Puryear Woods
Taken at the “Puryear Woods” on John “Jack” Puryear’s place near the brick store in Villanow.

The Puryear family is a well-known family in the Armuchee Valley area. While I do not descend from the Puryears directly, they do (like the Suttles) connect in my tree through marriage. Nancy Elizabeth Ward, my 3rd great-grand aunt, married Hamilton Young Puryear (1841-1903). Hamilton is a son of William Marcellus Puryear (1810-1866), and grandson of John Puryear (1786-1836). William Marcellus had a brother named John “Jack” Puryear (1822-1907).

Jack Puryear is among those old-time settlers of East Armuchee.

His homestead was located on lots 80 and 81 of Walker County District 26, Section 3 (Will; Property Tax Digests). In layman’s terms, this is located on the north side of Highway 136, around where Dicks Creek Road crosses the highway. Clements Pond is a feature on the map that is on this land (presumably named for C.A. Clements who, according to the Walker County Tax Assessor, later owned this land). It is interesting to note that these lots (80 and 81) are directly north of lots 101 and 100–the plots that made up my 3rd great grandfather Micajah Pope‘s (1808-1867) home place. So Micajah Pope and John Puryear were neighbors and certainly would have known each other (Deed). Jacob Goodson‘s (1808-1882, another 3rd great grandfather) home place was just to the east of these Puryear lots.

The picture I’m sharing here today shows a fine group of young Villanoians, presumably enjoying a nice outing and dressed to the nines! According to Evelyn Morgan Shahan’s notes, the photo was taken in the first decade of the 20th century in an area called the Puryear Woods on Jack Puryear’s home place.

Evelyn identified the people in this photo as follows (left to right):

I have made a chart showing the relationships between each of the people in the photo (except Henry Woods and Mary Hammontree, who do not connect in any way that I know of). Click below to see. The chart is quite large, so, if you prefer, you can right-click and “save link as” to look at it locally on your computer.

Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly where this spot, known as Puryear Woods, was located. Could it have been near what was later called Clements Pond? Is it even accessible today? I would love to learn more about Puryear Woods, but history has seen fit to keep this a mystery.

If anyone out there has information about Puryear Woods or anyone in this photo, please leave a comment below to get in touch.


Ancestry.com. Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1893. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Web. Accessed 15 Sep 2012.

Deed of sale from estate of Micajah Pope, administered by M.F. Pope, to J.A. Clements, 2 Feb 1878, Walker County, Georgia, Deed Record 1, 37-8. County Clerk’s Office, LaFayette, Georgia. Retrieved by Michael, Rhonda, & Jordan Scoggins in Feb 2012.

Walker County, GA. Walker County Tax Assessor. Web. Accessed 15 Sep 2012.

Will of John Puryear, 15 Jul 1897, Walker County, Georgia. Probate Office, LaFayette, Georgia. Retrieved by Michael, Rhonda, & Jordan Scoggins in Feb 2012.

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