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The Seals Family

Part 1

Our first Seals ancestor, William Seale, shows up in Halifax Co., Va. records in the 1750s. We believe, however, that he generally lived in the area of Halifax Co. that became Pittsylvania Co. in 1767 (see Pruiett, Part 2 for an explanation of when the various counties were formed in southern Virginia). His place of birth is unknown. He likely died around 1815 in Pittsylvania Co., Va. While there's much we don't know about the early years of the Seals family, we are indebted to Alton Lee Greene for the research he documented in his spiral bound book, Seale Family Tree of William and Nanny Seale, 1730 - 1965. Mr. Greene has passed on a lot of information he found at various courthouses and through interviews with descendants before his death in 1982.

William Seale's marriage(s) are in some dispute. According to Alton Lee Greene, there is only one reference to the wife of William Seale in old family records as "Nanny." Some sources have speculated that "Nanny" was Nancy Anna "Nanny" Butts, a daughter of Samuel Butts and Elizabeth Swearingen who were married at St. Barnabas Church in Prince George's Co., Md. on August 1, 1734. However, these same sources give Nancy Anna Butts's birth year as "around 1730," which was four years before the marriage of her presumed parents and would have occurred when her mother was 15. Also, Nancy Anna Butts does not appear on any lists of the children of Samuel and Elizabeth Butts. Other sources have him marrying Susannah Nancy "Nanna" Temple who was born in Chester Co., Penn. on Nov. 8, 1730. This Nanna married a William Seale, but they had a completely different list of children associated with their marriage. Both she and William Seale died in Chester Co., Penn., so it is not likely that this is our William Seale.

It's not out of the question that William Seale married a Nancy Anna Butts but, at this point, we have no evidence. There were many connections between the Butts, Seals, Hawkers and Pruitts. Lydia Butts, a daughter of Samuel Butts and Elizabeth Swearingen, married Ambrose Cook Hawker who was a first cousin of Elizabeth Hawker, the wife of Samuel Pruitt I. Ambrose and Lydia Hawker had a daughter, Elizabeth Hawker, who married William Seal, Jr., a son of William and Nanny Seale. According to some sources, Zachariah Butts, a grandson of Samuel and Elizabeth Butts, married Drucilla Hawker, a daughter of Ambrose and Lydia Hawker. Zachariah Butts later married Elizabeth Pruitt, a daughter of Samuel Pruitt II. The Pruitt, Hawker and Butts families were quite close when they lived near each other in Prince George's Co., Md. and, later, in Pittsylvania Co., Va. It's suspected that William Seale may also have traveled with those families from Maryland to Virginia, but we have no evidence at this time that William Seale lived in Prince George's Co., Md.

Children of William and "Nanny" Seale were:

The first record found of William Seal, Jr. is when he married Elizabeth Hawker on Oct. 23, 1790 in Pittsylvania Co., Va. The surrogate was William's brother-in-law, John Givens.

About 1791-92, William, Jr. moved to Randolph Co., North Carolina, where two of his brothers had gone from Pittsylvania Co. The following data was taken from the old family papers Jean Hood collection.

State of North Carolina - Randolph County. This day, Alexander Catton came before me, William Bailey, one of the justices for said County and made an oath that a sarten black mare he found in the possession of William Sell taken up by said Sell as a stray is his property. Sworn and submitted before me, this 8th of May 1793.

It seems that soon after this, William Seal moved back to Pittsylvania Co., Va. William named his son Bailey in honor of William Bailey. Bailey was probably born while they lived in North Carolina.

William Seal, Jr., son of William Seale was born about 1769 in Pittsylvania Co., Va. He died in Claiborne Co., Tenn., in an area that is now Hancock Co. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Hawker who was born about 1773. She was the daughter of Ambrose Cook Hawker and Lydia (Butts) Hawker. The marriage produced the following children:

Bailey Seals, son of William Seal, Jr. and Elizabeth (Hawker) Seal was born about 1794 in Randolph Co., North Carolina and died in Hancock Co., Tenn. He married Rebecca Mathis, who was born about 1800 in Darlington Co., South Carolina. She was the daughter of Enos Mathis and Nancy Mathis. Children of Bailey Seals and Rebecca Mathis were:

Bailey Seals raised three of his grandchildren. They were the children of his daughter, Patty, and they took the name Seals. They were John, Oliver, and Jemima. (Hawkins Co., Tenn. April 1826 Book 14, Page 519)

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