Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Gathering of Hollimans, Part II

by Glenn N. Holliman

In mid-October 2011, a dozen descendants of Christopher Holyman, Sr. (1618 - 1691),born an Englishman and died a Virginian, gathered in Fayette, Alabama for a seminar on the family.  In 1836 three Holliman brothers arrived in Fayette County in West Alabama.  Today their descendants live in Fayette, adjacent counties and states, and literally all over the country.  In these articles we look at Fayette and also family, some living and some passed on.

Above, Fayette County’s legal system and records resides in its one hundred year old gold domed court house.  A fire in 1911 destroyed much of the down town taking many early records with it. 

Above and far left James Monroe Holliman, Glenda Norris’ great grandfather, stands in front of Harkin’s Store which was destroyed by the 1911 disastrous fire that swept through the west Alabama community.  Later, James became a successful attorney in Birmingham, Alabama (1878 - 1938).

Today, (below) the front street across from the Court House reflects the gentle pace of life during a Friday afternoon in autumn.  

Below, James Franklin Holliman (right) inspects the materials Raiford Brandon (left) brought to the Fayette Round Table.  Frank is a descendent of Cornelius Holliman and Raiford of Charles Holliman.  All present were descended from Christopher Holyman, Sr. (1618 – 1691) and his son, Richard Holyman (1660c – 1711) with the exception of Joe Parker, who descended from Christopher Holyman, Sr. through a different son; that being Christopher Holyman, Jr.

  Below, two blocks from the Court House is the old train depot which survived the 1911 disastrous fire, now a community museum and visitor’s center.  Just a few blocks away stood the home of John Thomas Holliman (1844 – 1930), the great grandfather of Glenn Holliman and great, great grandfather of Glenda Norris.

Below, holding the bridle of his horse, John Thomas Holliman, and Martha Jane Walker Holliman (1845 – 1931), his wife, stand in the 1920s in front of their Fayette home, only four blocks from the County Court House and close to the depot.  The house is now gone. 

Like almost all Alabama white men and his male relatives of that era and age, John Thomas Holliman was a Confederate veteran.  He fought at Stone’s River in the West and the Petersburg, Virginia Crater in the East.  Martha Jane’s father, Samuel Walker (1822 – 1900) also of Fayette County, was one of the remaining 7,000 who surrendered with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.  (A fascinating article on John Thomas Holliman by Dr. Rhodes Holliman, grandson of James Monroe Holliman, can be found in the Archives, March 2010.)

Next posting, more views and news of the Alabama Round Table....

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