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James Perry McHugh

James McHugh was born 23-August-1825. Memoirs of Georgia claims he was born in Morgan County, GA. However, I believe he was born in Gwinnett County, GA and later moved to Morgan County. There is no record of his father, Charles, ever living in Morgan County. Furthermore, the interview with Mary Prudence McHugh Williams, James' daughter, states "Grampa was born in Gwinnett County." "James McHugh, farmer, Rutledge, was born in Morgan County in 1825, and is the son of Charles and Mary (Pritchell) McHugh. His grandfather, George McHugh, was a native of Ireland, and came to America before the revolutionary war and served with the patriots in that conflict. He first settled in Virginia on coming here, then moved to South Carolina, where he remained until his death. Charles, a son of George, was born in South Carolina, came to Georgia in 1815, and settled among the Indians. He was a teacher most of his life, and was employed in the early academies and colleges. He was justice of the peace for over twenty-five years. His wife was the daughter of Joshua Pritchell, one of the early residents of the state. Mr. James McHugh was reared on the home farm and received his schooling in the old-time log cabin and [studied, read?] by the aid of the pine knot fireside. When he was seventeen years of age he left home and went to Stone Mountain and began work for the Georgia Railroad, continuing there until about ten years ago, or over thirty-eight years. When he left home all of his possessions were a homespun sack of clothes, which had been spun and woven by his mother, but his industry and energy brought him success, and at the time of the breaking out of the war he was in good financial circumstances. The war wrested from [him] the larger part of his property, and he had to start over again. He now owns about 1,500 acres of good land, a large part of which is in a good state of cultivation. In 1849 he married Lynda Garner, daughter of Samuel Garner. They have six children, four of whom are living; Baily, Benjamin, Edward, and Mary. The mother was born and reared in Morgan County. She is a member of the Methodist church, and Mr. McHugh has been a Mason for twenty-five years." 1

Memoirs of Georgia indicates that James McHugh married Lynda Garner. However, the marriage license quoted below clearly indicates her name was Eliza (I looked it up and transcribed it myself). Since her gravestone is inscribed Elizabeth Garner, the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census data shows Elizabeth, and the 1900 census lists her as Lizzie, I believe James McHugh married Elizabeth Garner. According to his grave marker, James was born on August 23, 1825. Morgan County Marriage Records 1808 - 1865 by Frances T. Ingmire ( 1985) shows James McQue married Elizabeth Garner on November 25, 1849. I was able to confirm this statistic by finding the original record of marriage in the Morgan County Court House. The record follows: "Georgia Morgan County to any Minister of the Gospel, Judge, Justice of the Inferior Court, or Justice of the Peace, you are hereby authorized to join James McQue and Miss Eliza Garner in the Holy state of matrimony according to the constitution and Laws of this state and for so doing this shall be your sufficient License Given under my hand and seal this third day of November 1849. F. M. Arnold C C A" After the marriage, this record exists: "Georgia Morgan County I do hereby certify that James McQue and Miss Eliza Garner were duly joined in the Holy State of Matrimony by me this 24th of November 1849. Dawson B. Vance J. P." "Recorded the third day of December 1849. F. M. Arnold C C A"

James and Elizabeth McHugh had, I believe, a total of six children:

  • W. T. B. McHugh, born 30-August-1850

  • James Grant McHugh, born 28-March-1852, died 28-March-1869 (17 years old)

  • Charles Binoir McHugh, born 10-January-1854, died 8-October-1862 (8 years old)

  • Benjamin F. McHugh, born 13-November-1855

  • Mary Prudence McHugh, born 24-May-1858, died 15-December-1945 (87 years old

  • )

  • Edward Morgan McHugh, born 17-September-1861, died 18-April-1939 (77 years old)

The family cemetery is located on Double Bridge Road in Morgan County. From the McHugh Hill Church, go 1.2 miles northwest (away from Hard Labor Creek). The cemetery is on the left, up a 5 or 6 foot embankment, about 30 feet from the road. There are three markers in the small cemetery. However, my grandmother remembers coming to Morgan County in the 1920's for Bart McHugh's funeral. She says he was buried in this cemetery. There is no headstone for Bart. However, there is a sunken place next to Julia Brown's marker. This could possibly be Bart McHugh's grave. It is possible the family could not afford a headstone for Bart. The contract for James McHugh's headstone was issued about 1 years after his 7-February-1896 death. The inscriptions follow:

Julia Brown
wife of
B. T. McHugh
Nov. 30, 1848
Mar. 28, 1909
Sleep on dear wife and mother.
And take thy rest.
For thy Lord and Savior knew
the best.
Elizabeth McHugh
Born Feb. 18, 1828
Died June 12, 1912
Weep not for her
Who meekly led
a life of piety and
Whose unassuming
virtue shed a
Hallowed influence
from above.
James McHugh
Aug. 23, 1825,
Feb. 7, 1896,
An amiable father here lies at rest
as ever God with His image blest.
The friend of man. The friend of truth.
The friend of age, the guide of youth.

James McHugh is listed in the 1860 Census as 35 years old which lends credence to the 1825 birth date information found in Memoirs of Georgia. However, in the 1870 Census, he listed his age as 43 which would place his birth around 1827. The 1900 census was the first census where the month and year of birth were recorded. In the 1900 census, Elizabeth stated she was born in December of 1823. The 1900 Census lists her as "Lizzie McHugh." Elizabeth's grave marker places her birth on February 18, 1828. The family Bible, belonging to Elizabeth Garner McHugh, has the following entries: "James McHugh was married to his wife, Elizabeth McHugh the 25 of November in year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred forty nine" "W. T. B. McHugh was born on 11 o'clock A.M. 30 of August Eighteen Hundred and fiftey"  "James Grant McHugh was born 28th of March 1852 4 p.m. o'clock"

"Charles Binoir McHugh was born 10 January 1854 5 p.m. o'clock" "Benj. F. McHugh was borned on the 13 November 1855 at 7 o'clock p.m."  "Mary P. McHugh was born May the 24, 1858 1 o'clock p.m."  "Edward McHugh was borned September 17, 1861 4 o'clock a.m." "Record of deaths Charles B. McHugh dide October 8th, 1862 James Grant McHugh dide 28th March 1869" (Thank you, Jane, for the information).

The next earliest records I could find were the 1860 Census, taken August 8, 1860 in the state of Georgia, County of Morgan, Hellow (Hello) District, Post Office of Madison. According to the family Bible, it appears William was W. T. B. McHugh, or "Bart".

Name Age Sex Occupation Value of
Personal Property
James McHugh 35 M Rail Road Laborer 2000 GA
Elizabeth 24 F     GA
William 10 M     GA
James 8 M     GA
Charles 6 M     GA
Benjamin 4 M     GA
Mary 2 F     GA

The 1860 Morgan County Tax Digest lists James McCugh (should be McHugh) as having 3 children between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age. He had 2 slaves valued at $900, $1,300 in cash and $25 in personal property. The 1870 Census, taken on July 19, 1870, lists James McHugh.

Name Age Sex Color Occupation Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Property Birthplace
James McHugh 43 M W Laborer on Rail Road 12670 975 GA
Elizabeth 39 F W Keeping House     GA
Benjamin 13 M W At school     GA
Mary P. 11 F W At school     GA
Edward 7 M W At school     GA

The 1871 Morgan County Tax Digest lists James McHugh as having 3 children between the ages of 6 and 18 years. It shows he had 5 hands employed between the ages of 12 and 65 years. In 1871, James had 534 acres of land in Morgan County valued at $2,670 (that comes to $5.00 per acre). The value of all his other property was $475. The 1878 Morgan County Tax Digest shows James as owning 828 acres and in 1883, the Tax Digest shows James owning 964 acres and employing 9 hands. The 1885 Tax Digest lists James S. McHugh. This Digest shows that James owned 1142 acres valued at $4,568 (that's only $4.00 an acre). The 1885 Digest also lists a company by the name of McHugh & Dickson. The company owned something worth $125 in town, although we don't know which town. It may be Rutledge or Madison. In addition, the 1885 Digest lists William McHugh as owning 100 acres and Bart owning 60 acres. Bart is listed in other records as Barton McHugh. He was evidently another child of James & Elizabeth McHugh.

The 1880 Census information was gathered on June 2 through June 4, 1880 where James and his family are listed in the Whitfield District, Page 4 and Page 8.

Name Color Sex Age Relation Occupation Birthplace
James McHugh W M 60 Husband Farmer GA
Elizabeth W F 55 Wife Keeping House GA
Benj W M 26 Son Farm laborer GA
Eddie W M 19 Son Farm laborer GA
Bart S. McHugh W M 29 Husband Farmer GA
Julia W F 30 Wife Keeping House GA
Grant W M 7 Son   GA
Columbus McHugh W M 25 Husband Farmer GA
Emma W F 25 Wife Keeping House GA
Ola W F 5 Daughter   GA
Frank W M 3 Son   GA
Rosa W F 10 Months Daughter   GA

Marriage records found in the Morgan County Court House show the following marriages:

Husband Wife Date of Marriage
Barton McHugh Julia Brown December 23, 1871
Edward M. McHugh Fannie Branan July 18, 1883
Columbus B. McHugh Emma Streeter June 8, 1876
Columbus B. McHugh Salina G. Redding December 21, 1890
B. F. McHugh (Benjamin) Minnie Daniel February 3, 1894
W. F. McHugh (probably William) Erah Adair October 18, 1898
J. H. McHugh Lola Phelps April 3, 1904
Charlie McHugh Pearl Studdard December 2, 1906

The 1890 Morgan County Tax Digest lists James McHugh as owning 1,142 acres valued at $5,568 (that's $4.88 per acre) and $417 in horses and mules. The 1890 Digest also indicated that James owned the Iron Works Foundaries and the company owned $380 worth of property. William McHugh was listed owning 100 acres and Barton owning 68 acres. Benjamin McHugh and Edward M. McHugh were listed, but owned no property. I finally established from a list of Morgan County deaths that James McHugh died on February 7, 1896 and Elizabeth Garner McHugh died on June 12, 1912. Both of these death dates are inscribed on their respective grave markers. However, the 1895 Morgan County Tax Digest shows the "James McHugh Estate" as owning 1,142 acres. Similarly, the 1897 Tax Digest lists the James McHugh Estate as owning 732 acres, Mrs. Elizabeth McHugh owning 210 acres, William McHugh owning 60 acres and Columbus McHugh owning 110 acres. B. F. McHugh and Eddie McHugh were listed in the Digest, but owned no acreage. According to the 1900 Census, taken on June 12, 1900, Edward M. (Morgan) McHugh was born in March of 1853 and married in 1885. The 1900 Census lists his wife as Fannie and she was born in September of 1860. Their children are Spence, born in March of 1891; Johnny, born in April of 1889; Sally, born in June of 1893 and Eva, born in July of 1896. The couple had two more sons, Ernest McHugh and Charles Clarence McHugh. Charles McHugh was born in 1903 and died in 1974. Edward M. McHugh was my great grandfather and Charles Clarence McHugh was my grandfather. This Census also listed Columbus McHugh. According to this census, Columbus was born in January of 1849. He was the son of William McHugh (James McHugh's brother). His wife was listed as Carrie and her birth was shown as April of 1852. Their children were Louis, born in September of 1886; James, born in May of 1880 and Charlie, born in March of 1884. Frank McHugh was also a son of Columbus McHugh and was listed in the 1900 Census under his own family. The census shows Frank was born in March of 1879. His wife was Erah, and she was born in December of 1879. The couple's daughter was Emma Lou, born in January of 1899. A book (we do not know the title) published in 1997 and containing a history of Morgan County contains the following:

"THE COLUMBUS MCHUGH FAMILY - Columbus McHugh owned 100 plus acres of land in Morgan County in late 1800's and early 1900's. He farmed this land, growing food for his family. He built his home and a building to house a grist mill, with a pond to supply water to operate the mill. Corn meal and wheat flour were ground to supply the community around the mill. Mr. McHugh had no middle name. When he entered school, his teacher asked for a middle initial. Since he had none, he adapted the "B" from Columbus for his initial. He received mail addressed to C. B. McHugh. Columbus McHugh married Emma Streeter. Their seven children were: William Frank, married Erah Offie Adair, nine children; Eunice McHugh, married Hugh O'Kelly, five children; Charles McHugh, married Pearl Studdard, three children; Lewis McHugh, married Frances Butler, two children; Ola McHugh, married John O'Kelly, six children; Harvey, married Mattie ____, nine children; and Carey McHugh, married Jessie Robinson, no children. Pictured is Columbus McHugh. Three children of son William F. and Erah A. McHugh are living in Morgan County today, as well as grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. Their children are as follows: Myrtice Offie, married Joel A Crowe, two children; Phillip Columbus, married Marie Holmes, three children; Nannie Selma, married Usher C. Brown, two children; William Elmer, married Mary Ella Malcom, two children; Carrie Sue, married R. Leslie Parrish, two children; Mary Kate, married M. Hewlett Sims, three children; Nellie Mae, married W. Elmer Nash, three children; and Eunice, married A. Grant Johnson, no children. Submitted by: Gladys Emmett" The book also contains the following article: "JAMES FRANKLIN MCHUGH AND WILLIE MAE FEW - James Franklin McHugh was born January 13, 1894. His father was Benjamin Franklin McHugh and mother was Minnie Daniel McHugh. He had one brother, Leonard Pierce McHugh and one sister, Ophelia McHugh. He served in World War I and later married Willie Mae Few McHugh. James Franklin McHugh's ancestors gave land to build McHugh's Hill Baptist Church and church was built before 1897 which still stands today in Hello District. James Franklin (Jimmy) McHugh was also a descendant of the owners and operators of McHugh's Mill located near the golf course at Hard Labor Creek State Park. The wheel of the old "McHugh's Mill" has recently been restored and will be a point of interest in Morgan County in years to come. James Franklin McHugh died in October, 1972 and Willie Mae Few McHugh died in August, 1981. Submitted by: Sarah Lynn McHugh"


1 Memoirs of Georgia, printed in 1895, Volume II, page 585

Last Updated On 23 December 2006