Arms: Ainsworth of Pleasington

Ainsworths in
the American South

In the previous pages I have traced the migration of Ainsworths from Lancashire, England to the American South, influenced by the growth of the cotton industry. This is the story of my Ainsworth ancestors, which I document here.

For the moment this page contains only my own ancestors. Some day I hope to expand it to include as many of the descendants of William Ainsworth (1) as we can manage to document, and to post it in a more standard format.

This information below is a summary. Please note that because of the frequent repeat of the names William, Levin and James, I have temporarily numbered them below. A note: some of the information below comes from the book Trinity County Beginnings and one or two items are disputed by other researchers.

William Ainsworth (1) family group

At the moment, our story picks up around 1690 in Virginia, with the birth of William Ainsworth (1). A note given regarding him is that he is “descended from the Ainsworths from Manchester, England.” His will mentions his wife Jeannett, and three sons: William (2), Levin (1), and James Patterson. At the time of his death in 1759 all were living in North Carolina.

Levin Ainsworth (1) family group

Born about 1735, probably in Virginia. Had at least 3 sons: Joseph, born by 1774; William (2), born about 1770; and Levin (2) born about 1760.

Levin Ainsworth (2) family group

Born about 1760, served in the Revolutionary War. He married Nancy (b. 1764) and it appears they were the parents of these six sons: (if not, it was his brother Joseph)

The Six Ainsworth Brothers

  • James (1), b 18 Mar 1785
  • David, b 1785?
  • Levin (3), b 23 Nov 1788
  • Isaac, b abt 1790
  • Richard, b 1798
  • Samuel, b abt 1796
These six brothers were the ancestors of most of the Ainsworths in Mississippi and Texas. They migrated from South Carolina through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky (all were married in Christian County, KY), then though Tennessee down the Natchez Trace to Mississippi beginning about 1815 when the territory was opened for settlement. Some then moved on to Texas, particularly the area of Trinity County.

According to the 1830 US Census, all six were then living in Mississippi, and were the only Ainsworths in Mississippi at that time:

  • Ainsworth, David - Simpson Co.
  • Ainsworth, Isaac - Covington Co.
  • Ainsworth, James - Copiah Co.
  • Ainsworth, Levin - Simpson Co.
  • Ainsworth, Richard - Simpson Co.
  • Ainsworth, Samuel - Covington Co.

Although the 1875 fire in the Simpson County courthouse was remarkably unhelpful to my research, it appears that Richard was my great-great-great grandfather.

[This information below was included in an Ainsworth family newsletter that was circulated about 1985. Attempts to contact the publisher of that newsletter have been unsuccessful. As you can see, the information appears quite thorough, but no sources are given, so I cannot vouch for its accuracy. So I pass it on in an “as is” condition and caveat emptor!]


Compiled by Gloria Brown Bruister, 119 E. Alabama St., Butler, AL 36904

This information obtained from Mrs. Kathryn Hill and represents years of research by several descendants of sons of Joseph.

Joseph Ainsworth, born abt 1740, Chesterfield District, SC. m(1) [name unknown] - 9 children by this wife..... possibilities:

  • Joseph, b by 1774, m Anna Jackson 25 Aug 1817 Christian Co. KY
  • William, b abt 1774 SC, m abt 1795 SC

m(2) [name unknown] - born abt 1755-65 - 8 children:

  • James, b 18 Mar 1785 Chesterfield District SC, m 1806 Elizabeth Mangum, moved from Christian Co. KY to TN to MS 1817, d Copiah Co. MS
  • David, b 1785 Newberry District SC, d 1861 Union Co. AK, m Elizabeth Garrett 26 Mar 1881 Christian Co. KY (b 1795 KY, d 1851-9 MS or AK)
  • Levin, b 23 Nov 1788 Newberry Co. SC, m(1) [name unknown], m(2) 23 May 1818 Mary (Polly) Garrett, Christian Co. KY, d 2 Oct 1861 Centralia, Trinity Co. TX
  • Isaac, b abt 1790 Newberry Co. SC, d Raymond, MS. Hairlipped, had a big family.
  • Jane, b abt 1792 Chesterfield District SC
  • Nancy, b abt 1794 Chesterfield District SC
  • Samuel, b abt 1796 Chesterfield District SC, m Phoebe Howell 30 Nov 1816 Christian Co. KY (b 1800-1810)
  • Richard, b 1798 Newberry District SC, m(1) Miss Bass b 1800-1810 [my note: the Bass family came from SC and still live in Hazlehurst], m(2) Zilphia, b 1815 GA

[The remainder of the newsletter contains information mostly on Butler Co., Alabama Ainsworths.]

William Ainsworth (3) family group

William Ainsworth (3), my great-great-grandfather, was born in Simpson County 28 Dec 1828. I know little about him before his marriage to Amanda McCaskill on 21 Aug 1850. Amanda was born 15 April 1835, the daughter of James and Mary McCaskill. James McCaskill might have been a US Consul to Dublin, Ireland in President Cleveland’s administration.

William may have been an ensign in the service in 1849 (I have yet to verify this). In any case, he later fought in the Civil War in the 39th Mississippi Infantry, Co. A., under the command of Colonel Witherspoon and was in the battle and siege of Vicksburg. He owned a fair-sized farm east of Hazlehurst, Mississippi (Copiah County) and died at the age of 49 on June 20, 1877. Amanda lived to the age of 84 and died 24 April 1919 (ten months after the death of her daughter Alice at age 64). Both are buried in the Damascus Baptist Church Cemetery in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. The markers are no longer visible, but the graves are next to the grave of their daughter Alice Slay, the marker for which can still be seen on the edge of the grounds farthest north, nearly obscured by bushes. Their son Charles and many members of his large family are buried in this same cemetery.

William and Amanda had 11 children.

  • Mary Francis Ainsworth, b abt 1852
  • Alice J. Ainsworth, b 20 Sep 1854, m William R. Slay, d 3 Jun 1918, buried Damascus Baptist Church Cemetery, Hazlehurst, MS. The Slays owned a farm next to the Ainsworth farm and my mother remembers Miss Ida Slay (daughter or daughter-in-law of Alice?).
  • Estes (“Ess”) Ainsworth, b abt 1855
  • Andrew Jackson (“Jack”) Ainsworth, b Nov 1857, m Ophelia Welch
  • Charles Medford Ainsworth, b 15 Sep 1859, m Lula Salter (1) then Ella M. Coxwell, d 28 Aug 1942, buried Damascus Baptist Church Cemetery, Hazlehurst, MS. Many children.
  • Catherine (“Katie”) Ainsworth, b abt 1860, m William Fortenberry
  • Benjamin Franklin Ainsworth, b 30 Aug 1868, m Cora, sons Willie and Emmett, daughter Norma
  • *Joseph Edward (“Ed”) Ainsworth, b 19 Jun 1870, m Lulu Hays 7 Feb 1894, d 15 Apr 1944, buried Rosehill Cemetery, Brookhaven, MS
  • Luther Lawrence (“Mike”) Ainsworth, b abt 1874, m Mary Alma Matheny (1) then Della James (2), son Houston Harrell Ainsworth of Harlingen, TX
  • Alonzo Barton (“Lonnie”) Ainsworth, b abt 1876
  • Austin Hunter Ainsworth, b Jan 1877, m Mattie

Joseph Edward Ainsworth family group

Joseph Edward Ainsworth and his wife Lulu Hays were my great-grandparents and were known as “Big Papa” and “Granny” in our family. (Lulu Hays was the daughter of Thomas Ephraim Hays, b 11 Oct 1840 d 6 Apr 1920, and Marie Idella Rogers, b 31 Mar 1846 d 24 Sep 1920, both of whom are buried in the Bethesda Methodist Church Cemetery near Hazlehurst, MS. Their other two children were Bess and Ben.) Joseph Edward Ainsworth was born 19 Jun 1870, married Lulu Hays 7 Feb 1894, and died 15 Apr 1944. Lulu Hays was born 27 Feb 1873 and died 8 Oct 1955. Both are buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Brookhaven, MS, where they resided with their daughter Lois toward the end of their lives.

Granny and Big Papa had three children:

*Francis Marion (“F.M.”) Ainsworth (my grandfather), b 26 Nov 1894, m Beulah Antoinette Burrage 7 Dec 1921, d 17 Oct 1965. Beulah Antoinette Burrage was b 27 Jan 1900 and died at the age of 91, 23 Nov 1991. They migrated from Hazlehurst to Lake Washington, MS and then to Greenville, MS; then after WWII moved to Southern California. Both are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. They had four children: Kathleen June Ainsworth (my mother), Laura Lou Ainsworth, Evelyn Nell Ainsworth, and Francis Marion Ainsworth, Jr; and twelve grandchildren.

Lois Ainsworth, b 12 Aug 1896, m John William Brennan 23 Nov 1919, d Aug 1986. Her two sons were “Billy” (John William Brennan Jr.) and “Buddy” (James Francis Brennan). Billy’s daughters Sis and Mary Ann live in Louisiana and are not married. Buddy’s wife Joetta resides in Metairie, LA and has one son, Michael.

Bob Ainsworth, b 15 May 1901, m Minnie Lee Harris 19 Dec 1925, d 198?. Their two sons are John Edward Ainsworth and Robert Lee Ainsworth, both living in Jackson, MS.