William David Emanuel was born in Talbot County, Georgia on 13 Jun 1831. He was the first child of Benjamin Thomas and Amazon Jane (Johnson) Emanuel. At the birth of their son, Benjamin T. Emanuel was 25 years of age and Amazon Jane Emanuel was age 21 years. Through childhood and adolescence, William D. Emanuel lived on the Emanuel plantation near Box Springs in Talbot County, Georgia. His mother Amazon Jane Emanuel inherited the plantation from her father, Elijah Johnson, at his death in 1838. William David Emanuel was likely the male, age 10-14 years, living in the Benjamin T. Emanuel household of Talbot County at the 1840 federal census (342).

By age 20, William D. Emanuel was a student, at Mercer University at Penfield in Greene County, Georgia. Billington Sanders served as President of Mercer University from 1833 to 1850, and many students lived in the home of Billington and Cynthia Holliday Sanders. The 1850 federal census of Greene County enumerates the Sanders home including Wm. Emanuel, age 20 years, as a student (352). According to a Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Franklin College, University of Georgia for the school year 1850-1851, William D. Emanuel of Talbot County was a student in the University’s sophomore class (340).

On 22 Aug 1852, William David Emanuel and Catherine P. Brown married in Marion County, Georgia (343). Catherine Brown was born in Marion County on 10 May 1834, and based on the 1850 federal census of Marion County, Catherine Brown was likely a daughter of Henry and Mary Brown. The 1850 Marion County census enumerates the Henry Brown household including Catharine Brown, age 16 years and born in Georgia (344).

The 1856 tax list for the Wilkerson District of Talbot County, Georgia includes William Emanuel as administrator of the Estate of Benjamin T. Emanuel for 250 acres of land in Early County, Georgia worth $250 (359).

Five children were born to William D. And Catherine Emanuel: Mary Amazon Emanuel on 8 Oct 1853; Benjamin Emanuel on 20 Feb 1855; William Edgar Emanuel on 3 Sep 1859; Ida Catherine Emanuel on 1 Dec 1862; and Lillian Lewis Emanuel on 3 Mar 1866. All five children were born in Talbot County, Georgia.

During the American Civil War, William David Emanuel served with Company I of the 46th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, known as the Talbot Grenadiers or Talbot Volunteers (346, 347). William Emanuel was inducted into the Confederate army on 4 Mar 1862 with the rank of Private and appointed Ordinance Sergeant on 10 Dec 1863. He surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina on 26 Apr 1865.

William D. Emanuel’s wife, Catherine P. (Brown) Emanuel died on 28 Apr 1866, 56 days after the birth of her oldest child Lillian, suggesting that Catherine may have died from complications in childbirth (204).

On 25 Mar 1867, William David Emanuel and Mrs. E. E. O’Neal married in Talbot County, Georgia (92, 128). Little is known about Mrs. O’Neal.

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On 23 Jul 1867, William D. Emanuel signed a State of Georgia Reconstruction Oath and registered to vote in the Wilkinson District of Talbot County, Georgia (345).

At the 17 Jun 1870 federal census of the Wilkinson District of Talbot County, Georgia, with the exception of Ida C. Emanuel, all children of William D. Emanuel and Catherine P. Brown, were living with their father in the Amazon Emanuel household (354). Also living in the household were a school teacher, Mary Williams, age 33 years, as well as two boarders, Sarah Clark, age 20, and Frances Clark, age 16 years. All members of the Amazon Jane Emanuel household were born in Georgia. The 1870 census records Amazon J. Emanuel as 60 years of age and keeping house. She held real estate valued at $3,000 and personal property valued at $600. William David Emanuel was 39 years of age, a farmer, with personal property valued at $800. Presumably, E. E. (O’Neal) Emanuel, the second wife of William David Emanuel, died or the couple otherwise separated before 17 Jun 1870.

On 30 May 1872, William David Emanuel and Mrs. Mattie (George) Gordy married in Talbot County, Georgia (358). Rev. Simeon Maxwell presided over the ceremony. Talbot County, Georgia records list the marriage date as 27 May 1872, while the date is recorded in the Bible of William David Emanuel as 30 May 1872. The license was likely issued on 27 May 1872, and the wedding ceremony occurred on 30 May 1872. Prior to her first marriage, Mrs. Mattie Gordy was Martha Susan George, a daughter of Mark Alexander George and Jane Boswell (Dennis) George. By 1870 the George family was living in Talbot County. Mrs. Mattie Gordy was married previously to Gilbert P. Gordy, who died on 4 Oct 1864 of wounds incurred while serving in the Confederate Army.

In Talbot County, Georgia, on 10 Mar 1873, a daughter, Sarah Jane Emanuel, was born to William David Emanuel and Martha Susan (George) Emanuel; she died on 20 Mar 1873 at age 10 days (204). On 6 Sep 1874, a son, Frances Lewis Emanuel was born in Talbot County on 6 Sep 1874 (204).

In about 1878, the William David Emanuel migrated from Talbot County, Georgia to Clay County, Texas. On 24 Jun 1885, William David Emanuel acquired Lot 8 and ten feet on the south side of Lot 7 in Block 1 of the Rail Road addition to Henrietta in Clay County, Texas by deed from W. G. Eustis (356).

Children of William D. Emanuel and Martha Susan George were Frank Lewis Emanuel, Mark Emanuel, and Jesse R. Emanuel. A daughter, Sarah Jane Emanuel, born on 10 Mar 1873, died on 20 Mar 1873.

William D. Emanuel died in an automobile accident on Friday, 25 Jul 1902 at 2:10 AM, two and one-half miles east of Salton in Greer County, Texas (204). He is buried in Hope Cemetery at Henrietta in Clay County, Texas (360).

Notes and Comments

Through the Civil War, Mercer University graduated its first class in 1841 and continued to operate at Penfield in Greene County, Georgia. Following the war, the University moved to Macon Georgia.

Hope Cemetery is located at 33° 49' 12.0" North latitude, 98° 12' 10.1” West longitude.


92. Marriage of William David Emanuel and E. E. O’Neal, Talbot County, Georgia, 25 Mar 1867. County Marriage Records, 1828-1978. Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

128. Davidson, William H. A Rockaway in Talbot: Travels in an Old GeorgiaCounty.  Volume II. W. H. Davidson, West Point, Georgia, 1983.

204. William David Emanuel Family Bible. The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Original held by William R. Emanuel, Charlottesville, Virginia. Images on file)

340. A Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Franklin College, University of Georgia, Athens: 1850-’51. Southern Banner Office, No. 7, Granite Row, Athens, Georgia. (Images: Ancestry.com, Image on file)

342. Benjamin T. Emanuel Household, 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Talbot County, Georgia, Roll 51, Page 221. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

343. Marriage Certificate, William D. Emanuel and Catherine P. Brown, Marion County, Georgia, 22 Aug 1852. (Image on file)

344. Henry Brown Household, 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Marion County, Georgia, 7 Nov 1850. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

345. Reconstruction Oath and Voter Registration Executed by William D. Emanuel, Talbot County, Georgia, 23 Jul 1867. (Image on file)

346. Henderson, Lillian. “Company I, 46th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry,” Rosters of Georgia. Talbot County, Georgia USGenWeb Archives Project.
URL: http://www.thenandchange.org/index.php/component/weblinks/weblink/19-archives/7-talbot-county-georgia-usgenweb?Itemid=435&task=weblink.go

347. American Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database. U.S. National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
URL: http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm

352. Billington Sanders Household, 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Greene County, Georgia, 31 Oct 1850. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

354. Amazon Emanuel Household. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Wilkinson District, Talbot County, Georgia, 17 Jun 1870. Roll M593_175, Page 48, Image 97. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

356. Deed, W. G. Eustis to W. D. Emanuel. Lots in Rail Road Addition, Clay County, Texas, 24 Jun 1885. Clay County, Texas Deed Book P, Page 466. (Image on file)

359. 1856 Tax List. William Emanuel, Administrator of the Estate of E. Johnson. Early County, Georgia, 250 acres. Wilkerson District, Talbot County, Georgia. Georgia Tax Digests, Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia, 1890. (Images: Ancestry.com. Image on file)

360. Tombstone. W. D. Emanuel, Hope Cemetery, Henrietta, Clay County, Texas. Find A Grave Memorial 96820193. (Image on file)

Revised 30 Jan 2017