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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Monday, June 8, 2015

William Wesley Fraley

My ancestor this week is from my Mom’s side of the family and his name was William Wesley Fraley and he was my third great-grandfather.  Wesley as he is listed on most records was born in 1830 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia the son of David Fralick and Lucy Thompson.  The family surname in Virginia was mainly spelled as Fralick, but in Kentucky some of the family, mainly my direct line, started spelling it Fraley.  However, the Fralick/Frala/Fralic/Fralix in Caldwell County and the surrounding areas, today are all related and come from the same Fralick families from Pittsylvania County, Virginia. 

Wesley along with his mother, Lucy and all of his known siblings came to Caldwell County, Kentucky between 1835 and 1840.  From what I have been able to find so far it looks like David Fralick stayed in Virginia, because he is on the 1840 and 1850 census records in Pittsylvania County, but Lucy and her seven children, which I know of for certain, are not with him.  David and Lucy were either divorced or she just left him by 1834, and he stayed and lived and possibly died there in Virginia.  On the 1850 census there is a Sally Pemberton living in the same household with David Fralick in Pittsylvania County, Virginia but I don’t know who she was.

Wesley’s parents David and Lucy, were married February 17, 1817 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia by Shadrack Musteen and they became the parents of at least seven children.  Namely: LeMary Emiline Fraley Beavers 1817-before 1880, she married Samuel Beavers in 1834, James Fraley 1819-after 1871, he married Margaret Robertson in 1842, Anna Fraley Hughey 1822-1877, she married William Robert Hughey in 1838, Senia Fraley Johnson 1824-1907, she married William Washington Johnson in 1842, Edmond Fraley 1825-1880, he married Senia Dixon in 1848, Mary Fraley Dixon 1828-1881, she married Tilford Dixon in 1848 and my William Wesley Fraley 1830-before January 20, 1874.  I don’t have any pictures of this family, but I sure wish I did.  I have some pictures of four of their tombstones, the others are all in unmarked graves, but that’s it.  The following are Lucy’s, Anna’s, Edmond’s and Mary’s tombstones.

Wesley farmed but he also learned the blacksmithing trade which he mainly followed and it usually paid a lot more then farming ever did, back in those days.  I am fortunate enough to have an clothes iron that Wesley made and that was passed down in my family.  Wesley’s son James Edward Fraley got the iron, then it was passed to his son Robert Ermon Fraley who passed it to his son Ermon Edward Fraley who was my grandfather, his son Guy Edward Fraley said that he wanted me to have the iron, so my grandfather gave it to me in 1992.  I have it in my office and it continually reminds me of my Papaw, who was the world’s most wonderful grandfather.  The iron is very heavy and I know I would have hated having to iron my clothes with that iron, especially since I don’t like to iron to begin with.  The following is a picture of that iron.

Wesley soon meet a young girl from one of the surrounding farms, they both lived in the Fredonia area of Caldwell County.  Julia Ann Nelson 1830-before 1910, was the next to the youngest of nine children of David Nelson and Elizabeth McKinney who had come from Washington County, Tennessee to Caldwell County, Kentucky before 1845.  Wesley and Julia were married July 13, 1848 in Caldwell County and soon became the parents of twelve children who were all born in Caldwell County, Kentucky. 

These twelve children were the following: Rebecca Jane Fraley Groves 1849-1917, wife of James Thomas Groves, Mary Frances Fraley 1851-1852, James Edward Fraley 1853-1902 (my direct line), husband of Susan Wormelsduff and Levy Margie McDaniel, David H. Fraley 1855-1917, husband of Sarah Margaret Ames, Susan Fraley 1857-before 1860, Lucy Katherine Fraley McDaniel 1858-1921, wife of James William McDaniel, Sarah Elizabeth Fraley Vinson 1859-1936, wife of Robert V. Vinson, John Hugh Morgan Fraley 1862-1947, husband of Viola Ann Groves and Mattie Bell Beason, Eliza Ann Fraley Veal 1866-after 1910, wife of Augustus Veal, Martha Fraley 1868-before 1880, William Wesley Fraley Jr. 1870-1940, husband of Ida M. Burns and Ida P. Southern and Senia C. Fraley Wormelsduff Wade 1872-before 1930, wife of Thomas D. Wormelsduff and George William Wade.   Again I have very few pictures for this side of my family but I do have the following three, and they are Rebecca Jane Fraley Groves, James Edward Fraley (my direct line) and John Hugh Morgan Fraley.

I am not sure of the cause, but Wesley up and died sometime before January 20, 1874 before his youngest child was even two years old.   In the Caldwell County court records in Order Book L, dated Tuesday, January 20th, 1874 we read: Ordered that the estate of Wesley Fralick deceased be and the same is hereby confided to the care and custody of Jas. H. Leech, Public Administrator for Caldwell County, and it is further ordered that W. P. Black, T. M. Dalton and S. B. Wigginton (any two of whom being first sworn may act) be and they are hereby appointed appraisers to view and appraise the personal estate of said decedent and report thereof to this court.

I don’t know when Julia died either, she was on the 1900 census but by 1910 she is not listed, so sometime between these two census years she had died too.

William Wesley Fraley and his wife Julia Ann Nelson are both supposed to be buried at the Livingston Cemetery near Fredonia in Caldwell County, Kentucky.  It is told that some old flat rocks marked their graves at one time, but now are unmarked.  Wesley and Julia’s son John Hugh Morgan Fraley, showed his daughter, Lillie Bell Fraley Deason, where the graves were located before he passed away, but years later when she went back to show her family, she could not remember where the graves had been exactly.   One of John’s granddaughters, Diana, told me this story, almost 25 years ago.  The following are some pictures of the Livingston Cemetery, one that I took and a couple I found on findagrave.

I don’t know a lot about the man I am writing about this week, but I sure wish I did.  Would he have been a wonderful grandfather too, just like his great-grandson, my Papaw was?  Wesley never really got the chance to try, since his first grandchild was only born less than six months before he passed away.  My Papaw never knew his grandfather either, because James Edward Fraley, died before even having any grandchildren.  I bet Wesley was good looking though, my Papaw was and so was his Daddy and the only picture I have of James Edward Fraley, shows that he was as well.  One of these days I hope to meet these ancestors and I will have lots of questions for them I am sure.


  1. Loved that story. That iron is a wonderful memory.

  2. Definitely anither great stiry, Vickie!

  3. Another great chapter. I loved seeing the name of S. B. Wigginton. He is an ancestry (Seth Ben ) will have to go back on my genealogy. So many Wigginton in the Fredonia, Ky. area. Great pic of the cemeteries. So many have been lost.