The Moss Family

he ancestors in the beginning of this story have caused me to make a decision between two stories, neither of which I can prove beyond a shadow of doubt, but I have documentation that could lead a person down two trails. I have made a choice and if and when further research proves me wrong please change it and let me know what you find.

Our story starts with Joseph Moss and what could be his brother or son Alfred Moss. There is evidence that Joseph could be the father or older brother, there is enough age difference for either scenario to be true. I have chosen the facts that lead me to believe that Joseph was the father. I have volumes of research done by others on the Moss family and the histories all become obscure in the late 1700's.

Note to future researchers this relationship is speculation on my part and has not been proved.

Joseph married Sophia Easley, July 8, 1813 in Clarke County, GA. Sophia was the daughter of Roderick Easley Jr. A very prosperous land owner and State Senator. He was from VA and moved to NC at an early age and later to GA in the late 1700's.

Joseph's nativity was in Headingly, Yorkshire, England and according to his naturalization records on file in Clarke County, GA and the Georgia Department Of Archives, he became a citizen on March 23, 1810. The record shows that he had been in this country about 10 years, the last seven in Clarke County, GA.

If my assumption is correct that Joseph was Alfred's father, his marriage to Sophia would have been his second.

The 1880 Hinds County, MS census shows Joseph's son Robert was born in GA and the nativity of his father was England. Sophia, Robert's mother, was 87 years old at the time and was born in Georgia. Sophia's mother was born in NC and her father in VA.

When Joseph died in Hinds County, MS, he left a will recorded December 27, 1841. He left his estate to Sophia and her five Children. This wording would lead me to believe that there may have been children from a previous marriage and this wording would exclude them from being heirs to his estate.

Joseph was enumerated in the Clarke County, GA census of 1820 and is shown on several deeds in Watkinsville, GA. Watkinsville was in Clarke County until Oconee County was created in 1875, from Clarke County.

He was mentioned as the owner of a book store in Watkinsville in the 1820's. He shows up in Walton County on a deed from Leonidus Few to Joseph Moss of Walton County, GA dated March 17, 1829.( this would indicate that he was living in Walton County at the time)

The book Wayfarers in Walton tells the story of the land having been ceded by the Indians in the treaty of Indian Springs in 1821. The books portrays the heavy influx of farmers and merchants from Clarke County, who came to take advantage of the inexpensive land between 1821 and 1830.

There are several stories about Joseph and his success as a merchant and farmer. He is said to be one of the original settlers of the county. He left a home which was known as THE JONES PLACE when Mrs.Anita Sams' book Wayfarers in Walton was published and is located four miles east of Good Hope, in Walton County.

This home was on his plantation and according to the above book was built with slave labor and at the time the book was written, it was still a show place.

He sold this property to James Harris in 1840 for $ 3,000. I have a copy of the deed in my files. This property has passed through several families and there is a detailed article in the above publication.

After selling this property Joseph and his family moved to Hinds County, MS where he bought a large parcel of land in this newly opened territory.

He died December 2, 1841, shortly after settling in Mississippi. The will I have in my file lists Sophia and her five children, Matilda Burdell, Lousia Moss, Olivia Powell, John L Moss and Robert Moss. as heirs of the estate. There are some census records and deeds in the Moss file which indicate he left a large estate.

Alfred Moss, I believe, is the son of Joseph by a previous marriage. According to the 1860 mortality schedule Alfred was born in North Carolina. As we pointed out in Joseph's naturalization records, Joseph had been in the United States about ten years in 1810 the last seven in Clarke County, GA.

Alfred was born cir. 1796 in NC. The lives of the two were closely intertwined until Joseph moved to Mississippi 1n 1840. The two were enumerated in the 1820 Clarke County, census. There are numerous deeds for both in Watkinsville 1820 to 1830. We next find them in Walton County, GA Joseph as a landowner and Alfred in the 1830 census.

Alfred married Mary (Polly ) Harper of Watkinsville. Polly was the daughter of George Harper and Martha (last name unknown).

I have been unable to find a record of Alfred's and Polly's marriage. I do know they married prior to June 17, 1820. An old record of the Mars Hill Baptist Church, Watkinsville ,GA refers to her as Polly Moss and some property in Clarke County, GA was left to them by her father George Harper.

We know Alfred was living in Newton County, GA in 1837, from a State census. An obit, for his son James C. Moss appeared in The Christian Index August 26, 1880 showing his birth place as Newton County, GA June 13, 1837.

Newton, County was formed in 1821 from several counties including Walton, so whether Alfred moved or the county line was changed we will probably never know.

Alfred drew a winning number in the Cherokee Gold Land Lottery. The lot was in Cobb County, GA. I checked with the Archives Dept. and they can not find a record of what happened to the property. He could have traded it with another person or sold it and bought another lot. The lots were very inexpensive.

When the people found out there was no gold on the land and the larger parcels were rough uncleared land they sold them for next to nothing. There are stories of the 160 Acre lots being traded for a shot gun or a mule. The fee was only $ 18.00 per grant. The 40 Acre Gold lots were sold for less than the grant fee. The only deed was the receipt for the grant fee which showed the lot number.

General Sherman further complicated matters by burning the Cobb County court house in 1864 and there are no deeds on file prior to 1866.

We do know that Alfred did move with his family from Newton County to Cobb County between 1837 and the mid 1840's and settled in Coxes' District along Nickajack Creek.

Family legend has it that he was a very private person. He did not leave many tracks after moving to Cobb County.

Alfred had the following Known children:
James C. Moss b. June 13, 1837 d. April 13, 1880
William W. Moss b. cir. 1838 d. Unknown
Alfred Young Moss b. Feb. 9 , 1840 d. Jan. ,1908
Nancy Moss b. cir 1841 d. unknown
Thomas W. Moss b. cir 1843 d. unknown
Joseph A. Moss b. cir 1844 d. unknown
Daniel J. Moss b. Oct. 25, 1845 d .April 8,1920

Due to the number of children in this family I have done only cursory research on all but Alfred Young Moss who is in my direct line. (I have the research data in my Moss family group sheets).

Alfred died in October 1859 and appears in the 1860 Cobb County, GA mortality schedule, this record shows his nativity as North Carolina.

Mary (Polly) died after 1870 as she is enumerated in the 1870 Simons District of Cobb County, living in the home of her youngest son Daniel Moss.

Local legend, as reported in an article published in Cobb Cemeteries Vol. 1, reports that it is believed they are both buried in two unmarked graves in the Moss Family cemetery on Gabriel Rd. South of Nickajck Rd. land lot 246, Dist. 17.

Alfred Young Moss, my maternal great grandfather left quite a history in the development of Mableton, GA, much of this story has been recorded and published.

Family and local legend tell of A. Y. being born in Clarke County, GA. I question this fact as his oldest brother James C was born in Newton County June 13, 1837, and I find no record of his father and mother moving back to Clarke County, prior to moving to Cobb County, in the early 1840's. A.Y. was born Feb. 8, 1840.

A. Y. married Sarah Elizabeth Brooks in Powder Springs, Cobb, GA January 27, 1856. Sara was the daughter of John Brooks and Sarah Baldwin both originally from Clarke County, GA but living in Cobb county at the time of the marriage.

A. Y. served in the Confederacy and was in the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, where the Confederate Army was defeated, suffering great losses.

The History Of Mableton, a Town in Cobb County, by L. Harold Glore gives a number of facts about Alfred Young Moss.

A.Y. Moss bought two acres of land on November 30, 1874, which were conveyed to him by James and John Reed, Lot 28 of the 17th district. He opened the first store in Mableton on this spot. His home was located on a lot behind the store.

The first train from Atlanta reached the A. Y. Moss store in 1881 when the tracks were completed to that point. I can remember when I was just a boy my aunts pointing out Grandpa Moss' old store.

The 1898 Gazetteer showed A. Y. owning 420 acres of land. My cousin said the family claimed he owned land on what is now Highway 78 on the north side of the road almost to the river. This was several miles.

A.Y. left a Nun Cupative will which took a number of years to settle and I have a copy of the will.

Cobb county has not allowed their records to be microfilmed, and I have been unable to go to Cobb County to run down the land transactions.

A.Y. and Sarah Elizabeth Moss had fourteen children and I have done only minimum research on all but my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth ( Betty ) Moss. The children were all talented, and very well educated: doctors, teachers, artist, and musicians.

Their Children Were As Follows:
Thomas Jefferson Moss b. December 19, 1856 d April 28, 1930
Hariett Rebecca Moss b. May 29, 1858 d Jan. 21, 1884
Henry Boyd Moss b. June 19, 1860 d Jan 27, 1892
Annie Marie Moss b March 1, 1863 d. unknown
Sarah Vilula (Ludie) Moss b. June 1, 1865 d unknown
Mary Elizabeth ( Betty) Moss b.Jan 19, 1867 d Mar. 22, 1934
Portia Loletta Moss b.Feb. 6, 1869 d Oct. 17, 1928
Ada Young Moss b.April 18,1871 d.July 20, 1920
Florence Cassell Moss b. Feb. 24, 1873 d Unknown
Katie Moss b. Dec. 2, 1874 d May 6, 1875
Charlie Moss b. Jan. 4, 1876 d. Jan15, 1876
Montie Naomie Moss b. Mar 31, 1877 d after 1947
John Silvey Moss b Jan 27,1879 d Unknown
Lily Eugenia Moss b.mar. 28,1887 d. unknown
( This information was abstracted from the Moss Family Bible, on file at the GA department of Archives)

A. Y. Moss died Jan. 28, 1908 and was buried at Northview Cemetery. Sarah Elizabeth died July 23 1920 and was also buried at Northview Cemetery. Because of vandalism, which was running rampant, in the cemetery, they were later moved to Crestlawn Cemetery, Smyrna, Cobb, GA.

My Grandmother Mary Elizabeth ( Betty ) Moss married George Isaac Wilkes December 23, 1886 in Cobb County, GA.. The remainder of her story is included in the Wilkes Family history

Contributed by William T. Durban