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

w/contributing articles by cousin John Silver



Greetings Silver cousins! I hope each of you who are located all across the US of A is healthy and happy on this fine November morning. Today is Saturday, the eight day of November and we are having our first cold snap here in the foothills of Upstate South Carolina. Earlier in the week, the temperature hovered around the eighties during the day but today we are in the low fifties. I understand by Monday morning we will wake up to temperatures in the high thirties. Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!


I’m getting a jumpstart writing the newsletter for December because during October I was having a problem finding suitable material for publishing. A plea for material to publish to you, our readers, brought a big response and this month you have supplied me with needed material and I feel we will have an interesting and informative newsletter for the coming months. If your material does not appear in this month’s issue of Silver Threads, please be patient. I will publish it in the order it was received.


Next, I would like to thank all of you for your expressions of condolence with regard to the death of my Dad, Herman Redmon, 85 who died on Saturday, November 1 from complications of pneumonia. My family and I will certainly miss him. He was a caring father.


Speaking of the weather, an article in the Greenville News last week caught my attention. The article, Some Forecast Harsh Conditions; Others Suggest To Expect The Norm, recommends we should button up for the possibilities of a harsh winter, yet, we should be prepared to at least expect the norm. The article, by Ishmael Tate, states, Meteorologists predict a normal winter for the Upstate (South Carolina) following a warm autumn. The woolly worms agree, but the squirrels and bears are hedging.


Simply put, woolly worms, a unit of measure long used by old timers in the Appalachian Mountains to predict winter weather, claim the woolly worms are brown this year and not black as they usually would be if a hard winter was expected. Tate quotes Jerry Garland, a long time resident of the Natahala River area of Western North Carolina and a mountain man in the purest sense; Many people in the mountains take a very hard look at the woolly worm every year, says Garland.  The bears and the squirrels are eating more mash in the mountains near Cherokee, possibly putting on extra weight in anticipation of a rough winter.


So, with mixed reviews from the traditional predictors, I turned to the 2004 Old Farmer’s Almanac to see what the Bible of the rural south had to say about the situation of approaching winter. Hmmm … it is predicting a colder than normal winter with temperatures an average of four degrees colder than usual in November through mid January. From mid January through spring, temperatures will be two degrees milder than usual. However, snowfall will be above normal due to an early snowfall across the northern USA in early December. Well, shucks! That is about as politically correct as one can get.


Now, what would a National Weather Service meteorologists have to say about the issue? Veteran Steve Burrus says it has been his experience to listen to what the farmers have to say about approaching winter, since farmers can out predict the best meteorologists because they were taught by their fathers to not only look for signs in the skies, but also for things around them, including the animals.


What say you? What about the weather predictors where each of you live? Can you give me a report on what the locals predict about the coming of winter in your area? Even though winter will be well under way as of December 21, when you read the results in January’s issue of Silver Threads, I want to report the results of this survey, so please get your information in to me as soon as possible. ([email protected]) I will quote each of you who write to me.


An E-mail from cousin Barbara Gregory on 11/6 reminds everyone about the annual Parker Family Christmas Party that will be held on Saturday, December 6 at the Coon Hunter’s Building in Macon County (Franklin) North Carolina. Barbara says if you do not know who the Parkers are then you should be aware they are the descendants of Charlie Parker and Nancy Silver-Parker. Nancy is the daughter of Frankie Stewart and Charlie Silver.


Please bring finger food, a drink and a wrapped white elephant gift for each person in your family who is attending, requests Barbara. She tells us the building will open no later than 9:30 and hot cider and ginger bread will be served to those who arrive early to enjoy the fellowship and sit in front of the Christmas Tree.


Please contact Barbara at (803) 327-3015 with any questions you might have or go online to the website for driving and motel information. Barbara puts on a good show so everyone go up and enjoy the Parker Christmas party and visit the Scottish Museum and Macon County history museum while you are in town.



Elisha Mitchell and Greenberry Silver

Cousin, playwright and author, Perry Dean Young, sent me information about a permanent metal marker that the Young family recently placed on the crest of what is today known as Mount Celo in Yancey County. Perry’s letter states;

Dear Rex,

Here’s the copy of the text of the permanent marker we placed on the top of Young’s Knob (called Celo for no known reason since 1905) October12, 2003. I thought you’d be interested in the mention of Greenberry Silver. He’s also mentioned in the play which Bill Gregg and I are writing and which I’m happy to report has just been scheduled for production next summer at SART.

Yours, PDY


The plaque reads:

Young’s Knob

Here, in July, 1835,
Thomas Young and
Greenberry Silver, guided
UNC Professor Elisha Mitchell
On his first trip to the top of
The Black Mountain Range.
Mitchell called this peak
Young’s Knob.

Placed October, 2003
by the Young Family


Perry has promised to keep me posted with regard to when his play will run. I will announce the schedule in future publications of Silver Threads.



Can you Identify These People?


Cousin Judy Boring sent the following photo and says she thinks this photo is Margaret Evaline Silver-Chadwick and her family. She says Margaret is the daughter of John Silver and married Abraham Chadwick in Gilmer County, Georgia and says the family lived in Pickens County, Georgia. Judy however would like to have positive identification this is the family in question. Can any one help? You may contact either me at [email protected] or Judy at [email protected] if you can make positive identification.



(click on photo for larger version)



Old Man And The Mountain

By Karyl Silver


Cousin Karyl Kenney Hubbard (Madeline Silver, Ira Silver, Isaac Silver, Edward Silver, George Silver III) sent the following story about her ancestor, Isaac Silver. Karyl has written a series of one-page stories which she is preserving for her grandchildren. (Way to go Karyl). This is one of her favorite stories.


In my photo album is a picture of Isaac Silver, taken on Mt. Lowe, California in 1917. The story goes that Isaac, after the death of his wife, Nancy Sullivan Silver, in 1916, got the urge to visit his children and other relatives who had managed to scatter themselves all over the western United States. At age 78 and after a lifetime of hard work as a farmer and carpenter he really looked forward to the trip. He had visited his brother George in Oklahoma and a brother-in-law, Amos Patterson, in Colorado and had been fascinated and amazed at the mountains. When he arrived in San Diego for a visit with his son Ira, one of the top things on his list was to go up a mountain.

Mount Lowe, at the time was a popular place to go. There was a train that went most of the way up the mountain to a resort lodge and restaurant. And there was steep trail to the summit. So Ira and Gertrude (presumably Ira’s wife?) took Isaac up the mountain for lunch. After the meal, Isaac decided to stroll on up the mountain. A young newspaperman for a Chicago paper saw him and asked if he could walk along. The path was very steep and soon the young reporter was huffing and puffing and asked Isaac if it wasn’t time for a break. Isaac kept replying, “Just a little way more.” Near the summit, Isaac did stop to have his picture taken, and then went to the rest of the way to the top. When they got back down to the restaurant, the young man, still panting, asked, “How come you can climb a mountain so easily when I’m half your age and found it so hard?” “Well, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and I get there.“

The reporter wrote a story, accompanied by the picture, for the Chicago paper that he worked for. Isaac was immediately proud of the piece and made sure that all his children got a copy of the picture.

Isaac continued his trip, going up to Portland to see his son, Chauncy, then over to Idaho to visit daughter, Edna Silver-Sidner, and back through Yellowstone. He returned to Kansas and made several other trips before he died in Burns at the age of 94.



(click on photo for larger version)


Thanks Karyl, do you have other stories you have written you care to share with us?



John Silver Harris Letter and Coming Attractions


In addition to all the wonderful material everyone sent for this month’s newsletter, John Silver-Harris of Boca Raton Florida, the original creator of Silver Notes back in the early-nineties, has written to express his most sincere appreciation for the “fine work John Silver, our family historian and I are doing with Silver Threads and our Silver Family history in general.“ John also sent enough material to fill several volumes of Silver Threads. Beginning in January, I will start publishing a series of Civil War letters written by members of the Silver Family, including many Civil War letters written by members of the extended Silver Family, the Gouges.


John (nmn) Silver, the great grandfather of John Silver Harris, was captured during the Civil War. Though unlike many other Civil war veterans who were captured and interned in Union prison camps, he survived his capture to return home and family. You will read a letter written to his Gouge kin. John Silver’s mother was Elizabeth Gouge Silver, wife of Alfred L. Silver, son of Jacob. John Silver-Harris tells me, The letter was among those that Sarah Gouge McKee and I transcribed and put into a booklet. Several of the letters were written by Levi Deweese Silver, a lieutenant in the 58th North Carolina Infantry (under command of Lt. Co. Samuel Marion Silver). Serving with him was Tilman B. Silver, Cousin John’s great grandfather. Those men were mentioned in last month’s volume of Silver Threads. John enclosed a diskette which contained over fifty Civil War letters. Each letter will be published in Silver Threads in the order they were written by dates.


John concludes his letter to by saying, Also in 1989, I interviewed Great Grandfather John’s daughter, Mary Belle Silver Ray, and got her recollections of what her father had told her, among other memories. I do have a printed copy of it and it’s enclosed for you. Aunt Belle’s line of descent is George Sr., George Jr., Jacob, Alfred and then John, her father.


This first letter is a sample of things to come.  It is a letter written in 1861 from John Gouge to his father, William Gouge Sr., Ledger P.O, Mitchell County, NC.


Dear Father and Mother and brothers and sisters,

I seat myself to draft you a few lines to inform you that I am well at this time, hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the same like blessings.

I can inform you that General (T.J. “Stonewall”) Jackson had a fight the other day and killed from four hundred to six hundred. That was half the Yankees— 18 wagon loads of them. I have heard two statements on our side— one was 7 and the other was 40 killed.

I can inform you that we come back 4 miles last night. We put up our tents and we may have to leave here before morning, come back to the railroad at Millboro.

I can inform you that I was left at Millboro two days and a half with Edward Roberson. He was sick and he wanted me to go to the army (Army of the Potomac?) to see Creed Young. He was very bad and wanted to go home. I started and went to the army 60 miles.

I can inform you that the news in camps that in a few days we will go to New Orleans, two thousand miles. We don’t listen to camp news.

I want you to write to me and give me news in Yancey county. I don’t want you to write till we set up winter quarters. Then I will write to you again where to direct your letters to.

So I must close my letter only remains your son until death.

John Gouge.

Pappy, I want you to let Pop (Pap?) have some salt


These letters are indeed going to be a treat to read. Thanks John for preserving them.


That is all for now folks. I hope each of you will consider sending material for the newsletter. Our readership is growing more and more each month and thanks to all you cousins who continue to tell others cousins about our website and newsletter. Please continue to tell other cousin and have them send their e-mail addresses to either me or John so we can add them to our mass E-mail list.


Happy Holidays Everyone……Rex



John’s History Corner



GEORGE SILVER (17 JUL 1787 – 22 FEB 1870)
Son of George Silver Jr. and Nancy Ann Griffith Silver

We usually refer to George as George III.


Thanks to Cousin and friend Karyl Hubbard, we have managed to put our George’s life history together. She has done much research and has been so kind to share it with us. Thank you again, Karyl.


George was about 19 years old when the Silver family moved to North Carolina. He was married on December 14, 1808 at age 21 to Martha White who hailed from Buncombe County, North Carolina. I seriously doubt that George and Martha lived with George Jr. and Nancy in that their home was rapidly filling up to overflow.


When the War of 1812 came about, George enlisted in the North Carolina Militia at Hickory, North Carolina. He remained on active duty until the end of the war and was Honorably Discharged. This information comes from Martha’s application for a U.S. Government veteran’s pension in October of 1880.


According to the application, they had lived in Indiana for about 20 years, in Illinois for about 7 years and about 10 years in Missouri. George and Martha had moved to Centralia, Missouri to be near their oldest living son, Reverend Edward Silver. George passed away on February 22, 1870 and Martha on November 27, 1881. They are both buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Boone County, Missouri. 


George and Martha were the parents of 8 children:


-          James Green Silver (dates unknown),

-          Infant Silver (dates unknown),

-          Nancy Jane Silver, b. abt 1814 d. abt 1861. Married Willis Luttrell on August 23, 1829.

-          Reverend Edward Silver b. May 5, 1816 d. May 7, 1896. m. (1) Martha Elizabeth Hansen (2) Nancy Jane Jennings.

-          George W. Silver b. March 15, 1822, d. December 2, 1886, m. Eliza Ann Neal.

-          Pharaba Silver m. James Green Jr. on June 7, 1842. Sarah Silver b. July 13, 1827 m. William R. Jennings on March 21, 1844.

-          Henry B. Silver b. January 10, 1833 d. January 8, 1909. m. (1) Anne Elizabeth Turner (2) Phoebe Behymer (3) Amanda Schooler.


In their letter to George’s parents they mention that they have lost three children. James and Infant Silver are the first two. We have no information on the third.


This letter that I mentioned was mailed from Lawrence County, Indiana on September 12, 1822.  A copy is enclosed. The original letter has been carried by someone, either George Jr. or Nancy I would think, as it is almost worn out and barely decipherable. One would think it was a treasured object as they probably realized that they would never see each other again in this life.


George and Martha’s children and their offspring have been traced to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Oregon and California. Seemingly, they have done well and have been successful in life. Ah, that sturdy Silver bloodline will prevail!





The following letter is from George Silver III and his wife, Martha Moore Silver, to his parents George Silver Jr. and Nancy Ann Griffith Silver, Estatoe, Burke County, North Carolina. George was 35 years old when he had this letter written.


(Bedford, county seat of Lawrence County, is in southern Indiana about 50 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. Paoli, county seat of Orange County, adjoins Lawrence County to the south.)


Indiana, Lawrence County                                                                September 12, 1822

Dear Father and Mother,

    I embrace the oppurtunity of writing you that we are all in a reasonable state of health at the present, thanks be rendered to Omnipotence for the same. Hoping when these lines come to hand will find you and yours enjoying the like health.

  This may inform you that through the mercie of the Lord we have embraced religion for about three years. We are both members of _______Baptist Society.

   We have had seven children and have burried three of them. My oldest child I have living has had fits for about three years which we call William. The other names as followeth Nancy, Edward, George are the children we have living. The children we lost one died with choking ______, one with a sore mouth, _____other _____to death.

   This may inform you that I have never regretted moving from that country to this country for I have lived plintiful. I have farmed ______ for provision. I have lived on land of my own for about six years. I expect to rase 700 bushels of corn for this year. Corn is selling now for 50 cents ______ barrel.... This neighbor has ____ the present crop.

   We have had our health very well ever since we have been out here.

   This may inform you that I have sold my place I now live on, and I am going to move to my father-in-laws to take care of the old people while they live. That is by their request.

   I should be very happy to see you all come to see me and take a good look at this country, for I think it is a far better country for a man to make a living in than that country is, for we can rase our grain & our pork much easier here than you can there.

   We can make our own sugar very handy if we try, and we can buy plenty of our country-made sugar at six or seven per pound. We can buy coffy at 25 cents per pound. This is a very fine country for sault. We can buy plenty for one dollar a bushel. Pork is worth from $1.50 to _____dollars per hundred. We can buy cotten here at sixteen cents per pound.

   This is a very fine country to raise sheep. (They) yeald a heep more wool here that they do there and the women have no trouble here in carding wool for ____ we have carding machines to card wool into rolls in this country.

   It is a fine time to buy land in this country. Congress land is worth $1.25 per acre. That is, you can buy 80 acres for $100 and any number of acres above that quantity at the same price but you can’t buy no less than 80 acres of Congress land.

   A man can settle here on Congress land _____ and do very well. I think if you all would move to this country you never would regret it. This may inform you that all kinds of property sells very low.

   So I must conclude my letter. I want you to write me and let me know how you all are doing and where my brothers and sisters lives. I heard last_____that sister Elizabeth was dead.

   I want you to direct your letter to Peola, Orange Co (unty) for my father –in-law lives six miles (and) a half from there. I don’t know when _____ the oppurtunity of comin to see you & if _____ see each other in this world I hope we w_____ to enjoy the Ble____ cricified redeem(er)____. Give _____ to all enquiring friends.

So I remain your dutiful son until death.

--George Silver, Martha Silver


(In all probability, this letter was written by a town clerk or as was then, a scribe. It is highly unlikely that George or Elizabeth could read or write.) (JDS)



I would like to thank Kit Weaver (a descendant of Colonel Sam) for his generous donation to the Church to be added to the repair fund. We of the family appreciate it.



John Silver Harris was kind enough to send a story for publication this month. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you Johnny!



Proud outfit – lowly mission.

Reminiscing with John Silver Harris


I recently read an article about the 101st Airborne Division, now in Iraq, describing at as an “elite fighting force.”

Well, I remember when the 101st was anything but an elite fighting force.

When I arrived at Fort Jackson, SC for basic training in October of 1955, I found myself a member of this famed division for a brief but memorable stint.

Except for the honor of it, however, I’d gladly have passed it by. And, come to think of it, I didn’t much relish that honor either. Especially since I was a recruit — considered the lowest form of life in the military.

The 101st had captured a generation’s imagination for it’s D-Day parachute landing behind enemy lines in France during World War II. Later, elements of the division found themselves surrounded at the battle of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

It was there that the Germans sent a message to commanding officer, Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, offering him an honorable surrender. His memorable reply was: “Nuts!” They would fight on, thank you very much.

When I arrived on the scene, Hollywood was already chronicling the World War II feats of the 101st with a movie called, “Screaming Eagles.”

But the glory days of the division was by then only a bittersweet memory for the few of the old soldiers left in the division. The military has a way of seeing that no act of valor goes unpunished. So the 101st had been rewarded with the inglorious task of training raw recruits — which must be the worst job in the entire army.

Those old combat vets with the silver wings hated it. Like us, they weren’t there by choice. But there was one group upon whom they could vent their venom — us. And they did it with a vengeance. It seemed they’d go to any end to make our lives miserable. And, from my point of view, they were highly successful.

And so it was that in early December, we went into the field for two weeks of bivouac, sleeping in pup tents. On our first night out, the temperature dropped to a bone-chilling 13 degrees. And the wind-chill made it much worse.

I remember waking up the next morning and finding the water in my canteen frozen solid. The sweaty wrinkles in my combat boots were frozen stiff. I had to beat them on the ground to get them pliable enough to get my feet into them. One buddy was trying to crack his loose when the leather broke.

Rumors circulated that because of the intense cold we would be taken back to the barracks. We weren’t. We stayed out there the entire two weeks — and froze.

My army experience had a lasting impression on me. For the remainder of my life, I consider camping suitable only for Boy Scouts. I don’t do it.

I feel that I’ve had more than my share of freezing — so that’s why I now call subtropical south Florida home.

And I feel for those who must face combat. For me, basic was bad enough.



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
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