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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reece Family in Union County, GA (part 2): More on the Family of William ("Billy") and Mary Daniel Reece

William Billy Reece and his wife Mary Sarry Daniel Reece

Thanks to Mr. Billy Josiah Queen who promised and delivered on “more information than I probably ever wanted to know” about the Reece family of Union County. I have been digging through genealogical research that has thousands of names from before any Reeces came to Union County prior to 1834, as seen in last week’s introductory column.

To recapitulate my listing of William “Billy” Reece and Mary (called “Sarry”) Daniel Reece, I will review:

They were married in Union County on June 18, 1837, with Mr. Thomas M. Hughes, a justice of the inferior court, performing their ceremony.

This Reece family set up their homestead near Wolf Creek in Choestoe District, probably about where Vogel State Park and Lake Trahlyta are presently located. The family farmed the narrow patches along Wolf Creek, but as we shall see, William Reece also had other means of making a living.

William Reece was a teacher, and records of Choestoe School and Church indicate that he taught at least one term of school there. Schools then were in session at slack times on the farm, since students had to help with planting, cultivating and harvesting when needed for this work. William Reece would have taught in two, three or four months’ increments of school and pupils from first through seventh grades would have his tutelage.

Another interesting sideline of work William Reece pursued was that of gold prospector. If you recall from last week’s column, he and his brother James settled in Habersham County before coming into Union, and although there is no record uncovered yet of their having “prospected” in the gold fields along Duke’s Creek there when gold was discovered in 1828, he may well have learned this trade in that location.

William Reece got “gold fever.” It is said that he searched for deposits along Helton Creek and near the falls. Today, Helton Creek Falls Road can lead the inquisitive person to drive out to the falls area, walk along the creek, see the tumbling falls, and imagine what life was like for a lonely prospector in the mid-1800’s.

How much gold William Reece found is a matter left to the imagination, but he is known to have searched all week, week after week, and then to take his finds to the mint operating at Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturdays.

William and Mary Daniel Reece had these children, all born in Union County:

(1) Sarah Elizabeth Reece (1.11.1841 – 12.31.1934) who married Logan Davis.
(2) Quiller Frank Reece (4.20.1843 - 10.13.1932) who married Eliza Clarica Adelia Logan.
(3) William Hughes Reece (10.31.1844 - ?) who married Martha Adamson and Mary J. Evans.
(4) Josiah M. Reece (11.15.1847 – 10.18.1836) who married Margaret Kennedy and Mary Ann Kelley.
(5) Nancy Jane Reece (02.25.1849 – 05.14.1935) who married William Henry Smith and moved to White County, Georgia.
(6) John Nuel Reece (09.02.1852 – 05.07.1878) who married Adalige Rich.
(7) Mary Caroline Reece (02.18.1855 – 03.23.1930) who married Wellborn Jackson.
(8) Margaret Louise Reece (08.16.1856 – 06.20.1941) who married John Spiva.
(9) Joseph Brown Reece (06.01.1860 – 02.24.1930) who married Laura J. Nix and Fannie Ash.
(10) Mintie L. Reece (02.12.1863 – 08.06.1933) who married John W. Nix and Richard H. Majors.
William and Mary Reece’s large family of ten children, with their marriages to other citizens in Union County, spread the Reece relationship to a large spectrum of people. The children, born within a twenty-two year period from 1841 through 1863 saw the parents rearing children during the tough years of the Civil War. As a matter of fact, three of the sons served in the 6th Georgia Calvary, “The Blood Mountain Tigers,” during the Civil War. These were Quiller Frank, William Hughes and Josiah M. Fortunately, none of these Reece young men lost their lives in that conflict and were able to return and resume their lives after the war.

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 21, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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