The Higgins

My grandfather collected the following information about his maternal grandmother’s family, the Higgins.

We also have additional data on the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, Katherine Elizabeth Higgins. The Higgins family came from Ireland, and was known as O’Higgins in the old country.

“Father Higgins” (a paternal great, great, grandfather) was a Baptist preacher. He had a large family. One of his sons was William M. Higgins who lived in Lincoln County.

William M. Higgins (a paternal great grandfather) first married Katherine McRoberts (who came from Scotland). Their children were:

  1. John, who had one daughter, Julia, home: Richmond, Ky.
  2. Chris, whose home was in Texas.

He next married Elizabeth McRoberts (sister of his first wife). Their children were:

  1. William H. Higgins. His wife was Nannie Alcorn. Their children:
    • Alfred, a Presbyterian preacher. (Sept. 20, 1880 - Jan. 25, 1930)
    • Harry, a doctor who lived on Chamberlayne Ave, Richmond Va. near Union Theological Seminary.
    • Mary, married Richard Fewell of Rock Hill is near that of my father (Joseph Hopper) in the Rock Hill cemetery.
    • Elizabeth who also married Richard Fewell after her sister’s death.
    • Katherine Elizabeth (my grandmother) who married George Dunlap Hopper.
    • Margaret Anne, who never married.

I found out more about Father Higgins in A History of Kentucky Baptists:

John S. Higgins was the second pastor of Forks of Dix River church. He was born in New Jersey, Dec. 29, 1789. In 1805 he emigrated with his parents to Ohio, and, five years later, to Woodford county, Kentucky. He was baptized by Edmund Waller, in 1813, and commenced exhorting a few weeks afterwards. Being impressed with a call to preach the gospel, he attended a grammar school in Fayette county, that he might be the better prepared for that work. He moved to Lincoln county, in 1815, and, on December 27th of that year, was ordained to the pastoral care of McCormack’s church, by John Rice and David Thurman. About the same time, he was called to the care of Hanging Fork (now New Providence) church, to which he ministered with good success about twenty years. At this place he baptized Strother Cook, who became a useful preacher. In 1820 he was called to succeed the venerable Randolph Hall in the pastoral care of Forks of Dix River church, to which he ministered about nineteen years. Here he baptized Burdett Kemper, who succeeded him in the pastoral care of that church, and John L. Smith who has attained considerable eminence in the gospel ministry.

John S. Higgins was a man of eminent respectability. He was not only successful in his pastoral labors, but preached abundantly in all the surrounding country. Among the churches he gathered was that in Danville, to which he ministered until it could secure a pastor. He resided on a farm, and, by industry and economy, acquired a comfortable property. He was twice married, and raised a large and respectable family. At the age of four score years, he died at his home in Lincoln county, surrounded by an affectionate family, in 1872.

I also found William Higgins’ obituary:

The news of the death of Mr. William M. Higgins, which came Sunday, was the source of great surprise and sorrow. He had only been sick for a few days, but his disease was inflammation of the bowels and hemorrhage and rapidly destroyed his vital forces. The end came at 4 A. M. on the 18th and yesterday after a service at Walnut Flat at 1 0’clock by Rev. A. V. Sizemore, a large procession of friends followed the remains to their last resting place in Buffalo cemetery.

Mr. Higgins was born in this county Dec. 24, 1820 and was therefore a little over 73 years of age. He joined the Baptist church when quite young and in all the long years of his life, lived a conscientious Christian, which is equivalent to saying that he was an upright and excellent citizen in every way, honored by his neighbors and loved by his friends.

Of the family there are still a full brother and sister, Mrs. W. F. Goggin, of Somerset, and S. S. Higgins, of Oregon, and a half brother, Mr. Tim W. Higgins, of Louisville. Mr. Higgins was twice married, his first wife being a sister of the last, and were Misses Catherine and Elizabeth McRoberts.

Two children was the result of the first union and three of the latter, the survivors being Messrs. John A. and W. H. Higgins and Mrs. George D. Hopper, all excellent citizens who honor their worthy parentage.

The sympathy of many loving friends is with them in their sudden and sad bereavement, and more especially do they grieve with the widow upon whom the loss more severely falls. May she find the God of consolation promised by Him Who is too wise to err, to good to be unkind. An affectionate, loving family has been broken up on earth to be reunited, let us pray, in a land that is fairer than day.


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