13th Annual Tolliver Reunion

The 13th Annual Tolliver Reunion will be held at the Carl D. Perkins Community Center in Morehead, KY, June 26-27, 2015.  On Friday we will be at the Center all afternoon and go to Ponderosa at 5:30 for dinner. I have reserved their private room.  Registration will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.  We will have a potluck lunch and lots of time for sharing and learning about our Tolliver roots.  The Center is easily accessible and air-conditioned.

The Hampton Inn is holding 25 rooms until June 1st.  Call 1-606-780-0601 to make your reservation.  Tell them you are a part of the Tolliver Reunion.  The cost this year is $109 plus tax.  There is a big baseball/softball tournament in Morehead that weekend so rooms may be scarce.

We will have our silent auction as usual to help with the cost of mailings, building rental, etc.  There is no charge for registration.

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Tolliver Cemetery, Letcher Co., KY

Recently, descendants of L. H. B. “Lytte” Toliver and Nancy Arnetty Coretta Privett Toliver visited the Tolliver Cemetery at Millstone in Letcher County, KY.  Ellis Tolliver’s children and grandchildren mowed, cut vines and sprouts and put flowers on the graves.  Most of all, they enjoyed the day telling their family about  their memories of living up the “holler.”

L. H. B.’s tombstone is located on the hill above the fenced-in cemetery.  Arnetty’s grave is in Rowan County on the Hall farm on Riddle Road.  Lytte’s son, Melvin and wife, Arminda Baker Tolliver are buried at Millstone along with many of their descendants, including Sheriff J. D. Tolliver and Henry B. Tolliver and Mary Tolliver Wright.  Melvin’s son, Willie L. “Caney” Tolliver’s first wife, Ottie Fulton Tolliver and their two youngest sons, Marion and Cordell and Willie’s grandson, Aaron, son of Ellis and Callie Bentley Tolliver, are also there.

The Lytte Tolliver descendants enjoyed seeing the Craft Mill Stones on the bridge at the mouth of Millstone. These stones are from the grist mill/saw mill used by their maternal grandfather, Enoch “Chunk” Craft.  Several of the buildings in the coal camp across the creek were built by their maternal grandfather, Elbert Bentley, a carpenter and general store owner who helped build many of the coal camps in Letcher County, KY.

The workers included Donald and Mary Tolliver; daughter Pam; son Phillip and his sons, Derrick and Ryan from Greenup, KY; Ray Tolliver’s daughter, Lisa from Ashland, KY; Ottie Tolliver Brown’s daughter, Lois Taphouse from Dacula, GA, Ottie’s sons Bill Brown (Bev), Charles (Geraldine), and Dale Brown (Jody) from London, OH; Sabrina T. Kiser and daughter Rachel Starnes from Wilmington, OH.

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Jacob Finley Tolliver Cemetery

Toll.JFCem.jpeg (2)
5300 KY 173
Morehead, KY
Original Farm Owner:  Jacob Finley Tolliver
Son of James Tolliver b. 1795
Grandson of John Tolliver b. 1760
Unveiling of Stone – Josie and Benjamin Williams, GGGG Grandchildren
Speaker: Dr. J. D. Reeder
Sharing by Family Members: Mike Christman and Patricia “Tink” Warner,
GG Grandchildren of Jacob Finley Tolliver
Prayer: Bill Tolliver
Music from “Impressions on Rowan County War” by Michael Christman and Tyler Rasmussen
The Tolliver Family appreciates the help from Buddy Pennington, present owner of the farm.  Buddy has helped with cleaning the cemetery, filling in sunken graves, building the new fence, and mowing.  He is very generous about persons coming onto the property to visit the cemetery.

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Rowan County War CD


The music in this recording is Progressive Rock in nature and is intended to render impressions on various emotional aspects of the Rowan County War in and around Morehead Kentucky and the Tolliver-Martin Feud in particular, 1884 – 1887. No attempt was made to retell the story of the Rowan County War.
The music tracks were recorded in our Project Studio. No use of Drum Machines or Sequencers or other “studio tricks” was made. The entire project was transferred to Nuendo Music Software at The Soundscape Recording Studio Royal Oak, Michigan where the vocals were re-recorded, final mixdown and mastering was completed.
This CD was created by Michael Christman and Tyler Rasmussen. Michael is a great-great grandson of Jacob Finley Tolliver who was murdered during the Rowan County War in KY.
The CD may be purchased on Amazon.com, CDBaby.com, and iTunes.com.

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Tolliver Cemetery in NC


This picture was made at the Grave-Marking Ceremony for Patriot John Toliver (1760-1863) on October 21, 2006. Donald Tolliver and Joe Harris, President of the NC SSAR, are unveiling the new military stone. The cemetery is located on the Homer Rector farm at the northeast corner of US 21 and Niles Road. It is south of the VA line and New River in Alleghany County, NC.
Thanks to Donald Tolliver and his son, Randy, and Steven Moxley, this cemetery is just as beautiful today as it was that day. They keep it looking beautiful.

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Carla Eberwein

Carla Eberwein makes our potluck lunch at the Reunion run smoothly.  She also handles the Silent Auction.  This week she was given the Chamber Champion Award, part of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce’s One Great Community Salutes initiative.  Carla works in sales at the Holiday Inn in Richmond, IN.  Mary Walker, executive director of the Wayne County Convenbtion & Tourism Bureau stated that “Carla has worked in every aspect of the hospitality industry.  She goes above and beyond and she does not know what the word ‘no’ means.”  We appreciate all that Carla does to make our Tolliver Reunion a success.  She is super!

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Rowan County War Documentary

The video below was shared by Terry Tolliver. Terry lives in Missouri and has attended the Tolliver reunion in the past.

The video shows Fred Brown who wrote Days of Anger, Days of Tears, talking about the Feud. It was the last thing Fred about the Feud before his accident.

Do share your comments on this post regarding the video if you have anything to note, or questions to ask. Thanks!

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Eleanor Tolliver Waters

               The Tolliver family has lost our Matriarch.  Eleanor Tolliver Waters, a descendant of John Tolliver b. 1760, left us Friday, October 26, 2012.  She was a dear friend of mine.  I will really miss her.

               When I retired from teaching in 1999, I started my genealogy venture.  While researching the Tolliver family on the Internet started working on the Tolliver family.  On the Internet I quickly met Velma Tolliver Parmerton, who along with her brother, John Cooper Tolliver, had worked on Tolliver family genealogy for many years.  Velma encouraged me to contact her friend and fellow researcher, Eleanor Waters.  On our yearly return trip from Florida to our home in Ohio, my husband, Bill, and I stopped at a motel near Woodstock, Georgia and decided to call Eleanor.  She invited us to come over.  We got to her home about 7 p.m.  At 1:30 a.m.  Eleanor was still going strong.  Being on oxygen did not dampen her spirits or slow her down.  She was so excited to share her research. 

             This first contact was the first of many visits and hundreds of phone calls, many lasting more than a couple hours.   She taught me so much about how and where to research.  She did not use a computer so she would call me and tell me about something she had found and want me to search on the Internet.  I would find the information and mail it to her.  She told me many times, “Now don’t you print this until we can prove it.”  Her genealogy information was well researched and documented.  This is what makes her work so special.  She wanted it to be correct and she wanted it available for others to see. 

Even the last few weeks as she became weaker she was still interested in the Tollivers.   The last time I spoke with her about a week ago she asked as always, “Do you know anything new?”  I was able to tell her about a young man who had contacted me that week requesting Tolliver information.  I was able to give him his family information dating back to about 1800.  Eleanor was very gratified that her research helped families find their ancestors.  It gave her a sense of fulfillment to help others.  I like to think she is walking around heaven searching for John Tolliver to ask him who his parents were.  That was our genealogical brick wall.

               Eleanor started her genealogy search before the Internet.   She dug through the old, dusty records in Courthouses located in Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky.  She meticulously copied marriage, birth, death, and land records by hand .  She also went to the Archives in Washington, D.C. and many libraries seeking accurate information.  Over the years she corresponded with many persons connecting them with their ancestors.  Most of the “old” Tolliver information that we have from the 1700 and 1800’s came from Eleanor’s research.  She did not want all of the information lost.  She wanted it available for others.  Eleanor’s desire to provide a single source of Tolliver information led me to create a website called Tolliverfamily.com where I have posted several family lines.  Together, we created genealogy books that I have dedicated to our Tolliver Matriarch, Eleanor Tolliver Waters. 

               Eleanor was a very intelligent, kind, and generous person.  Some may not know she also had a real sense of humor.  One evening we were visiting.  Eleanor and I were at her kitchen table going over genealogy.  Bill was watching TV in the living room.  She looked at me, smiled, and said, “I am going to get Bill.”  She took the remote and turned the sound off on the TV.   Bill said, “The sound went off on the TV.”  Eleanor looked at me and winked and said, “You had it so loud we couldn’t hear each other.”  She had a big smile.  She had gotten Bill.  There were many times that we were able to laugh together.  We will miss Eleanor’s sense of humor.

               This past February when we visited Eleanor, her physical condition was making her sleep most of the night in her recliner, but her attitude remained cheerful.  Unless you were aware of her physical ailments, you would not know how ill she was.  This was in large part because of her belief that God was with her and that when this life would be over that God would continue to be with her.  She had a sense of appreciation for all that God had given to her.   Her faith in God helped her to face her physical condition with calmness, an attitude of acceptance, and joyfulness. 

               In closing, I will always be indebted to Eleanor for her friendship, generosity, kindness, and love.  Now and in the future, Tolliver descendants will continue to look to Eleanor’s work to learn about their ancestors.  Future generations will come to appreciate all that she has done.  If we could elect a Queen of Tolliver Genealogy, Eleanor would win by a landslide.  Eleanor was my friend and everyone who was blessed to know her, including Bill and me, will miss her.

Emma Lee Tolliver


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I Attended Bloody Rowan

I am a TOLLIVER and last night (Oct 5th), I was excited and pleased to view your performance of Bloody Rowan. Since my party and I had driven from Lexington, we had to leave as soon as the program was over. Unfortunately, no time to stay and give everyone my “raves” of their performances, writing and direction skills. To use colloquial vernacular, it was SUPER!!  I could tell everyone worked so hard to bring “the times of the county” and the story, to view.
For any of you who might would like to know about one of the “limbs” of the tree relating to Morehead and the feud:
Two brothers of my great grandfather (Jones), Joel and James William Morgan Tolliver, drove a buckboard from Nicholas County (Carlisle) to Morehead for some supplies. They parked the buckboard and was walking between houses to the next street. As they got to the next street over, shooting broke out and William Morgan was wounded in the shoulder. They both managed to roll under the sidewalk for cover. Back then the sidewalks were built up from the ground as the streets were dirt and, of course turned to mud when it rained.
When the fighting began to move farther up the street, Uncle Joel helped his brother out from under the sidewalk and back to the buckboard.
On their way back to Nicholas County, they stopped at William C Lowe’s home for help for William Morgan and stayed a few days until he was well enough to travel.
With very best regards to all,
Kay Tolliver Barnes

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Bloody Rowan Drama

The Morehead Theatre Guild will present Bloody Rowan October 5-7 and October 12-14, 2012 at the old Courthouse Theater in Morehead, KY. This play was written by and will be directed by Dr. J. D. Reeder. It is part of the Morehead State University’s 125th anniversary celebration. Dr. Reeder is a Tolliver descendant and an authority on the Tolliver-Martin Feud. The feud is also known as the Rowan County War. Tickets for the play may be purchased on-line at the following website, www.moreheadtheatre.org  by anyone who has a PayPal account or any other credit card.  Just follow the instructions on the website. Make sure you print your receipt. You will need it when you claim your tickets at the box office. Tickets will also be available in advance at CoffeeTree Books in Morehead, and they will be available at the door at the Rowan County Arts Center, 205 West Main St., Morehead, prior to each performance (unless they sell out). I strongly recommend advance purchase. Everyone who purchases tickets is urged to arrive 30 minutes before the play begins to get the best seat selection.


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