What I have written here is a work in progress that will continue to grow as I explore the many branches.
Feel free to follow the many links I have sprinkled throughout the pages, understanding that links often are broken as web sites change. Sorry.
The Origins of the Scots/IrishIn the 1600's, the border between Scotland and England was in tremendous upheaval. Peaceful, normal life was an unattainable fantasy. In order to survive, the Scots who lived in that region became "Border Reevers" (Robbers). They were the best frontier fighters in Britain, if not in Europe.
|In 1603, James I, King of England ascended to the throne and the border was finally pacified by sending many of these families to Northern Ireland. It was hoped they would settle down, but their previous lifestyle had become too ingrained. These Scots/Irish are usually referred to as "Ulster Scots" in the United Kingdom. They were predominantly Presbyterian/Protestant, and had no need of either a priest or a King to think for them.||There were wars between the Scots/Irish and the Native Irish between 1640 and 1660 when the Irish rose up against the English. Finally the Scots/Irish army was defeated, and the they became persecuted. Presbyterian services were prohibited and the ministers outlawed.|
The Scots/Irish Emigrate to AmericaAt the close of the 17th century, both persecution by the British and terrible climatic conditions all across Europe (there having been no harvest in 5 years) had become so severe that the Scots/Irish were forced to emigrate. They often indentured themselves as servants to pay for passage, and the journeys by ship, lasting anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, were typically disastrous.
|The Scots/Irish landed mostly in Pennsylvania and began settling in the hills nearby. They also moved into Maryland or other close by places that resembled their home countryside. The first Ulster settlement was in Donegal, PA. Eventually, a ferry opened up the Cumberland Valley, and it became their heartland. By the middle 1700's, the flow of immigrants down the Shenandoah Valley and westward from Charleston and Carolina ports filled the back countries of the Carolinas at a remarkable rate.||But the Ulstermen were known for their drinking, arguing, singing, and dancing. They did not have a peaceful relationship with the Native Americans who lived all around them. The old border reevers of the Scots/English border had become the frontiersmen and the mountain men of the new world.|
William MORRIS was born 1722 or 1730 in King George, Virginia and died in Anson County, NC. Some possible records related to him that I am researching are:
He was married to Pherabee GURLEY (1723-1809?), and they had these children:
The children of William Morris and Martha Nance were:
Nathan MORRIS lived in Anson County North Carolina until 1807, according to Ruth A. Hays of Montgomery County, TN (Mail: Route 1, Guthrie, KY 42234). I believe he may have lived in White Store Township, and I also believe his family may have been acquainted with Williamson PLANT, a revolutionary war soldier mentioned in a deed for the Long Pine Methodist Church and who is also listed in Dickson County Tennessee Handbook by Jill K. Garrett.
Many small farmers opposed the British militia under Governor Tryon at the Battle of Alamance, May 16, 1771, but they lost and were compelled to take the oath of allegiance to the King. About 4,000 people who refused to take the oath left North Carolina over the next few years and moved into Tennessee. Among those who moved to Montgomery County, Tennessee, were Williamson PLANT and Thomas PETTY who is also listed in deed for the Long Pine Methodist Church.
Nathan Morris is listed as a Private in the roster of soldiers in the American Revolution as being in Evan's Company, from 1782 for 18 months. (North Carolina State Records, Clark, Vol XVI, 1782-1783, page 149)
The 1800 Census of Anson County lists the Nathan Morris family as having 3 males under the age of 10, 1 female between 10 and 16, 3 females 16 to 26, and the father being 45 or older. This would put Nathan's birthdate at 1755 or earlier.
In 1803, Montgomery County was split up, creating Dickson County, and Thomas PETTY staked a claim on Piney River. The Nathan Morris family moved to Montgomery County in 1807.
Nathan MORRIS was still living in Montgomery County, TN at the time he wrote his will on February 28, 1830. They lived on a plantation and Nathan had 5 personal servants himself. It is not known how many other servants were in their household or worked on the plantation. The following children were from his first wife, Louisa (last name and dates unknown):
Nathan MORRIS was married twice, the second time to Michal (last name unknown, 1778-186?) and the Will lists the following children separately, with inhertitances more closely tied to Michal:
The area in which I have done the most intensive research, including overflights and on-site research on the land and in the historical society and land records office is that of
John MORRIS (1819-?)The second son of Nathan and Michal MORRIS was John. According to the 1850 and 1860 US Census for Hickman County, John MORRIS was born in 1819 in Montgomery county, Tennessee. He married Sarah G. WILLIAMSON on 06/20/1846. (Sarah had a sister named Ann F. WILLIAMSON, who married John W. PLANT 07/26/1845.) John and Sarah had the following children:
After Ella TROTTER died in 1893, Williamson Plant MORRIS moved to Rives, TN, in Obion County.
On October 10, 1895, he married Elizabeth Caroline WHITESIDE (05/17/1864-11/11/1955) of Rives, TN.
She was the daughter of James Harvey WHITESIDE (1818-1873) and Margaret Ann Harper (7/23/1830-4/5/1868), married 02/16/1848, who both died while Elizabeth was still a child.
Family members say they never heard Elizabeth call W.P. anything except "Mr. Morris", and he called her "Miss Lizzie".
She had 2 brothers, John and Luther, and 2 sisters, Mary Ann and Margaret Jane.
Both W.P. and Elizabeth are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Rives, TN.
They had the following children: