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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Some Nix connections (part 1 in a Series on the Nix Family of Union County, GA and surrounding counties)

In tracing Nix family lines, we find that the last name was spelled Nicks, Knix and Nix (our present day spelling). The origin seems to be from the old English surname Nichollas, Nicoles, and Nichols, meaning "victory of the people." In the United States, the surnames Nixon and Nickson (both meaning "son of Nick" and "victory of the people") was eventually shortened to Nix by some branches of the family.

William Nix was born about 1788 in South Carolina. His parents were John and Sarah Nix. In Franklin County, Georgia, on September 3, 1809, William Nix married Susannah Stonecypher, a daughter of John Henry, Jr. and Nancy Curtis Stonecypher. Susannah's father fought in the American Revolution.

William and Susannah Nix lived in Franklin County, Georgia for a while after their marriage. In 1822 they bought land in Habersham County, When White County was formed, some of the land holdings of William Nix were incorporated into the new county. They made their home near present-day Tesnatee Baptist Church. In the 1860 census of White County, William Nix's worth was listed at $3,000. The Nix cabin was still standing as late as 1990. Known for their hospitality, it has been said that William "Grancer" and Susannah Stonecypher Nix never turned anyone away from their home. They were buried in the Nix Family Cemetery a little south of the old homeplace. In 1985, grave markers were erected by a descendant, Wanda West Gregory.

Of the eleven children born to William and Susannah Nix, four of them married persons with Union County, Georgia roots, and settled here. James Nix married (1) Elizabeth Collins, daughter of Thompson and Celia Self Collins; (2) Carolina Duckworth, daughter of David and Mary Williamson Duckworth; and (3) Rebecca Evaline Duckworth, a sister of Carolina. Mary Nix, known as Polly, married Archibald Collins. Ruthia Nix married Francis Collins. Malinda Nix married William Jesse Souther.

Let us trace first some of the descendants of James Nix, who more often than not was listed as Jimmy Nix. The second-born child of eleven born to William and Susannah Nix, he made his appearance into the world in Franklin County, Georgia in July of 1812 in the farmhouse owned by his parents on Eastanollee Creek. When he was about ten years of age, his family moved to Habersham County. It was there he met and married Elizabeth Collins, lovingly called "Betsy" by her family and by her husband, Jimmy Nix.

She was born in North Carolina on August 24, 1814. She was nineteen when they married on March 12, 1834. To Jimmy and Betsy were born fifteen children as follows: William (1836), Susannah (1837), Thompson (1838), John (1840, died in the Civil War at Sharpsburg, Maryland in 1862), Archibald Carr (1842), Isabella (1844 - twin), James Bly (1844 - twin), Jeffrie (1846), Jasper (known as "Grancer," 1847 - twin), Newton (1847 - twin, died at age 15 in the Civil War in Virginia), Thomas Jefferson (1848 - enlisted in Civil War at age 13), Ivan (1849), Benjamin Stonecypher (1851), Celia (1852), and Sarah, known as "Sally" (1854).

At the young age of 45, after bearing fifteen children and looking after them diligently, Elizabeth Collins Nix died in 1859. She was buried in the Old Choestoe Cemetery.

Jimmy Nix began to look for a good woman who could help him with his many children. He found her in Carolina Elizabeth Duckworth (b. 1815), daughter of David and Mary Williamson Duckworth. They were wed on January 3, 1863 after the Civil War was well under way. Four children were born to this union. Mary Evaline (10-23-1863), Nancy (1864), Buddy (1865), and Sophronia Jane (1867).

Jimmy Nix enlisted in the Georgia State Militia, Company 2, on December 14, 1863, and apparently served with the Militia until the end of the Civil War. The cause of his second wife's death is not known, but she died before the 1870 census.

For his third wife, James "Grancer" Nix courted and married a younger sister of his second wife. Her name was Rebecca Evaline Duckworth (b. 1828). The Duckworth sisters were born in North Carolina near the headwaters of the French Broad River in Henderson County. Their parents migrated to Union County and became prominent early settlers there. Jimmy and Rebecca had one child, stillborn, who was not named.

He and his third wife had ten years together before his death on October 2, 1882. She lived to be 86 and died June 14, 1914. Both were buried in the Old Choestoe Cemetery.

Readers might like to keep this column for reference. Future columns will expand on names of some of the children and grandchildren, descendants of James "Grancer" Nix. There are more stories to tell of these hardy early settlers.

c 2007 by Ethelene Dyer Jones. Published July 26, 2007 in The Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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