Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Letters From Davis Kin Give Insights to Life in Early Union County
Communication now is so much more advanced from the days of dated letters from 1861 and 1871.
Here is the background of this
story. David Davis of Vale,
David Davis of Vale,
Now to get on to the connections, and to some of the news in the preserved letters from the nineteenth century.
In the 1850 census of
(718) Davis, Meredith age 43, born in
North Carolina; (no wife listed;
evidently she had died prior to the 1850 census); Children: Anderson, 18; Logan, 16; John,
14; Caroline, 12; Mary, 10; Sarah, 8 (all
six of these were
born in North Carolina prior to the move to Union County); James, 6;
Thomas, 4, both born in Georgia. A Mary
Davis, age 60, born in
(714) Davis, Jehial (census-taker’s
spelling; it probably should have been Johile—and I have found it in
genealogy listing as John Hoyle, shortened to Johile, born November 1,
McDowell County, NC, died September 10, 1926).
“Jehial” was listed as age 48 by the census-taker, born in
(806) Davis, Salathial, 52, born in North Carolina; his wife, Elizabeth, 45, also born in North Carolina; and children still at home, Reuben, 18, and Martha, 7, both born in North Carolina.
And a sister to Meredith, Mary, Johile
and Salathial Davis was Sarah Davis Souther, who, with her family was
(681) Souther, Joseph, age 48, born in
In other genealogical records we
a daughter of Joseph and
And now to the letters David Davis
found from members of these
One from Marida Davis in Union County,
Georgia to her sister Jane England in McDowell County, NC dated
1871: After the general opening of being
in “common good health” and the usual wishes about the recipient’s
Marida writes this interesting news: “I
have not much general news to write, only there is a great prospect of
road a-coming to Blairsville and I think that the road will come. The name of the road is
Unfortunately, the railroad Merida
Davis wrote so enthusiastically about did not ever come to Blairsville,
instead was routed to Blue Ridge, Culberson, NC and Murphy, NC.,
to lack of funds to build it over more mountainous terrain to
Blairsville. The railroad reached
A letter in which Mary Davis signs her name as Mary (not Merida) Davis to her brother David Davis and family back in North Carolina was dated October 18, 1861 (?, year date a bit obscured). It reflects hard times coming on because of the Civil War. Health was “common” except for “the Rumatis” that plagued the writer. She wrote, “Johiel left this country and moved down in (illegible) County about 100 miles. I ain’t seen him since he left here.” In both these letters is a message of homesickness to see others of the family and to hear from them. Family ties were not severed by distance.
c2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published August 19, 2010 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]