Or, Subtitled: Migration of Families from Lawrence County, Alabama, to the Jackson Purchase Area of Tennessee and Kentucky and on to Texas
As I stated at the end of my last posting about Mark Lindsey (1774-1848), I now want to share with you what I know of Mark’s children Dennis, Nancy (Morris), William Burke, Fielding Wesley, and David Dinsmore Lindsey. Dennis (1794-1836) was the oldest son of Mark and his wife Mary Jane Dinsmore, and was given the name Dennis, I have concluded, because Mark’s father was almost certainly an older Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1755-1795) of Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
In the accounts I’m going to offer you of what I know about Mark’s children, I’m going to save his son Dennis for last. I’m doing that because I have more information about Dennis, who is my own ancestor, than I do about Mark’s other children, and I intend to follow Dennis’s line down a number of generations.
I surely do not want to slight Mark’s other children, however. I have not done as much research on them as I have done on Dennis and his descendants, and have a bit less to offer about them — but will welcome further information from anyone reading these postings, and will be happy to post more about all of Mark and Mary Jane Dinsmore Lindsey’s children, if more information comes my way.
Nancy Lindsey Morris and Husband William Morris
Mark and Mary Jane’s second child was a daughter Nancy who was born about 1800-1801, according to the 1850, 1860, and 1870 federal censuses, which give her age as 49, 60, and 70 respectively. Each of these censuses states a different place of birth for Nancy: in 1850, it’s Kentucky; it’s Virginia in 1860; and in 1870, the place is given as South Carolina. As we’ve seen, Nancy’s parents moved from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to Wayne County, Kentucky, with the Dinsmore family after the Dinsmores sold their Spartanburg County land in August 1800, and by November 1801, Mark Lindsey begins appearing in Wayne County court records. If Nancy was born in 1800, it’s possible she was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. If she was born in 1801, she was very likely born in Wayne County, Kentucky.
The 1850 census, which I’ll discuss in more detail below, shows William Morris born in South Carolina about 1796. In 1860 and 1870, Nancy is enumerated in the households of sons Charles (1860) and William Burke (1870), and it appears her husband William has died.
My records for Nancy Lindsey and her husband William Morris are scarce. We know from the case that the couple filed on 22 April 1850 in Morgan County, Alabama, chancery court regarding Mark Lindsey’s estate that William and Nancy Morris were living in Obion County, Tennessee, on that date. The chancery court record of the case states this.
As we’ll see below, census data indicate that the oldest child of William Morris and Nancy Lindsey was a son Charles Wesley Morris, who was born in Alabama about 1826. It appears that William and Nancy married about or before 1825 in Lawrence or Morgan County, Alabama. I have not found a marriage record. In its database for Lawrence County marriages, the website of Lawrence County Archives lists an original marriage record for a William Morris dated 7 May 1818. I have not seen this record and cannot say whether it’s a record for William Morris’s marriage to Nancy Lindsey. It also appears in the county index to marriage records as a marriage bond, with the bride’s name not recorded. On 5 April 1821 a Nimrod Morris who is, I think, William’s brother, married Delana Parrish in Lawrence County.
I don’t find William Morris and his family on the 1830 federal census. The birthplaces given for the children of William and Nancy Morris on various censuses indicate that the family may have moved between 1826-1835 to Tennessee and then returned to Alabama for several years, moving back to Tennessee between 1839 and 1842.
By 1830, the Nimrod Morris who was, I’ve concluded, a brother of William Morris, had moved from Lawrence County, Alabama, to Hardin County, Tennessee, where he appears on the 1830 federal census. Nimrod served in the War of 1812 as a private in Copeland’s 3rd West Tennessee Regiment. According to Larry Miller, the community of Morris Chapel in Hardin County is named for Nimrod; Miller says that the family was in Hardin County prior to 1830.
Nimrod and wife Delana are buried in the cemetery of Morris Chapel Methodist church in Hardin County, with his tombstone stating that he was born 1 May 1788 and died 18 June 1870. According to the Find a Grave memorial page for this tombstone, Nimrod Morris was born in Newberry County, South Carolina. A number of researchers of this Morris family have concluded that Nimrod and William Morris are likely sons of an older Nimrod Morris found on the 1790 federal census in Newberry County. If this is correct, then this would seem to place the birth of William Morris, who was born around 1796 in South Carolina per the 1850 census, in Newberry County.
The conclusion that William Morris was likely a brother of the younger Nimrod Morris who married Delana Parrish is strengthened by a November 1826 mortgage record in Lawrence County, Alabama: on 1 November 1826, Nimrod Morris effected a mortgage in Lawrence County to Philip Thirkel. Dennis Lindsey, brother of Nancy Lindsey Morris, acted as Nimrod Morris’s security in this mortgage. Morris proved the mortgage on 14 November and it was recorded on that date.
As I have noted above, I have been unable to locate the family of William Morris on the 1830 federal census. I cannot find them, either, on the 1840 federal census. The first federal census on which I locate the family is the 1850 census, in which the family is living in Obion County, Tennessee, as I have noted above. In addition to William (aged 54, born in South Carolina, a farmer with $100 personal worth) and wife Nancy (aged 49, born in Kentucky), the household contains children Charles, 24, Louisa, 15, Clara, 14, William, 11, Bascum, 8, and Nimrod, 6. The census states that Charles was born in Alabama and all other children in Tennessee. If this information is correct (and other censuses do give other birthplaces for some of these children), then this Morris family appears to have moved from Alabama to Tennessee between 1826 and 1835. As I’ve previously stated, the lawsuit that William and Nancy Morris filed in Morgan County, Alabama, chancery court on 22 April 1850 confirms that the couple were living in Obion County, Tennessee, on that date.
By 1860, Nancy appears to have been widowed. She is listed on the federal census of that year in the household of her son Charles Wesley Morris (enumerated as C.W. Morris) at Hickman in Fulton County, Kentucky. Obion County, Tennessee, and Fulton County, Kentucky, are contiguous counties: Obion’s in the northwest corner of Tennessee bordering the Mississippi River, and Fulton is right above it in the southwest corner of Kentucky, also bordering the Mississippi. This area is in the Jackson Purchase section of western Tennessee and Kentucky that was opened to European-descended settlers in 1819 after the Chickasaws ceded the area to Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby by the Treaty of Tecumseh in 1818.
Listed in the household of Charles W. Morris in 1860 are Charles himself, a farmer, 33, born in Alabama, his mother Nancy, 60, born in Virginia, Charles’s daughter Elizabeth, 2, born in Kentucky, and Charles’s siblings Louisa, 26, Tranquilla, 18, Burke, 21, and Nimrod, 16, all of whose birthplaces are given as Alabama. Note that the birthplace information for these siblings contradicts what is stated on the 1850 federal census, which shows them all born in Tennessee.
Tranquilla appears to be the Clara of the 1850 federal census. The 1870 federal census shows her name as Clarissa I. Barnes (she married Thomas Walker Barnes about 1855, apparently in Hardin County, Tennessee), and the death certificate of their daughter Coma Brooks, who died in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, 18 August 1950, gives her mother’s name as Clarissa Isabelle Morris. Clarissa’s tombstone in Mount Carmel cemetery, Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas, shows her initials as C.I. (Barnes).
Charles W. Morris married Nancy Ann Ballard in Fulton County, Kentucky, on or shortly after 28 March 1855, the date on which he gave bond for the marriage. Nancy appears to have died about 1858. Charles remarried to Nancy Jane Oakes in Hickman County, Kentucky, on 1 August 1866.
The last federal census on which I’m certain I find Nancy Lindsey Morris is the 1870 census. On this census, she’s living with son William Burke Morris at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky. This census shows Nancy as aged 70 and born in South Carolina. Other household members are William B. Morris, a farm laborer, aged 30 and born in Alabama; William’s daughter Mary J., 3, born in Kentucky; Eliza McDonald, 36, born in Alabama; and Eliza’s son George D., 9, born in Tennessee.
William Burke Morris married Mary J., daughter of William E. and Nancy Jane Morris, on 29 July 1866 in Hickman County, Kentucky. The Mary J. Morris in his household in 1870 is the daughter of William B. Morris and wife Mary J. The Eliza McDonald with son George D. living in William Burke Morris’s household in 1870 is William’s sister Louisa, who married George McDonald about 1860.
Enumerated next door to the household of William Burke Morris on the 1870 federal census is his brother Nimrod F. Morris, 25, born in Tennessee, with wife Elizabeth, 18, born in Kentucky. Nimrod married Elizabeth Thompson in Hickman County, Kentucky, on 7 November 1869.
The 1880 federal census shows a Nancy Morris, aged 75, born in Kentucky, living at Crittenden’s Grove in Obion County, Tennessee, in the household of William and Mary Stanly. William is a farmer, aged 51, born in Kentucky. His wife Mary is also 51, born in Tennessee. Nancy is a widow, born in Kentucky, with her father born in Virginia and mother in Kentucky. In the household are also Eliza and Martha Broglin, 19 and 16, servants born in Tennessee.
Is this Nancy Lindsey Morris? If so, it’s possible Nancy died in Obion County, Tennessee. But note that not only the age of the Nancy Morris of this census, but the birthplaces given for her parents, contradict information we know about Nancy Lindsey Morris.
The Children of William Morris and Nancy Lindsey
As I’ve stated previously, the oldest child of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris of whom I have a record is a son, Charles Wesley Morris, who was born about 1826 in Alabama (probably in Lawrence County). I’ve noted above that Charles married 1) Nancy Ann Ballard, about 28 March 1855, Fulton County, Kentucky; and 2) Nancy Jane Oakes, Nancy Jane Oakes, 1 August 1866, Hickman County, Kentucky. Charles died between 1872-1880 in Fulton County, Kentucky.
By Nancy Jane Ballard, Charles W. Morris had a daughter Sarah Elizabeth (1858-1884), who married John William, son of Franklin Lewis Fielder and Sarah Ann Snellgrove (10 September 1874, Fulton County, Kentucky). Elizabeth was born in Fulton County, Kentucky, and died in Erath County, Texas. She is buried in Cannon Cemetery at Cannon in Grayson County, Texas, with a tombstone giving her dates of birth and death.
By Nancy Jane Oakes, Charles W. Morris appears to have had daughters Mary (born about 1867) and R. Morris (born about 1873), both born in Fulton County, Kentucky.
The next child of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris was Louisa A. Morris. She was born about 1835. As we’ve seen, the 1850 federal census, in which she is in her parents’ household in Obion County, Tennessee, gives her birthplace as Tennessee, while the 1860 federal census, with her brother Charles W. heading the family’s household at Hickman in Fulton County, Kentucky, shows her born in Alabama. We’ve also seen that in 1870, she is living in the household of her brother William Burke Morris at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky, with her name given as Eliza McDonald, and with her young son George in the household.
By 1880 Louisa had moved with her son George to Hunt County, Texas, where she is enumerated as Louisa A. Cook, 45, a widow, with parents born in South Carolina. The census states that she was born in Alabama. Son George D. McDonald is also in the household, with the census stating that he is 18, a farmer born in Tennessee of Alabama-born parents. Also in the household is a Maggie Stephenson, 8, Louisa’s daughter, who was born in Kentucky.
It appears that Louisa A. Morris married 1) George McDonald (1860-1870, probably in Kentucky); 2) ? Stephenson; and 3) ? Cook.
Louisa’s son George Davis McDonald (1861, Fulton or Hickman County, Kentucky — 1934, Fannin County, Texas) married Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of Caleb H.M. Durham and Matilda Gooch, on 28 August 1886 in Hunt County, Texas. George is buried in Lone Oak cemetery at Lone Oak in Hunt County, Texas. His death certificate, for which his son Marvin was informant, gives his dates of birth and death.
The third child of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris was Clarissa Isabelle Morris. Clarissa was born 11 March 1837 in Lawrence County, Alabama, or Obion County, Tennessee. As previously noted, Clarissa is in her parents’ household in Obion County in 1850, with the census stating that she was born in Tennessee.
Clarissa appears as Clerisy J. Barnes, 22, in the household of T.W. Barnes on the 1860 federal census. The couple are living in Hardin County, Tennessee, where Thomas Walker Barnes is found on the 1850 federal census in the household of his parents James and Rebecca Barnes. The 1860 census shows Thomas and Clarissa at Savannah-Coffee Landing post office, with sons William C., 2, and James M., 7 months, in the household.
Note that the fact that Clarissa married Thomas W. Barnes of Hardin County, Tennessee, sometime around 1857, it appears, strengthens the conclusion that her father William Morris was likely a brother of Nimrod Morris of Hardin County.
Clarissa is listed in her husband’s household on the 1870 federal census, which shows the family living at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky. Thomas W. Barnes is listed as a merchant, 34, born in North Carolina. His wife Clarissa I. is 32, born in Tennessee. In the household are children William C., 12, James M., 11, Mary I., 9, Dora B., 6, Decalb, 4, and Thomas W., 1. The first three children were born in Tennessee, the last three in Kentucky.
Thomas Walker Barnes died 1 November 1873, and is buried in Harmony Methodist cemetery at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky, in a grave that is not marked. Family information indicates that he was born 18 August 1835.
The 1880 federal census shows Clarissa continuing to live in Hickman County, Kentucky, as a widow. The census lists her as C.I. Barnes in Clinton district, farming, with children Columbus, 22, Dora B., 15, Decalb, 13, Thomas W., 11, C.W. (female: Clara Walker), 9, and Coma, 7, in the household. Tennessee is given as the birthplace of all the children and of Clarissa herself. The census states that Clarissa’s father was born in South Carolina and her mother in Alabama.
Between 1880 and 1893, when she died, Clarissa appears to have followed her sister Louisa to Hunt County, Texas, since she’s buried, as previously noted, in Mount Carmel cemetery at Wolfe City in Hunt County with a tombstone stating that she died 27 May 1893. The birthdate I recorded for her above is from the tombstone.
The next child of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris was William Burke Morris, who appears to have been named for Nancy’s brother William Burke Lindsey. As previously noted, the Hickman County, Kentucky, record of his marriage to Mary J. Morris states that he was born in Lawrence County, Alabama. The 1850 and 1860 federal censuses, discussed previously, consistently indicate that he was born in 1839, whereas the 1870 federal census (also discussed above) has him born in 1840.
On the 1880 federal census, William B. Morris is listed as W.B. Morris at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky. He’s a farmer, 41, born in Alabama, with parents born in South Carolina. The only other household member is wife Mary J., who is 22, born in Kentucky. The next household on the page is that of William B. Morris’s brother Nimrod Frank Morris: see below for further information.
I find no further record of William Burke Morris after 1880. As previously noted, his first wife Mary J. Morris appears to have died between their marriage in 1866 and the 1870 federal census, and William B. Morris married a second time on 11 March 1880 to Mary J. Clayton (Hickman County, Kentucky). By Mary J. Clayton, it appears he had a daughter Amanda Belle, born 20 December 1880 in Kentucky, who died on 16 April 1994 in Dallas, Texas, with her death certificate stating that her father was William B. Morris. She married Benjamin Arthur Potter on 28 April 1895 in Hunt County, Texas, and is buried in Mount Carmel cemetery at Wolfe City in Hunt County.
The next child of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris was Bascom Morris. I have found no information about him other than his listing in the household of his parents in Obion County, Tennessee, in 1850, with the census indicating that he was born in Tennessee about 1842. Because no record appears for him after that census listing, it appears to me that he likely died between 1850-1860, perhaps in Obion County or in Fulton County, Kentucky.
The last of William and Nancy Lindsey Morris’s children was a son, Nimrod Frank Morris, who was born about 1844, probably in Obion County, Tennessee, and who died after 1910, probably in Hunt County, Texas. As previously noted, Nimrod married Elizabeth Thompson in Hickman County, Kentucky, on 7 November 1869. As also previously indicated, Nimrod appears on both the 1870 and 1880 federal censuses next to his brother William Burke Morris at Moscow in Hickman County, Kentucky.
In 1870, Nimrod’s household consists only of himself and wife Elizabeth; he is listed as a farmer laborer, 25, born in Tennessee. In 1880 he’s a farmer, 38, born in Tennessee of South Carolina-born parents. His household members are wife Elizabeth, 26, and children William W., 9, Elizabeth, 6, and Stella B., 2, all born in Kentucky.
By 1900, Nimrod had moved his family to Indian Territory. The family appears on the 1900 federal census in the Choctaw Nation of Indian Territory. Nimrod is 57, a farmer, born in December 1842 in Alabama of Alabama-born parents. Wife Betsy is 47, born in October 1852 in Kentucky. Children listed in the household are Stella (born May 1884), Pearl (born July 1888), Blanche (born July 1892), James (born August 1896). The census states that Stella was born in Indian Territory and her siblings in Texas.
Note that both the birthdate and place of birth of Stella here contradict information provided by the 1880 census — unless Nimrod and Elizabeth lost a first daughter Stella and then named a daughter subsequent to her with the same name.
In 1910 census, Nimrod F. Morris appears on the federal census in Hunt County, Texas. He’s listed now as a widower (N. Frank Morris), 64, born in Tennessee with parents born in Alabama. He’s farming. In the household are children Blanche, 16, and son James M., 13, born in Texas. On same page are Nimrod’s son William H. Morris and his family, and Nimrod’s nephew George D. McDonald, with his family.
This is the last record I’ve found for Nimrod Frank Morris. It appears likely to me that he died between 1910 and 1920, probably in Hunt County, Texas.
 1850 federal census, Obion County, Tennessee, district 5 (p. 377, dwelling and family 851, 3 November); 1860 federal census, Fulton County, Kentucky, Hickman post office (p. 456, dwelling 351, family 352, 12 July); 1870 federal census, Hickman County, Kentucky, Moscow post office (p. 478, dwelling 120, family 119, 22 August).
 Morgan County, Alabama, Chancery Court Minutes, Bk. 1843-1855, pp. 530-555.
 1830 federal census, Hardin County, Tennessee, p. 405.
 See NARA, Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the War of 1812, compiled 1899 – 1927, documenting the period 1812 – 1815, RG 94, M602; and NARA, U.S. Army Register of Enlistments 1798-1815, May 17, p. 88, #8289, RG 94, M233. No enlistment date is given.
 Larry L. Miller, Tennessee Place Names (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press), p. 142. See also P.M. Harbert, “Early History of Hardin County,” West Tennessee Historical Society Papers 1 (1947), pp. 38-67, which states, “Nimrod Morris, George A. and Corda Parish, Josiah Jones and Amzi Meek were among the first settlers in and around Morris Chapel neighborhood. This community was named after the well known Morris family whose decendants [sic] live there at the present.”
 See the Find a Grave memorial page for this tombstone, created by RLM3 and maintained by Find a Grave. The page has a photo of the tombstone by Connie Nix Bell.
 1790 federal census, Newberry County, South Carolina, p. 61.
 Lawrence County, Alabama, Deed Bk. C, pp. 223-4.
 See supra, n. 1.
 See supra, n. 1.
 See Blythe Semmer, “Jackson Purchase,” in Tennessee Encyclopedia, ed. Tennessee Historical Society. Another excellent resource for researching early families in this region are blogs maintained by my Pryor cousin Beverly Watson, an outstanding genealogical researcher — My Jackson Purchase Families, and My Kentucky Families of the Jackson Purchase.
 Texas Death Certificates, death certificate of Coma Brooks, Navarro County, Texas, #39721.
 See C.I. Barnes’s Find a Grave memorial page, Mount Carmel cemetery, Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas, created by Brown/Belobraydic and maintained by Find a Grave. The page has a photo of her tombstone by Gena Forsyth.
 See Family Search, Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979, which has a replication of the original marriage bond from Fulton County Marriage Bonds, Bk. 2, which is unpaginated. The bond shows Charles giving bond with John Sheppard on 28 March 1855, for his marriage to Nancy Ann Ballard.
 See supra, n. 1.
 Hickman County, Kentucky, Marriage Bk. C, pp. 320-1. William gave bond 28 July 1866. The marriage bond states that the couple were to marry 29 July at Harmony church in Hickman County. The marriage record states that William B. Morris was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, his father in South Carolina, his mother in Alabama.
 1870 federal census, Hickman County. Kentucky Moscow post office (p. 478, dwelling 121, family 120, 22 August).
 Hickman County, Kentucky, Marriage Bk. C, pp. 280-1.
 1880 federal census, Obion County, Tennessee, 7th civil district, Crittenden’s Grove post office (p. 64B, ED 107, dwelling 279, family 307).
 On the 1850 federal census, Nancy Ballard is in the household of John and Caroline Sheppard in Fulton County, Kentucky.
 See 1870 federal census, Fulton County, Kentucky, district 3 Hickman post office (p. 253A, dwelling 264, family 365, 9 July), which Wesley Morris as 42, and working as an overseer. In the household are wife Nancy J., 33, and children Elizabeth, 13, and Mary, 3. All were born in Kentucky. Also in the household are Ila V. Oaks, 10 (a male), and Mary L. Phillips, 32, who was born in Tennessee. In 1880, a Mary Morris who seems to match the Mary on this 1870 census is listed with a sister R. Morris in the household of a Mary Philips in Fulton County, Kentucky. The two girls are listed as Mary’s granddaughters. Mary’s age on this census doesn’t match the age given for Mary Phillips in Wesley Morris’s household in 1870, but it seems likely to me she is the mother of his wife Nancy Jane Oakes, and that Mary and R. Morris are daughters of Charles Wesley Morris and Nancy Jane Oakes — see 1880 federal census, Fulton County, Kentucky, Hickman district (p. 339A, dwelling and family 7, ). Household 5 on the same page, headed by an E. Cane(?), has living in it a William Oaks, aged 7.
The Ila Oakes in Wesley’s household in 1870 appears to be a son of Iles C. Oakes and Frances Parker, who married 24 December 1846 in Fulton County, Kentucky.
 1880 federal census, Hunt County, Texas, precinct 5 (p. 546A, ED 70, dwelling 184, family 194, 17 June).
 1860 federal census, Hardin County, Tennessee, 11th civil district, Savannah and Coffee Landing post office (p. 371, dwelling1241, family 1286, 17 September).
 1880 federal census, Hickman County, Kentucky, Clinton district (p. 165C, dwelling and family 92, June [no day given]).
 1880 federal census, Hickman County, Kentucky, Moscow magisterial district 5 (p. 230C, dwelling 263, family 267, 24 June).
 See supra, n. 17, 25.
 1900 federal census, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, township 4, north range, 9 east (p. 17, 29 June; the dwelling and family numbers have been written over and are, to my eyes, illegible).
 1910 federal census, Hunt County, Texas, justice precinct 8 (p. 9B, dwelling and family 167, 28 April).