The Lyons Family



Letters from Dr. G. M. G. Stafford to C. H. Lyons

1165 Stanford Avenue Baton Rouge, Louisiana June 10, 1948

“My dear Charlton:

“Many thanks for your recent letters relative to my genealogical efforts. We old fellows do not get many tokens of commendation especially where our ‘hobbies’ are concerned, such as your letter expressed, but they are al­ways gratefully received and are very soothing to our pride. We are told that pride was the cause of the fall of Lucifer and his fellow angels, so it is not a new essence in the makeup of God’s creatures, and therefore we should not be held too culpable in still retaining a little of it. I have certainly en­joyed my genealogical work. It has been a great source of pleasure to me through these years of my retirement. Always being of an active tempera­ment I just had to have an outlet to a naturally restless disposition, and genealogy, in which I was always interested, came as a great solace to me.

“We have a fine lot of forebears, from those uncompromising old Puri­tans of New England to those hot-blooded Southerners of Virginia and South Carolina. When old Grandpa Wright came to the ‘Deep South’ and married a girl whose progenitors had never been farther north than South Carolina, he mingled two strains of very different elements, and we are the resultand according to my way of thinking, not too bad a sample of good Americanism.

“Of all our ‘first settler’ forebears I think good old Paul Grimball, of Edisto Island, South Carolina, is the most outstanding. He held practically every office in the colony from Acting-Governor on down. All of our female kinfolks through him are eligible to membership in the Colonial Dames of America, probably the most exclusive and ‘snooty’ organization of the patri­otic orders. Through Grandpa Wrigfifs father (Benjamin Wright), we are eligible to membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. If you do not belong to it, you should, andjojhould your boys. If you are interested just let me know and I w^see^hat you get the proper blanks and will be glad to fill them out for you.

“In answer to your question relative to the House of Landgrave Smith, etc., and our connection, will say that the connection is primarily through the Wrights. Grandpa Wright’s daughter married a Stafford (my grand­father) and that was the first link in the chain. Your great-grandmother was her sister, and that is our connection. Sarah Robert Grimball (Grandpa Wright’s wife) was a granddaughter (paternally) of Elizabeth (Robert) Grimball, who was a great-granddaughter of Rev. Pierre Robert, the first Huguenot preacher in America. He came to South Carolina in 1685, from

France. Through him we are eligible to membership in the Huguenot Society of South Carolina—a very distinguished organization.

“I compiled and published a book dealing very extensively with the descendants of the Robert Family in Louisiana. If you are interested you might still be able to get a copy (there were only 140 printed) from the Pelican Publishing Company, 511 Gravier Street, New Orleans. The title of the book is: ‘Three Pioneer Rapides Families.’

“With best wishes for you and yours, I am

Very sincerely,

(Signed) G. M. G. Stafford.”

In another letter to C. H. Lyons, dated December 7, 1955, Dr. Stafford* made the following observation regarding Jesse Durastus Wright:

“I am not certain, nor have I any authentic data as to the reason of Grandpa Wright coming to Louisiana. I do know that he first came to Wood-ville, Mississippi, which had been settled since 1805, by the Grimball, Robert and Tanner Families who emigrated there from Beaufort District, South Carolina. In my Stafford book, I stated that Dr. Wright married Sarah Robert Grimball, in Rapides Parish, in 1821. The date is all right but I doubt that he was married there.

“My cousin, Mary Boyd Fleming, who is quite an authority on the subject, says they were married in Woodville, Mississippi, and I am inclined to agree with her.

“He finished at Yale about 1816, and that was soon after the Louisiana Purchase when there was a great influx of immigration to that Territory from the New England States as well as from Virginia and the Carolinas, and I am sure the pioneer spirit of the times had more to do with his coming South than anything else.

“I do know that he frequently made trips back to his old home in Con­necticut up to a short time before his death. These journeys were made by ship from New Orleans to New York. The old gentleman was not only active in the practice of medicine in and around Cheneyville, but was extensively engaged in farming on his plantation about a mile below Cheneyville, known as ‘North Bend.’ His tombstone and that of his wife are still standing in the old Cheney graveyard, near Cheneyville.”

“Dr. G. M. G. Stafford died at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on February 10, 1958, age 82. He was buried at Alexandria, Louisiana.


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