Morelock

by Mary Ellen Purkey Horner

The maiden name of my father's mother was Eleanor Emaline Morelock and she went by the name of Nellie.  She was the daughter of Jonathan Morelock and Emaline Baughman (pronounced Boffman) [note: it was actually spelled and pronounced Bowman, and Emaline (aka Amy) was the daughter of Sparling Bowman.  Mary Ellen was probably confusing Jonathan Morelock's wife's maiden name with the maiden name of his mother -- Bachman].  The weather-beaten tombstone at his grave gives the date of his birth as Oct. 15th, 1804 and died May (it looks like 14th) 1876, this would make his life-span about 71 1/2 years, and this corresponds with what Father told me about his age.  

Father said they came from Power Dam in Greene County.  He sold a farm there and brought the money in silver coins mostly on horseback and it ruined his horse's back from the long ride; [They were camping for the night near the Thomas Read home just east of Morristown, TN when one of the horses became sick, which necessitated their remaining in camp for several days.  Jonathan Morelock was pleased with the country and learning that the Read place was for sale, purchased it and located there.]  He bought the homestead, three hundred acres, site of the present fair grounds and nearby.  It was the old Read place and a very pretty place in its day.  My father told me he sowed a crop of wheat on Grandpaps place in December before he was first married and later harvested it.  He always told me they were of German descent.  Here are the names of the children as Father gave them to me, but I do now know which were oldest.  I think my grandmother was the oldest and Uncle Nathan was the youngest.  I will give the first three as they settled from the old home:

Andrew Jackson, called Uncle Jack, settled down the creek about one-half mile, married Melissa Helton; the children were David, George, Lillie and Jim.

Eleanor Emaline, called Nellie, I think she was born Aug. 10, 1825, died Aug. 28, 1906, aged 81 years and 18 days.  She settled about one-half mile further down Spring Creek, married David Purkey and they had twelve children.  This will be found with Father's record [see the Purkey Story].

Jonathan, called Uncle John, settled about one-half mile further down the same creek from Grandmother Purkey's home; the children were Johnny, an old carpenter and contractor of Morristown (he was the father of Phil Morelock, Robert, Herbert); Joe; Jim; Priscilla, married Bud combs, we always called her Cousin Siller and I loved her.  She us the mother of Una Combs, a popular trained nurse.  If there were other children I can't remember them.  My Uncle John fought as a Rebel soldier and he had two mules shot from under him in the battle of Chicamauga Park at Chattanooga.  He lived to be up in his nineties and I enjoyed visiting him on Sunday afternoons and hearing him tell of the old battlegrounds.  He was the only uncle that ever indulged me in reminiscences of the Civil War.

Alex -- George -- Joseph -- Betsy Ann -- Jane -- Caroline -- Martha --

David, a railroad man in Georgia.  This uncle served in the Confederacy in the railroad system of the South.

Priscilla, called Siller, married Sam Brackens, has descendants.

William Lowery, was called Lowery here in East Tennessee, settled in Middle Tennessee near Nashville and was called Will out there, married a Jackson.  There were six sons and one daughter, as follows:  Alonzo, the oldest, unmarried, died in 1914.  Albert Sidney died last Fall in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  The daughter married Dr. J. D. Smith and lives in Franklin, TN, RFD #1.  James is a prominent attorney of Nashville; Uncle Jack's son, George, a leading layman of the Southern Methodist Publishing House of Nashville, now of North St., Chicago, conducted a school in stewardship and ley activity in Morristown and visited us, we took him out to see some of the old landmarks and members of families he had never seen.  It was mutually enjoyed.  Father was then past eighty-five, wore a long, white beard, and Cousin George said he looked very much like his father as he remembered him in his later years.  George Leslie has three children: Mary Louise, (Mrs. W. A. Jenkins, Chatham, VA.; Elizabeth Murphy at home; George Leslie, Jr. Captain in the Paratroops and has been on Italian front since last November 10th, is married and has a son born in Memphis, Dec. 29, 1943, George Leslie III.

Marion --

James, migrated to the State of Oregon and was there when last heard from, he never wrote but for a short while.

Nathan, the youngest, inherited the homeplace, married Nancy Davis Livingstone, her first husband deceased, she had a daughter, Bitney, by this marriage who died a young woman, unmarried; children by last marriage were Benny, who was killed in a mine where he was working; Lou, married John Combs, has descendants; Kat, died unmarried at about the age of seventy; Billy, the last of family to survive, never married and was struck by a car on the highway close to home as he was returning from town and killed, it was supposed he did not hear the car as his hearing was impaired.  The children of Lou Combs were his legal heirs.

Father told me that one of Grandpap's daughters died in her infancy from kidney trouble but I do not remember the name.  I made a trip up to the old homestead, accompanied by Mr. Horner, Bert Williams, an authority on antiques, and Esther when in her early teens.  I had never visited this place before but I often recall Aunt Nancy and Kate coming to our house when I was a child and they were very nice, and kind.  The house was in bad repair and probably one of the oldest in this section to be still used for a dwelling, in fact, only part of it was usable.  It was built of the heart of the logs, hand hewn, very smooth, and the cracks were filled with mortar.  A long porch ran along the front, it had two chimneys and a basement room, these were constructed of smooth stones well set in mortar and this masonry was in a fair state of preservation.  We did not go in the house, while there, Billy seemed to like Esther, he called her "girl" and gave her a pretty moss, or burr, rose like one that grew in Grandma Purkey's yard that he plucked from the old bush at the corner of the house where the chimney stood that had this inscription out at the top:

        M. A. Read     Oct. 5, 1821

The former owner was Read and it was a sort of a tavern where travelers often stopped, before Grandpa bought it.  The family of Nathan Morelock had the Jonathan Morelock Bible but the date records were not there and Billy said his mother put together what was left of the book when she came there and the dates were not there.  It had been a fine Bible in its day with many copies of old steel engravings, not of any antique value but reproductions of a rare type of early pictures.  It was a comfort to know my ancestor had invested in as nice a Bible as this one had been.  There were nine sons of this family in the service of the Confederacy; not all were soldiers but they served in some capacity, one was supervisor of the coal.  Their records are filed in Nashville and the United Daughters of Confederacy of Morristown, TN.

I found out from descendants of a Morelock family in Greene County that my great-great-grandfather's wife died when she had a large family of very young children and he being unable to keep them together let relatives and good families take them and raise them.  They all did well and were good citizens.  That is why we never knew more of our ancestry from this branch of our family.  Mrs. J. P. Click, sister of the late Hannah Morelock Reeves of Greeneville, told me she felt sure from what I was able to tell her that she was a first cousin of my grandmother.  They were very much alike in size and features.  The Baughman ancestors were related to the Kingsport Baughmans [and Bachmans], I do not know their lineage.  They are well to do and respected citizens.

Cousin George Morelock, prominent Methodist layman said his sister had acquired quite a bit of family history.  He spoke of other places where they had settled.  They emigrated from Stuttgart, Wurttemberg Province, Germany; (a map entered by Act of Congress 1852 spells it Stuttgard, Wirtemberg Province).  He said he had flown this route by plane, he only had a traveler's glimpse but it was a beautiful country.  Old emigrants say this was a beautiful city.  Father said our ancestors emigrated from Germany by way of Holland at the time so many were coming.  I wrote these facts down as my father told them to me while he was yet active along with other information I could gather and what I knew so my children might know they had a noble line of ancestors, willing to brave odds and difficulties that they and their descendants might find a home in a new and free country.  A few letters in pure German carried by stage-coach in pioneer days from Maryland were found among my grandmother's things but they were lost from us.  A student of German might be able to tell more of the meaning of the name, its translation, etc.  I do not know anything about it.

Mary Ellen Purkey Horner. [dec'd]

[Notes within brackets were added by Carole Thomason.]

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