Wiley Family History

Alexander Wiley
 (1754-1833)

Link to Alexander's Timeline

    According to his own testimony from his Revolutionary War Pension file (S.3555), ALEXANDER WILEY was born in 1754 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, although the family legend persists that he was born at sea during his parents' voyage to the Colonies. His family soon moved south like so many Scotch-Irish families, perhaps stopping in Virginia for a brief period, before settling in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where he enlisted as a private in Orange County in 1776 and served six months in Captain Atkinson's company in Colonel Folsom's regiment.   He volunteered a second time in 1781 for a tour of three months under Captain William Sanders and was attached to a regiment of militia under Colonel William Moore, who "had raised some troops for the purpose of meeting Cornwallis on his way from the south." He entered the service in Guilford County, North Carolina and served for about three weeks before being ordered home to Caswell County (formed in 1777 from Orange) by Col. Moore "to shoe horses for the army at his own shop and to do blacksmith work for the neighborhood, which was then destitute of workmen." The remainder of the troops remained in Guilford County and thereabouts until after the Battle of Guilford Court House. In the summer of 1781 he was drafted to go south for the purpose of surprising the British and Tories but was ordered to the public shop by Col. William Moore to do blacksmith work for the army of the United States. He spent part of the three month tour in Caswell County and was then ordered to Guilford County to work as a blacksmith under the direction of Quartermaster John Rutherford for the balance of the tour. 

   On March 20, 1779, in between his tours of duty in the army, Alexander obtained a marriage bond to marry MARTHA NOEL in Caswell County. The bondsman was a neighbor, Joshua Kearney [Carney]. On December 21, 1779 Alexander Wiley entered 100 acres on the waters of Reedy Fork of North Hico Creek bordered by the land of Thomas Wiley and John Richmon[d] Jr. (However, no land grant for Alexander was ever issued for this entry.) In December, 1779 he was appointed to oversee the road from "Widow Love's to Hillsborough Road with a share of Capt. Graves' hands."

   Alexander purchased 400 acres on Sandy Branch of Country Line Creek from Tobias Williams (Book E, p. 222) and by 1784 was paying taxes on 417 acres. He and Martha lived adjacent to a Thomas Wiley (d. 1825), who was an elder in the Griers (formerly Upper Hyco) Presbyterian Church. According to naming traditions of the time, the fact that each named his first son after the other suggests that they were brothers. At this time their parents have not been identified.

    In 1791, Alexander sold 200 acres of his land in Caswell County followed by another 200 acres in 1792, and the family migrated to East Tennessee.  An Alexander Wiley appears on the tax list of Jefferson County in 1799 and that of Knox County in 1800. Alexander Wiley bought two hundred acres on Poplar Creek in Roane County from David Gallaher in 1805.  In 1807 he obtained a grant of 10 additional acres on Black Oak Ridge and Poplar Creek, followed by another 40 acres in 1810. The Wileys of this period were closely associated with the Noel and Richmond families, some of whom also moved to East Tennessee about this time.  By 1814, Alexander was paying taxes on 350 acres on Poplar Creek with his sons at home or on nearby farms.  In 1817, he bought another 200 acres from William Repetor, which he sold the following year to John Richmond, who is buried in a cemetery near the road that leads from Orchard View School to Poplar Creek. 

    Around 1823, Alexander's oldest son, Thomas, moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia, with a group of relatives and neighbors. In that same year, son Alexander Jr. died. By 1827, Alexander had sold 100 acres to his son John and another 100 to son Henry Howard, and in 1830 he was apparently living in the household of his son, Henry Howard Wiley in Roane County. In 1833, shortly before his death, he sold the remainder of his land to kinsmen and divided the proceeds among his daughters. At this time he was living in Anderson County, Tennessee, probably with daughter Elizabeth Wiley Noel, the widow of John Noel.  Alexander died on July 24, 1833. The location of his grave and that of his wife, Martha, are unknown.

     Children of Alexander Wiley and Martha Noel are:

            i. THOMAS WILEY, b. 11 April 1780 in Caswell Co., NC; d. 1862 prob. in Milton Co., GA; m. TABITHA NOEL 16 April 1805 in Caswell Co., NC.

            ii. ELEANOR WILEY, b. 11 July 1782; d. before January 1846; m. WILEY LASSITER 29 September 1803.

            iii. JOHN WILEY, b. 14 Feb 1784; d. about 1843; m. SALLY NOEL 25 May 1812 in Roane Co., TN.

            iv. SOLOMON WILEY, b. 2 December 1785; died young.

            v. JAMES WILEY, b. 20 Dec 1787; m. ELMIRA UNDERWOOD 20 October 1830 in Knox Co., TN.

            vi. ALEXANDER JR WILEY, b. 18 October 1789; d. 22 February 1823 in Roane or Anderson Co., TN.

            vii. ELIZABETH WILEY, b. 14 May 1792; d. August 1845 in Jefferson Co., Iowa; m. JOHN NOEL Aug 1813 TN.

            viii. JANE WILEY, b. 07 May 1794; m. JAMES GALLAHER 4 August 1826 TN.

            ix. MARTHA PATSY WILEY, b. 3 April 1796; m. CALVIN WHITE 7 August 1816.

            x. NANCY WILEY, b. 24 January 1798; m. JAMES H. NORMAN 26 February 1829.

            xi. HENRY HOWARD WILEY, b.10 October 1799, Jefferson Co. TN; d. 6 September 1881 m. MARY BURKE
                BUCKHANNON BOYD, 2 June 1822.

Sources:

   For ideas, additions, and corrections e-mail Mary Wiley Campbell at info@marywcampbell.com

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