The Mays Family and the Presbyterian Churches of Georgia


John Mays was born March 1, 1766 and died October 24, 1827. The following exerpt is from Historical Sketches: Presbyterian Churches and Early Settlers in Northeast Georgia by Reverend Groves H. Cartledge:


"In a few years after the organization of the church, Elder John Mayes, brother of Elder Thomas Mayes, moved to Hebron (Banks County) from Fair Forest, South Carolina. John Mayes was the chorister of the church as long as he lived. His son, Robert Mayes, an elder in the Dahlonega Church, died recently. Another son, Harvey Mays, is in now an elder in Midway Church, Cobb County, Georgia. Another son, Edward Mayes, also an elder, died some years ago in Cobb County. Another son, William Mayes of Cobb County, was (I believe) also another elder. Still another son, Allen Newton Mayes, a noble man and devoted Christian, died August, 1853. He was an elder in the Homer Church. Two months ago I ordained to the eldership at Hebron T. A. Mayes, youngest son of Allen Newton Mays, and grandson of Elder John Mayes. Thus the mantles of the dead and glorified fathers are worn by the sons and grandsons...."


Reverend Cartledge also describes an 1802 camp meeting at Fair Forest congregation in Greenville, South Carolina:


"It was attended by many persons from Hebron and New Hope churches in Georgia, although they had to travel in wagons a distance of 75 miles. During the religious services at this camp meeting, frequently half of the congregation would be prostrated upon the ground as if fallen into a swoon. John Mays, an elder and chorister of Hebron Church, was installed chorister of the meeting soon after his arrival upon the grounds. He was an admirable singer and never tired on the exercise. And it was soon observed that the bodily exercises were more general under his singing than under the preaching of the Word."


"John Mayes was a man of marked character and devoted piety. He lived in the public road and often lodged travelers. Returning home from his still house at a late hour one night, he saw two travellers playing cards by his fire. He deliberately stepped near, took up their cards and tossed them into the fire; and then turning towards them said, 'I'll have you to know that this is my house and that no man is allowed to gamble in it."


Apparently running a distillery was acceptable and gambling was not.


John Mays (Mayes) and his wife, Margaret Crawford (abt. 1770-abt. 1856 had the following children;

Thomas, William, Jane (married William Turk), Isabella, Edward, Robert, Newton, Harvey, Malinda and Synthia. There may have been another child, John, who may have been deceased at the time of his father's death and is not mentioned in the will.



All rights reserved 2004 by Jacqueline King