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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More descendants of early settlers

Continuing the saga of the Cathey settlers in early Union County, today's article will feature a son of theirs, James Cathey, a grandson Julius Young Cathey, and a great grandson, John Lucius Cathey. These did not remain in Union County, partly because the section where James's parents lived became a part of Towns County in 1856, and then because of outward migration of some to find better economic conditions elsewhere.

James Cathey (March 11, 1812 - February 3, 1887) was born to William Cathey (April 15, 1782 - abt. 1860) and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey (April 3, 1787 - abt. 1872). His birth occurred in North Carolina prior to his parents' move to Union County, Georgia in the 1830s. As listed in a previous article, the Cathey children of this first generation to live in Union (later Towns) County were Andrew Dever, James, William H., Samuel B. and Rebecca. Of these children, the last, Rebecca, was the only one born in Georgia (Nov. 17, 1820 - Feb. 21, 1871).

James married Emmeline (known as Emily) Brown in Union County, Georgia on May 28, 1846. Their children numbered six, and were Julius Young (1847- 1929) who married Rebecca Louvenia Wood; Jane Elizabeth (1850 - ?); Lucious (1854 - ?); William C. (1859 - ?) who married Josephine Crow; Nancy Marinda (called "Rendy," 1863- 1919) who married Noah Ellis; John A. (1866- ? ) and Andrew Dever. Noting the names, one easily sees that children in the third generation in Towns/Union were given some of the same names as those of children of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey, first settlers here.

Firstborn of James and Emmeline Brown Cathey, Julius Young Cathey (Sept. 17, 1847 - March 22, 1929) lived in the Woods Grove section of Towns County. He married Rebecca Louvenia Wood in April of 1870. Her parents were John, Jr. and Nancy McClure Wood. This Wood family, early settlers in what became Towns County, gave the community of Woods Grove its name. James and Emily were buried in the Brasstown Baptist Church Cemetery, Towns County.

Julius Young and Rebecca Louvenia Woods Cathey (Jan. 12, 1846 - Dec. 28, 1928) reared their family of either nine or seven children in the Woods Grove Community. It is interesting to note that the Towns County census of 1900 lists nine children in their household. However, only seven can be traced with any degree of authentication. Perhaps two died young. Known children and their spouses were: James Melvin (b. 1871) married Georgia Ann Martin and Roxie Ann Elliott. Mary Elizabeth (1873-1953) married William H. Dotson. John Lucious (1876-1960) married Hattie Ann Dyer. Elmira M. (1878-?) never married. Andrew Judson (1881 - ?) married Bessie (maiden name unknown). Sarah (known as Sally, 1883 - ?) married Charles Crawford. Nancy (1885 - ?) married Lon Gribble.

Julius Young and Rebecca Louvenia Wood Cathey's third child, John Lucius Cathey (Jan. 15, 1876- April 4, 1960) married Hattie Ann Dyer (April 9, 1876 - July 31, 1959) of Union County, Georgia on January 13, 1898. Her parents were Bluford Elisha Dyer (Feb. 13, 1855 - Nov. 21, 1926) and Sarah Evaline Souther Dyer (May 17, 1857 - March 4, 1959). Hattie Ann was the firstborn of fifteen children born to "Bud" and Sarah Souther Dyer.

When she and John Lucius Cathey married January 15, 1898, they lived near her parents in the Choestoe District of Union County. He was a farmer. Then, about 1920, they moved their family to White County, Georgia, and eventually on to Habersham County near Cornelia, Georgia. At their deaths, they were interred in the Level Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Habersham County, GA.

John and Hattie Dyer Cathey had four children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Their firstborn, a daughter, Avie Cathey (born April 17, 1900 in Union County, GA, died May 4, 1962, and was buried at Level Grove Cemetery, Cornelia, GA). Avie was a teacher. She married Etna Beck (1904-1961). Their children were Johnny Lawrence Beck and Jimmy Nathaniel Beck.

The second child born to John and Hattie Dyer Cathey was a daughter named Beulah, born October 12, 1906. She died as an infant and was buried in New Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery, Choestoe, Union County.

Their third child, a son, was named Conley Lucian Cathey, born October 18, 1908. He married Louise Wiggins on March 22, 1935 in Habersham County, Georgia. Four children were born to Conley and Louise: Dorothy Gail, Conley Lucian, Jr., William Norman and James Michael. Conley worked for Southern Bell Telephone Company in Macon, Columbus and Cornelia. He had to take early retirement due to poor health. Sadly, his date and place of death are unknown because, under great duress, he left a hospital where he was a patient in the cold wintertime and (to this writer's knowledge) was never located again.

The fourth child of John and Hattie Dyer Cathey was Norman Dester Cathey, born Sept. 26, 1914, died September 3, 1964. He married Mary Faye Wiggins on June 20, 1942 in Phoenix City, AL. She was a daughter of J. A. Wiggins of Cornelia, GA. Dester and Mary Faye had six children: Susan Elaine, Steven Norman, David Neil, Sharon Elizabeth, Donna Faye, and Richard Alan. Norman Dester Cathey had a career in the U. S. Army, joining young and remaining in service until his retirement. He and Mary Faye made Jacksonville, Florida their home. He was buried there, and his widow remains there near their children.

At best, these articles about the Cathey families of early Union (and Towns) Counties are sketchy. For those interested in the Scots-Irish roots, the migration of some west, the "Cathey Settlement" in North Carolina, and the Woods Grove section of Towns County that became a sort of "Cathey Settlement" in Georgia, there is much information online on this pioneer family. I have pleasant memories of visiting Uncle John and Aunt Hattie Cathey near Cornelia, Georgia when I was a child and of their coming from Cornelia to family reunions and to visit "Grandma Sarah" Dyer.

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published February 19, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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