Carolyn Ericson

1614 Redbud Street

Nacogdoches, Texas


           Kissin Kuzzins is an East Texas query column entering its 45th year. It appears weekly in two East Texas newspapers: The Lufkin Daily News and The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. Queries are free, but they must pertain to a Texas ancestor. They may be submitted by e-mail, snail mail or by FAX to 936-552-8999. Please remember to include your snail mailing address

April 19, 2015


         You will find many interesting tidbits of early Nacogdoches history in the history of Old North Church. For instance, C. H. Whitaker was the first church clerk in May 1838. Among the names of the first members include Benjamin F. Whitaker, Elijah Anderson, Leander Tipps, Mary Sparks, Sibel Bryant, Elizabeth Ann Whitaker, Tera A. Whitaker, and Jackson, a black boy, property of Elizabeth Whitaker, in May 1838.

         Other early members include James H. Sparks, Levi Sparks, Henry M. Smith, Henry Rogers, Sarah McNulty, Elizabeth Sparks, Polly Cook, Emily Sparks, Milly , a black woman belonging to B. F. Whitaker and Mary, a black woman of Elizabeth Whitaker.

         There were a number of black member of Old North Church in the beginning. They included Anthony, Chaney, Jackson, Milly, Mary, and Susan who belonged to the Whitaker family; Susan, property of James Smith; Jane, property of Sarah McAnulty, Judak, property of J. H., Sparks, Norman, property of William Sparks, Elijah, property of Elizabeth Bullock, Henry, property of Jesse Crawford, are listed among the members of the early church. There were others also who are not included on this list.

         FIRST BOOK OF CHURCH MINUTES 1838 - 1872 has the names of the early members, both black and white. The people came together to worship God and sing his praises. The church minutes tell of the organization and actions of the congregation.

         Ericson Books has this minute book available. #9051 sells for $20.00 and gives lots of early history of Nacogdoches County and its early settlers. You may order your copy from Ericson Books, 1614 Redbud Street, Nacogdoches, Texas 75965. Please remember to add 8.25% sales tax.


         Seeking information on Elizabeth Mary LEWIS who was born in Alabama about 1843, and married Thomas O’FARRELL 22 March 1877 in Nacogdoches County. I first thought she was the daughter of Jacob LEWIS, but have discovered records which show this cannot be true. Thomas O’FARRELL was born in 1845 in Ireland. He enlisted in the Vermont Militia of the Union Army during the Civil War. He moved to Texas in 1877 and married Elizabeth Mary LEWIS that year. The marker at the Libby Community Cemetery has information on Thomas and Elizabeth – and five of their 11 children are buried here.

         Does anyone have records of this LEWIS family? I am trying to prove lineage to be eligible for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for a relative. Could Elizabeth Mary be related to Jacob? Possible a child of one of his brothers. Would appreciate any help on this matter.

         Wayne Farrell, 1669 Jamie Drive, Belton, Texas 76513 or by e-mail at <>


Another Nacogdoches obituary:

Saturday, June 11, 1901


         John Rector, a well known and substantial farmer living three miles east from town on the San Augustine road, died this morning about 9 o’clock of bilious colic or congestion. He was taken with cramps early this morning and continued to grow worse. A doctor was sent for hurriedly, but he died before the doctor arrived. His death was a shock to the community and is deeply regretted by all who knew him. He leaves a wife and several children. He will be buried tomorrow at North Church at 11 o’clock.

[John W. Rector, born 1 August 1852, died 22 June 1901./ Buried Old North Church.]


Monday, June 24, 1901


         Mrs. Selman, a pioneer citizen of Douglass, died at the home of her son, John D. Selman, near that place yesterday. Mrs. Selman was over 90 years old and was a most exemplary woman. She was the mother-in-law of Hon. J. J. Watkins, and leaves a large number of other relatives. We shall be glad to publish a biography of this interesting and honored old lady from the pen of some friend of relative familiar with her history. She came to Texas at an early day with her husband, W. P. Selman and settled a few miles southeast from Douglass. Her husband died at the old homestead several years ago. They were always prominent citizens of Nacogdoches County.

         [Rutha Payne Selman, Born 23 February 1814, died 23 June 1901, buried Douglass Cemetery]