Finding Your Folks: The rest of the Cochran kids

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We'll wrap up this Cochran family this week with some details on the remaining children of William Allen and Alpha Sophia Johnson Cochran of the McCollum area south of Palmetto. The Cochran land was in the Seventh District which straddles Campbell (now South Fulton) and Coweta counties. Land lots in this district are in both counties. It also is not far from Tyrone in Fayette County. Using today's landmarks, I'd say these Cochrans lived roughly in the Cannongate area (within a few miles of the golf ball water tower). They moved here from Newton County sometime between 1835 and 1840.

Much of my information is based on correspondence with Loretta Cochran who lives in Louisiana. Loretta added that her information was actually done as a group project so I'm sure there are other family members who contributed. It is hoped that publishing this information will lead to others who are related and who may have more information. Our goal is to find the ancestry of William Allen Cochran. We believe his father is William Cochran who was living next to him in 1840 in Campbell County, but there is no proof as yet.

William and Alpha Cochran had 10 children, all born between 1832 and 1853: William Pressley, John Allen, James Elisha, George Thomas, Mary Jane, Nancy Elizabeth, Sarah Tiletha, Solomon Samuel, Edward, and Sylvester Coleman. We have already discussed William Pressley and James Elisha Cochran in some detail and will move on to the other children this week.

John Allen Cochran, the second son, grew up in Campbell County and married twice, first to Pelley Lavinia Shelnutt, daughter of John Shelnutt and Elizabeth White, and second to Elender Hartley, daughter of Willis Hartley and Susan Hydes. With Pelley, John had two children, John Allen (m. Frances Elizabeth Bailey and died in Douglas County) and George P. Cochran. With Elender he had five: Emily, John Monroe (m. Mary Ellen Freeman and moved to Jacksonville, Fla.), Richard, Paul Wesley and Oscar Cochran. John Sr. was a Civil War hero, cited for valor at Chancellorsville, and was captured twice. He was released after the war. Some of John's other children moved to Jacksonville also.

George Thomas Cochran, the fourth son, married Matilda Foster in 1866 in Campbell County and they had two known children: Anna and Liza Cochran. George also served in the Civil War, enlisting in 1861 at Griffin in Spalding County.

Solomon Samuel Cochran, the fifth son, married Lucinda Matilda Norris, daughter of John "Jethro" Norris and Mary Johnson and had seven children: Jesse Nabsco (m. Mary Ann Pendergrass), Millie Sophia (Roberts), Enoch, Mary Catherine (m. John N. Pendergrass), Charles Pennington (m. Ada Mae Leeina Minix), Iota J. (m. Joseph Mundy Hall and lived in East Newnan), and Lura Cochran (m. James Thomas Calhoun). Solomon's wife was the aunt of Arthur Leland Norris who started the Norris Candy Company in Atlanta about 1905. She also was the sister of my great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Norris Fowler. Solomon also served in the Civil War and, toward the end of his life, lived with his daughter and son-in-law, Millie Sophia and John Avery Roberts at Wynn's Mill. John operated Wynn's gristmill for many years before retiring. Solomon, Matilda and many of these family members are buried at Rock Springs Missionary Baptist Church on Dr. Fischer Road in Coweta County.

The last son, Sylvester Coleman Cochran, married a woman named Mary and moved to Haralson County. Little is known about them except that they had four known children: Affie, John A., Lucindy and Luis F. Cochran.

Even less is known of the Cochran daughters. Mary Jane, the oldest, born in 1840, died in 1908 and is buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery in Fairburn. Nancy Elizabeth, born in 1842, second daughter, married an Adams and Sarah Tiletha, the last daughter, born in 1844, married Benjamin F. Creel. I believe I did find Sarah and Benjamin Creel, ages 25 and 23 respectively, in Fayette County in 1870 with two daughters, Lenora and Emma. Two households away was Joe Creel, age 25, and his wife, Calista. I looked at neighbors and tried to tell what area of Fayette they were in but it was difficult. The post office of record was Fayetteville but that could have encompassed a large area.

I found two likely candidates for Nancy Elizabeth. One in Coweta in 1870 married to a Newton Adams, a confectioner, and one in 1880 married to a William Adams, a farmer living in Haralson County. Since one of Nancy's brothers also moved to Haralson County, that is a possibility.

I checked Cochran deeds in Coweta last week and was very disappointed. Only one deed (recorded in 1894) sparked my interest. For $250, an O.H. Cochran purchased 18 acres in Land Lot 64 of the Seventh District of Coweta from A.F. and E.J. Beckcom (by attorney) in 1889. The deed description said, " … 18 acres with no reserve of six rods east and twelve and one half rods South on the North east corner of the Camp ground. The eighteen acres being the Campground known as the Jones Campground …" Witnesses were Jared Handley and James M. Hopkins (Deed Book U, p. 482). Another purchase for land in the same land lot, this time from F.H. Steed, was recorded on the same day (Deed Book U, p. 480). That is definitely the area in which our Cochrans resided.

As always, it is hoped that someone out there reading this column can make a connection with this family and tell us more about them. I would love to hear from you. Again, many thanks to Loretta Cochran for sharing her research on this family.

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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