Some History of Banks County, Georgia
Most of us researching our families give little thought to the hard work, pain, heartbreak, and frustration our ancestors felt as they first forged a home for themselves and their families. As our ancestors traveled into North Georgia no roads or homes awaited them. The move to the new land was tiring and sometimes deadly.
On the Northern boundary of what now is Banks County the first settlers were Native Americans. The Upper Creeks and the Cherokees had many skirmishes over land and access to lands. One such battle, called Taliwa, was fought about 1755 when Kingfisher of the Deer Clan was killed in battle. His wife, Nany"hi(we have simplified to Nancy) picked up his weapons and fought tirelessly in his place until the decisive battle was won by the Cherokee. This battle drove the Creeks out of North Georgia. Because of her bravery she was rewarded with eternal protection of her village named Nancytown. She was made into a "Holy Woman". This gave her the power to determine life or death to her captives.
Nancy was a friend always to the Pioneers of North Georgia. She warned her white friends about raids. Often herding them into her village to protect them. She also supplied food and help to the Revolutionist in 1780.
Nancy Town Creek rises east of Baldwin and is joined by Wofford Creek and finally spills into the Middle Fork of the Broad River.
The next session of land in 1783 covers all the land now known as Banks County. The earliest white settlement was known as Woffords Settlement. When the Hawkins line was being surveyed after the Cherokee Session in 1783 it is said the Cherokee Chiefs proposed the deviation of 4 miles by 23 miles along the straight line from the Curahee Mountain(Stephens County) to the head waters to the South Oconee River . This was done so that the line would include the Wofford Settlement. This was finished in 1798. This is the origin of "The Line" . Line Baptist Church was so named for this reason.
Forts were built to protect early settlers that lived in this area. They were fortress type buildings surrounded by high fences usually located about a spring to provide water for people and animals. These Forts were on Rivers in now Banks County.
Col. Jones Fort
Middle Fork of Broad River above Leatherwood Creek
Choggee Creek and Tugalo River
Col Benjamin Cleveland's Fort
The 35 families listed in the Wofford Settlement were:
William Wofford, Benjamin Wofford, Nathaniel Wofford, William Allred, Jessie Austin, Mathew Alexander, Thomas Barnard, John Bland, Amos Bowling, Augustine Brown, Robert Brown, William Brown, William Bright, Richard Burks, David Clarke, John Collins, Charles Crawford, Jesse Dean, William Hartgrove, Moses Holcom, George Hopper, Thomas Hopper, Richard Lay, Lucus Lecroy, Garland Lane, Robert Littel, Jacob Loughridge, Robert MaHan, Equilaq McCracken, Samuel Reid, Samuel Ross, Garnet Smethers, John Strawn, William Taylor, William Weatherspoon, Charles Wells.
Other settlers outside of Col. Hawkins line in Nathan Smith's settlement were:
Nathan Smith, Owen Carpenter, Lewis Dickensen, James Minyard, Thomas Warren, Joseph Holcom, Johnson McKinney, Micheal Oliver, Jack Parker, Nicolas Smith, Stephen Smith, William Thorton, Charles Warren.
Some settlers crossed over the line after it was established. These settlers were refered to as Intruders. The surnames are,
Armstrong, Bevin, Brogdon, Carroll, Cavender, Castleberry, Cornwell, Dunman, Gray, Grissett, Heath, Hill, Holland, Lindsey, McKinney, Megee, Manning, Myers, Mullenms, Mullins, Nation, Otwell, Reed, Robinson, Rooks, Russell, Shepard, Strickland, Vickery, Warren, Young, York.
copyright 2003 © Vicky Chambers