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drinker   Jesse Fly - Fly Family Founder, Illinois

    Tree 16

Son of John Fly and Unknown Wife 

drinker   6. Jesse Fly 4 (John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

This man may be the most mysterious of all the members of the early Fly family.  He did live in Isle of Wight County, Virginia where he appeared as a witness to a deed in 1759:

May 30, 1759.  Isle of Wight Co., Virginia.  William Seagraves, Sr. and wife, Sarah Seagraves, of Newport Parish to William Pass…100 acres adjoining William Eley, William Seagraves, Robert Wall, Everet West, Edward Westray, Matthew Westray, the New Field Branch and the main road (being the land said Seagraves bought from Thomas Applewhite).  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.[1]

This indicates that he was probably born about 1738; although under aged people were able to sign as witnesses if they were close to age twenty-one.

He lived in Isle of Wight Co. for the next fifteen years and was involved in a court case:

April 1, 1773.  Isle of Wight
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
(IoW Order B. ________Page 148)- not found (FGF)

Friday Sept. 3, 1773-page 183

Jesse Fly
, Pltf., against Ann Eley & Thomas King Exors. of John Eley, decd,  Defts.
Continued until next court (IoW Order B1772-1780, 183)

The case continued, but Jesse could not provide anyone to give the court assurance that Jesse’s court costs would be paid:

Friday Jan. 7, 1774.  Isle of Wight
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. (IoW Order B1772-1780, 239)

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 (IoW Order B1772-1780, 251-252)

April 14, 1774. Southampton Co.:
Order Book 1773-1777, p. 351
Ann Eley & Thomas King Extors & c
Of John Eley deced……………………………} Plt  upon an attachment


Jesse Fly
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

Jesse probably went to Northampton County, North Carolina in the spring of 1774 since there were other members of the family living there.  According to the tombstone of a Jesse Fly who died in Illinois in April 26, 1872, a Jesse Fly was born Oct. 17, 1789.[4]  This Jesse was probably the son of the first Jesse Fly to appear in the record in Virginia.  The identity of his mother is completely unknown.

junior   6a. Jesse Fly 5 (Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

Jesse married Sarah Delaney Whitford in Davidson County, Tennessee on March 18, 1808. 

Eliza Jane was born to them in 1810 followed by John Dickerson (1812), James Whiteside (1814), Sarah Delaney (1816), Martha K. (1818), Jesse Jackson (1821), Madison Perry (1824) and Christopher Columbus (1827).

The next appearance of a Jesse Fly was in militia list for the War of 1812:

1811.  Capt. Kincaid's Co.-#34 Jesse Fly, #35  John D. Fly,  #1601 John Fly
Capt. Bell's Co.  #1732 Jesse Fly 

July 1812.  Capt. Kincaid's Co.- #34 Jesse Fly, #35 John D. Fly #1594 John Fly
Capt. Bell's Co.- #1726 Jesse Fly                               

1813.  Capt. Kincaid's Co.- #34 Jesse Fly,  #35 John D. Fly, #1594 John Fly
Capt. Bell's Co.- #1726
Jesse Fly [5]   

Jesse seems to have been close to John Dixon Fly in Tennessee.  He was not John Dixon’s brother.  The estate papers of John Dixon Fly’s father, John, were filed in Northampton County in the early 1800s and do not include a Jesse Fly.  When John Dixon died, Jesse appeared in his estate papers:

May 24, 1814.  John D. Fly, decd. inventory of his estate includes accounts on Lemuel Lawrence, William Rutherford, John M. Wright, John Johnston, & Jesse Fly.  Signed by John Fly, Admin. & Sally Fly, Admrx [6]

He also purchased some items at the estate sale:

Aug. 29, 1814.  John D. Fly- Estate sale.  Purchasers: Sally Fly, Jesse Fly, Jesse Marton, Robert Thompson, John Beves, John Fly, Michael Goodwin, Elisha Fly, John Collins, William Harris, Alfred Wallace, George Hartman, James Hill, Russell Sullivan, Godfrey Shelton, Daniel Mitchel, Abraham M. Degraffenreid, Enoch Ensley, Joshua Cutcheon, Isaac Battle, Jordan Barnes, William Griffin, James Kincaid, Charles H. Cody, Thomas Hill, Henry Seat, Azariah Jones, William Harwood, Edward Collins, Thomas Shelton, John M. Wright [7]

In 1815, he purchased land.  If he owned land before this, it was not recorded:

July 18, 1815.  George W. Wolfe of Davidson Co. sells to Jesse Fly of Davidson Co. for $ 60, 30 acres in Davidson and Rutherford Cos. on the waters of Hurricane Creek, a branch of Stones River. Wit: Joseph Watkins, John B. Seat      Signed: George W. Wolf
Rec.: July Session, 1815

He then witnessed a will in Davidson County:

Oct. 1816.  Will of James Wright, decd.  Witness: John Buchanan and Jesse Fly.
Proven Nov. 22, 1816

The land that he purchased in 1815 was sold in 1818 at a profit:

June 8, 1818Jesse Fly sells to Josiah Seat for $150, 30 acres in Davison and Rutherford Cos. on the waters of Hurricane Creek. [10]

Apparently Jesse was planning on living in Bedford County, Tennessee and he and his family are there on the 1820 Census.

Jesse soon moved to Wayne Co., Illinois with his family and most members of the Fly family in that state descend from him:

Samuel McCracken is credited with having been the first one to settle within its’ present limits.  He came it is believed in the year 1823, from near Hopkinsville, KY, and he lived and died upon the place he first located.

Jesse and Sarah Fly
, and their five sons—John, Jackson, James, Perry and Columbus, also their three daughters--- Eliza, Sarah and Martha, came about the same time as McCracken, Jesse put up a horse mill and ran it for several years.  It was, in later years…. Jesse moved his family from Wayne Co. Ill to Union Co. Ill. and settled in the Water Valley settlement east of Cobden Ill---- here he was a farmer, cabinet maker, and for many years a minister of the Christian Church in Water Valley.

Jesse Fly
was a volunteer in the war of 1812 in the Battle of New Orleans under General Jackson.

Jesse moved all of his family to Union Co., Illinois before 1850 there were no Flys listed in the 1850 Census; only McCracken. [11]

Between 1830 and 1840, Jesse moved from Wayne County to Union County, Illinois.  The 1850 Census listed his household as consisting simply of Jesse and Dulaney; both 50 years old. 

By the time of the 1860 Census, seventy year old Jesse was living with John Fly.  His wife, Sarah, had died on Feb. 17, 1859 according to her tombstone in Water Valley Cemetery.  John Fly’s household consisted of : John Fly (45), Sarah (46), Riley (20), John (16), James (12), Alsie H. Roach (23), as well as Jesse (70).

It is not clear where Jesse Fly was living in 1870.  The 1870 Census does have a Jacob Fly (79) living in the household of John Fly (57).  The name is clearly not Jesse, but there was no other Fly male of such advanced age in the state at the time.  The household consisted of: John Fly (57), Susan (55), Julia (24), C. Caleb (18), Wm P. Jones (29), as well as “Jacob”.

Jesse died on April 26, 1872.  The court records of Illinois have not been searched.  More research is needed.

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Children of Jesse Fly and Sarah Delaney Whitford Fly

eliza   6a.-i. Eliza Jane Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

This daughter was married twice, but died at the age of thirty five.  She was first married to John McCracken; probably about 1830, but he died in 1835.  Apparently there was at least one child, John C., born in 1833.

Eliza then married Alexander Nesbit at an unknown date.  Eliza reportedly died in 1845 and it is not known if there were any children with Nesbit.

Johnny   6a.-ii. John Dickerson Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

This first son was born on Dec. 12, 1812 in Davidson County, Tennessee.  He married Sarah McCracken, also called Muzzie, on Sept. 27, 1829 in Union County, Illinois according to Illinois marriage records.  He was apparently sixteen years old and Sarah was fourteen. 

They were the parents of: Marcus Lafayette (1833), Catherine (1834), William Riley (1840), Martha Julia (1845), John T. (1857), and James M. (1861). 

John died on Nov. 23, 1888.

james   6a.-iii. James Whiteside Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

James married Kezia Farmer about 1830 and they were the parents of: Atlena (1831) Isaiah Lacey (1837), Louis (1836), Mary (1838), John Damron (1839), Mary Martha (1842), Everett ? (1844), James P. (1844), Eadeth (1844), Jesse (1846), and Harmon (1848). 

Apparently, Kezia may have been married before her marriage to James Whiteside Fly.  On the 1860 Census, James (42) was listed with Cassius (38), Allan Farmer (31), James Farmer (16), Harrison Farmer (12) and Mary Farmer(9).  Perhaps James Fly and his wife were living with Kezia’s siblings.  Or these were Fly children erroneously called Farmer.  This is not clear and further research may shed more light.

James W. Fly died on May 28, 1901 in Illinois.  In 1900, he had been living in the household of his grandson, Arch Howell. Kezia died some time after 1900, but the specific date is not known.

sarah   6a.-iv. Sarah Delaney Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

Sarah was born in 1816 and she married John James Deming about 1833.  They were the parents of: Elmyra (1838), Sarah Ann (1840), John Treat (1843), Martha (1844), William Jasper (1845), and Young( 1849).

Sarah died on June 24, 1886 and her husband reportedly died on Dec. 15, 1890. 

silvia   6a.-v. Martha K. Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

Martha was born about 1818 in Tennessee.  About 1840, she married John Parrish.  They were the parents of: Sarah (1841), John (1845), William (1846), and Eliza (1848). 

Martha became a widow and then married James R. Cochran by 1860.  She is said to have died on Jan. 25, 1870. 

This family is not traced further.

jesse   6a.-vi. Jesse Jackson Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

Jesse was born on Aug. 17, 1821 in Bedford County, Tennessee.  He married Mary Elizabeth Baugh on Oct. 6, 1845 in Vernon, Lake County, Illinois.  They were the parents of: Laura Carolina (1848), Augustus Fly (1850-1852), Clifford Taylor (1854-1855), Walter Scott (1857-1947), Oscar Baugh (1860-1944), Henry VanCleve (1863-1864), Addison Perry (1865-1948), and Amy Louise (1969-1936). 

Jesse J. Fly died on Feb. 25, 1904 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  According to the 1880 Census, he was an undertaker.  He had also served in the Mexican-American War.  According to his tombstone, his wife Mary died on May 10, 1909.

madison   6a.-vii. Madison Perry Fly 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

This son was born on July 11, 1824 in Tennessee.  He married Sarah Jane Asa on Aug. 10, 1844 in Illinois.  The following children were born to the couple: Jesse Jackson (1845-1928), Mary Jane (1847-1849), Elmira (1849-1924), Sarah D. (1852-1875), Almarinda (1853), Laura Ann (1855-1918), James Perry (1858-1929), Martha A. (1859-1918), and Louvina “Viney” (1863-1912).

He was a farmer and also served in the Civil War on the Union side.  He died on Oct. 23, 1890 and is buried in Fountain Church Cemetery, Williamson County, Illinois. 

Jesse Jackson Fly, the oldest child of Madison and Sarah, wrote a letter in 1923 describing what he had learned about the Fly family.

col man   6a.-viii. Christopher Columbus 6 (Jesse 5, Jesse 4, John 3, Jeremiah 2, William 1)

Jesse Fly’s last child was born on February 21, 1827 in Illinois.  He married Martha Jane Camp on Aug. 21, 1846.  In 1847, an unnamed baby was born to them, but apparently did not survive.  They were the parents of: Rebecca Ann (1849-1880), William Newton (1851-1921), Constantine (1854), Matilda T. (1856), Eliza Jane (1858), Delana Amaretta (1860-1900), Sarah Emaline (1862-1916), John Abraham Grant (1865-1865), James T. (1868-1868), and Martha Jane (1870-1961).

He was drafted for the Civil War, but his service record has not been found.  As an adult he worked on the railroads.  He and Martha adopted a child by the name of Walter Vanfossen.  Wal was listed with the Fly family in the 1880 census.  Christopher and Martha were apparently taking in railroad workers as boarders in their house.  Apparently, he died on July 11, 1898 in Illinois.

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drinker   Jesse Fly Descendant Tree


6. Jesse Fly (ca.1738 - ca.1789)
        m. _______?

  Jesse Fly
(1789 - 1872)
                        m. Sarah Delaney Whitford, 1808
                                6a.-i. Eliza Jane Fly (1810 - 1845)
                                                m. John McCracken, ca.1830
                                                m. Alexander Nesbit, ?

                                6a.-ii. John Dickerson Fly
(1812 - 1888)
                                                m. Sarah (Muzzie) McCracken, 1829
                                6a.-iii. James Whiteside Fly
(1814 - 1901)
                                                m. Kezia Farmer, ca.1830

                                6a.-iv. Sarah Delaney Fly
(1816 - 1886)
                                                m. John James Deming, ca.1833

                                6a.-v.  Martha K. Fly
(1818 - 1870)
                                                m. John Parrish, ca.1840
                                                m. James R. Cochran, ca.1860

                                6a.-vi. Jesse Jackson Fly
(1821 - 1904)
                                                m. Mary Elizabeth Baugh, 1845

                                6a.-vii. Madison Perry Fly
(1824 - 1890)
                                                m. Sarah Jane Asa, 1844

                                6a.-viii. Christopher Columbus Fly
(1827 - 1898)
                                                m. Martha Jane Camp, 1846

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[1] Isle of Wight County, Virginia, DB#10, p. 161
[2] Isle of Wight Order B1772-1780, p.109
[3] Southampton Co., Virginia: Order Book 1773-1777, p. 351
[4] Letter of Wally Fly, undated
[5] Letter of Ralph Hill, undated, Davidson Co. Militia Lists War of 1812
[6] Davidson Co., Tennessee Court Minutes, 1814-1818, p. 76
[7] Davidson Co., Tennessee Court Minutes, 1814-1818, p. 120
[8]  Davidson Co., Tennessee, Deed Book K, p. 677
[9]  Davidson Co. Tennessee Wills page 101.
[10] Davidson Co., Tennessee, Deed Book N, p. 263
[11] Letter From Wally Fly. Source: History of Wayne Co., Il Chapter xxii.  Elm River Township pg. 251-252 Dated 1823-1826


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