Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sophronia E. Statham Robertson

In researching the names of people interred in the Statham (Georgia) City Cemetery, I have relied on information available on-line or at the various Georgia libraries, particularly those in Statham, Winder and Athens.

The grave stone says:

FEB 8, 1851
JUNE 13, 1909

The book, Barrow County, Georgia Cemeteries, compiled in 2000 by the East Georgia Genealogical Society, omits her name Statham, possibly because the researcher figured it indicated the town, not her maiden name.

I believe her to be Sophronia E. Statham who married William C. Robertson sometime between 1870 and 1873.  The evidence I've gathered is far from proof, but it presents a reasonably strong case.  The variations in spelling may be accurate, the result of limited education on the part of the people conducting the census,  or they may be interpretations of LDS researchers.

In the Census of 1860, there is a Siphronia Stateham, age 8, living with John and Emely Stateham, presumably her parents, in Jackson County, Georgia.

In the Census of 1870, there is Safrom Statem, age 19, living with MJ & Emily Statem, Jefferson, Jackson County, Georgia.  Although inadvisable in genealogy, I'm making an assumption that the initial J is for John.

In the Census of 1880, John and Emily Statham were listed in the Santa Fe District of Jackson County, Georgia, but Sophronia is not included in the family.  On another page in that census, Surphrona Robertson, age 29, is listed as the wife of William Robertson, age 33, in Santa Fe District, Jackson County, Georgia, along with children Cora age 7,  John age 5,  Marion age 3, and Emily age 1.  

Given Cora's age of 7 years in 1880, she would have been born about 1873.  Because Sophronia was living at home in the 1870 Census, I've guessed that she and William Robertson were married between 1870 and 1873.  Georgia's Virtual Vault displays a marriage certificate for W.C. Roberts and S.E. Stateham dated 9 Feb 1871.  

As an added bit of information, I think that John and Emily Statham are the Mr. and Mrs M.J.C. Statham who, according to a brief history posted on the Internet by the town of Statham, owned a combination country store and post office.  They would no doubt be the same M.J.C. Stathams who are credited with founding the town and donating land for the First Methodist Church that is now where the Statham City Cemetery lies.   If what I've postulated is valid, the Statham's claim of being founded by a native of England is probably inaccurate, because in 1850 and 1880, Mr. Statham reported to the census taker that both he and his father were born in Georgia.  There is also evidence that the M in MJC Statham's name is for Memory and that he is the son of Anderson and Charlotte Moore Statham who were both born in Georgia.

In a written history, Georgia Marriages 1808-1967, there is a John Statehano marrying Emaline Booth on 17 October 1847.  The marriage certificate available on Georgia's Virtual Vault showing that MJC Stateham and Emaline Booth were married on 14 October, 1847.  As it is common for modern day researchers to read old time handwriting inaccurately, and of course, once it's put into print, it becomes gospel, but I believe that these two are, in fact, John and Emily Statham who are buried in Booth Memorial Park, a short distance from Statham.

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