Jesse Toliver &
Franky Stamper

Jesse Toliver, possibly a son of John TOLIVER, was born 1756 in Fauquier Co., VA, and died Mar. 4, 1838, in Ashe Co., NC. He married Frances "Franky" Stamper, daughter of Jonathan & Rachel STAMPER, Apr. 1782 in Wilkes Co., NC. She was born Feb. 14, 1767, in Amherst Co., VA, and died 1850-1860, in Ashe Co., NC.

Children of Jesse Toliver & Frances "Franky" Stamper:

  1. Jane Toliver, b. July 6, 1783, Wilkes Co., NC. Name and birthdate from Jesse Toliver's family Bible; no other info.
  2. Susan Toliver, b. Feb. 14, 1785, Wilkes Co., NC. Some sources say she died bef. 1800, but other researchers believe she is the Susanna TOLIVER who m. Abraham MILLER and d. Feb. 5, 1867, in Lawrence Co., IN.  Children: Solomon Washington Miller (1815), Susannah E. Miller, John A. Miller (1817), Frances Miller (1823).
  3. Sarah "Sallie" Toliver, b. May 9, 1786, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Dec. 28, 1859, Lee Co., IL; m. Absalom FENDER, son of Nimrod FENDER & Sarah SUMERS, abt. 1809 (Aug. 20, 1789; d. Mar. 10, 1849); bur. Sugar Grove Cemetery, Lee Co., IL. Children: Martha Frances "Frankie" Fender (1809), Solomon Fender (1813), Susannah Fender (1813), Irene Fender (1816), Martin Fender (1819), Jesse Fender (1821), John Henry Fender (1823), Hiram Fender (1825), Sarah Ann Fender (1827), Jane Fender (1830), James Monroe Fender (1832).
  4. John Toliver, b. June 20, 1788, Wilkes Co., NC; d. 1834, Ashe Co., NC; m. Anna "Patsy" LONG, abt. 1810 (b. 1788; d. 1834-1836).  After John's death, Anna moved the family to Owen Co., IN. Children: John Toliver, Mathursa "Thursey" Toliver (1811), Isom Toliver (1814), Larkin Toliver (1815), Elijah "Eli" Toliver (1818), Levi H. Toliver (1819), Hiram Toliver (1822), Tobias J. Toliver (1824), Martha E. Toliver (1829), Patience Toliver (1831), Jane Toliver (1832).
  5. +Martha "Patsy" Toliver, b. Mar. 13, 1797, Wilkes Co., NC; d. 1850-1860, Ashe (Alleghany) Co., NC; m. John FENDER, son of Nimrod FENDER & Sarah SUMERS, abt. 1812 (b. Mar. 13, 1794; d. Feb. 21, 1857).
  6. Jacob Toliver, b. July 26, 1799, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Oct. 1854, Clay Co., IL; m. Susannah ISOM, daughter of John ISOM & Rebecca COLE, Dec. 27, 1821, Grayson Co., VA (b. abt. 1806; d. aft. 1860). Children: Rebecca Toliver (1823), Frances Toliver (1824), Rosa Jane Toliver (1827), Sarah Toliver (1829), Mahala Toliver (1833), Dorcas Toliver (1836), Wilborn Starling Toliver (1838), John Toliver (1841), George Allen Toliver (1843), Harriet Toliver (1843).
  7. Allen Toliver, b. July 18, 1802, Ashe Co., NC; d. Feb. 11, 1891, Lawrence Co., IN; m. (1) Susan FINGER, daughter of John FINGER & Mary TROUTMAN, June 11, 1829, Lawrence Co., IN (b. Sept. 6, 1808; d. Aug. 22, 1847); (2) Mahala LASWELL, Mar. 19, 1850, Lawrence Co., IN (b. May 13, 1813; d. July 8, 1896); bur. Freedom Cemetery, Mitchell, Lawrence Co., IN. Children: Frances Toliver (1830), John H. Toliver (1831), Jesse Toliver (1833), Joseph Toliver (1835), Jacob Toliver (1837), William Bracy Toliver (1839), Mary Ann Toliver (1842), David Riley Toliver (1843), George Washington Toliver (1845), Catherine Toliver (1847), Henry C. Toliver (1852), Susan Toliver (c.1855), Philly Toliver (c.1857).
  8. +Solomon Toliver, b. May 13, 1804, Ashe Co., NC; d. abt. 1865, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Margaret Ann BLEVINS, daughter of John BLEVINS & Catherine COX, abt. 1826, or Margaret CALLOWAY (sources conflict) (b. Oct. 26, 1800; d. Mar. 26, 1895).
  9. +Starling Toliver, b. Mar. 13, 1806, Ashe Co., NC; d. 1870-1880, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Millie Ann SPURLIN, daughter of Jeremiah SPURLIN & Chloe __, Dec. 3, 1829, Buncombe Co., NC (b. abt. 1812; d. 1870-1880).
  10. Hiram Toliver, b. Mar. 10, 1808, Ashe Co., NC; d. Dec. 27, 1895, Wyoming Co., WV; m. (1) Nancy HILL, daughter of William & HILL, abt. 1831 (b. abt. 1808; d. ?); m. (2) Phebe BARTON, daughter of John & Elizabeth BARTON, Oct. 23, 1873, Alleghany Co., NC (b. May 2, 1814; d. Aug. 20, 1901). Children: Frances Toliver (1829), Allen Toliver (1832), Martha Toliver (c.1834), John Toliver (c.1835), Jesse Toliver (1837), Stephen A. Toliver (1838), Enoch Toliver (1841), Thursa Betty Toliver (c.1843).


UPDATE 1/27/14: new DNA evidence shows a close match between descendants of Jesse Toliver of Wilkes County, NC, and descendants of a man named Lancelot Oliver from Ulster, Ireland, who settled in Massachusetts in the early 1700's. For more information see the Oliver DNA Project. This evidence strongly suggests that there was an Oliver-Toliver name change, which may explain why so many researchers have hit a brick wall trying to connect Jesse Toliver and his brothers with the known Toliver/Taliaferro families in Virginia.

Jesse Toliver is one of the "Five Toliver Brothers" of Wilkes County, NC.  The other "brothers" (or perhaps cousins) were Moses, William, John, and Charles).  For more discussion of the Five Brothers, see notes under John Toliver.  The brothers are somewhat mysterious, but we know a good deal about Jesse from his application for a Revolutionary War pension (National Archives Pension File No. W4086).  Jesse's sworn statement, dated Mar. 1, 1834, begins with a short biography:

"On the 1st day of March 1834 personally appeared before us the undersigned two of the acting justices of the peace for said county and state aforesaid aged seventy-eight years as he believes has no record of his age. Who first being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7 1832—that he was born in the state of Virginia Fauquier County, that when young his father removed to James River about 30 miles above Richmond in Virginia lived there about 3 years & removed to Wilkes County North Carolina four or five years before the Revolution was in this part of the country and that he entered the service of his country when about 18 or 19 years of age as a volunteer & as a Ranger …"

The first months of Jesse's military career were spent harassing the Cherokee Indians under Capt. William LENOIR and Lt. Barnett OWENS.  The Cherokee had allied themselves with the British in hopes that the British authorities would limit further encroachment by settlers into Cherokee territory.  Jesse Toliver's company spent two months ranging about the New River and Reddies River before marching to the Cherokee Nation on the Tennessee River where they stayed three months. Jesse states matter-of-factly that "we burnt and destroyed the Indian towns & huts that we found … had no fighting as the Indians fled when we came into the nation."

When the Revolutionary War began, Jesse joined a company from Wilkes County under the command of Gen. William Lenoir. On their first tour of duty, they marched from Wilkes County up Hunting Creek to the waters of the Catawba, but when they arrived the battle was over. "[W]e saw the dead lying on the field the Torys was defeated and we were marched home after being out in service two months." On the next campaign, "We pursued the Torys as they retreated until they joined the British Army near Kings Mountain under one Ferguson. The time that I served in thes trip was one month and a half. We were then marched back home."

Jesse's third tour of duty was at the Battle of King's Mountain. Once again, he missed the fighting. "[W]e marched from Wilkes County up the Yadkin River to Johns River … all that had horses went on & left the foot men … The Battle was fought before the foot men arrived as I was one of them." They met the army coming back from the battle, and Jesse accompanied the prisoners to Salem as a guard. There he "stayed until my three months was out and then returned home."

During his last tour of duty, Jesse marched with Lenoir's company to the Haw River in Orange County, where they spied on Cornwallis' army and went home after five months. At the very end of the war, Jesse finally saw some action "pursuing small portions of Torys." He also collected horses and cattle from men who had been drafted but refused to serve.

Jesse's application for a pension was supported by an affidavit from General William Lenoir of Wilkes County, dated Mar, 12, 1834:

"Genl William LENOIR … made oath in due form at law that he was well acquainted with one Jesse TOLIVER now of Ashe County NC during the Revolutionary War, that the said Jesse belonged to a company of militia commanded by himself, a part of the time of that arduous and difficult period and that the said Jesse performed several tours of militia duty under him both against the Indians British and Tories but the particular length of each tour or the particular circumstances under which they were performed this deponent cannot from the lapse of time and loss of memory pretend to recollect he is however satisfied that the said Jesse TOLIVER performed as much service under him, as any other individual ever under his command during the period aforesaid."

Affidavits were also filed by Drury SENTER (a Baptist clergyman) and James MCMILLAN of Ashe County who swore they knew Jesse TOLIVER and believed him to be a soldier of the Revolution.  Jesse Toliver's application was granted and he appears on the 1834 pension roll of Ashe Co., NC.

Frances "Franky" Stamper married Jesse Toliver in April 1782.  She was the daughter of Jonathan Stamper, who was an early settler in Surry (later Wilkes) County.  The Stamper family arrived in 1767 from Amherst County, Virginia, according to Revolutionary War pension applications filed by Jonathan's sons Joel and Jacob Stamper.  Jonathan Stamper's name first appears on a tax list in Surry County in 1771.  During the 1770's and 1780's, he bought and sold a number of parcels of land on Bugaboo Creek and the Roaring River in Wilkes County, NC.  Jonathan Stamper died testate in Wilkes County in 1799.  His will names his wife Rachel, son Jesse, and "rest of my children" (not identified).  (Wilkes WB 1, p.509.)

Land records indicate that Jesse and Franky (Stamper) Toliver originally settled on upper Mulberry Creek in Wilkes County, where Jesse owned land.  However, a road order from 1789 indicates they had crossed over the Blue Ridge and were living on the New River and Elk Creek.  This area became part of Ashe County in 1799 and Alleghany County in 1859.

Jesse and Franky Toliver had ten children between 1783 and 1808.  Jesse died on Mar. 4, 1838, at the age of 82, according to his pension file.  In 1842, Franky Toliver applied for pension benefits as Jesse's widow.  Her application states that she married Jesse Toliver on the 1st or 2nd of April, 1782.  Her son, Solomon Toliver, filed a declaration in support of her petition in 1847, and attached four pages from the family Bible in order to prove that Franky had been married to Jesse.  The Bible lists the births of Jesse & Franky's children as well as numerous grandchildren (see page 4).

In 1850, Franky was 82 years old and living with her son Solomon Toliver (Ashe Co., NC, Census, p.240).  She does not appear in any subsequent census records, and presumably died before 1860.