April 2003


Written and Published Online by Rex Redmon, Greenville, SC.

w/contributing articles by cousins John Silver and Carolyn Silver-Sutton



Greetings everyone from Greenville, SC where your new online Silver Family newsletter, Silver Threads, originates. Yes, as announced by cousin Kay in January’s issue of Silver Notes, Silver Notes II is now known as Silver Threads and is online at the following Web Site:  Simply type the address into your search engine and when the site pops up, scroll down and you will have a variety of choices from which to choose, including Silver Threads.

My decision to go online is several-fold. First I want to bring you a timely newsletter that will be published the first of each month. Second, cousin John Silver, our family historian, needs a newsletter outlet to publish many of the family histories he receives each month. Third, I hope to reach an unlimited, hopefully tenfold, number of cousins with my online version of Silver Threads that will expose our great Silver Family news and heritage to an unlimited number of families. Fourth, I will not be restricted to the number of pages I can write each month. In addition, I will ultimately make all decisions concerning the publication of the newsletter.  And fifth, Silver Threads is FREE! Just turn on your PC, pull up the website, click on Silver Threads and gotcha! We hope you are hooked! Download the letter and start your own family archives of Silver Threads.

We are also seeking sponsors who are willing to download and mail five to ten copies of Silver Threads to cousins who do not have PCs. If you will act as a sponsor please contact either John or myself at our e-mail address or home addresses listed at the end of this newsletter, and we will supply you with a list of names. Too, John and I need to know who among you will need a copy of Silver Threads mailed to you. Will you also please contact us and request a free copy of Silver Threads? Thanks to cousins Mel Squires and Jerelene Howell of Asheville, NC, and Cousin Jan McDaniel of Cedartown, GA, who have already agreed to act as sponsors. My goal is to bring to you, our extended Silver Family, a worthy newsletter full of quality news and family history about our Silver Family located across the United States. I ask you to please pull up the website and take a look at Silver Threads then forward your comments to either John or myself and give us your opinion of the website.

You may also access the Silver Family Surname/Index File. However you will need a user name and password which you can obtain from myself, John or Barney Kaufman. Barney is a North Silver Family cousin and our Web site designer and keeper of the web. Much thanks goes to Barney for his efforts.

Also included on the website are updated reunion news for the Silver Family KONA reunion, The Parker-Robinson reunion and The Silver North reunions. See, we are full of goodies.   

John Silver and I are also in the process of mailing over 600 cards to our extended Silver Family across America telling them about the new newsletter website.

One more note and I will move on to other news. As of August 1, I will no longer contribute a hard copy to Silver Notes. I hope you have enjoyed reading my many contributions to Silver Notes these past three years. I certainly have enjoyed writing for you! I wish cousin Kay continued success with the Silver Notes publication.

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Reunion news

Good news everyone. I am very happy to announce that Sharyn McCrumb has accepted our invitation and will be our keynote speaker on Saturday at this year’s family reunion. The reunion will be held in KONA, Mitchell County, NC on Saturday July 26th and Sunday July 27th. Sharyn will also promote her new book (title unknown yet) and will be available Saturday afternoon to autograph any books you might have that she has written. I wrote to her last month and just received her acceptance this week (March 4th.).

In addition, your reunion planners are meeting the first Saturday in April at KONA to lay some groundwork for this year’s reunion. Stay tuned for further announcements.

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Cousin Carolyn Silver-Sutton wrote to me last month with some corrections to my article on Marvel Silver and Deliliah Hawkins-Silver that appeared in Silver Notes II, Vol. No. II, Issue No. XII, December 2002.  Carolyn informed me that her ancestor, John Silver, father of Marvel Silver and son of George Silver Jr. and Nancy Ann Griffith, did not use the “s” on the end of his name while living in Georgia as I wrote in my December article. Church records in GA and the majority of census record in GA, do reveal none use of the “s” at the end of his name. Also the published birth dates of Mary Susannah McGruder, wife of John Silver, that I published, are as well incorrect. Carolyn tells me Georgia Census records indicate a birth year of 1795 and not 1803 as I reported. Also Mary Susannah was born in NC and not Maryland. Thank you Carolyn for your corrections. 

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Parker reunion

I recently received an E-mail from cousin Barbara Gregory [email protected] telling me the annual Parker-Robinson Reunion will be held Sunday, April 13th. in the Coon Hunters Building in Franklin, NC. Please contact Barbara for details. She tells me big things are planned.

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Monroe Thomas’ letter

Now to continue the letter of Monroe Thomas. To his cousin, James Hutchins, in November of 1951.  I am writing two extra pages this month. I requested two extra pages in January but that fact was never confirmed so the two extra pages are now forthcoming in this month‘s edition. Last month I ended Monroe’s letter as he was recalling the many names that were repetitively used in the Silver family such as Will, (William) Nancy, David, George, Rachel, Sam and countless Levis, Jacobs and Alexanders. Monroe continues on page 12 of his letter…

As to the authenticity of this account, you may rest assured that it is as accurate as any that you could get from any other source, and in my estimation it is more so. For my mother was a Silver -- daughter of David Silver, son of Jacob -- and she is my authority. Born and brought up in the ancestral home, she sat as a young girl at the feet of her grandfather, Jacob and drank his stories of the family’s past; and when she came to have a family of her own she made the stories a part of her children’s education. As Jacob’s recollection went far back; together with Mother’s recollection, they give us a complete and authentic record of the family’s history from its origin in the Old World to the present, and form today one of our most treasured possessions.

Some of Jacob’s stories are worthy of a wider audience. One was about the family treasure. When the elder George who was preparing to leave his home in the Old World to come to America, his father divided his estate among his children and gave George his share in jewelry; which when he arrived in Pennsylvania he put in a bank for safe keeping, presumably in Philadelphia. What the jewelry consisted of and what its worth was we don’t know; later reports give us to understand that it was of great value, but all the definite knowledge that we have of it is that it was delivered to George in a locked chest, that he put in the bank in the selfsame chest, and that he retained the key as his badge of ownership. Thereafter, George never removed the chest or any of its contents and when the revolution broke out and his son, the younger George, was preparing to return to the army in his stead, he made him its owner and entrusted him with the key.[1] Young George carried the key secretly strapped to his body throughout the remainder of the war; but when the war ended, his father and mother[2] having both died, he came south without going home and consequently did not return to get the chest. But he brought the key with him; and he always meant to go back, but he never did and at his death he willed the key along with his other personal belongings to his son Jacob, and charged him to do what he had failed to do. And Jacob always meant to; but like his father George, he kept putting it off until presently he was too old to make the trip. But the matter never ceased to intrigue him, and he’d tell the story he’d always get up in conclusion and take him down the key from its place of safekeeping and show it to Mother and his other enraptured grandchildren. It was a massive, curiosity piece of iron, three or four times the size of a common present-day door key, and with the word “Germany” engraved in large raised letters along its beam.

From Jacob the key together with the ancestral home and lands went to Jacob’s son David, who, in addition to being a schoolteacher was a coldly practical and scientific farmer. Consequently he took no interest in the jewelry; but nevertheless on a day when Mother was a young woman the family’s hopes suddenly revived and seemed within certain reach of realization. The occasion was the arrival of Edmond, David’s youngest brother, with a worn and faded newspaper clipping stating a certain bank in Philadelphia had found hidden away in one of its vaults an old wrought-iron box of pre-Revolutionary design, locked but supposedly containing valuables; that the bank had no records showing to whom the box belonged or when it was deposited; and that the owner or the owner’s heirs, if one existed, could redeem it by presenting satisfactory proof of ownership within a certain time. Otherwise it would be the banks.

That was their chest, they all cried, and the key to prove it! So taking the key, Edmond left to go and at long last redeem the family’s treasure -- a treasure that no doubt had increased by now to many times its original worth and would make every heir of the name independent rich. But, alas, tragedy stepped in and blocked its fulfillment; Edmond was thrown from his mount and killed before making the trip, and the treasure was never claimed. But the family still has the key (at last accounts it was in the possession of Edmond’s son Nat) and any mention of it makes the family’s hopes rise.[3]

Another story was the murder of Jacob’s son Charles by his wife Frances, (Frankie to us); but since you already know this story in all of its gory details I will not repeat it. I do want to say, however, that no member of Jacob’s family will hear to it that there was a second woman in the case of any element of jealously in Frankie’s motives; she committed the crime, they say, but for one reason -- because Charles refused to join her father and brothers in a family migration West.[4] They say, moreover, that she confessed when she first learned her crime had become known. The searching party of which, I’m sure, your great uncle was a member, together, perhaps, with others of your family, had gone into Charlie’s house unknown to her and had removed the floor and was taking up the tell tale ashes when she unexpectedly entered and, throwing up her hands in horror, exclaimed that if she could recall the deed she would not commit it for the whole green world. Later, however, I understand that she denied making this confession, but even so the ballad which she composed and recited on the scaffold contains an implied confession. Do you have this ballad? I have it somewhere if I can find it I will enclose a copy. Frankie was hanged at Morganton, the county seat, Toe River valley then being a part of Burke. I got the date of her execution from that found on the ballad, but I have no proof that it is the right one.

A third story concerned Jacob’s son Billy. Jacob and Nancy sent their other children when they finished at their local school to a more advanced school in Burnsville, called the Academy, the finest finishing school in Toe River valley, where they finished their education. But Billy was tongue-tied and wouldn’t go; or rather he went, but because the other students made sport of his stuttering he wouldn’t stay. He continued to go to his local school till he was nearly grown; then he decided to take his education into his own hands. Accordingly he cut logs and built for himself a study cabin, locating it on the banks of the river near a shoal about a mile below his home so that the roar of the shoal would drown out all outside noises; and to this cabin he came regularly every morning and left late at evening for several years, studying alone and without teachers; and in time he got a good education and, overcoming his speech impediment, stepped out of the cabin into the classroom where he won renown both in North Carolina and eastern Tennessee as a great pioneer school teacher. His offspring today claim he became a teacher in higher education and served for many years as president of Milligan College; but mother, while as eager as any to acknowledge his greatness, says that this is a fabrication. That his work was all in small county schools. He did, however, learn the shoemaker’s craft, and practiced it in between sessions; and late in life he helped to organize and build the church at Bandana, which still stands, as Silver Chapel, commemorates his name. But he is best remembered for the unique manner in which he got his education. The log cabin in which he studied has long since passed down the stream of time, but the romance of it lives on in the hearts of the people.

The fourth and final story I will tell was about Jacob’s two sons John and Marvel Alexander. At the time of the story these two brothers were young unmarried men, at home together, and they loved one another with a great love, with a love so great they were inseparable so that when one was there the other was there also. John was a Christian and his brother was unconverted; and this was their only difference, yet it did not divide them.

In a summer of the 1830’s an epidemic of typhoid fever struck the community and carried off many of its members. John and Marvel were both stricken in a single night. The window to their upstairs bedroom stuck one evening and wouldn’t open, and that same night they all got sick. They laid it to the bad air of the room. George and Milton soon died and were buried on top of the hill above the house where the ashes of Charles reposed; but John and Marvel Alexander, after weeks of suffering, finally weathered the crisis and started getting better.[5] John improved rapidly and was soon up and out again, but Marvel Alexander improved more slowly. The fever had settled in his side, leaving great cake (Editor: cake ?) in it, and soon his side started swelling and he had to take his bed again. John had to go to the fields alone now, and he went with heaviness of heart; for Marvel Alexander continued to get worse and worse and his condition was rapidly becoming critical. And on a day when John was hoeing in the field at the foot of which now stands the crusher of the feldspar of the Carolina Mineral Company but which was then called the big peach orchard, a messenger hurried into the field and told him to go quickly and tell his Aunt Nancy, and to make haste and return -- hat his brother was dying.

John went. His Aunty Nancy was his father’s sister, wife of Tom Robinson; she lived on the other side of the river, near the original Robinson settlement, in the part of the community now called Double Island. The canoe crossing was only a short distance below the field, but John did not take time to go to it; he went down and waded the river, and he returned the same way he went. And both as he went and as he returned he fell onto his knees every few steps and prayed in a loud voice. The neighbors in their fields along the way saw him and heard him. And each time he prayed, his words were the same: that his brother might recover to become a Christian and that he be allowed to die in his place.

When John got home the family and neighbors were fast gathering in. He told them about his prayer, that is had been answered, and his face shone with a strange light. But no one paid any attention to him. Marvel Alexander was in the throes of death and lamentations was already being made for him. But presently he came out of his struggle and regained consciousness; and he seemed momentarily to rest easier. Then a strange thing began to happen: Marvel Alexander started getting better, and at the same time John started getting sick; and their sickness was the same, as if it were coming out of the one and going into the other. All that afternoon the sick brother recovered rapidly; and in the same degree that he got better John got worse. In the presence of the Supernatural the family felt powerless to act, and an awed but hallowed stillness fell upon the home as family and neighbors tiptoed from room to room and talked in hushed voices. Though none knew it then but the two brothers and the weeping sweetheart, John had in his pocket his license to wed; but in the awfulness of that hour there was no thought of marrying or giving in marriage. The next morning brother was able to sit up, but John took his bed; and on the morning of the next day he arose seemingly a well man, but John lay at the point of death.

Nevertheless John arose that morning and bathed and dressed himself in his best cloths, as if he were going on a long journey. Then going out into the yard, he bade the sun and the moon and the stars farewell, and turning, bade the earth and fell upon it a long farewell. Then he went back into the house and bade the wonder stricken family and his neighbors farewell. Then without saying more, he went to his bed and lay down; and having crossed his hands above his breast and closed his eyes, he drew one last breath and was gone.

The next day the awed and sorrowing family and neighbors carried him up to the top of the hill above the house and laid him down; and two years later they laid his brother beside him -- a Christian. They sleep beneath unmarked stones; yet when we gather out for our annual decoration we never fail to put flowers on their graves.

I often hear the young people of our community lament that nothing ever happened here, when all around them the ground has been hallowed by the heroic exploits of our ancestors who wrested (spl?) the community from the wilderness and gave it to us the good land it is. But it is not the children’s fault that they do not know this fact, for the parents are so busy getting the latest news and going to the latest places that they neglect to tell the old tales and the children do not know them. Consequentially the richest part of our heritage is rapidly being forgotten.

Many things have combined to slow me down in the writing of this letter, which I will explain presently. But I believe that you would rather have waited until now in order to have a full answer to your questions that to have had a quick reply and only a brief answer. For a historian never has too many facts. Probably you will not be able to use much of what I’m enclosing, but even so you need a full account in order to understand the significance of what little you do use. Then too I have written fully in the hopes that you will file and preserve this account.[6] During my life time I have only known two people who knew the history of the Silver’s accurately and in full -- The late Reverend Jimmy Thomas and my mother, and now I only know one -- my mother -- and she is nearing eighty. I have gone to great pains, therefore, waged on by your inquiry, to put this account into writing while Mother is alive to check it; and though it serves little present purpose, it gives me satisfaction to think that through you it may be of help in preserving for future generations a light out of the past. 

Bear with me a little longer and I will give you my genealogy before I go on to other things. On my mother’s side I come from Maggie Silver, daughter of David Silver, son of Jacob Silver, son of George Silver the younger, son of George Silver the elder, founder and first head of the family, who came to America from the Old World in the 1750s. All of my mother’s paternal ancestors, except George the elder, who died in Pennsylvania lie buried in the ancestral burying ground in KONA.


I will end this month’s writings of Monroe’s letter. I have finished 20 pages and perhaps I can finish the letter next month and include the rest of his poetry. Tune in to and read about some of the Georgia history of John Silver’s descendants, Thomas Jackson Silver and his son, William Jackson Silver. The material was furnished by Carolyn Silver Sutton, of GA. little [email protected]. Also cousin John Silver of Dover, Delaware has contributions to our April edition of Silver Threads.


Thomas Jackson Silver

by Carolyn Silver-Sutton


Thomas Jackson was the second child born to John and Mary Silver. He was born around 1825, in, or near Cherokee, North Carolina.

In 1843 at the young age of 18, Thomas’ parents decided to move to Gilmer County, Georgia. Thomas, at that time he decided not to make the move with them, instead, he chose to remain in North Carolina and work for his father’s brother, William Griffith Silver. William was born June 14, 1800 in Frederick County, Maryland.  While staying at his uncle’s house he fell in love with his uncle William’s daughter, Mary Myra “Polly“ Silver.  She was born December 6, 1830 in North Carolina.  Being first cousins was not a concern to Thomas and Polly, they wanted to get married anyway, but it did matter to Polly’s parents, they forbid the union, which forced Thomas and Polly to elope. They grabbed two horses and with what clothes they had on their backs, started across the rugged North Carolina mountains into Georgia.

After they were married they settled at Cohutta Springs in Murray County, Georgia. The house was a two-room log house separated with a breezeway. They lived there until Thomas purchases the Old Moore’s Place at Cisco, Georgia on two lots of land at the foot of Doogan Mountain. They built themselves a fine house and paneled the inside with dressed lumber. The house had a picket fence around it and next to the fence they kept a hive of bees. Out back of the house they had an apple orchard. Thomas also planted crops which brought in cash as well as food for his family.

During the Civil War, Thomas and several other men did not want to go fight, so they hid out in a cave on Grassy Mountain. I was told by my Uncle Bill that beside the cave was a rock that looked like a chair with a back and seat, not man-made but natural.

Thomas would make baskets and would leave them at a designated spot somewhere on the mountain for Polly to pick up. In exchange she would leave food. Polly would take the baskets and sell them for money for the family. Times were so hard during and after the Civil War that Polly would dig out the dirt from her smokehouse floor to boil for the salt it contained.

Thomas and Polly had seven children, five boys and two girls: Ervin, McKinzie, William Jackson, Sadina “Demmie”, Mary Jane, Samuel Thomas, Frank and Harvey McDonald Silver.

Later in life Thomas had a stroke which put him in bed for 16 years. He suffered two more strokes and the last on killed him on March 23, 1907. He is buried at Mt. Sumach Baptist Church at Disco, Georgia.

After the death of Thomas, Polly went to live with her son Harvey McDonald in Tennessee. During the time she was living in Tennessee the house at Cisco burned. It is not known how the house caught fire.

While living in her son’s home, Polly would make dresses and bedspreads from material woven from her loom. Poly taught her grand daughter, Dora, her ABC’s by teaching her a poem. She lived almost eleven years in Harvey’s house before her death on January 25, 1918. Before her death she suffered a stroke and was ill for a long time. Polly is buried at Ball Play Baptist Church in Old Fort, Tennessee.

It is said that Poly never visited her parents, or spoke to them until the day she died. She held a grudge against them because they did not want her to marry Thomas. At one point in her life someone was sent to her home to see if she would except (spl) her inheritance and she refused to accept any of it.

Before Harvey’s death two men from North Carolina came to his house and asked him to settle his mother’s inheritance. He refused. He said he would honor his mother’s wishes also.

Harvey McDonald was born April 5, 1866. He married Ophelia Victoria Brown. Harvey and Ophelia had never met before the day they were married. He went to get her on his horse and brought her a gift of snuff.

Harvey and Ophelia lived on forty acres of land in Old Fort, Tennessee. He farmed, fished and loved to read his Bible. For extra money he trapped skinks and sold the skunk oil to a medicine company in New York.

Harvey McDonald had a camp built on the river where he would hide out for weeks at a time. Once he slipped, fell on a slippery rock in the river, and broke his leg. He laid there for some days before a friend came to check on him. They brought him out to his house where he treated himself with herbal remedies. He would never go to the doctor. Gangrene set in and he died on September 29, 1940.


Figure 1 - Harvey McDonald Silver


1. Pages from interview taken from Walter Silver at the age of 98 in 1988. The interview was taken by Steve Patterson.

2. “The Silver Family”  by  Samuel Thomas Silver. P 6,7,8.

3. Personal family information, Bible records, and interviews with family members.


William Jackson Silver

by Carolyn Silver-Sutton


William Jackson Silver was the fifth child born to Thomas Jackson and Mary Polly Silver on January 2, 1852 in Murray County, Georgia. On February 28, 1889 William married Martha Jane “Mattie” White. She was born August 1, 1868 in Tennessee.

Not much is known about Will and Mattie, as they were known to the family and friends. They had several residences around the area at Cisco, Georgia. At one time they lived in Long Hollow a few miles from Cisco off the old number 2 Highway going to the mountains.

While living in Long Hollow, Will and Mattie had 10 children, six boys and four girls. Walter, Benjamin, Eula, Liley, Charlie, Harvey, Ethel, Luther, Clara and Clyde.  Clara and Luther were twins. The children did not have many years with their father. He died at the age of 58. My grandfather Charlie, was ten years old when father, Will, died. His mother Mattie died at the age of 80 on January 14, 1984. They are both buried at Mt. Sumach Baptist Church at Cisco, Georgia.

My Dad Calvin, “Cal” as he is known today by everyone who knows him, still lives in the mountains at Cisco, Georgia. He lives in a house over Doogan Mountain down in what we call, “The Valley.” My Dad does not have any memories of his grandmother, Mattie. He did say that when he was young he would go check on her during the day and fix what needed fixing, especially her chicken coops.

Mattie’s parents, David and Sara Hughes White, lived on top of Doogan Mountain in the house on the left side of the road. The spring they got their drinking water from us on the right side of the road.

I can remember well living in this house with my family until it burned in the 1960’s. This house was called “The White House.”

David white was the first to run a post office in the mountains down the road a piece from his house. His wife, Sara, also ran a post office across the road from their house. David always rode his horse beside the wagon his wife and children rode in to protect them, and the mail.    

David White was born in November 1839 in Tennessee and died in Murray County, Georgia in 1913. Sara was born march 15, 1840 in Tennessee and died February 18, 1900 in Murray County, Georgia. They were both buried in the Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery In Cisco, Georgia.


Figure 2 - William Jackson Silver and Martha Jane "Mattie" White


by John Silver


Hello to everyone. I hope that spring is springing wherever you are. It has been a long hard winter for us. Let the sunshine in and the daffodils grow ten feet tall!!

As I mentioned last month, I will try to do a little history lesson on the Silber/Silver family as I have come to know it. We have had some excellent researchers who have worked very hard to piece together what we know so far. I would like to give each of them credit but the list would exceed my allowed space. So for now, this will be a brief story without becoming too involved in details and dates.

Our first known ancestor was (1) Jacob Silber (ca 1540 - ?) From all I can gather, this Jacob was a wagoneer. His son (2) Jacob Silber (ca 1572-1633) probably followed in his footsteps. Jacob’s son, (3) Jacob#1 (16 Mar 1591- ?) is assumed as following the family business. His son, (4) Jacob Silber (ca 30 January 1615- ?) became one of the first ironworkers in the family. For the next few generations the Silber family became well known for their beautifully decorative iron creations such as gates, fences and other works. Along with their daily blacksmith trade they became quite well to do. We assume that the family business lasted for the next several generations. (5) Jerg (Georg) Silber (ca 1650-1688), (6) Hanss Jurg Silber (ca 1682-1736), and our first ancestor to come to America, (7) Georg Wendel Silber (27 Jun 1731-21 October 1785).

Georg Wendel Silber left the little town of Denkendorf, Neckarkries, Wuerttemburg, Germany sometime in the summer of 1749 and made his way to Rotterdam, Holland, where he boarded the passenger ship, “Speedwell.” I have been led to believe that Georg was able to pay his fare in that he was not indentured to a sponsor when he arrived in the colonies.

From Rotterdam, the Speedwell made her way to Cowes, England. (Scotland) Here, the passengers were subjected to a customs check and cleared for admission to the colonies. Note: All Catholics were turned away. England would only transport Protestants to America.

Cowes was only one of several immigration checkpoints. These camps as they were called, had no running water, no sanitary facilities and very little to offer in the way of shelter. Many of the immigrants died in these camps waiting for transport. This is

Another indication that Georg had paid his fare. He was reloaded aboard the Speedwell and sailed for Philadelphia where he arrived on September 26, 1749.

Upon arrival in Philadelphia, all passengers were required to take an oath stating their loyalty to the King of England. Once this was completed, the paying passengers were free to leave the ship. Those who were indentured were allowed to leave once their sponsor had paid their expenses. Those passengers who had not paid their fare and had no sponsor were auctioned off to the highest bidders who paid their expenses. These passengers who were auctioned off were required to serve their sponsor from 6 to 10 years before they were emancipated. Children were known to have been enslaved for 15 or more years.

Leaving Philadelphia, Georg moved to Berks and Montgomery Counties. Both these counties lie just west of Philadelphia. Records show that he paid taxes in Berks County and some time later in Montgomery County. Here, Georg met and married Elizabeth Margretha Schmieden, a widow, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Trappe, Pennsylvania on February 16, 1752. They became the parents of twins, Johann Jurg and Elizabeth Silver who were christened in the Trappe Church on October 28, 1753. Later records from the Christ’s (Mertz) Lutheran Church show that another son, Jacob, was born to them and was baptized on August 25, 1765. From this point we know nothing more of Jacob. Apparently he died at a very young age.

From the time that Georg Wendel Silber settled in Pennsylvania, he became George Silver. We know him now as George Silver Senior. His son Johann Jurg became George Silver Junior. From all the records that we have been able to find, Georg Wendel Silber was never used again. George Silver became Georg Wendel’s Anglicized name. His son, Johann Jurg would forever become also George Silver.

About this time in 1765, George Silver removed his family to Frederick Maryland where he patented (purchased) three adjoining pieces of property. This “plantation” or farm was known as “Beggar’s Choice.” (More next month)

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New Gouge and Silver Cemetery Markers Placed:

Submitted by John Silver Harris


My longtime friend, Sarah Gouge McKee, reports that her sister, Helen, and her brother-in-law, Bruce McKinney, who own the old Gouge Cemetery site at Bandana in Mitchell County, North Carolina, have placed new stone markers where the original ones have become broken or unreadable.

One of the new markers is for Elizabeth Gouge Silver, first wife of Alfred Leonard Silver (son of Rev. Jacob Silver and grandson of George Silver Jr.) She was a daughter of William and Martha Gouge. Elizabeth was born in 1816 and died at 44 in 1860.

“Helen and Bruce had the original words, strange spelling and all, reproduced on the new stones,” says Sarah. “The old stones will remain as long as they will.”

“One grave site we are debating is most probably that of Elizabeth’s mother, Martha Thomas Gouge, because the grave is beside that of Elizabeth’s father, William Gouge. The stone only has a dove on it.”

Sarah Gouge McKee can be contacted at 5420 Orebank Rd., Kingsport, TN 37664-4548. Phone: 423-288-5013 or by e-mailing: [email protected]

The Silver family owes a load of thanks to Helen and Bruce for their unselfish generosity. Thank you, folks.


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From Karyl Hubbard

(Karyl has done tons of research on George Silver III’s descendants. Thank you Karyl!)


Dear John,

I received word today that we’ve lost another cousin. Alonzo “Lon” Sidener, son of Emma (Isaac > Rev. Edward > George III > George Silver Jr. > George Silver Sr.) died 6 March, 2003 in Yuma, AZ. Lon was born in Wonsevu, Chase County, Kansas on January 26, 1910 and is survived by three sisters. Effie Sidener Brothers Switzer, Annie Sidener Baker Hanshu and Dorothy Sidener Snelling Wilson, all of Kansas, as well as his niece and caretaker Susanita Sidener Moore of Yuma, Arizona and Barstow, California. He survived three wives, one divorce, no children.

I’m so glad that we took the time to visit him in Yuma again this January. At the time he seemed quite well and chipper and gave me a copy of a picture of my great uncle, Thomas Sullivan, holding one-year-old Lon. He also told me some great stories of our Sullivan uncles. And his copy of the 1300 pages of Sidener genealogy finished about 1960, which I had promised to return on my way through Yuma next winter. I have no idea what I will do with it now, having gleaned all the Silver information that I can out of it. Anyway, I will miss him. (Karyl)





April 5, 1920 – March 13, 2003


ASHEVILLE – Clifford Herman Rice, 82, of 56 Goldview Road, died Thursday, March 13, 2003, at Mission St. Joseph’s Health System following a period of declining health.

A native of Madison County, he had resided in Buncombe County since 1945 and was a carpenter and farmer. He was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where he served on the building and cemetery committees and was the church custodian for fifteen years.

He went on many mission trips where he helped build churches throughout the United States. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in Company C of the 160th Field Artillery Battalion.

Mr. Rice was the son of the late Jacob Thurman and Emaline Nancy Bishop Rice, and was also preceded in death by a grandson, Darrell Edwards and brothers Rufus, Julius and Ellis Rice.

He is survived by his wife, Johnnie Marie Silver Rice, whom he married on June 20, 1948; daughters, Patsy Edwards and husband Ray of Asheville, Linda Franklin and her husband Tony of Alexander, Darlene Rice of Asheville and Tina Laughridge and husband John of Marion; sons, James Rice and wife Teresa, Tim Rice and wife Mary and Stacy Rice, all of Asheville; brothers, Johnny Rice and Huel Rice, both of Asheville; eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with the Reverends Keith Watkins, Ebb Jenkins and H. L. Wilson officiating.

Burial will be in the church cemetery with grandsons and great-grandsons, Chris Edwards, Scott Franklin, Jason Franklin, Todd Laughridge, Miles Rice and Matthew Fisher serving as pallbearers and Cameron Moss, Andy Rice, Tyson Edwards, Thomas Rice and Jase Petterson serving as honorary pallbearers.

Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Buncombe County Veterans Memorial Team. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Anders Rice Funeral Home and at other times at the residence.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Tilman Blalock Silver > Tilman Anderson Silver > Diston Silver > Johnnie Marie Silver m. Clifford Herman Rice)

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April 26, 1927 – March 20, 2003


Mrs. Dorothy “Dot” Silver Payne, age 75, of 107 King Street, Adairsville, Ga, died Thursday, March 20, 2003.

She was born in Bartow County, April 26, 1927, a daughter of the late Alphonso Lowell and Effie Swain Silver. She was a member of the Adairsville Baptist Church for 66 years, having joined in 1937, a member of the Sans Souci Womens Club, the Adairsville Red Hat Society and the Adairsville Planning Commission. She was columnist for the North Bartow News and had been employed by Calmor. At the time of her death she was an Associate at Wal-Mart. She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Benjamin “Trapper” Payne on December 16, 1987, and a son, John Larry Payne.

Survivors include 3 sons and a daughter-in-law, Billy and Betty Payne of Calhoun, Ronny Payne and Mark Payne of Adairsville. Five grandchildren, Shannon Belcher of Adairsville, Allison and Blake Payne of Calhoun and Ryne Payne of Adairsville. 2 great-grand-children, Ethan Taylor Belcher of Adairsville and Hunter Gage Payne of Cartersville, a special friend, Eve King Herbenick of Jacksonville, FL and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Adairsville Baptist Church with the Reverends Michael Hunt, Greg Brown and Jim Pinkard officiating. The body will lie in state at the church Saturday from 1 p.m. til 2 p.m. Interment will follow in the East View Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Frankie, Freddy and Jimmy Fletcher, Blake and Corey Payne and Stephen Belcher. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Adairsville Red Hat Society.

The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Barton Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Adairsville Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society.

R. Dudley and Son Funeral Home, Adairsville, is in charge of the funeral arrangements for Mrs. Dorothy Silver Payne.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Greenberry Silver > Alexander Silver > Alphonso Lowell Silver > Dorothy A. Silver m. Floyd Benjamin Payne)


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died March 26, 2003


James Gaston "Jim" Silver Sr., 81, of Portage, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at Horton VNA Hospice Center in Valparaiso.

James was a northwest Indiana resident for approximately 60 years and a World War II veteran serving in the Navy. Jim retired as supervisor of the construction and engineering division of U.S. Steel, Gary Works, with over 40 years of service. He helped organize the Supervisors Club and served as its first president.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, James Jr. (Laura) of Lincolnton, NC; daughter, Juanita Carol Silver (Mrs. J. C.) Benfield, of Union, SC; seven grandchildren, Timmy, and Jimmy III, Silver; Julie Carol Benfield Fowler (Jimmy Dean); Jeffery Curtiss Benfield; Matthew and Anthony Popovich and Christina Stanim; sister, Lennie Silver Harris of Burke County, NC; and stepson, Alex Stanim of Portage, Indiana.

Funeral services were Saturday, March 29, 2003, 11 a.m. at Rees Funeral Home, 600 W. Old Ridge Road, Hobart, Indiana, with Rev. Robert B. Evers officiating.

Burial followed at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana.

James G. Silver Sr. family line:

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Silver > John Silver > David Alonzo "Lonny" Silver > James G. Silver Sr.)


John and I are interested in establishing a group E-mail mailing list. If each of you, our readers, will supply us with your name and E-mail address, you can receive mass E-mailings from us at various times. We will never send or forward any messages to you that do not apply to our Silver Family Heritage and will expect the same from you.   


Rex Redmon
Editor, Silver Threads
40 Wood Pointe Drive #68
Greenville, SC 29615
[email protected]
[email protected]

John Silver
Family Historian Online
64S Fairfield Drive
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]

Barney Kaufman
Keeper of The Web
7408 Lake Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-1960
[email protected]




[1] Perhaps this is from where the notion came that George Sr. was in the Revolution. If so, then it would be an Oral Tradition source.


[2] As stated in a previous footnote No. 6 (See Silver Notes II, February 2003) the will of George Sr. was not probated until 1785 (the war ended in 1782) and he names his wife beneficiary so he was still living when the war ended. Also I would think it very careless and irresponsible of George Jr. to carry a key to a treasure around his neck during his stay in the Colonial Army.


[3] There is great conjecture about the authenticity of the treasure chest full of family jewels. The story has never been proven false or true by modern day family historians. The truth about Edmond Silver’s accidental death actually occurred in Hilliard, Florida. He was in Florida land speculating when he was thrown from a mule and killed. 


[4] Editor: While I was researching the story of Charlie and Frankie for my book, Tragedy On The Estatoe, I ran across this story but I do not hold much credence to it. If there is any validity to the story, then why did the Stewarts not continue their migration plans after Charlie and Frankie were both  dead and buried? They continued to live in the valley until each died late in life. However more than one source alluded to the “another woman” theory. That woman being Nancy Wilson, Charlie’s first cousin and a witness at Frankie’s trial.


[5] I do not have  record of a son of Jacob Silver named George so the George Silver in question must be George Silver Jr. who died July 8, 1839 of Typhoid fever. Milton Silver, born February 2, 1820, was nineteen years old when he died.   John Silver, born July 13, 1818 was twenty-one years old in 1839 and Marvel, born December 11, 1827 was twelve years old.


[6] Whether Mr. Hastings filed and preserved Monroe’s material is unknown but for what it is worth it is being filed and preserved now.