Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Some Englands become Union County settlers
With the Gold
Rush simmering down some around Duke’s Creek in Habersahm
County (later White), and with the patriarch Richard England dying in
1835 and interred in the England Cemetery near the Chattahoochee River
there, some of the England young men went “across the mountains” once
again and settled in the area that had become Union County in 1832.
(1800-1899), son of Joseph England, grandson of Charles England, first
listed in the 1834 (first Union) census, claimed land along the
headwaters of the Hiawassee River that was included in Towns County
when it was formed in 1856.
established a sizeable, productive farm. In the 1850 census he was
listed as owning four slaves. He married first Elizabeth Carroll and
they had eleven children: Sarah Adaline
(1824), Charles Newton (1818), Mary (1830), Martha (1833), William
Jasper (1834), Martin Van Buren (1836), Amanda America (1838), Margaret
Ann Elizabeth (1840), Harvey Pinson (1841 ? went to California about
1868 and died there shortly thereafter), Andrew (1843) and an infant
who died at birth. Martin England’s first wife Elizabeth died in 1868
and was buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. The
helped to found that church in what is now Towns County.
Martin married, second, Mrs. Sarah Melton from Athens, but
the union ended in divorce. His third wife was Minerva Grist Brown,
widow of Lafayette Brown. Martin and Minerva had three children: Harvey
Pinson (1877), named for the 1841 son of Martin who had died in California; Iva (1879) who died young, and Lizzie (1882).
Minerva England died
and Martin married his fourth wife, M. E. (Mary Elizabeth?) Buckner in 1884. The family of Martin England has
many descendants in Union, Towns and elsewhere.
In the 1834
(first) census of Union County,
Elijah England was a resident. He was listed with eight males and six
females in the household, a large family.
Martin, first settled in the Helen area of then Habersham County,
buying Land Lot 38 from the lottery winner of the land and paying
$1,000 for the lot in February 1822. Elijah about 30 years old, his
wife Elizabeth, and four children (three sons, one daughter) and
Elijah’s father William settled on Land Lot 38, moving there from Franklin County. It
seems that his wife Elizabeth died while Elijah lived there. In 1824
Elijah sold half of Land Lot 38 for $725, and in 1828 he sold the
remaining half to Henry Conley for $1,000. In six years, Elijah had
made a profit of $725 on the sale of his land lot. He went back to North
Carolina (probably where he had lived
prior to going to Franklin County).
But it wasn’t long until he was back in Georgia,
some 30 miles from his old Land Lot 38, for by 1834 he was across the
mountain in the new county, Union.
Even though the Indians were not evacuated completely until 1838, white
settlers were encouraged to go into Cherokee lands and take up
residence. Elijah England and his family accepted that challenge.
Elijah England had slaves to assist him with his farming operations. In
1832 he sold five slaves to Adam Pitner
who had settled in the Helen Valley.
However, Elisha listed his own residence
then as North Carolina. In
the 1840 census of Union, he
owned no slaves. His household, including himself, had five males and
six females (one his wife), and no slaves. The 1850 census of Union
lists the names in the Elijah England household: Elijah, 60; Caroline,
38; Eliza, 32; Sally, 22; James, 19; Lafayette, 19; Marinda, 14; Floyd, 10; and Engela
was one of the 33 slave holders listed in Union County in
the 1860 census. He owned six of the county’s 133 slaves. I did not
find a listing for either Elijah England or his wife Caroline in the
Union County Cemeteries list. Perhaps they were buried in unmarked
graves somewhere on his farm.
c2005 by Ethelene
Dyer Jones; published Oct. 20, 2005 in The Union
Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights
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
May 18, 2008