Research has found that Ella was born in Missouri around 1857 and brought to Caddo Parish, Louisiana in the [early 1860's] along with her parents Thomas and Jane Wells, according to census records.
Marcellus told his children that his father William was the son of a Slave Owner. Records indicate that William was born around 1857 in Keatchie, De Soto Parish, Louisiana to slaves, John (Dark complexion) and Mary (Mulatto complexion) on the farm of Matilda Collins, widow of Moses Collins who died on October 4, 1855. It was sometimes common for children to have different fathers during slavery if the husband was sold away or through other circumstances. John, Mary, and most of their children remained intact as a family unit throughout slavery because of this I believe that John is the father of William and not a Slave Owner. Y-DNA testing of a direct male descendant (My Uncle R.A.) also seems to debunk oral history claims. Uncle R.A.'s haplogroup is [E-M2 shorthand for E1B1A] which is African. It's likely that William's mother Mary descends from the White Collins family who held her and her family during slavery as her maiden name on several documents is listed as Collins. She is listed as "Mulatto" and sometimes "Griff" in the slave transactions.
1900 U.S. Census
|Locality||Justice Precinct 4, Panola County, Texas|
|ED, Sheet, Line||Enumeration District 69, Sheet 11A, Line 09|
|Enum Date||14 June 1900|
|House||Family||Name||Birth Date||Relationship||Occupation||Birth Place|
|176||179||William Pipkins||Apr 1853||Head||Farmer||LA||MS||MS|
|Ellen Pipkins||Mar 1855||Wife||LA||TN||TN|
|Arthur Pipkins||Nov 1883||Son||Farm Laborer||TX||LA||MO|
|Marcelus Pipkins||Feb 1886||Son||Farm Laborer||TX||LA||MO|
|Easter Pipkins||Oct 1896||Daughter||TX||LA||LA|
|Mattie Johnson||Feb 1892||Step Daughter||LA||LA||LA|
|Alonzo Johnson||Aug 1894||Step Son||LA||LA||LA|
According to Aunt Mary, Marcellus did not have any formal schooling, but he learned to read & write by studying the Bible. She remembers her father as "a Holy Ghost filled man who knew the word". At the time of his death he had been a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church for 45 years, this is accurate according to the church history. He was ordained as a deacon in 1927 under the leadership of Reverend A.R. Richardson.
|A photo of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr. that|
I received in 2007 from Pastor Roger
Jackson of Antioch Baptist Church
in De Berry, TX
On December 4, 1910, he united in Holy Matrimony to Roberta Perkins daughter of Jim Perkins & Mandy Golden. Oral history states that Marcellus and Roberta briefly lived in Wagoner, Oklahoma and that Marcellus went to rescue his nephew Jim and niece from someone in the area.
After several years of marriage they had three children together Tharnar James Pipkins, Marcellus Pipkins, Jr, and John Pipkins who died as an infant or a young boy. The death of the child drove Roberta into a deep depression, some relatives have claimed she was "crazy". According to Marcellus, she had lost her will to live and just gave up. She passed away in 1930 and her husband would go on to marry Lois Allen on October 28, 1930. Lois was the daughter of Frone and Mattie (Scott) Allen and granddaughter of Bettie (Cook) Scott who was stated to have been a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. My DNA reveals a possible family connection between Roberta Pipkins & Lois Pipkins, which I have yet to determine at this time. [Click here to learn more about Roberta]
Marcellus and Lois had four children together Maggie Lee Pipkins, David Pipkins, Hosea Pipkins, and Mary Lee Pipkins. Together they reared six children in Bethany, Louisiana a small community on the Louisiana and Texas state line. Research indicates that Marcellus was a farmer, who worked for G.N. Brummel in Bethany, Louisiana. He also owned property located near Antioch Baptist Church.
Marcellus died on March 3, 1972 at the age of 88 and is buried at the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in De Berry, Texas. He was loved by many, many people...there are several people living today who either knew him personally or heard of him from various friends and family. He was affectionately known as "Paw Paw" by his grandchildren and "Cousin Cellus" by other relatives
|Death Certificate of Marcellus Pipkins, Sr.|
Heirs of William Pipkins