|Birth: ||Oct., 1861, USA|
Son of Neil Richard French and Isabella Dooley French
Neil's parents bought steerage on a cattle boat. From Northern Ireland to New Orleans. His father died soon after the ship put out to sea. His widow delivered Neil on the ship and died shortly thereafter. A great uncle told Auntee and Aunt Eloise that they tried to find an island to bury her and after three days decided to bury her at sea. He said he was standing there as a boy and saw the sharks attack her before her body hit the water.
Grand Daddy, as an infant, was given to a relative, an uncle named John French. He was called Red John and had two other sons. Red John took grand daddy back to Union and began to raise him as one of his own children. However, he was a very cruel man. Those were very hard times in Indian Country. When grand daddy was almost seven years old, Red John whipped him with a hand saw. That was all he could take. He ran away from home and went to West Texas. As a child he was taken in by a charitable rancher whose wife raised him.(new information leads us to believe this was his Uncle and aunt). She taught him to read and write and play the piano. He worked as a ranch hand and used to tell Tom, Bill and me stories about life on the ranch. Anyway, when he was 18, the rancher sent him off to Buffalo Gap College to study for the ministry. He graduated and was ordained. He became an evangelist and traveled from Texas into Mississippi conducting revivals. In Connehatta, Mississippi, he had a young woman pianist, a graduate of the Mississippi College for Women. They fell in love, married, and she traveled with him eventually winding up in Gurley where he was the minister 41 years. He died in 1939, at age 84, of pneumonia. So, go back 84 years and that was when he arrived here. He was one of the founders of the Covenant Presbyterian movement. Written by Robert B. French Jr.
Senior Soldiers The Biographies and Autobiographies of Eighty Cumberland Presbyterian Preachers
After much searching I have talked to distant cousins and thru their research have learned it was his father's first wife on board the ship. His father went back to Ireland and remarried Isabella and she gave birth to Neil and soon died. We have no idea when his parents died, but census shows us Neil lived with other relatives after age one. I would love to know who Red John was. He was orphaned as a very small child and the life events are true.
I want to thank Terrie for sponsoring Grandfather French's memorial!
Married: December 6, 1900 Newton County, Mississippi
Richard Neil French (1810 - 1861)
Isabella Dooley French (____ - 1861)
Anna Judson Loper French (1873 - 1947)
Robert Bryant French (1901 - 1972)*
Floyd Carlton French (1910 - 1997)*
Thomas French (1840 - 1884)**
James French (1840 - 1927)**
Neil Robert French (1861 - 1939)
Note: Beside historical tree #13
Created by: Anita Bennich Penn
Record added: Nov 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62253101