Friday, November 16, 2007
Julia Ann of the broken heart
Julia Ann, about 1880 I think
She was born in Jasper county, Georgia (red dot below), just before the government did a snatch and grab on the Cherokee land (in gray) that lead to the Trail of Tears.
Jasper county had been Creek Indian territory up until about 30 years earlier, but by the time she was born, even the Creeks in west Georgia had been gone for five years.1
She was the 6th child, born to parents who had emigrated from North Carolina. Her family had been in America since her 13-year-old immigrant ancestor came from England to Virginia in 1660.
She married William at age 20 (he was 27), and nine years later (in 1860), she was living in Atlanta's Fifth ward (purple area below) with her husband and two children. I believe she had already lost two other children, either in childbirth or from illness at a young age.
Atlanta was booming, with a population of 10,000. There were "3,800 homes, iron foundries, mills, warehouses, carriage and wheelwright shops, tanneries, banks and various small manufacturing and retail shops."2
Whitehall Street, Pre-war Atlanta (near Julia's home)3
Her husband was a carpenter, and their neighbors included a clerk, a printer, other carpenters, a shoemaker, several blacksmiths, a wheelwright, and an attorney. (Lawyers must not have been paid quite so well back then.)
Then came the war. Four years later, "...only 400 structures were left standing. Atlanta was a ghost town of rubble and ashes."2
I don't know how or when the family left Atlanta. I can't find any record of her husband during the war, though he would have been of fighting age (35).
On the next census, in 1870, the family was in DeKalb county, just to the east. Her husband is now a miller, and they have four children. Among them is my great-great-grandmother Martha, age 15. They live just down the street from her future husband, Turner, who's 17.
By 1880 William had become a farmer, and he and Julia live next door to Martha and Turner, who have two children of their own already.
Sadly, the 1890 Federal census was destroyed by fire.
By 1900 everyone had moved to Chattooga county, living in the charmingly named Dirt Town4. Julia and William were living with their son and his family. They've celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Julia reports to the census-taker that she has given birth to six children, four of whom lived to adulthood. This is the last paper record I have of her, seven years before she died at age 75.
The Tragedy, February 1907
Written by Kate, who was born in 1901.
"When I was 6, we were eating supper one night and my Grandmother Julia had just set the coffee pot down by her chair when my younger sister, Bertha [age 2], tripped over it, scalding herself very badly. The next day she died. Grandmother Julia died that night also."
1It was Georgia's governor who forced them out, not the federal government (this time).
2 History of Atlanta
3Now Peachtree Street
4A.k.a. Dirttown, not in existance today. Right near Dirt Seller Mountain... It's no wonder they also had a Broomtown nearby.
P.S. You might have noticed, I've gotten interested in genealogy again.
Georgia county formation maps - extremely cool.