Gone to Texas

The following are messages from Giles County List Members and others whose ancestors were in Giles County and then settled in Texas and other points west. Perhaps, the story of their migrations will help in our search for our elusive families. Thanks to each person who has submitted information.

Visitor, if you have family migration from Giles County information,
please share it with us.
Contact the Giles County Coordinator.


ALBERT ARCHIE DUNNAVANT (DUNAVANT in Texas) was born in Giles Co. TN 1834, was in Ellis Co., Texas by 1890, and lived there until 1910. He died in 1911 and is buried in McKnight Cemetery Harmon Co., Oklahoma.

Albert A. Dunavant fought in the Civil War in Co. C 53rd TN Infantry as 4th Corporal in the Confederate States Army. He lost two brothers, Peter and George F. and a brother-in-law, Daniel Nipp during the war serving in the same Company. Albert Archie Dunavant and his wife Abigail GARRETT DUNAVANT 1843 Giles Co. buried Floyd Co., Texas 1926 with their Children Roy Clark 1879, Thomas Walter 1874, Samuel Houston 1866 wife Mary Rodgers 1865, Jordan Spivey 1877, George Isham 1869, Maude Avalona 1872 and husband James William Watson 1868, and Mary Elizabeth 1863 and husband Calvin Shelton moved to Ellis Co., Texas near Red Oak and Waxahachie, Texas.

With them my other Family Samuel J. PHILLIPS and his wife Miriam Elizabeth WHITE PHILLIPS and their children Ezra Parks, Ernest Regan, Emma Mae, Virgie Dale, and Ola relocated to Red Oak, Ellis Co.,Texas. My grandparents from the two families George Isham Dunavant and Emma Mae Phillips married in Ellis Co. Texas in 1894. They settled the last 40 years in Floydada, Floyd Co., Texas. A sister of Albert Archie, Jane W. DUNAVANT 1825 with husband James Milton Brownlow marriage 1842 Giles Co. moved to Floyd Co. Texas also.

Only family members who stayed in Giles Co. was my grandmother's oldest sister, Ida Belle Phillips who married Allen McNeese and died in 1927 in Giles Co. and Henry Dunavant 1857-1930 son of Albert Archie Dunavant and his first wife Martha Minatree who married Anne Rodgers 1862-1946 and is buried in the Dunavant Cemetery in Giles Co.

Submitted by: Granddaughter, Lynda Gay Dunavant Wright Brake.


Charles Clayton (C.C.) Abernathy and his wife Lavina C. Reed, (married c. 1850), both from Giles county, moved to McKinney TX in 1870.

Lavina's parents were Weakly Newton Reed (b May 15, 1809 - d July 20, 1890) and Arminta Carter (b December 12, 1809 - d unknown). They were married about 1825. Their children were: Robert C. Reed b 1830, Lavina C Reed b 1834 and Elizabeth F Reed b 1838.

Charles and Lavina probably took all of their children, but I am only sure of my GGGrandfather (the oldest of 7), John Newton Abernathy (born 1852). John Newton married Harriet Jane Roberts in McKinney TX in 1878. I assume that Harriet's parents, William and Roberta (Tidwell) Roberts, also went from Giles County to McKinney, TX sometime between 1870 and 1878.

John Newton and Harriet Jane later moved to Desdemona, TX and raised 7 children.

This info might help out anybody researching any of the following names:


Submitted by: Chris Abernathy.


John Brown, son of Lewis Brown and Lavina Birdsong, left Giles County on the 8th of January 1883 to come to Texas. Also joining him for the journey was Yancy Holt, son of Captain F.W. Holt, and E.F. Bass and his family, and J.H. McLaurine.

See Pulaski Citizen newspaper of Jan. 18, 1883.

This is submitted by Thomas Albert Brown, great grandson of John Brown. For further info on John Brown please feel free to contact Judi Brown.


My father's grandfather G.W. Holt and his young bride Lura Prentice were married in Gile's county, Tenn in 1879, they migrated to Pope county, Arkansas, there they had their first child John Wesley Holt in 1882. Shortly thereafter they moved to Whitney Texas and their second son was born and he was named Mack Holt. He was named after Lura's brother Mack Prentice.

Lura's father and mother, as well as her brothers also migrated from Giles county to Pope co., Arkansas and a short time later they also moved to Whitney Texas.

My father's grandfather G.W. Holt was murdered when his son Mac was but a few months old, leaving Lura a very young widow. She lived with her parent's in Whitney. G.W. Holt's murder was never solved.

Lura later married I.T. Spivey a widower.

My father was Wesley Lawson Holt. There were many Holt's In Tennessee and mine went to Texas by way of Arkansas.

Submitted by: Barbara Fay Holt Dolloff.