I was Just Plain Wrong
In my New Year’s quest to review all my family records for accuracy, I turned to my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Ison’s ancestry. Her parents Gabriel Ison and Gillian (Gillie) Virginia Morris(s) married in Missouri.[i] Gillie was the daughter of Peter Philander Morris and Elizabeth Ely.[ii] I’ll delve into the Ison, Morris, and Ely family history and how they came to Missouri in later posts. This is just Part I of my efforts to rectifying any abuses of the following rules of genealogical research:
- Never rely on another researcher’s family tree without looking for documentation.
- Always back-up your work with documentation or a triangulated proof.
- Use “Find-a-grave” for information on photographed and marked graves only. Otherwise refer to #1.
Gillie’s father Peter Philander Morris was the son of Thomas H. Morris and Malinda Salling.[iii] In previous posts I stated Malinda’s father to be George Salling, right family wrong sibling. This post repairs that error and provides just a smattering of amazing information I’ve discovered as I researched her ancestry.
Malinda Salling was born to Peter Salling and Rebecca Holms[iv] on March 19, 1803 (ca).[v] How do I know this? Because I just finished analyzing 1,126 pages of Chancery documents available at the Library of Virginia website.
An aside: I find Chancery documents in which inheritance issues, often complex, are ironed out, often over extended periods of time to be the genealogical mother lode. If you have any Virginia ancestors, check out this site. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/?_ga=1.224291475.920046502.1485978183
Let’s Start at the Beginning with the Patriarch: John Peter Salling
John Peter Salling arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 with wife Anna Maria Vollmar and children Elizabeth and Anna Catharina. [vi] On 14 November 1735, he filed a warrant for 250 acres of land on Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[vii]
Then: “In the year 1740, I came from Pennsylvania to the part of Orange County now called Augusta; and settled in a fork of the James River close under the Blue Ridge Mountains of the West side, where I now live.”[viii]
This passage comes from John Peter’s recollections of his capture by Indians, his transfer into the hands of the French, and his eventual recovery by the British Navy and his return to “Charles Town.” (For more on his crazy adventure go to the link cited in endnotes.) An Index of his will names one son besides the daughters who came from Northern Alsace (Germany) with him, that son is George Adam Salling.[ix]
The Family of George Adam Salling
From the Chancery Document of Augusta County, Virginia, we know that George Adam Salling of Orange County, North Carolina bought and transferred a warrant for 200+ acres to George Salling on the first bend of the James River.[x] Biographical information in A History of Rockbridge County says George Adam moved to North Carolina about 1760. He must have returned to Rockbridge or was simply cleaning up old warrants, as his will is recorded in August County (the land in what would be Rockbridge County, VA). It provides for the same 200+ acres for George and is “proved” 1 June 1789, about a year after George Adam Sallings death.
The Chancery records include an incomplete copy of the will of George Adam Salling, 1788. It lists his male offspring: Henry, Peter, and George. He leaves use of the meadow and the house to his wife Hannah along with the use of Henry’s portion of the plantation until he reaches maturity. He declares that the plantation at the fork of the James and North Rivers with three hundred sixty odd acres and meadow be divided equally between sons Henry and Peter (the quality of the division the reason for the dispute). He gives two hundred twenty acres to son George. With wife Hannah to “support that part of my unmarried children who may chuse to continue with her and likewise to give them the necessary schooling.”[xi]
The above statement indicates additional children. Virginia marriage bonds are family affairs, often listing the parentage of both bride and groom. I was able to add Magdalen, Elizabeth, Peggy, and Hannah.[xii] George Salling who married Matilda 19 January 1791 and moved to Gate City, Scott county, Virginia between 1810 and 1820. (This is the George I incorrectly designated as Malinda’s father.)
Thanks to the extraordinary effort of Marilyn Headley and Angela Ruley. They digitalized the Rockbridge County Marriage Bonds, 1778-1801. A great resource, http://www.usgwarchives.net/va/rockbridge/license.html
The Children of Henry and Peter Salling
For this portion, let me introduce you to Peter A. Salling, the son of Peter Salling, and he had a mission: to acquire the whole of the estate of George Salling. He and his wife, Aurelia Paxton had no children aside from Aurelia’s neice whom they adopted. It seems tradition was important to Peter A., so he left his substantial estate to his namesake nephew, Peter A. Salling.
The ins and outs of his complicated acquisitions and the dispersals at his and Aurelia’s death led to four separate Chancery filings over fifty years. From these records we know:
- Henry Salling (of George) married Lucy and had children: Lucy, Mary Polly, Hannah, Magdalene, George Jackson, Lavinia, Henry, and Benjamin. Henry died in 1834.[xiii]
- Peter Salling (of George) married Rebecca Holms and had children: John, Rebecca wife of William Harrison, Malinda wife of Thomas H Morris (Happy Dance!), and Mary Ann deceased who had children by a Goodwin (George W., Harriet wife of William Wasky, Peter A (the namesake), Robert B, John, and Rebecca wife of David Ely who died after her Grandfather Peter who died in 1839[xiv]
As you can imagine, the 1, 126 pages of information holds gems galore. One page of interest lists the names of Negros to be distributed to the heirs as exchange for their share of plantation land. Thomas H. Morris, Malinda’s husband, took his share in slaves.[xv] Insights into farming, husbandry, life in Texas, and changes brought by the Civil War comes to life in these pages. I can only say—again—if you have any ancestors in Virginia and know the county of origin, check out the Library of Virginia.
Next week: Thomas H. Morris and who moved to Missouri…