1809 – 1887
Jonathan Owen’s life began in Morgan County, Georgia on
June 9, 1809. He was the first- born son of Augustine and
Catherine (Shearly) Owen of King and Queen County, Virginia,
and the fifth of eight children. Jonathan had four older
sisters and three younger brothers. Being the first- born
son, Jonathan was probably named for his paternal grandfather,
John Owen of Essex County, Virginia.
When Jonathan was seven years of age his father Augustine
died leaving his mother Catherine to raise the children.
By the time the estate was settled in 1817, the two older
sisters, Sarah Beeman Owen and Mary Eleanor Owen were married.
The eldest sister Sarah married Robert Henry Elliott, and
it appears from the available records that he and Sarah
assisted Catherine with the estate and children. By 1820
Jonathan’s other two sisters Catherine and Elizabeth were
married. In 1830 Jonathan’s mother Catherine and brother
Augustine died, probably from smallpox. The children’s share
of the estate was settled and the family moved westward
into Henry County, Georgia. The estate of Augustine and
Catherine was a sizable one for the times and each of the
children, with their share, established their family well
in Henry County.
In 1836 Jonathan married Rhoda Ann Faulkner in Henry County.
In December of that year she died childless. From the land
records of Henry County we find that Jonathan was quite
busy buying slaves and land. He first purchased land in
1832. He would attend estate sales and sheriff auctions
where he would make bargain purchases. By the 1860 census,
Jonathan had fourteen slaves and several thousand acres
of land. One can only assume that, at least in his younger
days, Jonathan was a wheeler-dealer.
In 1838 Jonathan married his second wife, Martha Sarah Ann
Hudson, a young girl of fifteen, half his age (I said he
was a wheeler-dealer). Martha bore Jonathan eight children
and in 1853, at the age of twenty-eight, Martha died, evidently
of complications from childbirth since their new- born son
died a month later. Jonathan later would lose his first-
born son Augustine, named for Jonathan’s father, to action
in the Civil War. Two other sons, William Henry Owen, born
1843 and James Knox Polk Owen, born 1845 were decorated
Sons of the South, both receiving the Southern Cross for
In 1854 Jonathan married Sarah Adam Eddleman of Henry County,
a pretty eighteen year old. She would raise his and Martha’s
children and bear him seven of her own, one of which was
my great-grandmother Julia Blanche Owen.
After the Civil War Jonathan no longer had “slaves” as property
but family tradition says that many of his former slaves
stayed with the family for years afterward. Around 1870,
now growing old, Jonathan began to sell off some of his
extensive land holdings and divided others between the children
of his second wife Martha. These children and their children
remained in Henry County for many years. About 1875, Jonathan,
Sarah and children went further north in Henry County into
what would later become Fulton County. They settled in the
area between the Chattahoochee River and the Indian Hightower
Trail called Sandy Springs. There Jonathan did a little
farming and lived out the rest of his days. Jonathan’s life
ended five days after his 78th birthday, June 14, 1887.
Jonathan and Sarah are buried at the Providence Baptist
Cemetery at Sandy Springs, Georgia.
– Jack W. McConnell, Great-Great Grandson, 12-16-2004
Henry County Family Biographies Index
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page was last updated on -02/04/2016
Compilation Copyright 2004-Present
by Linda Blum-Barton