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Letters From the Ancestors

Letter from Alexander Fly to Brother, Sisters and Mother, 1857

July the 24th 1857
Issaquena Co.

Dear Brother and Sisters and Mother,
My health is very good at this time.  I hope that this will find you all well also it has been some time since I have (?) a letter from any of you and would be more than glad to here from you all.  I want to see you all very bad and it seems to me like that I can’t stay here much longer before I see you all.  I herd from brother John not long seence he seems to be doing very well.  I had a letter from Brother Eldred and he seems to be doing well.  The power of attorney has come to hand. I have been to settle brother Jacob’s estate ___ and Mr. Hawkins was not at home such being the case I could (not?) settle the estate but I have written to Mr. Hawkins but have not had any answer as soon as I can find him  at home I will settle the estate  I don’t know whether I will stay any longer _____in the South or not  If I do not I will come to see you next winter and then I shall go to Arkansas(?) for there is the place for a man to go.  I will give you as correct an idea of the South and west as I can.  If I could of had the money when I went to
(Next page)
Arkansas
that I will have next Christmas, I now could of been worth ten thousand dollars and 10 ____.  This may seem to you rather extravagant(?) but it is true even true when I was in Arkansas  I could of bought land for fifty cents per acer  that is now worth ten dollars $10 per acer this is true I would not ______ive you for my right hand.  I love you all with affection of a brother.  I am here and live on the banks of the great Mississippi.  I ofen think of you and sometimes you are before me in dreams while I sleepe at night. I had a dream that other night that makes me feel uneasy about Each one of you must write me a letter as soon as you get this. Let me here(?) you are getting along with your affairs and the time(s) and changes of the cty (county)  if a man goes to A(rkansas?)  county with a little mony he can soon make a fortune but if he has no mony it is a hard matter  for him to get a little.  There is great suffering and_________ in Texas as this is the third failure in crops The county is ____ being subject to long and protracted droughts. Crops here are late.  It is said that I have the best crops in the county and I had the first cotton blossom and that was seen in the 19th of June.
(Third page)
We have to pay 27 and 28 dollars for a barrel for ______ pork.
  You may judge from that how the stock raisin in the North are making money.  I will write to you again but I have written to Mr. Smith not long sense but have not had an answer to my last note I can not express my love for you all.  God bless you may all the blessings of Heaven be with you all.  Give my love and best respects to all infirm(?) friends an except the same yourselves if we never should see each other in world may meet in Heaven.

                                    I remain your affectionat brother

                                                A. D. Fly

You will direct your letters to Tallula Issaquena County, Mississippi 

Mississippi Stamp

Letter from Elisha Fly to Asher Fly, 1874

June 6, 1874.

My Dear loving Nephew,


I receivd your kind favor bearing date May the 17th 1874.
I was made so glad there by that I red and re-red it a gane and againe. I had not herd from you So long that I had forgotten  So seltem that I could hardly hold my self to think of giting a letter from my old Brother's only Son living my dare nephew. I tel you that your very name sounded sweet to your old uncle.  It set me to studing about my good and frindely relitives that I had not sean So long I feal very desierous to See them all and Sometime I feal like mayby I shal. I think that it wold doe me grate good to speak to you all face to face onst more in time. I wold So desier to bee with you so that we could talk together as in times long Since gone by. I have not forgoten the many meatings that we injoyed together in divers places when we was permitted to Sing together and pray together and to exhort each other Oh we had some glorious times Yes I remember the pleges that we made at that time to pray for Each other I tel you I am try to pay my Vows that I thare made to my brothers and sisters I tel you that we have the same God to look to that we had then and he is yit plentious in mercy and he sil gives us a sufficiency of his grace when we ask for it to inable us to ceap on the Armur and while we are Equipd thus the is no danger and hving done all we are inabld to Stand all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Asher, my friendly relitive don't neglect your old uncle but keep him posted
  Rite to me again and let me here who of our friends and kinnections is dead and who living  Tel me about your mother, your brother-in-laws and your sisters and ther children  Tel me if old uncle Hood Tate is stil a live and Abraham Hagler William Lee James Rodan and boys and all the rest  Tel James Rodan that Elisha and Elijah is men now and doing wel haveing a fine prospects for crops this year boath single 23 years of age The boath stay about me yet they are good boys well beliked.

Yet Asher I have lost a good companion after staying with me upwards of forty years nearly three years past.
She told me that she had a glorious home in heaven. These ware about her last weards but I have got me another good one about one year since or nearly so. Rede this to your friends and mine and tel them that it wold do me good. Times is hard here money scarce but people still making out tolerable well. The prospect for wheat is grate corn is pretty. I think that if Providence Smiles ther wil be plenty make the present year.


This leaves us all wel thank God Hoping at the same time that this may reach you in due time and find you all wel and doing wel


May Heaven bless you all Forever

Elisha Fly and family to Asher Fly & family

                                                                                                            Robert E. Lee Stamp

Letter from Dr. Jesse Jackson Fly to Miss Betty Fly, 1923

 

Dr. J.J. Fly
205 S. 18th  St
.
Herrin
, Illinois

Feb. 14, 1923
Miss Betty Fly

Makenda
, Illinois


My Dear Cousin your very welcome letter came to hand this morning, and I was both surprised and please to get a letter from you.  You ask me for information relative to the History of our noble family; I say noble because I am proud of our family, for as a family I think there is none better than we are.  I have heard our Grandfather say that our people originally came from Wales There are no better people than the Welch people.  Our grand Mother was pure English, so we are from two closely affined races of people. The Welch as a nation are a very high toned people and you know so are the English.  Both are very successful in Business, in intellect and progression and in fact are the most advanced people in the world.  They are the greatest civilizers and colonizers any where to be found and the most liberal and careful of Civilization and education and while now our percent in the matter of reding (sic) and writing is very high compared with some other nation; it is due to the great number of emigrants from foreign, and among the low classes of these countries; while really when we take the real American only about the of 1 percent of them all cannot read and write. We have the assurance that soon as we have time to melt the roughians that come over here in the American boiling pot and say they are truly American; by that time they will come up to the standard of the true American, for as a people many of the foreigners are very bright and intellectual people. We must Educate them, and they are learning very fast and most of them like this County.

When I was down to Nashville Tenn. I met up with a gentleman from Texas, whose business was explore Mexico for Gold and Silver mines.  I was asking about what he knew of our people, and he said he never knew any one bearing the name of Fly, that was not of some distant relationship; and so far as he was informed there were originally three brothers that came over here under King Georges’ administration of England; that they were soldiers in his army against the Colonies; but after the war ended they remained in this country.  One of them settled in New England; one in the west and one in the extreme South; that is Texas; and that his family was a part of those who settle in the extreme South and fertilized in Texas.  He said there was a large family of them down where he lived.  You probably have heard of the Flys in Texas.  And further that one of these Brothers stopped in what is now the middle part of the country including Virginia, Tenn. And Mississippee and Illinois, while the other one settled in the New England states.

He also said that from what he knew my family that is our family were offsprings of that Brother who settled in Tenn. And North Carolina. . I found while I was down there from talking with one of the members, that there many of them who lived in Mississippi and North Carolina and the universal opinion of the entire people were of good report and well recommended; that none of them were very wealthy and mostly Farmers and trusted business men.  From what I learned from a relative in Nashville, whose name was John, that our Great-great-Grandfather was one of the original three that first came to this Country from a cross the Atlantic, I was also informed that the name of this ancestor was John.  That he had seven sons, and three daughters, that they were all borned in Davidson County, Tenn. That their names were Jesse, who moved to Illinois (He was our or my grand Father and your Great Grandfather).  Besides this one there were Micajah, John who went to west Tenn.  I think lived in and now lives that, their family do, in Gibson County. Enoch another brother remained in and around Nashville.  One called James died in New Orleans in an early date.  Another:--William settled and lived in Murphysboro Williamson County Tenn; Elisha lived in the neighborhood of Nashville. This Elisha was the father of the John that I met in Nashville.  Now for the Three girls they were the sisters, of these seven brothers.  There was Mary who went to Atlanta, Georgia and died there.  And the other two went west and that is all I know of them.

Our own family you perhaps know as well as I do.  There were Eliza, the oldest on of my Grand Father’s Family she died in Wayne County and was the wife of Alec Nesbit, John was next he was your grand Father; then uncle James who died in Carterville, Uncle Jack who died in Mt. Vernon, Next one was Madison Perry, my Father; Uncle Clumbus- died in Murphrysboro, Ill.  He was the youngest of the family.  Then there were Martha and Sally or Sarah, Sarah married John Deming and died near you down there and Aunt Martha first married a Parish in Wayne co. where he died, and after she came down here she married James Cochran.

From our Cousin John of Nashville, the one I saw while I was in Nashville I learned the names of his family.  His Fathers’name was Elisha he had 6 brothers and 5 daughters, the names of the Brothers were William, Samuel, James, Thomas and Elisha; and John W. the las one was my acquaintance while in Nashville; Now John’s Sister were Evaline, Mary Ann, Sarah and Elizabeth, the two latter were twins, Thomas lived then in Nashville, he and his wife; John married while I was in Nashville.  He was an older man than I was.  John had a Niece there who had married Nathaniel Dorch who was Sheriff of Davidson County.  Her name was Mosley having married a man by that name, she was also one of the twins amongst John’s sisters.  She was a splendid Woman and fried me the best Beef stake that I ever ate.  It was cooked rare with the outside all crusted over by heat, retaining all the juice. I eat supper there the night of my commencement, She had two daughters, who went with me to college and when I received my Diploma I gave it to them before I saw it myself; you know if I had been doubtful about my passing I would not have done that.

From Uncle Jim Fly who I guess you have seen I learned some things about my grand Mother Fly.  She was a full English lady and name Whitford [Sara Delana Whitford].  She had a brother by name William Whitford and at his death He understood that he had a large estate coming to us in London and Uncle Bill as he called him Fixed once to go over there to see about it.  I have no doubt that it is there yet but never expect to possess it.  Poor old Uncle Jim was better posted in our family History than any of my uncles that I knew of.  And now Bettie, my own life is a dream.  I sometimes dwell on its history and many things come up to me as though they but yesterday; at other times it appears as a line of confusion, struggles and crosses that becomes a mere blur in the shadows of the life line.  I am now in seventy seventh year and when I am well I feel that I am still young, when

                     On the winding lakes and rivers wide
                     That ask no aid of sail or oar
                     That fear no spite of wind or tide;
                     Naught cared for this body for wind or weather
                     When youth and I lived in’t together
I have given you a sketch of what I have learned of our People.
  There are some other things that I could of mentioned, but they are not necessary.

        J.J. Fly

Arkansas Stamp

Letter from Joseph Thomas Flythe to His (unknown) Sister, 1928

Laurel Hill, N.C.    March 19th, 1928

Dear Sister,
                I received your letter, and mighty glad to hear from you.
You ask where Gus Flythe was born and raised, well I perceive you
know nothing of your family history, well I would not have,  if I
had not been associated with Father A good deal.  Gus was born and
raised at Bethlehem cross roads, now known as X Locks, about A mile
from where you were raised.  John Flythe,  your great grand father,  took
three thousand acres land in the bend of meherin river which comprised
the judkins low grounds all the land Father ownd  Ken Edwards part of
Harrell place,  and all the land around cross locks.  Had good many
slaves, and cleared the land arount cross locks, then knowen as
Bethlehem cross roads,  built A tavern,  and called it bethlehem tavern
and an ecademy,  and call it bethlehem ecademy,  where all his sons
were educated.  Don’t know who was first principal of the ecademy;  but
your grad father was principal of it for over forty years,  and and
spent his whole life there as an educator.  Tom Low got what education
from him,  and Gus Flythe went to school to him till he went to
Chapel Hill.  You grand father had five sons,  one named John settled in
Tennesee,  Two,  Cornelius,  and Melus settled in West Virginia.  Bill
the father of gus run the tavern,  and A store at Bethlehem cross roads,
was quite A sport,  chicken fighter,  and horse racer,  athlete,  and
champion boxer. Your Gandfather  was an educator,  and A might good man;
but some called him a religious fanatic.  He accepted the portion of
that fell to from his father,  also all the slaves that fell to him;
but as he was apposed to slavery through religeous principal he set his
slaves free as they became of age.  It seems he never did any thing
much at farming,  spending his life as and educator.  Father had five
brothers,  Solomon,  Jacob,  Dred,  Alexander,  and John.  Solomon
settled in Greenville county Virginia,  and was well to do;  but I
don’t know much about his off spring.  Jacob went to New orleans, La.
as A book keeper, and died with yellow fever,  Dred lived and died
portsmouth, Va. Holding some kind of A posithin in the Navy Yard.
Alexander,  and John went to Walnu Bend, Ark,  and  worked book keeper
for A year or two,  and went into the mercantile business themselves,
and Alex was slain by night robbers who brok into the store at night.
Father went out to walnut Bend to see John when Jacob died in Neworleans,
having been to Neworleans, went to see John.  John afetr Alex was killed,
wound up their business, and went into business with A large firm,
that broke when he went in,  and lost his money,what he had,  by not
looking into their affaris before  he put his money into it,  and father
said he seemed very blue,  and he tried to get him to come back with him
but he refused,  saying he was going to Califonia,  that being the
first year of the War.  We never heard from him again,  and fater thought
probably he was drafted into the War ,  and killed.  He was the youngest
son.  Fahter was appointed some kind of A home gard,  and look after
widows and children,  I don’t know just what his duties were;  but some
little Office that kept him out of actual sevive;but he was drafted
during the last year,  and went to camp,  and had pneumonia,  and like to
to died.  I think he did slip home to see how things were,  at home;  but
going back;  but din not have to.  I think he knew everything was at
an end when he went home or he would not have risk it.All of Fatehrs
brothers were well educated men,  and I never could understand why
father did not take an education, as he had every chance, and was an
unusually bright man. Though he could hardly write his name he was
expert in figures
and could work A problem in math much quicker than I can,  and it was
wonderful to hear him quote dater in history from the over throw
of  Chadear   Claldear by the meads and persion on down to modern
history, whether he got it from reading or from hering his father quote
I can’t say.  I have herad aunt Becky, say thatFather was small,  he
would run away and get old filly go to plowing to keep from studding,
said he was A unrully, and his father was getting old and gave way to him.
The brightest of boys are often A little hard to manage. Fathers escuse
was that they were poor, and some one had to plow if they had any corn
for bread, and for the filly to eat.  In other words there was A large
family, and his father was not making enough then by his teaching to
keep up A decent living, and some one had to work;  but it it is A
little strange that both those older,  and younger were educated, and he
undoubtedly one of the brightest of the bunch.  As I said Gus Flythe,
Pickert ( I don’t whether I spell his Name right or not ) was teaching
together below Murfreesboro,  when thewar broke out,  and they both left
the state.  I never heard Faterh censure him for that,  for Father was bitterly
opposed the war, yet remained patriotic.After Bill gets home
from Davidson if  I can arrange it before he has to go to R.OCT   ROTC
camp I am going to get of A few days, and get him drive me over to see you
I can’t say positive, or exactly when.  We are as well as usual,  I want
you to write again.
                                                                   Lovingly,
                                                                                 Joe.


P-  I guess I made the mistake in getting in my head he was a prebyten
but when Father heard from him again he was preaching.
As to his the monument it was evidently put there by the people
of Newbern.

Note: A photograph of this letter may be seen here


                                                                Lincoln Stamp

Letters from Roland Braxton Flythe to John Thomas Flythe

August 28,1936    September 16, 1936    November 6, 1947    December 11, 1947    July 22,1948

August 28,1936 Roland Braxton Flythe Photo

Route 1 Box 39
Hilton Village
, Va.

Aug. 28th, 1936

Mr. J. T. Flythe
2703 Chamberlayne Ave.
Richmond, Va.

Dear Cousin,

Rec’d a copy of your letter to Norman Flythe and I am glad to get in touch with some more of my near relatives I am son of Braxton Flythe, deceased of Northampton Co. NC. Uncle Solomon Flythe, your grandfather, was my father’s oldest brother, but uncle having moved to Greensville Co., Va. before I was borned I never knew much of his family.  I first (just?) can remember Cousin Tom, your father, but I never knew any of the rest of the family.  I have one brother, Joseph Thomas Flythe of Laurel Hill, N.C. and no doubt he was the one written to by Norman.

As I presume you know our side of the old Fly family are direct descendants of John Fly.  Norman is decendant of William Fly.  I have explained it to him as best I know and told him to write to bro Joes at Laurel Hill, N.C. as he could probably give him more information.  As I was always told that there were two brothers and one sister who came to this country from England John Fly, William & Frances.  John Fly was granted three thousand acres of land by the English Crown sometimes during the eighteenth Century.  I was borned and raised on a part of the old grant.  Within a stones throw of where John Fly was buried. John Fly had several sons Enos our grandfather also buried there.  Enoch went to Tennessee and carried above two hundred negro Slaves a part of John Fly’s estate before the Civil War.  He has many descendants in the Mid West who still retain the name Fly, though they are our nearest Fly kin.  Thomas A. Fly was an Episcopal preacher or Presbyterian I don’t remember which. William or Bill died young.  These were John Fly’s sons.  Enos my grandfather had several boys Uncles Solomon, Jacob, Braxton, Alexander, Etheldred & John also four great(?) Aunts Rebecca, Debra, Mollie, and Fannie.  My father had two sons and seven daughters. Only three of us are now living, Bro. Joe, myself and youngest Sister Blanche who married the Rev. J.T. Stanford of the N.C. Methodist Conference and they live at lake Landing (?), N.C.  They have one daughter, Bro Joe has two daughters and one son who is a young Medical Doctor and one of his girls is married to a young lawyer at Lenoir N.C.  I have three sons and three daughters all grown and married except my youngest Fanny.  The Jesse Flythe spoken of in your letter was a mighty good old Methodist preacher he was descended of William Fly hence there are two sides of the family but all related and there is only one family of us in America.

I will give you some information as to the spelling of the name the family are descendants of the old Royal Flythe family of France, but sometime during the  fourteenth century some of the family left France during a great religious persecution and migrated to England and in England the name was spelled Fly Hence when our fore fathers came to this country they spelled it in English but in later years most of the family put the old French THE back to the name and it has the soft French sound spoken quickly sounds like Fly.

If you ever run across any Fly’s in the Mid west you can trace them back to Enoch Fly, our great Uncle.

There have been some great Doctors and preachers. Decendants of Uncle Enoch, The Frances Fly spoken of married a man by the name of Lowe of Northampton Co. and they had one child a son Thomas G. Lowe who came to be one of the greatest Evangelist of his day.  He married his first cousin Annie Fly, John Fly’s daughter and they had one daughter Annie also who married Uncle Jacob Fly, her first cousin, and they had one child Annie Fly who married some man in Portsmouth Va.  Thomas G. Lowe spent his later years in Baltimore preaching the Gospel.

Please excuse such a long letter (with pencil) but I thought it might interest you and I sure would love to get in touch with more of you very good people because I am fond of my Ancestry and I have never found any of their descendants in real bad.  Write to me and come to see me.

Yours Very Sincerely,
Rowland Braxton Flythe

 

                                                                                                                                                                         

September 16, 1936

Route 1 Box 39
Hilton Village
, Va.

Sept. 16, 1936

Mr. J. T. Flythe,
Richmond
, Va.

Dear Cousin,

Your letter of Sept. 10th rec’d four days ago and I am sure glad to be in touch with some of my father’s people whom I have failed so long to know.  Sometimes I think it quite strange how families will become separated and loose sight of each other. I want you and some of your good family to run down to see us when you can make it convenient but try and drop me a card before hand so I may be at home and looking for you.  You will come right down the Richmond Newport News highway and when you get to Alexander’s Service station about two miles north of Hilton Village inquire as to where I live and you can easily find me.

We will then discuss the family past and present and I can tell you face to face  so much better than I can write it.

Norman Flythe is nothing more than a boy but I am afraid he has tackled a task too much.  Mr. F. B.DeLoatch of Burlington, N.C. tried to write a family tree of the Fly or Flythe family about four years ago and he also wrote me for information which I gave him but I think he found himself in deep water and I expect finally drowned as I wrote him twice asking him how he progressing and I never got any reply to either letter.  You see the most of our near Fly relatives are in the mid west and from what I have learned through other people, they are very prominent in fact it was a very arristrocratic, God fearing and righteous old family to start with and I am proud of my ancestors.

You spoke of having seen Aunt Deb.  I well remember her and she was a sweet old lady but dear old aunt Beckie was sweetest of all.  Aunt Deb had three sons and one daughter, Robert (or Bob), John, Joe and Damsel.  Uncle Bob Smith died when all were small and Papa took aunt Deb and the children and gave her a good home on his farm and the children stayed with Papa and worked and went to school until they were about grown.  Can tell you more about all of them when I see you.  Papa had another brother I failed to mention in my other letter, Uncle Eldred Flythe, who settle in Portsmouth, Va. before the Civil War and had a position in the Navy yard until he died soon after Papa died. Papa died May 19, 1882 when I was eight years of age.

I was married Dec. 31st. 1901 to Virginia Mae Joyner of Northampton County who died July 30th, 1926.  We had seven children Russell S., Roland D., Carrie Louise, Nellie Marie, Alexander Braxton, Virginia Blanche and Fannie Joyner.  I lost little Blanche soon after her mother died but the rest are all living.  Russell married Margaret Barham of Isle of Wight Co. Va. and I live with them.  Roland married Ruth Ellen Ashburn of Winston Salem, NC and they live in Alexandria Va. Louise married Gilbert G. Guillette of Hampton Va. and they live in Hampton.  Marie married Julian L. Hubbard of S.C. and they live in Winston Salem.  Alex married Ida Lee Mainsfield of Hampton and they live in Hampton.  Fannie lives with Marie in Winston S.  The married ones all told have fifteen children.  So you see I have lived to my three score years two and fifteen bright little grandchildren and I hope to live to see my great grandchildren. 

I have retired from all business and worries and just do a little farming to keep me a little busy for my health.  The rest of my time I give to my Church and Sunday School and get around to see my children.  I spent two months in Winston Salem last winter and about three weeks in Alexandria and around Washington in July and August.  My son-in-law Mr. Hubbard of W. Salem had a terrible automobile accident about three weeks ago.  Some young chap ran in to him broad side one night as he was going from his place of business, home and turned his car over and almost killed him instantly but he has a chance to recover now but will be in Hospital ------ five or six months,  Oh! the reckless driving in our land today.  Sometimes I almost wish we were back to the old Ox Cart way of travel.  Well I did not start out to write a book so I’ll sign off and leave some for another time.  Will discuss all when you come.  God bless you.

Sincerely,

R.B. Flythe

                                                                                                                  Richmond VA stamp

November 6, 1947

208 N. Spring St.
Bluffton
, Ohio

Nov. 6, 1947

Mr. & Mrs. J. T. Flythe and fam,
Richmond
, Va.

Dear Cousins,

            I presume by this time that you think I am either dead or have forgotten you all, but I have not. I have often thought of you and wished to see you again but time has drifted on and I have neglected to write and it seems that when ever I have passed through Richmond I was with some one else who was in a hurry and had to pass on.  Consequently, I have never gotten back to visit with you again.  I sure did enjoy my visit with you all several years ago and really looked for you to visit with us while I was at my son Russell’s near Hilton Village, but you never showed up.  I left Virginian nearly ten years ago, have been here in Bluffton, Ohio, with my youngest daughter Fannie (or Mrs. Oscar Weiger) after she married Mr. Weinger, I came ___ here on a Visit and took a liking to Ohio and decided to stay a while and I began to make such sweet friends here I really fell in love with the people and the whole country so I decided to make it my home. Fannie is my baby and all the other children live in the Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton section.  So I decided that as I had broken up and she was away from the other children, I would be better satisfied in my old age with her.  I had to retire from all work on account of my health.  I had a Coronary Thrombosis two years ago, this month and was in Hospital, six months. Since then I have had to be very careful on account of my heart.  Fannie married a mighty fine man, of one of Ohio’s best families, and they are getting along fine and are sure good to me. I go South most every Summer to visit with my children as I then go over to the old House section of Northampton Co., N.C.  Was down there this past summer and visited all around.  Spent one week with my only living sister Blanche who married the late Rev. Jas. T. Stanford, of the N.C. Methodist Conference.  He died last Oct. year ago and she buried him at our old house, the first Fly settlement in N.C.  She has bought a lovely old Colonial house in Scotland Neck, N.C. has one child, a daughter Nellie Blanche who married Mr. Phillip Hodges Pittman Last Dec. 27th.  She is teaching in the Scotland Neck School and Mr. Pittman is in Greece, buying tobacco for the R.J.Reynolds Co. of Winston Salem.  He will return to the States soon.  All of my old family are now dead except sis Blanche and I and it makes me sad to go down to the old house and Cemeteries.  I always go to great grand Dad’s grave.  I loved him and all the rest.  You know he settled there about 1750.  Rec’d a grant of three thousand acres of land from the English Crown and his house he built of brick brought from England as ballast on those old sail ships.  It was a fine old house they say, got burned down before my Dad was borned, but good many of the old bricks lying around on the ground there now.  When I was down there this past summer, Sister and I went over there to the Cemetery and walked across the field to where the old house stood and picked up some of the best of these old brick to keep as memento of the old house and great grand Dad John Fly.  I gave three of my children one each.  Have one lying right here before me now.  Fannie uses it for a door stop.  Sister has recently gotten the original English Coat of Arms of the Fly, Flythe or Flye fam.  They first originated in Sussex England.  The Coat of Arms takes them back to about 900 A.D. They were a family of wealth and great land owners in England.  A fam. of nobility.  They spelled the name Fly, Flye and Flythe.  Some members of the family Sisters and brothers spelling the name differently way way back before the Norman Invasion, during the Norman Invasion some of the family left England and went to France and spelled the name in France Flythe. Our English Coat of Arms is beautiful.  It has a bird on it with no feet from this bird the name was taken Fly, never landing but forever on the alert full of energy and life extending on to Eternal Life in the ____.  Isn’t that beautiful.  That does not explain the whole Coat of Arms, it is beautiful.  I have been after my children to get one.  Our family came from England and first settled in Isle of Wight Co., Va. that is where great Grand Dad was born in 1724.  Well enough of that right now.  Sister brought me home from Scotland Neck first of Aug. and we had a nice happy trip.  Brother, Joe ___ died 1st of Oct. six years ago at his house in Laurel Hill N.C.  His widow and three children are living.  His son William H. is a very fine Doctor, He lives in High Point N.C. and practices in the City Hospital reminds me lots of you J.T. about your size.  Well after I came home in August my daughter, Mrs. J. L. Hubbard and Husband, son and daughter, Saul and Virginia Mae of Norfolk, came to see us and

                            
(--- there seems to be a page missing here----)

 
hand is very tired and so & so I will have to ring off Come up to Ohio to see us sometime and write to me.  I love you all, My nearest Kin, living on my Daddy’s side.  God Bless you. 

Your Sincere Cousin,
Rowland B. Flythe

P.S.  Please excuse all mistakes and scratches.  I can start out alright but my hand trembles and gets tired I will be 74 years old next month, but I can’t realize it.  I am ready to go anytime God calls me.

 

                                      50 year Civil War Stamp 

 

December 11, 1947

208 N. Spring St.
Bluffton Ohio
Dec. 11, 1947

Dear Cousin JT,
            I have waited some time to answer your nice and much appreciated letter but I was waiting, for information from my sister Blanche (or Mrs. Stanford) of Scotland Neck N.C. as to how she got the Fly Coat of Arms and I am inclosing the address to you.  You can write them according to the following address and they will give you information as to what it will cost you.  They will have it made for you and also give you how and where the family originated back about eight or nine hundred  A.D. in Sussex England.  Ask them to give you all they have on the family and how they spelled the name, Some spelled it, in those day, Fly, some Flye & some Flythe, but it seem the name was taken from a bird that has no feet but forever Flies.  It is on the Coat of Arms and it is beautiful.  They were People of wealth and great land owners in Sussex England.  Now here is the address sister sent me I rec’d it yesterday.

“ Hennessee Studio
            of
Heraldic Arts, Salesbury, N.C."

Sister said her Coat of Arms were painted scetch & written by W.E. Hennessee

You can mention her name to them if you would like, Mrs. Blanche Flythe, Stanford of 617 N. Main St., Scotland Neck, N.C.  She got the Arms in the name Fly, which she has always thought was beautiful (and so do I).  Now as to others who have the Arms, Cousin Acree Lassiter Flythe widow of the late Jesse Thomas Flythe, who was clerk of the Court in Jackson, N.C. for 30 years and Treasurer of the N.C. Methodist Conference, also 33 degree Mason one of the sweetest men I have ever called Cousin.  She has the Coat of Arms in the name Flythe and it is not like sis Blanches.  She told me when I was there to see her (two years ago) that she had hers painted by a Lady there in Jackson.  She said that James Laurence Fly, formerly of Tenn. Who was at one time Radio Television, Commissioner appointed by Pres. Roosevelt but is now back at his law practice in New York, was in Jackson to see her not long before I was there, trying to hunt up his old ancestors told her he had the same Coat of Arms made in the name Fly.  You see I had two or three great uncles, who went to Nashville Tenn and he is a descendant of one of them. I told cousin Acree if I had been there I would have taken him to my old house and carried him to great grand father John Fly’s grave and showed him where his old brick home use to stand built of brick brought from England.  Cousin Acree’s address is Mrs. Acree Flythe, Jackson, N.C. I went to see her last summer.  She is a sweet old lady.  Her father Abner Lassiter late of Conway, N.C. was my mother’s double first cousin.  He and cousin Joseph O. Flythe of Conway were in business together for many years, Flythe and Lassiter. Joe and J.T. (or Simon he was called) married sister Acree & Fannie Lassiter.  Cousin Joe was right like my father, talked like him.  Well now as to James Haley (or Manch) Flythe he was called, he was first cousin to Jesse F. (or Simon) of Jackson and Joseph O.  and he was the son of James Sykes (or Squire Flythe) was son of John Flythe, who was son of Ameliius my great uncle, also son of the first John.  I have always thought he was Father of all the Fly’s, hasn’t he got a family?

Well (old boy) I must close now.  Come to see us it is not much over 500 miles, would love to have you and coz. Mary.  God bless you all and give you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  (excuse mistakes I am nervous) 

Your fond Cousin,
Rowland Braxton Flythe  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Virginia Dare Stamp

 

July 22,1948

208 N. Spring St.
Bluffton
, Ohio
July 22nd, 48

Dear Cousin John Thomas,

I sure was sorry that I did not see you and cousin Mary while I was in the Newport News and Norfolk section but as I wrote you from Russell’ the children had to change their plans and we had to spend the first week end and first of following week Russell as he had planned to get off from Ship Yard and spend the following week in the Mountains with his family that taking in the Sunday.  I had written you that I would be at his house Fannie and her husband and son went to Hampton to visit with my daughter Louise (or Mrs. G.G. Guilette and fam) the rest of the week and I went on to Norfolk to spend some time with Marie (or Mrs. J.L. Hubbard) and family and then back to Portsmouth to spend a while with my son Roland Dennis and fam and some old friends in that city including my late wife’s only living sister Mrs. Lilly Boyce now 87 years old and my old cousin and _____ Travis Flythe, Father of Norman J. Flythe who is now in the Virginia Methodist Conference.  I guess you have been in touch with him as he has been trying for several years to write the Fly, Flythe family Tree.  Travis says he is still working on it Poor Boy I know he has had a hard experience.  You know it was through his mistake in mailing a letter written to my late brother, J. T. to Laurel, Va in stead of Laurel Hill, N.C. that I got in touch with you, one of my nearest kin and, in my heart I have thanked him ever since because I had heard so much of my Uncle Soloman’s People and had never seen but one and that was when I was quite a little boy, one of Uncle Soloman’s girls visited with my Sisters.  I do not remember her name.  However, I remember her sweet voice.  She sang for my sisters and I thought she had a lovely voice.  It must have been God working in a mysterious way through Norman to bring us to know each other, more intimately.  I am thankful for I always honored and loved my dear old Father so much that I love all of his People.  I am, indeed sorry that I did not get to see you and Cousin Mary.   I have often thought since the first time I met you all of the nice visit I enjoyed with you and have also thought of your names and how they compare with the names of my great grandfather and his wife. John Fly the first settler of the family in N.Car. so far as we know married Mary Johnson, Sister to old Col. Elisha Johnson who was very prominent in those days.  So you see my great grandfather and Mother who were you great great grand Father and Mother had the same names before marriage that you and your wife had.  Now all or most I know about the old Heads of the family was told me by my mother and my brother Joseph Thomas, Bro Joe was ten years older than I and Father told him the history of the family time and again. Father told him all about the old 3000 acre Grant of land from the English Crown to John Fly, his grand Father.  He knew about  where the boundaries were.  It called for all of the land in the bend of the Meherrin River and his house which stood a stones throw of where my Father built in 1856 and 1857 was built of brick brought from England.  Some of the old bricks are still lying on the ground there. Now I have one here, as a souvenir.  I bought it from there last summer.  He had a race track run from his barn yard, one mile long, to what is now called Cross Locks.  It was Tavern Crossing then because he built a Tavern there for transient people and he also built an Academy and named it Bethlehem Academy.  He sent grand father Enos to Oxford England and Educated him there and after he came back from England, he was Principal of that Academy forty years in succession until the school got burned down. He built his house over in another field back of the old brick house.  He did not like his Step Mother and would not live in the brick house and when he died he requested Father not burry him in the grave yard where she was buried.  So he and grandmother Sarah Odom Flythe are buried near where his house stood.  Great grand Dad and his wor wive are buried together where some other _____ of the fam are buried about  1—0 yards east of my Father’s house.  Most of the Old Grant had gone out of the family and the old brick house had burned down after Father was born so when or after he was married he bought back about 200 aces of John Fly’s Widow’s Dower so he could build his house right near the old settlement and the old grave yard.  Dad and the late John Harrel bought the dower back together and Dad took about 200 acres and old uncle John Harrel (we children called him) took the rest and divided it, while Father was in the Civil War and ran the dividing line right along beside the old grave yard leaving it on Dad’s side.  Norman Flythe in writing the family tree told that he could not find the land grant from England anywhere.  I guess not as there _______________Jackson.  Was all Birtee Co. at that time, and I guess Windsor was the County Seat and Newberne was the Capital of the State.  I expect one would have to find records of the grant in London. Norman has done fine to get what he did but the last copy he sent me few years ago had so many mistakes in it, I never paid much more attention to it.  James Lawrence Fly of New York wrote me that according to his records, Jerrimire Fly and John Fly were born in Northampton Co N.C.  why there was no such County in N.C. then and my Father, said his grand father John came from Va, so I guess Norman’s record and the statement you sent me are correct.  So far as our family knew great grand Dad John was married twice, but all of his children were by his first wife Mary Johnson Fly.  She was a fine woman but they said his last wife did not amount to much hence granddad would not live near her nor have anything to do with her and would not be buried near her.  Ha! Ha!  So there are three cemeterries there in one family in hollerin distance of each other.  That is one thing we can brag on, the old Boy could afford three Cemeterries.  Will I hope some time We can get together and really talk things over.  I love the old fellows in their graves.  We all make our mistakes in this life.  I hope this letter finds you all well and happy.  Write to me when you have time and Ohio is not so far away.  Kindest regards to Cousin Mary and all. 

Your sincere Cousin,
Roland Braxton Flythe

 

                                  Yorktown Stamp

 

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