Loy Kith and Kin and the 1841 Holston Conference

The Holston Conference? What was that? A conference about cows? No, wait, that’s Holstein…

It all started with an article I found on page 3 of the Friday, 19 November 1841 edition of the Highland Messenger (Asheville, NC). The headline read, “A Catalogue of Contributors to the Preachers’ Aid Society of the Holston Conference.” And among those contributors were familiar names: Jacob Loy, W. Loy, Lewis Miller, Isaac Miller, H. Snoterly, and A. Sharp. Although I’m still unsure which one was H. Snoterly, the Snoterly/Snotherly/Snodderly families were intermarried with the Loys in (early 19th century boundary) Orange County, North Carolina; then East Tennessee; and later Page County, Iowa.

I recognized the other names from the family of Martin Loy’s (to America 1741) son George. George’s son “Fisher” John Loy, through both of his marriages, was brother-in-law to Lewis and Isaac Miller. Since Fisher’s brother Jacob would have been in Ohio at this time, the Jacob Loy here would have been Fisher’s son. The A. Sharp was likely Alfred Sharp, who married Fisher’s daughter Elizabeth. The W. Loy would have been William Loy, Fisher’s youngest brother, an ordained Methodist minister. Fisher’s son Jacob Loy’s wife Hazy (Hill) was sister to William Loy’s wife Duly (Hill). William and Duly’s daughters (Mary, Aletha, and Eda) married Isaac Miller’s sons (John F., Elijah, and Robert).

In mid-1840s William Loy and the Millers would migrate to Platte County, Missouri, and then to Page County, Iowa where William’s *brother* Jacob Loy, their cousin John Loy Jr.’s son David Loy (who married William’s brother Jacob’s daughter Elizabeth), and other Snodderly families also migrated. Shortly after, Fisher’s son Isaac Loy and family and Fisher’s grandson John Loy Weaver and family would also migrate to Page County Iowa.

According to a 1949 letter by William Loy’s granddaughter Vetta (Loy) Johnson, she said “we” still have the originals of William Loy’s original minister’s licenses. With my notes (i.e., spelling corrections) in brackets, here is Vetta transcription as follows:

    The bearer William Loy is authorized to exercise his gifts and grace as ex[h]orter in the M. E. Church so long as his spirit and practice shall be in accordance with the Discipline of said Church. Signed in behalf of the J. M. Conf. for Clinton Circu[i]t, Knoxville District, Hols[t]on Conf. Sept. 22 1834 W. Patton P. E.

And the renewals of his license:

  • Renewed by order of the J. M. Conf. Sept. 26, 1836 W. Patton P. E.
  • Renewed by order of the J. M. Conf. Sept. 11th 1837 L. S. Marshall P. E.
  • Renewed by order of Conference Loy’s Campground Sept. 7, 1839 J. Humming Pastor
  • Renewed by order of Conference Big Valley Oct. 5 1840 C. Fulton

In a 1962 letter, Vetta said William was an ex[h]orter or local preacher in Clinch River Conference.

Although headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, at time of this 1841 Conference, the Holston Conference encompassed counties in North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, as well as Tennessee. The Conference takes its name from the Holston River. While researching online, I was surprised to find the Holston Conference still exists today, and much expanded in territory. It is among the annual conferences of the United Methodist Church.

The Preachers’ Aid Society is also in existence today, though I was unable to find one main website for it, just one in Massachusetts that covers all of New England and one that seems to be based in Illinois. Other Methodist Church websites in various states mentioned having a Preachers’ Aid Society meeting, but I was unable to locate any direct website. So apparently all the Conferences still have this Society. I had hoped there would be a URL for the Holston Conference’s Preachers’ Aid Society, to let others see it 177 years after this 1841 newspaper article.

I’ve encountered discrepancies regarding the year of William Loy’s (and allied families’) departure from East Tennessee to Platte County, Missouri. The biographical of William’s son George Tate Loy gives 1843 for the Missouri arrival, while George Tate Loy’s daughter Vetta (Loy) Johnson gave the move as Spring 1844, when her father was four years old, staying there for eight years. The earliest Missouri land record I found was in 1846, when William Loy of Platte County, Missouri residence, bought 138 and 84/100 acres of land at the Plattsburg land office. This was prior to their enumeration in the 1850 Marshall Township, Platte County, Missouri census. The following year, William and his household were in the 1851 Page County, Iowa state census, although the Millers were not listed. According to the History of Page County, Iowa vol 1 by W. L. Kershaw (1909) pg. 439, William was one of several settlers who came to Lincoln Township, Page County, Iowa, in 1851 and the Millers came to Tarkio Township in 1852.

In the late 1820s William’s first cousin (his uncle Henry’s son) John Henry Loy, who was my ancestor, left Alabama with his large family for Illinois because “the slavery issue was hot” where he was in the South. This was also William’s reason for leaving Tennessee, according to William’s descendants’ family tradition. Another similarity between these cousins was both were involved with the Methodist church. After arriving in Illinois, in the 1830s John Henry Loy and his descendants founded the congregation, and later edifice, that would be Loy Chapel (a.k.a. Loy Church), on the Methodist circuit.

Although I could understand the pressure in Alabama at that time, I was somewhat puzzled hearing of the pressure for William in Tennessee. During the Civil War, East Tennessee was virtually anti-slavery and pro-Union. (From accounts I’ve read, Union County, formed from sections of five different Tennessee counties in 1850, was named to honor the Union.) Yet, perhaps it wasn’t local pressure, but regional Church pressure. By coincidence, or perhaps not, the year William left, 1844, was the very same year the Methodist Church split due to slavery issue. The Southern churches then became the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Although Methodism was founded on anti-slavery beliefs, and the Southern churches were to adhere to it, there were gray areas that gave certain ones no choice either way. In Wikipedia’s article relating to the Church division, it tells of a southern Methodist Bishop who already owned a slave, but under good conscience could not sell her, only to have her fall into the hands of a cruel master. The Church did not reprimand him for owning a slave, but when he married four years later, in 1844, his new wife had previously inherited a slave. The General Conference drew the line and voted to expel him from office until the slaves were no longer under his ownership. The Southern churches broke off, infuriated that the General Conference, not the local Conference, could dictate authority in this matter. The October 1914 article The Methodist Episcopal Church and Reconstruction, by William W. Sweet, gives further information on this split.

Whether or not this 1844 Church split over the slavery issue was a factor in William’s migration from Tennessee to Missouri, I can only speculate. But according to another of William’s descendants, the slavery issue prompted his leaving Missouri for Page County, Iowa. Sherry told me the Millers, Loys, and some of the Aikens went to Missouri, in a vicinity that was pro-slavery and these neighbors asked them to leave. While the Loys, Millers, and Aikens were anti-slavery, it’s noteworthy to mention that Lewis and Isaac Miller’s father John (“Raccoon”) Miller was a large plantation and slave owner in Tennessee. [Edited on 9 December 2018: I was correct in my assumption! I recently came across an historical newspaper that gave remembrances by William’s son and grandchildren that William left Tennessee due to a church split over slavery!]

Besides the Loys and their allied families being mentioned in the Highland Messenger article, there were many other church members in the donor list. To benefit any researchers of these other names while doing their web search, I’m transcribing the complete list below. NOTE: Original newspaper article’s formatting often had donor with type of donation after name and continued on next line. Or a donor’s lengthy surname was hyphenated and continued on next line. For clarity, especially so these “broken-up” surnames will show complete and non-hyphenated in search engines, I’ve kept the text to one line in one table cell, placing a dash in cell below where continued text had been in original article. Using the dash as a place marker will also keep the integrity of how the original list of names were formatted.

Friday, 19 November 1841 Highland Messenger (Asheville, NC), pg. 3


L. S. Marshall $100 William Heiskell 20
James Whitten 100 Jacob Baker 20
J. B. Daughtry 100 Ana Baker 5
J. Cumming 100 David Williams 10
W. C. Graves 100 A. Beeler 25
D. R. McAnally 100 S. Beeler 10
Lewis Carter 100 J. Patterson 10
G. E. Mountcastle 100 John Lotspeach 25
A. Slover 100 Anna Lotspeach 5
J. C. Everett 100 Nathan Sullens 25
Berry Abernathy 100 James A. Sullens 5
Charles Collins the interest of David Orr 5
100 William Rudd 20
O. F. Cunningham 25 W. Orr 10
David Ring 25 C. Wakefield 10
C. Stump 25 A. L. B. Wakefield 5
A. Patton, annually, during life, A. G. Scroggins 10
5 David Hushell 25
George Ekin 25 W. Baldwin 5
John Key 20 H. Leggett 25
David M. Key 5 Daniel Wester 5
Henderson Trim 5 J. Y. Smith 20
Lewis Parker 10 A. Low 20
Joel Parker 5 Rebecca Low 5
Joseph McSpadden 5 David White 5
A. Woodward 50 James S. Spring 20
Sarah Atlee 5 V. A. Schoolfield 20
W. L. Atlee 20 O. Wright 5
Jesse Foshe 5 N. Swafford 20
F. Bezelay 10 E. Swafford 10
H. T. Carter 5 G. W. Finnell 5
Caleb Carter 5 J. W. Daniel 5
J. C. Brown 20 H. Hatfield annually, during life
John L. McKenzee 20 5
G. Brown 10 William Hixon 20
A. C. Robison 20 J. Hixon 10
J. C. Smith 10 G. H. Billingsly 5
G. Julian 8 N. Langley, one dollar per ann’m
Joseph Smith 12 1
Josiah Wright 10 D. L. Godsey 20
J. A. Wright 5 Jesse Rector 10
Josiah J. Wright 5 Z. Willen 20
W. Rogers 10 B. R. McDonal 20
J. H. Rogers 5 Vincent Hames 5
W. Griffeth 10 L. L. Waterman 25
John C. Abernathy 5 I. Falls pr ann. 1
The above were given at interest to the former Agent, the Rev. J. Daughtry.
John Thomas $20 W. Scarborough 5
W. N. Marshall 5 R. Love 5
M. A. Cap 5 John W. Pyatt 5
Marg’t Montgomery 5 A. Kirkpatrick 20
R. N. Peoples 50 H. Hemb 5
G. J. Washam 10 R. H. Lea 5
G. W. Kinder 20 James Kirkpatrick 5
Conrod Ault 10 Charlott Smith 5
J. Baley 10 Caleb Low 10
John Kelly 20 J. W. Jones 10
J. D. Pane 20 L. J. Jones 5
John Howell 10 H. Jones 5
J. H. Howell 10 Mary H. Jones 5
A. Rian 5 Elizabeth Shackelford
J. W. Montgomery 10 5
Jane W. Reeder 10 R. A. McIlvaire 10
J. W. Murphy 5 J. H. Eness 5
A. S. Colter 5 J. S. Burnett 20
G. Rule 5 N. H. Lea 10
James Tarwater 10 T. S. Lea 10
W. Kerby 5 J. D. Burnett 5
Joseph Worley 25 S. R. Vaughn 10
G. W. Matlock 10 W. Derrick 5
J. H. Cardwell 5 J. Buxton 20
M. M. Gaines & Co 10 A. P. Lewallin 10
Anderson Hill 5 J. L. Lea 5
Z. Bennett 5 E. & J. Fowler 30
Martin Powel 5 J. Crawford 5
Stephen Ward 5 E. Dunn 5
W. Blevins 10 Isaac Lewis 5
J. Hughs 10 John Bize 5
J. R. Robison 10 D. C. Johnston 5
J. H. Tolly 10 N. Thompson 5
Allen Dotson 10 Andrew Hutsell 20
W. Byrd 5 Mary Hutsell 5
Mark Renfroe 5 Joseph Wear 10
C. Brandon 10 M. Carpenter 5
A. Randees 10 J. Ghormie 10
J. Wright 5 J. Hays 5
J. Palmre 5 J. Moore 10
Christa Huffacre J. Huffacre 10
and Sarah 10 Mary Huffacre 5
W. Udaily 10 Israel Eblen 100
John Campbell 5 Nancy Fore 100
B. McCarty 5 J. W. Hester 10
Joseph Parker 5 R. Casada 10
James Frank 5 Sarah Holt 10
J. S. Kline 5 Agatha Huffacre 5
J. W. Riggs 5 E. B. Huffacre 5
Marcus L. Beeler 5 W. Deaton 5
Joseph Wilson 5 Mary Huffacre >5
E. Byrd 5 T. W. Karns 5
Edmund James 5 G. M. Harbison 5
L. Holt 10 T. Pearson 5
R. R. Shipley 5 W. Welker 5
T. W. Holt 5 Anne Gibbs 25
J. Housely 5 Lewis Miller 25
W. Rutherford 5 Isaac Miller 6
G. Troy 5 Jacob Loy 10
R. McClina 5 J. B. Mitchell 5
James Edens 5 T. Washam 5
F. S. Henderson 5 H. Snoterly 10
Rob. S. Holt 10 P. Rogers 10
L. L. Allison 5 W. Loy 5
Mariah Byrd 5 A. Sharp 5
Rob. K. Byrd 5 H. Clear 5
John Bawden 5 C. Clear 5
F. A. Holt 5 J. G. Whitson 5
E. C. Edwards 10 J. McAdoo 5
R. H. Jordan 10 R. Kerkpatrick 5
W. Coffelt 5 J. P. Bearden 5
H. Brandon 10 D. Chandler 10
John Bulrum 20 H. Rule 5
P. Swafford 5 Hugh Wear 10
George Meeker 10 W. J. Love 5
Burrell Lee 5 S. A. Crofford 5
J. C. Derick 5 A. C. Stanbery 5
D. Prepley 5 M. Leadford 5
Peter Swafford 5 R. S. Cumming 5
Thos. Prater 5 M. E. Spillman 5
S. Vanpelt 5 M. L. Cope 5
M. J. Vanpelt 5 J. D. Malone 20
C. E. Kunmer 5 B. Castell 5
John Swafford 5 W. P. Wright 5
W. Swafford 5 E. H. Pass 10
John Kunmer 5 James Dunuway 5
Aaron Swafford 5 J. Anderson 5
C. Sherrell 10 B. N. Bonham 1
J. S. Sherrell 5 S. J. C. Hoffin 10
John M. Beaty 10 J. T. M. Montgomery 5
S. Rankin 5 H. Whittenbarger 5
James Swafford 5 N. Bonham 5
W. L. Turner 10 John Small 5
James Broyles 5 R. Luttrell 10
W. K. Gannaway 5 J. Carman 10
S. Rice 5 J. N. Carter 10
Martin B. Carter 10
The above are subscriptions at interest. Agreeably to instructions at the last Conference, I authorise all the travelling preachers to collect the interests which may fall due this year.

It is hoped, dear brethern, and friends, that you will find it convenient to make payment to them. It is much desired that those interests be collected this year.

I hope soon to furnish the preachers with a list of subscribers in their respective circuits.

G. HORNE, Agent.

October 18, 1841.

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