Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Settlers--Jesse Fields Family
In 1837 Jesse and Catherine
from North Carolina
to Union County, Georgia.
The 1840 and 1850 census records of the
county can be somewhat confusing on this Fields family.
In 1840 they were listed as "Jesse
Fielder" by the enumerator with six in the household.
By 1850, the enumerator listed them as the
Jesse Fields household, and since names were given in that year's
learn that Jesse, born in SC, was 38, his wife Catherine, born in NC,
and children in their home were: James, 15, born in NC, Elizabeth, 13,
born in SC, and those born in
Georgia were Sarah, 12, John 9, Thomas 7, and William 2.
The family settled in the
of Union County and built a log cabin which was later expanded to
Crump residence, well-known as one of the historic houses of the
Jesse Fields was involved in
community life. It is said that he cut
trees and hewed logs for the building of Union County's
first log courthouse.
He and his family were among the
members of Harmony
Church founded in
1847. Jesse Fields served as the
church's clerk from 1858-1860.
The Civil War came and the Jesse
family was affected by it, as were most of the residents of Union County
who sent soldiers either to the Union
or to the
Confederate Army. Two of Jesse's sons,
John and Thomas J. served in the Confederate Army.
Before Thomas went away to war,
Sarah Allen. She had come from Holland with her
and often had stories to tell her family and others about the hardships
endured on the journey by ship from Holland.
With Thomas away at war, Sarah
what she could to maintain their farm and make a living for the family. Then she got word that her husband, Thomas J.
Fields, had been killed in the war. He
had first been a bugler in the 6th Regiment of the Georgia Calvary, and
assigned to the 65th Regiment of the Georgia Infantry.
One day, Sarah was plowing on
along the Nottely
River. She had an oxen hitched to the plow, but it
had balked and was lying down in the river.
Sarah, tired and displeased with the stubborn ox's behavior,
head in resignation and perhaps to pray.
When she lifted her head and looked toward the rail fence that
surrounded the plot she was cultivating, she saw her husband, Thomas
two years reported dead, crossing the fence.
The impact of seeing him made her fall into the river in a faint. Records show that he was discharged May 12, 1865, more
month after the war was declared ended at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Thomas and Sarah and their
family lived at
the Fields (later Crump) residence in Owltown for a number of years
returned from the Civil War. He had
artisans Bascomb and Woodford Nelson add the gingerbread decoration to
Fields cabin that had been added onto throughout the years and was a
two-story white frame house. He became a
doctor. In 1915 he and Sarah moved to Mt. Airy, Georgia
The Fields family, descending
settlers Jesse and Catherine Akins Fields, have figured prominently in Union County's
growth. As descendants went to other geographic locations, they became
citizens and hard-working people. After Catherine's death, Jesse Fields
married, second, to Lavina Cook.
Catherine, Jesse and Vinie
interred in the Harmony
Church Cemetery. Catherine
Fields' stone does not have a birth
date; her death date was November 15, 1857. Jesse
born June 12, 1812
and died November
16, 1904. Vinie, Jesse's second
wife, died November
23, 1877. Her stone has no
birth date. The tribute inscribed on Jesse
tombstone speaks of his character: "He lived a Christian life."
Jones; published April
2, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA.
permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator, freelance wirter,
poet, and historian. She may be reached
at email email@example.com; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411
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