Transcribed By Connie Albers


This Article Appeared In The Times

But Was Not Actually In Cal’s Column


March 16, 1950 – Reprinted August 25, 1977




This is one of the most numerous families in Macon County.  The name is spelled in various ways.  Practically all the Macon County Cothrons spell the name as above given.  In Smith County, there is a family, which spells the name Cothern.  However, they were once called as if the name were spelled Cawthon.  In fact, there is a post office in Georgia of that name and also one in Texas.  There was once a minister of the Christian Church in Wilson County who spelled his name Cawthorn.  We often wondered if the original spelling was not Cawthorne.  We do not know, but suppose, the family is of English descent.  The first of the Cothern family of Smith County of whom we have any record was Hiram Cothern, born about 1790, but place unknown.  He married Candace Davis Gregory, widow of John Gregory, a brother of the editor’s great-great grandfather Jerry Gregory.  John died about 1815 and later his widow married Cothern.  Hiram had one brother but his name is not known.  He married a Sanders.  One son of this man was David Cothern, who also married a Sanders.


Three children were born to Hiram and Candace Davis Gregory Cothern, their names being James Carroll Cothren, William Cothren and Winnie Cothern.  James Carroll was born January 13, 1822 and died March 18, 1875.  He married Polly Fitzallen Mason, born October 23, 1823 and died April 17, 1900.  Their children were John Wylie, Martha, Thomas Allen, Augustus, Hannah, Sarah, Candace, and David Cothern.  John Wylie Cothern married Mary E. Shoulders and became the father of Lassie, William, Clinnie and Ada Cothern.  Martha married a Smith, but our recollection is that they had no children.  Thomas Allen Cothern married Frances Piper and became the father of Will H., Charles, Howard, John Dossett, Edna, George, Olive and Gertrude Cothern.  Augustus married a Shoulders, daughter of Ensley and Sarah Buie Shoulders.  They were the parents of James, Mahala, Annie, Marvin, Henry, Mayo, Robert, Benton and Ruth Cothern.  Sarah Cothern, daughter of James Carroll and Polly Fitzallen Mason Cothern, married the editor’s father’s first cousin, Tom Gregory, son of Bob Gregory.  Their children were Robert, who died young, Flora, who married Andrew Justice, and Adolphus, who married a Chambers.


Candace Cothern married our own uncle, William Joseph Gregory, a brother to our father.  Thomas Morgan (Dopher) Gregory.  Their children were Maud, married Billie Dias; Marshall, died young; Mattie, married Marshall Clariday; Elbert, died young; Kate married Sam Wilburn; Luther married Kittie Oldham; and Willie, who married Carsey Sircy.


David Cothern married a Smith, and became the father of Martha Susan who died at the age of one year; Zula, who died at the age of 12 years; Bridges, Joe Key,  Wirt Lee and Roy Cecil Cothern.


One incident concerning John Wylie Cothern and his wife, Mary B. Shoulders, familiarly known as (Babe) Shoulders, has come down to us through the years.  We do not know if it is true or not and give it with no desires to “throw off” in any way on their descendants.  Wylie had been keeping company for a long time with Miss Shoulders and he never could get around to the point to “pop” the question.  Finally, so the story goes, “Babe”, as she was called, took things into her own hands.  The story is that on one occasion when Wylie was “paying her count” she began to tell him of certain couples who had gotten married, asking him if he had heard of this wedding or that.  In each case he had not heard of the wedding.  After getting his mind in this channel the young woman is reported to have said, “Wylie, let’s you and me get married.”  The bashful young man is reported to have said “All right.  I had been thinking of that very thing.”  The wedding followed shortly.  Wylie Cothern was on of the best men we have ever known.  We held his funeral more that 20 years ago.


The Candace Cothern above referred to was our aunt by marriage.  She was one of the most intelligent women we have ever known.  It was she who gave the writer most of this information about the Cothern family.  She also was well informed as to her husband’s people, the Gregorys, and gave the writer much of the information he has about his own relatives and ancestors.


William Cothern, a brother of James Carroll, as mentioned above married Miss Mary Bennett, a sister of George Bennett, who married our great-aunt, Jane Gregory.  Their children were Georgia Ann, died at the age of 22 years; John, married Nannie Piper and later a Holt; Edd, who hanged himself; and James Cothern, who married a Smalling and went to Texas.


James Carroll and William had one sister, Winnie Cothern, who died as a young woman and was never married, so far as we have been able to learn.


Next we take up the ancestors of the Cothron family.  If there is any connection between the Cotherns of Smith County and the Cothrons of Macon and surrounding counties, we have been unable to learn of same.  The first of the Cothron family of whom we have any record was Robert Cothron, who was born in North Carolina, leaving there about 1816 and coming to what is now Macon County.  He had a twin sister,   ?  Cothron, who remained in North Carolina.  He is reported to have come from White County in North Carolina, but there is at this time no county of the name.  However, counties sometimes are done away with, as we once had a Tennessee county in our own state.  So we will not say that here never was a White County, North Carolina.  Robert died in 1873 as an old man.


We do not know whom Robert Cothron married, but we have the names of all his children.  They were Lambert Cothron, Drury Cothron, William Cothron, Dock Cothron, Dave Cothron, Bob Cothron, Kendall Cothron, Elvira Cothron and Sam Cothron.


Lambert Cothron married a Young the first time.  By her he had the following children: Ransom, James, Nancy, Hannah, Elizabeth, Will and Thomas Cothron.  By the second woman, who was a Johnson, he was the father of Wash, Marion and Wilse Cothron.


Drury Cothron married a Leath and became the father of  “Little Dock” Cothron, Lambert, Toto, Charlie, Sarah, Eliza and Ike Cothron.  William Cothron, son of Robert married a Young, supposed to have been related to Lambert’s first wife.  Their children were Sam Willis R., Ike, Jim, Amanda, Mary, Susie, Eliza, Bumpus, Martha and Phoebe Cothron.


Dock Cothron, son of Robert, married a Burrow, an Anderson and perhaps one other woman.  His children were Sam Cothron, father of our local merchant, Sam A. Cothron, Frank, Alice, married John McDuffee, and Eliza, married Larry McClard.


Dave Cothron, son of Robert Cothron married an Ellis and was the father of Wiseman, James, Bud and Sis Cothron.


Bob Cothron, son of Robert married a Huff and became the father of two daughters, Hannah and Eliza Cothron.


Kendall Cothron, son of Robert married an Ellis and was the father of one daughter, Hannah Cothron who married a Sloan.


Elvira Cothron, daughter of Robert, married first to John Gregory, by whom she had a daughter Matilda, who married a Brawner and was the mother of the late Charlie Brawner.  She later married a Nichols and was the mother of Kit Nichols, the deaf mute, Drury Nichols and Lizzie Nichols.


We give next the known children of the sons and daughters of Lambert Cothron, above mentioned.  As already given they were Ransom, James, Nancy, Hannah, Elizabeth, Will, Thomas, Wash, Marion and Wilse Cothron.  Ransom Cothron married a Linville.  Ransom was killed in early manhood.  His children were “Big Eyed John”; Susie, married Tom Andrews, son of Jackie Andrews; and Victoria Cothron, who married Curtis, a brother of Tom Andrews.  James Cothron son of Ransom married a Cox, but we do not have any record of their offspring.  Nancy, married a Hargis, but we have no other record.  Hannah, married a Cox, and our record goes no further.  Elizabeth, married Pate Hargis, and here our record of them stops.  Will married a Gammon and was the father of John Contron, one of the oldest men now living in the Cato section;  Lambert and Gabriel Cothron.  Thomas Cothron married Margaret McDuffee and was the father of the late John Wesley Cothron.  Vickie and Willis Cotbron.  Wash Contron was a son of the second marriage of Lambert Cothron, but we do not have the record of his offspring.  Marion Cothron was another son of this second marriage.  He, Marion, married a Gregory first and became the father of Arnett Cothron, one of our local grocerymen; and Bell F. Cothron of Hillsdale.  Marion is still living and perhaps could add many names to this brief record.  Wilse Cothron died some years ago, but we do not have the record of his sons and daughters.


Drury Cothrin’s children as already given were, Dock, married a Bratton and became the father of Tommie, Clay, who went to West Tennessee; Claude, Porter, John and Homer, who was killed in a wagon accident.  Lambert Contron, Jr., married a Creasy and also a Dillard.  He had one daughter, Alice, who married a Burris, Tom Cothron married a Carr, but our record stops here.


Charlie Cothron married a Linville and was the father of Drury, who died a few years ago; Idle, Daily and Hant Cothron. Drury Cothron and the Leath woman had two daughters.  Sarah and Eliza, and anothr son, Ike Cothron.  But we have no record of their marriages or offspring, if any.


William Cothron and his wife, the Young woman, were the parents of Sam, married a Dixon and became the father of Clay and Cecil Cothron, of the Dry Fork Section.  Willie R. Cothron, another son of William, married a McDuffee and was the father of Sallie, married John Gregory, a first cousin of the editer’s father; Lizzie married the late Billie Porter.  Martha mrried Pup Porter, Myrtle, married  Dolphus Gregory; Eli married Martha Oldham; and Will Cothron married Myrtle Towns; Ide Cotnron, son of  William married a Cox and became the father of Gabrial, Basik, Homer, Flora, and Ophelia Cothron.  Amanda, Daughter of William Cothron married W. C. Grecory “Dock” a second cousin of our father, Thomas M. Gregery, and became the mother of Otha, Burvie, Raymond, and Gena Gregory; and Della married a Hooper; Mamie married a Burrow; Ommie married a Porter.  Mary married her second cousin “Big-Eyed John” Cothron;  Susie, daughter of William Cothron married Harrison Andrews,  son of William Andrews, and became the mother of John, George, Eliza, Thula, Fanny, Ida, Dave, Joe and Loss Andrews. Ida Andrews married Elder I. N. Sloan, who recently moved from Lafayette to Portland. We do not have all of the offspring of the following children of William Cothron, Bumpus, Eliza, Martha, and Phoebe, but will be glad to publish same if sent to us.


Perhaps there are numerous errors by way of ommision of names in the above outline of the Cothron family, or of the Cothrons as given above. However we will be glad to publish any corrections.


The Cothrons have generally been Democrats and have been a thrifty hard working family. They now number many hundreds in this countyand hundreds more have moved elsewhere to make their homes. One of the largest of the cemeteries of the family is located above Beech Bottom and near the present home of Bob Ballou. The writer has had charge of memorial services at that place on various occasions in the past.


Since writing the above, we have given more thought to the name of the wife of Robert Cothron. We  believe now that she was a Miss Brinkley, a relative of the Dr. Brinkley that used to be heard so often on the air. In this we may be mistaken. If so, we will appreciate the correct information, and will gladly publish same.


Perhaps some readers may grow weary of reading so many names, etc., and wonder why we give these. Much of the above information and that that has already been given will soon be gone and we feel it to be our duty to give these facts while the editor is alive. He cannot hope to live many more years and the sketches of various families, which he has gathered for nearly 40 years, will be lost in a large measure with his death unless they are put into such form that others may preserve them. So while he is alive and he hopes, “in his right mind,” he feels obligated to give the family history of those he has known in the years of the past. We plan shortly to give sketches of the Andrews, Brawner, Shrum, Kittrell, Ballou, Jenkins, Davis, Green, Howser, Sampson, Roberts, Hargis, Whitley, Perkins, Hale, and other families.