Catherine Amelia “Kitty” CHESNUT

Submitted by Descendants:  The ALLAY, BYERS, EARNSHAW, & SUMARA Families

Catherine Amelia “Kitty” Chesnut was born 31 Aug 1831 in Sampson County, North Carolina, youngest child of Bailey Chesnut and Ann Turlington.  The family moved to Thomas County, Georgia, where Bailey died before 1 July 1839.

In August 1843 the Court of Jefferson County, Florida Territory named John Anderson, husband of sister Elizabeth, as guardian of Catherine and William James, the minor children of Bailey Chesnut.

On 24 November 1850, Catherine married Asa Holt Shepherd.  About 1854 they moved to Jefferson County, Georgia near Louisville.  The 1860 US Census lists Asa’s occupation as overseer, owning no real estate.  They have five children: James, Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Asa, Jr.  Ann Chesnut lives with them.

The family stayed in Georgia, while Asa served in the 62th GA. Calvary (CSA) until he was killed near Petersburg, VA.  In late November 1864, Catherine and family stood in the path of Sherman’s army.  This was told me by Mother, as heard from her grandfather and by my second cousin from his father Vernon, a grandson of James; soldiers destroyed their belongings and food.  The family salvaged what they could and made their way back to Jefferson County, Florida.  The 1870 Census list them next to Catherine’s brother.

Descendants of the Shepherd family continue to live in Jefferson County and other parts of Florida.

Catherine Amelia “Kitty” Chesnut was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011