Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
of Revolutionary War Soldier,
Absalom Hooper, Sr. - Absalom Hooper, Jr.
(part 2 - Hooper Family)
Several children, sons and
the Revolutionary War soldier, Absalom Hooper (Sr.) were residents of Union County, Georgia by the time of the
census. We saw from last week’s story
that at least three of his sons settled here:
Absalom, Jr., Andrew and Enas (Enos).
Likewise, at least two daughters, Kissiah Hooper who married
Brown and Mary Hooper who married Henry Brown were also in Union. Then, as
time moved on and Towns
was formed from a portion of Union in
some of the Hooper landholdings were taken in as part of the new county of Towns.
Absalom Hooper, Jr. was born about
1800 to Absalom Hooper, Sr. and Sarah Sales Hooper in the Pendleton
South Carolina, but that region was not to be their permanent home. They settled in Haywood County, North
where Absalom, Jr. married Martha (called “Mattie”) Kelley.
It seems that Absalom, Jr.’s older
brother, Andrew, born about 1792, led the migration of the Hooper
the new and burgeoning Union
County. The Fodder Creek section in what would become
Towns County was the domicile of
and his family. In 1840, the census that
does not give names except for the head-of-household, gave numbers in
household as one male (10 to 15), 1 male (20-30) and 1 male (40-50),
himself. Females in the house numbered
eight: one (under 5), three (5-10), one
(10-15), two (15-20), one (40-50), Martha Kelley Hooper herself. They were reported as having one slave. With nine children at home at the time, and
Absalom himself being both a farmer and a miller, the family no doubt
the help their slave provided.
Piecing together what information we
can find from the 1850 census (which was the first US census to list
children as well as head-of-household), together with various family
we can determine that Absalom, Jr. and Martha Kelley Hooper had eleven
(1) The oldest of their
children was named Thomas, possibly the 20-30-year old listed in the
census. I found a marriage record for
Thomas Hooper to Cynthia Rogers in the Union County
marriage records. They were married February 1, 1849 by
John Corn (one of the more-noted Baptist ministers of this early period
history). About six years before Towns
was formed from Union, a land
place in which Thomas Hooper purchased land on Fodder Creek on March 28, 1850
A. Brown. Thomas did not keep the land
but eight years, for records show he sold it to Henry Picklesimer on January 29, 1858. I have not proven this, but because some of
the female Hoopers married into Brown and Picklesimer families,
transaction may have been to kin. To
date, I have not located names of children of Thomas and Cynthia Rogers
(2) The second child of Absalom,
Jr. and Mattie
Kelley Hooper was named Elizabeth,
born about 1822 before the family migrated to Union County. She would have been one of the females
between 15 and 20 years of age in the 1840 census.
Again Rev. John Corn performed a Hooper
wedding when Elizabeth
married Josiah Wood (known as “Cy”) on September 29, 1847 in Union County. Known
children of Elizabeth and “Cy” Wood
were a daughter named Perthena born in 1850 and twins, Abner and
born May 25, 1856. Note how the name Absalom is carried to
multiple generations. Twin Abner may
have died young as it is hard to find a record of him beyond his birth.
(3) Mary Hooper was born in 1825. According to Hearthstones of Home
(Towns County History book, 1983), Mary married Henry Picklesimer. The Mary Hooper I found in Union County
marriage records shows that one Mary Hooper (evidently not this
Absalom, Jr. and Martha Kelley Hooper) married David Nicholson on February 22, 1855. Mary, daughter of Absalom, Jr. and her
husband Henry Pickelsimer had these known children:
William (b. 1844), Martha Adaline (b. 1846),
Margaret (b. 1849), Andrew (b. 1852), Willborn (b. 1854), Alrina A.
known as “Sis”
(b. 1856) and Jason (known as “Bird,” b. 1859).
(4) The fourth child may have been
Francis. This family of Hoopers was
living next door to Absalom, Jr. and Martha in the 1850 census, with
his age as
24, born in North Carolina,
wife Alvina, 22, also born in North
Carolina and their nine-month old daughter,
(5) Daughter Nirma Hooper was
age 22, born in North
listed still at home in the 1850 census (born 1828).
There is no listing of her marriage that I
(6) Jemima Hooper (spelled Jermima
in the Union
marriage records) was born in 1829. She
married her first cousin, William J. Hooper, son of her uncle Andrew
Hooper. The marriage took place August 16, 1851. They may have had one daughter, Jane. William was badly wounded in the Civil War
and returned with health problems that persisted until his death in
1878. Jemima died in 1907. Jemima drew a
(7) Sarah was born August 27, 1831
and died December
22, 1919. She married Samuel
Nicholson on January
27, 1848 with the
Rev. John Corn performing the ceremony.
They had children John Thomas (b. 1849), Andrew Absalom (b.
Martha Dorcas (b. 1853), Leander Columbus (b. 1856) and Carnmiller (?)
1868). This family also lived at Fodder
Creek in Towns
County and were
responsible for giving
land for the Fodder
(8) Margaret was born April 5, 1834. She married John W. Gilbert in Union County
on December 23,
with Justice of the Peace M. L. Burch performing the ceremony. This same justice of the peace performed
Margaret’s sister Jemima’s wedding in 1851.
Margaret and John had these children:
Martha (b. 1853), Delia Ann (b. 1855), Mary Ellen (b. 1857),
Frances (b. 1859) and John Absalom DeKalb Gilbert (b. 1861). John Gilbert was elected sheriff of Towns County
in 1857. When the Civil War came, he
enlisted in the Hiawasse Volunteers and was killed in the war. Widow Margaret Hooper Gilbert later married
Joseph Brewster and they moved to Tennessee
after the war.
(9) Hannah Hooper was born in 1836
in North Carolina. She was listed as 14 in the 1850 Union
census. She married William Gilbert on November 4, 1853
with an M.
Lance, justice of the peace, performing their ceremony in Union County. William
Gilbert was a brother to Hannah’s
sister Margaret’s husband, John W. Gilbert.
According to a Hooper family Bible
Hannah and “William’s four little boys” are listed as Larkin
1856), William Bartley (b. 1857), Oliver Perry (b. 1860) and George W.
1862). Hannah’s husband William
evidently died in the Civil War. By the
time of the 1870 census, Widow Hannah Hooper and her four children were
in the household of her sister Jemima, also a widow, and her children.
sisters who married brothers seemed to have reared the double-first
cousins—their children—in the Fodder Creek section of Towns County
that once was part of Union
(10) Martha Ann (b. 1842 in Georgia)
married Javan Brown on February 4, 1864, the son of Milton
and Mary Hooper Brown. Martha Ann and
Javan were first cousins. Their children
were Willard (b. 1856), Carrie (b. 1865), Icey
(b. 1868), Thomas (b. 1874) Amanda (b. 1875), Robert (b. 1879)
Columbus “Lum”, (b. date unknown).
(11) John, the last child of
Absalom, Jr. and
Martha Kelley Hooper was born in 1850, but no further information about
known at this time.
With a large family of eleven children
to rear, we can imagine that life was not easy on their Fodder Creek
Absalom, Jr. and Martha. He was a
miller, an occupation that was of assistance to his community while
a little extra corn and grain to the mill operator.
Martha Hooper died July 19, 1862 and Absalom, Jr. died a
little later on October
16, 1862. They were
their own property, but their son-in-law, Samuel Nicholson, who bought
Absalom, Jr.’s land, gave land for the Enotah Baptist
Hooper family cemetery was incorporated into the Enotah Baptist
Church Cemetery. If
you go there to visit, know that the land
was once part of our own Union
Jones; published Oct. 28, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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
Updated November 3, 2010
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