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Rev William Daniel Godwin

Rev William Daniel Godwin

North Carolina, USA
Death 30 Dec 1907 (aged 89)
Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial Forest Hill, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 28211478 · View Source
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Rev. William Godwin was an organizer of Bethel Baptist Church in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. The now-defunct church was constituted Sep 21, 1870. Like most Baptist pastors at that time in Louisiana, he was a circuit pastor and preached at more than one church, usually at least four.
Some of the minutes of Reverend Godwin's church are reproduced below.

Parish of Rapides, State of Louisiana

We the undersigned, having drawn our letters from the Occupy Church, for the purpose of constituting a church on Cherywinchia, in the parish and state aforesaid, have this day, September 21, A.D. 1870 met and organized by electing W.D. Godwin Moderator, and B.F. Pelt Clerk pro tem. Prayer by Elder E.K. Branch. The articles of Faith copied from the Baptist Church Directory was read and adopted and the Church Covenent from the Church Manual was adopted by the following persons: W.G. Orre, Wm. Strother, W. C. Williams, B.F. Pelt, Lemuel Willis, William Willis, Peter Martin, Hawkins Martin, G. McCloud, Winey (Mrs. Wm.)Strother, Ellen (Mrs. Peter) Martin, Roda (Mrs. Wm.) Willis, Carolyn McCloud, Nancy Avery, John Draddy by certificate, Nancy (Mrs. John) Draddy, and Sarah Draddy on statement. The name selected, Bethel. Resolved that we request the Church at Amiable at her next conference to license Brother Godwin to exercise his gift as he may see fit in our bound. Resolve that we select Saturday before the second Lord's day for our conference day.

Call conference Sept. 22, 1870 The doors of the church was open. One accepted by letter Henry Fee, Joseph Rodriquez, Lydia Stanley who were baptized and received into the fellowship of the church. Appointed the clerk to write a letter to the Louisiana Association, and Brother B. F. Pelt and G. McCloud messengers and W. C. Williams and Wm. Strother Alternates to represent this church in that association.

Saturday before the second Lord's day in October After divine service by Brother D. Willis the privileges of the church were extended. None offered. Met in conference, visiting brethren invited to seats with us. On motion Brother W. C. Williams called for a letter of dismission and it was granted. On motion Brother B. F. Pelt was appointed church clerk and on motion Brother Wm. Willis and Brother W. J. Orre were appointed as our deacons. Done by order of the church in conference.
Brother W. D. Godwin Moderator.
B. F. Pelt, Chrs. Clk.

Saturday before the second Lord's day in November, 1870.

After divine service by Brother W. D. Godwin the privileges of the church were extended. None offered. Visiting brethren invited to seats with us. Resolved that we the Bethel Church call Brother D. H. Willis for our supply for the next year, and on motion chair was appointed to appoint a committee to wait on Brother D. H. Willis to know whether he will accept the call from the church. Brother W. Willis and Brother G. McCloud was the committee.
Done by order of the church in conference.
W. D. Godwin, Moderator,
B. F. Pelt, Chs. Clk.

Saturday before the second Lord's day in December, 1870.

After divine service by Brother W. D. Godwin, met in conference. Privileges of the church extended, none offered. Visiting brethren invited to seats with us. Minutes read and adopted. On motion Brother W. D. Godwin was called for our supply for the next associational year, and accepted the call.
Done by order of the conference.
W. D. Godwin, Moderator.

Rev. Godwin married Mary Ann Elliott, granddaughter of Thomas Elliott [aide-de-camp to General Frances Marion]. Mary Ann Elliott and Rev. William Daniel Godwin were married on 4 November 1847.
Reverend William Daniel Godwin's parents were Sion Godwin (b: ca. 1785, Samson Co, NC d: 18 Mar 1861, Dooly Co, GA) and Sarah (last name unknown, possibly Holmes or Sparkman). Information from research by Thomas C. Sutton contained in The Godwin Connection, a privately published book, indicates that Sion Godwin married Sarah about 1810 in North Carolina, and they had five children prior to moving to Georgia. They were in Wilkinson County, Georgia in 1820, and by 1830 they were in Dooly County, Georgia, where they remained the rest of their lives. Sion and Sarah Godwin had thirteen children. The thirteen children were:

(1) Solomon
(2) Thermuthus [female]
(3) Mariah
(4) William Daniel - moved to Louisiana
(5) Sarah - moved to Alabama
(6) John Lewis
(7) Lavica
(8) Sparkman
(9) Mary Jane
(10) Susan
(11) Zilphia Ellen
(12) Elias
(13) Eliza A.

After Sarah's death in about 1852, Sion married Susan Mock Railey on 26 March 1854 in Dooly County, Georgia. The second marriage produced one child, James Napoleon Godwin, when Sion Godwin was 70 years old.

On 9 October 1830, Sion Godwin represented the Ebenezer Baptist Church in the formation of the Houston Baptist Association. By 1840, Sion's son, William Daniel Godwin had moved to Louisiana.
NOTE: Here is the way to enlarge and read the old love letter that is displayed above and to the right: left click on the letter. It will open. Then left click until it is large enough for you to read. Also, after you left click on the letter, you can right click on it, and then select "save image as." If you want to save it to your computer, in the pull down screen select "My document," "Document", or "Pictures," depending on where you want to save the letter.

"Bayou Boeuf, La. 8th Sept 1847

Dear Girl:

Long and lonely has been the days with me since you left the Bayou. And I only live through the fond anticipation that I will see you again. The answer you gave me when in the Bayou was as favorable as I could or did expect, for it was what I did expect from a lady of your prudence. I will be in Calcushuse in two or three weeks when I will expect us to be united in hearts and hands and the time of our happy union will be left to your choice.

Your real admirer
W. D. Godwin

Mary A. Elliott"
Analysis of W. D. Godwin's letter to Mary A. Elliott on 8 Sept 1847 (transcription shown above):
From the letter above and to the right, it would appear that William D. Godwin (1824-1907) lived in Bayou Boeuf (Beouf), Louisiana, in 1847. Bayou Boeuf is a community just northwest of Cheneyville. Mary Ann Elliott was the daughter of William David Elliott and Elizabeth Andrews Elliott. In 1820, Mary Ann Elliott's parents moved from East Feliciana, Thompson Creek, Louisiana, to Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. She was born in Cheneyville on 14 Jun 1826. (Source: Frances Morrow Conway.)

We know from the 1850 and 1860 census records that William D. and Mary Ann Elliott Godwin were living in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. By or prior to 1870 (Source: 1870 census), William D. Godwin and Mary Ann Elliott Godwin were living in Spring Hill Ward, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

The old love letter above and to the right, indicates that when she "was in the Bayou," she gave William D. Godwin some kind of answer to a proposal of marriage. In the letter he indicates that he will be in Calcushuse (Calcasieu Parish) in two to three weeks, "…when I will expect us to be united in hearts and hands." William D. Godwin was an itinerant minister, and was likely going to be traveling until he met Mary Ann again. They were married on 4 Nov 1847.

Reverend William Daniel Godwin was a Master Mason from 1862-1869, Humble Cottage Lodge # 19, Opelousas Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. He was initiated in 1861, passed and raised to the 3rd degree of Master Mason in 1862, and demitted from Lodge #19 in 1869. (Source: 1866 Minutes of Lodge #19, page 175)

Family Members



Married Mary Ann Elliott 4 Nov 1847





  • Maintained by: Couch Genealogy
  • Originally Created by: zzyzx1947
  • Added: 11 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28211478
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev William Daniel Godwin (24 Aug 1818–30 Dec 1907), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28211478, citing Butters Cemetery, Forest Hill, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Couch Genealogy (contributor 46957527) .