Thursday, July 23, 2009

Samuel Kelley

Samuel Kelley (sometimes Kelly) died in Greenville, SC in 1819, leaving a will, which for a while was the only concrete fact known about him. However, he is starting to emerge from the shadows. Based on the fact that his daughter married in Caswell County, NC, looked there and found a Samuel Kelley, but the name is too common to assume it was the right one. However, that Samuel Kelly, fortunately, owed money and moved away without paying, generating several lawsuits against him. The lawsuits confirmed that he had moved to Greenville, SC. This, combined with his daughter's marriage (to a neighbor of the Samuel in Caswell) gives a fairly strong presumption that this is the same person. Further proof still to be sought, however.

Assuming it is the same, then the following is known about Samuel -

The first official record of him is 1778, when he was granted land in Caswell County, NC.

Caswell county records:
In 1779, he and Sarah Stafford witnessed a deed from Peter Bankston to Isaac Reeves.
In 1784, he paid tax on 300 Acres, with 1 poll.
In 1786, he sold 400 acres of land to David Jones.
In 1789, he sold 300 acres to David Enoch.
In 1793, a deed makes reference to bordering the land of Samuel Kelley. This was the final land record in Caswell County.
In 1800, Margaret Greer, administrator of the estate of Samuel Greer of Caswell County, sent a letter of Attorney to Jonathon Davis of Greenville, SC, to collect money owed by Samuel Kelley to Greer.
In 1807 This debt was paid.

Greenville County records:
In 1790, appears in the Greenville Census.
In 1796, he purchased 150 acres from Benjamin Kevil. However, this was not recorded until 1797, by the oath of Abner Butler.
Also in 1796, he purchased 320 acres from John Peek. Again this was recorded in 1797, immediately after the previous deed but by the oath of (son-in-law) James Gooch. "A. Butler" was one of the witnesses.

In 1819, he died leaving his property to his wife Mary Ann, his daughter Elizabeth Gooch, his grandson Tilman Gooch and his grandson Samuel Forrester. The other children of Elizabeth Gooch were not mentioned in the will.

Based on his will, Samuel's wife was Mary Ann. Her surname is unknown, but a David Porter in Caswell county mentions in his will his daughter Mary Kelly. Further investigation needed.

Samuel and Mary Ann (Polly) had at least two daughters - Elizabeth, who married James Gooch, and an unknown daughter who was the mother of Samuel Forrester.

No idea who Abner Butler was or what was his relationship to the family, but it is interesting that he swore to one land transaction and a known son-in-law swore to the other, which he witnessed. It is probable from the dates and the fact that the two records are sequential that both were probably registered at the same time. Definitely needs to be pursued.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jacob Garner

Jacob's early life is a mystery except by inference. His oldest known child gave her place of birth as NC, the younger ones were SC. None of his children survived until the 1880 census, but family tradition has him born in Virginia. The first documented record is a land grant in Washington County, GA in 1805. He was a fortunate drawer in the 1821 GA land lottery and appears as head of household in the 1830 Washington County, GA census, age 90-100. He is probably the "over 45" male in the 1820 census in the hh of son Stephen. The fact that he received two draws in the 1805 census indicates that he had minor children and that he had resided in the state for over a year. He was a recipient of a headright or bounty grant in 1805.

His wife's name was reportedly Charity, surname unknown.

Jacob's probable children are:
  • Patience, b abt 1770 in NC. d ? in Washington County, GA
  • Charity, b abt 1776 , d after 1840 in Washington County, GA. Md Asa Jordan.
  • Henry, b 1780 in SC, d. 31 Jan 1867 in Washington County, GA. Md Sarah.
  • Stephen, b abt 1787 in SC, never married
  • Moses, b abt 1787 in SC.
Undocumented family tradition also includes sons Baldwin and Darius/Rias. Darius allegedly moved first to Louisiana and then Texas. Baldwin reportedly died in Alabama.

Jacob probably died between 1830 and 1840 and was allegedly buried on his farm.

Recent DNA tests connect Jacob to the Garners/Gardners of Isle of Wight, VA and possibly to the Joseph Garner family of NC. Interestingly, Joseph is known, from his will, to have had a son Jacob, and it would be worth pursuing this connection to see if it is the same person. However, in the Washington County records, there is another Garner - Redick - who was allegedly Jacob's brother, which does not match with what is known of Joseph.

The GA archives indexes show that they show information for Jacob and Redick Garner both, for headright grants. Needs to be checked out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nathan Horne

Nathan Horn/Horne was born in NC (according to children's census records). He first appears in the census in 1830, age 30-40 and then in 1840, age 40-50. (Both were Crawford County, GA) This would make his date of birth between 1790 and 1800. He married Nancy G. Whitaker in Wilkinson county, GA on 21 Jul 1821. His daughter Nancy L. G. Horn was born about 1820. Uncertain as to whether he or Nancy were previously married or if this birth just preceded the marriage. However, in 1830, there are several people in the household who are too old for this marriage. No evidence as to what their relationship is to Nathan.

Nathan and Nancy had the following verified children:

  • Nancy L. G. Horne, b abt 1820, who married William Wells. She had a child out of wedlock prior to that, since Nathan brought a suit on her behalf for child support.
  • Columbus Horn, b abt 1831
  • Ellen Winiford Horn, b 1834, d 1913, md. Henry Wilder
  • Mary Ann Horn, b abt 1835
  • Washington William Buchanan Horne b Sep 1835, d 1884, md Mary Ann Morris
  • Josephine Horne, b abt 1839, md William Hand
Considering the gap between their marriage and the birth of Columbus, it is likely that there were other children. The 1840 census does have a son born between 1820-1825 who is not accounted for.

By 1828 Nathan and Nancy were living in Crawford County, Ga., where Nathan was serving as a constable (Macon telegraph). He is there in both the 1830 and 1840 census and died there in late 1840. He appears to have been a constable thoughout, appearing regularly in the newspapers and court records in that capacity. In 1839, however, he began to have difficulties. In May he was cited for contempt of court and jailed. In his official capacity he had apparently sold some property and then could or would not turn the money over to the court. ($195.76). In November, the court noted that he had been released by sheriff Robertson Crutchfield without paying the money, despite the court order. Crutchfield was then required to pay the money himself. His response on the whereabouts of it was deemed "evasive and not satisfactory" and he was ordered to be jailed until it was paid. (Inferior Court Records, William R. Henry, CGGS, 1988). Later records also indicate that Nathan was unable to pay his taxes that year.

When Nathan died, he was intestate. Estate records show that he was heavily in debt and in fact his bad debts appear for some years afterwards in various estate records. His property was sold, which included land in Murray, Cobb, Union, Gilmer, Walker and Pulaski Counties. He also owed money to Gilford Grant, John Jermony, George F. Mathews, Mountain or Martin Hill, Evan (possibly Van?) Horn and Sherrod Horn.

That final name leads to a possibly link with Pike County, where a Nathan Horn was made administrator on the estate of Sherrod H. Horn in 1839. This Nathan and Sherrod's wife Reecy Davis appear in newspaper records on the estate through Sep 1840. Sherrod and Reecy had married in 1819 in Pulaski County, making it unlikely that he had children old enough to administer the estate and that therefore this Nathan could be a brother or other relative and also that it could be the Nathan in Crawford County. More work needs to be done to confirm or deny this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stephens Morris

I know the following about Stephens Morris.

Name is uncertain - seen as Stephen, Stephens, and Stevens, but most commonly as Stephens.
Born somewhere in SC about 1814 (census records)
Married Martha Lewis on 1 Feb 1839 in Crawford County, GA (Crawford county marriages)
Was living in Wilcox County, AL by 1841 (Daughter's confederate pension application)
Voted in Allentown, Wilcox Co, in 1847.
Back in Crawford County by 1860 (census) and still there in 1870.
Possibly the Stephens Morris that appeared in the 1880 Russell County, AL census.
According to censuses, had the following children:
  • James Washington, b. abt 1840 in GA, d. 1862 in Civil War
  • Mary Ann, b. 1841, d. 1911, m. Washington Horne
  • Feraby, b. 1848 d. ?
  • Nimrod, b. 1850, d. ?
  • Barton Solomon b. 1852, d. 1925. md Mollie Mathews
  • Jasper M. b. 1856, d. 1944, md Mary McGraw in Dallas County, AL
  • (possibly) James b. 1867. He appears in the census, but I think this was actually James Horne, his daughter's son, living next door. There would almost certainly have been children between Mary Ann and Feraby, but they may have died young.

Now for more tenuous connections and areas where research is needed. The Stephens Morris in the 1880 census is the right age - and had the correct birthplace - to be mine. He is a widower, accounting for Martha not being there (or any other census). My grandmother didn't know much about him, but she believed that the Morrises lived on the GA/AL border, which would fit the description for Russell County.

In 1880 he is living with Amanda Sessions, listed as his niece. In 1850, Amanda Sessions is in the Wilcox County, AL census, in the hh (probably daughter) of John B. Sessions and his wife Lydia Bowman. Stephens, although provably in Wilcox County in 1850, does not appear in that census. However, land records show that John B. Sessions and W.G.W. Sessions, purchased land next to Daniel James Morris, in the same year. All of them were born in SC.

In 1823, Sarah Morris in Wilcox Co, gave permission for Sarah Sessions to marry Green Vickers. Need to check what the guardianship rules were there for the time, but would expect a woman guardian to be the mother, that otherwise a man would have been named. Sarah would have been born after 1802 (she was underage) and probably before 1810, to be of reasonable marriage age in 1823. In the 1840 census, W.G.W. Sessions (with a 70-80 year old woman) was in Wilcox. Two hh down was Mrs. S. Vickers, 30-40, and next to her was D. J. Morris.

Various posts claim that John B. Sessions (b 1804 in SC) middle name was Barton. W. G. W. Sessions (possibly John's brother, b 1808 in SC), reportedly gave one of his sons Barton as a middle name. And of course Stephens' third son was named Barton, a sufficiently unusual name to note. Don't know why Stephens' first son was James, but his second known son, Nimrod, was named after Martha's father Nimrod Lewis.

Right now, I am speculating that Sarah Morris, maiden name unknown), was married twice, first to an unknown Sessions and then to a Morris. Both marriages would have occurred in SC or at least they were living there by the time John B. was born. I think that John (1804), Sarah (1806?), W.G.W. (1808), Daniel (1811), and Stephens (1814) may have been her children. This would account for Sarah Sessions Vickers mother being a Morris and for John Sessions' daughter to be Stephens Morris' niece.

Need to get to Wilcox county to see if I can confirm or deny this info.