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SILVEY, SILVY AND SYLVA
First generation.

A1.  CHARLES SILVEY


CHARLES SILVEY (born December 15, 1804 in TN and died February 6, 1886 in MO). He is the earliest definite Silvey ancestor for those with MO Silvey roots in the areas of  Douglas, Taney, and Webster Co. area.  A best guess is that William Silvey Sr. was the father of Charles Silvey. William Silvey Sr. was born in VA about 1760-1770 and probably moved into the Anderson Co. area of TN from VA after 1798. By 1802 he was living in Roane Co., TN. He may have come with a possible brother, Samuel Silvey Sr., who was born in VA about 1765. , According to the 1880 MO Census for the Douglas Co., Finley TWP both of the parents of Charles Silvey were born in VA.    

For the tax year 1802 William Silvey Sr. was reported by Sheriff Underwood in Anderson Co. as a delinquent tax payer in the amount of 18.75 cents and he could find no property to make the taxes. Both Samuel Silvey Sr. and William Silvey Sr. apparently had sons named William and John. (See Possible Family of Samuel Silvey Sr.) and (See Possible Family of William Silvey Sr.) Both of the two John Silveys stayed in the Roane Co. area. One of the Williams moved to the neighboring Rhea Co. area. Probably the William that was a son of Samuel Silvey Sr. is the individual that married Betsey Howard in Roane Co. on October 8, 1818. In the 1850 Roane Co. Census, a John Silvey is listed with his family. This John Silvey was born in VA in 1798. Samuel Silvey Sr. also had a son, Samuel Silvey Jr., who was a War of 1812 pensioner. He served in Captain John McKamey's Company, East Tennessee Militia. Also serving in the same Militia Company was Sealy A. Silvey. Sealy A. Silvey also received a pension. I know of no other record of Sealy.

In the Roane Co, Early East Tennessee Marriages, it shows Rial (Riley?) Silvey married Celia Johnson, Nov 3, 1831. Martin Silvey married Prudy Merritt, August 9, 1832. William Silvey married Nancy Soloman, November 22, 1835. John Silvey married Polly Nelson, November 28, 1839. Rial moved to Morgan Co., MO where he is listed at age 71 with his wife there in the 1880 MO Census..

With the birth of Charles in TN begins a colorful family tree that gets transplanted to Webster Co., Douglas Co., Taney Co., and Ozark Co., MO where it continued to grow. It does not have demonized sinners or cannonized saints. The family tree does show a wide range of behaviors from the good to not so good with the resulting consequences for those involve. For some the Silvey name was something to live down and for others it was a name to live up to. For my Mom it was always a name to live up to.

The first record of Charles Silvey is in Roane Co., TN where he appears on August 14, 1825 at the age of 21 as one of thirty-eight petitioners in the divorce of case of Benjamin Howard vs. Mahaly (McCormick) Howard. He is listed in the 1830 Roane Co. Census (See 1830 Roane Co. Census). Some copies show him being between the ages of 20 and 30. Other copies have him being between 30 to 40 years old. However, since Charles was born December 15, 1804, Charles would be 26 years old in 1830. According to the 1830 Roane Co., TN Census record he has one son and one daughter under five. They are probably George W. Silvey and Julia A. Silvey. Also there is one female under 30 and one under 40 years of age in his household. Listed next to him is the family of Alexander Howard. Alexander Howard is probably the father of LUTITIA HOWARD, the wife of Charles (See Howard Family notes). Lutitia was born in TN in 1809. Benjamin Howard was probably one of her brothers. The Betsy Howard who married the William Silvey and remained in TN was probably a sister of Lutitia.

Charles is also found on a number of tax lists for Roane Co. beginning in 1828 where he has no property. That changes by 1831 were he is listed having 200 acres as is John Silvey, a possible brother, on Capt. Underwoods Co. Tax List for 1831. No record has been found for any Silvey having 400 or more acres before 1831 in Roane Co. If the Senior William Silvey was his father he may have started passing some of his land to his sons. The last tax list with Charles on it is in 1832 where he has 125 acres. He probably started selling his TN land by 1832 in preparation for moving his family to MO and getting land there.  Charles is found buying minor items in estate sales. On September 11, 1830 his name is listed buying from the estate of Henry Lower. On January 1831 his name is listed as buying from the estate of Andrew Lower. Both of these estates were administered by Jacob Lower. On December 8, 1832 his name is listed as buying from the rather large estate of Valentine Cunningham.   

There are no known records of William Silvey Sr., the probable father of Charles, after 1840 in the Roane Co. area. William apparently married Frances Lawton Cunningham (born 1783) on September 26, 1839 in Rhea Co., TN. She was the widow and second wife of Valentine Cunningham. Samuel Silvey Sr. is listed in the 1850 Roane Co. Census but he is not found in the 1860 Roane Co. Census records. There are only tax records available until the first extant census in 1830. William Silvey Sr. is found as early as 1802 on the tax list in the adjoining county of Anderson. Both William Silvey Sr. and Samuel Silvey Sr. are in Anderson Co. by 1809. William Silvey Sr. probably died around 1845. His property in Roane Co, consisting of 300 acres, was sold by William Liles, Sheriff in 1845. His widow, Francis, is listed in the Roane Co. 1850 Census living with the John Davis family. John Davis was her son-in-law by virtue of his marriage to Lucinda Cunningham, the daughter on Francis and Valentine Cunningham. While the names of the sons of William Silvey Sr. are not substantiated, a best guess is that they are Charles, James, William, Rial, Martin, and John. Apparently only John remained in TN with Charles and the other brothers all moving to MO before the second marriage and death of his father, William Silvey, Sr.   

In one history Charles is said to have left TN with his relatives in wagons and oxens in 1834 and moved to MS. From MS they move to MO were they became residents in 1837. His last child born in TN was his daughter, Caroline, born in 1830. His first child born in MO was his son, James, born in 1834. The first record of Charles in MO is the 1840 MO Pulaski Co. Census. He is listed with his family next to the families of Charles Denny and Benjamin Denny, Sr. This area where he settled in Pulaski Co. was later part of Wright Co. until Webster Co. was formed on March 3, 1855. He is listed with his wife and children in the 1850 Wright Co. Census. On page 585 in A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region  there is a short biographical sketch about Maron Silvey that provides some information about his father, Charles Silvey. He was known for his hunting skill and as a successful bee hunter. Charles is buried in the Webster Co. Silvey Cemetery located about seven miles south of Seymour, MO off the Dogwood Road. (See Silvey Cemetery plot.) Also buried in the cemetery is his son, George Washington Silvey, and seven sons and one of the daughters of George Washington Silvey. In A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region  it states that Charles and his wife had eleven children. Two of his sons are thought to have been in the gold rush, but that has not been verified. It is thought that Lutitia died about 1852 and is buried in the Douglas Co. Denney Cemetery, near Cowskin Creek and the Old Gentry School House, off of K Hwy. north of Ava.

In the 1840 MO Pulaski Co. Census, William the supposed brother of Charles, is also listed. The other brothers are apparently living with William. Rial, Martin and William all received land patents in Morgan Co. in 1857. Rial received in 1857 a 40-acre land patent and in 1859 he received a 80 and a 40-acre land patent. Martin received in 1857 a 80-acre land patent and in 1859 he received another 80-acre land patent. William H. Silvey received in 1857 a 85.31-acre land patent. Morgan Co. is about 30 miles north of Webster Co., MO. Unlike Charles, these three Silveys went to Morgan Co. MO from TN by the way of IL since Martin had three children born in IL.

The second marriage of Charles was to CORDELIA MORRISON which makes one wonder, "What was he thinking?" This second marriage is supported by Webster Co., and Douglas Co. census records and land records. Like Charles, Cordelia was born in TN as were her parents, James and Jane. She would have been born around 1828 athough her age varies in the census records but still making her about the age of his first children. She is listed in her parents household at age 22 in the 1850 MO Greene Co. Census along with three brothers and three sisters. Her brothers are William (23), Stokley (age 17), and Samuel (age 7). Her sisters are Hillery (age 13), Orlena (age 11), and Sis (age 4). Charles and Cordelia are listed in the 1860 MO Webster Co. Census, Finley Township although the surname is spelled Sylva with three children by his first marriage to Lutitia: Jackson, Marion, and Cynthia. Listed in his family are also two Smith children: William A. and Josephine. These may be children from a first marriage by Cordelia that she brought into the marriage with Charles. It would appear from the 1870 MO Douglas Co. Census, Finley Township that family life for Charles became very complicated! For him the fun was probably missing from dysfunctional. Charles and Cordelia had two children of their own: a daughter named Martha F. (age 9) and a son named Samuel (age 7). In many cases as aunts and uncles they were much younger then their niece and nephews that they would attend school with. In that census Charles is 64 years old and Cordelia is 32 years old. Listed with them is Synthia J., a 19 year old domestic servant who is the youngest child of Charles by his first marriage. Living with Charles and Cordelia are also Josephine (age 13) and William (age 18) from Cordelia's first marriage as well as Polly A. (age 21) listed as a domestic servant with two children: William A. (age 4) and James J. (age 1). Since Polly is listed as a Morrison in the 1880 Census, she would be related to Cordelia. Caroline (age 34) who is a daughter by Charles with his first wife is also living there with her children John (age 19), Julia A. (age 15), Sylvania (age 12), and Calvin (age 7). By 1880 MO Douglas Co. Census, Findley Township the family situation was still complicated for Charles (age 76). Josephine (now Tatum)  (age 23) is listed in the home as a step daughter with two children. Polly Morrison is listed with her five children just before Charles so she is probably living on his land. Her occupation is given as the world's oldest profession so she was probably well known in the area. Martha F. (age 19) is the only child of Charles still at home. In Greene Co, his son, Samuel "Silva" (age 16), is listed in the household of W. Morrison (age 28)  who has a wife and two sons. William Morrison is a half brother of Samuel. Probably William and Samuel moving to Springfield gave them the best opportunities to create a new life. Since their Mom had lived there, they may have had relatives that could help them. Six years after this 1880 census, Charles Silvey died. In A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region there is no mention of a second wife of Charles. There was a child of Charles called "Dode" that is mentioned as having died young. There is also no mention of Martha as a child of Charles, but Samuel is mentioned as a son of Charles. Unlike his first wife, Lutitia, it is unknown where Cordelia is buried.

Charles was not the first Silvey to settle in MO. In 1835 James Silvey received  in St. Charles Co. a 59.85-acre land patent . In 1837 Alexander Silvey received in Howard Co. a 37.525-acre land patent. In 1841 John Silvey received in Livingston Co.  a 63 land patent. In 1841 Joseph H. Silvey received in Carroll Co. a 74.28-acre land patent. In 1848 William Silvey received in Washington Co. a 40-acre land patent.

Charles was not the first Silvey/Silvy/Sylva to receive a land patent in the Douglas Co. and Webster Co. areas. In 1849 in Wright Co. (now Webster Co.) James Silvy purchased 40 acres of public land located about two miles east of Seymour. This may be the same James Silvey in the Douglas Co. records on page 395 that purchased 160 acres from Allen Williams on October 13, 1866 and filed on February 4, 1891. These are the only records found on James.

On September 15, 1854 in what is now Douglas Co., Benton TWP Charles Silvey of Wright Co. purchased 114.23 acres of public land about four miles west of Ava. According to Douglas Co. records he purchased an additional 80 acres in same section on November 1, 1859. He is probably the C.W.  Seley mentioned in The History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulasik, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri, published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co. in 1889 living in what is the Douglas Co. and Webster Co. area between 1857 and 1858. "Township 28, Range 17, passed into the hands of private owners mainly in 1857-58. John L. Spaulding, M. H. Pillom, M. Kean, Jonathan Praley, G. L. Williams, Joel Barker, Edward Pitman, R. S. Mahan, Fred. Myer, Valentine Storkharf, Hanson Philpot, W. B. Killion, A. B. Fales, C. W. Seley and others. Drury Lee and Larwood Denney entered lands on Sections 20 and 21 in 1855. James Ellison entered lands on Section 19 in 1847, and Joseph P. Lyons on Section 10 in 1848; Louisa McGowan on Section 13 in 1852." Charles and his second wife sold his 114.23 acres on March 23, 1877 to his son, George Washington, for $200 but the deed was not filed until February 16, 1891. Douglas Co. was formed in 1857 from the upper part of Ozark Co. Except for G.W., most of the other children of Charles and their descendants continued to live in the Douglas Co., area near Ava or in Ozark Co.

Charles Silvey lived through the events of the Civil War which had to greatly impact his life and the life of his children. His son, George Washington Silvey, is thought to have served in the Home Guard and State Militia. While Charles probably resented the Union forces, many German speaking, imposing martial law from St. Louis and then from Springfield, as pioneer settlers and independent small farmers he and his sons had no reason to support the Confederate cause. In the short biographical sketch about Marion Silvey A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region  it states that Charles was a Democrat. Democrats at that time could mean that they were pro-Confederate or just anti-Lincoln and the Republicians. His sons, Jackson and Marion, served on the Union side and both filed for pensions. Marion initially served under Colonel Phelps and later became a member of the Eight Missouri Cavalry and was wounded slightly at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Before the war Colonel Phelps served for eighteen years as a congressman from Greene Co. and owned seventeen slaves. After the war he became a governor of MO.  

At the start of the war the pro-Confederate forces under the elected state governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, were driven to southwest MO by Union forces under General Lyon. The area was contested by both sides throughout the war with irregular forces operating on both sides. On August 3, 1861 a small Federal force under Colonel Siegel, a German immigrant, lost an engagement at the Battle of Carthage. At the Battle of Wilson Creek, just south of Springfield, General Lyon's 5,000 Union troops were beaten on August 10, 1861 by 11,000 Confederates, but they still stopped the Confederate northern advance from AK. The Union forces suffered 1,091 killed, wounded and missing including the death of General Lyon. The Confederate  forces suffered 1,245 casualties. The Confederate forces along the MO and AK border were not beaten by Union forces until the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest AK in March 1862.

Indians were part of both the Union and Confederate forces operating in southwest MO. Indian units fought with the Confederates at Wilson Creek and Pea Ridge but mostly participated in numerous scouting and skirmishes along the western sector of the MO and AR border and the Indian Territory. Throughout the war many skirmishes were fought in and around Forsyth, the county seat of Taney Co., just south to where Charles and his family had settled. The "Jayhawkers" from KS were involved in many of the skirmishes and were known for looting. The KS Jayhawkers wore Union uniforms and flew the stars and strips. They were generally even handed in looting and killing both Union and Confederate sympathizers in the area. Shortly after General Halleck ordered his Union forces to drive the Jayhawkers out of MO in January 1862 a large contigent of Jayhawkers escorting a wagon train filled with stolen property heading to KS was intercepted by Union forces. The Jayhawkers surrendered the stolen property and continued back to KS. What then became of the property is unknown. In addition to the Jayhawkers, there were foraging parties from both sides that stripped the noncombatants in the area of their livestock and crops. This robbed farmers of their livelihood and forced unbearable hardships on their families. It is doubtful that Charles and his family remained neutral. By the end of the second year there were only two sides in the war. Your side and everyone else. The last major contest came in 1864 when Confederate forces, under Sterling Pierce, briefly attempted to occupy southwest MO before being beaten back to AK.

The irregular militia forces on both sides conducted guerrilla operations. The number of participants that engaged in guerrilla warfare at any one time was usually small. The operations consisted of raids, skirmished, ambushes, sabotage, terror, arson and murder, with few rules of war and limited military objectives. The Union irregular forces were normally referred to as the " Guards".  The Confederate irregular forces were normally referred to as the "State Guards". William C. Quantrill was the most noted Confederate guerrilla leader.  He was killed by Federal forces in May 1865. The worst elements were the "bushwackers". The "bushwackers" were a criminal element operating along the MO and AK border where there was no effective law enforcement. They held allegiance to neither side and were often hunted by both sides for atrocities they committed. The lawlessness bred by internecine warfare continued after the war in the activities of outlaws such as Frank and Jesse James and the Younger brothers who served with William Clarke Quantrill's guerrillas.


Copyright February 2000 by Thomas W. Mitchiner, Greenville, NC. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted as stated above and may not be sold, nor given to anyone, who may attempt to derive profit from same. For corrections, comments, or additional verifiable information concerning the first generation please contact Thomas W. Mitchiner.

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