My Great-great grandfather was Thomas Wiley of Kilskeery, Ireland (near Dromore) and he emigrated to the United States in 1834.Otheres in his family who came to the states were his sister, Margaret Keys (nee Wiley) and his brother, James Wiley.Additionally, his brother David's son, William followed to the states and settled near his uncle in Moultrie County, IL.The mother of my Thomas, Margaret, James, and David was Sarah Mosgrove (Musgrove) and Joseph Wiley.The following is an excerpt of a genealogical presentation given by my aunt over twenty years ago -"Excerpt from "The Wiley Family" - From a speech given by Miriam Wiley Wilson to the Moultrie County Genealogical Society in 1977, written by Paul F. Wiley.
...."Our great grandfather was Thomas Wiley who was born in 1807.It is reported that he was educated at Dublin College with the view that he would be an Episcopal minister.In 1831 he married Margaret Brien, the daughter of Mary Ann Crawford and Francis Brien.The Briens can be traced back to Margaret Brien's great-great-grandfather, James O'Brien who was in Killskerry parish in 1674 having come there from County Cavan.A story in the family claims that Francis Brien was High Sheriff of County Tyrone.Thomas and Margaret Wiley had to leave Ireland rather abruptly in either late 1833 or early 1834, but the reason is not certain.One story has it that Thomas Wiley was wanted by the authorities for running an illegal distillery and another that he was wanted for smuggling.At any rate they departed with their infant son, Joseph, who died on the way.They came to Urbana, Ohio where Thomas had Musgrove uncles.They had a fairly sizable sum of money for those days, about $700.Each of them carried half of it in a money belt on his/her person.Only a few months were spent in Urbana.The next move was to Georgetown, Illinois where they spent a year.It is thought that during that year Thomas made his living digging ditches for laying tile.
Probably in the spring of 1835, Thomas and Margaret came to Illinois and settled in East Nelson Township in Moultrie County.Their home there was on land now owned by Kent Bone.The house was one quarter mile west and a bit south of my Mother's home.The first child born to them was Sarah (Sept 1, 1835) and the second was my grandfather, Joseph Brien Wiley (1837).These were followed by five others:Margaret, Henry, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, and Permelia.The seven children who survived to adulthood were all born in 1853 since in that year Margaret Wiley died.
.... Sometime after Margaret died the family moved to Leroy, Ill., where James, one of Thomas's brothers lived.Perhaps at that time his sister, Margaret Keyes, also lived there.How long this sojourn lasted is unknown, but the family (except for Margaret who married David Crumbaugh at Leroy)was certainly back in East Nelson township by early 1859. (compiler's note - this is incorrect, Margaret married David Crumbaugh of Leroy in Moultrie County.)We have letters written to Thomas in Moultrie County in 1859.One of these letters is the traditional letter edged in black.It was written by Thomas's sister, Sarah, on the occasion of the death of their mother.It recounts how the mother had hoped to see Thomas again before she died, but now the reunion could only be in Heaven.(Thomas's father had died some years before.)Actually, the return to Moultrie County may have been by 1856 since Sarah Wiley and William Wiley (son of David) were married in Moultrie County that year.
.... About this time Thomas Wiley became a lawyer and practiced law in Mattoon.He also began to accumulate land.At one time he owned over 2000 acres of land, and there is a story that he owned the land where the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago now stands.
During his stay at Leroy he married Ann Crumbaugh and started a second family even though he was about fifty.The children were: John James (1858), Martha (1860), and Thomas Lee (1863).At this time he lived in a small house (some say three rooms) south of Lewis Miller's barn and across the branch.
A number of stories are told of Thomas Wiley.He apparently was engaged in a good deal of controversy much of the time.He is said to have loaned money to the owners of a distillery.When he tried to collect it, they tried to throw him in the distillery furnace.His cries for rescue brought help which saved him.It is also said that another man hired people to kill him.One time he was asked why a man who was educated to be a minister was so bad.He replied that it was a result of the fact that people in America were so bad that he had to be bad to be able to make his way.My grandmother disliked him intensely.Sixty years after his death in 1877 she was still angry with him.She did tell one story about his behavior that upset her greatly.Thomas, who drank a great deal, had a bottle of whiskey, and he gave Grandpa a drink.Aunt Lora was a child of four or five, and he also gave her a drink of whiskey.To Grandma this was really terrible."
One of Henry Wiley's sons wrote Ethel Wiley about meeting an Ethel Brien in Lowell, Massachusetts, supposedly a granddaughter of one of Thomas's brothers.He recalled that she was a charming woman, but indicated no one in the family cared for Thomas and that she once had a picture of Thomas,but burned it."
My branch of the family always believed Thomas fled Ireland in response to legal difficulty - presumably smuggling or illegal distilling.Another brance from Thomas's second family believes Thomas left Ireland because he was a part of a rebellion against the British in 1833 - see his recollection below -
"During my under graduate years, I was a member of the Irish Club at Rockhurst College in Kansas City.Every so often we met with our parent organization, the Ancient Order of Hiberians.At one such meeting an old fellow brought several scrapbooks, each about six-inches thick, dedicated to the memory of the "dead heroes."The scrapbooks were filled with Irish newspaper clippings, funeral orations, proclamations, and hand written lists of those that had been imprisoned or had died in the struggle to rid Ireland of the hated English.(I made a note to myself in 1969 that these scrapbooks, a gift of Michael Jack Killeen, were presented to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.Whether the library accepted the gift or not, I do not know.
The old fellow pointed to one name and said to me, "I don't suppose you're related to this man, are you?"He was pointing to a portion of an article listing the names of 20 men, and their three "captains" whose fate had been settled by a court some days before in January 1834.
Thought the English government of 1833 was not, like earlier governments, aiming at provocation, the repressive acts its position appeared to warrant were enough, in some quarters, to bring things to a head.There was an abortive rising.A skirmish outside the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in Dungannon was both the climax and finish of the campaign.Captain O'Brien, a country gentleman, and Captain Lynch an intellectual, were captured, tried for treason, and sentenced to death - a sentence subsequently commuted to transportation for life.Captain Wiley escaped and was assumed to have made his way to North America."This branch of the family believes Thomas studied the law rather than religion at Trinity College of Dublin.
You mentioned the name of David Wiley's wife as Jane Brien.Thomas's wife was Margaret Brien of Gargadis, daughter of Francis Brien.