Pioneers of Carroll County


The Herring Family

Submitted by: Narvell Strickland

This is a summary of studies of my mother's side of our family--the Herring Family. My sources are the book "Our Herring Family" written by O.B. King in 1966, the book "History of Montgomery County, Mississippi" published by Curtis Media Corporation in 1993, and the supplemental study by Dr. Percy Herring. Fortunately, I have a copy of the O.B. King book, the Percy papers, and access to a copy of the History of Montgomery County.

There were three groups of Herrings--English, Germans, and Scotch-Irish--to come to America in the early colonial days. Sometimes the spelling was altered to Herrin, Herin, etc. Our ancestors came out of the Scot-Irish group, and according to the King study, it all started with a John Herring coming to the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1642. There are records of a John Herring coming to the Isle of Wight County at that date; it is suggested that he came from Ulter near Dublin and possibly from the city of Donegal, Ireland.

John married a girl named Margirita and they had at least one son. John died in that county in 1670 and his will mentions the son, Anthony, who was to receive certain property with the balance of the estate going to his widow, Margirita. Anthony and his wife, Bridget, had three sons--Samuel, John, and Daniel--and the records show that in 1717 he deeded land to his son Daniel. Anthony was still living in the Isle of Wight County in 1740, for the records show that he bought more land in the county that year.

About 1720, the three sons--Samuel, John, and Daniel--migrated to North Carolina and bought land. Samuel died in Johnson County, SC, leaving a son and our ancestor, Michael, born about 1725. Michael first moved to Wayne County, but before long, he or his son by the same name finally settled in Robeson County where his Uncle John lived. This account is well documented in King's book, but it should be noted that another account suggests that Michael was born about 1725 in Donegal, Ireland, migrated to New York City with five brothers about 1745, separated from them, went down the Atlantic coastline to Charleston, and finally settled in Robeson County, NC.

In view of its supporting documentation, King's account seems to be more reliable, if not indisputable. In either event, it is clear that Michael married a Ms. Charity about 1755 and had nine children--Mary born 2-12-1756; Elizabeth, 3-28-1757; Annie, August 1759; John, August 1759; William Giles, 2-19-1762; Lewis, 1765; Michael Jr., 1765; Charity, 1768; and Sallie, 1772.

William Giles, Michael's fifth child and our ancestor, was born in Robeson County, NC on February 19, 1762. He served with George Washington at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War and the North Carolina Historical Society has two certificates showing that he was paid for his services in the military--one from the Wilmington District and the other from Bladen County, NC. After the war, William married Penelope Pittman/Williams and had ten children--Charity born 1792; Wright, 1794: William Giles Jr., 1797; Sally, 1799; Louis, 1801; Michael, 1804; Absolum White, 1806; Christian, 1808; John W., 1811; and Annie Jane, 1815.

William Giles, Sr., died at Robeson in 1825, and a few years later in the 1830s at least six of his children sold their land holdings in North Carolina and moved to Carrollton County (now Montgomery County), MS where they established a plantation with land on both sides of the Big Black River part of which my mother inherited in 1920. They were Wright, William Giles Jr., Louis, Absolum White, John William, and Christian.

Louis, the fifth child of William Giles, Sr., and our ancestor next in line, married Amanda Miller and had eight children in Montgomery County, MS-- Julia born about 1829, Elizabeth, 2-11-1831; John W. "Puny," about 1832; Brian. V., 5-21-1835: Absolum White, 1-1-1841; Benjamin, 5-14-43; Mary; and Katie. Louis died about 1862.

John William "Puny," son of Louis and my great grandfather, married Martha Mathews (his second wife) 1-18-1853 near Vaiden (Montgomery County), MS, and had eight children. They were Sallie, born 1862; Joe Williams, 1865; Serepha, 1867; Briant J., 1869; Abb W., 1872; Jesse, 1874; and Ben, 1876. John William "Puny" died in 1885 and is buried in Pine Bluff Cemetery near Vaiden, MS.

Joe William, first child of John William "Puny" and my grandfather, married Lou Austin about 1887 and had two children--Earl Clinton, born 1888; Horace Virgil, born 1892. He later married Lilly L. Nelson and had seven children--Sarah Frances, born 1907; J. W., 1909; Ruby Ash, 1911; Ruth, 1913; Lillian, 1915; Martha Mae, 1917; and Lois 1919, The family lived on his portion of the old Herring Plantation on the Big Black River, near Vaiden, MS.

Joe William died in 1920, and his widow Lilly and surviving children sold the land and moved to Winona where his son, J. W., established a successful auto repair shop and later served two terms as sheriff. The daughters gained employment in the local textile mill. Lilly died in 1942. 

Ruby Ash, my mother, gained employment in the mill, and while there, met and married Earnest Elmer Strickland, my father, in 1927. Earnest was born on February 11,1906 in Choctow County, MS; his mother Dollie, three older brothers--Edward, Jack, and Lester, and two sisters--Irene and Lavenia--had relocated to Tupelo, MS for employment in its tex-tile mill, and so immediately after being married, the couple moved to Tupelo, MS where four of their six children were born--me, Narvell, 1-1-1929; Inez, August 20, 1930; James, 2-2-1936; and Stan-ley, 1934. The couple later had two more children--Helen Auline at Magnolia, MS, 9-4-41, and Earnest Jr, at Kosciusko, MS, 2-5-43.

The couple retired to Clovis, NM, in 1966 where Earnest died July 12,1988 and Ruby Ash January 2, 1995. Both are buried in the Lawn Haven Memorial Garden in that city.

Narvell married Betty Jean Shaw, born December 23, 1932 in McComb, MS, on March 14, 1951. Narvell was employed by the Illinois Central Railroad and spent most of his career as its Director of Labor Relations in Chicago and later as its General Manager of Eastern Sales in New York City. The couple had three sons--Larry Andrew, born July 2, 1952 at McComb, MS; Brian Shaw, October 12, 1955 at Harvey,

IL; Richard Narvell., February 6, 1959 at Harvey, IL.

The couple retired from the ICGRR in 1985 and re-located from Fairfield, CT to Hammond, LA. Larry with his wife Kim Ellen (Miglietta) and two sons--Tyler Lee and Myles Andrew--live in Fairfield, CT. Brian was killed in an automobile accident on October 16, 1981 in Darien, CT. Richard with his wife Michele Lee (Crocco) and two daughters--Laura Ash and Anna Rourke--live in Glastonbury, CT.

This paper is supported by both primary and secondary sources; it is, I believe, an accurate review of 350 years of our Herring family history. Beginning with the arrival of John from Donegal, Ireland in 1642, our Herring line in America is:

Name Birth Date Birth Place

1. John Herring 1642* Donegal,Ireland

2. Anthony Herring 1658* Wight County,VA

3. Samuel Herring 1692* Wight County,VA

4. Michael Herring 1725 Robeson County,NC

5. William G. Herring 2-19-1776 Robeson County,NC

6, Louis Herring 1801 Montgomery County,MS

7. John W. "Puny" Herring 1832 Montgomery County,MS

8. Joe William Herring 1865 Vaiden,MS

9. Ruby Ash Herring 4-11-1911 Vaiden,MS

10. Narvell Strickland 1-1-1929 Tupelo,MS

* Estimated 


Narvell Strickland

August 15, 1998


Carroll County


I am John Hansen, volunteer County Coordinator for Carroll County, Mississippi.  I have family lines from here and hence my interest in establishing as much information as possible on early Carroll County History.

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