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

w/contributing articles by cousin John Silver



Hello Everyone,

Fall is definitely in the air in the Carolinas, especially here in the foothills of Upstate South Carolina. The early mornings are nippy and are best enjoyed when served up with a cup of hot coffee on the back deck while reading the morning newspaper. We have been truly blessed with good weather this year in the southeast. Mother nature has given us an abundance of rain and green shines brightly everywhere. Wooly worm enthusiasts (mountain folk who look at the colors and the length of the wooly worm’s fur to determine how hard a winter we will have) predict a hard winter with lots of snow. Well, we will wait and see.


I trust everyone is happy and healthy. I have only been hearing good news from our many extended family cousins across the country. Family reunions have been a main topic of conversation for the past few weeks and many reunions are still planned and waiting to be held. As an example, cousin Barbara Gregory of Rock Hill, South Carolina, recently notified me the Parker Family Reunion will be held on October 11, 2003, in the Coon Hunter’s Building, Franklin, North Carolina. The event begins at 9 AM with a covered dish lunch served up at noon. For those of you who might wonder who the Parker family is, I will tell you.


Charlie Silver and Frankie Stewart-Silver had a daughter, Nancy Silver, who married David Parker and eventually moved to Macon County, North Carolina where she died and is buried. It is the descendants of Nancy who are gathering for the October 11th reunion. Also, Barbara asks me to notify all Parker descendants to mark their calendars for the annual Parker Family Christmas Party to be held on December 5, 2003. That event is scheduled in the Coon Hunter’s Building as well. All attendees are to bring a covered dish and a white elephant gift — a white elephant wrapped in white. (lol) Contact Barbara Gregory at [email protected] for more information about both of these events.


Also Frances Silver Timms of Georgia wrote telling me how much she enjoyed the reunion at KONA this year. She, her husband, two brothers and sister-in-law were in attendance. Francis told me she especially enjoyed the field trip to Frankie and Charlie’s cabin and appreciated the manner in which Niel Stewart and I retold the story about Frankie and Charlie. She also offered high praise to John Silver for his efforts to preserve our Silver Family history. Francis closed her E-mail with the announcement of a Silver Family Reunion in the Old American Legion Building in Rome, Georgia, that will be held the third Sunday in September. Sorry, descendants of John Silver, I did not have the information to notify everyone in September’s newsletter.


Speaking of reunions, I again attended the Creed Fulton Silver Family Reunion in Asheville, North Carolina on August 30th. Cousin Mel Squires, who hosts the event for her extended family, always extends an invitation to me because my great grandfather, John Washington Silver and Creed Fulton were brothers. So we are first cousins three times removed. The highlights of the reunion are the posters of family photos that Mel has accumulated over the years. The posters number in the forties and I insisted Mel bring the posters to KONA next year for John to scan and preserve in the family heritage archives at KONA. I also distributed Silver family information sheets, prepared by cousin John Silver Harris of Florida, to those attending the reunion. The information sheets tell about the online newsletter, Silver Threads; some history of the Silver family and about the many publications that have been written about our family. Mel extended an invitation for me to be a guest speaker at next year’s event, an invitation which I gladly accepted.


While on the subject of reunions, if any of you ever need a guest speaker at your reunion event, I am more than happy to oblige if you are interested in having me as a speaker. I am familiar with our family history as well as the story of Frankie and Charlie plus Western North Carolina history. You can contact me at the E-mail address or phone number shown at the end of this newsletter.


I also received a very nice letter from Maxine McCall of Morganton this week. Maxine wrote a book, They Won’t Hang a Woman, for the Burke County School System of North Carolina a number of years ago. Burke County is where Frankie Stewart-Silver was hanged. Maxine is soon going to start on an extended version of her original book and update her story to include much of the new research that has surfaced since she wrote her book. She is also including my narrative manuscript, Tragedy On The Estatoe, as part of her research and promises me a personal interview as well. Maxine, we look forward to the publication of your work. She is dedicating the book to the memory of the late Wayne Silver, of KONA, North Carolina.


Speaking of Frankie and Charlie. I was flattered by an article which appeared in the News Herald, a Burke County, North Carolina Newspaper, on August 20, 2003 about our gathering in the woods at the Frankie and Charlie cabin site. Mr. Howard Williams of Morganton and President of the Frankie Silver Foundation placed the article in the newspaper. A nice picture of those of us who gathered in the woods accompanied the article. However, a correction to the article appeared on August 31, 2003, advising the readers that I am not a descendant of Charlie Silver as the original article stated.



Many of you know that I have been a bachelor for over twenty-four years. Many of you also know I am a fast runner and that is why I have remained a bachelor for twenty-four years. Some of you know I have also been dating a very attractive redheaded Silver cousin for the past eleven months. This Silver cousin is Margaret Floy Ruppe-Wyatt a descendant of Reverend Jacob Silver. Recently, like Friday evening September 5th, I was suffering from a strained knee and was having great difficulty getting about, let alone being able to run fast. After a wonderful dinner at home, that any prominent chef would kill to prepare, Margaret cornered me, told me I had run long enough and it was then she asked me to marry her.


What could I do? I could not run!. I was lost for words! She looked me sternly in my eyes and firmly asked if I understood. With great surprise I slowly shook my head up and down indicating I understood her question. She accepted my positive nod as a “Yes” answer to her marriage question and now dear cousins, I reckon I am engaged to be married. It so happened too that I just happened to have a diamond engagement ring with me which she forcefully dug out of my pocket and placed on her finger. I’m sure you have never before in your life read such a story have you?


Please, before Margaret kills me, let me tell the truth about what actually did happen on September 5th. We did have a wonderful dinner at her house which I prepared with her assistance. Even desert was superb. We enjoyed chilled strawberries with hot chocolate poured over them. However, I enthusiastically did the proposing! She very happily did the accepting! Now, finally, after twenty-four years of running, I have met a breathtakingly beautiful and fantastic woman from whom I do not wish to run. We are tentatively thinking about getting married after the first of the year. Nevertheless, by November’s issue of Silver Threads, hopefully a date will be forthcoming. Please do not be concerned about the two of us being cousins. We are only first cousins, five times removed! I think at age sixty-four, neither of us are expecting more children.





I have again made copies of my narrative manuscript, Tragedy On The Estatoe. If anyone is interested in obtaining copies of the story of Frankie and Charlie story from my point of view, please contact me by my E-mail address shown at the end of the newsletter. I retell the story as it happened from those who testified at the trial, from court documents, from family members who were interviewed by various newspapers, from writings of other authors who extensively researched material about the tragedy, and in the end, offer a logical explanation of what possibly did and did not happen in that little one room cabin, oh, so many years ago.


This month’s newsletter is short and sweet. I blew it last month by writing ten pages so I need to give cousin John some space this month. On Friday, Sept 26th, I‘m off to the mountains again to host another family reunion, (Rice Family) my last for the year. If any of you descend from the Rice Family of Yancey County or Tennessee and want family genealogy information dating back prior to the American Revolution, let me know and I will try to accommodate you.


Please send John and/or me your family stories as well as your genealogy and information on weddings, births of babies and deaths in your family.


Cousin Rex…




John’s History Corner


Continuing the Silver saga.


A lot has happened since I started this mini-series on the Silver family some time ago. I will attempt to pick up where we left off.


The Silver family arriving in late 1806, in the Toe Valley, what is now Kona, Mitchell County have become fully ensconced in their new surroundings. In the first years of their new home, they have cleared enough land to raise the crops vital to their being well fed and healthy. In addition, cash crop land will have been cleared. By cash crop, this refers to raising enough vegetables, corn, wheat and other items that can be bartered in villages and towns for the items that a typical frontier family would need. Gunpowder, lead for bullets, salt, spices, cotton to be used for clothing, medicines available and other sundry items such as needles and thread to name a few. 


Transportation was still a problem and would remain so for the next several years. It would take five days to make a trading trip to Asheville. Two days to get there by horse and wagon. The third day for bartering and trading. The fourth and fifth day to return to Kona. One must remember that they could only travel in daylight hours on the unimproved roads of the time. Burnsville was in the process of becoming a village about this time. Eventually there would be a trading and bartering system there as the town grew.


George’s sons and daughters were growing up and would be leaving the nest soon. The first to go was George III. He married Martha Moore in 1808 and traveled with his in-laws first to Kentucky, finally settling in Orange County, Indiana. He would remain here until he and Martha became aged and moved to Missouri to stay with their son, Reverend Edward Silver. Both George and Martha are buried in Boone County, Missouri.


The next to marry was Rachel in 1811. She married Edward “Big Ned” Wilson and they proceeded to begin a line of Wilsons that were well known around the mountains. Rachel was sometimes referred to as “Big Rach.” She was well known for her abilities as a midwife. Not only that, she was a large person.


About this time, Reverend Jacob Silver married Elizabeth Wilson. He remained close to the family homestead living on his own land and in his own cabin. Elizabeth was to have the misfortune of dying after giving birth to her only child, Charles. Charles was to have his own niche in history. Rev. Jacob secondly married Nancy Reed and produced a large family.


John Silver, the oldest of the Silver family, would marry in 1812, Mary “Polly” (last name not known). They would eventually move to what is now Pickens County, Georgia. Land in Georgia was still available for a minimal charge. John and Mary would have a large family.


Elizabeth, the third oldest child of the Silver family married a Mr. Cook. Apparently she did not live long after her marriage. The only thing we have is mentioned in a letter from George III to George and Nancy, his parents. He mentions that “he has heard of sister Elizabeth’s death.” She supposedly died before 1820. No further information about her at this time.


Sarah, the next eldest daughter, married a Mr. Cook. No information concerning Sarah has been brought forth.


William Griffith Silver, born June 14, 1800 married Mary Mira Ferguson about 1820. William remained in the area of the family homestead and like his brothers became a farmer. He and Mary had several children.


Greenberry Silver was somewhat a free soul. At a young age he became fairly wealthy and a playboy. After fathering illegitimate children with two different women (and possibly a third) he finally settled down. He was married to Malinda Elizabeth “Eitel” Smith in 1841. He and Elizabeth were to have several children. His personal wealth continued to grow and he was to leave his children and Elizabeth a fair amount of wealth. It has been rumored that he gave most of his land holdings to his illegitimate son, Greenberry Woody. This is untrue.


Henry Gilbert A. Silver was the next to marry and move away. He settled in Rutherford County for a brief while and then moved further east and south. Henry married Nancy Ann Howell and Sarah Martha “Sally” Wilson. Henry fathered several children by each wife. I will not specify at this point any of the children’s names or their offspring. I am only introducing the third generation at this time. In the next succeeding chapters we will cover the individuals one at a time. In this way we can understand their moves and locations.


Nancy Silver married Thomas Robinson and became the mother of a large brood of Robinsons, Robertsons, Robesons and Robersons. Many of these offsprings wanted to change their names for some reason. They would all stem from the original Robertson name.


Reverend Thomas Silver. Reverend “Tommy” would marry Ellender “Nelly” McMahan and settle in the Windom section of Yancey County. They would have a fruitful marriage and Reverend Tommy would preach the Gospel for many years. In addition he would become a well-loved shepherd of his flock.


In future editions of “Silver Threads,” I will attempt to provide all the information on the “third generation of the Silver clan” that I have in my files. Over the years I have come to feel as though I know each and every one of them. I have researched their personal lives as well as their public lives. We have heroes. We have doctors. We have many men of the cloth. In all, I have come to respect them as citizens of a rough and tough life style that was so necessary to survive in a wild country that they chose to tame and build a good life for their families. In short, the Silver clan is a success story.


We now have in our data base over 42,000 Silver family and extended family names. If you have any information on your families and wish to share it with us, by all means please contact me. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and to include your entries into our records.


Cousin John





Barry Clayton and Tommy Redmon prepared a fantastic meal for the Saturday crowd.  Barbecued pork, coleslaw, and baked beans.


Perry Dean Young signing copies of his book, “The Untold Story of Nancy”.


John Silver collecting genealogy material.





Maxine D. Silver


OLD FORT, MCDOWELL CO., North Carolina.  Maxine D. Silver, age 74, died June 29, 2003 at the Baptist Retirement Home in Asheville, NC


Born in McDowell County to the late Geter Davis and Dullie Silver Davis, she was a member of Old Fort First Baptist Church and was a retired secretary with Henredon. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Silver and one brother, Wesley Davis.


She is survived by one son, Tony Silver and his wife, Ellen, of Old Fort; one daughter, Diane McEntire of Arden, NC; one brother, James Davis of Old Fort; four grandchildren, Jason and Erin McIntire, Tonya Harris and Monica Tessner; two great-grandsons, Tyler McKinney and Cameron McEntire.


The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Old Fort Baptist Church. Services will be held on Wednesday, July 2, at 2 p.m. at Old Fort First Baptist Church with the Reverend Dwayne Caldwell presiding. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Community Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to WNC Retirement Homes or First Baptist Church of Old Fort, PO Box 10, Old Fort, NC 28762.


Kirksey Funeral Home is serving the Silver Family.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > James Marion Silver > Dullie Elizabeth Silver m. Geter McKinley Davis > Nina Maxine Davis m. David Hunt Silver.)


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Alexander Silver > Reuben Wilson Silver > Clarence Gordon Silver > David Hunt Silver m. Nina Maxine Davis.)



Dora Silver Pate


RUTHERFORDTON, RUTHERFORD CO., NC.  Dora Silver Pate passed away on Wednesday, March 26, 2003.


The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Crowe Funeral Home in Rutherfordton.


The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Daniel G. Silver > Dora Silver m. Floyd Pate.



Ralph D. Silver


WALLOWA, OREGON.  Ralph D. Silver, 87, of Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon, died June 8, 2003. He was born January 3, 1914, in Grosse Flat, Oregon, the youngest son of Weldon Silver and grandson of Lt. Colonel Samuel Marion Silver, CSA.


He was preceded in death by his wife Juanita Silver, and sisters, Bessie Jean Silver Nelson, Effie Jewell Silver Lewis and Lois Silver Rhodes. He is survived by twins, Donald Silver and his twin sister Donna Mae Silver Johnson.


A celebration of life was held with special music. “Take Me Back to the Wallowa’s,” “Master of Them All,” and “The Traveler.” Following the Services, Interment was in the Bramlet Cemetery at Wallowa with Pastor Don Silver presiding. June 11, 2003.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Samuel Marion Silver > Weldon Nathaniel Silver > Ralph D. Silver.)



Lizzie Silver Higgins


BURNSVILLE, YANCEY COUNTY, NC. Lizzie Silver Higgins, 97, formerly of Burnsville, went home to be with her beloved Lord on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003, in Mountain Ridge Wellness Center.


A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Alexander and Birdie Tipton Silver. She was the wife of Hiram H. Higgins who died in 1958. She was also preceeded in death by a son, William Brooks Higgins and a daughter, Viola Higgins Edwards. She was a member of Higgins Freewill Baptist Church.


She is survived by five daughters, Velda Weber of Chesapeake, VA, Ruby Reese of Red Springs, Sarah Edwards of Old Fort, Lola Rice of Black Mountain and Linda Waldrep of Swannanoa; son, Estel Higgins of Burnsville; three brothers, Baxter and Carmon Silver of Burnsville and Jack Silver of Milton, FL; 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. V.A. Chaplain Garland Vance will officiate. Burial will be in the Higgins Cemetery.


The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Alexander A. Silver > Lizzie Silver m. Hiram H. Higgins.)



Kenneth Boggs


ASHEVILLE, BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC.  Another one of our family has slipped away. Kenneth Boggs, husband of Teresa Silver Boggs, daughter of Foy Dee and Lois Silver, died September 16, 2003 in an Asheville hospital. On September 18, 2003 the funeral service was held at Cedar Hill Baptist Church in North Buncombe County, and burial followed in the church cemetery. Kenneth and his family were members of the church and Teresa is employed by the Temple Baptist Church in Asheville. Over 400 members of these two churches and other friends and relatives filled the church to overflowing. Teresa spoke at the service and said she could almost see her man pitching ball for a bunch of believers up in Heaven.


Then, as is all funerals, the large crowd of people left the church and the family had to turn and leave a loved one in the cemetery then go home to a place that would never be the same again.


When I was a child in the thirties, loved ones had to be brought home from the funeral parlor for the night just before the funeral. Family and friends sat up with the flowers and casket in “the sitting room.” After the flowers and casket were taken out for the service, someone stayed behind to rearrange the furniture in the sitting room so that the family would not come back to an empty space where the casket had been the night before. The way things are now is better.


The land of memories is not a place to go and live, but it is a good place to visit once in a while. But memories are indeed like Silver Threads among the gray for us old folks.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Tilman B. Silver > George Delbert Silver > Foy Hopson Silver > Foy Dee Silver > Teresa Joan Silver m. Kenneth Boggs.)




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]