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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Family of War Soldier John Nicholson

Pvt. John Nicholson
Revolutionary War Soldier
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery

In this four part series about Revolutionary War Soldier John Nicholson, we have looked, first, at his record in the war to free America from England. We traced his involvement with Old Walton County, the "Orphan Strip" on the Georgia-North Carolina- South Carolina border, and his representing that county in the Georgia Legislature. We saw him move from Buncombe County, NC to Hall, Habersham, Cherokee and finally Union Counties in Georgia and learned that his grave is at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Union County, where he was laid to rest.

This column will list what we know of his children and family, although this information has been hard to document. At best, there may be omissions and errors in listing what we have found of his children.

Tradition holds that John Nicholson, Sr., Revolutionary War soldier, was married three times. The name of his first wife has not been found. Neither is it known whether this first wife was the mother of some of his children. According to a marriage record in Warren County, NC, John Nicholson and Nancy Freeman were married there on February 22, 1794. His third marriage (date unknown) was to Susan Brown.

Ten children are listed for John Nicholson, Sr. As nearly as possible from available sources, the children were James, Mary, Walter, Elizabeth, William Harrison, Alfred, a daughter (name unknown), Luvicia (called Vica), John Nicholson, Jr., and Sarah.

It is not know whether James Nicholson remained in North Carolina when other members of the family relocated to Georgia.

Mary Nicholson, called "Polly" (1791-1868) married Rene Chastain (1793-1889) on March 17, 1814. This marriage to the Chastain joined the Nicholson family to the famous Pierre Chastain, first Huguenot immigrant, who was Rene's great grandfather. Rene's grandfather was the famous Rev. John "Ten Shilling Bell" Chastain, Baptist minister and leader in church planting in Virginia and other states. Rene's parents were Edward and Hannah Brown Chastain.

Walter Nicholson (1795- 1850) was born in South Carolina and married Dorcas Hogsed in Buncombe County, NC. This family moved to the Fodder Creek section of old Union County, a portion of the land that became Towns County in 1856. A farmer and orchardist, Walter Nicholson grafted apple trees and produced a variety called the "Watty" apple, using his nickname for the fruit. Walter and Dorcas Nicholson were in Union County, Georgia in the 1840 census. They had four children before moving from Buncombe County: John, Leander, Sarah and Elizabeth. Children with them in Georgia were Easter, Samuel and Logan.

Elizabeth Nicholson, called "Betty" is believed to have married Benjamin Burke.

William Harrison Nicholson (1797-1864) married first Jane Duckworth, a daughter of Jonathan and Kesiah Duckworth. He married, second, Jane Blocker. This family of Nicholsons made their home in the Cathey's Creek section of Transylvania County, NC. Unfortunately, William Harrison lost his life at the hands of bushwhackers during the Civil War.

Alfred Nicholson (April 28, 1799-Jan. 31, 1874) married Mary "Polly" Chastain (July 10, 1797-July 22, 1865). She was a daughter of Edward and Hannah Brown Chastain, a sister of Rene Chastain who had married Alfred's sister, Mary Nicholson. Thus two of the John Nicholson children were linked in marriage to the noted Chastain family. The 1834 census of Union County, Georgia enumerates the family of Alfred Nicholson with five females and eight males. A well-known descendant of this couple is Dr. James M. Nicholson, grandson, and son of Jackson Van Buren Nicholson and Barbara Anne Etris. Dr. Nicholson, better known as "Professor" was principal of Union County High School from 1929 until his retirement in 1943.

A daughter, name unknown, married Porter Owenby. This family moved to Union County, Georgia.

Luvicia ("Vica") married Lewis Akins and they also moved to Union County, Georgia. Vica's father, John Nicholson, was living in her house when he passed away at age 96 on December 20, 1858.

John Nicholson, Jr. (1802- 1884) married Elizabeth Allred. They had settled in Hall County, Georgia by 1830. Later, they relocated to Cherokee County by 1850. The senior John Nicholson lived with this couple for a portion of his years in Georgia.

Sarah Nicholson (1803- 1882) married John Erwin (1801-1885).

Many bearing the surname of Nicholson in Union County and elsewhere are proud to trace their ancestry back to John Nicholson, Sr. (1762-1858), Revolutionary War soldier.

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Mar. 26, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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