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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Morris Family of Virginia

I am looking to straighten out the tangled mess that is my Morris line from Powhatan, VA. I descend from Jane Morris, the daughter of Edward Morris. They were free people of color. Jane is variously called Jane/Jennie/Jenny/Virginia on different records. Her father Edward was a shokemaker.

Here is some info on him:

Edward is taxed in 1792 in Campbell County. From 1801 to 1806 he is taxed in Powhatan.

Edward Morris had two minor daughters listed in a document in 18 Jan 1804. These daughters were named Jane and Nancy, and they were bound out to Edward Moseley of Powhatan by order of the overseers of the poor in Powhatan county.

Edward was the surety on a Goochland county marriage bond on 24 May 1804 for Nancy, daughter of Joseph Scott, bride of Harris Nichols. Joseph Scott's son Riley married Nancy Johns in Goochland on 18 Oct 1799. (I suspect this Nancy is the daughter of Sally and sister of Susanna listed below.) Riley Scott was also a shoemaker, as was his brother Joel.

Edward wed Susanna Johns 24 May 1806 in Goochland county. (I do not know if Susanna is the mother of Jane and Nancy and perhaps Susanna and Edward didn't "make it legal" until 1806, or whether their mother is Rosanna, or another woman altogether.) Susanna Johns was the child of Sally Johns of Goochland. Sally Johns married John Cockran on 30 Apr 1790 in Goochland. Sally had two other children - a son named Lindsay who resided in Campbell County, and a daughter named Nancy. Sally's husband John Cockran lived in a household of one in Campbell County in 1810.

In 1809, Edward Morris is listed as a "mulatto shoemaker at James Turner's" in Upper District, Goochland.

In 1810, Edward Morris and James Turner both live in Upper District, Goochland.

The problem is, I don't know why my Morris family was free in the first place, though they are listed as "mulatto" in some records. Does anyone know about this family?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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