52 Ancestors/52 Weeks #15 ~ James Wood Nichols


James Nichols was born on October 28, 1837 in Hardin County, Tennessee to Soloman C and Elizabeth Wood Nichols.  He was the third of seven children; his siblings were: Eliza, Sarah Louise, William Jasper, Elizabeth Paralee, Melinda Adeline and Cynthia.

Shortly after the 1840 census, the Nichols family moved to Mississippi, and by 1848 they finally settled near Malvern, Hot Spring County Arkansas.  

James' father Soloman died about 1852, leaving his mother Elizabeth to raise the children.  I have no doubt that James and his brother William did their best to ease her burden by working the farm.

James enlisted in the Confederate army on July 29, 1861 at Arkadelphia in Company E. 12th Arkansas Infantry as a private. He enrolled with his brother William. Both were captured April 6, 1862 at Island #10, but James escaped on April 8. while William was sent to MP at Camp Douglas, Illinois on August 12, 1862, then on to Vicksburg.  William was finally exchanged on September 23, 1862, but he and James were both  captured again on July 9, 1863.  On July 13, both were paroled at Port Hudson, Louisiana, and made their way back  home to their family, and a worried mother I am sure.   

On September 3, 1868 James married his cousin Mary Polly Ann Cunningham and they had two children: John and Sarah Leanna.  Very shortly after John's birth James and Polly divorced.  I don't know the reason and have not found the documents...yet. 

In the early part of 1872 James married Keziah Francis Smith Black, who was also divorced.  She had one child from her  marriage-Evan Black.   James and Keziah had four children: Gordon Inge, Martha J, William Clinton and Alice.

On August 7, 1897, James' mother Elizabeth passed from this life.  James followed her on July 17, 1903.  Keziah lived out her remaining years with her son Gordon and his family.

James and Keziah are both buried in Big Creek Cemetery in Hot Spring County Arkansas.


They were my 2 greats grandparents.

The 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks challenge is from Amy Johnson Crow.
If you would like to read more about it, please visit her at No Story Too Small

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