We welcome each and every one of you to visit, browse, and explore the vast information that Jerry Penley and his family have gathered over the years. We regret to inform you that Jerry Penley, loving husband, wonderful father, cherished sibling, and an all around fabulous kind soul, passed away near Easter in 2006. We of course will continue to keep this website going, along with all of the fascinating information that Jerry knew so well.  As no one really knew the depths to which Jerry was able to extend, we really aren't in a situation to keep the Genealogy updated.  We ask that you keep this in mind as you stroll through history. You may still contact us, and we will do what we can to accommodate your questions and comments.

The Penley Family August 2007

Hello and welcome to our family tree!

As we like to say here in the mountains, "come in and sit

The Penley genealogy button will take you to my wife's
and my lines.  My wife and I have compiled the
information in this area over a 35 year period.

The Wigton-Walker button takes you to the section that
I compiled from Emma S. White's book published in 1902.
                 Trouble Tree
         Carrie Penley 1996
 Trouble Tree  Quarantine
The carpenter was helping me restore an old
farm-house and finished up a rough first day on the
job.  A flat tire lost an hour of work, his electric saw
quit, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.  On
arriving, he invited me to meet his family.  As we
walked toward his home, he paused briefly at a small
tree, touching the tips of the branches with both

Then, opening the door, he underwent an amazing
transformation.  His tanned face was wreathed in
smiles, he hugged his two small children and gave
his wife a happy kiss.

After our visit he walked me to the car.  We passed
the tree and my curiosity got the better of me.  I
asked him about what I saw him do earlier.

"Oh that's my 'Trouble Tree.'  I know I can't help
having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure---
Troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and
children.  So I just hang'em on the tree every night
when I come home; then in the morning, I pick them
up.  Funny thing is, when I come out in the morning
to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I
remember hanging up the night before."
                                                          Author Unknown
The inhabitants of this place have been stricken with
Genealogy Fever, a deadly and infectious disease.

Symptoms:  Notepapers stuffed in pockets and files;
heart palpitations at the sight of gravestones and old
trunks filled with letters; bloodshot eyes from
excessive microfilm exposure; erratic speech
patterns punctuated with pilgrims and princes; cold
sweat upon the arrival of the daily mail.

Prognosis:  Incurable!
                                           Author Unknown

PenArms.jpg (36949 bytes)


The Story Tellers.....

We are the chosen. My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow
they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing
life into all who have gone before.

We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:  Tell our story. So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried?
I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family, you would
be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there
for me?  I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do? It goes to
seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this
happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something
about it.

It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on
and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense
understanding that they were doing it for us.

That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation
to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.

That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put
flesh on the bones.

Author Unknown

                      This Old House

This ole house once knew my children
This ole house once knew my wife
This ole house was home and comfort
as we fought the storms of life

This ole house once rang with laughter
This ole house heard many shouts
Now she trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin' walks about

This ole house is a-gettin' shaky
This ole house is a-gettin' old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the cold
On my knees I'm gettin' chilly
But I feel no fear nor pain
'Cause I see an angel peekin'
Through a broken window pane

This ole house is afraid of thunder
This ole house is afraid of storms
This ole house just groans and trembles
When the night wind flings its arms
This old house is gettin' feeble
This ole house is needin' paint
Just like me its tuckered out
But I'm a-gettin' ready to meet the saints

                 Song by Tennessee Ernie Ford