Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Jackson and Rebecca Goforth Jackson
Continuing the saga of the Jackson Family in Union County, today's account will look at a son of William Jackson and Nancy Stanley Owenby Jackson. William Marion Jackson was born, as he recounted to his children "near Yonah Mountain in Habersham (now White) County, Georgia on May 9, 1829. He died March 12, 1912. On December 19, 1850, he married Rebecca Jane Goforth who was born in Burke County, North Carolina on March 3, 1833 and died June 5, 1901. Those interested in seeing the graves of these two early settlers in Union County can find them in Old Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery, Choestoe District.
Rebecca Jane Goforth was a daughter of Miles Goforth. This family of Goforths migrated from Burke County, NC to Union County, Georgia about 1840. It is believed that the Goforths and Jacksons were neighbors in North Carolina and also in the new county of Union.
When they married in 1850, there was already talk of secession from the Union. The Jacksons were pro-Unionists and he would prove his loyalty by joining the U. S. Army.
William Marion and Rebecca began to rear their family. They had a farm, probably on acreage his father owned at Town Creek, Choestoe. William Jackson (1798-1859) and Nancy Jackson (1793-1861) died a few years after William Marion and Rebecca married. The grandparents Jackson saw some of William Marion's children before death claimed the first-generation paternal grandparents. These children were born to William Marion and Rebecca:
(1) Nancy Jackson (named for her grandmother), born November 21, 1851. She married John W. "Rink" Souther (b. June 15, 1833). Nancy and John moved to Pueblo Colorado and reared their family there.
(2) William Miles Jackson (August 30, 1853-January 8, 1910) married on February 24, 1873 to Nancy Souther (December 25, 1883 - May 8, 1899), daughter of Jesse and Malinda Nix Souther. Second, Miles married Nancy West (March, 1863 - February, 1939). Miles and his first wife Nancy were buried at the Old Choestoe Baptist Church Cemetery.
(3) Sarah Catherine Jackson (October 12, 1858 - March 21, 1909) married on February 17 to James M. Hood (September 23, 1856 - February 6, 1913). Sarah Catherine was buried in Old Liberty Church Cemetery, but James Monroe Hood moved to live near Rome, Georgia where he married again. He was buried in Aragon, Georgia Cemetery.
(4) Mary Louise Jackson (January 14, 1861 - February 13, 1934) married on January 1, 1881 to Archibald Benjamin Collins (October 19, 1862 - April 4, 1897). These were the parents of Dr. Mauney Douglas Collins, for 25 years Georgia's state school superintendent. This family's story has been recounted in earlier articles.
(5) Martha Ann Jackson (1866-1916) married first William Hunter on August 18, 1889. Following his death, she married John Pruitt Collins. Martha Ann and William Hunter had a son, Vanus, who became a dentist and practiced in Commerce, Georgia and a son, William (1894-1952). Martha and John Pruitt Collins had three children, Watson, Parker and Rosa.
(6) Thomas Kimsey Jackson (1867-1951) married Mary Jane Collins (1869-1887) and Mary Caroline Collins (1872-1952). Their family history was recounted in last week's column.
(7) Frankie Jane Jackson (February 6, 1870 - November 18, 1962) married James Eli Collins (October 3, 1868-January 8, 1938), a son of Dallas and Roseanna Souther Collins. Frankie Jane and James Eli helped Archibald Benjamin Collins in his store at Choestoe until after A. B.'s death and the store was closed. Frankie Jane and James Eli then migrated to Weatherford Texas.
(8) Fairlena Dorothy Jackson (August 4, 1873 - September 9, 1962) married on December 29, 1889 to Joseph Souther (April 24, 1870 - September 21, 1922). He was a son of Jesse Washington Souther (1836-1926) and Sarah E. Collins Souther (1840-1872). Fairlena and Joseph went to Taos, New Mexico where he worked in copper smelting. They had nine children. After Joseph's death, Fairlena married George Harris.
William Marion Jackson enlisted in the U. S. Army during the War Between the States. His enlistment was from October 1, 1863 through August 16, 1865 with Company D, 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Volunteer Mounted Infantry commanded by Colonel Bartlett. In his application for pension, he stated that at Cumberland Gap in August 1864, he was "taken sick with rheumatism and dysentery and sent to the hospital at said Gap." There he remained until March, 1865, when he received a "sick furlough." He was to be given a medical discharge, but told his commander he lived in Georgia "within the rebel lines," and could not, therefore, safely return to his home. In his pension statement, he declared he was "a farmer by occupation," but due to his "illness and physical incapacity was unable to perform manual labor." Records show that finally $379.00 were received for his nursing care, physician's charges, and undertaking charges following his death.
After Rebecca died in 1901, William Marion Jackson married again to Jane Davis who lived only a short time. He married third to Mandy Seabolt. He outlived her. His final days were spent with his youngest son, Thomas Kimsey Jackson and T. K.'s wife, Mary Caroline Collins Jackson.
Living through the Civil War years and struggling to make a livelihood when the chief breadwinner was disabled from the war was not an easy task. It is reported by family members that William Marion and Rebecca Goforth Jackson were staunch Christians, and "devout Baptists." They found ways to "make do" with what they had.
c2004 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published April 22, 2004 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail email@example.com; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]