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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, April 25, 2010

England siblings settled in Union

Jonathan (called “Athan”) England, Daniel England and Margaret Elizabeth (called “Peggy”) England were all children of William Richard England and Martha (called “Patsy”) Montgomery England. They married and settled near each other “over the mountain” from Helen on the former Cherokee land after it became Union County in 1832.

Taking these three children of Richard England (who died in 1835 and was buried in the England Cemetery at Helen, Ga.) in order, we will trace a bit of these siblings’ history.

Jonathan “Athan” England (9/26/1815-10/6/1893) was born in North Carolina, the first-born of Richard and Martha England. In Union County marriage records, Athan is listed as Arthur. He married Nancy Ingram (born 4/13/1823 in Hall County, Ga., died 6/24/1897) who was one of the ten children born to Little Ingram and his first wife, Mary “Polly” Cagle Ingram. Their neighbor and Nancy’s brother-in-law, married to Nancy’s older sister, Sarah Ingram, was Justice of the Peace Thompson Collins Jr. He performed the marriage ceremony for “Athan” and Nancy on April 15, 1860.

Athan England’s farm was in the Owltown District. A portion of that now owned by Georgia Mountain Experiment Station was once farmed along the Nottely River by Athan England. He and Nancy had five children: C. E. England (1861), Tom P. England (1862), Richard Little England (1863), William H. England (1865) and John E. England (1867). Notice that Athan’s children were born just prior to, during and just after the Civil War. This writer does not have a record of whether Athan served in the war. At any rate, the general upheaval and unrest during the period did not provide a good environment for rearing a family of five children. Many of their crops and goods would have been confiscated by roving bands set on stealing and marauding. Athan and Nancy England were buried in the Shady Grove Church Cemetery where readable tombstones mark their resting places.

Daniel England (b. 1818 in NC, d. 1897 in Union Co., Ga.) was the second child of Richard and Martha England. He left the Helen Valley and went across the mountain to Choestoe District prior to the Civil War. He married Harriet E. (Elizabeth?) Hunter (1821, NC ?) in Union County on December 29, 1842. She was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Hunter who had moved their family from Buncombe County, N.C., to the Choestoe District of Union County prior to or about the time the county was formed. In 1834, John Hunter began building the cabin that still stands (in very bad repair) just off Highway 129 South about eight miles from Blairsville. Family legend about the Hunter family is that some had to stand watch to fight off the Indians because the white men had moved onto their lands and were erecting permanent dwellings. Some believe that Daniel England built the cabin. He and his family did not build it, but lived in it. Overlooking the Nottley River and with good land to farm, John Hunter was set to be able to care for his family. After John Hunter’s death, evidently his son-in-law, Daniel England and his daughter, Harriet Hunter England, moved into the cabin to help look after Harriet’s mother, the widow Elizabeth Hunter. That is how the historical house got the name Hunter-England cabin. Daniel and Harriet England had ten children, the first four born in North Carolina and the last six born in Georgia: John Richard (1843), Martha (1845), Mary Amanda (1847), Harriet (1849); William Andrew (1852), Thomas Noah (1855), Exton Virgil (1856, called “Eck”), Margaret (1859), James A. Polk (1862), and Emma Jane (1866).

Athan and Daniel England’s sister, Margaret Elizabeth (called “Peggy,” born in North Carolina in 1819, died Union County, 1894), married in 1839 to William Jonathan Hunter (1813-1893), son of John and Elizabeth Hunter. He was a brother to Daniel’s wife, Harriet. In 1840, William Jonathan Hunter began building a frame house near Town Creek not far from where it emptied into the Nottley River. That house, where several generations of Hunters have lived since William Jonathan’s time, is still standing just off Liberty Church Road, Choestoe. To William and Peggy England Hunter were born ten known children: Martha J. (1840), Mary E. (1842), John A. (1844), James A. (1847), Amanda Rebecca (1849), Margaret Eliza (1852), Willliam J. (1854), Georgianne (1855), Josephine (1858), Jerome (1861) and Jasper Francis “Todd” (1863).

These three England siblings were progenitors of Union County citizens almost too numerous to number. Through the years since the 1800s when the above-listed families first came to claim lands along the Nottely River, descendants of Englands, Ingrams and Hunters have proliferated and led out in many professions.

c2008 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Oct. 27, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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