Sunday, November 2, 2014

George Henry Merritt and Mary Jane Williams

NoteRelationships, such as grandmother, 2nd great, etc., are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove.

Our grandmother, Carrie Mae Merritt, was the daughter of Mary Jane Williams, born February 14th, 1867 in what later became Atkinson CountyGeorgia and George Henry Merritt, born March 23rd, 1867 in Ware County, Georgia. They were married in 1891 and had nine children. Our grandmother was the youngest child born to them.

Mary Jane was the daughter of Allen Raymond Williams, born March 13th, 1826 in Barnwell CountySouth Carolina and Sarah Ann Parker, born June 5th, 1841 in a part Coffee CountyGeorgia that was Ware County then. 

They married in 1859 and had eight children. Our great grandmother, Mary Jane Elizabeth, was their second child and first daughter.

The parents settled in the southeastern part of Coffee County, in what is now Atkinson County, soon after marriage. They were devout Mormons, charter members of Little Utah L.D.S. Church and are buried in the church's cemetery.

About George Henry Merritt's marriage one family historian, a grand daughter of Calvin Wesley (aka Pops) Merritt, writes; 

"He married Mary Jane Williams, whose family were devout members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. The family practically disowned her when she married outside of the church."

And about her grandfather's and George's occupation she writes; 
"They worked in the lumber trade. At one time they worked for Lydia Smith, known as the Queen of the Okefenokee.  Somehow she is a cousin, but I'm not sure how. 

George Henry worked as an engineer on the train and my grandfather, Calvin, drove a logging truck. I'm not sure if they always worked for Lydia, but if so, they also worked for the Hebard Lumber Company."

His grandchildren don't recall much about George Henry. My Aunt Juanita says she remembers he wore a hat. Pops' granddaughter says about him, "All the stories I've heard say that George Henry was a hard man, meaning he was down and out mean."

The grand kids remember Mary Jane well but when asked about her, they just nod at one another, knowingly, and smile. My father probably sums it up best when he says, "She didn't think the next thing of getting after you with a broom."

NOTE: The basic information on our ancestors comes from the book "The John Lastinger Family of America" by Aurora Shaw, copyright 1960, pages 215-217. 

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