Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Monday, March 1, 2010

William Jackson - Early Union Settler

Last week's column presented Andrew William Jackson and his wife, Minerva Goforth Jackson, their hardships during and after the Civil War and their move west to California. Today's column will go back a generation in time and explore the life of William Jackson, father of Andrew. He and his wife Nancy were in Union County when it was formed in 1832, having been first in Habersham County, going there about 1827 from Rutherford County, NC.

William was a very common first name among the Jacksons. The father of William Jackson has not been firmly established because of the frequent use of William as a given name. He could have been the son of Amos, of William, of Stephen, of John, of Joseph...the list goes on of men in the 1800 census of North Carolina with Jackson as the last name. Of Scotch descent and migrating to America from Northern Ireland, these early settlers were a hardy breed known to us as Scots-Irish.

William Jackson was born in North Carolina about 1798. He married in Rutherford County, NC on December 14, 1814 to Nancy Owenby Stanley, a widow with two sons, one of whom was named William and called Bill. She was born about 1793 and was five or more years older than her husband William who was only sixteen when he married.

About 1827 four Jackson brothers, William, Amos, Jehile and Joseph with their families migrated from North Carolina to Habersham County, Georgia. Were they caught up in the "gold fever" when gold was discovered there in 1828? Perhaps so, but no documentation is available to this writer about their prospecting. Settling in the beautiful Nacoochee Valley, they could look out daily and see the rocky face of Mt. Yonah where, legend held, the young Indian lovers, the fair maiden Nacoochee and the warrior brave Yonah, plunged to their deaths because they were from warring tribes and their parents would never approve their union.

When land lots became available in what was mapped as Union County in 1832, carved out of the old Cherokee lands, William secured land and settled in the shadow of the highest peak in Georgia, Bald Mountain, Choestoe District. William and Nancy Jackson and William's brother Joseph were all listed as members of Choestoe Baptist Church in 1834, the first year of extant minutes, although it is believed the church was organized in 1832. William Jackson cleared more land on his farm, adding to the acreage once tended by the Cherokee before they were driven from the property he purchased.

Besides Nancy Jackson's two sons by her first marriage, she had seven known children by her second husband, William Jackson. These were as follows: Rebecca Jackson (1816-1860) who married Jonathan Cook (1815-1861). They lived in the Arkaquah District of Union County and reared two sons and four daughters. Rebecca and Jonathan Cook were buried in the Six Oaks Cemetery near Old Liberty Church, Choestoe.

Armelia Jackson (1820-?) married William Neeley (1808-?). This couple moved to Tennessee and no information is known on their children.

Johile Jackson (1822-?), named for his uncle, married Jane Duckworth (1823-1896). They lived in the Arkaquah District and reared a family of four sons and five daughters. Johile and Jane Jackson were buried in the Jackson Family Cemetery on the Abercrombie Farm in Arkaquah District.

Susanna Jackson (1826-1889) married John W. Duckworth (1821-1913). They settled near Old Liberty Church on his father David Duckworth's property. They had a family of twelve children. Susie, as she was known, and John were interred in the Old Choestoe Cemetery but their gravestones have long ago disappeared.

Mira Jackson (1827-1902) married Jehu Wimpey (1829-1899). They had thirteen children, five sons and eight daughters. Their large family has many descendants still living in Union County. They were buried at Old Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.

Kimsey Jackson (1828-1869) married Lucinda "Cindy" Thomas (1828-1909). At age 41, Kimsey had an unfortunate accident that took his life. He was driving a wagon pulled by oxen loaded with 300 feet of green oak lumber. On a hill near Old Liberty Church the brakes gave way and the wagon turned over, pinning Kimsey underneath it. Kimsey and Cindy had three sons.

William Marion Jackson (1829-1912) married Rebecca Goforth (1833-1901). Marion Jackson liked to tell that he was born near Yonah Mountain in what was then Habersham (now White) County, Georgia. He was the first of William and Nancy Jackson's children born after they moved to Georgia. During the Civil War, Marion joined the U. S. Army. He and Rebecca lived on Town Creek, Choestoe District, and reared six daughters and two sons. William and Rebecca were buried at Old Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.

The youngest child of William and Nancy Jackson was Andrew William ((1835-1917) who married Minerva Goforth (1840-1915). Their story was recounted in last week's column. They went to California after the Civil War and never returned to Georgia.

William Jackson (1798-1859) and his wife Nancy (1793-1861) were both interred at the Six Oaks Cemetery near Old Liberty Baptist Church.

The Jackson name is still common in Union County among descendants of William and Nancy. The name means "Jack's Son". Jack was a nickname for John. Centuries ago in England, Scotland and Ireland John's Son and Jack's Son were common designations and from them the family name derived. The two first Jacksons registered in America were Isaac and John. Isaac Jackson was born in Ireland in 1664 and died at Londongrove, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1750. His wife was Anna Evans and they had ten children. John Jackson was born in 1766 in Tipperary, Ireland and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1826. John Jackson's ancestors have been traced back to Sir John Jackson, made a baron by King Charles II in 1660.

c2004 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Apr. 1, 2004 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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