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Descendants of Josiah DURDEN

Generation No. 1

1. JOSIAH1 DURDEN was born Abt. 1775 in Virginia, and died July 14, 1825 in Autauga County, Alabama. He married (1) UNKNOWN. He married (2) GILLY BAKER 1814.

Josiah Durden is the first person in our Durden ancestry that I have documented proof of. All evidence points to a direct connection to Stephen Durden who came to America in 1646, but no absolute ties have been made to date. The name Durden may be spelled Darden, Dearden, Dorden, Durdin, and several other ways.

Josiah owned a grist mill and quite a bit of property in in Autauga County, Alabama.

Copies of "United States vs Josiah Durden Grant of Land Certificate # 2856 April 7, 1819" and "Land Records Autauga County Alabama Tract Book page 159 August 14, 1822", are on file. A copy of Josiah's will, inventory of the estate, and of the settlement of the estate are available in Autauga County, Alabama Probate Records Book RB 1, RB 2, and R1824, also in Orphan's Court Book 2. Josiah's children, both adult and minor are named in these documents.

The following is the entire text of the copy of Gilly Baker Durden's Bible Record
in the Alabama State Archives.

Found with the covers lost but the following data intact, if not complete as to having the dates all filled in. This family record is in the Emily Durden Merritt Bible but comes from a Bible of about half the size of the Merritt Bible. Gilly Baker Durden was the mother of Emily Durden Merritt and the grandmother of the present owner, Mrs. Ila T. Hutchinson, 106 Greenleaf St. Quincy, Mass. These records were copied by Miss Lola Lee Daniell, 520 N. 6th Ave., Pensacola, Fla., Florida Genealogical Records Chairman DAR and member of the Pensacola Chapter. Gilly Baker Durden lived near Prattville, Ala.

Josiah Durden and Gilly Baker were married (torn) 1814
Martha E. Durden and John Merritt were married----------
Wm. H. Rogers and Rebecca Durden were married---------
Charles Baker Durden and Ellen A. Swift were-------
married Jan. 30th 1850


Andrew Jackson Merritt w.b. Jan'y 11th 1836
William A. Merritt was born--------
Napoleon B. Merritt was born-----
Kathleen O. Merritt was born -----
Gillie Merritt was born-----
Cordelia Merritt was born ------
Wm. B. Rogers was born October the 24th 1837
Charles Baker Rogers was born ------
Willis Perry Rogers was born Apr. 14th 1841
Emma Josephine Rogers w. B. Dec. 12th 1844
Gilley Durden was born March 23rd 1784
Rebecca Durden was born May 23d 1815
Martha E. Durden was born Dec. 30th 1816
Dela Durden was born Oct. 9, 1818 (crossed out 21st, 1820)
(written between Dela and Oliver) Charles B. Durden was born Oct. 21st, 1820
Oliver Perry Durden was born Dec. 20th 1822
Washington L. Durden was born Jan. 9th, 1825
Florence A. Durden was born Dec. 9th, 1850


O. H. P. Durden died Decr. 10th 1846
Wm. A. Merritt died-----
C. B. Durden d. Apr. 17th 1859 aged 38 yrs. 5 mos. 27 days
Josiah Durden died June 14th 1825
Gilley Durden d. August 7th 1860 aged 76 yrs, 4 mo. 15 days.

On this day of March 8th, 1937 duly appeared before me, a notary public in and for the State of Florida, Lola Lee Daniel, personally well known to me , who, upon being duly sworn, declares that she has personally compared the above records from the Emily Merritt and Gilley Baker Durden Bibles with the orginal record in the Bibles as described above, and found them to be true and correct copies.
                                          /s/Lola Lee Daniell (Seal)"

Josiah Darden is listed in Captain Campbell's District of Wilkes County, Georgia, 1793 for 1 poll, 1 slave, and 287 1/2acres on Green Creek. In 1794 the same entry appears in Captain Campbell's District of Warren County ,on Hancock Creek is mentioned. In 1794 the name Josiah Darden also appears in Captain Steel's District for 1 poll and 200 acres in Warren County on Sweetwater. In 1805 in Captain E. Baker's District it is 1 poll and 90 acres on Williams Creek. In 1818 in Captain Blount's District Joshia Darden is listed for 1 poll only." (Josiah has property in Autauga County Alabama in 1819) . He is not listed in the 1820 Feorgia census. Josiah married Gilly Baker in Georgia in 1814 and at least 2 of his sons and one daughter were born in Georgia. In 1802, Josiah Durden had a land grant in Columbia County, Georgia, for 600 acres.

I believe the Josiah in Warren County, Jones County, Washington County, and Baldwin County Georgia, is our Josiah. It is important to note that all of these counties are adjoining and were at one time the same county.
Josiah is mentioned many times in "The Georgia Journal", several of these are noted here.
"Lot # 20 in the 27Th district of Wilkenson now Twiggs, taken as the property of John Pryor, to satisfy an execution in favor of Josiah Durden" ( The Georgia Journal, issue August 5, 1812, page 145).
"Georgia, Jones County, Superior Court. August Term, 1812. Rule Nisi. Upon the petition of David B, Mitchell, govenor...praying for the foreclosure of the equity of redemptionon and to a certain fractional survey of land, lying and being in the county of Jones, known in the plan as the 1st District of Baldwin County, by no. 6, mortaged by Josiah Durden of Baldwin County unless said Josiah Durden do pay into the clerk's office of this court the amount due within 12 months his equity of redemption in and unto said mortaged premesis to be forclosed .. Signed John R. Gregory, Clerk." (The Georgia Journal September 9, 1812, page 153)
"....also, 398 1/4 acres of land on the Oconee River, whereupon Thomas Dent now lives, levied on as his property, to satisfy Josiah Durden's execution" (The Georgia Journal issue of February 1, 1815, page 351).
Fractions No.5 and No.6, in the 1st District of Baldwin County, adjoining the town commons of Milledgeville, taken to satisfy the state of Georgia's execution against Josiah Durden Sr. and Josiah Durden Jr.. (The Georgia Journal, January 28, 1817, page 660)
"....on the first Tuesday in September next, will be sold at the courthouse in Milledgeville the following property: Lot no, 4 in square no. 79, Jackson St., also Lot no. 1, in square no. 46, Jefferson St., mortaged by Josiah Durden and levied on as his property" (The Georgia Journal, issue of July 28, 1818, page 892).
" square of land, with a saw and grist mill theron, on the waters of Swift Creek, 7th district of Jones County, taken as the property of Soloman Gross, to satisfy an execution in favor of Josiah Durden. (The Georgia Journal, issue March 2, 1819, page 40) (Josiah is not mentioned after this, in ).
Most of the items concerning Josiah, mentioned in the collection from The Georgia Journal, are of the type noted. Some, especially after 1816, are concerning letters still in the postoffice. Josiah disappears from items in the Journal after 1819, (April of 1819 he has a land grant in Autauga County, Alabama) He is not listed in the Georgia census in 1820.

Some of the people living in this area later removed to Autauga County, Alabama, one being Daniel Pratt. (from a pamphlet "A Driving Tour of Prattville Alabama""In 1836, Daniel Pratt, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, purchased....Already proven successful as an architect and builder while living in Milledgeville, Georgia....")

To confuse the issue:
From Habersham County, Georgia, Deed Book C, page 29 for Twig County, June 1, 1830. " Jane Durden, Josiah Durden, Richard M. Durden, Susan Durden, and Henry Durden, all of said County and heirs of Benjamin Durden, late of said County, deceased, sold Ezekiel Wimberly and Nimrod W. Long, of said State and County, for $1,000.00 lot 94, 4th District at Habersham County, being the lot of land drawn in the Land Lottery by Benjamin Durden in his lifetime.
Michael Long                            (Her x mark)        Jane Durden wife
Malachi W. Davis                                          Josiah Durden
                                                 Richard M. Durden
                                   (Her x mark)       Susan Durden
                                                 Henry Durden
(Benjamin died before July, 1824, Josiah died July 14, 1825 in Prattville]

The 1830 census lists a Josiah Durden in Talbot County and in Twigg County. Josiah (1) is dead and I believe his son, Josiah, is living in Autauga County, Alabama at this time.

From "The Darden Family History" by Newton Jasper Darden, edited by Leroy W. Tilton, page 176 "Elisha Darden of Williams Creek may possibly have been father to Josiah Darden who is listed in Captain Campbell's District of Wilke's County, Georgia in 1793 for 1 poll, 1 slave, and 287 1/2 acres on Green Creek (or in Green County?), with neighbor Walker. In 1794 the same entry appears in Captain Campbell's District of Warren County, but Hancock Creek (or Co.) is mentioned. In 1794 the name of Josiah Darden also appears in Captain Steel;s District for 1 poll and 200 acres on Sweetwater. In 1805 in Captain Baker's District it is 1 poll and 96 acres on Williams Creek. Finally, in 1818 in Captain Blount's District Josiah is listed for 1 poll only."
Pages 170 - 176, "deed of March 27, 1800 from Chamal (or Charnel) Dearden, heir of David Darden, to his brothers and sister, James Dearden, Amey Josiah Blanks Dearden, and Amey Dearden Jr. (Deeds 10, 228). Amey Dearden Sr. lived on this land in 1806 when James, Josiah, Amey and Amey Darden Jr. signed a deed settling out the house and 75 acres to Amey Darden Jr. (Deeds 13, 67 Mecklenburg Co. Virginia)".
From the same book " Miss Leila Darden of Kingston Georgia, when speaking of visits by her father (1849) to his aged mother (b. 1810) says....'our gr. gr. Uncle Elisha Darden's advanced age of 96 and near blindness leaving the most lasting impression on my recollections' The date of Elishas death is unknown, but he was living in 1818 and this suggests that he may indeed have been Elisha, son of Stephen and Elizabeth Carr Darden of Nanesemond County, Virginia".
The book states that Josiah was possibly a son of Elisha.

The mystery remains. Although we know that Josiah traces back to Stephen Durden 1646 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, we do not know who his father or mother was.

       Children of JOSIAH DURDEN and UNKNOWN are:

2. i.   JACOB WILLIAM2 DURDEN, b. Abt. 1797, Georgia; d. February 25, 1848, Autauga County, Alabama.

  ii.   THOMAS DURDEN, b. Abt. 1799; m. E. HUNSFORD, March 29, 1827.

  Notes for THOMAS DURDEN:
Thomas Durden invented the breech loading cannon. Source: Montgomery Daily Post Montgomery Alabama, August 21, 1861 page 2, column 1, volume 2

  iii.   BENJAMIN DURDEN, b. Abt. 1801.

  iv.   JAMES DURDEN, b. Abt. 1803.

3. v.   CYNTHIA DURDEN, b. Abt. 1805; d. Abt. 1834.

  vi.   ? DURDEN, b. Abt. 1807; m. JAMES THOMPSON.

4. vii.   JOSIAH DURDEN, b. Abt. 1809, Georgia (?Warren County).
       Children of JOSIAH DURDEN and GILLY BAKER are:

5. viii.   REBECCA2 DURDEN, b. May 23, 1815.

6. ix.   MARTHA EMILY DURDEN, b. December 30, 1816.

  x.   G. W. F. DE LA DURDEN, b. October 9, 1818; d. October 5, 1867; m. SARAH E. VINSON, November 18, 1860, Autauga County Alabama.

7. xi.   CHARLES BAKER DURDEN, b. October 21, 1820; d. April 17, 1859, Autauga County, Alabama.

  xii.   OLIVER H. PERRY DURDEN, b. December 20, 1822, Autauga County, Alabama; d. December 12, 1846, Autauga County, Alabama.

  xiii.   WASHINGTON LAFAYETTE DURDEN, b. January 9, 1825; d. March 5, 1863, Autauga County, Alabama.

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