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Richardson Cemetery - Genealogy

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The following information was contributed by Mary Ann Grace and Kenneth Mooney.


The Richardson Family

Contributed by Mary Ann Grace

These are the facts as I know them to be true concerning the Richardson family. Some I have validated myself and others have been hearsay.

It seems that a John Richardson born circa 1760 and his wife Leah moved into Georgia from some point in Virginia. Reportedly John was a Revolutionary Soldier but this has not been validated to my satisfaction at this time. They were traveling with a group of brave pioneers into Georgia. Among this group were the families: Anderson, Wilkerson, Ellis, Hartsfield, Oliver, Varner, Zellers and Woodley. This group of people first settled in Oglethorpe County near the South Carolina border for a period of time, circa 1795, before lands opened up into Central Georgia, Alabama and points west.

There were at least two sons born to John and Leah, John Landrus and William, both born circa 1791 in Virginia. It is my unsubstantiated theory that these two boys could have been twins. For sure their family ties were very strong. It seems that John, Leah and the boys pulled up stakes from Oglethorpe County around 1806 and moved to Putnam County. It was probably while living in Putnam County that the boys choose wives from the families that were pioneering this new territory with them. John Landrus married Elizabeth Malinda Wilkerson and William married Sarah H. (this H was most likely Hartsfield). The Richardsons as well as others of the wagon train lived in Putnam County until the 1820 Georgia Land lottery. William had a lucky draw and he, by paying a grant fee of $18.00, was awarded 250 acres in Gwinnett County. His land was between Lawrenceville and Dacula.

(Of interest at this point is that I have very validated information that the family of Weaver traveled this same route into Georgia during this same time frame. This is also a direct line in our family genealogy. The flow of this line is: David Weaver, Samuel Weaver, Andrew Baker Weaver and lastly Mary Elizabeth Weaver who married William Matthew Richardson.)

It was during the 1827 lottery drawing that John Landrus and Malinda Wilkerson, or his father John, won a draw for land in Coweta County. His lot was for 202and 1/2 acres. No matter who won the draw.........John and John Landras moved into the virgin territory that had just been vacated by the Creek Indians. This area was later to become the town of Palmetto. Did they move from Putnam or Gwinnett County? This is unknown at this time.

Just how many children were born to John Landrus (2nd generation) and Malinda Wilkerson Richardson is unknown. The 1850 Campbell County Census shows 10 children living in their household. Their relationship is not given on the census data. His will names two heirs. One is Sara Ann Edison and the other is Clara Morgan. These are probably daughters.

William and Sarah were still living in Gwinnett County at the time of their death. William died July 30, 1836 and Sarah two days later on August 1. A plague????

How many children William and Sarah had is unknown but their son William Landrus now married to Elizabeth Anderson moved his family to Palmetto. Land deeds show that he was recipient of 202 and 1/2 acres from the estate of Adam Wilkerson. Why? This is an unknown. He also received an additional 67 and 2/3 acres from the estate of Thomas Wilkerson. I believe that this was purchased land rather than inherited. This land transaction took place in 1836.

By this time William L. and Elizabeth had four children: Susan Francis, Sarah Dorothy, William Matthew and George Thomas. Five more children would be born in Palmetto; John Anderson, James Landrus, Hillery Ellis, Mary Elizabeth, and Ira Johnson.

1. Susan Francis b. 1831 married William Jackson. They lived in Palmetto and are buried in the Richardson cemetery on Water Works Road.

2. Sara Dorothy b. 1833 married James M. Strong. Records show that she was a teacher and at one time lived and taught in Douglasville. They are buried in the Richardson Cemetery on Water Words Road.

3. William Matthew 1834 married Mary Elizabeth Weaver. He was killed in the War. Mary Elizabeth remarried. (More about William Matthew and Mary Elizabeth) Their burial place is unknown.

4. George Thomas b. 1836 married Elizabeth Zellers. He was killed in the War. His widow and family moved to Alabama. Later his grandchild E.C. Richardson would move to Cartersville, Ga. in 1956. It has been his research that has validated much of the information here described.

5. John Anderson b. 1838 married Lucil Jones. They had no children. He lived for 16 years in Florida after 1871. He was a professor of education and author of the book Richardson‘s Defense of the South. He died in Grady Hospital. In later years he had lived with his niece Aurora Hunt in Gainesville, Ga. He is buried in Palmetto but his grave site has not been located as of date.

6. James Landrus b. 1840 married Rebecca Cheeves. They lived in Fayetteville (Rebecca was Mary Elizabeth Weaver’s 1st cousin)

7. Hillery Ellis b. 1841 married Sophronia Woodley. They lived in Palmetto. Burial place is likely on Water Works Road.

8. Mary Elizabeth b. 1843 died as a child.

9. Ira Johnson b. 1845 married Emory Ola Carrol. He was as a teacher and lived in Stockbridge, Georgia.

All the Richardson boys served nobly in the Civil War. The two oldest boys, William and George, gave their life in defense of the land of the South. John Anderson suffered serious wounds in battle but eventually rose to the rank of Captain.

William Matthew was son of William Landrus and Elizabeth, son of William and Sarah, son of John and Leah. He is now 4th generation Richardson as far back as I have been able to trace.

William Matthew at the age of 22 married the very beautiful Mary Elizabeth Weaver, daughter of Andrew Baker Weaver and Nancy J. Lester. (Interestingly enough the Weavers and Lesters also entered Georgia via Oglethorpe County.)Mary Elizabeth was only 16 at the time of marriage to William Matthew. Their wedding date was September 11, 1856. March 7, 1860 their first child, Hillery Andrew, was born. Hill was my grandpa. Two years after Hill was born, October 22, 1862, Wm. Matthew died in a car shed in Atlanta. This is all that his Confederate army papers state about what, when or how. Where he is buried is an unknown.

Apparently Mary Elizabeth was with child during this time for two family Bibles record the birth and death of an infant, Matthew Thomas.

Mary Elizabeth’s story does not end here for she was soon to meet and fall in love with a French vagabond hailing from the state of Tennessee. His name was Emil Camuse, a carriage maker by trade. He had come to Palmetto seeking out Mary Elizabeth with claims that he had been with her husband when he died. The story has it that he had with him a pouch or purse that had belonged to Wm. Matt. to validate his story. More likely he came seeking out the beautiful rich young widow, for Mary Elizabeth’s father was a very wealthy man even after the war.

The story continues for Mary Elizabeth, against the wishes of her family, married Emil. Alas after five months and seven days Mary Elizabeth was to also die. Old timers in the Palmetto area said, “She was in a family way and was just too frail.” Emil immediately left the area and returned to Tennessee taking with him whatever he could, much to the chagrin of Andy Weaver. I have been able to trace Emil from Tenn. to Texas. He married again and had a family of four children. He was quite an interesting character. Strangely enough I have found NO TRACE of him in the Confederate Army. Sure makes one wonder.

Now left behind is the four year old orphan, Hillery Andrew, my grandpa. He was partly reared in the home of Grandpa Weaver and partly by Grandma Elizabeth Anderson Richardson. I believe that his Aunt Sophronia Richardson also had a part in his upbringing.

Hill was to come into his own manhood and when he was 23 and married his sixteen year old bride, Amelia Margaret Port whose family had migrated into the Palmetto area from Marion County, South Carolina.

“Melia’s” father was Thomas Gehugh Port, the name given to my own father. He was known in the area as simply Hugh. Amelia’s mother was Rachael Martin Port.

Hill and Amelia were to establish their home on Hutcheson Ferry Road and there rear their three handsome sons and five lovely daughters. My father Thomas Gehugh was their sixth child.

Tom married at the age of 32, Annie Lizzie Smith a school teacher from Sharpsburg. They had four children. I, Mary Ann, was the baby. It is here that my recanting the family lineage ends.


Addendum (July 3, 2007)

I have learned a bit more of Old John the Revolutionary soldier and his wife Leah. First Leah was probably a nick name and her name was more likely Elizabeth.

Through undocumented sources there was a Revolutionary soldier from Virginia who settled in Oglethorpe, Georgia (same time period) who had a wife by the name of Elizabeth Tate. This John and Elizabeth had four sons according to some of the records. These sons were John Landrus, William, Allen and Asa. The birthdates on John L. and William are reasonable with my previous research and I feel that at least the brother Allen is correct. I doubt the brother Asa however.

The theory that John and William were twins is not correct. Of that I am very confident.

If these undocumented sources are indeed correct then this might also be true………………..

John Richardson was born c.1760 in Henry County Virginia. He is the son of Daniel Richardson born c. 1722 England and Prudence Leatherlin b. c. 1726.

Their children were John, Daniel and Enoch.

John’s (the Revolutionary soldier) wife was Elizabeth Tate born c.1764. She is daughter of James Tate (1746- June 8, 1798) and Rebecca Hudson (March 12, 1742 – Sept. 30, 1816). John Tate’s parents were William Tate (c.1716-1780) and Lucy Bullock. Rebecca’s parents were Charles Hudson and Susannah Patrick.

Now here is additional information that has been handed down through the youngest daughter of Levi Matthew Richardson (Nell Richardson Astin). She said that her daddy had told her that the Richardson brothers John Landrus and William were of Scot/Irish descent. I am very much inclined to believe this as Uncle Matt was the oldest of the Hillery Andrew Richardsons and knew many of the original Richardsons of the Palmetto area. With this in mind it just may cast doubt on the Daniel Richardson from England??????????

My source has been Roots Web. Com and I have found countless errors when using this source. It is, however, good for tracing leads.

Richardson Family Genealogy

Contributed by Kenneth Mooney in an e-mail message to Laurie Searle

I have looked into the Richardson cemetery quite a number of times and have seen the headstones you mentioned. The broken headstone beside Hillery Ellis Richardson is Sophronia Richardson. The writing on her stone is missing with the broken piece but there is a foot stone with her initials on it there. There is another stone that I am sure you did not see because it is buried. There is an open pit that held a coffin (I think) to the right of Elizabeth. The corner furthest from the road, on the right side, is where it lays. It is too heavy for me to lift and would require some digging also. I think it is Elizabeth's daughter who died in 1922 or so.

I looked into the Richardson family for a couple or reasons. The son (Claude Cooper) of my great grand uncle (?)(John Mitchell Cooper, my great grandmother's brother) married into this family (Aurora "Loly" Richardson) and a friend of mine is related to the Richardson's. His great grandfather Ira Johnson Richardson was brother to John Anderson Richardson.

Captain Andy (as he was called) taught school in Palmetto for a while and is pictured in the book "Palmetto, a town and its people. Captain Andy was a Civil War Officer in the Unit that mustered out of Palmetto in 1861. They were Company C, 19th Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He also wrote a book called "Richardson's Defense of the South", which was published by A. B. Caldwell in Atlanta in 1914.

Captain Richardson was a College Professor, founder of a couple of schools and active politician that ran for Mayor of Atlanta (but did not win) and was a City Councilman as well. I do not know how many of the books were published but think around 200 or so. The Richardson family does not even own one though I have been looking for one for them. My friend has two that I located for him. (See editor’s note below.)

I scoured the Atlanta Constitution for mention of the Richardson family and found a lot of information. I will be happy to share all of the information I have. The picture of Captain Andy's interment was in the Atlanta Constitution and is somewhat difficult to see any detail. I have been thinking about contacting the Newspaper to see if the original picture is available. I looked very closely at that picture and went to the cemetery to take my pictures so that I would have the same light angle and background to determine his probable location. In the foreground of the original you can see Hillery and Sophronia's headstone before they were broken.

(Editor’s note: This book mentioned, Richardson’s Defense of the South, is now available as an e-book: http://ia600308.us.archive.org/32/items/richardsonsdefen00rich/richardsonsdefen00rich.pdf

Captain John Anderson Richardson

Contributed by Kenneth Mooney as written on:

Captain John Anderson Richardson fought at the Battle of Olustee as a Lieutenant in Company C, 19th Georgia Infantry. According to his descendants this photograph was taken in 1861.

The image is from the Collection of James C. Starr. Captain Richardson's obituary is in the "Confederate Veteran" magazine, Volume 27, page 147.

Our thanks to Kenneth Mooney for arranging with the family to display Captain Richardson's photograph on this site. Mr. Mooney also discovered the following information about John Richardson.

John Anderson Richardson was one of six brothers who fought for the Confederacy. His older brother, also in Co. C, 19th Georgia, was killed at Fair Oakes, Virginia. Another older brother died in Atlanta early in the war. His younger brother was disabled and discharged in July, 1861.

John Richardson was a 2nd Lieutenant until 20 February 1864, on which date he was elected 1st Lieutenant because of the death, at the Battle of Olustee, of the company's serving 1st Lieutenant (LT. Johnson). Richardson was elected Captain of the company on 21 September 1864.

John Richardson graduated from Emory College in Oxford, Georgia. Richardson continued his career in education and was an educator and founder of several schools, in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Florida. He was the principal of Richardson's School for Boys, a mathematics professor at Oglethorpe College, and a professor at Atlanta's Boy's High School. He also taught school in /Orange County, Florida from about 1880 to 1896. In addition to his educational career, Richardson was a councilman for the 5th Ward. He ran for Mayor of Atlanta in 1878 but did not win.


John Anderson Richardson's obituary