JUNE 2009


Written and Published Online by John Silver Harris

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



Reunion Dates Set


The 2009 Silver family reunion is scheduled for Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26, at the Kona Baptist Church, Kona, N.C.  So mark your calendar.

The program for the reunion is being worked out.



Web site helps you, relatives build ‘family health tree’



Your ‘family tree’ may not only satisfy your curiosity about from whom you are descended, but it can also be tailored to provide important health information for you, your loved ones, and your physician.

Your family health history can help your physician provide better care for you. It can also help identify whether you have higher risk for some diseases. And it can help your doctor look for early warning signs of diseases.

But as important as it can be, the family health history is largely under utilized. Now, however, the government is offering a free service to try to change that. The goal is to guide you in compiling your family health tree.

Computer users can download forms developed by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office. After filling them in, they can then share this information with anyone they choose—or no one, if that’s their choice.

Your health information remains private; the Web site doesn’t store any information.

Should you wish to share it with your physician, the forms are in a digital format that is compatible when medical providers move from paper records to digital ones, as is now the trend.

You can start your family health tree by going to the Web site:

There you’ll find extensive information in a question and answer format, as well as the forms you can fill in, if you so choose.



By Lloyd Bailey



Civil War enthusiasts have long awaited the day when Lloyd Bailey's monumental series, Heritage of the Toe River Valley, would cover the local story of the glorious and tragic events of that epic struggle.

The day is at hand!  It was first envisioned that the entirety of the account would fit into a single volume.  It soon became clear that it would consume two, and then three, books.

Volume VIII (the first of three) of the series is now at the printer and should be available in June.  The Table of Contents for all three volumes is as follows:


Maps of County Formation  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Future Volumes of the Toe River Valley Heritage Series.   .

Modern Map of the Toe River Valley.   .   .   .   .   .   .

The Editor    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Preface       .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


S E C T I O N   A:



Part I: Before The War.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Part II: The Confederate Army .   .   .   .   . [SEE VOLUME IX]

Organization and Rank; Rosters of Soldiers and Regimental Histories; Mitchell County and her Soldiers during the Civil War; Lists of Pensioners

Part III: Newspaper Articles and Obituaries

(many, beginning with 1862)   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Part IV: Civil War Events on the Local Scene  .   .   .   .

Part V: Selected Types of Confederate Documents (Local)   .

Soldier's Pension Application; Widow's Application; Quartermaster's Payment; Request for Promotion in Rank; Pay Voucher; Requisition for Clothing; Permission for Furlough; Oath of Allegiance; Certificate for Released Prisoner; Pass for Travel; Receipt for Armaments; Transportation Home for Released Prisoner; Resignation of Officer; Discharge for Disability; Application for Transfer to Another Prison.

Part VI: Sketches of Individual Soldiers (many)   .   .   .

Part VII: Letters Written by Soldiers  .   .   .  [SEE VOLUME IX]

Part VIII: The Sons of Confederate Veterans (local)   .   . 

Part IX: Clothing and Equipment for each soldier by name 

(nearly 200 pages) .   .   .   .   .   .   .  [SEE VOLUME IX]

Part X: Photographs of Soldiers (around 150 of them)  .   .

Part XI: The Home Guard.   .   .   .   .   .   .  [SEE VOLUME IX]


S E C T I O N   B:




Part XII: Why Did Southerners Join the Union Army?.   .   .

Part XIII: Sketches of Individual Soldiers.   .   .   .   .

Part XIV: Local Union Activity    .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Part XV: Roster of Soldiers       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Part XVI: Selected Types of Documents .   .   .   .   .   .

Southern Claims Commission; Volunteer Enlistment Form; Discharge from Service; Declaration Pension; Physician's Affidavit; Deposition in Support of Pension; Invalid Pension; Application for Tombstone; Officer of the Day; Census Data; Application for Reimbursement for Funeral Expenses; Certificate of Medical Examination; Widow's Application for Pension; Certificate of Awarded Pension; Transfer to a new Company,

Part XVII: Photographs of Soldiers    .   .   .   .   .   .


S E C T I O N   C:



Reconstruction, The "Kirk-Holden War," The Trial of Governor William W. Holden, Testimony About KKK Activities In Yancey


Index To Volume VIII (by Article Number)     .   .   .   .    


Note: Given the current economic conditions, fewer copies than usual for the series will be printed.  Do not delay in ordering.


ORDER FORM: PLEASE PRINT AND MAIL WITH PAYMENT (personal check or money order)!




Thereafter: $80.00 (please be attentive TO DATE;
do not PRE-DATE and expect the discount!).




_____ Copy(ies) of Heritage of the Toe River Valley, Vol. VIII, @ $75.00 each,

pre-publication price (includes tax and postage).

_____ Copy(ies) at the regular price of $80.00.


Please ship to (street address if possible; PO Box if necessary)

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip Code: __________________________________________________________________

E-mail address:  _____________________________        Telephone Number: _________________


Enclosed is payment in amount of $ ________, payable to Lloyd R. Bailey. 

I understand that publication is projected for June 2009, but unexpected delays are always possible.

Send this form and payment to: Lloyd Bailey, 4122 Deep Wood Circle, Durham, N.C., 27707.




From Your Editor:

Our congratulations to Don and Barbara B. Silver of Marion, NC, who celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary on May 3, 2009.

Despite 76 years of riotous living, your Silver Threads editor, John Silver Harris, observed another birthday on May 9, 2009.


Laura Cowan Cooper writes:

I am hoping that some of our older family members might know something about the septic tank at the Kona Baptist Church.  We need to know where it is located and any other information about it, as we have a problem.

[email protected]
Mailing address: 1010 Hilltop Lane, Kodak, TN 37764-1837


William H. Silver writes:

I am William H. Silver and my family came from around Frederick, Maryland, and live in Morgan and Berkley counties of West Virginia.

My great-great grandfather was William N. Silver, but I have not been able to locate who his mother or father was. He was born in 1818 either in Frederick, Maryland or Virginia.

I am calling on the southern Silvers to see if anyone has any info that might help me in my research.

I am particularly interested in William Norris Silver who was married to Margaret Baden Watson. William Norris Silver's mother was George Silver’s daughter, Elizabeth.

Many of my cousins live right across from Frederick, Maryland, and I suspect the possibility we are connected by our roots. I need help to confirm this however. Does anyone have any Bible records that could help?  Mr. Harris, could you have this posted on the Silver Threads, and would it be possible for you to send me this year’s reunion date?

Thank you for your time and any help you can be from one Silver to another.

Regards, Pastor William H. Silver
E Mail:  [email protected] 
My address: 157 Klein Street, Beaver Falls, Pa. 15010


Beverly Silver writes:

 I just want to give you an up date on Ruth Silver, who is my aunt. I'm sure you remember her -- she is Wayne's mom.

She is 90 now and in a nursing home, but is able to get out and go to church or dinner. She had a stroke and isn't able to stay by herself.







Black Mountain News (NC)
April 22, 2009


Carolyn Silver Orr passed away Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at Sentara Village in Virginia Beach, Va.

Mrs. Orr is preceded in death by her loving husband, Bernus Earl Orr; parents, James G. Silver and Josephine Silver Henson; brother, Barry Silver; and sister, Phyllis Benson.

She is survived by her sons, Steve, Bruce, and Craig Orr, of Virginia Beach; sister, Judith Burgess, of Swannanoa; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Private services are being held by the family.

Friends may leave online condolences at

(Carolyn Silver < James Guy Silver < James Martin Silver < John Silver < Alfred Leonard Silver < Rev. Jacob Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
March 08, 2009


Evie S. Wilson, 84, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 01, 2009, following a period of declining health. She was born in Yancey County on December 29, 1924 and was a daughter of the late Shelby and Martha Silver Silver. She was a wonderful Christian woman and a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister. Evie was a member of Shady Grove Baptist Church.

Surviving are her husband of 65 years, Rev. Howard Wilson, of the home; sons and their wives, Jerry and Loretta Wilson of Marion and Roger and Hazel Wilson of Burnsville; a daughter and her husband, Shirley and Hoyt Elkins of Morganton; grandchildren, Rodney Elkins and his wife, Sandra, who lovingly cared for Evie during her illness, Tamara Elkins, Arlen Wilson, Shannan Wilson, Allen Wilson, and Lisa Waldenberg; four great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; her twin sister and her husband, Eva and R. D. McCurry; sisters, Carrie Hess, Callie Gortney, and Barbara Fox; and brothers, Daniel, David, and Gale Silver.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Wilson was preceded in death by a grandson, Richard Wilson, and by a brother, Dee Silver.

The funeral will be held at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Reverends Billy Mace, Curtis Carroll, and Howard Wilson officiating. Burial will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday at McDowell Memorial Park in Marion, NC with Rev. Tony Land officiating. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. before the service. At other times the family will be at the home on Jamestown Rd., Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 29890.

(Evie S. Silver < Shelby Lee Silver < Thore Cornelius Silver < Marvel Alexander Silver < John Jackson Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)

(Evie S. Silver < Martha Elizabeth Silver < Thomas C. Silver < Henry Gilbert Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)



Robin Lovada Silver Jarvis


Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
May 7, 2009


Old Fort, NC - Robin Lovada Silver Jarvis, age 50, of Catawba River Road, Old Fort, died Sunday, May 3, 2009.

She was born February 20, 1959 in McDowell County to Mrs. Gladys Brown Silver of Old Fort and the late Johnnie E. Silver.

Mrs. Jarvis was selfemployed and was a member of Grandview Park Baptist Church.

Survivors, in addition to her mother, include two sons, Landon J. Jarvis and wife Whitney Herman Jarvis of Lenoir and Jason Jarvis of Asheville and his son, Logan Gates Jarvis of Alabama; two brothers, Johnnie E. Silver Jr. and wife Mariea and their children Misti and Mitch, all of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., and Jeffrey R. Silver and wife Sharon and their children, Cody and Kasey, all of Old Fort; one sister, Lissa Lavonda Silver of Swannanoa and her children Rok and wife, Tina, and Hawk and wife, Ashley.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 8, 2009 at GreerMcElveen Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 2465 Catawba River Rd., Old Fort, N.C. All family and friends are invited.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Grandview Park Baptist Church, 2539 Grandview Cr. SE, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Online condolences may be left at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

(Robin Lovada Silver Jarvis < Johnnie Elmer Silver < Grayson Hicks Silver < Jacob Leonard Silver < Alfred Leonard Silver < Rev. Jacob Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
April 27, 2009


Revia Silver Buchanan, age 90, formerly of Spruce Pine died Saturday, April 25, 2009 at Angel Medical Center in Franklin.

A native of Mitchell County, she was the daughter of the late Claude and Mamie Buchanan Silver. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Albert Duncan, later by her second husband, Arthur Buchanan, daughter-in-law Sandi Duncan, a brother, Ray Silver and a sister Kate Byrd. She was a member of the Freedom Baptist Church and a member of the Spruce Pine Chapter #27 Order of the Eastern Star. 

The funeral services for Revia Buchanan will be conducted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in the Grindstaff Memorial Chapel of Webb Funeral Home. The Rev. David Troutman will officiate the service. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Entombment will be in the Spruce Pine Memorial Cemetery Mausoleum.

Mrs. Buchanan is survived by a son; Alan Duncan and wife Mary Lynn of Franklin; grandson; Brock Duncan and wife, Renee of Spruce Pine and Greg Duncan of Vero Beach, FL; two great grand daughters; Emma Rae Duncan and Taylor Shea Duncan both of Spruce Pine; three brothers; Howard Silver and Claude Silver both of Bakersville; and Charles Silver of Marion; a sister; Bernice Howell of Bakersville; three step grandchildren; and seven step great grandchildren.

Condolences may be e-mailed by going to our website;, selecting obituaries, and clicking on the name you wish to view and sign the guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine, NC is assisting the Buchanan family.

(Vivian Reba “Revia” Silver < William Cleveland “Cleve” Silver < Samuel Jacob Patton Silver < William Jacob “Billy” Silver < Rev. Jacob Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)





Sossoman Funeral Home
Collected Obituaries of April 2009


Margaret Pendley Smith, 70, of Burkemont Road in Morganton passed away on April 16, 2009 at Carolina Rehab Center in Icard, NC after an extended illness. Born in Mitchell County on July 31, 1938, Margaret was the daughter of the late George Woodrow Pendley and Madge Burleson Pendley. Margaret was a member of Hartland Missionary Methodist Church, and was a former employee of Broughton Hospital.

Besides her father, she was preceded in death by a sister, Zeliah Bumgarner, and by her son, William Kenneth Smith, Jr.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by her husband, William Kenneth Smith, of the home, a son, Dennis Michaels and his wife, Sue, of Marion, two daughters, Jeanne Byrd and her husband, Dixon, of Morganton, and Kaye Fish and her husband, Allen, of Morganton. Mrs. Smith had seven grandchildren: Kylie Michaels Watring, Jamie Allman, Amanda Michaels Lowman, Christopher Fish, Jesse Smith Stewart, Katie Fish, and Madison Byrd; three step grandchildren, Jillian Byrd Bentley, Caitlyn Byrd, and Colston Byrd, and two great-grandchildren, Dylan Michael Watring and Lily Victoria Lowman. She is also survived by a brother, Mike Pendley, and a sister, Sonnie Allman, both of Morganton.

The family wishes to express a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Carolina Rehab Center for their kindness and compassion in Margaret's care.

A private ceremony to honor her life is planned at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

(Margaret Eloise Pendley < Madge Berleson < James Edward Burleson < Charlotte Elizabeth Silver < Reuben Silver < Rev. Jacob Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
April 28, 2009


Burnsville - James Kenneth Robertson, 89, of Robertson Street, passed away Sunday, April 26, 2009, at his home after a lengthy illness. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late W.Z. and Sally Lou Banks Robertson. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Vinita Penland Robertson; his son, Bascom Dudley Robertson and his brothers, Merritt and Lee Ray Robertson. A World War II U.S. Marine Raiders Veteran, he saw conflicts in the Pacific while serving with the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon, 2nd Marine Raider Regiment.

Kenneth was the oldest member of the Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department, avid outdoorsman, active in the Yancey County Republican Party and a member of Burnsville First Baptist Church. He was retired from B.B. Penland and Son Lumber Company.

Surviving are his daughter-in-law, Sandra Bell Robertson of Burnsville and West Union, S.C.; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be held at Noon Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Revs. Richard Muri and Joe Bennett will officiate. Burial will be in the Robertson Cemetery at West Burnsville with military grave rites conducted by the U.S. Marine Corp. Pallbearers will be members of the Burnsville VFD.

An hour of quiet prayer and reflections will precede the service at the funeral home. Friends are welcome to gather at the home on Robertson Street immediately following the burial.

Memorials may be made to Burnsville VFD, P.O. Box 461, Burnsville, NC 28714 or Yancey County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1016, Burnsville, NC 28714.

To view this obituary online or send a condolence, visit

(James Kenneth Robertson < Virginia Maude Robinson < Wilkie Lafayette Robinson < Charles Martin Robinson < Margaret “Peggy” Silver < Rev. Jacob Silver < George Silver Jr. < George Silver Sr.)



John Silver Harris
Genealogist & Editor
105 Burning Tree Lane
Boca Raton, FL  33431-3924
[email protected]

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