Mary was born in Virginia according to son Thomas in 1880 Census.
William appears to have a spouse in the 1820 Dallas Co AL Census, but only 1 female between 5-10 in the household in 1830.
Estate records of Moses Davis, indicate a daughter named Mary Higginbotham who had children, already deceased at the time of Moses' death c 1836. The Commissioners were ordered to name the heirs, but when the disposition of the estate was given, they did not do so. There are no other loose papers in the Courthouse that date back to this time. Other than this record, and the fact that William Higginbotham and his second wife sold their land to their neighbor, John D. Davis, a son of Moses Davis who was administrator of the estate, there is as yet no additional proof that Mary Davis was the first wife of William.
Perry Co AL Orphan's Court Minutes Book (1832-1838)
MARY DAVIS and WILLIAM HIGGINBOTHAM were married about 1810.93 WILLIAM HIGGINBOTHAM55,88,89,90,91,92, son of Caleb HIGGINBOTHAM and MaryAnn CASH, was born about 1788 in prob Amherst County, Virginia.93 He died in 1852 at the age of 64 in Bienville Parish, Lousiana.
William Higginbotham came to Alabama from Georgia - possibly the Wilkes, Elbert, Madison Co area. Said to be son of Caleb Higginbotham & Maryann Cash of Amherst Co VA who moved to Wilkes/Elbert Co GA along with Caleb's parents Benjamin Higginbotham & Elizabeth Graves and assorted other Higginbotham families. A GenForum post stated Mary Ann died c 1795 in Danielsville, Elbert Co GA and Caleb died in Holmesville, Pike Co MS in 1823. Unable to confirm or locate anyone with sources for this family. This post gave children for Caleb & Mary Ann as Betsey, Caleb Jr, Thomas, Aaron, Amelia "Nellie", Nelson Robert, William, Samuel.
Earl Higginbotham's book gives the following children for Caleb and Mary Ann: Robert (moved to Pike Co MS c 1809 & then Yazoo Co), Nelson (moved to Pike Co & then St. Landry Parish, LA], Nellie (married Charles Smith & moved to Pike Co MS), William (moved to Dallas Co AL) and Samuel (married Ann Ware; died Danielsville GA in 1829). He felt sure there were others.
Autosomal DNA results on my son do indeed match another Higginbotham/Graves descendant from Amherst and confirm that this is likely the proper connection. The above Caleb Higginbotham's parents were Benjamin Higginbotham and Elizabeth Graves. Benjamin's brother Aaron was married to Elizabeth Graves' sister. That the DNA could persist is likely - they actually match on two different chromosomes, suggesting the double-cousin inheritance.
In Feb 1794, William Hightower, Moses Davis & Caleb Higginbotham all served on a Grand Jury in Elbert Co, GA. The Autauga Co AL tract books reveal that William Hightower and Moses Davis were later neighbors in Alabama. William Hightower was one of the appraisors of the property of the deceased Moses Davis, but this would have to be a younger man as the senior William Hightower had already died in Autauga Co. There was a son also named William Hightower [Jr]. There is a marriage record in Elbert Co GA of a William Hightower to Mary Higginbotham (quite possibly the younger William Hightower as the elder had a wife named Amelia "Milly"] - is Mary a sister to William Higginbotham? The Hightower researchers have assigned this Mary to Francis Higginbotham, but the family of Francis Higginbotham all moved to Louisiana about 1812 and this seems unlikely. There are several Marys as there are several Williams in both the Higginbotham and Hightower families. If the connection is correct, though, Mary Higginbotham Hightower died young, because William Hightower Jr had a different wife at his death.
I have no idea which William the following one is. However, Baldwin Co was the site of the first gold lottery. The whereabouts of the William, son of Caleb & Maryann Cash are unknown in this time frame.
I believe William Higginbotham married Mary Davis, daughter of Moses Davis. They may, in fact, have been second cousins, once removed. There is adequate evidence that Moses Davis' family had also come from Amherst and Moses' estate settlement names a deceased daughter, Mary Higginbotham. William settled in Alabama next to John D. Davis, son of Moses. Then William and his second wife, Mary Bradford, sold their land to John D. Davis when they moved on to Mississippi.
Here is an older record also linking these families:
Georgia Tax Digests on Ancestry.com
Tract book of Dallas Co AL on microfilm at the AL Archives shows John D. Davis [brother-in-law of William Higginbotham] as receiving a part of S1 T18 R11 on 18 May 1819. William Higginbotham took out a patent in S2 T18 R11 on 7 Apr 1819 but examination of the BLM records revealed he eventually relinquished this patent. However, it appears the men may have come to Alabama together.
1820 Alabama Census Index; Dallas County:
"Cahawba Press & Alabama State Intelligencer" [AL Archives #547-3 reels)
1830 Dallas County AL:
Bonds of County Offices, Dallas Co AL, Book B
US Land Patent. William Higginbotham Signed 20 Nov 1835. Autauga and Dallas Cos. 40.5 acres. Ne 1/4 of NW 1/4 Section 6, Twp, 18, Range 12.
Tax Rolls for Kemper Co MS, 1836: List William and Linsey Higginbotham.
1837 State Census of Mississippi. First known census of Kemper Co.
Earl Higginbotham listed a possible daughter of William & Mary Davis named Parthenia/Bertha. She married Stephen Stanley in Lauderdale Co MS 28 May 1843. Living in Jackson Co MS in 1860. [She would have to be younger than Thomas to fit the 1820 Census - Wm had 5 males under 21 in his household. The censuses indicate only one daughter. I would strongly suspect she belongs to someone else.]
William was counted in the 1840 Kemper Co MS US Census; p.6:
By 1850 the family lived in Bienville Parish, LA. Son William lived with Jasper Gibbs and family working as a laborer, age 25 born in AL. Jackson was married to Lucy; Thomas was married to Louisa with 2 children. William, age 62, born in VA; Mary A., age 54 born in SC; Walker age 17 and Mary J. age 16, both born in AL; Adline age 13, born in MS.
Copies of the estate settlement of William Higginbotham have been placed in Folder 2 - Higginbotham, in the Vertical File of the Georgia State Archives.
William Higginbotham; Sucession #877, pp. 848-884
27 Nov 1852 Mary Higginbotham & Jackson Higginbotham appointed Administrators for the Estate of William Higginbotham, dec'd. James Mizzell & Andrew White, securities for the bond in the amount of $2450. All signed:
Sales held: 13 Dec 1853, 29 Dec 1853, 26 May 1855.
MARY DAVIS and WILLIAM HIGGINBOTHAM had the following children: