Finding Your Folks: Coles, Malcolms in the mailbag

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Last week's column on Richard Cole brought a response all the way from California. Bob Johnston, who has contributed many interesting tidbits of information to the column over the years, did not have anything on Richard's parents but did have information on his children.

Seems like one of Richard's daughters, Caroline, married Sanford Gay of Fayette County, son of Isaac P. Gay, and one of Bob's resources, J.H. Austin's "Georgia Bible Records," had the Isaac P. Gay family Bible. Bob said that the Isaac Gay reference in the book also gave information on some of Richard Cole's children.

He is sending me a hard copy of the reference and I don't want to be too specific until I see it for myself, because we found some errors. Some information disagrees with information I found in Richard's probate records. However, this apparently is the source of the specific birth and death dates for Richard and his wife I had found on the Internet. If only people would give their sources, their trees would be so much more believable.

I was eager to connect this family to my own family tree because it's so much easier to work with information, add dates and children, etc., when you have everything in front of you on the computer screen. It was quite simple, as I told Bob, since I found that Isaac P. Gay was the brother of Dicey Gay who married Winston Wood. Dicey and Winston Wood's son, William Thomas Wood, married Nancy Ann Blake, my great-grandfather's sister. It was an easy connection and I had Richard's family in front of me in no time.

Caroline Cole Gay, daughter of Richard and wife of Sanford, lived in Fayette County, and both she and Sanford are buried in the Fayetteville City Cemetery. I have verified a few more Cole children but had rather wait until I have more info. I will go into more detail next time.

Another Cole connection came all the way from Albany, N.Y. Edna Dodds Haggarty wrote:

"It is with great interest that I read the info on the Cole Family recently. Nancy Ward Cole was my great grandmother. Her daughter Sallie (b. 1861) married first Eugene Sterling Dodds (b. 1/1854, the son of James M. and Rebecca Smith Dodds) in April 1883. They had two children, a stillborn daughter b. 12/31/1883 and a son Carl Jesse Dodds b. 5/31/1885.

"Eugene died 1891 and in 1897 Sallie married his brother, Albertus Clay Dodds, my grandfather. He was born 1856. They had three children: Terrell Eugene (b.4/5/1900) my daddy, James Bell Dodds (b. 6/25/1902) and Edna Virginia Dodds (b. 6/18/1905).

"Of course I have a lot of info on this branch of the family but I have very little on Obediah Ward. If you could put me in touch with your friend Frances Hanson Arnold I would be eternally grateful. I live in the northeast and don't travel to Georgia so I am at the mercy of the Internet and mail.

"I am or Edna Dodds Haggerty, 22 Farnam Place, Albany, New York 12205.

"Your blog is very interesting and I shall continue to "tune in." Thanks in advance for any help."

I did put Edna in touch with Frances ( and I hope they're happily discussing Obediah's family. I also hope they'll share their info with me. Obediah Ward was the father of Nancy Ward who married Robert S. Cole of Meriwether County. Robert was the son of Jesse Cole and the brother of our William T. Cole who married Mary Ann Owen. The Owen family is what spun us off into the Coles.

The last letter came from A.T. Barber of Fayetteville who wants information on the Macolms of Meriwether County. A.T. wrote:

"Dear Ms. Kilgore,

"I enjoy your newspaper columns about early families in Coweta and Meriwether counties very much. I look forward to reading each one of them.

"I am interested in learning more about the Malcolm families who lived in Wooster near Rocky Mount in Meriwether County. I understand that there were two separate families, both sons of John Malcolm of Walton County but by different mothers.

Apparently, John Malcolm bought quite a bit of land in Meriwether County and his son Alexander Malcolm with wife Mahala moved there to manage the property. I think Alexander died rather young because a younger son William David Malcolm later lived in Meriwether County. William's wife was Marcia Crowder.

"I am descended from William Malcolm through his daughter Julia Elizabeth who married James Abraham Barber. Julia died in 1910 and is buried with her husband in the Stricklandtown Cemetery on Stricklandtown Rd. east of Luthersville.

Julia's brother Joe Allen Malcolm and his wife Iola McDonald lived in Luthersville and are buried in the Luthersville Cemetery. I believe there were other children. I would like to know more about them and the other Malcolms and locate the graves of William and Marcia Malcolm.

"Thank you for any consideration of my request.

"Sincerely, A.T. Barber, Fayetteville, Georgia."

A.T. did not leave a specific address or an email address for others to contact him so if anyone has information on these Malcolms, please send it to me. I will run the info in the column until I can obtain an address so that A.T. can correspond with others who have info on his family.

As most of you know, I don't do personal research unless it connects to my own family, but I did find an Alexander Malcom(b) and wife, Mahala, in Meriwether County in 1850 and 1860. A John Malcolm, age 78, also was there in 1860. Perhaps we'll hear more about this family by next week.

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.

login to post comments | Judy Fowler Kilgore's blog