INTRODUCTION


Tracing the Scalf, Scarfe, Scalph  Family has been a somewhat difficult challenge. We are very fortunate that some very dedicated people did much of he early work. This and the internet have made the task much easier.  But, the ease of putting together 80%-90% of our family tree can be deceiving.  Just because someone has posted family information on the LDS (Latter Day Saints - Mormon <www.familysearch.com>) site, or the Family TreeMaker <www.ancestry.com> site, or some other site, does not make it accurate. In fact, there are numerous errors.

However, I make no claim that the data we post here is error-free.  I only want to remind you that we really need to go back through all of this and cite references and document them to make a case that what we have is accurate.  I have sent information to several genealogists, pointing out where I think there are some significant problems in their reports, but have received little response.  On the other hand, some folks have been really wonderful and helpful. We will post any information that we receive that questions the accuracy of something I have posted -- even thought we may not have had the time to verify its accuracy. If you see something, and verify it, let us know.

I am interested in seeing a complete and thorough history of the Scalf Family in America and I hope to contribute in some way to that effort. I believe we will see that in a few years because the conversion of so many written documents to computer readable files has made searching faster and easier, and the internet has put a lot of us in touch with each other. No one person or group can do this job. Together, however, we can make a big difference. I became interested in the East Tennessee Scalf's originally in the 1960's and much of the work I did was in that era.  Because of military service requirements, I had to leave the work at that time and am just now trying to document what I know. I am now 68 years old and just want to tie up a few loose ends and put everything I have on several copies of a CDROM and make it available to anyone who wants one, free if possible,  I wish we had some earlier works on CDROM as some of you are fairly young and have trouble getting access to a copy of these works.

I would like to pay special tribute to an old newspaperman and writer from Stanville, Kentucky who with some very hard working friends, put together the first attempt of which I am aware to document the Scalf Family.  Henry P. Scalf published his book Chronicles of the Scalf Family in 1970.  On page 4 he acknowledges the help of nearly 30 people -- a handful I know were hard working contributors.  Henry P. went against the old stories in Kentucky that even though we were poor country folks for the most part, we descended from European royalty.  Henry made me a present of a copy of the book even though my help was superficial and brief at best, and on page 6 he says "The book is incomplete and will contain errors but it is hoped it will serve as a guide to those who want to attempt additional research on the family".  It is noteworthy that a major collaborator in the research of Henry P. Scalf's book was Mrs. Elsie Payne Archer.

"Cousin" Henry left us some years later, but I knew him to be a gentleman. About the middle of January 2001, I spoke to his son Albert about posting a "re-creation" of his book on the internet (a "re-creation" is defined as the best copy I can make from the scanned pages of the book, read by computer, and proof-read for errors in scanning). I have now completed the first draft of this "re-creation" -- all 206 pages, no small task -- and will be proofreading and making changes as necessary to ensure accuracy.

The next substantial work, in a different style, but covering in a less restrictive manner a larger cross-section of the Scalf family was the book Scalf Family History by Elmer D. Scalf published in 1982.  There are a few remaining copies of this book available and I have made arrangements for you to have access to those. (See our "home page")  I have also "re-created" the text of this book and posted it here on this web site so that we may also search and cross-reference it.

A significant work that is not well known but which has a significant amount of Scalf history is My Family Tree Grew in Southeastern Kentucky by Lois McKeehan Jones who visited me about 20 years ago and presented me with a well-updated copy. I also have a copy of Watauga "An Unusual History of the Watauga, Tennessee Area, the Birthplace of Democracy in the World as We Know It Today" by Howard N. Campbell.  This has some anecdotal information about Watauga events that were reported in the newspaper. Howard's mother was a Scalf.  My great grandfather was Solomon David Scalf who lived in the Watauga area.

One thing that each of the cited works has in common is the lack of much information about the East Tennessee Scalf's.  It is not quite this simple, but a large part of our ancestry moved westward after the Revolutionary War to the "new territories", a few settling in Eastern Tennessee mainly in Washington and Carter Counties, but most seem to have traveled the Daniel Boone Trail on to Kentucky.  Both the number of Scalf's and their interest in history, resulted in a principal focus of early research on the Kentucky Scalf roots.

When my family came to Knoxville in the 1940's we were the only Scalf's in the phone book.  Now there are many and most are not recent relatives. Many are descendents of Peter Scalf who came down from Kentucky, but many also are from other lines in Eastern Tennessee -- descendents of David S. Scalf, father of Malachi, David, & Benjamin Scalf, and others.

I have seen some remarkable recent research on the internet on the Scalf and other lines. Fragments of this research is posted on bulletin boards and some is on various commercial genealogy sites. One such work resulted in the posting on the Family TreeMaker site of Gladys Ruby "Cookie" Scalph Schuerg. (I attempted to access her work in July 2005 and was unable to locate it.  I assume it has been removed from www.familytreemaker.com.)

The internet work has not been without some conflict and controversy. Her work is an excellent place to start our process of checking, cross checking, and documenting.  There are, however, what I believe are at least two serious errors in the work, but these are understandable.  There has been a LOT of confusion over the years on the identities of Berry, Berryman, Greenberry Scalf.  There are some lines that have become confused over this.  Also, there is confusion between William Jackson Scalf and William Andrew Jackson Scalf -- they are not the same person -- but cousins.

I have approached Cookie about posting her work, which she said had been inactive for nearly a year, so we can post changes to it.  She has not responded in agreement, which is but one of several factors that went into our decision to start a new manuscript.

Why have I put this information here instead of on the Family TreeMaker site?  Well, set me straight if I am wrong, but it seems every search I make using Family TreeMaker it points to information not on one of the 25 or so disks I own, but on some I do not own. For some reason I get the feeling I could own 100 disks, and it would always point to a disk I do not own.  Am I paranoid? I just think something is wrong about our uploading our personal information, and having to pay to get it back.

So, with these "hints", gentlemen and gentlewomen, start your engines and let's put the pieces together.  I have no copyrights. We will, however, copyright original works that are written here to protect their being used for profit by one of the commercial genealogy sites. In any case, for your own use, please help yourself.

Despite some initial focus on the East Tennessee Scalf's, it is our intention to put information here on ALL Scalf branches as it becomes available.

Bob Scalf
Revised August 1, 2005

Addemdum

I am now in my 84th year and we have just had to move this web site to a new location. I have attempted to ensure it being available for at least 10 years, to 2031. We are all up in years and unlike as has been true in my lifetime, no one stands out as the most knowledgeable authority on the Scalf Family history. Thus we have no one at this time to pass the torch to. I am trying to format the book to fit on a DVD so it can be distributed at cost to as many of you as want one. The objective is obviously to preserve our family history and make it readily available. Too few libraries and people have copies of the previous works. It is not practical to format and print this manuscript in book form as only 2 chapters would require 500 pages and the size and expense make such a printing impractical.

Bob Scalf
Octoiber 1, 2021