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Henry William Paris

  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:

"I have a couple of notations of a Thomas Paris being in Augusta and once in Charleston. Richard Pearis, Sr. left part of his family in Charleston when he was exiled to the Bahamas but Richard Jr. went with him to the Islands. Later, R. Jr. was back in St. Mary's Ga. where he and his wife (Margaret Cunningham, daughter of the famous General Robert Cunningham) died. Margaret died first and R. Jr. remarried to Catherine Osborne, widow of one of the founders of St. Marys, congressman, judge, etc. Richard Jr. and Catherine were back and forth in Augusta periodically. Augusta was where the American rebels took Richard's family (made his wife and 3 very young children walk from Greenville to Augusta) and abandoned them. This was were R. Sr. found his family 2 years after the Americans burned his plantation, crops, everything he had."

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:

  • George's Parris' mother was a Cherokee and the description of Henry William Paris, upon his capture during the Civil War, indicates he had black hair, black eyes and a dark complexion.

  • In Sketches of Rabun County History 1819 - 1948, by Andrew Jackson Ritchie there are a few pages regarding William Shea Paris (or possibly William G. T. Paris):

"Going back to his ancestors, Colonel Paris was the son of Captain Henry William Paris and Margarette Paris who moved to Milton County before the Civil War. His grandfather was Thomas Paris, who was descended from Richard Paris, who first came to Frederick County, Virginia, and afterwards settled in the upper part of South Carolina. This Richard Paris was an officer who served as an intermediary between the Indians and white settlers in 1766 and 1768."

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:

Name Birth Date Birth Place Married Marriage Date Death Date Buried
William G. T. Paris 1854 Milton County, GA        
Sarah E. Paris (Sallie) 6 Oct 1855 Milton County, GA Matthew Jacob Purcell 15 Feb 1874 22 Dec 1880 Garrett Family Cemetery, Forsyth County, GA
Robert E. Paris 6 Dec 1848 Greenville, SC        

Henry William ParisA 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.

Martha Webb ParisHenry 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:

  1. Previous information indicated that Henry William Paris was born in 1818. However, the 1860 census information indicated he was 39 years of age, which would mean he was born about 1821.

  2. Previous information indicated that Cicero Paris was born in 1876 and died in 1881. However, the 1860 census indicates Cicero Paris was born about 1858. The different spelling of the last name can be attributed to the census taker.

Last Name First Name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Personal Estate

Origin

Page No.

Parris H. W.

39

M

Sheriff

500

SC

4

Parris Martha

22

F

   

GA

4

Parris John N.

3

M

   

GA

4

Parris Cicero

2

M

   

GA

4

Civil War Period

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
To All Whom It May Concern, Know Ye That:
I HENRY W. PARIS, a CAPTAIN of Co. "C" 42ND Reg't OF GEORGIA Vols. being a prisoner of war, in the hands of the United States Forces, in virtue of the capitulation of the city of Vicksburg and its Garrison, Lieut. Gen. John C. Pemberton, C. S. A., commanding, on the 4th day of July, 1863, do in pursuance of the terms of said capitulation, give this my solemn parole under oath--- That I will not take up arms again against the United States, nor serve in any military, police or constabulary force in any Fort, Garrison or field work, held by the Confederate States of America, against the United States of America, nor as guard of any prisons, depots or stores nor discharge any duties usually performed by Officers or soldiers against the United States of America, until duly exchanged by the proper authorities.
Signed: H. W. Paris Capt. Co C. 42nd Ga Regt
Sworn to and subscribed before me at Vicksburg, Miss., this 7 day of July, 1863. JOHN C. FRY Major 20th reg't OHIO Vols. And Parolling Officer


Click here to view a copy of the original parole document.

Post Civil War Period

According to family records, Henry William Paris and Martha Webb Paris were married on 14 Jun 1858 and had eleven children:

  1. John Henry Breckenridge Paris

  2. Frances Eugenia Paris

  3. Charles Newton Paris

  4. James Lawrence "Jim" Paris

  5. Joel Benjamin "Dink" Paris

  6. Clinton H. Paris

  7. Melford H. Paris

  8. Mattie Lesla Paris

  9. Mae Paris

  10. Cicero Paris

  11. Ida Maud Paris

Children

Born

Died

John Henry Breckenridge Paris July 3, 1857 July 6, 1916
Frances Eugenia Paris October 27, 1860 October 15, 1951
Charles Newton Paris November 10, 1864 March 28, 1953
James Lawrence "Jim" Paris November 10, 1864 May 17, 1954
Joel Benjamin "Dink" Paris April 27, 1867 July 20, 1942
Clinton H. Paris January 27, 1869 October 12, 1934
Melford H. Paris May 5, 1870 January 18, 1957
Mattie Lesla Paris July 20, 1872 May 8, 1908
Mae Paris October, 1874 June 2, 1960
Cicero Paris 1876 1881
Ida Maud Paris March 3, 1878 November 17, 1933

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:

  • Martha Parris listed her age as 30, while her age was 22 in the 1860 census. Family records indicate she was born in 1838 which would indicate the 1860 census was correct.

  • It does not appear that William S. Parris was a child of Henry William Paris and Martha Webb Paris since family records indicate their first child, John Henry Breckenridge Paris was born in 1857. If the census records are correct, William S. Parris would have been born about 1854.

  • Judson L. Parris should probably be James Lawrence 'Jim' Paris. Jim and Charlie were twins.

  • Joseph B. Parris should probably be Joel Benjamin 'Dink' Paris. According to family records, Dink would have been 3 years old at the time of the census.

  • Family records do not indicate a Clenton W. Parris. However, Clinton H. Paris was born January 27, 1869 which would have made him about 11 years old at the time of the census. The records show Clenton W. Parris as 1 year old. However, it is possible this could refer to Clinton H. Paris, 11 years old.

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.

1870 Census

Last Name First Name

Age

Sex

Color

Occupation

Origin

Page #

Parris Henry W.

49

M

W

Farmer

SC

77

Parris Martha

30

F

W

Keeping House

GA

77

Parris William S.

16

M

W

Farm Laborer

GA

77

Parris John H

13

M

W

At home

GA

77

Parris Eugenia

10

F

W

At home

GA

77

Parris Charles N.

5

M

W

 

GA

77

Parris Judson L.

5

M

W

 

GA

77

Parris Joseph B.

3

M

W

 

GA

77

Parris Melford M.

2 mo.

M

W

 

GA

77

Parris Clenton W.

1

M

W

 

GA

77

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.

County Name Age Sex Birth-
place
Profession Month of Death
Milton PARRIS, H. W. 62 M GA F MAY

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).

Family Last Name First Name Race Sex Age Relation POB POB Father POB Mother District Pg
18 Parris Martha W F 42   GA GA GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris John H. W M 25 Son GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Eugenia W F 19 Daughter GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Charles W M 15 Son GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris James W M 14 Son GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Clinton W M 11 Son GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Melford W M 9 Son GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Martha W F 7 Daughter GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Mary W F 5 Daughter GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
18 Parris Maude W F 3 Daughter GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(22) 96
45 Parris William S. W M 26   GA SC SC Big Creek 1227(25) 99
45 Parris Mary J. W F 22 Wife GA SC SC Big Creek 1227(25) 99
45 Parris Cyrus *. W M 04/12 Son GA GA GA Big Creek 1227(25) 99
68 Parris Jim W M 13 Grandson GA SC GA Big Creek 1227(27) 101
  Last Updated On 23 December 2006