French Family Association

Mara French, P.O. Box 1109, Sutter Creek, CA 95685-1109. 209-267-0649

Lawrence County, which was established by Missouri legislature in 1815, but became part of Arkansas when the territory was created in 1819. If the French family arrived in the Batesville area prior to 1812, they were in the "District of Louisiana." In 1812, the region became part of the Missouri Territory and in 1813, what is now Arkansas became "Arkansas County, Missouri Ter." It's hard to follow all the changes...and the counties continued to change their boundaries until the 1870s! Map drawn by Craig Ogilvie with permission to use on this website.

Chart #25, William French, 1780,
Locust Grove, Independence Co., AR,
Izard Co., AR, and Lawrence Co., MO & AR

Last Updated by Mara French on 3/31/08. Revisions 2001, 2008. Please send any corrections or additions to this chart to Mara French.


History and Research

First Generation

Second Generation

Third Generation

Fourth Generation

Fifth Generation

Sixth Generation

Records -- U.S. Census Reports


Key: Numbers in brackets [  ] refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line.

History and Research

The Lawrence County where the family settled is still in Arkansas, not Missouri. Prior to 1819, Lawrence County, Arkansas covered most of north Arkansas and a slice of what is now Missouri. Arkansas was part of Missouri until 1819, when Arkansas became a separate territory. Over 30 present Arkansas counties were cut from the original Lawrence County. Batesville, when it was called Poke Bayou, was in Lawrence County until Independence County was formed in 1820. Today, Lawrence County, Arkansas is almost 50 miles from Batesville. Main towns of this line are: Lawrence Co. MO; Locust Grove, Izard Co., Independence Co. AR; Livingston Co., KY; Walker Co. TX; Greenbrier, NY. William and his wife Nancy Chapman French (born 14 Feb 1785 in Newberry Co., SC) came to Lawrence Co. when it was still part of Missouri in the early 1800's. William’s birthplace is unknown. William and Nancy were part of a group of early settlers in Arkansas Territory.

First Generation

1.1* William French, b. ca. 1780, lived in Independence Co., AR, m. Nancy Chapman in the late 1700s [1]. William is on the 1815 and 1816 tax lists of Lawrence County Territory of Missouri, parent county of Independence County, Arkansas. A first settler, deceased by 1819 since his name was delinquent from the tax list that year. Nancy was b. 19 Feb 1786 in Newberry Co., SC [9], d. 1855 in Izard Co., AR [2], perhaps the daughter of Joseph Chapman who was on the 1821 tax list of Independence Co., AR, a first settler [3], and the only Chapman in the area at that time. Ref [2] states Nancy’s parents to be Giles Chapman and Mary Summers. Nancy was the first woman to bring the French name into northern Arkansas [12]. William and Nancy were true frontier pioneers. They arrived in the White River Valley before Arkansas was a territory and long before it became a state [12]. On the 1830 Census of Izard Co., AR, Nancy French is listed as a widow with 7 children. In 1920, there were only about 40 families in this large area of N.E. Arkansas up and down the white river. William may be the William French on the 1799 tax list of Christian Co., KY since most of the first settlers in N.E. Arkansas came from the S.W. corner of Kentucky [3]. Nancy is listed in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 (when she was 72) Census Records after William died [12].

The following paragraphs are from Ref [12].

William and Nancy (Chapman) French were the first to bring the French name into northern Arkansas. They were true pioneers. They arrived in the White River Valley before Arkansas was a territory and long before it became a state. If they came by wagon, it’s certain that the family traveled from southeast Missouri to the White River along a crude road, later improved and called the Southwest Trail. Since there were few roads to the area they settled, they may have floated down the Mississippi and made their way up the White River by flatboat.

Nancy Chapman was born 14 Feb 1785 in Newberry County, South Carolina. Nancy’s father may have been Joseph or William Chapman, the only Chapman men in the region prior to Arkansas statehood in 1836. She apparently married William French before moving westward. Research indicates that Nancy and William lived for a time in Kentucky, as one or more of their children were born there in the very early 1800s.

William French was listed in the 1816 tax list for Lawrence County. What is now Arkansas was part of Missouri Territory in 1816, and Lawrence County covered most of northern Arkansas, plus the southern part of present-day Missouri. Arkansas became a separate territory in 1819, and Independence County was cut from Lawrence County in 1820. When established, Independence County covered a huge area and 11 other counties would be cut from its original boundaries during the 1800s.

It is most likely that the French family settled on or near the White River, some distance upstream from Batesville, perhaps near the mouth of Rocky Bayou in present-day Izard County.

In 1824, William French was on the Independence County tax list. He was the only man named French in the region between 1815 and 1824, thus it may be assumed that he was Nancy French’s husband. Her son, Thomas Jefferson French was born in 1819 in what is now Izard County, but was Lawrence County at the time of his birth (Independence Co. was not created until 1820).

Nancy French appears as “head of the household” in the 1830 U.S. Census of Izard County, which was cut from Independence County in 1825. She is listed with seven children (five sons, two daughters) living with her.

When the 1840 U.S. Census was taken, Nancy French was living in White River Township (Izard County) with four sons and one daughter still living at home. Three of the sons were between 20 and 30 years of age and one was between 15 and 20 years old. The daughter was between 10 and 15 years of age. The family farm was located near Rocky Bayou, between Guion and Melbourne. An early pioneer road was extended up this valley to a settlement east of present-day Melbourne. George French, one of Nancy’s older sons, was living nearby with his wife and two children, both under five years of age.

By 1850, Nancy French (now 72 years old) was living with her son, Thomas J. French, Sr. He was listed in the U.S. Census at 31 years of age and married to Adeline, age 16, who was born in Missouri. They had one child, James Levi French, age three months. In addition, Jane French (age 23) was living in the home. She was probably a sister-in-law to Thomas J. French, and her husband was apparently dead. Jane’s son William R. French, age 5, was also in the home. The census lists the neighbors as the W.F. Watkins family. The Thomas J. French farm in 1850 was north of the present-day Violet Hill community.

Second Generation

Children of William and Nancy (Chapman) French, 1.1

It is believed that Nancy and William French had seven children. If so, only five possible candidates have been located. Most of this data comes from Ref [12].

2.1* Frances French, b. 1802 in KY, d. Oct 1853 in Locust Grove, Independence Co., AR, m. 1822 Independence Co., AR to James Bagley and settled on a fine farm in Greenbrier township near the present community of Locust Grove, Independence Co. before 1820 where they reared an extraordinarily large family of 19, but only 16 have been located in records. James was b. 1787 in NJ, d. Fall 1856 in Locust Grove, Independence Co., AR. He came west from NY and amassed a considerable estate, including slaves. He, and his brother, Asher Bagley, of the first grand jury, were young men from NY state.

2.2* George H. French, b. 25 Dec 1811 in TN, m. Lynis Finley, traveled with his brother Daniel to CA in 1869 and settled in Amador Co., CA during the gold rush era [1]. Little is known about him, except that he was married, with two children, at the time of the 1840 U.S. Census of Izard County. In 1847, George French owned a section of land near the present Hwy. 9, between Sylamore and the Twin Creeks turn-off. In the 1850 U.S. Census, George H. French (age 38) was residing in Fulton County (Union Township) with his wife, Lynis (age 35) and children: Townsend French (age 12), Lucinda (age 11), Martin V. French (age 10), Mildred (age 5), Charles L. French (age 3) and U.F. French (age 1). By 1855, George had land claims southeast of Oxford (Izard County) on Sandy Creek [12]. On 26 Nov 1889 and 29 Apr 1892 George is listed on the Federal Land Records of Amador Co., CA [17]. Some of his sons are also listed.

2.3* Daniel Benjamin French, b. 1812-1818, traveled with his brother George to CA in 1869 and settled in Amador Co., CA during the gold rush era [1]. On 5 May 1875 he is listed on the Federal Land Records of Amador Co., CA [17]. Daniel is listed on a farm near Thomas J. French in the 1850 Census of Franklin Township, Izard County, AR. His wife was Darcus French, age 19, and they had a daughter Sarah J. (age 2) and a son, Kinman (age 1) [12].

2.4 Samuel French was married to Elizabeth Wilson in Independence County on 10 Jan 1834 (Bk. A, pp 29) and he may have been a son of William and Nancy. Samuel was probably born about 1814 and apparently settled outside the region [12].

2.5* Thomas Jefferson French, Sr. was born in 1819 (just before the death of his father) in Arkansas. Thomas married twice. Adeline, his first wife, died sometime during the 1860s. Their children included James Levi French (born in 1850), Thomas J. French, Jr. (born Dec. 1, 1854), and Elizabeth French (born in 1857. It appears that one of Thomas’s brothers died young, leaving a wife named Jane (born in 1822) and her son, William R. French (born in 1845). Jane and William R. French were living with Thomas and Adeline by 1850.

About 1870, Thomas J. French, Sr. married for a second time. Catherine, who was called “Kate,” became his wife probably 1870. According to stories handed down through the family, Kate had been married before and had two daughters. If true, they apparently did not live with their mother, because they are not listed in the French home on the census records. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Kate and Thomas were living in the Rocky Bayou Township, between the present town of Guion and the Lunenburg community. In 1870, Thomas was 54 years old and Kate was 26. In the home were Thomas, Jr. (age 15); Elizabeth (age 13), and Jane (age 8). [Note: The town of Guion did not exist until 1906, when the railroad was extended up the White River from Batesville. Wild Haws Landing was just upstream from the present site of Guion, and was a popular shipping point for farmers and merchants.] Thomas J. French, Sr. died in the late 1870s, and Kate was a widow when the 1880 Census was taken. The county township was renamed Lunenburg (Izard County) and only Kate and Thomas’s children by her remained at home. They included William Watson “Watt” French (age 9), Rhoda (age 8), James (age 6), Lewis (age 5) and Robert “Bob” French (age 2). Kate was born in Arkansas in 1844, according to the census. Her parents, unknown by name, were both born in North Carolina. Kate and Thomas J. French, Sr.’s children grew up in Izard County, but only “Watt” French remained and established his permanent home at Guion, Arkansas [12].

1900 Izard County Township Map

Guion was created in 1906 from parts of Lafferty and Lunenburg. Lunenburg name changed from Rocky Bayou between 1870-76. Part to Lafferty Creek in 1876. Part to Sage between 1890-1900. Like all large towns, Lunenburg had several stores, doctors’ offices, at least two cotton gins, a sawmill, a tannery, several grist mills, blacksmith shops, a whiskey distillery, a cooper’s (barrel maker’s) shop, a livery stable, churches and a school. One of the school buildings, built in 1868 with the help of a well-attended International Order of Odd Fellows lodge, had a bell that was the pride of the community.

Third Generation

Children of Frances French and James Bagley, 2.1

3.1 Lourina Bagley, b. 1823, m. Adim Quinn on 29 Jun 1939.

3.2 John Bagley, b. 1826, m. Lucrelia Milsap on 4 May 1851.

3.3 Eliza Jane Bagley, b. 1827, who m. Allen Peel in 1847 in Independence Co., AR. Their dau. was Ella Peel, b. 1870 in Independence Co., AR, m. Thomas Fleming. Their dau is Grace Fleming who m. James Baxter. Their child is Grace Helen Baxter who m. ______ Constantine [5].

3.4 Harriet Ann Bagley, b. 1829, m. Horace Dunlap on 3 Feb 1845.

3.5 Elizabeth Bagley, b. 1830, m. David Luster on 25 Jan 1846.

3.6 James Asher Bagley, b. 1833.

3.7 George Clinton Bagley, b. 1834.

3.8 Virginia Bagley, b. 1838.

3.9 Daniel Chapman Bagley, b. 1844, moved to Oregon. Named for his grandmother’s family [12].

3.10 Marcus C. or G. Bagley, b. 15 Jun 1844, m. Annie M., lived in the home of Wesley J. Clark on the 1860 census.

3.11 Lucretia Bagley, b. 1846.

3.12 Allen Ramsey Bagley, b. 30 Jun 1848 in Protem, Taney Co., MO, m. Sarah Clark Wisdom on 2 Mar 1870 in Jackson Co., AR, moved to Texas where he died 26 Oct 1926. They had 10 children to include Permelia Harriet Bagley, b. 6 Oct 1874, who m. John James Gray on 15 Sep 1896, Taney Co., MO. [4]. This family continues with son William Mack Gray, b. 20 Feb 1924 in Lynn Co., TX and his dau. Annie Cleo Gray who m. _________ Melendez [4].

3.13 Edmond Bagley. Probably a child by Mary Hinkle, was an heir to James in probate papers.

3.14 Grover Bagley.

Childen of George H., and Lynis (Finley) French, 2.2

3.15* Townsend Dickinson French, b. 14 Dec 1837 in Izard Co., AR, m. Caroline Louise Anderson, moved to Oregon in late 1876 and was murdered in Morrow Co., OR in 1880 leaving 10 children [1].

3.16 Lucinda A. French, b. ca. 1839.

3.17 Martin Vanburen French, b. ca. 1840. On 12 Nov 1890 Martin is listed on the Federal Land Records of Amador Co., CA [17]. Martin most likely m. Callie [17]. Martin may have had sons Frederick, Jefferson, and George W. French [17].

3.18 Mildred E. French, b. ca. 1845.

3.19 Charles L. French, b. ca. 1847.

3.20 Uz T. (or U.F.) (or Uzza Pomeroy) French, b. ca. 1849.

Children of Daniel B. and Darcus French, 2.3

3.21 Sarah J. French, b. 1848 in Franklin township, Izard Co., AR [12].

3.22 Kinman French, b. 1849 in Franklin township, Izard Co., AR [12].

Children of Thomas J. Sr. and Adeline French, 2.5

3.23 James Levi French, b. 1850 [12].

3.24* Thomas Jefferson French, Jr., b. 1 Dec 1854 [12], m. Luer Ann Mitchell, daughter of William and Mariah (Harvell) Mitchell, about 1875 in Izard County, AR, and they had 12 children [12]. Thomas became a minister [12]. Thomas d. 1937 in Bower, OK [12].

3.25 Elizabeth French, b. 1857 [12].

Children of Thomas J. Sr. and Kate French, 2.5

About 1870, Thomas J. French, Sr. married for a second time. Catherine, who was called “Kate,” became his wife probably 1870. According to stories handed down through the family, Kate had been married before and had two daughters. If true, they apparently did not live with their mother, because they are not listed in the French home on the census records. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Kate and Thomas were living in the Rocky Bayou Township, between the present town of Guion and the Lunenburg community. In 1870, Thomas was 54 years old and Kate was 26. In the home were these children: Thomas, Jr. (age 15); Elizabeth (age 13), and Jane (age 8) (born 1862, probably a sister-in-law to Thomas J. French, Sr., and her husband was apparently dead. Jane had a son, William R. French). Kate and Thomas J. French, Sr.’s children grew up in Izard County, but only “Watt” French remained and established his permanent home at Guion, Arkansas [12].

3.26* William Watson “Watt” French, b. 1871 [14] or b. Aug 1869 [16], m. Laura Emily Sheffield. Their grandchild is Carold Hodges of Houston, Texas [12] [14]. In 1900, he was a farm laborer [16].

3.27 Rhoda French, b. 1872 [12].

3.28 James French, b. 1874 [12].

3.29 Lewis O. French, b. 1875 [12].

3.30 Robert “Bob” French, b. 1878 [12].

Fourth Generation

Children of Townsend D. and Caroline L. (Anderson) French, 3.15

4.1 Emma Mildred French, b. 28 Dec 1875 in Sacramento, CA, m. Renne Julian Howard [1]. They had son Marion Randolph Howard, m. Hazel Rebecca Laughlin [1]. And they had daughter Linda R. Howard [1].

Children of Thomas J. Jr. and Luer (Mitchell) French, 3.24

A large part of this family eventually settled in Oklahoma. Thomas Jefferson French, Jr. became a minister. One of their sons, Grant French, served in World War I and, upon his return to Izard County, he married Nora Marshall in 1919. In late 1921, Grant and Nora, along with their parents and several relatives from both sides of the family, moved to Bower, OK via covered wagons. The trip took 18 days. Thomas J. French, Jr. died in 1937. Nora had died in 1923. Both are buried in Bower, OK [12].

4.2 William French (born in 1879 and died in 1881) [12].

4.3 Anna Belle French (born 26 Nov. 1880; died 26 Jan. 1974); married William Joseph Boles; children: Stella Boles who married Marshall Bryant and Nora Boles who married Allen Ham; Anna Belle French was married a second time to Jack Shelton [12].

4.4 Ollie Lavoria French (born in 1884 and died in 1910; married Bill Boles; children: Olsille Boles and Odie Boles [12].

4.5 Johnny Thomas French (born 9 Feb. 1886 and died 13 Dec. 1923); married Minnie Sexton; children: Zeffie French, Jeff French, Elmer French, Zelmer French and Alma French. (Elmer was killed in an auto accident.) [12]

4.6 Mollie Lucity French (born 6 July 1888 and died ?); married Newton Caruthers; children: George L. (1906-1970); Noel, Edna (who married Freeman King), Clifton Carruthers, Thelma (who married Franklin Cochran), and Lizzie Carruthers (who married Gorland Standrich) [12].

4.7 Lizzie A. French (born 1890 and died in 1985); married Will Carruthers in 1914; children all born at Oxford, Arkansas: Odell (who married Rachel Nuton), Eva Mae (who married Grover McQuay), Randell Ray (who married Vineta McQuay), and Willie (who married Ola Mae Baker) [12].

4.8 Myrtle Jane French (born 9 Feb. 1892 and died 10 June 1986); married Harrison Sexton; children: Captolia, Cleo Fay, Vergie May, Fred, Grant H., Owen, Lola B., Clare Bow, Bobby Gene, and John Paul Sexton. Myrtle married a second time, Frank Conklin [12].

4.9 Luer Grant French (born 15 April 1895 at Guion, Arkansas; died 23 April 1995 in Bower, OK); married Nora V. Marshall in 1919 at Bald Knob, Arkansas; children Jefferson D. French, Evert French, Mildred L. (who married Dallas C. Grider), Beulah S. (who married Kerwin Andrew Williams), Okley L. (who married Mary Ann Payne), Vernon Wayne French (who married twice: Esther Ruth Burns and Lela Mae Oliver Miller), Bobby French, Herman Don French, Dixie O. (who married Jimmie G. Dawson), Grant Harrison (who married Patsy L. Starky), Bonnie Lorean (who married Donald G. Shaver), Ledessia Fern (who married twice: Troy Beagle and Henry Effinger), Leland Dallas French (who married Joyce Ann Francis), Mavis Carol (who married Jimmy R. Hairod) and Arthur Allan French (who married Dorthry Mae Dawson) [12].

4.10 Tommie Otis French (born 1897 and died in 1981) married Julie N. Blevins; children: Lloyd E., Trella Bell, Opal Fay, Loretta, and Jack D. French. (This family settled in Alamogordo, New Mexico.) [12]

4.11 Dora Dell French {twin}, born in 1899 and died in 1921; married Ebb H. Green; no children [12].

4.12 Cora Bell French {twin}, born in 1899 and died in 1911 [12].

4.13 Thelma L. French (born in 1902 and died ?); married Hugh H. Erwin; children Sybil N. (who married John Davidson), Dan G. “Pete”, Dean D. “Jack”, Theda M. and Nina L. Erwin [12].

Children of Thomas J. Jr. and Kate French, 3.24

Kate and Thomas J. French, Sr.’s children grew up in Izard County, but only “Watt” French remained and established his permanent home at Guion, Arkansas. In the 1880 census, their children included William Watson “Watt” French (age 9), Rhoda (age 8), James (age 6), Lewis (age 5) and Robert “Bob” French (age 2). Kate was born in Arkansas in 1844, according to the census. Her parents, unknown by name, were both born in North Carolina. Kate and Thomas J. French, Sr.’s children grew up in Izard County, but only “Watt” French remained and established his permanent home at Guion, Arkansas [12].

4.14* William Watson “Watt” French, born 5 Aug 1871 and married Laura Emily Sheffield, daughter of Benjamin Hill Sheffield and Emeline Franklin. He was a member of the Christian Church. Daughters (and their homes in 1946) included Virdie F. French Gulley of Ash Flat, Ark; Maxine Lillian “Mamie” French Chitwood of Omaha, Ark.; and Beatrice Ola French Hodges of Texas City, TX; sons included Ervin French of Tuckerman, Ark., and Oakley J. French of Batesville, Ark. William Watson French married again after Laura Emily died. Winnie Bell was born 28 June 1880 and died 23 Oct 1962. She is buried in Campbell Cemetery near Guion. Watt died at Guion on 21 June 1947 at age 75. He is buried at Campbell Cemetery near Guion.

4.15 Rhoda French was born in 1872 and married a Patterson. They settled at Bald Knob, Arkansas.

4.16 James “Jim” French was born in 1874; no other data.

4.17* Lewis French was born in 1875 in Izard County and died in 1898 in Woodruff County, Arkansas. Lewis is listed as Lewis O. French in Woodruff County records, including his marriage license. (His name had been listed as William Lewis French in family records and his son, Willie French, thought his father’s first name was William.) Lewis French married Mary J. Kesterson in Woodruff County, Arkansas. Mary Kesterson was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1876. According to her daughter, Mary had red hair. Mary had a sister, Docia Kesterson, who also married a man named French. The mother of Mary and Docia was named McPherson before marriage. Lewis French was buried in a cemetery west of Fitzhugh, near the White River. Several years later, the river flooded and the cemetery was washed away. Soon after Lewis French died, Mary J. married George Brown and they moved away to Van Buren County. Mr. Brown was a merchant in the Fairbanks Community. Mary and George Brown had the following children: (1) Oscar was born 20 August 1901 and died 11 Sept. 1953; married Ethel M. Matlock and their children were: Oneal, Pauline, Evelyn, Verlene, Bobby G. and Paul Don Brown. Ethel was born 20 Jan. 1905 and died 29 Oct. 1973. She is buried in California and Oscar is buried at Palestine Cemetery, west of Cave City, Arkansas. (2) Grover W. Brown was born 9 Feb. 1904 and died 16 Oct. 1971; married Georgia Waterman of Creston, Iowa. They had no children and lived most of their lives in Kansas and Missouri, before retiring to Cave City. They are both buried in Palestine Cemetery. (3) Delores Kathryn “Kay” Brown was born 17 Dec. 1906; married several times; no children. She was Kay Avery when she died in Porterville, CA. (4) Clifton Brown was born about 1908 and died in boyhood. Mary J. Brown, became a widow again in 1909, when George Brown died unexpectedly at their home in Van Buren County. Mary, with five children, quickly located another prospective husband. However, Mr. Hendricks did not want five young children as part of the marriage, so “Willie” French, Oscar, Grover, Kay and Clifton Brown were taken to the Oddfellows Orphans Home in Batesville. This was about 1910 and the Brown children and their half-brother, Willie French, remained there until they were placed in foster care. Mary died in 1945 in Parson, Kansas. Her last husband was David J. Smith (1859-1945). She was married five or six times.

4.18 Robert “Bob” French was born in 1878. He married and had a daughter, Liza.

Children of Watt and Laura E. (Sheffield) French, 3.28

4.19 Verdie French, b. Mar 1893 [16].

4.20 Erwin French, b. Nov 1895 [16].

4.21 Robert L. French, b. Jan 1900 [16].

Fifth Generation

Children of William Watson “Watt” and Laura Emily (Sheffield) French, 4.14

5.1 Virdie F. French of Ash Flat, AR, m. a man named Gulley [12].

5.2 Maxine Lillian “Mamie” French of Omaha, AR, m. a man named Chitwood [12].

5.3 Beatrice Ola French of Texas City, TX [12]. Beatrice Ola French was born 6 Sep 1909 at Guion. She m. Harry Herman Hodges on 25 October 1925. They moved from Izard County in February 1942 and went to Egypt, Texas. From there they moved to Glen Flor, Texas and then to Hitchcook, Texas. Later they settled in Bacliff, Texas where their children grew up. Beatrice died 23 June 1993 in League City, Galveston County, Texas. Their children are: (1) James Edwin Hodges, b: 10 Oct 1926; m: Amelia Beatrice Paladino on 11 Oct 1951. (2) Billie Rudene Hodges, b: 6 Aug 1928; m: S.A. Sapp on 10 Apr 1948. (3) Mary Etta Hodges, b: 21 Jan. 1932; m: Alvis James Arnett on 17 Feb 1950. Mary’s children are: (1) Carl Ray Hodges, b: 9 Jul 1933; m: 1>Frances Laverne Clark, 2>Marian E. Harper, 3>Jackie L. Sanders. (2) Gerald Ardell Hodges, b: 4 Jan 1935; m: Imogene Mullinghouse on 6 Sep 1957. (3) Roy Tilmon Hodges, b: 6 Nov 1939; m: 1> Sandra Dixon, 2>Verna Delois King. (4) Carold Lloyd Hodges, b: 6 Nov 1941 at Guion, Arkansas. (5) Harold Floyd Hodges, b: 6 Nov 1941; d: 29 Jan 2001; m: Korliss Kay Wilson. (6) Harry Herman Hodges, Jr., b: 27 Aug 1943; m: Sharon Kay Looney on 11 Feb 1963. (7) Dennis Lee Hodges, b: 13 Feb 1947; d: 10 Sep 2004; m: 1>Wanda A. Brown, 2>Patricia J. Kimbrough.

5.4 Ervin French of Tuckerman, AR.

5.5 Oakley J. French of Batesville, Ark. Oakley J. French was born 16 Sept. 1906 at Guion. (His name often appears in records as Okley.) He married Edna Cora Barham of the Herpel community in Stone County on 5 Oct 1924 in Izard County (Records 1919-25, p-576). She was born 22 Nov. 1908 – died: 3 April 1982). Their children included Virginia French Patterson (Batesville); Lillian French Davis (Little Rock); Bonita French Berman (Sarasota, FL). Oakley worked for the railroad (Missouri Pacific) and retired in west Batesville. He died 27 April 1995 and is buried beside his wife in Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville. The name on his tombstone is O.J. French. The original 24 acres of the cemetery were purchased by the city on 15 Jun 1872. Batesville (see photo below) is the oldest existing city in the State of Arkansas.

Children of Lewis and Mary J. (Kesterson) French, 4.17

5.6* William Lewis French was born 1 March 1898 at Tupelo (Jackson County) and, according to family stories, was only a few days old when his father died of spinal meningitis. He thought he was a Jr. for almost 80 years [12]. Records in Woodruff Co., AR prove that his father was actually named Lewis O. French, and no one knows what the “O” stands for [12]. When Willie French was about 16 or 17, he was sent to a farm near Cave City. In exchange for hard labor, the farmer provided a foster home for Willie. On a nearby farm, he met his future wife, Edna R. Matlock, daughter of John Henry Matlock and Mollie (Young) Matlock. Edna was born 6 Sept. 1899, one of 11 children. The Matlock farm was about two miles from Willie’s foster home. On May 27, 1917, at age 19, Willie entered military service and completed basic training in Louisiana, but World War I ended before he could be shipped overseas. On 28 April 1918, William Lewis French married Edna Rdosha Matlock at her parents’ home, west of Cave City. He died 29 Dec. 1982 and she died 8 Feb. 1983. Both are buried in Palestine Cemetery, near their home, west of Cave City. Willie was a minister for the Church of God, Matlock Rd., Cave City, AR, for more than 50 years.

Sixth Generation

Children of Oakley J. and Edna C. (Barham) French, 5.5

6.1 Virginia French Patterson (Batesville)

6.2 Lillian French Davis (Little Rock)

6.3 Bonita French Berman (Sarasota, FL).

Children of William Lewis and Edna R. (Matlock) French, 5.6

6.4 Velma P. French, born 1 April 1919 and died 3 Dec. 2002; married K. Garrett Ogilvie on 1 Dec. 1935 and had four children: Bobby G. Ogilvie (1936-53); Benny Joe Ogilvie (1938 -   ); John Craig Ogilvie (1944 -   ) and Larry G. Ogilvie (1946-1946); Velma and Garrett were divorced in 1958 and Velma then married Mack Steele on 6 Oct 1958. He died in early 1983. Velma lived most of her life in the Cave City area.

6.5 Harvey Earl French, born 11 March 1922; died 20 Jan. 1990; married Dora Lee Horton on 9 Dec. 1940; She was born 8 Feb. 1921 and died 6 Sept. 1967; children: Bill C. French and Betty French Abbott. After Dora Lee’s death, Harvey married Helen Farrell on 2 May 1970. Harvey lived in Arizona most of his adult life and his family still resides there. However, Harvey and Dora Lee are buried at Bald Knob, Arkansas.

6.6 Tommy Gene French, born 22 May 1925; married Irene Finney on 4 Aug. 1942; children: Betty (1943-1943); Harvey Eugene French, Glenna Ruth French Pruett, and Ronnie French. In 2006, Ronnie resides on the “homeplace” where his grandparents (Willie and Edna French) lived.


More siblings perhaps connected to Chart #25 are: Uzza Pomeroy French, Benjamin Nunnley French, William Jefferson French, Uz Pomeroy French, Frederick French, George W. French, and Jefferson French. Who is Hayden French in Independence Co., AR in 1836 tax list? Who is Samuel French in 1833 tax list of Izard Co., AR? Is Samuel the son of William and Nancy? Jane French, b. 1827, age given as 23 in the 1850 census of Izard Co., AR.

U.S. Census Reports

(note that ages do not always agree from one census to another.)

1830 Izard County, White River Township

Nancy French (five males, three females)

 1840 Izard County, White River Township (page 184)

Nancy French (one male, 15-20 years old; three males, 20-30 years old)

(one female, 10-15 years old; one female, 20-30 years old; one female, 50-60 years old)

George French (one male under 5 years old; one male, 20-30 years old)

                         (one female under 5 years old; one female, 20-30 years old)

1850 Izard County, Franklin Township (page 32-B) Oct 23, 1850

480/480 French, Thomas J., age 31, born in Arkansas

                        Adeline, age 16, born in Missouri

                        Nancy, age 72, born in South Carolina

                        Jane, age 23, born in Arkansas

                        William R., age 5, born in Arkansas

                        James Levi, age 3-months, born in Arkansas

(neighbors: Pittman and Watkins)

455/ French, Daniel B., age 28, born in Arkansas

                        Darcus, age 19, born in Arkansas

                        Sarah J., age 2, born in Arkansas

                        Kinman, age one-month, born in Arkansas

1860 Izard County, Irons Point Township (south of the White River in area that became Stone County in 1873)

#1109 French, Thomas J., age 40, born in Arkansas

                        Angeline (Adeline), age 27, born in Missouri

                        Nancy J., age 10, born in Arkansas

                        Mary, age 6, born in Arkansas

                        Thomas (Jr.), age 3/? (5), born in Arkansas

                        Sarah E. (Elizabeth), age 2, born in Arkansas

1870 Izard County, Rocky Bayou Township (page 18) Aug 2, 1870

136/137 French, Thomas J., age 54, born in Arkansas

                        Catherine, age 23, born in Arkansas

                        Thomas (Jr), age 15, born in Arkansas

                        (Sarah) Elizabeth, age 13, born in Arkansas

                        Jane, age 8, born in Arkansas

1880 Izard County, Lunenburg Township, page 412-C, June 30, 1880

63/65 French, Kate, age 36, widow, born in Arkansas; parents born in North Carolina

                        William “Watt”, age 9, born in Arkansas; parents born in Arkansas

                        Rhoda, age 8, born in Arkansas

                        James, age 6, born in Arkansas

                        Lewis, age 5, born in Arkansas

                        Robert, age 2, born in Arkansas

1880 Izard County, New Hope Township

#290 French, Thomas , age 21, born in Arkansas; both parents born in Arkansas.

            Luran (Luer Ann) wife, age 19, born in Ark., father born in Ark., mother born in Tenn.

            William, age 1, born in Arkansas

            ---- also in home ---

            Mariah Mitchell, age 49, born in Tenn; both parents born in Tenn. (mother-in-law)

            John Mitchell, age 9, born in Arkanas (brother-in-law)

1900 Izard County, Lunenburg Township (June 1900)

#67  French, W. Watt, age 30, born Aug 1869, born in Arkansas; parents born in Arkansas

            Laura, wife, age 26, born Sept 1873, born in Arkansas; parents born in Arkansas

            Verdie, age 7, born Mar 1893

            Erwin, age 4, born Nov 1895

            Robert L., age four months, born Jan 1900

# 79  French, Thomas J., age 42, married 21 years

            Lou J (Luer Ann)

            Children: Ollie, John, Mollie, Lizzie, Murtel, Louis, John, Dora, Cora 

1920 Izard County, New Hope Township

#8  French, Thomas, age 62, born in Arkansas; father born in Ark.; mother born in Tenn.

            Lura J. (wife), age 58, born in Tenn; parents born in Tenn.

            Grant, age 23

            Thelma, age 17

            Nora, age 15 (daughter-in-law)

1920 Izard County, Guion Township

#40  French, Ivan (stave mill worker), age 24

            Ida (wife) age 19

#114  French, W.W. (farmer), age 47, born in Arkansas

            Verdie, age 26

            Oakley, age 12

            Beatrice, age 10


[1] Linda Howard, (old).

 (old email) (503) 321-6362 (disconnected). 3414 S.E., Lincoln, Portland, OR 97214.

[2] Janice Looney, P.O. Box 231, Walnut Grove, MO 65770 (no longer at this address).

[3] Charles Hutchinson, who is working on this line: 750 Bodega Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952 707-763-2153. He’s not well. All data from his folder is in this chart.

[4] Annie C. Melendez, 5114 Walnut Park Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93111. 805-967-7654. FFA Member #443. Family names: BAGLEY, CHAPMAN, JAMES, LUSTER, GRAY. Connection: William French, Chart #25. William (1), b. ca. 1780 Lawrence Co. MO, m. Nancy Chapman; Frances French (2), b. 1802 in KY, m. James Bagley in 1822 in Independence Co., AR and had 19 children; Allen Ramsey Bagley (3) of Protem, MO, m. Sarah Clark Wisdom of Walker Co. TX; Permelia H. Bagley (4), m. John J. Gray; William Mack Gray (5); Annie C. Melendez (6). Query: Desire information about the names of the parents of Frances French. James was b. 1787, parents of 19 children. Lived in or near Locust Grove, Independence Co., AR. Also desire info of Publius Bagley, b. 13 March 1873, left Protem, MO area about 1889, thought to have gone to Florida, area unknown. I have an article saying James Bagley and his brother Asher were from NY state as early as 1821 and lived there until 1853 in Greenbrier township.

[5] Grace Baxter Constantine, (old email since 2001) 166 Whippoorwill Road, Union, NH 03887. (603) 473-2289 (disconnected). I have not positively proven that my connection to the FRENCH line, a GG Grandmother Frances French Bagley, is the daughter of William and Nancy Chapman French. Frances is listed in the 1850 census for Independence Co., AR as being born 1800(04?) in Kentucky, she was wife of James Bagley, b. 1787 in New Jersey. One of their daughters, Eliza Jane Bagley Peel, married Alan Peel and were my G Grandparents. One descendent of William had seen his birthplace given as Virginia. I had wondered whether he was part of the French line who moved to Kentucky from Spartanburg Co., SC. In 1850 census for Izard Co., Nancy, apparently a widow, is living with a son or grandson and gives her birthdate as 1782 and birthplace as South Carolina.

[6] 1850 Independence County, AR:
Alpheus, 50, farmer in VA (there is one from Farquier Co., VA who m. Juliet Byrne on 23 Jan 1832).
Julia A., 39, of VA (probably the wife of Alpheus, above, and probably named Juliet Byrne)
Mary J. C., 17, of VA (the rest are probably their children)
Uriah, 15, farmer, of VA
Elizabeth U., 12, of MO
James D., 10, of MO
Margaret A., 8, of MO

(probably Margaret Abigail French 1842-1916, who m. Jesse W. Flinn. He was a doctor. After he m. Margaret, they lived in Guilford Co. until about 1831, when they moved to Madison Co., Ky., and then in 1839 they moved to McMinn Co., Tenn., where Margaret Died in 1844. He must have been m. to Nancy Smith for a short time, for he moved to Independence Co., Ark. in 1857 where he m. Margaret Abigail French. He spent the rest of his life as a farmer and stock raiser, also practicing medicine to some extent. He had attended Baltimore College of Medicine, now The University of Maryland Medical School. He is buried in Alderbrook Cemetery; Desha, Ark.

Alpheus, 6, of AR
William E., 4, of AR
Martha, 3, of AR
John, 2 mo., of AR

[7] The Independence Co. Chronicle, Vol. IV, April 1963, No. 3, published quarterly the Independence County Historical Society, Batesville, Arkansas.

[8] Linda Kay Richards, email: (old email)

[9] Nora Crauthers. email: (old email) or (old email). I am looking for information on my husband's French family line. His G-Grandfather was Thomas Jefferson French, born Dec 1857 in Arkansas. Lived in Izard County, Ark but don't know if this is county he was born in. His father was born in Ark and his mother in Tennessee but we don't know their names. His wife was Lou Mitchell. Either Thomas' wife or his mother was a full blood Indian but we are unsure about which one.

[10] Harry F. Anderson, I do not have any information on your William French, but he appears to have lived in the same area where a James A. French later settled in 1871. Do you know the maiden name of Isabella who married this James A. French about 1861. James A. was the son of Elijah French who lived in Marshall Co., AL in 1850. James A. was born 1835 in AL and Elijah about 1808 in SC. Isabella lived with her sister, Margaret (dc 1865) wife of Albert G. Anderson of Tuscumbia, AL, during the Civil War. There are family traditions that give Margaret’s maiden name as both Crump and Kyle. She may have been from Decatur, AL. Isabella and James A. French left Colbert Co., AL in or about 1871 and moved to Izard Co., AR. They both died after 1900.

[11] Rose Ombre,, website:

[12] Craig (and Sue) Ogilvie, 1850 Case St., Batesville, AR 72501, 870-793-6489,

U.S. Census data, researched by Craig Ogilvie and Roger Harvell
Obituary of Watt French, Batesville Guard
Obituary of Edna Barham (Mrs. Oakley French), Batesville Guard
Official Discharge of William L. French from U.S. Army
Tombstones of Oakley J. and Edna B. French, Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville, Arkansas
Thomas J. French family history by Norine Weeks, descendant
Letters from Charles W. Hutchinson of Petaluma, CA., descendant of Frances French
Recorded family data from Velma French (Ogilvie) Steele and others

[13] Joyce Cooper Walker,

[14] Carold Hodges, (old)

[15] SueAnn Davis, (old)

[16] Descendants of Benjamin Hill.

[17] Amador Co., CA, Index to Federal Lan Records Names “A” -  “G”, California Land Patents Database.