Finding Your Folks: Cole, Fambrough, Parks, Ward and Barnett tidbits

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

The story about Jesse Cole last week brought several responses I'd like to share with you on the Fambrough and Parks families. The Barnett tidbits came from an unexpected find in the estate records.

Blue Cole wrote and said he was descended from William T. Cole and Mary Ann Owen (just what I had been hoping for), and offered to share his records with me. I look forward to a phone conversation with him in the very near future. Blue said he had traced the Coles back to the Revolutionary War and added that his family also married into the Sharp family for whom Sharpsburg is named. According to what I've learned through my research, that would be Elias Sharp, father of Emily Sharp who married James C. Cole, son of William T. and Mary Ann Owen Cole. Emily's mother was Elizabeth Vance, a coincidental line in another Cole family I'd like to discuss in a future column.

I also heard from Ida Cole who has a Cole-Parks connection and who thought the Louise Cole mentioned last week as being in guardianship records in 1904 may have been her great-grandmother. As it turned out, she wasn't, but we did find Ida's great-grandmother, Mary Louise Parks, who married Malcolm Henry Cole. Malcolm Henry was the son of Dr. Thomas Cole and his wife, Cora Goldsmith, and Thomas was the son of Dr. William T. Cole and his second wife, Lennah J. Hackney. The Parks side of Ida's family is thoroughly covered in "The History of Coweta County, Georgia," published by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, pages 325-326 (Parks-Smith-Atkinson Family).

And just to keep all the loose ends together, the Louise Cole mentioned in the guardianship records in 1904 was the daughter of John R. and Emma Lula Sasser Cole, and the granddaughter of William W. Sasser and Keziah Boyd (ahh … now we're getting into my territory …). Lula Sasser Cole died in 1895 and is buried at Senoia City Cemetery in Senoia.

I have to mention another odd coincidence. I was sitting in church last Sunday at Senoia UMC and happened to glance up at the stained glass window over the organ. There in that window, plain as day, was written, "Lula Sasser Cole." I shifted in my seat a little and smiled, wondering if Lula hadn't somehow drawn my eye to that window on purpose.

On the Fambrough side (Robert Cole and Elizabeth Fambrough are the ones who brought their children to Coweta so we could conveniently do genealogies on them), I heard from my dear friend Frances Hanson Arnold in Fayetteville who gave me two "take-it-to-the-bank" tidbits on Susan Fambrough and Obediah Ward.

Frances' grandmother's Bible has dates of birth of Obediah and Susan (who, I'm assuming is Obediah's wife). Frances says these are the earliest known ancestors of her grandmother, Mary Frances Pritchard Hanson and that her grandfather said they were of Scotch-Irish descent and settled in Newton County. That sure fits with everything else we've learned about these Cole-Fambrough folks.

The dates given in the Bible are: Obediah Ward b. 28 Jan 1792 and Susan Fambrough b. 28 May 1792.

Let's take this a step or two farther: Internet sources say that Susan Fambrough and Elizabeth Fambrough were sisters. I don't know whether that's true or not. I do know that Obediah Ward was the father of Nancy Ward who married Robert S. Cole, son of Jesse and Elizabeth Crawford Cole. That's the Robert Cole who settled in Meriwether County (not the one in Newnan) and with whom William T. Cole (Robert's younger brother) resided after his mother died. That makes Robert S. Cole the grandson of Elizabeth Fambrough, and Robert's wife, Nancy Ward, the daughter of Susan Fambrough. Sounds like they may have been cousins.

Looking at the censuses, it appears that Obediah Ward's wife died before 1850 and he married Malinda Godfrey in 1854 in Meriwether County. Frances said she had a lot on the Ward family. I can't wait to get together with her and hear about them.

The Barnett connection was a surprise that popped up in a Cole deed I retrieved from the courthouse. Last week, Jackie King (through the Coweta County Roots-L list) had contributed much of the information I needed on Jesse Cole's brothers and sisters, his parents, and their migration path. One of Jesse's brothers, William Anderson Cole, married Lucy Barnett in Coweta County, Jackie told me, and that was her husband's connection. William Anderson Cole left Coweta County and moved to Whitfield County, way up in northwestern Georgia on the Tennessee line. Jackie had no further information on Lucy and was looking for more.

One of the early (1839) Coweta deeds I came across was for land purchased by a John Cole from Leonard Barnett by his administrator. A closer look at the deed showed the name of the administrator (debonis non) was William Cole. The land was Lot No. 105 in the 6th District, 202.5 acres in northeastern Coweta near the intersection of Dr. Fischer Road with Andrew Bailey Road. Well, that certainly was an exciting lead and prompted me to check Leonard's estate records.

The records showed that the original administrator was Nancy Barnett who died shortly after estate proceedings began in May of 1838 and William Cole was appointed to assume her duties. I was disappointed to find that there were no children listed in the final distribution. But since this was the only Barnett in probate and he's in the right time frame, it looks promising that Leonard may have been Lucy's father.

Next week, more on these and other family groups in Coweta and Meriwether counties.

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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Submitted by patriciaawoods on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 2:41pm.

Dear Judy,
In researching the Fambrough name I stumbled onto your blog. As a former journalist and editor, I find bumbling around very instructive! As to our wit: Robert Cole and Elizabeth Fambrough Cole were grandparents to Joseph Barto Cole who is my great-grandfather. My father was Billie Cole Williams, son of Ruby Claire Cole and Willie Ellis Williams. All those connections you made are in my direct line as well. On Wed. the 2, I'm going to a little family reunion in San Antonio, where my daughter and her family live. I'll be seeing many of my cousins. I have copied and printed out your columns about our family. I am so thrilled to see you writing about this! Hope this finds you well and in good spirits. We must keep in touch. By the way, you have other Fambrough cousins here in Albuquerque whom I recently met! Keep up the good work. I look forward to more columns!
Patricia (Williams) Woods

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