Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
I ended last week’s article by promising a look at the will of Jesse Souther (1784- 1858), whose children Joseph, John Jesse, KizziahSouther Humphries, Jesse and Hix moved to Union County, Georgia in the mid-1830’s. What about their father and other children who remained in North Carolina? His will reads:
Fall Term 1858
State of North Carolina This the twenty-second day of December,
McDowell County One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-Seven
I, Jesse Souther, of the county and state aforesaid, Being of sound mind and Memory, Thanks to God for His mercy, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as follows:
First of all, I will my soul to God who first gave it to me. Then I will that my just debts be punctually paid with all burial expenses first.
Then I will to my son James Souther to have all the notes I hold against him together with all the notes and judgements where I am security for him.
I do will to my three daughters, to wit: Nancy and Lucinda and Rosa J. Hogan all my perishable property, only Rosa J. Hogan to pay Nancy and Lucinda thirty dollars out of her part of the property.
Further, I will that Lydia Jane Justice have one cow and calf, one bed and furniture.
I further will that HixSouther’s three children, to wit: Catherine Saphronia, Jesse William, and John Jefferson have thirty dollars each when they arrive at the age of twenty-one, to be paid out of my perishable property.
I also will to Jesse Souther and Nancy and Noah and Lucinda Souther and Rosa J. Hogan all my lands to be equally divided between the five above-named.
Further, that my daughter Mary Elliott is to have one hundred dollars out of my estate.
Also, my daughter Kizziah Humphrey to have thirty dollars to be paid out of my estate.
All the above property to be paid over to my Executor and also applied my two sons Jesse Souther and Noah SoutherExecturors to this my last will and testament.
I set my hand and seal in the presence of:
Jesse (X) Souther, Seal
John Ross, Juratt
John P. Fortune, Juratt Court of pleas, Quarter Session, Fall Term, 1858.
The foregoing Will and Testament was presented
to open court for probation in due execution.
These were proven in solemn form by the oath of
John P. Fortune and John Ross, Executors.
Subscribing openly these and ordered to be recorded and registered together with the certificate. J. M. Finley, Clerk.
Some observations about the will of Jesse Souther will be made while listing his known fourteen children:
(1) Joseph Souther (1802-died in Stone County, Missouri), married Sarah Davis. He is not listed in the will, possibly having received money or land when he left home and moved to Georgia (and later to Benton County, Arkansas, and to Missouri).
(2) John Jesse Souther (1803-1889) married Mary Combs. He died in Union County, Georgia. He is not mentioned in his father’s will. Could John have been given his inheritance before he moved to Georgia?
(3) Mary Souther (1805-?) married an Elliott. She was mentioned in her father’s will to receive $100. Had he given her property already at the time of her marriage? Or perhaps at that time an amount of $100 was equal to several acres of land.
(4) Elizabeth Souther (1805) is believed to have died young. She is not listed in her father’s will.
(5) James Souther (1809-?) married a Logan. According to the will, James owed his father money, and his father had signed on loan notes for him. Therefore, his inheritance was the money he had not repaid. Two of James’s sons, James Logan and John “Rink” Souther, moved to Union County, Georgia, married there, then moved to St. Charles Mesa, Pueblo, Colorado.
(6) KizziahSouther (1811-?) married John Humphries. They moved to Union County, Georgia between 1840 and 1850. They had thirteen children and lived awhile in Blount County, TN. Kizziah died in Cherokee County, NC. See their story is an earlier “Mountain Mists” article.
(7) Jesse Souther (1813-1869) moved to Union County, Georgia and established the Souther Mill in Choestoe. He married Malinda Nix (1829-1894), daughter of William Nix and Susannah Stonecypher Nix. They had eight children. Their stories are traced in previous “Through Mountain Mists” articles. Note that Jesse Souther (the elder) appointed son Jesse and son Noah to be Executors of his will. His second son (my great, great grandfather) was named John Jesse. It was not unusual in those days for two children to have one of the names of their father or mother.
(8) HixSouther (1815-1840?) married Caroline Burgess. They, too, settled in Union County, Georgia. Hix died, leaving a wife and three children. Notice that Jesse Souther was thinking of his three minor grandchildren, Hix’s children, and gave them $30 each. Later, Caroline married Roland (or Rolin) Wimpey. Their story is in a previous “Through Mountain Mists” article.
(9) Martha Souther (1817-?)
(10) Nancy Souther (1818-?) and
(11) Sarah Souther (1820) never married and continued to live in the old Southerhomeplace in North Carolina. Nancy was the only one of these three mentioned in Jesse’s will. Martha and Sarah had perhaps died before 1858, the date of the will.
(12) Noah Souther (1821-1883) married Sarah Gilliam, a daughter of Maynard Gilliam. In the will, he was to receive land, which was to be equally divided between Noah, Jesse, Nancy, Lucinda and Rosa J. Souther Hogan. He also was named one of the executors.
(13) Lucinda Souther (1824-1875) never married. She, too, continued to live in McDowell County. She received equal parts of Jesse’s lands with sisters Nancy and Rosa and brothers Jesse and Noah.
(14) Rosa Jane Souther (1828-?) married William C. Hogan. I have no record of her family. She received a five-way division of Jesse’s land with two sisters and two brothers.
Who was Lydia Jane Justice mentioned in the will as receiving a cow and calf, a bed and furniture? Was she a married granddaughter, or was she someone who lived with and took care of Jesse Souther after his wife Jane Combs died? Were the heirs of Jesse Souther pleased with his distribution of property or were some offended and complained? Family records available do not show this aspect of his descendants’ reactions.
[Resource: Dyer, Watson Benjamin. Souther Family History.Self-published, 1988. Pp. 52-53]
c2012 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published online February 9, 2012 by permission of the author at GaGenWebProject. All rights reserved.
[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.]