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 Murray County Museum  

The Halls, Gallmans, Brocks, Duncans and Brambletts
By: Jeannette Adams Greeson

My Hall family has strong roots in Murray County documented to 1850, and according to Anderson County, South Carolina records, they were probably in Murray by 1849 because tax records in South Carolina show them through 1848. My direct Hall family line remained in Murray's "Bloody Eighth" District until 1921 when the family moved to Tilton, and later to Five Springs community where I was reared.

In 1962, I moved to Murray County as the new bride of Tom Greeson, a Murray County native, and was the only one of my direct line living in Murray at that time, today, our youngest daughter, LAURA GREESON, resides in Murray. We moved from Murray County in 1989, but still maintain a home there.

None of my family had expressed any interest in genealogy, including myself, until the death of all my grandparents in early 1970's. It was at that time I began to question my mother and she could only say they came to Murray County from South Carolina, and had absolutely no idea from where they emigrated to United States. Fortunately, I had heard my grandfather Hall state they were from County Down, which is located in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, early Ireland records were destroyed in Dublin fire.

I have no idea why the Halls moved to Murray County because South Carolina records show they owned large farms, often bought property from estate sales, etc., but by 1850 Murray County Census the entire family was there.

My first documented ancestor, DRURY R. HALL and his wife, MARTHA DUNCAN, and seven sons and one daughter in-law are listed on that Census. Their sons were: FENTON J. (wife MARTINA DUNCAN), DRURY F., THOMAS H., WILLIAM A.P., MARTIN VAN BUREN, ROBERT AND JOSEPH N.W. The family settled on two land lots in lower Murray's 8th District.

The Will of DRURY R. HALL in 1857 was a helpful tool in researching my family, as was Civil War records. All seven sons of Drury and Martha served in the Civil War, and at least two of the sons did not return. Martin Van Buren Hall died as a prisoner at in June 1864 at Rock Island, Illinois, and his brother, Robert L. died in Richmond, Virginia in May 1862. Fenton J. Hall is the only one of the seven brothers that I have been unable to trace his line; the last document of any kind on him was when he signed the Oath of Allegiance after Battle of Vicksburg. I can only speculate did he join another regiment to continue fighting and got killed and is buried in unmarked grave, or did he change his name and go elsewhere.

I am a descendant of both THOMAS H. and WILLIAM A.P HALL, my grandparents were third cousins. Thomas was a farmer, blacksmith and a medical doctor and according to Murray County records his license was granted by certificate and not from medical school as was previously thought.

Thomas practiced medicine in Holly, which was near what we now call Casey Springs, I think. His son, BUSINESS EASTMAN HALL, was a dentist and married to KATE EDMONDSON, daughter of JOHN and ESTHER EDMONDSON, of Spring Place. Business practiced dentistry in Spring Place until 1921 when he moved to Whitehall St. in Atlanta to establish his practice. He died in 1937 in Atlanta and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.


MARTHA HALL ELROD became a well-known midwife in the Bloody Eighth area and my grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Mamie) Hall followed in her mother's profession as a midwife, but practiced in Whitfield County. She was honored as the last licensed midwife in the county who had not been formally educated, because the State of Georgia began to require formal education in that field.

My line from WILLIAM A.P. is through DRURY R.F. HALL, ALBERT LEE HALL and DIMPLE HALL ADAMS. WILLIAM A.P.was a farmer, as was my great grandfather and grandfather. My great grandfather, DRURY (Tony) was killed in a tragic farming accident which was reported in The Calhoun Times in June 1896.

There is so much "double kin" in my Murray County roots because there were five HALL siblings married to five GALLMAN siblings. I am a direct descendant of WILLIAM A.P. HALL and his wife, MARTHA GALLMAN.

My first GALLMAN relative in Murray County was CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON GALLMAN and his wife, MARY SMITH, they moved to Murray County sometime in early 1860's from Union County, South Carolina. That family had moved to the Saxe Gotha area of South Carolina in the early 1730's. There has been much about that family and records show them leaving emigrating from Basel, Switzerland, where they were traced to 1574.

My Gallman line descends from Christopher and Mary's daughter, MARTHA, who married DRURY R.F. (TONY), their son ALBERT LEE HALL, his daughter, DIMPLE HALL ADAMS, my mother.

There is so much written about the GALLMANS in South Carolina and the Internet has numerous stories of the family in South Carolina including a letter written in the 1730's back to Basel, Switzerland, in which the writer encouraged others to move to the abundant South Carolina area. Gallmans also helped to support two men who were sent back to Switzerland to recruit folks to join them in South Carolina.

In addition to my HALLS and GALLMANS as early settlers in Murray County, I have the BROCKS,DUNCANS and BRAMBLETTS. I am descended from ISAAC BROCK who was living in Murray County in 1850, but left for Texas shortly afterwards. His daughter, MYRIAM ELIZABETH (MARM) BROCK married WILLIAM A.P. HALL.

The Hall and Gallman connections are numerous, and then there are the DUNCANS who married their HALL cousins. MARTHA DUNCAN HALL'S niece, MERENA MARTINA DUNCAN, married her first cousin, FENTON J.HALL.

The DUNCANS did not remain in Murray County very long, most of them moved to the Villanow area of Whitfield County. Earliest records show them moving from South Carolina to Murray County in 1844, but by 1852 they were in Whitfield County.The DUNCAN family has been traced back to South Leith, Midlothian, Scotland to 1632. Currently, I am up for membership in the prestigious St. Andrew's Society, Atlanta Branch, and it will be on the DUNCAN line on which my invitation to membership has been extended.

WILEY BRAMBLETT was the first of the Brambletts to appear on the Murray County Census in 1850, and by 1860 his brother; HARRIS BRAMBLETT was living in Murray County. Wiley lived briefly in Murray before moving to Arkansas. However, neither of these two were my direct line, I am descended through their brother, LARKIN BRAMBLETT. I am not sure that Larkin ever made it to Murray County, because he was shown on Chattooga County Census and later in Alabama. Larkin's widow, AMANDA CAROLINE FARROW BRAMBLETT and their children: SARAH JANE, HARRIS B., THOMAS, JAMES RICHARD and COLONEL WILEY came to Murray County around 1853 from Alabama. Unfortunately, Larkin had murdered someone in Alabama in 1853 and was hanged in 1858 after lengthy appeals.

The Brambletts had lived in Laurens County, South Carolina before leaving for Georgia, as did Amanda Farrow's family.

Sarah Jane married MILES WELCH and many of their descendants remain in the area today and are outstanding citizens. Harris married BARBARA HUFFMAN and they remained in the area and had several children. Much is written about Harris in the famous 1895 White Caps trial in Atlanta. He was later bushwhacked while plowing a field, just after completing a sentence in prison. James Richard was born in Chattooga County and married MARY JANE VENEABLE, of Murray. They left Murray headed to Texas where they became very prosperous. They both died in Lincoln County, New Mexico. A tremendous amount of genealogy research has been done on them and posted on Internet. COLONEL WILEY married ELIZA LYDIA STAGG, of Alabama. Many of Colonel Wiley's descendants still call Murray County home and are prominent businessmen and educators.

I am a descendant of Thomas through WILLIAM, MARY ELIZABETH (Mamie), and DIMPLE HALL. Thomas was married to ADALINE HUFFMAN, a sister to his brother Harris' wife. Thomas died in Dooly County, Georgia, at the home of his daughter, MARY JENNY, who was married to J.A. BAGGETT, a Murray native.

My great grandfather, William, died from results of poisonous gas while trying to clean a well from fire debris. The account of this accident was recorded in a Dalton newspaper, "The North Georgia Citizen" in July 1896. William's widow, MARTHA married CHARLES ELROD. The two children of William and Martha were: Mary Elizabeth (Mamie) who married ALBERT LEE HALL, and THOMAS, who married RUBY HALL. Mary Elizabeth and Albert Lee had three children: Dimple (my mother), Darcia Jeannette and William M. (Jack). Both my grandmother Mamie and her brother moved to Whitfield County, and other than me none of the descendants returned to Murray. Mamie's brother Thomas was a barber and had considerable rental real estate in the City of Dalton, and his family is known for their athletic skills, several of his descendants have been awarded football scholarships to major universities.

It has been gratifying to me to learn and share about my five family lines that settled in Murray County in mid 1850's and the stories that I have gathered from them have been very interesting. There were indeed some colorful characters, some community leaders and yes, some with undesirable habits, but that's life. Almost all of them were farmers and after the Civil War it seems as though most of them just eked out a living for many years after that and the Great Depression. Today, many of Murray's prominent and industrious community leaders can trace their lineage to the HALLS, GALLMANS and BRAMBLETTS.


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