Many people had settled Northern Georgia and good farming land had become more scarce. So wagon trains of Georgians moved on west. George Rufus Cox, who was born in 1811 in North Carolina and migrated to Georgia, married Malinda Findley, thought to be living in Lumpkin County, Georgia. George and Malinda, along with perhaps the Shedds, Royals, Riders and Jefferys, according one researcher, left Georgia in 1848 and moved to Arkansas. Their descendants married into more than one Big Fork family.
Another family from Lumpkin County, Georgia that settled on the Caddo River east of Big Fork were the Heads. George R. and Malinda Cox's son, Moses C. Cox married Harriet M. Jeffrey. Their daughter, Martha Etta Cox married Charlie Jackson Head. A son of Moses and Harriet Cox, James LaFayette "Fatie" Cox, married Nancy Jane Bates, daughter of John Calvin Bates of Big Fork. Cynthia Malinda Cox, daughter of George and Malinda, married Jackson Dilbeck; Lucy Minerva Cox, also daughter of George and Malinda, married James Beck.
Some of the Shedd (or Shed) family later married into families of Big Fork. Riley and Malinda Smith's son, Berryman Smith married Ellie Malinda Jane Shedd (aka Alsie), daughter of Martha Ann Cox and John R. Shed, in 1875. Elijah Benson Goss married Martha Ann Cox Shedd after his first wife died. She is said to be the daughter of George Rufus Cox who lived on the head of the Caddo River. A Mr. Shedd owned land in Big Fork where a school was built and it was called "the Shed School".
About the Rider family from Georgia , a family researcher on Ancestry. com says that Dicey Rider, who married Thomas Jefferson Bates, was a sister to John Rider who lived in Montgomery County. John Rider, born 1820 in South Carolina, married Mary "Polly" Beck, born 1815 in South Carolina. I have tried to find a reason why the Bates family picked Big Fork to settle. Did John and Polly Rider move from Georgia to Arkansas in 1848 too? Did the Bates family follow them later in 1852? Inquiring minds would like to know.
The name "Royal" is of interest to me because the Bates' grandfather, William Bates, of Virginia and South Carolina, married a widow named Mary Royal Barton. She was the daughter of John and Susannah Royall. John Royall's ancestry goes back to Joseph Royall, Sr. who came to Virginia in 1622 from England. Joseph married Katherine Banks and they had a son, Joseph Royall, Jr. in 1646. Joseph and Katherine had a large plantation. After Joseph Royall, Sr. died near Charles City, Virginia in 1654, Katherine married Henry Isham, Sr. who also owned a large plantation. Henry and Katherine had two daughters. One of these daughters was Mary Isham who married William Randolph. They became the ancestors of so many people that they were referred to as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia".
Joseph Royall,Jr. had a son, William Royall, who became the father of John Royall, the father of Mary Royall. Mary first married a man named Barton. Later, widowed, she married William Bates. Around 1800, they moved from Halifax County, Virginia to Pendleton District, South Carolina. Their son, Stephen Bates, was the progenitor of the Bates family that eventually migrated to Big Fork. There is a community named "Royal" on Highway 270 in Garland County, near Hot Springs. Was it named after the Royal family of Georgia?
Stephen Bates married Sarah Cox. It has been very difficult to learn anything about Sarah's Cox family. Were they related to the Cox family that moved from Lumpkin County, Georgia to Montgomery County, Arkansas? Some say George Rufus Cox was Sarah's brother but others do not think so. A family researcher on Ancestry. com says Sarah's father was Edward Cox. There was an Edward Cox in the 1790 Pendleton District, SC Census and he had seven girls and three boys. Sarah would have been five years old in 1790. There was more than one Edward Cox listed in the 1790 and 1800 Pickens County, SC Census ; Pickens County was part of the old Pendleton District.