Sunday, January 7, 2024

Morris Y DNA research, continued

I am continuing forward with my Morris Y DNA research. My paternal male line has been Y DNA tested and is in Group M29 at the Morris project at Family Tree DNA. I have spent the past year (2023) researching the matches in hopes of finding out more about my own ancestors origins, my third great grandfather, John Jacky Morris who died about 1874 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. 

Below shows a list of Y DNA matches in Group M29 who match to male descendants of John Jacky Morris of Montgomery County, North Carolina.

This blog will cover John H. Morris, who kits 146588 and 400658 descend from.

John H. Morris was born between 1774 - 1776 in Buckingham County, Virginia. He died 12 Feb 1861 in Campbell County, Virginia. His parents, as reported by son John Jr. on the 1861 death registry for Campbell County are William and Sarah Morris. She is thought to be the daughter of William McCormack who died in Louisa County, Virginia in 1753.

There seems to be multiple reasons that would lead researchers in the Morris / McCormack direction.

First, since the 1861 death registry tells us that John Morris was born in Buckingham, Virginia and that his parents are William and Sarah Morris, it makes sense to think that if John were born there, his parents lived there.

According to the Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911 John Morris died 12 Feb 1861.
Name    Jno Morriss
Gender    Male
Race    White
Death Age    85
Birth Date    abt 1776
Death Date    12 Feb 1861
Death Place    Campbell, Virginia
Cause of Death    Old Age and Rheumatism
Occupation    Farmer
Spouse    Lucretia Morriss

Second, Buckingham County, Virginia has a surviving Surveyor's Platt Book, 1762-1814 that shows surveys for William Morris Sr. and William Morris Jr. in 1786 for land adjacent to David and John McCormack (names also listed in the will of William McCormack). It makes sense that one of these William Morris’ may have married a relative of David and John McCormack.

Two surveys dated the 17th and 18th of Oct 1786, one for William Morris Sr., 350 acres lying in the county of Buckingham on the head branches of Willis River joining the lines of Capt. John Mossley (?) and David McCormack’s line and the second survey done for William Morris Jr., 120 acres of land lying in the county of Buckingham joining the lines of David McCormack, William Morris, John McCormack, and lines of William Morris Jr. whom the survey was made.

The Willis River is a 61.8-mile-long tributary of the James River in central Virginia. It rises in southern Buckingham County and flows eastwardly into Cumberland County, then turns north-northeastwardly and flows into the James River in northern Cumberland County, about 6 miles southeast of Columbia.

The Little Willis River is a 15.5-mile-long tributary of the Willis River in Virginia and rises in Buckingham County and flows east into Cumberland County, joining the Willis River 9 miles north of Farmville.

Third, an 1844 deed between John Goodman and his stepdaughter, Lucretia Morris, shows John deeded to Lucretia 100 acres of land on Cheese creek in Campbell County, Virginia. The same place William and Sarah Morris were found living in 1802.

The 1802 deed in Campbell County, Virginia between William Morris, and Sarah his wife to Absalom Lynch for 200 acres of land being part of a tract of land originally granted to William Harris dec’d for 940 acres in Campbell County, Virginia on the branches of Cheese creek and Flint Stone creek on both sides of Wards road beginning at Henry Eidson's Henry Davis's Robert Hardwick's corner...crossing Ward's Gordon and Hardwick's corner the same being lines of the aforesaid Malory's corner...crossing Ward's road (again) and a head of Ormsby’s Eidson's line...witness James Deering, Joseph Eidson, Thomas Sharp.

I’ve included above a current map of the area listed in the deed record. In the writing Campbell Chronicles And Family Sketches: Embracing The History Of Campbell County, Virginia, 1782-1926 by Ruth Hairston Early, I found a list of land patents. On page 15 is noted that William Harris obtained this tract of land in 1789; that means William Morris obtained the land between the years 1789, when it was initially granted to William Harris and 1801 when he sold it to Absalom Lynch.

William Harris wrote his will in 1786 and it was probated in 1793. This tract of land is not mentioned in his will. He gave his son Isaiah 400 acres of land at the head on Minters Creek whereon he now lives. Daughter Betty received 400 acres of land adjoining to it on branches of Sevon (?) Creek whereon David Carty now lives, and John Hall received 100 acres of land to the value of 10 pounds providing that he stays with me or my son William Harris if I am dead till he is of age and all the remaining estate I give to William Harris. 

After a very thorough search of Campbell deed books 3, 4, and 5, I was able to trace this tract of land through its original grant to William Harris from his selling it to Arthur Harris and then its sale to John Ward. The land passed through several hands until it finally came to Anderson White who sold it to William Morris in 1799. So, William Morris only owned the land for 2 years before selling it to Absalom Lynch in 1801.

Fourth, William Morris and Sarah McCormack’s marriage date is based on the birth registry of their child, Edward who was listed in the Douglas Register Marriages - Not recorded by Rev. Wm. Douglas. Dates here given, unless otherwise specified, are birth date of first child shown in this register. Births and Baptisms show William Morris & Sarah McCormack, a son named Edward born Mar 25, 1765. Baptized May 1, 1765. So, the couple were married prior to this date.

Fifth, in his will written 1753 in Lousia County, Virginia, William McCormack names his children as David, William, Thomas, John, Micajah, Charles, Mary, Nancy, Sarah and wife, Rebecca.

John H. Morris married Lucretia Howell in 1800 (her name is transcribed multiple ways on marriage records as Howell, Howeth, and Howett but is probably Howell). She was born about 1775 and died around 1844 in Campbell, Virginia. She was the daughter of Elizabeth by a first marriage of whom her spouse is not known. We do know that he died before 1791 as Elizabeth remarried to John Goodman in that year.

Children of John H. Morris and wife, Lucretia Howell Morris are:

Elizabeth (b. 1801) m. Thomas Wingfield (Windfield), son of Francis and Elizabeth Wingfield who were first cousins. Francis is the son of Charles Wingfield and Sarah Joyner and Elizabeth is the daughter of Thomas Wingfield and Anna Davis. Charles Wingfield’s first cousin, Peter Wingfield (married Charlotte Freeman) made the trek to Anson County, North Carolina in the late 1700s and can be found on the 1790 Census for that place living between John Mullis and Griffin Nash, a son-in-law who married his daughter, Jemima. Another daughter, Sarah, married Richard Howell, a man with the same surname as Lucretia Howell Morris who married John H. Morris. There may be some connection between these families that I just cannot see yet. Much more tree building is required to get these families back to the early 1700s so I can see the big picture of how (or if) they are all connected.

I am obviously very interested in this family line because some of them ended up in the same vicinity as John Jacky Morris, my ancestor. Currently, John Jacky Morris is a brick wall. His parents and siblings are not known. Y DNA testing my uncle and several cousins has allowed me the opportunity to research the Y DNA matches in hopes of finding out more about John Jacky Morris and the families he was connected to.

My family lore says that John Jacky Morris was born in Mecklenburg, Virginia. It just so happens that Peter Wingfield lived there. In 1782, Peter witnessed a deed between William Pennington and Jesse Morris for 136 acres of land in Mecklenburg, Virginia beginning at the old road in John Brown Jun’s line … to Malone’s corner. This is fascinating as I have many atDNA matches to Jesse Morris descendants. Mainly the children that married into the Drumwright line in Mecklenburg, Virginia. John Jacky Morris is probably somehow related to Jesse Morris, I just do not know how. Jesse did not name John Jacky in his will, so I know the relationship is not parent/child. But, perhaps, uncle/nephew. Yet another problem is that Jesse’s parents are also unknown. Y DNA testing male descendants of Jesse Morris is needed to find out what Morris family he belongs to. 

William (b. 1802) m. Mary Collins, the daughter of Andrew Collins and an unknown (at least to me) wife. Some think Andrew married Polly Morris and others have him listed with wife Elizabeth Freeman. In 1828 a deed of trust was executed between John Morris and Andrew Collins for debt owed to William Gregory. I do not know if this is John Sr. or John Jr. 

John Jr (b. 1804) m. Mary Ann Eliza Freeman in Caswell, North Carolina. I do not know who Mary’s parents are. Interestingly, Thomas H. Wingfield, made oath that she was older than 15 years. I have not researched this line yet, but the obvious question is what were they doing in Caswell County? John claims on several Census’s that he was born in Tennessee. I hope to uncover the answers to those questions with future research.

Nancy (b. 1805) m. Pinkney Scott, the son of Samuel Scott and Sarah Bruce. Just like her brother, John Jr, Nancy claims on at least one Census that she was born in Tennessee.

Jesse (b. 1807) m. Evelyn Freeman. Her parents are not known to me. More research is needed on this line.

Achilles (b. 1808) m. Nancy Kidd. I do not know who her parents are. A male descendant of Achilles is a Y DNA match to a male descendant of John Jacky Morris (my paternal family line). An 1889 Virginia Chancery suit between the children of Achilles and Nancy requires more research on my part. 

Micajah (b. 1811) m. Lively Scott, daughter of Samuel Scott and Sarah Bruce and sister of Pinkney Scott.

Mahala (b. 1813) m. William Finch, son of John Finch and Mary Weber. Several deeds in the 1840s and 1850s are found between the heirs of Mary Finch for land left her by her father, John Weber, and John H. Morris who purchased the interest in the land from the heirs.

Susan (b. 1815) m. Robert Cox and moved to Missouri. 


James (b. 1816) m. Melvinia Swinney of whom I know nothing more currently.

I was able to reasonably find John H. Morris and family on Census records for 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1850 in Campbell County, Virginia, and line up the children by age. It is important to note that I am researching the neighbors of John. I already know that his neighbor, John Goodman, is his step father-in-law, the stepfather of his wife Lucretia. Equally important are the surnames found living alongside John. Names like Williams and Merritt are surnames that are also found in my own family tree so I will be looking for any connection to North Carolina with these names. I also need to search Tennessee and Caswell, North Carolina records for John and Lucretia.

Name John Morris
Residence Date    6 Aug 1810
Residence Place    Lynchburg, Campbell, Virginia, USA
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10         4 (Achilles, Jesse, John Jr, William)
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44        1 (John Sr)
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10    2 (Elizabeth, Nancy)
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44    1 (Lucretia)

Name John Morris
Enumeration Date 7 Aug 1820
Home in 1820 (City, County, State) Lynchburg, Campbell, Virginia, USA
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10                2 (Micajah, James)
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15        2 (Achilles, Jesse)
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 18        2 (William, John Jr)
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over    1 (John Sr)
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10    2 (Mahala, Susan)
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15    1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25    1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44    1 (Lucretia)

Name John Morris
Home in 1830 (City, County, State) Campbell, Virginia
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14        1 (James)
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19        2 (Achilles, Micajah)
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59        1 (John Sr)
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19    2 (Mahala, Susan)
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59    1 (Lucretia)

In 1850, John Morris Sr. was living with his son, John Jr. Close neighbors are Thomas and Elizabeth Morris Wingfield, the daughter of John Sr.

Home in 1850 Campbell, Virginia, USA
Household Members (Name) Age
John Morriss 46 (b. 1804)
Mary A Morriss 38 (b. 1812)
Matilda A Morriss 17 (b. 1833)
Almira F Morriss 13 (b. 1837)
Thomas J Morriss 10 (b. 1840)
Mariah J Morriss 8 (b. 1842)
Joseph A Morriss 6 (b. 1844)
David E Morriss 4 (b. 1846)
John Morriss 76 (b. 1774)
George W Freeman 20 (b. 1830)
Edward Dorse 15 (b. 1835)

1 comment:

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