Saturday, December 28, 2019

Morris x2

On the 16th day of July 1869, Parsons Harris Morris, then Register of Montgomery County, being the son of Grandison and Mary Williams Morris, and my first cousin three times removed, issued a license for the Rites of Matrimony to be solemnized between William Morris, son of Thomas and Polly Williams Morris, and Martha Uriah Hall, daughter of John and Hannah Steed Hall. Nathan W. Smart, Justice of the Peace, on 17 Jul 1869, solemnized said Rites. From this union was born Lula Bell Morris, called Lou, on 22 Dec 1888, who is my first cousin, twice removed.

William and Martha Hall Morris would, in 1900, make their home in Randleman, Randolph County, North Carolina. No surprises there, as his wife’s Hall family can be found living between Randolph and Montgomery Counties as far back as the late 1700s and up to the early 1800s.

Lula (Lou) Belle married Marvin Westmoreland on 3 Nov 1903 in Davidson County, North Carolina. Her brother, Charles P. Morris, signs as witness to the marriage. Little did Lou Belle Morris know that she was marrying into another Morris family.
The Westmoreland family hails from Stokes County, North Carolina and before that, Richmond County, Virginia, formed in 1692 when the first Rappahannock County was divided to form Richmond County and Essex County. In the marriage record above, Marvin’s name is mistranslated as Marion. Future records show his name is indeed Marvin.

Marvin’s great grandparents, who both were born and died in Germanton, Stokes County, North Carolina, are William Westmoreland, 1799-1847, and Charity Morris, 1807-1870. Charity’s parents are Presley Morris, 1775-1815, and Charity Hutchins, 1778-1828. Presley descends from Edward Morris, 1708-1752, and Mary Hammond, 1707-1803, through their son, Hammond Morris, 1733-1810, and Mary Tuttle, 1735-1778.

This is the fourth Morris family that I have encountered in the search for my fourth great grandparents, the parents of John Jacky Morris. Descendants of three of these Morris families have been Y-DNA tested, several of them by me, and Y-DNA shows these Morris’s as three separate families.

I do not know if the Presley Morris line has been Y-DNA tested, but would, obviously, like to see those results compared to my own Morris line. My own atDNA matches, as well as the kits I manage for my Morris family, show many Westmoreland connections, all distant matches, 5th to 8th cousin matches with low cM values, but all going back to William Westmoreland, 1799-1847, and Charity Morris, 1807-1870.

Family Tree DNA

I am particularly interested in this line of Morris’s for two reasons. First, per the trees of my atDNA matches, at least one of these Morris’s ended up in what today is the Clarksville area of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Presley Morris had a brother, Jesse Morris, 1742-1807, who married Jane Pointer (Jones); there seems to be much confusion on her maiden name being Pointer or Jones, is one a maiden name and the other a previously married name, or perhaps the maiden name of her mother? More research is required to fully straighten this matter out. At any rate, this couple, Jesse and Jane, made their home in Mecklenburg County, Virginia – the same area where my third great grandfather, John Jacky Morris, is believed to have been born. Per Find-A-Grave:

Jesse Morris Sr. and Jane Pointer married about 1775. With estate money left to him by his father, Edward E. Morris Jr., the couple bought land in Mecklenburg Co, VA (some of the land today is also part of Brunswick Co, VA, which borders Mecklenburg, where they grew tobacco and lived the rest of their lives. Until they died, they never lived anywhere else but on their farm in Mecklenburg, VA. 

They had 7 children. Jesse Sr. was well respected. He died at the age of 61. (

Second, descendants’ trees show another brother, Shadrick Morris, ended up in Limestone County, Alabama, the same place where a current Y-DNA match lives, so, for these reasons, I am highly motivated to begin tracing this line to see what, if any, connections to my own Morris family I can find.

The 1910 Census shows Marvin and Lou making their home in Davidson County with daughters Nellie, born 1907, and Clara, born 1909.

Jun 1912 brought the most tragic event to a family that could ever be delivered. Clara, the young daughter of Marvin and Lou Morris Westmoreland, was murdered by Jesse Morris, her uncle and brother to her mother. Clara is buried at Fair Grove Methodist Church in Thomasville.

By 1920, Marvin and Lou are still in Thomasville, Davidson County and Marvin makes his living in the cotton mills, as so many families did at that time. Several children have been added to the family since the last Census, Geneva (1911) Rebecca (1913), Marvin Jr (1914), Mary (1916), and Lois (1918).

1930 shows the family still living in Thomasville, Davidson County, but Marvin has changed occupations, from the cotton mills to a Layman in a chair factory. Marvin Jr is also working in the chair factory. Two daughters, Mary and Lois, are working in the cotton mill as Spoolers. Raborn Thrift, son of Geneva, another daughter, is in the home of his grandparents.

29 Jan 1933 brought the death of Marvin. He must have been in failing health as it is noted he had been unemployed for six months. Lou reported his death.

1940 shows Lou working as a Matron in the Public School. Living at home are Marvin Jr, Ruth, Joseph and two grandchildren, Lucy and Rory.

Lou Belle Morris Westmoreland died in 1943 at the age of 55. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren left to carry the legacy of two Morris families.

No comments:

Post a Comment