Wiley Pope (1820-1862) married Sirrenna (Sirena, Sireny) B. Sanders (b. 1819 Stewart Co., d. 1870 Lumpkin, Stewart Co.) in Stewart Co. (m. before 1842). Their daughter was Julia Frances Pope (1862-1915). Family histories claim that Sirena had Native American blood (possibly Cherokee).
Additional info taken from census records show a Jesse (?) Sanders living in the Pope household in 1850 (age 21), Stewart County, and it is possible that he is Sirena's younger brother or nephew. Wiley is listed as age 31, "Sereny" as age 32, Celey [Elizabeth Celey]- age 8, John- age 6, George- age 5, Wiley- age 3, Charles- age 1.
Prior to 1850 in Stewart County, there are these heads of households listed (1840): Alexander Sanders, Birrell/Barrett J. Sanders, C.B. Sanders, David Sanders [of Lumpkin District], Ivey Sanders, James Sanders, and possibly a William as well. If Sirena was from Lumpkin, then it is possible that David is her father. All of these Sanders men had young females in the household (except for William). Pope heads of households are as follows: A.B. Pope, Frances Pope (female), Jacob Pope, Wilson Pope [of Lumpkin District] ** A Benjamin Pearce is living next door to this Pope family- see the 1870 census record for Edgar Pearce (age 23) living in the home of Sirena/Serena Pope in Lumpkin, Stewart Co. There were also Pope and Sanders families living in neighboring Webster County.
The 1860 census shows the family still at Lumpkin with Wiley- age 40, Serena- age 41, Elizabeth- age 17, John W.- age 16, George F.- age 14, Wiley E.- age 12, Charles W.- age 10, Larsena A.- age 9, Faith I. [Ruth]- age 7, and Nancy- age 3.
By 1870, Wiley has passed away and Serena is the head of household, age 53 (still at Lumpkin, Stewart Co.). In her home are George- age 24, Wiley- age 22, Larsina- age 17, Rusky [Ruth]- age 16, Mary [Nancy?]- age 13, Julia- age 7, and Edgar Pearce- age 23. It is not known if Edgar Pearce is a family relation (he was likely a son of Benjamin Pearce, who could have been married to either a sister of Serena or a sister of the elder Wiley Pope).
By 1880, Julia "Fannie" Pope was living in Texas with her brother Charles in their older brother George's home in Johnson County. Their mother Serena died in 1870, so it is possible that the older siblings took care of Julia and her sisters after their mother's death. Julia died in 1915.
If you have any other information on this family, please contact Belinda Slocumb, your Stewart County Coordinator.