As a kid, I was border-line fanatical about NFL football. Though my allegiance was to the Dallas Cowboys, I loved everything about the game and followed the fortunes of many of the stars of the day, whether they played for my team or not.
A favorite player during my teen years played for the then-horrible New Orleans Saints. Elisha Archibald Manning III was the quarterback for that team---he went by the name of Archie. Archie Manning is included in any discussion of "the best player ever on one of the worst teams ever." A testimony to the level of respect garnered by this man is evident when you realize that in 1978, he was named United Press International's NFC Player of the Year, even when his team suffered its typical losing season.
Archie's career, amazing as it was, has been eclipsed by his two Super Bowl-winning sons, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, who currently play for the Denver Broncos and New York Giants, respectively. Not only that, but were also named Most Valuable Players in that storied game. And as I write this, Peyton is preparing to lead his Broncos into his third Super Bowl appearance, coming up on February 2, 2014.
Having long heard broad statements about the Manning's Mississippi roots, I took it upon myself to delve deeper into the question of exactly WHERE those roots lay, and also hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the origins of given-names like Archie, Eli, and Peyton.
An evening spent perusing census records on Ancestry.com and other available web resources (primarily FindAGrave, WorldConnect, and results of various Google searches) unveils a rich history for the Mannings in Copiah County, Mississippi. And furthermore, the given-name origins were not hard to spot. Both the names Archie (Archibald) and Eli (Elisha) stem from late-18th-century ancestors that came to Copiah County (their origins are probably even earlier than that).
The name Peyton has earlier origins, but it seems apparent that Archie named his son, Peyton, after his Uncle Peyton Manning. The name is prevalent on the Pevey/Peavey side of the family and other researchers have claimed that the Archibald Pevey ancestor I've mentioned here had both a brother named Peyton Peavey, born about 1800, and a nephew named Peyton Peavey, born about 1839.
Moving back to the question of exactly WHERE the Manning's roots lie in Copiah County. A peek into the First Landowners Project here at HistoryGeo.com immediately imparts this part of the Manning story.
In a single view of land-patents in Copiah County, Mississippi, you can see the possessions of at least four different ancestors of the Manning football dynasty (HistoryGeo.com subscriber-links are near the bottom of this article so read-on; and be sure to log-in first).
Before you take a peek, take a look at the following chart (click to enlarge) that reveals both the Manning ancestry relevant to Copiah County AND the origins of the given-names of these three modern-day legends of football.
Click to Enlarge
And now for the Manning ancestors you'll find in our First Landowners Project, all residing in the same general area:
Ancestor # 1 - Dempsey Gaddy/Geddy
Dempsey Gaddy (b. 1814), had a son, John Columbus Gaddy (b. 11 Jan 1852), who married Virginia "Jennie" Johnson. Their daughter, Annie Sophia Gaddy (b. 1877), married Elisha Archibald Manning, Sr. Elisha and Jennie's son, Elisha Archibald Manning, Jr. was the father of NFL great, Archie Manning. Again, Archie is the father of current NFL quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli Manning.
Dempsey's land can be found in in the northwest part of Twp 2-N, Rng 2-W in Section 21. Date on the patent was March 1, 1859. BLM Source Page.
Ancester #2 - Archibald Pevey
Archibald Peavey /Peavy /Pevey was born in 1797, in Warren County, Georgia. He married Martha Cox. Their daughter, Elizabeth Ann Peavey (b. 1834), married Richard E. Manning. Richard and Martha's son, Elisha Archibald Manning, Sr., was the grandfather of former NFL great, Archie Manning. Archibald had two land-patents in Section 17 of Township 2-North, Range 2-W.
BLM Source Pages: #1, #2.
Notes: 1. Clicking on the Patent Image associated with the first BLM link above, informs us that Archibald served as a Private in Captain Heath's Company of the Georgia Militia during the War of 1812., 2. Archibald had a couple of other patents in the county (one in Section 22, spelled "Peery", and another several miles to the southwest of these holdings).
Ancestor #3 - Elisha Manning
Elisha Manning (born abt. ca. 1799), husband of Rebecca Edwards, son of John, and father of Richard E. Manning, has two land patents in Township 2-North, Range 2-West, one in Section 7, and the other in Section 18. His son Richard's patent is just south a couple of miles in Section 30. Elisha Manning, Sr. (b. 1873) is the grandfather of NFL great, Archie Manning (Elisha III).
BLM Source Pages: #1, #2.
Ancestor #4 - Richard E. Manning
Richard E. Manning (1830-1916), son of Elisha Manning (#3 above), has an 80-acre land patent in Section 30 of Twp 2-North, Rng 2-West. His father, Elisha has 2 land patents just north of here in sections 7 and 18. Richard married Elizabeth Ann Pevey, daughter of the Archibald Pevey (see Ancestor #1), whose land patents are in Section 17 of this township. Richard and Elizabeth's son, Elisha Archibald Manning, Sr., is the grandfather of former NFL quarterback, Archie Manning.
BLM Source Page.
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Copiah County, Mississippi Land of Archibald Peavey, Dempsey Gaddy, Elisha Manning, and Richard Manning, ancestors of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning.
YouTube: ESPN Films movie, The Book of Manning, narrated by John Goodman.
Findagrave.com: Elisha Archibald "Buddy" Manning, Jr, in Drew, Sunflower County, Mississippi. He was father of Archie, and grandfather of current NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.
Findagrave.com: Rebecca Edwards Manning, in Copiah County, Mississippi. Wife of the "original" Elisha Archibald Manning of Copiah County, and mother of Richard E. Manning.
Findagrave.com: Richard E. Manning. Great-grandfather of Archie Manning.
Findagrave.com: Dempsey Gaddy, Old Crystal Springs Cemetery, Copiah County, Mississippi. Great-great grandfather of Archie Manning.
Note: there are other relevant Findagrave.com pages for other Manning ancestors and relatives that can be found by simply following links in the above pages.
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