John Motes

Motes History Of Putnam County
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Research for the Motes family is complicated, interesting, frustrating, facinating, and consuming.
Very little about our heritage and background has been found.
We know that we have been in America since the latter part of the 1700's so we can say we are pioneers.
Our Forefathers were hard working, honest, "Red Necks", who tended to their own affairs and
helped those who needed help. Few went to school and few could read and write; Therefore not much written history was handed down from one generation to another.

Margaret and John Motes Sr. moved to Nassau County from Camden County, Georgia prior to the 1830 census.
They had five sons William, George, Henry, Lewis, and John Jr.
John Sr. had a brother named Zachariah.
Miller Motes said that an uncle and two of his nephews were the first to settle in Putnam County,
and that they came from Nassau County, Florida
The 1850 Putnam County Census lists Zachariah and Henry Motes here at that time. John Motes, JR. was born in Florida about 1830 and married Rachel Wilkinson on November 4, 1848 in Duval County. They had 10 children. Their oldest son, George, was born in February 1852 and married Cynthia Chesser (daughter of Nancy Poppel and Leroy Chesser) on February 19, 1875. They lived in a log cabin which stood for many years behind Aunt Sudie's home. Cynthia died in childbirth with her 10th child on October 4, 1890 at the age of 38. Aunt Sudie, the oldest, was 14 years old. Aunt Florence, the youngest, was 2 years old when their mother died. George had a very difficult time as his mother, Rachel, died December 12, 1893; his father, John, died six moths later on June 18, 1894; The next year on August 21, 1895, his son, George, Jr., died at the age of 11 years. all were buried in the Hollister Cemetery. George, Sr. and his brother, John L., were the administrators of their fathers estate. Some of the court records are included in a booklet on the display table. George had cancer and died in 1904 leaving teen-age children without any parents. Daisy Osteen Cooke provided the copy of the eulogy that is attached. Bits and pieces of the Motes' family..... Zachary (Zachariah) Motes was named to the road commission six months  after the first meeting of the Putnam County board of commissioners. He serverd on that board until April 1851. Zachariah and his brother, John, Sr. and his sons Henry, William, Lewis and George all served at some time during the Seminole Indian War. In the book, Bonnie Melrose, Z. Tolles states that John Motes, Henry Motes and his son , John (not our John), each owned a vehicle in the year 1868. The wagon that was in John Motes, jr. and George Motes were listed as orange growers in early periodicals written about Putnam County. We know John Motes, Sr.'s estate was meager of material wealth, but truly a great heritage has been handed down to the present day. We can be especially proud and thankful that we are a pioneer family of our County and State.

A special Thanks to Reba Eures for typing this up for me.