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Morris, Zebedee William Family Bible Records

Marshall L. Styles, great-great-grandson
First, I would like to give a little background on the family of Zebedee William and Emiline Williams Morris:
Both were born at Troy in Montgomery County, N.C., where they were married. Zebedee was the son of Elias (1805-1853) and Sarah Morris (1802 – aft 1860), and was the  Administrator of his father’s estate. Emiline’s parents are unknown. They lived in Troy, birthplace of their first  eight children, until shortly before the outbreak of Civil War, relocating to Swannanoa in Buncombe County. Their 16-year old son Archibald joined Company K of the 11th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America, on 1 March 1862 at Swannanoa, but died of “camp disease,” a combination of measles, pneumonia and typhoid fever on 2 May 1862. His remains were not sent home for burial until the middle of July, finally being received by his family on 19 July 1862.

On 27 April 1863, 35-year old Zebedee enlisted in the same regiment as his deceased son, and was immediately sent north to fight at a place called Gettysburg in a battle that would become equally famous, “Picket’s Charge.” Left behind in Buncombe County were seven children and a pregnant wife. On the return march from Pennsylvania to Virginia, their commanding officer, General James Pettigrew of the University of North Carolina was killed in an ambush. Not long afterwards, Zebedee deserted his unit and remained gone for nearly six weeks. He was not charged for the desertion and rejoined his unit. Shortly thereafter he was shot in the ankle, crippling him severely enough to be sent home following a lengthy hospital recuperation. He overstayed his furlough at Swannanoa (technically he deserted again), because Emiline was about to deliver the child she was carrying when Zebedee went off to war. They named him William Zebedee Morris. Shortly after Christmas, 1863, Zebedee returned to active duty until August 1864 when he had his right arm shot off by a cannon shot at Petersburg, VA. Not long after he came home, the son William Zebedee died. The family then relocated to the Wolf Creek (Grass Creek) / Paint Rock section of Madison County, bordering the Tennessee State Line, where three other children would be born. During the year 1869 or 1870 they purchased the family Bible and began recording the family’s history. A good number of the descendants of Zebedee and Emiline Williams Morris now reside in, and around Asheville, Canton, and Marion, N.C.

When Zebedee’s widow Emiline died during Thanksgiving week, 1904, the Bible passed into the hands of their son Pardee Chappel Morris and wife Martha Elizabeth Lamb. When Pardee died in 1909, his brother Robert E. Lee Morris, who was then living at Del Rio in Cocke County, TN, took possession of the Bible, along with all of Pardee’s blacksmithing tools. Several years later, Robert relocated to Marion, NC, taking the Bible with him. About 1920 Robert moved to Burnsville in Yancey County, finally settling in Asheville. It appears that the Bible then passed from Robert to Pardee’s widow prior to 1942. When Martha died in November 1942, according to what I have been told, the Bible came to be in the hands of Lyda Morris of Canton, N.C., son of Pardee and Martha. The Bible probably was well-taken care of up until the time when Lyda came into possession of it. Lyda was convicted in 1949 of killing his brother Chappell Morris, and sentenced to prison. The Bible was then put into storage in a corn-crib in Haywood County. Needless to say, the rats had a good time of it with the aging book. Years later, the people who took possession of Lyda’s home and property discovered the Bible in the barn, and seeing a familiar name written in the Book, proceeded to call Lyda’s sister Margaret “Maggie” Morris Stiles Clontz, and the Book assumed new ownership. In 1971, Maggie “gave” the Bible to a daughter for $50.00. There it remained, hidden from view, kept from all family members for 25 years. No one, not even close family members, was allowed to see the Bible, nor did anyone know where it could be found.

I first learned of the existence of an old family Bible in 1995 from a relative who told me the name of the person who had this Bible. It took me two years to locate her. After several hours of denial that the Bible even yet existed, she finally agreed to let me “have” the Bible for $150.00, after first asking for $500.00, but that I would have to come back another time, as it was not in her possession at that time. At this point I did not know which Bible I had just negotiated for. All I knew was that I could have it for the agreed upon price in one week. When I returned and saw it lying on a couch in the living room, and the engraving “Z.W. Morris” on the cover, I knew that I had found a priceless family treasure. The hard-back, engraved Bible cover is in extremely brittle condition, the rats had a good meal from the page corners and edges, most of the pages are loose from the binding,  but it has survived. I laid out the Bible, page-by-page, on the living room floor in order to place the  pages in their proper order – and it is full of little jewels. I am pleased to have it my possession, and am also pleased to be able to share this record of the Morris Family Bible with anyone who has an interest

Following the entries are my notations placed within brackets [  ] to identify those persons named.

Engraved on the Front Cover: Holy Bible, Z.W. Morris

Cover Leaf:
“The Illustrated Polyglot Family Bible containing the Old and New Testament, With full and complete marginal notes and the Apocrypha, Concordance and Psalms in Metre, also A history of all the religious denominations of the world, with a brief account of all important sects, ancient and modern, fully describing their origin, founders and doctrines, together with the most perfect and comprehensive aids to the study of the scribes, and a late and improved dictionary of the Bible, the whole forming a concise Bible Cyclopedia, History and Analysis. Embracing a full and accurate description of Ancient Manners and Customs, Antiquities, Biblical Scenery, Natural History, &c, with a complete harmony of the Gospels. Table of Contents of the Old and New Testaments, so arranged that any subject or occurrence mentioned in the Bible can readily be referred to. Table of Scripture Weights and Measures, with an Appendix, containing the Method of Calculating its Measures of Surface. Coins of the Bible with Fac-Similies of each Coin, with their value brought down to the American Standard (hitherto wanting in treatises on this subject.) Description of Judea,
Palestine and the Holy Land, with Table of remarkable Mountains, Hills, Rivers, and Lakes. Origins of Nations. Events between the Old and New testaments summarily stated. Periods of Bible History 
– Instances of Prophecy compared with History. Important Events in Profane History during the Life of Christ. The Parables, Miracles and Discourses of Christ, arranged in Chronological Order. Tables exhibiting the Chronology of the Saviour’s Life. The Names and Titles given to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Tables showing which of the Patriarchs were contemporary with each other, and consequently how easy it was to hand down from Adam to Isaac, (a period of 2128 years,) the Particulars of the Crucifixion and Fall of Man. A chronological Index of the Years and Time from Adam to Christ proved by the Scriptures. A Table of Time. A Table of Hebrew Times and Festivals. A Table of Offices and Conditions of Men, and other valuable Tables and Treatises designed to  promote and facilitate the study of the Bible. Compiled from the writings of the most eminent divines and biblical scholars, with over two hundred beautiful engravings, illuminations and maps, on steel, wood, and in colors. Sold by Subscription Only. H.S. Goodspeed & Co., 37 Park Row, New York.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by William Fling, Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.”

Written inside the front cover: “We moved to Grass Creek, State Line, December 22nd 1881, by Z.W. Morris. I wish my House to all ways be a House of Prayer, Mar 23rd, 1883. Z.W. Morris

Marriage Certificate, engraved in full color:
This Certifies That The Rite of Holy Matrimony Was Celebrated Between Z.W. Morris of Montgomery Co, N.C. and E. Williams of Montgomery Co, N.C. on 25th day of Dec. 1845 at or near Troy, N.C., by Archabald Graham, J.P. Witness J. Monroe. Witness W. Boyd.

Z.W. Morris and Emeline Williams was married Dec 25th day 1845*
Ellis K. Morris and Eliza Freeman was married Aug 26th day 1870* [Son]
James R. Lawson and Martha F. Morris was married Aug 4th day 1872*{Daughter]
John L. Sawyer and Missouri J. Morris was married Oct 2nd day 1875* [Daughter]
Pardee C. Morris and Martha E. Lamb was married March 2nd day 1879* [Son]

Z.W. Morris was born Oct 26th A.D. 1827*
Emeline Morris was born March 1st A.D. 1827*
A.G. Morris was born Sept 8th A.D. 1846* [Son]
Mary A. Morris was born June 11th A.D. 1848* [Daughter]
Disey E. Morris was born Nov 30th A.D. 1850* [Daughter]
Ellis K. Morris was born May 11th A.D. 1852* [Son]
Thomas M. Morris was born Dec 10th A.D. 1854 [Son]
Martha F. Morris was born May 21st A.D. 1856* [Daughter]
Pardee C. Morris was born Aug 8th A.D. 1858* [Son]
Missouri J. Morris was born Dec 8th A.D. 1860* [Daughter]
William Z. Morris was born Nov 23rd A.D. 1863* [Son]
Sarah E. Morris was born Oct 9th A.D. 1865* [Daughter]
George T. Morris was born May 12th 1869* [Son]
Robert E. Lee Morris was born Dec 25th A.D. 1871* [Son]
M. Lyda Morris, born May 7th 1891 [Son of Pardee]
Maggie H. Morris born March 15th 1894 [Daughter of Pardee]
John C. Davis was born Dec 25th 1904 [Unknown]
Miss Burdell Styles was born Nov 15, 1925 Jackson County [Daughter of Maggie H. Morris]

A.G. Morris Died May 2nd A.D. 1862* [Son]
Disey E. Morris Died Dec 25th A.D. 1850 [Daughter]
Thomas M. Morris Died Aug 3rd A.D. 1855* [Son]
William Z. Morris Died Nove 12th A.D. 1864 [Son]
George T. Morris Died July 14th A.D. 1870* [Son]
Missouri Jane Sawyer our Daughter Died at my house July 23 day 1/4 of 9 o’clock a.m. 1890. Died in faith and peace in God, left bright evidence behind in Regard to hir future Destiny, age 29 years & 7 months & 15 days old, born Dec 8th 1860.
Z.W. Morris came to his death July the 11th 1895. He died in peace with God. He left good evidence behind in regard to his future destiny, age 67 years & 9 months and 15 days old
Robert E. Lee Morris died Aug 6th 1941 [Son]
Martha E. Morris Died Nov 4th 1942 [Wife of Pardee; daughter of William Riley Lamb and Eliza Rollins]

Family History, A Record of Important Events:
I, Z.W. Morris was wonded Aug 21th 1864. Wright Arm Amputated at Richmond Va Aug 24th 1864. Feb 28th 1881, by Z.W. Morris.
Eva D. Lawson came to hir death June 18th near 12 o’clock 1881, Daughter of J.R. & M.J. Lawson, age 18 1/2 months old. [Daughter of Martha Jane Morris]
Eliza Morris, wife of E.K. Morris came to hir death Aug the 9 1898 at 3 p.m.
Bob Lawson Birth day Feb 2nd day 1869 [Unknown]
Emiline Morris wife of Z.W. Morris came to hir death Nov the 30 1904, dide in peace with God left good evidence in rigard to future happiness.
Sarah E. Morris& J.J. Ramsey was mared Aug 6th 1882. [Daughter]
R.L. Morris & Etie Ward marred May 16th 1893 at J. Ellenburg’s [Son]

Miscellaneous writings following the Family History Page:
By the Grace of God, I am what I am, Z.W. Morris, Dec 20th 1886.
Minnie Washington Morris Birth day Feb 29th 1880 [Daughter of Pardee]
John W. Morris Birth day Sept 14th 1881 [Son of Pardee]
Eliza Emeline Morris Birth day June 11th 1884 [Daughter of Pardee]
J. Zebedee Lawson died April 5th 1891 [Son of Martha Jane Morris]
Salie E. Morris was Borned March the 7 1894 [Daughter of Robert E. Morris]
Ernest C. Morris was Borned June the 18 1896 [Son of Robert E.]
Telitha Octa Morris Birth day Nov the 11 1898 [Daughter of Robert E.]
Archie Everet Morris was Borned May the 13 1900 [Son of Robert E.]
Dora Ellen Morris was Borned Oct the 5 1902 [Daughter of Robert E.]
Hester Emeline Lawson Birth day June 28th 1874 [Daughter of Martha Jane Morris]
Waitsel Avery Lawson Birth day May 11th 1877 [Son of Martha Jane]
Eva D. Lawson Birth day Nov 30 1879 [Daughter of Martha Jane]
James Zebedee Lawson Birth day May 16th 1881 [Son of Martha Jane]
Martha E. Lawson Birth day March 20th 1885 [Daughter of Martha Jane]
Bonnie May Lawson Birth day May 6th 1888 [Daughter of Martha Jane]
Robert Wills died Sept 29th 1884 [Husband of Martha Jane Lamb, who was the daughter of William Riley Lamb and Eliza Rollins]

When Zebedee Morris’ family bible was in the possession of Robert E. Lee Morris and wife Mary Etta Ward, she made the following entries:

My mother Salie Ward, wife of Joseph W. Ward, came to her death May the 14th 1908. We hope died in peace with God, age 65 years, 8 months and 14 days old.
My father Joseph Ward came to his death April the 18th 1904. Died in peace with God. Left good evidence to his future. Age 69 years, 1 month, 13 days old.

Inside Leaf, at back of Bible:
Family of Mr.& Mrs. Pardee Morris
Pardee Morris born Aug 7th 1858
Martha Lamb Morris born March 12, 1858
Minnie W. Morris born Feb 29, 1880
John W. Morris born Sept 14, 1881
Eliza Morris born June 11, 1884
Chapple Morris born April 12, 1886
Harry L. Morris born Dec 24 1889
Lyda Morris born May 7, 1891
Maggie H. Morris born March 15, 1894
Ollie Morris born April 24 1896

Inside Cover, back of Bible:
“I want Etta to have this Bible. Mother, MHC [Maggie H. Morris Clontz]. Given to Etta L. Reed by Mother, Feb 28, 1971”

— Marshall Styles marshallstyles@juno.com Thu, 26 Nov 1998

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