Was Thomas MOODY's second wife Mary a WITTY? There are several intriguing
indications that she may have been. Thomas MOODY's son Thomas L. MOODY
was born ca. 1778. Assuming she was at least age 18 when he was born, she
was probably not born later than about 1760. Unless she was a widow when
she married Thomas, or married late, she was probably not born earlier than
In 1783 John WITTY received a land grant of 640 acres in Guilford Co., NC
on the Haw River. On the formation of Rockingham Co. in 1785, this land
was partly in Guilford, and partly in Rockingham County. In 1797, John
WITTY in two separate deeds sold 218 acres of this land to Andrew WITTY.
Andrew WITTY was first found in a 1768 Rowan Co., NC tax list. He is
possibly a son of John, and born in the late 1740s. Andrew was deceased
by 25 May 1818 when letters of administration were issued on his estate
in Rockingham County.
Another possible son of John is Elijah WITTY, Sr. who appeared as early
as the 1790 census in Rockingham Co., NC. He also appeared later in
Guilford Co., NC census. He wrote his will in 1841, that was probated
in 1844 in Rockingham County. He was probably born in the 1750s, and
another possible son of John WITTY. In 1822 Elijah WITTY, Sr. sold 109.5
acres of the original John WITTY grant to John WHITSETT. In 1831 Elijah
sold 109.75 acres of the original John WITTY grant to Vivant BEVELL.
Vivant BEVELL had married Tabitha, daughter of Elijah WITTY, Sr. by his
In 1815 Thomas L. MOODY appeared in Z. D. Brashear's tax list of Guilford
Co., NC. Also in this list were Elijah WITTY and Andrew WITTY. Thomas L.
MOODY was not listed with any land in this tax list.
Elijah WITTY's sale in 1822 is the first found of other parts of John WITTY's
640 acre grant being sold after John sold the 218 acres to Andrew WITTY in 1797.
In 1824 Thomas L. MOODY sold 104 acres to John WHITSETT in Guilford County.
John WHITSETT was a son-in-law of Elijah WITTY by his first marriage.
This land was also part of the original John WITTY grant. If Thomas L. MOODY
had acquired this land by purchase, the deed was not recorded in the county deed
books. The other alternative is that either he or his wife had inherited the land
by being a John WITTY descendant. If so, the most likely way is by his mother
Mary being a daughter of John WITTY. She would appear to have been born about
the 1750s, fitting the time range of John WITTY's other possible children.
Other indications of relation between the MOODY and WITTY families include:
1. Thomas L. MOODY named a son Elijah W. MOODY. While Elijah's middle name
is not known, it would appear that it was likely WITTY, as his brother
John R. MOODY named a son Elijah Wittie MOODY.
2. Elijah WITTY's son Ezekiel C. WITTY was born about 1796. By 1817 he had
moved to Wilson Co., TN where he married Mary ALLISON. In 1827 he was
joined by Thomas L. MOODY's son John R. MOODY, who had just turned 21.
They were joined several years later about 1832-1834 by Ezekiel's half
sister Tabitha and her husband Vivant BEVELL. In 1850 they were close
neighbors, living in houses 1298, 1299, and 1301.
1. John WITTY had a grant of 640 acres in 1783.
2. John WITTY sold 218 acres to Andrew WITTY (a son?) in 1797, leaving
3. After the death of John WITTY, his estate of 422 acres was devided into
four roughly equal in size, but probably equal in value tracts. One
tract each to Andrew WITTY, Mary the widow of Thomas MOODY, Elijah
WITTY, Sr., and Ezekiel WITTY.
4. Elijah WITTY privately acquires the tract of Ezekiel WITTY who had
moved to KY. He sells both tracts (109.75 and 109.5 acres).
5. Thomas L. MOODY inherits the tract of his mother Mary, and sells this
6. Richard J. WITTY, presumably a son of Andrew WITTY, sold 32 acres
including lots 8, 9, 10. The assumption is that after the death of
Andrew and his widow Lucretia, his land was devided into 10 lots.
Estate papers show Andrew WIITY died possessed of 112.5 acres, 81 acres
in Rockingham, and 31.5 acres in Guilford.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN OF ELIJAH WITTY AND ANDREW WITTY?
The second wife of Elijah WITTY was Traney ROSS, daughter of Levi ROSS, and
the widow of William BURTON. Their four children are established as they
were named in Elijah's will. They were Levi Ross WITTY, Levin C. WITTY,
Sarah C. WITTY (married John RHODES), and Tabitha W. WITTY (married Vivant
BEVILL). By his first wife, Elijah WITTY had two known children, Ezekiel C.
WITTY born in 1796 who moved to Wilson Co., TN; and Alpha WITTY, who
married John WHITSETT. Were their other children?
Andrew WITTY may have had 10 children, as it appears his land was devided into
10 lots. Who were these children?
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Fredric Z. Saunders
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Created 6 Nov. 1999.
Last revised: 11 Feb. 2000