Finding Your Folks: Endsleys revisited

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Some of you may know that I have this huge, sprawling family tree (nearly 20,000 people) on Rootsweb's WorldConnect Project and, by default, on Ancestry's World Tree. Many people in it are relatives and some are not. We call these semi-related and non-related families "collateral" and "allied" families because they are either related through marriage or connected through other means.

Most of the connecting families in the south Metro area I have written about are "daisy-chained" off my Boyds because they were in Meriwether County and came from Newberry, S.C., as did most settlers in southeastern Coweta, northeastern Meriwether, northwestern Pike, and southwestern Spalding County. Even though I am not related to some, I find it easier to research them when I have them in my computer program and can add dates, names of children, censuses and other pertinent tracking information.

Also, when someone writes me about a family, I check Internet resources to see if anyone else has already researched them. If not, and I can connect them to my tree in some way, I do it and put it out there, hopefully, to help someone else get started. What I put on my tree is NOT what I found on someone else's tree, but is valid research I have done through censuses, in local courthouses and libraries, or verifiable info I've received directly from a descendant of those families.

Back in 2001, Chris Wren, a dear cousin and fantastic researcher from Alabama, and I worked on his Cochran family who married into my Wren family. His Cochrans also married into the Endsleys of Coweta and Carroll County (and later Texas) and therefore gave me a reason to study, research and "daisy-chain" them in.

There is a great deal written about this family in "The History of Coweta County, Georgia," published by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society back in 1988. But, although it is still a valuable reference that was 20 years ago and new information has been found since that time. I came across one possible error within the Endsley family information in the Coweta history book (p. 250). This proved important to another researcher.

Last week, I received a personal email from a Cochran researcher who had come across my family tree at Rootsweb. She was relatively new and wanted to know if I had any more on the Jacob Franklin Cochran - Elizabeth Jane Endsley family.

Earlier research showed that my cousin Chris's connection was through their daughter, Eliza Jane Cochran, who married Robert L. Wren. However, this person's connection was through Jacob and Elizabeth's son, Charles Crawford Cochran, who married Josephine Chance. Charles and Josephine's son, Cannon Lee Cochran, married Sarah Luella Marlow, and that was as far as I went. She needed more.

I couldn't help her any more with the Cochrans, but I did look around a little more on the Endsley side and that's when I discovered a possible error in the Coweta County history book.

According to the book, the Endsley family in Coweta was established by a James Endsley Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth Miller, who were here as early as 1837, according to tax records. There were other Endsleys here also; Joseph, John, James and Andrew Endsley were all taxpayers between 1837 and 1851. Records show that James was born in Guilford County, N.C. and moved to Laurens District, S.C., before moving to Georgia.

The book lists eight children for James and Elizabeth. One is John Bluford Endsley who married Ellender Miller. They were parents of Elizabeth Jane Endsley who married Jacob Franklin Cochran. Although she never appears in the census with them (she married about 1846), Elizabeth Jane Endsley Cochran signed a power of attorney to Isaac Dempsey in 1881 to act in her behalf after her father died in Cass County, Texas. (Info from "The Heritage of Carroll County, Georgia," page 190, the Jacob Franklin Cochran family story.)

The last child of James and Elizabeth Miller Endsley is given as Elizabeth Endsley and it says she married Enoch Couch. This may be an error. A message left on Genforum back in 2002 states that there was no daughter named Elizabeth and, therefore, no Enoch Couch associated with this family. The author states that this error was published in several places before it was corrected.

He also states that some early Couch researchers gave this Enoch Couch as the father of Matthew Couch, when, in actuality, (and according to the Coweta history book), Matthew's father was James Couch who died in 1840. Matthew and several others are shown as heirs in James's estate papers. Berry Couch applied and received approval to be administrator in Laurens, Dist. (Box 90, Package 2). One kind soul has all the estate information in the notes portion of his online tree at Rootsweb. I love people who source things properly.

There are three trees at Rootsweb which still have the information about the allegedly fictitious Elizabeth Endsley and Enoch Couch but none are current (the latest is 2007) and only one gives a source, the infamous and often error-ridden Family TreeMaker's World Family Tree CD, consisting of information largely submitted by beginning genealogists.

If anyone has proof that Elizabeth Endsley married Enoch Couch and was a daughter of James and Elizabeth Miller Endsley we would all appreciate hearing the facts.

I was surprised at how many of these Endsleys and their kinfolk migrated to Texas. You will find them first in Davis County, which was later changed to Cass County. I would love to do more in-depth studies on both the Endsleys and the Couches if someone would be so kind as to submit their family stories. Anyone?

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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