Short histories of Five Michael Boxes (revised May 17, 2009)
As a result of cooperative research of numerous Box genealogists, five Michael Boxes can be distinguished. These short histories are based on the documentation that has been found and are hopefully factual. However, since interpretation of the documentation may be flawed, there may be errors. These short histories are presented as works in progress. Corrections and/or additions are encouraged.
Michael Box, Sr., was born about 1755 and obviously moved south to Georgia. He married Mary Keys Bolton, daughter of Joseph Keys and widow of William Bolton, probably in North Carolina. This Mary may have been known as Mollie. Sarah Box was admin. for the estate of Wm Bolton in the Inferior Court of Orange County, NC (1777-1788). North Carolina acknowledged Michael Box for service in the Revolutionary War. It is probable, based on age, this was same Michael Box who received a land grant of 250 acres on Walnut Creek in 1784 in Laurens County South Carolina adjacent to the tract owned by Mrs. Box, believed to be the widow of Joseph Box. On July 17, 1787, Michael Box also received Grant No. 656 for 160 acres in Greene County, Tennessee, possibly a grant based on his military service. However, in the 1790 census of Laurens County, South Carolina, Michael Box was listed with 2 males over 16; 3 males 1-15; 9 females; 0 slaves. Michael Box was on the 1800 Tax List for Franklin County, Georgia and was listed in the 1805 Georgia lottery. Michael Box, Sr. and Michael Box, Jr. first appear on the Tax List of Franklin County, Georgia in 1807. They are listed again on the Tax List of Franklin County Georgia in 1819. There are records of land deeds involving Michael Box, Sr, and Michael Box, Jr. in Franklin County, Georgia from 1811 to 1820. Ophelia Wade wrote that Michael Box, Sr. died and was buried near Homer, Banks Co. GA in 1820. Gene Swann wrote in his book, "In 1820, Thomas Farmer Anderson bought a tract of land from the heirs of Michael Box." However, the 1830 Census of Franklin County, Georgia has a Michael Box, age 70 to 80, with a wife age 80 to 90.
Michael Box, Jr. was a son of Michael Box, Sr., and was probably born in Laurens County, SC. He appears on several land deeds with his father, Michael Box, Sr, in Franklin County, GA from 1811 to 1820. He was enumerated in the 1820 census of Habersham County, Georgia; he and his wife were 26-45 of age with 1 daughter over 10 and 4 boys under 10. According to Goodspeed in his "1888 History of Lawrence County " (MO) account covering the descendants of Michael Box, Jr., Michael Box, Jr. (born abt.1786-based on being age 21 on Georgia Tax Roll of 1807) moved from Georgia to McMinn County, Tennessee in 1829 and then on to Rhea County, TN where he died. Court records showing his wife Frances Box and John McCallen as Adm. and Admin of his estate indicate he died before Nov. 7, 1831.
Michael D. Box was born abt. 1818 in Georgia, and was listed in the1850 Person County, North Carolina, census He appears to be the son of Michael Box. Jr. There was also a Michael D. Box who received a land patent for 160 acres in Pullman County, Alabama in 1884. The connection is unknown.
Michael James Box, a grandson of Michael Box, Sr, was born about December 28, 1812 to Josiah and Millie Powell Box. The Caldwell family register indicates he died in January or February 1814.
Michael James Box, a grandson of Michael Box, Sr. was born about 1815 to Marmaduke and Nancy Powell Box. He is recorded as a member of the Masonic Lodge in Mississippi along with Josiah Box and Reuben F. Box . Michael J. Box married Mary A. Lawrence May 25 1837 in Lowndes County, Mississippi. There was a land patent issued for 80 acres in the names of Michael J. Box and John W. Rodgers in Lowndes County, Mississippi on December 10, 1844. In March of 1861, Michael James Box led a group of 300 persons known as the Box Colony, into Mexico in search of gold. The expedition met with disaster and some of the expedition returned to the United States. Michael James Box is reported to have remained in Mexico. He was the apparent author of a book entitled “Capt. James Box’s Adventures in New and Old Mexico” published in 1869 and claimed to have been a Texas Ranger.
Michael Box, born about 1780, moved from Laurens County SC to Knox County, TN where his sons, James Francis Box, William and Thomas were born. Wade in The Box Book indicates Michael Box was performing marriages in Knox County TN in 1809. By 1810, he was on the tax rolls of Madison County, Mississippi Territory (which became Madison County, Alabama) and his sons, John Box and Grief Johnson Box and his daughters Mary Box and Lydia Box were born in Alabama. In 1812, he was a private in the 16th Regt. of Mississippi Territory militia. In the 1815-1817 census of Mississippi Territory he was listed as Michael Box, 1 male over 21; 4 males under 21; 1 female over 21 and 2 females under 21; along with a Benjamin Box. On Feb. 28, 1818, Michael Box, his wife, Mary, and Mary Hellums, were received into membership of Bethel Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa County, AL. In the Census of 1830, Fayette County, AL, Michael Box, age 50 to 60, is listed along with his sons , William and John. On August 2, 1838, Michael, William, and John Box made application for Land Patents on Quarter Sections of land in Tippah County, Mississippi. The Certificate Numbers were 961 for Michael Box and 962 for William Box and both were for land that had been previously assigned to Joseph Warren Mathews. On November 16,1840, Lewis Garret and Thomas Box obtained a Land Patent for Quarter Section that was located in the area that became Benton County, MS. On November 28, 1843, Grief Johnson Box obtained a Land Patent for a Quarter Section. The 1840 Census of Tippah County, MS lists Michael Box, his sons Thomas , Grief J., and John and Elizabeth “Elspeth” Box, Michael’s daughter-in-law and widow of William Box. This Michael Box died intestate in 1841 and his wife, Mary, shortly after. His son, Grief J. Box, as administrator of Michael Box’s estate was sued by Lydia McCollum, as a daughter of Michael Box. The value of Michael Box’s estate at the time of his death was appraised at nearly two thousand dollars with debts totaling less than thirty five dollars. Known children of Michael Box and his wife, Mary Fulcher Box: James Frances Box, William M. Box, Thomas Box, Mary Box Henderson, Lydia Box McCollum, John Box and Grief Johnson Box. Thomas Box became a member of the LDS Church in Texas in 1856 and provided family information to the church that indicated his father, Michael Box, was the son of James and Mary Box. Thomas also stated he was a grand-nephew of Stephen F. Box and 2nd cousin to Rolan Box (son of John Morris Box). That would make his grandfather, James Box, a brother to Stephen F. Box and John Morris Box. Upon James Box’s apparent death , his widow Mary Box, had married William Hellums, and was mother to Michael Box’s half brother, John Hellums and half sisters, Mary Hellums and Anna Hellums