At this point, I have no proof of the lineage of Henry William Paris. In fact, I have been unable to confirm any ancestors of Henry William Paris. The information provided concerning Henry William Paris' ancestry is pure conjecture at this point. Hopefully, this information will benefit someone researching their Paris line.
I think the most likely ancestry of Henry William Paris is through George Pearis, then Richard Pearis, then Richard Pearis, Jr., then Thomas Paris.
Joan Norris, a proponent of this theory writes:
Joan thinks Thomas could have been born either in Charleston or the Bahamas. He could have lived in St. Marys, Augusta, or Charleston later. She also believes that Margaret Cunningham was his mother. Margaret died in 1803.
Another theory is that Henry William Paris is a descendant of George Pearis, born about 1680 in England, although one researcher lists his birth as 1685 in Westmoreland County, Virginia and another researcher lists his birth as 1685 in Ireland. He apparently died and was buried in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, 1752. This theory maintains Henry William Paris is descended through George Pearis' son, Richard and then Richard's Cherokee son, George.
It is possible that Henry William Paris is a descendant of George Pearis. However, the only feeble leads I have on this theory are:
One more long held theory in our Paris family, is that Henry William Paris descended from Henry Parris (Paris), born 1750 and died in 1847. There is a headstone in the Townes - Paris Cemetery, Highway 123, Greenville, South Carolina that indicates Henry was married to Telitha Morgan. The headstone also lists John M. Paris, born 1790 and died in 1853. The headstone indicates John Paris was married to Margaret Harrison (1795 - 1878) and proclaims Henry and John "Pioneers of Greenville County." My Paris family tradition indicates Henry Paris' son was John M. Paris who was the father of Henry William Paris. Some have suggested Henry Paris' ancestors belong to the George Pearis line, through Richard Pearis, while others maintain Henry is not descended from George Pearis. As far as I am aware, no one has any concrete evidence either way. I believe this theory is the most unlikely of the three.
Prior research indicated that Henry William Paris was born on September 30, 1818 in Greenville County, South Carolina. Our family records indicate that Captain Henry William Paris was first married to Molly Cunningham. The couple had the following children:
A check of South Carolina marriage records reveals Henry William was married to Margaret B. Cunningham (nicknamed Molly) on December 23, 1847. Henry William Paris and Margaret Paris were listed in the 1850 Greenville County, South Carolina census. However, Robert Paris was not shown in that census record. Family records indicate that John Henry Breckenridge Paris, first child of Henry William and Martha Webb Paris, migrated to St. Augustine, Florida in partnership with Robert Paris (his half brother) in a dry goods store. Evidently, Henry Paris migrated to Georgia sometime after 1850. After he moved to Georgia, he married Martha Webb of Milton County, Georgia.
Henry William Paris held at least three different Milton County government jobs. He was listed as Coroner of Milton County on a Georgia Historical Marker, located in Alpharetta, Georgia. The marker bears this inscription: "OLD MILTON COUNTY, This was the Courthouse of Milton County at the time it was merged with Fulton County Jan. 1, 1932. When the County was created by Act of the Legislature Dec. 18, 1857, it was named for Homer V. Milton, General in the War of 1812, though some claim the name was for his ancestor John Milton, first Secretary of State of Georgia. Among the first County Officers were Sheriff James c. Mitchell; Clerk of Superior Court Joseph W. Johnston; Clerk of Inferior Court John L. Moore; Ordinary Oliver P. Skelton; Tax Receiver Barnabas B. Johnson; Tax Collector John K. C. Shirley; Treasurer John P. Reaves; Coroner H. W. Paris and Surveyor William Young." In addition, the 1860 Milton County Census lists his occupation as 'Sheriff.' and Inferior Court records indicate Henry William Paris was Judge of the Inferior Court from 1865 through 1867. The 1860 Milton County, Georgia Census listed H. W. Parris (note the different spelling), age 39 whose occupation was Sheriff. The census is consistent with the information already known about Henry William Paris with two exceptions:
In April, 1862, the Confederate government, with the passage of "The Confederate Conscription Act of 1862," began drafting all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Since Henry William Paris was well over the age of conscription, he apparently volunteered for military service. Henry William Paris was listed in official records as Captain, Company C, 42nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army Of Tennessee, C.S.A. The 42nd Regiment was organized on March 4, 1862 and included companies from DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Milton, Newton and Walton counties. The 42nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry was initially a part of the Department of East Tennessee under the command of General Edmund Kirby Smith. The 2nd Brigade, of which the 42nd Regiment was a part, was initially commanded by Colonel Raines; however, on April 17, 1862, the 2nd Brigade was placed under the command of Brigadier General Carter L. Stevenson. In March, 1862, the 42nd Regiment mustered in at Camp McDonald in Big Shanty, Georgia (about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta). While at Camp McDonald, we have a record of one requisition Captain Paris authorized. The requisition text follows: Requisition for straw for Capt H. W. Parris company (c) 42 Regt Ga Vols comd. By Col. I Henderson for the month of March 1862. Camp McDonald 83 Non-com & Officers & Privates 12 lbs. Of straw per month for each 996 lbs. I certify on honor that the above return is correct and just, and that Straw has not been drawned for any part of the time charged H W Paris Capt Received at Camp McDonald March 1862 of Corp E. W. Bailey aaqm nine hundred and ninety five pounds of straw in full of the above requisition. H W Paris Capt. Click here to view a copy of the actual requisition. The 42nd Regiment was first ordered to report to General E. K. Smith at Knoxville, Tennessee. They arrived in Knoxville on March 28 via the Chattanooga & Atlanta Railroad. General Smith's orders were to protect the railroads of east Tennessee and Virginia. During the period of April 7 through April 10, 1862, General Smith reorganized some of his command and the 42nd Regiment was assigned to the 4th Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Seth M. Barton (General Barton was commanded by General Carter Stevenson). On May 31, 1862, the 42nd became a part of the Army of Tennessee. In April, 1862, the 42nd was the first of the Georgia regiments in the Army of Tennessee to be sent to Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The 42nd and other regiments as well, arrived at the Cumberland Gap before their supply wagons and were thus initially forced to forage for their food. The area around Cumberland Gap was extremely rugged and the Confederate and Union armies found it difficult to keep their supply lines open. Therefore, control of the Cumberland Gap alternated between Confederate and Union because the armies were forced to withdraw temporarily to re-supply. When one army withdrew, the opposing forces gained control of the Gap. On June 13, 1862, General Barton's command, including the 42nd, marched to Tazewell, Tennessee. The 42nd''s first taste of battle came during the period from August 6 to August 8, 1862, at the Battle of Tazewell or Waldron's Ridge. General Stevenson's command, including the 42nd, fought the Union General George W. Morgan and drove them back to Cumberland Gap. According to Private J. Bogle of the 40th Georgia Regiment: Our first fight was at Tazewell, Tennessee; not far from Cumberland Gap; quite a brisk little fight and a very successful one for us. There the Georgia 40th met the 16th Ohio in 'battle array' and not only held but we got the glorious sight of the 'Yankees' running. Tazewell, Tennessee was a difficult place for the Confederate army as evidenced by this 1862 letter from Tazewell, Tennessee, Georgia volunteer William Looper to his parents: ". . . I think we ought to have a furlough or to be allowed to rest awhile. Some of our company have been home two or three times, and some have not been with us a month all put together. It seems we can't get to go home or be permitted to stop [unless] we pretend to be sick, which we will not do. We frequently go on when we are not able rather than ask permission to stop. "We have been fed very poorly during the last month. Sometimes we have been without food for three days at a time and hardly ever have half enough to eat. Part of the time we have bread and no meat, then meat and no bred, then neither. We must not grumble lest some of those we have left behind might consider themselves called upon to contribute something for the relief of the soldiers and their families! By and by, would not this be a good time for those who said they would 'sink the last dollar' in the cause of the South to untie their purse strings and give the South a little, just a little, of what they worship? "There is much complaint about extortion at home and not without cause. The way things are sold now, the poor soldier and his family cannot procure the necessaries of life. Those having such articles and holding them at exorbitant prices are doing us more injury than our enemies of the North. . . ." Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 179
General Morgan eventually abandoned Cumberland Gap because he could not adequately supply his troops. Initially, General Stevenson's command followed the Union Army. However, on September 16, 1862, General Stevenson was given new orders to abandon the chase of the Union Army and report to General Braxton Bragg at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. On October 2, 1862, General Bragg ordered General Smith to concentrate his army at Frankfort, Kentucky. General Smith sent General Stevenson and the 42nd near Danville, Kentucky. On October 8, a battle occurred at Perryville, Kentucky, about 50 miles south of Frankfort. Although Perryville was a fierce conflict, the 42nd and other Georgia Regiments were kept in reserve and saw limited action at Perryville. The two armies still faced each other on October 11 and many thought there would be another battle. However, General Braxton Bragg made the decision to retreat instead of fight. General Barton's command, including the 42nd, were assigned to bring up the rear of the army on the march back to Tennessee and cover the retreat. It is possible that Captain Henry William Paris was captured while covering the retreat of the Army of Tennessee, for the records show he was captured on November 24, 1862 at Keene, Kentucky.
Some of the above information is excerpted from The Battle History Civil War Historical Sketches of The Georgia Infantry Brigades 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd & 52nd researched, compiled and edited by Gary Ray Goodson, Sr., 1992-1994 and from The History of the 42ndRegt. Ga Vols. Infantry C.S.A., the Regimental History of the 42nd of Georgia which was originally written and published by W. L. Calhoun, historian for the brigade in 1900 and reprinted in 1997. Company C, 42nd Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Civil War Record (This record is on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History, Atlanta, Georgia)
HENRY WILLIAM PARIS
Rank: Captain, Company C, 42nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Stovall's Brigade, Clayton's Division, Lee's Corps, Army of Tennessee, C. S. A. Company C, also known as "The Milton Tigers" because they were from Milton County, Georgia, volunteered at Alpharetta March 4, 1862 for three years or the war. Captain Paris held his rank by election by the troops. Company C was officially mustered into service April 11, 1862 although it appears they arrived for duty at Big Shanty before April 11.
Rolls show Captain Paris present from March 4, 1862 until October 31, 1863 (latest record on file). A regimental roster dated December 5, 1864 stated he resigned from service and was issued certificate of disability by the surgeon December 21, 1863. He was succeeded by Captain S. A. Maxwell.
Captain Paris was captured at Keene, Kentucky November 24, 1862. The Prisoner of War record describes him as: "Captain Henry Wm. Paris, Age:44. Height: 6 ft. 4 in. Eyes: Black. Hair: Black. Complexion: Dark." A List of Prisoners of War shows he was sent from Lexington, Kentucky to Louisville, Kentucky by the Provost Marshall on November 26, 1862. He was sent to Vicksburg via Cairo, November 29, 1862. A Register of Prisoners of War indicated he was sent from Louisville, Kentucky to Vicksburg, Mississippi for exchange as prisoner of war on the steamboat MARY CRANE via Cairo, Illinois, November 29, 1862. (Confederate Archives, Chapter I, File No. 83, page 156)
Captain Paris was issued a parole on July 6, 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi, two days after the surrender of the town by General Pemberton. Even though he was paroled, it appears he continued to serve in the 42nd Regiment as Captain. His Civil War Record shows a Special Requisition for three flags, seven pairs of shoes and twenty blankets dated November 12, 1863. Click here to see a copy of the original Special Requisition.
Captain Henry William Paris finally resigned from the army on December 21, 1863 after he was issued an army surgeon certificate of disability. We do not know, at this point, what type of disability he suffered. Click here to see a copy of the original approved disability certificate
Note: the original of this document was a form with words in FULL CAPITALS written in ink.
Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 7, 1863
According to family records, Henry William Paris and Martha Webb Paris were married on 14 Jun 1858 and had eleven children:
The 1870 Milton County, Georgia Census lists Henry W. Parris, age 49, whose occupation was farmer. As in the 1860 census, the name was spelled 'Parris.' The information in the 1870 census is consistent with family records except for the following:
Since the census records were all hand-written (sometimes illegibly), it is possible that interpretation errors were made in transcribing some information. This could account for most of the above errors.
Captain Henry William Paris died on May 23, 1880. He is buried in a cemetery on Kimball Bridge Road, Fulton County, Alpharetta, Georgia. Martha Webb Paris died on November 1, 1921. She is buried in the Clear Springs Baptist Church cemetery on Jones Bridge Road, Fulton County, Alpharetta, Georgia.
The 1880 Federal Census Mortality Schedule for Milton County, GA lists H. W. Parris. However, the cause of death was not listed in the schedule.
The last name on this census was incorrectly spelled. Henry William Paris had died prior to the 1880 census. Charles Parris and James Parris were twins and should, therefore, be the same age (15).