To the Fly-family Forum,
Yesterday I posted the letter from David HARPER Fly to his cousin Fannie Graves of Dallas, TX. in which he quoted from "The Flye Records" and provides enough original text for firm identification of the fuller text we had seen, but without the authorship being known before Harper says plainly in the letter to Fannie that the text is from his father's old notebook or journal, his father being David William Fly, sometimes listed as David Williamson Fly [he having been born in Williamson Co., TN to his father, Col. William Fly and wife Mary (Mitchell) Fly.]
Today I propose to do the whole text which had come into hand from more than one family member, but without attribution. James Lawrence Fly had a copy in the 1930's, but couldn't figure out WHO wrote it.Now we know who wrote it, and it plainly tells us, "My grandfather's grandfather came to this country from England."The author, David William Fly's grandfather was Rev. John Fly, b. 1772 and that one's grandfather was William, b. ca. 1726/7. - Elisha, sr. and his Cherokee wife are the link between Rev. John and William, b. ca. 1726/7. This makes sense.If you don't WANT a unified family, dig your heels in HERE and the family will probably FOREVER remain fragmented and unexplainable.
Here follow "The Flye Records":
While Virginia was a colony, two brothers by the name of Fly (They spelt the name Flye) came from England and settled in the Colony. From these two brothers have descended numerous families of Flyes that are scattered over the southern states.
John Fly, a grandson of one of these brothers, married Sarah Jane Trader and settled in North Hampton (sic) County, North Carolina.(Correct spelling is Northampton) The Traders were from Scotland.About the year 1795 John Fly, with his family, moved to middle Tennessee and lived on Mill Creek, Williamson County.Here he lived about 12 years, then moved to Maury County, and settled on Leaper's (Leiper's) Lick Creek, where he lived until his death, near the age of 90.(b.1772-d.1855 = 83 yrs. old).
He was a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church - a good and useful man in his days and died full of years with the esteem and high regard of all who knew him.His wife, the mother of his children, died many years before him.
John Fly was married three times.John and Sarah Jane Trader Fly( his first wife) had two children born in North Carolina -
1. Fly, Lawrence and
2. Fly, William
William Fly was two years old when they went to Tennessee.John and Sarah Jane had 6 children born in Tennessee.Their names were -
3. Fly, David
4. Fly, Joshua
5. Fly, John
6. Fly, Caleb
7. Fly, Mary and
8. Fly, Sarah
Lawrence, the oldest, went with his father to Maury County, and married Miss Mabry, during the year. He continued to live there and was honored by those who knew him and he became wealthy in a quiet way. (Copier's note - Lawrence DID marry Cate Mabry or Mayberry, but he remained in Williamson County, or perhaps returned to Williamson, where he made his mature life.)
Fly, William, married Mary Mitchell
Fly, David, married Miss Younger
Fly, Joshua, married Miss Blackburn
Fly, Sarah, married William Black-
burn, Joshua's brother-in-law.
Fly, John, married Miss McCracken
Fly, Caleb, married Miss Hester
Fly, Mary, Married James Mitchell, a
double first cousin of her
sister-in-law, Mary Mitchell Fly
Mary Fly Mitchell (James Mitchell's
wife) died young, leaving one son,
Newton Fly Mitchell, who went to
William Fly, the second son, married Mary Mitchell in 1810. She was the daughter of Andrew Mitchell, all of Maury County, Tennessee.They were a young couple - The bridegroom was about 16 years old and the bride 17.They were both blessed with extraordinary energy and force of character. Contemptuous remarks, by some of their relatives on their youth and probable success in life, aroused their ambition and caused them to put forth all their energy and vim that they might show their skeptical friends that they would succeed.The consequence was that, though they met some breaks in their prosperity, they soon outstrip(ped) all their relatives and acqaintances in acquiring wealth. Col. William Fly was a man or extraordinary natural ability.His early opportunities for an education were very limited, but in mature years, few would have known that his early education had been neglected.
He was a magistrate in Maury Co., Tenn. for a number of years. He filled various offices in the Militia of the county.He was invariably elected when he became a candidate for office. I well recollect the last time he was a candidate for office in Maury County. It was for the office of Colonel of the Militia, and his opponent was Lucius Polk. It was a very spirited contest and William Fly won.
He was a very handsome and commanding-looking man, and when dressed in his regimentals, and mounted on his fiery white horse, his children thought him the most distinguished-looking of men.
After William Fly's marriage, he first settled on a tract of land given him by his father-in-law on Turkey Creek in Maury County, Tennessee. Here his three oldest children were born.They were -
1. Fly, Andrew Tate Mitchell
2. Fly, Sarah Jane and
3. Fly, John Dalton
He then moved to Williamson County and settled on Leper's (or Leiper's) Creek. Here his fourth child was born.
4. Fly, David Williamson
Eighteen months later, he moved back to Maury County, and settled near his father-in-law Andrew Mitchell, on Turkey Creek.In this place was born -
5.Fly, Elijah Madden
Mr. Fly sold this place, intending to move to the Obion country in West Tennessee, but afterwards bought James Doty's place on Beach Creek, another branch of Snow Creek.
On this place the town of Benton is now located. It is 10 miles north of Columbia, the county seat of Maury County.While living on this place, Sarah Jane Fly, his daughter, died in her 17th year. She was very prettywith dark auburn hair and fair complexion.Andrew Tate Mitchell Fly was married to Eliza Jones about 1830.He afterward married a Miss Rabb.
While living on Beach Creek William and Mary Fly had 4 children -
6. Fly,Mary Malinda
7. FlySophia Louisiana (twin)
8. FlyBenjamin Franklin (twin)
9. FlyElvira Josephine
10. FlyGeorge Washington Lafayette
was the youngest.
William Fly moved from Tennessee to Yalabusha county, Mississippi where he owned 2 plantations.While there Governor Polk visited his cousin, Mary Mitchell Fly. The story goes that when Gov. (afterwards President) Polk came to the plantation, Frank Fly, then 13 years old, was sent to the other plantationto tell his brother Willie of the arrival.As he was running along, repeating to himself the message, "The Governor's come. The Governor's come", he stumped his toe, fell down and rolled, forgetting his message.As he came in sight of his brother, he shouted excitedly, "Oh Brother Will, the Clark's come; the Clark's come." - the county Clerk being the highest official he knew.
The house on this plantation was a large brick structure, called, "the Castle". Later Col. Fly sold these two plantations and moved to Madison County, Mississippi to educate his children. He bought a large plantation two or three miles from Sharon, but lived in the town until his youngest daughter graduated, when he moved to the plantation.
In 1853 or 1854 he moved, with his family, and 100 slaves, to Texas, settling on Oyster Creek, Brazoria County. The land was very rich, but the climate was so malarial, that Col. Fly and 13 slaves died the first year. A year later, this plantation was sold, and Mrs. Fly moved to Big Hill in Gonzales County, Texas.At the close of the war 300 slaves were set free by Mrs. Fly and her children.She died a year later in 1866.
The energy, intelligence and uprightness of the parents were impressed on the children in a remarkable degree. It is said that in three generations of the Flysthere have been between 25 and 30 lawyers (two are Supreme Court Judges of Texas, and several others are judges) ministers and physicians.
It may be of interest to descendants of the family to know how planters lived in by-gone days. One year, on Col. Fly's plantation 300 hogs were killed, which meant that 600 hams and 600 shoulders were consumed, for not a pounds of meat or a pound of anything else was ever sold. In addition 600 chickens were raised, and others were bought from the negroes. 45 cows were milked and all the milk and butter consumed.It took the milkers from before daylight to nearly noon to attend to the milk.The ladies of the household instructed the slaves and visited and cared for them in sickness. Each of the daughters, as well as their mother, had her own ladies maid. The garments of the negroes were cut out and sewed by colored sewing women, superintended by their mistress.
Colonel Fly's family consisted of the following members -
Fly, Colonel William, married in 1810, Mary Mitchell, daughter of Andrew Mitchell of Maury County, Tennessee.
1. Fly, Andrew Tate Mitchell, married
1st, Eliza Jones in 1830
married 2nd Ellen Rabb
2. Fly, Sarah Jane died at age 17
3. Fly, John Dalton m. 1st Martha
m. 2nd Julia Stokes
m. 3rd Nora Compton
4. Fly, David Williamson
(a Methodist Minister)
m. Fannie Harper
5. Fly, Elijah Madden m. Nancy McKie
6. Fly, Mary Melinda m. Rev.
Asbury Davidson, Methodist
7. Fly, Sophie Lou m. Rev. W. H.
Seat, Methodist Minister
8. Fly Benjamin Franklin m. 1st
Sarah Robards; 2nd Mary R.
9. Fly, Ella Josephine m. Thomas
10. Fly, George Washington Lafayette,
b. 1835 in Yalobusha Co., Miss.
d. 1/27/1904, in Victoria, Texas
m. Callie Bell of Starkville,
Miss. in 1857
This is the end of this particular version of "the Flye Records" as circulated in the family under Col. William and wife, Mary (Mitchell) Fly .
I have tried to copy this material carefully. I will now go back and proof-read it.
I hope you will print out this posting and keep a copy with other iportant documents. We are very fortunate to have this particular document for the reference of the WHOLE family.
James Whitney Fly
P.S. When the author starts by telling us "Two Brothers came to the colonies, I wonder if he did not know that there had been the THIRD brother John, left behind when the father and the OTHER two brothers came from Pennsylvania to Virginia.Or is it possible that the story, originally was, "Our ancestor, William, and two brothers came to the colonies?The biography-writers for the Goodspeed Publishers in the 1880's described the THREE Fly brothers who immigrated to the colonies; and Goodspeed refers to the Pennsylvania brother, the Virginia brother and the Georgia brother on the generation of Rev. John Fly's grandfather, William Fly, b. ca. 1726/7