Ancestor Born On The 4th of July

Finding an ancestor born on the 4th of July took me back to Colonial America and my paternal 2x great grandmother's maiden name.  The name is fourth in line in my Pittman, Carroll, Marley, Leatherwood Family Tree on ancestor.com.  Out of 1,550 names there was just this one person born on the 4th of July.

Fannie Frances Leatherwood was born in the midst of turmoil leading up to the Revolutionary War.  Her parents, Zachariah and Mary Nancy Stone Leatherwood of Prince William, Virginia Colony, had endured the effects of the French and Indian War, the Sugar and Currency Acts of 1764.

 Five years before her birth violent demonstrations against the Stamp Act occurred.  These demonstrations resulted in the Virginia Resolve and ultimately in the Stamp Act Congress which petitioned Parliament and King George to repeal the Act. 

In the months before her birth in 1770, were two major conflicts between the Colonist and the British in what would become the American Revolution.  The Battle of Golden Hill in January 1770 between British soldiers and the colonists known as the Sons of Liberty took place in New York. The second incident which was widely propagandized by leading Patriots like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams was the Boston Massacre.  On March 5, 1770 British soldiers killed five civilian men and injured six others after a mob formed in protest of Parliamentary Legislation. 

The Leatherwood family survived the American Revolution as residents of Prince William, Virginia, and in the late 1790's migrated to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Frances along with husband John Edwards and their children followed her parents to South Carolina then to North Carolina and eventually settled in Jackson/Bartow County, Georgia.

Their settlement in Jackson County is somewhat of a Family Tree coincidence as this was one of the home counties of the Pittman's, who five generations later would become related through the Texas marriage of my paternal Leatherwood-Marley-Carroll grandmother to my Georgia born Pittman grandfather.  Jackson County was changed to Bartow County in 1861 in honor of Colonel Francis S. Bartow.

Frances Leatherwood married John Edwards on October 6, 1871 in Prince William, Virginia, a veteran of the American Revolution.   Frances and John had eleven children.  John died in 1838, just three years after settling in Georgia.  Frances was last listed in the 1850 US Census when she was 81 years of age.

Although her exact death date is not known, she and John's burial markers are most likely lost in the abandoned grave yard at Pettite Creek Cemetery near what is now Bartow County, Georgia. 

Only one grave marker remains...that of their son Colonel Zachariah Edwards who was celebrated as the most popular man in Spartanburg on July 4, 1832...his mother's 61st birthday. 

On this July 4, 2016 I honor and celebrate my 6x Great Aunt Frances' 246th Birthday.  Thanks for the remarkably patriotic Family History, Fannie Frances Leatherwood Edwards.  Rest in Heavenly Peace and know you are remembered in the Pittman-Carroll-Marley-Leatherwood Family Tree.

PS...As was the tradition, children were often named after family members.  Fannie and Frances/Francis were given names of both girls and boys in the Leatherwood Family.  In the realm of the 'Meaning of Given Names',  Fannie/Frances/Francis means FREE, and people with this name value truth and justice.  What a fitting name for a child 'Born on the 4th of July'.


  1. Zachariah Edwards is my husband's great-great-grandfather. We have been to the obelisk marking his grave several times. The writing on the stone has nearly worn away. The photo you have is from a portrait of Zachariah that was in Darlington, SC at his son's home. I don't know what happened to that portrait. Anyway, it was fun to read your tribute to Great-great-great-grandmother Frances.

    1. Thank-you so much for your comment. I certainly never expected this post to put me in touch with a Leatherwood distant cousin. Although it has happened before as a result of my Family Tree Research and Genealogy Blog. I appreciate the information about Zachariah's stone and portrait. I was quite surprised to find it on Find A Grave as well as his Memorial. Fannie Frances was sister to my 5X great grandfather George Holland Leatherwood. I tried to reach you via your Blogger link. I hope you will return for this reply. I wanted you to know how much I appreciated your visit, and what you shared. Thank-you!

    2. I'm happy to have been of assistance!

  2. All I can say is wow. Happy 4th to you and I salute your family history. Impressive stuff.

  3. Interesting post, Sue. I hope that when I retire, I'll have some time for genealogy. :-)


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