Further Details About the Family of James Waters, Who Died 1753 in Amelia County, Virginia

Last month, I shared the will of James Waters of Amelia County, Virginia who died in 1753. I believe that one of his younger daughters, Rhoda, is the same Rhoda who married William Butler, also of Amelia County, Virginia.

Although James Waters did leave a will naming all his children, including daughters’ married names, I haven’t found much online about any of them so I decided I needed to do some further digging around.

James Waters did not give his wife’s name in his will, but he did bequeath part of his estate to her, so we at least know that she survived him. What is not known is whether she was the mother of any/all of the children. That isn’t important in this post, but if you are a descendant of James, keep in mind that little is known about his wife!

Given that Mourning is often a child named so because her mother died in childbirth, it seems very possible that James’s surviving wife was the stepmother of these children.

Children:

1. Mary, born c1728; married (Thomas ?)Whitworth, before 1753
2. John, born c1730; died after 1753
3. Mary Ann, born c1732; married Mr. Hughes, before 1753
4. Catherine, born c1734; married (Moses?) Morris, before 1753
5. Rhoda, born c1736; married William Butler, before 1760
6. William, born c1738; died after 1753
7. Mourning, born c1740; died after 1753

First, I tackled the Whitworth family in Amelia County. The surname isn’t prevalent there and I only came across references to Abraham, Claiborne and Thomas. Of these men, only Abraham and Thomas appear to be old enough (born c1720s) to have married Mary Waters. Claiborne Whitworth was the son of Abraham Whitworth, according to DAR records.

Abraham Whitworth died in the late 1790s and had a wife named Judith. Thomas Whitworth Sr., however, filed a land deed with his wife, MARY, and Thomas Whitworth Jr. on 20 May 1772 in Amelia County selling land to Moses Morris. Part of the lands sold included 75 acres willed by Thomas Jr.’s grandfather, identified as another, earlier Thomas Whitworth.

It seems likely that this Mary Whitworth could be Mary Waters. Having a son selling land inherited from his grandfather, but recording the sale with both of his parents on the deed, tells me that he was likely a very young man, perhaps not even 21 years old.

Next, Catherine appears to have married Moses Morris, but I say this through clues in Moses’s will, dated 27 January 1803. His wife apparently predeceased him, as she is not mentioned.


Will of Moses Morris
Amelia County, Virginia WB6:299-300
Source: FamilySearch

In the name of God I Moses Morris of Amelia County being in good health and sound mind and memory as at other times and knowing the frailty of this mortal life and that it is appointed for all mankind once to die, Therefore I make this my last will and testament giving and bequeathing in the manner and form as followeth:

Item. I give to my son Zachariah Morris one bed and furniture which he has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate to him and his heirs forever.
Item. I – to my son Moses Morris one bed and furniture which he has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate during his life and at his death I give it to his children to them and their heirs forever.
Item. I leave to my son Isaac Morris one feather bed and furniture and one twelfth part of my estate to him and the heirs of his body but if he should die without heirs full heir of his body his legacy to return to the surviving legatees.
Item I give to my son (Walter?) Morris six shillings to be paid to him by my executors.
Item. I leave to my son William Morris one feather bed furniture and one twelfth part of my estate to him and the heirs of his body, but if he should die without lawful heir of his body his legacy to return to the surviving legatees.
Item. I give to my three grand children Rhoda Franklin Molly Claybrook and Sally Claybrook one twelfth part of my estate to be equally divided between them but if either of the children should die without an heir their parts to return to their surviving sisters.
Item. I give to my three grand children William Wingo, Sally Wingoe and Molly Wingoe one twelfth part of my estate to be equally divided between them, but if either of three children should die without heirs their parts to return to the surviving brother or sister.
Item. I give to my six Grandchildren Asenath Morris, Dubucy Morris, Nancy Morris, Jenny Morris, Luellen Morriss and Catril Morris one bed and furniture which their mother Betsy Morriss has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate for their support to be equally divided between them, but if either of the six children should die without an heir their parts to return to the surviving sisters and brothers.
Item. I leave to my grand daughter Susannah Burton one trunk, one feather bed and furniture which her father Samuel Burton has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate, all which I leave in the care and hands of my executors till she shall become of age or married, but if she should die without lawfull heir of – – legacy to return to the surviving legatees
Item. I give to my daughter Mary H. Whitworth one feather bed and furniture which she has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate to her and her heirs of her body forever.
Item. I give to my daughter Judith Mays one bed and furniture which she has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate to her and the heirs of her body forever.
Item, I give to my daughter Jenny Hendrick one bed and furniture which she has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate to her and her heirs of her body forever.
Item. I give to my daughter Oney Burton one bed and furniture which she has in possession and one twelfth part of my estate to her and the heirs of her body forever.

And lastly I constitute and appoint my Brother Zachariah Morriss and Claibourne G. Whitworth executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have set my hand and fix to my seal this twelfth day of June, One thousand eight hundred and two.

Witnesses: Allen Jeters, Thomas Booth, Rudophil Jeter, Isaac Morris

In spite of no mention of a wife, the big clue here for me is the mention of one of Moses Morris’ numerous grandchildren – RHODA Franklin.

With the scant evidence I’ve uncovered so far, at this time, I believe that Catherine Waters was the wife of Moses Morris and that she predeceased him.

Oddly, I’ve found no further clues about sons John and William Waters, nor have I picked up a trail for Mourning Waters and have no idea whether she married and/or has descendants.

Coming soon – the family sketch of Moses Morris and presumed wife, Catherine Waters.

 

 

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