Thursday, August 4, 2016


J. Allen Holleman, researcher and writer, continues the stories of his ancestors who migrated from Isle of Wight, Virginia to North Carolina some into Georgia. - Glenn N. Holliman

Descendants of Jesse Holleman, Jr. (1768-1829) by J. Allen Holleman

We tend to focus mainly on the males as they carry the family name forward. We have strong DNA from the female sides of our families as well.  In centuries past, most women did not have direct involvement in the affairs of state and even community, but it was wise men who listened to their wives. Women, as adults, also tended to meld more into the families of their husbands than those in which they grew up.

In the "Hollyman Tree" on, we have two daughters of Jesse Holleman, Jr. of whom we have little information except names.  George Anders Holleman, compiler of the "Hollyman Family" book in the early 1950s mentions only Patience, but on the Hollyman Tree  (compiled by Jeanette Holiman Stewart) we have a Mary Ann as well. We have nothing further on either.  We have left them on the tree in hopes that one day someone will be able to find more.  Perhaps they simply 'disappeared' into their husband's unidentified families.   Youngest son Ezra did have a daughter Mary Ann, and someone may have confused her as a sister.

Below, Sarah Barlow Wright, Allen Holleman, Billy Joe Holleman and Joe Barlow on the original site of the Christopher Hollyman plantation founded in 1684 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.  Sarah, Billy Joe and Joe continue to live in southeast Virginia, not far from this ancestral home. 

We long thought that Nathan (b. abt. 1799) was the eldest of Jesse's sons but recently in examining tax records cousin Clayton Mann and I discovered another: Zachariah who was born in Virginia in about 1796.  On the 1817 poll tax record Jesse has 'assigned' a 100 acre tract to Zachariah and paid the tax to make him, at 21, eligible to vote and serve on juries.  Zach may have been farming that 100 acres.


Zachariah and Mary Howell wed 9 January 1821 as shown in the Wake County, North Carolina records in Book 1, page 224.  As the Wake census records from 1810 and 1820 are no longer in existence, we can not have those as reference.  However, we have tax and census records showing that Zachariah had migrated south by 1822 to  Bibb County, Georgia near Macon and farmed 252 acres. By 1830 they had five children: Westley b. 1822,  Elizabeth b. 1823-24,  Ellen b. 1825, George b. 1826, Mary b. 1829 - all born in Georgia.  We see in the 1840 census, (the 6th) Nathan, Jr., b.1834.

(Jr. and Sr. were not always used the same as we do today, that of father and son but often referred to a younger and older, not necessarily related, of the same name. For example, Nathan, Jr. was named for his uncle.)

Sadly, the children are left without their mother, as Mary died before 1840.  Zachariah could not run his farm and raise the children alone but he did have the help of eldest daughters, Elizabeth and Ellen. And in January 1840, he wed Martha Worsham (b. about 1803), sister of Zach's friend, David Worsham.

 Zach's brother Nathan lived in neighboring Crawford County, Georgia.  And in 1840 Zach was found in Crawford but with the same 252 acres. It is likely with the flux of county lines and new ones being formed that he did not move, but rather the county line did.  The tax record of that year shows not only the Crawford County farm but also 202 acres he owned in Dooly County, quite a few miles to the south. The tax agent was Captain Hortman.  The 1840 tax record shows 7 slaves, but the census lists only the 3 adult blacks.

On Christmas day 1842, Daughter Elizabeth Holleman married John G. Hortman (b. abt 1819) and they had son born the next year named William H. Hortman.  I suspect the middle name was Holleman.   Was John the taxman or a relative?   The year does not go well for Elizabeth, and we can suspect she died in childbirth as she is not named in Zachariah's will written in December of 1843.

 Zachariah must have known the end was near as his will was proved in court in the next month.   In it he named his five living children and the infant grandson William as having an equal share.  Joint executors were brother Nathan and his friend David Worsham.

Martha was left 100 acres, furniture and the seven slaves: one male about 21, two indentured women and 4 children of one of them.  All the rest of his estate was to be sold for the benefit of the children. However, we have found  neither an inventory nor a court record of the disposition. The Dooley County property was sold in December 1844.   It seems likely that the two younger daughters would have remained with their stepmother.

Martha married a 2nd time to Jacob Carraker in Crawford Co. in August, 1847.

Ellen Mary Holleman was born about 1825 and died 11 October 1854. She married Jordan Womack Alsobrook in Talbot County, Georgia in 1852. She likely died of childbirth complications, as her new born daughter, Martha Elizabeth (1854-1915) was only 9 days old.

Mary Patience Holleman (1829-1860) married Alexander King Webster in Talbot County in 1849. They moved to Texas and had four daughters.

Westley G. Holleman, (1822-_?) the eldest was identified in the 1850 census of Madison County Mississippi, as overseer on a huge plantation of seemingly a couple of thousand acres and many slaves.

George Troup Holleman (1826-1909) remained in Upson County,  Georgia and  married Louisa Simmons (1834-1923). They would have four sons and three daughters.  He later served as executor of his Uncle Nathan's estate later.  He was a farmer and postmaster at Lamar's Mills.

Nathan Holleman, Jr. was named for his uncle, who on being appointed guardian for the 10 year old took the boy to live with him.

Map of Central Georgia 1860
(Click on map to expand it for easier reading)

Nathan Holleman was born in 1799 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia and moved with his parents to the Buckhorn District in southwestern Wake County, North Carolina about 1805.  In Wake there are few mentions of him in records but he is shown paying his first poll tax in 1823 at age 24.   He still seemed to be living at home and working the family farm probably along with brother Ezra and their father, Jesse Holleman, Jr. who was a surveyor and builder as well.

We do not know for certain just when Nathan moved to Georgia, as the earliest record we have found is the 1840 census and tax listing for Crawford Co.   But he surely moved away before his father died in September 1829 or he would have been an administrator of Jesse's estate.  Researcher Sue Jones recently found a Nathan Holleman in the 1830 census in Greene County, North Carolina, which is about 60 miles east of Raleigh.  As we do not have any other Nathans that fit the time period, this could well be our distant cousin.  It also fits as he seemed to like moving to new places. And Georgia looked like a good next new place.  It was always about land!

The 1850 census, the first to name all the family members, shows  Nathan and 16 year old Nathan, Jr. in Houston Co.  That might have been a line shift as well as it is next to Crawford.  Nathan is shown with $1000 in farm value, between 250-300 acres and the tax record shows 3 slaves as well.
Young Nathan is listed as a farmer too, not as nephew;  he was pulling his weight along with his uncle. We had long known the young man as Nathaniel (previously shown on the Hollyman Tree as a son of Nathan).  He was young when his parents died and seems to have adapted to being his uncle's namesake but knowing he was from Zachariah took the similar name of Nathaniel, to distinguish himself from Nathan while honoring him.

In the  1860 census both Nathan and Nathaniel were even further south in Mitchell Co., Georgia and on the regular census are shown a couple of pages apart but still nearby.  Nathan, 61, had a large farm valued at $2000.  Also $6000 in personal property,  most likely that would include several slaves to work the farm and look after his house.

In 1860 in the earlier regular census, Nathaniel, 26, is listed as having a farm valued at $1000 but no personal property value - possibly just farming tools and likely no slaves.   In the farm census, later in the year, he was 27 by then and had 222 acres and livestock.

Along with this is an interesting finding we researchers have had some lively discussion.   Was it a census taker's error that does not assign a dwelling nor family number to Nathaniel?   Had he not built a house to live in?

Or is it accurate that he is shown as living with a neighbor family: Joseph Crosby, wife Cynthia and their five children.  Crosby had $1500 in farm value himself and slaves.   They must have been very close.   The census taker wrote 'laborer' by Nathaniel but seems to have been corrected, scratched that out and wrote 'farmer'.

 Also, there are two other men shown as living there:  James Evans (40) and Jacob Scott (21) a mulatto, laborers.  It isn't clear but I would suspect they worked for Nathaniel.  And Cynthia seems to have been running a boarding house of sorts with house slaves to handle the work load.   The home cooking would be a compelling reason for a bachelor farmer and allowed him to devote his time and energy to his farming.

The Civil War had begun in 1861 and for whatever compelling reason, Nathaniel  leaves his farm life and in May 1862 enlists in the 51st Georgia Volunteers, Company C, the Mitchell Vanguards.  They are sent  to South Carolina and in their first battle, near Charleston, on 16 June 1862, Nathaniel Holleman was killed in action.

Nathan in 1870 is listed in Worth Co., just north of Mitchell Co. and could also be explained as a line change as both were earlier created from Dooley Co.  At 71, it looks like he may have sold his large farm and 'retired' as a farmer as no real estate is shown.  And Nathan, who never married surely had enough to live on.

Nathan died before November 1872, without leaving a will, when his nephew George T. Holleman and Wm. P. Simmons are appointed by the probate court as executors.  This was back in Mitchell Co., so surely he had property there.  We have three pages from the court on his estate, all stating the executors are required to inventory and file a report on the deceased's lands, tenements (houses and buildings), property and money.  We have not found anything of their filings in the court records nor of the sale and disposition of any property.

As the last living male relative in Georgia, George would have been the likely heir but he remained in Upson Co. as a farmer with 100 acres and as a postmaster.  It doesn't appear he got rich from his uncle's estate.   George died 13 January 1909.

Probably for similar reasons their father and other Hollemans had moved on.  To look for better opportunities.  Jesse didn't have a farm large enough to support them all nor enough to provide a sufficient inheritance.

Two of Zach and Nate's first cousins also moved to the same part of Georgia at about the same time. Children of Jesse's brother Jonathan: Barnett settled in Jones Co. next to Bibb and his sister Charity married Oliver Wellborn, scion of a wealthy family in Houston Co.  They all knew each other and surely saw each other some after migrating.  Barnett's 2nd wife was Caroline Wellborn, Oliver's sister.

In a letter from Nancy, mother of Barnett and Charity, we have (Dec 2015) discovered that Barnett went to GA with his cousin Zach, and it seems likely Charity may have been with them.

Youngest son, Ezra (b.1804), married Rebecca Womble (b.1803), a cousin by marriage, on 27 January 1823, was on his own and paid his own poll taxes, even if working the farm with Jesse. You will recall that Jesse had two tracts in Buckhorn District, one of 65 acres and another of 100 acres that Zachariah and Nathan both had used as qualifying for adult citizenship and paid the poll tax on for one year each.  And likely were also farming it as well until migrating south.

Ezra pays the poll tax on the 100 acres in 1824 but also through 1829.  And we can suspect that Jesse offers it to him, probably as his inheritance, if he works it and pays the tax.  In January 1830 Ezra buys 150 acres from Shadrach Cole, for $135.00, on the banks of Big Beaver Creek.  This was just north of Buckhorn and he is on the census that year in White Oak District.  I haven't found anything further on that land but he may well have sold it as he's again shown paying the land/poll tax on the 100 acres in Buckhorn in 1831-1837.

Ezra, at 25 was administrator of Jesse's estate probate (1829-30) as his older brothers were in Georgia by then.  Except, as we saw above that it appears Nathan moved east from Wake to Greene County for a time before moving on to Georgia.  As the only son remaining in Wake, Ezra would have been appointed to the post by the probate court.

Jesse (d. 8 Sep 1829), even without a written will, likely expressed his desire for his property to be passed on to Ezra, and Patience would have received her widow's dower, most likely the 65 acre land and house as a life estate.  A married woman could not own property but a widow could.   A verbal arrangement, supported by witnesses was acceptable in court.   Patience died about 1830.

Ezra appears to have sold the 100 acres on terms to Daniel Olive who seems not to be able to pay the money.  I have not found the deed or court record on that sale but it looks like it might have been about 1836. In January 1837 an indenture (promissory note) was written to sell the 100 acres, "...where he (Ezra) formerly lived," to a Henry Jones, signed by both Ezra and Olive, to cover a debt (the sale price?) of $175 owed to Ezra, with Jones paying Ezra in four yearly installments, plus interest, for the property.

...just west of Wake. In 1838 he bought 133 acres from Benjamin Tedder for $135, plus a small plot of under an acre, not far away but in the southeast corner of Chatham County.   He became active in the community, serving on juries, on committees to settle estates, as a witness in court and being hired to "work on the roads".  And on the other side of the courtroom, he was found not guilty of some unstated minor charge.

The 1840 and 1850 census showed them in Chatham but in the 1860 he and Rebecca are listed in Harnett County, created from Cumberland in 1856.  Some minor line changes may have put them there.   Ezra died after 1865 and Rebecca in 1870.

Ezra and Rebecca had four daughters: Malinda, Mary Ann, Elizabeth and Adeline  and one son Nathan Pope Holleman, whose line is an interesting story that I'll relate in another posting.

Zilla was born about 1804-'05 in Buckhorn, Wake County, the only one of Jesse's children born in North Carolina.  There is little mention of her until her marriage to William Barker on 6 January 1820.  He was a veteran of the War of 1812.   She was granted a widow's pension by the government in 1878.  It took that long before Congress awarded veterans and survivors benefits.

William had a 400 acre farm in Buckhorn amongst his Barkers and her Hollemans and would have provided well for her and their eleven children.  He passed away in January1862, and it was a very hard time for her as she also lost two of her sons in the Civil War. Her oldest son, Zachariah died in 1861.

Quinton (b.1838)  and Lemuel (b.1840) enlisted together in the 1st NC Regiment.  In July 1862 Lemuel was wounded in combat and died in September in a military hospital in Richmond.  Quinton was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Wilderness (VA) in May 1864 and sent to a POW camp in Elmira, NY, where he contracted an illness from which he never recovered, dying in February 1865.

Zilla remained on the farm, perhaps with the help of two remaining sons - William and John.  She was shown in the 1880 census at age 76, with two unmarried daughters: Ann 48 and Rebecca 37.   Zilla made her transition later in that decade.  

Though few of Jesse Jr's progeny remained in Wake County, North Carolina beyond the mid 19th Century, they did move on to Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas and still further west to found Holleman and allied families that remain there to this day.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I have to credit four cousins in this addendum on Jesse's progeny:  Denise Goff of Pulaski, Virginia (a native North Carolinian), she has a knack for sleuthing out documents and records that have me in absolute awe.   Sue Jones of Laramie, Wyoming - her family line origins are in Georgia but she was in Florida most of her life. Sue's specialty is Georgia genealogy and her knowledge and abilities are fantastic. Also cousin Clayton Mann provided excellent records on his Great-Great-Grandfather, Ezra, providing so much to bring his story and life to light.  Cousin Steve Holleman of Chapin, South Carolina provided letters from Barnett and his mother, Charity which helped clarify their lives. Without all those records I could not have presented as accurate a picture.

I wrote the words and any errors within are mine as cousins presented me with facts and records so that I tried and trust to have presented these ancestors as vivid, living people, just in an earlier time. Bless you all! --Allen Holleman, Raleigh, North Carolina

For information on placing an article, please write Glenn N. Holliman at  For manuscripts and materials on Hollymans and other associated families, visit the growing virtual archive at .

Please click on 'older posts' below to see Susan G. White's insightful post on her maternal ancestors and their quest for higher education.

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