The Early Fly Family of Virginia: Part II
After the filing of
Jeremiah Fly's will for probate in 1736, mention of the Fly name in the
records of Isle of Wight and
John, the son of
Jeremiah Fly, was born about 1712 or after.
He was not 21 when his father wrote his will and was not named as
an executor in the will. No
John Fly appeared in any records for the area between 1733 and 1762, but
he was apparently the father of six or possibly seven children.
He may have lived and died in
Each one of Jeremiah’s grandchildren is described in detail here. The documentary evidence is so scanty that in some cases complete transcriptions of documents have been provided as well as a few abstracts.
Children of John Fly and Unknown Wife
1. Celia Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
She was born about 1735 in Isle of Wight Co. because in 1756, the vestry book of Newport Parish, Isle of Wight County recorded a payment to Celia Fly for "keeping her child". All parishes were required to provide for the needy and destitute and surviving vestry books record some of these payments. The parish also fined her in 1756, but no reason was given. It seems quite likely that Celia was the mother of illegitimate children. She was most likely a daughter of John Fly, son of Jeremiah Fly, both residents of Newport Parish. Celia Fly was also called Celea, Calia, Celah, & Selah.
In 1787, Celia
eventually married Robert Williamson of
Feb. 27, 1787. Robert Williamson’s Will. In the name of God Amen. I Robert Williamson of the county of Southampton and parish of Nottoway being in perfect health and sound memory thanks be to God for the same I do institute ------- and settle this to be my last will and testament in the form following Vizt:
Item: I give unto my wife Selah Williamson the use of my land and plantation whereon I now live containing 75 acres be the same more of less during her natural life and at her death the said land unto John Williamson son of Jacob Williamson to him & his heirs forever.
Also, I give unto my said wife the use of my still during her natural life and at her death the said still unto Joshua Williamson son of Jacob Williamson to him & his heirs forever. I do give unto my wife Selah Williamson one half of my personal estate to her & her heirs forever.
it is my will and desire at my death that the other half of my personal
estate after paying my just debts should be equally divided between John
Williamson, Joshua Williamson, and Valentine Jenkins also I appoint my
wife Selah Williamson and my
friend John Crumpler to be my absolute and whole Executors of this my
last will and testament disannuling all other wills from this date
whereunto I have set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty seventh day
of February one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.
Signed sealed and acknowledged in presence of: John Crumpler,
Benjamin Crumpler, Arthur Crumpler.
Signed: Robert (his X mark) Williamson  Prob: Sept. 11, 1791 Selah Williamson Executrix, John Crumpler- refused to be Executor
The date of Williamson's marriage to Celia Fly has not been found in any record and it seems that Celia and Robert did not have any children. Celia appears alone on July 8, 1787 Personal Property Tax List of Southampton County and that indicates that Robert probably died between late February and early July of 1787.
She died intestate sometime in the fall of 1790 and her inventory was filed on Feb. 10, 1791:
Dec. 16, 1790. Southampton Co., Williamson, Celah. Inventory. Signed: John Crumpler, Adm. Rec. Feb. 10, 1791.
An account of Calia Williamson's estate was filed in the court in December of 1791.
Sally and Winnie Fly
were Celia's only specified heirs and they received equal shares.
If any of the Fly males had a right to her estate, they did not
make a claim. The fate of
Celia's two daughters, Sally and Winnie is not known, but it is possible
that Sally moved to
Nov. 15, 1793. Cocke v s. Turner Tresp. On the motion of the Pltt to take the depon of Sarah Fly living in No Carolina Nohton county the same is granted giving legal notice & 
On Feb. 12, 1778, a Saphera Fly along with John Purcell and Ledbetter Lowe witnessed the will of James Wright. Her identity is a complete mystery. If she was Celia, then Celia's marriage to Robert Williamson occurred after 1778. The name Saphera is extremely rare in this area, but the possibility that she was Celia cannot be dismissed completely.
2. Jeremiah Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
This son was born
before 1738 and disappeared after 1759. Jeremiah (Jessimian or Jessimiar)
Fly, the oldest son, appears once in the records of
May 30, 1759.
Isle of Wight Co.,
Wit: Robert Coggen, Mary (X) Coggen, Jessemian Fly, Benjamin Pisnes(?), Jacob Bunckley, William Seagraves.
Signed: William (X) Seagraves, Sarah (X) Seagraves. Rec. Dec. 6, 1759.
It should be noted
that William Eley was involved in two documents also associated with
Fly—his land sale in 1759 and also a 1762 lease witnessed by John Fly.
In addition, the Westray name is associated with Elisha Fly in
Although there is no
proof of a connection to the Southside Fly family, the appearance of the
name Jeremiah Fly in other colonies is included here. The Jeremiah Fly
In 1784, a Jeremiah
Fly appeared in the following
Fly, Jeremiah. Certificate of John Twiggs, Brig. General. Feb. 28, 1784. Petitioner prays 287 &1/2 acres in Washington County. 
Then, a Jeremiah of Richmond County, Georgia died in 1785 when his will was presented for probate:
In the name of God Amen. I Jeremiah Fly of Richmond County in the state of Georgia being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God Calling to mind the mortality of this Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say fore---- and first of all I do Give my soul in to the hands of the Almighty God who gave it and my Body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again at the General Resurrection by the power of Almighty God and as touching such worldly Estate as it has pleased God to bless me with. I do give, devise and dispose in the following manner.
First I do give and bequeath to my well beloved daughter
Susan Fly all my effects,
Cattle, Horse, Household furniture, Goods, Debts and Every thing else
that belongs or appertains to me by her freely to be possessed and
enjoyed. I do likewise
Constitute make and ordain Martin Moore of the place aforesaid the sole
Executor of this my Last will and Testament and do hereby disallow all
other Wills executors by me any wise made and do confirm this and no
other to be my Last Will & Testament in witness whereof I have set my
hand and seal this 13th day of Feb. one thousand Seven
hundred & eighty five.
Wit: Willm Lee, Henry Elliot.
Signed: Jerh. Fly (his C mark) Prob. Feb. 19th, 1785 
His daughter, Susan,
does not seem to have left any descendants.
The will does not indicate the existence of any other children.
And it is not possible to state as fact that this Jeremiah Fly came from
3. William Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
William was most
likely born before 1741 and died about 1794 in Northampton Co.,
4. John Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
John was born before
Nov. 2, 1762.
Isle of Wight Co.,
Wit: John Cook & John Fly.
Signed: William Eley & John Gray. Rec. Nov. 4, 1762. 
At some time after this, John moved to
April 13, 1769.
Southampton Co., Va.: At a court held for the county of
Southampton on Thurs. April 13, 1769.
On the motion of Joseph Pope &
John Fly witnesses for John
Jackson at the suit of Patience
On May 13, 1769, John Jackson was found guilty and required to pay 6 pence in damages to Patience Jackson!
John Fly was also mentioned in the estate accounts of Arthur Purcell as someone who was compensated in the process of settling the estate:
Feb. 14, 1771.
The estate of Arthur Purcell, decd in account…………..
To paid Robert Bowden p receipt
John Fly 16/6
Recorded Feb. 14, 1771 
These are the only
appearances of a John Fly in the records of
Flythe, Civil War veteran and great-grandson of this man always said
that some time before the Revolution, two brothers, John and Enos, came
across the line from Virginia and settled in Northampton Co., NC.
This is probably correct except for the fact that Enos, born in
1776 according to the 1850 Census, was a son of John not a brother.
The brother that John referred to was probably Elisha Fly, who
5. Elisha Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
Elisha was born
before 1746 and died before 1800 in Northampton Co., NC.
He first appears in a court document on June 4, 1767 in Isle of
At a court held for Isle of Wight Co. June 4, 1767.
the petition of Elisha Fly against Benjamin Westray for two pounds three shillings
and Nine pence due by account.
This day came the pltfs by Lemuel Riddick his attorney and the
def. by John Day his attorney and the court having examined the evidence
and heard the parties it is therefore considered the said Elisha recover
his demand aforesaid against the said Benjamin together with his costs
by him in this behalf appended.
On the motion of John Little an evidence for Elisha Fly against Benjamin Westray It is ordered that the said Elisha pay to the said John Little twenty five pounds of neet tobacco for one days attendance at this court
On the petition of Nathan Cook as evidence for Elisha Fly against Benjamin Westray. It is ordered that the said Elisha pay to the said Nathan twenty five pounds of nett tobacco for one days attendance at this court.
On the motion of John Cook as evidence for Benjamin Westray at the suit of Elisha Fly It is ordered that the said Benjamin pay to the said John twenty five pounds of nett tobacco for one days attendance at this court.
On the motion of Sarah Cook an evidence for Benjamin Westray at the suit of Elisha Fly. It is ordered that the said Benjamin pay to the said Sarah twenty five pounds of nett tobacco for one days attendance at this court. 
By 1772, Elisha had
moved south to
Jan. 10, 1772. On the motion of Thomas Tyner, John Parker and Elisha Fly witnesses for Edward Fulgham, jr. against William Ellis it is ordered that the sd. Edmund pay the said Parker one hundred and twenty eight pounds of tobacco for two days attendance on this court & traveling twenty-six miles, Thomas Tyner one hundred and twenty two pounds of tobacco for two days attendance on this court and traveling twenty four miles & Elisha Fly fifty pounds for two days attendance on this court according to law. 
Tyner and Parker
were both to be paid for their services as witnesses and for
traveling to the courthouse.
Elisha Fly was to be paid a witness fee, but no travel expenses. He
probably lived near the county seat
Later that spring, Elisha went to court again to obtain further witness expenses:
a court for the
On the motion of Elisha Fly a witness for Edmund Fulgam agst. William Ellis ordered that the sd. Edmund pay him two hundred pounds of tobacco for eight days attendance on this court according to law. 
Elisha, like so many other planters at this time, occasionally experienced some debt:
Sept. 10, 1772.
Daniel Herring & c Pltf
Vs. Elisha Fly………….Deft} in
Richard Keller comes into court and undertakes for the defendant that in case the said defendant shall be cast in this suit he will pay and satisfy the recommendations of the court or render his body to prison in discharge thereof of that he the said Richard will do it for him. Whereupon this day came the plaintiff by his attorney as the defendant in his proper person who confessd the pltfs action for Eighteen pounds three shillings & 6 __ the debt in the declaration mentd and his cost by him in his suit in his behalf expended and he said deft in money & c. But this judgment except as for the cost is to be discharged by the payment of nine pounds one shilling and nine pence together with interest from the 9th day of July 1772 ____ past. 
Richard Keller, seems to have been surety for Elisha Fly. Individuals providing surety in court cases were often relatives or neighbors of the person in a suit.
Elisha was still
April 8, 1773. On the motion of Elisha Fly a witness for Thos. Handcock against Edmund Fulgham Ordered that the sd. Thomas pay him three hundred and twenty five pounds of tobacco for thirteen days attendance on the court according to law.
Elisha also served as a juror:
Edward Fisher plt vs. Anthony Calthorpe- in debt
This day came the parties by their attorneys and thereupon came also a jury to wit: Hartwell, Dempsey Johnson, John Powell, Nathan Barnes, Arthur Doles, Joshua Wood, Elisha Fly, James Fowler, Benajmin Turner, Jethro Joyner, Henry Applewhite & Thomas Handcock who being elected tryed and sworn the truth do speak upon the issue joined do say that the def. hath not paid the debt in the declaration mentioned in manner and form as the plaintiff against him he has complained therefore it is considered by the court that the plaintiff recover against the said defendant thirty pounds the debt in the declaration mentions & his cost by him about his suit in this behalf expended & the said defendant in marcy & c: (?) But this judgment excepted as to the debt is to be discharged by the payment of six pounds two shillings & six p together with interest from the 12th of June 1769 
Jurors were supposed
to be men of property. This
usually meant land owners, but could refer to other personal property
ownership. Unfortunately, no
Fly land deeds at all were recorded in
April 8, 1773.
Jordan Denson admitor of all and singular the goods and chattels of Joseph Denson decd.} plf Vs. William West………………………………………………………Dft} in Debt
This day came the parties by their attorneys and thereupon came also a jury to Wit: Hartwell Howell, Dempsey Johnson, John Powell, Nathan Barnes, Arthur Doles, Joshua Wood, Elisha Fly, James Fowler, …………… (Southampton Co. Order Book 1772-1777, p. 161)
One of the last appearances
of Elisha Fly in
Nov. 11, 1773.
We the Grand Jury do present……………
Likewise William Beal, Benj. Beal (of Richd), James Fowler, Bridgeman Joyner, Jesse Joyner, Jonas Joiner, Britain Beal, Benjamin Beal, Sr., David Wright, James Wright, Barnaby Drake junr., Henry Oberry, John Oberry, Hardy Bunn, Matthew Williams, Giles Joiner, Thomas Hancock, Matthew Charles, Joshua Whitney, Elisha Fly, William Bulls, Senr., John Joiner of Joseph, Simon Johnson, William Joiner Senr, William Joiner Junr, Christopher Wade, Wilson Wade, Joshua Turner, John Turner, Hardy Pope, James Basden Senr., James Basden Junr, Thomas Jones, Timothy Drake, Nat Jones, Levi Lowe, Ledbetter Lowe, John Langfort, Jesse Bulls, Joseph Wright, Josiah Doyle, and Bezell Hedgpeth, for unlawful abscenting themselves from divine services at the church (parish of Nottoway) 
It is interesting that Elisha Fly was listed next to William Bulls and that Jesse Bulls also lived in Nottoway Parish. William and Jesse Bulls were Elisha’s first cousins since their fathers were half brothers. Perhaps Elisha was living with William Bulls.
Margaret “Peggy” Allman, came from the Isle of Wight-Nansemond County
area. The records of
Nansemond have been burned & a marriage date for Elisha and Peggy is not
available. They were
probably married about 1775 in Nansemond or
She was most likely
a daughter of Aaron Allman and granddaughter of James Allman. A Peggy
Allman was mentioned in the 1757 will of James Allman in
April 6, 1757.
Isle of Wight
county., Will of James Allmand. Leg.
Son Moses; son Lewis; son Aaron, land in Nansemond County; granddaughter
Mary Fleming; grandson James Fossith; grandson Perrin Almand; grandson
Thomas Almand; granddaughter Peggy Allmand; daughter; Sofia Rand;
daughter Millison Fleming: wife. Exs.
Sons Moses, Lewis and
Wit: Edward Goodrich, Benjamin Bidgood, Mary Humphry. Rec Dec. 2, 1757. 
The will does not state the identity of the father of Peggy Allman, but in view of the fact that Peggy named her younger son Aaron Allman Fly, it is highly likely that Aaron was her father. Elisha & Peggy also had another son, John Allman Fly, further supporting the likelihood that Peggy Fly was an Allman daughter. In addition, James listed his grandchildren in the order of his children’s birth. That places Peggy as a daughter of Aaron. Peggy was not a Cherokee woman as some claim.
birth was recorded in
Peggy’s mother was Susanna Frith. She gave birth to a Margaret Allman on Dec. 24, 1753, but the child died the next March well before James Allman wrote his will. A second child was born to Aaron and Susannah on Jan. 11, 1755.  This child was probably another Margaret and was the granddaughter mentioned in James Allman’s 1757 will!
Elisha Fly next
6. Jesse Fly (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)
Jesse Fly appears in one court case in Isle of Wight County on April 1, 1773 so was probably born before 1752.
Thurs. April 1, 1773. Jesse Fly, pltf against Ann Eley & Thomas King, Exors. of John Eley, decd, defds. This day came the parties by their attorneys & the defendants saving and reserving to themselves all advantage of exception as well as to the plaintiffs writ as to his declaration prays and has leave to Imparte til the next court and then to plead 
The case was continued. The next court record showed that the court wanted Jesse Fly to find surety for himself as plaintiff.
Jan. 7, 1774.
Jesse Fly, Pltf., against Ann Eley & Thomas King Exors of John Eley, Dec, Defs.
Upon the mottion of the defendants by their attorney. It is ordered that unless the plaintiff shall find sufficient suretey for the costs of this suit at the next court that the said suit shall be dismissed. 
Then in early 1774, Jesse’s case was dismissed and the court ordered both parties to pay their witnesses for their services:
Fri. Feb. 4, 1774.
Jesse Fly, Pltf., against Ann Eley & Thomas King, Execs of John Eley, decd, Defd.
The plaintiff having failed to find security for the costs of this suit & failing so to do on the motion of the defendants by their attorney. It is ordered that the same be dismissed and that the plaintiff pay unto the defendants their costs
Ordered that Ann Eley & Thomas King Executors of John Eley, decd. pay unto Aron Spivey one hundred and twenty five pounds of tobacco for five days attendance at this and former courts as a witness at the suit of Jesse Fly
Ordered that Jesse Fly pay unto William Turner one hundred and seventy five pounds of tobacco for seven days attendance at this and former courts as a witness for him against Ann Eley & Thomas King, Execs. of John Eley deceased.
Ordered that Jesse Fly pay unto Jesse Britain one hundred and seventy five pounds of tobacco for seven days attendance at this and former courts as a witness for him against Ann Eley & Thomas King, Execs. of John Eley, decd.
Ordered that Jesse Fly pay unto William Kerr one hundred and seventy five pounds of tobacco for seven days attendance as a witness for him against Ann Eley & Thomas King, Execs. of John Eley, decd.
Ordered that Ann Ely & Thomas King Executors of John Ely deceased pay unto William Eley 100 pounds of tobacco for four days attendance as a witness for them at the suit of Jesse Fly
Ordered that Ann Ely & Thomas King Executors of John Ely dec. pay unto John Lawrence, gent. one hundred & fifty pounds of tobacco for six days attendance at this & former courts as a witness for them at the suit of Jesse Flye
Ordered that Ann Ely & Thomas King Executors of John Ely deceased pay unto Elias Hering 390 pounds of tobacco for six days attendance and travelling twenty miles four times as a witness for them at the suit of Jesse Fly 
The dispute with Ely
and King was quite intense.
Soon after his Isle of Wight court case was dismissed because Jesse
could not provide surety, Ely and King sued Jesse Fly in
April 14, 1774. Southampton Co.:
Ann Eley & Thomas King Extors & c
Of John Eley deced……………………………} Plt upon an attachment
Ann Eley & Thos King Extors & c of John Eley having obtained an attachment against the estate the Jesse Fly who hath privately removed himself or – absconded that that the ordinary process of the law cannot be served upon him for a debt due from the said Jesse Fly to the said Ann Ely & als Charles Briggs Gent Sheriff now made return that he executed the said attachment in the hands of Jos (?) Mounfort and Elisha Fly and that he had summoned the said Jno (?) Mountfort and that he had summoned him as _________ who being sworn deposed that he hath ________ belonging to the estate of the said defendant and Three pounds subject to a constable attachment _______ Kellas fee 16/3 and 2/16 costs also the sheriffs (fees??) levys 9/16. ( Interlining unreadable here….) It is considered by the court First they---------- recover agst the said defendant Eight hundred and forty six pounds of tobacco and fifteen shillings. Ordered that the garnishee pay the Balance in his hands towards satisfying the said judgment and that an attachment be issued against the other garnishee 
There is no record of any payment to the plaintiffs by the garnishees Fly or Montfort.
This Jesse Fly may
have been the father of a Jesse Fly born in 1789 in
John Fly Descendant Tree
(b. ca. 1712 -
m. ____________ ?
Celia Fly (bef.1735 - 1791)
m. Robert Williamson, bef.1787
a. Sally Fly (ca.1756 - aft.1790)
b. Winnie Fly (ca.1756 - aft.1790)
2. Jeremiah Fly (bef.1738 - aft.1759)
3. William Fly (bef.1741 - ca. 1793)
m. Mary _______?
a. Elisha Fly Jr. (1769 - 1840)
b. Rev. John Fly (1772 - 1855)
c. Jeremiah Fly (1774 - 1846)
4. John Fly (bef.1741 - 1804)
m. Susannah Johnson?
a. John Dixon Fly (ca.1765 - 1813)
b. Millicent Fly (1772 - aft.1830)
c. Emelius Fly (1772 - 1831)
d. Rebekah Fly (1775 - aft.1835)
e. Enos Fly (1776 - 1855)
f. Enoch Fly (1776 - 1864)
g. Susannah Driver Fly (1794 - aft.1870)
m. Mary Hutchings?
h. Martha Roberts Fly (1796 - ?)
i. William H. Fly (1797- 1833)
j. Elizabeth G. Fly (1803 - 1824)
5. Elisha Fly (bef.1746 - aft.1790)
m. Margaret (Peggy) Allman, ca.1775
a. John Allman Fly (1782 - 1858)
b. Aaron Allman Fly (1792 - aft.1860)
c. Millicent Fly (1784 - 1826)
6. Jesse Fly (bef.1752 - ca.1789)
a. Jesse Fly (1789 - 1872)
 The claim that
these Fly people were Quakers has been investigated, but is
Norman Flythe examined Quaker records for this time period and
did not find any mention of the Fly family.
 Claims that John Fly lived to be 112 or 120 years old are completely unfounded. Nor is there any evidence at all that he died in
 Brantley Family Association Website, Southampton Project, Will Book #4, page 267-8
 The 1791 date appears to be an error. The estate inventory was recorded in Oct. 14, 1790. This could not have been done unless probate had been granted.
 Chapman, Blanche Adams, Wills and Administrations of
 Brantley Family Association Website, Southampton Project, Will Book #4, page 708
 Brantley Family Association Website,
 Chapman, Blanche Adams, Wills and Administrations of
 Will Books 1777-1900, Index to Wills 1777-1757, LDS Reel # 158548
 Brantley Family Association Website, Southampton Project, Southampton Co.,
 Surety meant that a person was willing to support financially the principle person in a suit or bond. A person serving as surety could end up paying the fees & debts of the principal person participating in a suit.
 Chapman, Blanche Adams, Wills and Administrations of
 Topping, Kym email of April 1, 2010, Notes About Allmand Family from Allmand Barbara J. “Three
 Southampton Co.: Order Book 1773-1777, p. 351