Skip to main content

Cantelou family genealogy

Identifier: MSS-0271

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of photocopies of pages from the Henry J. Lang family record, as well as copies of some family correspondence. The collection also contains photocopies of pages from two books. The first are from "A Register of the Officers and Students of the University of Alabama, 1831 – 1901” compiled by Thomas Waverly Palmer, showing that John Rainsford Cantelou enrolled at the University in 1862, but that he did not graduate. There is also a copy of the form John Rainsford Cantelou filled out with information for inclusion in the book. The other pages are from the “History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography” by Thomas McAdory Owen, showing the entries for Lamar Cantelou, son of Louis Crymes Cantelou and Mary E. (Rainsford) Cantelou, and for Louis Crymes Cantelou, son of Louis Cantelou, of Paris, France, and Alice (Crymes) Cantelou.

The collection contains a photocopied page showing various views of an unidentified house, presumably “Cantelou’s Hill” near Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama. There is also a photocopy of an article from the Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle (no date given) regarding local interest in the upcoming anniversary of George Washington’s birthday. It states that “According to family tradition, Washington courted Miss Alice Crymes … Her father refused his permission for their marriage, saying, “George Washington is nothing but a farmer and a fox hunter and he will never amount to anything.” Alice later married Louis Crymes Cantelou.


  • 1855–1965

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The Cantelou family was established in Alabama in the late 1830s or early 1840s when Louis Crymes Cantelou, son of Captain Louis Cantelou of Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, decided to move west and settled on a hill near the village of Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama.

Louis Crymes Cantelou’s father, Captain Louis Cantelou, a native of Paris, France, was appointed Captain of a Grenadier Company and accompanied Marshall Count Rochambeau to America where they joined the continental troops under George Washington. Captain Cantelou was seriously injured by bayonets and bombshell fragments. At the close of the war, his wound prevented him from leaving with his unit. When he had recovered, he settled in Virginia where he married Alice Crymes, by whom he had five children: Louis C., Lemuel, Veler Louis, Francis and William Bernard. In 1797 he moved to Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, and resided there until his children were grown. He them removed to his plantation in Edgefield, South Carolina. He died in 1818.

Louis Crymes Cantelou married his first cousin, Rebecca Lester, a daughter of Archibald and Elizabeth Crymes Lester. By his first wife he had two children: (1) Peter, who married Ann Cogburn of Edgefield District, South Carolina; and (2) Eliza, who married William Frazier of Edgefield, South Carolina. A few years later, Frazier moved to Alabama and purchased lands adjoining those of his father-in-law, Louis Crymes Cantelou.

On 28 February 1833 Louis Crymes Cantelou married Mary Rainsford of Edgefield, South Carolina, daughter of Thomas and Tabitha (Huff) Rainsford, both natives of England. Louis and Mary had a large family: (1) Martha (1834-1852) ; (2) Rainsford (b. 1836), who married Mary E. Bettis; (3) Lamar (b. 1839), who married Mary G. Campbell of Wetumpka, Elmore County, Alabama; (4) Esther (b. 1842); (5) John (b. 1845), who married Sallie Adams, of Cantelou’s Hill, Montgomery County, Alabama; (6) Tabitha Emily (b. 1849), who married James M. Renfro; (7) Alice (25 October - 25 November 1853); (8) and Edwin (18 November 1858 - 8 September 1859). Louis Crymes Cantelou died on 17 January 1856 and Mary Rainsford Cantelou died on 12 January 1897.

In 1862, John Rainsford Cantelou was enrolled at the University of Alabama. He left the University in 1863 and enlisted as a private in Forrest’s Cavalry of the Confederate Army. Following the war, he married Sallie E. Adams of Cantelou’s Hill, Montgomery County, Alabama, and became a merchant and cotton buyer.

Henry Lang (b. 1821) of Lincolnton, Lincoln County, Georgia, married Ann Augusta Cantelou (b. 1829) on 17 September 1846 in Lincolnton, Georgia.


0.05 Linear Feet (10 items, 47 pages; photocopies)

Language of Materials



Photocopies of various documents concerning the ancestry of members of the Cantelou family of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.


Gift of Stephen McLeod, 1988. Addition 1994.

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2012
Guide to the Cantelou family genealogy
June 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266