Finding Your Folks: More children of Preston and Ann (Jones) Amis Herndon

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We will continue this week with the children of Edward and Nancy Brown Herndon of Elbert and Meriwether counties, and focus once more on the family of Preston and Ann Amis Herndon. We started this story two weeks ago with the three young children of this couple who died tragically when they were barely able to toddle. This week we continue with more of Preston and Ann's children who lived to adulthood, married and had children of their own.

Two of these Herndon children took a liking to the Gullatts of Goodes District of Campbell County and married brothers and sisters of that family. Geter Edward Herndon married Emma Gullatt on 2 Oct. 1901 and Geter's sister, Ona Herndon, married Emma's brother, Olin Wilson Herndon, on 6 Dec. 1903. Both Gullatts were children of Otis and Mary Reeves Gullatt. Mary Reeves was the daughter of Franklin and Jane Stipes Reeves. Olin and Ona Herndon Gullatt were the grandparents of Nell O'Shields who has been so generous about sharing her family information for this series of stories. Most of this information has been confirmed with her via her grandmother's notes and her great-grandfather's Bible, as well as things Nell told me first hand. I have also used my own resources (census, cemetery, court and marriage records) and confirmed my findings with Nell.

I was surprised to find via the census that Nell's grandfather, Olin W. Gullatt, had been married twice and Ona (Herndon) was his second wife. A phone call to Nell last Tuesday confirmed this and she told me so much more. Olin grew up in the home of his parents, Otis and Mary Reeves Gullatt, in Goode's District, as mentioned before, and was found with them in the 1880 Campbell County census. His brothers and sisters listed in that census were Fulvia Gullatt (b. abt. 1874), Dow. B. Gullatt (b. abt. 1877) and Martha Gullatt, known as Mattie (b. abt. 1879).

About 1898, Olin married Minnie McMillan (b. abt. 1881) from Palmetto. They are shown in the 1900 Campbell County census, Goodes District, as having been married two years. About 1902 (according to census records), Minnie gave birth to a son, Ralph, but died a few days later from complications of childbirth. Grief-stricken and left with a newborn, Olin took the baby to his mother, Mary Gullatt, to care for, which she did until he was an adult. Olin promised his mother that he would not take the baby away from her if he should remarry. Ralph grew up in the company of his aunts and uncles but was regarded more as a brother.

In 1903, Olin remarried to Ona Herndon, daughter of Preston and Ann Amis Herndon and they had a family of their own. Nell said that Minnie's presence was never forgotten. Ona kept her photograph in the home and the children called her "Aunt Minnie," never realizing until later that she was their father's first wife and the mother of Ralph.

Olin and Ona Gullatt's first child died at birth, was buried in an unmarked grave in Campbell County, and was never named. Their other children were James P. Gullatt (died in Minnesota and is buried there), Winnie Gullatt (died tragically in 1936 at the young age of 26 and is buried at Fairburn City Cemetery) and Lucille Gullatt, Nell's mother, also buried at Fairburn City Cemetery.

When Ralph entered high school, he lived with Olin and Ona in Fairburn during the week and went home to his grandparents on the weekend. Nell said the only high school was in Fairburn and it was too far for Ralph to travel on a daily basis. She said that Olin bought a horse and buggy so that he could travel back and forth.

Ona Herndon Gullatt, born in 1877, died in 1965 at the age of 88. Olin Gullatt, born in 1875, died in 1967 at the age of 92. Both are buried at Holly Hill Cemetery in Fairburn.

The other Gullatt, Emma, married Geter Edward Herndon in 1901 and lived in Campbell County also. They had three children: Forrest Hilton, Clyde (a daughter), and Geter Abner who died in Michigan. Geter Herndon (Sr.), born in 1870, died in 1967 at the age of 96. Emma Gullatt Herndon, born in 1880, died in 1974 at the age of 94. Both are buried at Holly Hill.

William Luther Herndon, third son of Preston and Ann Herndon, was born 27 Sept. 1872 in Coweta County and died 27 April 1907. He married Eldora Hardigree in 1895 and they had five children: Ernest Lee Herndon (1896-1956), m. Ruth McDowell; Hershel Everett Herndon (1898-1963), m. Anna Stone; Mary Nellie Herndon (1900-1986), m. William Newton Carmical; Elsie Myrl Herndon (1902-1969), m. Emmett C. Estep; and Elizabeth (Lizzie May) Herndon (1905-1973), m. James Earl (Tony) Brown. Eldora Hardigree Herndon was born 29 April 1876 and died 22 Nov. 1941. Both Eldora and Luther are buried at Elim Baptist Church Cemetery near Welcome in Coweta County.

I have very limited information on the final two children of Preston and Ann: Modena Ann Herndon who married Charles Young Hall on 21 April 1920 and Preston A. Herndon (Jr.) who married Mary Hawk on 7 Dec. 1919. Modena lived in LaGrange and had no children. After her husband died in LaGrange, Modena moved back to Newnan, died in 1961 and is buried at Oak Hill. Preston Herndon (Jr.) was in Akron, Ohio in 1926, according to his mother's obituary.

Next week I'll try to wrap up this Herndon family with the final three children of Edward and Nancy Brown Herndon: James Matthews, Cora L. and Walter Judson Herndon.

Stories and family histories about your ancestors who lived on Atlanta's south side are always welcome. Send them to or Mail to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214. All letters and e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

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