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From:
Subject: [CURTIS] "Tories of the Hills" Curtis line
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 15:20:18 EST


Dear Curtis Researchers,
I believe that we are very close to pinpointing the ancestry of Solomon
Curtis b. around 1797 Buncombe County, NC.  Last year I was in touch with
some of you and got some vital information which is now facilitating the
breaking down of our long time "brick wall".  Joann Holdbrooks recently told
me that our Solomon Curtis lived for a while in Humphreys County, TN.
Jay Stein had sent me information on the line of his Samuel Curtis which
mentioned Humphreys County, TN.  Frank Butcher sent me a message last July
with information on the line of Nathanial Curtis and Susannah Thomas.  In
this message were the names John Hamer and James Auld.  The Auld name caught
my attention because I had seen it before when I was researching my ancestor
Hezekiah C. Lyle, whose daughter Martha Jane Lyle married William Verpo
Curtis, son of Solomon Curtis. Now there were both Liles/Lyles as well as
Curtises in Anson County, NC.  I knew from a book on Anson County, NC that a
Michael Piper Auld had married Sidney Fields, sister of the Celia Fields who
married John Liles and whose son Charles migrated to Wayne County, TN.  I
knew that Hezekiah lived in Wayne County, TN for a while, as well as Tippah
County, MS and Pope County, Arkansas.  I never proved it but still believe
that Hezekiah was the brother of Charles, so the Fields name is relevant to
him as well.  So here are the Hamers and Aulds of Anson County intermarrying
with the Curtis line which is the one I suspect is Solomon's and the Liles
line which I suspect is Hezekiah's.  I had seen at least one intermarriage of
these same Curtis and Liles lines in Marengo County, AL (John Young Lyles
married Sarah Curtis).  John Young Lyles was a descendant of George Noble
Lyles who was from Prince George County, MD.  I think that Sarah Curtis was a
granddaughter of the Samuel Curtis (son of the 1718 Nathanial Curtis some of
whose descendants migrated from Anson County, NC to Humphreys County, TN).
 The information I found on Samuel Curtis, Revolutionary War soldier, was
that he was from Prince George County, MD.  Unless there were two Samuel
Curtis Revolutionary War soldiers both from Maryland, I think this must be
Samuel Curtis, son of the Queen Anne's County, MD Nathaniel Curtis and
Susannah Thomas.   Sue Abernathy last year asked a question for which this
information is the answer.  She knew that a John Young Lyles married a Sarah
Curtis in Marengo County, AL  but did not know the father of John.  From my
work on the Lyles line I know that his father was George Noble Lyles b. 1798
in MD (not 1801 as she said).  His mother was Temperance C. Moody b. January
29, 1801 in Iredell County, NC so Sue had the mother's birthdate as the
father's.  Anyway, the point is that George Noble Lyles had close kin in
Anson County, NC and his grandfather was the Colonel William Lyles of Prince
George County, MD who had the property called Want Water on the Broad Creek
and who provided supplies to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
 So here we have another Lyles with ancestral roots in Maryland marrying a
Curtis also with ancestral roots in Maryland. Sarah's father was Daniel
Curtis, son of Samuel Curtis, and they were married in 1852 in Clarke County,
AL.

Now I have seen evidence of these lines having connections to known Quaker
and Cherokee surnames.  I know that the Quakers and Cherokees were
intermarrying more than other groups.  I am not maintaining that they
remained Quaker because there is a lot of evidence of high military
accomplishments, especially in the Revolutionary War (some of the Maryland
Lyles were colonels).  However, I think the Maryland origin is also a clue to
the Quaker origin.  Also of interest is that there was a 1790 Eli Thomas
Curtis of Anson County, NC who was obviously related to the Humphreys County,
TN Curtis line.  He was in Ohio and then given a land grant in TN.  His son
Eli Thomas Curtis, Jr. died in Humphreys County, TN.   The Hamers and Aulds
also had Ohio connections and early Quaker connections.  Eli Thomas Curtis
(Jr. I believe, not the 1790 one who would have been almost 70 years old by
the time of the Civil War) was an operator in the Underground Railroad, as
was a James Auld (descendant of the Anson County, NC James Auld?).  The
Quakers tended to stick up for oppressed groups like Cherokees and Black
slaves.  Could this be relevant to the fact that Solomon Curtis and his sons
are highlighted in the book Tories of the Hills,  which is about the Union
loyalists of Winston County, AL?  Because of the name William Carroll Curtis
(he married a Holsonback--you Solomon Curtis researchers know who were the
Holsonbacks) and the Humphreys County, TN location, I believe that Solomon
was either a brother or close cousin of Eli Thomas Curtis.  Now Solomon's
father was possibly the Revolutionary War soldier Jonathan Curtis b. 1747,
and from viewing many relevant messages and website submissions I believe
that Jonathan and Samuel were brothers of the 1747 Thomas Joshua Curtis who
married Eleanor Bryant.  Frank Butcher gives the other sibs as an Elijah,
Nathaniel and Elizabeth.  He did not list a Jonathan but it is possible that
 the use of a middle name at one time and a first name at another could be
the reason.  I have seen examples of this many times in doing genealogy and
it certainly can make for some confusion for us researchers.  I myself go by
my middle name Ruth and was born Mary Ruth.  In any case, I know that (John?)
Solomon Curtis was closely related to Eli Thomas Curtis because the name
William Carroll Curtis occurs in both lines.  I am hoping that Ray Harris can
help with this.  He mentioned the fact that James Solomon Curtis (grandson of
Solomon Curtis through his son William Verpo Curtis) married Tempie
Holsonback and that a William Carroll Curtis married her sister.  William
Carroll Curtis could have been the brother of James Solomon Curtis because I
do know that William Verpo Curtis had a son named William C. Curtis.

A few other tidbits which are part of this story--the Hamers and Aulds have
roots in Talbot County, MD as well as Queen Anne's County, MD (right next
door to each other).  The line of Nathaniel Curtis b. 1718 was from Queen
Anne's County, MD.
It seems that since the Auld line was so prominent this would be a way to
find out more on the Curtis story. Maybe we should look for information with
this in mind and for books on the Underground Railroad.  This could turn into
a book which goes beyond and puts the story of the Curtis family told in
Tories of the Hills and Annals of Northwest Alabama into a bigger perspective.

There is a genealogy book at the Sutro Library here in San Francisco which
has a lot on this Maryland Lyles family.  When I was viewing it last year I
did not suspect then that my Curtis line was associating with my Lyles line
all the way back in Maryland.  If I view the book again with that in mind I
think I may find some relevant information.

I hope that Curtis researchers, especially Gary Frazier, Gerald Nix, Jay
Stein, Ray Harris, Nancy Harvey and Sue Abernathy will consider my points and
give me some feedback.  Jay, have you found the origin of this Curtis line
before Maryland?  It seems that they could be connected to the Connecticut
Curtis family of Fairfield County, which goes back to Nazeing, Essex,
England, but I could be wrong.  I had originally thought that this Curtis
line went back to Deodatus Curtis but now it seems not to be the case.  

I look forward to input from any Curtis researcher who has any knowledge of
these matters.

Ruth Gravitt



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