Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The 4th Wife.....Kesiah McCormack Morris (1796-????)

1837 Maury County, TN Marriage License

Most of what we know about Isaac Jones' fourth wife Kesiah Morris is culled from the 1850 Federal Census for Calloway County, Kentucky. Based on this census entry it has been generally believed that Kesiah was born in Tennessee around the year 1772. Anyone who has read my earlier posts can probably guess what's coming next. Yep.....once again I believe that the evidence suggests otherwise. For starters let's examine her stated birth year.

As I mentioned before in an earlier post, Kesiah's oldest child Jane was born circa 1817. If we are to accept the fact that Kesiah was born in 1772, this would have her giving birth to her first child at age 45 and then following that up with having three more children. While not biologically impossible, it's highly, highly unlikely and should be the first red flag thrown up. Furthermore, on earlier census entries where Kesiah can be located, her listed age is consistently stated as being much less than her presumed age of 78 in 1850. On the 1840 Census instead of falling into the "female 60 and under 70" column as the 1850 Census would have it, she is listed as being "40 and under 50". The information on the 1840 Census is much more consistent with the information given on her earliest known census appearance in 1820, where she can be found in Maury County, TN listed as being age "16 and under 26". By 1820 she had married James Morris and had two daughters "under the age of 10" which would be consistent with her daughters Jane and Lucinda. Based on this, I think it's much more likely that Kesiah was actually born no earlier than 1794 and most likely closer to 1800.

Through the existence of his Maury County, TN will recorded on May 15, 1827, we know that Kesiah was one of eight children born to John and Elizabeth McCormack. The McCormack family had come to Tennessee from Virginia sometime prior to Kesiah's marriage to James Morris around 1816. With Kesiah's older sisters Sarah and Mary having been born in Virginia in 1793 and 1795 and the existence of numerous John McCormacks in the state in 1800, I think it's just as likely that Kesiah was also born in Virginia and not Tennessee as previously thought. Unfortunately the 1800 Census for Tennessee has been completely lost and county tax records for the time have yet to produce a likely John McCormack to confirm or disprove this.

As stated above, Kesiah married James Morris in Maury County, TN around 1816. Together the couple would have four children: Jane A. (1817), Lucinda (1819), Henry G. (1823), and Rebecca C. (1824). Not long after the birth of their daughter Rebecca, James Morris would pass away in late 1825 or early 1826 based on his Maury County will recorded in February 1826. Kesiah would remain a widow for the next eleven years until her marriage to Isaac Jones either on or shortly after September 25, 1837.

1837 Maury County, TN Marriage License~Isaac Jones to Kesiah Morris

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