Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Some descendants of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey
Two weeks ago I began a series on the William Cathey Family, citizens of Union County, Georgia in the 1840 and 1850 census records. They lived in the section of the county (near Young Harris) that was taken into Towns County when it was formed out of parts of Union and Rabun Counties in 1856. Then I wrote for two weeks about the inauguration and the peaceful transfer of leadership to our current president, Barack Obama.
Returning to the account of the Cathey family, we will look in this article at some of the descendants of William Cathey (April 15, 1782-1860) and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey (April 3, 1787-1872).
I mentioned two weeks ago that the Catheys originated in Colonsay, Scotland, an island off the coast of that country. An interesting story I did not include then was about the famed MacFie Standing Stone at Colonsay. The historic stone marks the spot where, in 1623, Malcolm, the last chief of the Clan MacFie was murdered in a clash against the MacDonald Clan. Scotland was in great unrest in the early seventeenth century, and clan wars were prevalent. Over the years, the marker fell into disrepair. MacFie descendants started a drive to restore the standing stone. On May 10, 1977, the restored marker was dedicated. Ulf MacFie Hagman of Sweden, Charles MacPhee of Australia, and Duncan MacPhee of Scotland headed the work of repair. Many others with MacFie ties assisted with the work and dedication. The Standing Stone can be seen today by any clan members who visit Colonsay. Betty Cathey McRee, a MacFie clan person, reminds us that there are many spellings of the old Scots-Irish family name, but in America, Cathey is one of the preferred Anglicized spellings.
Andrew Dever Cathey was the
eldest child of
William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey. He was born
This couple had a large family of eleven children. Seven of their sons served in the Civil War. Imagine the concern the parents had with that many of their able-bodied sons, much needed to work on the farm, being away serving in the war. Their children and spouses (if known) were:
(1) William Hillman Cathey (1834-1880) married Nancy Morris in 1867.
(2) Benjamin Hamilton Cathey (Jan. 4, 1836-June 12, 1907?) married Mariah Conley.
(3) James D. Cathey (1837- 1862; evidently died in the Civil War)
(4) Francis Marion Cathey (1838-1912) married Mattie McDade.
(5) Sarah Elizabeth Cathey (1840-?) married Mann Raby.
(6) Margaret Rebecca Cathey (March 21, 1842-1934, evidently never married).
(7) Wilson Harrison Cathey (1844-1910; no record of his marriage).
(8) John G. Cathey (1846- 1901) married Catherine Wike in 1877.
(9) Samuel Taylor Cathey (1848-1888; no record of marriage).
(10) Montreville Cathey (1853 - ?; no record of marriage).
(11) Marquis Lafayette Cathy (1853-1937) married Florence Kendall in 1883.
The second child of William Cathey and Elizabeth Bryson Cathy was James Cathey, born March 11, 1813 in North Carolina. He lived in the Brasstown Section of Union County. In 1856 his land was included in Towns County. He married Emmeline (called "Emily") Brown on May 28, 1846 in Union County. They had seven children.
(1) Julius Young Cathey (Sept. 17, 1847-March 22, 1929) married Rebecca Louvenia Wood in April 1870.
(2) Jane Elizabeth Cathey (born 1850) - evidently never married.
(3) Lucious Cathey (born 1854) - evidently never married.
(4) William C. Cathey (born 1859) married Josephine Crow on March 21, 1880.
(5) Nancy Marinda (called "Rendy") Cathey (1863-Sept. 7, 1919) married Noah F. Ellis on July 24, 1881 in Towns County.
(6) John A. Cathey (b. 1866) - no record of his marriage.
(7) Andrew Dever Cathy, named for his uncle by the same name; no record of his marriage.
William H. Cathey, named for his father, was the third child of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey. William was born August 22, 1815. At age 22, he married Nancy M. Carter, a daughter of Jesse Carter and Lavinah Sams Carter. They lived in Union County (later Towns) where they had six children: Rebecca (1839), Josiah (1841), Elizabeth Lavina (1843), Jesse (1846), Lucinda (1850), and Louisa whom they nicknamed "Lassie" (1859).
In a subsequent article we will trace what we can find about William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey's other three children and some of their descendants to the third and fourth generations. With ancestral ties back to the MacFie Clan of Scots-Irish immigrants, these north Georgia farm families were hardy and hard-working.
c2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published January 29, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
February 5, 2009