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Absolom Mays Letter

                                                            Statesville, Iredell County, N Carolina
                                                                                                 April 1st 1865



Dear Nephew & Cousin,
 
   We have just received your kind letter from the far west, and now endeavor to answer as well as we can. I, Absolom Mays, a son of Benjamin Mays, am living and have lived, ever since I was married, about 14 miles north of Statesville. I married a daughter of James Watkins about a year after you left this county & we have had 7 children. My oldest son is dead. One son and 3 daughters are married and live in the county. One son and one daughter are single and live with us. I will tell you all I know about your grandfatherís family.

John Mays, the oldest son of Benjamin Mays moved to the western district of Tennessee a great many years & we heard he was drowned in the Forked Deep River. He married James Gayís daughter in this county. One of his sons was here some time ago.

Elizabeth Mays, the 3rd child of Benj. Mays married William Slaven and lives in this county. She had, I think, 4 children. One of her sons is dead & lives several miles (?) below Statesville. One daughter married a Dowdy and moved to Georgia. After Slavenís death she married a Leslie.

4th: daughter Grayanna married a Tally & moved to the west & we donít know about them since.

5th: William, son of B Mays, married a Roby and moved to Georgia. We have heard he was dead.

6th: Larkin,  His sons are in your county. 

7th: Absolom Mays, son of B Mays, [Author of this letter.]

8th: Levi Mays, son of B Mays, married Elizabeth Leach and moved to Tenn. or western states. I know nothing more of him.

9th: Nancy Mays, daughter of B Mays, married Richard May [e]s. They live in Lincoln County. They settled east of Statesville and live near your grandfatherís old place.

10th: Dosia [Theodosia Mays], daughter of B Mays married a Julian. He is dead. She lives in Caldwell County. Riley Tally [Dosia married Geo. Tally first.] her son, is a Methodist preacher. He belongs to the South Carolina Conference.

Susanna, daughter of B. Mays, married Yearby Vaughnn & moved to Tenn.

James Mays, son of B Mays, married in Lincoln County, a long while ago and moved to the South West. He was here 8 years ago. Said his family was in Alabama. He promised to write us frequently, but we have not heard from him.

Winston Mays, son of B Mays married another daughter of James Walker. He lives in a new county called Alexander. He has 5 children, 3 sons & 2 daughters.

Patsy, daughter of B Mays, married Hiram Gay. He died. She moved to Alabama.

Jacob Mays, son of B Mays, married a Vaughn & moved to East Tenn. We have not heard from him for several years.
 
 My oldest child, Dorcy, married John Campbell. They live in Alexander County. They have two children, both sons. My daughter Elizabeth Amanda married James Wilson about 1855. She has a son. After that he treated her very badly. He ran away and left her: went to Illinois. From there he went to Iowa and has accumulated some property. As soon as the law of state would permit, she married again to George Allison. They live near Statesville and have 7 children. My daughter Miranda married J. Wilson McCleland. They live near me with 9 children. My son B. Nelson Mays died in 1846, aged 24. My son James Calvin married Martha Grey. They have 3 sons dead and one child living. My daughter Laura & son Hamilton live with me. I and your aunt Jane Mays, my wife, are old and weak, scarcely able to do anything. I am 75 years old.

Your affectionate uncle,
Absolom Mays