Written and Published Online by John Silver

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



Greetings Cousins and Family,



Here it is, September already.  Where did June, July and August go?  Time flies when one is enjoying himself.  Soon the leaves will be falling and the mornings brisk with frost.  Quite a change from this year’s sweltering heat in the summer months. But, seasons come and seasons go.

This month’s issue contains an article by Jack Silver, a well-known writer around Asheville, NC.  Jack writes from personal memories and stories that were handed down to him by our family oldsters.  And, I might add, he does a fine job with them.  He has promised us more in the future and I, for one, am looking forward to them.

A conspicuous figure was missing at the reunions these past several years.  Cousin and good friend, Francis Josef Ruth. “Joe” to those of us who knew him, passed away in April 2001.  Joe never missed a reunion and always brought forth good ideas and the means to put them in motion.  Joe was one of those people who can be described as, “larger than life.”

Joe, as a young high school graduate, enlisted in the U. S. Navy and served throughout the length of World War II.  Upon his discharge from the Navy, he joined the U.S. Army and served a total of 26 years of honorable service. He was a veteran of the Korean War. After that, he served many years in the Government Civil Service.

Joe did not sit idle in his retirement.  He was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and was a former Deputy Commander of the North Carolina Division.  He was a co-founder of the Confederate Heritage Society and remained very active in both.

He and Alice, his bride of 58 years, were responsible for the purchase and placement of the beautiful and descriptive headstone for Ann “Nancy” Griffith, wife of Johann Jurg Silber, whom we know as George Silver Jr. To them, the Silver family is grateful.

Joe was a member of the Jamestown Society, the General Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the Descendants of Mareen Duvall, the Flagon and Trencher, the Society of the Descendants of Colonial Clergy, the National Huguenot Society and the Saint Andrews Society.

Joe led the successful initiative to reunite Anna Lee, the daughter of Robert E. Lee, with her family. Anna died in Warren County in 1862.  Her remains now lie with her family at Lee’s Chapel, Lexington, Virginia.

Joe is and will be missed by all of us.



(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Greenberry Silver > Lodemia Elizabeth Silver + Samuel Fleming Young > Hettie Ellen Young + Martin Van Buren Young > Jennie Young + Bertrand Forrester Ruth > Francis Josef Ruth + Alice Judith Newton)


I only had one picture of Joe and Alice’s children.  That is the picture of the oldest son, Josef Karl and wife Susan.  Joe is a career State Department Diplomat.  They are back in Washington after a tour in Brussels, Belgium.



In addition to Josef, Joe and Alice had three other children; Karen, Wayne and Kristofer.

Cousin John



Other PHotos


Laura Cowan Cooper passed along these two photos that Alice Ruth brought to the reunion last month.



Seated, Samuel Fleming Young and Lodemia Elizabeth Silver, Josef Francis Ruth (Great Grandson)

Standing, Josef’s Aunt Gladys Flourine Young and “Mammy” Young.

This picture was made in the summer of 1928 in front of Samuel’s corncrib on his farm above Newdale, NC.

(Lodemia Silver Young was a daughter of Greenberry and Mailnda Elizabeth “Ethel” Smith Silver)

Josef “Joe” Ruth married Alice Judith Njöten (Newton) who is of Nordic descent.  The Silver family is grateful to Joe and Alice for providing the beautiful headstone that now rests on Ann “Nancy” Griffith’s grave beside her husband, George Silver Jr.  Joe and Alice are two of our family’s unsung heroes.



Do you know who this Silver ancestor is?  The only notation of the photo is “110 years old!”



Carrier Park stirs memories of Doc Owens

Special to Citizen-Times

Published December 19, 2004.

By Jack W. Silver



ASHEVILLE, NC – After the floods in September, the Citizen-Times ran some pictures of the havoc.  One picture was an aerial view looking down on Amboy Road, the former racetrack and the park, all under water.

This reminded me of Doc Owens, who in the 1930s was an Asheville dentist.  Doc was a good, well-known dentist, but he was better known for the little silver open-cockpit biplane that he flew in and out of Carrier Field.  Carrier Field was the narrow strip of land between the river and Amboy Road.

The upper end of this strip of land was later used for the Asheville Motor Speedway racetrack, and the entire strip is now Carrier Park.  There was a small barn-like building called “the hanger” where the few pilots who flew in and out of Carrier Field gathered to talk.

Doc loved to fly his little airplane around the buildings in Asheville and the surrounding mountains.  Doc could not navigate!  He used roads and railroad tracks as guides and kept the latest roadmaps in the plane.  He loved to fly in circles over the city, getting higher and higher until he was out of sight overhead, be gone for days and then fly back into the field.

One day the plane developed engine trouble and Doc couldn’t find an airplane mechanic to come to come to Asheville to fix the engine, and it was too bad to fly.

One of my uncles, Offie Silver, was an auto mechanic working under a shade tree and in a one-car garage beside his home on a side street off State Street, near the airstrip.

Doc asked Offie if he could fix plane engines and Offie told him he could fix anything that ran on gasoline, but he would have to bring it to his shop.  Offie came to the field, removed the wings from the plane and lifted the tail end of the plane into a sling that he had made out of an old hammock which he had tied across the bed of his pickup truck.  He pulled the plane to his home and backed the plane nose right into the garage.

Offie repaired the engine but he needed help to start it.  He needed someone in the cockpit to slow the engine down when he started it by spinning the propeller.

He asked his brother Foy for help.  Foy climbed up into the cockpit and when the engine started he pushed in on the throttle.  The plane’s throttle was backwards from throttles on cars and the engine speeded up instead of slowing down.  The engine got so fast that the plane started to crawl over the chock blocks.  It ran out of gas just short of going through the back wall.  Foy helped his brother tow the plane to the airstrip.

Offie asked Doc for a flying lesson as part payment. Doc agreed and strapped Offie very securely into the front open cockpit, climbed into the rear cockpit and took off.  He circled the field and then came back over the field upside down.  Foy heard a loud yell coming from the plane and looking up he could actually see his brother in the cockpit.

The yell was part startle, part fear that he would fall out – but it was mostly anger at Doc.

Doc righted the plane and flew around the city and mountains long enough for Offie to calm down and then landed.

Offie had cooled down by then and got out of the plane grinning.  He took off after Doc, pretending he was going to beat him up.  Doc pretended he was afraid and ran around the plane.  They shook hands and Doc paid him in full for the work.

Offie never did take flying lessons but two of his sons became very good pilots.  Years later his oldest son, Harold, got his pilot’s license.  Then Offie Jr. got his license and bought a small plane that he flew out of the Emma Airport.

This is the same Junior Silver that owned and drove racers at the Asheville Motor Speedway nearly 30 years after his father, Offie, took off and landed at Carrier Field.  Junior was killed in a plane crash near Emma on November 16, 1974.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Tilman Blalock Silver > George Delbert Silver > Foy Hopson Silver > Jack William Silver.)





Reverend Lynell Peterson


The Greenville News

Greenville, South Carolina.

Thursday, July 6, 2006


Travelers Rest, SC.   Rev. Lynell Peterson, 83, of 1335 Highway 414, went home to be with his Lord on Wednesday, July 5, 2006, after several months of declining health at his home.

Born in Chesnee, SC, he was the son of Thomas H. and Gertrude Silver Peterson.  Rev. Peterson was a minister of the gospel serving in the Church of the Brethren in North and South Carolina for many years.  He also was a circuit pastor for the Fundamental Bretheren Church in Mitchell County, NC, where he served as pastor of the Upper Brummetts Creek Church.

Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Virginia Freeman Peterson of the home; five daughters, Priscilla Miller of Taylors, Doris Miller and husband, Arnold, of Greer,  Norma Barnett and husband, Gaylon, of Travelers Rest,  Naomi Hughes and husband, Marcus, of Taylors and Melinda Barnett and husband, Michael; two sons, Carroll Peterson and wife, Kate, of travelers Rest and James Peterson and wife, Tina, of Travelers Rest;  10 grandchildren,  16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Along with his parents, Rev. Peterson was predeceased in death by a brother, John Peterson;  a sister, Undean Yelton;  and a great-great-granddaughter.

Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the Howze Mortuary Chapel, with burial at Travelers Rest Church of the Brethren Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Howze Mortuary.  The family will be at the home at other times.

Memorials may be made to St. Francis Hospice, 414 Pettigru Street, Greenville, SC  29601 or The Upper Brummetts Creek Fundamental Bretheren Church, c/o Mack Peterson, 424 Griffith Road, Green Mountain, NC 28470



Mary Bartlett Silver, Obituaries
Asheville, NC


OLD FORT – Mary Louise Bartlett Silver, 77, of Old Fort, died Sunday, February 19, 2006, at the McDowell Hospital.

Born in Buncombe County to the late Thomas Andy Bartlett and Elsie Maude Morrow Bartlett, she served the Lord as a full time mother.  She was a founding member of Trinity Independent Church of God.  In addition to her parents, Mrs. Silver was preceded in death by one son, Andy Lee Silver; one granddaughter, Tammy LaVaughn; six brothers and one sister.

Surviving are her husband, the Reverend Thomas “Fred” Silver of the home; son, Gerald Silver and wife Dana of Douglas, Georgia; five daughters, Tina Elaine Butler and husband Jim of Old Fort, Joan LaVonne Silver-Holder and husband, Charles, of Tampa, Florida, Julia Stevens and husband Bill of Old Fort, Teresa Lynn Peters and husband Robert of Old Fort and Julie Silver Webb and her husband, Daniel of Old Fort; brother, Bud Bartlett and wife, Betty, of Black Mountain;  two sisters, Hazel Wright and husband James of Fairview and Allie Black and husband, Ervin, of Gwen, Michigan; 23 grandchildren; 57 great-grandchildren; and 20 great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Independent Church of God with the Reverends Randy Gregg, Randy Stevens and Tommy Hall officiating.  Burial will follow in the Trinity Independent Church of God Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Kirksey Chapel in Old Fort.

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

(I’m still searching for the family connections of this lady’s husband, Rev. Silver. Can anyone help me?  Cousin John)



John Silver
Genealogist & Editor
64S Fairfield Drive
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]

Barney Kaufman
7408 Lake Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-1960
[email protected]