Hardeman Sirmans and Elizabeth Knight
Ray City History
Hardeman Sirmans (1821 – 1896) Elizabeth Knight (1830 – 1912)
Hardeman Sirmans was born October 25, 1821 in Appling County, Georgia, the son of Jonathan Sirmans and Martha “Patsy” Rouse.
During the Indian War in 1838-39 Hardeman Sirmans and his father served as privates under Captain Levi J. Knight (later General Knight) in the Lowndes County militia. They both appear on the 1838 Muster Roll of Captain Knight’s Independent Company.
In 1847 Hardeman married Elizabeth Knight, daughter of General Levi J. Knight and Ann D. Herrin. She was born in 1830.
According to Folks Huxford,
“Mr. Sirmans served in the Indian War as a private in a volunteer company of Lowndes County militia commanded by his father-in-law, Capt. (afterwards General) Levi J. Knight, August 15th to Oct 15 1838. He was 1st Lieutenant of the 664th militia district, Lowndes County, 1845-46, then served as Captain in same district 1847-1851. For nearly twenty years Mr. Sirmans was a member of the Masonic order, receiving his degrees in Butler Lodge, No. 211, F. & A.M. at old Milltown (now Lakeland) in 1858. He withdrew and was granted a demit Dec. 8 1877, on account of his church’s attitude toward secret orders. He united in 1877 with Empire Primitive Baptist Church and was baptized. On Jan. 21, 1888 he withdrew from the church, but was restored Nov. 21, 1888. On Nov. 26, 1892, charges were preferred against him in his church for voting the Populist ticket in the preceding General Election; however, the church minutes state he ‘satisfied’ the church, Dec. 24, 1892, and the charges were dropped. He remained a member until his death Sept. 21, 1896. His children seemed to have disagreed over the division of his estate, and it was finally divided by arbitration in Berrien Superior Court, March 8, 1897. Mrs. Sirmans died Sept. 6, 1912, and was buried by her husband in the cemetery at Empire Church.”
Before the Civil War, Hardeman Sirmans was a slave owner. One of his slaves was Richard McGowan. For a time after the war, Richard McGowan continued to live on the Sirmans farm, working as a farm laborer.
Children of Elizabeth Knight and Hardeman Sirmans:
- Levi Winfield Sirmans 1848 – married Nancy R. Clements
- Jonathan D Sirmans 1850 – 1926 married Nancy Elizabeth Clements
- Sarah Malissa Sirmans 1852 – 1898
- Lott W. Sirmans 1854 – 1898 married Josephine Knight
- Thomas Hardyman Sirmans 1860 – 1931
- Martha Elizabeth Sirmans 1862 – 1935 married Joe S. Clements
- Joseph O Sirmans 1862 – 1848 married Olive Pearl Matheny
- Jay Sirmans 1864 – 1916 married Rachel Allifar Smith
- Clara Sirmans 1868 – 1928 married Frank Gallagher
- Christiana Sirmans 1869 – 1943 married Joseph Bartow Gaskins
- Annie B. Sirmans 1872 – 1963 married John Chilton Matheny
- Valeria Sirmans 1874 – 1961 married James Isaac Lee
- George Washington Knight and the Populist Party
- Hardeman Sirmans Obituary
- Berrien County’s Oldest Resident Dies at Ray City
- Home of Hardeman Sirmans
- WWI Registration Certificate of James Isaac Lee
- Annie B. Sirmans Once Owned Ray’s Mill
- Hyman Hardeman Sirmans of Ray City, GA
- The Commission of Major General Levi J. Knight
- Jay Sirmans ~ Gator Man of Rays Mill, GA