Finding Elizabeth English Ward’s Family
NOTE: A previously published paper on Elizabeth’s husband, James B. Ward, is here.
It has taken me a rather long time to get around to fully researching Elizabeth English’s family. My only excuse is that there were already a number of published versions of Elizabeth’s history based on some 1950s documents claiming that she was a Creek Indian child abandoned in the woods and found by her adoptive father, James English. At the beginning of my family history research I had accepted those 1950s documents as accurate representations of Elizabeth’s past and reasoned that if Elizabeth was found in the woods by James English and James searched all across the Creek Nation for word of her parents and found nothing, then why bother with a massive research effort on Elizabeth’s lineage? If her parents were Indians who had mysteriously vanished without a trace, there would be nothing to find. It was a dead end. Period. But none of the histories that I have found ever gave anything to back up the “abandoned Indian” claims other than those mid-1950s notarized documents. It was a case of much being claimed but little being proven.
So I finally decided to take a closer look at all of the surviving evidence to see what, if anything, could be proven after all these years. I soon found significant problems with those 1950s statements vis-à-vis historical documents. I will revisit those statements toward the end of Part I of this paper because those 1950s papers are greatly at odds with my findings based on documents stored in government archives. I also found that many surprising details were still available today on Elizabeth’s family if one followed a standard research effort on her. Apparently no one had ever done this before. At least no one who had published their findings.
So, the purpose of this paper is to cite authentic 18th and 19th century records that provide insight into Elizabeth’s family. These records were gathered and maintained by government agencies in the early 1800s and are readily available so that other English researchers can verify for themselves whether these records are accurate and applicable and can then follow my logic in laying out a correct English lineage based on the data contained in those documents.
I was greatly assisted in this effort by research already done on Rebecca C. English Grubbs Varner by the Grubbs family and have had excellent support from Bill Grubbs in this research effort. I have verified all of the key components of that Grubbs research to satisfy myself that there were no errors and I cite that research frequently as I tie it in to the government documents used in this paper. With this additional information, other Ward researchers can now decide for themselves whether the information and conclusions presented here meet their standards of evidence for purposes of genealogy. They can now also use this new data to further their own English research efforts on this difficult line.
Now, to the business of finding Elizabeth’s family.
This part deals with documents that show quite conclusively who Elizabeth English and her family are. Here there are only logical links between and among documents of unquestionable provenance and impartiality. In Part I you will find only conclusions backed by verifiable documented evidence clearly linking the English family members involved. Part II later will deal with more subjective inferences in an effort to piece together even more of the English family ties. In Part II I offer some ideas that can’t at the moment be verified because of a lack of the same quality of evidence used in Part I. Other researchers may, however, still find a few clues in Part II about where to look next in their own research efforts.
Once I set aside 20th century accounts of James B. and Elisabeth English Ward and began using only government documents and comparing them to family histories of other lineages, I made immediate headway in establishing verifiable connections. Here are those findings and the documents that led to them:
Interpreting this document initially led me to suppose that James English had died around 1836 or 1837 and that Nicy might be his wife and James M. Baker probably his son-in-law acting on behalf of his own wife who was James English’s daughter. A quick check of marriage records, indeed, revealed that James M. Baker had married Priscilla English on 23 Jul 1829 in Walton County, Georgia. So far, so good.
The next document shows that James Ward had completed his responsibilities and sold James English’s land. It also shows that this is the same James B. Ward who married Elizabeth English. But it’s important for another reason as well. The document refers to Elizabeth specifically as an “orphan of James English” and also mentions the “several” heirs as Orphans. No wife is mentioned. This document is only talking about Orphans of James English of which there is no doubt that Elizabeth is one of the Orphans. So we now have legitimate land sale documents indicating that Elizabeth’s father was James English and that she had a sister named Priscilla English Baker. One might still suspect that Elizabeth’s mother was Nicy English but that might be a little hasty at this point since neither document specifically mentions anything about a wife of James English.
It is a little hard to follow the wording of these two documents with all of the legal phrases and contorted sentence structure. Deconstructed, but using the original words minus the extraneous legal phraseology, the two documents essentially say:
Now it becomes a little clearer. In the Power of Attorney Nicy English and James M. Baker say that they have a half share in the tract of land as heirs of James English. That would mean that there must be four heirs; two of whom are not mentioned.
But the sales agreement now makes it clear that James and Elizabeth together have another share. James is not an heir, though. He only represents his wife, Elizabeth. So there must be a fourth heir not named and we should expect to find that as yet unnamed heir somewhere in the records.
At this point (May 2008) I began an Internet search for James M. Baker and Nicy English. It didn’t take but a few minutes to find them. The Grubbs Family had already done considerable, excellent research on Rebecca C. English who had two well-documented sisters. They turn out to be the two represented in the Power of Attorney: Nicy English who was single in 1837 and Priscilla English Baker. So Rebecca C. English Grubbs must be the fourth heir. Here is some of that Grubbs’ research:
So it would appear from all the above data that Elizabeth English Ward’s father was James English and that Elizabeth had at least three sisters: Rebecca C., Nicy, and Priscilla. The Power of Attorney to sell the land in Decatur indicates there were four heirs in 1837 so we might assume we would not find further brothers or sisters for Elizabeth alive after that date. Nor should we find a wife of James English still living after 1837 or she would have been named in the Power of Attorney. As we shall see later, however, the assumption about the additional siblings would be wrong.
A quick review: The document pertaining to James Ward’s sale of the English property states, “… Elizabeth Ward, orphan of James English, and for the heirs of James English, severally for which the said James Ward had & power of attorney to act for the Orphans….” Now we have Elizabeth named as an orphan of James English along with other orphans, Priscilla Baker and Nicy English. That gives us, confirmed by the first two documents and the Grubbs research, three English sisters: Rebecca C., Priscilla, and Elizabeth.
NOTE: Some Ward researchers have claimed that the reference above to Elizabeth as an orphan of James English meant that she was orphaned and adopted by James. This reasoning was sometimes followed by the contention that this meant Elizabeth was an orphaned Indian found and adopted by James and his wife Nicy. Now that we know Elizabeth had siblings, the document above makes it clear that the orphan reference was to all of James’ children and not just Elizabeth.
In the Grubbs research on Rebecca, Priscilla, and Nicy English they certainly appear to be sisters even without the Power of Attorney shown above. (In fact Grubbs researchers were unaware of the documents above yet still made the sister connection using other data.) They are found in family groupings next to each other in censuses throughout their lives. In the case of Nicy, she was single until 1850 so would have been mentioned as Nicy English on the Power of Attorney so the Nicy English mentioned is James’ daughter and not his wife as some have claimed. If she were James English’s wife it would seem at least one of these legal documents would mention that exceedingly relevant fact but it only mentions the orphans.
That the Grubbs researchers did not know of Elizabeth is because she had left the GA area with her husband by 1824 leaving no records of herself behind; at least not that anyone has found. Her sisters, on the other hand, were left widowed (or perhaps divorced in the case of Nicy) and seem to have banded together for mutual support. This made it easy to find them since they were associated with each other in post-1820 censuses. They also left marriage records in the Walton County, GA courthouse.
Rebecca, Priscilla and Nicy
There is no hint of any James English/Inglish family in 1820 GA with three daughters who fit Rebecca, Priscilla and Nicy but the 1820 census of Franklin County, GA appears to be missing. That could explain where they were in 1820 – still in Franklin County where Rebecca was born. It could also explain why a John and Haywood English aren’t listed in 1820 indexes either although they were on Franklin County tax rolls and were in Franklin in 1820.
And there was a James English aged 16-26 in 1820 in Wilkinson County, GA where Elizabeth English Ward was living. He had a wife and a boy under ten with him. He’s too young to be her father but with that name he’s worth keeping in mind as a brother or cousin. There was a William English over 45 on the same page who could have been his father, though, so maybe this is just a coincidence of names. On the other hand William had a daughter under 10 and three daughters 10-16. Rebecca was married by then but Nicy was 7 and Priscilla was 17. I guess we’ll need to trace out this Wilkinson County English family to rule them out with any certainty. I have not yet done this.
Here are the families of Rebecca C. and Priscilla English in 1830 and 1840.
There is an older woman and a male Priscilla’s age in her household in 1830 yet the household is in Priscilla’s name. But we already know James M. Baker was alive until 1837 because his name appeared on the Power of Attorney to sell James English’s land. So could this Priscilla Baker be the 60-70 female shown as 1? Does it just so happen that James M. Baker married a Priscilla and had a mother by that same name as well? He was still alive in 1830 and is shown in the 1830 census so that elder woman must be his mother – also named Priscilla. Indeed a Priscilla Baker age 85 shows up in Walton County in 1850 with Joseph B. Baker on page 28. (Joseph D. [sic] Baker is in 1840 Walton County page 52 [108 stamped] with an elder female 70-80 in his household.) So there were two Priscilla Bakers in Walton County. Whatever the explanation, however, a Priscilla Baker shows up again in 1840 next to her sister Rebecca but with no males her age and the elder female missing as well. Probably Nicy is the female shown by the red 1 in 1830 and 1840?
NOTE: In 1840 there is a John P. Lucas a few lines above Priscilla. You will recall the John F. Lucas who was a witness on the Power of Attorney.
By 1850 Rebecca has remarried to John Varner. She and Priscilla are listed in Walton County, GA census, page 70B as:
Nicy has married Goodwin Miller by this time and is listed with him on page 1B of the 1850 Walton County census. She is 38 so fits the age of the suspected Nicy in the earlier censuses with her sisters.
I don’t know who the Catherine Baker is but included her here for the benefit of future researchers because of the Baker name. She was still in Walton County in 1860 and 1870 but listed as Hattie Baker in 1870. Later censuses have Catherine Baker born in SC.
NOTE: Here is John Varner in 1840 Walton County two years before his marriage to Rebecca English Grubbs.
Nicy shows up again in 1860 living with her niece’s family in the Ganaway Martin household # 1127 in Atlanta, GA. Nicy is 47. In addition, Rebecca (English) Varner is living in the next household, # 1128, of that 1860 census. These women continue to track together in the Atlanta area until their deaths so there is little doubt that they are either sisters or very close family members sharing the maiden name of English. In fact, since Nicy is listed as an aunt to Rebecca’s daughter in the 1880 census, we have documented evidence that she was a sister to Rebecca.
What is revealing about the age table above is the 1830 and 1840 entries for Elizabeth and Rebecca. Entries like this show up when a person is born on the cusp of the age bracket. In Elizabeth’s case she would have been 30 in 1830 and 40 in 1840 making her born in 1800. In Rebecca’s case she would also have been 30 in 1830 and 40 in 1840 making her born in 1800 as well. Ages in the earlier years tend to be more accurate so it may well be that both were born in 1800 and were twins. We already know that twins run in Elizabeth’s family. Her sister, Rebecca, had twins. However, another way to look at the same data is to average the birth years for each.
Elizabeth: (1800+1800+1798+1800+1799) / 5 = 1799.4
Rebecca: (1800+1800+1800+1802+1801) / 5 = 1800.6
This gives a difference of 1.2 years; a reasonable period between children back then. In reality, though, there’s no way today to know for sure exactly which years they were born in from census data alone. Rebecca’s death certificate gave her birth date as 15 Jul 1798. Subtracting 1798.5 from 1799.4 gives about 11 months difference in birth date the other direction for Rebecca and Elizabeth.
Still another approach is to account for the Census Date vs. Age. In both 1830 and 1840 the census date was 1 Jun. Rebecca’s birthday was 15 Jul which falls after the census dates so in both she should have shown up as a year younger than if her birthday had been before 1 Jun. There’s not much way to tell when the census enumerator followed the Census Date rule and when he didn’t, though, so exact age remains an open question. From 1850 on, though, it seems Elizabeth was always a year or two older than Rebecca. If it weren’t for the 1798 birth date for Rebecca, I would conclude that Elizabeth was the elder sister.
Whatever their exact ages, they were very close sisters in more ways than mere birthdates as shown by the names they gave their children. This also makes me suspicious that they were twins. Even studies of twins separated at birth have shown a strong tendency toward similar choices in names for children and pets.
*The unknown daughter of James and Elizabeth Ward may, based on the naming of Rebecca’s children, have been named Louisa.
The twin issue aside, they would still have had to have been in close contact over a number of years to end up with their children so exactly named as shown above. Rebecca’s eldest son, James Madison Grubb’s birth date of 1815 might also convince some that Rebecca was born before 1800 rather than after as some censuses indicate.
Back to Tracking James English
Is there any evidence that James English was even alive in 1820? This is important because there is record of a James English dying in 1815 in Baldwin County, GA. Reading the details of James English’s land sale, you will notice reference to lots and districts and draws. This indicates he drew this Decatur County (formerly Early County) lot in a Georgia Land Lottery.
Since James English did draw this lot in a Georgia Land Lottery it would have had to have been before December of 1823 when Decatur County was formed from part of Early County. The only land lottery that gave away land in Early County was the 1820 or the Third Drawing of eight total. The land was given away by lot number and district as is referenced in the Power of Attorney. The Date of Drawing for the 1820 lottery was September 1, 1820 - December 2, 1820. This is well after the James English in Baldwin had died but it may still have been him. Below is the evidence that our James English’s land in Early County was drawn in the 1820 Georgia Land Lottery. But not by James.
The 1820 Land Lottery of Georgia by Silas Emmett Lucas lists 1 draw for:
English, James (Orphs)
Resident of Twiggs County
Ellis Military Dist
Section 19 / Lot 155 in Early County
The fact that this was an orphan draw means our James English was dead by 1820. It would seem all we have to do now is look in the 1820 Twiggs County census for a female English and we have his wife’s name. No such luck, however. The 1820 Twiggs County census is also missing. Then more bad luck. Since the Early County draw involved orphans and we see only one draw only rules 8 and 10 in the table below seem to apply here. However only “Fortunate Draws” were listed in the book. So were there three or more orphans who got two draws per rule 9 but only had one winning draw? We don’t know and are left wondering whether only James was dead or whether his wife was dead as well. But haven’t we already figured out that there were four heirs to that land and, therefore, four orphans? So, that would have allowed two draws. And James’s wife would have been dead because, strangely, there was no provision under some versions of the rules for a draw for more than two orphans if the mother was still living. However, there are a number of published variations in the rules for the 1820 lottery. I show two below. It seems safe to assume that James’ wife was dead by 1837 since she is not mentioned in the sales documents.
The land sold in 1837 by the Power of Attorney was listed as 202 ½ acres yet the lot sizes in Early County in the 1820 lottery were 250 acres. But Early County had 26 Districts (1-23; 26-28) so the land being in the 19th district of Early clearly points to the 1820 lottery.
A Potential Brother Now Arrives on the Scene
But notice again that the original lot sizes in Early County from the 1820 lottery were 250 acres yet the land James B. Ward sold was 202 ½ acres even though the Power of Attorney said, “…all that tract of land known by lot No. 155, lying in the 19th district of Early County; now Decatur County.” One fifth of the original land seems to be missing in the 1837 sale. Does this mean another heir had already taken his share?
In 1840 Decatur County is a James English in District 621, commanded by Capt Hicks.
This James English in Decatur County three years after the land was sold with a fifth part already missing seems more than a coincidence.
In 1850 he is listed as age 40 living in Gadsden County, FL occupation as a Miller on page 218 with his wife Elizabeth and his first five children all of whom are listed as born in FL.
In 1860 this James English (listed as Enghish) is back in Decatur page 137 aged 47 with wife Elizabeth M. aged 42 and son John aged 21. This would make them 27, 22 and 1 in 1840. He has nine other children (all now born in GA) under twenty so is a good fit to the 1840 census. In 1870 he is 61 and Elizabeth is 55. John is 32 but in a separate household. This would make them 31, 25, and 2 in 1840.
In 1880 James is aged 70 and Elizabeth is 60 and still in Decatur County in Attapulgus. James lists his parents as both born in GA. This matches the sisters, Nicy and Rebecca, and gives us additional reason to believe this is their brother.
James’ and Elizabeth’s children are:
John W. English born 1838 married Harriet
Robert English born 1841
Cornelius English born 1844 November
Sarah J. English born 1845 September
George W. English born 1847 married Mamey
James C. English born 1850
Mary D. English born 1852
Elizabeth English born 1855
Andrew Peyton English born 1857 March - Physician
Susan L. English born 1859
Daniel B. English born 1863
Margaret M. English born 1866
NOTE: About 1845 a Cornelius English (b. abt 1770 in SC) moved to Quincy, FL 12 miles from Attapulgus, GA. Cornelius had a son named James but he is not the James English of Attapulgus.
NOTE: Grand Lodge of Georgia, 1854, Orion Lodge
No. 8, Bainbridge, Decatur County, Georgia lists:
James English, Senior Deacon
James was born in GA around 1809 to 1813 making him contemporary with Nicy and Priscilla. Was he with one of his sisters in 1830? Rebecca has males in both of those age brackets but has five known boys to fill those first three age brackets. So the James English of 1840 Decatur County was not with the sisters in 1830. A logical conclusion is that he was with his parents and we should be able to find them in the 1830 census if they were still alive and were enumerated. But we now know that James English was dead by 1820 since his orphans got a draw in the Land Lottery that year.
Are there any other clues? In 1852 our James English of Decatur bought land in Gadsden County, FL with a Robert Smallwood. Robert’s father, James Francis Smallwood was born 19 Oct 1770 Midway, Liberty County, Georgia. He married Mary Stafford 23 May 1793 in St James Parish (now Liberty County,) Georgia and died in Decatur County, GA in 1838. Robert was born in Liberty County, GA in 1810. He married Tabitha Ann Williams in Decatur County in 1838. Tabitha died in Decatur in Jun 1851. James English was already in Gadsden County, FL in 1851 and apparently Robert Smallwood was close enough to James to join him by 1852 to buy property with him (three pieces.) Robert Smallwood died in Alachua County, FL in 1888.
The Smallwood and English families may have some blood relationship though at this point I have no idea what it might be. The James Francis Smallwood descendants are now undergoing DNA testing so something may turn up from that effort. This family is well researched but shows no linkage to English or Ward lines that I have found. The only possible lead that I see is that some researchers have the Smallwoods living in Twiggs County, GA by 1805. Francis Smallwood drew two blanks in the 1805 lottery, however, and was residing in McIntosh County, GA at the time he registered. James English’s orphans drew in the Georgia Land Lottery there in Twiggs County 15 years later as did Francis Smallwood Sr. Smallwood was in R. Belcher’s military district. He drew lot 199 in district 14 of Early County. The English orphans drew in Ellis’ district, however. So we have Robert Smallwood’s family and the English orphans in Twiggs County in 1820 and Robert Smallwood and James English buying land together thirty years later. Were James and Robert childhood friends from Twiggs County? There is no ironclad proof but the ties to the Smallwood family certainly point to the possibility of James English being from Twiggs County and therefore one of the Twiggs County English orphans and a brother to the four sisters.
To try to match our Attapulgus/Decatur James English up with the land sold in the Power of Attorney, we need to figure out where the land was. Here is an extract of a plat map of Decatur County showing District 19. The arrow points to Lot 155 which was the lot in question. Turkey Creek ran right through it.
Below is the lot shown in yellow on a modern map to show its relationship to various towns. The lot was about 13 miles from Attapulgus where the Decatur James English was listed as being in the Attapulgus Post Office district. Today the lot would be in Grady County which was formed in 1905 from parts of Decatur and Thomas Counties.
Here is a much closer shot of that property today.
Sorting Out the Heirs
Now a new problem arises. If James English’s orphans were in Twiggs County, GA in 1820 and if they only got one draw it means there were at most two orphans. If there had been more they would have gotten two draws. But the 1820 records only list the winners, or “Fortunate Draws.” Maybe there were more than two orphans but only one draw was a Fortunate Draw – the other draw was a Blank. The state records only listed the Fortunate Draws in 1820. Most counties kept lists of all of those eligible to draw, however, so perhaps Twiggs County may still have records listing James English’s orphans by name in 1820. This would be a fantastic find.
And another problem emerges as we look at criteria for the next, or fourth, land lottery in 1821. That 1821 lottery was for 202 ½ acres. You will recall that this is the acreage listed in the 1837 Power of Attorney. But the 1821 lottery gave out no land in Early or Decatur Counties. Something’s wrong.
Maybe the official that made out the Power of Attorney got the acreage confused between the 1820 and 1821 draws and just wrote it down wrong. The land probably hadn’t been resurveyed by 1837 so the only measure of acreage might have been based on the acreage in the lottery that year – and someone got confused about which lottery gave out 250 acres and which gave out 202 ½ acres. This seems to be the likely answer because James Ward sold, “…all that tract or lot of land known by lot No. one hundred and fifty-five, lying in the nineteenth district of Early County now Decatur County.” Not 4/5ths of it. That would mean he sold 250 acres; not 202 ½ acres. If this is the case, then we have yet another problem.
We have already deduced that there were only four heirs to the land. Then we added a fifth one when we found the “missing” 47 ½ acres and the James English in Decatur County in 1840. Evidently this James fits into this land business somehow. He has the same name as the name on the Power of Attorney and lived right in that same area. So how can he have had a part interest in the land and still have only four people with an interest in the land in 1837? After all, we know there were the four sisters still alive in 1837. Surprisingly, there is an explanation.
When the orphans drew for the land in 1820, Rebecca was already married and would, therefore, not have been able to claim herself as an orphan. That would leave Elizabeth, Priscilla, Nicy and the James from Decatur in 1840. That gives us four again. Except that Elizabeth was listed with James Ward in the 1820 census so must also have been married by then. Her first child, that we know of, was born in Feb 1821. So now we are back to three orphans. But Elizabeth was listed on the sales record as an orphan of James English so it appears she was one of the four who had an interest in the land through the 1820 land lottery. So it appears that she was not married at the time the orphans registered for their draws but married shortly afterward. That would give us four heirs again and explain why Elizabeth was listed on the sales record. It would mean Elizabeth would have gotten married between the registration for the draw and the 1820 census date.
The third Georgia Land Lottery (1820) was authorized 15 Dec 1818. While I have not found details about registration dates for the third land lottery, the first land lottery (1805) registration was conducted by the justices of the inferior courts of the counties. They compiled lists of participants from May 1803 to 1 Mar 1804 so it would seem that, if the same registration periods were used on the third land lottery, there was plenty of time for the four orphans; Elizabeth, Priscilla, Nicy and James to register and for Elizabeth to then marry James B. Ward and show up in the 1820 census with him before the draw.
If the Twiggs County records show that they got 2 draws it would also mean that their mother was dead too. This explanation accounts for four “interested parties” in the 1837 land sale and still allows four sisters and a brother.
This information also lets us take an informed guess at the marriage date for James B. Ward who was in the adjoining county in 1820 with Elizabeth. The marriage date would be between the first day of registration for the 1820 land lottery and the date of the 1820 census. That also fits with the birth of their first child in Feb 1821.
The next question that arises is why were James English’s orphans in Twiggs County, GA around 1820. Could it be that Twiggs is where James English died? It turns out there is an English Cemetery in Twiggs County at Latitude: 32.602N, Longitude: -83.438W. Is this where James is buried? Perhaps the First and Second (1805 and 1807) Land Lotteries hold some clues.
If James drew in the 1807 Lottery, he wasn’t a Fortunate Drawer since there is no record of him winning land in that draw. Of course, if he had drawn a Blank he would not be in the state lottery records for that draw. A Hiram English, however, drew in Franklin in 1820 and won lot 36 in district 22 of Early County so maybe the English family ended up together again for a time in Early County.
The 1805 Lottery is different, however. The state records list both those who got lucky as well as those who drew a blank. Finding James English in that lottery drawing in Franklin County and winning a lot in Twiggs would be a big find and would help explain a lot about what happened to him and where he was between 1805 and 1820. Unfortunately, there were only two James English names in the 1805 lottery and both drew blanks and resided in Tattnall County at the time. There was a large English family from Tattnall and sons and fathers with the names James and Cornelius were rampant. So it appears our James English left no record in the 1807 or 1807 lotteries.
Was James English in Franklin County then after the first two lotteries? The Franklin County, Georgia Tax Digests, Vol. 2, 1808-1818 lists a Ja’s English as a tax defaulter in Capt. Hayllen’s District in 1813. In another district that same year was a John English.
Vol. 3 lists Hiram English’s win of 250 acres or lot 36, district 22 in Early County AND lists him as representing the heirs of J. English, Dec’d 202 ½ acres AND representing the Englishes orphans on lot 38, district 4 in Houston County AND for Wesley English 202 ½ acres in lot 233, district 10 Dooly County. This was all in 1822. Was J. English our James English? Or John or Jonathan? No way to tell for sure.
The Index to the Headwright and Bounty Grants on Georgia 1756-1909 lists Wm English being granted 100 acres in Franklin County in 1800 and 1801. Apparently there were a lot of English families in Franklin in those early years.
So we are left with knowing that James English was in Franklin County, GA from at least 1798 to 1813 per tax rolls and birth of Rebecca C. English and that he never won any land in the Georgia land lotteries directly. We know his orphans drew a prize in the 1820 lottery while in Twiggs County as orphans. And we know the land from the lucky draw was in Early (later Decatur) County.
What About the 1950s Statements
I mentioned at the beginning of this paper that I would address the 1950s documents stating that Elizabeth English Ward was a Creek Indian. This final analysis is to make sure I’m not overlooking any real clues in those statements. Nor would any real research into Elizabeth English Ward be valid if it did not take those statements into account. So let’s see if the new information about James English discovered here supports any portions of those 1950s statements as they apply to Elizabeth’s lineage or to her being found beside a river by James English.
The longest and most detailed account I have seen is that of Mrs. Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson (wife of James Irvin Jackson – married about 1902.) She makes an ideal study because she is Elizabeth’s granddaughter and is listed living with her in the 1870 census of Monroe Ward’s household in Geneva County, AL. If anyone in 1950 still knew the details of Elizabeth’s life, it would be Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson. She is also ideal because the 1910 census lists her as never having had children so there are no descendants that might be offended by a careful review of her statement. I will address only her statement since the other statements pretty much say the same things about Creek ancestry. If her statement proves to be supported by the new data, the others will be too. If it’s shown to be wrong, researchers may want to discount the others as well.
Elizabeth Jane Ward was born 16 Jul 1867 in Geneva County, AL and submitted her typed statement on 6 Jan 1957. She died four months later on 6 May 1957. She obviously had considerable help getting her story typed up because she signed her statement with an X though the 1910 and 1920 censuses show her as literate. At any rate, her statement says that she was about 16 when her grandmother, Elizabeth English Ward died. That would place Elizabeth English Ward’s death about 1883. I have never found Elizabeth in the 1880 census but then I’ve never found Monroe Ward in the 1880 census either. I have seen some researchers who put her death in 1879 but they listed no sources for that date. We are just left with no 1880 census data showing Elizabeth.
The Trip Home
Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson states that her grandmother told her that James English found her on the banks of the Ocmulgee River about 1803 or 1804 and that he waited in his wagon with her for her parents to return until about midnight at which time he took her to his home and made her comfortable. Then “the following morning at his place” he took a good look at her and commented that her skin was too copper colored for her to be a white person. Elizabeth then told James English that both of her parents were “full blooded Creek Indians.”
Since, in this story, James English made it home by morning, this indicates that James English could have lived no more than a few hours travel by wagon (at night) from the Ocmulgee in 1803/1804. Yet his daughter Rebecca was born in Franklin County, GA in 1798 and James English was on the tax rolls there in 1807 and 1813. Franklin County is over 100 miles from the Ocmulgee banks near Wilkinson County where James and Elizabeth Ward were living in 1820. Even from the headwaters of the Ocmulgee River it is over 70 miles to the Franklin County line. James would have had to cross at least four counties in 1820 to reach his home in Franklin County even if he started at the headwaters of the Ocmulgee. Six counties if he started from near Wilkinson County. Clearly the documentation from Rebecca’s death certificate and the Georgia tax rolls don’t support the basic details of this particular story of Elizabeth being found in the woods along the Ocmulgee by James English.
A Plagiarized Memory
As I read a portion this 1957 statement describing the specific circumstances and exactly where James English had found Elizabeth, it occurred to me that I had seen those same words earlier in another document. It didn’t take long to find where I had seen them. They came from a book that was well known to anyone researching Creek Indians back in the 1950s.
The following sentence fragment is from Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek, or Muscogee Indians, contained in letters to friends in Georgia and Alabama by Thomas S. Woodward:
“… in spring or shad-catching time the Indians would flock from all parts of the nation in great numbers to the Ocmulgee….”
The next sentence fragment is from Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson’s statement:
“… In the spring… during the shad-catching season when the Creek Indians from all sections of the nation would flock to the Ocmulgee….”
Note the hyphenated “shad-catching” in both fragments. The matching of “spring” to “shad-catching.” The statement that the Indians “would flock.” Also “from all parts of the nation” in Woodward’s account has become “from all sections of the nation” in the 1957 statement. You simply don’t find this many similarities in two unrelated sentences by chance. In fact, if you load just “shad-catching,” “Indians” and “flock” into Google, the only page to show up (as of July 2008) from the hundreds of billions available is Woodward's Reminiscences.
Someone pulled that little piece of Indian history out of Woodward’s book, modified it to fit Elizabeth and James English, then typed it into Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson’s statement. The only major change between these two fragments was to add the years 1803 or 1804 along with it being just before dark when James English found Elizabeth. No one could argue with the authentic description of the Indians shad fishing since it was lifted right out of Woodward’s reminiscences but if the key description of how James English found Elizabeth is lifted out of Woodward’s reminiscences it’s not an actual memory of Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson is it?
The Road That Never Was
The letter next mentions that James was traveling in a wagon along the road that ran along the river bank. Being somewhat familiar with the Federal Road through Georgia and Alabama back in the early 1800s, I didn’t recall any other roads that ran along any rivers. I pulled up some early maps of the Ocmulgee. Sure enough there were no roads along it anywhere. Here are a few early maps of the Ocmulgee.
This map is from 1804 – the very time mentioned in the letter. Now a road cut through the wilderness that could accommodate wagon traffic was a big deal back in those days. It would have been the equivalent of today’s interstates. If there had been such a road along the banks of the Ocmulgee it would have been on a map of the area. It’s not. Nor are there roads along any of the adjacent rivers either so it’s not a matter of Elizabeth Jane merely misidentifying the river.
In 1804 there were no roads in the whole area that would allow wagon traffic. The only “roads” were mere postal trails used by horsemen to carry mail across Georgia. Nor are there any towns shown along the Ocmulgee for the road to connect. No early settlers would have cleared the wilderness for a wagon road and then keep that road in repair when the road didn’t go anywhere. Nor were there any connecting roads from the east or west big enough to get a wagon down to the Ocmulgee to begin with.
This map is from 1810. Still no road.
1814 still shows no road along the Ocmulgee. Clearly, the “road and wagon” is another documented memory that never happened but was merely an added detail to try to add some authenticity to the story of Elizabeth being found in the woods.
The Census Problem
Farther on in Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson’s account of Elizabeth English Ward she states that, “… she and her husband agreed shortly after they were married, so she told me, that they would henceforth register with the Federal Census Enumerator as white persons. For by so doing, they reasoned, they would enjoy many advantages that would have been denied them had she registered a Creek Indian….”
Now we are really getting into problems with this account. In 1820 when they decided to “register” as white instead of Creek Indian, the census did not make such distinctions. Nor did it “register” any Creek Indians since no Indians of any nation were counted. There is simply no basis for them to have made such a decision. Another 30 years would pass before the Federal Census collected race data. This entry appears to be a blatant attempt to explain away the fact – for purposes of registering for Creek Indian status in the 1950s – that none of the Ward or English family were ever listed on any census as anything but white. The fact that they were even on the early censuses clearly documents that they weren’t Indian. And we find them in every census.
The census, however, was a big problem to anyone who wanted to qualify to receive the payments to Creek Indians that were being talked about at the time. They needed some way to explain away the Ward and English families being in those censuses if they were to pass as Indian. A lot was at stake. The initial payouts for the Creek land were in the $30,000.00 to $90,000.00 range. Per person. Only the first few payments were in this range, though, and most of those who did finally get registered as Creek got much less than a thousand dollars.
Taken together, all of these problems indicate that Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson’s statement was not of her own making. Someone else typed that statement to suit their needs at the time, i.e. to get themselves or their children registered as Creek Indians so they could get a share of the money to be paid to the Creeks for their confiscated land. It’s hard not to view Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson as a poor, elderly woman, four months from her death, being used. If that’s the case, it may have been the same small group that put together the Ward Report and fabricated the Monroe Letter.
I have discussed this matter with several old-timers to Ward research and they concur that numerous documents were produced in the 1950s to tie Wards to the Creek Indians. Two even said they knew for a fact that such documents were false and they knew who created them. If others have evidence explaining away the contradictions reflected in Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson’s statement, I would hope they will eventually publish their evidence. It’s just that I have not been able to find any historical, archived evidence to counter the problems that come out of this statement.
Serious researchers - those not trying to select only the evidence that supports their preconceived notions - are always open to evidence that contradicts their initial findings and conclusions. But in taking a final look at these documents to see if any of the new information about the English family supported the statements in the documents, I found only evidence that the statements were simply wrong.
There was not even a mention of Elizabeth’s sisters living in Atlanta even though Elizabeth and Rebecca were obviously very close in their relationship and her Aunt Rebecca would have still been alive when Elizabeth Jane was in her mid-thirties. Mention of Aunt Rebecca, however, would have been antithetical to any efforts to tie Elizabeth to Creek Indians since Rebecca was possibly Elizabeth’s twin sister and was not known by any of her descendants to be even part Indian. That would have put an end to any claims of Creek heritage.
So, in the final analysis, the longest and most detailed statement from the most reliable source we have, Elizabeth’s granddaughter who actually lived with her, requires us to accept that James English traveling by wagon on a road that didn’t exist made a 100 mile trip home in a few hours – at night. We also have to ignore the fact that the granddaughter’s documented memory of James finding Elizabeth was actually a description of the Creek Indians shad fishing lifted right out of Woodward’s book. Then we must further believe that Elizabeth and her husband in 1820 decided not to “register” as Creek Indians with the census enumerator even though no such registration was possible under census procedures. Viewed in historical context, the statement is just too implausible to accept as evidence. The Elizabeth Jane Ward Jackson statement has the same types of simple yet revealing errors found throughout the Ward Report – a proven false account supposedly left behind by my great-great-grandfather William Josiah Ward but actually written about the same time this statement was made.
Whatever the reason for those mistaken 1950s “memories” of Elizabeth being full-blooded Creek Indian, the fact that Elizabeth had blue-eyed children incontrovertibly proves that those recollections are inaccurate. American Indians carry no alleles for blue eyes. Consequently they cannot have children with blue eyes even if they marry a person who has both alleles for blue eyes. Elizabeth had blue-eyed children. It’s simple genetics.
So it seems clear that there simply were no real documented memories in the 1950s of Elizabeth being a full-blooded Creek Indian found in the woods by James English. If the documented memories were true, they could not have been shown to be false. It would have been great if those documents could have been shown to be accurate but that is simply not the case so it is time to begin researching in other more productive areas. It is a disappointment but at least it is better to finally know the truth than to keep chasing a false lead.
On the positive side, I found it a pleasant surprise that Elizabeth English’s history traces out as easily as many other of those difficult Georgia ancestors. She had sisters that she maintained close ties with until at least well into her thirties (and probably much longer) as evidenced by the names and birth years of her children and by the sale of land she was an heir to along with three other siblings. I suspect there is still much more to be found, however.
Where Do We Go From Here
There is still a lot left to research. To begin, here are a few suggestions:
Look for any reference to any English dying in Twiggs County between 1813 and 1820. Sources might be newspaper or church record extracts.
Scour the courthouses and archives of Franklin, Twiggs, Early, Walton and Decatur Counties for records of English transactions.
Find the 1820 Georgia Land Lottery records of Twiggs County to see if how many draws the orphans of James English received and if they were named.
Find out if Rebecca’s supposed brother, James, and her two sisters other than Elizabeth left record of where they were born as Rebecca did.
Run a mitochondrial DNA test on maternal descendants of both and Elizabeth and Rebecca English to finally and conclusively verify whether they are sisters or not.
A Final Puzzle
There is also a record on the LDS site of an 1814 marriage of James B. Ward to Elizabeth English in Turbourgh, NC. The information was submitted by a woman living in Cottondale, FL. I wrote to her several years ago asking for the source of that marriage data but never received a reply. There is no Turbourgh in the US but there is a Tarbourgh (Tarboro today) situated on the Tar River in Edgecombe County, NC and in 1820 a John T. Ward lived in Tarborough in Edgecombe County.
I am a direct descendant of Elizabeth English through her son William Josiah Ward and have a great interest in getting the final records on this family set straight. If you can add any further evidence to that already addressed, see any errors I have made, or have any additional ideas on other avenues of research, drop me a line here.
Please Note: This ends the section of this paper that uses government sources such as powers of attorney, land sale records and censuses that unequivocally connect Elizabeth by name to her father and sisters.
A Search for Additional English Connections
From this point on we move into territory where we continue to look for connections to our English family but don’t have the luxury of documents that name various family members together or list them next to each other in a census. In this section we are gathering information that looks promising as linking to James English or his known daughters. Unfortunately this data will have only circumstantial connections by dates, locations or names. I have merely included it here for the benefit of other researchers. It is not entirely clear whether any of it applies to James English and his daughters. Use it with caution.
To now confuse the James English death date issue, twenty-two years earlier than the 1837 Power of Attorney the following document had been filed in Baldwin County, GA.
NOTE: Arthur Redding (pg 34), Wm Sharp (pg 42), Thos Clower (pg 36), and William Redding (pg 26) show up in the Baldwin County, GA 1820 census. Matthew Childs was in adjoining Jones County, GA (pg 129). George Sims 45+ was in adjoining Putnam County, GA (pg 92).
Drury Jackson was also in Baldwin County and died there in 1823. His will is in the index book at the courthouse: Abstract - Drury Jackson, 12/12/1823:1/31/1824, P. 213 Wife: Lucy, "all my children when of age to receive same amt as my dau., Amy G. Redding". Exrs: Goodwin Myrick, Henry W. Malone. Wits: Samuel Turrentine, Edie Jones.
The LDS also has record of a George Sims born 1773 in Rutherford County, NC. This might be Rebecca’s father.
Now we have a Rebecca English named in a James English estate. And we still don’t have the relationship to James English stated. Was Rebecca this James English’s wife or was she an unmarried daughter? Rebecca C. English, sister to Elizabeth English Ward, had her first child about 1815 so was probably married by the March 6, 1815 date on this document. Thus it doesn’t appear that the Rebecca English on this document is Rebecca C. English Grubbs. This seems to limit us to two reasonable conclusions about this document: Rebecca was our James English’s wife or the Baldwin County James was a different James English whose wife happened to be named Rebecca.
In addition, was George Sims on the record in behalf of his wife who was somehow involved with this James English? A daughter or sister perhaps.
Then a female R. English shows up in the 1820 census of Jasper County, GA. She is 26-45 and has a boy under 10 and sons and daughters 10-16 as shown below. Nicy would have been about 7 in 1820 and doesn’t show up with R. English, however, Nicy was with Rebecca’s family in 1830 and may have been with them in 1820 as well.
So the first question arises; does the R stand for Rebecca or some other name like Ruth or Rachael. A Rebecca English married a Claiborne House 21 Dec 1823 in Jasper County. This was surely the R. English of 1820. Now we have a Rebecca English in 1820 Jasper with kids and no husband near where a James English died in 1815.
NOTE: Claiborne was born in VA on 6 Oct 1774 and is in the 1820 census of Gwinnett County, GA.
By 1830 Claiborne and Rebecca House had moved to Thomas County, GA
We can now combine ages in 1820 and 1830 to narrow Rebecca’s birth year to 1790-1794.
In 1840 we find Rebecca widowed and aged 50 to 60. From that we can assume she was born on the cusp of the age brackets used in 1830/1840 and put her age as 40 in 1830 and 50 in 1840 making her born in 1790. Since Rebecca C. and Elizabeth English were born in 1798, this Rebecca English House can’t be their mother so must be a later wife if she is a wife of our James English. And that’s not at all clear yet.
In 1850 Rebecca Houze is still in Thomas County living with John Donaldson and his family. Her age looks like 61 or maybe 57.
Whatever Rebecca’s age, however, she can’t be the wife of the same James English whose land was sold in 1837 because his wife wasn’t mentioned in the Power of Attorney or Land Sale so was surely dead by then. That means the James English who died in Baldwin County, GA in 1815 isn’t ours. This James English was listed as a tax defaulter in Baldwin County in 1812 and was in the second, or 1807, land lottery as a resident of Baldwin County so was there during that early period. Our James English was still in Franklin County in 1807 per the tax lists of that county.
But let’s go over the data once more just to be sure this can’t be our James English’s wife.
In 1820 James’ children who weren’t married were so far as we can tell from the evidence we have at the moment:
James fits easily in both censuses but both Priscilla and Nicy should be in the <10 age bracket in 1820 and are also missing in the 1830 census. It seems safe to rule out R. English and the James English who died in Baldwin County in 1815 as ours.
At this point I have removed a great deal of research into the children of R. English from this paper because I am convinced that she is not directly linked to our James English and that the James English that died in Baldwin County before March 1815 is not ours.
The English Family Migration
Now that we have the combined information on all of the English sisters we can begin to trace James English back in time to see who he was with. The Grubbs researchers had already obtained the birth place of Rebecca C. English. It was Canon in Franklin County, GA in 1798. While the 1790 to 1810 GA censuses are lost as well as the 1820 censuses of Franklin and Twiggs Counties, there are various other records that other English researchers have gathered that show where their ancestors were in GA in the early 1800s. From those records it was possible to construct charts showing the English families in Early GA from year to year.
Below along with county formation data are some English families in the various GA counties at assorted times. All James English names are highlighted in yellow.
The 1820 map below shows Franklin County where James English’s daughter, Rebecca, was born in 1798 and where James was listed on the tax rolls in 1807, Walton County where the English daughters were in 1830, 1840 and 1850, Twiggs County where James’ orphans drew in the 1820 Land Lottery and Wilkinson County where Elizabeth English Ward lived in 1820.
The next set of maps help show the flow of English families into GA over the decades.
Looking for James English in 1820
While we are fairly certain now that James English was dead by 1820, we should at least check to see if there are good candidates for him in 1820 and research those to make sure our assumptions about his being dead are valid.
In 1820 there are only two James English families in the GA census – there are others listed in various records, however:
This first one is too young.
So if our James English is still alive in 1820 and if he got picked up in a surviving census, that has to be him in Warren County. He seems to be a widower with a son and a daughter Nicy’s age or slightly younger. But we are already pretty sure Nicy was with Rebecca C. English Grubbs in 1820 Walton County. He has no son who could be our James English in 1840 Decatur County either. It looks like we can rule him out as ours.
There is a suspicious James English in Abbeville County, SC in 1820.
This is not a bad match. Abbeville is just across the state line and a few miles downriver from Franklin County, GA. The two youngest females could be Nicy age 7 and Priscilla age 10 – Rebecca was already married by this time. He has a son the right age as well. The map below shows the relationship between Abbeville County, SC and Franklin County, GA. Both were on the GA/SC state line and were less than ten miles apart at the closest point.
If this is our James English we finally get a look at his age as 26-45. Since his wife, or whoever the eldest female is, is 16-26 we might guess that they were of similar age and conjecture that both were closer to 26 than to the opposite extremes of their age brackets. For instance she might be 25 and he might be 28. It’s just a guess, though. She would have been 15 when Priscilla was born but only 5 when Rebecca was born. A friend has this for the Abbeville James English: James B. English was in Abbeville, S.C. from 1790 thru 1820. He was in Lincoln Co., TN. in 1830. Other researchers have him as James Bryson English who died in TN in 1839. So he doesn’t appear to be ours.
In Barnwell in 1820 is a Benjamin Grubs as well as a Hiram and Peter Grubs. Abbeville to Barnwell County, SC would have been around 75 miles back then – by river. Benjamin Grubs, however, doesn’t have a female Louisa’s age (2) with him in 1820. The two boys match James and Thomas but Rebecca would have been 20-22 then and there is no place for her.
There is another Benjamin Grubs in Camden County, GA in 1820 but he is no better fit.
So, since both James English and Benjamin Grubbs are absent from any existing 1820 GA or SC census, we are left yet again with the possibility that they were in Franklin or Twiggs County, GA in 1820. But the best scenario is still that James was dead by the time his orphans drew in the 1820 Land Lottery in Twiggs County.
Some might argue that I can’t locate James English in 1820 GA not because he was dead but because he was sharing a household with a brother and the brother’s name was listed instead. Below are all of the English families in the 1820 GA census. There are none with two elder males (26 or older) for James to be in. But if James were dead by 1820 perhaps his family was sharing a household with another English family.
Which if any of the above English families could conceivably be housing Rebecca, Nicy, and Priscilla in 1820? We know that Rebecca was married before 1815 but she and her husband may have been living with one of these families. Looking at the male side of the census data we see that there is no male in Benjamin Grubb’s age bracket (45+ in 1820) that has a double entry for both Benjamin and the head of household. That leaves Nicy (age 7 to 9) and Priscilla (age 10 or perhaps a bit more or less.) So the household would have to have room for either 2 females under ten or one under and one over ten. Only John, Eli and Matthew meet those criteria.
Other researchers say Eli English and Theresa Sirmon had these daughters by 1820:
All are shown in 1820.
Other researchers say Matthew English had these daughters by 1820:
Olive English, b. 1807, GA; d. Aug 16, 1892, Mitchell, Glascock Co., GA.
Sarah P. English, b. Bet. 1810 - 1820, GA; d. Bet. 1839 - 1840.
Nancy English, b. 1811; d. Bet. 1832 - 1838.
Jane English, b. Abt. 1818, GA; d. 1871.
All four are shown in 1820.
Looking at the Inglish families only John of Jones County, GA has young females that could be Nicy and Priscilla. By 1830 John was listed as an English and still has the two youngest females with him. Since that would include Nicy and we suspect Nicy of being with Rebecca in 1830, this doesn’t look like a link to our English family. In addition, John had a son, Green, who was in Monroe County, GA by 1830. Other researchers don’t list a Nicy or Priscilla with this family.
This leaves only John English of Habersham – almost certainly the same John who shows up with James English in 1807 tax records of Franklin – the neighboring county.
We are back to the Habersham/Franklin County area again. There’s nothing to indicate that any of the five under-ten females with John are Priscilla or Nicy but we have at least pretty well ruled out all of the other English/Inglish families in 1820 GA as having these sisters with them. So it seems that the family, minus their father, may have been in Franklin County, GA in 1820 since they don’t show up in any other area of GA in an English household.
Looking for James English in 1830
In 1830 Georgia there were only two James English families that I found. One was in Franklin County and listed as Englin:
This Franklin County James has a son in the 15-20 age bracket so could be the father of the James English in Decatur County in 1840. That James would have been around 17 to 21 in 1830. There is also a daughter Nicy’s age and Nicy was unmarried in 1830. But, of course our James English was dead by 1820. But we still need to find the Decatur James English in 1830.
The other was in Lowndes County but is not ours. He looked like this:
The Lowndes County James is in the 20-30 bracket so could be the same James of 1840 Decatur but there’s also a Cornelius English in Lowndes who is his father. This Cornelius English moved to within 12 miles of the Decatur James English about 1845 and though he had a son named James his son was dead by 1844. At any rate, this clearly seems not to be the James English of the 1837 land sale documents.
Looking for a Family Line for James English
From the early records we know of several English males who lived or did business in Franklin County, GA here are those data:
John 1807, 1811 and 1819
Haywood 1818 and 1820
While John, having such a common name, is a problem; Haywood is easy to trace. According to Haywood researchers, he was born in NC between 1795-1800 and died before. 13 February 1868 in Habersham Co., GA. He married Sarah "Sallie" McCracken on 11 April, 1822 in Habersham Co., GA, daughter of James McCracken and Elinor Wilson or Wofford. Here are census data on John and Heywood:
Habersham County, GA 1820 census
hh#78 page 115
The 1820 Franklin County, GA census is missing. Maybe that’s why I can’t find Heywood in 1820. Combining the age data from both the 1820 and 1830 censuses give us birth years of 1775-1780 for John. Since Habersham was formed in 1818 with part of Franklin included in it, it may be that John never moved. It was perhaps the county lines that changed around him.
Habersham County, GA 1830 census
<5 : 1
Habersham County, GA 1840 census
*Note the jump in age bracket from 20-30 to 40-50 above. This indicates Haywood was 30 in 1830 and 40 in 1840 placing his birth year as 1800.
Habersham County, GA 1850 census
#32/32, Page 240: 1st District
Haywood English 55 M Farmer NC (Only English in Habersham)
Sarah 45 F (or 46) GA
A.R.E. 22 F GA
W.J. 16 M GA
G.W.E. 13 M GA
D.E. 09 M GA
E.J.E. 04 F GA
Habersham County, GA 1860 census
#141/141, Page 839 Clarksville P.O.
Haywood English 60 M Farmer 175/1200 VA
Sally 48 F GA
David 17 M GA
David, Jr. 03 M GA
Haywood died before 13 February 1868 in Habersham
So we have John English born 1775 to 1780 and Heywood born 1800 in NC or VA. Both were in early Franklin County, GA where a James English was listed in 1807 and where he obviously lived in 1798 when his daughter Rebecca C. English was born in Canon.
Going back to 1790 NC
Following up on the information provided by Heywood in 1880 that his parents were born in NC, I listed all James and John English families in NC. Since we know James was in Franklin County, GA by 1800 but don’t know when he arrived, we are stuck with conjecture at best as to which of the families below might be our James. In fact, none may be. Assuming one is, however, we only need to worry about those showing up in 1790 that aren’t in those same counties in 1800. As you can see below, the only James English families that disappeared from NC in 1800 are the two in Morgan’s District, Rutherford, NC. James had one male 16 or over and two females. Jas. had 2 males 16 or over, two under 16 and one female.
If we assume James from Franklin County, GA was from NC, there is only one family in NC that could be him and that is the 1790 Jas. English. We know that John of Franklin and Habersham Counties, GA was born between 1775 and 1780 so he would be 10-15 in 1790 and could be Jas. English’s son. By 1800 there are no English families in Rutherford. If Haywood was born in 1800 in NC and his father was James they must have departed shortly after he was born.
All of the James and Jas English families in NC in 1790 and 1800
ENGLISH JAMES NC ANSON FAYETTE DIST 1790
ENGLISH JAMES NC HYDE NEWBERN DIST 1790
ENGLISH JAMES NC RUTHERFORD MORGAN DIST 1790 - 1 0 2
ENGLISH JAS NC RUTHERFORD MORGAN DIST 1790 - 2 2 1
ENGLISH JAMES NC ANSON FAYETTEVILLE DIST 1800
ENGLISH JAMES NC HYDE NO TWP LISTED 1800
ENGLISH JAMES NC LINCOLN MORGAN DIST 1800
Of course this business of the Rutherford County, NC Jas. English being ours was a long shot but if Heywood was right about where his parents were born AND if he is our James English’s son then the only English in 1790 Rutherford who could be his father was Jas. English. For now, though, research done by others seems to indicate these aren’t our English families.
The Anson County James English had a son under 10 and two 10-16 in 1800 and was missing in 1810 so could be Haywood’s father who left Anson after Haywood was born but then could not be Rebecca’s father since she was born in Franklin County, GA in 1798. Or maybe 1800 – depending. That Anson County James had four daughters under 16 as well. In spite of this Anson County possibility however, both Rebecca and Nicy indicated in the 1880 census that both of their parents were born in Georgia.
And that brings us to the end of Part II. Good luck to you researchers following up on this data. I wish you luck in finding additional information on your English heritage and hope this paper has helped in some small way.
If you can add anything to this research, drop me a line here.