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Family Story: Richard Floyd Mitchell (1826-1915): The Marrying Preacher
By Rita Carrolyn RAY [S164]

Family Story: Richard Floyd Mitchell (1826-1915): The Marrying Preacher

By Rita Carrolyn RAY [S164]

[editorial comment]

[Carrolyn’s Ramblings, S164 and in .pdf]

Carrolyn’s Ramblings

52 Ancestors: #06 Richard Floyd Mitchell (1826-1915): The Marrying Preacher

This is the 6th installment of my response to Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestor Challenge. For information about the challenge, click the button. 

Richard Floyd Mitchell was born to Wright and Celia (Stephens) Mitchell. His death certificate indicates that he was born in Covington, Mississippi., but Wright Mitchell was in Lawrence County, Mississippi for the 1830 and 1840 censuses. Richard married Sarah Ann Hargrove in Lawrence County on December 22, 1847. By the time the census was taken in 1850, the Mitchells had moved to Caldwell Parish, Louisiana.

Richard Floyd and Sarah had several children:

        Mary Jane, m. James M. Rogers

        Martha, m. Jonas Webb

        Theodore Columbus, m. Alice Virginia Thomas

        John Wesley, m. Naomi Hartin

        William Felix, m. Amanda Jane Craddock

        Sarah Ann, m. William J. Abbott

        Josephine, who died in 1869, age 8

        Marquis Lafayette, who married Annie Gillison Little

        James Floyd, who married Gillie N. Dickerson

        Simion, who died in 1875, about age 5

Richard served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He was in Company I of the 3rd Louisiana Infantry and was paroled at Monroe, Louisiana, on June 13, 1865. He was a Baptist preacher. A grand-aunt told me that he spent his time in the army making shoes.

During the early 1880s, Richard Floyd and most of his children made the move to Coleman County, Texas. I received conflicting information about whether Sarah Ann made the move to Texas -- some sources said that she died before the move, while some sources indicate that she died about 1885 and was buried at Atoka in Coleman County,

After moving to Coleman County, Richard Floyd became pastor of the Atoka Baptist Church. People came to his house to be married, and he often stood on his porch to  marry couples while they stayed in their carriage (or wagon.) He was known locally as "the Marrying Preacher."  

In July 1886 Richard Floyd married Margaret Elizabeth (Hines) Baldridge, a widow with several children. During the summer of 1981, I made several trips to the county courthouses in Coleman and in neighboring Runnels County surveying their records for information about my kin. Notable by its absence was a marriage record for Richard Floyd and Bettye. Puzzling, to say the least. My siblings and I explored scenarios which featured their living together "without benefit of matrimony."         

One afternoon in July 1986, I happened to get to Ballinger about fifteen minutes before time for the county clerk's office to close. I parked my vehicle in the shade of some oak trees; while my mother waited, I went inside to make one last attempt to find the missing marriage record. I checked the marriage index, and there, written in blue ink on the typewritten ledger, was an entry for their marriage. I immediately told the person in charge that I wanted to get a copy of the marriage record, and she astounded me by asking if I would like to have the original certificate. Would I ever! I signed a card showing that I was taking the certificate and did the "genealogy happy dance" on the way to my pick-up.


Linked toABBOTT William J.; CRADDOCK MITCHELL Amanda Jane Worth; DICKERSON MITCHELL Gillie Nannie; GILLISON LITTLE Annie (Ann, Enn); HARGROVE MITCHELL Sarah Ann; HARTIN MITCHELL Naomi Christian; HINES BALDRIDGE MITCHELL Margaret Elizabeth (Bettye, Martha); MITCHELL James Floyd; MITCHELL John Westley; MITCHELL Josephine; MITCHELL Marquis Lafayette "Bud"; Rev. MITCHELL Richard Floyd (R. F.); MITCHELL Simeon W. "Bud"; MITCHELL Theodore Columbus; MITCHELL William Felix (W. F.) (Felix W.); MITCHELL Wright; MITCHELL ABBOTT Sarah Ann Elizabeth; MITCHELL ROGERS Mary Jane; MITCHELL WEBB Martha Ann; ROGERS James Madison; STEPHENS MITCHELL Celia; WEBB Jonah (Jonas)

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