Research on Mabry/Maberry/Mayberry Families
May, 2009 – by Don Simpson
May, 2009 – by Don Simpson
The father of Sarah (Mabry) Simpson, wife of Thomas Simpson, is usually given as the line of Cornelius Mabry though there is some variation among the listing by descendants as to which Cornelius Mabry is intended. Careful study of this family leaves some uncertainty as to whether she was the daughter of a Cornelius Mabry at all.
1. Church affiliation.
One key factor that should be remembered in researching Sarah’s ancestry is the religious affiliation of Thomas & Sarah (Mabry) Simpson of Fayette County, Indiana. In the History of Fayette County, Indiana, published by Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago, 1885, on page 315 in the biographical sketch of their son, Thomas Simpson, Jr., it is stated that Thomas, Sr., & Sarah (Mabry) Simpson were members of the Regular Baptist Church in Fayette County.
That church was located only a short distance from the Simpson home on one acre of land sold the church by Thomas Simpson out of his farm land. In the History of Fayette County, Indiana, by Frederick Irving Barrows, Editor-in-Chief, published by B. F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis, 1917, is the following. “The petition for the establishment of the church was drawn up on January 15, 1814, and was signed by the following prospective members of the proposed congregation; (Elder) Stephen Oldham, Rebecca Oldham, John Keny, Polly Keny, Thomas Simpson (Deacon), Sarah Simpson, Rebecca Conner, Katherine Williams, Charles and Jane McLaughlin, James and Sarah Conway, John Keny, Sr., Jonathan Keny, William and Ann Oldham and Susan White.
This petition was sent to one of the established churches, undoubtedly in Franklin County, was favorably acted upon, and on the Sunday following the fourth Saturday in February, 1814, the new congregation was constituted as the ‘New Bethel Regular Baptist Church” by Lazarus Whitehead and James Smith.”
In 1822, due to the growth of the congregation, a new church was built about half a mile west of the first church on an acre of land donated by Elder Oldham.
Stephen Oldham continued as pastor of this church until his death in 1834. He was born 04 Nov., 1774, in Virginia, was married about 1800 to Rebecca Potts, daughter of Nathan Potts, died 14 May, 1834, in Fayette County, Indiana, and is buried in the New Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery near Lyonsville, Jennings Township, Fayette County.
The Lazarus Whitehead mentioned above is also significant in the following discussion. Several entries in Rootsweb claim he was born ca. 1754 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and died in 1816 in Wayne County, Indiana. He was pastor of the Elkhorn Baptist Church from it’s establishment in 1809 to his death. That church was located in now Boston Township of Wayne County and on Elkhorn Creek about a mile above it’s mouth. Boston Township occupies the southeast corner of Wayne County and adjoins the Ohio State line on it’s east and on it’s south adjoins Union County, Indiana. Elkhorn Church was about eleven miles from New Bethel Church.
On the fourth of June, 1821, Joshua B. Elston, resident of Wayne County, was married in Fayette County by Rev. Stephen Oldham, to Amelia Maberry. The marriage record in Fayette County does not say where the marriage occurred but it can be inferred that it was probably at New Bethel Baptist Church or at the Thomas Simpson home.
Joshua was then about 54 years old and Amelia about 48. They were listed on the census of 1830 & 1840 in Boston Twp., Wayne County. Boston Township occupies the southeast corner of Wayne County and their home was about ten miles from that of Thomas & Sarah Simpson in Fayette County. By 1850 they had moved to Pike Twp., Marion County, Indiana, next to Joshua’s son, John Elston. Pike Twp. is now a suburb of Indianapolis. They are not found on any record after that 1850 census which lists Joshua’s birthplace as New Jersey and Amelia’s as Virginia. I am of the opinion that Amelia Maberry was the second female 45 or older in the household of Thomas & Sarah (Maberry) Simpson on the 1820 census of Fayette County, IN. Also that Amelia was probably a sister of Sarah (Maberry) Simpson.
Joshua B. Elston had married his first wife, Rebecca Lewis, daughter of Abraham Lewis, in Rowan (now Davidson) County, NC, in 1789. Rebecca died in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1819 according to a biographical sketch of her daughter, Sarah (Elston) Moore of Wayne County. Abraham Lewis was in 1784 one of the founding members and a deacon of Jersey Baptist Church in old Rowan (now Davidson) Co., NC. In 1791, Lazarus Whitehead was installed as minister of that church. In the surviving records of that church are two entries of relevance. On 1 Dec., 1792, “Brother Thomas Durham & Sister Rebeckah Durham and Sister Millie Maberry joined the church by letter.” On 15 Sept., 1798, John Skinner & wife, & Millie Maberry applied for a letter of dismission and it was granted. No other Maberry is found in the early records of Jersey Baptist Church. It appears possible that this Milly Maberry could have been the same Amelia Maberry who married Josiah B. Elston in 1821 in Fayette Co., IN.
2. Maberry families of Rockingham Co., NC.
About 1829 the family of Cornelius & Mary (Jarrell) Maberry moved from Rockingham Co., NC, to Wayne Co., IN, settling near the north edge of Wayne County in New Garden Township. Sometime before the 1850 census they moved on to Wayne County, Missouri, where they remained the rest of their lives. Cornelius & Mary were married in Rockingham Co., NC, by bond of date 25 Aug., 1815, bondsman William L. Jones, witness J. H. Scales. On the 1850 census of Wayne Co., MO, Cornelius is listed as age 66, born NC, wife Mary as 52, born VA.
Among the early marriages of Rockingham County, NC, were the following. Cornelius Mayberry to Polly Jarrell, bond of 25 Aug., 1815; Frederick Mayberry to Mancy Mayberry, bond of 01 Dec., 1818; & Elizabeth Mayberry to Henry Miller, bond of 03 Dec., 1823.
3. Rockingham County Censuses.
The 1790 census Rockingham Co. had the following two households.
Page 528 – Cornelius Mabry 2 males 16 & over, 1 m under 16, 2 females. This
family was listed adjacent John Scales.
Page 479 – Cornelius Mabry 1 m 16 & +, 3 m under 16, 2 females. This family
was listed between James Flack & Henry Work.
The 1800 census had the following households.
Page 479 – C. Maberry 1m ³ 10; 3m 10 - 16; 1m 26 - 45; 2f ³ 10; 1f 26 - 45.
This family was listed between Abram Philips and Sarah Odeneal.
Page 481 – Cornelius Maberry 1m 45 & +; 6f ³10; 1f 45 & +.
This family was listed between Francis Long and John Jones.
The 1810 census had only one Maberry family.
Page 191 [= sheet 11] – Philip Mabery 1m ³ 10; 2m 10 - 16; 1m 26 - 45;
3f ³ 10; 1f 26 - 45. [Philip Mabery’s Estate was probated in Rockingham
County, NC, in 1817.]
The 1820 census had the following.
Page 582 – Cornelius Maberry 1m ³ 10; 1m 26 - 45; 1f ³ 10; 1f 26 - 45 [this is
probably the Cornelius & Mary (Jarrell) Maberry family.]
Page 584 – Elizabeth Maberry 1m 10 - 16; 2m 16 - 26; 2f 10 - 16; 1f 45 &+. [this is probably the widow and children of Philip Maberry.]
Page 624 – Frederick Maberry 1m ³ 10; 1m 26 - 45; 1f 26 - 45.
4. Rockingham County Land Records
Land records show that a Cornelius Mabry owned land between the heads of Little Rockhouse Creek and Saura Town Creek. Land records show that there were at least two other Mabry families in Rockingham Co., though neither appear on the censuses of 1790 & 1800. They were John Mabry who owned land on Piney Creek and Joshua Mabry who owned land on Pawpaw Creek of Mayo River.
The Cornelius Maberry who married Mary Jarrell in 1815 (see above) was listed on the 1850 census of Wayne Co., MO, as age 66, thus would have been about 6 years old at the 1790 census. He may have been one of the 3 males age under 16 in the Cornelius Mabry family of 1790 census, page 536, and one of the boys age 10 - 16 in the C. Maberry family of the 1800 census, page 479.
There is no Cornelius Maberry family listed on the 1810 census of Rockingham County but on the 1820 there is a Frederich Maberry, a Cornelius Maberry, and an Elizabeth Maberry.
That C. Maberry of the 1800 census, page 479, may have been the Cornelius Maberry, Jr., mentioned in some Rockingham Co. records and who was himself probably the son of the Cornelius Maberry (Sr.) of page 481 of the 1800 census. Whether Sarah (Maberry) Simpson and Amelia (Maberry) Elston were members of this Cornelius Maberry line is still not certain.
5. Joshua Maberry in Rockingham County.
On 23 Jan., 1787, Joshua Mabry & Joel Gibson sold 220 acres of land located adjacent their other land [location not otherwise stated] to William Callom [=Kellam]; witnesses Wm. Motley & Spencer Callom [Deed Book C, p. 270]
On 23 Oct., 1788, Joshua Mabry [transcribed in deed abstracts as Joshua Malry] witnessed a deed in Rockingham County for land located adjacent the Virginia line on Fall Creek of Mayo River [Book C, p. 70]. The location is significant to the discussion below of the 1790 census. One of the other witnesses to this deed was William Kellam.
On 16 Sept., 1790, Joshua Mayberry sold to Charles Galloway 732 acres located on the north side of Dan River [should be Mayo River] on branches of Fall Creek & Paw Paw Creek adjacent lands of William Kellam, William Hays, & Drury Smith; witnesses Joshua Smith, Charles Smith & Elizabeth Smith [Book C, p. 101].
On 17 Nov., 1790, William Mills received a grant from the State of North Carolina for 18 acres located on the east side of Mayo River and Green Springs Branch adjacent lands of Joshua Mabery, William Kellam, & Joel Gibson [Book E, p. 167].
In April, 1795, David Dolton of Stokes County, NC, sold to Isaac Dolton of Stokes Co., 100 acres located on Pawpaw Creek in Rockingham Co., adjacent lands of Drury Smith, Samuel Dolton, & Joshua Mabry; witnesses Alex Joyce, John Bostick, & John Fendel Carr [Book E, p. 61].
Several of the persons mentioned above had received state grants of land between 1778 & 1785 in the area of Fall Creek near the Virginia State line. Most were still probably in the area in 1790 but are not listed on that census. From careful study of that census of Rockingham County it seems that the residents of the Fall Creek area are missing from that census.
I have not seen any record in Rockingham County after 1795 of Joshua Mabry nor is there any record of a will or estate for him. It appears more likely that after selling his land there he may have moved away though I have found no later record of him elsewhere.
6. Sarah (Mabry) Simpson, wife of Thomas.
The fact that nowhere among the descendants of Thomas & Sarah do I find any child named Cornelius leaves me skeptical of the claim that Sarah’s father was so named. On the other hand, the name Joshua appears repeatedly among their descendants and suggests the possibility that her father may have been Joshua Mabry. However, without better evidence this remains only a supposition.
Another item about which I remain skeptical is the listing of Sarah as Sarah Elizabeth. I do not find any evidence that Sarah had a middle name.