I am descended from Martha Gibson Penley Stone, through a son by her second husband, William Jefferson Stone.I have recently became interested in the circumstances that led to their marriage and some Penley traditions indicating that Martha’s first husband (A. F. Penley) came back from the War sometime after it’s close and found she had remarried. Following are some of the results of research I have recently completed.
1860 Census of Walker County, Ga.
Penley, A. F. 20 male farm laborer born Ga.
Martha E. 23 female born Ga.
Wm. C. 1 male born Ga.
James E. 2/12 male born Ga.
1850 Census of Walker County, Ga.
Chattooga District, 25 Sept. 1850 p. 422
Penley, Jane 41 f NC
Sanford P. 19 m GA
James W. 17 m GA
Matilda 18 f GA
John L. 15 m GA
Sydna S. 13 m GA(this is Sidney S.)
Floyd 10 m GA(this is A. F.)
Benny 5m GA(this is Benjamin M.)
Jane is A. F. Penleys mother.She was a widow in 1850.Civil War records on behalf of her son indicate that the father had died.Sometime before 1860 Jane married Nicholas Day.Nicholas was 14 years older than her.They are listed in the 1860 and 1870 Walker County, Ga. census.Nicholas was a widower, having lost his wife sometime before 1860.Jane Day is also listed as the mother of Benjamin M. Penley in Confederate Service records.
My research indicates that Jane’s first husband, and A.F. Penley’s father was Levi Penley.In the 1840 Ga. Census of Walker County is the following:
Levi Penleymales under 5 (2), 5-10 (3), 10-15 (1), 40-50 (1)females 5-10 (1), 30-40 (1).This fits the ages almost exactly.This was the only Penley in Walker County in 1840.
In the 1830 Census of Gwinett County, Ga., page 373,is the following:
Levi Pendlymales -5 (2), 30-40 (1)females 20-30 (1)This would also indicate a fit for Levi and Jane, with an older child not present and named in the 1850 census.My conclusion is that Levi Penley and his wife Jane are the parents of A.F. Penley.
Also in the 1830 census of Gwinett County are a Thomas Pendly and a John Pendley family.
Three of the Penley brothers served in Co. C., 60th. Regiment, Ga. Volunteer Infantry.Evans Brigade, Gordons Division, Army of Northern Virginia,Whitfield County, Georgia, Walker Independants.
Benjamin M. Penley enlisted September 19, 1861 and was killed at Manassas on August 28, 1862.
Sydney S. Penley enlisted December 17, 1861 and died August 12 or 13, 1862 at a hospital in Lynchburg, Va. of acute diarrhea. He was married and his wife was Nancy.
Most of the service records show as A.F. Penley but a couple show Alston F. Penley.This is also reportedly recorded in a Penley family bible.Thus, the complete name would be Alston Floyd Penley.He elisted May 3, 1862.He was shown at home sick or at home without leave until March of 1863.There has been some correspondence as to whether he could have been the father of the youngest Penley child, since his unit was away fighting.I have her birth date as October 16, 1863.Given that he was at home until March of that year, yes he could obviously be the father.
A.F. was reported as deserted at Woodstock, 14 October, 1864.However, he is shown as a prisoner of war at Clarksburg West Virginia captured on October 20, 1864, Fort Pendleton.He took the “oath prescribed by the president” and was released on October 21.He is shown as 23 years old, 5 feet eleven inches, fair complexion, black eyes, and dark hair.I find it strange that he was not held as a prisoner, but paroled a day after he was captured.
Now the questions!Why didn’t he come home?It was common for released prisoners and captured civilians not to return to the South during the War as part of their parole agreement.To do so would violate the oath and result in being returned to prison.The wording in these parole papers typically said that the parolee was to “remain north of the Ohio river until the end of the conflict.”The War was over in April, 1865.There is a record of A.F. being married on June 17, 1865 in Ohio.Did he take up a new life since he was “confined” to the North for some unknown time?Is this in fact the same A.F. Penley?He appears to be the same according to some Penly family information.Martha married William Stone on Sept. 7, 1866 in Catoosa county, Ga.Did she think A.F. had died in the War never to return?Did she come to know that he had actually remarried in Ohio?Some Penley tradition says that he came home to Walker County, found Martha had remarried, got on his horse and rode off.However, if he had remarried in 1865, this doesn’t seem to fit.My grandmother would never talk about William Stone and Martha (her grandparents), although I believe she knew the circumstances around these situations giving indication that there was some truth to having “family secrets”.William Stone’s first wife didn’t die until June 22, 1866.Both he and Martha were left with several small children.William Stone’s assumed brother was a neighbor of the Penley’s before and during the War, and I assume this is how they met.
I would appreciate any other information or like to correspond by e-mail with anyone researching these families.