The thought process of a genealogy detective…
William Ascar/Augustus Morrison
Information I had- The marriage license of Julius W. Abernethy, Sr.
(book 29 page 339 Clerk of Court office, Newton, NC)
- Julius W. Abernethy, Sr., age 53, is the son of Julius Franklin Abernethy and Mary Alice Whitener of Newton, Catawba County, NC both deceased.
- Willie Maye Morrison, as being the daughter of William Augustus Morrison and Jauneta Williams of Newton, Catawba County, NC both living.
- witnesses were Laura Abernethy and Robert J. Danehy of Newton, Catawba County, NC
marriage date: 2-17-1945 makes his birthday 1892.
William Ascar Morrison, I decided to start with his death certificate, which I located on Ancestry.com. It names his father as Col. William A. Morrison and for a mother, someone typed Amanda, then blacked it out. Spouse- Juanita Williams. So I went to look for William Ascar Morrison in the 1880 Alexander County, NC Census since his Death Cert. says he was born 1 Jan 1872 on Alexander County, NC. He would have been about 8 yrs old and should have been living with his parents if they were still living and any possible siblings he might have had. Unfortunately a search with the available information I have so far, did not locate anyone living in Alexander Co. that could have been him. So next I looked at each page in Millers Twp. (where most of the Morrison’s lived) and Sharpes Twp. again no luck. I also looked in Concord Twp. Iredell County, and no William A. that fits the bill. I still have some additional Twp.’s in Alexander and Iredell to look at, so it’s still possible I might find him in 1880.
So then I thought I would try to find him in the 1900 Census and I had better luck.
1900 NC Alexander Co., Miller’s Twp. 0004
134/136 Morrison, William A 27, Head b. NC
Neta 26, wife b. NC
Willie May 2, dau b. NC
Living next Door
135/137 Morrison, L Clementine 68,wd b. NC
Amanda 47 dau. b. NC
Prudence C. 48 dau. b. NC
William B. 20 Grandson b. NC
Roberta 15 Granddau b. NC
living next Door
136/138 Morrison, Amanda 52 b. NC
Loula 34 b. NC
Maggie E. 26 b. NC
Jamie 2 b. NC (female)
Okay, so what did this information tell me. Well that I was on the right track. William A. is the William Ascar Morrison we are looking for, his wife Juanita “Neta” and their daughter, Willie May. Usually when there are people of the same Surnames living next door to each other in a Census there is a good possibility (but not always) there is a family connection involved. The next family was easy for me to identify since I had done quite a lot of research on them. The L. Clemetine Morrison is Louisa Clemetine Gibson who married Alfred Thomas “Oph” Morrison, the Amanda is for their daughter, Harriet Amanda Morrison, who according to her death Cert. died unmarried. She is buried in the Concord Baptist Church Cemetery, in Alexander Co., NC not to be confused with the Concord Presbyterian Ch Cem. in Loray, NC. The Prudence is for another of Alfred and Louisa’s daughters, Prudence C. “Prude” Morrison, and her two illegitimate children, William Bois Morrison, and Roberta Morrison. Prudence had both children by an unkown father, according to their Death Certificates, and on William Bois Morrison’s death Cert. where it says name of father it has Illegitimate son.
Next is the family of Amanda Morrison, 52, her two daughters, Loula 34, and Maggie E. and a Granddaughter Jamie 2 yrs. old. At first I thought this could be the mother of William Ascar Morrison, but now I am not so sure, let me try and explain. One family tree on Ancestry.Com states that William Acsar Morrison is the son of Col. William A Morrison, and a Amanda Miller. Unfortunately there was no further information given for the parents. I tried to locate a marriage record between a William A. Morrison and an Amanda Miller, no luck. So then I started to look for a Amanda b. about 1848, NC that might be the one in the 1900 Census above. And I came up with Amanda M. ‘Mandy” Morrison Born 31 May 1845 Iredell Co., NC died 12 Aug 1916, Millers Twp. Alexander Co., NC buried at New Sterling ARP Church Cem. She is a Sister to Alfred Thomas “Oph” Morrison, and a daughter to Andrew Claiborn Morrison and Louisa Eliza Miller. Then I looked for the children of the Amanda Morrison age 52 in the 1900 Census and I found the death Certificate for a Mrs. Alice Louise Morrison b. Apr 1866 Alexander County, NC died 30 Mar 1947 Iredell Co., NC buried New Sterling ARP Cem. Father; Amos Morrison, Mother: Amanda Miller. Informant: Mrs. Wade Murdock (More on her later). Okay, now what’s going on here? The death Certificate says Mrs. Alice Louise Morrison and that she is a housewife, but then in box 6a where it says to check for Single, Married, or divorced, there is an S for single. So is she single or married?
Next in the 1910 NC Alexander Co., Millers Twp., 0004
19/19 Morrison, Amanda 64, single b. NC
Lula A. 42, dau single b. NC
Themla B. 7, niece b. NC
20/20 Morrison, Amanda H. 57, Head of household Single b. NC
Prudence 54, single sister b. NC
Boice W 29, nephew
Okay, again Harriett Amanda Morrison, and Prudence C. Morrison, unmarried daughters of Alfred Thomas “Oph” Morrison, and his illegitimate grandson, and the yet to be identified Amanda Morrison, possibly the daughter of Andrew Claiborn Morrison or now more likely Amanda (Millier) Morrison, wife of Amos Morrison, maybe William Amos Morrison.
So could the Alice Louise Morrison in the above death Certificate be the same Lula A. Morrison daughter of Amanda in the 1900 and 1910 Censuses? Yes, it could, and here is why? Remember when I said the informant for Alice Louise Morrison’ s death Certificate was a Mrs. Wade Murdock? Well I found the following in the 1920 North Carolina, Alexander Co., Sharpes Twp. 6
100/100 Morrison, Lue 51, Married NC
Thelma 16, Single NC
Then 1940 North Carolina, Iredell Co., Concord Twp. 49-15
Murdock, Wade 38, Head b. NC
Thelma 36, wife b. NC
Ruth 16, dau b. NC
Margaret 13, dau b. NC
Morrison, Louise 74, wd. Mother-In-Law b. NC
Alright, now is where we need to go back to the 1870 NC Alexander Co., Millers Twp., 008 Census
80/80 Morrison, Andrew 78
Amanda E 23
Benson, Louisa A 4
1880 North Carolina, Alexander Co., Millers Twp. 008
Morrison, A C 80
E 76 Wife
I J 53 dau
A M 34 dau
Benson, L A 14 Granddau
Rumple, W A 8 Grandson
Rumple, M C 6 Granddau
Again this is the family of Andrew Claiborn Morrison, his wife, Louisa Eliza Miller, dau Isabella Jane and daughter Amanda M. Only now there is a granddaughter Louisa A. Benson, and two Grandchildren with the last name of Rumple. Now one of Andrew and Louisa Morrison’s daughters, Margaret Elizabeth Morrison b. 30 May 1848, married an Elias Adolphus Rumple, a son of Alexander and Catherine (Smith) Rumple. But none of Elias and Margaret Rumple’s known children had names with the initials W A or MC.
Then I found this which starts to make some sense:
ALEXANDER CO NC BASTARDY BONDS
This is from a listing I found on line
MOTHER Date NAME OF BONDSMAN
Amanda M Morrison Feb 1866 Lewis M Benson
Amanda M Morrison Nov 1873 H A Rumple
A note about NORTH CAROLINA BASTARY BONDS, which were intended to protect the county or parish from the expense of raising the child.
When the pregnancy of a woman or birth of a child was brought to the attention of the court, a warrant was issued and the woman brought into court. She was questioned under oath and asked to declare the name of the child’s father. The reputed father was then served a warrant and required to post bond. If the woman refused to name the father, she, her father, or some other interested party would post the bond. In some cases it was found that the mother and reputed father, together, posted the bond. If the woman refused to post bond or declare the father, she was often sent to jail.
Occasionally it well be found that a woman’s name appears in the records several times. Refer to the Court Minutes to determine if this is for one or more cases of bastardy.
These bonds are held in Raleigh in the state archives in the extant bonds. For a more complete listing of the Bastardy Bonds of a particular county, you should read the county court minutes. The bonds that have survived are only a very small percentage of the number recorded in the County Courts and County Superior Courts.
Next I thought I would try and learn a little more on who Lewis M. Benson, H A Rumple, and Amos Morrison, and could they be the possible fathers of the above mentioned children.
First I found a Death Certificate for a Louis M Benson, born 15 Sep 1840, died 21 Nov 1913 Wake Co., NC, Father: Jousha Benson, Mother: Martha Cochran, buried Statesville, NC In the 1870 NC Iredell Co., Coddle Creek Census there is a Lewis H. Benson, 31, single, living with his parents Jousha and Martha P, Benson. I think this is the same Lewis M. Benson, possible father for L A Benson, who was age four and a daughter of Amanda Morrison in the 1870, and 14 in the 1880 Census, and is the same Alice Louise Morrison in the Death Certificate I mention above. I think for what ever reason, Amanda Morrison gave her illegitimate children her maiden name of Morrison.
Next I found a Death Certificate for a Harvey Augustus Rumple, born 1844, Iredell County, NC, died 3 Dec 1923, Statesville, NC, Father: Alexander Rumple, Mother: Katie Rumple. This Harvey Augustus Rumple was a brother to Elias Adolphus Rumple who had married Margaret Elizabeth Morrison, who was a daughter of Andrew Claiborn and Louisa Eliza (Miller) Morrison, and sister to the Amanda Morrison in question.
Finally if you go back to the 1900 Census above, for the family # 138 of Amanda Morrison, 52, Loula 34, Maggie E. 26, and Jamie 2.
I found a death Certificate for a Maggie Lackey. Born 6 Mar 1874 Alexander Co., NC died 19 Nov 1922, Newton, Catawba Co., NC Wife of W C Lackey, buried New Sterling. No father listed, but Mother: Mandy Morrison.
Then in the 1910 NC, Catawba Co.,Newton 0029 Census:
155/155 Lackey, William C 30 Head
Maggie 35 Wife
Jamie 9 Dau
Matie 8 Dau
Fred 7 Son
157/157 Morrison, William 38 Head
Neta 32 wife
May 12 dau
Rudy 4 son.
Of course this is the William Ascar/Augustus Morrison who started all of this.
Then there is this, which seems to pull a lot of what I have been saying together. That is the Death Certificate for Amanda Morrison, Born 31 May 1845 in Alexander Co., NC. Died 8 Aug 1916, Alexander Co., NC in the box where it states marriage status, it says Single. Lists her Father as A C Morrison, born Alexander Co., NC Mother: Eliza Miller born Alexander Co., NC Lists Amanda as being buried in New Sterling ARP Church Cem. And the informant is W. A. Morrison of Newton, NC
Purposely I left Amos Morrison, the supposed father of some of Amanda Morrison’s children till now. I only know of 2 Amos Morrison’s from around Iredell Co., NC There were probably more, but in our line of Morrison’s there are only two that I know of. One is John Amos Morrison who was Coit’s Great-Grandfather who was born 25 Sep 1846, was married three times, and didn’t have the time to have Amanda’s children. The only other Amos Morrison that I am aware of is that of Amos Morrison, son of Andrew Claiborn & Louisa Eliza (Miller) Morrison. Which would make him a brother to the Amanda “Mandy” Morrison in question. And I don’t think he would be the father of his sisters children. But I will give a little more about him.
Amos Morrison, born 24 Oct 1839, probably Iredell or Alexander Co., NC He is listed in the 1860 Alexander Co., NC census as being 20 yrs of age living with his parents and siblings.
If we go back to the Alexander County, NC Bastardy Bonds we find this listing:
Mother Date Bondsman
Malisa J. Moore Mar 1866 Amos Morrison
Now because of research I had previously done, I knew there was a Malissa Jane Moore who was the Mother of Mary Belle Moore born 16 Mar 1866, Iredell County, NC. Could this be the same Malissa Jane as listed in the Bastardly Bonds? The date was right for the birth of the child. So I then looked in the 1860 and 1870 in Iredell County and found a Melissa J Moore as the daughter of Andrew & Margaret J Moore. She is listed as single dau age 20 in 1860 and single, age 26 in the 1870 census., but no listing of a Mary who who have been abt 4 yrs in 1870.
But then the 1880 Census NC, Iredell, Concord, 140, family 153/154 Moore, Andrew 69
Melissa 36 Dau
Hiram 34 Son
William 24 Son
Mary 14 Grandchild
Robert 8 Grandchild
Augustus 5 Grandchild
So here is Mary in the 1880 census a grandchild of Andrew and & Jane Moore, possible dau of Melissa J Moore. Next I found the death certificate for Malisia Jane Moore died 29 Mar 1924, aged 83 yrs 6 m 14 days which would put her birth at 1841, Iredell Co., NC Father: Andrew Moore and Mother: Margaret Miller. ( A side note is this Margaret Jane Miller is a sister to Louisa Eliza Miller who married Andrew Claiborn Morrison) The death cert. doesn’t state her as being married or widowed. Next I had the death certificate for Mary Belle (Moore) Morrison, b. 16 Mar 1866, Iredell Co., NC d. 31 Jun 1947 Iredell Co., NC Father listed as M J Moore and Mother: Malissia Moore
Note: I believe that someone simply used the Initials of both the mother and grandmother M J for a father, and Amos Morrison was the real father of Mary Belle Moore. I futher thing I found the death certificate for a Robert Grier Moore b. 1 Jun 1870 Iredell Co.,NC
Died 12 May 1935 Iredell Co., NC Spouse: Miss (Maggie) Mae Hoke Occupation: Butcher, Father –Not Obtainable, Mother: Malissa Moore
Note; Most of these people are buried at the Trinity Methodist Church, Iredell Co., NC
So this is the Robert Moore listed as a grandchild of Andrew Moore in the above 1880 census.
The 1900 NC Iredell Co., Statesville 0101 Census backs up this claim.
Moore, Robert 28
Mary 20 wife
Graham 3/12 son
Malissa 56 Mother
So what this mean? Amos Morrison had a child (Mary Belle Morrison) out of wedlock with Malissa Jane Moore, and shortly thereafter left North Carolina for probably the reason stated above. Which gives credence to the Amos Morrison I found as a confederate veteran from Iredell Co., NC living in Harris County Texas and according to his pension application had been a resident of Texas since 1866. I don’t believe him to be the father for Robert Grier Moore, for this reason.
He is gone by the 1870 census. But then I found a Amos Morrison Enlisted as a Private on 15 August 1862 at the age of 24.Enlisted in Company E, 37th Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 15 Aug 1862. He enlisted from Iredell Co., NC Surrendered Company E, 37th Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 9 Apr 1865 at Appomattox Court House, VA.
Then there was this Pension application for a Amos Morrison dated 19 Sep 1907 for a Amos Morrison, age 66 living in Houston Heights, Harris County, Texas. He states his company was formed in NC and that he surrendered with Lee at Appomattox Court House and he served in Co. E 37 NC Infantry. His occupation is that of an carpenter and he has no real or personal property, and is living with a son. The pension app, goes on to say that he has no wife, meaning he is a widower, and that he has been a resident of Texas since 1866. Unfortunately I have yet to find him in the 1870, 1880, Texas or 1900 or 1910 Houston Heights, Harris Co., Tx US Federal Census, and I have looked at all Houston Heights, thee wards, page by page. I did fid him in the 1911 and 1912 Houston, Houston Heights, Tx city Directory. He is listed as Amos Morrison, retired Carpenter, living at 620 W 21st Ave. HO Hts, with a Al Morrison also listed as a carpenter at the same address. I am guessing that this is his son he mentions living with in his pension application. In the 1912 city directory Al is listed as Albert and he now lives at a different address than Amos. Of course I have no proof that this Amos is the same Amos Morrison, son of Andrew Claiborn and Louise Eliza (Miller) Morrison. But it does seem to fit.
So in summary as to what I think all this means or is possible. I think Amanda M. “Mandy” Morrison was born abt 31 May 1845 in Alexander Co., NC, a daughter of Andrew Claiborn and Louisa Eliza (Miller) Morrison. That she never married and had at least three children, by two different men, one possibly a Lewis M. Benson who fathered Louise Alice Morrison, and a possible Harvey Augustus Rumple who fathered William Ascar Morrison & Maggie Elizabeth Morrison who later married William C. Lackey.
The only thing I have a hard time with is why Amanda would list her children in the 1870 & 1880 Census by their real fathers last name and then from there on give them her maiden name of Morrison. And is it possible then that her children didn’t want it to be known that they were illegitimate children, and they used a long lost Uncle’s name of Amos as their father’s name? Or was there really a Amos Morrison that married an Amanda Miller? I couldn’t find one. I enjoy a challenge and this sure was one, still a lot of questions that need answered, but it is a good start anyway.
One word for those of you that are new to doing research, if you look at census records on Ancestry.com, always look at the original census record. Many people volunteer to transcribe these records and if they are not familiar with they way they used to write or are not familiar with the certain families , they are incorrectly transcribing the names, which can make finding the person you are looking for very difficult. So when you do a search and you come up empty, try a different spelling and you might just find the person.