After being dissatisfied with the lack of proof of parentage for Moses Halsey of Grayson County, Virginia and wondering why William Halsey would travel to Virginia with a distant cousin, I began looking for some record of Moses Halsey in Morris County, New Jersey where William is documented to have originated. After much searching, I found Moses on the March 1790 Hanover township tax list as Moses Holsey, along with William Holsey and several other Holseys, which says that he was most likely NOT one of the two Moses Halsey’s found on tax records or census records in Southampton, Long Island, New York in 1790.
The first Virginia reference I find for Moses Halsey is in Grayson Co., Virginia, so we know he left Morris County, New Jersey after March 1790 and before 7 March 1800 as shown in the Marriage License for the marriage of Sarah Holsey.
Another problem I have with many family trees show Moses as born in 1759 or 1761. That does not really work with the ages of Moses and his children found in later census records.
Marriage License and its Transcription for William Howell and Sarah Halsey Grayson County, Virginia (transcribed with original spelling)
Know all men by these present that We William Howell and Moses Holsey are bound unto Robert Wood Esquier Govner of the Common welth of Virginia at this time and his Sucsescors in the full and Just Sum of one houndred and fifty Dollars Courent moneys of the United States we bind our Selves Lands & tenements our heirs Severelley and Jointly by these presents Seald with our Seals and dated this 7 day of March 1800
The Condition of the above Obligation is Such that where as the above bound William Howel hath this day obtained a Lisences for his marrage with Sarah Holsey both of this County now if there beknow inpedement and Just Cose that the Sade William Howel and Sarah Holsey Should not be joined to gether in the holey Estate of matremoney then the above Obligation to be bound [? paper torn] other wise to remain in full force and Witnese[?]
given Under our hands
William [his mark, W] Howell
Moses [his mark X] Holsey
This marriage license brings several questions to my mind. First, why was Moses a bonsdman for the marriage of Sarah when she was supposedly only a distant cousin of Moses’? Why didn’t William Halsey sign as bondsman, especially since most have him as her father? Was there a closer kinship between Moses and Sarah? Was Moses actually her father? In addition, was there a kinship closer than distant cousins between William and Moses? Finally, was William Howell also from New Jersey and part of the Howell family that was in Long Island?
I finally realized that the proof that Sarah is William’s daughter is found in his will. He lists William Howell as one of the legatees and I can only assume that was because Sarah was his daughter and since she is not listed on his will, she must have died before her father.
Following are records found for Moses Halsey and other Halseys in Grayson County, Virginia beginning with the tax list of 1800. The fifth entry down has an unknown Halsey, Ezekiel Halsey, mentioned in August 1811. Who was he? Where did he go? Was he the son of William or the son of Moses? Unfortunately, the folks in Grayson County did not keep the best records, so we may never know. The William Halsey, Jr., first mentioned in the in October 1811, was the son of Revolutionary War soldier, William Halsey who came from Morris County, New Jersey.
1800 Tax List Grayson Co, Virginia [Jeff Weaver]
Halsey, William 1 males >21 2 horses
Halsey, Moses 1 males >21 2 horses
[note this would give them both a dob before 1779]
Grayson County Road Orders
August 27, 1806. Moses Halsey to be overseer of the road in the place of the one removed. . . It is therefore ordered that the same be cleared out and that William Stamper and William Howell jointly be appointed surveyors of the same, and that they, with the hands of Isaac Spencer, Nathan Cox, Jerad Perkins, Moses Halsey, Jonathan Anderson and Richard Hall clear out the same.
Early Grayson County Criminals [http://www.newrivernotes.com/va/graycrim.htm]
June 6, 1810 Enoch Baldwin. Accused of stealing and carrying away one weeding hoe of the property of Moses Halsey on May 27, 1810. The court found the evidence sufficient and ordered him to be tried in the County Court. The Grand Jury refused to indict him at August Court 1810.
1810 Grayson County Tax List [Jeff Weaver]
Halsey, William 2 tithes 0 slaves 6 horses
Halsey, Moses 1 tithe 0 slaves 4 horses
The 1811 Grayson County, Virginia Court Order Book [Jeff Weaver]
At a Court begun and held for the County of Grayson on Tuesday the 27th day of August, 1811
Present, Joshua Hanks, William Hail, Joseph Fields & William Stamper}Gen. Justices
A deed from William Jessee to Ezekiel Halsey was proven in court by three subscribing witnesses and ordered to be recorded.
At a court begun and held for the County of Grayson the 22d day of October, 1811
Present: Matthew Dickey, Joshua Hanks, Stephen Fields and John Comer} Gen. Justices
A letter of attorney from Jonathan Night to William Howell, Jr. was proven in court by William Halsey, Jr. and ordered to be recorded.
The 1812 Grayson County, Virginia Court Order Book [1998, Jeffrey C. Weaver, Arlington, Virginia.]
At a court begun and held for the county of Grayson on Tuesday the 26th day of May 1812.
The persons appointed at February Court last to view the best way for a public road from Nathan Wards by Joshua C….. the Mouth of Fox Creek, the Mouth of Wilson Creek, Robert Parsons, and to the North Carolina line made report in the following words, to wit: “Fort the worshipful court of Grayson, according to your order to us directed we have viewed the ground proposed for a waggon road from Nathan Wards to the “North Carolina” line. We find a good way to make the road and that much benefit to our inhabitants. Therefore it is considered by this court that the same is reasonable. It is therefore orderd that the same be established and that Benjamin Phipps and William Stamper be appointed overseers thereof and that they with the hands of Solomon Landreth, Thomas Baker, Thomas Young, Jonathan Anderson, Jerard Perkins, Isaac Spencer, Moses Halsey, John Cox, and Zachariah Osborne, oversee, open the same accordingly.
A History of the Sturgill Family, David Andrew Sturgill, Mack Howard Sturgill, p. 49
Records the sale of 156 acres in Grayson Co., Virginia to Moses Halsey by John Sturgill.
1813 Grayson Co Tax List
Halsey, Moses 1 tithe 3 horses .48 tax
Halsey, William 2 5 .80
Halsey, Amos 1 1 .16
Halsey, William 1 1 .16
Amos Halsey was the son of William and Rachel Cobb Halsey. He moved first to Ashe County, North Carolina where he appears on the 1815 tax list and 1820 census. He later moved to Smyth County, Virginia. A number of his descendants migrated to Kentucky. I believe that the Thomas Halsey book has several mistakes regarding Amos Halsey and his family, including his first wife’s name, but that is for another post. In 1853, Amos married Elizabeth Scott in Smyth County.
The William Halsey listed last in the above tax list was also the son of William and Rachel Cobb Halsey. He married Juda Peak in 1814 and is found on the Ashe County, North Carolina census in 1820 as well.
1817 Tax List Grayson Co., Virginia [Jeff Weaver]
Halsey, James 1 males >16 2 horses .36 tax
Halsey, William 1 1 .18
Halsey, William, Sen. 1 4 .72
Halsey, Moses 1 3 .54
1820 Census, Virginia, Grayson Co.,
Hosley, Moses 2 – – – – – 1 // 2 1 1 – 1 [this gives Moses a dob of before 1775]
2 boys <10 [Eli & ??]. 2 girls <10
1 man 45 + 1 girl 10-15
1 girls 16-25 [Elizabeth? or Sally?]
1 woman 45+
In the 1820 census in Grayson Co., Virginia, there also listings for James Holsey [son of Revolutionary War William, age 16-25] and William Holsey [age 45+], Robert Halsey [son of Moses, age 16-25], and William Halsey [age 16-26] in Grayson County, Virginia. Amos Halsey and another William Halsey [both aged 26-45] are listed in Ashe County, North Carolina. I think that William in Ashe County is the son of Revolutionary War William, or William, Sr. as is Amos of Ashe County. Is this Grayson County William the son of Moses? The James in Grayson is also thought to be the son of William, Sr. Robert is the son of Moses.
Land Office Grants No. 70, 1820-1821, p. 347 (Reel 136). [Library of Virginia]
Holsey, Moses. 1 September 1821. Grayson County. Description: 95 acres on New River. Beg.g &c in a line of s.d Holsey’s former survey. “In conformity with a survey made” 30 May 1817 “by virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant 2443 issued the seventh February 1780 there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto Moses Holsey” . . . 95 acres in Grayson County on the New River “on a ridge in a line with said Halsey’s former survey”.
1824 Grayson County Tax List
Halsey, William 1 tithes 1 horses .12
Halsey, Moses 1 3 .36
Halsey, Robert 1 1 .12
Halsey, James 1 1 .12
Halsey, William 2 6 .72
Grayson County, Virginia 1826 Court Order Book Page 13…March 1826
Wednesday the 29th court met according to adjournment. Present: William BALLARD, John COOK, Thomas BALDWIN & Lewis MONTGOMERY Justices
The Commonwealth vs James HALSEY indictment for (________ blank) dismissed.
1827 Grayson County Court Order Book
19 James Halsy (sic) v. Mordecia Cross [Cress?]
27 Moses Halsey on grand jury
39/ 40 Deed from William Howell to Silvester Halsey proven by Isaac Pasley 29 Nov 1827
Deed from William Halsey to Elisha Halsey proven by Isaac Pasley & Silvester Halsey
The 1828 Grayson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List [Transcribed by Jeffrey C. Weaver, July 4, 1998]
Name White Tithe Black Tithe Negroes 12+ Horses Tax
Halsey, Moses 1 4 .48
Halsey, Robert 1 2 .24
Halsey, William M. 1 2 .24
Halsey, William, Sr. 3 7 .84
Halsey, James 1 4 .48
1830 Census, Virginia, Grayson Co.,
5 Halseys, 2 Williams, Moses, Robert, James
William Halsey 1 – – 1 2 – – – – 1 // 1 – – 1 1 1 – – 1
boy <5 girl <5
boy 15-20 girls 15-20
2 men 20-30 woman 20-30
William 70-80 woman 30-40
Moses Halsey 1 1 1 – – – – 1 // 4 3 1 – 2 – 1 [this gives Moses a dob bet 1770 & 1780, combined with previous census, dob narrows to bet. 1770-1775]
1 boy <5 4 girls <5
1 boy 5-10 3 girls 5-10
1 boy 10-15 [Eli] 1 girl 10-15
Moses 50-60 2 women 20-30
William Halsey 1 1 1 1 – 1 // – 1 1 1 – 1
boy < 5
5-10 girl 5-10
boy 10-15 girl 10-15
boy 15-20 girl 15-20
William 30-40 woman 30-40
Robert Halsey 1 – 1 1 1 //2 – – – 1
boy <5 2 girls <5
boy 10-15 Polly 20-30
James Halsey – 2 1 – – 1 // 1 1 2 – 1 – – – – – 1
2 boys 5-10 girl <5
boy 10-15 girl 5-10
James 30-40 2 girls 10-15
Grayson County, VA Deeds – Pacely to Halsey – 1834 Book 9, Page 265
This Indenture made and confirmed this Twenty-second day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty-four by said undersigned Isaac Pacely and his wife Rachel Pacely of the County of Grayson and the State of Virginia of the one part and Sylvester Halsey of the County and State aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that they the said Isaac Pacely and wife for and in consideration for the sum of one hundred and seventy-five Dollars to them in hand paid by Sylvester Halsey hath given granted bargained sold and conveyed unto Sylvester Halsey a certain tract or parcel of land containing two hundred acres of land to the same more or less it being in and lying in the County and State aforesaid and bounded as followeth: Beginning at three black walnut trees on the East of New River Corner to William Halsey 100 __ __ South 85 East 158 poles to a large red oak John Cones corner South 23 East sixty poles to a hickory at the head of a branch and down the branch and bordering __ __ East 176 poles to a Buckeye at the mouth of the branch on the bank of New River thence up New River ___ thereon north 45 west 140 poles to a chestnut ___ ____ the ____ line on the bank of New River south 26 West 340 poles to the beginning together with all woods ways waters mines minerals and appurtenances there unto belonging to Sylvester Halsey and his heirs forever to have and to hold ____ Isaac Pacely and Rachel his wife and their heirs forever doth by these ___ bind themselves their heirs executors and administrators to warrant and forever defend the aforesaid __ __ __ to Sylvester Halsey and his heirs against all right titles claims and encumbrances the speculation claims excepted. In witness whereof they the said Isaac Pacely and his wife Rachel Pacely have set their hands and seals the day and date above written Signed sealed and delivered in presence of
Attest Nathl Vannoy Isaac Pacely (Seal)
Moses (X-his mark) Halsey Rachel (X-her mark) Halsey (Seal)
William (X-his mark) Halsey
Grayson County Court Clerks Office Sept. 1st, 1835
This deed from Isaac Pacely to Sylvester Halsey was presented in the offices proved by the oath of Nathaniel Vannoy a subscribing witness thereto and continued for further proof.
Grayson County Court Clerks Offices Sept. 1st 1844 fully proved by the oath of William Richardson a subscribing witness thereto and also the signature of Moses Halsey a subscribing witness thereto who has removed to the state of Kentucky was proved by the oath of William Richardson and committed to record. Teste John Dickinson C. C.
(Isaac Pacely married Rachel Halsey, daughter of Amos Halsey and Elizabeth Howell, granddaughter of William Halsey and Rachel Cobb, or others say she was William and Rachel’s daughter.)
Grayson County, VA Deed – Pacely to Richardson – 1834 Book 9, Page 376
This Indenture made and confirmed this twenty-eighth day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty-four. Between Isaac Pacely and Rachel Pacely his wife of the one part of the County of Grayson and the State of Virginia and William Richardson of the County and State aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that they the said Isaac Pacely and Rachel his wife for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and twenty Dollars to them in hand paid by the said William Richardson, hath given, granted, bargained, sold and conveyed unto the said William Richardson a certain tract or parcel of land containing fifty acres more or less, it being and lying in the County and State aforesaid on the waters of Smiths branch and bounded as followeth: to witt Beginning on the blazed white oak on the bank of Smith’s branch the north corner of Enoch Vannoy’s field running up the point of a ridge along an old path, a blazed conditional line made by Moses Halsey and ____Hensley to the top of the ridge ____the path down the East side of the hill to a branch, then across the branch up to the top of the hill at three fork pathes then ___ to Moses Halsey’s Spanish oak corner top of a ridge near a path N 27 W 34 poles to a white oak in the head of a hollow N 80 W50 poles to four crab apple trees on the bank of a branch S40 W 120 poles down the branch ____ thereon to the beginning together with all woods ways waters mines minerals and appurtenances there unto belong to heirs the said William Richardson and his heirs forever. To have and to hold free and clear from all rights, titles, claims or encumbrances from Isaac Pacely and Rachel his wife and their heirs forever and all other persons and their claims. In witness whereof the said Pacely and wife have set their hands and seals the day and date above written.
Attest Natl. Vannoy Isaac Pacely (Seal)
Moses (X-his mark) Halsey Rachel (X-her mark) Pacely (Seal)
Sylvester (X-his mark) Halsey
At the Clerks Office of Grayson County Court 1st September, 1834
This Deed from Isaac Pacely and wife to William Richardson was proved by the oath of Sylvester Halsey a witness Thereto and continued for further proof.
Grayson County Court Clerks Office September 1st 1835 further proved by the oath of Nathaniel Vannoy a subscribing thereto and continued for further proof. Grayson County Court Clerks Office September 2nd, 1845 fully proved by the oath of Sylvester Halsey who made oath to the signature of Moses Halsey a subscribing witness (who has moved from this State) thereto and committed to record. Teste John Dickinson C. C.
1835 Grayson County Virginia Tax List
Halsey, Moses 1 2 .12
Halsey, Amos 1 3 .18
Halsey, William 1 1 .06
Halsey, Silvester 1 1 .06
Halsey, Clisby 1 1 .06
Halsey, Eli 1 1 .06
The following deed was written in 1835 and is pretty much the basis of my belief that Moses Halsey did not die in 1830 as many people have written in their family trees. How did Moses and Margaret Halsey sell this land to their son Robert in 1835 if Moses died in 1830? In the margin this deed has a notation that reads “Delivd to Robert Halsey Oct. 21/72.”
Grayson County Deed Book 4, p. 37
24 Sept 1835
“This indenture made and confirmed this 24th day of September AD 1835 between Moses Halsey and Margaret his wife of the one part and Robert Halsey of the other part both of the County of Grayson and State of Virginia. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred Dollars to him payd by the sd Robert Halsey the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged that the said Moses Halsey and Margaret hath given granted bargained and sold to him the sd Robert Halsey a certain parcel of land in the county afsd. Beginning at the mouth of sd Robert Halsey’s meadow branch thence thence up sd branch to a beach (sic) and white oak near the mouth of a hollow thence N 35 W to a Spanish oak on the bank of the Tom [Torn?] branch thence up sd branch S 69 W to the sd Moses Halsey’s line thence S 43 E to a chestnut tree on the side of a hill near the forks of a branch in the State line thence with sd State line to a large double cucumber [??] thence to a cucumber sapling [?] on the bank of New River thence down sd River binding thereon to the first station 150 acres to be the same more or less. Together with its improvements and all wood water mines mineral henditaments [??] and apertainances belonging to or in any wise apertaining to the same to have and to hold and the sd Moses Halsey and Margaret do by these presents, warrent (sic) and forever defend the afsd granted land promising to him the sd Robert Halsey his heir or assigns forever clear and free from all titles or claims whatever in testimony whereof the sd Moses Halsey hath set his hand and seal the day and date above written. signed seal and delived in the presents of
E. Vannoy Moses Halsey
E. Gentry Margaret Halsey
Grayson County Court Feby Term 1871
A deed of bargain and sale from Moses Halsey and wife to Robert Halsey having been …
Here is one of my mistakes (and I am sure there are many I don’t know about) – I did not notice that the whole deed was not on the page and I neglected to copy the next page of the microfilm. More on this later.
If anyone has additions, corrections, or any thoughts on this, I would love to have you share them.