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Vines Collier (1735 -1795)
Contributed by Vaughn Ballard  <vballard@airmail.net>  June 6, 2004

VINES COLLIER (1735 -1795):
 
Vines Collier, great-grandfather of John H. Howard, was born about 1735 in York County, VA. His father was Isaac Collier who was a grandson of the emigrant Isaac; his mother was Ann Vines, a daughter of Thomas Vines and Mary Hill. Vines married Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Williamson, a daughter of Benjamin Williamson. Unfortunately, I know nothing further definite about the Williamson family.

The following information is quoted from Vaughn Ballard's Collier Book, P. 37:

He [Vines] moved with his father to Brunswick County about 1750. He served as an ensign and lieutenant in the French and Indian War, and was in the expedition to Fort Duquesne. Records state that during the Revolution, although he was incapacitated for active service, he furnished supplies for the Continental Army. Vines was married in Brunswick County about 1760 to Sarah Elizabeth Williamson, a daughter of Benjamin Williamson.

Vines Collier moved his family to Georgia after 1782 and before 1785, settling in Wilkes County in an area that was later to become Oglethorpe County, on a grant of land he received for his services in the French and Indian War. His name appeared on a list of Taxable Property of Inhabitants of Captain Hagan's District for 1785. He was listed as having 4-1/2 Polls, 7 slaves, and 400 acres in Wilkes County. His home was about six miles east of Lexington. Vines Collier died December 7, 1795, and was buried on his plantation in the old family burying grounds near Salem Church. This church was built on land that was once part of the plantation. Vines' wife Sarah Elizabeth is buried by his side. On June 24, 1932, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a marker on Vines' grave which reads "Lieutenant Vines Collier--Virginia Militia--French and Indian Wars." I'm including a picture from Ballard's book of this DAR marker on Vines' grave. It reads: "Lt. Vines Collier--Brunswick Co. Mil.-- French and Indian War." 

Hening's Statutes at Large, Vol. 7, 1820 ed., shows that in 1758,  during the French and Indian War, Vines Collier was paid 10£ as an ensign in the Militia of Brunswick County.

Fort Duquesne was built by the French in 1754 at the point where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet to become the Ohio (present-day Pittsburgh). France was in control of almost half of the land in North America, and French trappers and traders were endeavoring to connect the northern and southern portions of their empire by gaining control of the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. Of course, the English didn't care for that idea, not liking the French anyway, and so were eager to get on with the hostilities that had been brewing between these two countries for years. Already, three English-French wars had been fought since 1689. Now the fourth was about to begin.

The Colonial and British soldiers fared rather badly in the first few battles of the French and Indian War. In 1753, George Washington had been sent to check out the French situation and tell them to move out of the Ohio Valley. Of course they didn't. The next year, Washington went back with 150 Virginia militiamen and had a couple of shoot-outs with the French soldiers from Fort Duquesne. He was forced to surrender, but allowed to leave the area. The war was on.

In 1755, General Braddock led British troops in an expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. He had 2000 men, and many of them were colonial militiamen ("buckskins"). Vines Collier must have been in this group. The battle proved to be a disaster for the British and Colonials. George Washington, Braddock's aide, had two of his horses shot from under him, and Braddock himself was mortally wounded. I don't know if Vines was in any battles other than this one, or if he was later included in George Washington's 300 men who helped defend the frontier after Braddock's defeat, but Vines was listed in the Virginia militia in 1758.

The British weren't trained to fight in the wilderness, therefore many of their proper-war techniques were useless; the "buckskins'', behind-the-tree method of fighting fared somewhat better. The fighting experience gained by the Colonials, who numbered about 20,000 under arms by the end of the war, was used by them just a few years later to fight the British in the American Revolution.

The French and Indian War, begun in America by Washington's little group of soldiers, spread to Europe and other countries and became known as the Seven Years' War. France was on the losing side and was forced to give up her territory in North America in 1763; however, only fifteen years later, France allied herself with the Americans against the British in the Revolution.

After the Revolution ended, many Virginians moved to Georgia. That Vines had moved to Georgia by 1785 is shown by his being a witness to a promissory note dated 25 Feb. 1785 (Wilkes County loose papers). By that date, Vines was about fifty years old and  shows that in 1758, during the French and Indian War, Vines Collier was paid 10£ as an ensign in the Militia of Brunswick County.

Fort Duquesne was built by the French in 1754 at the point where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet to become the Ohio (present-day Pittsburgh). France was in control of almost half of the land in North America, and French trappers and traders were endeavoring to connect the northern and southern portions of their empire by gaining control of the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. Of course, the English didn't care for that idea, not liking the French anyway, and so were eager to get on with the hostilities that had been brewing between these two countries for years. Already, three English-French wars had been fought since 1689. Now the fourth was about to begin.

The Colonial and British soldiers fared rather badly in the first few battles of the French and Indian War. In 1753, George Washington had been sent to check out the French situation and tell them to move out of the Ohio Valley. Of course they didn't. The next year, Washington went back with 150 Virginia militiamen and had a couple of shoot-outs with the French soldiers from Fort Duquesne. He was forced to surrender, but allowed to leave the area. The war was on.

In 1755, General Braddock led British troops in an expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. He had 2000 men, and many of them were colonial militiamen ("buckskins"). Vines Collier must have been in this group. The battle proved to be a disaster for the British and Colonials. George Washington, Braddock's aide, had two of his horses shot from under him, and Braddock himself was mortally wounded. I don't know if Vines was in any battles other than this one, or if he was later included in George Washington's 300 men who helped defend the frontier after Braddock's defeat, but Vines was listed -in the Virginia militia in 1758.

The British weren't trained to fight in the wilderness, therefore many of their proper-war techniques were useless; the "buckskins'" behind-the-tree method of fighting fared somewhat better. The fighting experience gained by the Colonials, who numbered about 20,000 under arms by the end of the war, was used by them just a few years later to fight the British in the American Revolution.

The French and Indian War, begun in America by Washington's little group of soldiers, spread to Europe and other countries and became known as the Seven Years' War. France was on the losing side and was forced to give up her territory in North America in 1763; however, only fifteen years later, France allied herself with the Americans against the British in the Revolution After the Revolution ended, many Virginians moved to Georgia. That Vines had moved to Georgia by 1785 is shown by his being a witness to a promissory note dated 25 Feb. 1785 (Wilkes County loose papers). By that date, Vines was about fifty years old and had eleven children.

In the 1796 Tax List of Oglethorpe County, Vines Collier appears with wife Elizabeth Williamson, and with the remark written in that Vines was a Revolutionary soldier. That remark probably meant he had contributed goods or money to the war. (Although Vines had died in December of the previous year, apparently the tax collector didn't let a little detail like that stop him from putting Vines on the tax list.)

Dexter Dickens of Thomaston, GA, said this about Vines Collier: "He was very prosperous, owning much land and many slaves. His home, built about 1790, is still standing and incidentally owned by Earnest Howard, being a descendant of William T. Howard, who purchased it in 1835.  No, I don't know if those Howard, are related to our Howards. I'm including a picture of the house and its floorplan (from the book by Ava D. Rodgers, ' The Housing of Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1790-1860, Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1971). 

 HOWARD/PASLEY NEWSLETTER, NO. 5, JANUARY
    Prepared by:
    Carolyne J. Butler
      1704 John Carroll Dr
      Pensacola, FL 32504

For the descendants and relatives of John H. Howard and Nancy T. Pasley of Upson County, Georgia

       ------------------------

GREETINGS: Welcome to the fifth (and long overdue) newsletter in the series of twelve. This newsletter goes back another generation to Isaac Collier's father Vines Collier. I'm including a lineage chart for our Collier line as far back as it has been traced.

Our Collier family came to Virginia from England in the mid-1600s. Although ours is one of several Collier families in early Virginia. records, some researchers think that all Collier families in early Virginia were related. Our line came first to York County, which stretches along the southwest shore of the York River, then later moved to Brunswick County, which is on the North Carolina border about one hundred miles west of the Atlantic coast.

Several Collier family histories have been published. One that discusses our particular branch is a twelve-page booklet presented to the Georgia Archives in 1968 by Mrs. Frank Benford of Thomaston, GA. I have a photocopy of it, but the printing is dim and unreadable in places, and some of the information on the  early Collier line isn't correct. The history states, correctly, that the Colliers of Staffordshire, England, from whom our ancestor Isaac Collier (the emigrant) came, had a coat of arms.

Other sources of Collier information include the historical and genealogical magazines of Virginia. Copies of these Virginia quarterlies can be found in most large libraries.

So far, the best source of Collier information for us is the book compiled by Vaughn Ballard that I mentioned in Newsletter No. 4, P. 3. The book is Robert Terrell Collier: His Ancestors and Descendants. The first forty pages are filled with information about our direct Collier ancestors. The last part of the book includes coats of arms, some Collier wills, and a lineage chart. The central portion of the book diverges from our direct ancestors but is still interesting; it includes a number of pictures and anecdotes about our distant Collier cousins who moved on to Texas. (Just speculating: Could Alphonse Howard, Dumas Howard's bachelor "Uncle Fonza,11 have followed some Collier cousins to Texas after his mother died when he went there from 1881 to 1896?--See Newsletter No. 1, p. 2.)

Mr. Ballard has (very graciously!) allowed me to quote from his book for our newsletter. For more detailed information on the Colliers, I recommend his book. You may order directly from him. His address is Family Histories, 2320 Country Green Lane, Arlington, Texas 76011, phone (817) 277-3281. The price is $30-00 (postpaid, I think). There's no telling how many years of research and how many dollars Mr. Ballard has spent gathering his information. I'm just thankful he did.
 






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