I hope this will help:
Source Hamilton County Book found at TSLA
The Elseas are an Irish Family that made their way to Sullivan County in its early days, then moved on to Sale Creek in the 1840’s. In the Civil War, the Elseas favored the Union.
John and Mary Elsea were neighbors of the Orson Shipleys in Sullivan County and the families moved together to Hamilton County. Other allied families who resettled in the same community wre the Varners and Gothards. John Elsea was born about 1780 and Mary about 172.
Issac Elsea, who have married Ina Cox at Sullivan County, was among the first of the Elseas to cone to this area (Hamilton County). Ina Cox was the daughter fo James and Sarah Cox. The son of Thomas and Jane Elsea of Sullivan County, Isaac was an early settler of Rhea County. Isacc Elsea died there in 1840, and his widow returned to Sullivan County. The Isaac Elsea children included Lousia who married Fredericek Shipley, James Ellison who married Anna Strickler and then Mary Elizabeth Davidson, Caroline, Elbert who married Nancy Shipley, Minerva who married Benjamin Strickler, Mahlon who married Nannie Cartwright, Rufus and Sarah.
John Elsea, who apparently a son of John and Mary Elsea, also settled in Hamilton County with his wife, Nancy, and their large family. This John Elsea was born about 1818. He was described as a large man with an Irish temper. Their children included Martin V., James Calvin, George Nelson, Samuel Pinkney, Sarah, Mary Nancy and Thomas A. Another son William C, married Barbara “Byor” Shipley, a daughter of Orson Shipley.
Martin V. Elsea enlisted with the Union’s Co. C of the Fifth Tennessee Infantry at Sale Creek on Feb. 25, 1862, and marched to Barboursville, Ky. He served until he was discharged at Spring Hill, Tenn. Just before Christmas in 1864 due to the expirations of his term. William C Elsea also signed for the Union at Sale Creek – going into Co. I. of the Second East Tennessee Infantry on Nov. 11, 1861. He reached Cumberland Ford, Ky, by the following Fed, 28. He was a wagoneer of Samuel P. Carter. W.C. Elsea got into trouble with the Union hierarchy near the end of the war, and he reported to the provost marshal at Cleveland, Tenn. On March 15, 1865 and he was convicted of desertion and sentenced to forfeit certain pay and ordered to endure hard labor on the fortifications of Knoxville for a year. Elsea made a plea by letter to higher authorities and much of his sentence was remitted “by order of the President of the United States.” He was mustered out at Knoxville on Aug. 25, 1865. James Calvin Elsea was 18 when he enlisted at Sale Creek with Co. I of the Union’s Fourth Tennessee Cavalry. The 5’6” Elsea was promoted to sergeant on April 15, 1864. He was mustered out at Nashville on June 12, 1865.
The returning Elseas veterans went back to their farms at Sale Creek and nearby Graysville. Martin and his wife, Nancy were here (Hamilton County) for several years after the war, then they apparently left the area.
The Children of William and Byro included Nancy, James Orson who was unmarried, John A who married Sally Shipley, Icie Jane who was unmarried, Charles A, David Luther and Nelson Benjamin.
James Calvin Elsea married Nancy Fine Correll in 1871. Their children included Ruth who married Silas Shiply, Alexamder, Rufus A who married Belle Brackett, Samuel Pinkney, Mary E, John Cornelius who married Louise Cope, nancy and William Allen who married Sue Melvina Lowe,John C and his Wife, Louise Cope were both deaf mutes. Their son, John William Elsea, has ribbon-manufacturing business.
George Nelson Elsea married Frances Reavley the year the war ended (1865). Their children included Sarah S. who married L. Marion Howell, Nancy J. who married James Thomas Pendergrass, John F who died your, Thomas Jefferson, Mary J. who died in 1812 when she was 38, Laura E. who married Benjamin Audly Graves, Robert U. who married Audrey E Jones, Martha Adele who died in 1906 when she was 25, George Nelson Jr. who married Liz Brackett, and Vitruvius Jack who married Mattie Young, Thomas Jefferons married Sarah jane Fox of Birchwood. Their children were Stella who married Geroge Marler, Clovilla who married William C McFarland and Mildred who married Thomas Blazier.
John E Elsea and his wife Julia had James, Martha, Thomas A, Nancy J, Marion H, Lester F, John S, Alice and Ulas H – the latter apparently named for Gen. Grant.
Other Elseas here included William H Elsea, who lived from 1855 to 1934. He and his wife, Eliz A had W. Frank, Emmett, John B, Edward J, Mrs. Nettie Walls and Mrs. Renie Shelby.
State Sen. Gene Elsea is a great-grandson of William and Byro Elsea and grandson of David and Sudie Shipley Elsea. His parents are Vance and Liie Mae Sims Elses. Other children of David Shipley were Amy, Roy who married Ovie Walker, and Harold who married Wildie Green.
Bill Elsea, retired county school principal, is the grandson of James Calvin and Nancy Correll Elsea and son of William Allen Elsea.
Submitted by Benny Ball