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John H. Holdridge (1812-1881) and
Edith Coley (1819-1919)

6. JOHN H. HOLDRIDGE, son of James5 and Seliah Ann (Drake) Holdridge was born in Laurens County, South Carolina about 1812 and died in DeKalb County, Alabama on June 12, 1881. He married in DeKalb County, Georgia, July 21, 1839, EDITH COLEY, who was born in North Carolina between 1820-1821, probably the daughter of Washington Coley.

John Holdridge moved from South Carolina to Georgia with his father James, as early as 1824, when James Holdridge is found on the tax list for Fayette County, Capt E. Dodson's District. James owned no land but paid tax of .31 .

John was a winner in the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery. He received lot #242 in the 24th District, 3rd section of Cherokee County, Georgia. He was a resident of House's District, Henry County, Georgia, at the time of the drawing. John's lot was in the new Floyd County. He also was a fortunate drawer in Georgia's 1832 Gold Lottery; he drew lot #278 in the 3rd district of section 2. This was located in the east side of the new county of Cherokee, one of ten counties formed from the old Cherokee County immediately after the drawing of the earlier Land Lottery of 1832.

John Holdridge served as a private in the Georgia Militia during the Cherokee removals in 1838. Men were required to enlist for three months in the militia to assist with the removals, the beginning of the "Trail of Tears". He joined for duty and enrolled May 14, 1838. John mustered in on May 19, 1838, at New Echota, Georgia, serving in Capt. McMullen's Company, 2nd Regiment (Turk's). He appears on the Muster-out roll at New Echota, Georgia dated June 24, 1838. Although the enlistment period was for three months it appears that he was not required to serve that amount.

John H. Holdridge married Edith Coley July 21, 1839, in DeKalb County, Georgia. The marriage license was obtained July 19, 1839 in Newton County, because by law the license had to be obtained where the bride lived.

Her parents have not been proven, but Washington Coley is the only Coley found in the 1838 state census residing in Newton County. In the 1840 census of Newton County, Georgia, Washington Coley was living near John and Edy Holdridge. Washington Coley was in Montgomery County, North Carolina in the 1810 and 1830 census (the 1820 is missing). He was born about 1790, and in the 1830 census reported one female age 5-10, the right age to be Edy. James A.  Coley, a reported son of Washington Coley, named one of his daughters Eda, as spelled in the Newton County 1850  census, or Edy as spelled in the Newton County Public School list of 1856. A John Coley is the only other Coley found in the 1840 Newton County census; he is old enough to be the father of Edy Coley, but researchers of his family have found no Edy among his known children.

According to family lore, Edy was part Cherokee, tall and of medium build. She is said to have smoked dried fig leaves mixed with tobacco in her clay pipe. She was quite proficient at whittling with her pocket knife.

Sometime between 1845 and 1848 the family moved from Georgia to Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Eight children are claimed by Edie in 1910 census, the first three were born in Georgia, the later ones in Tallapoosa County.

A Jackson County Home

An Early Alabama Home
Jackson County Heritage Society
Photo by Cindy Smith 2008

John served as a private in the 14th Alabama Infantry, Co. "G" (Hillabee Blues) during the Civil War. He was age 51 at enlistment, joining after his son John had already enlisted. He was discharged due to health problems in 1864, before the end of the war. Like many men from his county, he was required to sign the Loyalty Oath in 1867, and appears on the 1867 Tallapoosa County Voter Registration Roll.

The family spent many years in Tallapoosa County, first at Youngville, then in Hackneyville, before moving in the late 1870's to DeKalb Co., Alabama. In 1877 John and his son John Henry were farming in DeKalb County, Alabama, when they signed a lien with A.G. Henry to borrow money for seed and supplies.

The State of Alabama
Marshall County

Know all men by these presence that having this day received from A.G. Henry Twenty-eight and 45/100 dollars advanced on corn and merchandise having given our note bearing date even with this instrument and due the first day of November 1877 for said sum of money we John Holdridge and John H. Holdridge do hereby declare that such advance was obtained by us bona fid for the purpose of making a crop the present year on our own land Russell Plantation in DeKalb County and that without the same it would not be in our power to procure the necessary team provisions and farming implements to make a crop and in consideration of said advances and such other advances as the said A.G. Henry make to us during the current year and to secure the same we hereby grant bargain and convey to the said A.G. Henry the entire crop of cotton corn and wheat and oats which may be produced in said plantation the present year and also the following property --- one mare and one mule in addition to the crop upon which a lien is hereby given and the possession to the same is hereby given to the said A.G. Henry. But the conveyance is upon the following conditions if we fully pay said note and account for additional advances made during the present year in or upon the 1st day of November 1877 when the same falls due the this conveyance to be paid, but if we either remove or attempts to remove said crop or property hereby conveyed in part or in whole before or at the time the same fall due then the said A.G. Henry is authorized to seize and take into his immediate possession said crop and property above conveyed or any of it and also authorized to sell the same at private sale or by giving 10 days notice of time and place of sale by posting in the public places in said county --- to sell the same to the highest bidder for cash and to execute titles to the purchaser and deliver to him or them the possession of such property as may be sold and by the proceeds to pay him the expenses of seizing advertising selling and conveying. Secondly the amount of principal and interest which may be due and unpaid to said A.G. Henry and lastly shall return any surplus of said proceeds to the undersigned witness our hands and seal this 19th day of June 1877
John Holdridge (seal)
J H Holdridge (seal)
A.G. Henry Jr

John H. died June 12, 1881 in DeKalb County, Alabama. In 1899, Edy applied for and received a Confederate widow's pension in DeKalb County. In 1908 Edie requested that her pension be transferred to Tallapoosa County, Alabama, where she lived with her son Edward Carey Holdridge and his wife Nancy Saphronia (Conger) Holdridge until her death. She died about 1919 in Hackneyville, Tallapoosa County, Alabama at the age of 99. Edie is reportedly buried in Old Providence Cemetery near Edmund Carey Holdridge, but no marker has been found.

Children of John H Holdridge and Edy Coley:

  1. James Holdridge
  2. John Henry7 Holdridge
  3. Mary W. Holdridge
  4. Edmund Carey Holdridge
  5. Martha Ann Holdridge
  6. Celia Ann Holdridge
  7. Nancy Holdridge
  8. George M. Holdridge