. Moses Kelly served as Brigadier General of the Alabama State Militia until 1853, when he resigned his commission. John was elected by receiving the greatest number of votes polled in the counties of Jefferson and St. Clair. His commission was issued September 3, 1853. The militia mustered once a year at Massey Springs on the Huntsville Trail. People from all over the county came and stayed a week. The young men would drill; the old men talked crops and politics; the young women cooked and played games; the old women would knit and gossip. There would be a dance every night, an old-fashioned square dance. Some old Negro slaves, with wing collar, long-tailed coat, and pants as tight as their skin would call the dance while the Negro fiddlers played ‘Cotton Eye Joe,’ ‘Turkey in the Straw,’ ‘The Devil’s Dream,’ and other old time pieces. (As remembered by Julius C. Green in “Reminiscence of Julius C. Green.)

Jonathan and Lauriett’s second child was (2) Elizabeth Massey, born 1816 and married 3 May 1832 Joseph H. Cole. They had Fletcher, b. 1833; Mary, b. 1836; John, b. 1839; Emily, b. 1841 and Jane, b. 1846. (3) Emily Massey, born 2 March 1818 and she married Orrin S. Burwell 31 March 1839. He was from Connecticut, educated at Amherst College, and a neighbor of Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt firearm. While at Amherst, he was a classmate of Henry Ward Beecher, whose sister, Harriet, came south to visit a plantation and wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” She later married Calvin E. Stowe. Emily and Orrin were the parents of (a) Laura, b. 1840 who married John F. Hanby: (b) Orville, b. 1841 and died while a cadet at the University of Alabama in 1862: (c) Martha married Samuel Truss, son of John and Margaret Worthington Truss and grandson of Warren and Nancy Truss; (d) Thomas O. Burwell, b. 7 May 1853 married Bettie Pearce Grace 20 October 1876, daughter of Francis and Mary Borden Grace. Thomas and Bettie had: Orrin S., Mary D., Mattie Grace, Lizzie Roberta, Earl G. and Rosa W. Burwell. (4) James Massey was born 24 January 1821 and married Minerva S. Brown on 15 December 1845. They were the parents of: Benjamin F. Massey, b. 1847; John Massey, b. 1848; William Massey, b. 1851; Mary Massey, b. 1852; George Massey, b. 1856; Oren Massey, b. 1858 and Theodore Massey, b. 1860. (5) Benjamin Franklin Massey was born 21 December 1823 and married Martha Jane Ayers on 17 December 1846. She was the daughter of John and Sarah Nash Ayers. They were the parents of: Thomas Milton Massey, b. 1848, d. 27 July 1901 in OK; Sarah Laberta Massey, b. 26 March 1850; John Bolling A. Massey, b. 1852 and Margaret Elizabeth Massey, b. 28 June 1856. (6) Thomas Milton Massey was born 6 October 1827 and married Mary Jane Green and had George L. Massey, Robert Nathan Massey, Samuel E. Massey and Evva Massey. Mary died and he married Frances Baird and they had Thomas Franklin, Harriet ‘Hattie’ and Laura Jane Massey. Thomas was a well known cotton planter and built his antebellum home in Hagood’s Crossroads on what is now Tapawingo Road. His daughter, Harriet married Joseph Peyton Hickman. Thomas donated land and furnished lumber to build Marvin’s Chapel Methodist Church where he is buried.
[Emassey.ftw]

Lauriett Motlow's brother Zadock married Mary Goodlett and their son Felix (1838-1917) married Finettie J. Daniel who was the sister of Jasper Newton (Jack) Daniel. By the time Jack Daniel was 14 years of age in 1860, he was buying whiskey for $1 a gallon jug. He would load it in his high-bodied two mule wagon and head south toward Huntsville, Alabama. On the way he would stop and buy sides of meat from the farmers and would cover his whiskey jugs with the meat and lay straw and hay on top. In Huntsville he would sell his whiskey and meat at a nice profit.

By the time Jack Daniel died in 1911, Lem Motlow, Jack’s nephew and Lauriett Massey’s great nephew, was the actual manager of the distillery. By 1913 one branch of the Motlow family distillery had reopened in Birmingham, Alabama. The headquarters for Motlow’s corn and Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Lincoln County whiskies sign can still be seen on the East side of the brick store building on the Southwest corner of Second Avenue and Twenty Fourth Street North in Birmingham.

The following is an inventory of the Estate of Jonathan Benjamin Massey, deceased November 2, 1829, as found in the Probate Court, Jefferson County. Orphans Court Book 1824-1830 p.419:




Bed and Furniture 45.00 screws 5.00
Bed and Furniture 40.00 hooks 7.50
Bed and Furniture 37.00 lot coppers ware 2.87 1/2
Bed and Furniture 35.00 1 pot rack & waffle iron 3.00
2 Barrels flour 12.00 1 lot spinning wheel cards 2.25
1 lot shorts 1.50 l loom and tackling 8.00
1 keg vinegar 1.00 1 coffee mill 0.75
1 flax wheel 2.00 l flesh fork & skillet 0.37
1 cutting knife 2.00 1 lot of bee stands 18.00
1 lot of tools 2.00 1 lot bacon 10 cents lb. 120.00
1 pair steelyards 2.00 1 lot lard @ 10 cents a lb. 10.00
1 saddle and blanket 10.00 1 lot of 1/2 bushel barrels 1.00
1 trunk 1.50 25 head of cattle 90.00
1 folding leaf table 12.00 1 lot of potatoes @ 37 1/2 cents a bushel
1 Bureau 18.00 1 wagon and gear 35.00
1 clock 20.00 l lot of sows and pigs 24.00
1 lot of Windsor chairs 9.00 l lot yearling hogs & shoats 38.50
1 lot common chairs 1.50 l lot fattening hogs 5.00
1 looking glass 4.00 l lot corn 160 bbls @ 1.50 240.00
1 lot earthen ware 7.15 1 lot fodder 20.00
1 lot glass ware & waiter 4.50 1 horse 40.00
1 lot knives & forks 2.00 1 bay horse 65.00
1 lot spoons 1.25 1 bay mare 60.00
2 candlesticks 1.50 1 gray colt 50.00
1 lot of stove ware 3.37 1/2 1 lot clevis’ 0.75
1 lot of tin ware 3.00 1 negro man, Lawson 500.00
5 dogs, tongs & shovel 2.75 1 negro man named Dick 500.00
2 smoothing irons 1.00 1 negro man, Stephen 300.00
saw, square, chisel 4.75 1 negro woman, Easthe 200.00
1 lot of books 1.50 1 negro woman, Betty 350.00
1 trunk 1.50 1 negro child, Fredrick 125.00
1 rifle gun & shot bag 18.00 1 negro child, Harriet 125.00
tin cannister 0.50 1 negro woman, Lydid 350.00
1 mattock 3.00 1 negro child, Augustine 150.00
1 lot of weeding hoes 1.25 l negro child, George 110.00
1 lot of axes 5.00 l lot of cow hides 4.00
1 spade 1.00 l lot of peas 6.50
Scythe and cradle 5.00 1 lot of feathers 3.37 1/2
1 lot of bells 0.75 One note due on John Massey -20 Sept. 1818 30.00
One note H. L. Muaelney (sp.) 20 Sept 1826 32.16
One note Willis Honeycutt 1827 13.00
Estate of John Crump 7.00


The $30.00 note on John Massey was most likely his brother who was living in Ashville.



Bed and Furniture $45.00 screws 5.00
Bed and Furniture 40.00 hooks 7.50
Bed and Furniture 37.00 lot coppers ware 2.87 1/2
Bed and Furniture 35.00 1 pot rack & waffle iron 3.00
2 Barrels flour 12.00 1 lot spinning wheel cards 2.25
1 lot shorts 1.50 l loom and tackling 8.00
1 keg vinegar 1.00 1 coffee mill .75
1 flax wheel 2.00 l flesh fork & skillet .37
1 cutting knife 2.00 1 lot of bee stands 18.00
1 lot of tools 2.00 1 lot bacon 10 cents lb. 120.00
1 pair steelyards 2.00 1 lot lard @ 10 cents a lb. 10.00
1 saddle and blanket 10.00 1 lot of 1/2 bushel barrels 1.00
1 trunk 1.50 25 head of cattle 90.00
1 folding leaf table 12.00 1 lot of potatoes @ 37 1/2 bushel
1 Bureau 18.00 1 wagon and gear 35.00
1 clock 20.00 l lot of sows and pigs 24.00
1 lot of Windsor chairs 9.00 l lot yearling hogs & shoats 38.50
1 lot common chairs 1.50 l lot fattening hogs 5.00
1 looking glass 4.00 l lot corn 160 bbls @ 1.50 240.00
1 lot earthen ware 7.15 1 lot fodder 20.00
1 lot glass ware & waiter 4.50 1 horse 40.00
1 lot knives & forks 2.00 1 bay horse 65.00
1 lot spoons 1.25 1 bay mare 60.00
2 candlesticks 1.50 1 gray colt 50.00
1 lot of stove ware 3.37 1/2 1 lot clevis’ .75
1 lot of tin ware 3.00 1 negro man, Lawson 500.00
5 dogs, tongs & shovel 2.75 1 negro man named Dick 500.00
2 smoothing irons 1.00 1 negro man, Stephen 300.00
saw, square, chisel 4.75 1 negro woman, Easthe 200.00
1 lot of books 1.50 1 negro woman, Betty 350.00
1 trunk 1.50 1 negro child, Fredrick 125.00
1 rifle gun & shot bag 18.00 1 negro child, Harriet 125.00
tin cannister .50 1 negro woman, Lydid 350.00
1 mattock 3.00 1 negro child, Augustine 150.00
1 lot of weeding hoes 1.25 l negro child, George 110.00
1 lot of axes 5.00 l lot of cow hides 4.00
1 spade 1.00 l lot of peas 6.50
Scythe and cradle 5.00 1 lot of feathers 3.37 1/2
1 lot of bells .75
One note due on John Massey given 20 Sept. 1818 $30.00
One note H. L. Muaelney (sp.) 20 Sept 1826 32.16
One note Willis Honeycutt 1827 13.00
Estate of John Crump 7.00

The $30.00 note on John Massey was most likely his brother who was living in Ashville.


More About Jonathan Benjamin Massey:
Fact 1: 1998, John is father of Jonathan by hypothesis only..1

More About Jonathan Benjamin Massey and <Unnamed>:
Marriage: 1813, Greenville Co., S. C..

Children of Jonathan Benjamin Massey are:
  1. John B. Massey, General, b. 8 January 1814, SC1, d. date unknown.
  2. Elizabeth Massey, b. 1816, SC1, d. date unknown.
  3. Emily Massey, b. 2 March 1818, SC1, d. date unknown.
  4. +James Massey, b. 24 January 1821, Jefferson Co., AL1, d. 7 October 1902, Bruno, AR.
  5. +Benjamin Franklin Massey, b. 21 December 1823, AL1, d. 22 June 1858, Jefferson Co., Al. b. Green-Massey Cemetery1.
  6. +Thomas Milton Massey, b. 6 October 1827, AL1, d. 21 January 18831.
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