Saturday, July 23, 2022

Clues from George Washington Morris

George Washington Morris

George Washington Morris, son of William Morris and Margaret Lewis, and grandson of John Jacky and Amelia Morris, lived the longest of my Morris ancestors. He was born in 1867 and died in 1969, at the age of 102 years. George was 7-years old when John Jacky Morris, his grandfather, died in 1874. So, George was sure to have had some recollection, albeit a child’s view, of John Jacky. George outlived my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Morris, his uncle, who died in 1897. He also outlived his first cousin, my great grandfather, John Coon Morris, who died in 1945. George was in his 50s when my parents were born, and they probably had heard stories about him. Most certainly, my grandparents knew him. My grandfather died just 2 years after George. I was alive when George died, though I was just a baby. I still struggle to understand why no one in my family thought to talk to George, follow him around write down everything he said and did, take pictures of him, record his family stories. He had a wealth of history to offer on our Morris family! 

In 1893, George married Letha Cotton, daughter of James Granberry Cotton and Abigale Russell, and the two settled down in Uwharrie Township of Montgomery County where George took up farming.

Three children, Shelton, born 1895, Gracie, born 1897, and Fred, born 1899, are listed on the 1900 Census with George and Leatha. Three more children would be born to George and Letha over the next few years. Abbie, 1901, Jasper, 1904, and Max, 1906. Letha Cotton Morris died in 1908 and was buried at Southside Cemetery in Troy.
Notice that George listed his father, William’s, place of birth as Virginia. However, William reported in 1850 that his place of birth was North Carolina. He is not found on 1860 Census. In 1870 his place of birth was also reported as North Carolina. In 1880, he reported Virginia as his place of birth. So, there is much confusion if William was born in North Carolina or in Virginia. The only consistency is that John Jacky Morris, William’s father, was born in Virginia. Of that, I am sure!
After Letha’s death, George remarried to Hattie Harris, a woman half his age, and the daughter of George and Martha Ann Ferrell Harris, in 1909. The wedding took place in Uwharrie Township, Montgomery County, at Prospect Church, officiated by George Biggs, a Minister of the Methodist faith.
By 1910, George had given up farming and moved his family to Blair Street in Troy where he is shown as a Merchant.
George may have worked as a manager at the Troy Supply Company, selling a variety of items from clothing to groceries.

In 1967 on George’s 100th birthday, he was honored with a centennial party. At the party, he entertained with stories of gold mining fever and boats used to dredge the rivers for gold nuggets, and, of course, tales of our ancestors. According to George, our Morris ancestors came from England, settled in Virginia, and moved to Montgomery County, North Carolina in 1805. 

If that is the case, my Morris family should be listed on the 1810 Census for Montgomery County.

I found four Morris families on the 1810 Census for Montgomery County. 

In Hattom, Elias Morris, born between 1766-1784, 3 sons under 10, himself, age 26-44, 1 male over 45, 2 daughters under 10 and his wife, 26-44. 

In Capt. Harris, Thomas Morris, born before 1765, 3 males under 10, himself, age 45+, 1 daughter 10-15, one daughter 16-25, his wife, 45+. 

In Capt. Williams, R. Morris, born between 1766-1784, 3 sons under 10, 2 sons 10-15, himself, 26-44, 1 daughter 10-15, his wife 26-44. 

In Capt. Williams, J. Morris, born before 1765, 2 sons under 10, 2 sons 10-15, 1 son 16-25, himself 45+, 2 daughters under 10, his wife 26-44.

So, the next step is to see if any of the males listed are the same age as John Jacky Morris and the answer is, yes! In the household of J. Morris, is a male age 16-25. John Jacky Morris was born about 1785 and would have been about 25 years of age in 1810. 

If this is John Jacky Morris, he had 4 brothers, 2 sisters, and his parents were alive in 1810 living in Montgomery County. 

I do not know if this is my Morris family or not, but this is definitely a possibility I want to explore in the upcoming months. 

Thanks George, for the clues!

Sunday, June 5, 2022


It all started with Jamestown 

It has been a long, but rewarding, 5 years! I cannot even begin to tell you how many thousands of documents I have read. Estate files, Census records, tax lists, court records, land deeds, neighbor records, and crash courses in DNA, as well as, Colonial American history to understand timelines of historical events to unravel the ball of yarn that had become the lives of my Marks ancestors.

Based on DNA matches, I had already guessed that my Marks line came out of Virginia, probably about 50 to 75 years after the Jamestown colony was founded. I also had researched my line back to 1797 Chatham County, North Carolina but was having trouble finding documents that connected the Chatham County family to a Warren County family that I felt for sure were my ancestors. I had already connected the Virginia Marks family to the Warren County family with the will of John Marks from Richmond County, Virginia. When I recently discovered the Revolutionary War widow pension file of Susannah Wright Certain, that document opened the door wide and proved to be exactly what I needed to tie the Virginia and the North Carolina Marks together.  

Jamestown, May 1607

Three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery arrived in what is now Virginia with 104 men and boys to start a permanent English settlement in North America. Thoughts of the failure of the previous attempt at Roanoke in 1585, with that entire colony lost, was probably on everyone’s mind. Even so, the men chose a parcel of land on the northeast bank of the James (Powhatan) River about 2.5 miles southwest of the center of modern-day Williamsburg. They named their town Jamestown and set to work to build a fort that would protect them against native Indian and Spanish attack. 

Within three years, more than 80 to 90 % of the colonist were dead from disease or starvation. In 1610, a ship arrived with supplies and more settlers and by 1612, the colony was planting a cash crop, tobacco, that would ensure their survival, so much so, that tobacco was used as currency for the town.

By 1619, the first representative legislative assembly was formed, and the first twenty slaves’ arrival was recorded. There were many struggles to overcome but Jamestown did begin to flourish and the profits the Virginia Company of London had planned for, was finally being seen.

By 1624, the settlers began to spread out from the original settlement of Jamestown with parishes and counties and local governments being formed as they went about settling the land; the Royal colony of Virginia was born when the Virginia Company’s charter was revoked by the crown in 1624. Settlers began to pour into the area, some of them indenturing themselves for a chance to own their own land and homes – a chance for a new life in the New World. Jamestown served as the colonial capital from 1616 until 1699.

Old Rappahannock County, Virginia 1682 

In 1682, 75 years after Jamestown was founded, William Marks married Patience Barrett, daughter of McHugh Barrett. I do not know where William came from; if he indentured himself to come to America or if he came in his own right, or if he was born in Virginia. What I do know is that William was born about 1649 and he and Patience Barrett are my 8th great grandparents.

William and Patience Barrett Marks would have one child, a son, William Marks Jr, born about 1683, and listed in a 1735 deed (see below) as the only heir of Patience Marks, daughter of McHugh Barrett (Barrott). In Oct 1701 and again in Feb 1706 in Richmond County, Virginia, a man named John Fennell was a witness for a will for William Marks. I am still looking for that actual document.

Sittingbourne Parish, Richmond County, Virginia 1710 

In order to find out who the wife of William Marks Jr (born about 1683) was we must look at a 1710 deed between Frances Creighton, daughter of Henry Creighton deceased, and William and Ann Marks “for diverse causes and considerations during their two lives one parcel of land lying in the County of Richmond, Sittingbourne Parish, lying on the head of a creek call Moss Creek” It is possible, but not yet proven, that Ann Marks, wife of William Marks, is the sister of Frances Creighton.

Lunenburg Parish, North Farnham, Richmond County, Virginia 1735 

On 31 May 1735, an Indenture was made between William Marks of the county of Richmond, Planter, of the one part and Joseph Bragg of the county aforesaid, Planter, of the other part Witnesseth that the said William Marks for and in consideration of eight thousand pounds of lawful tobacco and cask to him in hand paid by the said Joseph Bragg, William Marks did grant, bargain, sell unto the said Joseph Bragg one hundred fifty acres, situate, lying, and being in the parish of Lunenburg, North Farnham, in the county of Richmond, the same being one half part of three hundred acres formerly granted to McHugh Barrott (grandfather of the said William Marks) by patent dated 17 Apr 1666 and the said McHugh Barrott devised to his daughter Patience Marks, and her heirs, by his last will and testament in writing bearing date 3 Jan 1683.

And after the death of the said Patience Marks the whole three hundred acres became the proper inheritance and vested in the said William Marks as only son and heir of the said Patience Marks and bounded as follows: On the east side of Rappahannock Creek at a marked oak tree the run side next below a horse bridge to the woods. The residue of the said three hundred acres being now in the possession of Mr. Marmaduke Beckwith and by the said Beckwith and Marks with the assistance of a survey laid out in two equal parts by the courses and meanders thereof may appear together with all houses, buildings...etc.” Signed William Marks. Witness: John Deane, William Dixon, Thomas Goaring.

William Marks Jr wrote his will on 4 Aug 1735 and the will was entered for probate on 3 Nov 1735. His wife Ann is either not mentioned, and it can be assumed that she died before 4 Aug 1735 or was mistakenly mentioned as daughter Ann, as she is mentioned twice. William’s children are mentioned as Ann Marks (mentioned twice), John Marks, Frances Marks, Elias Marks, and Elizabeth Deane. Executors listed as friend, Elias Fennell (son of John Fennell), and John Deane (son-in-law). Witnesses were William Dixon, Edmund Hazel, and Creighton Davis (son of Frances Creighton who deeded land to William and Ann Marks (see above deed). Frances married Matthew Davis).

In the name of God amen. I William Marks of the parish of Lunenburg in the County of Richmond being low in body but of good (?) thanks be to Almighty God for the same do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following. That is to say I (?) estate as it hath pleased God to give me with and I give and dispose (?) Imperious I give and bequeath to my daughter (could mean wife?) Ann Marks, and her heirs forever one negro (?) Item I give to my said daughter Ann Marks one young gray horse Item I give and bequeath to my son John Marks nine thousand pounds of tobacco (?) one young cow mare (?) to him his heirs or assigns for ever Item I give to my daughter Frances Marks three thousand pounds of tobacco a white mare called (?) to my said daughter her heirs or assigns for ever Item I give and bequeath to my son Elias Marks and my daughter Elizabeth Deane all the rest of my personal estate both of cattle and hogs and (?) goods to be equally divided between my said son Elias Marks and Elizabeth Deane to them their heirs or assigns forever. My will and desire is that my son Elias Marks should present of his part the bill which I gave to Mr. Richard Barnes I do hereby make constitute and ordain my two friends Elias Fennell and John Deane full and whole executors of this my last will and testament revoking all other wills by me formerly made in witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourth day of August in the year of our Lord MDCCXXXV (1735) 


William W Marks Seal 


Signed Sealed Published and delivered in the presence of William Dixon Edmund Hazel Creighton Davis At a court held for Richmond County the third day of November MDCCXXXV (1735) this will was proved in open court by the oath of William Dixon and Edmund Hazel two of the witnesses thereof and admitted to record. Test M. Beckwith CC

Enter Elias Fennel 

Elias was born about 1690 and died in 1739 in Richmond County, Virginia. He is mentioned as a friend and one of the executors to the will of William Marks Jr. Elias’s father, John Fennell, had witnessed the will of William Marks Sr, father of William Marks Jr, in 1706 and again in 1708. Elias Fennell owned land that adjoined Edward Eidson and he married Penelope Wilson Eidson after her husband, Edward Eidson, died in 1732. Thus, becoming stepfather to Hannah Eidson. There were seven children born to Edward and Penelope, but I am only covering Hannah in this blog because the son of William Marks Jr, John Marks, would marry Hannah Eidson. 

John Marks and Hannah Eidson had fourteen children, all named in the 1791 will of John Marks, the son of William Marks Jr. 

Sarah – married John Crask

Anne – married (probably) George Newman 

Fennell – married Amy Newman, daughter of Thomas Newman

Edward – married Lucy Bailey

Penelope – married a Carter

William – married Temperance Wright, daughter of William Wright 


Elizabeth - married William Bruce

Frances – married John Bragg

Mary – married Daniel Wilson

Hannah – married Benjamin Bruce

Susannah – married James Crask



Elias Fennell named no natural heirs in his will. He left his estate to his wife Penelope and friend John Marks, the husband of his stepdaughter, Hannah, daughter of Edward and Penelope Eidson.

Edward Eidson’s will is located in Richmond Order Book 10, 1732-1739, page 74

“I give and bequeath unto my son Joseph all land I bought of Capt. Spicer known by the name OLD COURTHOUSE to him and his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.” This is the same land that John Fennell, father of Elias Fennell, bought from William Moss and sold for the first courthouse. 

Elias Fennell’s will located in Will Book 5, page 340 dated October 26,1739. I have not been able to find the will book online yet but have found a transcribed copy.

To my loving wife Penelope Fennel all my lands on this side of the main road (also called the Coach Road) that I now live on and all that land on that side of the Coach Road joining to Richard Barnes during her natural life. I give all the rest of my land on the other side of the Main and coach road to John Marks (son of William Marks Jr), and the above lands after my loving wife Penelope Fennels death to him and his heirs lawfully begotten and for want of such heirs then I give all my lands to Ann Dozier (sister of John Marks) and Frances Thornton (sister of John Marks) to be equally divided between them and their heirs lawfully begotten. I give to Francis Davis my young gray mare that is now in Mulberry Island forever. I give to Boyce Eidson (brother of Hannah Eidson Marks) my gun forever. I give to John Marks my Buccaneer gun forever. I give to my wife Penelope Fennel my two negros Tobey and Jamey to her and her heirs forever and also all my personal estate forever excepting after her death one feather bed, furniture, and bedstead and my large Cupboard to John Marks. In case my wife should die before my horse Codey is dead, or my servant man is free named David Man, then I give the said horse and servant to John Marks. My horse Codey I give to my wife and not John Marks. My wife Penelope Fennel to be my executor. Witness’s Richard Barnes, William Brockenbrough, and David Twindale. In the inventory of Elias Fennell estate David Man is identified as a shoemaker (later generations, including my third great grandfather, William Buck Marks, were all identified as shoemakers), and two other servants were named Philip Thomas and William Woodburn.

Bute County (now Warren County), North Carolina 1772 

After the death of Elias Fennell, in 1739, Penelope married Alexander Newman, son of Thomas Newman. I still have not figured out all the Newman’s, but it was from this line that Thomas Newman, father of Amy Newman Marks, wife of Fennell Marks, died 1777 in Bute (now Warren County, North Carolina) descends.

Fennell Marks is the son of John Marks and Hannah Eidson and is listed in the will of John Marks as having a son named William who inherits “in lieu of my son Fennell” as Fennell had died in 1777.

Fennell and his brother, William Marks, migrated to Bute (now Warren) County with Thomas Newman, father-in-law of Fennell.

William Marks, also noted in the will of John Marks, married Temperance Wright, daughter of William Wright and Rocksilary Howell about 1772 in Bute (now Warren) County, North Carolina. This couple would have five children, William Jr, James, John, George, Ewell, Susan, and Elizabeth and would also become guardian for Susannah Wright, sister of Temperance Wright Marks, after William Wright, their father dies.

Chatham County, North Carolina 1797 

William and Temperance, as proven in the widow pension file of Susannah Wright Certain, sister to Temperance, would migrate to Chatham County, North Carolina in the late 1790s. Later, after John Certain, husband of Tempy’s sister, Susannah, died, William Marks went to Warren County to get Susannah and brought her and her children to Chatham County.

William and Temperance Wright Marks’ son, John, married Mary Gunter, daughter of Isham Gunter about 1798 in Chatham County, North Carolina. John and Mary had nine children, Seloma (1799), William, called Buck, (1800), Ewell (1807), Mary (1810), Willis (1811), Susannah (1812), Lucinda (1815), Rebecca (1818), and Zacheus (1822).

Y-DNA testing has been done on male descendants of William Buck Marks and Zacheus Marks and the male descendants are a match.

In an 1831 deed, Chatham County, John Marks sells Mary Gunter Marks’s interest in the estate of his father-in-law Isham Gunter.

Montgomery & Stanly Counties, North Carolina 1834

Growing up, my grandmother had told me that William Buck Marks had “stole away on a German ship and made for America” and while that made for an interesting story, I now know that was not the case.

In the early 1830s, William Buck Marks, my third great grandfather, migrated to Montgomery (now Stanly) County with his uncle and aunt, James Marks, brother of John Marks, and Caty Gunter Marks, sister of Mary Gunter Marks. Yes, these Marks brothers married Gunter sisters!

Buck lived in the area of Valley Drive and Clodfelter Road, near what is now Badin, Stanly County, for some sixteen years. He shopped at Daniel Freeman’s General Store in the town of Lawrenceville and is noted several times in the preserved store ledger.

William Buck Marks married Leah Caroline Fesperman about 1849 and moved across the Yadkin / Pee Dee River to the community of Eldorado, Montgomery County, where they are found on the 1850 Census record with 1 year old daughter, Jane. Buck is listed as a shoemaker, like his ancestors who had lived in the area of Jamestown.

Buck and Leah had at least seven children. Jane (1849), Cyrona (1850), Julia (1851), Edward (1855), Thomas (1858), Mary (1861), Martha (1864).

Buck Marks died about 1878 and Leah, after 1880. It is not known where they are buried but family tradition lists Prospect Baptist Church on River Road as their final resting place.

In the 1865 Chatham County estate file of Louisa Marks, daughter of Lucinda Marks, and granddaughter of John and Mary Gunter Marks, is found the proof needed to tie William Buck Marks, my third great grandfather back to Chatham County. The court was trying to sort out the relatives of Louisa and William Henry Burns, son of Susan Marks Burns, advised the court that William Marks resides in Montgomery or Stanly County.

I descend through Tom Marks, the son of William Buck Marks and Leah Fesperman. Tom Marks married Barbara Lefler, daughter of Daniel Lefler and wife Sallie Walker, in 1876.

Tom Marks and wife Barbara Lefler would have several children with two of their children, William Tero Marks (1888), becoming my paternal great grandfather and Lilly Marks Morris (1882), becoming my maternal great grandmother.

I have a double Marks line.

415 years later… 

I sure wish my grandmothers were still alive. They would be so happy to know that the Marks mystery has finally been solved.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

On Mill Stone Mountain – the Story of Selby Hearne

Situated between Barnes Creek and Ophir Road, Mill Stone Mountain is one of the summits in Montgomery County, North Carolina with an approximate elevation of 659 feet above sea level. This area, once called Hattom, but now called Ophir, is located in the heart of the Uwharrie National Forest. The area is wooded with occasional peaks of cleared land and old dirt roads that lead to hunting lands but once, perhaps, to homes where families lived. If you were to take away the pavement, the power lines, and metal fencing, you can almost imagine it as it might have looked in 1810.
Ophir was most likely named for the biblical Ophir due to the number of gold mines in the area. Data from the mines that operated in this area is scarce. Russell and Coggin mines are the best known only because they have preserved historic documentation, but there were reported to have been more than 35 mines operating in Montgomery County at one time. Some of my ancestors are reported on Census data as being miners.

Selby Hearne, my fourth great uncle, lived in Hattom. He was a farmer. I have been gathering information on him for a few years because it seemed he always showed up wherever the Morgan’s were. I descend through Selby’s half-brother, William Hearne, my fourth great grandfather, and through William’s son, Stephen Hearne who married Priscilla Morgan, daughter of Joseph and Susannah Smart Morgan. I believe that Selby is in some way related to Hardy Morgan’s wife, Nancy Hearne Morgan, but I am not able to document a paper trail between them. 

Selby Hearne, born about 1785, son of Stephen Hearne and Prudence Coggin, makes his first appearance on the 1810 Census for Hattom, Montgomery County, North Carolina. His is listed as between the ages of 16 and 25. Living with him are his wife, of the same age, and one son and one daughter, both under ten years of age.

Selby’s immediate neighbors are Phillip Edwards, probably the brother of John Edwards, Revolutionary War pensioner who, in his pension file says he is the son of Phillip Edwards of Montgomery County, North Carolina. John, after traveling quite a bit between North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, ended up in Jefferson County, Tennessee about 1832 where he was still living when he applied for his pension in 1839. 

Asa Gollihorn, shown living close to Selby, is also mentioned in the Revolutionary War pension file of John Edwards.

Samuel Clemmons, another neighbor, might be the same man known as Samuel Thompson Clemmons who migrated to Wilson County, Tennessee along with Thomas Williams and Samuel Williams, other men from Montgomery County whom he served with in the Revolutionary War. He listed his age in 1832 when he filed his claim for a pension as 81 years old, making him born about 1751. His age is off on the 1810 Census, listed as between 26-44 years old, making him born at the earliest 1766. 

 Note: Thompson Clemmons indicates in his Revolutionary War pension file that he left Montgomery County around 1807. If that is the case, then these are two different men.

Other neighbors are the Morgan’s, late comers to Montgomery County. They migrated from Chatham County, North Carolina to Montgomery County about 1805. Charles, Joseph, my fourth great grandfather, and father to Pricilla who married Stephen Hearne, Selby’s uncle, and Zachariah, live in Selby’s neighborhood. Zachariah Morgan is the brother of Charles while Joseph is most likely the son of Charles Morgan

With the 1820 Census being destroyed, other means must be used to show Selby’s whereabouts for this time. In a deed dated 26 Aug 1819, Selby sold 80 acres of land on the east side of the Uwharrie River known by the name of Poplar Shoal joining the lands of Booth and Cotton to Jane E. Hearne, daughter of Thomas Hearne, Merchant in the town of Fayetteville; the land being one half of the land which Thomas Cotton conveyed to his son James Cotton and at the death of James Cotton fell to his daughter Mary Cotton, afterwards Mary Brumfield, and after marriage was conveyed by Mary Brumfield and Jesse Brumfield, her husband, and George Massey her guardian, to Selby Hearne. 

Jesse and Mary Cotton Brumfield migrated to Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina. They are buried at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

In 1830, Selby and family are living east of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River. Selby is noted as between the ages of 40 thru 49. He has several children living at home and four enslaved persons
1840 shows Selby still living in the same area. His age, seemingly correct, listed as between 50 thru 59. His wife also listed as still living, being around the same age as Selby. On female, age between 15 thru 19 is listed at home. There are eight enslaved persons living in Selby’s home.
In December 1840, Selby Steed, of Benton County, Alabama appointed Selby Hearne a power of attorney to take care of any legal actions that may arise in Montgomery County. Selby Steed is the son Hilkiah Steed who had died in 1830, and heir at law of Moses Steed, Hilkiah’s father, who had died in 1837. Selby Steed married Louisa Hearne, daughter of Selby Hearne.
In 1832, Selby Steed is witness to a familiar deed. Thomas Hearne, William D. Clark, and Jane E. Hearne Clark of Elbert, Georgia sell to Agrippa A. Steed of Coweta County, Georgia, brother of Selby Steed, the same land earlier sold by Selby Hearne to Jane E. Hearne in 1819 but provides a more detailed description. It being a tract of land granted to James Cotton by his Majesty's patent bearing dated Feb. 26, 1775, known by the name Poplar Shoal.
It becomes clearer where Selby Hearne lives from a land grant dated April 1841. Selby was granted twenty acres of land on the waters of Barnes Creek on the Mill Stone Mountain adjoining George Coggin and William Hurley. Isham Coggin and George Coggin were chain carriers for that survey.
In 1849, a deed is registered between Selby Hearne and Enoch Brookshire and daughter Rebecca Brookshire of Randolph County, North Carolina, a girl slave, about nine years of age, by the name of Rosine.
It is in 1850 Census that we learn the name of Selby’s wife, Nancy, age 62, born about 1788.
In 1851, Selby enters for 50 acres of land but is only granted 28 acres on the waters of Barnes Creek joining Eli Davis and Robert Steele. James Davis and Enoch Davis were chain carriers for the survey.
1860 finds Selby and wife Nancy living in Beans, Montgomery County, North Carolina. Selby has not moved, the name of the area he lives has changed. Nelson Steed, first cousin of Selby Steed is living next door.

Selby Hearne wrote his will on 18 Jul 1864. He was about 79 years old. 

Children of Selby and Nancy Hearne are: 

Stephen: born 1806 

Cassandra: born 1807, married Wyatt Nance Thayer 

Kendrick: born 1810, married Tabitha Hancock 

Louisa: born 1813, married Selby Steed 

Helen: born 1816, married James Davis 

Rebecca: born 1822, married Enoch Brookshire 

Jane: born 1823, married Mastin Crawford Williams

The 13th Amendment, adopted on December 18, 1865, officially abolished slavery, freeing those who Selby Hearne had named in his will, Lydia, Frank, Ann, Lydia, child of Ann, Rowland, Toney, Phillis, Dick, Henry, Ann, and John. 

The 1870 Census finds Rowland living with Rebecca Hearn Brookshire, daughter of Selby Hearne.

Selby’s estate was settled in 1878 when his two tracts of land on the waters of Barnes Creek known as the Jackson place and the [Mill Stone] Mountain were sold.
Seeing the area where Selby Hearne lived is not an easy thing. Selby lived on the Barnes Creek side of Mill Stone Mountain. The Uwharrie National Recreation Trail will take you through that area, but it is very wooded with no long-range views of the surrounding area.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Unknown Williams - On the waters of Clark's Creek

Montgomery County Register of Deeds Vol 15, Years 1842-1847, pages 60 and 61, is found recorded a deed on 12 January 1842 between Edmund Cook, Mastin C. Williams, Hiram Williams, and Mumford Williams to James Roper for the sum of one hundred dollars, a tract of land, 100 acres, lying in the county of Montgomery, situate on the waters of Clark’s Creek, adjoining the lands of John R. McRae, Dempsey Pittman, and Joshua Brown. The said Edmund Cook, Mastin C. Williams, Hiram Williams, and Mumford Williams, is now at the time of executing these presents seized of a good sure and indefinable estate of inheritance in the aforesaid lands and premises and that they have full power and lawful authority to convey the same…

Witness: Merritt Williams and Dempsey Boswell

I have been researching the Williams family who lived near my Morris family since January. It is my belief that my third great grandmother, Amelia Morris, is somehow related to this Williams family. I have been able to document most of this family, including the ones who migrated to Tennessee, Mississippi, and other parts west. I have learned that this Williams family were probably in Granville / Bute / Warren counties and migrated to Chatham and Montgomery counties.

There are five Williams men, Mastin C. Williams, Hiram Williams, Mumford D. Williams, Merritt Williams, and David Williams whom I am not able to connect together. There is also a man by the name of Edmund Cook who may have married a sister to these Williams men.

Below, I have noted what I have learned about these men. If anyone has any additional information, please leave a comment, or contact me through the blog.

Mumford D. Williams, born about 1817, probably in Montgomery County, North Carolina. I cannot document who his parents are. Married in 1843, Caroline Smith, daughter of Green Smith and Olive Moore. Mumford and Caroline had at least five children, Sarah (1846), Martha (1847), Mary (1850), William Green (1852), and Hiram Thomas (1855).

Mumford Williams died between the 1870 and 1880 Census years. I am not able to find an estate file for him. Caroline is living with daughter, Martha, son-in-law, Josiah Lisk, and granddaughter Lorena Caroline Lisk. Lorena married Samuel Berry Morgan, son of Samuel F. and Susan Morris Morgan, my second great aunt and daughter of John Jacky and Amelia Morris. Josiah Lisk married second to Hattie Lisk, daughter of George and Mollie Lisk in 1899. Lorena Carolina Lisk Morgan is usually confused as the daughter of Hattie but is not. Hattie did have a daughter, Lela, born 1890.

As a note, Samuel Berry Morgan fathered a daughter, Esther Hall, with Sarah Hall, daughter of John Hall and Margaret Talbert. The bastard bond dated Sep 1888, two months before Esther was born. Esther went on to marry Neal Ledbetter and had children.

William Green Williams married Mary Forrest and Hiram Thomas Williams married Martha Crowell. I can find no information on Sarah or Mary. Caroline Smith Williams, wife of Mumford Williams, died after 1880.

Green Smith is the son of James C. Williams and Martha, some family trees have her maiden-name listed as Parham, but no evidence to support the claim. In 1847, Green Smith sold his interest in slaves that belonged to the estate of his father James, and who Martha, his mother, took to Carroll County, Tennessee when she moved there with her son, Cuddy Smith and her grandson, Nelson, son of Green.

Other family members moved to Carroll County, Tennessee as well, Nancy Johnson, Green’s daughter, the widow of Thomas Johnson, as she was listed in the publication from Montgomery County, North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Term 1860, nine years after Greens death. John Smith, son of Green Smith, also migrated away from North Carolina, probably to Tennessee with the rest of the family but I have not found him yet in the Census.

In 1850, Green and Olive are enumerated on 20 September in Montgomery County, North Carolina living beside Olive’s father, Thomas Moore (born 1769) and mother, Elizabeth (born 1773). Living in the same household is her brother, John Moore (1807) and wife Jerusha, and children Regina, Armistead, Atlas, John, Laura, and Alfred. Joseph and Nancy Bulla are also listed, unidentified as of now.

Green Smith’s estate file is ninety-two pages long. The file begins with his wife, Olive, renouncing her right to Administer the estate of her husband, Green, and hands that duty over to John H. Montgomery (he married Mumford and Caroline in 1843).
In Jan 1851, Olive’s dower in the estate of her husband, Green, was laid off by commissioners of the court and included 265 acres of land on Rocky Creek adjoining Thomas Moore and Mumford Williams, two hundred acres of piney woods where Jonathan Smith lives adjoining Benjamin Deberry, and one other tract where Peter Hall lives on the waters of Clark's Creek near Lawrenceville, one hundred acres.
By 1859, Olive and her brothers-in-law, Richmond, and Curtis, are back in court looking for settlement of the estate, advising that Green Smith’s estate was more than sufficient to pay all debts and funeral expenses. The estate was finally settled by C. W. Wooley, nearly 20 years later.
Mastin Crawford Williams, born about 1814, probably in Montgomery County, North Carolina. I am not able to document parents for Mastin, however, there are some clues found in an 1839 deed where Thomas Williams and Keziah Andrews sold one hundred and forty acres of land on the waters of Clark’s Creek to Mastin C. Williams. A fellow researcher pointed out that this could be siblings selling land. Keziah could be a female who married an Andrews. Several searches have not found anything useful on Thomas or Keziah. There were several Thomas Williams in Montgomery County but none that would be around the same age as Mastin.

Mastin married first Jane Hearne, daughter of Selby and Nancy Hearne. Jane was mentioned in Selby Hearne’s will as his daughter Jane Williams, Dec’d. Jane died before 27 Oct 1861, when Mastin remarried.

Mastin and Jane had eleven children: Missouri Ann (1840), Henry W (1842), Nancy Caroline (1844), William (1845), Alexander (1848), Jacob (1849) (more research required here), John (called Jack) (1850), Samuel (1852), Mary (1854), James (1857, and Sarah (1859).

Mastin married second to Francis Andrews, daughter of Edmund Andrews and Priscilla Hancock. Mastin and Francis had Cornelia Florence (1863), Ella (or Ellen) Priscilla (1866), Edmund Mastin (1868), and Laura Adaline (called Addie) (1872).
Hiram Williams, born about 1805, married unknown. Parents unknown. Hiram is found on the 1840 Census for Montgomery County, age between 30 – 39. He has a wife, age 20 – 29 and a son under 5 years old. Hiram is also a slave owner. He disappears after 1840 and it is possible that Hiram moved to Tennessee with some of the other members of this family. I found a possible Hiram Williams who later ended up in Lamar, Texas who matches the age range. More research required.
Merritt Williams, born about 1792, probably in Montgomery County, North Carolina. His parents are unknown. He married Jane Smith. Her parents are also unknown. Merritt and Jane had at least five children, all daughters. Harriet (1825), Emeline (1831), Mary (1832), Eliza (1839), and Martha (1842). In 1886, Eliza Williams married Grandison Fields Morris, my second great uncle, and son of John Jacky and Amelia Morris. Eliza was Grandison’s second wife.

In 1843, Seth Andrews notified Merritt Williams that he had levied on three hundred acres of land on the waters of Clark’s Creek adjoining E. Davis by virtue of an execution in favor of John McRae.

Edmund Cook, born about 1795, probably in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Married unknown, but perhaps a Williams since he was an heir to the land in the deed with Mastin, Hiram, and Mumford. Edmund had seventeen acres of land surveyed in 1836 on the waters of Clark’s Creek adjoining David Williams deceased. James Roper and Mastin Williams were the chain carriers.
David Williams, born about 1785, probably in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Married unknown. Had at least two children, Randolph (1829) and Seth (1830). Died about 1836, listed as David Williams, deceased on an 1836 land survey for Edmund Cook; Mastin Williams and James Roper were chain carriers. Randolph Williams, son of David, married Mary Ballard, sister of Sarah Ballard who married Samuel Gardner after his first wife Francis Williams, daughter of Archibald and Nancy Williams, died.