THROUGH MOUNTAIN MISTS
Early Settlers of Union County, Georgia
Lifting the Mists of History on
Ethelene Dyer Jones
(part 1 in a Series on the Nix Family of Union County, GA and
In tracing Nix
family lines, we find that the last name was spelled Nicks, Knix and
Nix (our present day spelling). The origin seems to be from the
old English surname Nichollas, Nicoles, and Nichols, meaning "victory
of the people." In the United States, the surnames Nixon
and Nickson (both meaning "son of Nick" and "victory of the people")
was eventually shortened to Nix by some branches of the family.
William Nix was born about 1788 in South Carolina. His parents
were John and Sarah Nix. In Franklin County, Georgia, on
September 3, 1809, William Nix married Susannah Stonecypher, a daughter
of John Henry, Jr. and Nancy Curtis Stonecypher. Susannah's
father fought in the American Revolution.
William and Susannah Nix lived in Franklin County, Georgia for a while
after their marriage. In 1822 they bought land in Habersham
County, When White County was formed, some of the land holdings
of William Nix were incorporated into the new county. They made
their home near present-day Tesnatee Baptist Church. In the 1860
census of White County, William Nix's worth was listed at $3,000.
The Nix cabin was still standing as late as 1990. Known for their
hospitality, it has been said that William "Grancer" and Susannah
Stonecypher Nix never turned anyone away from their home. They
were buried in the Nix Family Cemetery a little south of the old
homeplace. In 1985, grave markers were erected by a descendant,
Wanda West Gregory.
eleven children born to William and Susannah Nix, four of them married
persons with Union County, Georgia roots, and settled here. James
Nix married (1) Elizabeth Collins, daughter of Thompson and Celia Self
Collins; (2) Carolina Duckworth, daughter of David and Mary
Williamson Duckworth; and (3) Rebecca Evaline Duckworth, a sister
of Carolina. Mary Nix, known as Polly, married Archibald
Collins. Ruthia Nix married Francis Collins. Malinda Nix
married William Jesse Souther.
Let us trace first some of the descendants of
James Nix, who more often than not was listed as Jimmy Nix. The
second-born child of eleven born to William and Susannah Nix, he made
his appearance into the world in Franklin County, Georgia in July of
1812 in the farmhouse owned by his parents on Eastanollee Creek.
When he was about ten years of age, his family moved to Habersham
County. It was there he met and married Elizabeth Collins,
lovingly called "Betsy" by her family and by her husband, Jimmy Nix.
She was born in North
Carolina on August 24, 1814. She was nineteen when they married
on March 12, 1834. To Jimmy and Betsy were born fifteen children
as follows: William (1836), Susannah (1837), Thompson (1838),
John (1840, died in the Civil War at Sharpsburg, Maryland in 1862),
Archibald Carr (1842), Isabella (1844 - twin), James Bly (1844 - twin),
Jeffrie (1846), Jasper (known as "Grancer," 1847 - twin), Newton (1847
- twin, died at age 15 in the Civil War in Virginia), Thomas Jefferson
(1848 - enlisted in Civil War at age 13), Ivan (1849), Benjamin
Stonecypher (1851), Celia (1852), and Sarah, known as "Sally" (1854).
At the young age of 45,
after bearing fifteen children and looking after them diligently,
Elizabeth Collins Nix died in 1859. She was buried in the Old
Nix began to look for a good woman who could help him with his many
children. He found her in Carolina Elizabeth Duckworth (b. 1815),
daughter of David and Mary Williamson Duckworth. They were wed on
January 3, 1863 after the Civil War was well under way. Four
children were born to this union. Mary Evaline (10-23-1863),
Nancy (1864), Buddy (1865), and Sophronia Jane (1867).
Jimmy Nix enlisted in the Georgia State Militia, Company 2, on December
14, 1863, and apparently served with the Militia until the end of the
Civil War. The cause of his second wife's death is not known, but
she died before the 1870 census.
his third wife, James "Grancer" Nix courted and married a younger
sister of his second wife. Her name was Rebecca Evaline Duckworth
(b. 1828). The Duckworth sisters were born in North Carolina near
the headwaters of the French Broad River in Henderson County.
Their parents migrated to Union County and became prominent early
settlers there. Jimmy and Rebecca had one child, stillborn, who
was not named.
his third wife had ten years together before his death on October 2,
1882. She lived to be 86 and died June 14, 1914. Both were
buried in the Old Choestoe Cemetery.
Readers might like to keep this column for reference. Future
columns will expand on names of some of the children and grandchildren,
descendants of James "Grancer" Nix. There are more stories to
tell of these hardy early settlers.
by Ethelene Dyer Jones. Published July 26,
2007 in The Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.)
Dyer 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
January 10, 2009
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