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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Jackson family story

When the first census of Union County, Ga., was taken in 1834, two years after the county was formed, three Jackson families were listed. William Jackson was head of one household, with four males and five females in his home. The other two Jackson heads-of-households were Joseph, with two males and two females; and the third was Samuel, with one male and two females. It is likely that William, Joseph and Samuel were brothers. Joseph and Samuel Jackson were not in Union's 1840 or 1850 census. But William Marion Jackson remained in Union, and it was from him that many of the present-day Jackson descendants came.

A shipboard romance bound William Marion Jackson's grandparents. The year was 1748. John Jackson was on board a ship from London, England headed to Maryland to settle in the colony there. Things looked promising in the new country. Aboard ship on the long journey to America, John Jackson met a young lady named Elizabeth Cumming (1720- 1825). They had time to get acquainted on the sea voyage. After John got established in Maryland, he married Elizabeth Cumming in 1750.

To John and Elizabeth Cumming Jackson was born a son named William. He, in turn, had a son named William (ca 1799-July 27, 1859) who married Nancy Owenby Stanley (ca. 1793-1861), a widow with two small boys, in Burke County, N.C. It is interesting that Nancy was six years older than William. The story goes that Nancy Owenby Stanley's brother, Arthur, introduced the 16-year-old William to his widowed sister, and the two were soon married.

William and Nancy Jackson moved their growing family to Habersham County, Ga., about 1827. They settled north of present-day Cleveland, Ga., (now White County) in the Nacoochee Valley, near towering Yonah Mountain. Their son, William Marion Jackson (1829-1912), was born there, as was their last son, Andrew (1835-1917). Children Rebecca, Armelia, Johile, Susie, and Kimsey had been born in North Carolina before the family migrated to Nacoochee Valley.

Land lots were being sold "across the mountain" from Nacoochee Valley in what would become Union County. William Jackson purchased land in Choestoe Valley and moved his family there, probably about 1831. Earliest records of Choestoe Baptist Church in 1834 list William and Nancy Jackson as members, and also Joseph Jackson who also was in Union's 1834 census.

William Marion Jackson (1829-1912) married Rebecca Jane Goforth (1833-1901) in Union County on December 19, 1850, with the Rev. William M. Pruitt performing the ceremony. She was a daughter of Miles and Elizabeth Patillo Goforth. Rebecca's mother died in Henderson, N.C., before her father migrated to Union County sometime before the 1850 census was taken. His household shows Miles Goforth, age 50, as head of household, with sons Millington, 22; John, 21; Albert, 16; and Miles Jr., 10; and daughters Sarah, 19; and Mary, 12. In the 1850 Union Census, Rebecca Jane Goforth, 17, was in the home of her sister, Martha Davis (24). Martha was married to William T. Davis (30). Rebecca Jane was helping her sister Martha with small children, Melinda (7), Mary Ann (2) and Jane (1).

William Marion and Rebecca Jane Goforth Jackson had eight children: Nancy (1851) who married John W. Souther; William Miles (1853) who married Nancy Souther and Nancy West; Sarah Catherine (1858) who married James M. Hood; Mary Louise Jackson (1861) who married Archibald Benjamin Collins; Martha Ann who married William J. Hunter and John Pruitt Collins; Frankie Jane (1870) who married James Elas Collins; Thomas Kimsey who married Jane Collins and Mary Caroline Collins; and Fairlena (1873) who married Jospeh Souther and George Harris.

William Marion Jackson was a blacksmith and a farmer. He served in the War Between the States as a private in Company D, Second Regiment, of the North Carolina Volunteer Mounted Infantry (U. S. Army). He was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh and carried a bullet in his leg for the rest of his life, suffering great discomfort from the wound. Rebecca Jane Jackson died June 5, 1901 and William Marion Jackson died March 12, 1912. They were interred at Old Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.

c 2007 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Apr. 26, 2007 in The Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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