|Birth: ||May 25, 1809|
|Death: ||Aug. 27, 1870|
The Eley ancestors came into the state of Tennessee from Virginia. Josiah and his wife both rode the same horse on that long journey, bringing with them nothing but a skillet and a muzzle loading squirrel rifle. In those days, a man had to be a "Jack of all trades" just to survive. When people relocated from Virginia to Tennessee in those days, it must have seemed like moving to the other side of the world.
Josiah was an old-timey undertaker, who made his own coffins. Later in his life, with his arm almost paralyzed, he could still make a coffin so that you could not see the seam in the wood. He made his own hearse so that he could detach it from the running gear of his farm wagon, and when not used for carrying a coffin. When he was called upon to buy the dead, he would remove the wagon bed and lower the hearse on the running gear of the wagon and then " be ready for business" The 1880 censsus shows that he was a carpenter, farmer and mechanic" Court records of Marshall County reflect that he County Trustee would sometimes pay him $5.00 to provide a coffin for a pauper.
Josiah was married 3 times. He first married Martha W. Booth in Wilson County, Tennessee. She was born in the early 1800's and died in the 1840's. He married his second wife, Eliza Jane Rowland, November 17, 1846, probably in Bedford County. He was married the third time to Mary Williams, who was born in North Carolina in 1849 or 1850. He had children with all these wives. The children with mary are as follows, Robert Washington Eley, Francis Marion Eley (our line) and Lucy Caldonia Eley.
He was once teased about having so many wives, to which he replied, "As long as the Lord keeps taking them, I will too." He died August 25, 1870, just 2 days after the census was taken. By the 1970's, there were already over 600 known decendants of Josiah Eley.
Researched and compiled by Gladys Eley Harper
Created by: Gerald Staggs
Record added: Jun 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27539017