Josiah Box is not the father of Robert, Henry, John W. and Hiram. Many researchers have Josiah Box and Mildred “Milly” Powell as the parents of Robert Box (b. abt 1802), Henry Box (b. abt 1804), John W. Box (b. abt 1812), and Hiram Box (b. abt 1813). Oral history has a daughter included as well by the name of Keziah Box who later married Simeon Bright, which now has been removed from this family and placed in the family of Robert & Patsy Mitchell Box. However, there may still be a daughter Keziah but not that one.
A Family Register from the Caldwell family shows that Josiah Box and Mildred W. Powell were married on 10 of Nov 1801. It indicates Blanton P. Box, their oldest son, was born 19 Aug 1802 in SC; their daughter, Frances F. Box, was born 30 Jul 1805 in SC; Their son, Reuben F. Box, was born 8 Dec 1807; and son, Michael J. was born 28 Dec 1812 and died at the age of 13 months.
In the 1810 census of Laurens Co., SC, Josiah Box's household had a male and female 26-44 years and 2 males and a female under 10. In the 1820 census of Laurens SC, Josiah's household had a male and a female 26-44 years and a male under 10; a male 10-15; a male 16-18 and a female 10-15. By 1830 Josiah moved his family to Fayette Co., AL and the census has just 1 male 20-30 in the household with Josiah and Millie. By 1840 Josiah had moved to Choctaw Co., MS. Josiah died there in 1844 and was buried in Old Greensboro Cemetery, which is in current-day Webster Co., MS; the Family Register states that Milly didn’t die until 1853 but I have not yet found her on the 1850 census to support that she was still living at that time.
County land deeds and Bureau of Land Management Records trace the family across several states. Blanton Box purchased for Josiah Box a piece of property in Laurens Co., SC, in 1823. Then in 1824, Blanton purchased land in Fayette Co., AL, and Josiah followed to Fayette Co. and purchased land two years later in Oct 1826. Their properties were adjoining 80 acre tracts in Section 5 Township 16S Range 13W.
Blanton was there in Fayette Co. with his father, Josiah Box, in the late 1820s to early 1830s. Between 1825 – 1830 Blanton was a Methodist Episcopal circuit preacher; and then after his marriage in Conecuh Co., AL, to Eliza Hughes Greening, he ministered locally rather than on the circuit. Based on the state census of 1837, Josiah moved to Choctaw Co., MS. Blanton did not show up in Choctaw until the 1844 tax roll, the year that his father Josiah died. He then continued his journey to Ouachita Co., AR, where he died in 1851.
Josiah’s daughter, Frances Box, married William Caldwell in 1825. They were enumerated in 1830 in Fayette Co., AL. In 1837 they had moved to Choctaw Co., MS, per the state census and tax rolls. In 1840 they were still in Choctaw per the federal census. On both the 1837 and 1840 censuses, William Caldwell is listed next door to Josiah Box.
Reuben Franklin Box, Josiah’s other son, was more than likely living in Josiah’s hh in 1830 Fayette Co AL since there was a male of his age in the hh. By 1837 he appears on the Choctaw Co., MS, state census. He is listed on the 1837 and 1838 tax rolls of Choctaw. In 1840 he has moved into Chickasaw Co., which was the next county over from Choctaw Co. during that time period. In 1840 Josiah also purchased land in Calhoun Co., MS, which is just west of Chickasaw Co., where Josiah was a part of the Methodist Episcopal ministry to the Chickasaw Nation from 1839 to 1840.
It has been a natural placement of Josiah—to be the father of Robert, Henry, John W., and Hiram Box. Josiah, Robert, and Henry were the only Boxes listed on the 1840 Choctaw Co., MS, census. However, based on the tax rolls and state censuses and land records, which are now more readily available than in the past, it becomes clear that Josiah is NOT the father of my Choctaw County bunch. Land records indicate Robert and Henry had settled in what would become the Bankston Community of Choctaw Co. as early as 1834. Josiah appears in Greensboro by 1837, which would become part of Webster Co. Because oral history has it that Robert Box (whose wife was Susan) died in the early 1840s and would not be enumerated on any census that lists birthplace, I have not yet determined where he was born; however, it is very clear that Henry Box (whose wife was Janey) was born in TN; and the other two brothers, John W. and Hiram, are listed as having been born in AL. So this family of Boxes moved from TN into AL between 1804 and 1812, if this census data is accurate. Josiah Box was still in SC at that time. It must be pointed out that when studying the censuses, Josiah could not have possibly been the father of Blanton, Robert, Henry, Frances, Reuben, John W., and Hiram. None of the censuses ever supports four additional sons in the hh.
Also, to be noted is the fact that in 1841, Henry Box was named guardian for Hiram Box (whom was listed as deaf and dumb on the 1860 census in his brother John W. Box’s hh). In 1840 the Robert Box hh has a deaf and dumb male listed that is probably brother Hiram. Josiah and Milly were still living at that time and would have been the ones that Hiram lived with if he had been their son. Also per a Deed dated 1842, Henry Box, guardian of Hiram Box, sold 80.25 acres to Barnett Hambrick, “in the name of Rachel Box.” If Josiah were the father, he would have handled this land sale rather than Henry. I believe this Rachel Box to be the mother of Robert, Henry, John W., and Hiram. Now to continue the search of the father of these Choctaw County MS Boxes!
The removal of this Robert Box (b. 1802) from the family of Josiah Box also invalidates the logic of a "cousin marriage" involving a granddaughter of Robert Box which placed Josiah Box as a son of Robert and Mary Williams Box. However, it would still leave Robert Box (b. 1802) as a grandson of Robert and Mary Williams Box based on the "cousin marriage.”
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