Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — James Hollingsworth (1777/1780 – abt. 1822) and Wife Mary Jones

The first clear record I’ve found showing James having come of age is his appearance on the 1801 tax list in Franklin County, Georgia, an indicator that he was born by 1781 or so.[3] The order James’s father Jacob Hollingsworth gives for his sons still living when Jacob made his will in 1815 suggests that James was born between Thomas and Benjamin.[4] As we’ve seen, Thomas’s tombstone[5] and death notice[6] in the newspaper Southern Recorder indicate that he was born in 1777. Benjamin was under 21 when the 1805 Georgia land lottery was held,[7] so this places his year of birth after 1784.

Marriage of James Hollingsworth and Mary Jones, Franklin County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. 1802-1826, p. 58

We’ve also seen that James Hollingsworth married Mary Jones, daughter of James Jones and Mary Todhunter, on 16 May 1813 in Franklin County, Georgia. To be precise: this is the date on which county records show the couple receiving license to marry; though the marriage record does not have a return, it’s likely James and Mary married either on or shortly after the 16th.[8] Mary’s sister Joicy Jones had married James’s brother Benjamin on 3 September 1809.

As has also been indicated in a previous posting, James Hollingsworth died in Franklin County, Tennessee, after making his will on 2 July 1822 in that county.[9] The will has no probate information, but according to Sadie Greening Sparks, it was probated in 1824.[10] The posting just linked at the start of this paragraph also notes that James’s widow Mary is buried in Patton cemetery at Pelham in Grundy County, Tennessee, with her tombstone showing that she was born 11 June 1786 and died 10 May 1859. Mary married James Cunnyngham following James Hollingsworth’s death, and was buried as Mary Cunnyngham.[11] The 1850 federal census tells us that Mary was born in Virginia.[12] This census shows Mary living in the household of her son-in-law Alexander Edgar Patton, the widowed husband of James and Mary Hollingsworth’s daughter Salina Zora Belle Hollingsworth, who died 9 August 1849, and is buried with her mother in the Patton cemetery at Pelham, Tennessee, named for Salina’s husband Alexander E. Patton.

Franklin County, Georgia, Records, 1801-1815

As noted above, the first record I’ve found for James Hollingsworth is his appearance in 1801 on the Franklin County, Georgia, tax list along with his father Jacob and brothers Thomas and Samuel Hollingsworth. These Hollingsworth men are enumerated together in Captain John Martin’s company.[13] James, Jacob, Thomas, and Samuel appear together again the following year on the 1802 tax list in John Martin’s district.[14] James Hollingsworth appears again on the tax list in Franklin County, Georgia, in 1803 and 1806.[15]

Petition of the citizens [of] Franklin County, Georgia to John Milledge, Governor of Georgia (abt. 1802), manuscript in the Telamon Cuyler collection of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, digitized and available online at the Digital Library of Georgia

At some point in 1802, James Hollingsworth and other citizens of Franklin County presented a petition to Georgia governor Milledge, complaining that an act passed by the Georgia legislature for the distribution of lands obtained from the Creek Indians at the treaty signed at Fort Wilkinson on 16 June 1802 benefited only the wealthy. The petition is not dated, but was presented to Milledge after the signing of the treaty of Fort Wilkinson and before the death of James Hollingsworth’s brother Samuel around 6 August 1802.[16] Samuel Hollingsworth signed this petition along with his brother James, as did their father Jacob. 

On 14 July 1806, James Hollingsworth bought from Frederick and Patsy Beall, all of Franklin County, two tracts of land on the Indian boundary lines in Franklin County.[17] The tracts were adjoining pieces of land, 31 acres and 115 acres, on the north fork of Broad River where Samuel McFadden was living. This deed was witnessed by James H. Little and James Hollingsworth’s brother-in-law Benjamin Wofford, who proved the deed on 14 May 1807 before Thomas Hollingsworth, j.p., when the deed was recorded.

In 1807, James Hollingsworth of Franklin County was one of the “fortunate drawers” in the Georgia land lottery of that year. He drew lot 7 in district 9 in Baldwin County, Georgia. The following year, James sold this lot on 20 February to William Newberry, with the deed noting that James lived in Franklin County and Newberry in Jones County, which had been cut from Baldwin in 1807, with James’s land falling into the new county. James signed the deed as Jas. Hollingsworth, with his brother Benjamin witnessing along with William Kelly. William Kelly proved the deed in Franklin County before James’s brother Thomas Hollingsworth, j.p., and the deed was recorded on 12 December 1808.[18]  

On 4 March 1807, John Jones and wife Sarah sold James Hollingsworth 150 acres on the north fork of Broad River adjoining James’s soon to be father-in-law James Jones.[19] This transaction was witnessed by James’s brother Benjamin and by James Jones. Both witnesses proved the deed on 16 June 1814 and it was recorded.

According to Sadie Greening Sparks, James Hollingsworth appears on a tax list in Madison County, Mississippi Territory (later Alabama) on 19 July 1810.[20] Sparks notes that some of James’s soon to be in-laws including John and Stephen Jones are on the same tax list. James was still living in Franklin County, Georgia, at this point, but was probably making plans to move to Franklin County, Tennessee, which borders Madison County, Alabama, on the north, and had perhaps acquired a foothold in Madison County as he prepared to move to Tennessee.

According to Louise Frederick Hayes, a James Hollingsworth served in the War of 1812 as a private at Fort Telfair in Lieutenant-Colonel John Keener’s company in August and September 1813. He was also employed as a spy at Fort Madison under Major Patton in 1814.[21] Sadie Greening Sparks thinks this James Hollingsworth is James of Franklin County, Georgia,[22] but I’m not certain that’s correct. It seems to me a different set of Hollingsworths, with men also named James, were living in Twiggs County in the same period. I think the James Hollingsworth serving at Fort Telfair, which is in middle Georgia where Twiggs is located, was a Twiggs County man and not the man in Franklin County, Georgia. Note that James Hollingsworth of Franklin County was likely aged 33-6 in 1813, and men of that mature age were less frequently found as privates in militia units. 

As noted above, James Hollingsworth and Mary Jones, daughter of John Jones and Mary Todhunter, married in Franklin County, Georgia, on or around 16 May 1813. For a summary of the multiple connections between the Todhunter family and the Brooks family of James’s mother Mary Brooks Hollingsworth, see this previous posting, which has links to previous postings documenting these connections. As we saw in a previous posting, James Hollingsworth and his brother Benjamin were co-sellers of a tract of land in Habersham County, Georgia, on 9 January 1815, when their parents sold James B. Wyly 287½ acres on the north fork of the Broad River along with sons Benjamin and James. The same day, James and Benjamin also separately sold Wyly two tracts containing 110½ and 37½ acres on the north fork of Broad River in Habersham County with their wives signing the deed along with James and Benjamin and with N. Dobson and Hampton Holcomb as witnesses. Holcomb proved the deed 11 February 1826, though the recording date is given as 1 January 1826.[23] Jacob Hollingsworth had bought the land he and his sons sold in January 1815 on 17 May 1797 from Thomas and Yankey Payne.[24]

Two deeds before these consecutive deeds appear in Habersham County, Georgia, Deed Book C is a deed by the legatees of James Jones to James Colley.[25] As heirs of James Jones, on 11 November 1820, the following signatories deeded 160 acres in Habersham County to Colley: James Jones, Benjamin Hollingsworth, William Barton, Jabez Jones, Salina Jones, John Jones, and James Hollingsworth. Note that this deed establishes that Benjamin and James Hollingsworth had married daughters of James Jones who were siblings of the other children of James Jones listed in this deed. William Barton had married a Jones daughter whose name has not been discovered, to my knowledge.

As a previous posting also shows, James Hollingsworth is named as a son in the 15 May 1815 will of his father Jacob Hollingsworth in Franklin County, Georgia, which states,[26]

I will and bequeath to my four Sons Jacob[,] Thomas[,] James[,] and Benjamin Hollingsworth the balance of my Estate including the following Negroes by name Jack[,] Harvey[,] Harry[,] Lett[,] and Marien to be Equally divided between my four Sons aforesaid at my desease

Franklin County, Tennessee, Records, 1816-1822

According to Sadie Greening Sparks, James Hollingsworth’s brother Benjamin moved his family from Franklin County, Georgia, to Franklin County, Tennessee, about 1815, and James followed suit soon after. Sparks notes that James and brother Benjamin are on the tax list in Madison County, Alabama, in 1816 and then appear in the same year in Franklin County, Tennessee, records.[27]

James Hollingsworth began acquiring land in Franklin County, Tennessee, on 20 July 1816 when Abraham Hargis sold him 70 acres of land.[28] The deed states that both Hargis and Hollingsworth lived in Franklin County, and that the land being sold was on the waters of Elk River. It was witnessed by James’s brother Benjamin and by Robert Box (his mark). Both proved the deed at the February 1818 session of county court and it was recorded. 

The preceding deed in Franklin County, Tennessee, Deed Book J is a 4 January 1817 deed of James Blair Sr. to Benjamin Hollingsworth for three lots in the county seat of Winchester.[29] James Hollingsworth witnessed this deed along with Matthew Dowly and both proved it in county court in February 1818.

As also noted previously, on 3 November 1816, Jacob Hollingsworth, James and Benjamin’s father, bought a piece of land in Franklin County, Tennessee, with his son James and Robert Box (his mark) witnessing.[30] The deed states that Jacob was then living in Franklin County, Tennessee, which suggests that he may have moved there with his youngest two sons, and intended to resettle in Tennessee. It’s clear from other records, however, that Jacob returned to Georgia and continued residing in Franklin County, Georgia, up to his death there in 1822 — see the posting linked at the head of this paragraph for information about that.

On 19 February 1817, James Hollingsworth’s brother Benjamin sold James 106 acres of land on the waters of Elk River in the third district of Franklin County, Tennessee bordering on Benjamin Hollingsworth, Robert Box, and Abraham Hargis.[31] Since James paid $940 for this property and the deed notes that the land had appurtenances on it, I think that James was likely buying from his brother a piece of land on which James and his family had settled by this date. Benjamin had bought this land as his first land purchase in Franklin County on 15 July 1815 — on this land purchase, see this posting. I also think that James settled in a part of Franklin County, Tennessee, that was cut into Grundy County at that county’s formation in 1844. Grundy was formed from Coffee and Warren Counties, with Coffee being created in 1836 from Franklin and other counties. Pelham in Grundy County, where Jacob’s wife Mary and daughter Salina are buried and where James was likely living at the time of his death, is very close to the Elk River.

John Jones and Henry Hollingsworth witnessed Benjamin Hollingsworth’s deed to his brother James. As the Habersham County deed of James Jones’s heirs discussed above shows, John was a brother of Benjamin’s wife Joicy Jones and James’s wife Mary Jones. The Henry Hollingsworth witnessing this deed was Benjamin and James’s nephew, son of Samuel Hollingsworth and Mary Garner, whose wife was Rachel Jones and was undoubtedly a member of the same Jones family into which Benjamin and James had married.

James Hollingsworth appears on the 1820 federal census in Franklin County, Tennessee with a male 26-45, a female 26-45, and a female under 10. Ten enslaved persons are also enumerated in the household. James’s brother Benjamin is enumerated next to him, but the proximity does not necessarily mean they were living close to one another, since the census listing is alphabetical.[32]

Will of James Hollingsworth, 2 July 1822, Franklin County, Tennessee, Will Bk. 1, p. 47

James Hollingsworth made his will in Franklin County, Tennessee, on 2 July 1822.[33] The will says that James lived in Franklin County and bequeathed all his property, after his burial expenses and debts had been paid, to his beloved wife Mary and their daughter Salina. James appoints John Jones, Esq., and Benjamin Hollingsworth his executors. Witnesses were James Box and a name not easy to read, which is, I think, S.K. Goodman, whose 23 May 1827 will in Franklin County was witnessed by Benjamin Hollingsworth.[34] Solomon King Goodman (1779-1827) was a member of a family described by a family historian as “among the earliest and most influential settlers in the Pelham Valley” of Grundy County, Tennessee.[35]

Tombstone of Mary Jones (Hollingsworth) (Cunnyngham), Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, from Find a Grave memorial page of Mary Cunnyngham, created by Sharon Goodman with a photo of the tombstone by Sharon Goodman

As was noted above, there is no probate date in Franklin County will books for James Hollingsworth’s will. Court records for Franklin County date from 1832, so there’s not a notation in county court minute books for when the will was presented for probate — and I find no mention of James or his will in the loose court papers of the county that are extant. James Hollingsworth had definitely died by 1830, when his widow Mary is the female aged 40-49 in the household of James Cunningham on the federal census in Franklin County, Tennessee — and when James Hollingsworth has disappeared from the census.[36] Mary’s tombstone in Patton cemetery at Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee (which gives her married surname as Cunnyngham), tells us she was born 14 June 1786, and that she died 10 May 1859.[37] As noted above, the 1850 federal census shows her birthplace as Virginia and has her living in the final decade of her life with the widowed husband of her daughter Salina, Alexander E. Patton, for whom Patton cemetery is named.

Tombstone of Salina Hollingsworth Patton, at her Find a Grave memorial page for Salina Hollingsworth Patton, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, maintained by Sharon Goodman with a tombstone photo uploaded by Sharon Goodman
Reproduction of what appears to be an oil portrait of Alexander Edgar Patton in Eddie Patton and Mary Ellen Patton Roberts, “The Pattons of Pelham and the Civil War,” The Pathfinder [Grundy County, Tennessee] 17,2 (June 2012), pp. 16-20, online at the Grundy County, Tennessee, History website
Daguerrotype or tintype photo of Alexander E. Patton as Civil War soldier, in Eddie Patton and Mary Ellen Patton Roberts, “The Pattons of Pelham and the Civil War,” The Pathfinder [Grundy County, Tennessee] 17,2 (June 2012), pp. 16-20, online at the Grundy County, Tennessee, History website
Tombstone of Alexander E. Patton, Find a Grave memorial page for Capt. Alexander Edgar Patton, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, maintained by Rhonda Patton Wathen and children, with a photo of his tombstone uploaded by L. Ferree

James and Mary’s Daughter Salina and Husband Alexander E. Patton

The tombstone of Salina Zora Belle Hollingsworth Patton in Patton cemetery states that she was died 9 August 1849, aged 31 years, 6 months, and 29 days. This yields a birthdate of 11 January 1815. Around 1831, Salina married Alexander Edgar Patton, who is also buried in Patton cemetery with a tombstone indicating that he was born 1 January 1800 and died 3 February 1879.[38]  A 2012 article by Eddie Patton and Mary Ellen Patton in the Grundy County, Tennessee, historical journal The Pathfinder reproduces photos of what appear to be oil portraits of Salina and Alexander — see the head of this posting for Salina’s portrait; the article does not have information about the present whereabouts of these portraits, or information about whether they are, as they appear to be, oil portraits of the couple by the same artist when they were a young married couple.[39] Alexander Patton was a captain of Company A of Colonel Peter Turney’s First Tennessee Infantry (Confederate) during the Civil War.[40]

A footnote to this posting: Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks’s sons Thomas and James were the third and fourth of the couple’s sons, with brothers Samuel and Jacob born before them. Samuel was clearly named for Jacob Hollingsworth’s father, and his son Jacob for Jacob himself. As I stated in my last posting, I suspect Thomas was named for Mary Brooks’s brother (and possibly her father, whose name I’ve never found, was a Thomas, too). 

Was James then named for Mary Brooks’s other brother, who we know, from her mother’s will, was named James? I think this may well have been the case.


[1] J. Adger Stewart, Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr. (Louisville: Morton, 1925), p. 143; and Alpheus Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, and Particularly of the Descendants of George and Michael Harlan, Who Settled in Chester County, Pa., 1687 (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1914), p. 83.

[2] Sadie Greening Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia,” online at Loy Sparks’s website dedicated to the memory of Sadie Greening Sparks.

[3] See Georgia Archives, Georgia Tax Digests (1890-2), compiling tax records from Georgia counties, 1793-1892 in 140 volumes held by the Archives. Ancestry provides a search engine and digital copies of these tax records in the collection Georgia Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892.

[4] The original will is in the loose-papers estate file of Jacob Hollingsworth, Franklin County, Georgia; originals held by Georgia Archives, digital copies at Family Search website. The will is also recorded in Franklin County, Georgia, Court of Ordinary Minutes, Bk. 1814-1823, p. 127.

[5] The tombstone record is transcribed in Atlanta History Center, Cemetery Records for Atlanta and Vicinity, vol. 11: 1874-1932, p. 23; digitized at Ancestry as Fulton and Campbell Counties, Georgia, Cemetery Records, 1857-1933Thomas’s Find a Grave memorial page at Fairview Presbyterian cemetery, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, has photos of the stone uploaded to the page by Find a Grave user K. The page was created by Stacy Ann Williams.

[6] Southern Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia) (31 May 1836), p. 3, col. 5.

[7] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.”

[8] Franklin County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. 1802-1826, p. 58.

[9] Franklin County, Tennessee, Will Bk. 1, p. 47.

[10] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.” 

[11] See Find a Grave memorial page of Mary Cunnyngham, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, created by Sharon Goodman with a photo of the tombstone by Sharon Goodman. See also Sadie Greening Sparks, “The Family of James Jones & Wife Mary ‘Polly’ (MNU) of Franklin & Habersham Co., Georgia,” online at Loy Sparks’s website dedicated to the memory of Sadie Greening Sparks.

[12] 1850 federal census, Grundy County, Tennessee, district 3, p. 366B (dwelling 79/family 81; 25 October).

[13] Georgia Archives, Georgia Tax Digests (1890-2).

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Petition of the citizens [of] Franklin County, Georgia to John Milledge, Governor of Georgia, manuscript in the Telamon Cuyler collection of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, digitized and available online at the Digital Library of Georgia.

[17] Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Bk. R, pp. 76-77.

[18] Jones County, Georgia, Deed Bk. A, p. 153; see also “Genesis of a Land Grant,” Hollingsworth Register 19,4 (December 1983), pp. 64-5.

[19] Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Bk. TTT, pp. 170-1.

[20] Sadie Greening Sparks, “James Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Jones,” online at Loy Sparks’s website dedicated to the memory of Sadie Greening Sparks.

[21] Louise Frederick Hayes, Georgia Military Record Book, 1779-1839 (n.p., n.d.), pp. 162-163. 

[22] Sparks, “James Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Jones.”

[23] Habersham County, Georgia, Deed Bk. C, pp. 177-8, 179-180.

[24] Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Bk. NN, pp. 5-6.

[25] Habersham County, Georgia, Deed Bk. C, p. 176. 

[26] See supra, n. 4.

[27] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia” and “James Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Jones.”

[28] Franklin County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. J, p. 377.

[29] Ibid., p. 376.

[30] Ibid., p. 371.

[31] Ibid., pp. 433-434.

[32] 1820 federal census, Franklin County, Tennessee, p. 68, #708 (Benjamin is #707). The census spells their surname as Hollinsworth.

[33] Franklin County, Tennessee, Will Bk. 1, pp. 46-7.

[34] Ibid., pp. 65-6.

[35] “The Goodman Family,” in Homecoming ’86, History of The Elk River Valley (Pelham Valley) of Grundy County TN, ed. Arlene Partin Bean and Janelle Layne Coats (Manchester, Tennessee: Beaver Press, 1986); online at Alma E. Dailey-Harings’s Sanders & Dixon Family History Project website.

[36] 1830 federal census, Franklin County, Tennessee, p. 85.

[37] See supra, n. 11. 

[38] See Find a Grave memorial page for Salina Hollingsworth Patton, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, maintained by Sharon Goodman with a tombstone photo uploaded by Sharon Goodman; and Find a Grave memorial page for Capt. Alexander Edgar Patton, Patton cemetery, maintained by Rhonda Patton Wathen and children, with a photo of his tombstone uploaded by L. Ferree. There are also Confederate service markers for him at his gravesite.

[39] See Eddie Patton and Mary Ellen Patton Roberts, “The Pattons of Pelham and the Civil War,” The Pathfinder [Grundy County, Tennessee] 17,2 (June 2012), pp. 16-20, online at the Grundy County, Tennessee, History website. See also Greg Curtis, “Capt. Alexander E. Patton,” online at the USGenweb site for Grundy County.=

[40] John Berrien Lindsley, The Military Annals of Tennessee. Confederate. First Series: Embracing a Review of Military Operations, with Regimental Histories and Memorial Rolls (Nashville: Lindsley, 1886), p. 129.

One thought on “Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — James Hollingsworth (1777/1780 – abt. 1822) and Wife Mary Jones

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