Vital Records
Birth, Death, Marriages


Joseph Berry & Whitfield Wade


Joseph Berry Wade's life story before becoming a gold miner in Georgia comes mostly from census records. Born in Pendleton District, S.C., his mother appears with almost complete certainty to be Telitha Wade. Telitha was born 11 September 1790 and her maiden name was Wade as well. Her parents were David Bingley Wade (1747 – 1805) and Sarah Anglin (1759 – 1842). It appears she may have married a James Wade (1786-1840), a neighbor, around 1808. The 1820 Federal Census in Pendleton District South Carolina shows 3 boys under 10 (Jacob Wade born 1811, age 9), (Joseph Berry Wade born 1815, age 5), (Phillip, born 1820, age 1). Telethia, born 1790, age 30, is listed under 1 female 26-45. James is presumed to be working elsewhere at the time. At the time of the 1830 Federal Census in Pickens County, Pendleton District, son Jacob is shown head of the household as the census always listed the oldest male as head. It shows one female age 70-80, which was Telitha's mother, Sarah Anglin Wade born 18 February 1759, age 71. Her husband David Bingley had died in 1805 but she lived to 18 July 1842 continuing to live with Telitha until her death. Others in the household from 1830 were one female 30-40 (Telitha, age 40), and five males under twenty, Jacob age 19, Philip James age 16, Joseph Berry Wade age 15, David Alexander age 6 and John Lawrence M. Wade age 1. Again James is not shown in the household.

The first gold rush in the United States stated in 1838 in Lumpkin County, Georgia and the Wade family moved there a short time later with Joseph Berry Wade marrying Sarah Medely Odell in Lumpkin County on 6 March 1839, a year later according to Lumpkin County marriage records.

The 1840 census shows the entire family re-united in Lumpkin County and the men as gold miners. Those shown are 2 Males 10-15, John L.M. and another unknown, 1 Male 15-20, David A., 3 Males 20-30, Joseph, Jacob and Philip and 1 Male 50-60 James, with 1 Female 50-60 Telitha and other wives or children of the boys. On 31 March 1846 Lumpkin land records show Joseph Berry Wade, John L. M. Wade, and David A. Wade buying land bounded by land on which "Telitha Wade now lives." The family lived here for another 24 years with Joseph buying out David and John's interest in the land.

Joseph is shown in an 1846 county record as a Trustee of the Auraria Episcopal Church, a mile south of their home and where Telitha Wade and other family members are buried.

Joseph was joined by his young son Whitfield in the 1st Georgia Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War and "Home Guard of Lumpkin County. Joseph's son William died in battle in defense of Atlanta during Sherman's Siege. By 1864 Joseph was exempted from further military service due to deafness according to 1864 Census Records of the Military Reorganization of the 821st Militia District.  After the war Joseph sold his land in 1866 and 1869 and moved to Texas and a new life.

This letter was written by Susan Wade Gray in 1939 to the Semi-Weekly Farm News newspaper Date: 1939 Actual text: "I lived in Nuckelsville, Georgia and I came to Texas when a child two years after the Civil War. My father's name was Joe Berry Wade and my mother's maiden name was Medely Odell. My husband was Robert Gray. He has been dead ten years. I will be 85 Oct. 9. I am the only child left of the old family. My brothers were William, killed in the Civil War, Whit, John, and Laurence, sisters were Emily, Delly, and myself, Sue. I don't have any children of my own but I raised an orphan boy. His name was Clarence Hobbs. I would like to hear from him as I have lost trace of him. Mrs. Susan Gray, Route 4, Gilmer, Texas"


Whitfield A. Wade told his son, Harvey, that they traveled to Texas by ox-drawn wagon traveling down to Mobile, Alabama and onto a flat-bottomed boat on which they traveled to New Orleans. From New Orleans they traveled by steam-driven Riverboat up the Mississippi River and to a connections to the Red River and through Caddo Lake and on to Jefferson, Marion County, Texas which was then a large riverfront and the largest city in Texas. Aunt Sue Wade Gray, sister of Whitfield, also told the daughter of Cullis Wade, Lena Ruth Green, that on the riverboat the captain of the vessel became very drunk one day and crashed the boat into a sand bar. A fire started on the boat and Joseph Wade was freighted for his family and gathered them all around one large cotton bale with intentions to have them float on and holding to this bale of cotton should the boat sink. Aunt Sue Wade Gray also said that Little Joe Bell (Joseph Bell Jr.) was with them on the boat. He was a son of Sue's sister's husband Joseph Henry Bell Sr., by a prior wife.

Stepping ashore in Jefferson Joseph Berry Wade looked down to find a $20 gold piece and unable to find an owner looked on this as a good omen for their new home of Texas. The family lived a short time in Upshur before Joseph died there in 1877. After his death the family all moved to Kaufman County where some other family members lived. Joseph's widow Sarah remained there for some time and later lived with daughter Sue Gray in Van Zandt, Texas until her death 18 May 1908 in Edgewood where she is buried. Joseph and most of the other family member are buried at Grice Cemetery in Upshur County.

Whitfield returned to Upshur County and bought land and built up a sizeable farm with a large orchard, and worked in his own small blacksmith shop behind the family home. His home was located about 1/2 mile northeast of Rosewood. Later Dr. Arnold Hinson built his home on the old homestead's lot. Whitfield first married Mirah Elizabeth Knight on 15 October 1874 in Upshur County. On her 30th birthday 10 October 1885 she rode into Rosewood on horseback to get the family mail and on the way home the horse was spooked, she was thrown and killed leaving small children. Thirteen months later on 14 November 1885, Whitfield married Mirah's sister, Area Addie E. Knight Gear, whose husband, Leonard Gear, had died two years prior. Whitfield died 23 January 1928 in Rosewood followed by Addie seven months later.


Company D 1st Regiment,Georgia State Troops 
Lumpkin County, Georgia. "Blue Ridge Rangers". My gg-grandfather was Joseph Berry Wade (1815-1877) member of the 821 Georgia Militia from Auraria and father of William Asbery Wade born 19 JUN 1842 in Auraria, Lumpkin Co., Ga., died, Sep 1864 in Siege of Atlanta, Ga., Battle of Jonesboro, and buried in Jonesboro Confederate Cemetery, Jonesboro, Ga. William was a member as shown in your list of members of Co. D, 1st Reg. Would someone be so kind to add this additional information about him. His father, Joseph Berry Wade, was born 17 JUL 1815 in Pendleton District, SC and died 17 JUL 1877 in Rosewood, Upshur Co., Tx. and buried in Grice Cemetery, Upshur Co., Tx. William's mother was Sarah Medely Odell Wade born 30 NOV 1822 in Pickens, Pickens Co., SC and died 18 MAY 1908 in Edgewood, Van Zandt Co., Tx. & buried Oak Hill Cemetery. William's brother was Whitfield Anthony Wade who served in the Lumpkin County Home Guard with his father Joseph after his father had to leave service due to deafness caused during the war. Whitfield was born 23 NOV 1847 in Auraria, Lumpkin, Georgia, & died 23 JAN 1928 in Rosewood, Upshur, Texas, and also buried in Grice Cemetery. I have photos of Whitfield & Joseph if someone would like to add to your website. The Wades moved to Auraria with Joseph's mother Telitha around 1838 and were all Gold Miners and the family remained until 1869 moving by ox-drawn wagon to Texas.

Ronald Ellis Wade