JULY 2008


In Memory of John Silver

April 3, 1933 – June 20, 2008




Dear Silver Cousins –


I am writing to you this evening with a very heavy heart. As many of you know, Cousin John Silver, "Keeper of the Silver Family Archives" and Co-host of the Silver Family Web site, as well as writer and editor for "Silver Notes" and "Silver Threads" has been very ill.  Unknown to many of us, John was suffering from cancer which rapidly consumed his health and John passed away peacefully at home with family members by his side this past Friday evening, June 20th.

 We are all shocked by John's sudden passing and we will all miss our dear friend and cousin. John was a man of great character, moral integrity and a righteous man who loved God. I never heard him utter an unkind word about anyone and during my interactions with him when we co-wrote "Silver Threads" there were times his patience was tried but he always persevered and overcame all adversity with great dignity.

 John's contributions to our Silver and related family history is a masterpiece within itself and can never be championed by another living soul. A plaque, recognizing his outstanding achievements to our family history, was presented to John in absentia at the 2006 Silver Family Reunion.  He was very touched and humble when he received the plaque by US Mail. 

 You may view the plaque which contains his photo and read the honor bestowed on our dear friend on the family web site at Click on "Silver Threads" then July 2008.

 His faithful and rewarding journey on this earth is now over.


He came this way but once,

Yet he touched our lives

in many ways while he was here.

We shall remain eternally grateful

for the influence he bestowed upon us.


We will greatly miss you our dear friend, John Silver.




My Best Regards,
Cousin Rex Redmon



Dover Post
Monday, June 23, 2008

Senior Master Sgt. James D. Silver, USAF (Ret.)


James D. Silver, 75, of Dover, died Friday evening, June 20, 2008, at home.

Mr. Silver was born April 3, 1933, in Marshall, N.C., son of the late Diston Silver and Robbie Payne Silver.

After attending schools in Madison and Buncombe counties, he enlisted in the military on May 18, 1950. After attending electronics school, he was assigned to many Air Force bases throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.

He started his aircrew duties in 1957, eventually traveling to more than 70 nations and logging more than 13,000 flying hours. His last assignment was as a loadmaster superintendent in the 9th Military Airlift Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, prior to his retirement in October 1979.

Mr. Silver’s many service awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Chief Air Crew Badge.

After retirement, he returned to college and earned a bachelor's degree in business. During that same period he managed automotive stores and worked for the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Mr. Silver was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, the North Philatelic Society and the Sons of the American Revolution. His lifelong hobbies were stamp collecting and fishing. In later years he had devoted much time to genealogy and became the Silver family historian.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Silver was preceded in death by a grandson.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Conchita E. Montenegro Silver; four sons, James Victor Silver of Madison, Conn., Robert Scott Silver of Springfield, Va., Roger Alan Silver of McKinney, Texas and John Douglas Silver of Catonsville, Md.; four granddaughters; and six grandsons.

Interment will be in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., at a later date.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Silver’s name may be made to the Camden-Wyoming Fire Department, P.O. Box 186, Camden, DE 19934.

Letters of condolence may be sent, and guestbook signed at



Graveside Services:

Tue. September 9, 2008, 12:45 PM at Arlington National Cemetery.

Click for Map and Directions




From John’s Family –


Johnnie passed on 20 June 2008 after a battle with cancer. As always, he set the example with honor and dignity. You can view his obituary at WWW.TORBERTFUNERAL.COM and leave a message. All of you were always on his mind and it gave him much peace.


Thank you, Jim, Bob, Roger and John Silver





A Celebration of Life –


I can’t remember when or how we started working together; most probably in the last 1990s.  I had a tiny little website catering to the descendants of a single SILVER family that emigrated from Germany to Nova Scotia.  John was tracking the much larger SILVER thread that ended up in Kona, North Carolina, but he and his cousins were still pretty much low-tech; the genealogy being passed at reunions and through the U.S. Mail.  I offered to bring him into the modern age and a partnership and a friendship was formed.

It started with just genealogy, but eventually politics and current events and sports started to infiltrate our telephone conversations, eventually taking them over.  I’d come home from work, too exhausted to do anything, but then the phone would ring.  John just wanted to “shoot the sh-t” and I was re-energized.  It didn’t hurt that we shared views on many subjects, but John and I could disagree without being disagreeable.

But –- next to Connie and their family -- it was genealogy that was his true love.  It pained him so to watch extended family members squabble over data or credit or “stuff”.  He used his position as Editor of the Silver Threads to reword or excise passages from contributed articles that had the possibility of causing hurt.  But he did not squelch healthy debate, as both sides of the Frankie Stewart story have had their say many times over.

I tried to simply function as John’s webmaster, but his excitement of a new find, a discovered family branch or link or photograph, was contagious.  As my workload increased, I would probably have not continued my own research if it wasn’t for John’s infectious enthusiasm and energy.  Much of that energy is hidden, as he tended to sit in the background, providing a forum for other amateur genealogists and story tellers to have their say and get their due credit.

It is both sad and strangely wonderful that this man -- my friend and partner for these many years – and I never actually met face-to-face.  But the friendship was as strong as if we grew up together.


Goodbye, My Friend.




Some Emails –



Thank you very much for letting us know about John.  He is certainly going to be missed!  He has done a wonderful and fantastic job with the Silver Family genealogy - many years and hours of very hard work!!!  So very much accumulated information!!  He has indeed been the "Silver Family Historian" and I feel sure that his legacy will live on for many years. 

Ellen Louise Cox



Thank you so much for keeping us up on the sad occasion. We loved John so much. He was a delight from the beginning and fostered a genuine interest in his family---current and past. We will miss him at future gatherings but we always remember him.

Lloyd T. Crawford & Family

Grandson of Ossie Lee Silvers & Lloyd W. Crawford

Old Fort, NC



I am a Cousin My Name is Dianne I've talked a lot to John over the phone and I enjoyed our conversations. I'll miss talking to him. I'm Just learning about my family and if something had me stumped all I had to do was call John and he would help me. God be with each and every one of you and may he keep you in the hollow of his hand. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Your Cousin Dianne Roland Cygan



Hello, I’m so sorry to hear this.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do for anyone. I so wish I could have talked to him.  Blessing to all and so sorry for the loss.

Angela Ledford



Rex, I am shocked and so sad!!  I treasure the time I spent with him. Thanks for putting in words what I would have said, but much less eloquently.  I think of you all frequently and would love to see you.  You are welcome any time you need to get cool and refreshed.  Just let me know.

Fondly, Jere (Jerelene Howell)





In the midst of our sadness, we need to remember that life indeed does go on.  Laura Cowan Cooper wrote in to remind me to mention the quickly upcoming 2008 Silver Family Reunion.


The Silver Reunion is being held at the Kona Missionary Baptist Church on July 26 and 27, 2008.

Lunch will be offered on Saturday for $7.00 and on Sunday we ask that you bring lunch for your family plus one to spread out in the kitchen for all to enjoy. It is fine if you would rather bring a large dish or a meat instead of an entire meal. Drinks will be provided by the church. Lunch on Saturday is offered by the church to raise money for the operation of the church and the roof fund. The Church will have Silver Reunion T-Shirts for sale at $10 per shirt.

Maxine McCall is the keynote speaker and all activities will be held in the Fellowship Hall.  We have a simple old fashioned reunion planned with lots of time for genealogy on Saturday.

For more information, check out the reunion page at, or contact


Laura Cowan Cooper - Kodak, TN
Cell Phone 865.659.0509
[email protected]

If you do e-mail, keep in mind that she will be leaving for Kona on that Tuesday and will not have Internet after July 22.



Laura Cooper also wanted me to mention that Ruth Silver, Wayne's mother turns 90 years old on Sunday and it would be nice if the family could send her a card or drop in for a visit.

Ruth Robinson Silver
140 Grindstaff Road
Bakersville, NC 28705-7209





Jimmy Dale Boone


Jimmy Dale Boone, age 49, of the Plum Branch community, passed away on Thursday, May 8, 2008, in the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. A native of Yancey County, he was born to Evelyn (Carroll) Boone, and to the late Landon Boone.

Surviving, along with his mother, is one step-daughter, Alisha Grindstaff; one sister, Bonnie Silvers and husband Doug, of Burnsville; one brother, Roger Boone, of Burnsville; one niece, April Rowe and husband Rodney; one nephew, Landon Boone; and one great-nephew, Brandon Boone. A special friend, Randy Styles, and a host of other special friends also survive.

Funeral Services for Jimmy Boone will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2008, in the chapel of Yancey Funeral Services. Rev. Ray Lane will officiate. The family will receive friends from 2 until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, prior to the funeral service, and at other times will be at the home of his mother, Evelyn Boone. Burial will be in the Boone Family Cemetery in Plum Branch.



Thomas Yates McMaham, Sr.


Thomas Yates McMahan, Sr., age 66, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, May 2, 2008, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. A native of Yancey County, he was born to the late Clarence Yates McMahan and Laura (Buchanan) McMahan. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by two grandchildren: Brandy Nicole Vincent and Meloney Lynn Graham; and by one great grandchild, Daevion Jones. Thomas had lived in Maryland for many years where he worked as a chef before returning to the mountains that he so dearly loved. He was a member and Sunday School teacher at Halls Chapel Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Loretta (Deckwa) McMahan; four daughters: Peggy Graham and husband Robert of Burnsville; Lorie Brennan and husband John of Arkansas; Sheila Russell of Arkansas; and Tona McMahan and husband Joe of Marion; four sons: Rickey Vincent, Stephen Paul Vincent, and Gregory George Vincent, all of Maryland; and Thomas McMahan, Jr. of Burnsville; two sisters: Sheila Haines of Woodbine, MD, and Judy L. McMahan of Burnsville; four brothers: Norris Lee McMahan of Boston, MA; Linzey Glen McMahan, Rev. Stanley McMahan, and Jimmy McMahan, all of Newdale; grandchildren: Tracey Hayden, Stephen Paul Vincent, Jr., A.J. Vincent, Dakota Vincent, Mandolin Vincent, Rickey Vincent Jr., Amber Vincent, Gregory George Vincent Jr., Jimmy Vincent, Brandon Russell, Angel Russell, Joshua Russell, Breanna Garner, James Garner, David Garner, Thomas McMahan III, and Juanita McMahan; and great grandchildren: Shane Vincent, Jayden Vincent, Devon McClain, Taylor Hayden, Aleah Hayden, Najae Jones, and Demarea Jones. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

 Funeral Services for Thomas will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2008, at Halls Chapel Baptist Church. Rev. Holt Whitson and Rev. Stanley McMahan will officiate. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2:00 p.m. prior to funeral services at the church. Burial will be in the Halls Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery. Yancey Funeral Services is serving the McMahan family.


(Georg Wendel Silber > Johann Jurg Silber > Nancy Silver m. Thomas Robinson > Margaret Martha Ann Robinson m. David S. Hall > Mary Amerlia Hall m. Thomas Woodfin McMahan > Welzie McMahan > Clarence Yates McMahan > Thomas Yates McMahan)



Lawrence Silvers



Lawrence Silvers, age 82, of Burnsville, went home to be with our Heavenly Father on Sunday, April 27, 2008, at Brookside Rehabilitation and Care. A native of Yancey County, he was born July 20, 1925, to the late Sam Theodore Silvers and Addie (King) Silvers. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Madeline McCurry Silvers; three grandsons: Sean Silvers, David Silvers, and Cody Brackin all of Lakeland, Fl; three sisters: Lois Silvers, Mildred Tucker, and Florence Higgins; and one brother, Vance Silvers of Burnsville. Lawrence was a very active person who loved fishing and was an avid gardener.

Surviving is his wife of 40 years, Julie Silvers; two daughters: Sylvia Kibler and Gloria Jean Branch; two sons: Lester Silvers and Tommy Silvers; one sister, Becky Silvers; and two brothers: James Ray Silvers and Ward Silvers; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren all of Burnsville.

Memorial Services for Lawrence will be held at a later date. Yancey Funeral Services of Burnsville is serving the Silvers Family.


(Georg Wendel Silber > Johann Jurg Silber > John Jackson Silver > Green B. Silver > George Franklin Silver > Samuel Theodore “Tildee” Silvers > Lawrence Silvers)



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

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