The Eley individuals in the line described here are primarily from the following states, in the approximate order of their movement: North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana.
Eley Names in Database
Eley Family History
I have no Eley ancestors that I know of, but there are close ties between that family and my own through marriages. It is for this reason that I became interested in tracing the history of this line of the Eley family.
One of the early Eley settlers of Southwest Arkansas was John A. (Agustus?) Eley, who was born in Hertford County, North Carolina in 1824, the son of Lemuel and Nancy Cherry Eley. He married Martha Ann Brown (b. 1827), and they moved to Hempstead County, Arkansas sometime before the birth of their first child in 1846, and began farming. They had eight children in all, according to my information. Evidence indicates that John served in the Confederate Army, with Etter's Battery, Arkansas Light Artillery, during the Civil War.
John and his descendants lived in northern Hempstead County, and some still are there. As an indication of the prominence of the family in that area, there was once a settlement named Eleyville located near present-day Belton, which appeared on a 1895 map of the county. It is not present on current maps. Many of John A. Eley's descendants are buried in Merrell Cemetery at Belton, Arkansas.
There is a biographical sketch of John A. Eley in the Goodspeed book, "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas", Page 408, published in 1890, which provides quite a lot of information about John and his family.
William F. (Wllie) Eley married my aunt, Johnnie Fern Hardy in 1920. Willie is the great-grandson of John A. Eley, and the son of John Armstead Eley. Willie was killed in an oil field accident in 1945. I have another tie by marriage to this Eley line, since Willie's son, James L. Eley (1925-1987) married my mother's sister, Leneda Ferguson. James was my first cousin and also my uncle by marriage. See picture of Willie Eley family.
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