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1809 – 1887

             Jonathan Owen’s life began in Morgan County, Georgia on June 9, 1809. He was the first- born son of Augustine and Catherine (Shearly) Owen of King and Queen County, Virginia, and the fifth of eight children. Jonathan had four older sisters and three younger brothers. Being the first- born son, Jonathan was probably named for his paternal grandfather, John Owen of Essex County, Virginia.

            When Jonathan was seven years of age his father Augustine died leaving his mother Catherine to raise the children. By the time the estate was settled in 1817, the two older sisters, Sarah Beeman Owen and Mary Eleanor Owen were married. The eldest sister Sarah married Robert Henry Elliott, and it appears from the available records that he and Sarah assisted Catherine with the estate and children. By 1820 Jonathan’s other two sisters Catherine and Elizabeth were married. In 1830 Jonathan’s mother Catherine and brother Augustine died, probably from smallpox. The children’s share of the estate was settled and the family moved westward into Henry County, Georgia. The estate of Augustine and Catherine was a sizable one for the times and each of the children, with their share, established their family well in Henry County.

            In 1836 Jonathan married Rhoda Ann Faulkner in Henry County. In December of that year she died childless. From the land records of Henry County we find that Jonathan was quite busy buying slaves and land. He first purchased land in 1832. He would attend estate sales and sheriff auctions where he would make bargain purchases. By the 1860 census, Jonathan had fourteen slaves and several thousand acres of land. One can only assume that, at least in his younger days, Jonathan was a wheeler-dealer.

            In 1838 Jonathan married his second wife, Martha Sarah Ann Hudson, a young girl of fifteen, half his age (I said he was a wheeler-dealer). Martha bore Jonathan eight children and in 1853, at the age of twenty-eight, Martha died, evidently of complications from childbirth since their new- born son died a month later. Jonathan later would lose his first- born son Augustine, named for Jonathan’s father, to action in the Civil War. Two other sons, William Henry Owen, born 1843 and James Knox Polk Owen, born 1845 were decorated Sons of the South, both receiving the Southern Cross for Valor.

            In 1854 Jonathan married Sarah Adam Eddleman of Henry County, a pretty eighteen year old. She would raise his and Martha’s children and bear him seven of her own, one of which was my great-grandmother Julia Blanche Owen.

            After the Civil War Jonathan no longer had “slaves” as property but family tradition says that many of his former slaves stayed with the family for years afterward. Around 1870, now growing old, Jonathan began to sell off some of his extensive land holdings and divided others between the children of his second wife Martha. These children and their children remained in Henry County for many years. About 1875, Jonathan, Sarah and children went further north in Henry County into what would later become Fulton County. They settled in the area between the Chattahoochee River and the Indian Hightower Trail called Sandy Springs. There Jonathan did a little farming and lived out the rest of his days. Jonathan’s life ended five days after his 78th birthday, June 14, 1887. Jonathan and Sarah are buried at the Providence Baptist Cemetery at Sandy Springs, Georgia.                – Jack W. McConnell, Great-Great Grandson, 12-16-2004

Submitted by Marcia McClure

Henry County Family Biographies Index

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This page was last updated on -02/04/2016

Compilation Copyright 2004-Present

 by Linda Blum-Barton