The author wishes to acknowledge the information provided for this document by the following people: Ron Staley and his daughter Kathy, of Wilkes Co., NC; Wilma G. Staley of Dixon Co., IL; and Mary B. Kegley of Wythe Co., VA. They may not necessarily agree with all my conclusions.
The Three Jacob Staleys
by Robert M. Staley
There has been a lot of controversy about Jacob Staley of Randolph County, North Carolina,, and about whether he was Conrad Staley's brother or his son. In the Randolph County Tax Lists of 1785 and 1799 there are two Jacob Staleys listed. In fact, there were three Jacob Staleys in the area, as is proven by the fact (shown below) that the eldest Jacob Staley left Randolph County in 1787, and yet there were still two Jacob Staleys on the Tax List of 1799. I believe, but cannot prove, that Conrads brother Jacob Staley had a son, Jacob Staley Jr. There is a Strayer's (Salem) Lutheran Church record for York County, Pennsylvania that shows that Conrad and Barbara Staley had a son Johan Jacob Staley on April 24, 1763, who was baptized on June 19, 1763. Actually, according to the German naming conventions, all of the NC male Staleys probably had the first name Johan, and only used their middle name. Therefore, all of the Jacob Staleys were probably christened Johan Jacob Staley. Because it is so difficult to write about three people with the same name, I will only use the full name Johan Jacob Staley for the son of Conrad Staley.
The term Adam Jacob Staley has often been applied to a combination of Jacob Staley Sr. and Jacob Staley Jr., which is a tradition that was established by The Heritage of Wilkes County, 1982. I have no idea where it originated, and it appears to me that in every case Adam Staley and Jacob Staley are two different people. I have never seen a reference to an Adam Jacob Staley in any of the records. Hopefully, their other data concerning Jacob Staley Sr. as being born in Germany in 1740 is accurate (although I wonder where that came from too).
A Jacob Staley started buying land in North Carolina near Conrad and Martin Staley in 1771, when Conrad's son Johan Jacob Staley would have been eight years old. Clearly, this had to be the brother, Jacob Staley Sr. Between 1771 and 1787 Jacob Staley Sr. made a total of five land deals, two of which mention a wife named Barbara. He sold his last 200 acres on Sandy Creek to John Clapp in 1787, and his wife Barbara is mentioned on that deed.
There was an undated deposition made by a Jacob Staley of Grayson County, VA concerning a Randolph County, NC lawsuit between John Barton and William Moody. Subpoenas were also issued to Adam Brower and John Coble Sr. as part of that suit. Since Jacob Staley bought 45 acres from John Barton in 1771, with witnesses Constext Brylo, Jumrb Jobl (names in German, poorly translated) this is most likely our Jacob Staley Sr., and he must have moved to Grayson County, VA after selling his Randolph Co., NC land in 1787. This Jacob Staley lived on the Knob Fork of Elk Creek, which was in Montgomery Co. in 1776, then Wythe Co. in 1790, and finally Grayson Co. in 1793.
The Montgomery County, VA deed book on page 5, 1788, states that James and Susannah Wade of Montgomery County conveyed to Jacob Stealy of the county and state aforesaid, for 125 pounds specie, 347 acres of land located on the waters of Knob Fork of Elk Creek. The Montgomery Co. Tax List of 1788 includes Jacob Staley and two white males ages 16 to 21 (probably sons Christian and Adam), along with 3 horses.
The Wythe Co. Virginia Tax Lists show a Jacob Stealey or Staley living in the area in 1793 along with Frederick Staley. This Frederick Staley was over 16 in 1793, so he was born before 1777. Nearby were Adam Staley and Christian Staley, which must have been Jacobs other sons by wife Barbara. Both were over 16 in 1793, indicating they were born before 1777.
The Grayson Co., VA tax lists showed that this Jacob Staley owned 347 acres in 1796, 1799, and 1805. A marriage bond was issued in Grayson County for Adam Staley and Sarah Sullivan on August 31, 1793 . Another son over 16 was living with Jacob in 1805 (probably son John), who must have been born before 1789. We know that Jacob Staley Sr. was still living in Grayson County in 1808, because the Grayson Co. Transportation and Roads Commission was considering building a road from his property to the top of Iron Mountain at Gleaves Gap.
On Oct. 24, 1808 Jacob Stealy and his wife Barbara of Grayson County, VA conveyed to Stephen Bourne Jr. 347 acres including the plantation where Jacob lived. On Dec. 22, 1808 Adam Staley and his wife Sarah conveyed to Archelous Vaughn 50 acres on the Knob Fork of Elk Creek in Grayson Co., VA. Apparently, the whole family was selling their Grayson Co., VA land in preparation for a move to Montgomery County, Tennessee. It seems that Jacob and Adam sold and moved first, and Frederick did the same two years later. Jacob and Adam did not appear in the 1810 Tax list or Census for Grayson County, VA, but Frederick Staley did.
Frederick Staley married Mary M. Kirk in Grayson Co. in 1797, and appeared separately from Jacob Staley in the 1800 Grayson County Tax List. On Sept. 24, 1805 Pink and Uley Hudson conveyed to Frederick Staley of Grayson County, for $500, 170 acres on Knob Fork, the waters of the New River. Frederick Staley also appeared in the 1805 and 1810 Grayson Co., VA Tax Lists. According to probate and census records, Frederick and Mary Staley had five children in Virginia: George (born in 1798), Susan, Elizabeth, Barbara, and Ahart S. (born in 1808). According to Grayson Co., VA deed books, Frederick Staley and his wife Polly sold their 170 acres of Grayson Co., VA land located on the Knob Fork of Elk Creek to Daniel Boyer on November 15, 1810. This sale was finalized by the Grayson County Court in January 1811. Frederick Staley and his wife then moved to Montgomery Co., TN and had a child, Noah, there on January 27, 1811.
There are two listings for Frederick Staley as having served in the Tennessee Militia during the War of 1812, and perhaps it is our Frederick Staley who signed up for two different terms. Our Frederick Staley died during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. He caught fever, and was bled by a physician and left in the care of a soldier who neglected to watch him. Being very crazy with the fever, he tore open the orifice in his arm and bled to death. Frederick Staley was buried at Camp Henderson, five miles above New Orleans. Frederick and Mary's last child, David Staley, was born in Montgomery Co., TN in 1813. Mary Staley had two more children after Frederick died , fathered by other men, but given the Staley name. Her daughter Mary was born in Montgomery Co., TN in 1816, and Samuel Martin Staley was born in Montgomery Co., TN in 1823. In 1825 Frederick's estate was finally settled, with his widow Mary receiving 28.75 acres, and each of Frederick's children receiving 8.5 acres. By 1827 Mary Staley had moved the family to White County, IL. Her sons can be found in the census records, land records, and marriage records for White Co., IL. George and Noah Staley were soldiers in the Black Hawk War (1831-1832). The U.S. Congress passed an act in 1834 to allow George and Noah to exchange some of their White Co., IL land for other property in that area.
Deed Book H, page 595 Montgomery County, TN shows Jacob Staley buying 160 acres for $640 on Feb. 1, 1809 (compliments of researcher William Kirk). The deed was witnessed by George Kirk, husband of Polly Staley, who was the daughter of Jacob Staley Sr. A Jacob Staley is listed as a buyer at an estate sale in Montgomery Co., TN in 1812. He was not listed in the 1820 census for Montgomery Co., TN. If the birth date data can be believed, Jacob Staley Sr. would have been 68 years old when he sold his Grayson County land, and he probably died in Montgomery County, TN, although no record of his death has been found. The children of Jacob Staley Sr. and his wife Barbara are thought to be Jacob (m. Eve Porter), Christian, Adam (m. Sarah Sullivan), Frederick (m. Mary M. Kirk), Elizabeth (m. Valentine Powers), Eve (m. Moses Roark), Polly (m. George Kirk), Catey (m. Philip Delp), and John ( m. Jane ?).
A Jacob Stelie signed a petition made by the Guilford County, NC Regulators in the period 1765-1771. This must have been Jacob Staley Sr. The Regulator movement in NC was a precursor to the American Revolution, and was centered in the Orange, Guilford, Alamance, and Randolph County areas. A Revolutionary War Pension Application for Dennis Hopkins lists a Jacob Staley as having served with him in 1780-1782 in Capt. William Yorks Co. Troops of Light Horse which was organized in Randolph Co., NC. This application also lists a Lieutenant Ralph Low, and a Major Thomas Dogan. This must have been either Jacob Staley Sr., or Jacob Staley Jr., since Johan Jacob Staley would have been under eighteen. A Jacob Staley was also listed in the Treasurers and Comptrollers Papers, Revolutionary Army Accounts, along with others from Randolph Co., NC. If this service could be proven, it would allow the entry of a lot of Staleys into the Daughters of the American Revolution. Incidentally, Dennis Hopkins application was denied for lack of proof of service.
Adam Staley was listed in the 1820 census for Montgomery County, TN. The census data says he was over 45, so he was born before 1775. Nearby was George Staley, who was the eldest son of the then deceased Frederick Staley, and Georges wife, mother, and siblings. Next door was Valentine Powers, with his wife Elizabeth Staley Powers. George Kirk and his wife Polly Staley Kirk were living two doors down from George Staley. Moses Roark and his wife Eve Staley Roark were also in the area. Wilma G. Staley (who supplied much of the data on Frederick Staley) reports that Adam Staley had a daughter, Elizabeth, who came to White Co., IL and married first John Whitesides and later Archibald Brown. A check of the 1850 census for White Co., IL shows that she was born in 1810 in TN. Therefore, Adam Staley must have been in Montgomery County, TN by 1810, so he got there at least a year before his brother Frederick. The children of Adam and Sarah Staley are thought to be Frederick, Eve (m. Isaac Miller), Daniel, Jacob D., Adam, Elizabeth (m. John Whitesides), Ezekiel, James (m. Mary Jane Crotcher), and Chesterfield.
In the 1785 tax list there were two Jacob Staleys listed in Randolph Co., NC with one being Jacob Staley Sr. who owned the 200 acres discussed previously. The other was probably Jacob Staley Jr., who was listed in the same tax district, and held only 17 acres. The Jacob Staley listed in the 1790 Randolph County census was most likely Jacob Staley Jr., since he had already established a separate household by 1785, and because his father had left the area by 1788. Also, the 1790 census lists four females (his wife and 3 daughters?) in the family, and one male under 16 (probably his son Adam). Johan Jacob Staley had no daughters until after 1800, so it was probably not him. In 1790 Jacob Staley Jr. bought 125 acres in Randolph County from his uncle Conrad Staley. In 1794 he sold this same 125 acre parcel back to Conrad Staley, and his wife is listed as Eve on that transaction. In 1799 the tax list showed that Jacob Staley Jr. held a 100 acre parcel, in Randolph County. It is believed that he left Randolph County later that year. This move may have been prompted by the fact that his wife Eve filed a Capias (arrest warrant) against him on July 4, 1799 stating that she was afraid that he would beat, wound, maim, or kill her.
Tradition has it that Jacob Staley Jr. moved to Chatham County, NC for a while, and finally settled in Wilkes County, NC where another large branch of the Staley family then evolved. There is evidence that he bought land there in 1801, but his wife Eve appeared in both the 1810 census and 1820 census without him. He may have settled his wife and children there, and then disappeared. Eve was granted a legal separation by the NC State Legislature in 1803. She was denied a divorce in 1807 by this same legislature. Eve died in Wilkes Co., NC in 1830.
It is not clear what happened to Jacob Staley Jr., but there is a census record for a Jacob Staley and a John Staley living next door to each other in White County, IL in 1820. This census said Jacob Staley was born before 1775, while John was born 1775-1794. They purchased a 160 acre parcel of land in White Co. together on Nov. 27, 1818. Jacob Staley also purchased another adjacent 160 acre parcel at the same time with Noah Kuykendall. George Staley, the son of Frederick Staley, had already bought an 80 acre parcel in the same township on Sept. 2, 1817. This Jacob Staley died in June 1829, and his daughter Dollys husband Jacob Bozeman (they married in 1828) was named administrator of his estate. This seems to indicate that John was not a son, and may have been a brother. Jacob Staley and John Staley were not estranged, because John Staley filed a claim on Jacobs estate for the time that he and his wife spent caring for Jacob in his final months. John insisted that this was necessary because Dolly quit taking care of the ailing Jacob after her marriage. John produced a witness who swore to the fact that John and his wife had attended to Jacob on a daily basis. There seemed to be some bitter feelings between John and Dolly, perhaps aggravated by the fact that Dollys husband Jacob Bozeman and his brother Samuel got $300 for administrating Jacobs estate.
By 1840 John Staley had moved to another township within White Co., and was living next door to Frederick Staleys son David. Also in 1840, Fredericks son Ahart and Adams son Ezekiel were living next door to one another near Noah Kuykendall, which means they may have been on John and Jacob Staleys old property. John Staley died in 1850, and the census record says he was born in NC in 1785. Since Jacob Staley Sr. was in NC in 1785, this may be his son, and this Jacob may be Jacob Staley Jr. He was in the same age group, and his life was obviously intertwined with all the descendants of Jacob Staley Sr. This Jacob Staley apparently had only one surviving child in the White Co., IL area, i.e. his daughter Dolly. There is a White Co., IL marriage record for Frederick Staley and Milly Hillyard dated Sept. 28, 1821. There is also a White Co., IL marriage record for Miley Staley and Thomas Gilbert dated July 8, 1824. By elimination, this Frederick Staley would almost have to be the son of Jacob Staley, and was probably born in the early 1800s, about the time Jacob Staley Jr. and Eve were separating. If Miley Staley and Milly Staley are the same woman, then this Frederick Staley must have died before 1824.
The children of Jacob Staley Jr. and Eve Porter are thought to be Adam (m. Margaret Elizabeth Cargile), Barbara (m. Hardwick Johnson), Elizabeth (m. Frederick Tysor), Jacob (m. Ellender Childers), Ellender (m. John Dowdy), and Mary (m. James Joseph Johnson).
In 1790 Conrad and Barbara Staley deeded 208.5 acres on a branch of Sandy Creek to Jacob Staley for natural love and affection. This must have been their eldest son , Johan Jacob Staley. He later sold part of this land to his younger brothers Christian and Peter. The Jacob Staley listed in the 1800 Randolph County census must have been Johan Jacob Staley, since he was the only Jacob left, and his census age bracket was in the 26-45 range (he was 37). The 1803 Tax List for Randolph County shows only one Jacob Staley, which must also have been Johan Jacob Staley. Johan Jacob Staley sold off part of his land and then, sometime between 1806 and 1811, moved to Butler Twp, Montgomery Co., Ohio with his sons, Joseph and Isaiah, and his brother Martin. There were no Jacob Staleys listed in the 1810 census, or in the 1815 Tax List for Randolph County, NC. In 1821 (Johan) Jacob Staley gave power of attorney to William Staley (his son?), probably to dispose of his remaining NC land.
A recently discovered 1818 deed for the sale of two parcels of Conrad Staleys Randolph Co. land on Rocky River, which was registered in Chatham County, shows the heirs of Conrad Staley to be: Barbara (his widow), Joseph, Peter, Christian, Conrad Jr., a female who married Christian Foust, George, Elizabeth (who married Henry Smith), and Martin. Johan Jacob Staley was not listed here because he had already been given his settlement, and had moved to Ohio. Daniel Staley is believed to be another son, but he died in 1817. It is possible that the George in the list of heirs is Daniels son, but that has not been proven.
August 23, 2002
Rev. Nov. 7, 2003
Rev. Nov. 6, 2004