Rhonea Martha Philyaw (b. Abt. 1833, d. Abt. 1884)
Rhonea Martha Philyaw was born Abt. 1833 in South Carolina, and died Abt. 1884 in Miller Co. Arkansas. She married Jared D. Davis on Abt. 1847 in Georgia.
Notes for Rhonea Martha Philyaw: Rhonea Martha Philyaw's name is listed in various records by several spellings. She is consistantly listed in the census as Martha. Her first name may be spelled: Rhonea, Rohnea, Phonea, Rhonda, Rowena.
Rhonea (Phonea) Martha Philyaw was born about 1834, probably in South Carolina.She was the daughter of Ezekiel Philyaw according to great-granddaughter Betty Jo Davis Murph. She married Jared or Gar Davis date and place unknown. Martha is also reported to have been a Cherokee indian on the Trail of Tears, and possibly Jared Davis was the scout on that trail and they married during the journey. The story being handed down is that Martha Philyaw was 1/2 French and 1/2 Cherokee, and another story that she was also "black dutch," which is the same as Cherokee. These are old unsubstantiated stories.
According to descendants, Jared and Rhonea Davis left Alabama to come to the Doddridge, Arkansas area at some time in the 1850's (sic- should be early 1850 or late1840's, because they were already living in Caddo Parish, Louisiana in 1850). They took a boat down the Tombigbee River to Mobile on the Gulf, then across to New Orleans, and then up the Mississippi and Red Rivers to Mooringsport, LA, which was a lake port just off Red River north of Shreveport. From this location, the Davises traveled to Miller County (35-40 miles) where they settled in the Doddridge vicinity. Antoinette Westbrook remembers her mother, Adaline Davis, telling about Martha and Jared Davis's trip from Mississippi before Adaline was born. Martha had so much wanted to walk through the city of New Orleans barefooted, but Jared had so much pride he wouldn't let her. Of course they were traveling in an ox wagon. (Martha would've been about 16 or 17 at the time of this trip.)
In late 1850 Jared and Martha, with their two children, John B. 3 years, and Adaline 3 months old, lived in Albany, Caddo Parish, Louisiana at the time of the census. One Philyaw family lived nearby and may be a relative of Martha's. Thomas Leroy Philyaw and his wife Sarah Ann Attaway, plus his mother Easter (Large) Philyaw age 74, were neighbors.
Jared and Martha moved about 35 miles north near Bright Star, Arkansas, then in Lafayette County. Jared bought land there on July 2, 1860 and the Davis family is listed in the census on July 20, 1860 in Sulphur Fork, Lafayette Co. Arkansas.
Jared and Martha Davis had six children (living at the time of Jared's death; two had died and Martha was pregnant with Rebecca Elizabeth): Mareliza Adeline, who married William J. Westbrook; William Timothy, had several children; Silas Green; Lelia Arkansas, who married John Wesley Blunt; Sarah Jane, Rebecca Elizabeth (Bessie), who married Steven Wayne Whittington and moved to Oklahoma; Mary Elizabeth, who married George Smith and moved to Lewisville, AR.
Antoinette Westbrook remembers her mother Adaline saying that Jared D. Davis died the year the Civil War began in 1861. But this would not be possible since his two youngest daughters had not yet been born in 1861. Leila Arkansas Davis was born in June 1862, and followed by Rebecca Elizabeth Davis in July 1864. The earliest Jared could've died was shortly after the conception of Rebecca Elizabeth in late 1863.
Martha Philyaw Davis was still living as of the time her granddaughter Antoinette Westbrook was born in 1883, but died while Antoinette was a baby. Jared and Rhonea Martha were buried in the Old Macedonia Cemetery near Bright Star in Miller County, Arkansas, in what are now unmarked graves.
From a Letter by Hayden McCasland's grandmother: She writes of her Davis grandparents; She writes that her mother, Marelza Adeline was born in Louisiana. Her grandfather was Jarred D. Davis who married Phonea Martha Philyaw. She writes that her grandmother (Davis-Philyaw) was French and Indian. She writes that he mother Adeline (Davis) Westbrook was born 8/12/1850 and died 10/24/1943. She did not remember the birth and death dates of her Davis grandparents but thought Jarred D. Davis died the year the Civil War began. She never mentions her grandmother Phonea in the letters again. She writes that her Davis grandparents are buried in the "Old Macedonia" Cemetery near Bright Star, AR. She writes that Jarred and Phonea left Mississippi before her mother Adeline was born. I have old letters written by my grandmother written when she was in her eighties. She tells of her mother Adaline and her grandparents Jared (I've seen this spelled different ways) and Phonea (I've seen this different ways also) Phonea Martha Philyaw. She tells of Jared and Martha migrating to Louisiana from Mississippi before her mother Adaline was born. She wasn't sure of the birthplace of her mother, Adaline but thought she was born in Texas near the Louisiana and Arkansas border there. Adaline died in her grandaughter's home and is purportedly buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery near Doddridge, AR. My grandmother also writes that she had an Aunt Lizzie whom migrated to Love Co.,OK. and died there living to almost one hundred years.
Geneva Westbrook Howard of Queen City, Texas (born in 1917) said that Martha's son, William T. Davis, lived with her family for many years. Geneva said that they did have some pictures of William's parents (Jared and Rhonea Martha), but some kids in one of the families tore them up. She said that it was quite apparent from the pictures that the indian came from the Davis side.
THOMAS LEROY PHILYAW--Is he related to Rhonea Martha Philyaw? Thomas Leroy Philyaw b. 6-29-1818 married Sarah Ann Attaway b. 11-15-1828 in Conecuh or Butler Co., Alabama ca. 1846. By 1849 they were living in Caddo Parish, Louisiana near other kin named ATTAWAY, EVERS, FORD, SANSOM, SOLOMAN, BICKHAM, BOZEMAN, and others. By 1866 Tom and family were living in Miller aka. Lafayette Co., Arkansas.
Tom and Sarah's children are: Leroy b. 1-17-1847, Malinda Ann b. 3-22-1848, Mary Jane b. 1849, Isabel b. 1849, Thomas Foster b. 7-18-1852, Alice Georgiana b. 1855, EZEKIEL Everett b. 3-31-1859, John Robert b. 3-21-1861, Samuel A. b. 1864, Leona Viola b. 11-1867, and Sarah Weaver b. 4-30-1869.
Tom's siblings are Elizabeth b. 7-17-1797, David b. 4-9-1800, John b. 2-15-1802, Joseph b. 10-11-1804, James b. 3-21-1806, Martha b. 3-7-1808, Sarah b. 8-29-1810, Rebecca b. 1-3-1812, and Mary Jane b. 11-26-1814. Tom's parents are believed to be John Filyaw and Easter Large.
Sources: Hayden McCasland Information from Eleanor Blunt Huddle and she obtained it from Mary Douglas Hicks who was the granddaughter of Mariliza Adeline Davis. Westbrook. Census 1850 Albany, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Listed as Martha Davis, age 25, born GA. p. 365/729 Census 1860 Sulphur Fork, Lafayette Co. Arkansas. Listed as Martha Davis, age 26, born SC. p. 73 Census 1870 Lafayette Co. Arkansas. Listed as Martha Davis, age 35, born SC. p. 219 Census 1880 Miller Co. Arkansas. Listed as Marthy Davis, age 47, born SC. (Parents birthplaces not listed) E.D. 198 p. 175 Census 1900--Not Found?
More About Rhonea Martha Philyaw: Burial: Old Macedonia Cemetery, Miller Co. Arkansas (unmarked grave).
More About Rhonea Martha Philyaw and Jared D. Davis: Marriage: Abt. 1847, Georgia.
Children of Rhonea Martha Philyaw and Jared D. Davis are: