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James D. Holdridge (1785-1843) and
Seliah Ann Drake (ca. 1784 - ca. 1825)

5. JAMES D. HOLDRIDGE, son of William4 and Lavina (Bailey) Holdridge was born in Laurens County, South Carolina 6 May 1785 and died in Brushy Knob, Henry County, Georgia on 4 Apr 1843. He married (1) in Laurens District, South Carolina, between 1806 and 1812, SELIAH DRAKE2, who was born in probably South Carolina between 1790-1797, and died in South Carolina or Georgia before 1830, daughter of Edmund1 and Phoebe Drake. In Henry County, Georgia on 25 April 1830 he married (2) NANCY BLACKSTOCK, born in South Carolina about 1810, and died 10 May 1895, Ashland, Clay County, Alabama, daughter of William and Rebecca Blackstock.

James' father, William Houlditch, died in 1803, naming James, Lavina, George Washington, William, Mary, Lucy, and Zachariah in his will. He apparently was a widower by then as he named no wife in his will, and he named guardians for the five minor children, George Washington, William, Mary, Lucy, and Zachariah.

James appeared on the census of 1810 in Laurens County, SC., as James Holdrege, one male under 10 [Edmund], one male 10-16 [James' brother Zachariah was 12 by 1810], one male 16-26 [James]; one female 10-16 [James' sister Lucy was 14 in 1810], one female 26-45 [Seliah].

James was found in land records between 26 Nov 1810 and 13 Dec 1811 in Laurens Co., SC. "James Holdritch and Wm. Holdritch to Sam Powell bond or mortgage $200, on 214 acres near head of Bush River, bordering on James Saxon, James Brown, Joseph Young, Sarah Hunter. Witness Benjamin and Jane James, J. Garlington, J.Q. [Justice of the Quorum]". Included in this record is a dower relinquishment by Seliah Houlditch. James and William Houlditch, brothers, were selling land and Seliah had to agree to the sale.

James Holdridge served in the War of 1812. James began military service on 1 Mar 1814 at South Carolina in the War of 1812, Tucker's Regiment, Capt. Vaughn's Co., under Col. Word. James ended military service on 31 Mar 1814 at South Carolina. There is a pension record for this service.

He appeared on the census of 1820 at Laurens Co., SC., James Houldridge, three males under 10 [Edmund, John and unknown], one male 10-16 [unknown, too young to be any of James' brothers], one male 26-45 [James]; one female under 10 [unknown], one female 26-45 [Seliah].

James and Seliah were named in the equity case of Edmond Drake in 1820. Edmond Drake, father of Seliah, died in 1797, leaving a wife Phoebe and four children, Benjamin, Sarah, Celia and John. In 1802, his son Benjamin Drake was named administrator of his estate. In 1817 Phoebe Drake, mother of Seliah, died. Seliah's sister, Sarah, was married to Thomas Dalrymple, but Sarah died before 1820. Benjamin Drake, married to Sarah (another Sarah) died. His widow married John Smith. In 1820 John Smith and Sarah Smith, widow of Benjamin Drake, in the name of Sarah and Benjamin Drake's children Langdon Drake, Lucinda Drake, Rebecca Drake, John Drake, Rachel Drake and Franklin Drake, brought this case against James Holdridge and Celia his wife, John Drake and Thomas Dalrymple and his children Edmund, George, Celia, Phebe Ann, John and Sally.

No record of the death of Seliah has been found. William Henry Milton, a son of Seliah and James, is said to have been born in 1822 in SC, so if true Seliah was still alive in 1822. James Holdridge was not found in an 1829 census of Laurens Co., SC and he was in the records of Henry County GA by 1824. Seliah may have died in Laurens County, but could have also died on the way to or in Georgia. There were two males 5-10 in the 1830 Georgia census, no younger children, so we could speculate that she died by 1825, or there would be more younger children. With the known sons' birthdates there are some large gaps, Edmund about 1810, John H.6 1812, William 1822. There are either children who died or descendants not yet traced.

James moved to Georgia as early as 1824, when he is found on the tax list for Fayette County, Capt E. Dodson's District. James owned no land but paid tax of .31 . Next to him on the list was Joseph Hewy [Huey].

James Holdridge was in the Estray records, 1826, Captain Morgan's District, Fayette County, Georgia. Fayette is west of Henry County, but some parts of Fayette County were originally Henry County.

James Haldridge appears again on the tax lists in 1827 in Fayette County, Capt. H.C. Morgan's District, no land entered, tax .31 . Although I found no record of land purchased by James Holdridge in Fayette County, the next record found was a notice in the August 1829 issue of a Macon newspaper for a Fayette Tax Collectors Sale:

Fayette County Sale

"On the first Tuesday in September next will be sold before the courthouse in the town of Fayetteville, Fayette County between the lawful hours of sale the following lands or so much thereof as will satisfy the taxes for the year 1828. 202 1-2 acres, No. 112 in the 13th District formerly Henry now Fayette sold as the property of James Holdridge."

He married his second wife, Nancy Blackstock, daughter of William Blackstock and Rebecca, in Henry County in 1830. According to Nancy's widow's pension application, they married on 25 Apr 1830 in Brushy Nob, Henry County, Georgia. The marriage was recorded in Henry County.

He appeared on the census of 1830 at Henry County, Georgia. The household includes 2 free males 5-10 [William Milton and unknown], 1 age 10-15 [John H. or unknown], 1 age 15-20 [John H. was 18, Edmond was at least 20], 1 age 40-50 [James]; one free female 20-30 [Nancy]. There are four boys, but we only know the names of three. It would be unusual not to have a son James, named for the father.

James was entered on the Tax List in 1831 at Captain House's District, Henry County, Georgia. James Holdridge paid one poll tax of 31 shillings. He apparently owned no land, slaves, or carriages, as a line was drawn through these entries and through the entries for land, quality, district, and water.

He witnessed a land transaction in November 1833, Henry County, Georgia, "Joseph S. Hughey sold to John Keen, both of said county, for the sum of $250, 100 acres of land described as lot #219, district 11. Wit: James Holdridge, Isaac Autry. Recorded March 3, 1846, C. M. Speer, clk. [Land transactions of this sort were often recorded long after the agreement was made.]"

He was entered on the Tax List in 1837 at Henry County, Georgia. He appeared on the census of 1838 near the household of William Blackstock at Newton County, Georgia. He had land in the eleventh district of originally Henry, now Newton County. His location was referenced in this Jan 1838 Newton County, Georgia indenture: "Known and distinguished in the plan of said district by being No. 171, one hundred and seventy one, and more particularly distinguished by being all that part, or parcel of same lot of land situate and lying in the north side of South river, adjoining lands of Clark on the east, Holdridge on the north, and McLennon on the west, and bounded as aforesaid on the South by South river, containing one hundred and sixty acres, more or less."

He appeared on the census of 1840 at Newton County, Georgia. There was one male under 5, two males 5 and under ten, one male 40 and under 50; one female under 5, one female 5 and under ten, one female 20 and under 30. He left three known sons from his first marriage, Edmond D. (the D is possibly Drake, but no record has been found to prove that), William Henry Milton, and John. No will or bible record has been found to prove this. I am confident that John H. was a son of James and Seliah. In 1830 James Holdridge was enumerated in Henry County GA, no names but at least one son the right age to be John. In John's Civil War discharge papers, he is said to have been born in Lawrence [Laurens] District, SC. In 1831 James appeared on a tax list for Houses' District Henry County, GA. By 1832, John Holdige of Houses's District, Henry County GA was a fortunate drawer in the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery. In 1837 John Holdridge appears on a defaulters (Tax) list in Henry County. He may have already moved to Newton County (across the river). John Holdridge was enumerated next to James Holdridge in the 1840 census, Newton County, Georgia.

In May 1843, James Holdridge was named in court records, when Seaborn J. Clack petitioned the Court "to direct Henry A. Harper, administrator of the estate of William G. Harper, late of Cass County, deceased, to make letters to him for the south half of lot of land no. 182 in the 11th district of originally Henry, now Newton County according to a bond on obligation entered into by the said William G. Harper, deceased, in his lifetime with one James Holdridge and which bond has been assigned by the said Holdridge to the said Seaborn J. Clack who is now the holder thereof." The court later, in September 1843, ordered that "Henry A. Harper, Administrator of said deceased, make title to the aforesaid half lot of land unto the said Seaborn J. Clack in accordance with the condition of said bond."

I find in census records that there were extra children, two young boys and a young girl in the home, so there could have been three other children. Seliah died before the 1850 census when names and ages of people in the household were first included in the census. Before that we can only speculate that the children in the home belonged to James and Seliah. They could have been orphaned relatives. However, there was a Starling Hardridge from Walker's District in Harris Co., GA, who drew number 296 in the 1832 Georgia Cherokee Land Lottery, Sixth District, fourth section. Could this be a son of James, and named for Starling Tucker? Starling Hardridge (sometimes spelled Sterling or Starland K. Hardage) was born about 1812; when he died his wife Elizabeth remarried and in the marriage record her name is spelled Hodridge. When Starling Hardridge's daughter Martha married, her name was spelled Holdage in the record. Starling's descendants have not connected him to a Hardage family. I also found a James H. Horidge of Milledegeville, Baldwin County, Georgia, age 39, born in GA, in the 1850 census, and a James Holdridge in the 1855 Tallapoosa County, Alabama census. In the same 1855 census John H. Holdridge was living in Tallapoosa County.

After James Holdridge's death, Nancy Holdridge moved to Alabama, and her sons served in the Civil War in the 14th Regiment with John H. Holdridge and other descendants of William Houlditch.

Children of James Holdridge and Seliah Drake:

  1. Edmond D. Holdridge
  2. William Henry Milton Holdridge
  3. John H.6 Holdridge

Children of James Holdridge and Nancy Blackstock:

  1. Elizabeth J. Holdridge
  2. Zachariah N. Holdridge
  3. Vina Ann Holdridge
  4. Benjamin Franklin Holdridge