One of the things about my particular Hardy family is the name Shephard Hardy. It is a family name. And in the south, until I find a family (with connections to Coffee/Covington) with that name, everyone with the name Shephard Hardy is a relation, with one major assumption that I will get to shortly.
The Hardy family has a tradition in logging. The family land, 320 acres bought by William Shephard Hardy Sr., known as "Shep", and that of his brother and brothers in law are all in the areas surrounding Munson in Santa Rosa County. The area was heavily logged in the 19th century, so much so that, by 1880, the industry had died. I mention this because it explains the paths the family takes.
I descend from Shep Hardy but I have friends in my genealogy circles who descend from some of his siblings. While I am trying to stick to this family, I will mention other family connections as they pop up that tie into my panhandle lines.
Shep Hardy married Sarah "Sally" Nelson, presumably the daughter of Leonard Nelson and his wife Luvena, (the only Sarah Nelson her age in the area is in this household in 1850). His Civil War registration states he was born in Coffee County, Alabama, he was 27 years old, married and a laborer in Warrington District. He enlisted in Co C., Walker's Regiment (Morton Confederates or the 5th Confederate Infantry) in Montgomery, Alabama in September of 1861. His record, which isn't found in Alabama, but under the Co H 40th Tennessee (due to transfer of the unit) shows that as his wife said, he was taken prisoner during the war. His brother, Robert Hardy, belonged to the same regiment, and was also a prisoner on Island 10 (taken April of 1862). Unfortunately for Sarah, her pension was denied.
Shep Hardy went into business with John Wesley Hardin, the outlaw in Alabama just prior to his capture. Shep was one of the men with him when he was captured in fact. From John Wesley's own book, we have the following about the partnership "Soon afterwards I concluded to go into the logging business and formed a partnership with a man named Shep Hardie, who was an experienced logger. We went west about sixty miles to the Stick River and began, doing well". (Hardin, John Wesley, "The Life of John Wesley Hardin" p 113, Smith and More, 1896, found here .) The place he was talking about was Pollard, Alabama (misspelled as Polland in the book), and the river he is referring to was the Styx River and is likely near the Holmans Precinct where we find Shep Hardy in 1880. Shep Hardy Senior died in March 9, 1889 when he was hit by a train. His widow Sarah died in 1926.
Shep Hardy and his wife Sarah had the following children
Harriet Elizabeth Hardy born 1858
James T. Hardy born 1859
Robert Henry Hardy born 1861
William Shephard Hardy Jr born 1861
Nancy Jane Hardy born 1868
Laura Texana Hardy born 1870
Araguefela Hardy born 1872
Ebenezar "Eb" Hardy born 1877
Ella Ida Hardy born 1879
Rebecca E. Hardy born in 1838 was the eldest daughter of Gardner and Harriet. She married James Mathew Foster, a son of Samuel Foster and his wife Nancy Lowe. The family of Rebecca Hardy and James Foster was
James Foster Jr born 1857
Mary Rebecca Foster born 1858
Martha Foster born 1862
Samuel Foster born 1864
Mary Foster born 1868
Missouri Foster born 1872
Milton Foster born 1873
William Ephraim Foster born 1878
John Foster born 1881
Harriet Hardy born in 1839/1840 married James "Jim" McCraney (or McCranie). Unlike Rebecca who remained in Santa Rosa, the McCraney family is found near Shep Hardy in 1880 in Baldwin County, Alabama, indicating that they were most likely also involved in the logging industry.
Harriet Hardy and James McCraney had the following children
Margaret McCraney born 1866
Isabelle "Belle" McCraney born 1868
Ellen McCraney born 1869
Emma McCraney born 1872
Alexander William "Eleck" McCraney born 1874
Charles McCraney born 1875
James D McCraney born 1879
Aseneth McCraney born 1880
Harriet McCraney born 1885
Jane A. M. Hardy born in 1841 is found in 1870 with a son Aden Augustus Fleming born in 1861. I have yet to figure out which of the Fleming men is the father. In 1880, Jane, now the wife of James "Jim" Butcher is found near her brother Shep Hardy with Aden in her home. In fact, my ancestor William Shepard Hardy Jr named his youngest son after his cousin, Adrian Fleming Hardy. I have not found a marriage record for Jane or a death record, or any data about her after 1880.
Sarah Frances Hardy born 1844 married James Curtis in Escambia County, Florida in 1866. She had two children, Robert L. Curtis and Mary Harriet Curtis. In 1873 she married Charles Williams. The family lived north of Pensacola, near Gonzalez before moving into Pensacola, Florida. Sarah outlived her daughter and raised her grandchildren whose last name is Solderquist.
Robert H. Hardy, born in 1846 was the second son of Gardner Hardy and Harriet. He was captured with his brother during the Civil War, but reenlisted in the 6th Alabama Cavalry in 1863. In 1867 he is shown with a wife, and it is because of this, and the name of the child, that it is assumed this wife was Elizabeth "Lizzie" Fleming (a daughter of George Fleming and Nicy Pyburn). George Gardner Hardy was born to Lizzie in 1868, and a daughter, Lena in 1871. By 1880, Lizzie has apparently married a black man named Thornton Adams. In 1885 the children are listed as his wards. Because he's never with the family, I can't prove that he is the father. But given the name (George after his maternal grandfather and Gardner after his paternal grandfather), and the fact that Robert was married, I think this is a very likely family connection.
The second connection to Robert Hardy, is one of purely circumstantial evidence, and until we get a male ydna test done, yet unproven (his descendant has done one). A Robert H. Hardy was arrested and send to prison in 1898 for molestation of his daughter. His wife was Laura Olean Hawkins (who incidentally has a sister who is married into my Beck kinfolks), who had moved to Baldwin county, Alabama just prior to their marriage. Robert H Hardy and his sons were arrested for theft in Baldwin County, Alabama (miscellaneous records in probate files, he was filing a writ of habeus corpus). The children of Robert H. Hardy and his wife, Laura Olean Hawkins are
Willie H. Hardy born 1874
Shepard A. Hardy born 1877
James Oscar Hardy born 1880
Bama Agnes Della Hardy born 1882
Robert Hardy born 1885
Charles Austin Hardy born 1886
Albert E Hardy born 1887
Joseph Hardy born 1891.
The only thing we have found about Robert Hardy is the description of him in an article written by R. W. Brooks in October 1931 in the Atmore Advance, (article found here ) in which Bob Hardy was described as "one of the toughest characters I knew." Brooks went on to say that Bob was hung in Texas and gave an account of his "confession" to a murder, but the truth is, there is no record in the list (yes there is a list) of executions of a Bob Hardy in Texas or anywhere else. It appears that Bob Hardy (and his sons if the newspaper accounts are true I found) was a bit shady. So shady that he hid from the census. But I am pretty confident that this Bob Hardy and mine are one and the same, especially given that he names his son Shepard Hardy.
Mary Hardy born in 1851, I can find no more on her.
Martha Hardy born in 1852 per burial (older per census). Martha had an illegitimate child, Eva M. Hardy who is found with Martha in 1870 (born in 1868). Martha goes on to marry Michael Welsh but has no more children. Martha was a nurse and is buried at St. Michael's Cemetery, Pensacola. Her daughter Eva married Louis Anderson.
Epharim H. Hardy born in 1852 is found with his mother in 1860. He may be living with his brother Robert in 1867, but after that, we see nothing on Ephaim (not even with a different surname) until 1880 when he has married Mary Brake. Like his sister, Rebecca, Ephraim remained in Santa Rosa county, while the rest of the family moved on to Escambia County, Florida, and some on to Baldwin County, Alabama. The children of Ephraim and Mary are
Mary Harriet Hardy born 1878
Robert Hasty Hardy born 1880
William Shephard Hardy born 1884
John Hardy born 1886
Alonzo "Lonnie" Hardy born 1890
Kizzie Hardy born 1891
Ephraim Hasty Hardy born 1896
Mallory Hardy born 1899
Dewey Hardy born 1901
Lewis Hardy born 1904
Mary May Hardy born 1904
Frank Hardy born 1905
James Jerome Hardy born 1907