Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Volume XIII, Issue 1 Winter 1999 / 2000


Submitted by: Carla (Moreland) Burkett and Dana (Burkett) Freeman

Reprinted from: Owen County, Indiana – A History – 1994 (published by the Owen County Historical and Genealogical Society)

The MORELANDs were early pioneers of Owen County, tracing their ancestry to Carter County, Tennessee and Goochland [County], Virginia. On July 6, 1817 William MORELAND (ca 1790 – August 12, 1841) and Temperance COFFEY (born December 1797) were united in marriage in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Hiram COFFEY, a brother of Temperance, was a witness to the ceremony. She was the daughter of Reuben COFFEY and Naomi HAYES.

Ten years later, the family traveled westward. Three children began the journey with them: Lawson (ca 1818 – April 28, 1877), Alfred (ca 1819 – September 24, 1847), and Matilda (August 10, 1823 – March 20, 1867). Their fourth child Celia (born ca 1827) was born in Kentucky. After arriving in Indiana, three more children were born: Nancy Ann (February 14, 1931 – April 21, 1871), Elizabeth (born ca 1834), and John D. (1835 – January 30, 1891).

Four of their children married in Monroe County, Indiana. Lawson married Margaret BILLINGS, daughter of Boland BILLINGS, on March 10, 1842. Celia married William Calvin MEFFORD on October 8, 1846. Matilda married Jesse WILLIAMS, son of Godfrey WILLIAMS and Elizabeth ADAMS, on January 14, 1841. Elizabeth Betty” was united in marriage to Allen KISER on September 14, 1843. Allen was the son of Hiram KISER and Nancy SMITH.

Greene County marriages included Nancy Ann and James B. NEILL on February 7, 1850. James was the son of William NEILL and Sarah BROWN. John married Nancy B.AnnCHRISTY on August 16, 1850.

Alfred married in Owen County on August 14, 1838. His bride was Mary B. FREEMAN, daughter of Micajah FREEMAN and Elsa Margaret FINCANNON.

William was a farmer owning forty acres each in sections 36 and 36 of Clay Township. In a pension application, Temperance described him as having a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair. As a soldier, he served his country well, fighting in the War of 1812. He received an honorable discharge according to a statement made by Temperance.

Temperance was the oldest of ten children born to Reuben and Naomi COFFEY in Wilkes / Burke County, North Carolina. Her family moved to Carter County, Tennessee, where her father purchased land on Roan Creek in 1804.

After William died, Temperance lived with her children, Lawson and Nancy. At the age of 82, she continued her residence in Highland Township, Greene County until her demise ca 1880’s.

Descendants of William and Temperance still live in Owen and its neighboring counties.


Submitted by: Carla (Moreland) Burkett

Leaving his familial roots in Carter County, Tennessee, Alfred MORELAND (ca 1819 - September 24, 1847) journeyed westward as a young boy. He came to Owen County [Indiana] with his father, William MORELAND, arriving ca. 1827/1828.

Alfred grew up in Clay Township, and later met Mary B. FREEMAN (born ca 1823) who became his wife on August 14, 1838. Mary was the only daughter of Micajah FREEMAN and Elsa Margaret FINCANNON.

The MORELANDs were farmers. Alfred purchased 40 acres in section 35 of Clay Township near his father's.

Two children were born to this marriage. James Lawson (March 19, 1839 - October 27, 1877) and Naomi Jane (born December 26, 1845).

In December 1845, Alfred received an inheritance of land from his father-in-law, Micajah FREEMAN. On the 26th of the month he sold his inheritance to his brothers-in-law, William FREEMAN, Asa B. FREEMAN, and Alpha H. FREEMAN. On this same day, his daughter Naomi was born.

The Mexican War ensued, and Alfred enlisted at Jeffersonville on June 14, 1847, heeding the call of troops by Daniel LINDERMAN. He joined the 4th Regiment Company G Indiana Volunteers. His company journeyed down the Ohio River and Mississippi River onward to the Rio Grande. Before leaving the Rio Grande at Port Isabel, Alfred became ill with dysentery and died on September 24, 1847. It is not known where his body is interred, but it is assumed by war historians that it is in a common grave on South Padre Island. A monument now stands there on the island to honor the brave soldiers who died during the Mexican War. Alfred's wife, Mary, applied for and received a pension which helped to support the family. James H. FREEMAN, Mary's brother, became guardian of James and Naomi, with John BROWN being his bond security.

Two years after Alfred's demise, Mary married John BROWN (born 1796 - died after 1876) on August 12, 1849. John was the son of William and Mary Elizabeth BROWN.

In 1850, Mary and John moved to Fayette County, Illinois, with James, Naomi, and David (John's son). Their homestead has become part of the Ramsey State Park in Ramsey, Illinois. Remnants of the springhouse, barn, and house can still be seen. Mary and John's interment is being researched.

Mary and John had two sons born to them: John Alfred (born Mary 26, 18551) and Orran Hartsel (ca 1855 - October 29, 1881).

Alfred's legacy and namesake continued in Illinois. His son James married Sarah Ann TATE on March 14, 1858. To this union five sons and three daughters were born: John Alfred, Jesse Lawson, George W., Mary E., Dora A., James W., Thomas F., and Ruth E. On September 18, 1862, Naomi married Lyden Thomas CARTER, to whom three sons and one daughter was born: Alford J., John L., Nancy P., and Charles Thomas.

The MORELAND descendants have been, and are still, active in serving the community of Fayette County, Illinois.

First Non-Indian Settlement West of the Blue Ridge

From: History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of West Virginia by Wills De Hass, 1851.
In 1732, the first permanent settlement by whites west of the Blue Ridge, was made near where Winchester now stands. Sixteen families, from Pennsylvania, headed by Joist HITE, composed this little colony, and to them is due the credit of having first planted the standard of civilization in Virginia, west of the mountains.

In 1734, Benjamin ALLEN, with 3 others, settled on the North Branch of the Shenandoah, about 12 miles south of the present town of Woodstock. Other adventurers pushed on, and settlements gradually extended west, crossing Capon River, North Mountain and the Allegany Range until finally they reached the tributaries of the Monongahela. The majority of those who settled the eastern part of the Valley were Pennsylvania Germans; a class of people distinguished for their untiring industry and love of rich lands.

Many of these emigrants had no sooner heard of the fertility of the soil in the Shenandoah Valley, than they began to spread themselves along that stream and its tributaries. "So completely did they occupy the country along the north and south branches of that river, that the few stray English, Irish or Scotch settlers among them did not sensibly affect the homogeneoussness of the population. They long retained and for the most part do still retain, their German language and the German simplicity of their manners.

Tradition informs us that the Indians did not object to the Pennsylvanian's settling the country. From the exalted character for benevolence and virtue enjoyed by the first founder of that State, William PENN, the simple-minded [sic] children of the woods believed that all those who had lived under the shadow of his name partook alike of his justice and humanity. But fatal experience soon taught them a very different lesson. Towards Virginians, the Indians had a most implacable hatred. They called them by way of distinction, 'Long Knives' and warmly opposed their settling in the Valley.

For 20 years after the settlement about Winchester, the natives, inhabiting the mountains and intervening vales, remained in comparative quietude.

Shortly after the first settlement at Winchester, a circumstance occurred which speedily led to settlements along the upper part of the Valley and opened to the public mind the fine regions lying west of the Alleghenies. Two resolute spirits, Thomas MORLEN and John SALLING, full of adventure, determined to explore the upper country, about which so much had been said, but so little was known.

Setting out from Winchester, they made their way up the Valley of the Shenandoah, crossed the waters of James River, not far from the Natural Bridge, and had progressed as far as the Roanoke, when a party of Cherokees surprised them and took SALLING prisoner.

SALLING was carried captive to Tennessee and finally habituating himself to the Indians, remained with them several years. While on hunting excursion with some of his tribe, some years afterwards, they were attacked by a party of Illinois Indians, with whom the Cherokees were at bitter variance, and SALLING a second time borne off a prisoner. These transactions took place in Kentucky, whither the Southern, Western and Northern tribes resorted to hunt. By his new captors, SALLING was carried to Kaskaskia; afterwards sold to a party of Spaniards on the lower Mississippi; subsequently returned to Kaskaskia; and finally, after 6 years of captivity, was ransomed by the Governor of Canada, and transferred to the Dutch authorities at Manhattan. Thence he succeeded in making his way to Williamsburg, in Virginia.

His captivity became the subject of general conversation. The accounts which he gave of the extent and resources of the great West, embracing almost every variety of soil, climate and production and extending into remote parts, where human foot had probably never penetrated; where majestic rivers, issuing from unknown sources in the far North, rolled their volumed waters in solemn grandeur to the South; where vegetation was most luxuriant and game of every description inexhaustible,--were enough, as they proved, to excite a deep interest in all who heard his glowing accounts.

Shortly before the return of SALLING, a considerable addition had been made to the population of Virginia by recent arrivals to Jamestown. Of this number were John LEWIS and John MACKEY, both of whom, desirous of securing suitable locations, were much interested in the statements of SALLING. Pleased with his description of the Valley, they determined to visit it, first having induced SALLING to accompany them as guide. The three penetrated the fastness of the mountain, descended into the luxuriant valley, and pleased with the physical appearance of the country, determined to fix there their abode. LEWIS selected the place of his future residence on a stream still bearing his name; MACKEY choose a spot on the Shenandoah; and SALLING, having concluded to remain, made choice of a beautiful tract of land on the waters of James River and built his cabin.

Early in the Spring of 1736, an agent for Lord FAIRFAX, who held, under a patent from James II, all that part of Virginia known as the Northern Neck, came over, and after remaining a short time at Williamsburg, accepted an invitation to visit John LEWIS. During his sojourn at the house of LEWIS, he captured, while hunting with Samuel and Andrew, (the latter afterwards distinguished General), sons of the former, a fine buffalo calf.

Returning shortly afterwards to Williamsburg, he presented the mountain pet to Governor GOOCH, which so much gratified that functionary, that he forthwith directed a warrant to be made out, authorizing BURDEN (the agent) to locate 500,000 acres of land on the Shenandoah, or James Rivers, west of the Blue Ridge. The grant required that BURDEN should settle 100 families upon said land within 10 years. The grantee lost no time in returning to England, and in the following year came out with the required number, embracing among his little colony many who became the founders of some of the most distinguished families of our state. Of these were the McDOWELLs, CRAWFORDs, MCCLUREs, ALEXANDERs, WALLACEs, PATTONs, PRESTONs, MOOREs and MATTHEWS.

Footnote for this page: Among those who came out at this time, says Withers, was an Irish girl named Polly MULHOLLIN. On her arrival, she was hired to James BELL, to pay her passage. At the expiration of her term of service, she clothed herself in man's apparel and commenced making improvements in BURDEN's tract. When BURDEN the younger, made out the deeds, he was astonished to find no less than 30 improvements in the name of MULHOLLIN, (100 acres of land each), and on investigating the matter her sex was discovered, to great amusement of other claimants. She resumed her Christian name and proper attire and many of her respectable descendants still reside within the limits of 'BURDEN's grant'.

Many of the settlers in the Valley had come in with Governor DINWIDDIE, and were men of undoubted worth, and great probity of character. They embraced the STUARTs, PAULLs, McDOWELLs, etc., names distinguished in the annuals of Virginia.


My husband’s mother is a MORLAN. I believe, but do not know for sure, that originally the name was MORELAND.

His great-great-grandfather, John MORLAN, was born in Ohio and moved to Illinois. His great-great-great grandfather was Jesse MORLAN. We don’t have any information as to where Jesse was born, who his parents were, or if he had any siblings.

Please respond to Judith A. Lynn, P.O. Box 91, El Dorado, KS 67042.

The following is a reply from Charles Moreland, 15508 Saranac Dr., Whittier, CA 90604 in response to a search for the Moreland Cemetery near Roan Mountain near Elizabethton, Tennessee:

“About 10 years ago I searched in vain for that MORELAND cemetery. I know it is the same one because I remember Crabtree and Roan Mountain and other land marks close by. I was accompanied by Robert Henry Moreland, a life-long resident of Elizabethton (pronounced “lizBETHton” by the natives). Robert is the son of John Millard MORELAND and the 4th child of Edward Everett MORELAND. John Millard MORELAND was sheriff of Carter County during the Depression years and became a legend by solving a difficult murder case at that time. The amazing thing about that meeting with Robert Henry Moreland is that we had no idea we were related until years after when I discovered the link through a lady named Jerry Ann Stout of Wichita, Kansas. The Stouts were all over this area in the early days. When I arrived 10 years ago, the first name I saw in the phone book was Robert H. Moreland. I had a brother named Robert H. Moreland so I gave this guy a call. He had just retired as postmaster and although he had never done any genealogy research he was very interested so we set out to find this MORELAND cemetery near Crabtree. After most of a day and a lot of dead ends, we concluded that an error had been made on the map. Where people in the area had directed us and very close to this map location was a cemetery, but it wasn’t a MORELAND cemetery. I don’t recall now the name of the family [MORELY] but it was a name that could have easily been confused with MORELAND. Robert then mentioned that his Aunt Zella Taylor’s mother was a MORELAND and that Zella had an old family Bible and would I like to talk to her? I personally thought it was more wasted time because these people couldn’t possibly be related but I went to see her. It’s a good thing I wrote down all the info she gave me because it turned out that this was what I needed later on to tie in with Jerry Ann Stout’s info which connected these MORELANDs with descendants of Wright MORELAND [of Goochland Co., Virginia].

I am enclosing a list of people buried in the MORELAND cemetery on Roan Creek Road above Rock Springs Church of Christ (Johnson County) but the only MORELAND there is Dicy and she was a LUNSFORD married to William MORELAND. I can’t find this cemetery on any map but it surely must be in the vicinity of the old MORELAND cemetery that is now under Lake Watauga at the mouth of Roan Creek. Note that Roan Creek empties into Lake Watauga at Doe Station and right below there is the GRINDSTAFF cemetery where Catherine GRINDSTAFF who married Edward Everett MORELAND is buried. Directly across the lake is the STOUT cemetery. These cemeteries are all in Johnson County. The only MORELANDs I can find buried in Carter County are in an unnamed cemetery on Stoney Creek above Elizabethton near Housley. Edward Everett, his son, General MORELAND and daughter Amanda MORELAND TAYLOR are buried there.

“If anyone finds the cemetery in Carter County near Crabtree, I surely want to hear about it.”

To be continued

No comments: