SNELLING: A letter from the past | Opinion

At a recent historical overview meeting in Athens, I was talking with Gary Doster about some of the letters we still have from family members who originally settled in the Fork and Grove Creek districts of Madison counties and Oglethorpe. If you’ve read this column, you know that almost everything so far has been my Aunt Martha’s stories of her life in the early 1900s and the stories told to her about the Stevens and Whitehead families. Many of them involved his grandfather Columbus Augustus Stevens (Grandfather Gus), who was the son of Obadiah Stevens, the eldest son of Joseph Stevens of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, who was the first Stevens in our future line in Georgia. Gary expresses to me how lucky I was to have these letters regarding my family history. His comment was, “Little was written in those days, and little that was written survives!”

Great-grandfather Obadiah, the father of Grandfather Gus, had nine younger siblings at a time when it was customary for the eldest son to inherit the family home and farm. The rest of the siblings would possibly inherit land, property, or money, if any. When the time is right for these less fortunate younger brothers to start families of their own, they either move the household to a neighboring property or they move out. The girls had to find a good man and get married. Some of the Stevens children moved from Georgia to Alabama near Selma. Why and when, we do not know.

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