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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some Englands become Union County settlers

With the Gold Rush simmering down some around Duke’s Creek in Habersahm County (later White), and with the patriarch Richard England dying in 1835 and interred in the England Cemetery near the Chattahoochee River there, some of the England young men went “across the mountains” once again and settled in the area that had become Union County in 1832.

Martin England (1800-1899), son of Joseph England, grandson of Charles England, first listed in the 1834 (first Union) census, claimed land along the headwaters of the Hiawassee River that was included in Towns County when it was formed in 1856.

There he established a sizeable, productive farm. In the 1850 census he was listed as owning four slaves. He married first Elizabeth Carroll and they had eleven children: Sarah Adaline (1824), Charles Newton (1818), Mary (1830), Martha (1833), William Jasper (1834), Martin Van Buren (1836), Amanda America (1838), Margaret Ann Elizabeth (1840), Harvey Pinson (1841 ? went to California about 1868 and died there shortly thereafter), Andrew (1843) and an infant who died at birth. Martin England’s first wife Elizabeth died in 1868 and was buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. The Englands had helped to found that church in what is now Towns County. Martin married, second, Mrs. Sarah Melton from Athens, but the union ended in divorce. His third wife was Minerva Grist Brown, widow of Lafayette Brown. Martin and Minerva had three children: Harvey Pinson (1877), named for the 1841 son of Martin who had died in California; Iva (1879) who died young, and Lizzie (1882). Minerva England died and Martin married his fourth wife, M. E. (Mary Elizabeth?) Buckner in 1884. The family of Martin England has many descendants in Union, Towns and elsewhere.

In the 1834 (first) census of Union County, Elijah England was a resident. He was listed with eight males and six females in the household, a large family.

Elijah, like Martin, first settled in the Helen area of then Habersham County, buying Land Lot 38 from the lottery winner of the land and paying $1,000 for the lot in February 1822. Elijah about 30 years old, his wife Elizabeth, and four children (three sons, one daughter) and Elijah’s father William settled on Land Lot 38, moving there from Franklin County. It seems that his wife Elizabeth died while Elijah lived there. In 1824 Elijah sold half of Land Lot 38 for $725, and in 1828 he sold the remaining half to Henry Conley for $1,000. In six years, Elijah had made a profit of $725 on the sale of his land lot. He went back to North Carolina (probably where he had lived prior to going to Franklin County). But it wasn’t long until he was back in Georgia, some 30 miles from his old Land Lot 38, for by 1834 he was across the mountain in the new county, Union. Even though the Indians were not evacuated completely until 1838, white settlers were encouraged to go into Cherokee lands and take up residence. Elijah England and his family accepted that challenge.

Evidently Elijah England had slaves to assist him with his farming operations. In 1832 he sold five slaves to Adam Pitner who had settled in the Helen Valley. However, Elisha listed his own residence then as North Carolina. In the 1840 census of Union, he owned no slaves. His household, including himself, had five males and six females (one his wife), and no slaves. The 1850 census of Union lists the names in the Elijah England household: Elijah, 60; Caroline, 38; Eliza, 32; Sally, 22; James, 19; Lafayette, 19; Marinda, 14; Floyd, 10; and Engela (Angela?), 2.

Elijah England was one of the 33 slave holders listed in Union County in the 1860 census. He owned six of the county’s 133 slaves. I did not find a listing for either Elijah England or his wife Caroline in the Union County Cemeteries list. Perhaps they were buried in unmarked graves somewhere on his farm.

c2005 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Oct. 20, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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