Person:Jean Sellards (1)

m. 1752
  1. Jean "Jenny Wiley" Sellards1760 - 1831
  2. Catherine Sellards1764 - 1833
  3. John W. Sellards1765 - 1838
  4. Samuel Thomas Sellardsabt 1773 - 1838
  5. Andrew Sellards1774 - 1789
  • HThomas Wiley1750-1758 - 1810
  • WJean "Jenny Wiley" Sellards1760 - 1831
m. abt 1779
  1. Robert Bruce Wiley1789 - 1789
  2. Hezekiah Wileyabt 1792 - bef 1850
  3. Sarah Wiley1793 - 1871
  4. Mary Jane Wileyabt 1795 -
  5. Adam Brevard Wiley1799 - 1885
  6. William 'Billy' Wiley1801 - 1831
  • HBlack Wolf1741 -
  • WJean "Jenny Wiley" Sellards1760 - 1831
m. abt 1790
  1. Chief John Black Wiley
Facts and Events
Name Jean "Jenny Wiley" Sellards
Gender Female
Birth? 1760 Montgomery, Virginia, United States
Marriage abt 1779 Walker's Station, Bland, Virginia, United Statesto Thomas Wiley
Other[6] 1 October 1789 Bland County, Virginia, USAthree of her children were murdered and she and a young son were kidnapped by Shawnee Indians
Other? 2 October 1789 - 1790 Captivity
Marriage abt 1790 (date of Jenny's captivity)
to Black Wolf
Other? about September 1790 Jenny escaped from her kidnappers
Residence? about 1800 Johnson County, Kentuckyafter she was re-united with her husband they moved to Kentucky
Death[1] 1831 River, Johnson, Kentucky, United States
Burial[5] Jenny Wiley Grave Site, River, Johnson County, Kentucky, USA

Jean Sellards Wiley was born circa 1760 and died of paralysis in 1831. This courageous woman was one of many frontier women captured by Indians. There are many stories of the capture and captivity of Jenny Wiley. Below is one of them.

In the early fall of 1789, Jenny's husband Thomas Wiley was away from his home on a ginseng hunting expedition. On October 1, 1789 her household was attacked by a mixed band of marauding Cherokee, Delaware, Shawnee, and Wyandotte Indians. Three of Jenny's four children and her half brother were murdered instantly. Jenny was taken captive along with her youngest child. Her son (possibly named Thomas) was killed on the trail. Jenny was 7 months pregnant at the time of her capture and she delivered a premature child in a cave on the trail. The Indians allowed it to live only a short time before killing it. It took Jenny almost one year to escape. She traveled over 162 miles to get back to her home.

Jenny was reunited with her husband Tom and they moved to Johnson County, Kentucky and had 5 more children--4 sons and 1 daughter. Jenny often said "God gave me back the five I lost." The story of her capture is told in several books including, WHITE SQUAW, DARK HILLS TO WESTWARD, and THE FOUNDING OF HARMAN'S STATION AND THE WILEY CAPTIVITY.

Jenny is buried outside the little town of River, Kentucky. Her memorial stone reads:

Jenny Wiley 1760-1831, Historic Pioneer Mother, Captured by Indians, October 1, 1789 at Walker's Creek, Virginia. Witnessed the slaying of her brother and five children by savages. Was held captive for several months on Little Mud Lick Creek in the present Johnson County. She escaped the Indians to Harman Station at Block House Bottom and was later united with her husband, Thomas Wiley, in Virginia. Mrs. Wiley returned to Johnson County with her husband and a cabin was built about the year 1800 where they reared five children. Jenny Wiley died in 1831.

Depending on which source is used, the names of Jenny's children that were killed varies. We'll probably never know the exact names of the children but one thing is not in doubt, she saw five of her children killed by Indians.

Text copied from Jenny Sellards Wiley with permission.

After the kidnapping

"They settled in an area on the banks of the Levisa Fork, of the Big Sandy, not far from the site of Jenny's rescue. The homestead became known as The Wiley Farm on Tom's Creek." excerpt from The Pack Family of Lincoln County, West Virginia, by Ellen Jane Allen Pack

External links

Image Gallery
  1. Connelley, William Elsey. The founding of Harman's Station: with an account of the Indian captivity of Mrs. Jennie Wiley and the exploration and settlement of the Big Sandy Valley in the Virginias and Kentucky, to which is affixed a brief account of the Connelly family and some of its collateral and related families in America. (New York, New York: Torch Press, c1910), Secondary quality.
  2.   Cox, Clayton R. (Clayton Ray). Descendants of Hezekiah Sellards : father of Jenny Wiley. (Baltimore [Maryland]: Gateway Press, c1977).
  3.   Hall, C. Mitchel (Carl Mitchel). Jenny Wiley country, a history of the Big Sandy Valley in Kentucky's eastern highlands and genealogy of the region's people. (s.n.], c1972-c1985 (Kingsport, Tenn.: Kingsport Press)).
  4.   Sellards, Elias Howard. The Sellards through two centuries. (Austin, Tex.: Von Boeckmann-Jones, printers, 1949).
  5. Memorial# 12253 , in Find A Grave.
  6. The Death of Chief Peter Cornstalk (III) By Freda Cruse Phillips
  7.   Walkers Creek, Tazwell County, Virginia in what is now Bland County, Virginia