A Look At The Salley Families Of Wolfe County, Kentucky

Early East Kentucky Family Came From Lee County,Virginia


Author's Note: As was typical in the 1800s, variations in the spelling of this surname developed. The reasons for this were many: illiteracy, personal uncertainty, personal preference, mistakes perpetuated by census takers, county clerks and school officials, or attempts to disassociate with other members of the family. Members of this family now variously spell the name Sally, Salley, Sallie and Sallee.


By Scott E. Sallee

The Salley families that settled in Wolfe County, Kentucky in the mid-1800s originated in Lee County, Virginia and were children or grandchildren of John and Nancy Sally.

John Sally was born in Virginia about 1780, and about 1805, married Nancy, whose maiden name is unknown, but might have been Hiscael. In 1815, John was taxed in Grayson County, Virginia, but on the censuses from 1820-50 was enumerated in Lee County. In 1860, he was on the Wise County, Virginia census, likely due to the changing boundary with the formation of Wise from a portion of Lee in 1856.

Through 1840, John Sally was the only Sally living in Lee County, but by 1850 several other Sally heads of households appeared on the census. From the censuses, the meager Sally entries in the Lee County records and family traditions, the following list of John and Nancy Sally's children has been compiled. The first three or four were born in Grayson, the remainder in Lee. They were: 1) Mary, 1807-?, resided in Lee County, Virginia. 2) Andrew J. "John," 1813-1869, married Nancy J. Garlick, resided in Scott County, Virginia. 3) Henry H., 1816-1870, married Nancy Landreth, resided in Lee County, Virginia. 4) Eady, 1818-?, married Michael McKinney, resided in Lee County, Virginia. 5) Judith, 1821-?, 6) Thomas, 1823-1869, married Matilda Church, moved to Wolfe County, Kentucky. 7) Milly, 1825-1890, married Elder Jonas Campbell, moved to Wolfe County, Kentucky. 8) Green Berry, 1825-1894, married Mary Church, moved to Wolfe County, Kentucky. 9) Catherine, 1828-?

Thomas Sally served in the Confederate Army, enlisting in Company H, 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry in Aug. 1862. After the war, Thomas and his wife, Matilda, moved to Wolfe County, Kentucky. They had six children, the first five born in Virginia, the last one in Kentucky. They were: 1) Abby, 1854-1928, married Jesse Maddicks. 2) Martin, 1856-?, married Martha Richards. 3) Sarah J., 1858-?, married first a Pierce, second a Dalton. 4) Didema, 1859-?, married second J. V. Williams. 5) Josephine, 1861-1931, married Cornelus Penix. 6) Nathaniel Taylor (called Taylor), 1866-1936, married Martha Williams.

About 1869 or '70, Thomas Sally disappeared, according to one source, while searching for the Swift Silver Mine in the Red River Gorge. Afterward, his widow, Matilda, married George Campbell and moved to Carter County, Kentucky. All of Thomas and Matilda Sally's daughters were married under the name Campbell, although it is not likely they were officially adopted.

Green Berry (called Berry) Salley first came to Kentucky about 1859, settling near Whitesburg in Letcher County. There, he joined the Confederate Army, enlisting in Company D, 13th Kentucky Cavalry on Oct. 4, 1862. When this regiment, like most units raised by the Confederacy in Eastern Kentucky after the first year of the war, was assigned to the District of Southwest Virginia, Green Berry Salley took his family back to Virginia.

After the Civil War ended, he moved to Wolfe County, Kentucky. He and his wife, Mary, had ten children. They were: 1) Nathan-iel "Nathan," born 1853 in Virginia - died 1921, married Margaret "Maggie" Day, resided at Rousseau, Breathitt County, Kentucky. 2) Colonel Hiscael, 1855 Virginia-1904, married Mary Belle Wills, resided near Hazel Green, Wolfe County, Kentucky. 3) Jane, 1857 Virginia-?, married George Wampler. 4) David, 1859 Virginia-?. 5) Ruth, 1860 Kentucky-?, married Fulton Chapman, resided in California. 6) Green Berry, Jr., 1863 Virginia-1928, married Sarah Bell Hayes, resided at Rousseau, Kentucky. 7) John, 1865 Kentucky-1953, married Rebecca Risner, resided in Wolfe and Lee counties, Kentucky. 8) Robert Thomas, 1867 Kentucky-1927, married first Lillie Bell Wells, died 1890; second Louisa "Lou" Haddix, died 1903; third Phoeba Jane Caudill. Resided in Breathitt County, Kentucky and Wise County, Virginia. 9) Jonas, 1869 Kentucky-1949, married Sarah Risner, resided in Greenup County, Kentucky. 10) Rose Ann, 1871 Kentucky-?, married Wm. T. "Willie" Wheatley, resided at Cox's Mill, Wolfe County, Kentucky.

Green Berry Salley died on Dec. 20, 1894, and was first buried on the Red River near Cox's Mill, as was his wife, Mary, a few years later. Their remains were later reinterred in the Trimble Graveyard on Lacy Creek near Hazel Green.

Jonas and Milly (Sally) Campbell arrived in what was then Morgan, later Wolfe County, about 1859. They had nine children, the first five born in Virginia, the remainder in Kentucky. They were: 1) Emeline, 1849-?. 2) Nancy, 1851-?. 3) Diadema, 1854-?. 4) William N., 1856-?. 5) John H., 1858-?. 6) Elizabeth, 1860-?. 7) George S., 1862-?. 8) Greenberry L., 1864-?. 9) Jonas F., 1866-1941, married Eliza Jane Livesay.

There was also a Hiscael (Hiskell) Salley and family who moved from Lee County, Virginia to Wolfe County, Kentucky about 1859. Although Hiscael Salley was listed in the household of John and Nancy Sally on the 1850 Lee County census, it appears that Hiscael was more likely their grandson.

Prior to leaving Virginia, Hiscael Salley married Martha Campbell, by whom he had 11 children, the first two born in Virginia, the rest in Kentucky. They were: 1) George W., 1855-1917, married Lou Verna. 2) Sarah J., 1859-?, married John Taylor. 3) John, 1860-1879. 4) James, 1862-?, 5) Greenberry, 1864-?. 6) Rebecca, 1867-?. 7) Isaac, 1869-?. 8) Nervester (female), 1870-?. 9) William, 1872-?. 10) Henderson, 1874-?. 11) Kelly, 1878-?.

According to the mortality schedule of the 1880 census, Hiscael Salley and his son, John, both died in 1879; both are buried in the Brown Cemetery off Rt. 746 in Wolfe County. Shortly after Hiscael Salley's death, his family appears to have left Wolfe County.

About 1871, Henry H. Sallie, son of Andrew J. "John" and Nancy (Garlick) Salley, and a grandson of John and Nancy Sally, came through Wolfe County on his way to join his brother in Winchester, Indiana. During his visit in Wolfe County, Henry Salley met and married Lucinda "Cindy" Brown, the daughter of John Kenny and Lydia (Cox) Brown.

Henry never left Kentucky, but settled on the Brown farm and later moved to neighboring Menifee County. Henry and Lucinda Sallie had eight children, the first six born in Wolfe, the last two in Menifee. They were: 1) Mary Ann "Mollie," 1873-1901, never married. 2) William Lee "Willie," 1875-1904/05, married Belle (Gibbs) Cole. 3) Robert B. "Bob," 1877-1947, married first Rebecca Sargent, second Malissa (Gullett) Cisco. 4) George B., 1879- 1960, married first Lillian "Lillie" Halsey, second Minta Exa Ball. 5) James H. "Jim," 1881- 1963, married Margaret "Maggie" Day. 6) Alice, 1883-85. 7) John Bradley "Dick," 1885-1961, married Fannie Hanks. 8) Lucy Bell, 1888-1963, married Marion Manier.

Henry H. Sallie died at Pomeroyton, Menifee County, Kentucky on Aug 29, 1914. He and his wife, Lucinda, who died in 1905, are both buried in the Pomeroyton Cemetery. The following notice appeared in the Dec. 27, 1894 issue of the Hazel Green Herald on page five, column one:

G. B. Sally, aged 74, died at the residence of Willie Wheatley near Cox's Mill, on Thursday, the 20th inst., of hemorrhage of the bowels. He had had a spell of fever, but got so he could go about, when he was taken with a relapse resulting in hemorrhage and death. On account of inflammation setting in it was necessary to bury him on Thursday.


Scott E. Sallee, WKU Box 8145, Bowling Green, KY 42101, wishes to thank all who contributed in the research for this article, with special thanks to Dr. Bill Rice of Campton, Kentucky; Joyce M. Wood of Frankfort, Kentucky; Mrs. G.B. (Zone) Sallee of Gates City, Virginia; and O. C. Helton of Dayton, Ohio.


Home | Covers | Story | Things | Contents | Index | Samples | Genealogy
Features | Happenings | Books | Historical Societies | Sale | Links | Hot