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Maughan Family

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Maughan Family Page 2

By:  Bobbye C. Winston



The name, Maughan, is an old Welch personal name meaning descendants of Merchiaum.  There were families of Maughans in England, Scotland and Wales in the early years.  Only limited research has been done on the country of origin of our family.  Handed down information indicates that we are Scotch-Irish.  William G. Maughan's wife was of Irish ancestry, indicating that the Maughans may have been from Scotland.  Research done on the family of Peyton Maughon that lived in North Carolina in 1800 revealed that this family came to America from Scotland.  This Maughon family lived close to our Maughan family and even though the names were spelled differently, they were probably related.

The earliest known spelling of Maughan was a John de Machen that lived in 1263 in England.  This family name has changed many times over the years.  In England, some variations of spelling were Mauchan, Maghan and Mawghum.  During the 1800's, our family is known to have used the spelling of Maughan and Mangham interchangeably and possibly used other spellings as well.  In recent years, some families have dropped the last "A" making it Maughn but this is still the same family.

The earliest Maughans landed in America in the early 1700's.  A William Maughan lived in Pennsylvania around 1750 and was listed as head of family.  A special census taking in 1783 shows a George Maughan living in Lancaster County, Virginia.  He was a seaman on the ship, Dragon, in the Virginia State Navy.  Also in this same census is listed a Mat. (Matthew or Matthias) Maughan living in Lancaster County, Virginia and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

The Maughan family migrated into North Carolina around 1750's and in early 1800's they fanned out into all the southeastern states.


The Other Maughans


Our Maughan line was apparently the earliest Maughans to arrive in America, as we know they were in America prior to 1800.  There were, however, several other Maughan families that arrived in America during the 1800's, coming here from England.  Even though these families were from England and arrived in America approximately 100 years later than our Maughans, it is my belief that we had some earlier common ancestor.

A John Maughan was christened in England in 1717.  John had a son, Thomas, christened in 1739 in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, England.  Thomas had a son, William, born March 10, 1779, in Milton, Cumberland, England, and died August 18, 1863, and buried in Gateshead, Durham, England.  William had a son, Peter Maughan, born May 7, 1811, at Breconside, Farlam, Cumberland, England.  (Peter had a brother, William, born in 1809.)[1] 

At 15 years of age, Peter went to Alston, Cumberland, England to work as a miner in the lead mines.  After the death of his wife, Ruth Harrison Maughan, on March 31, 1841, Peter brought his family to America on the ship, Rochester, which left Liverpool on April 21, 1841, and docked in New York on May 19, 1841.  In November of the same year, Peter married Mary Ann Weston.  In April 1850, he left New Diggins, Wisconsin Territory and on September 18, 1850, he arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah.

There are quite a few Maughan families living in the State of Utah and most are of the Morman faith.

Through correspondence with a William Maughan of Tampa, Florida, I learned that his father, George Edward Maughan, was born in 1861 near Stockton on Tees, England, about 75 miles from the Scottish border.  George Edward Maughan came to the United States around 1879 along with two brothers - one brother going to Logan, Utah, and becoming a Morman, and the other brother going to Eugene, Oregon.  George Edward settled in Minnesota.

A Lt. Russell Maughan of the U.S. Air Force flew a much-publicized "Dawn to Dust" flight from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast during the early 1830's.  He was from this Utah family.

There were two other brothers that went to Australia and took up cattle raising and the production of sugar cane.  Some descendants of these brothers presently live in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia.

There is another group of Maughans living in and around Ducktown, Tennessee.  They are the descendants of a Michael Maughan, also a latecomer to America.  He came to America just prior to the Civil War.  In the book, Ducktown Back in Raht's Time, by R.E. Barclay, it mentions that just prior to the War the Maughan family came to Ducktown from England, stopping first in Monroe County, Tennessee.  The Maughans and another family were in Liverpool preparing to immigrate to Canada when a representative of an English firm that was trying to develop a silver mine on Pond's Creek in Monroe County persuaded the two families to come to Tennessee.  Nothing came of the silver mine and Michael Maughan moved his family to Ducktown.

James Maughan


 James Maughan Married Polly Stadler in Caswell County, North Carolina on July 29, 1809.  They are believed to have resided in Anderson Township in south Caswell County.  This county is located in the northernmost part of North Carolina, bordering Virginia.

I have found no document verifying that James and Polly were the parents of William G. Maughan, born in Caswell County on August 5, 1815, but they to be his parents by a process of elimination.  James and Polly were of the right age and were residing in Caswell County at that time.  The other Maughan families were eliminated for one reason or another.  There were other families of Maughans living in adjoining counties.  William G. Maughan did name his first son, James, a common practice during that period to name the first son after his paternal grandfather.

Mrs. Mary McAtee, of Ogden Dunes, Indiana, a descendant of Alexander Maughan, brother of James.  She sent me an article written by Oliver P. Mahan, Jr. in 1894, giving information regarding this family in North Carolina.  His father, Oliver P. Mahan, Sr., son of Alexander Maughan, furnished him this information.  (Note:  The name, Maughan, was changed to Mahan in 1858 when Oliver P. Mahan, Sr. was in medical school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was having trouble with fellow students spelling and pronouncing his name correctly, so he began leaving the "UG" out of his name and the rest of the family followed suit.)

This article stated that James Maughan had two brothers, Alexander and Isaac, and a sister (name unknown) that never married.  Alexander Maughan was born in Rockingham County, North Carolina but it is believed they were all reared in Caswell County, North Carolina. The old maid sister was still living in Caswell County in 1834 or 1835.

The article also said that Alexander went to the War of 1812 and was never heard from again and James and Isaac moved to Greene County, Tennessee, in an early day.

The James Maughan mentioned in this article by Mr. Mahan is believed to be the husband of Polly Stadler and the father of William G. Maughan. Alexander Maughan also had a son named William G. (G. for Gates).

William G. Maughan

     My gr-grandfather, John Fletcher Maughan, was born in Macon County, AL on January 27, 1846. His father, William G. Maughan, was born August 5, 1815 in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of James and Polly Stadler Maughan.  William G. Maughan was in Russell County, AL by early 1830ís.  He appeared to be following an older William Maughan/Mangham and his family, believed to be a close relative of William G. Maughan. 

     On November 8, 1839, twenty-five year old William G. Maughan married fourteen- year-old Mary Caroline Williams, daughter of Eli and Mary Hollingsworth Truesdale Williams, residents of Russell County. They moved to Russell County from Kershaw District, South Carolina.   William G. and Mary Caroline Maughan are listed in Russell County census of 1840. 

     Their first two children were born in Russell County but by 1846 they had moved to Macon County when my grandfather, John Fletcher Maughan, was born.  After a short while in Macon County, the family moved on to Elmore County for a short stay and then on to Greene County, AL where they lived until their death.

        William G. Maughan volunteered for service in the Civil War after his oldest son was killed in the War but he only served five months, being discharged because of his old age and health problems.  He was 48 years old. 

     William G. Maughan died August 27, 1864 and Mary Caroline Maughan died December 11, 1885.  Both are buried in unmarked graves in Greene County, AL.

 The children of William G. Maughan and Mary Caroline Williams are:

James Eli Maughan b. October 23, 1840.  d. January 7, 1862.  Born in Russell County, AL.  He served in the Civil War in Company "B" 11th Alabama Infantry as a private.  He enlisted at Eutaw, AL in Greene County on January 11, 1861.  He listed his occupation as a sculptor.  (On the 1860 Greene County census he listed his occupation as a stonecutter.)  He died from measles on January 7, 1862, after serving less than a year.  He was 21 years old and single. 

William Walter (Billy) Maughan b. August 22, 1843.  Died May 20, 1905.  Born in Russell County, Alabama.   Died in Pickens County, Alabama.  Married Mary Matilda Rebecca (Mollie) Johnson on November 11, 1869.  He joined the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Greene County.  (This church was out of existence in 1870.)

In a census taken August 17, 1860, he was living in the home of Eli M. and Corrilla Hood in Mantua and working as a farm hand.  At that time, Mantua was a part of Pickens County, AL.

He served in the Civil War in Company "C" 2nd Alabama Infantry.

On November 9, 1870, he moved his membership to the Unity Baptist Church in Pickens County from the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church.  He served Unity Baptist Church as deacon, church clerk, and the first Sunday School Superintendent.

William Walter and Mary Rebecca Maughan were faithful to the Baptist Church and instilled their beliefs in their children.

For over fifty years, the descendants of William Walter Maughan have gathered annually for a family reunion.  I have had the privilege of attending several of these reunions and I must say they are a superb combination of southern hospitality and good southern cooking.

William Walter Maughan and his wife are buried at the Unity Cemetery in Pickens County.  The following article was copied from the Pickens County Herald:


"Brother W. W. Maughan was born in Russell County, Alabama August 22, 1843, and died at his home eight miles southeast of Carrollton, AL, May 20, 1905.

The subject of this sketch was a faithful confederate soldier of the Civil War; belonging to Company "C" 2nd Alabama Calvary and remained in service until the close of the War, attending his country's very best interest.

November 11, 1869, Mr. Maughan was married to Miss M.M.R. Johnson who with nine children 4 boys and 5 girls survives him.

Brother Maughan's death was great shock to all of us being so sudden and unexpected to his family and entire community.

After having worked hard all day, he retired to bed the night of the 20 in May at his usual bedtime and about 12 o'clock his wife discovered that he was cold in death.  Brother W.W. Maughan is no more; but that which made him what he was, the soul, that is not dead, but in the beautiful home of many mansions with his dear Savior whom he loved to serve in this world.

Brother Maughan was a most faithful member of Unity Baptist Church serving in the capacity of clerk for many years.  He was always found at the post of duty.  I have been his pastor for several years and do not remember his ever being absent from conference.  Brother Maughan looked after the very best interest of the church and always kept a splendid record of the business transaction of his church and gave perfect satisfaction to all concerned.  He will be greatly missed not only by his family and church but the county has lost one of her best citizens.  One by one our fathers pass away.  Here and there one may be found lingering on the urge of another world to unmind us of our own venerable death.  Our deceased brother was a kind and devoted husband, an affectionate father and a good neighbor.  We extend to the heart-stricken wife, children and relatives our profound sympathy in this time of sad affliction and commend them to him, who alone can comfort and heal the broken hearted. Let us bear in mind and just to practice the scripture injunction.  "Be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh."

                                            Yet again we hope to meet thee;                                                                           When the day of life is fled,                                                                                        There is heaven with joy to greet thee,                                                           Where no farewell tear is shed.                                                                                                        G.W. Kerr

 John Fletcher Maughan b. January 27, 1846.  d. August 8, 1902.  Born in Macon County, AL, near Auburn (now in Lee County).


John Fletcher's parents moved briefly to Wetumpka, AL when he was very young and then moved on to Greene County, AL.  A handed down family story states that when John Fletcher was 16 years old, he joined the Confederate States Army, serving for pay for another man.  Little is known about this service or the name of the man for whom he served.  In 1863, it was necessary for him to serve for himself.  A resident of Pleasant Ridge, Alabama, in Greene County, he was enlisted by Captain David P. Scarborough on June 20, 1863, to serve as a private in Company "B", 7th Regiment Alabama Calvary.  He was paid his regular pay plus $.40 per day extra for furnishing his own horse.  His colonel was Joseph Hudson.  His name appears on a roll of prisoners of war of Company "B", 7th Regiment Alabama Cavalry, Confederate States Army, commanded by Lt. G. M. Hubbard, surrendered at Citronelle by Lt. General R. Taylor, C.S.A. to Major General E.R.S. Canby, U.S.A. May 4, 1865, and paroled at Gainesville, Alabama May 14, 1865.

When the Civil War was over, he returned to Greene County.  He was married in January 1868 to Miss Eliza Wier of Pleasant Ridge but she died in childbirth shortly after their marriage.  There were no children.

On November 2, 1869, John Fletcher Maughan married Cynthia Melvina Peach, daughter of John Peach and Tamzy Caroline Gaskin of Pickens County.  They were married by J. W. Hanson.  They made their home in Bethany and later Benevola in Pickens County, AL.

John Fletcher joined Unity Baptist Church.  His wife was also a member, joining October 25, 1872 and was baptized October 27, 1872 in the Bonner Mill Pond.

John Fletcher was a farmer and for extra money he made syrup for people, furnishing his own syrup mill.  He was paid a percentage of the syrup that he made.  He brought this syrup home and stored it in large five and ten gallon wooden kegs and sold it throughout the year.

A photograph of John Fletcher shows him to be a tall, slender, handsome man and appears to have dark hair and a dark complexion.

He died on August 8, 1902 at age 56, a possible victim of diabetes.

 On June 3, 1907, Cynthia Melvina (Mell) applied for a pension from her husband's Civil War service.  At that time she owned 65 acres of land valued at $130.00 and one cow valued at $10.00 for a total value of $140.00.  The application was approved.

In July 1923, she was living in the home with her son, Robert Evalcus (Val) Maughan.  In October 1924, her health declining, she went to live temporarily with her daughter, Lucy Graves, in Birmingham.  She was suffering with rheumatism. She returned to Benevola and on December 12, 1926, at 5:00 a.m. she died.  She was 77 years old.  Her death certificate states cause of death as rheumatism and age. 


[1] Cumberland, Northumberland and Durham counties are all located in northern England near the Scottish border.