Name: Vinyard LAWSON
Birth: Abt 1819 in Alabama
Death: 1892 in Near Talihina,Le Flore County,Oklahoma
Burial: Talihina,Le Flore County,Oklahoma
The spelling of his name varies in the census and documents that I have seen with his name on them. Since Vinyard could not read or write, I doubt if he knew how it was spelled. More than one document has it spelled Vinyard. It is the middle name of my grandfather, father and my brother. Also a number of my other relatives used the name and the way they all spell it is "Vinyard." Therefore, that is the way I have spelled his name in my family history.
Change Date: 23 SEP 2005 at 16:56:51
As for Vinyard's date of birth and age, we have the 1850 and 1860 Walker County, Alabama and the 1870 Polk County, Arkansas census to use to make a guess. They indicate he was born either in 1819 or 1821.
Census Name Age Where Born
1840 Vineyard Lawson 20-30 --
1850 Vinyard Losson 29 Alabama
1860 Vinyard Losson 41 Alabama
1866* Vinson Lawson 40-50 --
1870 Vineyard Lawson 51 Alabama
*Alabama State Census taken after the Civil War.
A Vineyard Lawson is listed in the 1840 Census age between 20 - 30 years. He is living next door to John Lawson. Living in the same household is a female, age 15-20 years and a male, age between 0-5 years, which would be my great grandfather Albert G. Lawson.
A Vinyard Lawson, of beat 2, paid taxes in 1840. Found in the 1840 Tax Record, Walker County, Alabama. William Robins was collector.
Vinyard and Julian Losson (Lawson) are enumerated in the 1850 Walker County, Alabama Census taken in the 11th District, 4 December 1850. His age is given 29 years, born in Alabama, a farmer, with real estate worth $100. It lists the names of 6 children, 3 males and 3 females.
I obtained a copy of the following land transfer from the land records at the Walker County Court House in Jasper. Vinyard Losson sold to Williams P. Fike for $165.00, a certain tract of land lying and situated in County of Walker lying on the North side of the Public road running through the Southwest 1/4 of the Northeast 1/4, Section 25, Township 14, Range 9 West, containing 20 acres more or less. The transaction took place 27 October 1857. Recorded in Book H, pages 414 & 415, 7 September 1858. Filed anew in Vol. 1, Record of Deeds, pages 296 & 297, 29 May 1883 (The second recording was probably done after the fire destroyed part of the Court House and many of the records in 1877).
Vinyard is unable to sign his name and only put his mark.
In the 1860 Western Division, Post Office Holly Grove, Walker County, Alabama Census, Vinyard and Jula A. Losson have another female child listed. It also states he could not read or write. Age is 41 years, farmer, value of real estate $800, value of personal estate $1545 and that he is born in Alabama. It also indicates that 3 children in the household were attending school.
In the 1866 Alabama State Census, there is a Vinson Lawson, who I believe to be Vinyard, living close to Albert G. Lawson, his son, in Township 14, Range 8 of Walker County. He now has two more young children, 1 male and 1 female under the age of 10 years living with him.
We next find Vinyard in the 1870 the Dallas area, Polk County, Arkansas Census. It indicates he is 51 years old, a farmer and born in Alabama. It lists a Lydia as his spouse. She is 23 years old and born in Georgia. It looks as if Vinyard has left his family in Alabama and went west. Lillie Lawson Wall a great granddaughter of Vinyard's, of Talihina, Oklahoma, indicated that a Lawson left his family in Alabama and brought a Lydia Bishop to Talihina. She died there and the Lawson returned to Alabama and brought his family to Oklahoma. Vinyard's first wife, Julia Ann, lived with her son, Albert G. Lawson, for the next 20 years or more. She was listed in the 1870 and 1880 Walker County, Alabama Census as living in Albert's household.
Some interesting information about Vinyard comes from the records of the Pleasant Grove Church. Pleasant Grove came into existence as a community in 1845 when a dissension entered the Baptist Church over the matter of missions. The Bethel Church, at Holly Grove, continued to follow the Primitive Baptist beliefs, while those who subscribed to the tenets of the Missionary Baptist organized and built their church at Pleasant Grove, in Township 14, Range 8 of Walker County, Alabama, the first of that faith to be built in the county. A meeting was convened at a school house near Ruben Keetons, on Lost Creek in Walker County, 14 July 1845 for the purpose of Constituting the Church. A Winyard (Vinyard) Losson (Lawson) was recorded as charter member of the Pleasant Grove Church and took part in this first meeting. Later Julia Ann, their son Albert and his wife Nancy Lawson joined this church that was located only about 2 miles from their farm.
Another recording of Vinyard at the church, "Proceeded to appoint delegates to the next association which is to be held with Union Church, Fayette City, including the first Sabbath in Sept. 1845, delegates names John Staggs, Vinyard Losson, Martin O'rear and Wm. Rutledge. Rutledge in case of failure."
However, Vinyard did not last long in the church. The following was recorded the fourth Sabbath in April 1846, "The difficulty between Wm. Rutledge and Vinyard Losson was taken up and a committee appointed to visit Brother Losson which was composed of Brethren Martin O'rear and John Staggs to labor with him and cause him to come to trail on Thursday after the 3rd Sabbath in May 1846."
On the Saturday before the 4th Sabbath in May 1846 the following is recorded, "The committee reported they had labored with brother Losson but could not cause a compromise to be made, the church took the case under consideration and appointed a second committee to inquire into the particulars of the case, R. Keeton, Wm. Keeton, John Staggs and Martin O'rear who found that brother V. Losson was the transgressor. The case was postponed until the 4th Sabbath in June."
The next entry states, "The United Baptist Church of Christ met at Pleasant Grove, the 4th Sabbath in June 1846. The reference was taken up and brother Losson was excluded from the fellowship of the Church."
Interesting that William Rutledge was married to Vinyard Lawson's sister, Nancy Ball Lawson. The records never indicate what the problem was between William and Vinyard.
The next entry about Vinyard is September 1864. This could have been his son, who had the same name of Vinyard. On September 1864, a new pastor was elected, David Manasco. About 50 new members were added to the church at a 7 day revival and Vinyard Lawson was one of these members.
Once more this Vinyard got into trouble with the church. On Saturday before the 2nd Sabbath in March 1866, a motion that V. Lawson be forgave for dancing was taken by the membership. Apparently he was forgiven and remained in the church.
April 1868, a committee of inquiry reported that they had visited Brother V. Lawson and Sister Elizabeth Wires, Sister Mary Sides, Brother John Morris. They came forward and acknowledge and were forgiven for their faults and were restored.
On Saturday before the 2nd Sabbath in January 1869, after service assembled in conference, a charge was brought against Brothers V. Lawson, John B. Sides, Sisters Kityan Sides, Nancy Sides, Mandy Myers, Martha J. Sides, and Milley Kitchen for playing and dancing. A charge was brought against Alvin Thomas for getting drunk. On Saturday before the 2nd Sabbath in Feb. 1869, references for the above cases were taken up. Nancy Sides and Mandy Myers acknowledge their faults and were restored. They reviewed the cases of Alvin Thomas, V. Lawson, John B. Sides, Martha J. Sides, Kityan Sides, Mary Sides, and Miley Kitchen and they were excluded from the church.
Vinyard was out of the church again or his son was out. There was no further mention of Vinyard Lawson in the church records.
As can be seen from the above church records, Vinyard apparently like to have a good time. It never mentions his wife, Julia Ann, as being involved in any of these incidents and it seems she remained in good standing with the church. She appears as a member up to the year of 1871. Albert and Nancy Lawson asked for and were granted a Letter for Dismishen from the church April 1971. He left the Pleasant Grove area and moved to land he homesteaded in the Springhill area and Julie Ann moved with him.
Vinyard apparently went to Arkansas. He may have stopped to visit his brother who was living in Arkansas. However, in the 1870 census he is living in the next county and on the border of the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Did his son, Vinyard Jr. travel with him and went on into the Indian Territory? The reason I suggest this is because we do not find Vinyard Jr. in any of the state census in 1870. There are no censuses of the Indian Territory for this period.
For years, we were not sure what had happen to Vinyard until we came across some information in the Lawson Letters from Elmer Dickson of Chico, California, who wrote and offered this information;
"A James Richmond Fike married Arvenzenia Lawson, 22 June 1879, who was only 16 years old at the time, at J. N. Nelson's residence. Permission to marry was granted by her custodian J. N. Nelson. She was the daughter of Albert Gallatin Lawson (I do not believe this is correct). He had left his family of children in Alabama after the death of his wife to go to the "Indian Territory" where his father had gone earlier. His father was Thomas Vinyard Lawson. Thomas Vinyard Lawson is reported to have been the second white man to settle and lease Indian land from the Choctaw in the Kiamichi Valley in what is now the state of Oklahoma. The record of his leases is recorded in the Indian Archives in the Oklahoma Historical Building in Oklahoma City but the records are written in the native Choctaw language and the books are the originals and are so fragile they cannot be photocopied. There is a mountain near the Scenic highway dedicated by President Kennedy known by local populous as Lawson's Knob."
The above information was the first indications that the name Vinyard may be a middle name that he used instead of his first name Thomas. In all the Census and other documents that I have found he used the name of Vinyard. I am still not sure his first name was Thomas but the name has been used in our family for years. If the 1866 Census and the Church records are correct and it is our Vinyard in the records, then he must have gone to the Indian Territory late 1869 or earlier 1870. Of course the person they are referring to could be his son who we have not located in the 1870 or 1880 censuses.
The Indian Records mention above have now been photocopied. Vinn Lowson T. and Vinn Lowson were listed in Wade County, Choctaw Nation (now Le Flore County, Oklahoma) in 1880. Record Wade County, film role POS Box 410, page 429 and located in the Historical Building in Oklahoma City. It states, Vinn Lowson T. (and) Vinn Lowson, Renter on share of crop to Gilbert W. Dukes. Signed by E. G. Armstrong, County Clerk, 19 June 1880.
As a note of interest, Gilbert W. Dukes was a Choctaw Indian and the son of Joseph Dukes. He was a voter in Wade County in 1872, the Sheriff of the Choctow nation in June 1875, a candidate for National Auditor in 1893 and a candidate for Principal Chief in 1896. he was Principal Chief from 1900 to 1902 and a candidate for National Treasurer in 1903.
On the same film as mention above, on page 431b, there is another listing of Vin. Dated 15 June 1881; Vinn Losson has come before me this day as a renter to Gilbert Dukes on share of crop and got his permit for the term of one year and has paid in full of fifteen dollars - $15.00. His son, Vinn T. Losson, is listed just above him on this document.
Vinn Lowson and Vinn Lowson were listed on the same line in Wade County, Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma) in 1880. Record Wade County (now Le Flore County, Oklahoma), film role POS Box 410, page 429 and located in the Historical Building in Oklahoma City. It states, Vinn Lowson T. (and) Vinn Lowson, renter on share of crop to Gilbert W. Dukes. Signed by E. G. Armstrong, County Clerk, 19 June 1880.
The next listing was 15 June 1881 - Vinn T Losson has come before me this day as a renter to Gilbert Dukes on share of crop and got his permit for the term of one year and has paid in full of fifteen dollars. His father was listed as Vinn Losson in the paragraph below him with the same wording.
The following is a list of when and how their names were spelled in the applications for permits;
Vinn Losson - 15 June 1882, permit for 6 months, paid $7.50
Vinn Losson - 1 March 1883, permit for 1 year, paid $16.00
Vinn Losson - 5 April 1883, permit for 1 year, paid $16.00
Vinn T. Losson - 5 April 1884, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vin Losson - 1 January 1884, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vinn T. Losson - 6 April 1885, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vingared Losson - 4 January 1885, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vinyard Lawson, agent, hired a laborer, Charley Warren 3 May 1886, permit cost $5.00
Vinyard Lawson Sr. - 7 March 1887, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vin Lawson - 4 April 1887, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vin Lawson Jr. - 2 April 1888, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
Vin Lawson hired Thomas Losson and Brown are laborer - 4 March 1889, permit cost $2.50 per man
Vin Lawson - 5 March 1890, permit for 1 year, paid $5.00
I may have miss some applications and the last one for a Vin Lawson was in 1890. Vinyard Lawson Sr. supposely died in 1892 and I am not sure when Vinyard Lawson Jr. died.
There is also some confusion as to who is Arvenzenia Lawson's father. This was discus in the Lawson Letters where it was indicated that she was the daughter of Albert G. Lawson, Vinyard son. There is a child in Albert's family in the 1880 Walker County, Alabama Census and her name is spelled Aresenany B., but she is only 6 years old. The Arvenzenia that later moved to the Indian Territory had already married James Fike, 22 June 1879, (I have a copy of their marriage certificate.) and the two of them are listed in the 1880 Census living in Township 14, Range 8. I believe Arvenzenia is the daughter of Vinyard Lawson and the youngest girl in the 1866 Census mention above. The youngest boy in the 1866 Census would be her brother Thomas Vinyard who moved to the Indian Territory and died there. The history of these two children is well supported after they move to the Indian Territory. The only question has been, who were their father and mother?
According to oral family history Vinyard died in Talihina, Le Flore County, Oklahoma. His sons, Albert, Goulder, Vinyard, Thomas Vinyard, daughter Arvenzenia and his grandson Thomas W. (Albert's son) and other relatives from Alabama moved to or made trips to Oklahoma to visit or live or stayed in Oklahoma. A number of my relatives believed our family came to Alabama from Oklahoma because of all the visits that their relatives, such as Albert would make to Oklahoma. I can remember my father telling me we were kin to the Choctaw Indians, in that one of my grandparents married an Indian. This could have been Albert and/or Vinyard, because there are records they married again in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
In June 1991, my brother and I decided to drive down to Talihina, Oklahoma to where we believed our Great Great Grandfather - Vinyard Lawson moved to after the Civil War and where our Great Grandfather - Albert G. Lawson would go to visit. Albert's younger brothers, Vinyard and Thomas Vinyard Lawson were supposed to have lived there after the war. Later, one of Albert's' daughters moved to Talihina and lived there for years. I have a letter she wrote to her brother (my grandfather John V. Lawson) in December 1931.
The town is very small and Jimmy and I stopped at the Lawson Pharmacy and spoke to a Paul Lawson. He is one of our lost cousins. He was busy, but he told us where to find his father Thomas Vin Lawson, who runs the Lazy "L" Inn (a 10 room motel) on the edge of Talihina. We stopped in and had a long talk with Vin (this is what he is called) and his wife, Dorothy. According to Vin and the history collected by the town newspaper, Vinyard arrived in the Talihina area in about 1865 and was the second white man in the area. (The first white man was a preacher who came to work with the Indians of the area.) After a number of years he returned to Alabama and got his sons Vinyard and Thomas Vinyard to return to Talihina with him. Vin indicated that two of the Lawson are buried in unmarked graves in the city limits of Talihina. Vin said as a child he used to ride by in the family wagon and you could see and recognize the two graves. However, the state put black top on the old road, widened it and moved most of the graves, but left the two Lawsons' graves at the request of the family. As time passed the graves were not taken care of and they have disappeared. Vin indicated that he could show us where the graves were within a 30 meter radius. The location is next to a car wash now. (I am not sure of the date of 1865 because Vinyard and his family are listed in the Alabama State Census in 1866.)
Vin stated that Vinyard lived about 30 miles southeast of Talihina when he first arrived near a hill that became known as Lawson's Knob. He said that not many people know about it now. He also indicated that oral history in his family stated that Vinyard was known as a hunter and he believe he did a little farming. He trapped bear and Vin told me a story about an old bear trap that one of the old farmers and a relative of the Lawsons had kept and had claimed it belonged to Vinyard Lawson. Vin was supposed to collect it but never got around to picking it up, and years later it was given to someone who took it to Texas.
Vin stated that there were also stories that Vinyard married or lived with an Indian but knew very little about it. Apparently the younger Vinyard brought his family with him from Alabama. Thomas Vinyard, the youngest son, was unmarried when he came and married in the Indian Territory to a Tillie Morton. Vin indicated that the newspaper printed a long story about Talihina's history and there is some information in it about the Lawsons.
December 1991, Jim and I made second trip to Talihina and talked to Thomas "Vin" Lawson and his family. I picked up a copy of the Talihina American Centennial Issue and it was interesting to read (it was printed September 25, 1986). It had a picture on the front page of a view of Talihina businesses along the First street (which was once a creek) and dated April 28, 1894. It indicated that; Talihina was originally an unnamed, missionary post that some called a shanghai-la where there were mountains, the valley, clear running streams, many varieties of trees and other plants. Then the railroad came through and it changed everything.
According to the newspaper the Choctaw Indians observing the laying of the iron rails of the railroad and did not know what to think. After seeing the prepared roadbed the Choctaw called it simply "hena", which means road. However when the rails were laid in place, a number of Indians witnessed the work. One exclaimed, "tulli hena" meaning iron road. The Choctaw dictionary spells the two separate words as "tali" and "hina". It soon became known as Talihina, Iron Road Town!
In another section it talks about the first white settlers. It states that the Choctaw Governor Alfred Wade brought the first whites to the great Kiamichi Valley, Reverend S. L. Hobbs and his family. He was not only a Presbyterian missionary, but also a physician. His wife taught the women of the valley many things including how to make "light bread". These two people started the old Lennox Mission.
The next white man to make the valley his home was Thomas Vinyard Lawson. He came from Alabama in 1865-1866 and eventually traveled back to Alabama to bring his family and settle permanently. (I believe, and Vin agrees, that he may have brought one of his sons but not his wife. She remained in Alabama and was living with Albert G. Lawson according to the census. Also I have doubt about the dates. Vin was listed in the 1870 Dallas County, Arkansas Census. He may have visited the Indian Territory but he did not settle there until later. ) The Lawsons' grandsons were the first white students in the Indian school located on Choctaw Hill west of town. White children were charged a $2 per month tuition. This fee was paid directly to the teacher in excess of his regular salary. Lawson descendants are still in Talihina, one of whom is a successful businessman here, Paul Lawson (Vin's son). Numerous other descendants are also living in the area.
The following affidavit was found in the Land Records in Jasper, Walker County, Alabama:
Before me, the undersigned authority in and for said County in said State personally appear G. F. Lawson, who being duly sworn deposes and says that he is a son of Vinyard Lawson, deceased, who entered or purchased from the United States the following described lands in Walker County, Alabama:
South West quarter of South West quarter, Section 28;
South East quarter of South East quarter, Section 29;
North East quarter of North East quarter; South West quarter of North East quarter; North half of South East quarter, Section 32;
North West quarter of North West quarter, North West quarter of South West quarter, Section 33; all in Township 14 South of Range 8 West.
Further deposing affiant says that his father died about the years 1892, that his name was spelled both "Losson" and "Lawson"; and while he has been informed that the patents to some parts of the above described lands were issued in the name of Vinyard Losson and the patents to other portions of said lands were issued in the name of Vinyard Lawson, all of said lands were entered or purchased by the same person, who was his father; and that said lands were afterwards sold by the Sheriff under a levy against his father.
Further deposing affiant says that his father had the following children vis; this affiant, G. F. Lawson, Albert G. Lawson, Ben (Vin) Lawson, Zilpha Davis, Sallie Myers and Nancy J. Hunt, all of whom are dead except this affiant and Nancy J. Hunt, who after the death of her husband, Jim Hunt, married a man by the name of Morgan, but he does not know where she is now living. That Ben (Vin) Lawson, left the following children: Gabe (Jabe) Lawson, Betty Lawson, G. L. Lawson, and Josie Lawson, who married Grief Johnson; and they are all living some where near Tallehaney (Talihina), Oklahoma. That Zilpha Davis left one daughter who married George McLain, and is living some where in Mississippi, present address unknown. That Sallie Myers left two children, viz.; Lawrence Myers and Julia Myers, who married a man by the name of Love. That Albert G. Lawson died about two years ago and left one son, now living at Galloway, his name being John Lawson, and 5 daughters viz., Julia A. Coleman (Colburn), Martha J. McDaniel (McDonald), Sarah Johnson, Louvena Freeman and Arb Lawson, the above named children and grandchildren are all of the heirs of Vinyard Lawson, deceased, as far as this affiant recollects.
It was sworn and subscribed to before A. L. Wall Notary Public, on the 20th day of March 1913 by G. F. Lawson. James W. Shepherd, Judge of Probate, certified that the conveyance was file in the Court House for record 12 March 1813 and recorded in Deed Record 159, page 35 and examined.
It was great to find this document because it listed Vinyard's children and some of his grandchildren. I assumed Goulder listed only the living children in most cases. He listed all his sisters and brother except Julia Ann ,who I believe died very young and his illegitimate half brother and half sister (of course I can be wrong and these two children may not be Vinyard's children).
Goulder's brother Vin (Vinyard) was called Ben and one of Vin's children was called Gabe instead of Jabe and he missed one of Vin's son, William David Lawson. Also, no one knows anything about Vin having a daughter called Betty Lawson. Will have to do more work on her.
Have found no information on Zilpha Davis.
Have found little information on Nancy J. Hunt. I know she had three children but not sure of their names.
Sallie (Sarah) Myers had at least six children and Goulder only mention two. Her children were Sarah Julian, Nancy Jane, James Vinyard, Luquilia T., William Lawrence and Mary C. Myers.
Albert had two boys and seven girls. Julia Ann's married name was Colburn, not Coleman, Martha Jane's married name was McDonald not McDaniel and he missed Savannah K. Carver who I know was alive at that time. There was a Mahala E. but I have found no information on her, so she may have died young. Lastly, there was a Thomas W. but I know he was dead before 1913 and may have been the reason he was not listed.
Father: John LAWSON b: 1780 or 1787 in North Carolina
Mother: Sarah H. BALL b: 23 AUG 1792 in South Carolina
Julia Ann LOGAN b: 8 DEC 1821 in Prob.,Cumberland,Kentucky
in Walker County,Alabama
- Albert Gallatin LAWSON b: 15 MAY 1838 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Zelpha LAWSON b: Abt 1841 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Sarah Ann LAWSON b: MAR 1843 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Goulder Fields LAWSON b: 16 MAY 1846 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Vinyard T. LAWSON b: Abt 1848 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Julia Ann LAWSON b: Abt 1849 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Nancy Jane LAWSON b: Abt 1852 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Arvenzenia B. 'Arvy' LAWSON b: 12 MAR 1862 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
- Thomas Vinyard LAWSON b: 16 SEP 1867 in Pleasant Grove Area,Walker County,Alabama
Lydia BISHOP b: Abt 1847 in Georgia