The Tolliver Family

Tolliver researchers have long talked about 5 Tolliver/Toliver brothers from North Carolina. In 1916 Florence Wilson Houston wrote a book titled Maxwell History and Genealogy, in which she stated that “Charles Toliver lived in Ashe Co., North Carolina and about the year 1816 he moved to Lawrence County, Indiana, where he entered land in 1817. He had four brothers and two sisters: John; Moses (who) lived in North Carolina and died on the way to Indiana; Jesse; William; Lucy, (who) married William Maxwell;…(and) Sarah, (who) lived in North Carolina; Charles Toliver married Susan Edwards.” From this book, we can talk about the five Tolliver bothers from North Carolina in the 1700s. Moses was born before 1755 and died after 1812 on the way to Indiana. Jesse was born in 1756 in Fauquier County, Virginia nd died in Ashe County, North Carolina. John was born in 1760 and died in 1863 in Alleghany County, North Carolina. Charles was born in 1765 and died in Lawrence County, Indiana. Sarah was born in 1766 and died in 1836 in Coffee County, Tennessee. Lucy was born in 1770 and died between 1844 and 1850 in Lawrence County Indiana.

Information found in military pension files indicates that about 1770, or five or six years before the Revolutionary War began, John, Jesse, and Moses (and probably Charles and William) moved from Virginia to Surry (later named Wilkes) County, North Carolina, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The father was still living and was involved in this move, but he is not named in any of the pension records of Jesse or John.

According to Revolutionary War Pension Records transcribed by John C. Tolliver, Jr. at the National Archives, John’s family was in Prince William Co., VA (named Fauquier Co. in 1759) in 1756. Frankey, the widow of his brother, Jesse, stated that her husband had been born in 1756 on the Rappahannock River in Fauquier Co., VA and that the family moved shortly thereafter to the James River, 30 miles above Richmond, VA, and that they came to Wilkes Co., NC about 5 or 6 years before the Rev. War which started in 1776 and ended in 1783. The Tolivers bought and were granted many acres of land in what is now Wilkes Co. along Roaring River, Mulberry Creek and the Yadkin River. Eventually they moved over the Blue Ridge to what is now Alleghany Co., NC. Here they acquired vast acreage along the New River and its tributaries. In the above record John states that some time after the Battle of King’s Mountain (1780) he moved with his mother to the west side of the Blue Ridge. This raises the question of what happened to his father. To add to the confusion in the late 1770’s Dr. John and Mary Hardin Taliferro moved from VA into Surry Co., NC and settled on Stewart’s Creek.