Halifax Moorefield history, revised and updated
- EARLY MOREFIELD GENEALOGY
FROM JOHN NO. 1 (DIED 1688) OF NEW KENT COUNTY
JOHN NO. 3 (DIED 1812) OF HALIFAX COUNTY
WILLIAM FRANK MOOREFIELD, III
1424 SPRUCE ST. EXT.
MARTINSVILLE, VA. 24112
JULY 20, 2007
Since early 2001, I have spent numerous hours in courthouses in
the state of Virginia from Virginia Beach to Richmond to Bristol and
all counties in between; from Orange County in North Carolina out to
Tennessee; and Johnson and Carter counties in Tennessee. I do feel
that I have been to more counties and cities in the states of
Virginia and North Carolina than anyone else has. My primary purpose
has been to find source document records of events pertaining to the
members of the Morefield family, with all spellings included. I have
transcribed records of births, marriages, deaths, wills, deeds, and
court proceedings as time has allowed during my visits. More of my
time has been spent in the courthouse in Halifax County, Va., than
any other single courthouse for a number of reasons.
First, but not foremost, is that this is where I was born and
where my roots lie. My original purpose in beginning my research was
to determine my Moorefield ancestry as far back as I could, and to
learn as much as I could about these ancestors. Second, my research
has shown that there have been more of our family members that have
lived in Halifax County than any other area of the United States,
with Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and perhaps Johnson County,
Tennessee being the next most populous areas. Third, although our
Morefield ancestors lived in the eastern counties of Virginia before
succeeding generations migrated to Halifax, our family has lived
there continuously since the 1750's and there are numerous records
detailing life events. Earlier records in the more eastern counties
are scant and in a few cases have been destroyed in courthouse fires
and/or in the Civil War. Although the first generations of
Morefields lived in New Kent, Hanover, and Lunenburg counties of
Virginia, these early ancestors of ours were few in number, and their
names are found in only a few records. If one were to take a map
showing the southern half of Virginia and the northern half of North
Carolina, the greatest concentration of Morefields in the United
States would lie along the border from Halifax and Pittsylvania
counties of Virginia, and Caswell, Rockingham, Guilford, Forsyth,
Stokes and Surry counties of North Carolina, and out to and into
Kentucky and Tennessee. Of course, migrations over the generations
have resulted in members of our family living in every state.
Over the course of my travels and research, I, along with other
researchers, have compiled listings of the various Moorefield family
groups, and have been able to determine which particular line most
individuals in our expanded family belong to. We have compared this
activity to solving a huge jigsaw puzzle. Each time we go to a new
courthouse, we seem to find Morefields that already "fit" somewhere
in the puzzle, but we also find new "pieces" that we cannot place
with the existing information we have.
Pat Moorefield Seaver of Loudon, Tennessee has devoted untold
hours to the study of census records of our family line through the
decades of records available, and in all geographic areas of the
United States. From this research, she has compiled census records of
most of our family members, and from these and other records, has
been able to trace the migrations of individuals, families, and even
succeeding generations from one location to another.
Much of the information that follows is derived from my
research of court records in Virginia and North Carolina, and Pat's
census and personal property tax records in various counties. Thanks
to Pat for her devotion to this task and for unselfishly sharing her
I would add that this is a somewhat fluid and expanding
document. I wrote the first draft of this several years ago, and it
contained about two pages. We folks who research our family seem to
come across new documents from time to time which expand our
collection of data, and sometimes someone discovers something which
alters our opinions as to family connections. For instance, early
researchers felt that William Morefield, Sr. of Halifax County, Va.
was a son of Wright. Pat Seaver's study of Halifax County personal
property tax lists indicates that William would probably have been
too old to have been a son of Wright. There are several conclusions I
make in the following that I state are my opinions based on
information I have, much from source documents, and some from
secondary sources. I have tried to be careful in stating that these
are my opinions. Other researchers with the same source data as I
have drawn different conclusions. That points to one of the benefits
of open dialogue and sharing of research and opinions. Sometimes we
convince each other to alter our thinking and arrive at a consensus
of opinion as to our interpretation of the facts we have. So, do not
read what follows as if it were a precise historical document,
rather, read it as a summary of what I believe is a rough outline of
our family beginnings, subject to change or expansion as new data
comes forth. Also, this is part one of a two-part summary. From time
to time, I also enjoy writing a continuation of the lineage down to
living members of our family. I limit this to the states of Virginia
and North Carolina, as this is where most of my research has been.
Also, I will add that I roughly divide our family into two
large groups; those I call the Halifax County, Virginia. Morefields,
and the Johnson County, Tennessee Morefields. Most of the Morefields
who live today in eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia have
ancestral lines back to Johnson County. Generally, they spell their
name with one "o", but sometimes as Mofield, or Moefield, as well. I
do believe that the JCT group has roots in Halifax County, most
likely through a James Morefield who, in the 1760's, seems to have
migrated from Halifax to what was formerly a part of current Rowan
County, but is now Davidson County, North Carolina. The consensus of
opinion among researchers is that the Morefields who began appearing
in Carter and then Johnson County, Tenn. in the early 1800's were
most likely descendants of James.
SPELLING OF OUR FAMILY NAME
Many of our family members today incorrectly feel that the
Mofields, Morefields and Moorefields are different families. In the
early days of this country, there were few people who were literate,
and when people got married, bought property, or for other reasons
had their name written in a court record, it was written by the court
official the way it sounded to him. In many of the early records, we
find our name spelled a number of ways, such as Marfield, Merefield.
Mirfield, Murfield, Morefield, Moorfield, Mofield, Moefield,
Morefeal, and others. By the later 1700's, the common spelling in
Halifax County, Virginia, (as well as Rowan County, N.C.) court
records was Morefield. Halifax County began maintaining a personal
property tax list in 1782, and our family name was spelled
Morefield in most records through 1817; but in 1818 and thereafter,
Moorefield became more common. Many of our Kentucky, Tennessee and
Illinois Mofield and Morefield cousins, whose families can often be
traced back to Halifax County, simply had their name spelled that way
by public officials due to the fact that they spelled the name as it
sounded to them. (Many of the older folks in the Scottsburg area of
Halifax County still pronounce our name as "Mofield", although it is
spelled Moorefield). I have observed that many of the Mofields,
Moefields, and Morefields in this country descend from ancestors who
migrated away from Halifax County by the early 1800's, say by 1820,
and many of the Moorefields descend from those who migrated
afterwards. In some areas today, such as Guilford, Forsyth, Stokes
and Surry counties in North Carolina, most of the Moorefields who
live there had grandparents and great grandparents who were
While it would be very difficult to determine the exact number
of people with the Moorefield surname (of all spellings) by birth who
live in this country today, I estimate this number to easily be about
one thousand. From research by myself, and others such as Pat Seaver,
named above, Robert Morefield of Illinois, and Phyllis Morefield of
the Edinburg, Va., I estimate that upwards of ninety percent of these
folks descend from the early Morefields of Halifax County, Va. (Pat
is a descendant of William and Rebecca Morefield of Halifax County;
Robert is a great great grandson of Robert S. Morefield of Halifax
County; Phyllis' husband Jim is a descendant of the Johnson County
Morefields). There have been a few colonial era Morefield records
found in other locations, but most of these seem to have disappeared
leaving few or no descendants. Also, there have been a couple of
Moorefield families who migrated into this country in the later
1800's who do have traceable descendants, and who do appear to be
from different origins.
Research has shown that during the 1760 to 1790 era, the only
Morefield families found in this country lived in Halifax County,
Va., and Rowan County, N.C., and that these family groups were
undoubtedly closely related to each other.
There are various opinions as to the origins of our name. Early
world history shows that the country we know as England was first
inhabited by the Celts, or at least they were the earliest
identifiable group. Later invasions by the Angles from Germany and
then centuries later by the Saxons and Jutes, also from Germany,
resulted in there being a strong Germanic influence along the
southern part of England. Simultaneous and later invasions by the
Vikings merged with these groups to drive the Celts mostly to
Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. (Not to get into world history, but the
most stable period in early English history was during the Roman
occupation; they created order among the Britons, and kept the
invaders out). I think that our Morefield name comes from England,
but I also think that it very likely has its roots in early centuries
Germany where Murfeldt is a surname today.
GENERATION NO. 1 JOHN MOREFIELD (Probably born in England,
unknown birth date, and likely the same John Morefield who died in
New Kent County, Va. on 2-18-1688).
This section is based on scant data, and is mostly an educated
guess on my part. The first Morefield in this country that I believe
we descend from was John Morefield who came to Virginia from England
under England's Headright program. His name is mentioned several
times in a book entitled CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS , which can be found
in most Virginia libraries. Under the Headright program the King of
England, through the Virginia Company, granted fifty acres of land in
Virginia to anyone who would come to this country, and a sponsor
could be arranged for anyone who did not have funds to pay his own
way. The person wanting to come to Virginia would agree to give the
sponsor his fifty acres and also agree to work as an indentured
servant for a period of time in exchange for his passage. Thomas
Riding is named as having paid the passage for John Morefield and
nineteen others, who arrived on Virginia's Eastern Shore in April,
1666. He was the only Morefield in his group and there were no
brothers or other family members with him. Some descendants feel
there were two or more brothers who came to this country together but
I have found no document to support this theory. There was a Thomas
Morefield who had arrived to the Eastern Shore two years earlier, but
that there is no extant document to indicate any connection between
him and John, and his name is not found again during this era.
In New Kent County, Virginia, and located near the town of
Talleysville, there is a church known as St. Peter's Episcopal
Church. The central building of this church was erected from 1701 to
1703, but the church history dates back 1679. At that time, and up
until the Revolutionary War, this church was part of the Church of
England, the only officially recognized church in the colony of
Virginia. In those days, the rector of the parish, or the minister,
was responsible for civil matters in his parish, such as building of
roads and bridges, surveying properties, and collecting taxes to
support such matters. He also maintained a registry in which he
recorded births, deaths, and marriages of his parishioners. The
registry of this era for this church survives today and is maintained
in the archives of the Library of Virginia, in Richmond. In it is
recorded the death of Jno. Morefield on February 18, 1688. ( A
history of this church can be found on its website; type St. Peter's
church in your web browser search area). It is pure speculation on my
part to believe that this John was the same one named above, but I
think it is very probable.
GENERATION NO. 2. JOHN MOREFIELD NO. 2 (unknown birth date,
probably before 1688 in New Kent Co, Va., died in 1752 in Lunenburg
The next written reference to a Morefield is the inclusion of
John Merefield on the Rent Roll in New Kent County, Virginia in
1704. The Rent Roll was a list of those who paid an annual property
tax to the King of England, and the 1704 list is the only one
surviving from this era. As there is no record of any other
Morefield families being in this country at that time, I feel it
likely that this John was a son of the John Morefield who died in the
same area in 1688. My belief, while unproven, is that the first John
came to this country as a young man, probably in his teens or early
twenties, served as an indentured servant on the Eastern Shore for a
few years, and later migrated to New Kent County. I feel he must
have died in his middle ages and that the John named in 1704 was a
son of his who had reached adulthood and become a landowner. Also
recorded in the registry of St. Peter's Parish, is the 1708 marriage
of Daniel Murfield to Rachel Coker in New Kent County, and I believe
John and Daniel were likely brothers.
From a comparison of names found in New Kent - Hanover County
records, and Lunenburg County, Va. records, it is apparent that John
Morefield and a friend named Jonathan Ashworth migrated from eastern
Virginia to Lunenburg County in the 1740's. In addition, Pat
Moorefield Seaver has found records of a John Hilton living in New
Kent County in the 1720's, and a Thomas Hilton buying 270 acres of
land in Lunenburg County in 1748.
In Hanover County, which is adjacent to New Kent County, there
was a general store operated by Thomas Partridge in the early 1700's.
He maintained a record of sales, and some of his records survive
today. In one, there are entries for Jonathan Ashworth and
Edward "Murfil"; one such instance in which Jonathan Ashworth bought
Edward Murfil a hymnal. Also, in a registry book for St. Peter's
parish, John Morefield, and Johnathan Ashworth are both named as
property owners. John Morefield is named as having his property
surveyed every few years from the early 1700's to the mid 1740's, a
few years before he appears in Lunenburg County court records.
There are several court records in Lunenburg County, Va. naming
John and Edward Morefield, (named a constable in 1749), and Jonathan
Ashworth. John Morefield's will was recorded there in 1751, (who
appears to have died in early 1752), and Jonathan Ashworth's in 1759,
(who was still living into the 1760's). Although the precise date is
unknown, and no marriage record has been found, a Jean Morefield
married John Ashworth, son of Jonathan during this era, and they
moved into what is now Pittsylvania County. From these and other
records, it is apparent that the Morefield, Ashworth, and Hilton
families migrated from the Hanover New Kent area of Virginia to
Lunenburg County in the 1740's.
GENERATION NO. 3 EDWARD MOREFIELD (probably born in the early
1700's in New Kent or Hanover Co., Va, died in Nov., 1785 in Halifax
GENERATION NO. 4 JOHN MOREFIELD, SR. (probably born by 1730 in New
Kent or Hanover Co., died about October, 1812 in Halifax Co., Va.)
There are no extant documents which state the relationship
between John no. 2 and Edward and there are varying opinions among
Morefield researchers as to their kinship. I believe Edward to have
been a son (but not necessarily the only one) of John no. 2. John's
1751 will names daughters Jane, Elizabeth, and "grandson" John, but
not Edward, causing some researchers to believe Edward was not a son
of John. I subscribe to the theory that John followed the custom of
transferring property to some heirs prior to his death and naming
others in his will (Jean Morefield who married John Ashworth may have
been this same Jane, or perhaps a daughter of Edward). Edward and a
third John, who I feel was the "grandson John", moved into Halifax
County between 1753 and 1755, (John Morefield was appointed a
constable in Lunenburg County in 1753, so he was still living there
then). To repeat, I believe that the "grandson John", was a son of
Edward, and that Edward was a son of John who died in 1751. Edward
and John Morefield, (the third John Morefield), are mentioned in
Halifax County court records numerous times beginning in 1755, and in
1756, Edward Morefield "of Halifaxx (sp) County" sold property he
owned in Lunenburg county. This fact negates the theory by some that
Edward and John actually lived in the part of Lunenburg County that
became Halifax County in 1751; and indicates that they physically
moved from Lunenburg into Halifax. I will add here that Pat Seaver,
whose opinion I hold in high regard, feels that the probability is
higher that Edward was not a son of John. She reasons that Edward was
neither mentioned in John's 1751 will, nor was he named administrator
of what I feel was his father's estate, but more important is the
fact that John named his two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth as co-
administrators, an event highly unusual for this time period. She
feels that Edward was a relative of John's, but not likely his son,
and that the grandson John was not the same John who moved into
Halifax County with Edward. For now, and until my thinking is altered
by more data then we have currently available to us, I'll stand by my
theory. As I stated above, some of what I write here is conjecture
and opinion based on scant documentation.
After the end of the Revolutionary War in 1781, the former
thirteen colonies became the United States of America, and the first
population count of the United States was taken in 1782. This was not
actually named a census, but a Head of Household count in preparation
for the first U.S. census planned for 1790. In 1782, records can be
found for only two Morefield households in Virginia, and both were in
Halifax County. These were the households of Edward Morefield and
John Morefield. Edward's household had three members, and John's had
ten. At that time, the only names taken were the head of household;
other members were not named, and no ages were given. For this
reason, it is not possible to name the members of each household with
absolute certainty. We know that Edward had a wife, as the Halifax
County record of his estate sale in November of 1785 mentions "the
widow Morefield" as well as John Morefield, who also was named
administrator of Edward's estate in a separate document. There was an
earlier deed that named Edward and Alse Morefield, so it is presumed
that Alse was his wife. John's wife was named Martha and Patsy in
different documents. In other records and for other families, it is
seen that Patsy was a common nickname for Martha in those days, just
as Jack is a nickname for John today. The name of the third member
in Edward's household is not known, nor has it been determined if
this was a child, other family member, or someone outside the family.
The household count was done again in early 1785, before Edward's
death in October or November. At this time Edward's household still
had three members, but John's had only nine. John's daughter
Elizabeth married Howard Cain that year, which probably explains the
decrease from ten members to nine. I assume John to have been her
father as he signed her marriage bond.
In the 1787 count, the only Morefield households in Virginia
were the homes of John Morefield and Wright Morefield; (Edward had
died in 1785). Since Wright was listed as living in John's household
in the 1784 Personal Property Tax List for Halifax County, (prior to
Edward's death in 1785), it is assumed that John was the father of
Wright, and that Wright was probably John's oldest son. The PPTL was
a record of all landowners and those over the age of twenty-one. In
summary, I feel Edward was a son of John no. 2 who died in 1751,
and "grandson John", John no. 3, was Edward's son. Another
possibility is that Edward and John no. 2 were either brothers or
uncle/nephew. The 1790, 1800, and 1810 census records were
destroyed in the War of 1812 when the British burned Washington and
unfortunately, much valuable genealogical information was lost with
It is very likely that John no. 2 who died in Lunenburg County
in 1751 had other children. In 1754 and 1755 there was a James
Morefield in Granville County, N.C., (mentioned along with a John
Blackman in a militia roster). Granville County is due south of
Lunenburg County, and its northwest corner borders the southeast
corner of Halifax County. There is a 1765 Halifax County deed book
record of a James Moorefield living on land being sold to Thomas
Hilton, (remember that name?), and in 1766 there is a Halifax court
case naming James Morefield and Elizabeth Morefield as defendants.
(Curiously, the record does not state James and Elizabeth Morefield,
but is worded as above). In 1760, Thomas Hilton and Beacham Hilton
are shown in Halifax records. Neither James nor Elizabeth is
mentioned again in Granville or Halifax counties, but a James
Morefield appears in tax records in Rowan County, N.C. in 1768. This
is the Salisbury area today, but in the 1760's, Rowan County also
encompassed present Davidson County, and Pat Seaver's research shows
that James lived in the part of Rowan that became Davidson County.
Davidson County lies south of Guilford County; Greensboro and High
Point, N.C. On October 16, 1789 in Rowan County, N.C., a Mary
Morefield married Mark Sluider, and the bondsman was "Peachum
Helton", likely the same Beacham Hilton of Halifax County. Also, on
November 5, 1792, Milly Morefield married Lifas Helton in Rowan
County. I, and other researchers believe it to be very probable that
James moved from Granville County, N.C. to Halifax County, Va., then
a few counties southwest to Rowan County, N.C., and it is also very
likely that Mary and Milly were his daughters. It is also probable
that John Blackman Morefield, named in other records, was his son,
and perhaps named after his friend John Blackman of the Granville
County militia roster. Clearly, there was some degree of connection
among the Morefield, Ashworth, and Hilton families of New Kent, and
other counties of Virginia and North Carolina.
Also, available data, while scarce and inconclusive, indicates
the first Morefields in eastern Tennessee, migrated there from the
western counties of North Carolina in the early 1800's (beginning
about 1806), and most probably were descendants of James of Rowan
County. Existing records show scattered Morefields living in Rowan,
Stokes, and Ashe counties of North Carolina through the late 1700's,
after which the Morefield name disappears for about twenty years in
North Carolina and surfaces in Carter and Johnson counties in
Tennessee. While there is no document to prove these were the same
folks, the migratory pattern westward seems to indicate family ties.
A John Morefield married Elizabeth Hines in Davidson County,
N.C. in 1828, and it appears that by 1850 his widow was living a
little further west in Surry County with their two sons, John and
Frederick. However, there is no document that hints at his origins,
and it is unknown whether he was a Rowan County or a Halifax County
Morefield. Except for the likelihood that this John was a native
Rowan County Morefield, after the migration into Tennessee, North
Carolina had no other Morefields until Halifax County Morefields
began migrating there again in the 1820's. Today, there are more
members of our family living in North Carolina than in Virginia.
On 2-9-1765, Edward bought a 220-acre farm in Halifax County
from James Thomas Barding. This property lies on both the north and
south sides of the Dificult Creek along the current Allen's Mill Rd.,
about four miles northeast of the town of Scottsburg. He sold 50
acres of this property in August, 1777 and the remainder in the
On 11-22-1777, John Morefield bought 140 acres near or on what
is now Long Branch Rd, about two miles north of Scottsburg on the
north side of present day route 360. He later increased his holdings
to 225 acres. This farm was sold in parcels, the last in September of
1806, and the following month, he bought a 100-acre farm about two
miles northeast of Scottsburg along the eastern side of the Hazlenut
Branch. This farm was later bought by Thomas C. Wilmouth, my third
great grandfather in 1832, and lies just on the north side of present
day Lee-Syd-Moore Rd. (The Hazelnut Branch runs across Lee-Syd-Moore
Rd. into the farm once owned by my grandparents, William Frank and
Stella Wilmouth Moorefield, Sr.).
GENERATION NO. 5 JOHN AND MARTHA MOREFIELD'S CHILDREN.
John Morefield's (No. 3) will was recorded in Halifax in May,
1812, and probated the following November, naming both his wife Patsy
and his "beloved son John". It is not known for sure why he named no
other children and singled out John, except laws and customs were
different then. In several court records in Halifax County, the
senior John is listed as John, Sr., and the "beloved son John" as
John, Jr. Now remember that John, Sr. is not the same John who first
came to this country, but I believe him to be the grandson John named
in the Lunenburg will of 1751. Following, in order of marriage
are those who I feel were children of John and Martha.
1. Elizabeth Morefield married Howard Cain on 4-4-1782. The only
clue to Elizabeth's age is that John gave his consent to the marriage
by signature. Statute required consent of a parent or legal guardian
if under age 21, so it is believed that Elizabeth was born later than
1861. No further research has been done for Elizabeth.
2. Wright Morefield married Nancy Stevens on 12-22-1785. Wright's
name first appeared on the Halifax County personal property tax
(PPTL) list in 1784, listing him in the household of John Morefield.
Given this, he would have been born by 1763. He is not listed in
deed records as having owned any real estate, and last appeared on
the PPTL in 1821. He is not named in any records after that year.
From study of various records, several other researchers and I feel
that Wright and Nancy were parents of the following children.
a. John W., born about 1790, married Sally Powell, daughter of Joshua
and Frances Powell, on 12-12-1810. Numerous descendants of their son,
William T. live in Halifax, Pittsylvania, Charlotte, and Amhurst
counties. Raliegh Carrington Moorefield, former Halifax County school
board member, is a descendant. John W., his wife, and their younger
children moved to Henry County, Tenn. about 1847. He was last named
in the 1850 census.
b. Henry, born about 1791, married Nancy Powell, Sally's sister, on 5-
10-1814. Henry last appeared on the Halifax County PPTL in 1822, and
was on the 1830 and 1840 census records for Stokes County, NC. He
was listed as a pensioner for the War of 1812. It is possible that
Henry and his family moved to Stokes County about the same time that
his uncle William Moorefield, Sr., listed below, moved to Patrick
County, Va. These two counties have a common border, and William
lived in the Mayo Creek area of Patrick County, just north of the
Snow Creek area of Stokes County, and it is possible the two families
moved together. In 1839, Henry, and his son in law, William C.
George, bought land in Patrick County, so it is evident they were not
far from the border. In the 1850 census, the family is shown in
Pulaski County, Kentucky. They have no descendants in Stokes County.
Henry was last listed on the 1860 census.
c. James Harding, born about 1794, married Polly Powell, sister of
Sally and Nancy, on 9-13-1816 in Caswell County, NC. James last
appeared on the Halifax PPTL in 1822, and he was living in Rowan
County, NC in the 1830 census. From there, they migrated to Clark
County, Illinois by 1840, and to St. Claire, Il. By 1850. He was last
named in the 1850 census.
d. Armistead, born about 1798, married Anna Thomas on 2-14-1822, the
last year he is found on the PPTL. Armistead is not found in the
1830 census, but appears on the Iredell County, NC census in 1840. I
feel he was probably living with his wife's parents most of the
intervening years. He has numerous descendants in surrounding
e. Robert S. Morefield was born on 5-25-1803, according to his great
great grandson, Bob Morefield of Murphysboro, Illinois. His parents
are not named in any document we have found, but we include him as a
child of Wright for two reasons. First, in the 1820 census, there is
a male of his age group in the household of Wright, and second, his
close proximity to Henry Morefield in Stokes and Patrick counties.
Robert is included on the Patrick County tax lists for the years
1832, 1833, and 1834. He returned to Halifax County, where he married
Prudence Irby Sneed, a widow, on April 15, 1834, his bondsman being
one Elijah Webb. The following October 23, Robert witnessed a deed of
trust note from Henry Morefield to F. Webb in Stokes County, and on
April 21, 1835, Henry and Elizabeth Morefield witnessed the will of
Elijah Webb in Stokes County. Also, there is ample evidence in
Halifax County that Robert was the father of Andelusia Morefield of
Stokes County. Robert and Prudence migrated to Kentucky to land she
inherited from her grandfather, and later moved into Illinois. Robert
died there on March 1, 1866 and Prudence on September 4, 1876.
3. John Morefield, Jr. first appeared on the PPTL in 1788, and was
probably born about 1766. He and Winifred Bruce, daughter of John
Bruce, were married on 5-17-1787. He last appeared on the PPTL in
1815, and Winifred is listed in 1817, so it appears he died sometime
in between. Winifred died in 1849, and her grandson Isaac was named
administrator of her estate. John and Winifred's daughter in law,
Sally Monday, had a sister, Tabitha, who was married in their home.
However, the minister failed to return the bond to the courthouse, so
the marriage was not recorded. In 1844, Winifred signed an affidavit
attesting to the marriage to support Tabitha's claim for a widow's
pension. As part of this affidavit, Winifred provided a family
register naming her children. Those named were:
a. William. Jr., perhaps named after his uncle, William, Sr., was
born on 3-27-1888, and married Nancy Canada on 9-25-1809. They lived
in Halifax and Pittsylvania counties until the 1840's, during which
time, William migrated to Troup County, Ga, apparently without Nancy,
but with their son Willis. In the 1860 and 1870 census, he is shown
living in Alabama.
b. Polly, born on 4-6-1789, married Nevin McKinney on 9-15-1817.
c. John Royal, born on 5-16-1791 married Sally Monday on 6-13-1813.
They lived in Halifax County until 1850 and then moved to the city of
Danville, where John Royal died of typhoid in 1856. Sally later moved
to Prince Edward County with their daughter Sara Catherine Sest,
where she died in the 1880s. They have numerous descendants in
Halifax, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Cumberland, and Henrico
counties of Virginia, and Rockingham, Caswell, and Guilford counties
of North Carolina.
d. Edmund, born 4-19-1793, married Rachel Crews on 9-24-1816. They
had one daughter, Elizabeth Ann, and Edmund died in 1822, cause
e. Coleman, born 8-31-1795.
f. Dickerson, born on 4-7-1798. A Richard Moorefield married Nancy
McKenney on 11-12-1819. Richard lived next to Winifred in the 1830
census, and his three children were named in the settlement of her
estate. I believe that he was either Coleman or Dickerson, but there
is no document to state which, or what became of the other. He died
in 1843, and has descendants in the Richmond, Va. area.
g. NOT LISTED: Sarah, born about 1796, was not named in Winifred's
family registry, but indications are that she was her daughter.
Sarah married William Coates in 12-11-1818, with William Morefield
signing a statement that she was over the age of twenty-one. This
was more likely Sarah's older brother, William Morefield, Jr., but
could have been her uncle, William Sr., named below. In Halifax
Court, February, 1822, William Coates was ordered to appraise the
property of Edmund Morefield, deceased. Assuming Sarah to have been
Winifred's daughter, then Edmund was brother in law to William
Coates. Evidently Sarah died without children. In 1824, William
Coates remarried, and there was no mention of any children in the
division of Winifred's estate in 1854.
4. Moore Morefield married Virginia Reitey (Henrietta?) Strange
on 6-7-1798. In most years, up to 1832, he is found living in the
southern district of Halifax County, which I believe is all the area
west of the Banister River, but for one year, 1819, he is listed in
Pittsylvania County, Va., just west of Halifax County. Following are
the names of his and Reitey's children:
a. Joseph R. was born about 1799, and is named in Pittsylvania County
records, including his marriage to Sarah Wade in 1818. Later records
show him living in South Carolina and then Georgia.
b. Lucy was born about 1800, and married Daniel Talley in
Pittsylvania County in 1818, Moore signing as her father.
c. Wiley was born about 1801. There is no document naming his
parents, however, there is a male of his age grouping in the 1820
census listing of Moore's household. Also, Wiley and his wife Cary
Vaughn lived on a farm she inherited from her maternal grandfather.
This farm is just inside Pittsylvania County on the road to the
community of Kentuck from South Boston, in the Birch Creek area. It
just seems more probable that Wiley would have lived somewhere in
this vicinity for he and Cary to gotten to know each other, than if
he were raised in the eastern part of Halifax County. Wiley and
Cary's oldest son, James R. owned a farm about two miles due north of
theirs, and I think Wiley and Cary are buried there with James and
his wife in the Moorefield Hodnett family cemetery.
d. Susannah, born about 1803, married Richard Perkins in Halifax
County in 1820.
e. Willie was born about 1805 and married Lewis Spencer in Halifax
county in 1824.
f. Julius, born about 1810, is added to Moore and Reitey's family for
two reasons. First, Reitey was a daughter of Julius Strange, perhaps
his namesake, and second, there is a male of his age grouping living
with Moore and Reitey in the 1820 census. However, there is no
document stating him to have been a son of theirs. Julius moved to
Smith County, Tenn, then to Illinois, and finally further west to
Wright County, Mo. by 1870.
5. William Morefield, Sr. was born about 1777 and married Rebecca
Stevens on 6-24-1801. They had at least six children in Halifax
County, and moved west to the Mayo River district of Patrick County
about 1823, (see Henry above), where William died about 1828. The
children that we can name for certain were:
a. Nancy, born about 1802, married Joseph Harris in Patrick County on
12-9-1824, later moved to Tennessee.
b. Allen, born about 1802, married Martha Harris on 3-2-1825. They
moved just south to the Snow Creek district of Stokes County, NC in
the mid 1840's, later to Scott County, Va., then to Hawkins County,
Tenn. Pat Moorefield Seaver, named previously, is a descendant.
c. Josiah, born about 1805, married Ruth Keaton on 3-8-1830. They
moved to Illinois by 1840. Their son Josiah James fought for the
d. Wright, born on 10-20-1812, married Jane Martin on 12-25-1831. He
died on 4-6-1882 and is buried in Stokes Co., NC in the Moorefield
Gibson family cemetery. This cemetery is beautifully maintained today
by a descendant Timmy Gibson.
e. Mary, born about 1817, married Sampson Keaton on 6-3-1841, later
moved to Tennessee.
f. William, Jr., born in 1822, married Mary Ann Kasey on 3-25-1848.
He died in 1899 and is buried about twenty feet from his older
g. Martha J., born about 1826, married Lewis Martin on 5-11-1848.
h. Rebecca, born in 1827, married Alexander Bryant on 8-8-1848.
i. There was a James Morefield mentioned in records in Patrick County
who also was likely a son of theirs.
Many of William and Rebecca's descendants who carry the
Moorefield name still live in Patrick and Pulaski counties of
Virginia, and Surry, Stokes, Forsyth, Guilford, and Davidson counties
of North Carolina, and in various parts of Tennessee. Very few of
these folks even know of the others.
6. Mastin Morefield married Wilmouth Stokes on 5-21-1804.
Although not clearly documented, evidence leads me to believe that my
third great grandfather, Stephen Moorefield was a son of theirs. They
have descendants in Halifax County, Va., and Guilford and Caswell
counties in North Carolina. There is no document naming any of
Mastin's and Wilmouth's children, however, following are the names of
those I believe to belong to them:
a. Banister married Susan Martha Comer on 6-28-1824. Halifax deed
books reveal that they lived south of Scottsburg toward the Dan River
until Banister's death in 1849. A few years later, his widow bought
several hundred acres near what is now Rogers Chapel Church Road,
near Clover. Susan, sons Mastin A., and Theophilus, and others are
buried in the Rogers Chapel Baptist Church cemetery. Other sons moved
to Christian County, Ky. after the Civil War and have descendants
there and in surrounding areas today. Banister and Susan have no
descendants that carry that Moorefield surname in Halifax County
today, although Clerk of Court Robert Conner is great great grandson.
b. Mary married Asa Moore on 3-7-1821. Their son married a daughter
of Banister and Susan.
c. Leroy married Susannah Throckmorton on 10-31-1827.
d. Elijah's wife was Martha Cheatham, although no marriage record has
been found. They lived on a farm now part of the Falkland hunting
preserve, and I believe I have located their graves there. A
granddaughter, Signora Moorefield Crowder, is buried in Rogers Chapel
e. Charles, married Mary Shaw on 3-8-1849.
f. Stephen, my great great grandfather, was born about 1815, and
married Eliza Wilmouth on 2-11-1834 in Person County, N.C. In the
1850 census, he is shown living next to Elijah.
7. Edward Morefield. This second Edward Morefield, for whom no
marriage record has been found, began having children with his wife
about 1798. I believe him to have been a child of John and Martha,
also. His children migrated into areas of Kentucky and Illinois. As
for Mastin, no document has been found which names his children, but
several researchers, myself included feel the list includes the
a. Martin; records show a Martin Morefield married Sarah Weaver in
Person County, N.C. on 9-1-1813, and that a Martin Morefield married
Polly Weaver in Blount County, Tenn. on 9-24-1817. It is unproven if
the two Martins were the same, but probable. Another question is
whether Sarah and Polly was the same person or not. Martin lived in
Smith County, Tenn. until after 1859, and last appeared in Williamson
County, Illinois in the 1860 census.
b. Green was married to Elizabeth Nelson of Pittsylvania County and
migrated to Kentucky. He named a son Martin.
c. John F., (aka Johnson), married Cintha Estes on 1-23-1817; later
moved to Tennessee, (lived next door to Julius Morefield), and later
d. Frances, married Gabriel Adams on 11-21-1821 in Pittsylvania
County; later moved to Illinois, where her older brother John F.
lived with her during his later years.
This concludes part one of my summary of our family genealogy.
My emphasis is mostly on Moorefields who can be traced directly back
to Halifax County. Perhaps another researcher such as Pat Seaver, or
Phyllis Morefield, who have done much more research than I on the
Johnson County, Tennessee line, will write a similar summary for that
branch. From time to time, I write a continuation of this summary
down to a family member living today.