Better Know a Slagle II















Did you know that you descended from Thor? That your cousin married a United States president? That one of your ancestors came over on the Mayflower and one received a presidential pardon? If you’ve ever wondered who’s in the tree, where they came from, where they landed, how they got there, how they lived and (sometimes painfully) died, here is a quick and mostly reliable account of our skeletons, seafarers, soldiers and somebodies.


  • Intro Info
  • Where are we from? Where did we go? How did we get there?
  • Ports of origin
  • Ports of arrival
  • Ships or Snows
  • Who crossed the pond?
  • Veterans and Ladies
  • Huh?
  • Almost and Mostly Famous
  • Untimely Deaths
  • Recurring and Uncommon Names
  • Appendix

Intro Info

Relatives are identified by their relationship to me, David Slagle. An S indicates Frederick Slagle’s (Grandaddy) side of the family and a C Ruth Crawford Slagle’s (Granny) side of the family. S&C means the tree didn’t branch.

Ex. Richard Pace 10GGFS – Tenth great grandfather on the Frederick Slagle side. Margaret Jordan Crawford 7GGMC – Seventh great grandmother on Granny’s (Crawford) side.
*An asterisk indicates that this individual is a relative, but not a direct ancestor, e.g., Uncle Dick, Podgy’s brother and my great uncle.

Where Are We From? Where Did We Go? How Did We Get There?

According to an analysis of my DNA, we hale primarily from Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. See percentages and map below. (Most of our Ancestors came to America from England)

Anestrey Book Pt 1a




Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 7.20.01 PM








Including Trace Regions

If we include trace regions in the DNA analysis, our heritage spreads out to the south and the east, including Spain, Greece, Africa and the Middle East.

Anestrey Book Pt 1b









Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 7.20.20 PM











Ports of Origin
14 from England
6 from Germany
5 from Ireland
3 from Scotland
1 from Austria
1 from France

Ports of Arrival
12 in Virginia
7 in Maryland
6 in Pennsylvania
2 or 3 Connecticut
2 in Massachusetts
1 in Delaware

Ships or Snows
Sea Venture
Good Ship Welcome
John & William
Two Sisters
Loyal Judith

How Far Back?

Adam and Eve. Ba-dum-bump.

Several reliable genealogies trace the Crawford line back to Leofwine of Mercia. Birth 950 in Mercia, England, Death 1028 in Chester, Cheshire, England, and his wife Alware Athelstansdottar Mercia, England, Birth 950 in Of, England, Death 1030 in Mercia, England. Their son? Thorlongus of Merse, or Thor the Tall.


Coin with Image of Thor Longus



Thorlongus de Crawford




Third church on the site where Thor Longus planted at Etherham Scotland c. 1105






























Who Crossed the Pond?

By order of arrival:

Captain William Pierce 11GGFS
Birth 1560 in Heacham, Norfolk, England
Death 22 Mar 1622 in Martins Hundred, Isle of Wight, Virginia, United States
He was the captain of the Mayflower on its second voyage. His daughter, Jane, married John Rolfe after Rolfe’s wife, Pocahontas died. Arrived in Jamestown on the Sea Venture in 1609.

Jane Phippen Pierce 11GGMS (wife of Captain William Pierce)
Birth 1580 in Weymouth, Dorset, England
Death 1650 in Isle, Virginia, United States
Arrived in Jamestown in 1610 on the Blessing.

Lt. Francis Mason – 11GGFS
Birth 1 Jan 1584 in Surry, England
Death 15 Nov 1648 in Elizabeth City, Norfolk, Virginia.
Arrived in VA in 1613

Richard Pace 10GGFS
Birth 24 May 1583 in Wapping, Middlesex, England
Death 1 Sep 1627 in Jamestown, James, Virginia, United States
See “Nearly Famous” and “About the Massacre” in Appendix

Samuel Maycock, Jamestown 10GGFS 
Birth 4 Nov 1594 in , Northamptonshire,  England.
Death 22 Mar 1622 in Jamestown, James City, Virginia, United States. Wife, Mary Pierce Maycock Birth 1600 in England, Death 22 Mar 1622 in Jamestown, James, Virginia, United States. He and his wife died in the Powahatan Massacre of 1622. See “About the Massacre” in appendix.
Arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1618

Sarah Maycock Pace 9GGMS
Birth 1621 in Jamestown, James City, Virginia, United States
Death 1655 in Virginia, United States.
Was not first generation, but was the infant daughter of Samuel and Mary Maycock (above). Samuel and Mary hid Sarah, and she was not killed in the massacre. Sarah married Richard Pace’s son, George Pace (See info on Richard Pace). Sarah was a tiny baby at the time of the attack, about four months old. She was found several days later when the colonist were burying the dead.  Pace family lore says, “She was hidden in the barn during the attack.  She was the only living survivor. Even the livestock was butchered.”

Thomas Rogers 9GGFS
Birth 1590 in Stratford Watford, England
Death 11 Jan 1621 in the first harsh winter in 1621, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
Arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower, original signer of the Mayflower Compact.

Thomas Rogers Signature on Mayflower Compact

Copy of Compact. Thomas Rogers Signature circled in red.















Dr. John Coggin – 9GGFS
Birth 1618 in England.
Death 1659 in Charles City, Prince George, Virginia, United States.
Arrived in VA between 1620-1633


John Coggin, the Pugnacious.








Mary Hamilton 9GGMC&S
Birth 1600 in Ulster, Donegal, Ireland
Death 1634 in Cecil, Maryland, United States

James Clark 8GGFC
Birth 1608 in London, London, England
Death 19 Dec 1674 in Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States.
Arrived in Massachusetts on the Hector in 1637 and was one of the original settlers of New Haven, CT.

Richard Cheney III 8GGFS
Birth 14 Jun 1616 in St Johns, London, England.
Death 6 March 1684 in Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States.
Arrived in Maryland in 1649.

Samual Bennett 8GGFC
Birth 1584 in England.
Death 1632 in Came, Providence, Rhode Island, United States.
Arrival 1622 in VA

William Crawford 7GGFC
Birth 1630 in Jordan Hill, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Death 1700 in Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
Arrival 1650 VA

Margaret Jordan Crawford 7GGMC
Birth 1632 in Jordan Hill, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Death in Virginia, United States
Arrival 1650 VA

Mary Maxwell 8GGMC&S
Birth 1634 in Ulster, Donegal, Ireland
Death 1680 in Cecil, Maryland, United States.
Arrived Maryland in 1659

Henry Grimes (or Graham) 7GGFC
Birth ABT 1640 in Grahamstown, Scotland.
Death 1684 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Uncertain date of arrival in US, but was married in US in 1662

John Jacob 7GGFS
Birth 28 December 1632 in Dover, Kent, England.
Death 29 Oct 1726 in Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States
Arrived in Maryland in 1665

Joseph Alexander – 7th GGFC&S
Birth: 1660 Raphoe County Donegal, Ireland.
Death: Mar. 9, 1730 Cecil County Maryland, USA.
The Presbyterian ministers were persecuted by the State Clergy. In 1676 Joseph Alexander and seven of his brothers sailed from Ireland on the Good Ship Welcome for America. They anchored in the Delaware River, off shore from the town of New Castle.
Arrived in New Castle, Delaware in 1676

Elizabeth Alexander Wallace – 8GGMS&C
Birth 1650 in Ulster, Donegal, Ireland
Death 1692 in Manokin, Somerset, Maryland, United States.
Arrived in Maryland in 1685

Matthew Wallace – 8GGFS&C
Birth 1640 in Ulster, Donegal, Ireland
Death 1714 in Manokin, Somerset, Maryland, United States.
Husband to Elizabeth Alexander Wallace
Arrived in Maryland in 1685

Dietrich Ramseur – 6GGFS
Birth 1690 in Ramsaur River, Austria
Death 1772 in Lincolnton, Lincoln, North Carolina, United States
Arrived in Philadelphia, PA on The Venture in 1727

Johannes Hans Georg Shook – 6GGFC
Birth 11 Mar 1724 in Mosbach, Ansbach, Bayern, Germany.
Death 29 July 1814 in Lyles Creek, Lincoln, North Carolina, United States.
Arrived Oct. 17, 1732 in Philadelphia on the John and William

Maria Elisabetha Grubb 6GGMC
Birth 25 Mar 1720 in Enkirch, Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.
Death 4 Oct 1799 in Lincoln, North Carolina, United States.
Arrived Philadelphia 1738

Pleikard Dietrich Siler 5GGFS
Born 29 May 1719, in Weimar, HRE (Germany), sailed from Rotterdam to Philadelphia on the snow Two Sisters in 1738. The death toll for those sailing that year was so high, that it became known as The Year of the Destroying Angels (See Appendix for description). Arrived in Philadelphia, PA in 1738.


Snow Two Sisters Passenger signatures. The “X” indicates that someone else signed the name and the passenger placed the x. Pleikard is spelled several different ways. In this instance, the person writing the name probably spelled the name phonetically.



















Elizabeth Hartsoe Siler – 5GGMS
Birth 29 Sep 1727 in Germany.
Death 16 Jan 1817 in Siler City, Chatham, North Carolina, United States
Wife of Pleikard. Supposedly, she and her future husband, Plikard Detrich Siler came to America on the same ship in 1738. Family tradition has it that Elizabeth’s father was the captain of the ship.
Arrived in Philadelphia, PA in 1738

John Paul Wetzel 7GGFC
Birth 15 Feb 1716 in Ingelheim, Mainz-Bingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death 28 Aug 1797 in Sunbury, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, United States.
Arrived Philadelphia on the Loyal Judith on Sept. 3, 1742

Mary Pilgram 5GGMS
Birth 1748 in London, London, England
Death in Mulberry Creek, Wilkes, North Carolina, USA.
Arrived in 1750

George Plott 5GGFS
Birth 1734 in Heidelburg, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Death 1810 in Ton, Mecklenburg, North Carolina, United States.
Arrived in 1750.
(See Almost Famous).

Richard Duckett 6GGFS
Birth 1675 in London, London, England
Death 29 Oct 1733 in Prince George’s, Maryland, United States
Arrived in Maryland in 1752

Nicholas Valentine 7GGFC
Birth 1645 France
Death 1720 James, VA
Uncertain Date of Arrival

Veterans & Ladies

Revolutionary War, French and Indian War

Valentine Crawford – 4GGFC
Birth 1724 in St Pauls Parish, King George, Virginia, United States
Death 7 Jan 1777 in Jacobs Creek, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States. Valentine Crawford, Jr was elected to the Virginia House of Burgess in 1758.  Valentine was a private, stationed at Fort Fincastle, Augusta County, Virginia in1775. On October 1, 1776 he was stationed at Fort Henry (now Wheeling, West Virginia. He was a Colonel in the Virginia Militia December, 1776, where he served as Wagon Master General. He also acted as secretary and assistant to George Washington.

*William Crawford – C (Valentine Crawford’s brother, pictured below)

(02 Sep 1732– 11 June 1782) was an American soldier and surveyor who worked as a western land agent for George Washington. Crawford fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War.


Col. William Crawford














George Washington Crawford, Sr. – 3GGF
Birth 1760 in Winchester, Frederick, Virginia, United States. Death 1819 in Crabtree, Haywood, North Carolina, United States. Named for the president for whom his father had served as a personal aide. George followed in his father’s footsteps, serving under Captains John and William McGuer from 1779 to 1781 when Charleston had fallen.

Weimar Siler – 4GGFS
Served in the Indian War as a drummer at the age of fifteen, and in the Revolutionary War under Francis Marion, fighting in the battles of Sumpter, Kings, Mountain and Cowpens.

Johann Jacob Shook 5GGFC
Birth 19 Apr 1749 in Wiliams, Northampton, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Sep 1839 in Clyde, Haywood, North Carolina, USA. N. Carolina Militia, Private.


Johan Jacob “Happy” Shook














Civil War

Emerson Grameron Crawford – GGFC
Birth 2 Oct 1843 in Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, United States
Death 19 Sep 1924 in Macon, North Carolina, United States 18th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B, Rank Private.

Emerson&Ellen Crawford

Emerson and Ellen Crawford














Emerson G. Crawford was in the regiment (fighting 18th infantry of NC) that mistakenly shot General Stonewall Jackson as Jackson was returning from a scouting mission at the battle of Chancelloresville. Jackson died from the wounds. Lee famously said, “Jackson has lost his left arm. I have lost my right.” Emerson was shot in the battle of Chancelloresville. The bullet went through his chest and came out his leg. A miracle he survived. He crawled to a home near the battle, and the family took care of him until he was on his feet. When he recovered, he went out and shot a turkey and gave it to the family in payment, and then he went AWOL, walking back to Franklin, avoiding conscription teams until the war was over.

Ambrose Conley – 3GGFC
Birth 10/08/1807 in North Carolina Death 07/20/1900. Ambrose and all six of his children fought in the Civil War. Sons – William, Charles, John, Joseph, James and Isaac. His wife protected the home and family fortune while they were away fighting (see Margaret Crawford). All six children returned safely from the war.

Charles Conley – 2GGFC
Birth 29 Apr 1838 in Burke, North Carolina, United States.
Death 2 Nov 1921 in Macon, North Carolina, United States.
Charles Conley was Emerson Grameron Crawford’s father-in-law, and one of the six sons of Ambrose who fought in the Civil War. Enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 7th Cavalry Battalion on 07 Jul 1862.

Peter Snider 3GGFC
Birth May 1814 in Rowan, Tennessee, United States.
Death 22 Feb 1890 in Haywood, North Carolina, United States
Enlisted in Company B, Tennessee 4th Cavalry Battalion on 28 Jun 1861.


Peter Snider and wife











Margaret Conley – 3GGMC
Wife of Ambrose Crawford. See appendix.

Jesse Millard Robinson – 2GGFC
Jesse was Grammer’s (Flora Robinson Crawford) GF.
Birth: 1825 Haywood County North Carolina, USA
Death: 1866 Elmira Chemung County. New York, USA
Jesse served in the Confederate Service Army. He was taken prisoner and sent to the Old Rebel Prison Camp, Elmira, Chemung Co., New York.

William Jasper Sellers – 2GGFC
Grammer’s (Flora Robinson Crawford) GF.
Promoted to Full Priv on 30 Nov 1861. Enlisted in Company C, North Carolina 25th Infantry Regiment on 31 May 1861.Promoted to Full Corporal on 11 Oct 1861.Promoted to Full Musician on 30 Jan 1865.

James Wallace Alexander – 2GGFS
Duda’s (Lida Slagle) grandfather was James Wallace Alexander.
James Wallace joined the army in May of 1863 and served in the 5th Regiment, N.C. Cavalry, also known as the 63rd Regiment of North Carolina State Troops, in the Civil War. Like his brothers John Smith and William, he was a member of Company F.

Jacob M. Gillespie – 2GGFS
(Podgy’s GF) Born 1840. Enlisted in Company K, North Carolina 1st Cavalry Regiment on 04 Jul 1861.Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on 01 May 1863.

*Elam Leander Slagle 3rd Great Uncle – S
Birth 27 Feb 1824 in Lincoln, North Carolina, USA
Death 30 May 1908 in Macon, North Carolina, USA


Elam Leander Slagle’s presidential pardon for participating in the rebellion.
















World War I

*Alfred “Mack” McAnally SlagleS
Birth 6 Feb 1891,
Death 29 Sep 1918, France.
Great Uncle, brother to Podgy


Corporal Alfred “Mack” McAnally Slagle















World War II & Korea

Frederick Alexander Slagle – FS
“Granddaddy”, as we call him, served on a destroyer escort, The Raby, as a gunner’s mate, from 1943 until the end of the war. He was called back up for Korea in Dec. 1950. Granny had just found out that she was pregnant with Jesse Clifford Slagle when Granddaddy left the day after Christmas. He returned in 1953.

Frederick Slagle Navy

Granddaddy WWII


Granddaddy (Korean War) and Granny


DE-698 Destroyer Escort, U.S.S. Raby



































Ruth Crawford Slagle – MC
Granny, as we know her, worked in the Oak Ridge Facility in Knoxville, TN. In August of 1945, she and her co-workers were informed that they had been part of the team that built Little Boy, the first atomic bomb. For a great read on the Appalachian girls who participated in the Manhattan Project, see The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan.

*Thomas Dick Slagle – S Great Uncle, brother to Podgy
Captain Thomas Dick Slagle (See Almost and Mostly Famous)


Captain Thomas Dick Slagle














Rebecca E Patton Conley 2GGMC
Birth 15 Sep 1842 in North Carolina
Death 7 Sep 1902 in North Carolina
Came to Franklin, NC with the circus and stayed. Married Charles Conley.

James Alexander 7GGFC, 6GGFS, 6GGFS
Birth 1695 in Manokin, Somerset, Maryland, United States.
Death 15 Jul 1779 in Cecil, Maryland, United States
Yes, that’s right. He shows up three times in our family tree. Remember Ambrose Conley? The guy who went to war with all six of his sons? Ambrose’s wife, Margaret Alexander Conley is a direct descendant  of JA. Duda’s mother and father are direct descendants of JA.

Craufurdland Castle Your Family Castle
And for $5000, you and three friends can stay there for 10 days. No family discount.



























Almost to Mostly Famous

Richard Pace 10th GGFS
Richard Pace was an early settler of Colonial
Jamestown, Virginia. Richard Pace played a key role in warning the Jamestown colony of the impending Powahatan Massacre on the colony.

Thomas Dick Slagle Great Uncle, brother of Podgy

Elizabeth Alexander Wallace – 8th GGMS&C
5th GGM of Bess Truman, wife of President Harry S Truman


President Harry S Truman and Bess













George Plott 5th GGFS
Developed the Plott Hound (bear dog)


Von Plott with Plott Hounds


Von Plott at Plott Balsam Range





















Valentine Crawford 4GGFC
Secretary and assistant to George Washington. Correspondence between the president and Valentine Crawford can be viewed at

Jacob Siler 3GGFS
Birth 1 Jun 1795 in South Carolina, United States.
Death 21 Apr 1871 in Macon, North Carolina, United States.
Jacob was the first permanent white settler in Macon County, NC.

*Sir William Wallace – Cousin
The son of Leofwine and Alware was Thorlongus of Merse or “Thor the Tall”. Eventually we have several Roger Crawfords, Malcom Crawfords, Hugh Crawfords, Reginald Crawfords, William Crawfords and at least one Margaret Crawford. Margaret married Malcom Wallace and gave birth to Scottish patriot and hero, Sir William Wallace.

Thomas Rogers 9GGFS
Early 1620 Mayflower passenger and settler of Plymouth Colony. He died there in the first sickness. Thomas was the 18th of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact.

Untimely Deaths

Samuel and Mary (Pierce) Maycock, Jamestown 10th GGFS & GGMS
Both died in the Jamestown Indian Massacre of 1622. See Full Disclosure in appendix.

Valentine Crawford – 4GGFC
He died January 7, 1777 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. While returning home from a battle with Indians, he fell through thin ice and drowned (some sources say he died of pneumonia after falling through ice). His brother, William, recovered his body. He is buried at Bullskin Creek in Shepardstown, West Virginia.

*William Crawford (Valentine Crawford’s brother, pictures below)
Was tortured and burned at the stake by American Indians in retaliation for the Gnadenhutten massacre, a notorious incident near the end of the American Revolution. Below is a rendering of his death. (William had nothing to do with the Gnadenhutten massacre).

William Crawford

The Death of William Crawford












Jesse Millard Robinson – 2GGFC
During Civil War, he died in the POW Camp in NY from “an attack of rubella measles.”

James Wallace Alexander – 2GGFS
He joined the Confederate Army in May of 1863 and died August 3, 1863 in Charlottesville, Virginia, of “febris typhoid.” On February 8, 1864, the Sharon Church elders voted to pay tuition for one year for the education of his children.

Alfred “Mack” Slagle – Great Uncle
Killed in battle during WW I as the Hindenburg Line was broken. Letter to parents said, “He was leading his men toward Berlin.”


Recurring Names 

John or Johannes20

George 13

David 11

Jesse/Jessie 9

Robert 8

Hannah 7

Rebecca 6

Adeline 5

Andrew 4

Daniel or Dan 4

Benjamin 3

Fred, Fredrick, Frederick 3

Geneva 2

Myra 2

Cecil 2

Anna 2

Claire occurs only once,
but Clare occurs twice
as a surname

Georgia 2

Jack/Jackson 2

Uncommon Names 























About the Massacre: The Powhatan Massacre, March 22, 1622

The settlers violated several land agreements with the Powhatan and relentlessly encroached upon their land. According to Wikipedia: “Jamestown’s tobacco economy led to constant expansion and seizure of Powhatan lands, which ultimately provoked a violent reaction. At first, the natives had been more than happy to trade provisions to the colonists for metal tools, but by 1609 the English governor, John Smith, had begun to send in raiding parties to demand food. This earned the colonists a bad reputation among the Native Americans and precipitated conflict.” It was hoped that the marriage of Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, to John Rolfe, would create peace between the Powhatan and the colonists, but it did not. Chief Opechancanough, who became chief after Chief Powhatan died, had seen the colonists raid and slaughter his people on at least three different occasions and believed that the only hope of survival for the Powhatan was to attack, thereby causing the colonists to abandon the colony and return to England. He led the surprise attack on March 22, 1622, in which 347 colonists were slaughtered. Colonists who survived the attacks raided the tribes and particularly their corn crops in the summer and fall of 1622 so successfully that Chief Opechancanough decided to negotiate. Through friendly native intermediaries, a peace parley was arranged between the two groups. Some of the Jamestown leaders, led by Captain William Tucker and Dr. John Potts, poisoned the Powhatan share of the liquor for the parley’s ceremonial toast. The poison incapacitated the Powhatan and about 200 were killed. Chief Opechancanough escaped. Below, there is better news of our kin’s relationship among the Indians in the section entitled, “The Silers and Chief Chuttahsotee.”

Richard Pace

George Sandys, Treasurer in Virginia, also wrote a letter to England about the Powhatan and its consequences, and evidently went into much more detail.

Sandys’s letter was apparently the original source of the story of the Indian who warned Richard Pace. According to the story, a Powhatan youth living in the household of Richard Pace had been instructed to kill Pace and his family in conjunction with a planned attack on the colony. The youth instead warned Pace of the impending attack. After securing his household, Pace rowed across the James River to warn James City.

Year of the Destroying Angels

Volume 10, Number I, January 1998 “Beyond Germanna” The Year of the Destroying Angels -1738 by
Klaus Wust 

The situation in 1738 earned the reputation as the Year of the Destroying Angels. The reference was to Psalm 78, verse 49, “He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.”

After the ship Glasgow and the snow Two Sisters arrived, the next three vessels to arrive with Palatines were the Robert dc Alice, the Queen Elizabeth, and the Thistle. Captain Walter Goodman of the Robert & Alice sent a letter back to Germany on October 19th. Excerpts were published in the Rotterdam Courant two months later: “On the 4th of July last I sailed out of Dover in England and arrived here on this river on the 9th of September with crew and passengers in good health but on the way I had many sick people, yet, since not more than 18 died, we lost by far the least of all the ships arrived to-date. We were the third ship to arrive. I sailed in company with four of the skippers who together had 425 deaths, one had 140, one 115, one 90, and one 80. Said one person in a letter: “There has been a cruel, destroying angel among the travelers this year for the number of those who died so far on the voyage and here has reached about 2000.” The two Stedmans, who had so far been renowned for the transfer of Germans lost probably five-sixths, of 300 hardly 60 were left. According to Captain Goodman (above), between 80 and 140 people would have died on the snow Two Sisters (Pleikard Siler’s ship).

Margaret Conley
Margaret did her part in the Civil War effort as well. In the last days of the war, Colonel George W. Kirk marched his Union regiment from Asheville to Macon County. This regiment consisted of honest Union soldiers as well as the deserters from both armies and criminals. These last two elements were called “the raiders”. They were intent upon looting and burning rather than fighting the enemy. Colonel Kirk did little to control them. He received word by courier that the war had ended, but he continued on to Franklin. Union patrols were sent throughout Macon County. When Margaret Conley heard that Kirk was heading for Wayah Valley, she hid all the family stores and valuables in the rocky hills behind her house. Kirk and his men soon arrived at the Conley farm and ordered Margaret to cook their supper. She complied with their wishes, hoping to avoid trouble. After eating, Kirk demanded her money. When told that she had none, he ordered his men to pile straw around the house and set it on fire. At this point Margaret began weeping and pleading with Kirk to spare her home. Kirk, apparently was convinced that she had nothing of value, ordered his men to put out the fire, thanked her for the meal and marched away.

Jacob Siler

“After making peace with the Indians, Jacob Siler returned to Buncombe County and got his brothers, Jesse, William and john to come back to the to settle here. Each built a home within “visiting distance” of each other log cabins at first afterwards two-story

frame houses, hand smoothed and mostly hand sawed. The home of Jacob Siler stood where the Maxwell home, given by a descendant, now stands. The other three original homes are still in existence and in use. The W. B Lenoir home was the home of John Siler.” – Notes from 1926 Siler Family Reunion.

The Siler Family Reunion, by the way, is the oldest continually meeting reunion in the U.S.

The Silers and Chief Chuttahsotee

It was a turbulent time for the Cherokees as their once great nation shrunk, and they were forced to move from village to village. One young Cherokee named Chuttahsotee, or Jim Woodpecker, decided to stay in Cartoogechaye with his wife Cunstagih, who was known as Sally. They became close friends with William Siler and his family.

When General Winfield Scott’s soldiers rounded up Western North Carolina’s remaining Cherokee residents at gunpoint, Jim and Sally were taken to Fort Aquone, and then led on the “Trail of Tears” to Oklahoma. Jim and Sally were among those who managed to escape, and returned on foot to their old homes. When the ragtag band of Cherokee arrived back in Cartoogechaye, William Siler proved his friendship. He deeded a 200 acre plot along Muskrat Creek to Jim, knowing that Cherokees who legally owned land could not be forced to move. As time went on, other Indians joined them, and the settlement on Muskrat Creek became known as Sand Town.

The government made a second attempt to remove the Cherokees in 1843. Major James Robinson was sent to Sand Town in 1843 to persuade them to leave their homes and join the other Cherokees in Oklahoma. Chief Chuttahsotee is reported to have said, “In sight of these mountains I was born. In sight of these mountains I will die. My talk is ended.”

Jim Woodpecker served as chief of the Sand Town settlement for many years, and was a highly respected member of the community. When he was an old man, and facing his last days, Albert Siler, William’s son, came to read the Bible and pray with him, as he often did. At this time, Jim is reported to have said, “Chuttahsotee going soon. Bury Chuttahsotee like a white man.” The next day the old chief’s son came to tell Albert that he was dead.

Chuttahsotee was buried in the Siler cemetery near the future site of St. John’s Episcopal Church. A large gathering of Indians and white friends crowded the cemetery. Following the burial, Albert Siler went to see Cunstagih, the old chief’s widow. She was sitting in the doorway of the cabin, gazing at the sunset. “Chuttahsotee calls Cunstagih,” she said. “Cunstagih must go.” The next day her sons found her dead, still sitting in the doorway. She was buried beside her husband, and there they remain today.










Chief Chuttahsotee










Chief Chuttahsotee Grave Marker


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