Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Early Self Family Settlers in Union

The surname Self has a long history, going back at least to the time of the Vikings, who in their ships made ocean voyages and explored lands they found long before Columbus discovered America in 1492. This group of hardy people, explorers, were called (anglicized) Seawolf. That surname was eventually shortened, probably by pronouncing it as one syllable, to Self. It is spelled variously Self, Selffe, Selph, Selphe. But to link the surname up to those first daring explorers, we need to remember it as Seawolf.

In Union County in 1834 when the first census was taken, we find three families with the surname Self, and one with a much different spelling which I will list, not knowing quite whether to include it with Self settlers. These I found listed as living in Union in 1834:

Job Self’s household had 6 males and 6 females;

Thomas Self, one male and one female;

Francis Self, one male and one female.

These made the Self population in 1834 total 8 males and 8 females. Then I found the unusual spelling Seffle, for a household with Isom as head, and 6 males and 6 females living in that household. I did not find a last name spelled Seffle in subsequent census records for the county, nor an Isom as head of household with a similar last name. This is one of those odd mysteries of old census records.

Since she was my great, great grandmother, I know of another Self, married to Thompson Collins who lived in Union and was recorded in the 1834 census.

I refer to Celia Self Collins who married Thompson Collins in 1810 in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Thompson Collins was born about 1785 in North Carolina and Celia Self was born about 1787 in North Carolina. Much research has been done to try to identify the parents of Thompson Collins and Celia Self. We can be fairly sure that a Nancy (maiden name unknown) Collins was Thompson’s mother and that his father might have been named Thomas.

Celia Self’s father was believed to be Francis Self. Since no age is given for the Francis Self family, residents of Union in 1834, these may have been Celia Self Collins’s parents. The Job Self, with 6 males and 6 females in the family in Union in 1834 is believed to be her brother, as was the Thomas Self, with one male, one female as residents. Maybe Self researchers who read this can give illumination to more specific tracing of the lines of Celia Self Collins, Job, Thomas and Francis Self, all of whom were residents of Union County in 1834.

The 1840 census shows that Job Self and Thomas R. Self were still in Union, and two more households of Self had settled here, Robert B. Self and William Self. The Francis Self listed in 1834 does not appear in the 1840 census. This leads me to wonder if, indeed, they were the elderly parents of my great, great grandmother, Celia Self Collins, and that they had died between 1834 to 1840. No marked gravestones of same are present in county cemeteries to answer this question.

The 1840 population of Self families had a total of 28 persons. The families registered in that census had constituents as follows:

Job self, 5 males, 7 females

Thomas R. Self, 3 males, 4 females

Robert B. Self, 1 male, 2 females

William Self, 4 males, 2 females

Checking the Union County marriage records for this early period of the county’s history, I looked for Self and found the following registrations of marriages of Self surnames by 1840:

Thomas Self married Nancy Cook on July 11, 1833, with John Thomas, Justice of the Inferior Court, performing the ceremony.

Robert Self married Marthy (sic) Cook on January 25, 1838, with Jarrett Turner, Justice of the Peace, performing the ceremony.

Since their marriage occurred in July, 1833, Thomas and Nancy Cook Self did not have children by the time of the 1834 census. But, in looking at the 1840 census for their household, they had two male children and 3 female children, all under 10. Since Robert and Martha’s marriage on 1838, the 1840 census showed they were the parents of one female child before the 1840 census.

Were Nancy Cook and Martha Cook, who married the Self men, sisters? And were Robert and Thomas Self brothers? This writer assumes they were. Maybe our readers can help us with these puzzles about the early Self settlers of Union County.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published March 24, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It’s That TIME Again

Sunday, March 13 was that time again--time to “spring forward” one hour in time, set our clocks ahead and lose one hour of much-needed sleep in the process.

If you’re like me, you are probably still feeling the effects of this time disorientation, the loss of sleep, and in general getting your body in tune with a new schedule that means arising earlier, and, if you’re wise, going to bed earlier.

Researchers are now conducting research to see how healthy time changes in the spring and in the fall are for us. Not absolutely confirmed yet, with more research progressing, scientists who study the effects of time change on individuals have unveiled some interesting data.

The thesis is that shifting our internal clocks twice a year has adverse effects on health and well-being. In the spring-forward mode, sleep deprivation is a big loss which affects nearly everyone. Most people do not get enough sleep at best, given factors that rob of rest and sleep. When a “required” loss of sleep, such as moving the clock forward a whole hour occurs, it takes the body days, even weeks, to adjust. It is not likely in the fall when we “fall back” an hour, that the body will adjust any better to new sleeping patterns. Sleep deprivation, then is one of the first and most marked health issues of time changes.

Another finding published in the “Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics” found that abrupt time changes adversely affect mental function. For example, when a control group of high school students in Indiana were given the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) shortly after the spring time change, the group dropped 16 points in total test scores following the loss of an hour of sleep. Sleepy children in schools and less-alert workers at jobs also take tolls in mental acuity and work production.

Several studies have found that traffic accidents increase by a sizeable percentage (in Canada, by 8%) after the spring time-forward. Likewise, studies show that traffic accidents increase in the fall when dusk comes early and as persons drive home in the dark after a long day at work are much more prone to have accidents.

A study in Sweden revealed that heart attacks increased by at least 6% following the time-forward adjustment in spring.

I did a little research to see when and why the laws adjusting time in spring and fall came about in the first place. Go back a long time for the idea for this law, although it took years for the Congress and Presidents of the United States to act on the idea. In 1784, America’s venerable Benjamin Franklin, inventor, writer and U. S. Ambassador to France, came up with the idea for Daylight Saving Time. It happened like this. Franklin had seen a demonstration of a new kind of oil lamp in France that made a big difference in how a room was lighted. Franklin, who was 78 at the time he wrote his tongue-in-cheek essays about time, also liked to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing chess and other board games with his French friends, one of whom was Antoine Francois Cadet de Vaux, editor of “Journal de Paris.” Because of his late-night habits, Franklin seldom saw the sun rise, but slept until noon or after.

After having seen the famous oil lamp and how much light it furnished, Franklin awoke, thinking the lamps were on in his room. But he had awakened early enough to see the dawning, with his shades open. He conceived the idea of how thrifty it would be to make use of more daylight time rather than using so much fuel to furnish artificial light. And hence came the concept of moving clocks forward to take advantage of daylight in the spring, and moving them back in the fall for the same reason. His friend, Cadet de Vaux, published the essays in a series entitled “An Economical Project.”

It was not, however, until World War I that Franklin’s ideas, proposed in 1784, were actually adopted. On April 30, 1916, Germany and Austria advanced clocks one hour. Several European countries followed suit, and the United States changed time two years later. The first law here about moving the clocks forward an hour in the spring was made effective on March 19, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson overrode the rule in 1919.

During World War II, to save fuel and other economic aspects in the war effort, Daylight Saving Time was enacted from February 9, 1942 through September 30, 1945. President Franklin Roosevelt endorsed it. Never completely happy with the time change, citizens after World War II wanted “the old time” back. Again in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act, the forward and backward setting of the clocks was again enacted. The law was revised in 1972 to move forward an hour on the first Sunday in April and to move backward the last Sunday in October. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act began the time change on the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November, as the changes still occur.

Complain about it as we may, have trouble adjusting to it as we do, and fearing the hazards to our health that research scientists have revealed, time changes seem to now be a part of how we are ordered to do things. And so, like it or not, we adjust…and mark our hours of daylight and darkness. Some believe time change obliquely affects even the economy--not only in saving electricity and other fuel for lighting, but to provide more daylight hours for shoppers to go to stores and make purchases, thus boosting our struggling economy.

Flowers and plants turn their heads to follow the sun and gain every ray possible from the light. As we in turn spring forward and fall back at the appropriate times, we, like the natural world, are trying to follow a way to get more benefits from sunlight hours.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published March 17, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


For those of us who grew up on a farm in this mountain area, we were accustomed to hearing our elders discuss spring planting “by the signs.” This did not mean the normal signs of warmer days and nights, longer days and climate that might mean the danger of frost was by. “Planting by the signs” was a long-held belief in the signs of the zodiac and how these astrological characteristics helped to guarantee good yield from garden and field. What was needed was a good Almanac, such as “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” “Grier’s” or “Ladies’ Birthday Almanac,” as well as a good knowledge of what the signs meant in relationship to planting, cultivating and harvesting.

With spring in the air on some of our warm March days, we turn our thoughts to this lore that was learned from our Scots-Irish forebears and from their experience with “planting by the signs.” Also, consult any one of the above-mentioned almanacs for 2011 for a wealth of information concerning when to plant what for best yields.

The Zodiac, defined, is believed to be “a belt through the Heavens about sixteen degrees wide within which lie the paths of the Sun, Moon and principal planets” (cited from “Ladies’ Birthday Almanac,” p. 4). Divided into twelve parts, the Zodiac got its name in ancient times. Each sign is believed to be related to a part of the human body. Ancient astrologers assigned names and symbols to the signs and gave them relationships according to an assigned symbol, the body of a person and their times in the year as follows:

Aquarius, waterman, the legs, January 20-February 18;

Pisces, fishes, the feet, Feb. 18-March 20;

Aries, ram, the head and face, March 20 to April 20;

Taurus, the bull, the neck; April 20-May 22;

Gemini, twins, the arms, May 22 to June 21;

Cancer, the crab, the breast; June 21 to July 23;

Leo, the lion, the heart; July 23 to August 23;

Virgo, the Virgin, bowels (or stomach): August 23 to September 23;

Libra, a balance, the kidneys, September 23 to October 23;

Scorpio, the scorpion, the loins: October 23 to November 22;

Sagittarius, the archer, the thighs, November 22 to December 22; and

Capricorn, the goat, the knees, December 22 through January 20
These astrological signs throughout the year are used to help plan events according to the placement of the sun, moon and planets in the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

And that brings us to another interesting observation. Within each month’s moon and sun phases, the twelve signs are active and specific. Take for example, March, 2011. Consulting the ever-popular “Old Farmer’s Almanac” for this year I note on page 122 the following signs for the dates in March: 1, 3, 29, 30 - Capricorn; 2, 4, 31, Aquarius; 5, 6, 7, 8 - Pisces; 9, 10, - Aries; 11, 12, 13 - Taurus; 14, 15 - Gemini; 16 - Cancer; 17, 18, 19 - Leo; 20, 21, 22 - Virgo; 23- Libra; 24, 25 - Scorpio; 26, 27 - Sagittarius.

Every good farmer and gardener knows, in observing these monthly “signs of the moon“ and remembers: Never, ever plant in the barren signs of Gemini, Leo and Virgo. If you want to do something productive in these signs, dig up weeds or otherwise destroy them. They will not come back readily and drown out your crops if weeded in these “barren” signs.

And remember to plant in the “New of the Moon” for best results from your crops. Those who plant by the signs avow that plants, trees and vegetables planted at the “New of the Moon” grow lushly and vigorously. When time to harvest, gather on the “Old of the Moon” for more flavor and for vegetables and fruits that store and preserve better.

Obviously, we do not plant in the mountains during all twelve months of the year. How then are these signs read and how do they become guidelines to help us know when the best time is for putting seeds in the ground? Just go by your faithful almanac! It’s worth the cost for all the “signs” spelled out for the avid gardener. And besides, you will enjoy the folklore, stories, personal testimonies, and sure-fire remedies for this and that, not only about the best time to plant and harvest, but for healthful living in general. At a time when experts were not easily available for these common concerns of an agrarian lifestyle, our ancestors worked out their own systems by the signs given in nature. Maybe they had a handle on how best to do things.

According to ancient astrologers, good times for planting are the days of Pisces (February 18 to March 20) for spring planting and early harvests. Plant in Cancer (June 21 to July 23) for summer and fall harvests. Then, in warmer climates when you plant some hardy crops for winter growth, the time to plant is Scorpio, from October 23 through November 22.

I wish I had listened more to my father, a master farmer, the first in Union County to grow 100 bushels of corn on an acre back in the mid-twentieth century. He “went by the signs“ for his planting. And always he put great store in planting on Good Friday. Since it comes this year on April 22, most of the danger of frost should be past.

Good gardening and farming to you!

c2011by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Mar. 10, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

John Andrew Moore and Rev. John Ferry Moore (Moore Family—Part 5)

Last week we traced some of the family of Christopher Columbus Moore (known as “Lum”) and his wife Mary Elizabeth Swanson Moore. You will recall that this account of the Moore family began with early settlers to Union County, Albert and Sarah McClure Moore. These meager accounts in no way cover all the spreading branches of the Moore descendants. This entry centers on two, John Andrew, the fourth child of Christopher Columbus Moore, and a son of John Andrew, the Rev. John Ferry Moore. Perhaps these five views of the Moore family will prove a springboard for further research for descendants who might not have known some of the facts given in these articles about these hardy settlers to our mountain region of North Georgia.

John Andrew Moore was born on December 25, 1871, a fine Christmas present for his father and mother, Christopher Columbus Moore and Elizabeth Swanson Moore. At the time of the new baby’s birth, he had older siblings James, Hanibal and Lavada to welcome his birth. Later, four more children were born to Lum and Mary Elizabeth: Lillie, Lola, George and Arthur.

Focusing on John Andrew Moore, he met and married shortly after his eighteenth birthday (date of marriage January 5, 1890) the very young not quite fifteen-year old, Emily Estalee Teem of Rabun County, Georgia. To this couple were born Forrest Columbus (b. May 7, 1891), Gretchen Manassas (b. March 26, 1894), Gaither Grayson (b. April 17, 1897), Noel Arvis (b. February 21, 1901), Hazel Prudence (June 1, 1902), John Ferry (b. September 14, 1905), Doctor Garland (b. October 1, 1907), Prince Hodson (b. December 7, 1912), and Lady Rhea (b. May 19, 1918). It was a happy day for John Andrew and Emily Teem Moore when they moved by wagon from Rabun County, Georgia back to Towns County in 1919 where John A. could be near his aging parents at Woods Grove. For twenty-two years they were happy farming and entering into the life of the “home” community at Woods Grove. But progress (as the world terms it) moved in, and John Andrew Moore had to sell his acreage for the building of Lake Chatuge as the Tennessee Valley Authority opened a series of dams and power plants for the production of electricity.

John Andrew and Emily Teem Moore relocated to Habersham County, Georgia. There John died June 20, 1950 and Emily died February 12, 1966. They were interred in the Hazel Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, in Habersham County.

Their sixth of nine children was John Ferry Moore, born September 14, 1905 in Rabun County, Georgia. He married Esther Tatham of Towns County on November 2, 1929. She was born April 16, 1909. They lived happily in Towns County until 1941 when their land in the Woods Grove community was purchased by Tennessee Valley Authority for the building of Lake Chatuge. They relocated to a good farm purchased in Habersham County, Georgia.

Children born to John Ferry Moore and Esther Tatham Moore were son Lynn Tatham Moore (1930), Barbara Jeane Moore (1934) and Frances Esther Moore (1947). Then in 1948, after much soul-searching, John Ferry Moore surrendered to the call to gospel ministry and was ordained a Baptist preacher. Lower Hightower Baptist Church in Towns County was his very first church to serve as pastor which he accepted in June, 1949. The next ten years found him faithfully serving churches in the mountains in Towns, Rabun, Stephens and Habersham counties. He was known as a good and solid Bible preacher and one who cooperated in the work of Baptist associations in each of the counties where churches he pastored were located.

In 1959 he accepted the call to a church in Coffee County, Georgia. Then in 1966 he and Ester moved back north to Hall County, Georgia where he accepted the pastorate of Springway Baptist Church. The last three years of his ministry before retirement were spent back in south Georgia, Randolph County, at Vilulah Baptist Church.

In retirement, he and Esther moved back to Habersham County to live His previous record as a good preacher put him in line for engagements in several churches as pulpit supply and interim pastor. One of his very happy appointments was back at Lower Hightower Baptist Church in Towns County in 1981, the very first church he pastored when he began his long career as a Baptist preacher in 1949.

This five-part view of the Moore family of Union, Towns and surrounding counties barely scratches the surface of the contributions this family and its descendants have made in the building up and strengthening of the way of life that has evolved since the first Moore cabins were erected in these mountains prior to 1840. For over 170 years Moore family members have either remained here or gone out to other places to make a difference where they took up residence and plied their work.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Mar. 3, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.