Poythress Progenitors: James Edward Poythress of Virginia

Progenitors are defined as Poythress men for whom parentage currently is unknown or unproven.


James Edward Poythress was born 13 Aug 1803 in Mecklenburg County, VA


Sources re birth:

(1) Family Record in Bible format, copied in 1938 by Ben Edward Poythress, Jr. on his 18th birthday using a quill pen and attempting to copy the handwriting from the old then-deteriorating Family Record of James’ family, which old record was then in the possession of Ben’s uncle, Nathan Hamet Poythress, who was a grandson of James Edward Poythress. Color photocopies of the 1938 hand-transcription, and a subsequent typed transcription by Barbara Poythress Neal, are on file at Library of Virginia in Richmond, VA; the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA; Samford University Library’s Special Collections Room in Birmingham, AL; and the Lauderdale County Dept of Archives and History in Meridian, MS. This record is referred to below as “Poythress-Preston Family Record Copied by Ben E. Poythress, Jr.”

(2) The (typed) transcription of this same document was published in the __Magazine of Virginia Genealogy__, Vol. 33, Issue 2, May 1995, pp. 111-114, referred to below as MVG, May 1995.

(3) __Giles and Joan (Pearce) Gilbert, Sr. and James Edward and Catherine Smith [sic] Preston Poythress, And Descendants, And Related Families:

Bennett, Lavender, McDaniel, Peel, Pinson__ by Betty Lawrence (Meridian, MS: Mount Barton Publishers, 1993), p.114. [Note: Author died Aug. 1993. Her books are published by her husband, Dr. Tom Lawrence; publisher’s address is 4201 Pineview Dr; Meridian, MS 39305; phone (601) 482-2505] This book is referred to below as “Lawrence.”

James Edward Poythress married Catherine S[peed] Preston on 6 Feb 1828 in Brunswick Co, VA.

Sources re marriage:

(1) Poythress-Preston Family Record Copied by Ben E. Poythress, Jr.

(showing her middle name as Speed)

(2) MVG, May 1995

(3) Brunswick Co, VA Marriage Register, 1751-1853, entry of 29 Jan 1828, of which copies are available from Library of VA on their Reel 51:254 (showing Catherine with only a middle initial, which could be “S” or could be “T”)

(4) Lawrence, p.114.

James Edward Poythress moved from Mecklenburg Co, VA, to Sumter Co, AL in approximately January of 1853, with above-mentioned wife and all 8 children, and reportedly with his nephew, James Speed Poythress. Source:

(1) Newspaper article about Mrs. Rebecca Lavender (daughter of James Edward Poythress), “Pioneer Woman of Magic City Near To Century Mark: Celebrates Her Ninety-Fourth Anniversary With All Of Children Present.” (with her photograph), __The Birmingham News__, Birmingham, AL (Thursday, 17 Nov 1932) [Note: article quotes her re the family’s six week trip in a covered wagon from Virginia to Sumter County, AL when she was 14, but unfortunately does not mention her cousin James Speed Poythress being with the family.]

(2) Lawrence, p.113.

James Edward Poythress died 17 Jan 1863 in Sumterville, Sumter Co, AL His wife Catherine died there in Oct 1884

(1) Poythress-Preston Family Record Copied by Ben E. Poythress, Jr.

James and his wife Catherine are buried in Sumterville Methodist Cemetery, Sumter Co, AL where no marker has been found for them among the overgrowth. Lawrence, p.115.