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Friday, August 12, 2016

Origins of Settlers to Effingham Co. GA #genealogy #history #georgiapioneers

Jeannette Holland Austin
Origins of Some of the Early Settlers to Effingham County
By Jeannette Holland Austin

Thomas Wylly was born in Tortola in 1762, an island located in the British Virgin Islands. This is the small island which was noticed by Christopher Columbus when he was in the Virgin Islands in behalf of Spain. The Spanish made several attempts to settle the islands, but pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were actually the first permanent residents. During the 16th century when the Dutch lost control of the area, the British established a permanent plantation colony on Tortola and the surrounding islands. Settlers then developed large plantations for the sugar cane industry.

Tortola Island
Tortola Island in the Virgin Islands

His parents died and he was transported to the Georgia colony while still a young boy by his uncle. This explains his rank promotions during the Revolutionary War. He joined the 4th Georgia Battalion and was appointed Second Lieutenant. Later was made Deputy Quarter Master under his uncle Richard Wylly who raised him. He fought in the Battles of Medway as Church and Briar Creek and was on the outskirts when the British seiged Savannah. He saw General Screven of the Georgia Militia killed and Captain Strouder as well. He acted as a spy for General Moultrie. Ironically, after the Revolutionary War, Tortola was a destination for Loyalists who escaped from being hanged. Passenger Lists of other emigrants to Ebenezer are available to members of Georgia Pioneers

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