No one will argue that family history is a never-ending search for facts and details about our progenitors. I have an abundance of information to share about my family lines, so I had a difficult time determining where I wanted to begin. One of my ancestors, Jeremiah Cole, holds a special place in my heart because my mother and I found his obscure grave in someone’s backyard in Carrollton, Georgia many years ago (see Grave Sightings on this blog site). For some reason he and his family consistently bother me and send me on Internet hunts for the details carving out his life. This is where I begin my sharing of facts and my quest for more information.
Jeremiah Cole, son of Solomon Cole and Mary Pinson, was born August 1, 1793 in Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina. In 1815/1816 he married Charlotte (Lotty) Martin who according to her tombstone was born in 1805 and died March 1, 1880 in Carrollton, Georgia. Many have confused Jeremiah’s Charlotte with a Charlotte Martin, daughter of Valentine Martin, born May 5, 1795 in Surry County, North Carolina. But I have no reason to doubt that our Charlotte’s tombstone supplied the correct date of her birth. A James Martin and several other Martin households were located in Laurens County, South Carolina between 1821-1850. I think we need to start our search with these families to see if we can find Charlotte’s parentage among them.
By 1835, Jeremiah moved his family to Carroll County, Georgia, surveyed in 1827, where he is found in numerous deeds. He moved near Old Concord Primitive Baptist Church and homesteaded enough land for all twelve of his children to have a home. He and his wife with some small children lived in the wagon until they could cut logs and build a log cabin to house their clan. They had to keep a fire burning at night to keep the wolves away, but they had plenty to eat because large droves of wild turkeys flocked in abundance throughout the area.
Concord Primitive Baptist Church was located four miles North of Carrollton on 113. It was one of the oldest in the County, having been built about 1836. The church stood for 140 years. Clergy had preached at Concord on the second Saturday and Sunday in each month. Some of the old members were the Reids, Upshaws, Coles, Chandlers, and Holcombs.This is the church that Jeremiah joined, and its cemetery, where his family finally laid him to rest.
In 1837, Jeremiah won the bid of $749 to build the second jailhouse of Carroll County. It took him two years to complete. The criminals were located on the top floor, which was called the dungeon. The lower floor was where they kept the prisoners of smaller crimes. The jailhouse itself was made from logs cut to a square foot and the building stood 20 by 24 feet. The dungeon had a double wall of logs and triple cell doors made of two-inch oak plank, lined with sheet iron. From time to time, Jeremiah worked on the jail, replacing broken locks and making repairs. Eventually, Jeremiah, became a Justice for Carroll County, Georgia. There is evidence that he was one of the four Justices who tried the first murder in the county.
I will share some facts about Jeremiah's military experience in my next post. If anyone has pictures of Jeremiah's family, please let me know in your comments below.