Jeannette Holland Austin Profile
Returning from War to Clinton, Georgia after 28 years
By Jeannette Holland Austin
"Last Thursday the few persons on the streets of Clinton saw an unusual procession passing through town. A covered wagon drawn by a large slick ox, and drien by a bronzed farmer of about 35 years, who walked by his side. Behind this turnout, briskly walked 8 boys and girls and in the wagon sat the pleasant faced mother and wife with her two or more little tow-headed youngsters. After this crowd had passed, it was learned that the man was William Kennedy, who with his large family was returning to Americus from Virginia. At the beginning of the war, he left Sumter County for the war. About the close, he was severely wounded and was carried to a farmhouse where he was tenderly nursed and brought back to health by the daughter of the house, whom he arried. Last April, having read a letter from his brother informiing him of his parents death and saying only himself and one sister remained, Mr. Kennedy was overcome by the intense desire to visit his old home, and disposing of his Virginia property, determined to"take the big road" for old Georgia and at last he nears his native heath." Source: The Jones Headlight, Gray's Station August 18, 1888. Follow the histories of Sumter County Families
Memories of Past Victories Belong to Those Who Find their Ancestors
Genealogists have some pretty unique experiences. There are times when I can almost see the past in its full regalia, the battlefield, and redcoats led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton nicknamed "the butcher" because he cut down an American regiment under a bag of surrender. And I can imagine what it must have been like to arise early in the morning and dress for war, serving only three months at a time because the crops also had to be planted and harvested. Life had to go on in the New World apart from our English cousins. We fought those with whom we'd shared our daily chores, and, in the end, won because ours was a cause against tyranny and the old ways. We won our freedom. Those persons fighting the battle were my ancestors. I share their DNA and personal traits. And, churning within me is that same desire to preserve and protect my inalienable rights and freedoms. After all, we are so much a part "of them". So now here comes "the butcher" dressed in his fancy English uniform and brags about his conquests. Although I was not there, I feel a certain antagonism for his arrogant cruelties and gloat because Lord Cornwallis was too ashamed to present his own sword of surrender. My ancestors were not the famous guys, such as General George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but they were there, getting the job done. That makes the great victories of the war, my accomplishments because I am part of that genetical makeup that made the whole thing happen. So, how does one discover the battles in which the ancestors served? There are several answers. First, examine the application for a pension and note his description of his battles. Next, is to find his bounty land. The Colonel under whom he served would have signed a certificate awarding specific parcels of land in certain counties. The name of that Colonel is important, because he led the ancestors into battle. In other words, if you follow the battles of say, Colonel Lee, you will have a better knowledge of when and where your ancestor served and the history surrounding his battles. Such details help to complete the scene of an exciting drama. Now, your ancestor's participation in the war becomes more important to you. The sacrifice of the patriots caused them to lose so much afterwards. They had to begin again. And they did so by accepting land grants for their service and starting a new life somewhere else. In other words, it was the patriots who began constructing America into the great country that it is today. In order that the reseach not be for ought, children need to hear the stories of past days from the lips of family members, and genealogists can share the personal details like no one else! That is how the past becomes real.
Jeannette Holland Austin
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Sumter County Families
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Sumter County Wills, Estates, Marriages
Sumter County Court House. Sumter County was founded in 1832 from Lee County and was the site of 3 hospitals for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The famous confederate prisonAndersonvillewas located here where many northern soldiers died as a result of cruel treatment. The surrounding town and plantations, suffering themselves, share food with the prisoners but history fails to give this account. County Seat: Americus. Early Settlers: Oliver Griffith, Samuel Bivins, Wright Brady, Lewis Bruner, John Cowart, Ebenezer Cottle, James Cato, William Dupree, John Fletcher.
Sumter County Databases Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Sumter County Marriages
- Sumter County Marriages 1833-1850
- Sumter County Marriages from newspapers 1885-1886.
Indexes to Probate Records
- Sumter County Wills 1831-1900 (abstracts).
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
- Index to Sumter County Will Bk OO, 1838 to 1855.
- Index to Sumer County Annual Returns, Vouchers, Appraisements, 1850 to 1870
- Brinkley, Benjamin H., deceased. Bond for Temporary Letters of Administration (1854).
- Powell, John, LWT (Digital Image)(1863).
- Powell, William, LWT (Digital Image) (1863).
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