novembER 2003


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

w/contributing articles by cousin John Silver



Hello Silver cousins…As John and I go online this month with Silver Threads, we certainly hope everyone is well and happy. I am doing very well and continue to stay busy with a part time job at a local bank, researching genealogy, volunteering at a local ministry group, participating in church activities and of course entertaining my new fiancée. Margaret and I have not yet set a date to get married but we are looking toward the spring of the year as a target wedding date. If everyone remembers, Margaret is my first cousin, five times removed. She descends from Rev. Jacob Silver and I descend from his little brother, Rev. Thomas Silver. No, we do not plan to have any more children, so not to worry about that genetic issue.


Autumn is definitely shining her beautiful face here in the southeast. Our mornings are very chilly requiring us to don a sweater, but for sure, the sweater is removed well before lunch. I do not think this is going to be a bumper crop for colorful leaves here in the foothills of South Carolina this fall. However, earlier this week (10/20/03), Margaret and I were in the Highlands of North Carolina, up around Macon and Jackson Counties, and the leaves have already fallen from the majority of the trees without changing color. Well, the leaves changed color, but instead of becoming the bright reds, yellows and oranges of recent years, the leaves changed from Green to brown and then fell from the trees. I’m sure a biologist could tell us why some years we have a lot of color and some years we do not have any color. I suppose the coloring of the leaves has something to do with the chill in the air or the amount of rain that falls.


While in the mountains, we ate at the world famous Jarrett House in Dillsboro, North Carolina. We consumed all of the baked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, stewed apples, beets, cold slaw, biscuits and honey we could eat and they kept bringing more. Margaret and I talked later about how much we ate but yet did not feel so stuffed. Wonder why we did not feel full? Was it because we were eating Godly home cooked pioneer food?


The September Issue of Silver Threads…mentioned I had copies available of the narrative of Frankie and Charlie Silver (Tragedy On The Estatoe) that I wrote and published some five years ago. Several of you requested copies but were disappointed when I said there is a $20.00 charge for the copies. Cousins, I’m so very sorry for misleading you. I did not mean to imply the copies were free. I spent five years, off and on, researching everything I could find about Frankie and Charlie and another two years writing and rewriting my narrative which is over 120 pages long. My time and energy spent researching and writing and my skills as a writer are worth a little something, don‘t ya think? Postage for a book is $2.65. So, for $22.65 I will ship a copy to anyone, anywhere in the Untied States.



New Page In Our Silver Family Website


Cousin Barney Kaufman, keeper of Silver Family web site, has added another page to the web site. You can view the site by pulling up the Silver Family Web page and clicking on, Silvers In The Civil War.  [Or if you’re reading this online, just click below:]


Right now, Barney says the site does not have a lot of data available except for the name and regiment to which a Silver cousin was attached. I do know some of our Silver cousins met disasters in the Civil War such as Henry G. A. Silver, Lewis Silver and W. Alexander Silver who were either killed or died from diseases contacted while serving. Also J. Wilburn Silver and David R. Silver were wounded in action and Thomas D. Silver, John Silver, and Lewis P. Silver were captured by Union Soldiers.


Write and tell me about the fate of your Silver ancestor who fought in the Civil War. I would like to write an article in a future publication of Silver Threads about the fate of our Civil War Silver family Veterans. Also, Barney has updated the site maps on the web page as well. Thanks for all your hard work Barney.



Cherokee Blood In Your Veins?


An interesting article, She Owns The Property, by Will W. Rogers, recently appeared in the newspaper, The Family Tree. Mr. Rogers calls all of us who think we have Cherokee blood to disclaim our “Cherokee princess” grandmothers and concentrate on the matrilineal line of descent in the Cherokee Clans. I learned while reading the article, that today only seven Clans exist within the Cherokee Nation. They are the Bird Clan, Deer Clan, Wolf Clan, Paint Clan, Hair Clan, Potato Clan and the Blue Clan. Prior to 1835, all lineage and inheritance was through the Cherokee woman. In 1835, when the Federal Government changed the lineage system of the Cherokee, there were numerous clans. After 1835, the matrilineal clan system changed to the patrilineal system and the number of Cherokee Clans became fewer.


While researching for your Cherokee roots prior to 1835, you discover, in your research, that your maternal Cherokee ancestor was a member of a clan and clans were considered extended family groups and membership into a Clan was through the woman. A Cherokee had to be a member of a clan or he/she did not exist. Membership within a clan was extremely important for the general well being of the clan and for genetic reasons as well. One did not marry within their immediate clan. The marriage of same clan members was considered incest and those who did so were punished within the Cherokee nation.


Mr. Roger’s article states, “While doing research on your Cherokee family, you should know or have an idea with which clan your ancestor was associated.” He says, “This is sometimes difficult because this information may have been lost or forgotten.” According to Rogers, Under the Cherokee society, the Cherokee woman owned everything. Through right of inheritance she owned all properties including the family dwelling, the orchards, the fields, livestock and of course, the children. The Cherokee man owned only what he had on his back and what he could carry with him in his hands. The man had limited responsibilities but his responsibilities did include protection of the family and family property, propagation of the family and providing the family with meat and fish. A Cherokee man had to be worth his salt or he was sent packing. If a Cherokee man found his belongings sitting outside his dwelling he could consider himself divorced. The children of course always stayed with the mother because after carrying them for nine months they were considered part of her body. As a result, it became the responsibility of her family clan to raise and train the children in the ways of the Cherokee Nation and the roll each would play within the Cherokee society. Mr. Rogers also states, “Although the system was changed in 1835, women still played an important role in the Cherokee nation.”


The first Federal Census of the Cherokee Nation was taken in 1880, long after their removal from the mountains of the East to the desolate lands of Oklahoma in 1838 on the infamous Trail Of Tears. After the Cherokee language was created by Sequoia in the 1820s, the Cherokee began to record things in writing, but prior the 1820s, everything that was written about the Cherokee was written by white men or was handed down by oral tradition from generation to generation.


Also, on many of the census records you will see, “Free man of color other than Indian who pays taxes,” as one of the census categories. I have asked many learned people exactly what that category implies. The answers I receive most of the time are, “Either the man is black or part Indian but not full blood,” because full bloods were not included in the census prior to 1880 as they were not considered citizens of the USA. However, the learned people did state that if an Indian assimilated into white society and his skin was too dark to pass for white, he was considered colored on the census records.


For more information on the Cherokee nation please go to the following Cherokee Nation website; In addition, there are many publications about the Cherokee Nation and genealogy research within the nation. One of the most popular publications is, Cherokee By Blood, Vols. 1-9, Records of Eastern Cherokee Ancestry in the US Court of Claims, 1906-1910. Jerry Wright Jordan, Heritage Books, Inc. Bowie, MD 1987.



The Pioneer Way to Clean a Chimney

Today when we want our chimneys cleaned, we simply look in the yellow pages under Chimney Cleaners, dial the listed number, negotiate the price by accepting what the going rate is for such a dirty task and set a date to have your chimneys swept. Then on the assigned date, the man in the black suit and tall hat arrives at your house with all his long brooms and scrapers and proceeds to sweep your chimney.


The dirty task was done a little differently during our ancestor’s days out on the frontier. Yes, sometimes brooms were used to clean the chimneys in those days as well and special brooms were made for the purpose. Short brooms were made for short chimneys and long brooms were made for log chimneys. However, the enterprising pioneer simply went out to the chicken coop, gathered up a few chickens, carried them by their legs to the top of the house and tossed them down the chimney. Their wings removed the soot as they descended. Enough said!



First Families of Old Buncombe County


A new program, First Families of Old Buncombe County, was officially opened last year by The Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society. The purpose of the program is to register one‘s links to the founding fathers of Old Buncombe County. As the southern half of present day Yancey County, that was near the old Cane River Settlement and was located in Old Buncombe County, and because families like Thomas Ray II who married Betsy Celia Young settled the area soon after the Revolutionary War when the territory opened for settlement, many of you with ancestors in that part of the world are eligible to become part of the First Families of Old Buncombe County. I am told by Diane Gibson, coordinator of the program, it is too late to be a charter member of First Families of Old Buncombe County, but it is not too late to register as a descendant of an Old Buncombe County Founding Father.

An application may be obtained by writing to:

First Families of Old Buncombe County
c/o Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
PO Box 2122
Asheville, NC 28802-2122

The cost for registering your genealogy tree with a qualifying ancestor is $25.00 and proof of the qualifying ancestor living in Old Buncombe County prior to December 31, 1800 must be furnished.


Famous Ancestors and Cousins


Do you have a famous person such as a former president, a noted politician, a popular movie star or rock and roll legend in your ancestry tree or as a distant cousin? Let me know! I want to publish a list of Silver family names along with their famous cousin or ancestor in a future publication of Silver Threads. For example, how many of you knew former president Jimmy Carter and Elvis Presley were distant cousins through the Presley line? OK, then lets go one step further. How many of you knew they descend from the Preselys or Pressleys who moved into Old Buncombe County from Anson County in the early 1800s? Earlier, the family was known as Preslar when they arrived in this country from Germany in the mid 1700s. So, sit down today and compile your list of famous cousins and ancestors so I can include them in a future publication. But now hold on one second. Frankie Stewart and Charlie Silver do not qualify.



Mass Mailing List


Cousins, between John and myself, we have compiled over six-hundred names on our mass Silver Family E-mail list. Earlier this year, when we started notifying each of you about our online newsletter and others who were connected to our Silver Family, either as a direct descendant or from a point of interest, I asked you for your permission to use your E-mail addresses to notify you about important family matters or when the newsletter was up and running at the beginning of each month. I also promised you neither John and I would ever use your E-mail address for anything except things of importance pertaining to the Silver Family. I further asked each of you not to use the extended Silver family E-mail addresses for forwarding mail to promote an agenda that might offend someone. We must remember, we are not all of, nor do we share the same political and religious beliefs or are we all of the same social standings. When we use a private E-mail list to forward unsolicited E-mail messages, we are dishonoring the trust John and I asked each of you to honor. Please, I ask you for a second time, do not use the extended Silver Family E-mail list as a platform to forward unwanted E-mail messages. John and I do not wish to discontinue using the mass E-mailing privilege.


Please remember everyone…John and I diligently search each month for material about which to write that might whet your interest. Our job is made much easier when you send material to us. We are in need of family stories, family history or anything that peeks, not only our interest but the interest of our readers as well. For instance, Gladys Gibbs a descendant of Alfred Silver of Old Fort, in McDowell County, North Carolina, told me a story about her older sister who lives near her and also who is a senior citizen whom we shall leave nameless. Gladys said late one night, her sister called the fire department and told them a man was trying to climb in her window and for them to hurry and get there. The fireman told her to hang up and call the police because the police needed to arrive there and not the fire department. Her sister told the fireman that he did not understand, she did not want to get the man arrested; he needed a longer ladder.


Now stay tuned for cousin John Silver’s History section with continuing news about our Silver Family ancestors…


Cousin Rex



John’s History Corner


Last month I stated that I would present each of George Jr.’s and Nancy Griffith’s children giving all the history that I have accumulated so far. The first child was John Silver who was born in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, about 1786. We can only assume this date in that we have yet to locate church records or any other means to establish a firm date.


John was married to Mary Savannah “Polly” McGruder in Columbia County, Maryland on November 28, 1803. Mary was born about 1785 in Maryland. Again, as with John, we have no firm date established for her birth.


John and Mary accompanied his father and the rest of his family to North Carolina in 1806. We would have to assume that John and Mary lived with the rest of the family in the original Silver log home.


John, Mary moved to Tennessee sometime around 1817. At least three of their children were born in Tennessee. John and Mary would move with most of their family were to move to Georgia. This move took place some time after 1840. He and Mary were listed on the Yancey County, North Carolina Census Rolls for 1840. The Georgia Census Rolls list them in Gilmer County in 1850 and again in 1860. The 1870 Census lists them in Pickens County in 1880.


John died about 1885 and Elizabeth after 1900. They are buried in the Ball Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia.


(1) Nancy Silver, the first of their children was born in North Carolina about 1812. Nancy married Hickman Hensley about 1832. As to the location and date of their settling, we again will have to assume that they remained in North Carolina. Try as I might, I cannot find any records concerning Nancy.


(2) John Jr. Silver, the second child was born on December 11, 1814 in North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Cherson in 1833 and later moved to Georgia about 1842. They were to be the parents of nine children. John died about 1898 and Elizabeth after 1900. They are buried side by side in the Ball Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia.


(3) William Riley Silver, their third child, was listed as being born in Clairborne County, Tennessee, about 1818. He married Matilda McIntosh about 1838. They moved to Georgia and became the parents of seven children. Matilda died about 1888 and William Riley about 1908 in Ranger, Gordon County, Georgia.  She and William are buried near their son, Samuel Fleming Silver Jr. in the Ball Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia.


(4) Green B. Silver, the fourth child was born in Tennessee about 1820. He married Minerva Elkins in Yancey County about 1840. The first of their eleven children, Elizabeth, was born in Yancey County. The next six, Andrew, Joseph, Cynthia, Emeline, Sarah and Levi were born in Tennessee. The last four, Samuel, Amanda, George and Mary were born in Georgia. 


Minerva died about 1872 and Green about 1890. They are buried in the Ball Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia.


(5) Thomas Jackson Silver, the fifth child, was born about 1824 in either Burke or Cherokee County, North Carolina. (This is another item that needs to be researched. JS)  Thomas married his first cousin, Mary Myra “Polly” Silver, daughter of William Griffith and Matilda Mira Ferguson Silver. Her family was determined that Mary was not to marry Thomas. They eloped on a mule to Georgia.  Mary never visited or spoke to her parents again. She remained bitter the rest of her life about their refusal to let her marry Thomas.


Thomas and Mary were the parents of seven children. Six of the children were born in Georgia and Mary Jane is listed as being born in Cherokee County, North Carolina.


Thomas died on March 23, 1907. Mary died on January 25, 1918. Thomas is buried in the Mount Sumac Baptist Church Cemetery at Cisco, Murray County, Georgia. Mary is buried in the Ball Play Baptist Church Cemetery at Old Fort, Tennessee.


(6) Samuel Silver, the sixth child of John and Mary has left us with a mystery on our hands. The only information we have on him is the fact that he was born about 1826 in Burke County, North Carolina and that he married Lucinda Rice about 1846.


(7) Sophie Elizabeth “Lizzie” Silver, the seventh child was born about 1829 in Burke County, North Carolina. Sophie married Samuel D. Wilson on December 4, 1844 in Gilmer County, Georgia. They were the parents of at least three children. Amanda and William went to Oklahoma when the Cherokees were relocated. As far as our information goes, Louise remained in Georgia.


Sophie died on December 24, 1874 and is buried in the Ball Creek Baptist Church in Pickens County, Georgia. We have no information on Samuel D. Wilson.


(8) Mary Silver is the eighth child of John and Mary. We have very little information on her. She was born about 1831 in Yancey County, North Carolina. She bore a son named Samuel Silver about 1854.


(9) Marvel Alexander Silver was the ninth child of John and Mary. He was born about 1832 in Yancey County, North Carolina. He married Delilah “Lila” Higgins on October 19, 1855. Delilah was born about March, 1836, the daughter of John and Winney Philips Higgins. Marvel and Delilah were to be the parents of 14 children. Apparently they moved around quite a bit. The records show that their children were born in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.


Delilah died on June 3, 1922 and Marvel on November 14, 1928. They are both buried in the Higgins Cemetery at Higgins, Yancey County, North Carolina.


(10) Levi B. Silver was the tenth child born to John and Mary. Levi was born on November 12, 1832 in Yancey County, North Carolina.  Levi married Elizabeth Parker on September 29, 1859 in Pickens County, Georgia. Elizabeth was born December, 1841 in South Carolina. Apparently Levi and Elizabeth went to Georgia fairly early. Their 14 children were born in either Gilmer or Gordon County, Georgia.


Elizabeth died on December 6, 1919 and Levi died on November 9, 1922. They are both buried in the New Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Gordon County, Georgia.


(11) Andrew Jackson Silver was the last child born to Mary and John. He was born about 1833 and is buried at Ball Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia. This is all of the information we have on “Andy” at this point. If anyone can add to our knowledge of Andrew, it will be most appreciated.





Lola s. lunsford


Lola Silver Lunsford, 84, of 599 North Louisiana Avenue, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, died Monday, October 13, 2003. Mrs Lunsford was a lifelong resident of Buncombe County.


She was a daughter of Thore and Cordelia Edwards Silver. She is survived by her husband, Warren Lunsford; son, Gary Lunsford and his wife Sherri of Raleigh, North Carolina; four grandchildren, Grant Lunsford, Lauren Lunsford Pearce, Aaron Lunsford and Kaley Lunsford.


The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Patton Avenue chapel of Groce Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Flint Hill Cemetery.


Her family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the services. The memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at



 (I usually can find the “tree” for the obituaries. In this particular case, I am stumped. Can someone please let me know if you have information on this lady. I will certainly appreciate it. Thanks, Cousin John)


Many thanks to Alma Gray Silver Metcalf for submitting this obituary.



A Note from the BARNEY the Web-Keeper


Hi Cuzzins!  I usually don’t have anything to add to Rex and John’s newsletter, as I tend to concentrate my research on my Northern (Nova Scotia) Silver brethren.  But I wanted to let y’all know that after years of believing that my Silver branch came out of the Palatinate, we recently found out that their hometown was Bochingen in Wuerttemberg, near the Black Forest.  (Schwarzwaldkreis).  That puts us much closer to George Silber’s ancestral home in Denkendorf, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemburg. 


So now there is renewed hope that John and I may be able to connect the two major German lines in North America!



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]