Sunday, December 30, 2018

Camilla Morgan, wife of Nazry Byrd

Camilla Morgan is the second to the youngest child of Hardy and Nancy (Hearn) Morgan. According to her gravestone, she was born 3 May 1829. However, the 1830 Census does not support this date as Hardy Morgan is showing with no children under the age of ten on that Census, leading us to believe that Camilla was not yet born when the 1830 Census enumerated. However, the 1840 Census does list two females between the ages of 10 and 14 in the Hardy Morgan household.

Camilla was born born in Montgomery County, North Carolina where Hardy Morgan and family lived at the time of her birth. Based on postal and land records Hardy lived on Barnes Creek, East of Pee Dee and Yadkin River, very near the Uwharrie River, now known as Uwharrie Township in the Uwharrie National Forest, from as early as 1807 until 1844 when he removed with most of his family to Pontotoc, Mississippi. The map, below right, shows a current day aerial view of the possible location of where Hardy lived in Montgomery County, North Carolina.

Based on the War of 1812 pension file for Camilla’s mother, Nancy Morgan, I learned that through the affidavit of Moses Collins, an early landowner in Mississippi, the Hardy Morgan family left Montgomery County, North Carolina in 1846 and immigrated to Pontotoc County, Mississippi. While I do believe that Moses Collins befriended and lived close to Hardy Morgan from the year 1846, based on documented evidence of a court case back in Montgomery County, North Carolina, I believe that Hardy Morgan and family left Montgomery County probably in 1843-1844 shortly after learning of the death of Camilla’s sister, Caroline Morgan Beckerdite.

In 1844, Ebenezer F. Morgan, in Montgomery County, is handling a court case on behalf of Hardy Morgan. This is the same court case from 1842 that I mentioned in my post, “Exploring the Morgan's of Montgomery County, North Carolina part two.” If Hardy Morgan was in Montgomery County in 1844, why was Ebenezer handling the court case on behalf of Hardy?

Whether Caroline’s death triggered the move or not, I cannot say. Hardy Morgan had filed for bankruptcy and in 1842 was declared bankrupt, so I imagine that he could have been planning the move west as early as 1840 to 1842. Colin and Caroline Beckerdite were in McNairy County, Tennessee on the 1840 Census. Perhaps Caroline’s death only moved the plans forward much faster.

Camilla was about 14 years of age when she left with her family for Mississippi. During the period of the late 1830s to the late 1840s, many families began the migration west. Traveling in covered wagon, on horseback and some on foot, Montgomery County, North Carolina began to empty itself of citizens. Most especially those young families who were looking to make their own way in the world and they wanted good bottom land for farming. Reading the 1850 Census for Pontotoc County, Mississippi is like a mirror copy of the Montgomery and Stanly County, North Carolina Census.

By 1850, the Morgan family was in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. Hardy and Nancy’s three younger children, Whitfield, Camilla and Nancy are living with their parents and granddaughter, Caroline Beckerdite, was living with them too. Caroline is the daughter of Colin and Caroline (Morgan) Beckerdite. I know Caroline died in childbirth, as her death date is the same as her daughter’s birth date. Granddaughter, Caroline, was named after her mother.

On 15 Dec 1847, the Pontotoc Land office grants Camilla's brother, Alexander Morgan 160 acres of land in the North West quarter of Section 16 Township Seven of Range Five. I believe Alexander to be the first-born child of Hardy and Nancy Hearne Morgan. For more information on Alexander, read the post Born at Old Henderson.

On 17 Aug 1851, Camilla married Nazrea Byrd, born 1809, North Carolina and the couple settled down to farm and raise their family. Nazrea Byrd is the son of Jethro Byrd and an unknown first wife, possibly named Alsey. Jethro was married a second time to Elizabeth as she is mentioned in his will probated 1858, Wake County, North Carolina.

I am not sure that Nazrea Byrd even knew of his father’s death as records indicate he was already in Mississippi as early as 1840. He also looks to be married, if so, he would be a widower by the time he marries Camilla Morgan in 1851.

On 16 Nov 1840, the Pontotoc Land Office grants Nazrea Byrd and Iredell Byrd, his brother, 321.2 acres of land in South half of Section 30 in Township Seven of Range Two. On 9 Apr 1842, the Pontotoc Land Office grants Nazrea Byrd 160 acres of land in the North West quarter of Section 30 in Township Seven of Range Two.

The 1870 Census shows Nazrea and Camilla Morgan Byrd in Township 7, Pontotoc, Mississippi listed as farmers, most likely of cotton crops, as Mississippi was the epicenter of the cotton production phenomenon during the first half of the 19th century. The state was swept along by the global economic force created by its cotton production, the demand by cotton textile manufacturing in Europe, and New York’s financial and commercial dealings.

By 1860, Great Britain, the world’s most powerful country, had become the birthplace of the industrial revolution, and a significant part of that nation’s industry was cotton textiles. Nearly 4,000,000 of Britain’s total population of 21,000,000 were dependent on cotton textile manufacturing. Nearly forty percent of Britain’s exports were cotton textiles. Seventy-five percent of the cotton that supplied Britain’s cotton mills came from the American South, and the labor that produced that cotton came from slaves. (

In Jan 1879, Nazrea Byrd died in Union County, Mississippi of Bronchitis. He was 77 years old.

I pick up the trail of Camilla again on the 1900 Census. She is living in Union County, Mississippi and is earning a living as a hotel-keeper. Her daughter, Mary and two granddaughters, Olive and Rossie, are living with her.

Camilla Morgan Byrd died 29 Sep 1909 and is buried alongside her husband at Union Hill Cemetery in Myrtle, Union County, Mississippi.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Wishes do Come True – some Answers to the Morgan Mystery

My search continues for clues on the Hardy Morgan family. In addition, how Hardy’s family might tie into my own Morgan family. In researching the military record for Hardy Morgan, I came across some mind-changing information on Joseph Morgan, my fourth great grandfather. I know I have said this a hundred times, and I will probably say it a hundred more. When no information is readily obtainable on an ancestor, it truly benefits us to research those people who lived around that ancestor in order to find information and build a timeline.Trust me, once you begin researching those who lived around your brick wall ancestor, you will find clues that lead to more clues that finally lead to solving the mystery.

On 18 June 1812, Congress declared war on Britain and the War of 1812 officially started. North Carolinian's served in both the regular army and the militia during the war. The 10th Regiment contained the most North Carolinian's. On 23-24 August, the British burned Washington, D.C. and the federal government called 7,000 North Carolina militiamen. Two North Carolina regiments were sent to Norfolk. Those North Carolinian's witnessed a British naval bombardment but did not take part in any fighting. Troops were kept in readiness until the end of the war. The majority of soldiers who fought from North Carolina were in state militia companies ordered to Wilmington and New Bern to defend the North Carolina coast.

Orders had been issued for another regiment of North Carolina’s detached militia to rendezvous at Wadesboro, Anson County, travel to the Mississippi Territory, and join forces under Gen. Andrew Jackson, but the Wadesboro rendezvous was canceled when The Treaty of Ghent was signed on 24 Dec 1814 and the War of 1812 came to an abrupt end. Federal records indicate that only 18 North Carolina soldiers were killed in action, the majority of others died from disease. ( and

Listed as a second lieutenant, Hardy Morgan, and my fourth great grandfather, Joseph Morgan, served in the War of 1812 with the Tenth Company, detached from Montgomery Regiment. 

Pay vouchers was the system used to pay soldiers, and in some cases those who gave supplies to the war effort. They were later redeemed for money. The vouchers were pre-printed forms with specific details like name, rank, and company filled in by hand. When a voucher was redeemed, a hole was punched through it. (

Hardy Morgan and Joseph Morgan, my fourth great grandfather, were issued their pay vouchers on 7 May 1815, Hardy’s pay voucher is listed as number 1713 and Joseph’s listed as number 1725. Both pay vouchers were redeemed as a hole is punched through them.

I now know that my fourth great grandfather was alive on 7 May 1815, five months after the War of 1812 ended. Thus, Joseph Morgan was NOT killed in the War of 1812.

A Christmas wish fulfilled, I located the War of 1812 Pension File for Nancy Morgan, wife of Hardy Morgan! Seventeen pages packed full of documented information on Hardy and Nancy Morgan. The file states that Hardy Morgan served in Captain Elijah Haltom NC Mil from 6 Aug 1813 to 21 Aug 1813. Less than 60 days service. Documented evidence to back up the pay voucher I found

The miracle continues with the affidavit stating that Hardy Morgan was born in Chatham County, NC on 1 Apr 1785 and died in Pontotoc County, MS 3 Jul 1854. Hardy had emigrated from Chatham County to Montgomery County prior to 1807 as the file states he and Nancy Hearn(e) were married on 16 Jul 1807 by Samuel Steed in Montgomery County, NC. The file further states that Hardy and Nancy had 12 children, whom all died prior to 1877.

The file goes on to state that Hardy Morgan emigrated with his family to Pontotoc, MS in 1846 and after his death, Nancy emigrated to Lincoln County, AR with her children where she died on or about 12 Jan 1877.


Further searches have turned up a Newspaper article indicating that in 1828 Hardy Morgan turned in his resignation to the North Carolina House of Commons and said resignation was accepted.


In 1832 and 1833, Dr. Francis Kron visited the Hardy Morgan household in Eldorado, Montgomery County, North Carolina for a myriad of medical issues. In April 1833, Dr. Kron records a visit to “Bleeding Carolina.” 

Stanly County History Center
This record confirms that Caroline was not married to Colin Beckerdite yet as she is still living in her father’s household. It is currently my belief that Colin and Caroline were married about 1834 and their first child, Oliver, was born about 1835. I am still researching the areas where the Morgan’s and Beckerdite’s lived in hopes of finding some connection that can reasonably explain how Colin Beckerdite and Caroline Morgan could have met.

Now that I have documented proof that Hardy Morgan was born in Chatham County, North Carolina I will begin research there in an attempt to uncover who his parents were.