Father of Jenny Wiley
Excerpt from The Jenny Wiley Association Newsletter, Vol 1, Number 1, Summer 1996
Little is known of the parents of Jenny Wiley. Hezekiah Sellards, her father, despite his prominence as a frontiersman, eluded the records in the areas where he lived. The traditional story is that his family migrated from Scotland to Ulster, Ireland, and that Hezekiah left Ireland for America in 1732. It is thought that Hezekia's father was Peter John Sellards, Jr., the son of Irishman Peter John Sellards who came to America about 1700. Where Hezekiah landed or by what ship he came on is not known.
Extensive searching of ships passenger lists has proved unsuccessful. William Elsey Connelly in his book The Founding of Harmans Station and the Wiley Captivity says that Hezekiah's grandson, related to him that the family first settled in Pennsylvania. Another grandson, Judge Archibald Borders, told the 1800 Lawrence County Kentucky census taker that his mother Catherine Sellards Borders was born in Pennsylvania and his father, John Borders, was born in Prussia. Hezekiah migrated to the Shennandoah Valley of Virginia, then to Walkers Creek in southwestern Virginia.
It is not known where her parents married, and the story that her mother was a Cherokee Indian has never been verified. Dr. Elias Howard Sellards, author of Sellards Through Two Centuries, believes that Hezekiah may have married the sister of Adam Brevard, a son of John Brevard, born in 1716 in Maryland, later migrating to North Carolina, and grandson of Jean Brevard, a French Hugenot, who migrated from France to Ulster, Ireland, then to Maryland.
Known children of Hezekiah Sellards:
1. Jean "Jenny" b 1760, m near Walkers Station, Augusta County (now Bland County) Virginia to Thomas Wiley
2. Catherine b 1764 m near Walkers Station, Augusta County (now Bland County) Virginia to John Borders
3. John b 1765 m 1) Annie Alford
m 2) Susannah Sullivan
4. Sanmuel b 1773 m 1) Nancy (?) Daniel, widow of James Daniel
2) ____ Hayes
5. Name Unknown, a 15 year old son killed in the Wiley massacre in
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