Friday, May 31, 2019

John Jacky Morris

John Jacky Morris is my third great grandfather. According to Census records he was born in Virginia around 1788. Through family knowledge, I learned he was called Jacky. I have also learned, through various readings, that Jacky is a nickname for John. Even President George Washington’s step-son, John, was called Jacky. Some family members believe that my third great grandfather was called Jacky in order to differentiate him and the other John Morris’ that lived in Montgomery County at that time.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 1, article 688, I found a Thomas Morris who came to Montgomery County around 1790 from Virginia. This family settled on Little River. His children were: William, Haton (called Hate), Zebedee, Elias, Reuben, Tryon, John, Millie, Beckie, and Pollie. A similar article is found in the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 342. Thomas Morris is not listed on the 1790 Census.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 337 and Book 3, article 823, I learned of John ‘Bushyhead’ Morris, born about 1805, not much seems to be known of his first wife, Lucy. At least nine children were born to the first marriage, Mary, Matilda, Elizabeth, Green, John, William, Nancy, Noah, James. His second marriage was to Louisa Adeline McLendon, twenty years younger than he. They had six children, Wesley, Presley, Daniel, Fannie, Martha, and Hansel. John ‘Bushyhead’ may be the son of Thomas Morris noted above.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 339, is found John Jacky Morris, my third great grandfather. The article quotes Dr. Francis J Kron’s medical journal, “My first call was this morning at John Morris’ where I found poor kind people, but no money.” John Jacky, according to Census records, was a miner and worked the gold mines in the Uwharrie area. This family lived near Dusty level on Cedar Creek. John’s wife is Amelia (also seen as Milly) and they had 11 children, William, George, Eliza, John, Granderson, Thomas, Berry, Susan, Tempy, Diza, Caroline.

There looks to be but one Morris listed, at least only one John Morris that can be confirmed based on the legibility of the document, on the 1790 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina, a John Morris who is not married and has no children. He is over the age of 16 years. Since the 1790 Census was alphabetized, I am not able to determine who John’s neighbors are, so I am not able to use other records that would help me understand in what area of the county John lived. I do know this is not my John Jacky because in 1790, he would have been only a toddler. Page 412 of the Census record is so faded that it is not readable. I can determine there are Morris’ listed on the faded page, but again, the page is so faded that it cannot be used as genealogical proof – at least for my standards. The other Census pages had no listing for a Morris.

It was pointed out to me by a fellow researcher to check the Census records on Family Search as they may have a better copy than what Ancestry has of the Census record. Below is a copy of the same page as above, but from Family Search.

There obviously was more than one Morris family in Montgomery County in 1790 as records other than the Census prove this. On the above pages from Ancestry and Family Search, I can make out the Morris in several entries, but the document just has not withstood the test of time and is too faded to use as genealogical proof. After playing around with the contrast of the Family Search document, I was able to distort the image enough to see some of the Morris names.

Thomas Morris shows up on the 1800 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina along with several more Morris males. Elias, Haton Senior, Jourdan, Ruben, John Junior, Mary and Ann. Elias and Ruben are probably the sons of Thomas Morris.

By 1810, Montgomery County had broken up into several Townships or Districts; Brown, Capt. Cage, Capt. Chappell, Capt. Green, Capt. Harris, Capt. Williams, Capt. Wooley, Captain Gregory, Captain James Kendel, Captain Kirks, Hattom, Henderson, a Township Not Stated, Palmer and Wagster.

Thomas Morris is found in Capt. Harris’ District, R. Morris and J. Morris are found living next door to one another in Capt. Williams District, and Elias Morris is living in Hattom. Haton, Jourden, Mary and Ann have disappeared from the Census record, as have the family members that were listed living with them.

The 1820 Census for Montgomery was destroyed or lost, so I am not able to check that Census for the Morris families.

By 1830, Montgomery County had divided their Census data by which side of the Pee Dee River its citizens lived on rather than townships or districts. The east side of the Pee Dee River would become Stanly County in 1841 and those that lived west of the Pee Dee River would remain in Montgomery County.

John Sr., Reuben, Tryon, Thomas, John Jr., Richard, and Elias all live east of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River.

In a district not named lives a Will Morris and one Etheldred Morris. John Morris lives on the west side of Pee Dee River.

1840 is the last year that citizens on the west side of Pee Dee River will be included in the Montgomery County Census as the county will be divided in 1841 to form Stanly County. On the east side of Pee Dee River lives Elias, John Jr, and Tryon. On the west side of the Pee Dee River live Wyati, William, John, Brady, Edward, Reuben, William, and John Morris Sr.

The year 1850 and forward is where we can find the most about our ancestors. It was this year where every family member is named and a year of birth and place of birth given. You can imagine that most genealogist do not have much trouble finding ancestors from 1850 forward, although there are those ancestors that no amount of searching seems to find!

In 1850, my third great grandfather, John, age 70, is found in Montgomery County, North Carolina living with his wife, Amelia (60), and daughters, Tempy (19), Disa (18) and Caroline (15). John claims he was born in Virginia, his age making his year of birth about 1780. Amelia also claims she was born in Virginia, 1790. Neither John nor Amelia can read. The girls are listed as being born in North Carolina. Since the oldest child listed here is 19, I have a clue that John and Amelia left Virginia, arriving in North Carolina, prior to 1831, when Tempy was born. John is working as a miner to support his family.

According to a family member, she was able to retrieve the names of John’s children from a family Bible years ago. All but two of the children were listed in the family Bible. Based on that record, I know John and Amelia had the following children:

William b. 1813 in (according to Census records) North Carolina, which means that John and Amelia were in North Carolina prior to 1813 when William was born. He married Margaret Lewis and they had children, John (called Stutt), Nancy, William, George. William died in 1892.

Eliza b. 1818 in North Carolina and married Pinkney Shaw. They had a son, John Frank. Eliza died in 1890.

John Jr b. 1819 in North Carolina. He married Martha Farrell and they had a daughter, Elizabeth. John died in 1850.

Grandison b. 1823 in North Carolina. He married first Malsey Williams, their children: Parsons, Martha, Elizabeth, Ananias, Grandison Jr. Grandison married second, Eliza Williams, they had no children. He died in 1902.

Thomas b. 1825 in North Carolina and married Mary Williams. Children of this marriage: William, Elias, Lunda, James (my maternal 2nd great grandfather), Elizabeth, Martha, Mary, Sarah, John Coon (my paternal great grandfather). Thomas died in 1891.

Berry b. 1827 in North Carolina, he married Sarah Williams. They had the following children: Liza, Mary, Jesse, Rebecca, Granderson, Isarris, and Ward.

George b. 1827 in North Carolina, married first, Elizabeth Williams. Their children are Elizabeth, John, Francis, Milla, George Jr, and Julia. In 1895, George married second, Louisa Smith. They had no children.

Susan b. 1827 in North Carolina. She married Samuel Morgan and together they had Albert, John, James, Joseph, William, Lenora, Kenneth, and Samuel. Susan died in 1907. Read more about Susan and Samuel at

Temperance (Tempy) b. 1830 in North Carolina, she married Jacob Sanders and they had Emsley, Jacob, Ann, and Sarah. Tempy died in 1911.

Diza b. 1832 North Carolina. She married Thomas Lucas at the age of 65. To my knowledge, Diza never had children. She died in 1920.

Caroline b. 1834 in North Carolina married James Kearns and ha children, William, John, Martilla, Lecta, Burl, Mandy, Isaac, and James. She died in 1906.

The last Census John and Amelia are on was enumerated 27 Jul 1860. They lived in Beans, Montgomery County, North Carolina. Eliza, their daughter, who had married Pinkney Shaw a year or two earlier, is found at the home of her parents. Pinkney, Eliza and their son, John, were enumerated on 6 Aug 1860. Joseph Morgan, the son of daughter, Susan, married Samuel Morgan, is also visiting. Perhaps Eliza and Joseph went together as his parents were neighbors to Pinkney and Eliza.

Over the next few months I will explore, in more detail, each of the children of John and Amelia Morris, with the exception of Susan as I have already written about her. My hope is to glean as many clues as I can about John and Amelia and attempt to learn where in Virginia John came from. At the very least, I hope to learn as much as I can about John and Amelia.


  1. I believe john Morris was my 5x great grandfather. I really enjoy the posts. Thanks!

  2. Correction to this article: The west (not east) side of the Pee Dee River would become Stanly County in 1841 and those that lived east (not west) of the Pee Dee River would remain in Montgomery County.