Finding Your Folks: The southside Terry Family, Part 1

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Again, we're going in a different direction this week with a story on the Terry family written and submitted by Nancy Jones Cornell of Fairburn. Nancy is president of the Old Campbell County Historical Society based in Fairburn and her roots go deep into Campbell County, a county no longer on the Georgia map but now the southern part of Fulton County. Campbell merged with Fulton in 1932, as did Milton County, on the north side.

Nancy's Terry family story begins, as many of our stories do, with ancestors in South Carolina who moved to Georgia.

Thomas and Lurany Terry were both born in South Carolina, but were living in Georgia by 1804. Thomas may be a son of Thomas Terry whose will was probated in Wilkes County, Ga., 19 Dec. 1795. Thomas and Lurany were living in Baldwin County when he drew land as a resident of Baldwin in the 1807 Georgia Land Lottery. Thomas' property in Baldwin was obviously taken into Morgan County when that county was formed in December 1807. Thomas' will was probated in Morgan County in 1826. John, the eldest son of Thomas and Lurany, is listed as head of household on the 1820 Morgan County census. Lurany continued to live with John, moving with him to Coweta by 1827.

According to census records, John (son of Thomas and Lurany) and Antha Wright Terry were both born in South Carolina. They were married in South Carolina in 1822, according to the R. W. Terry Bible. Their three oldest children were born in South Carolina: Louisa was born 12 Nov. 1823; Roberson Wm. was born 26 Sept. 1825; and Nancy was born 21 Nov. 1827.

Antha may have been staying in South Carolina with her parents in 1827 until the birth of Nancy, because John had moved to Coweta Co. by May, 1827. Their fourth child, John W., was born in Georgia in 1830. Their fifth child, Joseph Melmuth, was born in Georgia in 1832.

The 1830 Coweta census shows John and Antha had a white woman between the ages of 70 and 80 living with them who was probably John's mother, Lurany. On 14 Oct. 1831 (Coweta Deed Bk. C, p. 18), Lurany Terry gave to her son, John Terry, a gift of slaves.

John served as Sheriff of Coweta County in 1828 and 1829, and, was elected State Representative in 1830.

By 1840, John and Antha Terry were living in Campbell County. The tax digests of Campbell show John owned eight slaves and was a property owner in both Campbell and Cobb counties. John Terry died 20 Jan. 1870, and his wife died 24 Sept. 1875. Both are buried in the Terry-Tanner Burying Ground off Rivertown Road on Woodruff Road in present Fulton County.

John and Antha's children were: (1) Louisa (b. 12 Nov. 1823 - d. 1 July 1882) married 1st Abraham C. Richardson, 21 Jan. 1841, and 2nd Berry H. Lovelace, 12 Oct. 1856; (2) Roberson Wm. (b. 26 Sept. 1825 - d. 30 Sept. 1893) married 1st Eliza Abercrombie, and 2nd Mary Louisa Bomar, 6 Jan. 1863; (3) Nancy C. (b. 21 Jan. 1827 - d. 30 March 1906) married Wm. Archer Tanner, 1 Apr. 1852; (4) John W. (b. 1830 - d. 25 March 1865, buried Union Prison, Ohio); and (5) Joseph Melmuth (b. 1832 - d. 4 March 1900) married Susan Catharine Floyd, 8 Aug. 1852.

Roberson Wm., son of John and Antha, and his first wife, Eliza, were blessed with six children: (1) Nancy Antha (b. 1 Feb. 1849 - d. 6 Sept. 1928 in Texas) married David W. Darnell, 21 Dec. 1876; (2) Milton H. (b. 25 Feb. 1851 - d. in Texas) married Mag Gibson; (3) Julia R. (b. 15 Jan. 1854 - d. 1941) married Dr. B. M. Trenton; (4) Eliza Frances (b. 23 Oct. 1856 - d. 26 Jan. 1927) married James Edwin "Bud" Foster; (5) Mary (twin, b. 21 June 1860 - d. 10 Sept. 1860) and (6) Martha (twin, b. 21 June 1860 - d. 6 Oct. 1860). Eliza died five days after the birth of their twins.

Roberson and his second wife, Mary Louisa, had 11 children: (1) Sarah R. (b. 11 Oct. 1863 - d. 16 June 1958) married Jesse F. Thompson; (2) Elizabeth P. (b. 15 Dec. 1864 - d. 29 Oct. 1910) married 1st John H. Bomar and 2nd Wm. B. Wingo; (3) John Irvin (b. 13 Oct. 1866 - d. 30 Oct. 1945) married Lanie Tucker, 24 Dec. 1891; (4) Margaret (b. 19 Nov. 1867 - d. 1952) married Jess McClure; (5) Caroline "Callie" (b. 2 Oct. 1869 - d. 9 Aug. 1891); (6) Homer T. (b. 21 Nov. 1871 - d. 14 May 1956) married Annie Floyd; (7) Linnie (b. 2 July 1873 - d. Summerville, Ga.) married R. L. Purcely; (8) Armp (b. 3 June 1875 - d. 12 Jan. 1951) never married; (9) Ernest (b. 27 Oct. 1877 - d. 31 Aug. 1950) married Lillie Belle Hattaway; (10) Love (b. 3 May 1879) married Inez Wilson; and (11) Mary (b. 30 April 1881 - d. Peach, Texas) married Thomas E. Hattaway.

We'll continue this story next week with some personal details in the lives of the Terry family as related by Nancy's grandmother, Callie Terry Jones.

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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