Thomas believed to be the fourth son of William and his first wife.
1850 Bienville Parish Census: Thomas, age 30 born in AL; Louisa age 20 born in MS; Frances, age 4 and James J., age 2, both born in Louisiana.
A list of Commission Records, 1852-1880, in Winn Parish, found at the LA State Archives, includes
A List of landowers and the date of their land transaction is at the Winn Parish Court House [the Courthouse has had three fires, 1868, 1885, 1917, so much of any historical data is lost]
By 1860, the family was found in Winn Parish, P.O. Winnfield, Hh 197
Land Patent, Winn Co LA. Issued 2 Jul 1860. 80 acres
There are no records of Winn Parish during the years of the Civils War. However, there is a tax index book, 1864, by John O. Morris who was tax assessor and collector for both Winn & Jackson Parishes. His grandson had the book and made it available to Harley B. Bozeman who then printed the lists in the Winn Parish Enterprise News-American on Mar 10 & 17, 1960.
1870 Freestone Co TX Census. p.42; Dwelling 105. T. Higginbotham 57 b. in AL; Louisa 40 born MS; Frances 24, Mary 16, Martha E. 12, Thomas 10, Violetta 9, and Willis 6. All children born in Louisiana.
Non Resident Tax Lists exist in Winn Parish, LA, for 1871 and 1872 - Thomas Higginbotham is listed on these.
1880 Collin Co TX Census with son-in-law William Montgomery and daughter Martha. Age 60, born in AL; both his father and mother born in Virginia. Most of the children in Henderson Co. Hh 206
The search for possible parents for Louisa has been fruitless. I have discovered that living in Kemper Co, MS, and enumerated two doors from William Higginbotham and family, was the family of Elijah McCoy - and he had two daughters, one age 5-10 [Louisa would have been about 10 based on her age in later censuses] and one age 15-20. I wonder if the surname has been misunderstood - either by the enumerator, or by descendants.
Mississippi State Censuses [Index only] also show Elijah McCoy in Kemper Co, MS in 1841 and in 1845. By 1850, we find that Elijah is 64, b. in SC and is apparent wife is Charlott, age 55. Probably, a married son, William B., age 32, wife Lavinia, and children are living in the same household with Elijah. Unfortunately all the household is "dittoed" as born in South Carolina, which seems unlikely. Other McCoy relatives appear to be on the same page. There is an Elisha, age 55, also b. in SC with wife Sarah - among their children was an Elijah age 10. John McCoy was 27, born SC - wife seems to be Cancace on Candora, age 21. There are no Louisas among the females in any of the McCoy families.
It is also noted that no McGowans or even remotely similar spellings are found either in the 1840 Kemper Co, MS census, or in the State censuses for that time as indexed on Ancestry. Nor are there any remaining in Kemper Co for the 1850 Census. There is one family in 1850 with the surname "McGaw".
I also looked at the 1850 Slave Schedule. Some 5,378 slaves were in Kemper Co in 1850.
However, there was a James McCown who received a number of land patents in Kemper Co, all dated Feb 27, 1841. He was of Sumpter County, AL and would appear to have been speculating. It is interesting that is the same date that Elijah McCoy took out three land patents in Kemper Co and he was also listed as being "of Sumpter Co AL". The tracts registered at Columbus. May have been the first day the office was open.
I did find an interesting connection to the McCowan/McCown surname in Fannin County and it is related to Abraham Fry, father of William Wallace who married Louisa's daughter, Vi Higginbotham. Whether or not this transaction could have led to some sort of meeting between the Frys and Higginbothams is unknown. Francis McCowan was one of the earliest settlers and probably the man for whom Ladonia was originaly called McCowanville - it must be considered that his social standing was likely considerably higher than that of the Higginbothams who appear to have been somewhat down on their luck. There may be no connection at all.
1910 Census, Fannie and Vi, living together, both stated that their mother was born in Georgia. She is not in the 1880 census. Thomas was living with a daughter and son-in-law in Collin Co TX that year and it's likely Louisa was deceased. Most of the children living together in Henderson Co. TX
THOMAS HIGGINBOTHAM and LOUISA MCGOWAN had the following children: