Excerpts from a recorded interview with Mrs. Rhoda Peeks Motychak at her
house in Watauga, Tennessee in June 1967. Present at this, the first of two
interviews (the second was recorded), made in June were Mrs. Geneva
Hammon, Myrtle Scalf Campbell, and Ivia Scalf Dennison. Interview made by
Fred R. Scalf Jr. of Knoxville, Tennessee.
There were 3 brothers that came over from North Carolina. Mac (Malachi) was the oldest, then Dave (David), and Ben (Benjamin). Mac and Dave fought in the Civil War, but Ben was too young. They had a sister Sarah who married Levi Taylor and they were said to be witches back then. There was also another sister I believe, but I never knew her.
[Ed. Note: Above transcript not verbatim. Initial census report checks in Carter County, 1850 and 1880, do not support Mrs. Motychak's statement that Malachi was the oldest. When challenged, however, she affirmed the statement. The observed clarity of her mind, her almost unbelievable memory for old facts, and the reliability of other information she provided tend to support her case and point out the possibility that either census errors or lack of knowledge of correct age by one or both of the brothers. This conflict will, of course, be resolved when more documents are checked. The age difference only amounts to a couple of years with David the oldest from these reports; this is certainly within the limits of common errors of age prevalent in those times. There also exists the possibility of generational differences as there seem to be Malachi's and David's in a couple of generations.]
When asked to name Malachi's children and who they married, she stated without hesitation: (in order of birth)
Malachi Scalf first married Anna Lacy
William married Elizabeth Foust
Jim married Mary Ann Emmert
Tilda never married
Malachi Scalf then married Ellen Spivy
Nelse married Nancy Milhorn
George married Lula Scalf
Sam married Ellen Robinson
John married Nannie Gobble
Charlie married Neddie Carr
Sarah married Bob Richards
Mag married a Berry
Bell married a Richardson
Additional remarks concerning the above:
Mrs. Motychak's mother was William (Jackson) Scalf's daughter. Her father, Jerry Peeks, remarried when her mother died and she went to live with her grandfather, William J. Scalf. He raised her and it was living with her grandfather that enabled Mrs. Motychak to grow up with many of the people she named. Those that she knew otherwise, such as the three Scalf brothers, would come to her house and visit and as she so aptly put it, "They'd tell stories about the Civil War and other things. They'd laugh a while, and cry a while, and drink a while".