Friday, May 31, 2019

John Jacky Morris

John Jacky Morris is my third great grandfather. According to Census records he was born in Virginia around 1780. Through family knowledge, I learned he was called Jacky. I have also learned, through various readings, that Jacky is a nickname for John. Even President George Washington’s step-son, John, was called Jacky. Some family members believe that my third great grandfather was called Jacky in order to differentiate him and the other John Morris’ that lived in Montgomery County at that time.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 1, article 688, I found a Thomas Morris who came to Montgomery County around 1790 from Virginia. This family settled on Little River. His children were: William, Haton (called Hate), Zebedee, Elias, Reuben, Tryon, John, Millie, Beckie, and Pollie. A similar article is found in the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 342. Thomas Morris is not listed on the 1790 Census for Montgomery County.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 337 and Book 3, article 823, I learned of John ‘Bushyhead’ Morris, born about 1805, not much seems to be known of his first wife, Lucy. At least nine children were born to the first marriage, Mary, Matilda, Elizabeth, Green, John, William, Nancy, Noah, James. His second marriage was to Louisa Adeline McLendon, twenty years younger than he. They had six children, Wesley, Presley, Daniel, Fannie, Martha, and Hansel. John ‘Bushyhead’ may be the son of Thomas Morris noted above.

In the Montgomery County Heritage Book Vol. 2, article 339, is found John Jacky Morris, my third great grandfather. The article quotes Dr. Francis J Kron’s medical journal, “My first call was this morning at John Morris’ where I found poor kind people, but no money.” John Jacky, according to Census records, was a miner and worked the gold mines in the Uwharrie area. This family lived near Dusty level on Cedar Creek. John’s wife is Amelia (also seen as Milly) and they had 11 children, William, George, Eliza, John, Granderson, Thomas, Berry, Susan, Tempy, Diza, Caroline.

There is but one Morris listed on the 1790 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina, a John Morris who is not married and has no children. He is over the age of 16 years. Since the 1790 Census was alphabetized, I am not able to determine who John’s neighbors are, so I am not able to use other records that would help me understand in what area of the county John lived. I do know this is not my John Jacky because in 1790, he would have been only a toddler. Page 412 of the Census record is so faded that it is not readable. I am not able to determine if there are any Morris’ listed on the faded page. The other Census pages had no listing for a Morris.


Thomas Morris shows up on the 1800 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina along with several more Morris males. Elias, Haton Senior, Jourdan, Ruben, John Junior, Mary and Ann. Elias and Ruben are probably the sons of Thomas Morris.


By 1810, Montgomery County had broken up into several Townships or Districts; Brown, Capt. Cage, Capt. Chappell, Capt. Green, Capt. Harris, Capt. Williams, Capt. Wooley, Captain Gregory, Captain James Kendel, Captain Kirks, Hattom, Henderson, a Township Not Stated, Palmer and Wagster.

Thomas Morris is found in Capt. Harris’ District, R. Morris and J. Morris are found living next door to one another in Capt. Williams District, and Elias Morris is living in Hattom. Haton, Jourden, Mary and Ann have disappeared from the Census record, as have the family members that were listed living with them.


The 1820 Census for Montgomery was destroyed or lost, so I am not able to check that Census for the Morris families.

By 1830, Montgomery County had divided their Census data by which side of the Pee Dee River its citizens lived on rather than townships or districts. The east side of the Pee Dee River would become Stanly County in 1841 and those that lived west of the Pee Dee River would remain in Montgomery County.

John Sr., Reuben, Tryon, Thomas, John Jr., Richard, and Elias all live east of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River.


In a district not named lives a Will Morris and one Etheldred Morris. John Morris lives on the west side of Pee Dee River.


1840 is the last year that citizens on the west side of Pee Dee River will be included in the Montgomery County Census as the county will be divided in 1841 to form Stanly County. On the east side of Pee Dee River lives Elias, John Jr, and Tryon. On the west side of the Pee Dee River live Wyati, William, John, Brady, Edward, Reuben, William, and John Morris Sr.


The year 1850 and forward is where we can find the most about our ancestors. It was this year where every family member is named and a year of birth and place of birth given. You can imagine that most genealogist do not have much trouble finding ancestors from 1850 forward, although there are those ancestors that no amount of searching seems to find!

In 1850, my third great grandfather, John, age 70, is found in Montgomery County, North Carolina living with his wife, Amelia (60), and daughters, Tempy (19), Disa (18) and Caroline (15). John claims he was born in Virginia, his age making his year of birth about 1780. Amelia also claims she was born in Virginia, 1790. Neither John nor Amelia can read. The girls are listed as being born in North Carolina. Since the oldest child listed here is 19, I have a clue that John and Amelia left Virginia, arriving in North Carolina, prior to 1831, when Tempy was born. John is working as a miner to support his family.


According to a family member, she was able to retrieve the names of John’s children from a family Bible years ago. All but two of the children were listed in the family Bible. Based on that record and her diligent research for the other two children, I know John and Amelia had the following children:

William b. 1813 in (according to Census records) North Carolina, which means that John and Amelia were in North Carolina prior to 1813 when William was born. He married Margaret Lewis and they had children, John (called Stutt), Nancy, William, George. William died in 1892.

Eliza b. 1818 in North Carolina and married Pinkney Shaw. They had a son, John Frank. Eliza died in 1890.

John Jr b. 1819 in North Carolina. He married Martha Farrell and they had a daughter, Elizabeth. John died in 1850.

Grandison b. 1823 in North Carolina. He married first Malsey Williams, their children: Parsons, Martha, Elizabeth, Ananias, Grandison Jr. Grandison married second, Eliza Williams, they had no children. He died in 1902.

Thomas b. 1825 in North Carolina and married Mary Williams. Children of this marriage: William, Elias, Lunda, James (my maternal 2nd great grandfather), Elizabeth, Martha, Mary, Sarah, John Coon (my paternal great grandfather). Thomas died in 1891.

Berry b. 1827 in North Carolina, he married Sarah Williams. They had the following children: Liza, Mary, Jesse, Rebecca, Granderson, Isarris, and Ward.

George b. 1827 in North Carolina, married first, Elizabeth Williams. Their children are Elizabeth, John, Francis, Milla, George Jr, and Julia. In 1895, George married second, Louisa Smith. They had no children.

Susan b. 1827 in North Carolina. She married Samuel Morgan and together they had Albert, John, James, Joseph, William, Lenora, Kenneth, and Samuel. Susan died in 1907. Read more about Susan and Samuel at https://uwharrieroots.blogspot.com/2019/05/susan-morris-wife-of-samuel-morgan.html

Temperance (Tempy) b. 1830 in North Carolina, she married Jacob Sanders and they had Emsley, Jacob, Ann, and Sarah. Tempy died in 1911.

Diza b. 1832 North Carolina. She married Thomas Lucas at the age of 65. To my knowledge, Diza never had children. She died in 1920.

Caroline b. 1834 in North Carolina married James Kearns and ha children, William, John, Martilla, Lecta, Burl, Mandy, Isaac, and James. She died in 1906.

The last Census John and Amelia are on was enumerated 27 Jul 1860. They lived in Beans, Montgomery County, North Carolina. Eliza, their daughter, who had married Pinkney Shaw a year or two earlier, is found at the home of her parents. Pinkney, Eliza and their son, John, were enumerated on 6 Aug 1860. Joseph Morgan, the son of daughter, Susan, married Samuel Morgan, is also visiting. Perhaps Eliza and Joseph went together as his parents were neighbors to Pinkney and Eliza.


Over the next few months I will explore, in more detail, each of the children of John and Amelia Morris, with the exception of Susan as I have already written about her. My hope is to glean as many clues as I can about John and Amelia and attempt to learn where in Virginia John came from.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Susan Morris, the faithful wife of Samuel Morgan

Mysteries abound in my family tree, and Susan Morris and Samuel Morgan are no exception! These two have a special meaning though, as Susan is the daughter of John ‘Jacky’ Morris, my third great grandfather, making her my third great Aunt. The mystery is, I have no idea who her father, John ‘Jacky’ or her husband, Samuel Morgan are. Both are brick walls!

According to Census information, John Morris was born about 1788 in Virginia. He worked as a miner in the gold mines that popped up all over Montgomery County in the early to mid-1800s. His grave marker says he died 7 Dec 1874. He is married to Amelia, born about 1790 and died Mar 1874. Her maiden name is unknown. Amelia lists her birthplace as Virginia on the 1850 Census, but North Carolina in the 1860 Census. I am not able to find John and Amelia on the 1870 Census. John and Amelia had several children and I will talk about them in later Blogs.

Both John and Amelia are buried at the Morris Cemetery off River Road in Uwharrie Township. According to Find-A-Grave, the inscription on Amelia's gravestone was legible in mid-1990, when a cemetery Census was done, but has since eroded away. The inscription on John’s stone is barely legible.


Two male Morris cousins and my paternal Uncle have Y-DNA tested. Our Morris line Y-DNA matches to a John Morris (1750 VA – 1840 NC) and Phebe Tudor from Granville County, North Carolina. We also Y-DNA match to a descendant of Groves Morris, grandson of John Morris and Phebe Tudor. Our last match is to a man who claims descent from Samuel Morris (1710 VA – 1790 VA) and his wife Mary Lewis Oliver. This couple settled and had their children in Hanover, Virginia, then moved to Lynchburg, Virginia in the 1760's. Samuel's first born son was named John, and he settled in Campbell County, Virginia. Samuel was famous for his reading rooms, called the Morris Reading Rooms, and his role in the Great Awakening. Thus far, I have not been able to make a connection to the lines my Morris kin Y-DNA match to.

Samuel Morgan, because his parents and siblings are unknown to me, is a brick wall. I have plenty of brick walls in my family tree, so this is nothing new. William ‘Buck’ Marks, another third great grandfather, was also a brick wall and was the reason I decided to DNA test. I DNA matched to several Marks lines in Chatham County, North Carolina, all of them leading back to a William Marks and Margaret Salter. I built a research tree and started finding the documentation to connect all my matches together and ultimately ended up at the Chatham County Register of Deeds and found the paper trail that led to Buck Marks’ parents. My Morris line is not so cut and dry. The matches are either very distant or all over the place. My paternal Uncle atDNA matches to Morris lines in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and even Canada! I can find nothing in common with any of the lines except the shared DNA.

Family lore tells me that Samuel Morgan was a son of Spencer and that he left Montgomery County with his family in the mid-1840s, but returned as he had fallen in love with Susan Morris and wanted to marry her. His parents objected to the marriage. Regardless of the reason, Samuel and Susan did marry, on 2 Aug 1847. William Morris, Susan’s brother, signed as bondsman.


I have often wondered if Samuel Morgan could be a child of Hardy Morgan or David Morgan, who both left for Pontotoc, Mississippi in the mid-1840s? Or possibly, as noted above, Spencer Morgan, one of the other Morgan’s who left Montgomery County during this time and migrated to Kentucky? In Montgomery County court documents, in the case of Nelson Harris v Joshua Bean et al, a report taken by the Clerk of Court showed that Spencer Morgan left the county in the fall of 1845.


According to the 1850 Census, Samuel was born about 1828 in North Carolina. Susan was born about 1827, also in North Carolina. Samuel is working as a miner in the gold mines. Close by, lives Susan’s parents, John and Amelia Morris, my third great grandparents. Samuel and Susan are the parents of two children, Albert W, age 2 and John S, 2 months. William Morris, who is the brother of Susan, is living with them. He is also listed as a miner.


Samuel and Susan’s first child, Albert Washington Morgan, was born about 1848/9, according to the 1850 and 1860 Census, although his gravestone claims his date of birth is 15 Sep 1847, a month after his parents were married. He married Elizabeth Byrd on 21 Sep 1871.


John S. Morgan, perhaps named for his maternal grandfather, was born in 1850. I am having some difficulty proving John is who I think he is. I have, in my family tree, a Nancy Dennis, born about 1851, daughter of Littleton Dennis and Sarah Talbert, who married a John Morgan. The dates fit perfectly, but I have not been able to prove the John Morgan Nancy Dennis married, is the son of Samuel and Susan Morris Morgan. More research is required on my part to find the paper trail that either proves or disproves this connection.

James Franklin Morgan, third child of Samuel and Susan Morris Morgan was born on 25 Dec 1852. He married Frances Elizabeth Tedder on Dec. 26, 1872 in Montgomery County and they had 11 children. James died 31 Jul 1914.

Joseph Thomas Morgan came along in Aug 1853. He married Fanetta “Nettie” Crouch on 2 Dec 1873.

William Jacob Morgan was born 23 Jul 1854. He married first, Mary Frances Ridenhour, and second, Louella Swearingen. I found it interesting that on William’s death certificate, his father is listed as Charles S. Morgan. I wonder if Charles is really Samuel’s first name or if someone just reported it wrong.


Lenora Morgan, a girl finally born to Samuel and Susan, was born in 1858. I am still trying to find information on her.

Kenneth Morgan, he would later be known as Kinney, was born in 1859. He married Sallie McDonald.

Samuel Berry Morgan, the last child born to Samuel and Susan, 16 Oct 1862. He married Lorena Lisk on 26 Sep 1888.

By 1860, Samuel is listed as a farmer, age 31, with a personal estate of $50.00. Neither he, nor Susan can read. Several more children have been added to their family over the past ten years. Albert (11) and John (10), both seen on the 1850 Census. Joseph (8), James (7), Jacob (5), Lenora (2), Kenneth (1) were all born between the Census years.


On 1 Mar 1862, in Montgomery County, Samuel enlisted as a Private in the Civil War and served on the side of the Confederacy. Samuel served in the 4th Company of Montgomery volunteers which was organized in Troy on 1 Mar 1862 under Captain John Gaines. Samuel died of sickness on or about 15 Jan 1863 in camp.


On 18 Jun 1885, Susan Morris Morgan, her oldest son, A. W. Morgan, serving as witness, applied for a pension as the widow of Samuel F. Morgan.


Susan Morris Morgan died on 3 Feb 1907 at the home of her son, A. W. Morgan, in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. She was buried at the First Baptist Church, originally located on Spring Street but moved to Branchview Drive in 1985 and the Spring Street building was sold to the courthouse. The Old Courthouse Theater looks to be located on the site today. The article does not say if there was a cemetery or, if so, what happened to any graves. A. W. Morgan was very much involved in the church and was on the pulpit committee in 1907 when the committee saw the Rev. R. H. Herring (noted in below articles) leave and saw the incoming of the new Pastor, Rev. S. N. Watson, who was most likely the pastor of the church when Susan died.

Susan remained a widow, remaining faithful to Samuel, who defied his family and returned from the west, if the stories be true, to marry her.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Nancy Morgan, wife of John Milton A. Ferguson

Nancy Morgan, the youngest child of Hardy and Nancy Hearne Morgan, was born about 1832 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. At the time of her birth, her family lived on the Uwharrie River between Barnes and Spencer Creeks. This area would, sometime prior to 1888, become known as Uwharrie Township, but at the time Nancy was born, the area was known as Morgan’s Store due to the Post Office that established on her father’s land from 3 Mar 1823 until 15 Jul 1836. I have heard this area also called Morgan’s Ford, where people could cross the Uwharrie River on Hardy’s land, current day location is around where the bridge crosses the Uwharrie River on Hwy 109.


Long before Nancy was born, the county seat had moved from Henderson, established in 1792 at the confluence of the Yadkin (Pee Dee) and Uwharrie Rivers, and where her brother, Alexander, was born in 1809, to Lawrenceville, the fourth county seat, the original town plat dated July 2, 1817, located at the current day Uwharrie Trail trail-head, on NC 24/27, west of Troy, and just at the other end of River Road, seen on the below map.

Hardy Morgan farmed the land here, and lived on the same creeks I played in as a child. My great grandmother and grandparents lived where Spencer Creek met the Uwharrie River and my parents, my siblings and I lived just beyond Barnes Creek. Later we would move closer to Badin Lake, but this area is where I have my earliest memories.


In 1824, at the age of 29, Hardy Morgan was granted forty acres of land in Montgomery County on both sides of Uwharrie River, including an island. Beginning at a white oak on the bank of the said river near Titus Bunnel’s corner, opposite the fish trap, and runs with his (Bunnel’s) line ….. To a point below the mouth of Spencer Creek and crossing the river at the upper end of the island to a stake on the west bank Charles Morgan’s line. Entered 7 Jul 1824 and issued 16 Dec 1824.


On 2 May 1828 Hardy Morgan entered another Land Grant for 120 acres of land on both sides of Barnes Creek beginning at Shadrach Stewart’s corner white oak, crossing Barnes Creek and adjoining to neighbor James Hurley’s line. The Grant was issued on 2 May 1829, just three years prior to Nancy’s birth.


Economic hardships in North Carolina were nothing new. According to an article at NCPedia, “From 1815 to 1835, the state was deemed to be so undeveloped, backward, and indifferent to its condition that it appeared to be as comatose as Rip Van Winkle (earning North Carolina the nickname the Rip Van Winkle State). In 1830 a legislative committee reported that North Carolina was "a state without foreign commerce, for want of seaports or a staple; without internal communication by rivers, roads, or canals; without a cash market for any article of agricultural product; without manufactures; in short, without any object to which native industry and active enterprise could be directed." https://www.ncpedia.org/rip-van-winkle-state

Yet, another NCPedia article says, “At alarming rates, emigrants fled its (North Carolina) stagnant economy, worn-out farmland, poverty, and lack of opportunity. Among the state's greatest handicaps was inadequate transportation. Only a few rivers in the east were navigable, and even these were shallow and difficult to travel. The coast offered few good harbors, and roads, where they existed, were terrible. Under such conditions transportation was slow, inefficient, and so expensive that farmers could not afford to ship their produce more than a few miles.” https://www.ncpedia.org/internal-improvements

It was under these conditions that Nancy’s father, Hardy, was appointed to a committee called “Internal Improvement” where he and other community leaders would work together to promote various projects such as building and improving roads so farmers could get their crops to market to sell, raising public interest in railroads, engineering surveys, public education, and river navigation.


In 1837, Hardy Morgan invested in the Cape Fear, Yadkin and Pee Dee Rail Road Company. The corporation was empowered to construct a rail road beginning at the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville to the summit of the Narrows of the Yadkin with the Pee Dee at the mouth of Rocky River, they were to build into Mecklenburg and Lincoln counties embracing Asheborough in Randolph County. The company was to lay out roads at least sixty five feet wide and were authorized to take land as long the corporation paid for it. Unfortunately, the project was met by so many difficulties, and being regarded as a doubtful experiment, the work was abandoned.


Evidently, improvements and business were not moving fast enough, and times were hard. In 1838, Hardy and his oldest son, Alexander, as well as many other men in the county, lost land to pay taxes for years 1836 and 1837. By 1842, Hardy Morgan was declared bankrupt. Nancy was only 10 years old.


In 1840, Nancy is listed on her first Census as living in Montgomery County, North Carolina, East Pee Dee River, age between 10 and 14. This would be the only Census that Nancy made in North Carolina. Her oldest brother, Alexander, has already left home, being age 31. Nancy’s sister, Caroline, born in 1816, has married Colin Beckerdite from Randolph County and is living in McNairy County, Tennessee. Caroline will die in childbirth in the year 1843.


Most likely, due to the economic hardships, the Morgan family decided to make the move west, as Caroline and her husband, Colin Beckerdite, had done prior to 1840. The Morgan family packed up what belongings they could and headed to Pontotoc, Mississippi where they are found in the 1850 Census. Nancy is 18 years old, what an exciting and frightening time she has had to be so young.


The Mississippi State and Territorial Census for 1845 lists several Morgan’s, I know Alexander and Nelson are the brothers of Nancy and sons of Hardy Morgan. David Morgan, who is found in land records in Montgomery County, North Carolina, and is listed as age 62 on the 1850 Pontotoc, Mississippi Census, making his birth year 1788, is possibly a brother to Hardy Morgan, who is listed as age 65, birth year 1785.

I made mention of David Morgan in my post, Crump v. Morgan. In a deed titled Charles Morgan & Willis Morgan to Green Davis, Charles Morgan and Willis Morgan gave a note to William R D Lindsay Guardian for Letitia A Crump for the sum of Ninety-five dollars payable the first Day of Oct 1839. Should Charles and Willis not pay the note on or before the 25th day of Dec 1839, Green Davis as security for the debt, would be responsible to pay the note. Charles and Willis Morgan made a deed of security so Green Davis could get his money back by selling a 50 acre tract of land owned by Charles and Willis Morgan on the East side of the Uwharrie River and South side of Spencer’s Creek and North side of the big road (current day Hwy 109) crossing at Morgan’s Ford (current day Uwharrie River bridge on Hwy 109) on said river and leading to Fayetteville adjoining the land of William Hamilton, William Harris, Aaron H Saunders, N & P Harris & David Morgan.


On 11 Jan 1853, in Pontotoc, Mississippi, Nancy Morgan married John Milton A. Ferguson, the son of Ansel Harrison Ferguson and Cynthia Foster. John was born in Tennessee in 1829 and migrated with his family to Pontotoc prior to 1840.


Shortly after Nancy’s father, Hardy, died in Pontotoc, Mississippi on 3 Jul 1854, the family moved to Arkansas. 1860 finds the Ferguson family in Drew, Spring Hill, Arkansas. Living with John and Nancy Morgan Ferguson are their two children, O. W., born 1854 and Frances, born 1859. Also living with the Ferguson family are Nancy’s two nieces, Mary Ann and Sarah, the children of Nancy’s sister, Electra Ann Morgan who married James Smith.


1870 finds the Ferguson couple in Center Township, Sebastian County, Arkansas with children, Tennessee A., born 1851, which means if this is her correct age, she is not the child of Nancy. Also in the home is Theodor, born 1853 which could be O.W. who is mentioned on the 1860 Census. Eliza, born 1857 could be the Frances that was mentioned on the 1860 Census. Perhaps her name is Frances Eliza. Mira M, born 1859 and Walter E, born 1869 are new to the Census.


Nancy Morgan Ferguson died between the 1870 and 1880 Census years and her husband, John remarried to Rebecca Jane Townsend. The 1880 Census finds even more confusing information in regards to the children. It is clear that John M., born 1878 and Clarinda, born 1880 are the children of John and Rebecca Townsend Ferguson.

Ancil, born 1862. Amanda E., born 1867. Samuel F., born 1868. Eunice, born 1871 look to be the children of John and Nancy Morgan Ferguson based on the years of birth.


I am not, at this time, able to find the grave of Nancy, but I feel certain she died in Arkansas. John Milton A. Ferguson died 24 Jan 1921 in Drew, Arkansas.

Nancy Morgan is not the daughter of Ebenezer Hearne

Family trees and genealogies abound with erroneous information, and that concerns me, especially if accurate information is so readily available. I have reviewed many trees on and offline while researching the Morgan’s of Montgomery County that state Ebenezer Hearne and Dovey Walker are the parents of Nancy Hearne, wife of Hardy Morgan. However, not one of the trees I reviewed had any supporting documentation to prove this claim. The only supporting evidence, that incessant little icon, “Ancestry Family Trees” copied endlessly in hundreds of trees that leads one in circles of madness to one endless tree after another with no documentation.


In one of my late night research adventures, bleary eyed and sleepy, I came across The Arkansas Family Historian, a quarterly newsletter published by the Arkansas Genealogical Society. In Volume 6, No. 1, Jan/Feb/Mar 1968, starting on page 5, in an article titled "THE MORGANS OF LINCOLN COUNTY, ARKANSAS" and written by Mrs. Thomas H. Bowles, I uncovered, what MAY be, the origins of two pieces of information that have never been fully proven, yet have been copied for years until it has become ‘truth.’

1. That Hardy Morgan is the son of Charles Morgan
2. That Nancy Morgan is the daughter of Ebenezer Hearne and Dovey Walker

From the newsletter: “Hardy Morgan was born 1785 in North Carolina; his parents are unknown to me, but in the 1810 census of Montgomery Co., N. C., his household consisted of his wife, age 16, baby son, and two males over 16. Nearby lived Charles Morgan, old enough to have been his father. Hardy married in 1808, Nancy Elizabeth Hearne, age 14, daughter of Ebenezer Hearne and wife, Dovey Walker. Ebenezer was a Revolutionary War Soldier, private in the N. C. Line, and drew a pension for his service, see "Roster of Soldiers of the Revolutionary War from North Carolina", published in 1952 by the North Carolina D.A.R. On page 446, Ebenezer Hearne, private, received $120, March 4, 1831, age 73; he was living in 1835, see page 578. Hardy and Nancy were parents of fourteen children by family tradition, but I have been able to prove only ten of them from records.”


For 51 years, this information has been copied repeatedly across multiple generations until, finally, it has embedded itself in nearly every public Hardy Morgan tree at Ancestry and across many more message boards. The issue I have with this, is that there is no supporting documentation for the claim. Mrs. Bowles only implies that Charles Morgan is old enough to be the father of Hardy, yet never claims that he is. Mrs. Bowles does claim that Ebenezer Hearne and Dovey Walker are the parents of Nancy Hearne Morgan – yet there is no supporting evidence to this claim. In fact, to the contrary, the historical record shows something entirely different.

I have touched on Ebenezer Hearne briefly before, in my Blog, ‘Exploring the Morgan's of Montgomery County, North Carolina part two.’ Undoubtedly, the Morgan and Hearne families are interconnected in some way and I have no doubt that Nancy Hearne who married Hardy Morgan is in some way related to Ebenezer Hearne, but she is not his daughter.

A Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, North Carolina) dated 16 Mar 1842, Wed Page 3 article tells us that Hardy Morgan had an undivided interest in the lands belonging to the Estate of Ebenezer Hearne dec’d. I have yet to find any documentation on what his undivided interest is.


Ebenezer F. Morgan certainly had an undivided interest in the land of Ebenezer Hearne because two of the sons of Ebenezer Hearne sold their interest in their father’s land to Ebenezer Morgan. George W. Hearne sold his interest in said land under an execution by S. L. Christian sheriff of said county and E. F. Morgan became the purchaser when the said sheriff executed to the said Morgan a deed of bargain & sale for said interest. It was further shown that the interest of Rowland Harris in said land was sold under an execution by S. L. Christian and E. F. Morgan became the purchaser of that interest as well, and said sheriff executed to E. F. Morgan a deed of bargain & sale of said interest. Further...Ebenezer Morgan petitioned the court of Montgomery County and asked for an order and decree that the share of the purchase money claimed by George Hearne be paid to himself and that the share of said money which Rowland Harris & wife would have been entitled be paid over to him as well...the total sum of $61.00 as each child could claim $30.50 from the sale of the Hearne lands.


We need go no further than the estate file of Ebenezer Hearne to discover who his daughter, Nancy married. The estate file names all the heirs of Ebenezer Hearne and lists his sons-in-law as well. Disey, wife of George Hearne (later corrected to the wife of Thomas Hearne), Polly, wife of Gabriel Russell, Lenora, wife of William Morgan, (later corrected to the wife of Thomas Ingram),


Elisabeth, wife of Rowland Harris, Nancy, wife of Clayton Steed, Stephen Hearne, George W. Hearne, and Joel Hearne, all of full age show that they are the children and only heirs of Eben Hearne, deceased.

The above document also adds the heirs at law of Dovey Partin, the daughter of Ebenezer and Dovey Hearne who married a Partin and moved to Wilson County, Tennessee, as parties to the petition.


On the 16th of May 1847, Dovey Hearne, the widow of Ebenezer Hearne, departed this life. Her estate file, dated 19th of May 1847, lists Clayton Steed as one of the bondsmen in the Administration of her estate, along with others, Gabriel Russell, William Ingram, W. Lassiter. A notice in the Carolina Watchman from 4 Jun 1847, confirms the death of Dovey Hearne, wife of the late Ebenezer Hearne.


There is absolutely no doubt that Ebenezer and Dovey Hearne had a daughter named Nancy. The available documentation to prove Nancy Hearne, daughter of Ebenezer and Dovey Hearne, married Clayton Steed (and not Hardy Morgan) is overwhelming. It boggles the mind how anyone can mess this up.

The first page in the estate file of Ebenezer Hearne three time states plainly that Nancy W. is the wife of Clayton Steed and one time states clearly that Nancy W. Steed is one of the heirs of Eben Hearne.


Clayton and Nancy Hearne Steed lived out their married lives in Randolph County and can be found on the 1850 Census, the first Census that showed all family members names, and where in Oct 1854, Clayton Steed departed this life. Nancy lived on through the 1860 Census and remained in Randolph County close to her children.


In Nov 1854, Nancy petitions the Court of Randolph County for her dower from the 494 acres of land that her husband, Clayton Steed, owned on the Uwharrie River in Randolph County adjoining the lands of Harman Andrews, John Russell & others.


1870 finds an 82 year old Nancy still living in Randolph County with her children living close by. Sabrina, listed as a housekeeper, is the daughter of Clayton and Nancy Hearne Steed. Sabrina is found on the 1880 Census living with her sister, Elizabeth Steed Lassiter, in Randolph County and is listed as Assistant House Keeper. Sabrina died 17 Oct 1886 and is buried at New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery Randolph County, North Carolina close to her parents.


Found in the estate record of Clayton Steed, are a list of his children, with wife Nancy and some of their grandchildren.


Nancy Hearne Steed died on 5 May 1872, her estate Administered by her son, Burrell W. Steed. Nancy is buried next to her husband at New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery Randolph County, North Carolina.