The Neely Family by Sandra Neely Peterson, Internet E-Mail
Address [email protected]
The Neely Name - (Note: Neely is spelled many different ways; Neeley, Niely, Neelly, Neelie, Neilli, Neala, Neilly...the spelling probably depended on how the census taker thought it should be spelled) This applies to all names surnames in this study.
Neely is the Anglicized form of three distinct Gaelic surnames. The correct original form in a particular instance being determined chiefly by geographical location. Where the name is found in the North of Ireland, more especially in the County Antrim, it is a variant of MacNeely (Scotland). The name is also found in the Western province of Connaught and in many instances it derives from the name of the Galway sept MacConghaile, also Anglicized as Connely. The surname was first recorded as long ago as the sixteenth century, where the Fiants (Chancery Authority Warrants) cite it as MacAnellye. Also in Connaught, the name is derived from the same sources as MacNeela, that is, it was originally born by the Hi Fichra sept of Mac Conghaola.Our Neely family name is thought to have derived from the name "O'Neill" from the Northern provinces of Ireland prior to being McNeill or MacNeely (or a variation of the spelling) in Scotland.North Carolina. English colonization in America began with an expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584. The Englishmen explored the coast between Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. The next year Raleigh sent over the first party of colonists who settled on Roanoke Island. Conflicts with the Native Americans and scarcity of food and equipment soon caused them to return to England.
In 1587 Raleigh sent a party under John White as governor. White's granddaughter, Virginia Dare, was born here on Aug. 18, 1587 the first child born of English parents in America. After three years' absence in England to obtain supplies, Governor White returned to Roanoke Island in 1591. He found the area mysteriously deserted. The fate of this Lost Colony of early settlers has never been learned. The only trace of the colonists that was left behind was the word Croatoan carved on a tree.
King Charles I granted a charter for the territory south of Virginia in about 1629, and it was named in his honor. (Carolina means the "Land of Charles.") The first permanent settlement was made by Virginians in the Albemarle region in about 1653. In 1663 Charles II granted the Carolina region to eight lords proprietors. The colony prospered, but the settlers became discontented over feudal laws and neglect by the owners. Finally in 1712 North Carolina and South Carolina became separate provinces.Physical defiance and other acts of resistance nullified the English Stamp Act in North Carolina. In the western counties a group of backcountry farmers known as the Regulators (so called because they pledged to "regulate" the local government) rebelled against royal rule in 1768. They were defeated by Governor William Tryon's militia on May 16, 1771, in a battle along Alamance Creek. Fight for Independence - North Carolinians organized a provincial congress on Aug. 25, 1774, to plan resistance against royal rule. When the shooting war began at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, North Carolina's last royal governor fled, and a provincial council took over. According to local history, on May 20, 1775, the citizens of Mecklenburg County drew up the first declaration of independence in the colonies the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. This date of their meeting in Charlotte is on the state seal and flag. Equally significant was a meeting of the Mecklenberg Committee on May 31, also in Charlotte, that adopted more moderate resolutions the Mecklenburg Resolves.
North Carolina's militia gained a victory over Loyalist troops at Moores Creek Bridge, near Wilmington, on Feb. 27, 1776. On April 12 the provincial Congress, meeting at Halifax, directed its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. With these Halifax Resolves, North Carolina became the first colony to authorize a vote for freedom from England.
During the American Revolution North Carolina frontiersmen made a fierce attack on Tory forces established on King's Mountain on Oct. 7, 1780. The British, however, won the biggest battle fought in North Carolina, at Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. Heavy losses in both battles, especially of officers at Guilford Courthouse, helped force Lord Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
North Carolina refused to ratify the new Constitution until Nov. 21, 1789, after the Bill of Rights had been introduced in Congress. In 1790 the state ceded to the federal government its western section, which became the state of Tennessee.
The Civil War and After - In the period before the American Civil War, two future presidents were born in the state...James K. Polk, in Mecklenburg County, and Andrew Johnson, in Raleigh. Both North and South Carolina claim to be the birthplace of another president, Andrew Jackson. It should be noted herein that James Knox Polk had Neely ancestors. South Carolina - Before the American Revolution South Carolina prospered as an English colony. After the war, in which it played a decisive role, it built a great cotton trade. South Carolina led the South in the series of events that resulted in the American Civil War. After the war came the difficult Reconstruction period and later a great industrial revolution, which returned prosperity to the state.
Two early attempts at settlement of the region by Europeans were unsuccessful. The first was made by a Spaniard, Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon, in 1526 and the second by a group of French Protestants under Jean Ribault in 1562.
In 1663 King Charles II of England gave eight of his lords the province of Carolina, which included the present Carolinas and Georgia and extended "from sea to sea between the 36 and 31 parallels of latitude." Among the proprietors was Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper (later the earl of Shaftesbury), for whom the Ashley and Cooper rivers were named.
The first permanent English settlement, founded in 1670, was named Charles Town in honor of Charles II. Its government, based on feudal principles, was drawn up in part by the philosopher John Locke. It encouraged the plantation system and an aristocracy. Vast rice and indigo crops eventually brought the planters wealth.Battles with the powerful Yamasee Indians and with the Spaniards in Florida disturbed the peace for many years. In 1706 a combined French and Spanish fleet demanded the surrender of Charles Town, but Col. William Rhett armed some merchant vessels and drove the enemy off. In 1718 Rhett defeated the pirate fleets that had been preying upon Carolina ships. There were other clashes among the colonists with their proprietors and governors. By 1729 they had persuaded King George II to make South Carolina a separate royal province.
The American Revolution - Among the men who represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence were Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr. A temporary state constitution was drafted in 1776. A second constitution, adopted in 1778, declared the state independent of England.
Many crucial engagements of the American Revolution were fought on South Carolina soil. Charles Town was saved from the British by Col. William Moultrie in 1776 but was surrendered in 1780. Carolinians Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens led small bands of fighters throughout the state, and they and others won decisive battles such as those of Cowpens and Kings Mountain. Prosperity returned soon after the revolution. The cotton gin had been invented, and the up-country people grew wealthy raising cotton. After they protested that the planters in the low country were controlling the government, legislation was passed in 1786 to move the capital from Charleston (as Charles Town was called after 1783) to Columbia.
Note: At one time there were areas in North Carolina that became areas in South Carolina and visa versa. The Governors made land grants without knowing where the land was; they were more interested in placing the known good fighting men, Scots/Irish and Germans, between themselves and the Indians.
The following information is taken from the works of Maude (Neely) Paulus of Houston Texas and William White, Jr. of Rock Hill SC. Maude and William's papers came to be by way of Ann Lutz (also a Neely but not connected...so far) who "somehow" found my homepage on the Internet during the last week of May 1996. Some information is also from Charles C. Miller another Neely connection.
Special Note: I began writing down this information in September of 1995.
My Neely Family - Henry and Elizabeth Neely were a part of the great 18th Century Scotch/Irish movement from Northern Ireland to Pennsylvania and then to North and South Carolina. Since Henry Neely did not receive Royal land grants for all the acreage he came to own, it would appear that he possessed sufficient money to purchase the land that he desired. This circumstance is so unusual that it calls for mention here. Most of the immigrants to the Carolina Piedmont were lacking in the funds with which to buy land; and, consequently, these pioneer settlers were wont to petition the King of England for land grants - and these were usually forthcoming, following a stated time for ripening of the grant. Henry Neely, it seems, was an immigrant of more than the usual wealth.Henry and Elizabeth Neely settled on lands that were thought to be in North Carolina (Anson County, then Mecklenburg). Later the area was found to be in the Province of South Carolina. We know the section today as Bethesda Section, located about 10 to 12 miles southwest of the city of Rock Hill.
The Neelys first came (about 1755) to the Waxhaws region, a large part of which is known today as Lancaster County, South Carolina. Then they crossed the Catawba River, going west and south, and moved to the Bethesda section of York County. One of the major creeks of York County - Neely's Creek - was named after Henry Neely, according to the word of the eminent 19th century historian of Upper South Carolina, the Rev. Robert Lathan, D.D.
Also, Henry is recorded as the first ruling elder of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, organized in 1769. There had been worship services for the people in the Bethesda neighborhood since the late 1750's, but the formal organization of the Church was not effected until 1769.
Henry and Elizabeth lived until after 1778. Their names were mentioned in the last will and testament of their son William Neely (my 4th great grandfather) in that year. At this time, it is unconfirmed that Henry and Elizabeth were the parents of *my* William Neely and his brothers and sisters. However, for now, we are assuming that this part of the information is correct.Following are the seven *known* children born (presumably) to Henry and Elizabeth Neely. While we are not positive (yet) that these *children* were Henry and Elizabeth's, we are quite positive that they are all brothers and sister and related to *my* William* Neely.
John, born 1722, married Elizabeth ?, died October
1783 and is buried at Fishing Creek Church Cemetery, Chester County, South Carolina.
There may have been others. Thomas, Samuel and
William filed for land between 1753 and 1758.
The first European explorers found three major Indian Tribes living in the Tennessee area. The largest group, The Cherokee, lived to the east. To the south were The Shawnee; to the west, the Chickasaw. By 1800 the only Native Americans remaining in Tennessee were The Cherokee. The first European to visit what is now known as Tennessee was probably Hernando de Sota. In his journey westward from Florida, the Spanish explorer was believed to have camped at the site of Memphis in 1541. More than 100 years later, the French Explorer La Salle claimed the Mississippi Valley for France and named the region Louisiana for King Louis XIV. In 1682 he built Fort Prud'homme where Memphis stands today.
French control in Tennessee was challenged by the English during the 1700s. In 1750 Thomas Walker led a party of hunters through Cumberland Gap. Daniel Boone and others from the Atlantic Seaboard soon moved into the region. In 1756 to 57, the English built Fort Loudoun on the little Tennessee River southwest of Knoxville. At the close of the French and Indian war in 1763, Great Britain was awarded this entire region.
William Bean, a Virginian, started the first permanent White Settlement in Tennessee near the Watauga River in 1769. Other Settlers from Virginia, South and North Carolina entered into the Holston Valley, along the Nolichcky River. The settlers met in 1772 to form the Watauga Association, which is one of the earliest plans of self-government set up west of the Appalachians.
Fort Nashborough on the Cumberland River - Nashville dates from 1779 when a group of settlers under James Robertson built Fort Nashborough (in honor of the Revolutionary War General Francis Nash). These settlers, which included William Neely, were joined a year later by other families under the leadership of John Donelson. The settlement around the fort was incorporated as a town in 1784, was renamed Nashville and was named a city in 1806. Nashville became the permanent state capitol in 1843 and was occupied by Federal troops in 1862. The last major battle of the Civil War was fought outside the city in December 1864.
Note: Some of the information in this article was taken from the death notices that I have in my possession, and from copies of pages copied by, I believe, my Aunt, Betty Neely (widow of James C. Neely) from a biographical book called, "The History of Bell, McLennan and Coryell Counties in Texas," which was first published in 1894. Also, an article or book written by Charles Hundley, who is currently Superintendent of Schools in Abilene, TX., (as of September 1995).
It was information gleaned from Hundley's article by way of Pam Graham that told me that my gggg-grandfather's name was William Neely and that he came from North Carolina to Neely's Bend (Nashville, TN).Historical Marker - "Indian Captivity" Two miles east on the Cumberland River was Neely's Lick, later called Larkin's Sulphur Spring (now called Neely's Bend). Here, in the fall of 1780 William Neely was killed and his daughter Mary captured by Indians. Carried by her captors to Michigan, she escaped after three years, and made her way to New York State, and thence eventually to her home here." At the top of the marker there is a circle with three stars in it, and on one side it says 3A and on the other it says 55. At the very bottom, in tiny letters, it says "Tennessee Historical Commission."
Revolutionary War Record of William Neely - William Neely with a party of men led by Captain James Robertson, in the early spring of 1779 crossed the Cumberland Mountains and planted a field of corn where the city of Nashville Tennessee now stands. Soon after in July or August of 1780, William Neely was killed by Indians at Neely's Bend. In 1784, the State of North Carolina granted Captain Robertson 640 acres of land for his services in the Revolutionary War against the Indian Allies of the Government of Great Britain. The heirs of William Neely received 640 acres of land without price. (Tennessee During the Revolutionary War by Williams--page 104).The following information is *also* taken from the works of Maude (Neely) Paulus of Houston Texas and William White, Jr. of Rock Hill SC. In the meantime, I have found another (confirmed) *cousin* by the name of Matt Ward whom had written to me this past April. At that time, we could not make a connection, but it turns out that his ancestor, Samuel Neely was the brother of my 4th great grandfather William Neely.Before The Watuga and The Tennessee Valley - John Simpson, a very methodical man, and pastor of Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church (Chester County) visited each family once a year to teach Catechism and he kept a list of those he taught. On December 12, 1774 he visited the William and Margaret Neely family, and records show that he listed six of their children, the others were either too young or not yet born.
My Fourth Great-Grandfather, William Neely. It is not known why William wanted to go to the new territory, but it was probably the cheap land and glowing accounts of fertile valley that swayed him. Indians had been a way of life in Chester for a number of years, but the nearby Catawba Indians were now quite peaceable; the war was far away, and the area had not yet been disturbed by it. In 1778 William sold his land to his brother Samuel and prepared to take his family further west.First he moved his family to the Watauga Area of Northeast Tennessee where a permanent settlement was living in peace with the Indians. In 1779 he left his family and went with Captain James Robertson to look for a new place to settle and make preparations for food and safe lodging.
Note: According to the Patriot Index, (page 2127), William was born circa 1730 in South Carolina and married Margaret Patterson in *about* 1753. (According to Sandy Clunies a Genealogy Forum Member of Compuserve, and member of the DAR), someone presented that William served as a soldier for North Carolina in the Revolution War militia sometime BEFORE 1779 when he left for Tennessee.
There were at least eight men who accompanied Captain James Robertson. They were: William Neely, George Freeland, Edward Swanson, James Hanly, Mark Robertson (a brother to Captain James Robertson), Zachariah White, William Overhall, and a Negro man.When they reached Middle Tennessee, they cleared land and planted corn right in the center of what is now Nashville, Tennessee. They felled logs and built a fort (Fort Nashborough), on a large bluff on the Cumberland River to be used to hide from the Indians. Then Captain Robertson left them to go to Illinois to purchase "Cabin Rights."Overhall, White and Swanson remained to continue work on the fort-and tend the corn, which meant mostly, keeping the Indians, the buffalo and other wild life out of it; all the other men went back to the Settlement at Watauga for their families. Captain Robertson was probably waiting for them when they arrived. The plan was to divide the men into two groups. The one group would travel by land driving the cattle, sheep, etc. James Robertson was to be Captain of this group.
The other group led by Colonel John Donelson, was to bring the families in flat boats, and they all would meet at the bluff on the Cumberland River. The number wanting to make the trip had grown; and although no one listed them all, estimates run as high as three hundred. It took several months to get ready, but on December 22, 1779, they started from Fort Patrick Henry. Col. Donelson started keeping a diary of the trip but that did not last long. Some of those in his group were James Robertson's wife and five children, Col. Donelson's own son John and his daughter Rachel (who subsequently married Andrew Jackson), William Neely, his son Issac (20 years old at the time), Jonathan Jennings and wife (whom the Indians singled out to attack, and had to throw much of their goods overboard to lighten the boat so they could travel faster), William Crutchfield, John Boyd, John Montgomery, John Blackmore, Mrs. Payton (whose baby was delivered the night before a bitter Indian attack and in the turmoil the baby was drowned).
Their route took them southwest, then north on the Tennessee River, east a few miles on the Ohio River, south and later east on the Cumberland River to Nashville--some one thousand miles through hostile climate, river and Indians. They arrived at the bluff on April 14, 1780, and were no doubt warmly greeted by friends and relatives. The Indians did not greet them warmly. Urged on by the British, the Indians did all they could to discourage the settlers, but the Continental Army and Militia were glad to have the settlers there to keep the Indians back. In the first four months there were so many settlers killed, some left for more settled areas in Kentucky.William found the site he liked on a big bend in the Cumberland River; with the river on three sides it helped keep the cattle home. The site had a "salt lick" on it, i.e. a spring running with salt water. The salt formed a crust on the ground; and cattle, deer and other wild life came to lick the salt. The people needed salt too, not only to make food more palatable but to preserve food. The Pioneers learned to drill into these springs and find clean salt water and 'make salt.' It was said that the salt lick at Robertson's could produce a bushel of salt from 80 gallons of water The salt lick on William's land was called Neely's Lick (later Larkin's Sulphur Spring), and his place in the bend of the river was called Neely's Bend (it still is, there are Neely's Bend churches, schools, shopping centers, etc.).In July or August, 1780, William and his nineteen year old daughter Mary, and some neighbors were at the spring 'making salt.' It was getting late in the day, and William told the neighbors to start on home and he and Mary would be coming shortly. The men left and were no sooner out of sight when three Indians who had slipped quietly to the water's edge, killed William and dragged Mary to their canoe. Taking her with them, they traveled almost three days and met up with the rest of the tribe. They had a council and decided to give Mary a choice...she could become the wife of one of the young bucks or be a slave to the Chief's wife.
Mary chose to be the slave, and the tribe honored her decision. First they guarded her closely and tied her hands at night; but as they got further from her home, they took less precaution. She had only clothing for the August summer days, but they gave her a blanket. She did what she was told and lived where they lived and ate what they ate, except one time when the ground was covered with snow and there was no game to kill, the Indians drank bear oil; that was much too much for Mary. The Indians were so far away from her home by then that they did not watch her.During her third winter with the Indians a French family in the vicinity of Detroit helped Mary escape, but they passed her to the British. She found herself to be a British POW. She escaped from them in Philadelphia, found her way south to the Wilderness Trail...a trial used by many pioneers looking for new lands and also by people who, like Mary, had escaped from the Indians. She found a family going to Virginia and traveled with them. In Virginia she found work in the home of a family by the name of Spears.
All the time Mary was gone, her brother Samuel traveled the "Trail" asking, "Have you seen a white girl who might have escaped from the Indians?" One man said, "Yes, one was working at Old Man Spears' home." Samuel went to the Spears home on a Sunday morning and found Mr. Spears sitting on the porch. As Samuel sat with him discussing his lost sister, Mr. Spears pointed out three women walking down the lane toward them and asked Samuel if he knew any of them. Samuel said, "Yes, the one in the middle is my sister." It must have been quite a reunion. Mary learned for the first time that her mother and a brother had also been killed by Indians and that it was not safe yet at Neely's Bend so the family had moved to a fort in Kentucky. Eventually the Indians were subdued, and the family moved back to Neely's Bend on the Cumberland River.
The bluff that had been known as Fort Nashborough became Nashville; Neely's Lick became Larkin's Sulphur Spring. The land William had chosen originally was granted to his heirs, and they lived there in peace. Today there is an Historical Marker on Gallatin Pike telling the story of William and Mary Neely...and of course, Neely's Bend remains to this day.
Note: Probate of William Neely, WB 1, 1791 pages 230-232 and 247, Davidson County, Tennessee. William
Neely's estate was settled in 1792.
I have decided not to delete any of my previous writings on the Neely Family so that you, the reader, will be able to see the many, many *coincidences* and *synchronicities* that led me to this paper.
And so, to continue...In December of 1779, William and his family came from North Carolina to the Cumberland River with a group of settlers under James Robertson who built Fort Nashborough. William was the first white man killed at Fort Nashborough (Neely's Bend), near what is now known as Nashville Tennessee. He was killed by Indians on either July 1 or August 1, 1780.
My Fourth Great-Grandmother, Margaret (Patterson) Neely. Margaret's father, James Patterson, immigrated to America and settled in Little Britian, Lancaster Co., Pa. Margaret was one of 10 children of James Patterson and his wife. Although the exact early line of descendant of the Pattersons is not documented it is believed to go back to John Patterson, b. ca. 1640 in Angyleshire, Scotland, who was sent to Antrim Co. Ireland by Oliver Cromwell to help "pacify" the people. The family, rigidly Presbyterian, intermarried with Protestant Irish and were known as Scotch-Irish. About 1715-20 a large colony of them left for religious freedom to Maine; later to Boston and from there to Pennsylvania (Lancaster Bucks Co.).
It is also believed that this Patterson family once belonged to a step of the Clan MacLarens. (A James Patterson obtained a lease of land in the quarter of Mongragom early in the 17th Century. There is much information on a lot of the Patterson lines in the mid-early 1700's, referring to and around Ayrshire, Scotland area, and the Donegal Co., in Ireland).Margaret (Patterson) Neely was born May 25, 1737, most probably in Pennsylvania. She died in 1782 at Neely's Bend. At this time, we only know of the two children of William and Margaret. Mary, who was kidnapped by Indians at Neely's Bend in 1780, and Samuel who was born in 1769. Of course, there could have been other children who survived the massacre at Neely's Bend. Hopefully I will be able to find out about them.
As you will see on the following page, my hopes for
finding the other children of William and Margaret have been realized. Added information
that I received November 11, 1995: To the union of William and Margaret Neely were born
the following children:
Note: I came across the Patterson family information in October of 1996 from a Compuserve LawSig Forum member, Marilyn MacKendrick who I believe is *another* blood connection:
"Sandy, here's a copy of the 2nd message I sent you. I don't have the list of all the kids James had, or his wife. I think there's a Lancaster Co. website and maybe you can get more information there. This article appeared in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania, J.H. Beers & Co. 1893, pg. 431. As far as I can tell it almost certainly is the same family - just needs a little "filling out" (which may be the hardest part!). There must have been 5 girls in addition to the 5 sons.
John S. Patterson was a well-known representative of one of the oldest, most influential and prosperous families of Cross Creek township, and is a lineal descendant of James Patterson, the earliest pioneer of the family name. James Patterson immigrated to America in 1728, settling in Little Britain township, Lancaster Co., Penn., where he was married and reared a family of ten children, of whom the sons were William, John, Samuel, James and Thomas.William Patterson was born in 1733 and was first married to Rosanna Scott, who bore him children as follows: Mary, Moses, Samuel, Thomas and James. The mother died April 5, 1769, and on April 10, 1770, William Patterson was again married, his second choice being Elizabeth Brown and ten children were born to the latter union: John, Rosanna, William, Nathaniel, Rachel, Elizabeth, Josiah, Hannah, Nathan and Eleanor. In 1779 the family removed to Cross Creek township...the father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He died June 29,1818, and his wife passed from earth about 1828...Sandy, I suspect that your Margaret was a daughter of the 1st James and sister to James, William, Sam, etc. Since William was born in 1733, it sure looks as if she was a sister. If you find out anything further, give me a holler. Try that website - it's a start! In the meantime, I'm going to look for the Patterson name in a couple of other lines I have in that area. If I find anything, I'll get back to you."
My Third Great-Grandfather, Samuel Neely. Samuel, the son of William and Margaret (Patterson) Neely, was born on May 30, 1769. Samuel was reared on the old settlement made by his father, and was noted for his success in fighting the Indians. At this time, the only information that I have about my 3rd great grandmother is her name; Mary "Polly" Watkins. This information just came to be this month of June, 1996...until now, I had no idea of who she was.
Watkins b. 30 May 1769, (she shows Chester Co., SC but not sure) m. Samuel Neely 18 Feb 1800. She probably is of the same Jacob Watkins line that we are, "Polly" for Mary, being Jacob, Jr's. sister. She has a great deal of Neely information but knew nothing about the Watkins line until I contacted her. If you want, I will send her a copy of the same Cadawalader Watkins descendant chart you sent to me. I am definitely going to get her Neely information for my records.
My Third Great-Grandmother, Mary "Polly" Watkins. Mary was born May 30, 1769 in Chester County, PA. She married Samuel Neely on February 18, 1800 in Davidson County, TN. Mary and Samuel had two children that I know of (there may be others). Samuel (my second great grandfather), and Joshua. Mary was the daughter of Jacob Watkins, my fourth great-granfather, who was born in 1752 in Chester County, PA. He married Sarah Williams Lloyd, my fourth great-grandmother. It is possible that this was Jacob's first marriage and Sarah's second. They had seven children.
Note: Following is information on the Watkins line: Jacob's father was Aaron Watkins, my fitfh great-grandfather, who was born before 1727 and was married to Anne Ralston, my fifth great-grandmother. Aaron died in 1774 in Chester County, PA. Anne died September 13, 1785 in Chalestown, PA. Anne Ralston's parents were Thomas Ralston, Sr., and Anne (Thompson) Ralston, who were my sixth great-grandparents.
The direct Watkins line can be traced back (and I have quite a bit of information in my Family Origins Program) to Cadawalader Watkins who was born in 1660 in Wales. Cadawalader died before 1725 in Chester County, PA.Texas - The name Texas comes from a Caddo Indian word meaning "friends" or "allies." The Spanish explorers pronounced the word "tejas" and gave this name to the area. The nickname Lone Star State comes from the single star in the Texas flag, which was officially adopted by the Republic of Texas in 1839.The early Native American residents of Texas were the Caddo in the southeast, the Tonkawa in the southwest, and the Atakapa and Karanawa along the coast. Later the Comanche moved into central and western Texas from the north. Fierce Plains Indians, the Comanche were not brought under outside control until about 1875. This action opened the Panhandle and the western plains to settlement.
Six national flags have flown over Texas during its colorful history. The first was Spain's banner, from 1519 to 1685. In 1685 the French explorer La Salle raised the French flag over a short-lived coastal colony. In 1691 Texas again came under the Spanish flag, which was replaced by the banner of Mexico in 1821 when Texas became a Mexican state. At that time, new settlers from the United States were welcomed. The large influx of Anglo-American States and colonists and African American slaves led to skirmishes with Mexican troops.After a successful war of independence against Mexico, the Texans raised the Lone Star flag over their own republic in 1836. From 1836 to 1845 the Lone Star banner flew over the Republic of Texas. The stars and stripes became the official flag in 1845, but during the American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, it was replaced by the Confederate flag.
The first European to visit what is now Texas was Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, who mapped the coast in 1519. Cabea de Vaca, a Spanish noble, was the first to explore the area. Shipwrecked near what is now Galveston in 1528, he was captured by the Karankawa Indians and traveled with them for eight years before escaping. In 1541 Francisco Coronado crossed the Panhandle in search of gold. Later, parties of Spaniards camped in the wilderness, but they left no settlements.
The Neely Family in Moody Texas. Moody, Texas is located about twenty miles South of Waco between Austin and Ft. Worth.
My Second Great-Grandfather, Samuel Neely. Samuel, the grandson of William and Margaret, and the son of Samuel and Mary "Polly" (Watkins) Neely, was a farmer by occupation. He moved from Dyer County, Tennessee to southeastern Missouri in 1857, where he remained four years, and in the fall of 1861 he came to the State of Texas settling in Gonzales county, where he died on March 2, 1880. His widow, Mary E.J. (White), resided in Cisco until her death. Samuel was twice married. First to a Miss Martha Sanders, who bore three children; Elizabeth (widow of Dr. J.D. Dunevant of Coryell County), Sarah (widow of L.C. Wynn of McLennan County) and J.B. (John) of Moody.
My Second Great-Grandmother, Mary E. J. (White) Neely. Mary was the second wife of Samuel. There were seven children born to this union; William Henry of Moody, George Thomas of Moody (my great-grandfather), Nancy H., wife of A. S. Bunting, of Cisco, Texas, Josie I. (Jones) of Ford County, Mattie L., deceased, who was the wife of G.W. Crosby, and Cisley A., deceased. Mary White Neely died at Cisco, Texas. Mary's father, Jerry White, was in the
Indian war with Jackson, serving through Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and was probably with Jackson in the battle of New Orleans.
My Great-Grandfather, George Thomas. Tom, the great-grandson of William and Margaret, was a farmer of precinct No. 1 in McLennan County. He was born in Dyer County, Tennessee on November 4, 1844. He received his education in Ripley County, Missouri, and when twenty-one years of age began life for himself as a farmer. In March of 1865, he joined the Confederate Army entering the 2nd Texas Cavalry, Company A, and after the close of the struggle he returned to his father's home. In 1869 he came to this county and with his brother and sister resided on land, left him by his father, until 1882. In that year he sold his interest in the estate and purchased 143 acres near where Moody now stands, paying $3 per acre, and he now has 135 acres on this tract under cultivation.In 1882 he bought 124 acres more, paying $6 per acre, where he has forty acres under a fine state of cultivation, with a good residence, outbuilding, etc., and a good orchard of one acre. He also owns fifty-two acres adjoining his first purchase, for which he paid $12.50 per acre, and eighty-five acres near the last mentioned farm, which his father gave him, and which was then valued at $1 per acre.Mr. Neely has 250 acres of land in this county under cultivation, also owns 213 acres in Bell county, with 145 acres under cultivation, all of which he has made by his own exertions. In addition to his real estate he has six building lots in one block in the town of Moody, where he intends erecting a handsome residence, and also owns one and a half acres in other portions of the town. George Thomas died on February 16, 1931 at age 86, and is buried in Naler Cemetery in Moody.George Thomas "Tom's" obituary in the Moody Courier in 1931 reads as follows: "Uncle Tom Neely Answers Death Summons. George Thomas (Tom) Neely pioneer citizen and Confederate Veteran died at his home in East
Moody Monday morning at 7 o'clock. This worthy old gentleman attained the ripe age of 86 years. Funeral services were held at the family home Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock with local pastors Rev. A. H., Ethridge of the Baptist Church, officiating, assisted by Rev. C. E. Wilkins of the Methodist church. Interment was made in the Naler cemetery with Denny and Witt Undertakers in charge. "Uncle" Tom, as he was affectionately called by his friends, was born November 4, 1844 in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and died February 16, 1931. He was the last of a large family to answer death's call, his brother William H. Neely having passed away December 12, 1929 of kidney disease. At the age of 18 Mr. Neely enlisted in the Civil war and served three years with the army of the Confederacy, having experienced hardships and privations known only to these worthy veterans whose ranks are growing thin. He came to Texas while young and settled in Moulton, Lavaca county, later moved to Moody where he was married to Miss Amanda Naler, daughter of Mary "Polly" Pruitt of Georgia.
To this union were born six children, five of whom survive: Mattie A., Nora, William Edgar, Samuel, Zina and Charlie. Miss Mattie is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Mr. Neely, was a farmer during his active days and resided on his farm west of Moody. Some years ago he moved with his family to town and built their present home where he resided until death. Tom saw the pioneer days of Texas, watched the changes wrought in this country from an Indian infested territory to a great civilization. He saw the needle of progress move from the ox-team to the airplane. He had a cheerful disposition and his smiling face and cordial greetings will be missed by his loved ones and a host of friends. "Friend after friend departs; Who hath not lost a friend" There is no union here of hearts that finds not here an end." Active pallbearers: H. Payne, C.C. Canuteson, T. J. Buckner, E. M.
Matthews, Cal Stephens, T. H. Knight, T. D. Dickerson and L. P. Hargett.Out of town relatives here for the service were; Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Barnes of Waco and Mrs. John Massengale of Dallas. Card of thanks..."We wish to express our sincere appreciation to our neighbors and friends for their kindness to us in our recent bereavement. Mere words can not express our feelings but we pray that Heaven's richest blessings may rest upon you." Signed, Mrs. Tom Neely and children and Mrs. J. D. Barnes and Mrs. John Massengale."My Great-Grandmother, Amanda (Naler) Neely. On December 9, 1869, George Thomas married Miss Amanda Naler, (the niece of Texie Naler, and the daughter of Mary Naler, my great-great-grndmother. Amanda was born October 22, 1853 in the State of Texas, and died August 31, 1947 at age 93 years. Amanda is also buried in Naler Cemetery in Moody, Texas. Amanda was the daughter of Mary Naler (who never married) of Moody, and the granddaughter of Joseph and Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler. There were six children born of this union; Mattie A., Nora, William Edgar, Samuel (my grandfather), Zina and Charley. Miss Mattie is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.Amanda's obituary in the Moody Courier in 1947 reads as follows: "Oldest Pioneer of Moody Died August 31." "Miss Amanda (Naler) Neely died August 31, 1947, at her home in East Moody where she had been an invalid for about eight years. She was born October 22, 1854, on the Tremier farm near Bland, and was 93 years old at the time of her demise. At the age of 6 months, along with her mother Mary Naler (who was not married) and her grandparents Joe and Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler, she moved to what is now known as the Floyd Naler place. The grandparents erected a log cabin, settling and farming what is now known as Moody, and designating two acres of land for private burial ground. Mrs. Joseph (Mary "Polly Pruitt") Naler being the first to be buried in this plot. In later years the rock house which now stands, was erected.
On December 9, 1869, Amanda was married to the late George Thomas Neely. To this union were born six children (as listed above). Surviving also are seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Funeral services were held at the home at 4 PM September 1, 1947, Rev., O. B, Darby officiating.
Pallbearers were Albert Williamson, Marion Herrington, Bob Mote, Harold Jones, Donald Allman, Dayton Dickenson, Orestus Johnson and Matt Sims. Out of town relatives attending were Mesdames Ada Naler of Dallas, Addie Drew of Oklahoma, Annie Bell Sims of Lorena, Robert Neely of Marshall, Edgar Neely and daughter of Shreveport. Internment was in Naler cemetery, with Denny and Witt in charge."My Grandfather, George Samuel Neely. Sam, the great-great-grandson of William and Margaret, was born in Moody, Texas on March 7, 1877. He died in El Paso on August 17, 1925 at age 48 years, and is buried in Naler Cemetery. According to my Aunt Betty (J.C.'s widow) she told me the following story about my grandfather on October 29, 1995:
It seems that Sam did not like being a farmer and was the *black sheep* of the family. He opened up a pool hall in Moody, and was considered to be a *chaser* of the women. Also, there had been some kind of an on-going feud between the Neely and the Dutton families of Moody, and when Sam married my grandmother, Trudie Dutton, it caused a big rift in the family and they were *ousted* by the Neelys. Sam reportedly was suffering from TB and died in a sanitarium in El Paso at the age 48.
Also, according to Aunt Betty, the Sam Neely home was not a happy one! The story goes that my grandfather, not being a good provider for his wife and six children had to depend on his mother and father (which may have been the only
Neelys still talking to him) for food and a place to live for himself, his wife and the six children. The two daughters, Imogine and Maureen both married *older* men when they were still in their teens (to get out of the house, so to speak), and my father, Edgar A. Neely ran away from home for the first time at age 14. More on this later.I once was shown a photo of my grandfather by my dear grandmother, Gertrude (Bumbie) Neely. My grandfather was a very handsome man with dark hair and a dark mustache.
My Grandmother, Gertrude Vivian (Dutton) Neely. My grandmother was born on October 14, 1881 in Moody, Texas. She died in the County of Los Angeles on September 20, 1978 at (almost) 97 years of age. Vivian Gertrude was the daughter of Rebecca Jane (Tucker) and James Cass Dutton (see Dutton lineage) of Moody Texas.There were six children born to my grandparents; Imogine, (wife of John Massengale of Houston, Texas, they had no children. Maureen, (wife of John Barnes of Dallas, Texas, they had no children. Edgar Allen, my Father, whose first wife Hannah Eleanor (Mullins), was my mother, had twin daughters (my sister and myself), James Cass (who had two daughters by his first marriage). Thomas Samuel, who never married, but who "adopted" a son who is his "spitting" image, and George Samuel Neely with no *known* children. My dear grandmother had a very sweet disposition and I always remember her gentle nature and her sweetness.
My Father Edgar Allen Neely. Ed, the great-great-great-grandson of William and Margaret (Patterson) Neely, was born on April 16, 1902 in Moody Texas. He died on July 24, 1967 in Beverly Hills, California. He was quite a character and I wouldn't have traded him for any other father in the world!
Additional information on my father and the other children of Sam and Gertrude (Dutton) Neely, to be completed at a later date.Coincidence?
Pam Graham. I would like to share some of the "coincidences" of how the gathering of this genealogical information came about. I first began my search in July 1995 in the Genealogy Forum on CompuServe. I placed a message to *All* Looking for Neelys from Neely's Bend now called Moody Texas. A gal by the name of Pam Graham, a
CompuServe member, responded that she had a very good friend, and former college classmate who was from Moody, and if anyone would know *who* could help me in my search, it would be her friend. At that time, Pam mentioned that she was going to her friend's wedding in August (in New York) and would get back to me after the wedding.
In late September of 1995 I received a message from Pam, saying that she ran into a Charles Hundley,
Superintendent of Schools in Abilene Texas at her friend's wedding in New York. At that time, she told me that Charles had told her that Moody Texas was never called Neely's Bend, but that Nashville, Tennessee once was! Within a few days, I received a packet of mail from Pam which contained an article written by Charles Hundley and Charles' address.
Following is the article written by Charles:
"In the early spring of 1779, James Robertson and a small band of British Colonists went west from North Carolina over the Appalachian Mountains. On the banks of the Cumberland River in a place never before seen by white men.
These sturdy pioneers planted a cornfield and built a blockade, which they called Fort Nashborough. Thus began the city of Nashville Tennessee, which became the first English settlement west of Virginia. Among Colonel Robertson's little band was William Neely who, only a few months later became the first of Robertson's settlers to be killed by Indians. The site of his massacre on the Cumberland is called to this day, Neely's Bend as it meanders through what is now Nashville metropolitan area. A century later after the founding of Nashville and the untimely death of William Neely, his great grandson, William Henry Neely, also a pioneer farmer, came to the place where Moody now stands. William H. Neely had been born in Dyer County, Tennessee, on thebanks of the Mississippi River near Memphis in 1842. As a youth of nineteen, he had emigrated with his parents, brothers and sisters, first to Missouri then to Gonzolas County, Texas.
In the spring of 1862, like many young farm boys, William H. Neely joined the Confederate Army, in those early enthusiastic months of the Civil War. He served in Hood's Brigade (Company A of the 21st Cavalry) under the command of Texas' most illustrious Confederate soldier, John Bell Hood. Neely participated in the battle of Cloutierville, Louisiana and fought at Yellow Bayou. He saw action in several small battles and once was captured and later paroled.
William Henry Neely maintained a diary during his years as a Confederate soldier. Part of the original diary which provides an excellent insight into his youthful and bucolic personality, is posted on the following page.From a Civil War Diary
From 1864 entries: "As we had no breakfast in our mess this morning we began to feel like eating something about 12 o'clock, and four of us started out in the country for the purpose of getting our dinner. We rambled around in the country, traveling little country roads for an hour or so, and came to the Caddo Lake where we found plenty of water for our horses, but no houses. We struck out again and at last found a house but could not get anything to eat. I went to Shreveport and found it a dull place. Not much business going on.
Everything very dear. Calf-shin boots $15.0 on special. Today some of our boys and an old citizen went out deer hunting and Rae killed a fine large buck. So we had venison, and tonight there was a wedding near Hampton. A Missouri soldier was married to a Miss Ford. It was over a week after Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Grant at Appamattox Courthouse in Virginia on April 9, 1865 that W. H. Neely, then 23 years old - got the momentous news: "April 12, 1865, nothing much of interest transpired, I am mending slowly and still at Huntsville, Texas. The weather is rainy. It rains nearly all the time. Our regiment is in the country and some at Red Top picketing for deserters.April 25, nothing of interest has transpired except the weather has cleared. We have got news of the death of Lincoln. I am still in Huntsville." Neely returned home after the war and four years later - in 1869 came to McLennan County, Texas. He settled on his father's blackland farm in what is now East Moody. His homestead in 1869 is best described in the classic memorial history of Bell, McLennan and Corryell Counties, published in 1894. "At that time there were no roads in the county. The nearest mill was in Moffit - eleven miles distance, and the nearest store was in Bell County. Cattle roamed the prairies at will and game was plentiful especially on the streams.On arriving at this place, Neely had one horse, $50 in money, a fifth interest in 320 acres of land, with eighty acres under cultivation and one-fifth interest in 706 acres. He now owns 420 acres of finely improved prairie in this county, and also nine and one half acres of land inside the city limits, where he has one of the most beautiful homes in the city. He also owns an interest in a business building which is occupied by Reynolds Johnson, druggist of this city.
His nearest neighbor was Joseph Naler whose rock
house stood on a small knoll one mile to the west overlooking a pristine fertile valley.
Just north of Joseph Naler's rock house on another hill was a single tombstone marking the
grave of Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler, Joseph's wife who had died in 1863. (Naler
Cemetery has now grown up around that first headstone).
It can be assumed that W. H. Neely's life was uncluttered and simple during his early years in McLennan County. No doubt the land yielded up its cotton and corn only after weeks and months of long, hard back-breaking work. W. H. Neely met Joseph Naler's 20 year old daughter, Texana Naler Reynolds. She had a small baby, John Reynolds. She had recently returned to the rock house to be with her family after a brief and unsuccessful marriage.
On April 6, 1870, W. H. Neely married "Texie" (Naler) Reynolds (aunt of Amanda). Their wedding picture shows W.H. Neely to have been a lean, sunburned man with course black hair and a handlebar mustache. "Texie" was attractive, wholesome and plain. For this couple the 1870s were years full of hard work and a rapidly growing family. By the time Moody was founded in 1881, the Neelys had five children in addition to young John Reynolds; Walter, Ada (later Mrs. George Naylor), Ola, (later Mrs. Millard Rice), Jinnie Lind (later Mrs. Will Cates), and William.One can safely say that in the spring of 1881 when the Santa Fe Railroad construction crew pitched tents and made camp between the Neely home and the old rock house to the west, that W. H. Neely, Texie (who was now pregnant once again), and the six children spent every possible minute watching the laying of those steel rails which were to change western McLennan County forever. On June 8, 1881, the Neelys welcomed another daughter, Mary Josephine "Josie" (later Mrs. Charles O. Jones), to their household and in 1882 their last offspring, Robert Hillis Neely was born.
The Neelys lived in Moody for the next half century. They reared their children and after the untimely death of their daughter Ola, in the 1890s they reared their oldest grandchild, Mallie Rice. The records of Moody's First Baptist Church record that on September 6, 1908 Texie Neely was baptized by J. R. Croom along with 103 other Moodyites at Holbert's Crossing on the Leon River. Her daughter, Mary Josephine "Josie" Jones remembered that Mrs. Neelys favorite hymn was, "When the Roll is Called up Yonder."Both W. H. and Texie Neely lived in their home in east Moody until their deaths. W. H. Neely died at age 87 on December 12, 1929. Six months later in June of 1930, Mrs. Neely (Texie) died at age 81 of an intestinal disease. Her obituary in the following week's Moody Courier recalled that she had been born in Georgia, but had come to Texas with her parents as a small child. Her life was summarized:Coming with her parents, Joseph and Mary "Polly" (Pruett) Naler, and a colony of friends from Georgia to Moody when the city was a barren wilderness, Mrs. Neely endured many hardships of early settlers, and in a measure paved the way for the present generation of citizens to inherit the heritage of splendid churches, good schools, roads and culture."
As overstated and flamboyant as that 1930 obituary may sound over one half century later, it is an historical fact that W. H. Neely and Texie Neely "paved the way for the present generation of citizens."
Additional information on William Henry Neely taken from "The History of McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties in Texas," written in 1884:
William Henry Neely was born in Dyer County, Tennessee in 1842 and was educated in the common schools of Dyer County. After attending school, he subsequently moved with his father to Missouri, and in 1862 to Texas. In the spring of that year he joined Company E, Twenty-first Texas Cavalry, and served under Colonel Carter in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He participated in the battles of Cloutierville, Louisiana, and Yellow Bayou, and was captured at Des Arc at the time the Arkansas Post was surrendered, and was soon afterward paroled. He participated in a number of skirmishes, and was surrendered on the Little Brazos, near Bryan Station. Mr. Neely came home at the close of the war and engaged in farming on his father's land, and in 1869 he moved to McLennan county and settled in the neighborhood where he now lives.A Long Lost (Unknown) Relative Appears Out of the Blue I was so impressed with Charles' knowledge of the Neelys, that I wrote him and told him that Pam Graham had sent me an article that he had written asking him if he might know anything of my great-grandfather, George Thomas Neely.
On October, 4,1995, Charles telephoned me from Abilene Texas asking me how I knew Pam Graham. I explained that I am a *Neely* and that I had *met* Pam on CompuServe while searching for my roots. I also mentioned to Charles that Pam had offered to speak to her friend when she went to her wedding in New York in August.You can imagine my surprise when Charles told me that he had attended *that* wedding in NYC and that he had happened to overhear a conversation between Pam and her friend from Moody, where they were discussing, Neely's Bend, Moody Texas and the Neely name.
Well, friends, we already know that this is a very small world!!! Charles Hundley is the great-grandson of William Henry Neely (my great uncle). Charles and I have the same great-great-great-great grandparents, William and Margaret (Patterson) Neely. Of course, we also have the same great-great-great grandparents, and our great-great-grandparents, Samuel Neely and his wife, Mary (White) Neely!!! Charles' great-grandfather, William Henry Neely was a brother to my great-grandfather, George Thomas Neely. Charles' grandmother was Josephine "Josie" (later Mrs. Charles O. Jones) who was the daughter of William Henry Neely and his wife, Texie. My great-grandmother Amanda Naler, was the niece of Texie Naler who was Charles' great-grandmother. So, we have two connections. The Neelys and the Nalers!!!
On October 13, 1995 (my Mother's birthdate) I received a package from Charles that contains the last will and testament of my gg-grandfather, Samuel Neely, along with a copy of pages from the biography of The History of Bell, McLennan and Coryall Counties in Texas, and other information that I need to review. As information is received, I will update this text.
Eva Jo Baker - Another Long Lost (Unknown) Relative Appears. On October 28, 1995 I received a phone call from another new-found cousin, Eva Jo (Jones) Baker who is of the same blood-line as Charles Hundley and myself. She told me that Amanda Naler Neely was actually the niece of Texie Naler and not her sister. It seems that Mary Naler, who was the mother of Amanda, never married, and so the girls, Texie and Amanda, being quite close in age were raised like sisters.
Note: On the following pages you will find additional information that I gathered while researching the Neely Family.
I felt it important to list the additional information because much of it is confirmation of our Neely family, and more proof of just how small the world really is!
Kay (Neely) Mason - Before I knew of Charles Hundley and Eva Jo Baker. On July 14, 1995 I was contacted by another member of the Compuserve Genealogy Forum. Kay (Neely) Mason of Michigan. She happened to have a copy of pages from a book on the Neely Family from another forum member, Jan Odell, and she offered to send them to me. She mentioned at that time that she could never find any connection to Jan's Neelys. Within the next few days, I sent Kay what little information I had at that time on the Neelys.
Kay read the information over and said she didn't see any connection to *my* Neelys. However, a few weeks later, she posted me and said, "I just went through and read your first letter again. I picked up something that I hadn't originally. I'm not quite sure why. You mentioned that your great-great-grandfather, Samuel Neely, had been married twice, the first time to a woman named Sanders. Well, her name is Martha Sanders. She and Samuel are parents to my
John B. Neely, who was born in 1795 in Dauphin County, PA. While I have not gotten written confirmation of the place, yet, that may be a place you might want to look for Samuel and Mary (White) Neely."
We were both very excited that we had made a connection! However, there is something about John B. Neely that keeps bothering me, and that is...Kay has a record of his will being filed into probate on June 29, 1869 in Marshall County, West Virginia, and according to the will of Samuel, which was made in February of 1880, John B. Neely was still alive and living in Moody Texas where he died and is buried! This is a mystery that I hope to solve.Since the names seem to be carried down from generation to generation, this kind of mystery is not easily solved...at least without the correct dates of births and deaths. For example, my father was named Ed (Edgar Allen) Neely and he was born April 16, 1902, and died July 24, 1967 in Beverly Hills, CA. I noticed that on one of the records I recently came across there was an Ed Neely who was born October 28, 1874 and who died May 4, 1943." Sandy Lawson - Another Coincidence Before Charles Hundley. As I may have mentioned previously, it was originally thought by myself that Moody, Texas was once called Neely's Bend. When I received the information from Pam Graham that Charles had sent to her (that she sent on to me), I posted a friend in another forum where we are members. This friend, Gordon DeSpain's ancestors, the Grays, came from Killeen, Texas which, as I understand it, right next to Moody. Gordon's ancestors once owned all the land in and around Killeen and *Gray's Field* is named after his ancestors.
On September 14, I received the following message from a gal by the name of Sandy Lawson, who had read my message to Gordon. "Huh?! Did someone say Neely's Bend? That's the next road over from me! I travel the entire length of it when I want to "go for a ride and listen to the radio." I posted Sandy and asked her where she lived and she said, "Nashville, Tennessee." You can imagine how surprised I was when, after I told her my maiden name, she sent me the following message on the same day. "I live in a city right on the outskirts of the actual city of Nashville called Madison. It's very small. There's a historical marker across the street from Neely's Bend that tells about William Neely and his daughter Mary. It seems that Neely's farm was attacked by Indians and he was killed. They ran off with Mary.She escaped from them and wound up in New York or something like that, and made her way back here. Fort Nashborough is in the heart of town, right on first street on the river. It's very small!!" I might mention here, that on my Grandmother Duttons side of the family there was a John "Lawson" Tucker who was the father of my great-grandmother, Rebecca (Tucker) Dutton. Rebecca also had a brother who was a twin by the first name of Lawson. Who knows, perhaps Sandy Lawson and I are also related...nothing would surprise me at this point!Jan (Neely) Odell - Another Coincidence Before Charles Hundley. Jan is the gal that I mentioned when I told of Kay Neely Mason, and her sending me a copy of pages from the Neely book that was given to her by Jan. I first received this information on July 28, 1995 and read through it quite a few times. As many times as I read through the text, I couldn't make a connection. However, on September 16, while reading through the text again, I found confirmation of my great-great-great-great-grandfather, being the first settler of Neely's Bend.While, at this time, I can't find a direct connection to Jan, her book tells of three brothers who came from Ireland and of a "Samuel Neely" whose name was on the local militia, then no more was heard of him". The following is taken from the text of Jan's book:"John Williams, an heir of Issac Neely ( who I believe is of the North Carolina Neely line), was a neighbor of Philip and Susannah Phillips on the Cumberland River, near Neely's Bend. Perhaps I have said that *Neely's Bend* is certainly named for the North Carolina Neelys who came with the first settlers from Watauga - an historic and much publicized event. Our William Neely, (of the Virginia Neelys) did settle there in 1796-7."
Note: *This* William Neely is not to be confused with *my* William Neely who settled there in 1779.
Following is information about the children of Sam Neely and his wife, Trudie (Dutton) Neely...my grandparents. When this text is completed it will be uploaded in a file, called, "Tenn/Texas Connection Part II." Edgar Allen Neely (my father) was born April 16, 1902. He died on July 24, 1967. From what I am told, Daddy, hated picking cotton on his grandfather's farm, and because things were not very *pleasant* at home, he ran away at age 14 and joined the Navy in Michigan. However, it was soon discovered that he was not 18, and he was sent home to Moody. He then ran away again, at approximately age 16 or 17 and went to New York to seek his fame and fortune.As the story goes, my grandmother, Gertrude Neely left her husband and children and *ran away* to Long Beach, California where she divorced her husband, Samuel, and married a man by the name of Bobbitt. The children went to live with their grandparents, George Thomas and Amanda Neely. Also according to my Aunt Betty, Trudie was the first of the Neelys to come to California...soon, the sons, Edgar Allen and J.C. followed, then the other two sons eventually came to Long Beach. I understand that my Uncle Tom Neely went over to the Dutton side of the family while still in Moody and he came to California with the Duttons.
I don't know what became of my father's seeking his fame and fortune in New York at the age of 18, but he later became a *silent* film actor in Hollywood and went by the stage name of Neil Neely. I have quite a few of his *movie* photos as well as magazine articles in my possession. Prior to his acting career, he had worked in the oil fields and in the Navy Shipyards in Long Beach. I was told that my father met my mother while at the beach one day. My mother had been married at age 15 and had two children by that marriage, Thomas and Jane. At the time she and my father met, she was divorced and presumably visiting with her mother, Rose Heilmann Mullins who had moved to Pasadena, California after her divorce from my grandfather, William H. Mullins of Salem, Ohio. My mother's two children by her first husband were 10 and 11 years old at the time that my twin sister and I were born and were raised by my mother and father until their divorce in 1942. Tom had his name legally changed to Neely when he went into the service on that fateful day in history, December 7th, 1941, which happened to be his 21st birthday!
According to my Aunt Betty, the widow of James Cass (JC) Neely, the only child of Samuel and Gertrude Neely to graduate high school was, her husband, James Cass Neely. While the other children were self-taught and intelligent, they had very little formal education. (To be completed) Much more to come on my father, Edgar Allen Neely and his brothers and sisters.The Naler Family of Moody Texas by way of GeorgiaOn October 28, 1995 I received more correspondence from Charles Hundley and a copy of a photograph of my great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler!! Joseph, and his wife, Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler *founded* Moody, Texas way back in 1852. I cannot get over how much my late father, Edgar Allen Neely, and two of my sons, David and Jon, resemble Joseph Naler!!!
My Third Great-grandfather, Joseph Naler. Joseph was born on April 20, 1803 (the date of birth may have been April 26, 1809 in Tennessee), most probably in Gwinnett County, GA. He died on August 31, 1882 and is buried in Naler Cemetery in Moody, Texas. Joseph was married to Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler.
My Third Great-Grandmother, Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler was born in Georgia (probably in Gwinnett County) on May 4, 1813. Polly died on May 24, 1863 and is also buried in Naler Cemetery in Moody Texas.The Pruitt Family of Moody Texas by way of Gerogia
Note: As of October 22, 1996 I received the following E-Mail message from Kathleen Gliebe:
"Hi Sandra; Back in Sept you sent me info on your Pruett family in Georgia, after Judge Pruett had forwarded my request seeking information on B.H. Pruett. I have since found additional information and think we may indeed be related. Here is the info I found on your line. It is from a descendancy chart in the Ancestral file, ver 416F, found on the computer search program at the Mormon library. It is info provided by a researcher and may only be as good as that researcher, still it is a place to start. It shows your Mary (Polly) Pruitt, b. 4 May 1812, GA sp. Joseph Naler, b. 26 Apr. 1808 TN."
So, folks, in October of 1996 I have been fortunate enough to find another long lost ancestor and (probably) another new-found cousin - as Kathleen believes that her ancestor, Benjamin was a first cousin to my Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler.Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler, Amanda Neely's grandmother's parents are listed as Benjamin Pruitt, my fourth great-grandfather, born in 1765, Pittsylania Co. VA, married before 1790 to Mary Walters, my fourth great-grandmother, in Franklin Co. GA. Mary Walters was born in 1777 in Pittsylvania Co. VA, and died before 1840 in Gwinnett, GA.
This ancestral file shows other siblings and descendants. Parents of Benjamin Pruitt (father of Polly), and Philip (likely father of Benjamin H.) was: Samuel Pruitt Jr., my fifth great-grandfather, born in 1705 MD. He married Lucy Owen, my fifth great-grandmother, in 1754 Pittsylvania Co. VA and died November 17, 1801 in Pittsylvania Co. VA. Lucy was born in 1736 and died in 1801 in Pittsylvania Co. VA.
The grandparents, my sixth great-grandparents, of Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler were Samuel Pruitt, Sr. born about 1684. He married Elizabeth Hawker in 1720 in Frederick Co, MD, and died in 1760 in Montgomery Co. MD. Elizabeth Hawker was born on December 14, 1701 and died after 1795. Elizabeth's parents were Robert Hawker, my seventh-great-grandfather, born about 1682 and Amy Selby, my seventh great-grandmother, who was born before 1682. Amy's father's name was William Selby.
Following is the Naler Census Summary.
Note: Naler is spelled many different ways; Nailor, Naler, Naylor, Nailer, etc. The spelling probably depended on how the census taker thought the name should be spelled. Also, the girls named Mary and Margaret were often given the nicknames of Mollie or Pollie (Polly).
1830 Census Information - In 1830 Joseph (1803 - 1882) and his wife Mary (1813 - 1863) were living in Gwinnett County, Georgia. They did not have any children yet. (In the 1830s Joseph and his father were winners in the Cherokee Land Lottery, and were given tracts in Murray County, Georgia.
1840 Census Information - In 1840 Joseph and his wife Mary "Polly" were living in Murray County, Georgia. By that time they had two sons and three daughters. Mary was the name of the oldest daughter.
1850 Census Information - They were still living in Murray County Georgia. By now they had eight children. Their oldest daughter, Mary, was 17 and Texie was an infant.
1860 Census Information - By 1860 the Joseph Naler family had moved to McLennan County, Texas. Joseph had received a land grant from the State of Texas for 320 acres of land about 21 miles southwest of Waco (where Moody, Texas is now located). His oldest son Benjamin received a grant nearby. The census records indicate that four children were still living at home with the Nalers. I believe that Amanda was there also, even though she is not listed. Next door, in house #207 another of the Naler daughters, Nancy, was living with her husband James Blair. In the next house #208 lived a cousin, James C. Naler with his family.
1870 Census Information - By 1970 Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) Naler had died and was buried in the Naler Cemetery. Joseph Naler had left the area. Mary Naler was living with a cousin John P. Naler and his family. Next door lived Mary's daughter Amanda and Mary's sister, Texie (Amanda's aunt). Amanda and Texie were now both married to Neely brothers and both couples were living in the same house along with Texie's son by her first marriage, John Reynolds. Is this the same Mary (Mother of Amanda)? Or did Mary leave the area with her father, Joseph when her mother, Mary "Polly" (Pruitt) died? The age and birthplace of the Mary who is living with John P. Naler are the same as for Joseph's daughter, Mary. Also the fact that she is living next door to Amanda suggest that she is Amanda's mother...but maybe not. (I believe that this Mary is Amanda's mother).1880 Census Information - In 1880 Joseph had sold his land in Moody to his nephew, had remarried and was living in Waco with his new wife, Jane. Texie and W.H. Neely and their six children (see under Neely) were living in Moody, Texas. Tom and Amanda (my great grandfather and great grandmother) and their five children (also see under Neely) lived nearby. Mary Naler lived a few houses away and she had a nine year old son. Is this the same Mary? Her age, 48, and the states of birth she lists for herself and for her parents suggest that she is the same Mary. If so, where did the son Oliver come from? More about Oliver in the 1900 Census.
1900 Census Information - In 1900 Joseph Naler had died. Tom and Amanda were living in Moody. Three of their children (Mattie, Nora, and Charlie) still lived at home. Edgar, Samuel and Robert are listed as sons, but they are probably grandsons (if this Edgar is my father, he was Tom and Amanda's grandson). Mary Naler had died in 1899 and was buried in the Naler Cemetery. Sam and Gertrude (my grandfather and grandmother) were married and had one child. Also living with them was a border named O.V. Naler. (Could this be Mary's son, Oliver? His age is the same but the birthplaces of his parents is different?).
Naler Cemetery Stones - "Naylor," Mary Naylor Aug 18, 1832 Aug 18, 1899. My cousin, Eva Joe Butler believes this stone marks the grave of Mary Naler, the daughter of Joseph. She is buried beside the graves of her brother Benjamin and his wife. Her grave is just west of and adjacent to the graves of Joseph Naler (her father), Nancy Naler Blair (her sister) and Mary "Polly" Naler (Pruitt) (her mother).
"Minerva" A Dau of Mary Nailor May 4, 1873 Aged 7 years and 4 months. This grave, which is one of the oldest marked graves in the cemetery, is right next to the grave of the Mary Naylor discussed above. Could this child be a daughter of the Mary Naler who is the mother of Amanda?
From "The History of McLennan Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties Texas," published @ 1893, Page 798. William Naler is the pioneer of Moody, this beautiful little town being built on land once owned by him. He gave to the railroad company twenty acres for depot purposes, and subsequently divided a hundred acres more with them. Indeed, to Mr. Naler's generosity and public-spiritedness is due much of the present prosperity of the town.Mr. Naler was born in Tennessee, in 1820, a son of Dixon and Nancy (Neil) Naler. Natives of Georgia and Tennessee (could Nancy Neil possibly be a "Neely"?) respectively. The Naler's came from Ireland to America long prior to the War of Independence, and most of them were farmers. James Naler, great-grandfather of William served in the Revolutionary war. His son, Dixon Naler, was born in North Carolina and after his marriage moved to Georgia where his son Dixon was born. This son, father of the subject of our sketch went to Tennessee before his marriage. His brother James served in the war of 1812. Dixon Naler married in Tennessee and after that event was engaged in farming there for fifteen or twenty years. He was a man of wealth and influence, and always took an active part in political matters.
He moved to Murray County, Georgia, where he was elected Sheriff, which position he filled for some years. He and his wife reared a family of eight children, namely: William whose name heads this article; Jane, deceased wife of Rolly Cupp, of Texas; Mary, widow of Robert McGaughy, of Georgia; Dixon, deceased; Sallie, wife of Stephen Hillis, of Texas; Amanda, widow of Isaac Anderson; George W., a resident of Bell County, Texas; Columbus, twin of George W. is deceased. Mr. Naler died in 1862, aged sixty-three, and his wife in 1884, aged eighty-five.William Naler received his education in the common schools of his native county and his subsequent training has been received in the school of experience. At the age of twenty he commenced to farm for himself, and for one year tilled rented land. He went with his father to Georgia in 1836, and continued to reside there till 1870. In 1863 he joined Company B, Thirty-ninth Georgia Infantry, as a private, and served till the surrender of Johnston's army in 1865. He participated in numerous engagements. At the battle of Kenesaw mountain he had a number of holes shot in his clothing, though he received no wounds.
In the early part of 1870 Mr. Naler came to Texas, and bought his present farm, and in the fall of that year moved his family to this place. His purchase consisted of 640 acres, with eighty-five acres under cultivation, a good stone residence and some other improvements, paying for it $3,000. He also bought a tract of timber land on the Leon River, making in all about 800 acres. Of the original 640 acres, he now has only seventy acres, having given away or sold the rest of it, for that he sold receiving from $200 to $800 per acre.
He now owns in this county about 800 acres, with 450 acres under cultivation, and has 200 acres in Bell County, sixty acres of which are cultivated. He also owns valuable city property. When Mr. Naler came to this State he had only about $3,500. He is now one of the wealthiest men in this portion of McLennan County, and his vast estate is the result of his toil and sorrow, his joy and prosperity and now well along in years, he being seventy-two and she sixty-six; both are hail and hearty.
Their marriage occurred June 2, 1844. Mrs. Naler's maiden name was Miss Martha J. Naler, and she and her husband are cousins. Her parents were Stephen and Sealy (Cole) Naler. The Cole family were among the early settlers of Tennessee. James Cole, grandfather of Mrs. Naler, was a blacksmith and farmer, and raised his sons on the farm, leaving them in well-to-do circumstances.
Mrs. Naler is the oldest of a family of five children, the others being Elizabeth, wife of L. Allen, James, of Bell County, Texas; Mary, wife of Thomas Manggum; and Dixon, who died in 1865, while in the Confederate service. To William M. Naler and wife have been born six children, namely: John C., of Mills County, Texas; Lovena, wife of Baker Ballew, of Abilene, Texas, James H., of Anson, Jones County, Texas; Margaret, wife of J.C. Wilson of this city, and Dixon and Celia, twins, the former being a resident of Bell County, Texas, and the latter deceased.
Both Mr. Naler and wife are members of Cumberland Presbyterian Church. (William Naler was the nephew of Josephine Naler. He bought Joseph's land in 1872.Father's Maternal Side - Edgar Allen Neely's Mother's Family, The Duttons:
Note: I plan on researching both the Dutton lineage, the Naler lineage, the Hitchcock lineage, the Tucker lineage, and the Mullins lineage after completion of the Neelys lineage. The Heilmann (my mother's maternal side of her family) lineage is complete and goes back to Germany 1666.
I really don't know too much about my Fathers maternal side of the family as far as births, deaths, etc. goes. The little information that I do have is taken from "gatherings" of information someone did from the "Book of Dutton," compiled by Gilbert Corp., Westchester, Pennsylvania and published by Dutton Publishing Company. The Dutton line can be traced back to the 1600s in England and Ireland and I am waiting for information on them.
My Second Great-Grandfather, James Cass Dutton. James Cass was born in Kentucky. He died in late winter of 1862, and is buried at Goshen, Kentucky. James Cass was a Confederate Solder who froze to death during a sudden winter storm. There was no shelter, warm clothing, supplies or food. James Cass married Matilda Mullit (could be Mullins (?) which is my mother's maiden name) of Virginia. She died two years after James, in 1864 and is also buried in Goshen, Kentucky. James and Matilda had nine children; Elias, George, Mase (perhaps short for Mason), Richard, Jack, Jane, James Cass (my great grandfather), Polly and Susan (twins?).
My Second Great-Grandmother, Dutton. At this time I have no further information on Matilda (Mullit, possibly Mullins).
My Great Grandfather, James Cass Dutton. My great grandfather was also named James Cass, and was born November 3, 1852 at Boon's Camp, Johnson County, Kentucky and was ten years old at the time of his father's death. I have no additional information on my great grandfather at this time.
My Great Grandmother, Rebecca Jane (Tucker) Dutton - Rebecca Jane was born September 12, 1853 in Sparta, Tennessee. Rebecca was a twin. She and James Cass were married by a preacher named Vaughn. They had thirteen children; Vivian Gertrude, (my grandmother) Mary Louisianna, Tennessee Imogine, Minnie Lee, Annie Pearl, Elma Elida,
Ila Mae, Frankie Rhea, Edward Bryon, D.K. (named for Dr. Guy Kendall) William D., Eugene Boone, Claude Jerome and John Cass (born August 4, 1894).Rebecca Jane's father was John Lawson Tucker who died in late 1864. John was married to Milinda (Hitchcock), who died in 1871 and is buried in Blackburn, War Eagle, Arkansas. Rebecca Jane was one of nine children born to John and Milinda. The other children were; Lawson and Benjamin (twins), Elizabeth, Mary, Margaret, Martha, Tennessee, and Louisanna (Rebecca Jane's twin sister).
Note: I have a complete genealogy book of my mother's maternal side of the family Rose (Heilmann) Mullins, which also gives quite a bit of information about my grandfather William H. Mullins, and my father, Edgar Allen Neely, as well as giving information on my mother, my sisters and brother, and the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.June 8, 1996. Since beginning the search for my roots early in July of 1995, in addition to Charles Hundley and Eva Jo Butler, I have now found *more* cousins. Confirmed cousins (so far) are Matt Ward, Maude Neely Paulus and Laura Martin. Possible cousins (to be confirmed) are; Charles C. Miller, Don Wallace and William White. (See Neely Files in the Compuserve program).
I only maintain this site I'm not the
one to Contact for more info.