Death May 1866 in Habersham County, Georgia, USA
Birth 2 Apr 1747 in Caroline County, Virginia, USA
Death 18 Aug 1834 in Fannin County, Georgia, USA
Margaret Hannah BROWN
Birth 1751 in Prince George County, Virginia, USA
Death 1820 in Virginia, USA
Marriage 1 to Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
about 1802 Age: 23
Pendleton District, South Carolina, USA
Marriage 2 to Tabitha WHITWORTH
about 1810 Age: 31
Marriage 3 to Hannah THOMAS
15 Jan 1863 Age: 84
Habersham County, Georgia, USA
Much is discussed all over the Internet about Darius Echols.
I found these posts online somewhere that explains a lot of this mystery.
"Born on Wheels"
This section is dedicated to my cousins Randall W. Fields and his sister Charlotte (Fields) Carroll. Randall for all the days and hours he has spent researching our ancestors over the past few years and his endless patience with and encouragement to me as we built this page.
Charlotte for the title "Born on Wheels", taken from her phrase, "they were born on wheels" and her contribution of the family stories passed on to her by her mother, Gladys Thomas Fields.
The constant driving need for a better way of life for themselves and their children led our ancestors on an unwavering trail from Sampson County, NC where we have traced them back to at this point in time.
The family migrated south westward to Gwinnett County, GA on foot and/or wagon over a period of several years. From GA. they moved westward into AL. where they finally settled in or around the town of Jacksonville, AL where many of the Holder descendants still reside today. Many children were born along the way from North Carolina to Alabama, i.e. "Born on Wheels".
The shadow dancers---my name for them--- moving along before our time almost like faceless shadows dancing on a moon lit night only the outline can be seen not the details. Hopefully we will retrieve the details in our search.
Rabun County, GA – birthplace of William Russell "Bear" Thomas on December 7, 1860. This is the first documented location of the "elusive" Floyd Thomas, William Russell's father, who at that time was married to William's mother, Nancy (Ransom) Thomas.
According to an application William filed in 1908 in connection with the Guion Miller Roll, index #45095, states that Floyd as well as Nancy's family were living in Rabun County, GA near the town of Clayton in the year 1851. This application also states that Nancy was 1/4 Cherokee Indian.
William, who was a widower (Abie Stamay is listed as his first wife on the application) with 5 children (4 of these five children are listed on the application) in 1900, met and married Sarah E.F. Holder, daughter of Jabez Holder, on July 21, 1900 in Gadsden, AL.
The above mentioned application also states that Floyd was living in or near Jasper, TN in 1908 with his second wife and their children. Seems Nancy had been dead about 12 years at this time. Family folk lore has it that he owned a huge farm there. Probably purchased with the money he received during the time he rode with the James gang and the Younger brothers (family folk lore also, not documented).
William and Sarah, being farmers moved throughout AL, always looking for better land to farm. They had 11 children of their own, hence the phrase "Born on Wheels" once again an accurate description. Sarah was known as a "bee charmer", for those of you not familiar with this term; a bee charmer is someone who can handle bees and rob the honey from the hives without wearing protection and not getting stung in the process.
William supposedly had 21 children all total, that leaves 5 unaccounted for. Hopefully we will find them soon.
Nancy's maiden name; the first documentation on the Ransom's as of now is the application filed by William R. in 1908.
Here he states that his mother, Nancy was born in Buncombe County, NC just outside the Cherokee domain. Appears they migrated south east as did our ancestors, the Holders. Is it possible they could have travelled together?
This brings us to our present day family which is tremendous in number, many I don't even know about at this time, however we are aware that William and/or Sarah's descendants are spread from NC, where some of our cousins have returned to their roots, to as far west as California, Texas and Missouri and as far south as south Florida. We are and will be forever in search of family members, wherever they are.
Here I hope to bring to you all the surnames connected to my family via this site. Please feel free to contact us if you think you are connected.
March 29, 2000
Well, finally we have found the "elusive" Floyd Thomas, and what a colorful picture has been unveiled. Seems our Floyd Thomas did settle in TN. the town of Jasper in Marion County married to his very young 14 year old first cousin, Abie Haseltine Laney. It is said they had 9 children and Floyd sold shoes as far away as London, England. I guess Abie and the children worked the farm while he was away. Of course he was going by Newton F. Thomas by this time. Some even say he was loaded as for as money goes.
But, the colorful picture doesn't stop with Floyd, seems his grandmother, Hannah Thomas, was quite the rounder herself. The story goes that she had 9 children while unmarried.
Seems she lived next door to a certain Habersham County, GA. sheriff, Darius Echols, and his wife. I'm told, there is strong circumstantial evidence that some if not all Hannah's children were fathered by Sheriff Echols. If they weren't, they may all have had different fathers. So, now who are we?
We do know that Hannah and the Sheriff were charged and found guilty of adultery and fornication in 1855 at the age of 79 and 55. This is in the County records. Didn't seem to bother them any they kept right on doing what they wanted to do. Was this true love? Or just lust?
Hannah and Darius are on the 1860 census records living together and Echols wife was living in Alabama with her son in 1860. Of course, Hannah and Darius were eventually married in 1863 probably after the death of his wife, no record of her has been found after the census of 1860.
Let's not forget about Martin Riley, Hannah's son and Floyd's father also convicted of Fornication and Adultery with a Catherine Whitworth, nor forget that he was living with Idella Isabella O'Shield Collins, just before his death in 1889, and wrote out his will leaving everything to his children by her. The will was contested by his wife, Polly Ann Southerland, whom he married on December 29, 1844 and son-in-law, Pinkney Wood.
As for Nancy, Floyd's first wife, who was according to census records 19 yrs his senior. Well, we were beginning to believe that maybe there was never a marriage. Our family folklore has it that Floyd rode in from robbing trains, spent the night and boom, baby makes 3 or 2 in this case. But, thanks to Randall's persistence, a record of their marriage was found. Took some hard work on his part, seems Nancy was married prior to Floyd, to Andrew J. Fuller. At this point in time we know very little about the Fuller family.
NOTE: Both email addresses listed on that page return undeliverable.
I am interested in a man named Darius Echols, who was sheriff and also Justice of the Peace at different times in Habersham County, Georgia.
Apparently Darius must have been quite the ladies' man. I have been told by one researcher that, in the early 1800's Darius paid the taxes in Franklin County, Georgia for a woman named Elizabeth Wisdom. One son of this Elizabeth Wisdom had his named legally changed to Echols in Forsyth County, Georgia. I have not researched this information and cannot verify the accuracy of it.
My ancestor is named Hannah Thomas. She is said to have been the widow of a Revolutionary Soldier on one land lottery. If this is true than she must have married a much older man. She was born about 1804 and if we assume that she married in 1820 she would have been 16 and the revolutionary soldier would have to be about 60. If this marriage did occur the man must have died shortly afterward because she is listed alone on all census and other records.
Hannah must have been quite a woman. With her headright land and land lottery lands she had quite a lot of acreage. Also she conducted all her own business and seemed to be a very independent woman. Darius was always close by however and they had a long-standing relationship.
Hannah's first three children were James Wiley Thomas born in 1822, Martin Riley Thomas born in 1823 and Clary born in about 1825. In an 1834 court record these children were referred to as illegitimate. Martin Riley Thomas was my great-great grandfather. In 1834, Darius Echols was named as Guardian of the illegitimates of Hannah Thomas.
Browning Thomas, a great grandson of Hannah Thomas through her son Darius Jasper Thomas, had a much older half brother who was born in 1896. During a visit in 1987, this older half brother told Browning that they were "really Echols, not Thomas’s" and that his search for Thomas’s would prove fruitless. At the time Browning became so angry that he quit researching for several years.
Hannah had drawn land "for minors" in 1827. She also drew land in 1832 as a widow of a revolutionary war soldier. As stated earlier Hannah was quite independent and managed her property and business affairs personally.
No marriage record prior to 1863 has ever been found for Hannah Thomas. Hannah gave birth to Sarah in 1828 followed by Elizabeth in 1830. Elizabeth married E. B. Beard September 13, 1849 in Habersham County, Georgia. They later moved to Jefferson County, Alabama. No death record has been found for Elizabeth but on the death certificate of her son it gives her maiden name as Elizabeth Echols.
These first five children, James Wiley, Martin, Clary, Sarah, and Elizabeth all bought lot number 43 in the 12th district of Habersham County, Georgia from a Fleming Bates for $300. Their guardian was Darius Echols, who signed the deed as Justice of the peace.
Hannah has not been found on the 1830 census. Either she was not interviewed or she was living in another household.
Hannah continued to have children. She had Melissa "Lissy" in 1834, then Darius Jasper in 1835, Newton Cleveland in 1837 and Thomas Benton in 1841.
The 1840 census (page 143) shows Hannah Thomas as head of household, living next door to Darius Echols. She has two males under 5 years of age (Darius Jasper and Newton Cleveland), two males 15 to 20 (James Wiley and Martin Riley), two females 5 to 10 (Elizabeth and Melissa) and two females 10 to 15 (Clary and Sarah).
Darius Echols and Hannah Thomas were charged with Fornication and Adultery (a married man living with a single woman) on 1 October 1855 and on Diverse other occasions before and after that date. Hannah pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and ordered to remain in jail until the fine was paid. Darius pleaded not guilty and was found guilty in court.
By 1860 Darius and Hannah were still living together and Darius' wife was living with her son in Alabama. By 1863 Darius' wife must have died because Darius and Hannah were finally married.
The last son of Hannah Thomas changed his name from Thomas Benton Thomas to Thomas Benton Echols in later life. It is not known how many of Hannah's children went by Echols. It is known that Elizabeth, born in 1830 and Thomas born about 1845 both went by Echols in later life.
The evidence is overwhelming that Darius was the father of most, if not all of Hannah's children. If Darius was not the father of all of her children then there is no way of knowing who the father was or if maybe they all had different fathers.
I would like any information I can get on Darius Echols.