SUBMITTED BY: Brenda Oakes
Much has been written about the elusive but intriguing mystery surrounding the parentage of Adnah Campbell Foushee, who was born March 5, 1801, presumably near Bushy Fork near the Double Creek in Person County, NC. Speculation points to two men: John ‘Foshee,’ who appeared on the 1793 tax list in the St. Luke’s District of Person Country, and Charles ‘Foshee.’ John ‘Foshee’ again appeared in the minutes of Flat River Primitive Baptist Church along with a woman named Elizabeth (relationship unknown) as well as Charles ‘Foshee’ during the period from 1801-1806. John and Charles ‘Foshee’ appear to be brothers or at least related.
Adnah seems to have been emancipated from his family; he lived out his life without any contact with other Foushees except his own progeny. Another strange twist to this family line is that Alexander Rountree Foushee, sixth son of Adnah Campbell Foushee and Frances Rountree, wrote an extensive memoir, Reminiscences, late in his life with no mention of his own ancestry beyond his father. In that memoir, Alexander Foushee described his father, stating: “I think with genuine pride of my father, Adnah Campbell Foushee… my father’s farm was a secluded part of earth… the governmental authority seldom intruded and my father was in a small way a patriarch. To his own family, he was authority and protector; even the necessities of life were nearly all the products of himself, his family, and his farm… But though I never was close to my father as a child, I know now, as I did not know then, that he wrought well. What he accomplished came of his own powers, his own character. Religious, though never a church member, he called his children about him Sundays, read the Bible and, under his leading, all sang hymns… He was honest, pitilessly honest to all except himself; for he gave more than the measure pressed down and running over, and he often labored for others without pay because he would not ask pay. Simple in his life; modest, almost shunning the world; stern almost to harshness in requirements of uprightness in his children. He was withal quite competent to look after himself for by his own efforts he accumulated a good estate, reared and modestly educated his children and avoided those uncertain ventures that so often dragged men into financial losses.”
What is known with certainty, based on records and recordings in the Fooshee family Bible, is that Adnah Campbell Foushee was born on Thursday, March 5, 1801. On Saturday, March 31, 1827 a marriage bond was posted in Orange County, N.C., and according to the A.C. Fooshee family Bible, at the age of 26, Adnah married Frances Rountree in Orange Country, North Carolina on April 3, 1827. Frances was the daughter of Charles Rountree and Nancy Robinson. According to the A.C. Fooshee Bible, Frances Rountree was born December 18, 1806 and raised in nearby Little River Township, Orange County, N.C.
Several of their children were born in Person County, North Carolina: James Rountree was born on June 7, 1828, followed by a second son, William Harvey, on October 8, 1829. On May 27, 1831, the first daughter is born, Rebecca Jane. A third son, John G., is born January 24, 1833 followed by sons Addison Campbell, March 18, 1835; David Thomas, March 5, 1837 (on his father’s birthday); Alexander Rountree, March 31, 1839; Legrande Stanford, April 26, 1841; and Haywood D’arcy, May 12, 1843. A second daughter, Martha Elizabeth is born on February 19, 1845. The ninth son, and the last child born to Adnah Campbell Foushee and Frances Rountree, was Osbourne Burns, born on January 8, 1849. At the time of Osbourne’s birth, Adnah was forty-eight years old and Frances was forty-three; they had been married for twenty-two years and had eleven children.
Sadly, on Tuesday, March 16, 1852, Frances Rountree Foushee died at the age of 46; a notation in the family Bible states that her funeral was preached from Hebrews 4:9. At the time of Frances’ death, Adnah was fifty-one years old with eight children under the age of twenty-one; James Rountree was twenty-four years old, and William Harvey was twenty-three years old when their mother died.
Two years after the passing of Frances Rountree Foushee, Adnah married Jane Gray, of whom little information is known, on Dec. 19, 1854. She is mentioned briefly in A.R. Foushee’s “Reminiscences” on page 13, “my father had married again, my stepmother bearing the romantic name of Jane Gray.”
Soon tragedy struck the family again: in July 1855 James Rountree, the eldest son, died of typhoid fever, followed by his brother, Addison, who died in September of the same cause. Adnah’s sons were buried in the Foushee Cemetery on SR 1166, Rolling Hills Road, Person County, NC. James was 27 and Addison was nearly 21 years of age when they died.
In A. R. Foushee’s “Reminiscences,” he writes, “There was a growing tendency to leave North Carolina for the big cotton farms and ranches of Texas and the Western States. This desire to see new opportunities entered my father’s home. First, my brother John, in 1856, turned westward to Texas and Colorado where he spent the rest of his life among those hardy sons of America who subdued the West. Thomas, in 1857, went to Tennessee and then on to Texas where he speculated successfully in seed oats until the war called him to arms. Next, went Harvey in 1859, to Texas, where he was overseer of a cotton farm for one year, but the second year brought him home again.
On March 12, 1861, Adnah’s first daughter, Rebecca Jane marries Robert Washington Anderson from Cedar Grove in neighboring Orange Country, North Carolina. However, four months later, on July 19, 1861, David Thomas died of fever while serving in the Civil War. He was a mere 24 years old, and the war had just begun.
The year 1864 proved to be a harsh one, too. First, Jane Grey died in April, after ten years of marriage. She was soon followed by thirty-four-year-old William Harvey in July and twenty-three-year-old Legrande Stanford in November, both while serving in the Civil War. By that time, Adnah was 63 years old and had lost two wives and five sons.
The year 1865 brought about the end of the war. In A.R. Foushee’s “Reminiscences,” he writes, “When the end came, I returned to the old farm and planted a crop, worked and harvested it. The home circle had grown small; my brothers James, Addison, Harvey, Thomas, and Legrande had passed away, the last three in Confederate service; John was in the Golden West; I found only my sister, Elizabeth, and my brothers, Haywood and Burns, now at the old hearthstone.”
On December 12, 1866, Adnah’s eighth son, Haywood D’Arcy Foushee married Elizabeth Walton Frederick. On Jan. 5, 1869, Alexander Rountree married Bettie Wilkerson, a young lady from a neighboring farm. Adnah, himself, remarried on September 20th of that same year to Martha Jacobina Milner, daughter of Allen Milner and Priscilla Norfleet. He was 68 years old and she was 59 years old at the time of their maarriage. In the years following, Martha Elizabeth married Andrew Jackson Compton in 1873, John G. married Elizabeth West Robertson on November 2, 1875, and then on September 6, 1881, Burns married ‘Corrine T.’ Ray.
In 1883, at the age of 82, Adnah bore witness to the death of his first daughter, Rebecca Jane and, in 1886, the death of his daughter-in-law, Bettie Walton Frederick Foushee, wife of Haywood D’Arcy Foushee.
In 1887, Adnah died at the age of 86, after having been married to his third wife, Martha Jacobina Milner, for 18 years. He was buried, next to his sons, in the Foushee Cemetery on SR 1166, Rolling Hills Road, Person County, NC.