Stanly County North Carolina ancestry of both Joshua and Wincey Coley  Tree

The 1830 Jefferson county Tennessee census pt 1 Pt2 Pt3 Pt4 Pt5 Pt6 Pt7 Pt8 Pt9 Pt10 has only Van Dike families (in bold), but no Coley (or any alt spellings) at this early age. Therefore, we must look elsewhere for our Joshua, East, it happens, to North Carolina.

Cassandra Coley version of earliest family history. Montgomery county North Carolina, or Halifax county, NC, in that order seem possible choices for location. - link is an email from Mrs. Jerry Lou Wright Nix. The 1790 census of Salisbury district, Montgomery County North Carolina provides two probable relatives (one named William) with names (admittedly common) passed down within the family for generations, in close proximity to each other. There were not many places in North Carolina which met the criteria, but there were quite a few Coley's (and various other spellings) in North Carolina, and records are poor, so this is far from proven.

15 Aug 08 Late 18th century Anson County North Carolina Coley records (connection to our Coley's is anything but proven) 1 2 3 from this source

No Coly or Coley families appear in either of these 1779 or 1780 Montgomery county tax lists though we know our families were here just a couple of years later. Unfortunately, no linkage has been found to earlier Coley families in Virginia or North Carolina and from the existing sources, this may never be achievable. The 1790-1860 census records for Montgomery county North Carolina are far too sparse - 1820 appears to be completely missing - but it is extremely likely that Joshua's parents appear here, likely George Washington Coley, as do Winey Ann's, likely William Coley Sr.* It is probable that this is where our Joshua was born and raised prior to moving South and slightly West  (after the 1838 petition supporting what would become Stanly county because of hazards of crossing the Pee Dee River) to Anson where he appears in the 1840 federal census, below.

This is very likely our Joshua Coley in a late 1838, early 1839 Montgomery County North Carolina Petition to divide the county. Note other Coleys also. Montgomery County was just to the North of Anson (and had been created from Anson years before). Perhaps this locates our Joshua a couple of years earlier? These 1840 and 1842-ish (Stanly county created 1841 from Montgomery county in response to above petition) North Carolina maps narrow down the location of Joshua and his family considerably, if the Pee Dee River reference is really "our" Joshua. Anson county was created 1750 from Bladen; Montgomery in 1779 from Anson; and Stanly in 1841 from Montgomery.

Joshua Coley in 1840 Anson county North Carolina federal census. Although this census does not indicate location within Anson county, several neighbors (James Lee, William Pope, Lemuel Tyson, Joseph Ingram) were located in the 1850 census in the Cedar Hill area of Anson, about 2 miles North of Ansonville, just West of the Pee Dee river (and just barely south of Stanly county), and it is extremely probable that this is the portion of the county where Joshua lived in in 1840. - Thank you Sarah for the place to look!

From LDS site, Stanly County North Carolina  Probates - Estate Settlements 1841-59: 1841 1841 1844 1845 1848 1852 1852 1853 1853 1853 1853 1854 1857 1857 1857 1857 1857 1857 another 1858 1859 1860 - none of these are Coley estates, but they mention Coleys as either purchasing something or owing notes to the estate of the deceased.

And the following items from July 2012 research trip to Anson and Stanly counties, North Carolina:

         Stanly county North Carolina tax returns (year, district, right or left side of record): 1851-9L 1851-9R 1851-8 1851-7 1858-9 1858-8 1858-7 1850-9L 1850-9R 1850-8R 1850-8L 1850-7L 1850-7R 1849-9 legend 1849-8R 1849-8L-B 1849-8L -T (originally marked as District 9, changed to District 8 on review) 1849-7R 1849-7L 1848-9b 1848-9a 1848-8 1848-7 1847-8 1847-7 1846-9 1847-9 1846-8b 1846-8a 1846-7 1845-9 1845-8 1845-7 1844-9 1844-8a 1844b 1843-8a 1843-8b 1843-7 1842-8a 1842-8b 1842-7a 1842-7b 1842-1 1841-8b 1841-8a 1841-7 1840-8a 1840-8b 1840-7 1840 1840-7

        The district descriptions included in the tax lists were unintelligible to the librarians and no maps were found which matched all listed districts. But the creeks where folks had land matches the map and the cemetery. Additionally, at the library, a fellow researcher from a line which married into the Coleys also pointed out the area as a pretty well-known fact. There seems little doubt that this is the area of Montgomery (and then Stanly) county where our Coleys (or at least Wincey's parents and kin) came from.

        Items from Stanly County Library Genealogy Room Microfilm filing cabinet: Index -- Aug 1847 Wm Cobb-Wm Coley T, Aug 1847 B  *  1843 David Coley  1846 JW-Wm Sr Top, 1846 John Ward - Wm Coley - Bottom  *  May 1848 William Coley Sr. conveyance to children Isham, James, Milly, and Lucy: Top Bottom

        Anson county North Carolina's Jesse Coley deed items also from Stanly County Library Genealogy Room Microfilm filing cabinet: B A Austin to Jesse Coley Rocky River conveyance (undated) - July 1839 conveyance- These establish Jesse as part of the Stanly county Coley clan. (B. A. Austin is located in District 7 - on Rocky River - of the earlier tax lists (with a Jesse Coley who has 150 acres through 1842 and 50 acres through 1848) and would die a few years later, part of his probate file in 1841 is above). Index1 Index2

        Abstracts of Deeds, Anson County North Carolina - Books 10, 11, and 12 (1839-1849): 12390 13859 (this is our Joshua Coley - Joseph Ingram and Mr Ballard referred to, and David C Lilly are each within 1 census "page" and Lemuel Tyson is only 2 away from Joshua in 1840 Anson county census) Index Index * Books 13, and 14 (1849-1854) 15180 15193 15333 15955 (all 4 Washington Coley) Index This also seems to narrow down the move to Jefferson county, Tennessee to, likely, after Christmas 1843.

        It is interesting that an "Allen Carpenter" appears on same census image as Joshua Coley in 1840 Anson County census and strengthens a tie with the Tyson family that Washington Coley (with an Allen Carpenter) has in these Anson county records immediately preceding. It seems strongly probable that Joshua and Washington are brothers, each from Washington Coley in the Stanly county census returns. It is probably also NOT a coincidence that a Washington "Cooley" (born about 1814-5) lives in the same area in 1850 and 1860 that Joshua did in 1840. We know this is the Washington in the above records because Merritt Tyson is enumerated a page before in the 1860 census returns. It seems relevant that he is a carpenter, a trade George W Coley, his nephew, would also pursue. Perhaps Joshua passed along his property (or his rental) to his younger brother when he left for Jefferson County, Tennessee? The ages fit in the 1830 census, the naming fits (Joshua naming his son George W, Washington being Washington Jr.), the 40-50 year old wife of Washington in 1830 might be the 50-60 year old woman in Joshua's 1840 census returns (likely Nancy of 1850 who now shaved a couple of years off of her age, as frequently happened when elder women were asked their ages) and it would explain the coincidence in location and acquaintances. A more detailed review of the tax records must be made to identify any issues with this hypothesis, but if true this might indicate Washington Coley Sr. died between 1830 and 1840.

        It is unknown how they are related to Jesse Coley (born around 1797) who appears in earlier Stanly county District 7 tax returns above, and the Anson county 1840 census, but moves West (or at least appears to change his county because of the creation - in 1842 - of Union county from portions of Anson) where some of his children marry in the late 1840s/early 1850s and where he lives in the 1850 b and 1860 census. Possibly Jesse was a younger brother to Washington Coley Sr., who appears to have been born on the earlier side of 1790-1800.

        Maps of the Yadkin/Pee Dee watershed from the North Carolina State Archives Genealogy Room map collection (oversized and top of the file cabinet): 146 147 148 149 150 151 (not as detailed as below maps and Little Creek vs. Long Creek is a bit confusing)

        Some Pee Dee River pictures from the highway: 1 2 3. It is easy, after seeing this, to understand why the residents who signed the petition were tired of having to cross this to get to court. This looks like this could be a treacherous river in poor weather, and is wide even on this calm, quiet day in July 2012.

        Isham Coley, son of William Coley Sr., married Susannah and had a daughter Winifred (1823-1905) who married John S Green and drew his Civil War pension (Enlisted in Company C, North Carolina 23rd Infantry Regiment on 03 Sep 1862.Mustered out on 01 Nov 1862 at Bunker Hill, WV.) - Stanly County North Carolina Heritage vol. 1, page 224 - bio 863, John S Green and Winifred Coley.

        Stanly County, North Carolina Settlement of Estates 1841-1854 - 13 22 23 40 79 112 119 128  Index

        Index to Estate Records Stanly County, NC 1820, 1839, 1841-1952 - Coley

        Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Stanly County 1841-1850:  16 21-blurry 35 59 74 75 86 89 102 (this must refer to John Coley's land in 1849 District 8) 104 109 110 114 125 131 132     Index

        Abstracts of Land Entries: Montgomery Co, NC 1778 - 1795 George Coley - 1794 (deceased?) Index

        Montgomery Co. North Carolina The Earliest Extant Deeds 1774 - 1842 Jesse Coley 1838a Jesse Coley 1838b (these may be the two sales of 100 acres which are why Jesse "loses" 100 acres of land after 1842 taxes. Perhaps it took a few years to pay this all off?) William, James, John Coley 1835 Index

        Montgomery County Land Warrants & Surveys 1778-1833 - Part 1: 427 642 957 1064 1426 * Part 2: 1949 1957 2059 2563 & 2565 Index

         Montgomery County Land Warrants & Surveys 1833-1950 Part 1: 2814 2946 2955a 2955b 4000 * Part 2: 4598 & 4599, 4659, and 4709 (all 3 Jesse) 4541R 4541R (James and George)  Index 

        2 maps of the area of Stanly county from the Stanly County Library map collection (top and second drawer) - where the Coley families lived (many angles in an attempt to get readable images): 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

        Nathan Coley Biography 54 55 56 57 58 from manuscript in binder in the Stanly County Library Genealogy room

        These images (20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ) are from books in the Stanly County Library Genealogy room refer to Old Freedom Church but some images are blurred and the relevant information is also below.

        There is an 1828 reference (in Survey #2565, above) to a mill of William Coley Sr.'s and a mill on an acre in the 1835 record above (unspecified owner, but possibly same William Coley mill, since it is unlikely multiple mills would be in close proximity). Is it possible that Joshua learned his trade from Winey's father?

        One of the things that became very clear from the findings in Stanly County's library was that the Coleys were centered around the area (1908 Map 1 2 3 4 5 6) of Old Freedom Baptist church, just to the Southwest of Albemarle, for many years (after the 1908 map, for example). Old Freedom Church has some Coleys buried there - Coleys who in all probability related to William Coley Sr. Certainly Isham Coley (b 1824) and his parents John and Ama Coley are living next to our elderly Winney Coley in 1850 census, so at the very least we have the correct location!: 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 - 49 50 51 52 53.


* The reasoning (such as it is) for this statement is presented here for future researchers to modify as required:

- A Montgomery county courthouse fire of 1835 destroyed many records. []

- A George Coley appears in the 1782 tax list as an "invalid". It is hard to believe that a brother of William Sr. would be an invalid in 1782, but perhaps, if this was not William Sr's brother as w e suspect, could it have been William's father or an uncle? The challenge to this, however, is that no evidence supports this stretching of the lineage back an additional generation. Oral history says two brothers came, not a father and two sons. The timing of the trip is problematic, also, since the Coleys appear in records after the Revolution, but immigration from England was understandably light in these years. Were our Coleys related to those in Halifax county, North Carolina to the East, who had been there since before the war?

- The 1800 census returns are certainly incomplete (based on 1790 returns and land entries which indicate more Coley families than just William Sr.'s should be enumerated) and this may be "hiding" some Coley men. Similarly, the important 1820 census also seems to have been lost to time. It would have been a helpful tool to identify parentages based on ages of males in respective households.

- From census returns, it appears that William Coley Sr. was born between 1760-1765, and died between 1840-1850.

- Two men old enough to be Joshua's father, William Coley Sr. and George Coley (barely) appear in 1810, both with sons within Joshua's age grouping, along with a Sarah Coley and a Jesse Coley - with the last two names not being especially prevalent in our Coley families, it would seem unlikely that these are Joshua's parents.

- 1810 J Coley probably = 1830 & 1840 John Coley. He possibly died after 1840. He and his wife were both born 1766-1784, leaving 1850 Martha and Susanna NOT his widow. He may well have been an elder son of William Sr. Or of George the 1782 invalid.

- Neither Nathan nor James Coley can be George's children since they are too old.

- Washington Coley of 1810/1830 B was born in c. 1790 and appears to match George Coley of 1840 and 1850 who was born in 1790. This Washington Coley from Montgomery County, North Carolina appears in an 1814 Second Regiment Muster report. There may have been two men, contemporaries, one who went consistently by George, and the other by Washington.

- Washington was probably the son of William Sr.'s brother George. Washington would have been a popular name only after the first president had led the country to victory over England, fitting with his 1790-ish birth. He occupied the same land as George did in the 1790 census (next to William Sr., that is). This might explain why there is no George (or Washington) in 1800 census, he was too young. Washington may have lived with his uncle William Sr. in 1800. Since we've already discussed the likely incomplete nature of the 1800 census, though, we cannot press this too far.

- The 1840 census, the 1841 estate, and the 1840 and 1841 tax lists, above, all indicate that there was a George and a Washington Coley at the same time in Stanly County - for only those 2 years, it appears. George is obviously settles down, but the lack of land associated with Washington, his lack of appearance in the census, and his purchases at the estate of a plow and a frying pan seem to point to him being the younger Washington who would shortly relocate to Anson county (but after the 1843 note to George Efird in blurry Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions abstract, above, which means that perhaps Washington moved there as Joshua was leaving or after Joshua had already left).

- 1830's David Coley may be eldest son of 1810 Sarah Coley since the name does not last in Montgomery county or in our Coley families.

- The 1840 census has new young men who are probably the sons of William and Washington, though it is difficult to identify which was whose...

- Nancy (born c. 1791 and living with Joshua in 1850) may (or may not if she is a sister-in-law) be Joshua's mother, but she cannot be George's wife. Extending this logic, If Winey Ann was George's daughter, Nancy could not be Winey's mother (since her mother would be deceased or still living with George). It seems then, that George Coley can be neither Joshua's father nor Winey's because he's alive and married in 1850 and 1860. It may well be that Nancy is the widow of 1840 Anson County North Carolina Jesse Coley, as her age fits; Jesse seems to have lived a distance from Joshua though, if census pagination is any indication. The find of Jesse Coley in Union County in 1850 and 1860, however, with his likely first wife, makes it improbable that the woman with Joshua in 1840 and 1850 is Jesse's widow - Jesse is not dead! It seems extremely likely that she is, rather, Washington Sr.'s widow, Joshua's mother.

Why couldn't Joshua and Washington Jr. be sons of William Sr.? In addition to all of the other facts presented, this is based on the fact that William Sr. did not mention either Washington or Joshua in his 1848 bequest to his children, nor his will, as he did other sons. Additionally, if Winey is William Sr.'s daughter, as presented here, then she would not have married her brother so we must look elsewhere for Joshua's parentage.

That may be as far as we can take the evidence for Joshua's ancestry: 1790 George -> Washington -> Joshua.

What about Joshua's wife\"cousin", Winey Ann's ancestry?

William Coley Sr. -> Winey/"Wincey" Coley appears to fit available evidence the best. This would mean Joshua's grandfather was brother to Winey's father.

- 1850 Winney was only Coley female of her age in 1850 (75 yrs old) - and only female Coley in 1840 this age group was living with William Sr! Is it possible, William Sr. was Joshua's wife Winey's father, and not Joshua's? William does have a daughter (or at least female in the household) in 1830 of right age... There is zero possibility Winney was a sister-in-law, as there were no candidates for brothers - and William's wives' ages match from census to census... Proof! - William Coley Sr died after this will was written in Feb 1848 but before it was probated in Nov 1848 in Stanly Co North Carolina. Milley and Lucy were his named daughters, Isham (in 1850) and James (in 1850) 1860A 1860B, his named sons. Milley named her sister Lucy Talbert in her Apr 1863 will Part 1 Part 2. Cover of index for both records These are the same Mila and Lucy Coley that lived with Winney in 1850 census. It seems certain, therefore, that Winney was William Sr.'s wife (whom he mentions as still living in 1848). It makes sense that he would not provide for his daughter Winey if she had already been safely married (and had already moved to a different state).

- William Coley living in 1860 near Abermarle Post Office in Stanly Co NC is a mystery. Two census images with different neighbors, neither matching 1850 neighbors! 3 days earlier (birthdate makes him 10 years too old) 3 days later (corrected version?)

- Bottom line, if the above ramblings, when pieced together like this, hold water, then it would appear that Joshua Coley was son of Washington, son of George Coley and that Winey Ann (Joshua's wife) was daughter of William Coley Sr. and Winney his wife. Joshua's grandfather and Winey Ann's father were brothers, making Joshua and Winey Ann first cousins once-removed. This would fit family lore about them being cousins. Certainly, it cannot be just coincidence that Joshua named his eldest son George W Coley, and that a lady named Winney was old enough to have a daughter of the exact right age to be our Winey Ann, that this conforms to oral history about them being cousins and that the census returns support this interpretation. The 1830 census actually supports both Winey and Joshua living together with the Washington Coley family, or not yet married with Winey still living with her father William Coley Sr., so we are unable at this time to say which is the likeliest scenario since either is equally plausible from the evidence available. This is certainly not iron-clad proof, but for the area and the times, and the lack of records, this would appear to be very strong evidence for the lineage as here laid out.


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