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This is a brief history of the ROCHELLE family that moved from Edgefield Co., S.C. & Union Co., .S.C. to the Brazora County area of Texas. A special thanks to Florence and the late Yerby ROCHELLE for most of the information. Please contact Sloan MASON if you have further information to add.


This page is dedicated to the late J. Yerby ROCHELLE & Family of Brandon, Texas and their ancestors & descendants!





John ROCHELLE, Jr. , b. abt. 1786 in N.C.; was the son of Captain John ROCHELLE and Patience THOMAS, who married 8 Sept. 1781 in Wake Co., N.C. Capt. John ROCHELLE served in the Revolutionary War and moved to the Richlands District by 1790. Capt. John ROCHELLE and Patience THOMAS had the following children: 1)Patience ROCHELLE 2)Anne ROCHELLE 3)Nathaniel ROCHELLE 4)John ROCHELLE, Jr. 5)Allen ROCHELLE 6)Frances ROCHELLE 7)George Thomas ROCHELLE 8)Althea ROCHELLE 9)James ROCHELLE 10)Wiley ROCHELLE.
John ROCHELLE, Jr. first married Sarah WINTER abt. 1812, of Union Co., S.C. Children of John ROCHELLE and Sarah WINTER, were: 1)Permelia Louisa ROCHELLE, 2)Mary Patience ROCHELLE 3)Jane Arabella ROCHELLE, b. 22 Nov. 1815 4)John Winter ROCHELLE, b. 10 June 1817. His wife Sarah Winter ROCHELLE was deceased by 1824. John ROCHELLE, Jr. married 2nd Elizabeth TOMPKINS, sometime around April 1827. She was the widow of Samuel TOMPKINS, and a marriage record was drawn up in court on 30 April 1827 in Edgefield Co., S.C. between them. She died 30 Aug. 1842. There were probably children, but I have not been able to find them. The 3rd wife of John ROCHELLE, Jr. was Charlotte C. COCHRAN, b. 8 April 1785-d. 10 Dec. 1852 in Edgefield Co., S.C. A marriage settlement was also recorded for this marriage on 9 April 1843. No children are known at this time of this union. She died 10 Dec. 1852 at age 67 in Edgefield Co., S.C. John ROCHELLE, Jr. died sometime after Jan. 1854 after appearing in court records for Military Pension of his father Capt. John ROCHELLE, deceased; claiming he was the only living son of Capt. John & Patience ROCHELLE, both deceased. He appeared in court with the family bible record. If anyone has a copy of this record please notify me at SLOAN MASON.




John Winter ROCHELLE, was born 10 June 1817 in Edgfield Co., S.C. He married Mary Francis JENNINGS, b. 4 Feb. 1821 in Union Co., S.C.; the daughter of Robert JENNINGS and his 1st wife Levicy "Vicey" HILL. (See Robert JENNINGS bible record)
John W. and Mary Jennings ROCHELLE had the following children: 1)Robert H. ROCHELLE, b. 26 April 1842-d. 10 May 1842 (buried in the JENNINGS family cemtery in S.C.)- 2)William Jennings ROCHELLE, b. 7 Dec. 1843 Edgefield Co., S.C.-d. 31 Oct. 1929, Brandon, Hill Co., Texas; 3)John Arch ROCHELLE, b. abt. 1846, d. Texas; 4)Joseph Presley ROCHELLE, b. 3 Jan. 1849, Edgefield Co., S.C.-d. 20 Nov. 1930 in Hubbard, Texas.


2 Pictures of Joe P. ROCHELLE-(far right) John Arch ROCHELLE





This is a brief letter and legal statements of the Rochelle family. The letter was written by Ollin CULBERTSON in 1941
  In order that we may all be acquainted with the facts surrounding the coming to Texas of the ROCHELLE family, I am attaching copies of statements made by Uncle Will and Uncle Jo several years ago when the record of Confederate soldiers was put into the monument at Hillsboro. I am doing this because there has in the past been some doubt as to just when Uncle Will came to the state. Grandfather and Grandmother ROCHELLE and Uncle Jo came to Brazoria Co. the latter part of 1859, Uncle Will and Arch remaining in S.C. with Grandfather JENNINGS. The war broke out while Uncle Will and Arch were staying with Grandfather JENNINGS in order to get schooling and they both joined the army of S.C. Grandfather ROCHELLE was slightly wounded at the first battle of Manasas, was discharged and came back to Texas in 1861 and remained here until he was killed by a falling tree in 1866. Uncle Will did not come to Texas until the war was over and then in the early part of 1866 was married to Aunt Mary at Brazoria, where her Uncle was sheriff of the County in 1866. They moved to Galveston and Harrisburg for a short while and then went on to Hill Co. Grandmother ROCHELLE moved to Galveston with her brother, Dr. JENNINGS, after Grandfather ROCHELLE was killed in '66; stayed there a little while, then went back to S.C. where she died about 1868. Uncle Jo stayed in Brazoria Co. and Harrisburg until about 1875 or 1876, then he went to Hill Co. I make these statements from records which we have and which are public records in Brazoria and Harris Counties, Texas.




My father John Winter ROCHELLE and my mother Mary Francis JENNINGS were both natives of Edgefield, S.C. and were married in Edgefield in about 1840. (June 24, 1841) To them were born 4 children, all boys-Robert ROCHELLE, who died in infancy; John Arch ROCHELLE who was killed in the battle of Franklin, Joseph Presley ROCHELLE who lives at Hubbard, Hill Co., Texas and myself William Jennings ROCHELLE. (b.7 Dec. 1843) I received a common school education. Came to Texas in 1866 and went to Brazoria Co. on the Brazos River about 5 miles above Columbia and stayed there awhile and then went to Harrisburg and then went on the Galveston and stayed there until in the fall. My father was killed in Feb. by a falling limb. I went back to the Brazos and on the 9th of October I married Miss Mary Jane YERBY and went back with her to Galveston and stayed there until the following February, when I started to Hill Co. and settled on the farm upon which we now live. We have had 5 children born to us. Mary ROCHELLE married R. B. HOWE and died Sept. 1888. Farrar ROCHELLE died Oct. 1888, Joe ROCHELLE died 1894. Wade lives on the home place with my wife and myself, and Clara ROCHELLE lived in Brandon, wife of Charlie BOONE. I was born 7 Dec. 1843, about 18 miles west of Edgefield Courthouse, S.C. I enlisted in the Confederate army on May 2, 1862 on James Island about 7 miles from Charleston, S.C. I was a private in Co. I, 24th S.C. Volunteer Pendleton's Brigade. My first Colonel was C. H. STEVENS. My first Captain was L. V. WEAVER. (Legal Statement of W. J. ROCHELLE)




My father J. W. ROCHELLE married Mary JENNINGS of Edgefield, S.C. Three boys were born to them-first W. J. ROCHELLE; second, J. A. ROCHELLE, third, Jo ROCHELLE (the writer). Came to Texas in 1859. When Fort Sumpter was fired on, Father with the French and Hugenot love of country went back to S.C. to fight for this loved country, joined Co. B, Hampton's Legion, was wounded first in the Battle of Manasas and discharged. W. J. ROCHELLE having attained military age, joined the Army of Tennessee, (Joe JOHNSTON). J. A. ROCHELLE also did later and was killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn. Jo ROCHELLE, the writer, then joined the Confederate Army (age 16) and surrendered near N.C. line when General JOHNSTON surrendered. Came back to Texas in 1865; settled on Brazos. Father died and Mother went back to S.C. and died there three years later. W. J. ROCHELLE married Mary J. YERBY and moved to Hill Co., Texas. Jo ROCHELLE married daughter of Judge Robert BLALOCK of Harris Co., Texas. Unto them a son was born. He is living now at Lynchburg-has one child Isabella. Moved to Hill Co. in 1876. Seven years later married Sally, daughter of that noble old pioneer gentleman E. C. ZOLLICOFFER. Four boys and one girl born to us, etc.


Confederate Veterans-Wm. Jennings ROCHELLE & (possibly?) Jo Presly ROCHELLE


Letter of William Jennings ROCHELLE, 2 May 1862-15 May 1865


On May 2nd, 1862, I joined Co. I, 24th S.C. Volunteers on James Island, S.C. and remained there until in the winter and our Regiment was sent to North East River, 9 miles above Wilmington, N.C.; and remained there until in the 10 days and we sent to Pocotaligo on the R.R. between Charleston and Savannah as the Yankees were reported to be landing on the coast. We remained there some time and then we were sent to Jackson, Miss at which place we arrived at night and slept a while ont he side walks but before day we were ordered out on the Raymond Road to meet Gen. GRANT'S army coming in from Port Gibson and had a pretty sharp engagement; but having a mere hand full of troops,, Gen. GIST'S Brigade; we fell back through Jackson and went out towards Canton, Miss. After taking Jackson, Gen GRANT moved his army on Vicksburg and Gen. Jose. E. JOHNSTON kept us moving around waiting reenforcements. We started for Vicksburg and crossed the Big Black River when we heard of the surrender of Vicksburg we fell back to Jackson and remained there for 5 or 6 days fighting until Gen. GRANT could move his artillery and placed it in position one night and the next moringing he opened on us with about 100 guns the heaviest artillery fire I was ever in during the war. That night we evacuated Jackson fell back to Brandon, Miss. and remained there until we were ordered to Chickamauga, Tenn. From there, I was sent to the hospital in Rome, Ga. and never rejoined the army until just before the Missionary Ridge fight. We were on the line near our right wing of the army and could see the engagement allt he evening but did not fire a gun that night. We fell back and never stopped until got to Dalton, Ga. where we went into winter quarters. After we left winter quarters we started to fall back towards Atlanta and then it was a fight every day until we had fallen back to Jonesboro. Gen. JOHNSTON was removed while the army was at the Peachtree Creek fight and we were put in Gen. B. F. CHEATHAM'S Division. G. HARDIE'S Corps. Gen. HOOD now in command of the army. Gen. HARDIE was removed. CHEATHAM in command of his corps we started on the march fro Nashville, very little fighting until got to Columbia, Tenn. There we engaged Gen. THOMAS'S army. While CHEATHAM'S Corps crossed Duck Rivers and marched all day and struck the turn pike between Columbia and Franklin at Spring Hill about 2 hours by sun. Gen. FOREST or WHEELER, I don't remember was fighting THOMAS'S Calvary. Gen. CLEBURN sent part of his command to his assistance and repulsed the enemy and lay there in less than a mile the turn pike all night and listened at THOMAS'S Army passing. In the morning we started after the Yankees and got in sight of Franklin, we were deployed in line of battle and made the attack on their breast works between 3 or 4 o'clock and captured their works. Tehy falling back to a second set of works 40 or 50 yards from the first. When the second line of battle reached the captured line if they had charged the second lie they remained with us instead of making the attack. THOMAS fell back to Nashville and started to building breast works and lay there until THOMAS received reenforcements, and recrossed the river, and then the fighting commence again and continued until we were forced to retreat. We recrossed the Tennessee River on a pontoon bridge just above Muscle Shoals and fell back to Corinth, Miss.; where we rested up a few days and followed the B & O Railroad to Tupelo, Miss. and stayed there 2 or 3 days and fell back to West Point and from there we were ordered to N.C. At Augusta, Ga. our Co. was disbanded for about 10 days and allowed to go home. We rejoined the Command Saulsbury, N.C. and joined G. Jas. E. JOHNSTON'S army. The day of the Bentonville fight, we were in a light skirmish late int he evening we fell back and when we got Greensboro we heard that Gen. LEE had surrendered and we were parolled on the 15th of May 1865 having served 3 years and twelve days. WJR.


These are pictures of the ROCHELLES from S.C.

(L-R) Grandpa ROCHELLE'S mother (Mary Frances Jennings ROCHELLE)-William Jennings ROCHELLE-Leute? W. J. ROCHELLE (same man) (Bottom) Grandpa Wm. Jennings ROCHELLE & Grandma Mary Jane Yerby ROCHELLE


The Family of William Jennings ROCHELLE


William Jennings ROCHELLE, b. 7 Dec. 1843 in Edgefield Co., S.C.-d. 31 Oct. 1929, Brandon, Hill Co., Texas; son of John Winter ROCHELLE and Mary Francis JENNINGS. W. J. ROCHELLE, married Mary Jane YERBY, b. 28 May 1844 in Woodville, Miss.-d. 1 Jan. 1931, Brandon, Hill Co., Texas. She was the daughter of Col. B. F. YERBY and Catherine S. GILDART. They had the following children: 1)Mary Catherine ROCHELLE, b. 1 Sept. 1868-d.18 Aug. 1888;-2)Farrar Yerby ROCHELLE, b. 14 March 1870-d.21 Oct. 1888;-3)John Joseph ROCHELLE, b. 28 March 1876-d.25 July 1895;-4)William Wade ROCHELLE, b. 8 Nov. 1881-d. 1 Nov. 1957;-5)Clara Marcella ROCHELLE, b. 27 July 1883-d.-20 Oct. 1980. (See Rochelle bible)

A brief account of their marriage is below: (written by Mrs. Mamye KELLEY; from "The Mirror", Texas; Oct. 10, 1926.) In 1866, Col. B. F. YERBY and his seven children left their home in Miss. and started for Texas. On the steamboat, at New Orleans they met another family; Mr. & Mrs. Jno. W. ROCHELLE and their four boys of S.C.; also coming to Texas. Immediately Miss Mary Jane YERBY and William Jennings ROCHELLE fell in love. The two families settled in Brazoria county, Texas, and on Oct. 9, 1866 at 9 P.M. they were happily married. On the next day, Oct. 10th, Col. YERBY and his remaining 6 children left Brazoria Co. and came to Hill Co, settling at Brandon. One year later Mr. & Mrs. W. J. ROCHELLE came to Hill Co. and made their home with Col. YERBY until his death in 1905.
In 1867, Hill Co. was a wild and lonesome place. Their closest neighbors were the following families: Mr. & Mrs. Bob FERGUSON, Isabel WOODS, Mr. & Mrs. J. Rance DAVIS, Dr. & Mrs. HARRINGTON, Mr. & Mrs. Jim SHAW, and Mr. & Mrs. Ben WARD. Milford was the nearest post office, and there were no roads. For today, Oct. 10, 1926; we motored out to the ROCHELLE home, near Brandon, which is her part of the old original Col. YERBY ranch, and had a gloriously happy time. The occasion being the 60th Wedding Anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. W. J. ROCHELLE. Mr. and Mrs. ROCHELLE were the parents of 5 children who lived to be grown and married, two of whom are living, Mrs. Clara BOONE of Brandon and Mr. Wade ROCHELLE.
(not all was copied here)

Picture of Mary Jane Yerby ROCHELLE



Picture of Wm. Wade & Clara ROCHELLE



Below is a picture of the YERBY RANCH in Brandon, Hill Co., Texas.

Pictured below are (L-R) Dessiee & Kate -Pauline & James & Grandpa & Grandma ROCHELLE


A picture of Clara ROCHELLE & Wade ROCHELLE



This is a picture of Clara ROCHELLE, daughter of W. J. ROCHELLE & Mary J. YERBY; and her husband Charlie BOONE, on their 62nd Wedding Anniversary



Obituary of Col. B. F. YERBY


Died near Brandon, April 5, 1905; 85 years, born Pinkneyville, Williamson Co., Miss; on 1 Nov. 1820. Son of Wm. and Elizabeth White YERBY...father a native of Va. and mother of Baltimore, Md. Two of his sisters were members of Austin's Colony, and it was at one of their houses, that of Mrs. Dr. PHELPS; that Santa Anna was for a time held a prisoner after his capture at San Jacinto. In 1840 he married Miss Catherine S. GILDART, daughter of Judge GILDART, originally of Tenn.; but later of Miss. and Texas...7 died an infant and one at 17 years; Mrs. Mary J. ROCHELLE, of Brandon, wife of W. J. ROCHELLE; Mrs. Alice C. WELLER of Los Angeles; Mrs. E. F. FINCH; and Mrs. M. L. BEATTY of Brandon; and J. J. YERBY of Hillsboro...wife died 4 July 1860, 23 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren; 1 sister, Mrs. Virginia HUTCHENS of New Orleans, La. Col YERBY left Miss. for Texas, on Dec. 1865 reaching Houston on 1 Jan. 1866...moved to Hill Co., Oct. of 1866 about 2 miles south of Brandon...faithful in church. (From "The Christian Observer", 24 May 1905)


Obituary of Farrar Yerby ROCHELLE, son of W. J. ROCHELLE


Died at the residence of his parents, Mr. & Mrs. W. J. ROCHELLE, near Brandon, Thursday night, 4 Oct. 1888. Farrar Yerby ROCHELLE, aged 18 years, 6 months and 20 days. His remains were interred Friday in the cemetery at Brandon, the funeral being attended by a large number of mourning relatives and friends.


Farrah Yerby ROCHELLE



Obituary of John Joseph ROCHELLE


John Joseph ROCHELLE, son of W. J. and Mrs. M. J. ROCHELLE of Brandon, on July 25, 1894; 18 years of age, a child of the covenant, dedicated to God in infancey and reared in a Christian family with good religious advantages. ( small part copied from the "Hillsboro Reflector, Aug. 3, 1894.)


Obituary of William Jennings ROCHELLE


W. J. ROCHELLE died Thursday-Confederate Veteran and Hill Co., pioneer passes away at his home near Brandon-citizen of Texas since year 1886-coming to Hill Co, a short time after moving to Texas-Member of the church for 50 years. William J. ROCHELLE died at the family residence 2 miles south of Brandon at 1:30 o'clock Thursday morning, Oct. 31, 1929, aged 85 years, 10 months, 24 days. Funeral services will be held at the Brandon Presbyterian Church. Mr. ROCHELLE was born about 18 miles east of Edgefield, S.C.; 7 Dec. 1843. He enlisted in the Confederate service 2 May 1862; on James Island, S.C.; as a private in Co. I, 24th S.C. Volunteers, Pendleton's Brigade, Army of the S.C. Coast. He served 3 years and 13 days during the war and was paroled May 15, 1865, after having seen much service and many battles. He came to Texas in 1866. Settling in Brazoria Co., where he lived only a short time and then moved to Galveston. He made his home in Galveston for about a year and then moved to Brandon where he had continued to reside since. He married Miss Mary Jane YERBY, in 1866. When quite a young man, Mr. ROCHELLE was converted and joined the Presbyterian Church and had been a member at the Brandon PResbyterian Church for more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife, one brother Joe ROCHELLE of Hubbard, and 2 children, W. W. ROCHELLE and Mrs. C.E. BOONE both of Brandon. (from the "Hillsboro Mirror" Nov. 6, 1929)


William Wade ROCHELLE, b. 8 Nov. 1881-d.1 Nov. 1957; was the youngest son of William Jennings ROCHELLE & Mary Jane YERBY. He married Katie Dessimo CROWE on June 29th, 1902 in Brandon, Hill Co., Texas. She was born 27 Sept. 1886 in La., and died 28 Feb. 1920. She was the daughter of James A. CROWE and Anna CHEEK. Their children were 1)Mary Catherine ROCHELLE, b. 1 Dec. 1904;- 2)Margaret E. ROCHELLE, b. 18 Feb. 1912;- 3) J. Yerby ROCHELLE, b. 1919-d. 2001.




This is a picture of Jim CROWE, (Grandpa), (L-R)-Margaret ROCHELLE, Mary Catherine ROCHELLE & Kate ROCHELLE



Obituary of Katie Dessimo Crowe ROCHELLE


Mrs. Kate Desimo ROCHELLE, wife of Wade ROCHELLE, died at the family in Brandon, Saturday afternoon at 3:40, age 32 years, 5 months and 1 day. Funeral services were held at the Brandon Presbyterian Church Sunday afternoon at 2:30 with Rev. L. H. MCINNIS officiating and R. B. LEATHERWOOD in charge of arrangements. Mrs. ROCHELLE is the daughter of Jim CROW, one of the best known and most highly respected men of Hill County and a woman of many spendid qualities of character and news of her death will be received with sincere regret.





Dessie Crowe ROCHELLE,- Dessie & Yerby ROCHELLE,- Walter MATHEWS, Dessie ROCHELLE, Clara Rochelle BOONE,-Kate & Margaret ROCHELLE, Daniel BOONE


Dessie ROCHELLE, Gladys CROWE, Clara R. BOONE-Wade ROCHELLE (in door), Margaret, Dessie ROCHELLE & Charlie CROWE

Dessie ROCHELLE & Daniel BOONE-Gladys CROWE, Dessie Crowe ROCHELLE & Clara ROCHELLE





Ladies-Margaret PADGET, Kate CURRY, Judy BOONE, Bess BOONE, Sandra BOONE

Men-John Yerby Rochelle, Tim ROCHELLE, Austin CURRY, David & Phil ROCHELLE, Daniel BOONE

(Florence ROCHELLE took the picture)


A Special thanks to Florence Baker ROCHELLE for all the family records she has sent to me over the years and to Lisa SHEPARD for the JENNINGS & TOMPKINS information. A lot more needs to be added to this page, it will be updated.