(Much of the information and many of the references were obtained from Mr. Charles Parson, Faulkner Co., Ark.)

Joseph Lavender Sr. was born 8 Jan. 1816 in that part of Virginia that is now West Virginia. We presently do not know in what county he was born nor do we know who his parents were. There are several Lavinder marriages recorded in Franklin Co., Virginia but most are too late to be Joseph's parents. Shelton and Thornton Lavinders married in 1816 but Joseph Sr. was born early in that year and we believe they are not his parents. A Robert married in 1794 and another Robert and a Thomas married in 1795. If one of these is Joseph's father, then Joseph was a child born late in his parent's life. The 1820 census of Virginia shows that Allen of Amherst County, Thomas of Botetourt County and Robert, Chilton (Shelton), John & William, all of Franklin County, had male children of Joseph Sr.'s age.

When he was young, Joseph Sr. moved with his father's family to Fayette Co., Tennessee, just east of Memphis. This is probably where he married. The 1840 census of Fayette County, Tennessee, shows a Joseph Lavinder with a wife and two children under 5 years of age. The oldest child, John W. Lavender, was born that same year in Virginia. He, writing about his civil war service in later life, said his mother died when he was 9 years old. This would put her death about 1849. The 1850 census would have confirmed her name had she lived. Instead that census only shows Joseph, his five children and one teenage girl by the name of Missouri Webb. They were John W. born 1837, Clarisa E. born 1838, Joseph born 1842, William W. born 1843 and Sarah J. born 1845. John said that there were 6 children left when his mother died. Since there were only five children listed in the 1850 census, something must have happened to one child before the census was taken. One other problem is that John W. in his writings calls Sarah J. his oldest sister in his remembrances of the years 1852-3. We know from the census that Clarisa was his oldest sister. This could mean that Clarisa, had died by 1852-3, leaving Sarah as his oldest surviving sister.

Joseph joined the Methodist Church at a Church camp about 1843. That same year, on 4 September, he was security for a guardianship of some Allen orphans in Fayette County.

After Joseph's wife died, the family had a difficult time. Joseph worked as a miller to feed his family while John W., the oldest, took care of the younger children. Three years later Joseph married a woman named Elizabeth Outlaw. The marriages of Fayette Co., Tennessee show that marriage but only the day of the month (28th) is given. We assume that the marriage was 1852-3. Elizabeth was about 38 years old, about the same age as Joseph, and she was born in North Carolina. According to John W. she loved children and was good to Joseph's brood. It apparently was a great relief to John W. who was relieved of the responsibility of taking care of his siblings.

Soon after Joseph and Elizabeth married the family moved to Prairie County, Arkansas in the fall of 1853. Joseph purchased a farm near the present town of Cabot and Austin which is about 20 miles northeast of Little Rock.

In 1857 the family moved from Prairie County, probably to or near Holland in present day Faulkner County. They were listed in Hardin Township in the 1860 Conway County census.

Elizabeth died sometime after the 1860 census. On 30 Oct. 1865 Joseph married a third time to Frances Casey. She was 32 year old and the 1870 census says she was born in Alabama. Joseph was 47. Both started to attend the Oakland Methodist Church near Holland in 1865. She was baptized on 15 July 1866. Their child Lucretia was born in that same year. The 1870 census shows Joseph, Frances and Lucretia but it also shows Casey (female) age 16 and Frances (male) age 11. These latter two could not have been Joseph's children because they were not listed in the 1860 census of his household. Frances would have been 1 year old then and Casey would have been 6. We suspect they were actually Caseys, children of Frances Casey, even though the census taker, possibly by mistake, listed them as Lavenders. Casey was born in Mississippi when Joseph and his family were in Arkansas.

In the 1869/70 church year both Joseph and Frances were removed from the church rolls. Joseph died 12 Dec. 1883 and Frances survived him. We were not able to find Joseph Sr. in the 1880 census of Arkansas. Since he and his wife were removed from the church rolls, we believe he moved away from Holland. If he was not in Faulkner County, then he was possibly in Pulaski County (Little Rock) where his brother lived. His brother John Lavender was missed in the census of that year and if Joseph was there then he was missed too.


John was born 8th ____, 1837 in Fayette Co., Tenn. He was the oldest of several children of Joseph Lavender Sr. and his first wife. It is by his writings about his exploits in the civil war do we have as much information about this family as we do.

After John became an adult he worked at the carpenter trade. He was first in Washington, Hempstead Co., Ark. and finally at Mt. Ida, Montgomery County, Ark. when the war broke out. He joined the C.S.A. and served as Captain of Co., F, 4th Arkansas Infantry popularly called the 'Montgomery Hunters'. He was eventually captured in 1864 and sent to a prisoner of war camp on Johnson Island, Lake Erie. His brother, Joseph Lavender Jr. served under him as a private. Unfortunately we have little information about Joseph's service.

John married Mary Elizabeth Ray in Benton, Arkansas on 3 March 1867. Molly, as she was apparently know as, was a native of Alabama and she was born 15 May 1847. She came to a farm near Benton, Ark. at the age of 9. John and Molly made their home in Little Rock and John, at least, lived there all his life. He died 10 June 1921. In 1928 his wife applied for a pension based on his C.S.A. service. She was still alive in 1939 when she was featured in an article about her in a Little Rock newspaper.


Joseph Jr. was born 1842 in Fayette Co., Tennessee. He was only about 7 years old when his mother died. He moved with the rest of his father's family to Prairie County, Ark. in 1853. About 1857 his father's family moved to Conway County, probably near Holland in now Faulkner County.

Joseph must have joined the C.S.A. in 1861. He served in Co., F, 4th Arkansas Infantry, later to be commanded by his brother John. His brother was captured in December of 1864 and was held as a prisoner of war on Johnson Island, Lake Erie. We do not know if Joseph Jr. was captured also.

After the war, on 11 Oct. 1865, Joseph married Martha Jane Ford, age 21, in Holland. She was the daughter of James Ford, founder of the Oakland Methodist Church in Holland. They lived in an area then called Lavender Springs. Both were listed as church members in 1865 and both were baptized on 2 Sept. 1967.

The couple had one son, John, born in 1868. We have found no other information about him and we suspect that he died young. A daughter, Sarah Jane, was born 29 Feb. 1868. She eventually married Henry Woodson Parham.

In 1870 Joseph Jr. was listed as church secretary. On 20 July of that same year, Martha Jane, his wife, died. Joseph Jr. married a second time on 5 March 1871 to Amanda Garrett. Joseph was 30, she was only 15. We believe Joseph died before 1873. Amanda married a second time in 1873 to John W. Jackson.


Sarah Jane, sister of Joseph Jr. and John Lavender, was born in Fayette County, Tennessee in 1845. She married first James Mabry (Jas. M. Maberry) on 7 Jan. 1861 in Conway County. She was 17, he was 23. She married a second time to Jesse Benton Garrett, brother of Amanda Garrett who was second wife of Joseph Lavender Jr. She was apparently the namesake of Sarah Jane, the daughter of Joseph Jr., who married Henry Woodson Parham.


  • 1. 1840 Census of Fayette Co., Tenn.
  • 2. 1850 Census of Fayette Co., Tenn.
  • 3. 1860 Census of Conway Co., Ark.
  • 4. 1870 Census of Conway Co., Ark.
  • 5. "They Never Came Back," by Capt. John W. Lavender, C.S.A. Edited by Ted R. Worley
  • 6. Conway County, Arkansas Marriages - books 1,2,3,A, page 18.
  • 7. Fayette Co., Tenn. County Court Minutes, Book B, 1840-1844, p. 437.
  • 8. Fayette Co., Tenn. Marriages 1838-57 by Stevenson & Ingunice??
  • 9. Marriage Bonds of Franklin Co., Virginia.
  • 10. Virginia Census, 1810, 1820, 1830 & 1840.



Ford/Lavender Photo Album