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Polly/Polley Family

The Polly/Polley's were in Lewis Co., KY by 1813. The spelling varied with each person. Most of the Polley's on the Kentucky side of the Ohio, used the Polley spelling. David Jr. who moved to Adams County, Ohio, along with most of his descendants, used the Polly spelling. The following was written several years ago by Mark Polley for his father Willliam E. Polley.

David Polley of Kentucky:

David Polley, was born in about 1782 in (likely) South Carolina. His father was John Polley. David's wife, Nancy, was somewhat of a mystery. For a long time she was known erroneously as Nancy Hyatt (Hieatt). Through further research, however, it was discovered that Nancy's maiden name was Ford. The confusion was due, perhaps, to a Nancy Hyatt who was born in Kentucky and married a man by the name of Daniel Wooley of Kentucky. Wooley could be mistaken for Polley if the reader/recorder was not thorough or accurate.

David's wife, Nancy Ford, was born in Kentucky somewhere around 1782, the daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Phillips) Ford. She and David were married on January 24, 1804 in Adair County, Kentucky.

According to the Adair County tax records of 1806 David and Nancy lived along Crocus Creek. Living close by them on Crocus Creek were David's brothers and their families: 1) William and Jemima (Kelso) Polley; William was born December 6, 1776 in Virginia or Kentucky while Jemima was born March 21, 1779 in Buck County, Pennsylvania. William and Jemima were married on June 12, 1799 in Barren County, Kentucky. 2) James and Sara (Ford) Polley. James and Sara/Sally were married on March 4, 1805. It seems that Sara and Nancy were sisters. James, the youngest of the three, was born in about 1786. David's mother and father, John and Susannah Polley, also lived close by. The three Polley families moved together from Adair County, Kentucky to Butler County, Ohio sometime during the year of 1806-1807. Here David and Nancy purchased land and continued to rear their growing family.

At some point during this period the Polley families separated. Although Ohio became a state in 1803 there was a great deal of unrest at this time in Ohio due to the brewing tensions between Great Britain and the United States. The British were stirring up the Native American tribes in Ohio to take up arms against the white settlers. Because of this, life on the Ohio side of the river became very unsafe. Perhaps this is what led to the separation of the three families. Why they separated is not certain but what is known is that somewhere around 1812-1816 William and Jemima (according to records left by their children) begin to move around Ohio ending up in Darke County. Jemima died on November 16, 1840 in Darke County, Ohio. After her death William moved to Green County, Kentucky where he passed away on January 16, 1847. David and James returned to Kentucky with their families. James and Sara move to Floyd County, Kentucky. It seems uncertain as to what became of Sara, but James died at a young age in Floyd County, Kentucky in about 1816. David and Nancy moved to Lewis County where they remained for the rest of their lives. There are still many Polleys scattered throughout Kentucky and Ohio.

Once in Lewis County David took up farming along a fairly large creek called Quick's Run. This tract of land is reported as being originally marked and cleared by Simon Kenton. Quick's Run flows along the base of a ridge of hills that separate the Ohio River Valley from the valley on the southern side of the creek. The Lewis County tax records of 1820 show that David owned land along Quick's Run. David and his family also appear for the first time in the 1820 Lewis County Census records. By this time David and Nancy were the parents of a large family consisting of at least six children: Joseph (age 15), James (age 12), David Jr. (age 7), John (age 4), an unknown infant son, and a daughter, age 10-16.

Also living with David and his family was an "insane" brother, probably named Jesse, that the records show David was authorized to keep at the county's expense.

Records from the War of 1812 reveal that David served in the militia and even received a small pension later in life for having served. His service commenced on July 28, 1813 and ended on September 5, 1815. It is not clear whether David lived in Ohio or Kentucky during the time of his military service. According to records, however, he fought with:1. Stewart's Ohio Militia, commanded by Captain Thomas Robinson, from July 28-August 12, 1813. This unit was attached to McDonald's Ohio Militia commanded by Captain Lemnel Connelly and Colonel John McDonald. 2. Donavon's 69th Militia in 1814. 3. Logan's Army, September 10-October 9, 1814. It appears that several militiamen from Mason County, Kentucky were a part of this militia.

Not much else is known about the life of this Kentucky pioneer except that, on May 17, 1847, David passed away and was buried on a hill rising up from Quick's Run and Martin's Hollow. The churchyard where he is buried in an unmarked grave lies around an old church called Fairmont Christian Church. According to records, this church was originally founded in 1820 but burnt and was rebuilt in 1850. Though greatly dilapidated, this building is still standing at the time this account was written. This author has been to it on many occasions. In the oldest Lewis County historical records this cemetery is referred to as "The Old Burying Place". Whether or not the church built in 1850 occupies the spot of the original church is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that many, many Polley ancestors, along with David, have been laid to rest in this cemetery in graves whose locations have been long lost.

Sometime after David's death Nancy moved in with their son, John L. Polley Sr. This was discovered through the 1860 Lewis County census records that show Nancy Polley, age 73, living with John. Nancy's name appears one last time in the 1862 Lewis County Tax list but after this she is never heard from again. Presumably she is buried beside her husband at Fairmont in "The Old Burying Place."