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Golightly Family History

Woodruff County, Arkansas

by Gary Telford, Family Roots
Woodruff County Monitor


I am not related to the Golightly's or the Crittenden's. I became interested in the Golightly family while researching the Dr. Adolphus Leon Crittenden family who came to Woodruff Co., Arkansas from Marshall Co., Mississippi.

Dr. A. L. Crittenden was the son of William H. Crittenden, a prominent merchant and Postmaster at Holly Springs, Marshall Co., MS and his wife, Martha Lenora Dickey. Dr. A. L. Crittenden was born November 23, 1838 in Maury Co., Tennessee and married Judith Leah Golightly, born December 4, 1843 in Alabama. They were married December 22, 1869 by Rev. George A. Donnelly. Judith L. Golightly was one of eight known children born to James and Leah (Eddins) Golightly. James Golightly was born May 9, 1788 in Georgia and Leah (Eddins) Golightly was born 1802-1803 in South Carolina. James Golightly died November 27, 1863 in Woodruff Co., AR and is buried in White Church Cemetery, Woodruff Co., AR. (See his Probate Records in this article.)

Leah (Eddins) Golightly died August 31, 1881 in Woodruff Co., AR and is buried in the White Church Cemetery. Their children were as follows and may not be in birth order; (1) Parthenia; (2) Martha E.; (3) Mary E.; (4) Jane; (5) John W.; (6) Clara E.; (7) Joel E; and (8) Judith Leah Golightly.

(1) Parthenia Golightly was born July 20, 1825, probably in Alabama and married, July 22, 1847 in Marshall Co., MS. She married Raleigh J. Cagle, born March 24, 1824 in Hardeman Co., TN. Raleigh J. Cagle was the son of Isaac and Nancy (Duty) Cagle. Parthenia Golightly Cagle is mentioned in the Woodruff County, Arkansas Loose Probate Records. Raleigh and Parthenia Cagle had seven known children; (1-a) Clara, (1-b) Rebecca, (1-c) Isaac Golightly, (1-d) Eason Marian, (1-e) Laura, (1-f) Judith Alice. and (1-g) Lorenza Dowell Cagle.

Raleigh J Cagle died October 20, 1891 in Beauregard Parish, LA and is buried at the Sugartown Baptist Church Cemetery, unmarked grave. After the death of Raleigh J. Cagle, Parthenia married Mr. Perkins. Parthenia died April 14, 1914 in Merryville, Beauregard Parish, LA.

(2) Martha E. Golightly married James Blackwood on February 28, 1843 in Limestone Co., AL. They were the parents of two known sons, Thomas and Clarence Blackwood (mentioned in the Loose Probate Records).

(3) Mary E. Golightly married John Robertson (mentioned in the Loose Probate Records).

(4) Jane Golightly was born in 1831 and married N. P. Ferrill and they were living in Fayette Co., TN in 1866. They were the parents of three known children; Venetia O., Elizabeth, and John Ferrill (mentioned in the Loose Probate Records).

(5) John W. Golightly was born May 26, 1832 and served in the Civil War as a Pvt. in Co. D, 32nd Ark. Inf. Regt. CSA. He died January 7, 1877 in Woodruff Co., AR and is buried in White Church Cemetery (mentioned in the Loose Probate Records).

(6) Clara E. Golightly married William C. Bryan and they were living in Memphis, TN in 1866 (mentioned in Loose Probate Records).

(7) Joel E. Golightly was born 1836 and served in the Civil War as a Pvt. Co. E, 34th Miss. Inf. CSA. Joel was living in Mississippi in 1866 (mentioned in Loose Probate Records).

(8) Judith Leah Golightly was born December 4, 1843 in Alabama and married Dr. Adolphus Leon Crittenden on December 22, 1869. Dr. A. L. Crittenden was the son of William H. Crittenden and Martha Lenora Dickey of Holly Springs, Marshall Co., MS. Dr. Crittenden served in the Civil War as a Pvt. in Co. B, 9th Regt. Miss. Vol. CSA.

After his war service,Dr. Crittenden returned to Holly Springs where he lived with his father. Then a letter arrived inviting him to come to the White Church Community in Woodruff Co., Arkansas to practice his profession. The letter came from the Golightly family, then living in that area 12 miles north of Augusta. They had formerly been residents of Holly Springs. James Golightly with his wife, Leah Eddins, his son John, and his daughter Judith Leah, had come to what was then Jackson County in 1857. Golightly purchased land one and one-half miles from Tupelo in Jackson County, in 1862 this became a part of Woodruff County.

Dr. Crittenden accepted their invitation and came to Arkansas to build his practice. In due course, he and Judith Leah were married. She had completed her education in the Searcy schools, and was at home on the Golightly Plantation.

Dr. Adolphus Leon Crittenden, only 32 years old, had ministered to his patients day and night during the influenza epidemic of 1870. He contracted the disease himself, and died April 15, 1870. He is buried in the White Church Cemetery.

On November 27, 1863, James Golightly died, and John died on January 7, 1877. So Judith Leah and her mother were left to manage the plantation. the young widow married McDonald D. Campbell in July of 1879, and in him found a helpmate of astute business acumen. To this union, on November 18, 1890, was born a daughter, Leah, who became the wife of Charles Columbus Heckart, a co-owner with Wade Sale and I. J. Stacy and president of the White River Land and Timber Company of Augusta. Judith Leah (Golightly) Crittenden Campbell died May 10, 1932 and her husband, McDonald D. Campbell died July 19, 1910. Both are buried In the Augusta Memorial Park Cemetery, Augusta, Woodruff Co., AR. Their daughter Leah (Campbell) Heckart died January 10, 1948 and her husband, Charles Columbus Heckart died in 1937. Both are buried in Augusta Memorial Park Cemetery.

During the war, there were several skirmishes on the Golightly land, and the descendants of former slaves related to A. L. Crittenden, III, that their parents were badly frightened when the troops marched over the fields.

The following information is on file in the Woodruff County Courthouse and reads as follows;

Woodruff County, Arkansas
Loose Probate Records
1862-1900



Golightly, James

Drawer 3, Folio 19, Roll 28

Died 1863. In December 1863, William R. Jones, a creditor, was appointed administrator. In January 1866, John W. Golightly was appointed administrator-de-bonis-non. In April 1868, John R. Jelks, the public administrator, was appointed administrator-de-bonis-non. John W. Golightly, the previous administrator, had moved from Arkansas. Widow Leah Golightly. Heirs as of January 1866: Joel Golightly, a son, of Mississippi; Clara Bryan, a daughter, who lived in Memphis, Tennessee; Parthena Cagle, a daughter who lived in Louisiana; Venetia O., Elizabeth, and John Ferrill, children of an unnamed daughter and her husband, N.P. Ferrill, who live in Fayette Co., Tennessee; and Judith Golightly, John W. Golightly, and Mary E. Robertson (wife of John Robertson), adult children of James Golightly, deceased, who all lived in Woodruff Co.; and Thomas and Clarence Blackwood, children of a daughter of James Golightly, deceased, who were minors and lived in Woodruff Co.. There is a note that John W. Golightly had lived in Texas. In 1859, John W. Golightly was guardian of James Golightly. In July 1866, Robert H. Golightly was appointed guardian for the Ferrill Heirs.

Notes: by Gary Telford, arthur of this article. Robert H. Golightly, mentioned in the above statement-- "was he the son of Hugh Golightly, born May 10, 1797 in South Carolina and Sarah E. (Wilson) Golightly, born 1807 in South Carolina???" Both of them died in Madison Co., AL and Hugh, who died February 24, 1847, is buried in the Golightly Cemetery, Madison Co., AL. Sarah E. died February 17, 1847. It is believed that Hugh and Sarah had divorced sometime before their death.

Note: According to folk tradition in the community, Sarah and her husband, Hugh Golightly agreed to be buried five miles apart. They died within seven days of each other and even though her name is noted on Hugh's stone she is actually not buried in this location. Sarah's marker in another cemetery is identical to that of Hugh's, as is the beautiful wrought iron fence surrounding the graves. Erected by R. H. Golightly.

"What was the connection between Hugh and James Golightly???." It is known that Hugh had a son, Robert Hugh Golightly, born 1830. His sister was Emily W. Golightly, born December 26, 1825 in Madison Co., AL and was married, August 6, 1845 to Umphrey M. Campbell, born about 1822 in Madison Co., AL. Umphrey M. Campbell died before 1866 in Mississippi. Emily and her children, who were born in Mississippi, came to live in Woodruff Co., AR. The children were; William Asa Campbell, born June 29, 1853 and died November 17, 1874 in Woodruff Co., AR and is buried in White Church Cemetery; McDonald Campbell who married Judith Leah (Golightly) Crittenden; Sallie Elizabeth Campbell, born September 20, 1857 and married, September 6, 1882 in Woodruff Co., AR, Robert Washington Murry, born July 18, 1838 in Hardeman Co., TN. They lived in Woodruff County many years. Robert W. Murry died January 19, 1894 and Sallie died December 28, 1940. Both died in Boone Co., AR.

Emily W. (Golightly) Campbell died January 27, 1877 in Woodruff Co., AR and is buried in White Church Cemetery.


Golightly, Leah

Drawer 3, Folio 20, Roll 28

Died 27 August 1881. M. D. Campbell appointed administrator 30 November 1881. Heirs: Mrs. Judith Campbell, Joel Golightly and Parthena Cagle.

Note: by Gary Telford; Leah (Eddins) Golightly, wife of James Golightly; Judith, Joel, and Parthena are their children.


2004 William Gary Telford, Family Roots Genealogy Research, P. O. Box 282, Bald Knob, AR 72101. Contact wgt@centurytel.net. All rights reserved. This information may be used by libraries and genealogical societies, however, commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior permission of the owner. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.