It is believed that William and Charlotte had 7 boys and two girls.  This is substantiated by census abstracts taken from surviving census pages of the 1820 Alabama Census.  The 1820 Census Abstracts of Conecuh County, Alabama is as follows:  Wm Holley, 1 WM over 21, 7 WM's under 21, 1 WF over 21, 2 WF's under 21 for a total of 11.  They came to Conecuh County, in 1819, settling in Covington County, Alabama near the present city of Sanford on the waters of Five Run Creek.  On December 23, 1823 William purchased 80 acres (NW1/4 of NW1/4 sec 13 T4 R16).   William and Charlotte latter moved to Coffee County, Alabama after 1850.

The records that connect William Holley of Covington County, Alabama to the Lynches Creek area of South Carolina come from his marriage to Charlotte Massey.  In Arthur Massey's will of 1801, he lists his daughter, Charlotte Holley.  In 1818, when William sells his land before moving to Alabama, Charlotte renounces her dowry rights to the part coming from her father's estate.  Finally in 1847 in Covington County, William swore out an affidavit that he knew his future brother-in-law, Alston Massey, in South Carolina during the Revolution.  The connection is further confirmed by a bible record for Richard Holley of the Lynches Creek area.  It lists William Holley as one of his children, and gives the exact same birth date as that recorded on William Holley's tombstone in the Holley Plantation Cemetery in Coffee County, Alabama.

Locating members of the Lynches Creek Holley’s and Massey’s in a particular district or county is complicated by the fact that from 1769 on, when the original Craven County was replaced, Lynches Creek has served as a boundary line.  The original settlements of both families appear to have been on the east side of Lynches Creek, which became part of the Cheraw District, and in 1785, modern-day Chesterfield County.  Between the mid 1780s and early 1790s, the families of both William Holley and Charlotte Massey seemed to have moved over to the west side of Lynches Creek.  Until 1785, this was part of the Camden District, when it was renamed as Lancaster County.  In 1791, however, this part of Lancaster was used to create the new county of Kershaw.  William and Charlotte Holley lived in the extreme northeast corner of Kershaw County, within 5 miles of both Chesterfield and Lancaster.  Holley and Massey relatives continued to live in all 3 counties, and may have owned land in more than one jurisdiction.  In the censuses of 1790 and 1800, many of the Lynches Creek Holley’s and Massey’s were apparently missed.  Finally, the courthouse records of Chesterfield County were burned during the Civil War, no doubt destroying some important papers of both families.


Old Town may well be the first town in Coffee County, for it had a tavern that was a popular stop-off for travelers before the county was established.  Old Town was located near where Teel Creek empties into Pea River, and it may have extended as far then as present day Alberton Community along highway 134.  John B. Teel & his wife Elizabeth were among the first to settle in Old Town, sometime in the 1830s or '40s.  Teel Creek is named for John Teel and his family.  William Holley was the first postmaster of Old Town after the post office was established on October 24, 1849.  The lumber business was the life blood of Old Town but after a few years, this resource had been nearly depleted.  When it became economically foolish to keep the sawmill at Old Town, the owners relocated it in Lockhart, Alabama, in neighboring Covington County.  This move was the death blow for Old Town.



James B. Parker operated a sore at Cauleysville, on the old Three Notch Road, in the 1830's. This store was in the vicinity of the Bill Butler place on the Rose Hill-Burnout Road.   In this store was the old Cauleysville post office, established in 1839.   Listed are some of the customers names who had accounts appearing in the records of James B. Parker's store in Cauleysville. These are among the pioneer settlers of Covington County, many of whom have decedents living today in this county.


Robert Himphill, Henry Kimbro , Andrew Feagin , Jesse Gainer, Hiram Johnson , William Wasdon, Henry Parker , Asa Moody                         John Holley, Samuel Jones, Wesley Barrett, Micheal Moody, Thomas H. Hendley, Sampson Robbins, Richard Norton, Richardson Feagin           Jacob Rials, Harvey Jones, Jerimiah Darby, Archibald Tubberville, William Luker, Zaza Lownsberry, Harris Branham, J.W.Barnet

Bartholmew Cauley, Simeon Beaufored, Richard Singleton, Wiley Williams, Joseph Branham, Mitche John , David Row,                       Josiah Jones, Giles Bryan, Martha Barret, Council D. Taylor, Calvin Holly, David Cauley, Needham Parker, Sarah C. Barrett, Seth Boyett                    William H. Danielly, Samson Banham, Barrett D. Joyner, Jonathan Carter, Jesse Bryan Sr., Edmond Price, Jesse Adams, John G. Carpenter

Lazure Blackmon, Harrison Jones, James M. Thompson, David Donaldson Sr., Issac Prescott, Benjamin Davis, James Branham,              William Singleton, John Chamlis, Archibald M. Furshon, Rebecca Colvin, James B. Robbins,  Charles King, Allen Perry,                         Elizabeth King, Abraham Fannin Jr, Thomas Robbins  Jr., Daniel Barrett, Nelson Moody, John A. Sims, John Jones Sr., Eli Parker,                           Stephen Carter,  Jesse Dubose, Aaron Andres, John Davis, Desire P. Tillman, John Tubberville, Archibald Rials, John H. Harrison,

James D. Taylor, Henry Robbins, William M. Sasser, Thomas Hanes, John Carter, Richard Smith, Bryan McDonald, Simeon Manscill,                 Leroy Straughn, Anguish Malloy, Mathew Burt, Joshua Dickson,  Jesse Bryan Jr., John Hall, James Nelson, Ichabard Robbins,                Thomas Robbns Jr., Levi Moody, William Boyett, Elizabeth Singleton , Charles Jones, King James, David Blair, F.J. Barrett, Margaret Parker, William Blair, Samuel Wetherford, William Willaims, Solomon Moody, Giles Tricky, John Browder, C.J. Drake,                      William Smith, Thomas King, Jordon Clark, William Holley, Jr., James A. Smith, David Wood, Asa Carter, Asa Moody Jr., John B. Sasser,                   William Oglesby, Lloyd Butler, Thomas Feagin, Abraham Fannin, Daniel Maloy, Lewis Stricklin, Willis Smith, John A. Owen,                   Henry M. Harrison, William Holley, Sr., Thomas Jones, Kade Robbins, Richard Williams,  Minor Williams, John W. Jones, Mary Robbins,      Stanley Hall, Vinson Underwood, Noah Carroll, Paul Auten, William H. Hillbun Sr., Edmond Russell, Mastin Sawyer, Wilson Williams,                  Byrd Sasser, James T. Cannon, William A. Sexton, Stephen Hogg, Bennet F. Boyett, John Perret, Enos Tubberville, Peoples C. Jordan,               Joseph Singleton, Eliza Mitchell, John Coon, Miss Nancy Cauley, Hugh Adams, Jonathan O. Ballard, William F. Rodgers, John Boyett    

John Maloy, Bennett Boyett Sr., Isaah King, Simon Williams, David Dun, Eliza Martin, Edwin Turmon, Jordan Lindsey, Lewis Harrelson  William Blair Sr., John Murphy, Wiley Underwood, William Robbins, Josiah Jones Sr., John W. Gates, B.L. Jordan, Burrel Boyett              Thomas H. Hendley Sr., George Clark, Emanuel Boyett, Miss Elizabeth Cauley, Miss Rebecca Cauley, Allen Williamson, George Reace   L.B. Rodgers, Furney Tisdale, Isaiah Mitchel, Silan Jernigan, Winaford Jernigan , J.C. Bozeman, William Carpenter, Jesse B. Rice                   D.L. Cauley, G.B. Higgs, Mary Tubberville, C.T. Stewart, D.H. Ganey, J.H. Rowell, J.E. Rowell, James Graves, William Graves                  Henry Owens, G.G. Carter, A.C. Straughn, J.R. Stewart, John Turmon, J.T. Richards, O.A. Dauphin , Andrew Row, Moses Carter                    Annen Boyett, Sampson Branham, Jackson Chanler, Zebedee Taylor, David Donalson, Lewis Harrelson, John McLaughlin, Duncan McLaughlin, Martin Green, James Jackson, Elisha Harrell, L.R. Moody, James T. Drake.



Sources:  (1)   1820 Alabama Census for Conecuh County, Alabama, by Robert D. Cassady, Sr.  2001

Names Appearing as Heads of Households on the 1820 State Census of Conecuh Co, AL , Burnt Corn, Alabama

HOLLEY, William, MANCIL, Edward, MANCILL, William, MASSEY, Elias,  MASSEY, Thomas


The following is a thesis written by my son Milton Craig Cassady for his English Composition II Class for Mr. Harrisson, at Enterprise State Junior College, in Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama on November 01, 2001 on his great, great, great, grandfather, William Holley, Sr. and Sons.


                                                   William Holley and Sons       

                                                              Cassady I


          Thesis:  William Holley made a sacrifice in hopes that his belief that a new land would give his sons the opportunity to prosper and                      grow.




           I.    William Holley was born on August 1, 1771.


                  A.    William and his family moved to Alabama.

                  B.    William bought eighty acres of land near the present town of Sanford.

                  C.    William made political ties that stayed with the Holley family.


          II.    Hosea, the eldest son, was born February 16, 1799.


                  A.    Hosea’s first family was slain.

                  B.    Hosea remarried and moved to Coffee County.

                  C.    Hosea built what was known as the White House.

                  D.    The story of the lost treasure has been passed down from generation to generation.  In 1803, William and Charlotte gave

                          birth to their son Calvin.  Eli Holley was the third son born.  Alfred Holley was born in 1811.



                                                         Cassady II


                  A.    Alfred’s political career began in 1841.

                  B.    Alfred Holley challenges Josiah Jones and George Snowden for State Representative.

                  C.    Alfred opposes the secession of Alabama from the Union.

                  D.    John S. Holley is my great, great grandfather.

                  E.    William Holley Jr. was born in 1817.


Cassady 1

     It is hard to understand why a man would pack up all of his belongings and move his family over three hundred miles away. Not to just any land, but land that was not tame and where Indians still roamed. It could be that he thought the grass is greener on the other side like so many people do.  They were farmers by trade and evidently adventurous at heart (Jones 115).  William Holley made a sacrifice in hopes that his belief that a new land would give his sons the opportunity to prosper and grow. There was no way William could know what was to lie ahead of him and his family. Certainly, there had been talk of people before him finding what they considered their promise land, but there were no guarantees that they would find what they were searching for.  William Holley is my great, great, great grandfather, he was born in south Carolina on August 1, 1771 (Cassady 12). According to the 1790 census William had four brothers and three sisters (Heads). He grew up in a time of hard living, having to work in the fields as a child to help provide for his family. They did not have all the amenities that we do today, there were no inside plumbing, telephones, and electricity.  By the time William decided to move he had accumulated 860 acres of land which he sold (Phillips 45). The money William received was to be


Cassady 2

used for the long journey ahead and to buy more land in hopes of starting a new life. At this time in history, Indians were still abundant and wild animals roamed the woods (Smith 46). This was not to be a trip for the lighthearted but those with determination and strength. I can picture in my mind the wagons loaded down with all the furnishings and supplies that they could carry, the other families that made the journey with them (because it was safer to travel in groups), the horses, cows, and mules used to help carry their supplies (Watson 21). This must have been an exciting time preparing for the move, with great anticipation and still some hesitance not knowing what to expect. So, in 1819, they left on a journey in hopes of finding their promise land (Cassady 12).  After many days of traveling William’s journey ended in Alabama at Conecuh County, the county had just been formed and land was still abundant (Trover 13). Congress passed a bill that allowed people to purchase land at a lower cost and changed the amount of land required to purchase from 160 acres to eighty acres (Ward 82). William had purchased only forty acres of land so evidently William split the eighty acre parcel with another buyer. Three years later William and his family moved to the newly established Covington County (Trover 17).


Cassady 3

     William bought eighty acres of land at the head of Five Run Creek near the present town of Sanford (Phillips 46). William bought this land because of the waterways that were so vital in the success of farming and business.  This would be the fastest mode of transportation for loggers and the water supply had kept the land fertile with the periodic floods. William Holley and his wife farmed this land for the next thirty years (Phillips 46). During this time they raised seven sons and two daughters, however, the names of only six sons and one daughter are known. The children were Hosea, Calvin, Martha, Eli, Alfred, John, and William Jr. (Cassady 12).  In 1831, William Holley supported John Devereux in his dispute with Josiah Jones and others over the relocation of the county seat from  Montezuma (Cassady 32). The Devereux family owned a large amount of land in Montezuma and were very powerful in the political circle ( Ward 40). John Devereux had been the Alabama State Senator for Conecuh, Henry, and Butler counties and was now the Covington County Court Judge (Ward 21). The political ties that William Holley made was the foundation of politics in the Holley family. The only office that William held was Justice of the Peace from  1835 to 1841 probably with help of the Devereux family (Ward 279).  William would not be involved in a political office


Cassady 4

again but this was a beginning for his sons.  Hosea, the eldest son, was born February 16, 1799. He married Patsy Mancitl about 1825. Hosea was appointed to Sheriff of Covington County in 1933 to finish the term of Samuel Buchanan. He did not seek another term when his obligation was fulfilled. Hosea and Patsy had two children.  The names of the children are not known because tragedy struck the family in 1834. On December 22, 1834, Patsy and the children, along with a neighbor that was staying there, were killed by two of their slaves. The two slaves also burned the house with their bodies in it. They were caught by Patsy’s father, Edward Mancill, and took to jail where they confessed and were hung (Cassady 26).  Hosea then moved to Coffee County and got married to Nancy Moye in 1838 (Phillips 49).   Hosea purchased a large farm about three miles northeast of the present town known as Kinston. The land was on the Pea River, which had a large amount of traffic from the loggers and people that used the river as transportation. Hosea set up a ferry at this location for people to cross the river because the next closest place was in Elba. He prospered at this location owning up to thirty five slaves at one time. Hosea and Nancy raised one son and five daughters (Cassady 26).


Cassady 5

     Hosea and some of his brothers built what was referred to as the "White House" close to where the ferry was located. This was a magnificent two story house with the most elegant furnishings. There was a piazza on each floor with rocking chairs for relaxing and gossiping. There was a large living room with a massive rock chimney that was made from the rocks along the river. The second floor consisted of sleeping quarters for the travelers and guest. In addition, they used the very finest in linens, drapes, china, and silverware. The kitchen was not attached to the house for fear that a fire in the kitchen could spread to the remainder of the house. It was connected with a banistered walkway. The food was prepared by the slaves and hand-carried to the dining room. Big fine meals with all the trimmings was the talk of the area and people from all around came to enjoy the offerings of the White House (Cassady 27).  This became a social center for the community and travelers in lower Coffee County and a very profitable business for the Holley family. The ferry offered passage across the Pea River for farmers and travelers so they would not have to travel long distances just to cross the river. Furthermore, the ferry also allowed trade between the people of both sides of the river.  Loggers and travelers would make this their stopping place after a long


Cassady 6

days work to enjoy what the White House had to offer and visit with friends (Cassady 27).  As with most families, the Holley family shares a story passed down from generation to generation. The story of the "lost treasure" was  explained to me by Robert C. Holley. Although the story of the lost treasure has been told several times, it is still as intriguing as the first time.  Many years ago Hosea filled a large jar with gold and told his teenage son Tom that he could have all the gold if he could pick up the jar.  Unfortunately, Tom was unable to pick up the jar filled with gold and therefore, Hosea picked up the jar, placed it upon his own shoulders and disappeared behind the house. Before leaving Hosea sternly warned everyone not to follow him. He was gone only a short time before returning.  Nobody ever had the courage to ask Hosea about the gold and shortly after Hosea died. Throughout the years people have searched for the jar filled with gold however, the jar has not been found.  In 1803 William and Charlotte Holley gave birth to their son Calvin.  After Calvin married Mary Mancill in 1829, they moved to the Southeast side of the Conecuh River where Calvin purchased eighty acres of land.  Calvin, like many of the Holley men, was politically involved in Covington


Cassady 7

County. Calvin was a highly respected man, had many friends, and therefore elected Sheriff of Covington County from 1837 to 1840 when he resigned (Cassady 30).  Eli Holley was the third son born to William And Charlotte. Eli was born in 1805 and some twenty-two years later he married Elizabeth Atkinson. Eli and Elizabeth along with their two children also lived in Covington County near the present city of Heath. Unfortunately, Eli and Elizabeth died in the early 1830’s. The cause of their death is unknown. After their death the two children were raised by their grandparents William and Charlotte (Phillips 58).  Alfred was William and Charlotte’s fourth son. He was born in 1811 and married Tempie Bryan in 1835. He was very ambitious, at the age of twenty one he purchased forty acres of land on the Conecuh River. In 1836, Alfred purchased forty more acres on the Yellow River near the present town of Babbie. This is where he is believed to have lived and farmed (Cassady 32).  Alfred’s political career began in 1841 when replaced his father as Justice of the Peace (Ward 279). He held this position for three years then was


Cassady 8

elected Sheriff of Covington County, being the third member of his family to hold that position. During his reign as Sheriff Alfred moved to Andalusia.  In addition, in 1849, Alfred was appointed Postmaster in Andalusia and later that year he was elected to his first term as State Representative (Cassady 32).

Josiah Jones (who William sided against with the Deveruexs) and George Snowden were challenged for State Representative by Alfred Holley (Owen 117). The-election was influenced by the congressional election that was know as the "war of the roses" between Hillard and Pugh. Hillard won the election by twenty nine votes and Alfred was said to have "rode his coattail with a majority twenty five votes (Jones 117)."  Alfred was a representative of the small farmer and was concerned with the county that he was from. Alfred became popular because he" looked after their interest (Jones 119)."  Alfred passed eleven out of the fifteen bills that he introduced which was a reflection of his success (Jones 118).   Alfred worked hard on getting an act passed in 1859 to allow South Railroad Company to extend their line across the southern counties in Alabama. The act was passed but unfortunately, due to the Civil War, the lines were not extended across the counties as intended (Phillips 59).


Cassady 9

Alfred Holley opposed the secession of Alabama from the Union. This was not the popular opinion of the people in Alfred’s county. Alfred held to his convictions believing that this was not the best for Alabama (Jones 121).  Consequently, Alfred was defeated in 1861 by Julius G. Robinson (Owen 431).  John S. Holley, which is my great, great, grandfather was born February 21, 1813. He married Harriet Dannelly about 1846 and had five sons and four daughters. In 1836, John purchased 120 acres of land on the east side of the Yellow River about five miles north of his father. John farmed this land until the late 1840’s when he moved with his brothers to Coffee County. It is believed that John fought in the

Spanish-American war and was given a land grant in Texas of Approximately 4,428 acres. It is not known what was done with this land. John was named Executor of Hosea’s estate and guardian to his children when he died in 1858. John continued to operate the White House until his death in 1861 (Cassady 38).

William Holley, the youngest of the sons, was born in 1817. He bought forty acres of land near the Rose Hill Community. He was married in the late 1830’s to Mary (her last name was not known). They raised three sons and eight daughters. William Jr. was appointed regimental Paymaster for


Cassady 10

the Covington County Militia in 1839. William Jr. like his brother Alfred, represented the county he lived in (Coffee County) with the state legislature from 1849-1851.  William Jr. and his family moved in the mid 1840’s to Coffee County with Hosea and John (Phillips 69).  William Jr. became very active with the Secret Peace Society after the summer of 1863. The activities of the Peace Society and the confederate army had confrontations that resulted in a real civil war in South Alabama.  For example, buildings were burned, men were hung, and blood was shed by the hands of many southerners. The Secret Peace Society had its mission, to stop the war at any cost, even cooperating with the Union army.  William Jr. had moved to Washington County in Florida during this time and lived there till his death (Cassady 41).

The Holley men made an impact on early Covington and Coffee County.  They helped to pass bills, marry couples, and help enforce laws to protect.  All of this made possible by the sacrifice that William Sr. made by taking a chance and moving to land that was being settled at that time.  This had to take enormous courage that, evidently, was pass down to his sons.


Cassady 1


Works Cited

Cassady, Robert D., comp. The Hollev Family Tree. [n.p.]: [n.p.], 2001.

Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States taken in the year 1790- South Carolina. Baltimore: Genealogical, 1966.

Holley, Robert Columbus. Holley descendant. Phone Interview. 7 Oct. 2001.

Jones, Allen W.,  "Unionism and Disaffection in South Alabama: The case of Alfred Holley."   The Alabama Review- A Quarterly Journal of

Alabama History 24( 1971): 114-32.

Owen, Thomas M., " History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography," 4 vols. Spartanburg: Reprint, 1978.

Phillips, Verna H. The Hollev Tree. Montgomery: [n.p.], 1990.

Richardson, Jesse M.,  "Alabama Encyclopedia,"  6 vols. Northport: American, 1965.

Smith, Richard R.,  "Alabama- A Guide to the Deep South. New York: [n.p.), 1941.

Trover, Ellen L., and William F. Swindler. Ed. "Chronology and Documentary Handbook of the State of Alabama,"  Dobbs Ferry: Oceana, 1972.

Ward, Wyley Donald. Early Historv of Covington County Alabama 1821-1871. Huntsville: [n.p.j, 1976.

Watson, Fred S.,  "Coffee Grounds- A History of Coffee County. Alabama," 1841-1970.  2nd. Ed. Enterprise: Pea River, 1970.


Accession/Serial #: AL0630__.248   BLM Serial #: AL NO S/N

Names Patentee: WILLIAM HOLLEY, SR.

Survey :  State: ALABAMA,  Acres: 39.59,  Metes/Bounds: No,  Title Transfer , Issue Date: 9/7/1835,  Land Office: Sparta

Cancelled: No , Mineral Reservations: No, Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)

Document Numbers , Document Nr.: 1740,  Accession/Serial Nr.: AL0630__.248

BLM Serial Nr.: AL NO S/N

Aliquot Parts        Sec./Block      Township         Range           Fract.Section            Meridian         State             Counties                SurveyNr.

NWNW                     24/              4-N                 16-E                    No                   St Stephens        AL               Covington


Accession/Serial #: AL2390__.355   BLM Serial #: AL NO S/N

Names  Patentee: WILLIAM HOLLEY, SR.

Survey : State: ALABAMA,  Acres: 200.45,  Metes/Bounds: No, Title Transfer,  Issue Date: 9/1/1858,  Land Office: Elba, Cancelled: No,  Mineral Reservations: No, Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)

Document Numbers:  Document Nr.: 17133, Accession/Serial Nr.: AL2390__.355,  

BLM Serial Nr.: AL NO S/N , Comments: ADD CERT #17134

Aliquot Parts        Sec./Block      Township      Range          Fract.Section         Meridian          State             Counties          SurveyNr.

NWSW                    10/                 3-N             19-E                   No                 St Stephens         AL                  Coffee   

SE                             9/                  3-N            19-E                   No                  St Stephens        AL                  Coffee


1850 Covington County, Alabama Census: 128/128 William HOLLEY        80 m farmer   23  SC     Charlolotte  73 f

Source:  Robert D. Cassady, Sr. August 29, 2002


1820 Federal Census of Georgia, Emanuel County, Page 90, #13, William Holly     1 Male (Under 10), 1 Male (26-45), 1 Female (26-45)

David F. Adams listed as #12 on same census and ended up in Coffee County where William finally settled.

Source:  Doris Adams, by Robert D. Cassady,, Sr., June 21, 2004



Text Box: Copyright © 2008 Holley Family Tree by Robert D. Cassady, Sr., All rights reserved.
Use of this Website constitutes acceptance of the Holley Family Tree Terms and Conditions of use and Privacy Policy.
Holley Family Tree is Designed, Hosted and Maintained by Robert D. Cassady, Sr. of Dothan, Alabama, 36305