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As a young boy, I would visit my Grandfather (Earley Washington Seay) in the Athens, GA area. While visiting, we would take long walks down the old dirt roads when he felt good. On some of the walks our conversation would turn to our ancestors. He told me that our ancestors came from Ireland and also that our name, although spelled Seay, was supposed to be pronounced SAY. Now it is my job to either prove or disprove what he said. So far during my research I have found evidence to support the pronunciation in that several of the U.S. Census forms, the Census taker probably didn't ask how the name was spelled and just wrote it down the way that it sounded, which was either Say or Saye. Later Census forms for the same people have it spelled Seay.

Unfortunately I have run into a brick wall on the coming from Ireland. Most of the South Carolina Seay's moved to South Carolina from Virginia, although some did emmigrate from Ireland straight to South Carolina, then on into Georgia. And since I am unable at this time to make a trip to South Carolina, I will have to wait until another time to continue that part of my research and then update this website. I have taken a DNA test which should tell for sure what part of the world that our ancestors did come from. You can see the results here. We do have matches in Ireland as well as England and Germany. No France as other websites and researchers contend. So it is possible that our ancestors did in fact come from Ireland.

Most family trees that you find on the internet have James Madison Seay as being born in Spartanburg, S.C. and his parents as Cyrus Seay and Nancy Wingo. I do agree that there is a James Madison Seay in Spartanburg, S.C. (which is found in all Spartanburg, S.C. Census Forms at the same time as our James) but he is not our James M. Seay. I also have yet to find any documentation to prove our James' middle name was Madison or that his parents were Cyrus and Nancy. So I am going to disagree with all of those sites. In the 1850 Census James M. stated that he was born in S.C. but it doesn't state what part of South Carolina. Unfortunately, James died before the Census was changed to indicate where his parents were born. 1880 was the first year that the Census reflected the parents place of birth.

In 1830 there was a Cyrus Seay in Hall County, Ga., but he wasn't old enough to be James M. Seay's father. In 1830, James was 15 years old and Cyrus was between 20 and 30. There is also a Cyrus Seay living in Gilmer County, GA in the early 1800's, but I believe we are related as cousins. He moved to GA from VA during the GA gold rush of the early 1800's.

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