"This is Morris Mountain. There are two Morris Mountains. One the other side of the bridge going towards Eldorado, across from the Russell mine. Is that east Morris Mountain and west Morris Mountain? Morris Mountain is all I know. Watty Morris used to live…. Is the Morris Mountain named after your family? No, I don’t think it is. Jacky Morris … you know Jacky Morris. Jacky’s great granddaddy … Sutt, (?) son … John, he came to this county from Virginia. (laughter) They said he was out, there were no automobiles, he was out riding a horse and he saw this pretty girl riding with another man, they had a horse a piece, he just rode up beside her and put his arm around her and lifted and sat her on his horse and he married her.” (paraphrased from the recording: Claude Morris oral history interview, 2002 February 30, see link below for full recording held by University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Claude had some confusion in the family line.
You can hear it as he tries to work out the names and relationships to John
Jacky Morris. He mentions ‘Watty’ and ‘Sutt’ and even mentions John’s great granddaddy.
George Washington 'Watty' Morris Sr (1817-1902)
is the son of John Jacky and Amelia Morris. ‘Watty’ married Elizabeth. Some
trees have Elizabeth's maiden name listed as Williams citing a marriage license
dated 23 Dec 1845 in Halifax, North Carolina for George Morris, and Elizabeth
Williams. However, further research found that George Morris and Elizabeth
Williams were still in Halifax County through the 1870 Census there. Additionally,
I could not reconcile why George would go to Halifax to get married. It just did
not make sense based on what I knew about the family. So, this couple in
Halifax cannot be the same George and Elizabeth Morris in Montgomery County.
Millie Francis Morris, daughter of ‘Watty’ and Elizabeth, has listed Dennis on
her death certificate as the maiden name of her mother, Elizabeth and I do not
doubt it. My Morris family married into the Dennis family many times over. My
own great grandmother is a Dennis.
‘Sutt’ is the nickname of John Thomas Morris (1859-1940) and the grandson of John Jacky and Amelia Morris. ‘Sutt’s’ parents were William Morris (1813-1892) and Margaret Lewis (1840-?). ‘Sutt’ married Susannah Caroline Hall (1863-1948), daughter of Richard Hall and Leah Sanders, in 1881.
As provocative as the thought is, John Jacky’s great granddaddy, as far as I know, was never in Montgomery County.
There has always been a question as to whether
John Jacky and Amelia were already married when they came to Montgomery County
or if Amelia was already living in Montgomery County when John Jacky arrived
there. That confusion came because the 1850 Census lists her birthplace as
Virginia but the 1860 Census lists her birthplace as North Carolina. She is not
found in the 1870 Census and her gravestone lists her death year as 1874. So,
she did not live to see the 1880 Census. However, her children did, and they
continued to add to the confusion. On the 1880 Census some of them list
Mother's Birthplace as Virginia while others list Mother's Birthplace as North
Carolina. There was also a question as to the birthplace of Jacky and Amelia’s first
child, William. The 1850 and 1870 Census lists his birthplace as North
Carolina, but in 1880, his birthplace is listed as Virginia.
In a past blog, I had written that George Washington Morris, grandson of John Jacky, in 1969, made statements to a Newspaper that John Jacky Morris had come to Montgomery County in 1805. From that information, I surmised that John Jacky’s family must be found on the 1810 Census and Amelia was probably already in Montgomery County when John Jacky arrived there.
Claude's story telling has moved me further in the direction that Amelia was probably already in Montgomery County when John Jacky arrived and that the couple met and married between 1810 and 1812, with their first child, William, born about 1813 in Montgomery County. If Amelia was already in Montgomery County, and it seems like she was, this means (with enough digging on my part) I might be able to find what family she belonged to.
DNA testing has been absolutely no help with finding Amelia’s maiden name. There was so much intermarriage between my family lines that I am just not able to work out with any credibility which line might be hers. I am still working through my matches though, a slow and tedious task because some have no family trees and others only have less than 10 people in their published family tree and I must build out their tree to find the connection to our common ancestor. Please! Build your family tree back to your second great grandparents if possible.
With the loss of the 1820 Census for Montgomery County, also is lost who John Jacky and Amelia’s neighbors were for that year.
The 1830 Census does provide some clues, like John Jacky Morris Sr. living two doors down from Merritt Williams, but in 1830, John Jacky and Amelia had been married nearly 20 years and there could have been several neighbors who came and went during that time. My Morris family married heavily into the Williams family from Moore County, and I have often wondered if Amelia and Merritt are related.
John Jacky and Amelia never owned land, but surprisingly, a rental agreement still exists showing that they rented the JohnBell land from Henry Delamothe. They lived on this land at least from 1840 to 1844, probably longer. Family stories indicate that John Jacky Morris lived near Dusty Level Road (near what is now Yates Place) and I wonder if he rented the land from John Bell, who died in 1840, before it was acquired by Henry Delamothe. I also wonder if Amelia could have a connection with John Bell.
In 1840, John Jacky Morris Sr. lived next door to Nancy McArthur Bell. Nancy married Charles Bell, the nephew of John Bell, who once owned the land that John Jacky and Amelia lived on. Although I cannot find a deed for it, Henry Delamothe acquired the John Bell land, and used it as rental property.
One page back on the 1840 Census lives William Morris, the oldest son of John Jacky, and living close to him is Joseph Hurley, who, in 1850 became trustee of a deed between John Morris and Eliza Kirk. John borrowed $30 from Eliza Kirk and to secure the payment, he deeded to Joseph Hurley several household items along with cattle and hogs to be sold should the debt not be repaid. Why would Joseph Hurley agree to do that? Usually, only family members agreed to such things. Is Amelia related to the Hurley family?
Also notice, William is living next door to Henry Bell, brother-in-law of Nancy McArthur Bell who is shown living next to John Jacky Morris.
In 1850, John Jacky and Amelia are surrounded by their children but close by lives Washington Bell, the son of Nancy McArthur Bell. John Jacky and Amelia lived close to members of the Bell family for more than 30 years. Other close neighbors on this Census include Charles Haltom and his wife Rhoda. John and Amelia named their youngest child Caroline Rhoda, is there any connection to the name Rhoda?
1860 is the last Census John Jacky and Amelia are found on. On the previous page of that Census lives Berry Morris, son of John Jacky and Amelia. I questioned in a previous blog, Enoch Berry, if Amelia might be related to the Berry family who lived in Montgomery County. It seems possible, the problem is that most everything seems possible.
A last option is mtDNA testing on the female
line of Amelia. The problem? I cannot find a willing participant. And, even if
I did, the test may yield results so far back that they are not traceable. Even
though I am the third great granddaughter of Amelia, I do not share her mtDNA.
I descend through her son, Thomas, and while he had Amelia’s mtDNA, it was not
passed on to his children as only females can pass mtDNA.
Amelia had five daughters, but I have only found three daughters that had daughters who could pass on mtDNA. There may be more out there, and I have missed them. If you (or your mother) are a female-to-female line from Amelia Morris and are interested in mtDNA testing, please contact me through the Blog.
Amelia’s daughters who passed on her mtDNA
v Susan Morris born 1827 married Samuel Morgan
Rebecca Jane Morgan (1858-1935) married Allen Newton Hall
v Temperance ‘Tempy’ Morris born 1830 married Jacob Sanders
Theodosia (Diza) Sanders (1861-1918) married Edmund Cook (1856-?)
Sarah Caroline Sanders (1861-1917) married Enoch Sinclair Dennis (1869-1936)
Ann Eliza Sanders (1870-1940) married Alfred Richardson Dennis (1854-1939)
v Caroline Rhoda Morris born 1834 married James Kearns
Electa Ann Kearns (1866-1948) married Thomas Forrest (1867-1939)
Amanda Kearns (1871-1956) married Benjamin Tysinger (1872-1961)