I am looking for the parents of my great-grandmother, Mary Jane Walker.

I have found a marriage certificate for Mary Jane Walker to Elisha E Towns on Mar 4, 1872 in Telfair County (signed by W.? Campbell, Deputy Clerk).

The Telfair County (337 District) 1880 Census lists her as the wife of Elisha Edward Towns, age 24, with 3 daughters and 1 son (Mary C, Isabelle, Sussie, and James A.). She would have been born around 1856.

The 1900 Telfair (Towns District) census lists Elisha Towns as head of household, but there is no wife listed. Children are: Mary C., Belle, Sarah M, Hilton, Mary Jane, Alice, Arthur, Ella. It also states that the “mother” of these children was born in Georgia.

The 1910 Telfair (Militia Dist 1885) census lists Eliza J as the wife of Elisha Towns, so she died before May 1904 (Elisha married Eliza) and at least after 1890. My grandfather was born in 1890 and my mother says she remembers him saying his mother died when he was a “couple years old”. The 1900 census lists a younger sister, Ella, age 8, so she was born around 1892. (Theory? Possibly she died in childbirth in 1892? No proof.)

Here is a photo that we believe is Elisha Towns and his wife, Mary Jane. It was given to us by my Aunt Pauline Garrison who stated it was Elisha Towns and Mary Jane.


Here is a tintype that we believe is Mary Jane Walker holding a baby and think it may be my grandfather, Arthur Jackson Towns. It also looks like she is nursing him. She looks like the same person that is in the photo with Elisha Towns.


It is believed that Elisha is buried in an unmarked grave at the Bethlehem (Sandhill) United Methodist Cemetery in Telfair County. According to my Aunt Pauline, her brother, James, knew where he was buried (their father, Arthur Jackson Towns told him). My Uncle James died before he told Aunt Pauline where Elisha was buried. I have been to the cemetery and looked all over but couldn’t find Elisha’s grave.

I have eliminated William J. Walker (b.1834) & Frances Caroline Quinn (b.1841) family because the 1860 & 1870 Alabama Census records do not match the birth locations and age when I compared it to the 1880 Telfair Census.

Any information on the Walker family would be greatly appreciated. I know various branches of my family have been looking for information for a very long time.