Levi Willey of
Alleghany County, NC

Levi Willey was born 1812 in North Carolina and died Feb. 1896 in Alleghany Co., NC. He married (1) Nancy Billings, abt. 1841. She was born 1822 in North Carolina and died bet. 1870-1875 in Alleghany Co., NC. He married (2) Martha "Patsy" Fender, daughter of John FENDER & Martha TOLIVER, Apr. 22, 1875, in Alleghany Co., NC. She was born Feb. 13, 1836, in Ashe Co., NC, and died Nov. 30, 1897, in Alleghany Co., NC. Levi Willey and his first wife, Nancy Billings Willey, are buried at the Levi Willey Cemetery on Road 1417, Alleghany Co., NC. Martha Fender Willey is buried at the Pleasant Home Union Baptist Church, Road 1412, Alleghany Co., NC.

Children of Levi Willey & Nancy Billings:

  1. +Sarah Willey, b. abt. 1842, Ashe Co., NC; d. Nov. 11, 1884, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Hiram S. EDWARDS, son of Berry EDWARDS, Sr., & Ruth DAVIS, Apr. 5, 1866, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Feb. 2, 1838; d. July 3, 1909); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Alleghany Co., NC.
  2. Elizabeth "Bettie" Willey, b. Aug. 10, 1844, Ashe Co., NC; d. July 30, 1898, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Solomon FENDER, son of Allen FENDER & Nancy EDWARDS, Nov. 2, 1865, Alleghany Co., NC (b. abt. 1845; d. July 2, 1902); bur. Levi Willey Cemetery, Alleghany Co., NC.
  3. Charity Willey, b. Oct. 27, 1848, Ashe Co., NC; d. Feb. 13, 1891, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Isaiah SPARKS, son of Reuben SPARKS & Nancy MCGRADY, Jan. 1, 1871, Alleghany Co., NC (b. abt. 1851; d. 1883). Isaiah SPARKS is not listed with Charity in the 1880 census. He reportedly died in 1883 in Raleigh, NC, where he was imprisoned after being charged with horse theft by Col. Granville WILLEY.

Children of Levi Willey & Martha "Patsy" Fender: none.


Levi Willey Cemetery

Levi Willey Cemetery
Road 1417, Alleghany Co., NC
Photo by Carolyn Spence

Levi Willey (1812-1896) lived on Jewel Swamp Creek and the Little River in northern Alleghany County.  He may be the brother of Samuel Willey and Andrew Willey, who also lived in Ashe/Alleghany County during the same time period.  However, there's no direct proof of their relationship.  Levi's father has never been identified, but his mother is undoubtedly the Catherine Willey (age 80), who was living with his family at the time of the 1850 census.

Levi Willey is buried at a family cemetery on Road 1417 in Alleghany Co., NC.  His gravestone reportedly states that he was born in 1812 (see Alleghany County Cemeteries Through 1986, pub. by the Alleghany Co. Hist.-Gen. Society).  Others buried in this cemetery include Katie Willey (probably Levi's mother) and his first wife Nancy Billings Willey.  Click here for several Willey cemetery photos taken by Carolyn Willey Spence.

1850 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.241 (HH#46):
LEVI WILLEY, 36, farmer, $1000, NC
-- Nancy, 26, NC
-- Sarah, 8, NC
-- Elizabeth, 6, NC
-- Charity, 2, NC
-- Catherine, 80, PA << Levi's mother
1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, p.210/p.419 (HH#541):
LEVI WILLEY, 46, farmer, $2,000, $830, NC
-- Nancy, 36, NC
-- Sallie, 17, NC
-- Elizabeth Y., 15, NC
-- Charity, 12, NC
KROWS, Charles, 21, laborer

1860 Census, Agricultural Schedule, Alleghany Co., NC: LEVI WILLEY, 100 acres improved land, 600 acres unimproved land, value of farm $2,000, value of farm implements $25, 5 horses, 0 asses/mules, 10 milch cows, 0 working oxen, 19 other cattle, 40 sheep, 40 swine, value of livestock $850. (Source: New River Notes)

1870 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp. (HH#136):
LEVI WILLEY, 58, farmer, NC
-- Nancy, 48, NC
-- Charity, 21, NC
TRUITT, John, 20, at school, NC
-- William, 18, at school, NC
-- Sally, 26 B, at home, NC
-- Granville, 6 B, NC
-- John, 4 B, NC

Apr. 22, 1875. Levi WILLEY, age 60, son of Catherine WILLEY, m. Martha FENDER CHOATE, age 40, daughter of John FENDER & Martha TOLIVER. (G.H. Latham, Alleghany County Marriages (Heritage Books, 1996).)

1880 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp. (HH#91):
LEVI WILLEY, 65, farmer, NC NC NC
-- Martha, 44, wife, " " "
-- William, 15, son, " " "
-- Granville, 14 B, servant, " " "
-- John, 12 B, servant, " " "
HICKS, Laura, 16, servant, " " "

Deed Abstracts

Dec. 29, 1844. State of NC to Levi WILLEY, 100 acres in Ashe County on Peach Bottom Mountain and headwaters of Jewel Swamp Creek. Entered Feb. 28, 1842. (NC Archives Land Warrants & Plats, File No. 3249, Folder No., Grant No. 4051, Book 150:101.)

Nov. 25, 1850. State of NC to Levi WILLEY, 50 acres in Ashe County on Jewel Swamp adj. his line. Entered Nov. 28, 1848. Reg. June 13, 1893. (NC Archives Land Warrants & Plats, File No. 3753, Folder No., Grant No. 4795, Book No. 153:431, Alleghany DB 9:276.)

Aug. 30, 1855. John BARTLEY to Levi WILLEY, 3 acres on Little River including land & mills, beg. on the east side of Little River above the falls, running west across the river, north with the path to a stake above a spring, east to the old line, south to the first station, for $450. Signed: John BARTLEY. Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, Franklin A. RECTOR. (Alleghany DB 1:134.)

Nov. 9, 1857. Archibald EDWARDS to Levi WILLEY, a tract of land on Little River [no acreage stated] adj. the road in said EDWARDS' line, a little field, Thos. DOUGLAS, James ANDERS' line (the branch), the old ford near the river, & the wagon road, for $500. Signed: Archibald EDWARDS. Wits: L.A. WHITE, Martin CROUSE. (Alleghany DB 1:114.)

Feb. 17, 1863. Levi WILLEY to C.H. BILLINGS, a tract of land on east side of Little River [no acreage stated] adj. James ANDERS, the wagon road, a sandy flat near the CROUSE house, & CROUSE's spring branch, for $300. Except WOODRUFF's part in the mineral rights. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY (ack'd). Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, Wilborn (X) BILLINGS. (Alleghany DB 1:161.)

Jan. 6, 1865. Levi WILLEY to Joseph HUDSON, 125 acres adj. Levi FENDER, William JENNINGS, Sally CHOAT, & the lane, for $300. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY. Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, R.J. DOUGLAS. Proved Apr. 28, 1869, by T.C. DOUGLAS. (Alleghany DB 1:294.)

Jan. 18, 1867. Levi WILLEY to Jasper BILLINGS, 30 acres on Little River, beg. at the mouth of a branch below the "rase" house [probably means mill race], up said branch to the path at said rase house, top of a ridge, the wagon road, E.H. BILLINGS, a sandy flat, & the River, for $100. Half the minerals on said land excepted. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY. Wits: Wm. H. JOINES, Solomon FENDER. Feb. 22, 1870, we Jasper BILLINGS & wife Elizabeth assign the within deed back to Levi WILLEY except the minerals & roads to & from the mines for mining purposes. "Our mineral interest is one undivided half." Signed: Jasper BILLINGS, Elizabeth (X) BILLINGS. Wits: Wm.H. JOINES, T.C. DOUGLAS. Proved Sept. 16, 1873, by T.C. DOUGLAS. (Alleghany DB 2:79.)

July 5, 1869. C.L. CARR & wife Mary to Levi WILLEY, 2 tracts of land on Little River, for $250. 1st tract: 105 acres on south side of Little River adj. a road, a cross road, the MOONY place, William KROWSE [CROUSE], the old line, & a branch. 2nd tract: 17 acres adj. the 1st tract, the old line, & Mitchells Branch. Signed: C.L. CARR, Mary A. (X) CARR. [No wits.] Proved July 5, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:326.)

Apr. 1, 1870. Levi WILLEY & wife Nancy to Solomon FENDER, 2 tracts containing 150 acres on Little River, for $100. 1st tract: adj. a wagon road, a little field, Thomas DOUGLAS, a branch, & Little River. 2nd tract: beg. at mouth of a branch between Solomon FENDER & Thomas DOUGLAS, down the river to James ANDERS, adj. the wagon road, the 1st tract, & corner of a 450 acre tract formerly owned by David EDWARDS. One-half the mineral reserved to Jasper BILLINGS. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY, Nancy (X) WILLEY. Wit: B.F. EDWARDS. Proved Apr. 1, 1870 (ack'd). B. EDWARDS, D.C. [Deputy Clerk]. (Alleghany DB 2:45.)

Sept. 16, 1873. Levi WILLEY & wife Nancy, & Solomon FENDER & wife Elizabeth, to Henry WOODRUFF, all of our mineral interest in the lands formerly owned by Jasper BILLINGS, supposed to be 30 acres lying on Little River. Also our half interest in the mineral on the land now owned by Solomon FENDER, adj. the wagon road, a branch, T.C. DOUGLAS, & also one other tract adj. said FENDER, Wm. H. JOINES, a little branch, the river, James ANDERS. Together with roads & ways for mining purposes. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY, Nancy (X) WILLEY, Solomon FENDER, Elisabeth FENDER. Proved Sept. 16, 1873 (ack'd). "P.S. The above named lands was sold to Wm. TREMBLE in 1866 with mineral exceptions supposed to be one half by Henry WOODRUFF which deed is lost or mislaid." Signed: Henry (X) WOODRUFF. Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, Wm. EDWARDS. (Alleghany DB 2:93.)

[blank] 1877. Levi WILLEY & wife Martha to H.S. EDWARDS, 2 acres beg. on the Little River above the falls, west across the river, north with the center of the river to a stake near a spring, east to the old line, then south to the beginning, for $100. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY, Martha (X) WILLEY. Wits: E.H. BILLINGS, Starlin EDWARDS. Proved May 7, 1877 (ack'd). Reg. Dec. 28, 1885. (Alleghany DB 6:175.)

Sept. 15, 1877. Charles L. CARR & Mary A. CARR of Grayson Co., VA, to Charity SPARKS of Alleghany Co., NC, 4 tracts of land in Alleghany Co. on Peach Bottom Mountain, for $700. The deed recites that Levi WILLEY father of Charity SPARKS purchased the land for the use & benefit of Charity SPARKS, but through mistake, the deed failed to convey the said land in accordance with the intent of the parties. 1st tract:south side of Peach Bottom Mountain [no acreage stated]. 2nd tract:40 acres beg. on Daniel FENDER's former corner, to a cleft of rocks on the top of the mountain. 3rd tract:23 acres adj. Jacob CROUSE, north side of the mountain. 4th tract:12 acres adj. John CROUSE. Signed: C.L. CARR, Mary (X) CARR. Proved Sept. 15, 1877 (ack'd). Reg. Sept. 22, 1877. (Alleghany DB 3:435.)

Feb. 8, 1879. State of NC to Levi WILLEY, 15 1/5 acres on Jewel Creek beg. on the north side of the ridge, adj. Jesse TOLIVER & WILLEY. Entered Apr. 3, 1878. (Alleghany Land Grant No. 133; Alleghany DB 7:190.)

Feb 23, 1895. Levi WILLEY & wife Martha to Richard EDWARDS, 43 acres in Gap Civil Twp. adj. David EDWARDS, Levi WILLEY & said Richard EDWARDS, for $425. Signed: Levi (X) WILLEY, Martha (X) WILLEY. Wit: J.S. JOINES. Proved Jan. 15, 1898. Reg. Feb. 13, 1900. (Alleghany DB 13:490.)

The following deeds involve Levi WILLEY's daughter Bettie (FENDER) & her husband Solomon FENDER, and Levi's grandsons John Carlton SPARKS & Julius Edwards SPARKS (sons of Isaiah SPARKS & Charity WILLEY), and Andrew Morris EDWARDS & George Letcher EDWARDS (sons of Hiram S. EDWARDS & Sarah WILLEY). Therefore, these deeds probably concern land formerly owned by Levi WILLEY:

Dec. 29, 1896. Solomon FENDER, Bettie FENDER, J.C. SPARKS, & J.E. SPARKS, to A.M. EDWARDS & G.L. EDWARDS, 175 acres in Gap Civil Twp. adj. Bettie FENDER, S.S. FENDER, Richard EDWARDS, & top of the moutain, for $1,500. Right of way reserved for the benefit of Solomon & Bettie FENDER's land. Signed: Solomon FENDER, Bettie (X) FENDER, J.E. SPARKS, J.C. SPARKS. Proved Dec. 29, 1896. Reg. Sept. 5, 1899. (Alleghany DB 13:213.)

Dec. 29, 1896. Solomon FENDER & wife Bettie, G.L. EDWARDS, A.M. EDWARDS & wife Matilda, & J.C. SPARKS, to J.E. SPARKS, 143 acres in Gap Civil Twp. adj. Bettie & Solomon FENDER, J.C. SPARKS, A.M. & G.L. EDWARDS, a ridge, a hollow, Dick FENDER, the SEXTON field, & Gran WILLEY, for $1,500. Right of way reserved. Signed: Solomon FENDER, Bettie (X) FENDER, G.L. EDWARDS by H.S. EDWARDS his attorney-in-fact, J.C. SPARKS, A.M. EDWARDS, Matilda EDWARDS. Proved Dec. 29, 1896, & Jan. 4, 1897. Reg. Sept. 8, 1899. (Alleghany DB 13:216.)