Evelyn, Dennis (b. 9/26/1846 and Rebecca Cowart Kelehear (3/16/1845) were my great grandparents, and Sarah (called Sally) Kelehear Smith was my grandmother. However, I believe that Dennis's father was Patrick Kelehear, who is listed in the 1850 census, but who actually died just before then. (the census back then took a very long time!). He is shown as being born in Ireland. His will was probated in Bulloch county, though where he lived is now part of Jenkins. Dennis was only about 3 years old. It is a mystery what happened to Dennis mother, also named Sarah, but i have been told that she remarried and moved away. Dennis had two older sisters and one of them had legal guardianship until he was in his teens. His future father in law became his guardian, and they left the skull creek area and moved to bryan county at about the time of the Civil War. Dennis was in the confedereate Army in the chatham Artillery. a family member has his discharge papers. His father is law was Seaborn Benjamin Cowart (b 5/18/1811, d 1/22/1884) and mother in law Mary (b. 2/16/1820, d. 3/11/01). They established Olive Branch church and some of the family still live on the farm across the road. However, Dennis and Rebecca and the cowart's are buried at Black Creek Church. I think that some of the Aycock family married into this family and moved from Elam with them. My (our?)other greatgrandfather elder James H. Smith (b. 5/16/1839, d. 11/10/1910) (wife Sarah Amanda Durden Smith, b. 11/16/1850, d. 11/10/1939) preached Dennis's funeral. Granny Smith (Sarah "Sally" Kelehear Smith) is buried at Ash Branch cemetery with the smith's. She died when I was two and I don't remember her, but i remember everyone being sad and trying to keep me quiet. Granddaddy smith was a dear sweet soul and I loved him dearly.
The family used to wonder why grandfather Dennis never talked about his father. some even thought there was a skeleton in the closet, but it appears now that he just didn't know him. Legend has it that his father (Patrick?) had a brother that had come from England.
even at the cemetery, where I know that people are related, I see the two spellings, and i know some decendants who use still a different one. On Dennis and Rebecca tombstones it is spelled Kelehear.
the cowarts were "wiregrass" pioneers and the first of the family here was Zachariah Cowart who was given a 400 acre land grant at skull creek near Elam church, where the bulloch/jenkins county line is now. this was in 1790. He came from NC, his family had been from Kentshire England. It is hard to keep the generations seperate as they use the same names over and over, in each generation. Zach, nathaniel, benjamin, seaborn, rebecca, sarah, and nancy. One of the Zach's lives in SC and has done some research but i don't know how to reach him now.
I hope i haven't told you things you already knew.
Quite alot of family is still here. I work at GSU. I could not get your email to work.
please get in touch if you want to talk.
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