Famous cousins


I’ll bet you didn’t know that “Doc” Holliday and Margaret Mitchell were cousins. I’ll grant you I am stretching it a bit, but stay with me here.

Miss Mitchell’s ancestry, great grandfather Philip Fitzgerald, came to Fayette County from Ireland in 1835 and is probably the prototype for Gerald O’Hara. Philip and wife, Eleanor, lived about four miles southeast of Fayetteville on what is now McDonough Road. They had seven daughters. (to digress here, one of those girls went to school at the Fayetteville Academy, and boarded here during the week, probably at the Bennett house).

The Hollidays seem to have come to Fayette County about the same time. Two of them were written about last week, Dr. John Stiles Holliday and his brother, Maj. Henry Burroughs Holliday, had served in the United States Mexican-American War. Maj. Holliday brought back from the war a Mexican orphan I will write about next week.
Henry Burroughs married a girl from Butts County and they settled in Griffin. Unfortunately she had tuberculosis and their first child died at six months. Their next child was John Henry, who was 15 when his Mom died of her disease and as we now know, several years later he realized he had it too.

Encouraged by his family, “Doc” entered dental school in Pennsylvania along with his cousin, Robert.

They started a practice in Atlanta, but John Henry headed west in September, 1873 for his health.
One of his uncles, Robert Kennedy Holliday, had stayed in Fayette County and married Mary Anne Fitzgerald whose father was James Fitzgerald.

Stay with me here – Mary Anne’s cousin, Anne Elizabeth Fitzgerald, was the daughter of Philip Fitzgerald, brother of James. Got that?

Anne Elizabeth married John Stephens, Margaret Mitchell’s grandfather.

And that’s how Margaret Mitchell became a kissin’ cousin, several times removed, to ”Doc” Holliday.