Janet's Genealogy


Jacob is the son of Joseph and Catherine Sievely of Shenandoah Co. Va.

The Sively story was send to me by two wonderful cousin, Joyce Bennett and Wayne Glenn. I feel I need to tell you this Sively Story was publish for the Sivley/Sively Reunion in 1953. By Nona Sively McMillian, Inez Sivley Sivley and Hope Sivley Smith all were at that time living in Decauter, AL. NOTE OF APPRECITATION: Information here given has been collected for about two years, from state Capitols, Libraries, Courthouse, Old Burial Grounds, Bible Records, Newspapers, and from so many helpful indiviuals, it would be impossible to name them all. FORWARD: Because our early settlers lived in a wilderness, often many miles apart, and so few records were kept, it is impossible to get a complete story of them. Not realizing the important part they were playing in history, they didn't bother to leave written records for future generations. We, who are interested in the, must patch together the bits of information to be found in the incomplete census records, dates on tombstones, and the few dim words in old family Bibles. Having few schools, many of our ancestors cusl neither read or write, and often in records the name spelled as it sounded to the ones recording them. Thus, we find the name Sively spelled in many different ways.

JACOB SIEVELY/SIVLEY married Alcey? It is thought the reason that Jacob, John, Sarah (Mrs. John Walters) and Elizabeth ( Mrs. Thomas Walters) Came to Tn was to be with their brother Peter and his family.

The oldest Co. in TN is Jefferson County, TN. The book called"Land Deeds of Jefferson Co. Tn 1792-1814" by Holdaway 1991( Southern Historical Press.Inc.275 W. Broad St,Greenville,SC 29601.

Dated 27 Oct 1800,Recorded 5 may 1801. He brought land on the south sied of French Broad River on both sides of Muddy Creek adj. John Reno, Jacob Sively, Jacob layman.

There more land deeds for Jacob dated 1808-1810.

Marriages of Jefferson Co.,TN 1792-1836 compiled by Edythe Whitley 1982.

April 16,1804- Andrew Sinely to Rebeccah Deaton.

In 1808, John Hunt, for whom Hunsville, Al, was name, was lured to North Alabama by stories of an abundance of wild turkesys in this area, told him by a friendly Cherokee Indian. With the Indian, he found the Big Spring liking the location, returned to his home in one of the Carlinas and returned two years with a large number of men from the Carolinas and Virginia.

In 1799 Jacob Sivley and his family came from Virginia to Tennessee. For Jacob was listed as an ensign from Jefferson Co. Tn. Jacob and his family later move to Alabama.It is believed Jacob's children. all but Jacob Jr were born in Va.

Andrew (Jacob and Alcey oldest son) had son Hamilton b near Knoxville on 1 Jan 1807. Some time in 1808 between 1810 Jacob and his brother John came down the Tennessee River on flat boats, and Andrew's second son, Rawley, was born on a flat boat in March of 1808. ( I don't think I would want to have baby on flat boat. How about you?)

When near the Alabama state line John left with his family move west to Lincolin (now Moore)Co. TN.

Jacob and his family settled Southwest of Huntsville, on the old Stage Coach Road, running from the river to Huntsville. The Big Spring made a canal, flowing into a creek, which emtied in the river, and small boats came up and down this stream to the new settlement. It ran through the land where the SIVLEYS settled.

The frame house built on a rise, near the steam is believed to have been the older, and built by Jacob. All uprights and beams were fashioned from cedat logs. Othes lumber used was yellow poplar. The building was oblong in shape, with tall chimneys at each end. It had four rooms and was simple in construction. From these quarters, Jaob directed his slaves in their work about his farm, called the "ST ANDREW PLANTATION". A windmill was built on Triana Branch with a large columened porch ovelooking it, where Jacob would sit and oversee his mill. He was so stout he a special bed, chair and carriage, built like an omnibus where he entered from the back. He could not stoop to tie his shoes, and carried a slave about with him, all the time. JACOB DIED IN 1816. The receipt was given his son-in-law William Fine, on September 20th in answer to a bill from William NeSmith for a coffin six feet long at two dollars a foot, amounting to twelve dollars. The recipt is among old records at the Court House in Huntsville. This box, like all others of those pioneer days, was made of planed boards, and fitted with iron handles. Jacob was buried in what was to be the family burial ground, near the home, the first known Sivley to be laid to rest in the new territory, which had not yet become a State.

Jacob's wife,Alcey, and his son Andrew, were apponted administrators of his estate. In 1818 Alcey, and her son Joseph, believed to have been the second child, were also buried in the family buriel ground.

In December of 1932, the HUNTSVILLE TIMES newspaper printed stories of old historic homes, and among these, was a story of the Sivley Home, By Pat Jones. Part of is are included here.:

" Jacob and his oldest son, Andrew, then 26, acquired land grants from the goverment adjoining each other, and worked ideally together to carry on their interests in that section, covering much of the site of the present Merimack Village.

Up until 1932, the two old Sivley Home, apparently among the oldest in Madison County, still stood, one a frame structure and another a massive brick, built around a windling stairway, and harboring a BURIED TREASURE, which brought a family descendant back in search of it. These features caused the home about midway between Merrimack and Whiesburg Pike, to stand out as the most striking of Madison County estates.

Buried Treasure:

Last Feb ( must have been 1932) there came to the estate an enpensivley dressed women in a fine car, driven by a chauffeur in uniform. She was from Chicago, she said and the granddaughter of a Sivley. After looking the place over and getting her bearings, she left. The next day, however sh appeared again, this time ordering her car up a narrow windling road to the small family graveyard, surrounded by cedars some half a mile from the house. Nearly two hours later, she departed without coming near the old home again.

This visitor left her mark behind her. In the southwest corner of the burial ground, 10 feet from a large grave stone and at the bass of an immense cedar tree, she had her chauffeur dig. First, in order to do so , he cut away the roots on that side of the trees. Some of which measured 6 or 8 inches in diameter.Soon, he uncovered a BRICK VAULT four feet square and two and1/2 feet deep, sxtending under the tree.

What was taken this vault, which certainly was not once a grave, is not known. It may have been a fortune cached there by her forefathers, perhaps during the Civil War.This wealth may have been in the form of gold, silver or jewels. Again, it may have been valuable papers buried there so many years ago with a tree planted on top of it,that roots from the seedling, and even the tree itself, have grown to a massive size

Whatever she found, this woman doubtless was one descendant of a historic family. who believed the crtptic message left for her on a map found in her grandsire's stong box. "

Does she have descendants who can tell us what was in the Vault or who she was or who was her ancestor???

After the death of Alcey his mother, Andrew bought from the othes heirs their part of the estate each child was paid $314.00 for his part, amounting to $3,140.00 as shown in old records.

The brick house, built by Andrew, is said to have been built about 1830. We have a very vivied description of the house in the story by Mr Jones. The front door faced North toward Huntsville, in two panels. below an arch of brick. The hallway was barrel shaped, thirty-one feet to the ceiling. Near the entrance was a winding stairway, which was no doubt the most picturesque stairwa in Madison County. The two large rooms were located on each side of the hall, one above the other, measuring 20x20, Ceiling 15 feet. Large windows were on the North and South. Fireplace were in each room. That in the upper chamber to the East was of an odd arrangement, facing obliquely to the center. On one side it was flush with the wall, while on the other, its corner stood four feet out in the floor.This was probably so arranged in order that a fire burning on the hearth would not reflect in the eyes of the person sleeping in the section outside the scope of light. Three porchs, a long one on the North, a smaller one on the South, and West sides, set off the appearance of the building. In the basement were three rooms, all finely finished. The one at the West end was the kitchen, its fireplace half the width of the room. larege enough to roast a large section of beef at one time. Entrance to the cellar was gained through a door at the West end of the house. Food was taken from the kitchen upstairs to the dining room, which had a cupboard built in the Northwest corner of the wall. Another stairs led from this chamber to the top floor, allowing passage up and down, without entering the rest of the house. Outside the houst was a pit, marking the site of the ice house, where ice was stored from the pond below.

Andrew built a dam nearby to supply water for this grist mill, which was his chief means of livliehood. This was the beginning of "SIVLEYS MILLS", known even to the prsent generation. In 1832 Andrew sold a tract of the land, where the mill pond was located, to James B Martin. The sale was made on condition that the canal boats be allowed to pass, and the Company be permitted to use water from the source to fill its lock. Futhermore Andrew was to retain the right to water his srock from the lake.

Shortly afterward, approaching the age of 70, he and his wife, growing feeble, decided to sell and retire. He sold the plantation, containing 750 acres, to his son , Joseph in 1853 for $ 15,000.00. The mill was included in the sale on condition that Joseph would care for his parents the remainder of their lives.

Only 4 of Andrew's 11 children were mentioned in his will. Others had either died or severed connections with the parents. He left his wife, Rebecca, 11 slaves adn furniture of the home, specifying that the slaves would be divided among the children at her death.

Once very important in the lives of Huntsville's first settlers, these homes are forgotten now. Few residents even know of their existence. Passers by who stop to view, find nothing to indicate their part in history.All that remains today of the busy life of those pioneer ancestores is the tall monument of Andrew, and some of his children, which marks the spot of the family burial ground. Once enclosed with a picket fence, and gaunt cedar trees, now one must wade thought weeds and briars and the names on the stones are hardley legible. The graves of those first buried there, Jacob, Alcey and their son , Joseph, can no longer be found. To West and East of the burial ground, running parallel, are two busy highways, and joining it on the East is the Huntsville Airport, where no doubt many Sivley descendants pass, along their busy ways, unknown to each other, thinkgin little of those mortals in days past, to whom we owe so much, and certainly not realizing that so nearbly lie he remains of those brave souls.

The first recorded marriage in AL of Sivley is Benny Sivley to Von Dought in 1818. Efforts have failed to esablish her indentity. She may have been a slave, who had sometime belonged to the family, and been given their name.

Jacob and Alcey children were:

1 Andrew b 26 JAN 1783 in Va d 21 Feb 1857 in Madison Co.buried in Huntsville, Madison, AL Al m Rebecca Denton, born December 22, 1782 in TN; died December 02, 1859 in Hinds Co., MS. She was the daughter of Thomas Denton and Elizabeth Claypoole ( Note I have information on Rebecca's parents and siblings)

2 Jesse b 12 Mar 12 1796 d 1868 m 1st wife was Elizabeth Matkin and 2nd wife wife in 1 Mar 1816. He died in Morgan Co Al.

The estate papers of E.W. Matkin (#2 of 3 named so in the family). E.W. died intestate and the courts made a valiant effort to identify & locate all potential heirs between 1863 and 1874. The children of Elizabeth and Jesse Sivley were cited as well as the children of Jane Matkin and her husband, Mr. Cooper. Note Jane husband was Charlie Cooper. Jennie/Jane was Charlie first wife and after her death he married his sister Margaret.

3 Nancy(Lam or Lamb) m William Smalling 11 Dec 1817.She died in Madison Co. Al.

4 Joseph b 1784 in Va m Rachel Taylor in 29 Aug 1807. He died in Morgan County, Al.

5 John Williams b 1790 d 1856 in Morgan County, Al m Sarah Lawrence in 1817

6 Elizabeth m 1st Alexander Campbell 23 Sept 1809 and 2nd Thomas Evans 26 Sept 1811. She died in Limestone County Al.

7 Margaret m Bannister Bond 12 May 1813 d Madison county, Al.

8 Catherine m William Fine in 27 Mar 1807. She died in Giles County, Tn

9 Rebecca m Elianthan Davis 4 Jan 1817 in 04 Jan 1817. She died in Rutherford County, Tn

10 Jacob Jr b 21 Dec 1804 d 27 Dec 1892 m Elizabeth Ann Brooks. They move to Clarksville,Red River County, Texas. He died in 27 Dec 1804 in red River Coounty, Texas. She live to be 82 years old.She was b 25 Dec 1800 d 16 Aug 1877.

Jacob and his family stay in Tn. Andrew married Rebecca Denton had their first child in Tn. His name was Hamilton b 1 Jan 1807.

1.Andrew and Rebecca children:

DEBORAH m Jack Ferris;

HAMILTON m Sarah Jane Baker;

RAWLEY m Elizabeth Hodge Burlerson;

JACOB III m Elizabeth Ann Scruggs;

WILLIAM B died young;

GEORGE died young;

ELIZA A m Cooper;

ELVIRA m 1st Wallace and 2nd Shearer ;

MARTIN m Maria Ana Dodson,

JOSEPH m Clara Marshall.

In Morgan Co. Probate Book I, Folie 200, Lucinda Matkin provided an affidavit stating that she bore a child in July 1862 and the father was Joseph Sivley. The affidavit was dated Nov 1862. She was 18 at the time of the birth, 17 when she became pregnant. I believe that Joseph was already a father of 5 by this time by his wife, Clara Marshall.(I talked with the county archivist about why the affidavit was filed and she offered the following: 1) the mother was underage (o.k.- 21 was the age of adulthood) 2) she wanted to register an heir against the fatherís future estate or 3) she planned to go for child support OR all three. I have never been able to find out what happened to the child)

Lucinda married Richard Bennett in 1868 and had at least 3 more children. Her birth history in the 1900 census stated she had borne 4 children, with 2 living at that time. My next project is to scour the Madison Co. court records for any further records on her, her child &/or Joseph Sivley.

In the 1850 census of Faulkner County, Ark

MARTIN age 38 b Al; Ann M 35 b Tn; and children SARAH E 10;ELIZA J 8; ANN E 7; MARTIN H 1 AND LUCY H 3;

2 Jesse b 12 Mar 12 1796 d 1868 m 1st wife was Elizabeth Matkin and 2nd Frances Bone wife in 1 Mar 1816. He died in Morgan Co Al.

JESSE JR b 31 10 1830 m Bethany H Reeves;

JENNIE m Charlie Cooper;

SARAH m Breedlove:


MARGARET m Charlie Cooper. Jennie died Charlie married Jennie sister Margaret.

After Elizabeth died Jesse married Frances Bane.


PLEASANT b 23 June 1808 m'd 1st HANNAH LOWERY on 4 Jan 1832, She was born in SC 16 Oct 1812 and 2nd Caroline Pitt


JACOB m'd Writta Hampton (Henrietta)

CHARIOTTE m'd Rev. James Halbrooks Their children were Jeff; Susan; Fay; Sally; Rufus; Winston; James; Nancy and Lillie. Fay m'd E. P. Taylor Joe and Nancy left AL and move to Ozark, MO. Were their son Washington M Wade was the Principal of the school.

NANCY m'd Joseph Wade. Joe and Nancy left AL and move to Ozark, MO. Were their son Washington M Wade was the Principal of the school


Cassandane m'd James Cal Mc Cleskey


5 John Williams b 1790 d 1856 in Morgan County, Al m Sarah Lorrance in 1817

HENRY m Angeline Turner;

JIM m Arrena Stuart;

TOM m ann Smith;

MARTHA m Nathan Aldrige;

JANE m John Anderson;

IOWAY m Doc Elrod


MATY ANN 1823;



MARTHA J. 1827;


JAMES B 1832;

JOHN J 1834;


SUSAN 1839;







JOSEPH and RACHEL TAYLOR:There is story about his family. "A Little story has been told of how a group of people, including Pleasant, were coming down the river, and made camp with some indians at Brown's Ferry. It may have been the family group, when they first came to Lawrence County. They traded liquor to the Indians, who got drunk, and the group for fear of having trouble with them, cut the ropes of their rafts loose, and drifted down steam, during the night. the next morning, realizing they near some shoals, they asked a man on the bank about them, only to learn they had already passed them, during the night. Pleasant told stories in later years of helping to cut a road through the can brakes. It is regrettable we do not have more facts, but somehow we do not know when, the family settled somewhere on the Flint Creek. The 1830 Census lists Rachel as head of household with five in family. When they came to that section,there were Indians all about, and the women never stayed alone, but when the men were in the fields, several stayed together.

After living on Flint Creek, the Sivleys lived on Flat Creek, and though the exact locations is not known, it must have been somewhere near what is known as SIVLEY'S FORD.

Pleasant had begun to build a house, but he and Hannah were married, and moved in, before it was finished. There were no doors and they had to climb through an opening in the floor to get in. It is not known where this house was located, but Pleasant told in later years how hard Hannah had worked, helping him to finish the house, and clear the fields. In the 1840 Census they were living in Morgan Co. but 1850 Census shows them back in Lawrence Co. Note: The family did not move the county lines did. Pleasant home was told to located East of the present Morris Chapel Church. Pleasant was highly respected and very thrifty. He and Ned Bracken are said to have owned most of the land of the Morris Chapel Community. Pleasant was said to have owned 1,000 acres.

Rachel lived to be so old she was called "Grany Sivley" by all who knew her.

Nancy Wade as Pleasant sister persuaded him to move to ARK just before the Civil War. It is believe that sold some his land but not the house. The family was told he made a sale to Mr Conway and carried the gold in a basket covered with potatoes, with him and his family in the Ox Wagon. There were so many of them,they could not all ride, and took turns walking. It was forest land practically all the way. The County through which they traveled was so sparsely poplutated that they suffered severely from thirst.After being without water for long time, their hopes rose at the sight of a house.When they asked for water, however, they were refused by a wonman who said she was a widow, and had to haul all the water she had from a great distrance, thus every drop was precious. They later came to a muddy puddle, and were so thirsty by that time, they drank it, and were thankful just to have water. On this trip they met a man who asked where they were going. "To Arkan'sas, one replied (with the accent on the second syllable). It may be Arkn'sas now" he said, "But brother when you come back it'll be Arkansaw' as long as your arm" The Sivleys did not like Arkansas. In fact they were so disatisfied, they immediately set out to sell their property before crops were completely finished. The family returned to Lawrence Co,AL and Pleasant persuaded Mr Conway to sell back to him the property he'd sold, but it is said he had to pay a $1,000 more then he sold it for.

Jacob's son Jesse F fought in the War of 1812.

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