Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Collins in Baker and Clinch Counties

At Mt Plesant Cemetery
Ware County, Georgia

Our Patriarch: David Musgrove 


We blogged last about our Musgrove family research. We couldn't find James Walter Musgrove. Our line a has a recent 'non-paternity event' (the presumed father is not the biological father). In our case we are y-DNA McMurrys.





First Known Musgrove Ancestor


Undated, not credited
family reunion notice
The oldest known ancestor in our Musgrove surname lineage is John David, known by his middle name.

The youngest daughter of his youngest son - Edward Columbus (known as Ed) Musgrove - is my Great Aunt Louise  * (see relationship notes at bottom of page).

Great, great Grandpa David's oldest living descendant, about him she'll only say,
"He was gone before I was born. All I know is I had the best Mama and Daddy in the world."
She does say her grandpa chopped his leg with an ax and it was amputated. He wore a wooden leg. Her father told her of the sound when he walked around the house.

For a fuller story of his life we have to look at the records.

We looked at the 1860 census on our last blog.

Between 1860 and 1870


Mary Ann Savannah
aka Molly Musgrove
Another source of our family history is David and Betty Musgrove's first born, Mary Ann Savannah (known as Molly) Musgrove. Katie Wildes shared a story her Aunt Molly told her about our ancestors;
"Sometime after James Sr. died, John F.  (Collins) separated from his wife and lived in common law with Elizabeth Bryan Musgrove and her three sons David John, Charles H. and James Walter."
American Family Musgrove, page 733
A descendant of David's brother, Charles Musgrove, heard the senior James Walter was kicked by a horse in the Okefenokee Swamp and died. This hasn't been proven.

James Walter
must of died before 1860 when the John F Collins family was counted in Clinch.

The Collins in the Baker County


On the census of 1850 John Forbes Collins lived in Baker County, Georgia with his first wife, Adelph, their five daughters - including Betty Collins who would later marry David Musgrove - and a two year old son.

This researcher hasn't found James Walter Musgrove, Elizabeth Bryan or their sons anywhere that year.

On the census ten years later, in 1860, the Adelph Collins family is still in Baker County. The John F Collins family is in Clinch.

Back in Baker County, by 1860 the census counts five daughters and three sons; two more boys than were there on the 1850 census. . The youngest is six years old, making his birth around 1854.

John Collins must have left his first wife between 1854 and 1860.

Elizabeth Arissa (known as Betty) Collins


At Mt Plesant Cemetery
Ware County, Georgia
Katie reported another story from her Aunt Molly.
On a trip back to visit (his family in Baker Couunty ed.), John F. Collins picked up his daughter for a visit with the Musgroves. Elizabeth and David fell in love and were married
American Family Musgrove page 734
The first child of David and Betty (Collins) Musgrove was born in 1867, two years after the war and one month before their parents married one another.

The Collins in Clinch: 1870 Census


The 1870 federal census is the fullest record of our ancestor's history. With it our confidence in our story grows.

The Family


1870 Federal Census
Clinch County, Georgia


Now legally married, the household head is John and his wife, Elizabeth Collins.  Our great grandfather, David, has fathered two children with John Collins daughter, Elizabeth.It seems they live elsewhere. His brothers, Charles and James, are now counted as Musgroves,

At Mt Plesant Cemetery
Ware County, Georgia
The sister of Elizabeth (Bryan-Musgrove) Collins  - Ellen (Bryan) Leverette - and her two young adult daughters, Elizabeth Sarah and Mary Ann Leverette, live with them.

In 1860 the Collins owned an 18 year old female slave. The war over by 1870, their female slave is gone. In her place is a seven year old mulatto boy named Joseph Collins. He was born in the middle of the war. Here's a story Aunt Louise told.

After the war the slaves were freed but one of our ancestors - she didn't know who - kept on a mentally challenged ex-slave boy. This researcher notes the only slave owners in our direct line he finds on the Musgrove side is the Collins.

The last entry in the 1870 census is John Leverette, one years old. We'll devote the next post to him.


NoteRelationships are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove. 

*Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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