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

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Revolutionary War soldier John Nicholson

According to the 1820 Buncombe County, North Carolina census, John Nicholson was still a resident there. He and his wife were over forty-five and still at home were two children, a son and a daughter, both between ten and sixteen years of age.

Some time within the decade of the 1820s, John Nicholson, Sr. had moved from Buncombe County, NC to Hall County, Georgia where, in 1830, he was enumerated in the household of his son, John Nicholson, Jr.

The next authentic record of the old soldier occurred on November 2, 1832. It was a pension application based on his service in the Revolution. As usual, the wheels of government moved slowly, but finally, on July 30, 1833, the 72-year old received a pension of $40 per year.

The next paper trail on John Nicholson, Sr. is from Habersham County, Georgia. There he was transacting business about his property he had left in Buncombe County, NC. Deed records in North Carolina show that a tract of land containing 568 acres, purchased by Benjamin Wilson, was sold by John Nicholson. A witness to the deed was John Erwin, a son-in-law to Nicholson, who had wed his daughter, Sarah.

Evidently, John Nicholson, Sr. spent quite a few of his declining years in the household of his son, John Nicholson, Jr. In 1850, the Cherokee County, Georgia census lists the old man, age 88, with John, Jr. But the elder paid taxes in Union County, Georgia that same year. The tax bill was cleared by his son-in-law, Lewis Akins, who was married to John, Sr.'s daughter Luvicia whom they called Vica. This family lived in Union County.

The U.S. Congress approved an act passed March 5, 1855 that made available "bounty" lands for veterans of the American Revolution. John Nicholson moved quickly to secure some of these lands, due him because of his service to his country. On March 26, 1855, he made application for a portion of these bounty lands. At the time he was living in Union County, Georgia with his son Alfred Nicholson who had a farm in the Harmony Grove Community of Arkaquah District.

When Revolutionary War soldier John Nicholson died at age 96 on December 20, 1858, he was living in the household of Lewis and Vica Nicholson Akins in the Coosa District. He was interred in the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery which lies about 7.8 miles west of the Old Courthouse Square just off Old Georgia 76 toward Blue Ridge. There are no dates on the Daughters of American Revolution tombstone that marks his grave. Research since the placement of his gravestone, and his age at death, seem to authenticate these dates for his birth and death: May 1, 1762 - December 20, 1858.

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

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