William Ethelbert ERVIN Jr.

HAIRSTON.org ID#1052, b. 29 September 1809, d. 6 October 1860
Father*Col. William Ethelbert ERVIN1 b. 16 Aug 1780, d. 6 Nov 1839
Mother*Elizabeth DICK b. 6 Dec 1786, d. 10 Dec 1844
Birth*William Ethelbert ERVIN Jr. was born on 29 September 1809 in Sumter County, South Carolina. 
He was the son of Col. William Ethelbert ERVIN and Elizabeth DICK.1 
Marriage*William Ethelbert ERVIN Jr. married Sarah McGee KENNEDY on 22 October 1833.1,2 
Property*1837 - purchased land on which Liberty Hall was later built in Lowndes County.. 
WillIn Col. William Ethelbert ERVIN's will dated 11 October 1839, William Ethelbert ERVIN Jr. was named as an heir; Mentioned: Sons - John Milton, James Washington, Edwin Alexander, William, Daughters - Margaret Mariah Gibson, Jane Magdelen Ervin, Sarah Ann Ervin. Probate Book E, Page 482, Lowndes County, Mississippi. 
Census 1850*He appeared on the census of 21 November 1850 in Lowndes County, Mississippi.3

Census 1860*He appeared on the census of 20 June 1860 in Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi.4

Death*He died on 6 October 1860 in Lowndes County, Mississippi, at age 51. 
Probate*His estate was probated on 11 June 1861 in Lowndes County, Mississippi. 
NOTE*NOTE: William Ethelbert Ervin Journals, 1839-1856., University of North Carolina, Collection Number: 00247

This collection consists of two plantation journals kept by William Ethelbert Ervin at Liberty Hall Plantation between 1839 and 1856. The entries are very brief and note cultivation of cotton and other crops, hauling cotton to the Tombigbee River for shipment, cutting logs, killing hogs, and other activities. He also noted the weather each day.

Ervin included information on buying and selling slaves, hiring slaves owned by others, providing slaves with blankets, hats, and other clothing, and paying slaves for their Christmas work. He made lists of slave birth (and some death) dates. In 1847, he wrote out the rules for slave conduct and punishments in case the rules were broken. There were rules for how to handle quarrels, duties of husbands and wives, absence from the plantation, and the obligation of slaves to be in their quarters by 9 p.m.

Ervin also mentioned his trips to town and attendance at court and at sales. He was a devout Christian and regularly attended church and Sunday school. On 28 February 1850, Ervin mentioned that four of his children were very sick, one with typhoid fever.

In addition to the daily entries, Ervin kept lists and memoranda on his farming activities. At the end of each year, he entered an account of total weights of cotton, sometimes crediting each of his hands with the amount they had picked. There are pages of miscellaneous accounts and memoranda including twists of tobacco sold to individuals and notes settled. After February 1851, the diaries contain records of his saw mill and grist mill. These entries continue through April 1854. Following that date, there are some miscellaneous accounts through 1 January 1856.

Volume 2 is available in typed transcription. 


Sarah McGee KENNEDY b. 20 Feb 1816, d. 17 May 1862

Sources (www.HAIRSTON.org)

  1. [S284] Ervin Family Birth, Marriage and Death Records from 1780 to 1857 estimated to have been written in 1857 and is in very poor, but readable condition. Passed down by my great grandmother Virginia Antionette Ervin's family after she died in 1890., Personal Collection - original documents.
  2. [S285] Thomas, Betty Wood; The Ervin Family, Genealogy and Local History, The Columbus Dispatch.
  3. [S1850] 1850 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
  4. [S1860] 1860 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
Last Edited5 Sep 2020