Genealogy - Zechariah (Zacarriah) Morris

Zacarriah MORRIS was born May 24, 1793 (tombstone). It is said he was born in Georgia. Zacarriah died at his home in East Fork Township, Clinton County, Illinois on May 23rd or 24th, 1846. He is buried in Lutz Cemetery, Marion Co., Illinois. (The stones of Lutz Cemetery were destroyed in 1965. Zacarriah Morris had given this land for a cemetery.) Rachel (Zacarriah's wife) died August 21, 1846 (tombstone).

Zacarriah was the son of John and Elizabeth Morris of Jackson County, Georgia as evidenced from the last Will and Testament of John Morris which was written on June 27, 1810 and acknowledged in open court in Jackson County on March 4, 1811 which we will assume is close to the day John Morris died. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, sons - Zachariah and Jesse, and daughters - Polley Morris DUKE (married to James Duke, January 13, 1806), Susannah, and Salley, if we can assume his will mentions all of his family. (Jackson Co. GA, Will Book A, page 36) Zacarriah married Rachel JONES, daughter of James Jones and Mary WHALEY Jones, on November 23, 1811. (See marriage records Jackson Co. GA Courthouse)

We are not sure of John Morris's origins although we could conjecture that he may have migrated from North Carolina. There is no proof at this time, but it has been said the Whaley's and the Jones migrated down through Duplin Co. NC and the 1790 Census for Duplin County shows several families of Morris, Jones, Whaley, PARKER and WARD. All of these family names figure into to later family history and may have migrated to Illinois as well. The only possible reference is to Mary Jones (Mary Whaley Jones?) whose husband might have been away at the time of the census. There are a couple of Morris families listed but no mention of John and Elizabeth. They may have been living in one of these households but that is conjecture and not supported by fact. ("Flashes of Duplin's History and Government", Chapter 10, page 105)


Zacarriah Morris and Rachel Jones made application for marriage license Nov. 21, 1811 and were married in Jackson Co., GA on Nov. 23, 1811 by Joseph Camp J.P. (GA DAR published 1926, GA Archives, Atlanta, GA.)

Zacarriah Morris in the Illinois Territory

In 1812, Zacarriah Morris migrated to southern Illinois with his family. He settled in St. Clair County, Illinois, east of Lebanon, Illinois. (Probably Padfield Settlement, Fort Chambers)

1818 Census St. Clair Co., Illinois

Household of eight, No. 189, page 161, two white males over 21, all other inhabitants white. (Edited by Theo. Colvin, Pease "?", University of Illinois) Zacarriah Morris remained in St. Clair County until 1820.

1820 Census Bond Co., Illinois

(Reel No. 90, Page 7, Line 13)
2 - Males - under 10 years (Probably sons, William and James)
1 - Male - 18 to 26 - engaged in agriculture. (Probably brother Joseph [some discrepancy here])
1 - Male - 26 to 45 - engaged in agriculture. (Zacarriah)
1 - Female - 26 to 45 - Rachel

This census was given as Perryville District, Bond County, Illinois. Zacarriah Morris was on his way to Irishtown Township, Clinton County, Illinois. A large settlement moved into Irishtown about 1823. ("Early History of Irishtown Township, Clinton Co., Illinois" page 175, "History of Marion and Clinton Counties" printed by Brink, McDonough and Co., Philadelphia, 1881)

1830 Census Irishtown Township, Clinton Co., Illinois

(Microfilm reel No. 19-23, page 104)
1 5 to 10 years (John, William was dead)
1 - 15 to 20 years (James)
1 - 30 to 40 years (Zacarriah)
1 - 40 to 50 years (unknown)
2 - Under 5 years (Mary and Lavina)
1 - 5 to 10 years (Salina)
1 - 30 to 40 years (Rachel)

Zacarriah Morris lived at the top of what was known as Neely Hill. (Sec. 2 T 3 N - R 2 W) As late as 1915 there were rocks on that location that had been part of an old fire place. John Morris, grandfather of Estella SHERMAN, and son of Zacarriah, said that three graves were on Neely Hill. From descendants of early Irishtown settlers, stories have been told of Zacarriah Morris. Zacarriah was a good carpenter, and had built a very good log cabin and outbuildings. In 1826, Zacarriah killed an Indian who was lying in his sweet potato patch. It is said that Zacarriah went out of his cabin one morning after a light snow had fallen and saw Indian moccasin tracks. He gathered a group of men and they followed until, at the end of two days, they found them sitting around a campfire. Eight of the straggling Indians were killed and one escaped. Zacarriah was said to be a large, very strong man. He was also described as stubborn, proud and ambitious. He was also a good neighbor. (Betty DUCOMB, whose mother, Betty MCNEIL RUSSELL, came from Ireland, with her mother and three brothers in 1826 and settled in Irishtown Township)

In 1826, Zacarriah Morris served on Petit Jury with Neely McNeil and James BURNSIDE. (Page 34, old Circuit Court Records, County Clerks Office, Carlyle, Illinois)

Zacarriah Morris wanted a mill so Sept. 9,1832 he purchased land on East Fork Creek in East Fork Township for his mill.
N. (Nathaniel) POPE to Z. Morris, the N.E. ΒΌ of Sec. 13 T 3 N - R 1 W 160A for the sum of $200.

Nathaniel Pope and his wife Lucretia (by mark) (Randolph Co., Illinois) signed this deed. Deed Book A, Page 342, County Clerks Office, Carlyle, Illinois. (In the year 1809, Nathaniel Pope was Secretary and Acting Governor of the Illinois Territory)
In the December, 1835 term of court, Zacarriah received a permit to build a mill on the banks of the East Fork Creek for a fee of $5.00. In conjunction with his brother-in-law, John ROGERS, Zacarriah constructed a water mill on the East Fork. This was the first mill built in the township as well as the first for miles around. It contained on run of stone and ran a sawmill in conjunction with the gristmill. The gristmill was still in operation in 1880.

March 21, 1834, Zacarriah Morris sold 25 acres to John Rogers (part of Sec. 13). {Deed Book A, Page 570 and 571} Rachel was not living with Zacarriah at this time and she had to sign separately. "Be it remembered 21st, March 1834, Zacarriah Morris appeared before Justices and acknowledged that, the deed to be his act, and of said wife, of said Morris to be separated from her husband. Said wife examined by me, and said that she had made the same freely and with her own consent to the end, the same might be recorded as such. (Rachel and Zacarriah remained separated for about one year) Given under her hand and seal. Bennett BIGGS J .P. 13th March, 1846 James Morris, eldest son of Zacarriah.

In 1834, May 16th, John Rogers and wife Lavina sold the above 25 acres to Thomas RAY. (Deed Book B - page 47)

In December term of court, Zacarriah Morris appointed Supervisor for Road Work, Road #10 Salem to Martins Ferry to Thomas Rays on Vincennes Road, 10 miles to William GIBBS, and thence to the nearest point on the Kaskaskia River. Zacarriah continued to be appointed a juror and received roadwork in East Fork Township.

(Note: John Rogers and wife, Lavina, moved south of Patoka, Marion Co., Illinois. The site is not known where they lived. There was supposedly a cemetery near by. (The cemetery has not been found.)

Zacarriah Morris attended the sale of son, James on May 2, 1846. (Box 164, Circuit Clerks office, Carlyle, Illinois)

On May 24, 1846, Zacarriah Morris died of Cholera (Cert. of death, Box 164, Circuit Clerks office, Carlyle, Illinois). He was buried in Lutz Cemetery with members of his family. Zacarriah was said to be an influential citizen of East Fork Township. He had the first mill for miles around and was the builder of many roads. Zacarriah also gave land for the some of the first schools and churches of the area.

Zacarriah and Rachel are said to have had eleven children, James, Salina, John, Mary, Lavina, Rachel, and Joseph are know of.

  1. James Morris - Born 1815, Died March 17,1846. Married to Ellenor CLENDENNING (?) On December 5, 1837, James was given a permit for the fee of $5 to open a store in East Fork, various sundries and merchandise. (Page 253, Records of Circuit Court, Early Records Book 1) June 1840 for $25, James was given a permit for a Tavern and Inn for one year from this date. (Early Records Book 1, Circuit Clerks Office, Carlyle, Illinois) In the estate settlement of James Morris, minor sons, John A. and Joseph and wife Ellenor are mentioned. At this time James was partial owner of the mill. Hardy FOSTER was appointed Guardian for minor sons. Son, John A. married Susan WARD and they settled in Morrisonville, IL.
  2. Salina Morris - Died about 1840. Married Frances GILLEY on February 27, 1840 by Frances COLE M.G. They had one child, Lavina who is mentioned in the estate of Zacarriah Morris.
  3. John Morris - Born Sept. 23, 1823, Died June 10, 1898 in his home in East Fork Township, Clinton County, Illinois. He was born in Irishtown Township, Clinton County. He was buried in Ebeneezer Cemetery in East Fork Township.
  4. Mary Morris - Died November 18, 1848. Married Daniel GILLEY, August 24, 1846 by H. RICHARDSON J.P. (Book 1, page134) Names of children are not known. Settlement of Zacarriah's estate states heirs for May, Salina, and James.
  5. Lavina Morris - Born 1830, Died January 1, 1886. Lavina married Valentine WARD, date unknown. Valentine died Feb. 25, 1875 age 37 years and 9 months (tombstone - Ebenezer Cemetery). The 2nd marriage of Lavina was to Thomas CLENDENNING, born January 29, 1804 in Corolina (?) Co., Maryland and died April 8, 1880, buried in Ebenezer Cemetery. No issue.
  6. Rachel Morris - Born?, Died ?. Married Nathan SMITH April 18, 1849 (Book 2, Pg.11, Carlyle, IL) married by T .L. NICHOLS J.P. Rachel's date of death not known. Nathan was married a second time to Sarah Jane COLE. They had a large family. Rachel's brother John was executor of his estate.
  7. Joseph Morris - Born 1835, Died April 23, 1867. Married to Jemima CARTER August 3, 1853. (Book 2, Page 48, County Clerks Office, Carlyle) Married by T. L. Nichols J.P. Consent of Guardian given by John Morris. Joseph and Jemima are buried in Ebenezer Cemetery with three small daughters, Mary, Rachel, and Martha. Joseph was married a second time to Sarah JACKSON. A son, Nicholas, was 8 years old in May 1867. Valentine WARD was his guardian. In the Settlement of Estate of Joseph, Sarah received $350. Joseph lived with his sister Lavina and Valentine Ward at the time of the 1850 Census.
  8. William Morris - Died young.

Names of other children are not known.

Last Will and Testament of John Morris (Father of Zachariah)

In the name of God, Amen, I John Morris of the State of Georgia and Jackson County being sick and weak of body but of sound and perfect and disposing mind and memory blessed be God, do this twenty-seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ten, make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner and form following. ____ I give and commend my soul to almighty God who gave it, and my body I wish to be buried in the earth, at the discretion of my executor, hereafter to be named and my worldly goods I give and desire and dispose of in the following manner.

Item, my will and desire is that all my just debts be paid by my executors out of my estate.

Item, I give and desire to my son Zachariah one certain bay horse known by the name of Jolly, also our cow and calf known as Pride.

Item, My will and desire is that my daughter Sally Morris and Susannah Morris shall have each of them a cow and calf when they come of age.

Item, I give to my daughter Polley DUKE one certain heifer known by the name of Brindy.

Item, I give and desire to my son Jesse one heifer known by the name of Libby.

Item, I give and desire to my beloved wife Elizabeth Morris my land and tenaments and plantation tools and household furniture. Also our sorrel mare known by the name of Irish (?) also the whole stock of cattle and hogs all for the use of the widow and orphans during her life or widowhood.

Item, I will and desire for the wagon to be sold upon a credit with as much other property as will defray all my debts and I do hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint Frederick THOMPSON, Eli WHALEY, and the a foresaid Elizabeth Morris, Joint Executors and execute to this my last will and testament ratifying this and this only to be my last will and nullifying all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made witness my hand and on the date above signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of

Joseph CAMP
     John     X     Morris

Jackson County
Personally came into open court Joseph Camp and William Nichols and being duly deposith and sworn saith that they did see the within named John Morris sign seal and acknowledge the within to be his last Will and Testament and that they were witnesses to the same. Sworn to in open court this 4th day of March 1811.
Edward Adams - clerk     Joseph Camp
     William Nichols

[This last will and testament was typed from a copy of the original, (photocopied in the county courthouse of Jackson Co., Georgia) by Michael James Morris, son of Carroll Don Morris whose father was Millard James Morris whose father was Frank Morris, whose father was William Morris, whose father was John Morris, whose father was Zachariah Morris. I believe we were all eldest sons of the eldest sons. (An interesting fact but not really relevant.) Please forgive any misspellings or punctuation errors. I tried to leave most errors intact from the original but every so often I could not resist putting a comma in or correcting an error. There were also several places where the words could not be clearly read since this was a handwritten document. I believe I guessed correctly in most cases.]

Submitted by: Mike J. Morris

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