Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Alvin Ridley

Virginia and Alvin Ridley

When Georgia and Alabama played Monday night I heard the name RIDLEY mentioned over and over.  There was a Ridley on each side.  They are brothers.
Whenever I hear the name Ridley my ears pop up and my attention span zooms in to learn more.
My Grandma Petty's  maiden name is Ridley, so I have a natural yearn to learn more about the Ridleys.
They have an interesting story the cover centuries.
William Ridley (1739-abt 1825) was born in England and died in Burke County, North Carolina).  When William first moved to America he settled in Boston where he was a school teacher and shoe cobbler).  He fought in the Revolutionary War, on the side of the Americans.  He fought at Kings Mountain, near the border of North and South Carolina.  The Kings Mountain Battle, although only about two hours long, is believed to be the deciding point of the war.
He married Jane Pursley, who I believe lived near Kings Mountain at the time they met.  They married in Burke County, North Carolina.
They had five sons and one daughter.
William's son Matthew Ridley (abt 1782 - bef 1830) is my ancestor.
William's son William Ridley (1783-?  ) married  Mary Ann Smith and they also had five sons and one daughter.
Mary  Ann died and William married secondly to Margaret Maxwell and they had one son.  Then William died.
Researchers believe that Margaret sold William's three youngest boys in indenture servitude.
And the three young men escaped and went to north Alabama and in time their extended families reached into west Georgia, as far south as Heard County and as north as Ringgold, Georgia.
Now here is irony:  Matthews descendants mostly settled in Murray County, Georgia, and Cleveland, Tennessee, and as for west as Ringgold.
In Ringgold you have Ridleys with two different ancestry trails back to the original William Ridley, Revolutionary War soldier.
Below is a blog I made about the eccentric Alvin Ridley:
To get out of work, of retyping everything, I just copied and pasted.

Now, get this:  Margaret sold three of her five stepsons into servitude.
HOWEVER!!  They ran away or escaped.  Ales, Charles, and Asa Ridley went to Tennessee, just above the Alabama state line, Eastern Alabama, in the Sands Mountain area, and as far south as Heard County, Georgia.  Of course the three brothers off-springs multiplied, and some of the extended families ended up in Chattanooga and Ringgold, Georgia.
Now back to our Grandma Petty: Frances Viola Ridley.  Her closer Ridley kin have also multiplied and extended the extended families.  They are in Chattanooga, Ringgold,  and so on. 
My point is both sets of Ridleys have detailed listings of all their family members, but somehow Alvin Ridley, TV retired TV repairman in Ringgold, Georgia, is not listed in at all.
Who is Alvin Ridley?
Alvin Ridley is a very eccentric man who was accused of keeping his wife locked up in their house and starving her to death.  He had to go to trial and the jury found him not guilty.  The reason was, being a recluse he refused to let anybody in their house.  When his lawyer tricked him into getting into the house, the lawyer found the alibi proof he needed:  Walls covered with paper with crammed notes on each sheet of paper written by his wife Virginia.   She wrote her opinion on everything and when she ran out of opinions she would write poetry.  She wrote she quit taking her medicine and she autopsy showed she had the same symptoms of somebody with her disease, if they had quit taking their medicines.

I saw two TV specials on Alvin Ridley through the last dozen years and this weekend I heard a NPR program with his lawyer, the last elected Democrat in office, in Ringgold, talking and recounting it all.

With a little mini-research I found Alvin was born in 1943 and with further research I cannot find him listed in any Ridley family papers.  Apparently, neither Ridley group one wants to claim him

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