Moses Shelby, Sr.

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About Moses Shelby, Sr.

A Patriot of the American Revolution for NORTH CAROLINA. DAR Ancestor # A102480 Moses Shelby was born 05 May 1728 in Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales, and died 13 Oct 1776 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He married Isabel Alexander, daughter of William Alexander and Agnes Alexander. She probably died in 1780 in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

On May 4, 1744, his father, Evan, turned over to Moses a fifty-acre parcel of land called "Hunt's Cabin," located a short distance from the right bank of Licking Creek about eight or nine miles southwest of Evan’s home, Maiden's Choice, which places it in present day Washington County, Maryland. However, about 1760, Moses and his family joined the great exodus to the south, going to South Carolina. The slight information we have on this move indicates that they may have settled near the sea coast below the Santee River, near Charleston. Whether Moses found the climate or the soil of South Carolina unsuitable, was offered better inducements, or what, we don’t know but we do know that two years later, on June 2 1762, he bought a sizeable piece of land on "the waters of Clear Creek," a branch of Rocky River, in Anson County, North Carolina. His sister, Mary, and her husband, Adam Alexander, had already relocated to this area.

The North Carolina Colonial Records show that Moses was a member of the Mecklenburg Militia under his brother-in-law, Colonel Adam Alexander. Moses' will was dated September 2, 1776. It was a common practice for soldiers going into war to prepare a will before they left. But, although Moses is listed as a patriot by the Daughters of the Revolution, he did not see much action in the war. He died in October of 1776. His will was probated in January of 1777.

At a meeting of the Inferior Court on the third Thursday of January A.D. 1777 and in the first year of American Independence . . . The last Will and Testament of Moses Shelby, deceased, was proved in open court by the oath of James Harris, one of the subscribing witnesses.

I give to my dear and beloved wife during her widowhood this house wherein I now live, together with all the furniture and lands and tenements that lay about it, except such furniture as hereafter mentioned. I also give to my loving wife five work creatures and eight milch cows and calves - together with two plows and tackling and all my plantation tools for the benefit of my wife and six youngest children.

Item: When my hereafter named Executors come to cancel my book debts, bonds and notes and find their value, they are then to make an equal dividend betwixt my wife and six youngest children and also the money arising from a vandue made, to be divided in the same manner except 25 pounds I will allow to my loving wife the better to enable her to school the six youngest children.

Item: The two oldest Negroes, Rince and Fillis I order and will to remain on the plantation for the better support of my wife and six youngest children and if any issue by either of the two wenches after what has been mentioned I order and will one to each of my four youngest daughters. The first to Catherine and so on.

Item: I will and bequeath to my loving wife one Negro wench named Sude, her lifetime and then to give her to whom she will of my family.

The court minutes in Mecklenburg, over the next several years, contain many references to the “orphans” of Moses Shelby. It is not known for sure what happened to Isabel after Moses’ death. Some think she followed him in death in 1780. However, there is an interesting entry in the court records of nearby Cabarrus County that states: "The last Will of testament of Isable Craton was proved in Apr Court by the Oath of E. Speiars. . . .Isable CRATAIN dec'd. Daughter, Mary WILEY, bequeathed a woman slave, was to be sold after being valued by Robert COCHRAN.” Moses’ and Isabel’s oldest daughter, Mary, married Oliver Wiley so it is quite possible that the Isabel Craton that is mentioned is the widow of Moses Shelby.

Baptized in St. Carson's church Tregaron, Wales in 1728.

Married Isabel in Maryland

1760: migrated to South Carolina

June, 1762: moved up to a tract of land on Clear Creek, a branch of Rocky River in what is now Cabarrus County, NC

This is where he died in 1776-7.

Soldier and patriot of the American Revolutionary War.

Moses Shelby was born in 1784 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and died about 1826 also in Mecklenburg County. He married Mary Ann Knox before 1810 at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, Mint Hill Station, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Alison Knox and Mary Smith. She was born 28 May 1785 in Mecklenburg County and died 27 May 1855 in Selma, Dallas County, Alabama.

Very little is know about this Moses Shelby except that he lived his entire life in Mecklenburg County and died in about 1826 at about the age of 42.   After the death of her youngest son, Joseph, his widow, Mary Ann, joined her other sons in moving to Alabama where she died in 1855.  A picture of their homesite is below although the actual home has long since been destroyed.  She is buried in the cemetery at the Mt. Pleasant Church in Selma, Alabama.  Her tombstone, at right, reads:  "Sacred to the memory of Mary Shelby, wife of Moses Shelby, who was born May 28th 1785 and died May 27th 1855, age 69 years, 11 months and 30 days." 

Children of Moses Shelby and Mary Knox were:

1. Smith Shelby was born between 1800 and 1819 in North Carolina, and died in 1860 in Maplesville, Dallas County, Alabama. He married Elizabeth Bodkin on 15 Oct 1831 in Mecklenburg County. She was the daughter of William S. Bodkin. Smith and Elizabeth spent some period of time in Gibson County, Tennessee where all of their children were born. Their seven children were: John, James, Jane, William L., Nancy, Susan and Winfield M.

2. Winfield M. Shelby was born between 1804 and 1806 in North Carolina and died 19 Jun 1881 in Intercourse, Sumter County, Alabama. He is buried in the chestnut Grove Cemetery in Intercourse, Sumter County, Alabama. He married first Susan Melissa Alexander 07 Dec 1830 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Stephen Alexander and Isabella Shelby. She was born 05 Aug 1807 in Mecklenburg County died in Sumter County, Alabama. He married second Mary B. Lnu on 27 Apr 1869 in Dallas County, Alabama. She was born about 1834. It is not known whether Winfield and his first wife, Melissa, had children. However, by his second wife he had two children, Lucy and Wiley.

3. John Rufus Shelby was born in 1807 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died between 1877 and 1879 in Avondale, Dallas County, Alabama. He married Mary Ann Deaton in Mecklenburg County. She died in Avondale. They are both buried at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church North Selma, Alabama.

It may be that John Rufus suffered from either Alzheimer’s or dementia. On 18 December 1876, a petition was filed by William H. Shelby, John Rufus’ eldest son, to have J.R. Shelby declared a Lunatic. The petition was sustained and John Rufus was found incompetent. It is believed he died within the next two years.

John Rufus and Mary Ann Deaton had twelve children: William Houston, James Thomas, Jane E., Lenora L., J Edda, Mary A., Martha Alice, Julia A., Frances S., Margaret A., Cornelia M., and Sarah Ella. Richard Shelby, the present day United States Senator from Alabama, descends from John Rufus through his son, William Houston.

4. James Madison Shelby was born 08 Jan 1814 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and died 04 Dec 1889 in Larue, Henderson County, Texas. He married Amanda Ann Henderson 14 Oct 1841 in Mecklenburg County. She was the daughter of John Henderson and Ann Sample. She was born 03 Mar 1816 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and died 12 Nov 1896 in Athens, Henderson County, Texas. James Madison Shelby is the subject of the next generation.

5. David Daniel Shelby was born 12 Jan 1816 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He originally moved, with his brothers, to Alabama but subsequently moved to Louisiana where he died in 1896. He married Prudence Alexander who was born 1817. David and Prudence Shelby had six children: Josiah, Marion Co., Mary E., William B., Parthenia and Providence C.

6.  Eleanor Selina Shelby was born 27 Nov 1817 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 08 Oct 1900 in Lindale, Smith County, Texas.  She married William Lee Henderson 26 Apr 1838 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.  He was the son of John Henderson and Ann Sample and the brother of Amanda Ann Henderson who married Eleanor’s brother James Madison Shelby.  William Lee Henderson was born 04 Jan 1808 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 10 Dec 1888 in Lindale, Smith County, Texas.  Both Eleanor and William Lee Henderson are buried in Bethesda Cemetery in Lindale.

It is unknown when William Lee and Eleanor Selina Henderson made the trip from Charlotte to Perry County, Alabama. Perhaps they traveled with the Shelby brothers in about 1847 or, perhaps they arrived with William Lee’s brother, John Elam, who also lived in Perry County. However, is known that they were part of the wagon train that left Perry County after the Civil War, in 1869. They traveled with James Madison Shelby and his family to Smith County, Texas to escape the ravages of Reconstruction in Alabama. William Lee kept a diary of the family's journey that has been included in this history under John James Simons.

William Henderson and Eleanor Shelby had eight children: Lorena Isabella, Mary, Joseph Asamon, Sally, John M., William D., Franklin Smith and Rebecca A. Lorena was the first wife of Thomas Dunklin, the second husband of Jane Eliza Shelby, James Madison Shelby’s daughter.

7. Thomas A. Shelby was born about 1820 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 26 Jun 1862 in Dallas Co., Alabama. He married Mary Ann Morrow in 1850 in Dallas County, Alabama. She was born 25 May 1825 in Dallas County, Alabama, and died 28 Dec 1908 in Selma, Alabama. Thomas was a member of the Alabama 28th Infantry Company I during the Civil War and died in that service. Thomas and Mary Ann Shelby had two children, Margaret Ann and W.A.

8. Samuel Norton Shelby was born 14 May 1821 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 03 Jul 1881 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. He married Priscilla Ross Gibson 28 Oct 1847. She was born in November 1827 in Abbeville, South Carolina and died in 1903 in Lauderdale, Mississippi. They are both buried at Bethel Cemetery in Lauderdale. They had at least one son, Joseph T.

9. Joseph Theodore Shelby was born 10 Nov 1823 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and died 04 Jan 1853 in Dallas County, Alabama. Joseph is the brother that went to Alabama before the rest of the family. When he died at the age of 30, he left his property in Alabama to his brothers. This is why they all eventually migrated from North Carolina.[]

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Moses Shelby, Sr.'s Timeline

May 5, 1728
Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales
Age 15
Prince George Cty MD
Age 17
Frederick, MD, United States
Age 19
Hagerstown, Frederick, MD, United States
Age 23
Age 26
Age 31
Age 33
South Carolina
Age 34