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William Colley

William Colley

Helen Smith Gammon (View posts)
Posted: 1035655607000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Colley, Eager, Peterman, McHenry, Stiles, Robinson, Thomas, Parsons, Batcheler, Bartleson,
I've been reading more of the Sullivan County page -- especially Davidson Twp. and Colley Twp. and thought you might come across something that might give
me answers.

Do you know the parents of WILLIAM COLLEY who reportedly settled Colley Twp. and his FIRST wife's maiden name? The books say he was the son of
Alexander Colley and Mary Eager. I think they were step-brothers but can't prove it. Alexander WAS old enough to be his father but he and Mary started having
children immediately after their marriage.

I have been working on that COLLEY family in Montgomery Co. and Phila. Co. My ancestors: JONATHAN COLLEY and JAMES PETERMAN were cousins who each purchased
400 acres in Fishing Creek Twp., Northumberland Co. in 1792 and came to that area before 1796. Jonathan also purchased additional acres which he sold to many early pioneers. I can't find any birth or death records for Jonathan or his

Jonathan Colley's mother's will names him and three grandchildren: (1) Rebecca who married Jesse Pennington, (2) Jonathan and (3) Alexander who married Mary Eager and Martha McHenry Stiles. Pennington Genealogy says Rachel Robinson was Rebecca's mother. I think her son Jonathan married ESTHER THOMAS, who remained in Montgomery Co.

I later learned through a deed that Jonathan then married SARAH PARSONS-BATCHELER. This is the wife he brought to Fishing Creek and who I think MAY be the
mother of William of Colley Twp.

Sarah had two children. One was ANN who married CEPHAS
BARTLESON and also were early Fishing Creek Pioneers. When their spouses
died Ann and James Peterman married and had 3 sons. When she married James,
she became both my maternal and my paternal grandmother.

Any suggestions? Thanks

Helen S. Gammon

Re: William Colley

Posted: 1037155562000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1102050848000
Surnames: Colley
I don't know if this will be any help to you but I found this in the October 3, 1878 Sullivan Review:

William Colley
On the 23 day of April, 1804, the subject of this biography was born in Sugar Loaf township, Columbia County. The family removed to near Cambra, Luzerne county, about 1814 (place now owned by Alfred McHenry) where they lived until about 1820 when they took up their residence in Sullivan County.

Mr. Colley is now in his 75th year, stout and hearty for an old man, and has always followed the occupation of a farmer. He held several minor township offices, and was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1831 by Governor Wolf, and served in this capacity until 1847. Sullivan County having been organized, he was appointed associate judge and was on the bench during the first court ever held in this county, which convened in the old church, Bahr's hill near Dushore; this appointment was held 9 years, at the exceedingly modest salary of $100 per year.

In 1856 he was elected prothonotary and served 3 years. About 1870 he was appointed deputy treasurer, which position he filled for nearly 4 years.

Mr. Colley is now a resident of Cherry township, and is the democratic nominee for county treasurer. He has many warm friends, especially among the older residents, who speak highly of his honesty, integrity and capacity as an old and well tried official.

If I come across anything else I'll let you know.

Colley and Potter Connections

Posted: 1038006368000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1060401024000
Surnames: Colley, Potter
There appears to have been a blood relatonship between the Potter and Colley families.

The Joel R. Potter that's mentioned in Streby's as arriving with
Willliam Potter [probably his brother] was a cousin of George Whitefield Potter.

Possibilty: Joel's father may have been a stepfather to William Colley, which would answer the question of William Potter and William Colley being half brothers, same mother.


Re: Colley and Potter Connections

Posted: 1093269045000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Potter, Colley, Reeser, Zaner, Abrams
My research on the Luzerne>Lycoming/Sullivan county Potters has yielded the following:

1850 Cherry,Sullivan Census finds William Colley, age 48 married to Elizabeth age 43. Their children included a son Thomas, age 11, noted as deaf and dumb and another son William age 15.

In the 1860 Census William, now 56, and Elizabeth now 53 are found in Cherry along with Thomas, 22, noted as deaf and dumb, and other children. Living next door was a William Colley, age 24, married to Elizabeth (nee Abrams), age 25.

In the 1870 Cherry Census there is a William Colley, age 66, along with "Berinda" Colley, age 40, and Ida Colley, age 1 and Delphia Potter age 20 born PA.

In the 1880 Dushore Boro Census:
William Colley, age 76
Mirrinda Colley,wife,age 57
Ida Colley age 11

William Colley died August 1884 and in September of that year per the The Sullivan County Democrat: "Mrs Colley, widow of the late William Colley and daughter, Ida, will remove to Cameron Co. about Oct 1st, where they will make their future home.

We know from Census records (1860) that a Joseph H. Potter was married to "Marinda/Marrida". Joseph had 3 children: Chester, born 1841, William Rowland b 1846 and Adelphia born c1850.
Joseph is not found in the Census records after 1860 and is assumed to have died though no burial record has been found. I believe that after Joseph's death Marinda married William Colley and had one child by him: Ida Colley. The Delphia Potter found in the above 1870 Census living with William and Merinda Colley is "Adelphia Potter" from the above 1860 Census of the Joseph H. Potter family.

Chester B. Potter, after serving in the Civil War, worked in the lumber industry in Clinton then Cameron County and married Rebecca Reeser Zaner, wife of Eleazer Zaner who served with Chester in the war and who died in VA. Following William Colley's death in 1884 it would not be unexpected that Merinda (nee?) Potter Colley would join her son in Cameron County but that is only speculation at this point.

Re: Colley and Potter Connections

Posted: 1093356351000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Potter, Reeser
You can see a picture of Chester Potter and Rebecca Reeser, and read all about the Potter-Reeser family at

Bob Sweeney
Sullivan County Historian

Re: Colley and Potter Connections

Posted: 1093359845000
Classification: Query
Thanks but I seen all that and I am the one who gave Tina the photo and some other info. What I would really like to find is any record of J.H. Potter's marriage/death/Will/burial.
By the way, your site is great!
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