Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
settled in Union
(called “Athan”) England,
Daniel England and Margaret Elizabeth (called “Peggy”) England were
all children of William Richard England and Martha (called “Patsy”) Montgomery England.
They married and settled near each other “over the mountain” from Helen
on the former Cherokee land after it became Union County in
three children of Richard England (who died in 1835 and was buried in
the England Cemetery at Helen, Ga.) in
order, we will trace a bit of these siblings’ history.
Jonathan “Athan” England
(9/26/1815-10/6/1893) was born in North
Carolina, the first-born of Richard and
Martha England. In Union County
marriage records, Athan is listed as
Arthur. He married Nancy Ingram (born 4/13/1823 in Hall
died 6/24/1897) who
was one of the ten children born to Little Ingram and his first wife,
Mary “Polly” Cagle Ingram. Their neighbor and Nancy’s
brother-in-law, married to Nancy’s
older sister, Sarah Ingram, was Justice of the Peace Thompson Collins
Jr. He performed the marriage ceremony for “Athan”
and Nancy on April
farm was in the Owltown District. A portion of that now owned by
Georgia Mountain Experiment Station was once farmed along the Nottely River by Athan England. He
and Nancy had five children: C. E. England (1861), Tom P. England
(1862), Richard Little England (1863), William H. England (1865) and
John E. England (1867). Notice that Athan’s
children were born just prior to, during and just after the Civil War.
This writer does not have a record of whether Athan
served in the war. At any rate, the general upheaval and unrest during
the period did not provide a good environment for rearing a family of
five children. Many of their crops and goods would have been
confiscated by roving bands set on stealing and marauding. Athan and Nancy England were buried in the Shady Grove Church Cemetery
where readable tombstones mark their resting places.
(b. 1818 in NC, d. 1897 in Union Co., Ga.) was
the second child of Richard and Martha England. He left the Helen Valley and
went across the mountain to Choestoe District prior to the Civil War.
He married Harriet E. (Elizabeth?)
Hunter (1821, NC ?) in Union County on December 29, 1842. She
was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Hunter who had moved their family
from Buncombe County, N.C., to
the Choestoe District of Union County prior to or about the time the
county was formed. In 1834, John Hunter began building the cabin that
still stands (in very bad repair) just off Highway 129 South about
eight miles from Blairsville. Family legend about the Hunter family is
that some had to stand watch to fight off the Indians because the white
men had moved onto their lands and were erecting permanent dwellings.
Some believe that Daniel England built the cabin. He and his family did
not build it, but lived in it. Overlooking the Nottley River and
with good land to farm, John Hunter was set to be able to care for his
family. After John Hunter’s death, evidently his son-in-law, Daniel
England and his daughter, Harriet Hunter England, moved into the cabin
to help look after Harriet’s mother, the widow Elizabeth Hunter. That
is how the historical house got the name Hunter-England cabin. Daniel
and Harriet England had ten children, the first four born in North
Carolina and the last six born in Georgia: John Richard (1843), Martha
(1845), Mary Amanda (1847), Harriet (1849); William Andrew (1852),
Thomas Noah (1855), Exton Virgil (1856, called “Eck”), Margaret (1859),
James A. Polk (1862), and Emma Jane (1866).
Athan and Daniel England’s sister,
Margaret Elizabeth (called “Peggy,” born in North Carolina in 1819, died Union County, 1894), married in 1839 to
William Jonathan Hunter (1813-1893), son of John and Elizabeth Hunter. He
was a brother to Daniel’s wife, Harriet. In 1840, William Jonathan
Hunter began building a frame house near Town Creek not far from where
it emptied into the Nottley River.
That house, where several generations of Hunters have lived since
William Jonathan’s time, is still standing just off Liberty
Choestoe. To William and Peggy England Hunter were born ten known
children: Martha J. (1840), Mary E. (1842), John A. (1844), James A.
(1847), Amanda Rebecca (1849), Margaret Eliza (1852), Willliam J. (1854), Georgianne
(1855), Josephine (1858), Jerome (1861) and Jasper Francis “Todd”
These three England
siblings were progenitors of Union County
citizens almost too numerous to number. Through the years since the
1800s when the above-listed families first came to claim lands along
the Nottely River,
descendants of Englands, Ingrams and Hunters have proliferated and led
out in many professions.
c2008 by Ethelene
Dyer Jones; published Oct. 27, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
GA. Reprinted by permission.
All rights reserved.
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