Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Tracing the Souther Generations--Some Who Stayed Behind in NC
I have written much in these pages about five siblings who came to Georgia in the 1830s and settled in Union County, Georgia, at least for awhile until two of them (Joseph and Kizziah) moved on elsewhere. These were sons and a daughter of Jesse Souther (1784-1858) and Jane Combs Souther (1782-d. before 1858), namely Joseph Souther (wife Sarah Davis), John Jesse Souther (wife Mary Combs), KizziahSouther (husband John Humphries), Jesse Souther (wife Malinda Nix), and Hix Souther (wife Malinda Burgess). If you desire to review information on any of these five siblings, please refer to their stories in past articles in this “Through Mountain Mists” series. We now begin with a series on those in this Souther family who remained behind in North Carolina or who moved elsewhere other than Union County, Georgia. It is this writer’s hope that you will find this further information about the Jesse Souther family of interest.
Jesse Souther was born on June 6, 1784, only eight years after America declared its independence from England. He was a son of Stephen Souther (1742-ca 1780) and Mary BusseySouther (ca. 1745-after 1790). Family legend holds strongly to the story that Stephen Souther enlisted with the soldiers from Wilkes County, North Carolina who were launching an attack against the British and Tories at the famous Battle of King’s Mountain. However, either due to a wound or from some other calamity, Stephen Souther developed a severe nosebleed (he was believed to be a hemophiliac) on the way to or in the battle and bled to death. Descendants of Stephen Souther (of whom I am one) have done much research to try to certify his Revolutionary War service, but we have not been able to go beyond the story passed down in our family concerning his joining the Wilkes County soldiers. No trace of his service has been clearly documented. However, Mary BusseySouther was living on a 200-acre land grant which seems to have been given to Stephen Souther and recorded first in 1778, and again in 1782 (after Stephen’s death). Could this have been a grant for his Revolutionary War service? The description of the land in each entry (# 234, July 4, 1778 and # 482, October 23, 1782, Wilkes County records) were the same, reading: “Grant Stephen Souther 200 acres both sides Hunting Creek above William Carnes improvement…between Souther and Osborne Keeling.” With no proof of ancestor Stephen Souther’s enlistment in the Revolutionary Army, we who would like to claim him as a patriot have not been able to prove his service registration.
Mary BusseySouther seemed to be a good wife and mother. Stories come to us of her having driven an ox cart herself, after her husband Stephen’s death, “to the west” (probably to settlements in Kentucky or Tennessee on the frontier) to visit her relatives, and the report was that “she was gone a long time.” She and Stephen had these known children: Michael (1760) who married Elinor (maiden name unknown) who lived in Buncombe County, NC; Elizabeth (1765) who married Alexander Gilreath; Jesse Souther (1774) who married Jane Combs [her name is also given as Joan in some records] and reared their family in Wilkes County, NC near Old Fort, with five of them migrating to Union County, Georgia and the others remaining in NC; Joshua Souther (1777 ?) who married Libby Profitt; he served in the War of 1812; Joel Souther (17?) married Patsy Brown; and Sarah Souther (17?) married Elijah Hampton. In the 1782 tax list of Wilkes County, Mary (Bussey) Souther was listed as head-of-household. In the 1790 census, she was again listed as head-of-household with two males under sixteen, two males over 16, and 3 females. It is not known if some of these were Mary’s married children and grandchildren. Stephen Souther may have died intestate, since no will is listed signed by him in Wilkes Court records.
Stephen’s son, Jesse Souther, is the ancestor whom we want to trace. Since we know that his children Joseph, John, Kizziah, Jesse, and Hix migrated to Union County, Georgia, and since these “Mountain Mists” articles have traced those stories, we will concentrate on those who remained behind in North Carolina. Jesse Souther’s will probated in 1858 gives insights into how he distributed his property.
Our next entry will examine his will and some of his children who remained in North Carolina.
[Resource: Dyer, Watson Benjamin. Souther Family History, Self-published, 1988. Pp. 45-60]
c2012 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published online by permission of author at GaGenWebProject and at the Union County Historical Society blogspot addresses:http://tmmearlysettlersofunioncountyga.blogspot.com and http://www.unioncountyhistory.org/page3/page26/page26.html
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]