Finding Your Folks: More Holleys

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We’ll wrap up the Holley family this week with an e-mail I received from Tom McBryde of Austin, Texas, another Holley descendant. Tom’s information indicates that John Holley’s father was William Holley, as Johnnye Moore Clements was trying to prove several years ago.

I also want to give those of you who read the column on the Internet some long-awaited information. Many have lamented that there is no search engine on our Web site. This wasn’t too bad when we first started and there were only a few columns to browse through. I also try to put the major surnames I’m writing about in the title of the column. However, there are nearly five years of columns stored on our site now and it’s rather difficult to browse through more than 250 titles to find what you’re looking for.

Well, one of our ace reporters here at The Citizen, John Munford, discovered a way to search our site for surname-specific references. More about that at the end of the column.

Of the Holley family, Tom writes: “Hello Judy. Thanks for taking on the middle “woman” in this exchange of data on Holleys. Below is a modified pedigree chart that simply goes from child to parent back in time without notes, sources or other children.

“If anyone is interested enough to dig into the Holley line just a bit more I have about 4,000 individuals in the line which includes my 2nd great-grandfather, Godfrey Lee Holley, born in 1835 in Coffee Co., Ala.

“And of course from the chart below, back to mid 1600s in England.

“Thomas J. McBryde, 6507 Huckleberry Cove, Austin, TX 78746-7127 (”

Tom’s chart is in ahnentafel form which goes backward in time, giving closer ancestors first, then those who were born earlier. I believe Johnnye Clements, the original Holley researcher we heard from, was trying to obtain proof that her John Holley’s father was William Holley. I hope that perhaps Tom has some information not given here that can provide her with this proof. Here’s the Holley lineage Tom submitted:

First Generation: Joseph Sherwood Holley was born 2 July 1826 in Georgia and died 16 April 1900 in Chilton Co., Ala. He was buried in Mount Pisgah Methodist Church Cemetery, Chilton Co., Ala.

Second Generation (Joseph Sherwood Holley’s parents): John Holley was born 12 July 1792 in Samson Co., N.C. He married Nancy Dawson 19 March 1813. Nancy Dawson was born about 1796 in N.C., the daughter of John Dawson and Sally Unknown.

Third Generation (John Holley’s parents): William P. Holley was born between 1763 and 1766 in Sampson Co., N.C. He married Anny Bledso (His second wife) 3 Nov. 1790.

Fourth Generation (William P. Holley’s parents): Edward Holley was born about 1741 in Bertie Co, NC. He died about 1800 in Sampson, Duplin Co, N.C. He married Sarah Unknown before 1759 in NC.

Fifth Generation (Edward Holley’s parents): John Holley II was born about 1715 in Chowan Precinct, Bertie District, N.C. He died after 28 March 1765 in Eastern Tennessee. He married Rebecca Gilbert about 1739 in NC. Rebecca Gilbert was born about 1719 in Bertie Co, N.C. She died after 1771.

Sixth Generation (John Holley II’s parents): John Holley (1st husband of Sarah Church) was born before 1690 in Isle of Wight Co., Va. and died Jan. 1728 in Bertie District, N.C. He married Sarah Church about 1715 in North Carolina. Sarah Church was born about 1694 in Albemarle, Va.

Seventh Generation (John Holley’s parents): John Holley was born before 1650 in England. He died before 1733. He married Elizabeth Unknown.

That concludes the lineage on Tom’s Holley family. I hope, if Johnnye Clements is reading this, she will write to him and get the documentation she is seeking.

Now, information on how to search our site. First you have to go to Google (

To search the genealogy columns, type the following into the search box: genealogy (space) the surname you are seeking (another space), then (all one word).

For instance, if you’re seeking references in the genealogy columns for Holleys, you would type: genealogy holley

I tried it myself last week and it works beautifully. I hope this will make a whole bunch of people happy. Sure did help me out. John, you are a genius!

Also, we are re-vamping the Web site again and you might not find things where they were before. To access the genealogy columns, I think you now have to click on "Opinion" at the top.

Next week, I’ll add a little more to the Boyds Tim Turner wrote us about last week. I also have some information on his Bradberry family of Gwinnett County.

I welcome all letters and e-mails about genealogy and info on south metro Atlanta families. Send them to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214; e-mail or Any letters and/or e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

Until next week, happy hunting!

login to post comments | Judy Fowler Kilgore's blog