Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Cemetery Inquiry and Cobb Family History
telephone call led me on a research dig,
first about the New Hope Methodist Church Cemetery in Union County,
then to the Cobb family who buried at least twelve family members there
marked graves. Maybe there were other
Cobb family members buried there, for some fifty plus graves have no
indicators other than unmarked fieldstones.
Strangely enough, the inquiry was not
about the Cobb family, but rather about the King family.
A granddaughter of Mr. Henry King called
me. Mr. King was buried in one of the
unmarked graves at old New
Hope Cemetery. His son had a stone made, but died before he
could erect it, and now the granddaughter and grandson want to fulfill
father’s desire to mark his father’s grave.
Finding my name attached to a “Through Mountain Mists” column,
called to ask me if I could give her directions to the cemetery.
Thanks to Mr. Dale Elliott and the
late Mr. Charlie Wimpey who compiled and edited Cemetery
Records of Union County, Georgia in 1990, I quickly
found New Hope
Cemetery listed. I read to her from the book, page 300: “From the old courthouse square in
Blairsville, it is 8.4 miles north on U. S. 129, then ¼ mile on Cobb Mountain Road.” She said that she and her brother knew
location of the unmarked grave, and would soon be erecting the
tombstone at Mr.
Henry King’s grave.
From the cemetery book, I learned that
the New Hope
was founded about 1851 as evidenced by a recorded deed of land in Union
Courthouse. Mr. Moses Anderson transferred
property on which the church was located to five men who were trustees
church, namely W. A. Cobb, U. C. Wilson, B. F. Stiles, Joseph C. Neece
W. Odom. I found it interesting that not
a single one of these men had named markers in the New Hope Cemetery. Maybe some of them were interred there for
the cemetery book states there are more than 50 unmarked graves. I found Joseph C. Neece listed as buried in
the Ivy Log Cemetery. New
either was incorporated with another Methodist church in the community
disbanded. The building was torn down in
the 1940’s and now only the cemetery with its 33 marked graves and 50+
graves remains to show that an early church met there.
Since a dozen of the marked
graves at New Hope
have the Cobb
last name, my curiosity sent me searching for these early settlers. The earliest marked grave was that of Lydia
Keys Cobb with the dates 1773-1848. In
fact, this lady’s rather elaborate tombstone is pictured in the
on the New Hope
pages as the first person interred there.
Evidently the Cobbs were in Union
before 1848 to have a family member buried at New Hope, perhaps as the very first
And then I discovered a mystery. Reading
the Cobb family histories submitted
for The Heritage of Union County
(pages 99-100), checking the Union County
census records of
1834, 1840 and 1850, and again reading the tombstone of Lydia Keys Cobb
from Cemetery Records of Union County
showing the tombstone with death date of 1848, I immediately thought: “Something’s wrong in the records.”
I found that Lydia Cobb was listed in
the 1850 Census, age 77, as
living in the home of her son, William Cobb.
According to her tombstone, she died in 1848.
William’s wife Charlotte (she was also buried
at New Hope
William and Charlotte’s
nine children all born in North
Carolina, were listed in the 1850 census. Either the census taker was wrong about Mrs.
Lydia Cobb still being alive in 1850 or the date on her tombstone is
Tracing more about William and
Charlotte Cobb, I found this information.
There were no Cobb families in Union County
census records until the 1850 census listing.
Then William was 40, his wife Charlotte
was 45, and their nine children were Reuben, 19, John 18, Rebecca, 16,
14, Louisa, 13, James, 11, Rufus, 8, Elbert, 6, and Harrison, 3. And there, at the end of this family listing
is Lydia Cobb, age 77. All had been born
in North Carolina What gives?
Her tombstone has her death date as 1848, and from her birth
according to her tombstone she died at age 75.
I think it is not likely there were two women in the same
named Lydia Cobb, and since the one buried at New Hope has the maiden
Keys, I found that she was definitely the mother of William Alfred Cobb.
William Alfred Cobb
(8/10/1809-8/5/1886) was the only child of Lydia Keys Mullen Cobb,
of William’s father, John Paul Cobb, a Revolutionary War soldier who
to Newburn, NC. There
William Alfred Cobb married, first,
Charlotte Henson whose father Daniel was a Revolutionary War soldier. They lived in Haywood County, NC
where William was sheriff and an ordained Methodist minister. William Alfred Cobb was a unionist, and did
not like states seceding prior to the Civil War. He
decided to move his family to Union
in 1848 so he could be
among more who supported the union.
Since he was one of the Trustees of
the New Hope
in Ivy Log District when Moses Anderson granted land on which the
cemetery were located, my supposition is that the Rev. William Alfred
have been the organizing minister of the church when it was formed. Regardless of the confusing date from the
1850 census which still shows Lydia
(Keys) Cobb alive at age 77, and the gravestone death date that shows
as 1848, William Alfred’s mother was definitely the first burial at the
New Hope Cemetery. His
wife, Charlotte Henson Cobb, was the
second burial there. Her death date was May 22, 1861.
William Alfred Cobb married his second
wife, Lavinia Roberts, on February 2, 1862 in Union County, Georgia
the Rev. Thomas M. Hughes, noted Methodist minister, performing the
ceremony. After the Civil War, in 1872,
William and Lavinia moved to Beaver Dam in Cherokee County, NC. There they lived out their lives and he was
buried at his death in 1886 in the Unaka Cemetery
in an unmarked
Jones; published Oct. 22, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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
Updated October 26,
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