Notes for George Silver, Sr.

!From the web site of Harold Robinson; RR 4 Box 566 Clear Creek Road; Marion NC 28752 :

George SILVER SR was born about 1720 in Germany. Immigrated to America from Germany via Scotland in 1749 or 1751 aboard the ship "Speedwell" and lived in Maryland. Met his future bride aboard the ship. Some documents (George's will) say her name was Syssy Market, others say an Ellis (probably the same person) whom he met on the ship. They lived in Maryland until Georges death about 1785. He died before 7 Dec 1785 in Frederick County MD. George Silver Sr's will lists his principle heir; his wife Sissy Market (Ellis) Silver. His son George Silver Jr is the executor and inherits all after the death of the principal heir with the exception of 30 pounds that will go to his sister Elizabeth Silver. His will was made on 21 Oct 1785. He saw service in the Revolutionary War.

Genealogy and History.

Most notations in the following in parentheses are derived from copies of legal documents or from other histories.

The Silver families of this region (Yancey, Mitchell and McDowell counties of N.C.) are descended from George Silver, Sr., who came to this country from Germany sometime during the 1750's (circa 1749 to 1751 on the boat "Speedwell" by way of Scotland). Nothing is known of his early life except that he was an oldish young man when he came, that his father gave him part of the family estate in jewelry, and that on board the ship coming over he met and fell in love with a fellow immigrant, an Englishwoman by the name of Ellis. They were married on landing and settled in Pennsylvania (other histories say they settled in Maryland), where they put their jewelry in a bank for safekeeping and there was born to them in 1760 a son, their only child (other histories name a daughter Elizabeth), whom they named George, Jr.

When the Revolution came the older George enlisted on the side of freedom and fought in Washington's army. He returned four years later (about 1779), old and broken in health, and his son, the younger George, a youth of eighteen, went back in his place and fought until the close of the war hree years later (1783), serving as a member of Washington's bodyguard. For this service their descendants have always been thankful to both of them.

The war over, George did not go home (other histories say George Jr married Nancy Ann Griffin about this time and they had two girls, and a son whom they named Jacob and that George Jr was executor of his father's estate as noted in George Sr's will and George Jr filed the will in 1785 in Frederick County Maryland); his parents having died, both being old, he came south from the place of his discharge. It is not known whether the family owned any property or not (see George SR's will), and if they did what became of it. On going to the war George was given the key to the chest in which the jewelry was deposited, and this key he brought south with him, but he never did return to retrieve his treasure. Years later some of his grandsons tried to locate it but failed, and since then nothing more has ever been done about it. However, certain members of the family still feel that if they could only find the chest to which they have the key - at last accounts with Edmond's heirs - they would all suddenly become fabulously rich.

The curtain lifts next on George near Morganton, in Burke Co., North Carolina. It is not known how long he was getting there, nor whether he had married on the way or after he arrived; all that is known is, that his (next) wife was a Griffeth (marriage license obtained in Frederick County Maryland) and that he tarried in Burke until some of his older boys grew up and married. Then his wife died and he moved again.

Crossing the mountains he came with his family into the upper regions of the Toe (Estatowah or Estatoe) River and started down the valley. At the fork of the North and South Toe he stopped, and in a sheltered cove on the east side of the river, built a house and began clearing fields. The community he founded was at first called by his name; then it was merged with its newer and larger neighbor Sinkhole or, lately, Bandana; but now it has separate identity again and is called Kona, which has no historical association.

The date of George's arrival was not preserved, but it may be put at 1808 or earlier (other histories say he arrived on Christmas eve 1806). He did not enter (or register) his land until after neighbors began coming in, and that was several years later. His state grant (to Revolutionary War veterans) bears the date 1818. By then he was so old that he did not enter it in his name but in that of his son Jacob, taking up 200 acres.

The family thus became permanentlyu established for the frirst time. Since then they have grown into a great family with their name and traditions planted in many and far places, yet they all trace back to this beginning in their oldest existing ancestral home. The house built by George and his boys still shelters members of the family as it did in old days. Passing down from father to son, it has never been sold, mortgaged, or advertised for taxes, and it has never been altered except to add a lean-to for a kitchen. A two story structure, it is the oldest house in these parts and is still good for many years.

After choosing Jacob as his successor George, still a widower, died with typhoid at a ripe old age and his sons buried him on top of the hill above his house in a cemetery already started, and inscribed his stone with his military honors. This cemetery became the family ancestral burial ground, and near George lie his two deceased successors.

Jacob was a preacher and a veteran of the Mexican War. Married twice, the name of his first wife, by whom he had the ill-fated Charles, has been forgotten (Elizabeth Wilson), but his second wife was Nancy Reede. They had twelve children and suffered two great troubles. In 1829 (22 Dec 1831) Charles, lately married and settled nearby, was murdered by his wife, Frankie Stewart, dismembered and burned, and a few years later typhoid fever struck and carried off three of their members in one summer, the aged George being one of them. Nevertheless, they prospered and produced, perhaps, the greatest family of the name. From them come hree of the community's great legendary figures: First Charles, immortalized by his murder; second, Billy, who, alone and unaided in a cabin he built on the river bank, got himself an education and became a great teacher; and third, John, who died for his brother Marvel. This is one of the great stories of all time. The two, young unmarried men together, loved one another with a great love; but John was a Christian while Marvel was still unconverted. Now Marvel, recovering from the typhoid, took pleurisy, and on a day not long after, a messenger hurried into the field and told John that his brother lay dying and to make haste and come quickly. He came, but on the way he fell on his knees every few steps and prayed that his brother might recover to become a Christian and that he be allowed to die in his place. Reaching home, his face shone with a strange light and John said his prayer had been answered. It had. Coming out of his coma Marvel began to recover immediately; but in the same degree that he got better John got sick, as if the illness were coming out of the one and going into the other. On the morning of the third day Marvel arose a well man, but John lay at the point of death. He died magnificently that day after bidding the wonder-stricken family and the sun and
moon and hills farewell for a season, and two years later his brother also died - a Christian. Both were buried in the ancestral burial ground.

Jacob chose David as his successor and at 96 died and was buried near George. David, like his brother Billy, was a teacher and a veteran of the Civil War. His first wife was Elizabeth Baker, by whom he had Lish, Nancy Ann, Mary, and Bob; his second wife was Sally Ledford, by whom he had six children, Rachel, the youngest dying in girlhood and Lizzie never marrying; His third wife was Mrs Rosana Gouge, by whom he had no children. At the end of the years he chose his youngest son Will as his successsor and was gathered to his fathers. Will, a carpenter, has not chosen his successor yet, but it is expected that he will choose Homer.

May their line never die!

- From the recollections of David's daughter, Maggie, as written by her son Monroe.

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