CILLEY FAMILY HISTORY PAGE



Our Great(2)-Grandmother
Grace Thurber Cilley
Born November 2, 1867 in Rockland, Maine
Married Walter Tibbitts on September 12, 1893
Grace grew up in Rockland and attended Wellesley College. She met Walter and moved with him to California shortly after their marriage. Together they had five children, three of whom died before the age of two. She died in 1953.


Grace with son Jonathan - 1900



Our Great(3)-Grandfather
Jonathan Prince Cilley
Born December 29, 1835 in Thomaston, Maine
Married Caroline Lazell on October 10, 1866
Jonathan graduated from Bowdoin College in 1858 and opened a law practice in Thomaston. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the First Maine Cavalry and was made a captain. He was wounded three times during the war, once so severely that he was not expected to survive. He received the brevet rank of brigadier general for bravery at the battles of Five Forks, Dinwiddie Courthouse and Appomattox, and was present for the surrender of General Lee's troops.

After the war he returned to his law practice and married Caroline. They had two children, but she died after less than four years of marriage. He lost his only son in 1894, and passed away in 1920 while visiting Grace in Alameda.


Gen. Cilley (center) with daughter Grace, son-in-law
Walter and grandsons Jonathan and Walter - 1917



Our Great(4)-Grandfather
Jonathan Cilley
Born July 2, 1802 in Nottingham, New Hampshire
Married Deborah Prince on April 2, 1829
Jonathan graduated from Bowdoin College's celebrated class of 1825, a close friend of fellow students Franklin Pierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He then moved to Thomaston, Maine, to practice law. It was there, while renting a room in the Prince home, that he met and eventually married Deborah. They were to have five children, two of whom died very young.

Cilley soon entered politics and served six terms in the Maine State Legislature, the last two as Speaker. In 1836 he was elected to the Twenty-fifth Congress as a Jacksonian Democrat, but soon after arriving in Washington became embroiled in a dispute with a fellow congressman, William Graves of Kentucky, over harsh words spoken in debate. A challenge from Graves ensued, and the two squared off on February 24, 1838, in Bladensburg, Maryland. Cilley fell, mortally wounded, on the third exchange of fire.

He was hailed as a martyr in New England, and public outcry was so great that Congress soon enacted legislation to outlaw duelling. The above portrait currently hangs in the Maine State House in Augusta.


Jonathan and Deborah's three surviving children,
Julia, Greenleaf and Jonathan Prince - c. 1855
To learn more about Jonathan Cilley visit the Thomaston Historical Society.



Our Great(5)-Grandfather
Greenleaf Cilley
Born March 5, 1767 in Nottingham, New Hampshire
Married Jane Nealley on May 22, 1787
Greenleaf was a farmer, a major in the New Hampshire state militia, and holder of various town offices. He and Jane had seven children, but he died at a very young age in Nottingham in 1808.



Our Great(6)-Grandfather
Joseph Cilley
Born 1734 in Nottingham, New Hampshire
Married Sarah Longfellow on November 4, 1756
Prior to the Revolutionary War, Joseph was a farmer and town officer. After Lexington and Concord, he was appointed major in Enoch Poor's 2nd New Hampshire militia. In 1777 he was made colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment in the Continental Army. He fought at the battles of Bemis Heights, Stoney Point, Monmouth, and Saratoga, and was present for the surrender of British Gen. Johnny Burgoyne to American Gen. Horatio Gates.

After the war, he was appointed major general of the New Hampshire state militia. He was successively treasurer, vice president, and president of the Order of Cincinnati. He and Sarah raised ten children, and he died in Nottingham in 1799. The portrait above hangs in the New Hampshire State Capitol in Concord.
To learn more about Joseph Cilley visit SeacoastNH.com.



Our Great(7)-Grandfather
Joseph Cilley
Born October 6, 1701 in Hampton, New Hampshire
Married Alice Rawlins about 1725
Joseph and Alice moved to Nottingham, New Hampshire, in about 1727. They settled on Rattlesnake Hill and built a log cabin, where they raised six children. Joseph held several positions, including tithingman, selectman, surveyor of highways, and captain of militia. He died in 1782.



Our Great(8)-Grandfather
Thomas Cilley
Born about 1667 probably in Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire
Married Ann Stanyan before 1697
Thomas was a sea captain, and lived variously in Hampton, Nottingham, and Andover, New Hampshire. He and Ann had six children, and he died while visiting his son Joseph in Nottingham sometime after 1727.



Our Great(9)-Grandfather
Thomas Sealy
Born 1638 in Stoke-in-Teignhead, England
Married Martha Boaden before 1670
Thomas most likely came to New England with his four older brothers in 1665. He settled on land west of the Kennebec river and married Martha, a widow with one child. They eventually had two more children before he died in about 1684. After his arrival in America, his last name was spelled variously as "Sealy", "Scilley", and finally "Cilley".



Our Great(10)-Grandfather
Andrew Sealy
Born 1597 in Stoke-in-Teignhead, England
Married before 1618
Andrew moved at some point to Kingsteinton, England, and raised nine children. He died there in 1665.



Our Great(11)-Grandfather
Richard Sealy
Born about 1550 in Stoke-in-Teignhead, England
Married Julian Selman on January 26, 1591
Richard and his second wife Julian, herself a widow, had two children. He also had three children from his first marriage. He died in Stoke-in-Teignhead in 1620.


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