Starr & Pinkston

by Linda S. Starr, Norman, OK

Submitted by Sara Jane Overstreet


Henry and Mary Starr

(c. 1752-c. 1821)

According to tradition and family Bible entries written years after the fact, the narrative of this family begins in Maryland with the 1752 birth of Henry STARR. If researchers are correct, the Wilkes County Georgia Henry Starr is the same person as Henry “Star” [Clements p. 193] or Henry “Storres” [Brumbaugh, p. 4] who appears on a 1778 militia list from that part of Maryland which now falls in Montgomery County near present day Washington D.C. This places him across the Potomac River from the PINKSTONs and CARROLLs who hook up with the STARRs in Georgia. Proof that the Wilkes County Henry Starr served in the Revolutionary War is found on two Georgia Lottery lists: his widow, then living in Morgan County, won land in Lee County in 1827 and in Troup County in 1834 based on her marriage to a Revolutionary War soldier. [Land grants] Some researchers have taken the above Maryland militia list and projected his service in Griffith’s Flying Camp that saw battle in New Jersey during the conflict around New York City. However, archivists in the National Archives and Maryland State Archives failed to find proof of his actual service. Maryland required all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 50, not in service with the Continental Line, to enroll in the militia; however, an entire company was not called for duty at the same time. As a result, one person served two months of active duty, then returned home while another man took his turn. Therefore, it is impossible to say when or even where Henry was detailed.

Tradition says Henry married Mary STEELE circa 1777 in Virginia. We have found no evidence that corroborates STEELE, but we do know her name was “Mary” from court records located in Wilkes County. [Deed Book UU, page 173; CCC p. 194] STEELE as her surname is based solely on the middle name for one of their sons. Again, family records and tradition suggest the eldest three sons were born in Maryland: Joshua October 17, 1778; John “Elijah” in 1780 and Silas Henry November 7, 1782. Tradition here is born out, for even though one of Joshua’s daughters [Sarah POYNER] told the 1880 census taker her father was born in South Carolina, his brother Silas gave Maryland as his birthplace when asked by the census taker for Newton County in 1850.


Moves from one area to another during the 18th century were usually undertaken in the fall, after harvest, but before winter storms set in. Therefore, we suspect the family moved from Maryland to Georgia the fall of 1783 (as reported in some undocumented accounts) or more likely the fall of 1784 as suggested by descendants of Joshua reporting his age at time of move. The move itself was not that difficult if they traveled by boat. Leaving one of many docks in the Baltimore, Annapolis or below the Great Falls of the Potomac area, they moved along the coastlines of Virginia and both Carolinas. At Savannah they probably transferred to a smaller craft for the final journey to Augusta or just beyond. From there, it was a short overland journey to the tallest point in the rolling hills countryside along the waters of Kettle Creek and Little River in Wilkes County. Here they began their new life on the Georgia frontier.


Although Henry appears on Wilkes Co. tax records beginning in 1785, his first land grant is dated November 25, 1788; [Book QQQ, p. 685] he sold this land the following year. [Deed Book UU, p. 173] In 1791 he received a second land grant for the 350 acres where they had lived from the beginning. [WWW, p. 36] It was here, on the waters of Kettle Creek, where the rest of their children were born, beginning with Benjamin Franklin January 29, 1785. The only other child we have a birth date for is Samuel Steele -- October 11, 1794. Thus the birth order for Amelia, Asa D. and Caleb is not known. In fact, nothing more is known about Amelia and Caleb unless Amelia is the “Elizabeth” Starr who married William LUNSFORD November 5, 1812. [Davidson v.2, p. 345] This Elizabeth is too old to be a grandchild of Henry and Mary, but they (and their sons) are the only Starrs in Wilkes County in 1812.


The STARR family has been linked with Methodism almost from the beginning of the movement in the colonies. According to Bishop Asbury the first Methodist meeting in America was on Sam’s or Pipe Creek in Frederick County, Maryland in 1760. [Scharf, p. 551] The first six Methodist Conferences in Georgia were held in Wilkes County. The first conference (1788) was in the area that became Elbert County; the fourth (1791) was held at Scott’s meeting house on Little River. [Warren, p. 116-118] The location for the conference suggests a large contingent of Methodists in the area. Although Henry lived near Little River, he was actually closer to another meeting place. In 1783 a group of Presbyterians organized and built their first log meeting house one half mile from the site of the Revolutionary battle near Kettle Creek. It was called “Liberty” for all orthodox denominations were allowed to meet there when the Presbyterians were not using it. This first log house was abandoned shortly after 1800 and a new building was constructed at the top of Starr’s Hill under the name of Salem. This building was used until 1834 when the route of the old Greensboro Post Road was relocated. [Randall] Miss Bowen adds a further nugget of information in her discussion of the history of Liberty Church: [They] “built another church on an elevated spot south of the battle ground at Kettle Creek, called Starr’s Hill.” [Warren, p. 185] Surely this hill is named for Henry and his family.


Henry and sons Joshua and Benjamin were each entitled to two draws in the 1806 Lottery. [Davidson p. 324] Winners received 202 ½ acres in Baldwin or Wilkinson Counties. To be eligible for two draws, one had to be over 21, a resident of Georgia for three years and have a wife and/or children under 21. Henry won land in the northern part of Baldwin, in the area that became Morgan County in 1807. Henry probably made several trips between the two counties, clearing and planting fields and building shelter. It appears from Wilkes County records that Mary died before making the final move. Henry and Mary sold 53 acres to Benjamin October 1, 1813; [CCC p. 194] then Henry “only” sold 250 acres to sons Asa and Samuel September 15, 1814. [GGG, p. 121-2] Confirmation of her death comes early the next year when Henry took a second wife, Mary “Polly” MARTIN, January 11, 1815. [Morgan Co. Marriage Records Book 1] Two years later Henry married a third time, and again to a “Mary” – Polly JENKINS August 4, 1817. [M-1, p. 180] Proof this is the same Henry Starr is the signature of witness G. W. JENKINS to Henry’s will signed October 1, 1818. Henry left Mary two slaves and a residence for life. The DAR uses this date for his death; however, Henry appears in Campbell’s District on the 1820 census for Morgan County and his will wasn’t probated until May 7, 1821. [Will Book, p. 89]


Henry and his first wife, Mary, had eight known children:

Joshua born October 17, 1778. [see following]

John “Elijah” born 1780 in Maryland appears in official records as Elijah. He married Hannah TOWNSEND April 15, 1805 in Greene County, Georgia where they lived for several years. Elijah was appointed one of the executors of his brother Asa’s estate in Wilkes County. [Davidson v.1, p. 99] Part of this involved the estate of Asa’s father-in-law Richard WATTS; but Elijah is also involved in this estate in other ways. He appears as guardian for two Watts daughters and then is paid for boarding two other Watts children. [v. 2, p. 305] Elijah and Hannah moved to Habersham County about 1824 for their first land deed is dated February 22, 1825. Listed among the pioneer settlers of that county, he was a farmer and stock raiser. Elijah died January 5, 1837 and Hannah in 1870; she was 90 years old at the time. They had six children, two sons and four daughters, [Reeves p. 377] but only four are named in his will, dated November 26,1836: [Minutes & Wills Book 4A, p.151] Amelia C., Elizabeth, Elijah and John H.


Silas Henry born November 7, 1782 in Maryland married December 4, 1806 the widow of John C. Pinkston, Elizabeth (KAIN); she is believed to be the daughter of John Cain /Kain of South Carolina. She and John had two children, but only one was living at the time of her second marriage – Greenberry PINKSTON born August 8, 1804, died March 28, 1839. [See Shadrach PINKSTON following.] The Starr and Epps families were the first to arrive in the area later called Starrsville in honor of Silas H. Starr Sr., “a popular state legislator” according to Georgia Place Names. It is situated about six miles southeast of Covington in now Newton County. Silas died December 18, 1857. According to his obituary printed in a Methodist Journal [Brinton] he was “Blessed with a fine constitution, and leading a temperate and virtuous life … In all the relationships of life he was a model man. Although endowed with faculties, which by culture would have rendered him distinguished, he chose, in accordance with his unobtrusive nature to pass quietly through the world, serving his generation ‘by the will of God.’ He was conservative in his feelings, but firm in his disapprobation of all vice and error, whether in Church or State. As a citizen he was an ornament to the community in which he lived, and the influence that he exerted for good order, by his virtuous precept and pious example, will be felt for many days to come. He enjoyed the highest esteem and confidence of his neighbors, as well as of all who knew him … In the vigor of manhood, he gave his heart to God and joined the M. E. Church. His Christian career was widened as it advanced. He was faithful in the discharge of his duties and punctual in his attendance upon all the ministrations of the sanctuary, until entirely disabled by disease. He was liberal in his support of the ministry, as well as of all the great enterprises of the church, and his house was the preacher’s home. He lived the life of a Christian and died ‘the death of the righteous.’”


Silas and Elizabeth’s daughter Mary (1808-1845) married George W. LEAK, co-owner of an early general store in Starrsville. One of their three sons died before the war, and the other two were killed in the war. After Mary’s death, George married her sister Elizabeth (1811-1886). They had two sons: John Kain and Silas Wesley. John Leak was a “talented Methodist preacher and President of Andrew Female College at Cuthbert, Georgia. Silas W. married Veslons [?] BORING and moved to Panola County, Texas where he practiced medicine. [This per Brinton who differs from Crain.]


Silas and Elizabeth’s son John Kain (1809-1843) may actually be George Leak’s partner in the general store listed as John “W” Starr. [Newton p. 428] Their daughter, Harriet Asemath (1814-1896) married Alfred M. RAMSEY and son Silas Henry Jr. (1815-1894) married Ann Jane DABNEY. He was a merchant and farmer before the war, but afterwards concentrated on farming. [Brinton] Daughter Eugenia C. (1817-1896) married either William G. LEAK of Pike County, Georgia [Brinton] or Milton LEAK [Crain]. Completing the family group are daughters: Euphemia Crawford (1820-1847), Emily (1821-1821) and Lilly Barnett (1823-1897) who married Lemon M. BROWN.

Benjamin Franklin born January 29, 1785 Wilkes County, Georgia. [see following]


Asa D. born circa 1789 in Georgia married Rhoda WATTS, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Townsend) Watts. In 1814 he and his brother Samuel purchased the remaining 250 acres home site from Henry for $600. Asa died before August 25, 1817, the date his will was probated, leaving everything, including the final division of her father’s estate, to his wife Rhoda and two minor sons, Samuel F. and Richard Capus. He also made provision for a possible third child. [Davidson v. 1, p 99] Asa’s 144 acres of Henry’s original tract was sold by the executors to Samuel Starr September 15, 1819 for $623. Earlier that year Samuel was appointed guardian of the orphan Richard C. Starr. Since Richard is the only child mentioned in guardian accounts, we conclude he was the only surviving child of Asa and Rhoda. [Davidson v.2 p. 294] Richard followed Samuel to Newton County for Samuel posted bond as his guardian November 17, 1830. [Ibid] Richard, born March 14, 1816 married May 21, 1837 Martha Jane EPPS in Newton County. [Crain p.102] Depending on source, he either died during the war or in 1881.


Samuel Steele born October 11, 1794 fought with the Georgia militia in the Creek War of 1814. [Crain p. 104] That fall he purchased half of his father’s remaining land in Wilkes County. He married November 30, 1815 Hannah MELEAR, daughter of Richard, and sister of Fenton, wife of Samuel’s older brother Joshua. Although they purchased the other half of Henry’s land from his brother’s estate in 1819, they moved to then Walton County circa 1820 with his brother Silas. Samuel built a spacious14 room home in 1830 where he and Hannah raised their five known children. Hannah died March 27, 1856 and he married a second time; the name of this second wife is not known. Samuel died August 19, 1859 and is buried in Dover Cemetery beside Hannah. Their children were: Mary Ann (1820-1844) married Lemon M. BROWN; Martha Reid (1823-1844) married Charles C. SHELL; Amelia Hannah (1826-1848) married Newton B. LEAK; Rebecca Hannah (1829-1905) married Joseph Spencer STEWART; Samuel Henry Steele (1833-1863) married Martha LEE.


In 1834 the President of a church supported school in Virginia made a plea for financial support at the Georgia Methodist Conference; some countered with a plea to start a Methodist school in Georgia instead. The short-lived Manual Labor School located west of Covington was the immediate result. From this seed Emory College grew at what is now known as “Oxford Branch of Emory University”. Named for Bishop John Emory, the college was chartered in 1836 and five faculty members, all “scholars, prominent in some field of study, and ministers” [Newton, p. 119] were hired by 1837. The campus was located on property adjacent Samuel’s tract; he and Hannah later donated their residence to the college; it was turned into a dormitory named Andrews Hall. [Crain p. 104]


Samuel’s will reflects his views on life: “I want to be buried in just such a coffin as I got for your mother with the rocks that I have carried to the graveyard to cover the vault with. I want just such rocks on my grave …To Steele in particular: I have left you Trustee for your stepmother in my Will, see to it she is taken care of during her life … Now my children, my last advice to you … I want you to be sound, religious, plain, old-time Methodists. And raise your families on that rule … as the Word of God directs … Be strictly honest, industrious and high-minded. … Be certain to keep out of debt. Use economy; be domestic; don’t live above your means … In a word, Fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man … Pray, don’t have a fuss over what I have left behind, for you all to live comfortably on. For you know how I and your dear Mother … felt bound to do our duty, and to leave an example behind, hoping that you would follow us as we did right … Finally, children, Farewell. Live in peace, and may the God of love and peace be with you is my prayer for Christ’s sake. Keep this in remembrance of your Father to the latest generations. And now, what I have said to my children and grand-children I say to my widow and don’t do like most of the widows these days; but live to glorify God in your body and spirit, and be His, and he will be a husband to such widows. Oxford, Georgia, June 23, 1858. [Crain p. 104-5]


(7) Amelia.

(8) Caleb.


Rev. Joshua and Fenton (Melear) STARR

Tradition is strong that Joshua, born October 17, 1778, founded the first Methodist church in Georgia. This is incorrect: he was only eight years old in 1788 when the first Methodist Conference met at Mulberry Fork in present-day Elbert County. His parents probably worshiped at the meeting house nearest their home, Liberty Church. This was the site of the combined Georgia and South Carolina Methodist Quarterly Conference in December 26, 1808. Among the questions asked by Bishop Asbury of the candidates wishing to become Methodist ministers was their personal view on slavery. Some of these newly licensed ministers became prominent in the itinerancy in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. [West p. 600]


For whatever reasons, the building called Liberty Church fell into disuse. Joshua may have been active in the resurgence of interest in religion between 1815 and 1822 which resulted in the building of a new meeting house, called Salem. This one was built along the Greensboro Road on Starr Hill. [Warren p. 158] It is possible that Joshua or one of his brothers donated the land for Salem, but records are not available to support this. This area is now in eastern Taliaferro County at the intersection of Greensboro Road with Melear’s Bridge Road that crosses Little River by a ford just a mile or so East of the confluence of the North and South Forks of that river. [Lunceford p. 4; 15] Since there is some truth in every family legend, his children might remember him as a major force behind Salem giving rise to their later statements that “Joshua founded the first Methodist Church in Georgia.” Although no official Conference record exists of him as a minister, Lawrence includes him in his list of Georgia Methodist ministers. [p. 526] Additionally, Joshua’s obituary says he “acted in the ministry of the gospel about 12 years.” [Hartz]

The location of nearby Melear’s Bridge Road is significant; Joshua married Fenton MELEAR in the late 1790s. She was the daughter of Richard and Martha “Patty” Melear. [Wilkes Co. Deed Book YY, p. 618] Her younger sister, Hannah, married Joshua’s younger brother, Samuel. Wilkes County probate records list Joshua as guardian of several minor orphans and co-executor of several wills which indicates his stature in the county. He died prematurely October 22, 1822, leaving a wife and several minor children. Fenton sold their residence in Wilkes County February 24, 1825. [Deed Book HHH, p.518] As a resident of Henry County, she won land in Lee in the 1827 lottery. Although no membership record exists, surely she and their children, including the four sons who became Methodist ministers, were early members of Liberty Chapel Methodist Church. Fenton (Melear) Starr died September 8, 1836 in Henry County. She and Joshua had thirteen known children:

Sarah “Sallie” Darley, born November 22,1799, died after 1880 in Dale County, Alabama; she married John W. POYNOR December 18, 1817 in Wilkes County.

John was drafted into the Wilkes County Militia September 1814 for a six months tour of duty. After his discharge at either New Orleans or Mobile, he returned to Wilkes where they married three years later. They qualify as early settlers of Henry by the purchase of Lot 28 in Militia District 3 from John G. Ogletree December 13, 1822. John W. (to distinguish him from his father John) was active in early county politics. He is listed among the Trustees for Pleasant Grove Academy December 21, 1827 and was appointed Postmaster of the Pleasant Grove Post Office March 16, 1829. [Rainer p. 30; 84-5] The Post Office name changed to Griffin, then located in Pike County, in 1841. The 1833 election in Militia District 526 for state offices was held in his home October 7; the voter’s list includes J. Poyner, J. H. Starr (Joshua Jr.), H. Starr (William Henry) and Jas. H. Starr. [p. 59-60] (This James Harper Starr, prominent in Texas history, was born in Connecticut in 1809 and died in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas in 1890.) They joined the general migration from Henry to Troup County, Georgia, and from there to Chambers, Henry and finally Dale County Alabama. John died February 10, 1867. Their children from Bible records: Thomas W. J. born April 26, 1819; Martha A. born October 20, 1821; James M. born June 1, 1824 (descendant Lynn (Atkinson) White lives in Ozark, Alabama); Joshua S. born August 2, 1827; Samuel S. born May 20,1830; Sarah P. born March 22, 1832; Mary G.(?) born November 18, 1834; John H. born March 4, 1841.


Rev. William Henry. [see following]

Richard Capel born February 3, 1803, died May 5, 1809 in Wilkes County.

Martha Hardwick born November 11, 1804, married William J. SAPPINGTON December 6, 1821.

Rev. John Wesley. [see following].

Rev. James Russell. [see following].

Barsheba born January 21, 1810, died June 2, 1881 in Atlanta. She married Samuel OGLETREE September 1, 1825 in Henry County.

According to her obituary: “There is no record of the time of her conversion, but it was early in life. … Sister Ogletree, true to the faith of her fathers, manifested the same attachment to Methodism, so characteristic of the large family of that name. She was left a widow some thirty-eight years ago, with a large family, and in straitened circumstances … She outlived nearly all the members of her father’s family. The soil of Texas and Alabama contains the sacred dust of two of her brothers who died in the itinerancy, leaving behind them the savor of good names, and of grand evangelical work. … [Original newspaper clipping in hands of descendant isn’t dated; nor is newspaper identified.] She and Samuel had eight children: George Troup born July 21, 1826, married Nancy HOUSE; William Turner born March 15, 1828, married Susan COOK (descendant Roger LEDLOW lives in Trafford, Alabama); Margaret born December 12, 1831, married Richard GIBSON; John T. born January 21, 1833; Joshua P. born October 3, 1835, married Fanny CHAMPION; Hester Ann born May 21, 1836, married R. M. AUTEN; Mary F. born May 5, 1838, married F. M. AIKEN; Ella Eliot born October 31, 1839, married John Moon BOOKOUT. (Descendant Henry Bookout lives in Suffolk Countys, Long Island, New York.)

Rev. Joshua Jr. [see following].

Mary Pauline “Polly” born November 10, 1812, died September 3,1883 in Union County, Arkansas. She married Elihue CRAWFORD April 11, 1831 in Henry County.


According to her obituary she and Elihue shared 52 years together: “Their devotion to each other and to their Church grew stronger as age advanced … it has ever been their delight to entertain their ministers at their home, and not only ministers of their own beloved Methodist Church, but of every Christian denomination. Mother had five brothers, four of whom lived and died old men in the ministry. … The Revs Henry and Joshua Starr died but a few years since at Starrville, Texas, where they are today remembered as the fathers of Methodism in Texas, having gone there about forty years ago to preach the Gospel … Of ten children, six preceded her to the tomb. …”[Eagle] Their children: Lucinda born January 21, 1833; Sarah Jane (1836-1909) married Asbury STEPHENS; Martha Ann (1837-1860) married Dr. Whitman B. JOHNSON; Mary Fenton (1840-1864) married Dr. Whitman B. JOHNSON; Elizabeth Parks (1843-1870) married Joseph D. McGowen; Margaret born September 18, 1845, married John M. KELLY; William Henry born October 27, 1847; Charles Wesley (1851-1858); and Whitman born July 3, 1855.


Fenton born June 10, 1815, married Berriah KING October 6, 1831.

Enoch born April 15, 1817, died May 30, 1817.

Samuel Turner born March 26,1818, died January 17, 1873 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He married Lettie FULTON October 25, 1835. According to family historian Lucius Ernest Starr, he was called “wild and wayward Sam.”

Margarette Lee born April 25, 1820, died September 26, 1888 in Cass County, Texas. She

married Watson Atwood CRAWFORD October 2, 1834 in Henry County. They had ten children: James B. born January 20, 1836; Joshua born 1840; Mary Anne born 1843, married James Kendrick PERDUE; Francis Asbury, born November 1844, married Nannie COLE; Thomas Jefferson born 1848; Ella V. (1849-1862); Ava Maria (1855-1929) married John Drayton PRATOR; Ida Lee (1857-1932) married Samuel Lynch BALL; Fannie Allene (1863-1954) married Blueford D. Knapp.

(2) Rev. William Henry STARR

William Henry, who seems to have always gone by “Henry”, is the eldest son, but second child of Joshua and Fenton (Melear). Born in Wilkes County March 28, 1801, he led his siblings on a westward journey that took him to Henry County, Georgia, Chambers County, Alabama and finally Smith County, Texas. Before leaving Wilkes Henry married Mahala BIRD December 18, 1821; she was the daughter of Williamson and Elizabeth (Robards) Bird. Although how he got the land is not known, he sold Lot 59 in District 3 in Henry County July 2, 1825 to his brother John for $250. [Deed Book C/D, p. 473] After a possible sojourn in Troup County, they eventually settled in Chambers County in the 1830s. There is no Conference record for his ministry in Georgia; Alabama Conference records indicate he was “one of several ministers licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conferences of the Lafayette Circuit in 1839.” [West p. 511]

Henry was listed in the 1850 Chambers County census as a 49 year old Methodist minister with property valued at $2,480. He and Mahala had thirteen children: Williamson Bird (1824-1876); Frances (1826-1896); James N. (died 1863); Mary (born 1830); Mahala Anne (1832-1899); John Wesley (died prior 1850); Amanda Fletcher (1834-1900); Sarah B. (1836-1903); Jane (1839-1869); Joshua (died age 12); Henryetta (born 1841) and twins who died in. infancy.

Mahala died sometime after the 1850 census was taken; Henry married the widowed Mrs. Mary Hawkins March 18, 1852. Mary and her first husband, Thomas, appear on the 1850 Chambers County Census with three children: Mary G. “Tug”; William F. “Billy”; and Thomas N. She and Henry had three children of their own: Emma, Madora and a daughter named Henry. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Texas with their combined families. They settled several miles northeast of Tyler on Ray Creek, in the area of Smith County where many large springs are found. Here, Henry and his younger brother Joshua Jr. served as unpaid ministers for the local Marvin Methodist Church for many years. At the time of his death he owned 1,683 acres. William Henry Starr died July 28, 1864 at the home of his daughter, Mary McDougal. He is buried in the nearby Starr - Hawkins Cemetery.

(5) Rev. John Wesley STARR

Third son John Wesley was aptly named, for he was the most prominent of the STARR Methodist ministers. Born in Wilkes County August 7, 1806, he married Hannah MILLER December 23, 1824. Wilkes County documents show his mother sold the land she lived on early in 1825; Henry County deeds record John’s purchase of a lot belonging to brother Henry later that year. Although one son says John Wesley was admitted to the Georgia Conference in 1826 at the age of 20, official records indicate he received his license to preach September 17, 1830. [Lawrence p. 526] However, preachers usually served an internship under “licenses to exhort” so he probably “exhorted” unofficially on the Henry County frontier. It is reasonable to speculate he preached his first sermons to the gathering of worshipers which later organized into Liberty Chapel Methodist Church. After securing his license to preach, he rode a wide range of circuits that included the Georgia towns of Columbus, Macon and Athens. Quoting from a tribute to him printed in Alabama Conference papers: “He was a man of very limited education, indeed so poorly qualified was he in this respect, that, even at the time of his joining the Conference, it was thought by some to be very doubtful whether he could ever succeed. But by devotion to his books and to his work he became a very successful preacher.” [Crain p. 72]

One feature of the turn of century religious movement in Georgia was the Campground Meetings. “The central feature of the camp ground was a large wooden structure covered by a massive roof but with the sides left open to admit cooling breezes in the hottest of seasons. Around the main structure or tabernacle was a cluster of tents or small cabins which provided temporary housekeeping facilities. Late every summer after crops had been ‘laid by’ until harvest time, the inhabitants would come from varied points to assemble, to camp, and to hold ‘protracted meetings’, or religious services continuing over a lengthy period of time. Outstanding Methodist ministers would come from distant places to preach to the assembled congregations. The preachers were fervent in their appeals and gained many converts.” [Chalker p. 65-66]

Turning to the 1832 portion of Rev. Isaac Boring’s journal we find the following description of the Pike Camp meeting Thursday July 19 to Monday July 23: “I found a considerable number of familys (sic) on the ground. Preaching had commenced the evening before. At three Bro. John Starr preached, and I closed by singing and prayer. At night I preached … and the Lord worked among the people, Bro. Mathews concluded. … Fri., 20th, at eight Bro. Roarie preached, and Bro. Turner concluded. … At eleven Dr. Powers preached. At three I preached … Bro. Mathews concluded. … At night Bro. Stegall preached. … Sat., 21st, at eight Bro. A. Turner preached and Bro. Starr concluded. At eleven Bro. Mathews preached and I concluded … At three Bro. Steygall preached and Bro. Bonner concluded. The Lord was present to heal. At night Bro. Pournell preached and Bro. Simmons concluded. We had a good time and several souls were converted. Sund., 22, at Sunrise we held prayer meeting. At eight Dr. Powers preached and a Bro. Black concluded. At eleven Bro. Stegall preached with much power, and Bro. Simmons delivered a very powerful exhortation. … At three I preached … Bro. Simmons concluded. … In the evening the Sacraments of Baptism was administered to a goodly number of persons by Bro. Simmons after which the Lord’s Supper was administered by myself, aided by several of the breatheren. (sic) We had a comfortable time. After the Sacraments were administered an invitation was given for mourners to come forward. About fifty came, several were converted. The work continued nearly, or quite, all night. Mo., 23rd, Our meeting was closed, when it was ascertained that thirty two whites had professsed to obtain religion during the meeting. It is believed that several blacks were also converted.” And what must have been a tense night for Rev. John Wesley: “Sat., December 1st. Rode to our Quarterly Meeting … At night Bro. Jno. Starr preached. We had a gracious time.” [p. 84-85; 93]


In 1837 John Starr was ordained by Bishop Morris and assigned to the Madison (Georgia) Circuit. However, in December 1839 he transferred to the Alabama Conference where he continued to travel the circuits for another twenty-three years. Deemed one of the builders of Alabama Methodism, he “worked tirelessly and became conspicuous in the Conference where he served as presiding elder for many of his circuits. One record reveals something of his work among the Negroes. He made a tour of the Chattahoochee Mission to colored people in 1842 preaching at six different plantations in five days. He was the presiding elder of Montgomery District in which the mission was located.” [Crain, p. 73]

Continuing the posthumous Conference tribute: “Brother Starr was devoted to the Church and was an uncompromising Methodist. He was ever a friend to his brethern in the ministry. He made it a point in life to govern his family; and his children have grown up useful and influential members of society. He was remarkable for his devotion to the long-established usages of Methodism. He was constant in his attendance upon class meetings, and the love-feast constituted a most important part of his quarterly-meetings exercises.” [Crain p. 72] Rev. John Wesley Starr died in Bibb County, Alabama February 20, 1870. He is buried “in a lonely spot in an old field two or three miles West of Wesley Chapel, about 10 miles Northwest of Centreville.” [Moseley]


Wives of itinerant preachers deserve special recognition; they almost single handedly ran the household and farm while looking after a growing brood of children. A tribute to Hannah says: “Reverend Starr always contrived to have a home of his own, where he with the help of his industrious and economical wife always afforded a pleasant resting place for many a weary and worn itinerant in what they called the preacher’s sanctum.” [Crain p. 73] Hannah (Miller) Starr was born November 6, 1808 to John Paul and Elizabeth (Shuptrine) Miller. She died February 16, 1891 at the home of her son in Camden, Alabama. They had thirteen children, many of whom served the Methodist Church in several ways:

Elizabeth Fenton (1826-1862) married James Andrew RAY in 1848.

Joshua F. (1828-1856) married Adaline M. FAIRE in 1852.


John Wesley “Jack” Jr. born 1830, graduated from Emory College at Oxford, Georgia. He was admitted to the Alabama Conference January 1852 and was assigned to Wesley Chapel (now St. Francis Street Church) in Mobile. He died in the yellow fever epidemic September 20, 1853. A large monument in Magnolia Cemetery honors the memory of three Methodist ministers who remained in the city to tend the dying: Augustus H. Powell, Jacob S. Hughes and John Wesley Starr Jr. Knowing his chances of surviving were slim, he wrote a farewell letter to his parents August 29:


“I am now in Mobile surrounded by the dead and the living … I am visiting the victims of the plague. I am called to the funeral of one, and before I leave the grave my ears are met by the cry of another bereaved one, asking me to attend the burial of a departed relative. I return to the city from the home of the dead and find the sick growing worse, and new victims falling prey to the ravaging fever … the disease has just begun its ravages, not withstanding there were twenty-seven burials on yesterday … I do not say that I expect to live or die … I have asked God to work in me His own will, having I trust, no other motive than the glory of God. … In the ministry I have passed my happiest days. To preach the gospel is their work to which I am sure I am called, and having committed myself to that work, I have endeavored diligently to discharge it … I now feel that my shortcomings are forgiven, and that my peace is made with God. … If I die, I believe that I shall be saved. …[He regrets his debts amounting to $210.25 and assures everyone he will pay them if he lives.] My books, a small number—may be sent to my father’s house, where my younger brothers, I trust, will make better use of them than I have done. My manuscripts, mere hurry graphs, full of errors of every possible sort—are few and worthless, perhaps to everybody but me. My father may dispose of them as he sees proper, provided he keeps them together. Some men die and leave their sermons to younger brothers, who may be called to the ministry … I prefer to say to my brothers: Do as I have tried to do. (However far I have succeeded I leave you to judge.) Get help from no other quarter but from the Holy Ghost, as the interpreter of the Bible, and as the guide ‘to lead you to truth’. This is good counsel. I might say much more, but let this suffice. Only let me add once more that God is good. To be sure His providence placed me in the midst of the pestilence. But this, it was plain to see, was the design of Providence to take from me my life. He meant only to free me from its ills, and introduce me through death unto life which lacks nothing of being perfectly blessed and glorious … All that God does is good, however it seems.”


A member of the Mobil community sent a note to his mother expressing sympathy for her loss and assurances that everything was done to save her son, and then to make his last hours comfortable. He ends with: “Thus died the most exemplary youthful minister of the Gospel; and truly can I say one more abstracted from the world and devoted to God and His Cause I have never known.” [Original in hands of Starr descendant.]

Sarah Matthews (1831-1879) married Jacob S. HANSBERGER in 1855. One daughter, Mary Catherine, married Rev. Leander Cotton CALHOUN of the Alabama Conference 1849-1925; another daughter, Hannah Elizabeth and her husband George Nelson COOPER, were parents of Rev. George Frederick Cooper of Tarrent City.


James Wesley (1835-1902) married Adele Tholozon BRIGHT in 1890.

Emory Parks died prior 1850.

Dr. Lucius Ernest (1838-1913) married Mary Eloisa TEPPER January 16, 1879.

Mary Frances (1840-1919) married Rev. William Maltbie WINN in 1870. Rev. Winn joined the Alabama Conference (Mobile Division) in 1869, but joined the North Georgia Conference in 1884. One of their sons, Rev. Elisha Starr Winn, was a Presbyterian minister in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Rev. Elisha’s son, Rev. William M. Winn, was the pastor of a Methodist Church in Atlanta.

Wilbur Fisk born 1842 was named for the Bishop; he died 1864 in the Civil War.

Elbert Soule (1845-1908) married Sallie Ann BENNETT October 27, 1868. Their daughter Etelle married John William BUTTERLY and their son Rev. Elbert Soule Butterly and son-in-law Rev. Spencer C. KIMBROUGH were Methodist ministers.

William Henry Stephen born circa 1847 died young.

Catherine born 1850 died circa 1866.

(4) Rev. James Russell STARR

James Russell, sixth child of Joshua Sr. and Fenton, was born April 25, 1808. According to the memoir published in Southern Christian Advocate, he joined the Methodist E. Church at age 15; this would be the Salem Church in Wilkes County. He moved with his mother and siblings to Henry County in 1825 where he married Phoebe REYNOLDS later that year. They joined the southwestward migration in 1829, settling first in Troup County before moving on to Chambers County, Alabama in 1834. While in Troup he received his license to exhort (1833) and four years later (1837) he was licensed as a local preacher. However, “…there being proof that he had been engaged in some fraudulent transactions, the Quarterly Conference decided that he be deprived of his official standing … then at the Quarterly Conference March 31, 1838, he applied for a license to preach which after examination, was granted.” [West p. 508] He served in this capacity until his death July16, 1840. Phoebe died May 4, 1892; they are buried in the Roxanna Cemetery, Lee County, Alabama. Their children were: Joshua Purifoy (1828-1901) married Priscilla Virginia FOX; Sarah (1830-1877) married Ruffin WEBB in Lee County, Alabama; Martha born 1832; John D. (1833-1895) married Nancy Deronda (HENDERSON) Strong December 22, 1865; Almeda (1835-1885) married Elijah William REEDER; James born 1838; Asbury born 1839.


(8) Rev. Joshua STARR Jr.

Joshua Jr. is the last of the Methodist minister sons of Joshua Sr. and Fenton. Born October 1 , 1811 in Wilkes County, he was only eleven years old when his father died. He moved to Henry County with his mother in 1825, and probably accompanied his older brothers to Troup County, Georgia and then into Alabama. We know neither where nor when he married Martha HARRIS. Life on the Alabama frontier could be dangerous as shown in this account by family historian Lucius Ernest Starr: “I know some of these brothers came to Alabama quite early, some time in the thirties and located in Chambers County. At that time had some trouble with the Indians. Afterwards they (at least some of the family, [one of whom] was my Uncle Joshua) located and erected houses in what is now known as Russell County. It was at this time that they had an outbreak of the Indians. My Uncle, late one evening, was told that the Indians were coming and were near by. He thought not, but in a short time, another friend was urgent for him to flee with his family. His wife called to supper, but he told them they must go, so they mounted their horses and left, leaving their supper hot on the table. Reaching an elevation, about a quarter of a mile from his home, he looked back and saw his house in flames. After a time, he went back but saw nothing but a heap of ashes.”


Joshua and Martha appear in southern Tallapoosa County, Alabama with three children in the 1840 census. However, family tradition says he was preaching in nearby Montgomery County before this date. He was officially admitted as a minister to the Alabama Conference in 1841. Like his older brothers, he joined the circuit traveling far and wide in the eastern Alabama counties of Macon, Tallapoosa, Russell and Montgomery. [West p. 495] Although these same Conference records show 1844 as the last year he had a charge, it is believed he continued preaching in Alabama until their move to Texas. He was living in Macon County near Auburn when the 1850 census was taken, but appears in Smith County, Texas by 1852 purchasing the tract where Starrville was later situated. After Martha’s death in 1866, he married Georgia BARTEE July 2, 1868.

He donated the site for the township “Starrville” with one stipulation: “if the place ever tolerated a saloon the land was to revert to him or his heirs. So Starrville never had alcoholic beverages.” [Crain p. 75 quoting article from Dallas Morning News] The article begins: “Starrville was a busy industrial town during the Civil War, but today it is only a quiet rural community. When Starrville was a thriving boom city, Tyler was only a growing community; now the situation is reversed. The railroad went to Tyler and missed Starrville and then the latter began to decline. In its heyday, Starrville was visited regularly by a freight line of ox wagons from Shreveport. A public well, which never ran dry even in the severest drought, stood in the middle of the town.”


Starrville was again mentioned in a story about an inhabitant, Mr. J. W. Bryant [Dallas Morning News December 11, 1932 “Early Days in Texas”], which describes life in pre-Civil War east Texas: “We were not long in discovering that we had not left all the hardships of life in Georgia. East Texas was reeking with malaria and it was quite the custom for everyone to throw a chill every other day. It is the peculiarity of this malady for the victim to think while he is wrestling with a chill that he cannot possibly survive it, and to feel the very next day that he never was in better case in his life. I never heard of anyone dying while doing a chill.” Today, only the cemetery and an historical marker stand where this village once stood. Rev. Joshua was a leading citizen—founder and minister of the Starrville Methodist Church; he also fostered a public school and was the first Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge. He resided southwest of Starrville where he died October 26, 1873. Some say his unmarked grave is in Starrville while others at Center Cemetery near Owentown.

His and Martha’s children were: Russell L. born November 12, 1832; William Samuel born January 22,1835, died September 12, 1835; John M. born September 9, 1836; Priscilla Ann born March 28,1839, married Reuben Baxter (descendant Anita PREWITT lives in Waxahachie, Texas); Adalaide Victory born August 15, 1841; Joshua Soule born October 26, 1843, died January 27, 1844; Martha Adline Langford born February 13, 1847; Robert Adams born July 19, 1849.


Shadrack and Athaliza (Carroll) PINKSTON

(c. 1750-1785)

Researchers believe Shadrack, born circa 1750, is the son of William and Ann (Inman) Pinkston, who moved to Virginia from Baltimore County, Maryland around the time of Shadrack’s birth. In 1768 William and another son were living close enough to Colchester, on the Occoquan River in the southern part of Fairfax County, to charge items at the local general store; William and a third son signed the non-importation of British goods agreement circulated in Fairfax in 1770. However, Shadrack’s name first appears (1774) in Virginia records in Cameron Parish, Loudoun County. [Index] It is here that he met and married Athaliza CARROLL before May 1776. [Will Book B p. 69] She was the daughter of Demse(y) and Frances (Sanford [?]) Carroll; her sister Frances married Henry Pinkstone who is believed to be Shadrack’s brother. Thus they were living in Loudoun County northwest of present day D.C. metroplex when they heard the news of fighting around Lexington, Concord and Boston.


Many men who answered the first call to arms following Bunker Hill joined state militia units, signing up for only a few months and not more than one year of service. General Washington grew desperate after the battles around New York City in the early fall of 1776. Not only was he dealing with the lack of morale in his current army, he was rapidly running out of time. He would lose many soldiers by the end of November, and by the first of January the one- year enlistment period ended for most of his army. Few of these men were expected to re-enlist. That fall he sent appeals in all directions for new recruits. Congress assigned each “state” a quota based on population. Authorization came September 16 for a new 11th VA Regiment as part of the Continental Line. Records in the National Archives and State Library of Virginia reveal Shadrack enlisted November 26, 1776 for three years as a Corporal in Capt. William Smith’s Company of Foot. For this he received two pounds, 15 shillings in pay per month with an extra 10 shillings a week for subsistence. This unit was assigned to the main army December 27, 1776 – just two days after Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River. On February 3, 1777 the 11th VA was reorganized into various companies. Shadrack appears in Col. Daniel Morgan’s Independent Riflemen, suggesting he was a marksman.


May 1, 1777 Shadrack transferred to the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard at Morristown, New Jersey as a private. This was a handpicked group of personal bodyguards for General Washington, created March 12, 1776 after persistent rumors and one actual attempt on his life. Washington’s aide instructed each man was to be chosen “for their sobriety, honesty and good behavior. He wishes them to be from five feet eight inches to five feet ten inches, handsomely and well made, and, as there is nothing in his eyes more desirable than cleanliness in a soldier, he desires that particular attention may be made in the choice of such men as are clean and spruce.” [Godfrey, p. 19-20] Discretion was also necessary for the guard was entrusted with the General’s personal papers and baggage. This group is on record as participating in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown fall 1777. Shadrack was thus with Washington at Valley Forge the winter of 1777-78. Although his lot was better than the average soldier, they all suffered that long, cold winter. Families of soldiers were not left to fend entirely for themselves; the family of Shadrack Pinkstone is listed among those “Ordered to be provided for” March 10, 1778 and again in 1779. [King p. 57] After serving a little longer than his three years enlistment period, Shadrack was discharged at Morristown December 16, 1779.


Shadrack and his family were in Fauquier County, Virginia in the early 1780s. [Gott] The last known entry for him in Virginia is the date he assigned his bounty land warrant (payment for his war service) to William Gaine November 10, 1785. [Virginia Library] According to tradition, they resided in South Carolina before settling in Georgia; however we know nothing about them from November 10, 1785 until April 1, 1794 when he appears in Wilkes County, Georgia purchasing 218 acres on the Dry Fork of Rocky Creek. [Deed Book NN, p. 334] Other Wilkes County records tell us he paid taxes on this land and for two slaves that same year. And then Shadrack died shortly before July 18, 1785, the date his widow was granted leave to administer on his estate. [Davidson v.2 p. 270-1] At a time when it was rare for girls to be educated, estate records reveal a tutor was paid for Charlotte. Also, according to estate records, his widow married the widower Fadda JARRETT in 1797. She moved into Jarrett’s home on Kettle Creek with her youngest daughters where “’the old gentleman’” says he will not charge the girls for board”. Fadda died in 1813. The twice-widowed Atha (as she is now called) accompanied family members to Fayette County in the early 1830s. Here, she made her home with son-in-law Benjamin Starr until her death in the summer of 1846. [Wills p. 62] Her grave, one of the older ones in “now” County Line United Methodist Church Cemetery, is marked with a simple fieldstone “Atha Jarrot”. However, the DAR is providing a more suitable marker for her as the widow of a Revolutionary War soldier.


Only five children are mentioned in Shadrack’s probate records. Greenberry was originally considered the eldest, but the recent finding of his obituary changes his birth year. The only order we do know is the youngest two are Sarah and Charlotte and in that order. Therefore this revised (and possibly still incorrect) birth order of children differs from previous accounts.


John Carroll born circa 1775 in Loudoun County, Virginia, died before March 13, 1804 in Wilkes County, Georgia. [Davidson p.271] He married Elizabeth KAIN circa 1801. (“Lawson” as her middle name was added later to Silas Starr’s family Bible making it suspect.) They had two children: Greenberry born August 8, 1802, died March 28, 1837 and Elizabeth born April 5, 1804, died. September 3, 1804. The widow, Elizabeth (Kain ) Pinkson, married Silas STARR December 4, 1806.


Frances “Fanny” born circa 1777 died after 1840 in Wilkes County. She married Peter Bennett circa 1803. Although some researchers list five children for them, descendant Gene Lamb has only found proof for daughter Nemesis born circa 1805.


Greenberry (Greenbury) born 1781 in Virginia, died November 19, 1828 in Wilkes County. [Courier] He married first Sarah Eidson circa 1800; they had six or more children. He is possibly the Greenberry Pinkston who married Delphia R. Lawson December 6, 1819; he did marry Ann Combs January 14, 1827. (Descendant LaurieMontgomery lives in Augusta, Georgia.)

Sarah “Sally” born circa 1784 in Fauquier County, Virginia, married James Hurley Jr. April 6, 1803. Their children were: Henry, Pamilia, Atha Carroll, Greenberry, Sarah Pinkston, Jarrett Lewis, James Sanford, Charlotte Frances, and John Carroll.

(5) Charlotte born circa 1785. [see following]


Benjamin and Charlotte (Pinkston) STARR

It was likely a frosty morning when Henry sent word to a now unknown neighbor or relative to come help with the birthing of his and Mary’s fourth child; Benjamin Franklin arrived January 29, 1785. Surely the midwife remained a few days to tend to Mary and the other boys; on the frontier neighbors and relatives helped out in times like these. Middle children are often lost among the siblings, for others have already done the things which parents reminisce about. However, Benjamin was the first in one respect -- the first of their children born in Georgia.

We know nothing specific of Benjamin’s boyhood; but children grew up fast on the frontier where there were always plenty of chores. Some things don’t change: he probably was assigned jobs as soon as his three older brothers convinced the parents he was old enough to relieve them of some hated responsibility. Thanks to his tombstone inscription, one thing we do know is he was “converted to God in 1799” at the age of 14; this is not surprising in a family which produced so many Methodist preachers. Religion meant a great deal to him for the Bible text chosen for his funeral oration appears on his tombstone.


Although documentation of their marriage is not extant, Benjamin married Charlotte PINKSTON, daughter of Shadrack and Athaliza (Carroll) Pinkston late summer to mid-fall 1805; this is more specific than the “circa 1806” date previously given. The once assumed 1806 date was based on a court record in which Benjamin acknowledged receipt of Charlotte’s inheritance from her father’s estate; it should be pointed out he was 21 that year, so this was the earliest he could legally do so. The next official record we have for Benjamin is his allotment of two draws in the 1807 lottery. The act authorizing this lottery was signed June 26, 1806, and that date was used as the criteria for meeting all the requirements: “Those entitled to draw were every free white male twenty-one years of age and upwards, a citizen of the United States and an inhabitant of this state three years immediately preceding the passage of this act and who had paid tax, entitled to one draw; every free white male of like description having a wife and legitimate child or children under twenty-one years of age, entitled to two draws.” [Davidson v. 1, p. 320] Benjamin was entitled to two draws in the 1806 lottery; [p. 324] thus he was married and had a child by the date the lottery was enacted. A marriage “after June 24, 1805 but before mid-November (thus late-summer to mid fall) conforms with the above lottery requirements and with the statement in his will dated June 24, 1851 that he and “my beloved wife Charlotte Starr with whom I have lived in the Strictest quiet and love for forty five years …”

Various Wilkes County records show him doing many of the “normal” things men did at a time when family were responsible for helping other family members. Abstracts by Davidson show him acting as co-executor of brother Asa’s estate and as security for bonds friends and relatives posted. Additionally, Benjamin acted as guardian for nephew Richard C. Starr in Richard’s maternal grandfather’s probate records. A bit more unusual are the estate records showing payment to him for coffins.


As Justice of the Peace in Wilkes County he performed marriages from April 1825 to November 1826. [Davis, pages 238; 252; 264; 275] As Justice of the Peace he witnessed the 1828 deed Robert Evans to David Daniel in Taliaferro County. [Lunceford p. 404] However, it is in Wilkes County where he and Charlotte purchased and sold land and where they appear on the 1830 census. From the outset they probably lived on the 53 acre tract which Henry and Mary sold to them in 1813; [Deed book CCC p. 194] this was part of Henry’s original survey on waters of Kettle Creek and Little River. In 1819 they purchased “brother” Samuel’s adjacent 36 acres tract. [GGG p. 35] Somewhere along the way they acquired an additional 174 acres of adjoining property for they sold one 263 acres tract to Allen Turner on September 10, 1831. [MMM p. 254] From this date on they are found in Fayette and Henry Counties.


By 1825 many friends and family had already settled on lands to the West; Wilkes County land no longer produced the abundance of crops it did when plowed by the first settlers. Benjamin and Charlotte was the last of his siblings to leave Wilkes; however, the decision was made a few years before their actual move. Benjamin purchased land in Fayette County October 10, 1827 from William B. Smith. [W/D Book B, p. 342] We assume he made visits to the property in the next few years overseeing the clearing of fields, sowing of cotton and corn crops, planting of apple and peach orchards and the construction of a suitable house for Charlotte. They had family in place to supervise the day to day operations for Benjamin sold some or all of this tract August 31, 1830 to his son-in-law Hope Ogletree and heirs of Francis Ogletree.

He purchased another tract January 1, 1831 [W/D Book D, p. 343] which may indicate the time the family actually moved to Fayette. The 1833 tax list indicates he was a resident of Fayette County, owning 202 ½ acres in that county; he also had acquired 202 ½ acres in Henry; 202 ½ acres in Coweta; 198 ½ acres in Early and 202 ½ acres in Muscogee Counties by then. He sold 100 acres to Hope Ogletree December 25,1833, leaving him and Charlotte on his now 101 ½ acre tract, Lot 177, District 4 in Fayette County. [tax digest, p.187] Tax and census records show Benjamin and Charlotte continued to live on this property the rest of their lives; however, newly drawn boundary lines found them in Spalding County in 1851.


By 1834 he had increased his land holdings to 395 acres in Henry County (Lot 12, District 3); They lived so near the boundary line between Henry and Fayette Counties, the crop lands in Henry were only a bit more distant than “just across the road” from his residence. The Coweta tract may not have been that far away either. However, his holdings in Muscogee and Early Counties were probably purely speculative.

Benjamin and Charlotte kept a welcome mat out for the itinerant preachers of the Fayetteville Circuit. The journal of Rev. Isaac Boring indicates fall of 1832 he was a frequent guest of the Starrs at the meal following his preaching at Liberty Chapel or an overnight visitor, preaching at Liberty Chapel the next morning. It appears the congregation at Liberty Chapel had outgrown its existing space by 1849; this is the year the new Liberty Chapel building was started on the West side of the Flint River. That same year trustees for the new County Line Methodist Church purchased land in Henry County very near its border with Fayette. Thus we conclude the large congregation that met for years at Liberty Chapel on the east side of the Flint River decided to amicably split into smaller groups; these new groups formed on the basis of ease of access to the new sites, for other Methodist Churches sprouted in this same time frame. County Line was built within a mile of Benjamin and Charlotte’s residence, leaving little reason for them to attend services elsewhere; but they appear to have a soft spot in their hearts for Liberty Chapel and one minister in particular. Benjamin died December 21, 1851 and is buried in the County Line churchyard. But according to his tombstone, his funeral service was led by Liberty Chapel minister Rev. A. Dorman preaching July 25, 1852 from Philippines 3rd Chapter, 21st verse.


His will, dated June 24, 1851, was the second will probated (March 1, 1852) in the newly created Spalding County. [Will Book A, pages 2, and 3] Among the usual bequeaths to family members and payment of debts is one for $50 to build a wall around the graves of his mother-in-law Atha Jarrot and daughters Frances C. Ogletree and Martha A. Ogletree. Benjamin is buried next to his mother-in-law; presumably Charlotte is on his other side, but in an unmarked grave. Perhaps no money was left after the war for things like tombstones. Although undocumented, Charlotte’s death is given as April 1, 1872 by descendant James McConnell. Benjamin and Charlotte had eight children who lived to adulthood:

Mary born circa 1805, married Samuel GRAY August 14, 1823 in Wilkes County. She died 1824, leaving one son, Oscar, who married Maggie GRIFFIN.


Frances C. born March 17, 1808 died December 1846. [Researchers] or January 21, 1848. [Newton County] She married Hope Hull OGLETREE September 21, 1824 in Wilkes. Their children were: Frances K. (1825-1848) married Simeon C. HIGHTOWER; [see Hightower] Benjamin Franklin (1828-1864) married Nancy Frances SWEARINGEN; Martha M. (born December 30, 1829, died July 13, 1884) married first Samuel Edmond ELDER and second M. M. THOMAS; William (1832-1901) married Lenna Elizabeth JONES; Charlotte (born April 6, 1834); Absalom J. (1836-1901) married Pheraby Annie Louise HARDY; John Thomas (1838-1921) married Mary Ann Elizabeth McCOLLUM; Hope Hull (born September 1,1842); Samuel (born circa 1845). Hope Ogletree and his second wife, Sarah Bird Flowers, moved to Newton County, Georgia in 1865 along with sons Benjamin Franklin and Absalom J. and their families.


Silas Samuel Sanders born March 24, 1810, died November 23, 1873 married Frances BENNETT December 22, 1831 in Taliaferro County. She was the daughter of Alexander Bennet; her sister, Mary, married Henry Lunsford. Their son, Rev. Thomas F. Lunceford is the subject of another Liberty Chapel sketch. Silas lived in Fayette County until 1850 when he moved to Starrsville in Newton County. He operated a mercantile business in Starrsville, but later opened another one in Rutledge after Frances inherited property in Morgan County. He served two terms as a county commissioner, was a Mason, school board member and Sunday school teacher at the local Methodist Church. After the death of Frances in 1870, he married Trecy HAYS in 1872. He and Frances had seven children:


Samuel Henry born October 4, 1832 died circa July 1863 from wounds received at Gettysburg. He married Delany Ellen CARROLL August 15, 1851. Their only son, Samuel Spencer “Spence” (1860-1949) lived with his Starr grandparents after the death of his mother in 1867. He was ten when his grandmother died and only 13 when his Grandpa Silas died; however, the kind-hearted Trecy (Hays) Starr kept him in her home until his marriage to Lucretia PACE in 1883. He and Lucretia had five children before her death in 1890: Henry Barron (born October 27, 1833 in Newton County); William Carroll (1885-1970); James Spencer (1887-1887); Thomas Roland born August 16, 1888, died June 4, 1955 married Mae Lillie SMITH – descendants include Fayette County residents Toni TUMLIN and Tracey Cowan and Coweta County resident Tricia Adams; and Lou Elmo (1890-1891). Spence married second Mittylene ELLIOTT. They moved to Texas in 1901 where Mittylene died circa 1903. They had five children: Etna Beatrice (born June 22, 1892); Silas Sanders (1893-1969); Dena Clovis (born June 12, 1896) Grant Carter; and Howard Glenn. Mittylene died in Texas; a granddaughter does not recall the name of his third wife or if they married in Texas or Georgia. He returned to Mansfield, Georgia where he married his fourth wife Addie Lou CAMPBELL. They had two children: Elijah Winburn (born December 7, 1908) and Martha Ellen (born July 2, 1913).

Hannah (born 1834) married Seaborn DUKE December 20, 1855 in Newton County.

William S. (1838-1887).

Hilliard Steele (1838-1839), the twin who died young.

Silas Andrew (1844-1923). According to his obituary [Crain p. 91] he was an “outstanding and constructive citizen” of Loganville, in Walton County. He served as mayor, justice of the peace and was steward of the Methodist Church for 40 plus years.

Benjamin Alexander (1846-1864).

James Penn (b. 1848-1929).

John Henry born April 9, 1812. [see following]

Hilliard M. born April 14, 1814. [see following]

Charlotte Pinkston born 1816 died after 1859 in Spalding County married Caleb SIMMONS September 25, 1834. Their children were: Julia Ann (born circa 1835); William Mattox (born circa 1837); Rufus Henry (born circa 1839); Caleb Ellis (born circa 1841); David Pitman (born circa 1843); Martha Benita (born circa 1845): Benjamin Franklin (born circa 1847); Hilliard Pinkston (born circa 1849): Mary Hulda Warren (born circa 1851); Charlotte Atha (born circa 1853); Sabrina Mercer (born circa 1855); Silas Sampson “Sam” (born circa 1857); Josiah Boren (born circa 1859).

Rev. William David “Billie” born circa 1818. [see following]

Martha A. born May 3, 1822, died before June 1851, married Lovic Pierce OGLETREE November 30, 1837 in Fayette County. Lovic is the brother of Hope Hull who married Martha’s sister Frances. Based on census and family records, their children were: Catherine G. (1838-1892) married Thomas H. MURPHY; Sarah (born 1840); Henry Philemon (1842-1921) married Nancy Jane [?]; Charlotte Frances (born 1844) thought to have married a RAMSEY; Benjamin Absalom (1848-1922) married Martha J. HIGHTOWER.

(4) John Henry Starr

“J. H.” as he always signed his name was Benjamin and Charlotte’s fourth child. Born in Wilkes County April 9, 1812, he died in Spalding County October 18, 1875. Although he also owned land in Fayette and Pike Counties at the time of his death, he had extensive land holdings in Henry County where he resided until the area became Spalding County in 1851. He was among the first trustees of County Line Church. His first wife was Mary S. “Polly” ELDER, daughter of Joshua; [see following] their marriage July 14, 1831 provides proof this group of Elders are to be counted among the earliest members of Liberty Chapel. Mary was born April 15, 1814 in Clarke County, Georgia, died March 14, 1864 of cancer. Together, she and J. H. had 15 children including one set of twins. His second wife was Ellen Athay OGLETREE, born August 7, 1840 died January 23, 1888 of pneumonia; they married September 15, 1864. They had four children. Somehow J. H. managed to make it through the war and reconstruction with enough land and money to bequeath something of value to each of his surviving children. He is buried between his two wives at County Line. Except for the twins, the names of Mary’s children are engraved on her tombstone; Ellen’s four children are given on hers. J. H. was so revered by his children, they gathered to remember him each October 18 at County Line until too few remained to continue the practice.

Joshua Howard born July 10, 1832 died May 25, 1892 married Melissa Cathen REEVES March 30, 1852. According to their tombstones in County Line, he joined the M. E. Church July 1844 and she the M. P. Church when 12; but she joined the M. E. Church South at the time of their marriage. They had nine children.

Rev. David Elder born April 5, 1835 died November 19, 1910 in Sherman Texas. He was granted “On-Trial” status (term for intern preachers) in 1855 and was assigned the Warrenton (Augusta) Circuit in 1856. He was raised to “Full Connection” (or full-fledged preacher) and named Deacon in 1857 and then Elder in 1859. He moved from one circuit to another until joining the army in 1862. [Lawrence p. 526] He married Amelia Anna HEIDT of Savannah November 10, 1864 and they moved to Texas early 1870s. They had six known children.

Charlotte Ann born May 10, 1836 died July 7, 1903 married Joseph CARTER. Only one child is known.

Benjamin born October 7, 1837, died May 6, 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness. He was buried in Virginia next to cousins Wesley Melear and John Elder. He and Elia KIRK were married by his brother Rev. David December 21, 1857 in Griffin, Georgia. They had four children: Lydia Penelope (1858-1934) married Albert G. Williams of Nachooches Valley, Georgia; Jesse Hartwell (1860-1914) married Ella Catherine HANCOCK; Nora Parks (1862-1935) married Benjamin M. P. RUFF; Mary Benjamin “Bennie” (1864-1929) married Thomas S. KING in 1882 – grandparents of current resident of Griffin, Georgia, Mildred Estell who married David Elder.

Martha Elizabeth born August 28, 1838 died February 12, 1914 in Grayson County, Texas. She married James Richard MANLEY December 22, 1857. They had 10 children.

Mary E. born December 15, 1839 died July 10, 1883. Her marriage to Robert MATHEWS December 21, 1865 was performed by her brother Rev. David. They had 10 children.

Henry Clay born July 29, 1846, died August 15, 1933, married Georgia Ann RAMSEY circa 1866. They had 12 children. Henry Iverson (1867-1930); Lulu (born February 13, 1869); Charlotte (1871-1919); Georgia (born October 4, 1871); Daisy (born November 4,1877); Fred (1872-1922); Blanche (born 21 APR 1879); Eugene (1874-1923); Robert (1879-1902); Claude (died young); Maybell Claire (died young); Joseph Carl (1886-1929). Barbara Baswell of Forsyth, Georgia is a granddaughter. He married second Ella C. [?] May 10, 1925.

Nancy Ellen born December 24, 1847 died March 29, 1915. She married Lemuel Hardy MILLER November 29, 1860. They had eight children.

Samuel Silas born October 7, 1847 died 1902 in Chattonooga, Tennessee. He married Ada MATTHEWS January 16, 1878. Only two known children died young.


Dr. John Pinkston Starr born August 27, 1849 died of a heart attack while milking his cow June 25, 1909. Although he was too young to participate when war broke out, and his name does not appear on any militia rolls, his eldest son said his beard covered a bullet hole in his check received during some battle of the war. He graduated from Atlanta Medical College in 1879. [JAMA] He married first Alice GRIFFIN, daughter of William and Martha (Ogletree) Griffin October 25, 1875. They moved to Florida early 1878 for her health, but she died in Orange County March 25 of tuberculosis. He and their only son made their home in Sunnyside where Dr. John set up a medical practice and ran a general store. He married second Katie Theresa ORR June 14, 1885. They are buried at Sunnyside Methodist Church.

Harry (son with Alice Griffin) was born in Sunnyside September 6, 1876. Harry had fond memories of his childhood hours spent in the home of his maternal aunt and uncle, Thomas and Mary Tucker. At the outbreak of the Spanish American War, he was working in a dairy in Dallas, Texas; he enlisted in the Texas Volunteer Infantry May 4, 1898 at Austin. He later transferred to the Naval Hospital Corps and was stationed in Cuba from December 1898 to May 1899. At his request, he transferred to the ship Missouri just before it set out eastward toward the Philippine Islands. He arrived in Manila at wars end and immediately sailed to San Francisco where he was discharged February 1900; thus Harry sailed around the world in a day when some didn’t venture out of the state of their births. As a youth he attended Calhoun (Georgia) Academy for the mathematically and scientifically inclined; it was in Calhoun he met his future wife, and where he returned after the war. He married Pauline Olivia RANKIN November 21, 1900. At the time he was a buyer of cotton for the Hartwell Cotton Mill; but they soon moved to Sunnyside where he worked in his father’s general store. Their first four children were born in Sunnyside.


Spring 1906 he accepted a job as a timber buyer for a company located in Cove, Arkansas. The company “town” soon crossed into Indian Territory, now the very southeastern corner of Oklahoma. They moved often as the company “tent city” followed the tree cutting jobs. A school became high priority due to the growing numbers of children of all ages; Harry, as the most educated adult in the area, qualified for a teacher’s certificate and opened a school. Much to his surprise some 105 children arrived the first day -- 65 were Choctaw Indians who spoke no English. The post office was his best source of early teaching materials for the pictures in unclaimed mail order catalogs helped him learn Choctaw and the Indian students, English. Harry wrote an unpublished novel about a teacher who lived among the Choctaws based on his own experiences.

In 1914 as his older children neared high school age, he and Pauline purchased the small farm near Smithville, Oklahoma where they lived until the 1950s. The major attraction here was the nearby Methodist Board of Missions-sponsored Folsom Training School for both Whites and Indians. It was the only high school in an 8,000 square mile area. Named for the Rev. Willis F. Folsom, a part-time Choctaw Methodist minister, students worked 40 hours a week to pay their charges for tuition, board and room. The school was thus self-sufficient -- growing its own food, milking its own cows, sewing necessary clothing and even printing a newspaper; it was also known for its fine music department. Besides a high school degree, Folsom offered one year of college credit. All but the last two Starr children graduated from Folsom High School. Harry and Pauline moved across the mountain ridge to Mena, Arkansas in 1953 to be nearer the conveniences of a larger town. Harry died in the Veterans Hospital in Little Rock of cancer December 20, 1956; Pauline died in her home in Mena, January 29, 1966. They had eight children; daughter Helen Wade was a contributor to THEY FOLLOWED the SUN and son Jack is the father-in-law of the author of this sketch.

Dr. John’s children with his second wife were: John Henry born January 22, 1886 died February 28, 1977 in Macon, Georgia. He married December 22, 1907 Bettina SILVESTRO or “Miss Bettina” as she was fondly called by family and friends alike. According to the [Telegraph] article celebrating them on their 69th wedding anniversary, he ran away to the big city (Macon) at the age of 15; she was the daughter of Italian immigrants who ran a general store at the corner of Mulberry and Second streets. Within a year of their meeting, they were married at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. He founded the Starr Electric Company which still operates in Macon. They had two sons.

Nellie Elsie born May 23, 1888 died September 12, 1967 in Hopewell, Virginia. She married John Franklin KEENER July 16, 1910. They had three children; Robert Carlisle “Carl” born May 7, 1889 died January 15, 1961 San Antonio, Texas, married Anna Thelma ORCUTT April 24, 1920; Merle Amelia born January 7, 1894 died March 25, 1934, along with her husband, Henry A. WEEMS and their daughter Annie. They were killed in a train/car accident at the Spalding County line where the old Dixie highway leaves the new highway and crosses the Central tracks. Two daughters survived them; and Ella Mae born April 30, 1905 married Edwin JULIAN in 1941.

(11 and 12) were twins born 1851 who died when 1 month old.

(13) Hillard Blanton born May 5, 1854 died June 7, 1880.

(14) Asa Floyd born July 4, 1855 died February 28, 1899. He married Mary

Caroline McLEROY December 16, 1875; they had nine children.

(15) Rosetta Louisa “Rosa Linsey” born October 13, 1858 died August 16, 1903,

married John R. RIVERS November 14, 1878. They are buried at County Line. Most of their eight children died young.

J.H. and Ellen had:

(16) James William born August 22, 1867 died April 23, 1941. He married first

Eleanor Beatrice COLEMAN February 2, 1888. He and second wife, Nettie Bell LEACH, were married by his brother Rev. David in 1890s. James and Eleanor had three children; he and Nettie had four.

(17) Joseph Tenth born December 25, 1868 died December 20, 1940, married

Georgia Marie BARNES August 4, 1910. They had five known children.

(18) Elijah Eleventh born January 1, 1872 died September 12, 1931. He married

Lucy Lee HENDERSON. Only two children are reported for this family.

(19) Rachel Rebecca born August 20, 1874 died September 9, 1900 married

Henry Parks GRIFFIN December 24, 1893. They had two children.

(5) Hilliard M. STARR

Hilliard M. was the fifth child of Benjamin and Charlotte Starr, born April 14, 1814 in Wilkes County. He traveled with his family to Fayette County and is found in the adjacent household to Benjamin and Charlotte on the 1850 census. Clayton County history books refer to him as a pioneer settler, but he probably just happened to live in the area of Fayette that became Clayton County in 1858. In 1866 he purchased what is now known as “Starr’s Mill” from Eli Edmonson. Although he later sold the famous landmark on US 85 in Fayette County, it still goes by his name. The original mill on Whitewater Creek was built in 1820s, but it had been replaced by the second building on the site by the time Hilliard acquired the business. The mill ground corn and wheat into meal and flour for the Glen Grove Community as well as provided a popular fishing hole and cool picnicking spot for families during the long hot summers. The mill pond was also used for baptisms by various local congregations. Although no longer in use, today it is one of the most photographed spots in Georgia. Hilliard married Martha Ann DOSS December 3, 1835 in Henry County. Following her death June 6, 1864, he married Catherine M. [?] after 1870. He died June 11, 1877 in Clayton County, but he and Martha are buried at County Line. They had eight children:

Mary Frances born 1837 died after 1870. She married first October 19, 1854 Berry COUCH and second Jackson E. CORLEY before 1870.

Malissa Ann born 1840 died MAY 1864. She married Judge Joseph A. P. McCONNELL January 20, 1859 in Clayton County. Their only child was William Ernest born April 10, 1864 died February 14, 1891 in Fulton County, Georgia.

(3) Benjamin F. born 1842 married Lula L. [?] before 1870.

(4) Joseph T. born 1845 married Mary KERLIN February 25, 1869.

John Glenn born 1846 married Mattie LUNCEFORD; they had five children.

Sarah E. born 1849 died before 1860.

Milton B. born April 4,1856 died May 4, 1910 married Beulah Elizabeth MOORE February 14, 1878, daughter of Matt and Mary (Peebles) Moore. They had six children.

Scott C. born 1858 married Mattie BALLARD. They had six children.

(7) Rev. William David Starr

The seventh and last known child of Benjamin and Charlotte was born circa 1818. He apparently was just a local preacher for he appears in Methodist records as a Deacon in 1851 and an Elder in 1856. [Lawrence, p. 526] He married in Henry County December 31, 1837 Elizabeth R. “Betsy” ELDER, daughter of Joshua; [see following] she was a sister to his older brother’s wife. Elizabeth died 1854; he married second Lucinda FIELDS or FOSTER January 18, 1855. Rev. William died in Spalding County by December 1860. [Will Book, p. 213 appraisal of his estate dated December 1,1860]. Children appear to be with Betsy.

David E. born circa 1839 died1892 Clayton County, married Susannah F. CHAMBERS July 14, 1867.

C. Ann born circa 1841 died 1872 married January 6, 1863 William “Warren” Newsome Dixon in Clayton County.

Mary Jane born June 20, 1843 died August 22, 1906 Douglas County, Georgia. She married first Thomas Goodwin HUNT January 18, 1866 and second Benjamin Brooks HARPER March 10, 1896 in Douglas County.

P. Fanny born 1846 married George CHATFIELD.

Benjamin Milton born 1849 married first Georgia A. McKOWN February 12,1873 and second Lou A. GILBERT January 18, 1885.

Martha Elizabeth born July 21, 1853 died April 20, 1921 married Leonard Duke BEALL November 26, 1868.

The Two Joshua ELDERS

Two Joshua Elders appear in Henry and Fayette County records. The older, a Revolutionary War soldier who married “Minerva” or “Sarah” Hightower, is the uncle of the younger Joshua who married Anna Gray. The elder Joshua resided in Fayette before moving on to Coweta County, while the younger Joshua lived in Henry. This Elder line is traced back to a Peter whose will was proven in “Old” Rappahannock County, Virginia August 4, 1674. [Sweeney] The line comes forward through his son Peter Jr., then through his son William to Joseph born September 6, 1731 in Richmond County, Virginia. [King] This Joseph and his first wife, Mary Matthews, are parents of the “Uncle” Joshua and David, father of the “nephew” Joshua. This is a prolific family who tended to use the same names for children; therefore, relationships are sometimes difficult to sort out, especially with second and third marriages.

“Uncle” Joshua was born circa 1761 in Brunswick County, Virginia. He served in the Revolutionary War and may be the Joshua Elder who purchased land in Wilkes County adjoining Henry Starr on Little River December 24, 1792. [Deed Book II, p. 533] This Joshua and his wife Sarah were living in nearby Greene County, Georgia when they sold their Wilkes County land January 4, 1800. [Book RR, p. 417]

Family researchers say the Joshua who was the son of Joseph and Mary (Matthews) Elder did not arrive in Georgia until 1806 with his brother David. They do agree that Joshua and his wife moved with the William Hightower family to Fayette County circa 1826. Joshua died in nearby Coweta County before July 1, 1850, the date his will was probated. The following children are reported for him: Sterling married Mary “Polly” HENING/HERRING May 7, 1812 in Clarke County, Georgia; [Davis p.154] John Lewis (1807-1884) married Nancy Bird BROWN; Jordan; Howell married Rebecca P. HERRING October 16, 1817 in Clarke County; [Davis p. 154] David; unidentified daughter who married Cordial WILBORN; Sarah married Seaborn GARRETT May 9, 1822; [Davis p. 158] daughter who married a Weaver; and another daughter who married a Phillips.

Turning now to David Elder, father of the “nephew” Joshua: David and his first wife, Mary “Polly” READ, married September 22, 1785 in Brunswick County, Virginia. She was the daughter of William Read; they had four children, including Joshua H. born April 10, 1793. David continued to live in the Brunswick and Dinwiddie Counties area after Mary’s death in 1797. He, his second wife Molly Phillips, and all his children joined other Elders in the north central part of Georgia in late 1806. They settled in the southern part of what was then Clarke County but is now in Oconee County, south of present-day Watkinsville. According to one researcher, his large plantation was located between Big and Little Rose Creeks not far from the present day Oconee National Forest. David’s third marriage, to the wealthy widow Elizabeth Allen, increased his own wealth in land and slaves to the point he was able to give all 15 of his children a good start in life. David died August 4, 1853 and is buried in the Elder Cemetery.


The younger Joshua, son of David, married Anna “Annie” E. GRAY October 11, 1812. [Clarke County Marriage Book A, p. 31] The only thing known of her origin is the tombstone date of her birth, May 29, 1790, and Virginia as her birthplace from the 1850 Henry County Census. Clarke County militia records show one Joshua serving in the militia as 2nd Sergeant in 1816 and one Joshua in 1817. [Davis p. 126; 127] Joshua and Anna were in Clarke County when the 1830 census taker made his rounds, but probably moved to Henry County after the fall harvest. Joshua’s name appears in that county’s records until their residence became part of the area taken into Spalding in 1851. Among the various bequests in his will, dated August 1, 1863, is $150 for building “a Rock wall at the Grave Yard where I desire to be Buried.” [Will Book A, p. 117-119] Joshua died August 28, 1863 and Anna on June 15, 1869. Both are buried within the rocked-walled Elder plot in County Line Cemetery. The eight children named in his will are:

(1) Mary L. “Polly” born April 15, 1814 died March 14, 1864. She married

John Henry STARR July 14, 1831. They are buried at County Line.

(2) Nancy E. born May 29, 1815 died September 15, 1895 in Coweta County,

Georgia. She married John J. HINDSMAN December 27, 1837.

(3) Martha A. born circa 1818 married Pendleton MALAIER/MELEAR.

(4) Elizabeth R. “Betsy” Lucinda born circa 1825 died before August 1, 1863.

She married Rev. William David Starr December 31, 1837. [Maddox]

(5) Samuel Edmond born February 7,1820 died June 30, 1878. He and his

first wife Mary Adeline BATES married December 18, 1841; [Ingmire] his

second wife was Martha M. OGLETREE, daughter of Hope Hull and

Frances (Starr). They married December 23, 1851. Samuel and Martha are buried next to each other at County Line, but she as Martha Thomas, wife of M. M., her second husband. [Armchair]

(6) David P. born May 22, 1825 died May 4, 1893 in Spalding County. He

married Nancy M. HEAD September 7, 1848. [Ingmire] Both are buried at

County Line. (Descendant David P. Elder lived in Griffin.)

(7) Rev. James Blanton born December 10,1827 died September 8, 1881.

He married Nancy B. WILSON January 2, 1849. [Ingmire] They are buried

In County Line. [Not mentioned in Lawrence].

(8) Rev. John Hartwell born December 22, 1832 died July 23, 1906. He

married Frances Nancy SOWDER/SOUTER October 21, 1858.


[Lawrence] He was converted in 1844 at the Mt. Zion Campground meeting and licensed to preach in the North Georgia Conference in 1855. Named Deacon in 1860, he is listed as Elder in 1884. [Lawrence, page 166]. Both are buried at County Line.


RECORDS OF CLARKE COUNTY GEORGIA 1801-1892 in the Georgia Department of Archives & History, compiled by Robert Scott Davis.


WILLS OF RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1656-1692 by William Montgomery Sweeney.



A HISTORY OF CLAYTON COUNTY, GEORGIA 1821-1983 compiled by Ancestors Unlimited Inc.




ALABAMA CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, December 13, 1955 “Heroes of the Cross”;

Same article appeared in GREENE COUNTY DEMOCRAT, February 23, 1956 “Heroes of the Cross: Methodist History of John Wesley Starr” by Alabama Conference historian, Frank S. Moseley.

(Augusta) Georgia Courier, Thursday December 4, 1828, vol. 3, No. 61, page 2, col. 6.

Bounty Land Warrant 3997, copy of original from Library of Virginia.

CHRONICLES OF WILKES COUNTY, GEORGIA from Washington’s Newspapers 1889-1898, Articles of Eliza A. Bowen, Rev. F. T. Simpson, S. A. Wooten, and others, transcribed and edited by Mary Bondurant Warren.

Claim for Widow’s Pension for Service in the War of 1812 filed by Sarah (Starr) Poyner, February 6, 1880 (National Archives).

Dallas Public Library DAR Directory for state of Maryland, citing vol. 3 or 4 Chapters of DAR for Bible record.

Dempsey Carroll’s Loudoun County Virginia undated will names daughter “Athaliah Pinkstone”; proven March 13, 1776.

DICTIONARY OF ALABAMA BIOGRAPHY, vol. 4, compiled by Owens.


EARLY RECORDS OF GEORGIA: WILKES COUNTY, vol. I and II by Grace Gillam Davidson.


FAYETTE COUNTY GEORGIA MARRIAGE RECORDS 1823-1850 compiled by Frances T. Ingmire

FAYETTE COUNTY, GEORGIA TAX DIGESTS for the Years 1823,1824, 1827,

1829, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, by Ancestors Unlimited, Inc.

Fayette County Georgia Wills Book, page 62, Atha Jarrott, signed March 4, 1846, proved September 7, 1846.

.Francis D. Brinton research, LDS film #000362.



(MILLEDGEVILLE) NEWSPAPER: 1809-1840, by Fred R. and Emilie K. Hartz.

Genealogical research by James Thomas McConnell of Atlanta; compiled family data by Gene Lamb and numerous other descendants.

GENEALOGY of the ELDER CLAN, by Lee M. Elder of San Angelo, Texas.


HISTORY OF MARYLAND, vol. II, by J. Thomas Scharf.

HISTORY OF METHODISM IN ALABAMA, by West (1893), reprint 1983.

HISTORY OF NEWTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, by the Newton County Historical Society.


“Journal of the American Medical Association”, vol. 53, page 224 (1909).

Macon Telegraph & News, Sunday, December 19, 1976, page 2E


ADVOCATE: 1837-1860, vol. 1 by Brent H. Holcomb.

MARYLAND MILITIA in the REVOLUTIONARY WAR, by S. Eugene Clements and F. Edward Wright.

METHODIST PREACHERS in GEORGIA: 1783-1900 by Harold Lawrence.

Obituary for Mary (Starr) Crawford, written by daughter Mary F. Johnson, for El Dorado (Arkansas) Eagle, Thursday, September 20, 1883.

Pages from Grants Book QQQ and Book WWW copied by Georgia Department Archives & History.

Pages from the Land Lottery Records copied by Georgia Department Archives & History.


PIONEER DAYS ALONG the OCMULGEE by Fussell Chalker, 1970.

RECORDS OF CLARKE COUNTY GEORGIA 1801-1892 in the Georgia Department of Archives & History, compiled by Robert Scott Davis.

Rev. Isaac Boring’s unpublished Journal.

REVOLUTIONARY RECORDS of MARYLAND, by Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh and Margaret Roberts Hodges, 1924.

Revolutionary War Muster Rolls for Shadrack Pinkston; copy of originals from National Archives.


The ARMCHAIR RESEARCHER, vol. 1, No. 3, September 1980, pages 166-171, tombstone transcriptions at County Line United Methodist Church.

“The Looking Glass: Reflecting Life in the Ouachitas”, vol. 4, No. 11, February 1979, pages 4-13.


THE WILKES COUNTY PAPERS: 1773-1833 by Robert Scott Davis Jr.

THEY FOLLOWED the SUN: The Story of James Penn STARR and Georgia THEUS: Their Ancestors and Their Progenies, compiled and Edited by Marguerite Starr Crain and Janell Turner Wenzel.

37,000 EARLY COUNTY MARRIAGES by Joseph T. Maddok and Mary Carter

Veteran Pension Application papers, copied by Regional Office of Veterans Administration at Muskogee, Oklahoma.

WILKES COUNTY CHURCHES, compiled and edited by Jo Randall.

WILKES COUNTY GEORGIA DEED BOOKS A-VV: 1784-1806 by Michal Martin Farmer.

WILKES COUNTY, GEORGIA TAX RECORDS; 1785-1806 in two vols. by Frank Parker Hudson.


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Compilation Copyright 2008 - Present by Linda Blum-Barton