The following biography comes primarily from my own personal research, but portions may come from research originally done by others. In particular, Mrs. Mamie Sellers and Mrs. Lou Murphy have shared the results of their research with me, some of which appears below:
James Seale was born on 13 Feb 1769 in Cumberland County North Carolina, the son of Charles Seale and Lydia Muse Seale. His parents lived in that portion of Cumberland that became Moore County in 1784. The fall after his birth, James' parents left North Carolina and moved to Craven County South Carolina. Charles Seale bought a farm on the Sawney's Creek of the Wateree River. His farm was located in the portion of Craven County that became Fairfield District in 1785. James Seale grew up in South Carolina living near his uncles Thomas and Daniel Muse, aunt Amy Muse Tolleson, and his grandmother Sophia Pope Muse Morrison and her husband John Morrison.
Charles Seale had been born in 1729, Stafford County Virginia, and he grew up in Prince William County VA, where his parents Anthony Seale, II and Ann Bristow Seale lived. Charles met and married Lydia Muse there about 1753. In 1754, Charles left Virginia with his father-in-law James Muse, Sr. and brother-in-law James Muse, Jr., settling in Cumberland County NC. James Muse, Sr. died there in 1758.
Back in Prince William County Virginia, James Seale's grandfather Anthony Seale II died in 1781. This event plus the abundant land distributed in Georgia at the end of the Revolutionary War probably caused Charles' brother Anthony Seale III to leave Virginia and move south towards Georgia in about 1783 or early 1784. Anthony III was joined by his brother Thomas Seale and sister Dorothy Seale Stribling and her husband Francis Stribling from Cumberland County NC. They settled in Wilkes County Georgia near the present-day Wilkes/Lincoln County line.
Charles Seale following his siblings to Wilkes County in 1783/1784. He was living there in 1785 and was granted land in Wilkes in the fall of that year. Charles was living next door to his son Enoch Seale, brother Thomas Seale, nephew Jarvis Seale, and a large clan of Peavys. About this time, Charles' daughter Lydia Seale married Abraham Peavy.
One month after he was granted 250 acres of land in Wilkes County in Oct 1785, Charles Seale sold it and returned to South Carolina. Lydia Seale Peavy remained behind in Georgia with her husband's family, and according to a statement he made much later, James Seale remained behind in Georgia with his sister and her husband for several years.
It is not known how long James Seale remained in Georgia, but by 1792 he was back in South Carolina, for he bought land in Fairfield District in that year. Also about 1792 and 1794, James Seale married Rachel Kelley (?). Nothing is known about Rachel at this time other than her given name; her maiden name is family tradition. Between 1792 and 1820, James Seale farmed his plantation in Fairfield District South Carolina. He owned a small number of slaves, just about one family of them. He remained in Fairfield District until all of his siblings had already left. Lydia and Abraham Peavy lived in that portion of Wilkes County GA that became Warren County in 1794, and they lived there or in Hancock County until about 1817 or 1818, when they moved to Butler County Alabama. It was originally named "Fairfield County" in honor of all the original settlers with ties to Fairfield District SC. However, in 1818 a group of Indians who refused to accept the white control of that state since 1814 made several violent and bloody attacks in the area, killing not only the men, but unarmed and helpless women and children as well. The area was named "Butler County" after Captain William Butler, who died fighting these Indians.
Abraham and Lydia Seale Peavy survived the Indian attacks, and by the winter of 1820/1821, James Seale left South Carolina and joined his sister in Alabama. He bought a plantation near present-day Greenville in 1821 and lived there for 11 years. By 1832, many of James' older children had married and moved a short distance north into southern Lowndes County. James followed them there in 1832, but within a few years he had moved still further northeast to Autauga County. By 1839, Rachel had died and James' wife was named "Rebecca". Rebecca Seale died by 1840, and in 1842 James married a widow, Hannah Higginottom Roberts Ivey.
James and Hannah lived in Autauga County until 1852, when they moved back to Butler county to live close to his sons Ransom, Anderson, and William H. Seale. Hannah died in 1859, and a year later, on 4 Feb 1860, James Seale died in Butler County Alabama.
Children of James and Rachel Seala:
1. Elizabeth Seale (1794-1835) married Elisha Kelley
2. Mary Seale (1796-1861), married Balam B. Bates
3. daughter died young
4. Ransom Seale (1799-1862), married Ellen Murphy
5. daughter died young
6. Anderson Seale (1802-1889), married Mary Armstrrong and Jane Rodgers
7. Matilda Sealel (1805-1872), married Ephraim Parmer and William Grant
8. William Henry Seale (1807-1904), married Rulincy Hilson
9. daughter died young
10. Clarenda Seale (1813-1897), married William Ham
11. Cynthia Seale (1813-1857), marrie David Ward
12. James Hayden Seale (1814-1870?), married Sarah Mobley
13. Thomas Jefferson Seale (1816-1893), married aletha Connell
14. Elvira Seale (1820-1845?), married Adam Bynam Cooper