Thursday, October 25, 2018

My Mama's Accordion

Ida Lou Waldrep Dunagan pictured with Charles and Pat Tighe.

My mother loved playing her accordion which her dad purchased for her when she was a child in the 1920s. Interesting story on how this particular student model accordion came into our family's life.

A local man who played and taught accordion had a glass eye. One of his children knocked his glass eye off of the mantle and it broke into a thousand pieces. The man had previously talked to my grandfather Waldrep about accordion lessons for his daughter Ida Lou.

He contacted grandpa Waldrep and asked if he was interested in buying the accordion because he needed the money to replace his glass eye that had been broken.

And this is how this accordion came into our family. I bought mama a full size accordion when I was living in Washington, D.C., but she always preferred the smaller student model she had grown up with and learned on.

Monday, October 8, 2018

William Dunagan of Ireland

We have friends visiting  Ireland and they have sent pictures of St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick. This is where the christening records of William Dunagan are reported to be. Your Dad had told me WILLIAM was christened or baptized there. Later at a reunion someone stated William was christened at a nearby church and his records transferred to St Mary’s when that church folded. We were at St Mary’s 25 years ago but that was before pictures could be taken over the phone.
So our friends Connie and Eddie Rollins were nice enough to send me these pictures taken yesterday. What a treasure and thought you might want to post these or share as it is early Dunagsn history. This is a special place.

From Mary Dunagan Karras

William Dunagan was born in 1670 in Limerick, Ireland, and we believe that this is the beginning of our American connection to Ireland and the family branch by which my family today descended from.William Dunagan is my 7th great grandfather. He was born in Limerick, Ireland,  and was baptized at St John Church Limerick Ireland which was later destroyed by fire. He would have been a young man about the time of the siege of Limerick in 1691. After the Irish defeat in Limerick, the Dunagan family lost everything and many left for the colonies in America soon thereafter.

We do not know William Dunagan’s wife’s name but we know that he had the following children:

William Dunagan born 10 January 1702 in Limerick, Ireland
Thomas Dunagan born 16 June 1706 in Limerick, Ireland, died AFT 1782 in Surry County, NC
Timothy Dunagan born 1715 in Essex County, VA, died 1752 in NC

William Dunagan’s son Thomas is my 6th great grandfather and so begins our Dunagan family line in America.Two theories exist pertaining to Thomas Dunagan’s immigration to America. One source states he immigrated to VA in 1738, while another suggests he came to GA in 1732. However, the latter is obviously incorrect, in as much as GA was not settled until 1733, and at that time only by British subjects. He is believed to have moved to Orange County, NC, after 1740 or 1750, and then to Surry County, NC before 1767. He may have died as late as 1782.

Thomas married an Irish girl from Limerick named Sarah around 1726 and unfortunately this is all we know of Sarah. Thomas and Sarah had the following children:

Charles Dunagan born ? , died ABT 1813 in Orange County, NC
Thomas Dunagan born ABT 1727 in Ireland, died 1810 in Surry County, NC
John Dunagan born BEF 1730 in ? , died AFT 1780 in Surry County, NC
Joshua Dunagan born ABT 1737 in VA or NC, died ABT 1798 in GA
William Dunagan born 1738 in VA, died 15 Nov 1798 in Orange County, NC
Joseph Dunagan born 1740 in VA or NC, died 1810

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

GEORGE, Martha Berry (Heard), 83, of Zephyrhills, passed away Sept. 4, 2018

GEORGE, Martha Berry (Heard), 83, of Zephyrhills, passed away Sept. 4, 2018. She was born April 19, 1935, in Birmingham, Ala., to Lyman Brown and Ida Belle (Dunagan) Heard. She graduated from Transylvania University in 1957 and was a member of the First Christian Church and a lifelong church musician. Her daughter, Katherine Elizabeth (John) Mulholland of Freehold, N.J., survives along with her son, Harry Michael (Juliana) George of Boca Raton; four grandchildren, John, Grace, Diane and Susan. Her husband, the Rev. Dr. Lewis H. George, preceded her in death. Whitfield Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My Patriot Forefathers by Darline Dunagan Scruggs

During the 1830’s my ancestor’s continued to be actively engaged in the building and establishing of Hall County Georgia. It had been sixty years since Joshua Dunagan and his brother Joseph Dunagan (my fifth great grandfather) had brought the first group of settlers into what is now known as Hall County Georgia. The site of their settlement was located near present day Gillsville and was known as Stonethrow. It was a remote frontier located in hostile Indian Territory and even though it has grown and prospered in those sixty years it still remained a remote area that required much from those who lived here during the 1830’s.

The occupation and livelihood of most of its population was chiefly agricultural. Life was hard and laborious work was required to survive and prosper. Social life was largely limited to church and church related social events. Occasional special events would find themselves on the calendar from time to time.

One such special event of the year was the celebration and observance of Independence Day. Hall County citizens gathered to enjoy good food, good company, and hear political speeches orated by the citizens and special guest. The first Fourth of July celebration recorded in Hall County was in the year 1833. The celebration began at the square at 11 o’clock with a procession headed by Major General Bates, his staff, and the officers of the day. They were escorted by the Gainesville Hussars to the Baptist Church where the many citizens were gathered. Reverend Parks addressed the group, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence by David C. Neal, Esq., after which an oration was given by Mr. James W. Jones.

The celebration continued into the afternoon with much of the activity held at the Limestone Springs. Limestone Springs was located at what we know today as the intersection of Green Street Circle and Thompson Bridge Road (named so because of the original covered bridges built by Andrew Thompson’s sons).
The dinner, which was prepared by Mr. Joseph Frederick, was enjoyed by the Gentlemen at the Springs. Presiding over the program was a Mr. Rueben Thornton and his assistant Madison R. Mitchel. Formal toasts were offered followed by volunteer toasts from the gathered guest.

There were many “Volunteer Toasts” given that day but for purpose of interest, I am only quoting those pertaining to the Dunagan family.

“By Joseph Dunnagan Esq. – ‘May that patriotism that animated the Heroes of the Revolution be perpetuated in the hearts of their descendants, and may peace and good will abound among every portion of our Citizens, from Main [sic] to Misourie [sic].’ “
“By Joseph Dunnagan Esq. – ‘The protective system; originally advocated by some Southern men, and now strange to tell, the same men are the foremost to advocate unconstitutional measures to get rid of.’ “.
“By Mr. B. Dunnagan – ‘Detested be every…pendant such as the palmetto flag, with all that rally round them, but let all true hearted Americans rally round our star spangle banner emblem of our Union, and long may it wave o’er the land of the free and home of the brave.’ “.

The Independence Day festivities were the spotlight of the political season, the following account is of the 1840 celebration in Hall County Georgia. The celebration began that morning with an assemblage of the citizens at the Court House and a walk to the Academy Spring, where they heard a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Joseph Dunagan and a speech by T. C. Hackett. Keeping with tradition, they partook of an appetizing meal prepared by Wiley Sledge. The preset toasts were once again delivered followed by the volunteer toasts. As said before, many toasts were given that day, but I will quote those only from the Dunagan family.

“By James McClesky [husband of Anna Dunagan], a revolutionary war soldier, May the Lord, with the breath of his mouth, destroy that evil spirit that is now about to enter into the hearts of some of the offspring of our noble soldiers, who fought and bled under the flag of the U.S. and declared themselves independent of Great Britain on this ever memorable day.”
“By James McCleskey – Georgia; On the first Monday in November, she will load her big gun with Democratic principles, wadded with Republicanism, and leveling it at Federalism, will blow Wm. H. Harrison sky high.”
“By Benjamin Dunagan – Maj. Croghan; who so bravely defended Fort Stevenson, contrary to orders of cowardly commander. May he ever be esteemed by the American people as a hero and patriot.”
“By Jas. R. Dunagan – A strict construction of Federal constitution is the sheet anchor of this Government.”

The Dunagan’s of Hall County Georgia have been actively involved in the community and its government since their arrival here in the 1790’s. That tradition continues even today. Callier Daniel ‘Danny’  Dunagan, the third great grandson of the aforementioned Joseph Dunagan resides today  as mayor of Gainesville. Sandra Dunagan Deal, wife of Governor Nathan Deal and the third great granddaughter of the aforementioned Joseph, is the honored First Lady of Georgia.

May we always remember the great men from whom we came and do honor to them as they did us. I pay tribute to my forefathers and those whom have fought, served, and labored to build and preserve this great nation of ours.

Joseph Dunagan – He came into Georgia about 1790 and built Dunagan or Donnegan Station in old Franklin County Georgia. A leader among the settlers, he and his brother Joshua lead the settlers into Indian territory where they established the first settlement known as Stonethrow.

Ezekiel Dunagan – A pioneer and founding settler of Hall County, Georgia and a veteran of the War of 1812. Ezekiel served as a spy during the war and his name can be found on the roster hanging in the Georgia State Archives.

Joseph Ellis Dunagan – “Old Constitution” a Georgia State Senator representing Hall County for 23 years and a valiant and staunch defender of the Constitutions of the United States and Georgia.

John Franklin Dunagan – A Civil War Veteran who was also taken prisoner during the war.

Joseph Alexander Dunagan – Born in 1862 while his father was fighting in the Civil War, he was too old to fight in WWI. He came from patriotic men and he raised patriot men.

Lester Commie Dunagan – A proud American who was a veteran of WWI

Lester Commie Dunagan Jr. – My father, who fought bravely in WWII and continued his service to his country for the remainder of his life. Serving as First Sergeant in the Georgia National Guard till retirement, serving as Commander of the Paul E Bolding Post of the American Legion and serving as State Commander of the Georgia American Legion, he was the most patriotic man I have ever known.

Matthew L. Scruggs- Continuing the tradition is my son who served in the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard with a tour in Iraq. His service left him disabled and hero always in my book.

This is just one line of the great defenders of freedom from which I descend. I am honored to be able to trace my roots back to the beginning of our Great Nation and say those were my ancestors. It is to them and men like them that we owe our freedom!

*Information on the Fourth of July Celebration was taken from newspaper microfilm found in the Hall County Library and was transcribed as written.*

Saturday, June 16, 2018

GO WEST YOUNG MAN Stephen Wallace Dunagan

Stephen Wallace Dunagan (1880-1947) was the grandson of Captain Stephen Reid Dunagan (1827-1894), and Eliza Ann Turk Wood (1829-1894). Stephen Reid Dunagan was the son of Ezekiel Dunagan and his second wife Margaret "Peggy" Wallace Dunagan, born in Hall County, Georgia. After Ezekiel died in 1836, Peggy Dunagan, as she was called, moved to Alabama with her 6 children. When the Civil War broke out, Stephen Reid Dunagan was given a commission as a Calvary officer with the CSA, 4th Alabama Calvary, Company B. He was 33 years old. When the war ended Captain Stephen Reid Dunagan decided to move his family from Alabama west, first to Texas, and later to New Mexico and the Arizona Territory.

His son Lorenzo Dow Dunagan (1848-1924), is Stephen Wallace Dunagan's father. Lorenzo Dow Dunagan married Mary Ann Davis (1855-1883).

This is Stephen Wallace Dunagan and his second wife Callie Kate Spaw (1888-1986). He was married briefly to Anna Lena Daniels in 1904 but had no children. He married Callie Kate Spaw in 1908 in Duncan, Graham County, Arizona Territory.

They had 8 children:
George Lee Dunagan
Homer Willis Dunagan
Oscar Warren Dunagan
Vera Eula Dunagan
Maude Etta Dunagan
Stephen Wallace Dunagan
Houston Elery Dunagan
Paul Termin "Buddy" Dunagan

The photos I have posted came from Peggy Dunagan McBride whose father was Homer Willis Dunagan shown below:

Homer shown with his boys, Willis, Stewart and Jimmie. Homer was a real cowboy of the west.

This photo was taken circa 1940 and shows L-R Callie Kate Spaw Dunagan, Stephen Wallace Dunagan, Homer Willis Dunagan(top row with hat) and below him is Stephen Wallace Dunagan , Jr., Vera and Maude Dunagan and on end is Oscar Dunagan. L-R on the ground is George Dunagan, Willis Dunagan, Houston Dunagan, and Stewart Dunagan. I look at Oscar and George Dunagan and I see a strong resemblance of my father, George Jeter Dunagan, in his younger days.

Below is a photo of Jimmie Dunagan, another son of Homer Willis Dunagan. Jimmie worked in the movies in Hollywood, mostly as a stunt man. He mostly performed in Western Movies along side John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and the Death Valley series with Ronald Reagan and High Chaparell TV serices. I learned from Peggy, his sister, Jimmie died in a car accident at the early age of 48. Their brother Willis was also killed in a car accident.

Peggy Dunagan McBride sent me this photo of her maternal grandfather, George Spaw, Callie Kate Spaw's father. He is the one behind the wheel. The old west was a rough and tumble place.

In 1902 there were already a lot of Dunagan family in the wild west area of Duncan Arizona. This is not a good photo but it shows a great number of  Dunagans gathering for a Birthday/Anniversary. Peggy has included a name chart on those in attendance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ezekiel Dunagan and Lydia Ann Brown Dunagan by Darlene Dunagan Scruggs

Ezekiel Dunagan is my fourth great-grandfather. Ezekiel was born in 1770, according to family Bible records, in Pendleton, South Carolina. His father Joseph was given a land grant for 200 acres near the Curahee Mountain in Georgia and it is then that the first Dunagan’s came into Georgia. Later Joseph along with his brother Joshua Dunagan, incorrectly transcribed in some Hall County records as ‘Joshua Darnigan’, lead the first group of settlers into what is now known as east Hall County Georgia. They were followed by Ezekiel and his brother leading the second group of settlers to the Joshua Dunagan’s settlement. After Joshua’s death, it became known as the Joseph Dunagan settlement. It is in the same area that we find the grave of Ezekiel and Lydia. Through the years, nature had taken over the cemetery and many graves have been lost. Thanks to those Dunagan’s who still live on the land that Ezekiel owned, we never lost the location of his grave site. It was a long time dream of mine to restore and mark the graves of my grandparents for present and future generations. Along with my cousins, we made this possible. The new tombstone was recently placed on the site. Thanks to each of you who contributed your time and money to make this possible.