Sunday, November 17, 2019

Diza, daughter of John Jacky and Amelia Morris

Diza, my third great aunt and the tenth child born to John Jacky and Amelia Morris, is probably the most secretive of all my known ancestors, even more so than her brother, Berry. I have spent months looking for information on her and have found next to nothing. Other than a Census record, a marriage license and a death certificate, there is nothing to know about Diza. Perhaps she wanted it that way.

Diza graces the 1840 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina living East of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River. She is clumped in together with her sisters, Tempie and Caroline, all girls between the ages of 5 thru 9. Diza is thought to have been born around 1832, so she is about 7 years old in 1840.

In 1850, Diza is listed as 18 years old, living with her parents, John and Amelia and two sisters, Tempie and Caroline. John, listed as a miner, works in the area gold mines to support his family. He is my third great grandfather and is consistent with his birthplace of Virginia. Amelia is listed as age 60 and born in North Carolina. I have seen records listing her born in both North Carolina and Virginia. I still do not know her maiden name nor have I been able to narrow down her birthplace as Virginia or North Carolina.

Diza was the only child of John and Amelia to live long enough to obtain a death certificate, and, just my luck, the informant got the information wrong! A. J. Lucas, who is most likely the stepson of Diza, listed her brother, Wattie, as her father and No Information for her mother.

1860 is a bit confusing as the Census lists Eliza in the home of John and Amelia. While they do have a daughter named Eliza, she is listed on the 1860 Census with her husband, Pinkney Shaw. The age shown, 21, does not match to either Eliza or Diza and sometimes I wonder if 10-year-old, Joseph Morgan, the son of Samuel and Susan Morris Morgan and grandson of John and Amelia, gave the Census taker the info on who lived in this home. This could be either Diza or Eliza, I suppose.

1870 seems to be the Census year where my family does not exist. John, Amelia and Diza were either missed on this Census or they were out of the area. I have scoured every 1870 Census in four counties, and they are not to be found.

John and Amelia died in 1874 and this found 47-year-old Diza alone. Up until then, she had always resided with her parents. In 1880, she is found living between her brother William and sister, Eliza Morris Shaw in Uwharrie Township.

The 1890 Census burned in a fire and is a great loss to researchers.

On 4 May 1900, J. M. Clodfelter, most likely John Milton, whose mother is Liza Morris, daughter of John Morris Jr, Diza’s brother, applies for a marriage license for Thomas Lucas and Diza Morris, both 65 years of age. The couple were wed two days later in Uwharrie.

On the 13th day of June 1900, the Census taker notates Thomas and Diza Lucas living together as man and wife. Diza is listed as having had no children. Father’s place of birth is listed as North Carolina, probably because Thomas does not know that his father-in-law was born in Virginia.

Thomas Lucas was first married to Mary Hudson in Randolph County in 1857. Thomas and Mary had the following children: Mary Ann 1859, Elzivan 1861, John Martin 1863, Millard Filmore 1867, Elcary 1871, Archibald J 1874, Sirona 1876, Joel 1879.

In 1905, at the age of 71, Thomas Lucas was apprehended by Deputy Sheriff J. R. McKenzie and charged with violating the Watts Law, which was an Act prohibiting the manufacture and sale of spirituous liquors except in incorporated towns. I have not been able to find any more information on what happened to Thomas Lucas, if he went to jail or not and where did he die and the whereabouts of his burial.

Diza, as noted earlier, was the longest-lived child of John and Amelia Morris. She died 15 Dec 1920 and is buried in Eldorado Baptist Church Cemetery in the Eldorado Community of Montgomery County, North Carolina.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Temperance Morris, wife of Jacob Sanders

Temperance Morris, called Tempie, is my third great aunt and the ninth child of my third great grandparents, John Jacky and Amelia Morris. Tempie was born 1 Mar 1830, according to her gravestone. Tempie married Jacob Sanders (Saunders) on 23 Aug 1856. John Merritt, my maternal third great grandfather, signed as bondsman. John Merritt married Deborah Sanders, who is the sister to Jacob Sanders who married Tempie, making this another twisted branch in my family tree.

Jacob and Deborah are the children of Jacob and Bethana Sanders. Some research I have seen lists Bethana’s maiden name as Leah, however, I have not seen any documented proof for this claim.

Tempie is first found on the 1830 Census, in the home of her father, John Morris, listed between the ages of 5 and 9, making her born before 16 Nov 1830, when the Census was enumerated by James Allen, Assistant to the Marshall of the District of North Carolina.

In 1840, Tempie is listed again as a female between the ages 5 thru 9, along with her sisters, Diza and Caroline.

The 1850 Census shows Tempie as age 19, living with parents John and Amelia. Also in the home are Disa and Caroline.

As noted previously, Tempie married Jacob Sanders in 1856 and therefore, is found on the 1860 Census with her husband and one year old son, Emsley Harris. Tempie and Jacob are living next door to John and Deborah Sanders Merritt, my maternal third great grandparents.

Fold3 has several listings for Jacob Sanders/Saunders. The only soldier with this name listed with a card in his file for Montgomery County enlisted on 16 Jul 1862 at Camp Holmes, Raleigh, and served in the Fourteenth Infantry. He was present for all musters until Jul/Aug 1863 when he was noted as missing since the Battle of Gettysburg.

On 21 Jul 1863, the Semi-Weekly Standard in Raleigh on page 2, ran a listing of soldiers who were killed, wounded and missing. Among those noted for the Fourteenth N. C. Troops was Jacob Saunders, his condition listed as serious.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North.

Elements of the two armies initially collided at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south.
On the second day of battle, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines.

On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army.

Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.

In 1901, at the age of 68, Jacob would apply for a Soldier’s Pension and in 1904, Tempie will apply for a widow’s pension.

In 1864, Tempie’s father-in-law, Jacob Sanders, and my fourth great grandfather, along with Pleasant Simmons, were murdered when four deserters entered the home of Pleasant Simmons and demanded food. The deserters, after being given two hams, proceeded to break down the door to the smoke house and cut down the meat. Jacob Sanders, who was lodging for the night with the Simmons family, armed himself with a gun and went out after the robbers, but was shot and killed. Mr. Simmons was mortally wounded and died the next day.

1870 shows Tempie and Jacob living in Uwharrie Township next door to N. W. (Nathan) Smart and wife Ruth. Emsley, age 12, is going by his middle name, Harris. Elizabeth (9), Berry (6) and Eliza (4) have been added to the family between the Census years.

As noted in a previous Blog, Nathan Smart is believed to be the brother of my fourth great grandmother, Susannah Smart Morgan Henderson. Nathan’s daughter, Mary, has been mistakenly identified as the wife of Mark Dennis for years, she is the wife of Martin Laton, who was killed in the Civil War. To my knowledge, Mary Smart Laton never had children.

Tempie and Jacob are still living in Uwharrie Township in 1880 close to her brother, Thomas Morris. Joseph T. Morris, listed in dwelling number 3535 is the son of Thomas Morris and Tempie’s nephew. Joseph married Rosina Merritt, daughter of John and Deborah Sanders (Tempie’s sister-in-law) Merritt.

Emsley Harris (21), Jacob (15), Ann (13) and Sarah (9) are still at home. Of interest, Tempie and Thomas both list father’s (John Jacky Morris) place of birth as Virginia, which is consistent with the 1850 Census.

The 1900 Census shows that Jacob and Tempie have been married 44 years, which matches perfectly with their marriage license. Tempie has given birth to 6 children, with 5 living. Jacob shows he, and his parents were all born in North Carolina, while Tempie states that she was born in North Carolina and her parents, John and Amelia, my third great grandparents, were born in Virginia. This record is consistent for John Jacky, but records contradict on Amelia, with some stating she was born in North Carolina and others state she was born in Virginia.

Jacob died on 26 Mar 1904 and buried in Zoar Cemetery located on Ophir Road in Ophir Township, Montgomery County, North Carolina, with some graves dating back to the 1820s.

1910 shows Tempie in the home of her daughter, Caroline, and son-in-law, Enoch Dennis. She is listed as 80 years of age and a widow. For the first time, her father’s place of birth is listed as North Carolina rather than Virginia.

Tempie Morris Saunders died on 14 Nov 1911 and is buried at Zoar Cemetery, Ophir Road in Montgomery County, North Carolina.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Unsung-Hero, Edward Brewer

A year ago, I wrote about John Stewart and Rachel Morgan, daughter of Charles Morgan from Chatham County, North Carolina. Shortly after the Revolutionary War, John and Rachel migrated to Montgomery County, North Carolina; where in 1833, John filed for a pension transfer to McNairy County, Tennessee where some of his children had migrated. From John’s pension transfer file, I learned that he had an older sister named Elizabeth Russell who was interviewed by Hardy Morgan, the acting Justice of the Peace who handled the transfer for John. I have since found that Elizabeth Russell, and her sister, Barbara, provided statements in another Revolutionary War file for Edward Brewer.

Recently, while reading through Revolutionary War pension files, I came across a file belonging to Edward Brewer, age 72, who, in 1834, resided in Randolph County, North Carolina, and appeared before Justice of the Peace, William Hannah, to apply for the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed 7 Jun 1832.

Born 19 Oct 1762 in the county of Chatham, actually Orange as Chatham was formed from Orange in 1771, Edward entered the service of the United States in 1778 as a volunteer. He was sixteen years of age. He marched from Chatham Court House to Cane Creek near Lindley Mills in Orange County (now in Alamance County). Here, Edward Brewer states his company met 500 to 600 Tories under the command of ‘Fannon’ (Fanning) at which time a battle was engaged and about 70 Tories were killed, but the Whigs retreated as they were outnumbered. This battle became known as the Battle of Lindley’s Mill.

The Battle of Lindley's Mill (also known as the Battle of Cane Creek) took place in Orange County, North Carolina (now in Alamance County), on September 13, 1781, during the American Revolutionary War. The battle took its name from a mill that sat at the site of the battle on Cane Creek, which sat along a road connecting what was then the temporary state capital, Hillsborough, with Wilmington, North Carolina.

On September 12, 1781, loyalist militia under the command of militia colonels David Fanning and Hector McNeill captured Governor Thomas Burke and thirteen high-ranking Whig officials in a daylight raid on Hillsborough. The captured officials were to be transported down the road to Wilmington where they would be turned over to the British Army. Brigadier General John Butler, whose home was located nearby, and 300 patriot militiamen of the Hillsborough District Brigade set an ambush at Lindley’s Mill the next day.

Lindley's Mill was located on Cane Creek, a tributary of the Haw River. Upon the Loyalist approach, the Patriot militia sprung their trap, surprising Fanning and his men. The loyalist forces were forced to ford Cane Creek in order to assault the patriot positions, which were on a plateau overlooking the creek. The elderly Hector McNeill, the commander of a unit of loyal Highlanders, was cut down early in the battle, leading the vanguard of Fanning's militia across the creek. The British failed to gain any ground against the Patriot position until Fanning and a larger company forded the creek upstream from Butler's position, and attacked the Patriot militia from their flank. This put the militia on the defensive, and the battle persisted for four hours until eventually Butler felt compelled to order his men to retreat due to casualties. In spite of Butler's order, a contingent of men attempted to continue holding their ground, but they were ultimately dislodged by Fanning. (

After the battle, Edward Brewer marched back to Chatham Court House where he was sent by Capt. Duglas over Haw River to purchase horseshoes. Upon returning, he received a discharge from Capt. Duglas for a tour of three months.

Brewer again entered into Light Horseman under Genl. Ambrose Ramsay and for two months marched through Chatham and surrounding counties in search of Tories. At the expiration of his service, he received a discharge from Capt. William Griffin and returned home, to Chatham County, eight miles from the Court House.

Edward states that he was then sent for by Genl. William Goldson, whose orders he obeyed, and entered the service again at Chatham Court House where he traveled up and down Deep and Haw Rivers in pursuit of the enemy. He received a discharge and returned home.

Again, he received orders from Genl. William Goldson, whose mandate he obeyed, and joined troops at Chatham Court House. He marched about several places guarding and defending that section of the state against those who were against American Independence. After three months, he received another discharge.

When the Tories broke out again at Deep River, Edward Brewer received orders from Genl. William Goldson, and again the youngster obeyed the orders. He marched in and through the counties of Chatham, Orange, Wake, Moore and Randolph expelling the Tories from those parts of the state. At the end of another three months, he received his discharge and returned home.

Sometime later a ban of Tories marched from Virginia to Chatham County and Edward Brewer received orders from Genl. William Goldson via his cousin, William Smith, to join himself to those troops of foot soldiers which he had also done at his Uncle, Henry Brewer’s old place. He marched with them through different sections of several counties for two months. He received a discharge from Capt. Trouton and returned home, 8 miles from Chatham Court House.

In all, Edward Brewer served 25 months service between the ages of 16 and 20 years. After peace had been attained, one Frances Irvin, a Captain of the Tories who had served with Fanning, returned to his settlement and was caught and hung on a walnut tree for his notorious and outrageous conduct as a Tory.

Edward served with John Stewart, Julius Riddle, William Russell, John Russell, James Russell, Richard Riddle, Joseph Stewart, Richard Arrington and others. After the war, Edward went to Sampson County, North Carolina and there was married and resided three years. He moved back to Chatham County for 5 years then moved to Randolph County, some 25 or 30 miles from the court house in Asheboro, where he had resided for 39 years. Edward kept his discharge papers until he had a family of children. When his children went to school, he gave the papers to them to use as thumb papers.

Elizabeth Russell of the county of Randolph and Barbara Russell of the county of Montgomery, both sisters and married two brothers, certified that they were born and raised in the neighborhood and resided by Edward Brewer and that he was a soldier of the Revolution in the Light Horse Troops in the Whig party. The sisters state that Edward Brewer was one of the soldiers who stayed with his officers and fellow troops near their father’s house on the public road in Chatham County. The sisters certify that their husbands, William Russell and John Russell, who are now dead, served with Edward Brewer and that they had heard their husbands talk about their service together many times.

John Stewart, of the county of Montgomery, certified that he served with Edward Brewer for 3 months, under Capt. Duglas, in the war of the Revolution.

Sadly, Edward Brewer's claim was not allowed for the reason that he did not perform six months actual military service in a regularly embodied corps, as required by the Act of June 7, 1832 under which he applied.

My research has brought me to believe that there is a connection between the families that resided in the northern section of Montgomery and the southern section of Randolph, with paper trails connecting the Morgan’s, Stewart’s, and Brewer’s back to Chatham County. These families all intermarried with one another from before the Revolutionary War to well into the 1830s and some of them left the counties together in the late 1830s to early 1840s and migrated to Tennessee and Mississippi.

Although Edward Brewer did not receive the recognition he deserved by the Congress of the United States in 1834, this Blog will recognize him as the brave hero he surely was.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Berry Morris, son of John Jacky and Amelia Morris

Berry Morris, like most of my Morris ancestors, did not leave a noticeable footprint to stand the test of time. In fact, with the exception of a few records, I would not even know he existed. Berry, being the eighth child born to my third great grandparents, John ‘Jacky and Amelia Morris, in Montgomery County, North Carolina; he is found on the 1830 Census as a youngster, being under five years of age.

In 1840, Berry is listed as a male between the ages of 10 and 14 in the household of his father, John Morris.

The 1850 Census shows Berry, a Laborer, with wife, Sarah, and one child, Lyden (I believe, based on future Census records, the name should be Liza). Some research I have reviewed says that Sarah’s maiden name is Hurley, and I think some researchers simply deduced this as Berry and family are living between Neil Hurley, age 54, and Daniel Hurley, age 33. However, one of the children’s death certificates reports Sarah’s maiden name as Williams.

Thus far, I have found that I am related to some of the Hurley’s by several marriages, but, to my knowledge right now, I am not directly related to them. If you have been reading along with the Blog, you will recall that Pinkney Shaw, who married Berry’s sister, Eliza, had a child by Rosetta Hurley.

In 1860, Berry, listed as a Farmer, and Sarah (listed as Sallie), are living in Beans District, next door to Joseph Williams, age 59, born in Virginia. I cannot help but wonder who Joseph’s father is and if he might have known Berry’s father, John ‘Jacky’ Morris, who was also born in Virginia. I hope to begin research in Virginia next year.

Upshur Williams, listed as age 21 and the son of Joseph Williams, will marry Malinda Dennis in 1870. She is the daughter of Littleton Jackson Dennis and Sarah Myrick Talbert. Upshur’s first wife, Margaret A Williamson, died between 1867 and 1870. The Dennis, Morris and Williams families intermarried with one another for several generations.

Fold3 lists two Berry Morris’s who served in the Civil War, although I have not been able to confirm if either is my Berry Morris.

The first Berry Morris served in Co B 2 North Carolina Art'y (36 State Troops) Confederate, enlisted on 29 Jan 1863 at Camp Holmes, Raleigh, North Carolina. He was present at all musters.

The other Berry Morris served in Co B 13 Battalion North Carolina Light Art'y, enlisted also on 29 Jan 1863 at Camp Holmes, Raleigh, North Carolina and was present at all musters for 1863 and 1864. In Jan and Feb 1865, it was noted that this Berry had been absent without leave since 25 Feb 1865.

Additionally, in this file, it is noted that this Berry Morris was a Prisoner of War and was paroled 23 May 1865, Troy, Montgomery County, North Carolina. There is every indication that this could be my Berry Morris. I am still working to find additional documentation to prove it.

Of interest, is that Berry enlisted at Camp Holmes in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thomas Morris, also a son of John Jacky Morris, was a Private of Company C, 38th Regiment North Carolina Confederate States Army. Enlisted 27 August 1864 at Camp Holmes, (Near Raleigh, Wake County) North Carolina.

On 27 Nov 1862, a John Morris from Troy, Montgomery Co., N.C., ran an ad in The Greensboro Patriot offering a $200 reward for the return of his pocket book containing several hundreds of dollars in cash and letters from soldiers of the 44th N.C. regiment. I do not know who this John Morris is, but find it interesting that 1. He is from Montgomery County and 2. He was traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina, the same place two Morris brothers, both the sons of John Jacky Morris, would enlist, one in 1863 and another in 1864.

I am very motivated to finding more information on these Morris men. I am particularly interested in knowing why these men went all the way to Raleigh to enlist rather than enlisting in their own county or in Rowan County, which was much closer to them than Raleigh.

In 1870, Berry Morris, listed with an occupation as Gold Mining, and family are shown living in Uwharrie Township. The family has grown to include several more children. Liza, listed as Jane, is now age 22. Mary (18), Jesse (17), Rebecca (15), Lee (9), Harris (4).

Most of Berry’s children will marry between 1870 and 1880, with the younger children marrying closer to 1890. Liza Jane will marry James Dennis on 11 Mar 1872. Jesse marries Mary Caroline Merritt on 30 Jul 1874. Rebecca, married first, Adam Thompson, on 8 Feb 1880, brother of George Thompson, and second James Tolbert, on 12 May 1898.

The home of Berry and Sallie Morris is much smaller in 1880. Mary Ann, marrying late in life to George Thompson on 1 May 1887. Also in the home of Berry and Sallie Morris are their two younger children, Granderson Lee, who, in 1882, would marry into the same Thompson family as his brother and sister, to Mary Thompson. Ward Harris will marry Martha Brown in 1903.

The Berry Morris descendants will marry into the Thompson, Dennis and Talbert/Tolbert families for generations to come.

Berry and Sarah Morris are not to be found after 1880. Sadly, I do not know when they died nor where they are buried.