Finding Your Folks: The Coleman P. Owen family

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

It took me the better part of the day, but last Friday I was able to copy all the will and estate information pertaining to Coleman P. Owen, the only provable child of Brice and Sarah Law/Lane Owen of Rocky Mount, Meriwether County. Research has indicated that Coleman may have had a sister, Martha, who married John Moncrief, and I have put out "feelers" on Internet lists to see if anyone has proof. There are several references to Moncriefs in Owen family documents, but nothing that would tell us without a doubt that Martha was the daughter of Brice and Sarah. Early census records indicate that Coleman had a brother and two sisters, but I have not been able to find any information on them at all.

Coleman's estate was fairly routine. He made a will Aug. 8, 1872 naming his two surviving sons, Charles and Brice, as co-executors, mentioned his wife but did not name her, and gave the names of all his children, including the married name of his deceased daughter, Mary Ann Cole. There was a female named Elizabeth, b. abt 1834, in one of Coleman's census reports (1850) but she was out of birth order and it is not known if she was a daughter who died without issue or was a member of another Owen family. I thought perhaps that Mary Ann's name may have been Mary Ann Elizabeth, but she married in 1847 and would not have appeared in an 1850 census with her parents under her maiden name. Coleman died before Dec. 2, 1872, as his will was proved and recorded on that date. He left everything to his wife.

Coleman's life story is fairly routine too. His parents were married in Jasper County in 1812 and that's probably where he was born. In the 1820 Clarke County, Ga. census, Brice and Sarah's family consisted of two boys, both born between 1810 and 1820, and two girls in the same age range. This means that Brice and Sarah had four children between 1812 and 1820 which also, was pretty routine. Coleman was the only grandchild that his grandfather Uriah named specifically in his will, so I think it is safe to say he was probably the oldest child.

In 1827, a Coleman P. Owen of Wilkes County, living in Reeves District, won Land Lot 57 in the 2nd District of Carroll County but the numbers don't crunch right if this is our Coleman born after 1812. Ours would only be about 15 years old. I will have to look into this.

In 1830, Coleman he married Charlotte Allen in Walton County and, by 1836, they were in Meriwether where Coleman purchased land in the 10th District from Lawrence Thomas. This would be where Coleman would settle and spend the rest of his life - near the little town of Rocky Mount. His parents accompanied him to his new home and always lived close by.

Coleman and Charlotte had four known children:

Mary Ann Owen, b. abt 1832, d. bef. 1872, who married William T. Cole;

William L. Owen, b. abt 1834, d. 1862, who married Dolusky Conner;

Charles C. Owen, b. 9 Jan. 1840, d. 7 Aug. 1906, who married (1) Nancy Conner, daughter of Thomas Conner and Zilla Thrash and (2) Mary J. Unknown; and

Dr. Brice Marshall Owen, b. 9 Sept. 1843, d. 30 Jan. 1909, who married (1) Mary Clay Carreker, daughter of James and Sarah E. Carreker (2) Mrs. Ida E, Powell, and (3) Elizabeth (Lizzie) Jackson, daughter of Green W. Jackson and Isabella Hutchinson.

Burial places for William L. Owen and Mary Ann Cole are unknown, but Charles C. Owen and his first wife are buried at Rocky Mount Bethel Cemetery in Rocky Mount, and Brice Marshall Owen and all of his wives are buried in the Hollonville Cemetery in Pike County. Brice moved to Pike County after he finished medical school and established a successful practice in that county.

It is amusing to me how, during those times, wives of doctors were referred to as "Mrs. Doctor So-and-so." At Coleman's estate sale, many purchases were made by "Mrs. Dr. Owen," who was Mary Clay Carreker, wife of Dr. Brice M. Owen.

In 1862, Coleman had a sad duty to perform. He administered the estate of his oldest son, William L. Owen, who passed away. He may have died in the war, or he may have been home on leave and died from related causes. Or, he could have died from disease not related to the war. I just don't know. But I do know that his estate was administered beginning December 1862 when his father petitioned the court for letters of administration. (Ordinary Court Minutes Book 4, page 123-124.)

I will go into more detail on William when I do stories on the children of Coleman and Charlotte but there was one interesting tidbit I did want to mention. In 1864, as William's estate was being settled, a Martha Moncrief told the court that William L. Owen had sold her some land but had died before he could transfer the deed to her. The land was described as being the south portion of Land Lot 91 in the 10th District, with "Mrs. McGahee's dower being the remainder." The court authorized Coleman to transfer the deed at the August Term 1864. I have no doubt that this is the same Martha Moncrief, wife of John Moncrief, and formerly Martha Owen, who is thought to be the daughter of Brice and Sarah Owen.

Next week we'll analyze Coleman's estate sale, discuss the people who were there, and take a closer look at his children.

Stories about your families who lived on Atlanta's south side are always welcome. Send stories 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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