"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County


Samuel M. Morris (1784 - 1852)

Samuel M. Morris is the oldest known Morris ancestor in Bedford County. He was born November 12, 1784 in either Georgia or South Carolina. Samuel came to Bedford County TN in 1818 with his wife and four children and it is said that they arrived in time for spring planting. Since census records show that his wife and oldest children were born in SC he had probably been living there for several years before coming to Bedford County.

Samuel was a farmer and a carpenter. He settled in the 22nd Civil District near Dean (New Hermon) in what is now known as "Morris Hollow." About 1840 the Samuel M. Morris family became associated with the Mt. Hermon Baptist Church. Samuel M. was received into the church by experience and baptised in 1841. His wife Mary was received into the church by September 1842. Samuel became quite active in the church. He was a delegate to the Duck River Association in 1845, 46,47 and 51. In July 1848 he wass appointed as "trustee to see to the the recording of the deed for ourmeetinghouse and land."

Samuel's children came into the church as well. His oldest son, Thomas became a member in August 1840 even before is father. Thomas was appointed as chuch clerk in July 1842 and served through June 1852 and also served as a delegate to the Duck River Assoc. in 1846 and 1850. Louisa Morris, wife of Thomas, became a member in August 1842. Both Thomas and Louisa were dismissed by letter in 1852 when they moved to Franklin County TN. Mary Morris, daughter of Samuel, became a member in August 1841. William J. Morris and his wife, Agnes R. (Hart) were received into the church in September 1842. William J. was the 6th child of Samuel. Wm. & Agnes were dismissed by letter October 4, 1846 about the time they were leaving bedford County to make a move to Texas Co MO.

In 1850 Samuel and his wife Mary are still living in the 22nd Civil District and by now, both are 65 years of age. This record shows Samuel born in GA and Mary born in SC. Rebecca, Frances and Ruth are still living at home. With the exception of William Jasper, all of Samuel's married children were living nearby at this time. His daughter Rachel had married Derrel Hart. His daughter Mary had married Martin Hart. The Hart and Morris family, at least in 1850, were very close and all living in the 22nd Civil District. Both of these families came from South Carolina - did they make the move to TN at the same time ?

Samuel M. Morris died February 25, 1852 in Bedford County and is buried in the Broadaway / Broadway Cemetery just north of Wiseman Road about one mile from Morris Hollow. Samuel's wife Mary was born about 1788 in SC and died May 21, 1844. She lived for 32 years after her husband died and was living with a daughter, Ruth Morris Potter, in Alabama at the time of her death. She is buried in the Bynum Cemetery in Maynard's Cove in Jackson Co AL

"A Remarkable Prediction"

Mrs. Mary Morris, mother-in-law of William Potter, with whom she had resided for the past 24 years, told Uncle William Potter's daughter, fifteen days previous to her death that an angel of the Lord had come down and wrote in her Bible - "That there was no sin against her, and where there is no sin there is no transgression, and also, that she would die on the 20th of May, at least she would not pass the 21st." She died on the 21st aged 96 years. Deceased had been a member of the Baptist Church seventy five years, and had been married 76 years. Her youngest child, William Potter's wife is fifty one years old. The deceased lived in Maynard's Cove.

Source: James Hart Book 1974

Children of Samuel and Mary Saint Morris

Thomas Morris 16 May 1809
Elizabeth Morris 19 Jun 1811
James Barksdale Morris 10 Sep 1813
Samuel Morris 20 December 1815
Rachel Morris 10 Mar 1819
William Jasper Morris 16 Dec 1820
Rebecca Morris 20 Jul 1823
Mary Morris 21 Oct 1825
Francis Marion Mossis 25 Mar 1828
Ruth A. Morris 18 August 1832