Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some descendants of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey

Two weeks ago I began a series on the William Cathey Family, citizens of Union County, Georgia in the 1840 and 1850 census records. They lived in the section of the county (near Young Harris) that was taken into Towns County when it was formed out of parts of Union and Rabun Counties in 1856. Then I wrote for two weeks about the inauguration and the peaceful transfer of leadership to our current president, Barack Obama.

Returning to the account of the Cathey family, we will look in this article at some of the descendants of William Cathey (April 15, 1782-1860) and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey (April 3, 1787-1872).

I mentioned two weeks ago that the Catheys originated in Colonsay, Scotland, an island off the coast of that country. An interesting story I did not include then was about the famed MacFie Standing Stone at Colonsay. The historic stone marks the spot where, in 1623, Malcolm, the last chief of the Clan MacFie was murdered in a clash against the MacDonald Clan. Scotland was in great unrest in the early seventeenth century, and clan wars were prevalent. Over the years, the marker fell into disrepair. MacFie descendants started a drive to restore the standing stone. On May 10, 1977, the restored marker was dedicated. Ulf MacFie Hagman of Sweden, Charles MacPhee of Australia, and Duncan MacPhee of Scotland headed the work of repair. Many others with MacFie ties assisted with the work and dedication. The Standing Stone can be seen today by any clan members who visit Colonsay. Betty Cathey McRee, a MacFie clan person, reminds us that there are many spellings of the old Scots-Irish family name, but in America, Cathey is one of the preferred Anglicized spellings.

Andrew Dever Cathey was the eldest child of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey. He was born April 16, 1809 in North Carolina before his parents migrated to Union County, Georgia prior to 1840. He also married in North Carolina before moving to Georgia to Mary Jefferson Allison, born December 18, 1808 to Benjamin and Margaret Wood Allison. We have no explanation as to why her middle name was Jefferson, for it seems that she had not been married prior to her marriage to Andrew on December 31, 1833. Mary's death date was November 29, 1878.

This couple had a large family of eleven children. Seven of their sons served in the Civil War. Imagine the concern the parents had with that many of their able-bodied sons, much needed to work on the farm, being away serving in the war. Their children and spouses (if known) were:

(1) William Hillman Cathey (1834-1880) married Nancy Morris in 1867.
(2) Benjamin Hamilton Cathey (Jan. 4, 1836-June 12, 1907?) married Mariah Conley.
(3) James D. Cathey (1837- 1862; evidently died in the Civil War)
(4) Francis Marion Cathey (1838-1912) married Mattie McDade.
(5) Sarah Elizabeth Cathey (1840-?) married Mann Raby.
(6) Margaret Rebecca Cathey (March 21, 1842-1934, evidently never married).
(7) Wilson Harrison Cathey (1844-1910; no record of his marriage).
(8) John G. Cathey (1846- 1901) married Catherine Wike in 1877.
(9) Samuel Taylor Cathey (1848-1888; no record of marriage).
(10) Montreville Cathey (1853 - ?; no record of marriage).
(11) Marquis Lafayette Cathy (1853-1937) married Florence Kendall in 1883.
The second child of William Cathey and Elizabeth Bryson Cathy was James Cathey, born March 11, 1813 in North Carolina. He lived in the Brasstown Section of Union County. In 1856 his land was included in Towns County. He married Emmeline (called "Emily") Brown on May 28, 1846 in Union County. They had seven children.
(1) Julius Young Cathey (Sept. 17, 1847-March 22, 1929) married Rebecca Louvenia Wood in April 1870.
(2) Jane Elizabeth Cathey (born 1850) - evidently never married.
(3) Lucious Cathey (born 1854) - evidently never married.
(4) William C. Cathey (born 1859) married Josephine Crow on March 21, 1880.
(5) Nancy Marinda (called "Rendy") Cathey (1863-Sept. 7, 1919) married Noah F. Ellis on July 24, 1881 in Towns County.
(6) John A. Cathey (b. 1866) - no record of his marriage.
(7) Andrew Dever Cathy, named for his uncle by the same name; no record of his marriage.
William H. Cathey, named for his father, was the third child of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey. William was born August 22, 1815. At age 22, he married Nancy M. Carter, a daughter of Jesse Carter and Lavinah Sams Carter. They lived in Union County (later Towns) where they had six children: Rebecca (1839), Josiah (1841), Elizabeth Lavina (1843), Jesse (1846), Lucinda (1850), and Louisa whom they nicknamed "Lassie" (1859).

In a subsequent article we will trace what we can find about William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey's other three children and some of their descendants to the third and fourth generations. With ancestral ties back to the MacFie Clan of Scots-Irish immigrants, these north Georgia farm families were hardy and hard-working.

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published January 29, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Anything is Possible in America'

We are living in the midst of history this week.

On Monday, January 19, America celebrated the 80th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, and made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In it he declared:

"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will all be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
On January 19, president-elect Barack Obama, one day before he would take the oath of office as the forty-fourth president of the United States, stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, looked out at the huge crowd gathered on the Washington Mall, and proclaimed these words:
"What gives me hope is what I see when I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chisled those unlikely stories that affirm our unyielding faith—a faith that anything is possible in America."
Reflective and with gratitude in his voice he further stated, as he looked at the tall spire of the Washington monument rising sedately through the cold winter clouds and fog:
"Rising before us stands a monument to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an empire, all for the sake of an idea."
That idea was freedom, winning against great odds the right to self-government in a free nation. The price was phenomenal. The rewards since have been extraordinary.

The idea George Washington and his contemporaries held was that, indeed, "anything is possible in America." The same idea lay behind President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Similar ideas fired the million-man march on Washington and Rev. King's "I Have a Dream Speech" in 1963.

Seeing the more-recently erected World War II monument in the Mall, Barack Obama said of it:

"(Here stands) a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression, men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny's grasp."
Then, looking at the statue of the Great Emancipator, Obama paid this tribute to President Abraham Lincoln:
"Watching over the Union he saved sits the man who in so many ways made this day possible."
This appeal rang out:
"Remember their struggles. Remember the thread that binds us together in common effort, that runs through every memorial on this Mall. (All offer a lesson) that there is no obstacle that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change."
In this week of momentous historical change and challenge, my prayer is one of remembrance and thanksgiving for my ancestors who were patriots in the American Revolution, who were willing to give their very lives for America's freedom. I recall that during our nation's bloodiest conflict, most of my ancestors were pro-Union and stood with Lincoln to hold the nation together, to bring freedom to those in bondage. During World War I and World War II, my kinsmen fought on foreign soil and also labored diligently on the home front to do what they could. And through all of these struggles, they held onto dreams, one of the main ones being "anything is possible in America."

But my prayers today will be more than thanksgiving for past achievements. I will earnestly pray for leadership for the new president and his cabinet, for vision, purpose and guidance for "one nation under God." God's smile on America will come only if we as citizens recognize His lordship. Personal and selfish motives are anathema. Only sacrifice and service should be at the heart of what can be wrought in America.

The words of the 44th president of the United States are soon to be uttered in his address as I send this column by e-mail on the day of his inauguration. We will pinpoint gems of wisdom from what he says and historians will preserve his speech for generations to come. It will give school children hope for what they can become in America. It will remind senior citizens of their unparalleled heritage.

We pray that all citizens will be renewed in their faith. Lying at the heart of the dream are responsibility and cooperation. These are inherent to the dream that "anything is possible in America."

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 22, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A New Birth of Freedom

Since the election in November, 2008, Committees have been actively engaged in planning and implementing inauguration activities that will indicate change. The theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," chosen by the new president himself, will be evident in all the events of this auspicious occasion that sets America apart as a nation of freedom and opportunity. The largest crowd in the history of inaugurations will be in attendance. Estimates are that from 1.5 to 4 million people will converge on Washington to view and participate in the inauguration day ceremonies.

Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, will administer the oath of office to the new president. First will come the swearing-in of Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, followed closely by the presidential swearing-in.

The Constitution of the United States mandates that the oath or affirmation of office must be administered before the president can "enter on the Execution" of duties as Chief Executive. The words that will be repeated after the Chief Justice are these:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, Protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States (So help me God).
Advance word is that President Obama plans to repeat the optional codicil, as have presidents before him: "So help me God."

The invocation prayer will be led by the Rev. Rick Warren, senior and founding pastor of the Saddlebrook Church, Lake Forest, California. He is author of The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life. The latter book, long on the national best-seller list, answers scripturally the question, "What on earth am I here for?" Criticism has been rife that Mr. Obama chose a conservative pastor, one who stands against abortion and gay marriage, as the person to lead the invocation. The benediction will be pronounced by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights activist and minister in the United Methodist Church.

Ruffles and flourishes will musically announce the new president, followed by the stately and highly-recognizable "Hail to the Chief."

Since April 30, 1789 when George Washington was inaugurated on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, before the capitol was built in Washington, D. C., we have held to certain traditions, ceremonies and fanfare, all of which set apart the inauguration of the president of the United States as an auspicious occasion. We observe the peaceful transfer of leadership from one person to another, an earmark of a democratic form of government.

What can we as "ordinary" citizens do—rank-and-file people of the United States, most of whom will not be in the massive Washington throng to participate in Mr. Obama's inauguration? We have the privilege of watching on television, so we can experience vicariously the excitement and launch of "A New Birth of Freedom." We can forget partisan politics for awhile and know that the people, and our electoral college, determined peacefully our leader for the next four years. It is our duty as citizens to support him.

But there is something much more important we can do than watch—than become side-line spectators. We can help to shape history. That admonition was given by Paul the Apostle when he wrote to young Timothy, his "son" in the gospel: "Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God." (1 Timothy 2:2).

I think we would agree to the terms of this prayer expressed by Paul. And if we are truly to see "A New Birth of Freedom," with the economy at a low ebb, and many factions warring against each other in the world and in America itself, we can agree to make a difference by praying for rulers and for all in authority. If enough pray, and sincerely mean their petitions, then we will be able to live "quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God." This is the biblical promise attached to the request to pray for leaders.

These words are engraved in the State Room of the White House, the house that Barack and Michelle Obama and their daughters will occupy for the next four years. The words were written by John Adams, our second president, to his wife Abigail. They are s a prayer for all of Adams' successors: "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

May we enjoy inauguration, 2009. We are living history in all its pomp and circumstance. May we know, truly, that this time is "A New Birth of Freedom."

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 15, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cathey family in Union by 1840

By preliminary greeting, I hope all you readers had a good Christmas, 2008, and that the New Year, 2009, despite its challenges on the economic front, has dawned with hope and health for you and your family. In a New Year's greeting from dear friends, they wrote: "Expect peace, love, joy, harmony, forgiveness, understanding and ask the Lord for wisdom." That is good advice for 2009 or any year.

Now to the family name we will pursue for awhile. Looking in the 1840 (second) census of Union County, I found the first reference to a Cathey family living here. No family by that name was recorded in the first census of the county taken in 1834.

William Cathey's household in 1840 consisted of four males between the ages of 20 and 30, one male (the head of household, William) between the ages of 50 and 60. And females in the house included one female child (0 to 5—who may have been a grandchild), one female age 15 to 20, one female, age 20-30, and one female, age 50 to 60, which was William's wife, Elizabeth Bryson Cathey.

From other records of the Cathey family, we learn that William Cathey was born April 15, 1782 in Burke County, NC and died in 1860 in Towns County, Georgia. His wife, Elizabeth Bryson was born April 3, 1787 and died in 1872. She was a daughter of Andrew and Agnes Nail Bryson. Her grandparents were William and Isabella Holmes Bryson.

Next door neighbors to the William Cathey family in Union County in 1840 were the John Bryson family (he may have been a brother of Elizabeth Bryson Cathey) and David McClure.

Known children of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathey, all born in North Carolina before they migrated to Georgia, were Andrew Dever Cathey (04-16-1809) who married Mary Jefferson Allison; James Cathey (03-11-1812) who married Emmeline (called Emily) Brown; William H. Cathey (08-22-1815) who married Nancy M. Carter; Samuel B. Cathey (09-13-1818) who married Mary Melissa "Polly" Parker; and Rebecca Cathey (11-17-1820) who married John B. Parker.

In researching the Cathey surname, we find an interesting history. The first Cathey immigrants to America in the seventeenth century were four brothers (whose names seem to be James, John, David, and Alexander). They had lived in Monaghan County, Ireland. Before that, the Cathey family had migrated from the Island of Colonsay, Scotland. About 1720 the Catheys who came to America were settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Gradually, some of them migrated to lands in Virginia and North Carolina.

The Catheys were of the McFie or MacPhie Clan in Scotland (some spell it McAfie). The Gaelic spelling is far different from either McFie or Cathey and was Macdhubhshith, which meant "Son of the Dark Fairy or Elf." Legend holds that the chief of the MacPhie Clan was killed in 1623, and the clan had to gradually leave the wonderful island of Colonsay in Scotland. The clan had owned two islands off the coast of Scotland. On one they buried their dead and on the other they lived and farmed. For about 100 years, the Catheys survived in and around Ulster, Ireland. They held closely to their Presbyterian beliefs. They wanted a good education for their children, and had a strong work ethic. Religious persecution in Ireland caused migration to America. The Cathey brothers were among those who came to America seeking freedom.

James Cathey, one of the four brothers who came to America, was a millwright. He followed the occupation of milling wherever he settled—first in Pennsylvania, then in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. In Virginia, James was deeded 1,350 acres of land by King George II for which Mr. Cathey paid sixteen pounds and fifteen shillings.

The next move was across the Yadkin River where the "Cathey Settlement" was formed at Mills Bridge in Salisbury, NC. It is said the Catheys were the first English-speaking settlement at this location in North Carolina. James owned 3,752 acres there which he received in a grant. His wife was named Ann, but her maiden name is not found in any extant records. Upon James's death, he willed half his plantation to his wife Ann and one-half to a nephew John Branden.

Later, two of James Cathey's nephews owned the land, were operating his mill, and grinding the grains produced around Salisbury.

The lineage of William Cathey who settled in Union County, Georgia before 1840 has not been traced by this writer back to the large land holder James Cathey, the miller of Salisbury, NC. However, we do know that William came to Union from Burke County, NC, and that his father was Andrew D. Cathey. So he definitely stems back to the "Cathey Settlement" in the Yadkin Valley. It is interesting to note that the names of the first Cathey brothers to settle in America have been passed on to descendants in almost every generation of Catheys—a tradition to those who hold to the importance of family ties.

Julius Young Cathey was a son of James and Emily Brown Cathy, a grandson of William and Elizabeth Bryson Cathy. One of Julius's sons was John Lucius Cathey (b. 01-15-1876) who married Hattie Ann Dyer. And so comes my kinship to the Clan McFie for John Cathey married my Aunt Hattie, sister of my father, Jewel Marion Dyer. Little did my Cathey cousins and I know when we were growing up that the Cathey name had such a long and illustrious history.

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published January 8, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.