The illegitimate daughter of a fornicator
Uriah Nowlin was the son of David Nowlin, who was born about 1793-4 in Buckingham County, Virginia and is said to have died in 1840 in Floyd County, Georgia. His mother was Louisa Lydia “Leddy” Humphries, said to have beenborn 1794 in Jackson County, in that portion that became Clarke County, Georgia, in 1801. She died between 1850 and 1860 in Telfair County, Georgia. Leddy was the illegitimate daughter of Uriah Humphries and Nancy Burke, a teenager and an orphan who, with her brothers and sisters, was taken in by Uriah and his wife Sarah after their parents died. For more on this incident, see the Infamous Uriah Humphires.
There are a significant number of web sources about Leddy, but I am not sure all the information is accurate. According to one One World Tree site, she was married three times, first to Nathaniel Daniel in 1817, then to David in the same year, then to Samuel Parr on 21 February 1833. Other sites have her married only to Nathaniel and David, or to David and Samuel, and some say she was married to David only.

However, Liddy's age does not line up perfectly with the age of David's wife in either the 1920 or 1930 Jackson County censuses, so she may have been David's second wife, or with her birth year of 1794 in any census.

In 1820, David, 26-44, is living with a female 16-25 (David would be 26-27 and Leddy would be about 26), one son under 10 (Uriah), and one daughter under 10 (Nancy). David is engaged both in farming and manufacturing.

In 1830, David is living with a female 20-29 (Leddy would be 36) and they have one son, 10-14 (Uriah would be 12) and three females under 5 (Nancy, who would be 10, is somehow out of the household, unless the records are wrong).

In 1840, Lydia is 30-40, suggesting she was born between 1800 and 1920, and in 1850 in Telfair County, she is 52, indicating she was born in 1798. It is not unusual for ages in census records to be off, especially among illiterate families. Lydia could not read or write.

Supporting the idea that Lydia is the mother of Nancy at least is that Nancy named one of her daughters Lydia.

Whatever the truth of the situation is, David and Lydia are said to have had three children:

1. Uriah Nowlin, said to have been born in 1818 in Clarke County, Georgia. He married Kissiah Hicks.

2. Nancy Nowlin, born 1820-21 according to the census records,
in Jackson County.

3. Presley Nowlin, born about 1835 in Clarke County.

Leddy was originally a Burke or Burt, and was the illegitimate daughter of Uriah Humphries of Jackson/Clark County. Leddy Burke won a land lot in a Cherokee land lottery in 1827, and she is listed as the illegitimate daughter of Uriah Humphries (Official Register of Land Lottery of Georgia, 1827, p. 11.).  Her birth is one of the reasons her father was charged with fornication and adultery (see The infamous Uriah Humphries).

Since Leddy is a widow in Floyd County in 1840 and Presley was born in 1835, David died between 1834 and 1840, probably in Floyd County. I say this because their daughter, Nancy, married there in 1838, and their son Uriah and his wife Kissiah Hicks are living there in 1840.
Nancy Nowlin married a Bryant Cobb (1795-1865) on 4 or 5 August 1838 (the records disagree) in Floyd County and they moved to the 339th Georgia Militia District in Telfair County.
There is a Bryant Cobb in the 1820 Telfair census, 16-26, apparently living alone. Lydia, 52, is listed living alone in 1850 with her son Presley, 15 in the same district.

In the 1860 census, Nancy and Bryant are in the same 339th district. Bryant may have married previously, since in the 1850 Telfair County census, he and Nancy have three children born before 1838. The eldest was born in 1832, when Nancy would have been 11 or 12!

Bryant and Nancy’s known children are:

1. Sarah Cobb, born 1832.

2. Polly Ann Cobb, born 1834.

3. Charity Cobb, born 1837.

4. Celia Cobb, born 1842.

5. Martha Cobb, born 1844.

6. Lydia Cobb, born 1847.

7. Mitchell Cobb, born 1849.

8. Uriah Cobb, born 1851.

9. William Cobb, born 1854.

10. Peter Cobb, born 1856.

11. Nancy Cobb, born 1859.

The war really disrupted this family. Along with Bryant, those missing in the 1870 census in Telfair include the seven oldest children and Nancy. The older girls can be hard to find, of course, since they may have gotten married. There are two Celias in nearby Pulaski County, for instance, born about 1842. But Uriah Cobb, 20, Thomas Cobb (I assume this is William), 18, and Peter Cobb, 16, are living with a Nancy Conley, 55, on a farm in Telfair County. They may be boarders.
I don't know what befell Nancy, but there is a Nancy Cobb, 52, in Floyd County in 1870 serving as a housekeeper to Aquilla Phelps, 80, and June Phelps, 79. And in 1900, there is a Nancy Cobb, 80, boarding with John C. Wood, 41 in Dooly County, not far from Telfair. She was born October 1819 in Georgia of parents born in North Carolina, however.

The problems with the records are these:
1. Samuel Parr is listed as marrying a Lydia Humphries on 21 February 1833 in Jackson County, but the only time a Samuel Parr appears in the census is in 1840 in Oglethorpe County. Lydia  is in Rome in 1840. Moreover, since Presley has the last name Nowland and he is born in 1835, I think someone made a mistake in either recording or retrieving the marriage records, or Lydia and Samuel divorced.
I could not find any marriage record for Lydia and Nathaniel Daniel, nor could I find any for Lydia and David.
Also, what can explain Lydia using her mother’s maiden name, Burke, in applying for the Cherokee Land Lottery in 1827 if she was already married?
2. Several websites possibly confuse the David Nowlin of Jackson with the David "Nolin" who won a land lot in the 1832 Cherokee land lottery. They aren’t necessarily the same. Our David disappears from the records after 1830, but he must have lived until 1834 to be Presley’s father. However, there is a David Nowlin, 27, who appears in the 1850 Walker County census. He is the son of Briant W. Nowlin, who is listed in the 1830 Jackson County census as well. I would have to check the actual lottery records to see if there is any way to distinguish one David from the other.
I also wonder if Briant is Captain Bryant, younger brother of our David Nowlin. In the 1830 Jackson census, he is listed as 30-40, which would make him too old, but in the 1850 Walker County census he is 47. David's brother, Captain Bryant Nowlin was born in 1803.


In addition to the census records, there are also numerous websites devoted to Uriah Humphries and his daughter Lydia.

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