Thanks so much for replying! Are the Rigsby and Rigby families not the same? According to the family, my friend's gr grandmother was definitely Betty RIGSBY, though I do not have any "official" vital records to prove that. I'm still in the process of tracking down her death certificate, burial records, etc. which should show if she went by RIGBSY or RIGBY. Even so, I'm not sure how conclusive an answer that will be, since it is the surviving family that provides the information in those records and we already know they called her a RIGSBY. Oddly enough, her marriage record apparently has an error, listing both her and her groom's surname as ROBINSON, though the date and place (per the family) is correct.
Interesting that you should ask this question, because (quickly) looking through census and death records online, I can't find vital records for anyone in this family so I really can't confirm if they spelled the name RIGSBY or RIGBY.
Anyway, I appreciate your information about Elijah RIGBY and if indeed he was related to Jesse, this might help clarify the connection between William RIGSBY and Stephen J. RIGBY, which is one of the questions I have. (I have seen plenty of brothers marrying their widowed sister-in-laws and vice versa, but have not seen many men who marry their cousin's widow. It's not at all impossible, it just seems strange to me.)
However, I don't think Elijah was the "E. RIGBY" in the 1830 Dallas Co. census and I don't think he was the husband of Susan RIGSBY from the 1840 census. Here is what I have learned since I last posted to you.
LDS Church marriage records of Dallas Co, AL 1818-1865 (Batch No.M593002--microfilmed records NOT user-submitted) show the following:
Ephraim RIGBY m. 8 DEC 1823 in Dallas Co, AL to Susanna PARSONS. She is probably the "Susan RIGSBY" listed in the 1840 Dallas Co, AL census as follows:
On 20 Aug 1834, "Ephraim RIGBY of Dallas County, AL" purchased land in Dallas Co. This property was in Twp 13N, Range 8E, Section 6. (source: BLM-GLO records online) On the 1915 Alabama land plat map, this seems to place his 80-acre farm near the town of Ellis (to the West) and Portland (to the north) and very near the Wilcox Co. line.
Also from BLM_GLO, a man named Harrison PARSONS bought land in Dallas Co. in 1834 located in Sec 22, Twp 14, Range 10 which places him between Richmond (to the south) and Portland (to the west.) He could possibly be a relative of this Susannah.
One thing seems certain and that is both Ephraim RIGBY and Susanna PARSONS were living in or near Dallas Co, AL by the early 1820's, since they were married there in 1823. This suggests to me that Ephraim is connected to the Enoch you found in the 1820 census, and possibly also to Elijah RIGBY.
Elijah RIGBY is not listed as being granted any (original) land in Dallas Co., suggesting he was either not an early settler or inherited his land. It was not until the 1850's that "Elijah Rigby of Dallas County, AL" purchased land in the far southern central part of Wilcox Co, AL, above Bellview. (source: BLM-GLO) Perhaps he was a son of Enoch and kept his father's land when Enoch moved to Georgia?
As you must have noticed, the 1850 & 1860 census show Elijah as having no spouse or children. Since no marriage records were located for him either (in Alabama), I suspect he may have never married or married before arriving in Alabama and perhaps his spouse died early and he did not re-marry.
So the "E. RIGBY" in the 1830 Dallas Co. census is probably the family of Ephraim RIGBY and Susanna PARSONS. And since they have a son b.1825-1830, and I didn't find a William in Jesse RIGBY's household, I think Ephraim and Susanna are the most likely candidates to be the parents of the William RIGSBY I'm looking for, though it's still only speculation.
While this may seem a bit off-topic, I was more successful at tracking the family of Nancy A. MILLER, who supposedly married both William RIGBSY and Stephen J. RIGBY. Her parents were James A. and Mary (--------) MILLER who came from North Carolina (via Georgia) to Wilcox Co, AL where James purchased land on 20 May 1837. (BLM-GLO records) James A. MILLER's land in Wilcox Co. was in Sec 12, Twp 10, Range 7, which places him near the town of Ackerville and only a short distance from land owned by Ephraim RIGBY.
I had to resist the temptation here to focus only on families in the same county, since following a "five mile" rule, William RIGSBY's family could easily have come from either Dallas or Wilcox Co. And if William settled on his father-in-law's land in Wilcox Co. (as I suspect he did, since Nancy MILLER was already 30 when they married and was the only child still living with her mother) William and Nancy would still have been "near Selma" as the family tradition states, even if they were in Wilcox Co.
Thanks for your help. If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear back from you--especially if you know anything about Ephraim RIGBY.
Below are a handful of marriages I found in Lauderdale Co, MS while I was looking for a connection to William RIGSBY and Stephen J. RIGBY. If you know who any of these people are and can shed some light on which families they connect to, it might be helpful for my research.
I'll continue looking to see if I can figure out if Betty and her siblings were RIGSBYs or RIGBYs. They were all married in West Carroll Parish, LA, but for some reason, all of the West Carroll Parish marriage records have gone off-line and I cannot access them at the moment.
Lauderdale Co, MS Marriage Records 1876 - 1884 from LDS batch No. M516992 (microfilmed from original records)
Celia Rigby m.7 NOV 1877 to Echo Wiggins
Wiley Rigby m.6 SEP 1878 to Adaline Burton
Lauderdale Co, MS Marriage Records 1870 - 1882 from LDS batch No. M516995 (microfilmed from original records)
Sylvia Rigsby m.20 FEB 1879 to Dave Needham
Susan Margarette Ann Rigsby m.abt 9 SEP 1871 to James Wade
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