Friday, February 18, 2011

Wytheville, VA Wiseley's Part 1

Wythville, VA is located in the far southwestern arm of Virginia. Named after George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independance, and county seat for Wythe county.When I spent several days there a couple years ago I quickly learned that Wytheville sounds like Withville, not the way I was saying it that sounded like Wiveville.  Some famous people came from here as well, like what's her name, president Wilson's wife.
     For those who are doing genealogy, you should know the name of the town was Evansham  (Evans-ham) until 1839, when most of the old town burnned down. When they rebuilt they renamed it, Wytheville.
     This is not the line of Wiseley's that I came from. Most Wytheville Wisely's spelled their name without the second e. Wisely. And they came from Germany. That is the reason that some Wiseley's claim to be German I guess. You can find this spelling in several places, especially around Coulterville, IL and Lamar county Texas where descendents of this line moved. It also explains why they were early members of the Zion Lutheran Church, which is about 10 miles south west of Wytheville and a few miles off the main road.
 Listed below are the Wiseley's that were baptized in that Luthern Church. The dates are birth and death dates. Life for many was brief.
Wilson, Mary Crockett          Mar 6 1828       June 18 1907
Wiseley, Alice W.                June 25 1873     Dec 10 1880
Wiseley, Elkanah                 Aug 15 1836      Sept 9 1855
Wiseley, Freeling                 Mar 31 1823      Feb 14 1875
Wiseley, Laura E.                 Feb 8 1861       May 21 1869
Wiseley, Mary                          NDL              Mar 26 1871      
         (age about 75 yrs)
Wiseley, Michael Jr.(CSA)       1837             ????
Wiseley, Michael, Sr.              1801             July 6 1881
Wiseley, Peter                       1800             Sept 29 1867
Wohiford, Julia Mae Johnson  Sept 13 1910     July 2 1933
One of two trees that were here in 1791.
From 1791 until 1794 the
services were held outside 
under a make shift pulpit 
between two trees until 
a log church was built 
in 1794. The trees are 
still standing today, 
although one of the trees 
had severe damage after 
hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Imagine that,  two trees that were around before the revelutionary war still standing today. When I visted in April 2003 there was just one tree. And it was massive. It's 44 inches around my belly, so imagine the circumfrance ot that tree. Wouldn't you love to ask that tree what it has seen over the years?
    I have several family trees of this line and looking through them I find the earliest Wisely to be (1) Frederick who died (1782) in what was Mongomery county, but is now Wythe county He married Elizabeth Kaler and had 4 kids. Peter (b 1773 d. 1855) Daniel (b 1763, d.1844), Michael  and John. We will come back to learn more about Daniel.
     Following this line further we have found three of the four boys married and had kids.
      Peter married Magdalena Phillippi (from Lancaster County, PA) their kids are 
      Michael - who is buried at the Zion church
      Frederick - Died in Monroe County, IN.
      Peter - married in Monroe County, IN  (about 45 Miles southwest of Indianapolis)
      Rosina - Married in Monroe County, IN and buried in Center Point IA.
      Anna Marie

As you can see from just this second generation the family is spreading out. Part of the reason was land was opened up in the "northwest territories" OH, IN, MI, IL, WI. And there was a national road from Baltimore to Vandalia, IL that became the expressway of the day. Building started in 1811 and ended in 1838 when funds dried up. It actually was a pretty good road with no grade steeper than 5% and built of stone that had to meet the government specs. So many inches of big stone that had to be larger than one brass ring and smaller than the next larger ring. Etc down to stones the size of gravel.  Reports of people who lived along it were that the creaking of wagon wheels could be heard all night long on that road.  Just like major roads today it had numerous blacksmiths, wagon repair shops, dry goods, livery stables, and places to stay and eat. 

     Continuing the family lines with Daniel, he married Elizabeth Davis and had 10 kids.
      John Jacob
      Daniel Jr.  Died in Howard Co. MO. (half way between Kansas City and St. Louis.)
      Joel Frederick
      Ann - Married William Gray
      Susan - Married Joseph Cassell 1825
      Sarah Sabilla - Married Leaonard Phelps 1821.

     Michael Married Margaret, another lady from PA.   There was a lot of traffic along the road between Virginia and Pennsylvania. Even though PA was 250 miles from Wytheville, there was a well established road along the blue ridge mountains and since it followed the valley there were no difficult mountains to cross.
Their four kids are as follows.
        Peter Jr.
        Daniel - who would travel and eventually die in Lamar county, Texas ( Paris, Texas)

     So far I have little information on Frederick's son John.

Obviously it is too tedious and boring to list every kid of every family ad infinitum.  We have completed the second Generation. The Family tree I have goes to generation 4 which is people who were born in the 1880's and died in the 1950's in general.  Perhaps you could be connected with one of these families if you think you may have come from this line of Wisely's. For more information on this line you can email me at or go to facebook and leave me a message.
     Next time we will look at more about this line and the Wisely who was nearly lynched for murder.  Sure glad this isn't my line, all my relatives were saints!   

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