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Myrle Greenhaw, Ira D Nelson and Odessa Nichols in 1929
THE WILLIE NELSON STORY

Kinfolks
by Evelyn Flood
In my very first KINFOLKS article for the Newton County Times
Newspaper on 7 August l997, I wrote a story regarding Willie Nelson's
kinfolks and his Newton County, Arkansas connections.

NOTE:
Copying, posting, reprinting or any other use of these stories (other than for YOUR PERSONAL USE) without the express written consent of this author, is prohibited and a breech of copyright laws.
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Did you know Willie Nelson's parents were married in Newton County??
Ira NELSON l8 of Pindall and Myrle GREENHAW l7 of Pindall were
married September 6, l929 right here in Newton County.
Not only that, but Willie's great-grandparents were also married in
Newton County, Arkansas.

Myrle Greenhaw and Ira Nelson were parents of Bobbie Lee NELSON, born
1 January 1931 in Abbott, Texas and Willie Hugh NELSON, born on
29 April 1933 in Abbott, Texas.

Myrle GREENHAW'S parents were William Alex GREENHAW and Bertha RANDLE
Bertha RANDLE, age 15, of Western Grove and William Alex GREENHAW,
age 21, of Western Grove, Newton County, Arkansas, were married on
25 April 1904 in Boone County, Arkansas by W J Moore.

There are some RANDLES listed in the Cherokee Dawes Indian Rolls.
Could this be the Indian blood Willie referred to when he said his
grandmother was Indian.?

William Alex GREENHAW was born 18 March 1883 in Newton County, Arkansas
and died 29 July 1945 in Searcy County, Arkansas.
Bertha RANDLE GREENHAW was born 10 August 1888 in Newton County,
Arkansas and died 21 April 1964 in Searcy County, Arkansas. Both
are buried in Glencoe Cemetery, Searcy County. I have Bertha's
Death Certificate.

William Alex GREENHAW and Bertha RANDLE GREENHAW had the following
known children:
(1)Earl George GREENHAW, born 16 April l907 . He lived at Neosho,
Missouri in 1960. He may have died on 21 June 1982. The Holt Funeral
Home in Harrison was in charge of his funeral. Do not know where he
is buried.

(2) Myrle GREENHAW was born in l9l0 in Searcy County, Arkansas and
married Ira NELSON (they were the parents of Bobbie Lee and Willie
NELSON).Myrle Greenhaw NELSON in later years, married
Claude SHARPENSTEIN and Kenneth HARVEY .
Myrle died in December 1983 at Yakima, Washington.

(3) William Henry "Buck" GREENHAW, born 11 Oct l920, married
Deitha May Walls.
William Henry GREENHAW died l5 November l980 and is buried in St. Joe
Cemetery, Searcy Co.Arkansas.

(4)Carl George GREENHAW born 2 March l927 (nothing further known).

(5)Sybil Edra GREENHAW married Cooper YOUNG. Sybil Edra Greenhaw
Young died 18 February 1999 in Gleed, Washington.

William Alex Greenhaw's parents were Daniel Gabriel GREENHAW and
Lucy STANDRIDGE. Daniel and Lucy are buried in the Lurton Cemetery
on Richland in Newton County, Arkansas.
Lucy Standridge's parents were "Little Alex" STANDRIDGE and Eliza Ann
(maiden name unknown)born 1821 in Kentucky.

Daniel and Lucy's children, besides William Alex GREENHAW, were
Susie Jane GREGORY SHELTON, Mary Elizabeth BEARE, George William
GREENHAW, Emily Tennessee HOOVER BLACK, John Henry GREENHAW and
Ellen Arvilla EVERHART.

Ira Doyle NELSON was the son of William Alfred NELSON (1884-1940),
and Nancy Elizabeth SMOTHERS (1882-1979).
Ira Doyle NELSON had two sisters:

(1)Clara Mae NELSON(1902-1921), who married Otto TURNEY, son
of George TURNEY and Sarah RUFF.
A daughter Mildred Estelle lives in Hillsboro, Texas.
Clara May NELSON had a son Wallace Hugh TURNEY and Clara
died two days after Wallace was born, on 23 September 1921.
Clara's parents, William Alfred and Nancy SMOTHERS NELSON
"Papa and Mama NELSON", took the the two children to care for and
the little boy Wallace slept in a shoe box.
Wallace was premature and died when he was six months old.
So Papa and Mama NELSON raised Mildred and later she helped them raise Willie and Bobbie NELSON.

(2)Rosa L NELSON(1903-1998), who married
William Ernest NICHOLS, son of Jim and Bertha DUGGER NICHOLS.
The NICHOLS had five children and were also around to help take
care of Willie and Bobbie NELSON as they grew up.

William Alfred Nelson's parents were Franklin C and Aprilla Ann "Prilla" MARSHALL NELSON.
Franklin Craig Nelson was born 3 June 1857 in Marion County,Arkansas
Aprilla Ann Marshall was born 21 January 1858 in Boone County, Arkansas
Her parents were William Andrew Jackson Marshall and LaMartha A
Hemphill.
Franklin and Aprilla were married on 1 June 1875 in Boone County,
Arkansas.
Franklin Nelson died 18 August 1934 in Newton County and is buried in
Western Grove Cemetery, Newton County.
Aprilla Marshall Nelson died 20 February 1929 and is also buried in
Western Grove Cemetery.
In addition to son William Alfred Nelson, Franklin and Aprilla were
the parents of:
i:Stillborn Nelson, born and died 8 December 1875. Dugger
Cemetery Boone County, Arkansas.

ii:Amanda Faye "Mandy" Nelson, born 28 March 1877. She
married: Pleasant C. O'Daniel on 24 June 1892 in Boone County, Arkansas.
Pleasant was son of Jesse J O'Daniel and Mary Ann House.
Amanda Nelson O'Daniel died 19 January 1934 in Marion County, Arkansas
Buried Beckham Cemetery, Marion County
Pleasant C O'Daniel died 5 February 1957 in Marion County.Also buried
in Beckham Cemetery.

iii: Nora "Ollie" Nelson. Born 1882. She married
OSCAR EDWARD O'DANIEL on 2 November 1898 in Searcy County, Arkansas.
iii: William Alfred Nelson, born 13 November 1884 Searcy County, Arkansas
Married Nancy Elizabeth Smothers on 10 November 1900 in Boone County,
Arkansas.
William Alfred Nelson died 24 February 1940 in Abbott, Hill County,
Texas. Nancy Smothers Nelson died 9 November 1979 in Ft. Worth,
Tarrant County, Texas.

iv: Matilda Ethel Nelson. Born December 1886. She married
JOE BUTLER on 10 July 1909 in Searcy County, Arkansas.

v: Claudie Bell Nelson. Born 16 October 1889 in Arkansas.
She married (1)WESLEY AUSTIN SMOTHERS on 15 March 1903 in Marion
County,Arkansas. She married (2) JAMES THOMAS ORR about 1918.
Claudie Bell Nelson Smothers Orr married (3) unknown SMITH ca 1925
Claudie Bell died 18 April 1939 in Pindall, Searcy County, Arkansas.
She is buried in Glencoe Cemetery there.

vi: stillborn Nelson, born and died 4 Dec 1894 in Newton
County.

vii: John C Nelson, born 4 December 1894 in Newton County.
He married EARYBELL RANDLE on 6 March 1910 in Searcy County, Arkansas. John died on 7 June 1974 with burial in Blackland Cemetery also.
Earybell Randle, born 10 Aug 1894, died 3 Aug 1973 with burial in Blackland Cemetery, Foreman, Little Rivery County, Arkansas.
Their children were:
1) Wanda "Dee" Nelson who married SHERMAN GREEN. They had two children, Cleo and Mary Ann Green.

2) Deloris Nelson. She married (1) WILLIAM EDWARD BEARE and they had one child, Naomi Christine Beare.
Deloris married (2) RUSSELL NICHOLS and their children were: Janis, Merle Jean, Ernestine, Goldie Fern and Buddy Jay Nichols.
Deloris married (3) LEE CRAHAN. No children.

3) Cleo Nelson, born 21Nov1914, died 25Feb1990. He married DORTHULY (maiden name unknown), born 25May1921, died 11Dec1972. One son, Johnny Nelson.

4)Mavis Nelson who married (1) ED BRIDGES. They had three children; Harold, Ray and Debbie Bridges. Mavis married (2) HENRY CAROL (no children).

5)Billy Harold Nelson, born 1918 and died 1976.
He married FRANCIS JO JOHNS. Their children were Joe John, Billy Joe "Wayne" and James Harold Nelson.

6)Lola Nelson, born 3Nov1912. She died 17June1994. She married JOE MILLS, born 1Nov1914 and died 31Jan1978. Their children were Bobby Joe and Donald "Duck" Mills.

7)Neomi Faye Nelson, born 1Mar1930. She died 13Jan1993. Neomi married BUD MILLER and their children were Brenda and Cathy Miller.

8. Sylia (Sylvia?) "Sis" Nelson, born 16Aug1920. She died in 1999 or 2000. Her spouse was JUNIOR GREEN and their children were Carol Sue and Wilbur Green.
Thanks Juanita Moore for this additional information.

Nancy Elizabeth SMOTHERS'parents were: William Marion SMOTHERS (1861-1942), and Mary Elizabeth ROSE (1861-1895).

William Marion SMOTHERS' parents were: Austin L SMOTHERS (1827-1915) and Mary Elizabeth HENRY (1832-1892).

William Marion SMOTHERS was born in 1861 in Arkansas and died in 1942 at Pindall, Arkansas and is buried in Glencoe Cemetery there.

Mary Elizabeth Rose's parents were Allan Martin ROSE and Nancy
Caroline LONG.

Franklin Craig NELSON was known to the community where he lived, as "Uncle Peck". Franklin C NELSON was a Blacksmith. There are still remnants of his Blacksmith shop laying in the woods just down a spell from Carl Jean Nichols' dairy, which, back in the day was part of the land homesteaded by William Alfred and Nancy Elizabeth SMOTHERS NELSON.

Bill BOWDEN purchased some acreage from them when they left for Texas
Bill and Frantie BOWDEN's daughter Eunice married Carl NICHOLS and
the land has been passed down through the generations.

Uncle Peck's wife Prilly was a first cousin to Louisa HEMPHILL who
married William Marion SMOTHERS after his first wife, Mary Elizabeth ROSE SMOTHERS died.

Ira Doyle NELSON married a second time to:
LORRAINE MOON and they had two boys:
Doyle NELSON and
Charles NELSON
Ira NELSON was a well-known mechanic and owned his own garage when
he died in 1978.

Willie NELSON first married Martha Jewell MATHEWS and they had three children:
Delana Nelson, born 1953 in Hillsboro, Texas.
Susie Nelson, born 1957 in Vancouver, Washington.
Billy Nelson, born 1958 at Ft. Worth, Texas. Billy died in 1991.

Willie married second to Shirley Collie. They divorced.

He married a third time to Connie Koepke and they had two children:
Paula Carlene Nelson born in 1969.
Amy Nelson born in 1973.

Willie Nelson married a fourth time to Ann Marie D'ANGELO and has two young sons:
Lucas and Jacob NELSON.
Believe his wife is the daughter of Johnny Rodriquez, the Country and Western Singer.

In a recent television interview, Willie Nelson stated he was raised
by his grandmother(his Nelson grandmother). Willie said his grandmother was Indian (but which grandma?).

Have long admired Willie Nelson's music. He has written some of the most beautiful songs....many that people are not aware of. Many music artists use his songs. Wish I had a complete list of his songs but do not at this time. He has become a legend in his time.
I have cried many a tear listening to his "You Were Always On My
Mind" and many more of Willie's songs.

Bertha RANDLE GREENHAW'S parents were James RANDLE and Susan Frances O'DANIEL. Bertha's sisters were Mary, Earybell, and Lidie RANDLE.
Eary RANDLE married John NELSON on 6 March 1910 in Searcy County,
Arkansas.
John Nelson was William Alfred Nelson's brother.
The l900 Newton County, Arkansas census, Prairie Township, lists
Bertha, Mary, Earybell, and Lidie RANDLE.

Susan O'DANIEL's parents William and Nancy(mnu) O'DANIEL lived in Newton County,Arkansas from l850 to the l900's.
William O'DANIEL, born 15 August l800 in North Carolina, died 1 December l88l and is buried in Western Grove Cemetery, Newton County,Arkansas.

Susan's mother Nancy T NEAL O'DANIEL was living with James and Susan O'DANIEL RANDLE on l900 Newton County, Arkansas census, Prairie Township,Visit #59-60.
She was born February 1818\1820 in Tenn\Ill.
Nancy was 82 years old and had had 11 children with 6 living.
James and Susan Reynolds had had 4 children with 4 living.

It is unknown when and where Nancy O'DANIEL died and was buried.
She is probably buried in Western Grove Cemetery, Newton County,
Arkansas.

William and Nancy T NEAL O'DANIEL had the following known children:
(l) Mary Jane O'DANIEL born l845 in Arkansas, married WILLIAM MORRIS
on 12 Aug l869 in Newton County,Arkansas.

(2) Elizabeth O'DANIEL, born l847 (nothing further known)

(3) Nancy Adeline O'DANIEL,born 16Nov1852, married JOHN ASBURY EDWARDS in Sept1874 in Boone County, Arkansas as his second wife.
She died 31July1917 in Boone County and is buried in Valley Springs Cemetery there.

(4) Martha E O'DANIEL, born l85l(1849?) in Arkansas, married, JOHN JONES (l9) on 12 Sept l878 in Newton County Arkansas.

(5)Margaret O'DANIEL, born l853 in Arkansas.(nothing further known)

(6) Matilda O'DANIEL, born l858 in Arkansas.(nothing further known)

(7) Lavina O'DANIEL, born l858 in Arkansas.(nothing further known)

(8) Susan A O'DANIEL,born February l864, married James RANDLE on 20 May l886 in Newton County,Arkansas (parents of Bertha RANDLE GREENHAW and great-grandparents of Willie Nelson).

Sources of information:
My friend Laurie. Thank you, Laurie.
l860 Newton Co.Ark census-Prairie Twp #l48
l870 Newton Co.Ark. census-Prairie twp #l85
l880 Newton Co.Ark census- pg 614a, visit 345-240
Newton County Cemetery Book by Herman and Oleta Haddock
Marriage records of Newton County, Arkansas.
Marriage records of Boone County, Arkansas.
Some information from C L Boyd's Standridge Book
Glencoe Cemetery Records,Searcy County, Arkansas
l9l0 Searcy County,Arkansas census, Prarie Twp No. l87-192
1911 census of Arkansas Confederate Veterans, EDWARDS, page 7

1910 Searcy County, Arkansas census, Prairie Twp.No. 212-220
Randle, James L Head 49 M1 30yrs....AR,NC,Miss. Laborer
Susan F Wife 44 M1 30yrs....AR,NC,IL
Lydia Daughter 12 S...........AR,AR,AR

1910 Searcy County, Arkansas Census, Prairie Twp. No. 209-216
NELSON, William A H 27 M1 9yrs......AR,AR,AR Farmer
Nancy E W 27 M1 9yr.......AR,AR,AR
Clara M D 8 S............AR,AR,AR
Rosa L D 6 S............AR,AR,AR

1910 Searcy County, Arkansas Census, Prairie Twp.
Visit No. 210-217
NELSON, Franklin C H 52 M1 33yrs....AR,NC,AR....Blacksmith
Prilla H W 51 M1 33yrs 8-6...AR,TN,GA
Visit 210-218
NELSON, John C H 15 M1 0yrs........AR,AR,AR
Era W 15 M1 0yrs........AR,AR,AR
Amanda Grandmother 75 Widow 3-2..AR,US,US
HAYS, Sumner Orphan 4 S...............AR,MO,AR

l920 Searcy County,Arkansas census, Prairie Twp No. 266-271
Greenhaw, William A Head 34 W M......AR, Miss.AR
..........Bertha Wife 31 W F......AR, AR,AR
..........Earl Son 13 W M..... AR, AR,AR
..........Myrl Daughter 6 W F......AR, AR,AR

1920 Searcy County, Arkansas census, Prairie Twp.No. 267-272
GREENHAW, Daniel Head 66 W M......Miss.,Miss.Miss
Lucy A Wife 60 W F......AR,AL,AL
John H Son 24 W M...Single.AR,Miss,AR

I was getting the name Reynolds confused with the name Randle.
The name is RANDLE.
James RANDLE was born Oct l854 in Arkansas or Mississippi.
(census records vary)
He was listed on the l880 Newton County, Arkansas census in Prairie Township and again in l900 Newton County, Arkansas census in Prairie Township, Visit 59-60.

James RANDLE had a sister Susan F.RANDLE who was listed on 1870
Newton County, Arkansas census record.
Susan RANDLE, age 20, married CHARLES W. O'DANIEL on 5 January 1877 in Newton County.
Susan RANDLE O'DANIEL, born 6 March 1858, died on 21 April 1903
and is buried in Western Grove Cemetery, Newton County, Arkansas.

An Ed RANDLE, age 22, of Prairie Township, Newton County, Arkansas
married MARY E HAMILTON, age 16, on 23 July 1882 in Newton County.
Edmond RANDLE served in Co. F, 46th Missouri Infantry (Union) during Civil War. He is buried in Western Grove Cemetery, Newton County, Arkansas.

William RANDLE, age 35, married MARY CANADY on 17 March 1883 in Newton County, Arkansas.

An added footnote here:
This big wide world continues to be smaller.
George Silvester SMOTHERS, brother to Nancy Elizabeth SMOTHERS
NELSON, married Ollie WRIGHT whose mother was Martha Elizabeth
HAMILTON WRIGHT, stepdaughter to my husband's great-great-grandfather John "Jack" HAMILTON.
There are also two other SMOTHERS-WRIGHT-HAMILTON-RANDLE connections.

My father-in-law, Lee Chester FLOOD, was so right when he said the
FLOODs were related to just about everyone in Newton and Searcy
Counties, Arkansas.
Wish Grandpa were here so he could read this story.
He was sure right.....and not just teasing me.
Miss you my beloved Grandpa Lee.
Thank you Laurie C. for your help with this story.
Evelyn Flood
Rkinfolks@aol.com
Published originally in the Newton County, Arkansas Times Newspaper
in 1997.
NOTE:
Copying, posting, reprinting or any other use of these stories (other than for YOUR PERSONAL USE) without the express written consent of this author, is prohibited and a breech of copyright laws.
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Write me:
Rkinfolks@aol.com

Updated 24 Nov 2005

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