My Favorite Links
Click here to see Marguerite Griffin and Leland Booth.
Click here to return to Wiregrass Roots I
Click here to see Thyra Floree Griffin, daughter of Minnie and Joe.
Click here to see Mildred Catherine McQuaig Griffin, wife of L.D..
Click here to see letters from Minnie Jane Henderson Griffin on Wiregrass X.
Click here to see Little Mildred Griffin
The Children of Jesse Wilson (1790 S.C.-unknown) and Mary Snowden (1800 FL-unknown)
The above information is from cousins Deborah Barrington Callicott, Patricia McCoy, and W. Kenneth Sylvester.
My grandfather had to go to the Confederate War when my mother Nancy called Nan was an infant leaving granny with 3 little children, but her father had given her a farm some cows & hogs but she didn't know how to farm for her father had pleanty of black help for they had not turned them loose then. So her father gave her a strong young black girl and she could plow so she stayed with granny and they made support until my grandfather come home, but he was in poor health like all the olther soldiers. And he was restless didn't like to stay in one place long so he would take his gun and come to the Okeefenokee and hunt and while he was wandering in there he came to a hammock called Harpers Hammock and some one had built a log house in it. So it took granddad's fancy and he went back and sold granny's farm and her cows and moved in there but not until 2 of his daughters was grown. Adeline was 18 and Polly was 16 Nan (my mother) was 14 and another girl Leety 12 but there was no boys except the baby Bill. But there was 2 more little girls one was Sarah named for her mother. (I have no name for the other little girl nor any mention else where. Could this have been an error in GMG's memory or was there a girl who died?) And after they moved out of there granny had 2 more babies (John and Julia) But granny's health was failing she longed for her old home back in Fla. where she had a good house and plenty of hogs and cows, but she stayed with him & they lived in there 4 years. The closest neighbor was 4 miles away. Just imagine how lonely it was for those girls. They had to go to Homerville for supplies and it would take them 2 days to go and come back and they had to leave the girls all alone till they come back. (Sarah spoke of "details" or "patrols" that came into the swamp looking for deserters from the Confederacy during the war.)
QUESTION: When John and Sarah moved from the swamp, where did did they go? Back to Florida And what about their children? (Adeline married Isaac Jordan. Polly married James Oglesby. Celida married Ed Oglesby. Sarah married Shelton Oglesby. Bill married Julia Miller.) The Oglesbys were brothers. And where are they buried? Grandmother said that her mother, Nan, was Missionary Baptist until she married Jim. So possibly they are buried in a Missionary Baptist church yard near or in Green Cove Springs.
After John and Sarah Wilson left the Swamp, we believe she went back to Clay County, FL and John went to live with his son William Elias Bennett. At this time we can't find out when Sarah died nor where she is buried.
But one day a young man was hunting deer (he was my father) and he found this house and he said he found 3 pretty girls, my mother was 16 then, and he fell in love with her.
QUESTION: Where was his home and family? Homerville area in Clinch County?
James' father had died (See Lewis Jerrell Henderson page) and his mother, Martha Ann Miller Henderson had married George W. Thornton and they were living out of Manor, GA. (see George W. Thornton page)
Her parents thought she was too young and 2 older sisters there but dad wanted Nan. He always called her Nannie. So after a few calls they got married.
(They were married by James' stepfather, George W. Thornton who was a Justice of the Peace. He was an Indian War veteran and drew a pencion of 8 dollars per month. Grandmother said he was an old man when they married. Three weeks later they discovered that they were married out of his jurisdiction and were remarried in Homerville, Ga. Grandmother said Granny Nan would say to her children that Jim was the father of this child and the father of that child as a joke.)
But he built a cabin on the banks of the Suwanna River and he took her there. Of course they had to have a living and he had an uncle Jim Lee, who lived in and owned Billies Island. Uncle Jim Lee had a big house and fields and they grew every thing they had to have but coffee, salt and chewing tobacco & flour, and soda. ("Ma said the best peaches she ever ate came out of Billy's Island.") And they hunted deer & turkeys. But he paid my father for his labor. And my mother said that he would stay there some time for 2 weeks. She said some time she would go with him but sometime she would stay at home in that little cabin by the river.
She dipped water out of the river for all she used, and she was afraid of aligators and one day as she dipped her bucket for water one rose up close to her. She threw her bucket and ran when my father came home she told him about it and he took his gun and went with her and when the aligator rose up dad shot & killed him, he was 11 foot long if he had eaten my mother no one would ever have known where she went.
(Another account told to me and written down as I heard it: In the swamp by river Nan used river water for all purposes. There was a gator that used to come up where she went with buckets to the river. She was afraid and told Jimma that she wasn't going down to the river again because of the gator. "Pshaw, Nanny, that gator won't hurt you." "He aims to eat me!" He didn't believe her and he followed her with his gun and watched. The gator came up and he killed it. It was 11 feet long.
They lived by the river till mother had two children (Really three for the first child was a premature son who is buried on Billy's Island, and Isabelle and Leon, pronounced Leeun.) And oh! how she longed to get away from there. But they had a hog in a pen to fatten for meat and she had to stay and feed him. But one P.M. about sundown she saw 2 men with 2 mules and a wagon coming and to her surprise it was 2 off dad's brothers. She was so happy she cried for they said they had come for them. But my Father was in the island helping his uncle grind his cane and make syrup. My Mother told them where my Father was so they stayed all night. They told Mother they needed Daddy to help them cut and haul cord wood for their Uncle Lem Miller (Lemuel Miller was Martha Miller Henderson Thornton and Catherine Miller Lee's brother.) who had put up a wood rack by the rail road so my uncles spent the night and went fishing next day,--when they came in they asked has Jim come home yet? My Mother said no so they went back fishing but that P.M. my Father come home he had a fat hog in the pen so they butchered the hog and Mother cooked up bread and potatoes and baked some pork for them to eat while on the road so early next morning some of their neighbors come to go with them part of the way and they would stop and go deer hunting so they went about half way and struck camp. They eat a cold supper and was preparing to go night hunting with torches. But my Mother said Jimmy are you going to leave me and these 2 babies here by our selves? He told her that nothing would harm them but she said I'll go too Dad said. What are you going to do with the babies, she said I will take one and you can take one so he desided to stay with her & the babies. He cut palmetto leaves and covered the wagon. (For it had started to rain! He then put quilts around the wagon and made a bed for Mother & the babies it didn't rain long but began to turn cold for it was Nov. There come a freeze that night (Grandmother told me that the palmetto leaves turned blue.) But they kept a big fire going. Next morning they went hunting again for in those days it seemed like that was all they wanted to do. But when they came back they loaded up and started on their neighbors turned back for home and the sun was setting when they got to Manor which was called Lick Skillet then. (At this point Grandmother moves very quickly with events and time. Many years are tumbled together.)
But several families moved there and finally they took a vacant house for a school house and hired and old maid Miss Mammie Clark to teach school. Then a man named Bill Manor come and put up a post office and they called it Manor. Finally a man by the name of Tom James put up a store later on M D L Ray put up another store and finally the Brantly Co. from Blackshear put up a big store with every thing needed groceries dry goods and farming tools. Dan Henderson had a store too but one night his store burned down he never built back. So all the stores on the south side dwindled away and they built stores on the north side there were 4 stores owned by Lance Strickland K. Henderson Huey Boyd and Howard Rowel They built a good school house off brick. It was for high school and grammer school. And had a good ball court and gym and one of the best lunch rooms in the county but they finally took the high school away from Manor and put it to Ware Co. High but they still have grammer school there but the little town is still there a place I still love.
Jim and Nan lived on a farm in Manor with 160 acres. He sold 60 acres to Bill Baldree.
My Father lived in the little town called Manor till they had 7 children then they swapped their farm for one 4 miles south of Manor where Mattie and John was born. Their children were Isabelle, Leon, Minnie, Annie and Mae, Jim, Nora, Mattie and John. My Father died at the age of 74 my Mother lived on at the old home with her oldest son who was left a widower with 2 little boys Mother helped him raise them then she broke up and moved in with us, but in her last days she went to live with her youngest daughter Mattie, she died at 97 It was told that the Hendersons came from Irland and settled in N.C. (North Carolina).
Granddaddy Jim swapped their home in Manor for 490 acres in swamp five miles from Manor. Out in the sticks! It was a two storey house with a kitchen off to one side. Grandmother was fifteen when she moved there. For three years the upstairs was never used until her oldest sister, Isabelle Mae Strickland died in child birth. Her husband, Perry Strickland, and six children survived her. Granddaddy Jim told Perry that he would take the children if he would fix up the house. He made stairs to up stairs. He was about to get remarried.
There was no school in the swamp so Jim and other farmers hired 20 years old teacher, Ermin King, to teach their children in an old vacant farm house. (I have copies of the children at this school house.) Grandmother said that she knew as much as Mr. King did. She said that her mother could read but that she quit writing. She forgot how. Her father could read and write. He was self taught. (I have copies of pictures of the Henderson children and other children taken at that school house.)
(21 Feb 1999 and still editing this section.)
Joseph Daniel Griffin met Minnie Jane Henderson at Uncle Dan Martin's on Sunday. Uncle Dan was sick. (Two of GDG's brothers married Martins. W. O. Griffin married Mary Martin, and D. P. Griffin married Missourie Martin. Were these two women related? Were they related to Uncle Dan Martin?) Minnie thought Joe was the "best looking thing". She saw him again eight months later when he came to her house. She didn't know if he had come to see her or her sister Annie. They were eating dinner. He had hung his coat up on the porch. Annie took a notebook out of his pocket and wrote "Joe my darlin, Joe my dear, Joe don't love me, And I don't care." She put it back in his pocket. She did not sign it. This was never mentioned again by Joe.
It was fall and cane was growing in the field. The kids got knives to go to the fields. One of the kids hid a dull knife in Joe's hat in the window. They told that Joe had stolen the knife. He said, "O.K., I'll take it home." He stuck it in his pocket and forgot about it until he started home on the horse. A flock of partridges flew up in front of him and he reached into his pocket for something to chunk at them and discovered the knife. His cousin, William Martin, told him that if he went back that Jim would run him off. He didn't go back for six months or longer. He was living out from Ruskin which was ten miles away.
The next time he went he and Minnie were in a little buggy with Sarah Martin, his first cousin, on the back of the buggy. He said, "Im getting tired of coming so far." Minnie answered, "Why don't you quit?" He said, "I'll come as long as you're here." And she replied,"You don't have to." Joe said, "I want you to marry me." And she said, "All right." She told him that he would have to ask her father who was down behind the field. When Joe asked Jim for her hand in marriage Jim cried. Joe told Minnie that her father cried and she said that he doesn't belong to cry. "Well, he did." Joe said.
Jim told Minnie that if she didn't marry Joe that he would send her to college in Douglas, GA, that she had a choice. She chose Joe. Her father said that he was little and puny and not educated and that she was marrying beneath her. She said that it didn't matter, that she loved him and wanted to marry him.
They were married about a month later on the farm. David McQuaig, Justice of the Peace from Glenmore, GA married them. She was 18 and he was 20. Minnie wore a white cashmere dress bought in Argyle, GA. It was floor length with a stock collar. High around the neck. Her gold wedding band was plain. She told the story of what happened to that ring. A Chicken got it. I was washing clothes in a log trough and Thyra was a baby. She was sitting on the end of the log and knocked the ring off and a chicken got it and ran off. I would have got him if I could have caught it. I couldn't tell him from the other chickens. Here she told a story about either Uncle Jim Lee who married Catharine Miller, or about her own father. (My material is confusing about the two Jims.) A rooster ate watermelon seeds which were to be planted. Jim caught the rooster and cut its craw open and got the seeds. He sewed the craw up and planted the seeds. The rooster survived.
After the wedding they went to Peter and Margaret Thrift Griffin's house to live. They spent the first night there and the next day stripped cane all day. They had a little house on the side of the field. It had one room with a sideroom for cooking and eating. There was a front porch. They had two bedsteads and three chairs and a rocker. The beds were given to them by their parents. They had a table, a new stove, A perty thing but it only lasted a year. They bought a safe for vittles. A bench was on one side of the table. They had a horse and a cow and a calf and 150 acres of land. Her brother-in-law, Perry Strickland, gave her a fine hog as a wedding gift. Her mother-in-law gave her a bolster with the bedstead. Grandmother made two or three pillows out of it.
They had an infant son who was born and died here. (Does anyone know where he is buried? Since "Little" Mildred is buried at Pleasant Grove, I suppose this infant was as well.) The house was moved to the other side of the field. Thelma was born here and then Thyra. Then they bought a place on a creek. Jim P., L. D., and Marguerite were born there. Then they sold the place and rented a place called Bear Track. Here Myrtle and Mildred and Alice and Darrell were born. There were two houses here. The Ammons lived on the other farm. (It was while living here that "Little" Mildred died. She was two years and 10 months old. she died of membranous croup. Two doctors came to the farm to try to help her. The doctor just left when she died by choking to death. L. D. was crying and she was in my arms and she would say, Mama what is L. D. crying for? The medicine given to her was to be taken every half hour. One diptheria shot was given by Dr. Lattimer. ) They lived 21 years there and then moved to Manor to Sob Nob and rented that place for six years from Dan Henderson, Minnie's first cousin. (My Mother and Father married here as well as Uncle Jim P. and Aunt Willie Mae.) While living here they bought a piece of property directly on Route 84. Joe and Minnie built the house. Joe hewed out the sills. They never lived here. (My Mother and Father lived here at one time.) Minnie and Joe bought a 13 acre farm from Fred McQuaig and Ira McQuaig, his cousin was living there. And he moved from there when we moved in. They lived there for 21 years. The house was bought ready made. Jacob Riley White and his son-in-law, William Arthur Boyd, (my great grandfather and grandfather) put the house together. It was ordered from Sears and Roebuck and arrived in Manor by train. The house was about 20 years old when they moved there.
Minnie and Joe care for his father, Peter Griffin, for 15 years. Minnie said that he was a vegetable. He had palsy, took morphine, was dried up. He was never well after he came back from the Confederate War. We had to rock him in a chair. He was about 6 feet tall. He couldn't feed himself. He couldn't do anything. He died when I was standing over him one morning. I had just fed him his breakfast. The others were eating breakfast and I wouldn't have known he died except I was looking in his face. (6 Oct 1916) Margaret Thrift died in 1927 after being an invalid for about a month. Died of old age and hard work. She was 84. They are buried at High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church out from Hoboken.
I recently learned that Uncle Leon Henderson (1 Mar 1882-20 Nov 1940) came to live with Grandmother and Granddaddy at Sob Nob. He had a heart attack and died while sitting by the fire. My Aunt Alice was in bed due to being pregnant and expecting the baby in a few days could not help lift him. She called for help. Grandmother, upon seeing he was dead, immediately put his false teeth in his mouth for she knew that after rigor mortis set in that she wouldn't be able to. (In looking at Uncle Leon's brief life it is very sad to know the tragedies he encountered. His wife, Zelpha Lee Barber Henderson (7 Apr 1887-17 Feb 1921), had to be placed in a hospital in Milledgeville, GA. She died there just before her 34th birthday. Uncle Leon and his two sons, Gilbert Kenneth (6 Dec 1909-9 Oct 1970) and Samuel Alton (29 Aug 1911-28 Dec 1972), then moved in with his mother. Later the son Alton had to be placed in Milledgeville and this broke Granny Nan's heart as well as his father's. Alton died there at 61 years of age.) Thank God Uncle Leon died in a home where he was cared for and was loved.
(This material is basically an outline or skeleton still to be filled in/fleshed out. so many names and dates here which need materials added to them. Hopefully I will receive information from Aunt Mattie which will further help me, as well as making contact with my cousin, Kenneth Sylvester. August 1993)
I added this counter 21 February 1999.
Click here to return to Wiregrass Roots I
Click here to see Wiregrass Roots X