Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
descendants of early settlers
Continuing the saga of the
in early Union
article will feature a
son of theirs, James Cathey, a grandson Julius Young Cathey, and a
grandson, John Lucius Cathey. These did not remain in Union County,
partly because the section where James's parents lived became a part of
in 1856, and then because of outward migration of some to find better
James Cathey (March 11, 1812 -
1887) was born to William Cathey (April 15, 1782 - abt. 1860) and
Bryson Cathey (April 3, 1787 - abt. 1872). His birth occurred in North Carolina
his parents' move to Union
1830s. As listed in a previous article, the Cathey children of this
generation to live in Union (later
County were Andrew Dever, James, William H., Samuel B. and Rebecca. Of
children, the last, Rebecca, was the only one born in Georgia
17, 1820 - Feb. 21, 1871).
James married Emmeline (known as
Brown in Union County,
on May 28, 1846.
Their children numbered
six, and were Julius Young (1847- 1929) who married Rebecca Louvenia
Elizabeth (1850 - ?); Lucious (1854 - ?); William C. (1859 - ?) who
Josephine Crow; Nancy Marinda (called "Rendy," 1863- 1919) who married
Noah Ellis; John A. (1866- ? ) and Andrew Dever. Noting the names, one
sees that children in the third generation in Towns/Union were given
the same names as those of children of William and Elizabeth Bryson
first settlers here.
Firstborn of James and Emmeline
Cathey, Julius Young Cathey (Sept. 17, 1847 - March 22, 1929) lived in
Woods Grove section of Towns
County. He married
Rebecca Louvenia Wood in April of 1870. Her parents were John, Jr. and
McClure Wood. This Wood family, early settlers in what became Towns County,
gave the community of Woods Grove its name. James and Emily were buried
in the Brasstown
Baptist Church Cemetery,
Julius Young and Rebecca
Cathey (Jan. 12, 1846 - Dec. 28, 1928) reared their family of either
seven children in the Woods Grove Community. It is interesting to note
Towns County census of 1900 lists nine
children in their household. However, only seven can be traced with any
of authentication. Perhaps two died young. Known children and their
were: James Melvin (b. 1871) married Georgia Ann Martin and Roxie Ann
Elliott. Mary Elizabeth (1873-1953)
married William H. Dotson. John Lucious
(1876-1960) married Hattie Ann Dyer. Elmira M.
married. Andrew Judson (1881 - ?)
married Bessie (maiden name unknown).
Sarah (known as Sally, 1883 - ?) married Charles Crawford. Nancy
(1885 - ?) married Lon Gribble.
Julius Young and Rebecca
Cathey's third child, John Lucius Cathey (Jan. 15, 1876- April 4, 1960)
Hattie Ann Dyer (April 9, 1876 - July 31, 1959) of Union County, Georgia
on January 13, 1898.
Her parents were Bluford Elisha Dyer (Feb. 13, 1855 - Nov. 21, 1926)
Evaline Souther Dyer (May 17, 1857 - March 4, 1959). Hattie Ann was the
firstborn of fifteen children born to "Bud" and Sarah Souther Dyer.
When she and John Lucius Cathey
married January 15,
lived near her parents in the Choestoe District of Union County. He was
Then, about 1920, they moved their family to White County, Georgia,
and eventually on to Habersham
County near Cornelia, Georgia.
At their deaths, they were interred in the Level Grove
Baptist Church Cemetery,
Habersham County, GA.
John and Hattie Dyer Cathey had
children, three of whom lived to adulthood.
Their firstborn, a daughter, Avie Cathey (born April 17, 1900 in
County, GA, died May 4, 1962, and was buried at Level Grove Cemetery,
GA). Avie was a teacher. She married Etna Beck (1904-1961). Their
Johnny Lawrence Beck and Jimmy Nathaniel Beck.
The second child born to John
Dyer Cathey was a daughter named Beulah, born October 12, 1906. She died as
an infant and was
buried in New
Liberty Baptist Church
third child, a son, was named Conley Lucian Cathey, born October 18, 1908.
He married Louise
Wiggins on March
in Habersham County,
Four children were born to
Conley and Louise: Dorothy Gail, Conley Lucian, Jr., William Norman and
Michael. Conley worked for Southern Bell Telephone Company in Macon,
and Cornelia. He had to take early retirement due to poor health.
date and place of death are unknown because, under great duress, he
hospital where he was a patient in the cold wintertime and (to this
knowledge) was never located again.
The fourth child of John and
Cathey was Norman Dester Cathey, born Sept. 26, 1914, died September 3, 1964.
He married Mary Faye Wiggins
on June 20, 1942
in Phoenix City, AL. She was a daughter of J. A.
Wiggins of Cornelia,
Dester and Mary Faye had six children: Susan Elaine, Steven Norman,
Sharon Elizabeth, Donna Faye, and Richard Alan. Norman Dester Cathey
career in the U. S. Army, joining young and remaining in service until
retirement. He and Mary Faye made Jacksonville, Florida
their home. He was buried
there, and his widow remains there near their children.
At best, these articles about
families of early Union (and Towns)
are sketchy. For those interested in the Scots-Irish roots, the
some west, the "Cathey Settlement" in North Carolina, and the Woods
Grove section of Towns County that became a sort of "Cathey
Settlement" in Georgia, there is much information online on this
family. I have pleasant memories of visiting Uncle John and Aunt Hattie
near Cornelia, Georgia when I was a child
their coming from Cornelia to family reunions and to visit "Grandma
Jones; published February 19, 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
Updated February 28, 2009
Back To Union County, Georgia GenWeb Site