Appalachia Genealogy

Charlie Suvannas and Gazzie Truett Jenkins


Charlie and Gazzie

Charlie Suvannas Jenkins b. March 4, 1901, in Cherokee County, NC to Cash Suvannas Jenkins and Missoura Hawkins Jenkins. A daughter Florance was born to them in 1904. In 1906, Charlie’s mother died leaving him without a mother at six years of age. He and his sister went to live with his mother’s brother, Bud Hawkins and his wife, Cora. Charlie’s father, at that time was working in Copperhill, TN in the copper mines. He could not take his small children with him. Charlie and Florance had to live with their uncle and aunt for several years until his father, Cash, remarried. Cash married Amanda Dove Teague. They reared Charlie and Florance on a farm in the Mt. Pleasant area of Cherokee County. To Cash and Dove were born one daughter Jessie and twin sons, John and James, who died at birth. When Jessie was about ten years old, her mother died. Dove was Charlie’s beloved stepmother and it hurt him deeply. Later Cash married Kate Ware, she was a niece of his first wife, Missoura. Born to Cash and Kate was a daughter, Eva.

Charlie served time in the Navy. When he returned home, he met and married Gazzie Jane Truett on May 30, 1921. She was the oldest child and daughter of Rev. William Thomas Truett and Amanda Telitha Hyde Truett of the Peachtree Community in Cherokee County, NC. In their early married life, Charlie and Gazzie had it tough at times. He worked for the L and N Railroad in Swannanoa, NC, as well as in Culberson, NC. They moved from town to town in Western North Carolina when one job gave out, he went to find another. Charlie did all kinds of work to support his wife and children. He and Gazzie cooked for loggers in the Snowbird Mountains near Robbinsville, NC. Gazzie had to quit because she was expecting a baby so they moved on. From job to job he went during the Depression of ’29. By that time, they had had five children, only three lived. They finally settled in Culberson, NC. Charlie and Gazzie had a total of eleven Children.

Willie Mae Jenkins b. 1922, died at birth

Helen Fay Jenkins Rogers, b. 1923, d. 1989

Thomas Cash Jenkins b. 1925, died at birth (lived 2 days)

Amanda Geraldine (Jean) Jenkins Clonts b. 1926, d. 2011

Dorothy Louise Jenkins Allsbrooks b. 1929, d. 2011

Charles Jenkins, Jr. b. 1931, d. 1988

George Lloyd Jenkins b. 1934, d. 1992

Geneaive Nell Jenkins b. 1937, d. 2009

Evelyn Louzine Jenkins Wilson (Granny) b. 1940

James Woodrow Jenkins b. 1942

William Henry (Lucky) Jenkins b. 1946

Charlie Suvannas Jenkins died on February 24, 1970 and his wife Gazzie died on April 27, 1996.

—Excerpt from “The Heritage of Cherokee County, NC, Volume II”


Charlie died the year Granny had me, so I don’t remember anything about him. From the stories Granny and Pap told about him, I know Charlie must have been a fine man.

I have lots of fond memories of Gazzie who died the year I had the girls. I remember her as always being happy and jovial. I also remember she didn’t put up with nothing she didn’t like either. Gazzie made the best fried sweet potatoes I’ve ever tasted and her biscuits were just perfect. She kept left over biscuits in the top warmer of her wood cook stove. I’d always head straight to her tiny kitchen to see if there were any biscuits left so I could nimble on one before Sunday dinner was served.


*Source: “The Heritage of Cherokee County, NC, Volume II, ‘ Information compiled by: Amanda Geraldine “Jean” Jenkins Clonts.


Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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  • Reply
    March 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    So interesting to read ,I too have gone on to look into our lines. I found it so interesting I looked a lot farther than I had first planned on. ….. It’s so neat learning where they came to America from and when… where they landed, and where they traveled onward from there to ,all the way down to where you came on the scene …….plus the history so many others shared in pictures and stories. We have Wilson and Hydes too.My Husband’s maternal Grandmother was a Wilson, who married a Hyde …

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I know you must appreciate rhat your Aunt compiled and recorded the information.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing some family history, which I find fascinating. I spend a lot of time raking and digging into genealogy. much of it in nearby areas to yours. Very addicting!

  • Reply
    Brian P.T. Blake
    February 28, 2019 at 9:32 am

    “The House of Names” reports that Pressley is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon families in Britain. “The name derives from the Old English elements preost, which means priest, and leah, which means forest clearing.” Samson de Presteleia is listed in the Pipe Rolls [tax registries] of Bedfordshire in 1198. John Pressley landed in South Carolina in 1772 and Samuel Pressley landed also in South Carolina in 1830.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Family histories that have been recorded are priceless jewels for the children. I know your daughters will really appreciate having all that when they are older. We knew one side of the family was here already when Europeans arrived and I was blessed to know who my great-grandparents were and where they were born in East TN and NW AL. On the Kennedy side, Dr. Joseph Kennedy was born in 1730 in N.C. I knew they came to MS from N.C., but in further genealogy tracing I found that they came in through N.Y., and migrated on down South to N.C. My Pipes line came in from New Jersey in 1740. One of those sons fought under George Washington. After having a large family, the mother died and the father and his sons migrated on down South. The father died in S.C., and the sons moved on down to KY, and ended up in AL. I never thought about my ancestors being here so early in America’s history and when I found all this information and realized the hardships they must have come through it just made me appreciate them all the more.

  • Reply
    Brian P.T. Blake
    February 28, 2019 at 9:10 am

    How wonderful to have this colorful family history, Tipper, now more than a hundred years old. These stories will fascinate each new generation to come. We suspect that you have more to tell, about when and where your people came to America and from where. “Pressley” sounds English. Many early Southerners were “Cavaliers”, Anglican Royalists who came to Virginia during and after the English Civil War of the 1640s through the Glorious Restoration of King Charles II in 1661, but perhaps your ancestors disembarked in Wilmington later and pioneered west to Brasstown after the Cherokee Wars. Could there be a Castle Pressley somewhere in southern England?

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 28, 2019 at 8:55 am

    I love reading about the lives of our friends who once lived in our Beautiful Appalachian Mountains. It is a wonderful thing that we have you, Tipper to share such Beautiful Stories. Thanks! …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 28, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Family history is American history and to my mind knowing family history gives us deep roots of who we are and where we came from. And as far as being related goes, it used to be, in rural areas anyway, that when family lines resided in an area several generations some degree of inter-relationship was very likely, if not inevitable. That probability is increased where there is any subdivisions of population that do not intermarry; for example the Southern planter class or the Northern captains of industry. But people being who they are, no generality is going to hold everywhere and all the time.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 5:44 am

    It’s good to record Family History, because somewhere down the line it’ll be important, and an interesting read for kinfolks. My Wife has been doing this genealogy thing, on her family and my family, and you wouldn’t believe how close she has come to us being kin, I told her she was gonna have to stop or she’ll find out she’s her on cousin or something like it, and even our adopted Daughters family comes in on my Wife’s family down the line, just weird, but fun to follow family groups that traveled together when they got off the boat to a land of Freedom to make a life for themselves, like my family was involved with the Cherokee people and even a valley named after a Cherokee Chief in Georgia with our last name. Wow, and I didn’t know it.

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