On June 24, 1932, the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) placed a monument over the grave of Vines Collier. This is the monument prior to the unveiling ceremony. All the photographs in this post were found in the rolltop desk of J. C. Collier. According to his granddaughter, Virginia Collier Dennis, the desk and its contents were unchanged since Jena’s death in 1944.
The monument unveiled by Jessie Stephens Collier, wife of J. C. Collier and Regent of the Lamar-Lafayette Chapter of the DAR.
Attendees of the ceremony are, from left to right: Mrs. John S. Bacon, Hattie Howard Weaver, unidentified lady, Marion Howard (small boy), Miss Hattie Howard, Leila Howard-Howard, Evelyn Collier Cason (daughter of J. C. Collier), John S. Bacon, Durward Cuthbert Collier (son of J. C. Collier) , Jessie Stephens Collier (wife of J. C. Collier), Jessie Collier Ruffner (daughter of J. C. Collier), Jena Cuthbert Collier II (son of D. C. Collier), J. C. Collier, unidentified lady, unidentified man, and second unidentified man. Help with additional identification is welcomed. (edited 02-28-2014 – names corrected)
Additional photographs of ceremony and participants.
Jena Cuthbert Collier, the only son of Isaac Cuthbert Collier, became more interested in his family history after the death of his father. He knew his ancestors had moved to Upson County from Oglethorpe County, Georgia and that they had lived near Old Salem Church. In 1924, J. C. sent the following letter to “the nearest resident of Old Salem Church”.
Apparently the letter found its way to Mr. John S. Bacon, who took the inquiry seriously. Mr. Bacon did his research and responded.
A probably excited J. C. Collier wrote back in less than a week. I have not found any pages of the letter that might have come after the first page.
Here is a June 8, 1925 letter from John S. Bacon to J. C. Collier (original and JCC copy). It is interesting to note the original envelope was postmarked Lexington and is self-addressed to J. C. Collier. I found J. C. often provided self-addressed stamped envelopes with his inquiries.
Nov. 30, 1928 letter from J. C. Collier to E. T. Howard (1928 owner of the house original built by Vines Collier).
Dec. 1, 1928 letter from J. C. Collier to John S. Bacon:
April 2, 1931 letter from J. C. Collier to E. T. Howard:
June 10, 1932 letter from E. T. Howard to J. C. Collier:
J. C. Collier’s efforts resulted in a DAR marker being placed at the grave of Vines Collier in June 1932. On June 29, 1932, J. C. sent the following letter to E. T. Howard:
June 5, 1934, letter from Frances Howard to J. C. Collier:
Here are two memos from J. C. Collier’s files regarding information obtained from Mr. Bacon and the “Old Vines Collier Place”.
I believe these papers are the hand-written report of one of the genealogists hired by Jena Cuthbert Collier, probably in the 1910s. It traces Colliers all the way back to France in the 1200s and follows Jena’s line down to his son, Durward. This should be of interest to any of the Collier cousins, in particular, those in America that descended from Isaac Collyer, who came to Virginia shortly after 1650 and settled in York County (see page 26).
The report is quite lengthy (31 pages). I will leave it up for a time so that you can save it if you wish. Remember you should be able to “right click” and save the pages to your computer. If the quality is not satisfactory, let me know and I’ll see you get a copy with good resolution.
Scroll down past the 31 pages to see earlier posts.
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Coming soon – more pictures of the DAR monument dedication ceremony.
Anyone want to volunteer to transcribe these pages into something easier to read?
The information I plan to post here relates mostly to Vines Collier and his descendants, of which I am one. Those that come from other Collier lines are welcome and urged to provide their materials, also.
Isaac Cuthbert Collier, Confederate soldier, successful planter and merchant of Piedmont, Georgia died in 1908. After his death, his son, Jena Cuthbert (J. C.) Collier began trying to find out more of his family’s history. His inquiries led him to locate and mark the grave of Vines Collier, his great, great-grandfather. He enlisted the services of professional genealogists to trace his ancestry to Europe and to research and document the service of Vines Collier in the French & Indian War, as well as his contributions to the American Revolution. Not content to depend strictly on genealogists, he sent out hundreds of letters to anyone he thought might be related. A man of organization, he sent his letters with a discussion of his own background and attached an ancestry form to be filled out by the possible relative. I believe he often included a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of the form. When on business trips, he contacted Colliers he found in telephone directories or those he heard about through word of mouth. Jena was eventually assisted in his pursuit of family history by his son, Durward Cuthbert (D. C.) Collier. Durward’s investigation led him to visit Collier historical sites in England.
With the recent death of J. C.’s granddaughter, the Collier Heritage Foundation came into possession of the extensive genealogy papers of Jena and Durward. It is a treasure trove of information. The wealth of the family allowed them to use stenographers, not only to type and send out dictated letters, but also to transcribe and type the handwritten returns. The typing was done on onion-skin paper using carbon paper to make several copies. Letters of inquiry went out throughout the Deep South and to more distant states, such as Texas, Arkansas, and California. If any of the correspondence was thrown away, it is not obvious.
Return letters came from all over. Some of the them provided no genealogical link, but some were more fruitful. J. C. connected up with previously unknown relatives in Texas. He visited them in Texas at least once and opened up a line of written correspondence that extended until his death in 1944.
Early in the quest for his roots, J. C. wrote that he hoped to publish a book on Collier history “this fall”, then “next year”, and then “soon”. Finally he realized, and put into writing, that the task was so overwhelming he would never get it finished. It is probably no less overwhelming today….Glen A. Collier
Howdy and welcome to the CHF Website. The website is just in its infancy but I believe it can quickly become a focal point for learning and sharing our Collier family history. CHF was intially established by the descendants of Vines Collier to preserve various Collier burial sites and locations of family interest. The organization successfully brought many family members together to celebrate and preseve our heritage, and new relationships were formed. Through these new relationships, a wealth of Collier genealogical and historical information became available.
I hope to disseminate this information freely using this website. One will be able to download photos and documents and provide comments and input for discussion. I also hope to solicit help in transcribing some of the hundreds, if not thousands, of documents and also garner support for this effort.
That’s enough of the introduction. Now enjoy some of the lures I’m posting with a promise for more later.