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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Driggers settle in Wiregrass region
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    The Driggers family was of the first families to settle in the Wiregrass region of southeast Georgia. They have a very long and somewhat unusual history, as far as how their name came to be what it is today. This is what I’ve found: the first traceable ancestor was Emmanuel Rodriguez (also listed in colonial documents as Manuell Rodrigues).
    Born about 1620, in 1645 in Virginia, Emmanuel (or Manuel) was described as a dark complected male, of Portuguese heritage. He worked first for a Mr. Frances Potts in Magotha Bay, Northampton County, Virginia, and then for a Mr. Stephen Charlton. He was several times hauled into court for his failure to abide by the prevailing laws of the day.
    He married a woman named Francis, and then later married another woman named Elizabeth. He and his wives had at least nine children (recorded as either Driggrs, Drighouse, or Drigghouse), including Elizabeth (1637), Francis (1640), Jane (1644), Thomas (1644), Ann (1648), Edward (1650), William (1655), Mary (1658), and Devorick (also spelled Deverick, Devorax or Derrick) (1656). Thomas, Emmanuel’s son, married a woman named Sarah King, the daughter of Toney King. Thomas and Sarah had a number of children.
    These Driggers children (some also recorded now as Drigus or Driggus) include Sarah, Thomas (the 2nd), Frances (the 2nd), Elizabeth (the 2nd), John (the 1st), William (the 2nd), and Johnson, born in 1737. Johnson in turn married to a woman whose name (apparently) hasn’t survived. They had the following children: Johnson Jr., Mark, Matthew, Caleb, Winslow, William (the 3rd) (born about 1737), and Thomas (the 2nd). William (the 3rd) married a woman (whose name is also apparently unknown) and had several children, including Jonas Sr.William (the 3rd) and his wife moved with Jonas to the Cheraw District of South Carolina from Virginia. Eventually, William (the 3rd) and his family moved again, this time settling in the area of Downing Creek in Cumberland County, North Carolina in 1759. His son     Jonas served in the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. As such, he received a bounty grant of some land in Georgia. On the other end of the spectrum, his son Winslow as apparently hanged on the banks of the creek for his participation in “criminal activities”.
    Both William and son Jonas (sometimes referred to as Julius) served under “the Swamp Fox” General Francis Marion. After the was, Jonas married Elenor (also referred to as Ellen), had several children, including: William H. (1776); Jonas Jr. (1777); Dennis (unknown); John (the 2nd) (1781); Simeon (1785); and Catherine (1792). In 1788, Jonas moved to Effingham County, where he settled on his new land and awaited the rest of his family, many of who had stayed behind in South Carolina
    Jonas is considered the true progenitor of most of Bulloch County’s Driggers, for in 1796 his land was made into part of new Bulloch County. Jonas’s son William H. married widow Amelia “Millie” Parker Lastinger and had (at least) thirteen children. These included Sarah (the 2nd), Rebecca, Elender, Jacob, Jonas N., William H., Emily, Matthew, Catherine, Elizabeth A., Penina L., and Diana.
    They weren’t done moving (or being moved) because when Emanuel County was formed in 1812 with part of Bulloch County’s territory, their land fell within its new borders. Then, in 1827, many in the Driggers family moved again, this time to Lowndes County, where they settled on the East Side of the Alapaha River near present-day Stockton, Georgia. The family spread out from there, eventually settling throughout all of southeast Georgia.
You can E-mail comments to Roger at roger
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