Thursday, December 17, 2009
My Brick Wall - The Costilow Family
When I first began my research and connected with extended cousin from Mississippi, they gave me the initial information on the Costilow's to begin my research.
My 3rd-great-grandfather is a James Andrew J. Costilow, born 25 Dec 1833 in Yazoo County, Mississippi. He died 22 Feb 1923 in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The family originally believed him to be the son of Christopher Costilow and Mary Reeder from Harrison/Barbour counties, Virginia (now West Virginia). Christopher and Mary Costilow did indeed have a son named James A. Costilow, born 10 Nov 1831 in Harrison County, Virginia, but he is not our James. James from Virginia, was married to an Eliza Robison in 1859 and could later be found in Barbour County, West Virginia in the 1870 census.
After finding that census and marriage information, I was positive that we did NOT connect in with the Virginia Costilow's. I soon found a 17 year old "James Costilough" in the 1850 census in Yazoo County, Mississippi. He was listed in the household of John Z. Bell and his wife Bertha. Also listed was a "Henry Costilough" at the age of 15, a probably brother to James.
I later found a marriage for a John Z. Bell to a Mrs. Mary B. Castlow on 14 Apr 1848 in Yazoo County, Mississippi. So this Mary Bertha Castlow/Costilough Bell is obviously the widowed mother of James and Henry. More in-depth research into Mississippi marriages finds a marriage for James Castilow to a Berthia Hopkins on 17 Sep 1818 in Adams County, Mississippi.
So now we know that James and Henry Costilow are the sons of James Costilow and Mary Bertha/Berthia Hopkins. A simple google book search brought up a title called "The David Hopkins family of New Jersey, 1696-2006", by Mildred Hopkins Pretzer and Dwayne Lewis Pretzer. The book listed a Bethia Hopkins, wife of James Costelow/Castillow, as the daughter of Gideon Hopkins and Sara "Sally" Luce/Luse. Both were originally from Morris County, New Jersey and resettled in Adams County, Mississippi sometime about 1796, when Gideon and Sally were married.
So, the ancestry of Mary Bethia Hopkins Costilow Bell is well documented, with her ancestors going back to the early English and French kings. As for her husband, James Costilow/Costelow/Castilow/Castillow, nothing is known prior to their marriage in 1818.
James appears in the 1818 MS State census for Adams County, as "James Costilow" and with only 1 male over 21 years of age in the household. So this was obviously before they married. He also appears in the 1820 and 1830 Federal census for Adams County. In 1820 he is listed as "James Costlow" and in 1830 he is listed as "Jas. Costeloe".
I am seeking any information on James Costilow. Anything of his parentage, siblings or any kin in general is appreciated, or even where he came from. Also seeking any death and probate information for him sometime between 1840 and 1848 in either Yazoo or Holmes counties, Mississippi.