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Missouri Bound Part 2: Thomas Morris of Rockbridge County, Virginia

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morris-marriageOver the last two weeks, I watched the mailbox, expecting for an envelope from Rockbridge Circuit Court containing the marriage bond records of Thomas H. Morris and Malinda Salling Morris. I knew they held the name of Malinda’s father, Peter Salling (see previous posting), but I hoped it would provide me with the identity of Thomas H. Morris’s parents. The Virginia marriage bonds often are a family affair. The envelope came. No luck.

Next step, analyze all the information I have collected to see what it revealed. I had two goals: determine the parentage and pinpoint the date Thomas H. and Malinda moved to Missouri. Here is what I did.

  1. Organize all marriage information into a table.
  2. Organize census information by year for Rockbridge County, VA, Ralls and Chariton (Howard) County, MO 1810-1840
  3. Compare it with miscellaneous information gathered from written histories and Chancery documents.

What did I discover?

  1. As yet, the parentage of Thomas H. Morris is unknown, but I suspect it is John Morris, likely son of Thomas Morris and Elizabeth. My rational: 3 1810 records show a male of Thomas’s age (about 12). Two of those men were children of Mark Morris: William and David. (Note: there are other scenarios, based on naming patterns. I do not know who Mark’s parents were, though likely Thomas and Elizabeth.
  2. They moved to Missouri between 1841 and October 1849.Thomas H. appears on the 1850 census for Howard County, Missouri. A careful reading of the 1841 Chancery records for Malinda’s father Peter shows he was present at the proceedings while Malinda’s brother, John Adam was not there. Lucinda Morris, daughter of Thomas H. and Malinda, married Congrave Warden in Howard County, 1849.

In 1778, when Rockbridge County formed, two families of note owned tithable land in the county, both near the Rock Bridge formation that gave the county its name. George Salling (Salley, Sally) owned two plots and Thomas Morris owned one. These pioneers and their wives populated the county with many children. I focused on George in the last post. Now let’s look at Thomas.

Thomas Morris, from an analysis of marriage bonds and Chancery records, had eleven children: Benjamin, John, Joseph, George, Margaret (Peggy), Agatha, Nancy Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, and Elijah. Mark may also be one of their children. Oddly, I found no Thomas of the appropriate age. It is from this family, somehow, that Thomas H. sprung.

A glutton for detail? Find my analysis here.morris-analysis

About croywright

The author, a writer of history and historical fiction, always yearned to go back in time.

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