John L. Kidd (104), a great grandfather of Gabriella Medora Kidd, was born in York County, South Carolina in 1785. The son of John Kidd (208) and Elizabeth Murphy (209), he was raised in York County. At 18 he married Sarah Savina Wallace (105), nicknamed "Sally" and the daughter of Oliver Wallace Jr. (210). Soon the newlyweds had migrated west to Livingston County, Kentucky where their first child, Oliver C. Kidd, was born on February 2, 1804. Their neighbor, John's uncle Andrew, had apparently preceded them, and Sarah's brother Oliver also lived nearby. Beginning in December 1811, the Great Madrid Earthquake shook a 400 mile radius, including the Kidd's potato crop which disappeared into the river. Epicentered in the former Spanish colony (now part of Missouri) which Christopher O'Bryan had left ten years before, aftershocks of the quake continued until January 1812. Perhaps it is no coincidence that John Kidd and family returned to York County, South Carolina later that year.
In 1832 John and Sarah bought land near
Fairburn, in a woodland section of Coweta County, later Campbell County, Georgia. Today, Campbell County no longer exists, and Fairburn is now part of Fulton County, Georgia. Sons Oliver C. Kidd and Lilburn Lewis Kidd also planted farms there and started
large families. In 1850 John and his wife Sarah
were living next door to their son Lilburn. Sarah died in 1868, and John died in 1872, about 90 years old. They are
both buried at Antioch Cemetery in graves marked with large flat rocks elevated above their
In 1835, on a hill above the "beautiful rolling countryside," the first Kidd grave was dug and Oliver's infant daughter Mary was to rest, according to Lee Bishop's 1952 history of Antioch Methodist Church. John L. Kidd had already helped to organize a Christian congregation, along with plantation owner Harrison B. McLarin, shortly after settling in Campbell County. Some years later, John L. Kidd gave a five acre lot, including the gravesite where his granddaughter was buried, for a church, a school house and a cemetery. This became the Antioch Methodist Church, and Oliver was one of the trustees. John specified that the land would revert to John's heirs (and there must be hundreds of them now) if the land were no longer used for church or school. In 1879, John's son Lilburn L. Kidd sold the church an adjoining half acre for $5, followed by a third-acre gift in 1888 from L.L. Kidd and O.C. Kidd, prompted by "natural love and affection for the church and school".
In the 19th century, Antioch Methodist men sat on one side of the church, with women and children on the other. The first schoolhouse was built some years after the first log church. The congregation met in a sawed timber building until 1904. In that sparsely-populated cotton country, services were only held once a month, then semi-monthly. Instead of financial pledges, the church was financed by assessments, with single ladies paying 25 cents and married men paying five dollars. The pastor wouldn't receive his salary until the cotton crop taken to market, often not until late December. In its early days, the church had grove prayer meetings, Saturday morning preaching services, cuspidors, kerosene wall lamps with tin reflectors, and a water bucket and dipper. During the sermon, restless mules brayed at their hitching posts outside.
Oliver C. Kidd (52) was the eldest son of John L. Kidd. Born in Kentucky, his family moved back east when he was eight. A year after marrying Sarah Clementine Johnson (53) in 1831, he joined his parents and other family members by moving to Campbell County, Georgia. A farmer, Oliver C. Kidd also taught school, even using his own unpublished math book in his classes. Later in life he served as a justice of the inferior court. Family tradition says he was elected to the state legislature, but under his protest and he refused to serve.
In the 1850's Nancy Rhodes came to live with the Kidd family, perhaps as a housekeeper. When she became pregnant in his home in 1858, Oliver graciously took care of her and later her son Charles Boanerges Kidd. Perhaps he even helped name the boy. They lived with him as late as 1866. Eventually Nancy and Charles Boanerges moved to Texas, where she was married. When her son grew older, Nancy revealed to him that his father was James Harvey Kidd.
The family prospered in Campbell County until the Civil War. During the war six of Oliverís sons fought for the Confederacy and three died. Four of his sons were with the 35th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, and in December 1862, he went to Virginia to bring them shoes and warm clothes for the winter. So he was with his son James Harvey Kidd when he died. Oliver wrote in a letter to his daughter Sarah Frances Kidd and her husband Bryant P. Smith on February 4, 1866, "There has been many changes in the last few years because of this uncalled for war many have passed from time to eterinty by it. Ca. county has been devastated by it. There has Country is full of widows and orphants, and disrepts of every kind. Our parts has suffered greatly by the Devils thing for I must call it for it eminated in Hell & to Hell it went. it is not worth my while dwelling on that subject as I suppose you are well aquainted with it... your Uncle Lilburn has lost 3 of his sons and his wife, and I have lost the same." His son William Lafayette Kidd may have been expressing common family feelings about the Confederacy when he wrote the same year, "I stayed in the cursed war 4 years and was wound 1 time I escaped well but I say dam the cecsh for ever this country is ruined they got us all into it."
Summing up several years, Oliver also wrote, "We have hard times here as might be expected we have made very light crop last year which is working against us at this time and in 1864 the armies took nearly all we made so that there will be 2 years of hard scarce times on us I lost five thousand dollars in Confederate money and Certified accounts, & three thousand dollars I paid out for a Negro boy, he is free & has left me which is the case generally, But after all of this I think we can live again if we have health and will use industry. "
Not only did O.C. Kidd Sr. lose three of his sons during the war, his wife Sarah also died October 16th 1863, with "arysipilas on her face... only 7 or 8 days after she was taken." They had nine children. Like the Garretts, the Kidds were often called by their middle names. Oliver C. Kidd remarried at age 61 and started a new family. Mary Elizabeth OíNeal Lewis, a 30-year-old war widow, gave him five more children. Oliver made at least one trip to Springtown, Texas to visit his son James Alpheus Kidd there. Later his grandson Alexander Stephens Garrett would settle in Springtown too. O.C. Kidd Sr. died December 9th, 1895 at the age of 91. He was buried at Antioch Cemetery, Campbell County, Georgia.
James Harvey Kidd (26) was the grandson of John Kidd, Jr. Like Alexander Stephens Garrett (the son-in-law he never met), James was raised in Campbell (now Fulton) County, GA, the fourth child of O.C. Kidd Sr. and Sarah Clementine Johnson. He was born on the family farm near Fairburn, GA, southwest of Atlanta. Of average height and fair complexion, he had light hair and blue eyes. Probably the fair young Methodist appeared more innocent than he really was, for he was unwilling to claim Charles Boanerges Kidd as his son. A month after Nancy Rhodes gave birth to Charles, James married Catherine Short on December 8, 1858. At the census of 1860 James and Catherine had $500 in real estate and $45 in personal property. Four years of marriage resulted in two or three daughters, including Gabriella Medora Kidd.
On April 28, 1862, James enlisted in the "Campbell Rangers," Company C, 35th Regiment,
Georgia Volunteer Army, Confederate States of America, as a sergeant. While his unit was in
Richmond, VA on May 11, 1862, James found time to write a letter to his wife. "I embrace the
present of writing you a few lines. I am Well at present and hope by the blessing of God to
Remain in health, hoping that these may find you and Ours in the same blessing. Of course I
would be glad to enjoy a few hours of past time with you and them but that is out of the question
now. We have had so very few years together."
James continued with some of the wonders of the city, in which he described the grand and
unusual monuments he saw in the cemetery where he had taken a walk. On a Saturday evening
stroll, he wrote, "I and Thomas Phillips was walking together yesterday Evening and he observed
to me that he would be glad to see his child and here him talk awhile which come nigh
overcoming my feelings and I had for the first time fight breaking into tears from the fact that it
brings memories of the past rushing back to the mind like a truant that it took all my courage to
The war was not far from his mind. He told of seeing a soldier die in the hospital and mourners at a grave. He came across "a dance in the pleasure room which I thought to be the most unbecoming thing, considering the war times, I ever saw." He visited the waterworks ("a grand scene"), viewed some fine boats, did some window shopping, and toured the Government House where he enjoyed the statues of Henry Clay, Washington and Jefferson. On Sunday he went to the First Baptist Church with a friend. In closing, he encourages his wife to hold fast "under your distress as you have done in the past" and remembers at their "parting that you acted the perfect lady. So farewell, kiss the children for me."
James probably never saw his family again. On December 13, 1862, at the Battle of Fredericksburg, VA, 80,000 Confederate troops met 120,000 Union soldiers futilely trying to charge up to the Rebel's hill fortifications. An awed Confederate observer watched wave after wave of Union troops "melt like snow coming down on warm ground". By the time it was over, 12,000 Union men were casualties of the one-sided battle. But it was not entirely one-sided. Confederate military records drily note that James Harvey Kidd was wounded in the battle. Their records were incomplete. In the Civil War, a wounded soldier might have to wait more than a day to be carried away on a bumpy, horse-drawn ambulance. The operating table might be a set of doors. The operation might consist mainly of amputation. With bullets averaging from half to three-quarters of an inch, almost half of all Civil War casualties died of their wounds. James Harvey Kidd died of his wounds. His father O.C. Kidd Sr. wrote, "I was present and saw him die and help bury him" near the battleground at Fredericksburg. James was 25.
Catherine Medora Short (27), the grandmother of James Alpheus Garrett, married James Kidd when she was 16. They were raised about five houses apart. She was the daughter of Andrew Jackson Short and Gabriella Barnett. Catherine probably watched Atlanta burn. According to Catherine's great-grandson Yancey Watkins, James Harvey Kidd made Basil Andrew Jackson "Jack" Smith, an old friend from Campbell County, promise to care for James' wife Catherine if James should be killed in battle. And after the war Jack Smith did just that -- he married her! The couple lived on his farm at nearby Palmetto GA and had seven more children, beginning with Margaret Jane "Maggie" Smith. Catherine died in Palmetto, southwest of Atlanta, on November 20, 1920. Jack died two years later in Campbell County, when he was 80 years old.
Margaret Jane "Maggie" Smith, eldest daughter of Catherine Short and Jack Smith, was born in 1867 in Palmetto, GA. Like the Kidds, her husband Joshua Allen Henderson was from Fairburn, born in 1857, the son of Nathaneil Henderson and Harriet Smart. Their eight children included Harriett Eunice Henderson, the mother of Yancey Watkins. In 1925 Joshua was buried in Fairburn, GA, in the Antioch cemetery in Fairburn. Maggie lived as a widow for more than 20 years until her death in Albany, GA in 1947, when she was also buried in Antioch.
Harriett Eunice Henderson, was also born in Fairburn, but she was buried in Sardis Baptist Cemetery in Palmetto with her husband John Condor Watkins, Sr.. Her husband was also from Campbell County, born on July 23, 1883. They were married in Fairburn in 1916, when she was 21 and he was 33. Their seven children included Allen Reese Watkins, John Condor Watkins Jr., Forrest Henderson Watkins, Margaret Ruth Holeman, R. Yancey Watkins, Thomas Irvin Watkins, and Howard Lloyd Watkins. After more than 35 years of marriage, John passed away at age 70 in 1953. Harriett Watkins was nearly 89 years old at her death in Fairview Heights Nursing Home in Dekalb County, GA.
Andrew Jackson Short (54), the great-grandfather of James Alpheus Garrett and Harriett Watkins, was descended from early Virginia settlers. William Short (13824) was born in England in 1618 and came to Charles City County, VA by 1640. The Shorts remained in Prince George County, VA for several generations, and in the 18th century lived in Mecklenberg and Brunswick counties. They settled in Georgia after 1800.
At age 33, in 1850, Andrew Jackson Short owned $900 worth of property in Campbell County, GA. By age 70, he was living on a plantation north of Pea Creek, which included 65 acres of improvements. At his death, he gave that land to his wife Gabriella Barnett, and he gave his five children 65 acres on the south side of Pea Creek. His 1888 will begins, "First, it is my wish that my funeral shall be conducted without pomp or unnecessary parade or ostentation..." He died after 1890, since his will was probated in November 1892. Perhaps his future son-in-law, Basil Andrew Jackson Smith, was named after him. Both men were called Jack.
Gabriella Barnett (55), the wife of Andrew Jackson Short, was the only daughter of Richard Barnett (110) and Susannah Smith (111). Richard and Susannah may have been neighbors growing up. Together the two families owned at least 500 acres in the Spartanburg area on Fairforest Creek, adjoining Tates Brook and Kelso Creek, for Richard and Susannah sold that much land between 1800 and 1817. Gabriella probably was born in Spartanburg, SC, though her parents were listed as residents of Giles County, TN in 1814. On Nov. 6, 1817 in Spartanburg, Richard Barnett sold "a negro girl Betty about 14 years old" to Hancock Smith for $500. Richard died before 1824. Richard's father Joseph Barnett (220) is buried in the Barnett family cemetery, now in Croft State Park in South Carolina. According to her epitaph, Joseph's wife Ludy Wade (221) "died in the hopes of happiness."
Susannah Smith (111), the mother of Gabriella Barnett, moved from Spartanburg, SC by 1840 to Campbell County, GA, where her son Cyprian and daughter Gabriella were living. She apparently began suffering from health problems, including urinary troubles, after she moved to GA, but by March 1842, it had grown much worse. Her son Cyprian wrote in 1842 that " mama is very low and weak minded... a doctor has attended on her but all to no purpose and she I believe gets worse constant so aunt if you want ever want to see her anymore you must come here and not delay too long neither for from the present appearances she can't last long."
On the same occasion, Susannah wrote, "I take one more opportunity of informing you that we are all well at this time with the exception of myself, I am very feeble and low and has been for a long time., what it is that ails me I cannot tell you I am so nigh helpless that I can neither get up or down nor walk about the house nor yard only as Betty helps me and goes about with me and holds me up by the arm. I have been lingering so long and without any alteration only for the worse that I have lost all hopes of ever getting so I can go about again....Tell Tilla that we console with her and Ambrose on the lose of their sons but tell them that we was born to die that these bodies were only lent us for awhile and then they must return from whence they came and as they boys was recalled first from this world to bear the shock as well as they can... Gabrielle family is all well. Gabrielle had a daughter [Catherine Short] on the 26th of February last. the times is grievous hard, money is scarce.. "
Cecely Reynolds Baley Jordan (3529), an ancestor of Gabriella Barnett, sailed to Virginia on the "Swan" at age 9 or 10 from Dorsetshire, England. The attractive young girl may have been part of a group of orphans gathered from the streets of London and sent to the American wilderness about 1611. Settling in Charles City, VA, Cecely was widowed at least three times. Her teenaged marriage to Thomas Baley in 1616 produced a daughter, Temperance, before his death not long afterwards. During those years, she had become very good friends with Temperance West Lady Yardley, wife of Sir George Yardley who was then Governor and Captain General of Virginia. Cecely's second husband, Samuel Jordan, was 26 years older than her when they were married in 1620. Samuel died March 1623, leaving her with two more small daughters.
Cecely became engaged to William Farrar, some time later. When she did so, Pastor Grivell Pooley brought a formal complaint against her. Pooley claimed that, three days after he had conducted her husband's funeral, he had betrothed her to himself instead. Witnesses retorted it seemed to be his idea, not hers. She had told them only that "she would as willingly have him as any other," but that she wasn't ready to marry anybody right then. But Pooley proceeded to recite her vows for her, kiss her, and share a glass of wine with her. The witnesses to this unusual ceremony later testified they hadn't heard her say "I do," and that Cecely begged Poole not to tell anybody. But he did, and she later remarked, "If Mr. Pooley had not revealed it he might have fared the better."
The Virginia House of Burgesses could not decide such a delicate case, and referred it to the home office of the Virginia Company. The London headquarters declared they were puzzled too. The dispute was eventually decided in Cecely's favor. But just in case, the House of Burgesses passed a law forbidding any woman in the future from promising to marry more than one person.
Shortly after Cecely's wedding to William Farrar, she told local pastors of a strange vision one night at Jordan's Journey. She said she saw two hands, one pointing at her and one pointing at her youngest daughter, while she heard a voice repeat the word "judgement" several times. The church leaders tried to tell her that she must have been dreaming, but she insisted that she had been wide awake. William and Cecely had three more children, one named after him and one named after her. She died in 1677.
The first William Farrar (3528) sold his land in Hertsfordshire, England, and arrived August, 1618 in VA aboard the "Neptune." He was the founder of the Farrar's Island Farrars, one of the first families of Virginia. Before dawn one morning during the Indian Massacre of 1622, he rowed away from Farrar's Island, seeking safety at Jordan's Journey. There he eventually married Cecely Jordan. William became involved in lawmaking and helped to arrest and deport Governor Harvey. On 4 March 1625/6 King Charles I appointed him a member of the King's Council. He served on the Court and General Council of Virginia until the mid-1630's, when he presumably died.
Rev. Moses Sanders (396), an ancestor of Alexander Stephens Garrett, was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1742 and came to Georgia seeking religious freedom as a Baptist. In the early 1770s, he built a log chapel and by Feb. 11, 1787 had became the first pastor of Nails Creek Baptist Church. In May 1802, sixty-two members of that church, including several of Moses' relatives and several African-Americans, formed the Groves Level Baptist Church, on the Grove Fork of Broad River, near the town of Homer, Banks County, GA. Moses was chosen as the supply preacher. He established many Baptist churches before his death in 1817. His service as a Revolutionary War soldier from Iredell County, NC left Rev. Sanders with several bayonet scars from hand-to-hand combat with the British. His tombstone, just down the road from Groves Level, reads, "Christ is my anchor." His great-granddaughter Elizabeth Ball (49) married Isaac Garrett.
Antioch Cemetery, Fulton County, GA
Palmetto, Fulton County, GA
Fairforest Creek, near Spartanburg, SC
Farrar's Island, VA
Homer, Banks County GA
14: From Dukes to Doctors
Narratives are taken from Pathway: A Family History, and may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes.
© 1996-2004, Michael McGinnis, Bryan, TX