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PILLOW Surname
Posted by: Georgia Adams (ID *****9122) Date: January 16, 2010 at 19:12:33
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I have been researching Napoloeon Bonaparte PILLOW who married Levisa BIGHAM. They lived in St Francis, Phillips County, Arkansas, in the 1840's. I came across other family trees on Ancestry.com that have an alternate spelling of PILLOW as BALLOU (French sounding). Some other trees with BALLOU-surnamed people had birthplaces of France. Is it possible that the name was corrupted from BALLOU to PILLOW long ago, based on what it sounded like to Americans' ears?

Also found this on the "Digital Libary of American Slavery" website:

"The petitioner, John M. Hubbard, states that Levis[a] Dobbins, the widow of Napoleon B. Pillow [a doctor] and now the wife of Wilson D. Dobbins [also a doctor] is indebted to him in the sum of $701.33. The debt was contracted in 1851 during Levisa's first marriage. Hubbard claims that, according to the terms of the marriage contract executed at the time of her marriage to Pillow, Levisa retained sole control of her property, including five slaves -- Dan, age about thirty-five, Alfred, age about fourteen, Lucinda, age about fourteen, Adeline, age eleven, and Monroe, age eight -- pledging them as security against the loan. Hubbard adds that the same contract was also executed at the time of her second marriage. Levisa must therefore be responsible for her debt. Hubbard asks that a commissioner be appointed to sell as much of Levisa's property as needed to cover the debt."

The slave named Alfred is a good match for my 3rd great-grandfather, Alfred Dobbins, born between 1838 and 1842 in SC, died 1894 in Noxubee, MS. About a year ago, I had developed this theory that Alfred may have been owned by Elizabeth Eichelberger (the widow of yet another doctor) in Noxubee County. Elizabeth was apparently Wilson Dobbins' second wife. With this new information, I now believe that Alfred was first owned by Levisa BIGHAM who died just a few years after her 1853 marriage to Dobbins.

Does anyone have any info on PILLOW, BIGHAM or DOBBINS wills or deeds of gift that name slaves? Thanks!


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