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  Magoffin County Historical Society 
"Preserving Our Past for the Future"

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This article, written by Todd Preston, president of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the
JULY 23, 2015  issue of THE SALYERSVILLE INDEPENDENT newspaper.

The Salyersville Independent , a weekly newspaper. P. O. Box 29, Salyersville, KY 41465. Telephone (606) 349-2915.  Yearly subscription rates are $24.00 in Kentucky and $32.00 per year out of state.

The mail this week brought us a copy of the 220 page book on the Pelfrey family by Prentice Ray Pelfrey. One John Pelfrey, b. 1741 in Brunswick Co. VA and d. about 1802 in Henry Co. VA, was the progenitor of this family history. John and his wife Elizabeth were the parents of six children, Sarah, James, William, John, Jr., Elizabeth and Joseph. Combined with copies of many historical documents, this genealogy book also contains several essays on the lives of some of the later Pelfreys as well as many photographs. Anyone interested in obtaining copies of this book may contact Xlibris Corporation ( or telephone 1-888-795-4274.

We thank Deanna Sue Blackburn of Inez, KY for relaying a copy of this book to us from Prentice Ray Pelfrey for our historical library.

We had a visitor this week from Tennessee who is a descendant of the Wireman, Bailey, Williams and Lovely families. Jennifer Wireman Martin is a daughter of James Lee Wireman b. 1947 Stockbridge, MI and died in July 1979 at Pike Co., KY in a plane crash. He was buried in Rolling Prairie, IN. James Lee was a son of Clarence Wireman and Eva Williams.

Clarence Wireman was born 9 Feb 1927 in Magoffin Co. KY and died 23 Oct 2007. He was buried in Rolling Prairie Cemetery, Rolling Prairie, IN. He was a brother to Tony, Roxie, Hazel, Jarvy, Shelby, Eva and Thurman. Thurman and his wife Shirley visited the historical society many times in past years.

Jenniferís earliest ancestor in Magoffin County was John Wireman b. 1796 TN d. before 1880 and buried on Trace Fork of Licking River. Also on this cemetery is Johnís wife Rebecca Carpenter and her mother Delphia Carpenter, along with many family members.

Next in Jenniferís line is John and Rebeccaís son, Fielding "Uncle Pea" Wireman, and his wife Sarah "Sally" Sizemore. Sally was a daughter of George Sizemore and Sally Anderson.

Incidentally, we purchased markers for Uncle Pea and Sally Wireman a few years ago and still have not gotten the markers to their cemetery. The late John Brown of Breathitt County, KY told about Uncle Pea making a hand-carved stone for his wife Sallyís gravesite when she died. The late G. V. Joseph showed John Brownís granddaughter Mary Lee Griffith where the graves were on the cemetery. The weather we have had the last few winters has eroded the path to the cemetery so that it has been impossible to get a vehicle to it with the new markers. Perhaps some descendant will read this and be able to help us with getting these markers set.

Jenniferís ancestor was Uncle Peaís son William "Frosty Bill" Wireman and his wife Jennie Bailey. Her grandfather Clarence was a son of Frosty Billís son Adam Wireman who married Polly Bailey, a daughter of Andy Bailey and his 2nd wife Jane Crager.

Andy Bailey was born in 1854 and married first in 1872 to Nancy Marshall. Andy was a son of Samuel Bailey b. 1822 d. 1896 (buried on the Straight Fork of Licking, Rt. 7 South at the head of Licking River, Magoffin Co. KY). A Civil War soldierís marker was set on this cemetery for Joseph Conley (b. 1832 d. 1912) in September 2007 by Joe Skeens, Willie Conley, Bob Whittaker, Todd Preston, James Montgomery and Herley Manns.

Samuel was a brother to John and Joseph Bailey. They each married sisters by the surname of Runyon. The Bailey brothers were sons of John Bailey and his wife Susan who is said by some descendants to have been a Patrick. They lived and died on Bull Mire Creek, Galdia, Magoffin Co. KY. Bob Whittaker of SC helped with setting markers for this family a few years ago.

Frosty Bill Wiremanís son Clarence Wireman (b. 9 Feb 1925 or 1927-d. 23 Oct 2007 IN) married Eva Williams, daughter of Ben Williams and 1st wife Mary Lovely. Clarence and Eva were married 23 Dec 1946 in Jackson, MI. Their marriage record gives names of both their parents.

Clarenceís mother Polly Bailey Wireman died in 1927.

Information is still needed on the Williams family to help complete this chart for Jennifer. We do not know the parentage of Ben Williams or his first wife Mary "Polly" Lovely. It is believed Benís second wife was named Harriet.

We send our condolences to the family of Fonda Shepherd Salyer who died last week. She was the wife of Garland Ray Salyer. Ray and his family gave our historical society a set of school maps that his father, the late Byron Salyer, had used in his classroom for many years. They are a great addition to our school cabin here in the Pioneer Village.

We are greatly concerned for our county and the surrounding area as torrential rains last week destroyed so many homes and much property. We mourn with those who lost loved ones in the Flat Gap area of neighboring Johnson County.

It is heartening to see the outpouring of love and concern that so many have shown as they give of their time, money and needed items to help those affected by this disaster.

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