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The McDowell Genealogy

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John Montrose Stanley

John Montrose Stanley and Erastus Odelia Holt

John Montrose Stanley and Erastus Odelia Holt

Erastus Odeila Holt

Erastus Odelia Holt

The Stanley Families of Guilford County

Micajah Stanley (1739-1819) and Barbara Walker

Early birth records for the Stanley families show them being born in Hanover County, Virginia which is the Richmond area of Virginia. One of the early Stanley settlers Micajah Stanley was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1739 but later migrated to Guilford County, NC where he died. All of his children starting in 1766 are listed as born in Guilford County, NC, so we assume that he and his family moved to Guilford County right after his marriage on October 10, 1765 in Fairfax, London, Virginia where his wife to be was living. He married Barbara Walker in Fairfax, London County, VA. She was born about 1744 in London, Virginia and died on March 13, 1813 in Guilford County, NC. Micajah Stanley was born on November 28, 1739 in Hanover County, Virginia and died on May 25, 1819 in Guilford County, NC. (This information was compiled from various sources on the Internet; original documents are not in the hands of this editor).

Micajah Stanley did leave a will in which he named all his children and wife. (Transcribed copy) His last son was Isaac Stanley who married and lived in Guilford County.

According to the will of Micajah Stanley, the following children were born.

    • Mahlon Stanley - born Oct 6, 1766
    • James Stanley - born December 19, 1768
    • Sarah Stanley - born March 22, 1772 and married a White
    • Anthony Stanley - born January 3, 1772
    • Catherine Stanley - born May 28, 1779
    • Isaac Stanley - born July 5, 1782 and married (1) Esther Lee and (2) Elizabeth Bundy

Isaac Stanley (1782-1841) and Esther Lee and (Elizabeth Bundy)

Isaac Stanley was born on July 5, 1782 in New Garden, Guilford County, NC. He married Esther Lee on February 24, 1809 in Guilford County. His will was written on July 1, 1841 but was not proved in open court until the August term of 1861 (Will transcribed). He left both a will and there are estate papers asking for division of his lands (estate papers transcribed). Several genealogies posted on the web have Isaac Stanley marrying a second time to Elizabeth Bundy about 1814. There is no marriage record for this marriage that I have found; however, it is noted that his wife's name on his will is Elizabeth, not Esther.

The will specifies that Isaac Stanley's wife Elizabeth will have use of his lands during her life or widowhood and after that time, the land would be sold at public auction with the proceeds divided equaly among the children and heirs. It appears that the wife lived until about 1861 at which time a petition was made to divide the land. The attorneys for the families asked that a commission be established to review the fact that because so many of the heirs were living as tenants in common on the land, that they would be injured if the land were sold. The judge appointed a one person commission to advertize the sale of the land, to sell the land, and bring to the court a record of the proceeds which would be divided among the heirs as the will directed.

The will specifically lists John Stanley as his son and most importantly, it lists a daughter named Esther Stanley who was and remained unmarried. In the 1880 census, the daughter Esther Stanley is living with John Stanley and wife Sarah Archer and is listed as "sister". Therefore, we have definite proof that this particular Isaac Stanley is the father of our John Stanley. According to the will of Isaac Stanley, the following children were born as follows:

    • Henry Stanley
    • Anna Stanley who married a Booth
    • Charles Stanley
    • Elizabeth Stanley
    • Esther Stanley
    • Uriah Stanley
    • John Stanley - born Decemer 8, 1826 and died before January 23, 1888 in Guilford County, NC. He married Sarah Archer - see below.
    • Cotitie Stanley

John Stanley (1826 - 1888) and Sarah Archer

John Stanley who married Sarah Archer on September 26, 1850 in Guilford County, NC. John Stanley is one of the sons of Isaac Stanley and is related to many of the Stanley's in Guildford County.

John Stanley served in the Civil War. He was a member of Company E of the 22nd Regiment of NC Troops in the infantry. He enlisted in Guilford County at age 36 on February 22, 1862. He was reported absent without leave in July 1862. He returned to duty on an unspecified date. He was wounded in the right foot at Chancellarsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863 but returned to duty again on an unspecified date. He was paroled in Greensboro on May 10, 1865.

John Stanley - born Dec. 8, 1826 at New Garden, Guilford County, NC and died in Guilford County before January 23, 1888. He is buried at Sandy Ridge Methodist Church in Guilford County. His wife Sarah Archer was born between 1832-1837 according to census records. She was still alive on June 13, 1893 when the marriage bond son John Montrose Stanley was applied for.

An interesting document is on file in the estates of Guilford County (CR 046.522.132). It's in the estate of Mahlon Stanley, August term of the courts, 1853. Thomas Stanley is in court as the administrator of his father Mahlon Stanley. A lot of family history is noted. Cyrus Stanley is of Guilford County, Nancy intermarried with Joel Davis who lives out of state. Lazena intermarried with George Swaim of Guilford County. Louise Stanley is of Guilford County, Lurena Stanley is of Guilford County, Lydia Stanley of Guilford County, Hannah Stanley of Guilford County, Rebecca Stanley of Guilford County, Calvin Stanley, John Stanley, Mary Stanley, Rachel intermarried with John Cain. Aaron F. Stanley and Rebecca Stanley are children of the deceased son Isaac Stanley (presumably of Mahlon Stanley). All of said Isaac's children ive out of the state. John Stanley is out of state. Beulah intermarried with William Swaim of Guilford County. Phobe Stanley of Guilford County. June intermarried with William Perkins and live out of state. Sarah Stanely lives in Guilford County. Mary intermarried with James Benbow and are out of the state. William Stanley is in Forsyth County and Ruth Stanley of Guilford County are all heirs at law of Mahlon Stanley. This is a lenghty document with many names. Certainly, there is a John Stanley listed here, but this is not the son of our Isaac Stanley. An important item to note is that many of the children of Mahlon Stanley moved out of state. Indeed our John Stanley has not been found in the 1850 census nor the 1870 census. Perhaps he also moved around for a period of time.

According to census records of 1860 and 1880 in Guilford County, NC, the following children were born. Note, John Stanley and Sarah Archer Stanley have not been found in the 1870 census for further verification of names and dates of birth.

  • Julius Stanley - born 1856
  • Mary Stanley - born 1858
  • W. Isaac Stanley - born 1856
  • Victoria A. Stanley - born 1859
  • Charles W. Stanley - born 1866
  • John Montrose Stanley - born August 8, 1869 and died on April 23, 1928. He married Odelia Erastus Holt, the daughter of Henry R. Holt and Emily Roney both of whom were born in Alamance County, NC.

The exact date of death of this John Stanley is not known. However, J. D. White, the public administrator was the "proper person entitled to the Letters of Administration" on the estate of John Stanley. The application for Letters of Administration were filed in Guilford County on January 23, 1888 by John Stanley. On this document John Montrose Stanley states that John Stanley is dead and that Sarah Stanley is the widow. The estate was valued at $8.50 real property and $8.50 personal property. Charles Stanley, John Stanley, and Victoria Stanley are listed on the document with no notation as to how they are related but John (Montrose) Stanley is the person who is sworn on the death of John Stanley. Obviously, John's wife Sarah Archer Stanley is still living since she is noted as "widow".

On a separate document dated June 12, 1893, John (Montrose) Stanley takes out a request for a marriage license with Odelia Holt. On the license, John Montrose Stanley confirms that he is the son of John Stanley and Sallie (same as Sarah) Stanley, the father now dead and the mother living and a resident of Guilford County. Odelia Holt states that she is the daughter of Henry Holt and Flora Roney Holt (her mother's name isn't listed nor is her first name, but I have inserted the correct information). The marriage record is dated June 12, 1893. The minister was a Minister of the M. E. South Church and the marriage took place at the residence of the minister.

John Montrose Stanley and Erastus Odelia Holt

Erastus Odelia Holt is the daughter of Henry R. Holt and Emily Roney

(NOTE: The 1880 census and the land record below show John Montrose Stanley's wife a Erastus O. Holt and E. Odelia Stanley although some family records show her name as Odelia Erastus. Her marriage record only shows Odelia. The authors choose to use the two legal documents noted as Erastus Odelia Holt)

The children born to this family are as follows:

  • Vernon (Vernie) Baxter Stanley - born May 10, 1895 and died August 29, 1951. He is buried at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Randolph County, NC
  • Roney Della Stanley - born April 13, 1899 and died April 15, 1996
  • Flora Leona Stanley - born July 1, 1904 and died August , 1969. She is buried at Guilford Memorial Cemetery in Guilford County, NC.
  • Seth Steven Stanley - born December 15, 1906 and died February 24, 1987
  • Mary Vashti Stanley - born November 1, 1909 and died February 27, 1996

John Montrose Stanley and Erastus Odelia Stanley received land from Henry R. Holt and his wife Rosa A. Holt as listed in Deed Book 132, page 747. The deed was dated July 12, 1901 by Henry R. Holt and his wife Rosa A Holt of Guilford County to John M. Stanley and E. Odelia Stanley of Guilford County for $250 paid by Stanley for land in the High Point Township adjoining Amos Ragan, Weaver Cox, Holt and others. The amount was 20 acres near the plank road and was in lieu of a former deed dated October 27, 1896 to correct the lines of the property.

When I (Jerry McDowell) was a young child under 10 years old, my dad Harding McDowell and mom Evangeline McDowell would go visit mom's mother "Mother Roney" off highway 62 in Randolph County. Brother Keith and sister Carolyn were all usually along although Carolyn was not born until 1956. Mother Roney was in her third marriage with Gurney Fields and lived out on a farm next to her brother Seth Stanley. Seth had married Cora Fields, Gurney's sister and she just passed away in November 2007 at age 97. She outlived her husband Seth by nearly 20 years.

When our family wasn't visiting Dad's mom Dovie Roxanna Morgan McDowell on Ward Street, we would be with Mother Roney and family. Many times, mom's brother Deron would bring the first video camera I've ever seen over to Roney's and much of that film is still viewable but not of the best quality. I have video of Keith and I throwing football with our dad. We must have been 6 to 8 years old. When Deron filmed inside the house, he had to use a huge stand of lights hooked to the camera sitting on the top of it. In retrospect, it reminds me of the stadium lights at football fields although I'm sure it wasn't that big or bright. We always thought it strange that he brought that huge camera that I believe he brought home from Korea when he was in the service there. But, I'm happy to have that film available even up through the years I was a senior in high school in the mid 1960's.

I'm sure we have film of an interesting individual who I had met but just didn't know much about him. His name to us was "Uncle Nick". He was born Nicholas G. Holt, a brother to Erastus Odelia Holt and he died in 1957 when I was only eleven years old. I just remember him sitting in the chair in Mother Roney's living room. Of course, he was seventy plus years old at the time and not someone a ten year old would normally take to. Perhaps I'll find a clip of that film with Uncle Nick and place a little on this site. The film is in the Deron Hawks family in High Point.

Here's just a little genealogy information to help identify Uncle Nick. His grandfather was Nicholas O. Holt (born in 1813) and lived in Alamance County in the 1850 census and was married to Nancy (born in 1814). According to the census records, the following were his children and their dates of birth:

    • Mary Holt - born 1834
    • Martha Holt - born 1837
    • Michael Holt - born 1940
    • George W. Holt - born 1842
    • Elizabeth C. Holt - born 1844
    • Henry R. Holt - born April 1847 and died April 18, 1910

There may have been other children, but I didn't research past Henry R. Holt, my direct descendant. In the 1880 census, Henry R. Holt was living with his wife Emma (Emily Roney - age 25) in the Gilmer section of Guilford County and four children were shown as follows:

    • Thomas G. Holt - born 1873
    • Erastus Odelia Holt - born 1875 (my great grandmother)
    • Sallie C. Holt - born 1877. She married W. W. Jones
    • Etta C. Holt - born 1879. She married W. F. Davis.

There is no 1890 census for Guilford County, so in checking the 1900 census, one finds Henry R. Holt listed in High Point, Guilford County. His wife is listed as Rosena Holt, age 40 and being born in 1860. This is obiously NOT the same wife he was married to in 1880 with Rosena being born in 1860. (Note the land record inserted above in 1901 when his wfe was called "Rosa A. Holt"). The 1900 census shows three additional children living with Henry and Rosa Holt as follows:

    • Nicholas G Holt - age 19. This is "Uncle Nick" who was born on November 19, 1880 and died on May 13, 1957. He married a Gilmer but I have been unable to find the marriage record.
    • Charley P. Holt - age 10 and born in 1890.
    • Lizzie I. Holt - age 6 and born in 1894.

I do not have enough information to know when Emily Roney Holt died; however, the 1900 census states that Henry and Rosa have been married for 18 years and Rosa states that she had two children and two and still survivng. By looking at the dates of birth, it would appear that Charley P. Holt and Lizzie I. Holt are children of Henry R. Holt and Rosa A. Therefore, "Uncle Nick" and John Montrose Stanley's wife Odelia were full brothers and sisters and half brother and sister to Charley and Lizzie.

The daughter of Mary Vashti Stanley was Anita Montrose Byrum born on December 20, 1932. She and my Uncles Virgil Daniel Hawks (who lived in Northridge, CA) and Deron Hawks (who lived in Archdale, NC) researched the Stanley family and provided all the information on the family of John Montrose Stanley and Erastus Odelia Holt. The attached genealogy document was almost completed by Anita Byrum and was sent to me (Jerry McDowell) on October 8, 1999. She became ill and died on March 5, 2005. There was a beautiful obituary written in Boone, NC where she died. Ironically, Uncle Virgil Daniel Hawks died before Aunt Anita and then on January 20, 2002, Uncle Deron died.

Thanks Uncle Virgil, Aunt Anita, and Uncle Deron!

Virgil Daniel Hawks

Virgil Daniel Hawks

Deron Hawks

Deron Hawks

One Final Dedication and Thank You

Vernon Baxter Stanley

Vernon Baxter Stanley

Vernon Baxter Stanley, son of John Montrose Stanely and Erastus Odelia Holt had a very difficult youth. He ran away from home more than once. But, on one occasion he ran away to San Francisco and joined the army and was shpped to China. Upon his return and a change of lifestyle, he became a Pastor of multiple churches. His friends convinced him to write the story of the "seven tumultuous years of his life." He did write it and the book "Seven Years of My Life" by Vernon B. Stanley was published in 1916 in High Point and sold for $0.10 - ten cents. The story in the book is more like a testimony that one would give during a church service. The English grammar in the book is not formal and the spelling errors are many. However, the heart of the book is golden. If you wish to download this book, keep those thoughts in mind. It is over 3MB in a pdf file. Expect your perspective on life to be changed if you choose to read it.