Friday, March 22, 2013

Imagining Mariah

A Southern Belle

In imaging Mariah Booth Winfield Moffett Booth, I envision her as a bit of Scarlet O'Hara, the quintessential Southern Belle. She was an heiress, mentioned not only in her father, Joel Winfield's will in Marlborough County, South Carolina, but also her grandfather, Joshua Wingfield in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Her little brother, Joel Jr., did not live to grow up and had passed by the time their grandfather did in 1818, Making Mariah sole heiress to her father's estate and his share of her grandfather's estate.

Mariah married twice. First to James Moffett/Moffit/Maffet of Scottish decent and of most prior to the marriage, Fayetteville, North Carolina, where her cousins Jordan and John W. Howell resided.

James Moffett was a Physician and brother of William H. Moffett and the Rev. John Newland Moffett or Maffet.
Moffat in Dumfriesshire

Mariah's second marriage in 1836, was to another Physician and her first cousin, Dr. George Washington Booth. Both were grandchildren of Thomas Booth of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Mariah was the daughter of oldest sister Mary Marler Booth, known as Polly and Washington was the son of Harper Booth, who would move from Virginia, first to Halifax County, Virginia and  then later to Lawrence and Franklin Counties in Alabama. He and most of his sons would later remove to Mississippi, living in Itawamba, Tishomingo and Lee Counties.

 Mariah Booth Winfield Moffett Booth, I believe, did not live to be an old woman. I find her second husband alone in 1850 and some documents involving her in 1838 and 1840 in Lawrence County, Alabama, that I have not yet been able to  examine. She was born circa 1802, as her parents were married in Virginia in 1801, although her father had been active in Marlboro County, South Carolina for over a decade.  

Mariah was well educated. She attended a well known female academy and was sent to Boston for awhile to finish her education. This may explain her inclination for doctors.

At the time of her first marriage, in 1826, Mariah was not a desperate teenager, as many of the country girls who married as quickly as possible. She was an astute, educated and possibly a bit spoiled Southern lady of a comfortable 24 years old.

Name:James Moffit
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Marlboro, South Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:2
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:1
Slaves - Males - Under 10:5
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:4
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:4
Slaves - Males - 55 thru 99:1
Slaves - Females - Under 10:5
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:4
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:4
Free White Persons - Under 20:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:3
Total Free White Persons:4
Total Slaves:27
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):31
The 1830 census of Marlboro County, North Carolina, shows her husband, Dr. James Moffett as Head of Household, with one white female between the age of 20 and 29, obviously Mariah and another young female under 5 years old. This shows that they possibly had a daughter. If this child survived to adulthood, I have not found her yet. I am in hopes that the papers from Alabama may shed a light on this mystery.

The census also shows that the Moffetts had 27 slaves in their household. Most Physicians in those days did not require the assistance of a number of slaves, perhaps one or two at the most as drivers or nursing assistance. This shows that the good doctor had likely moved onto Level Green, the plantation of Joel Winfield. 
Moffat Loop Road
This beautiful scene is the area of Scotland where the Moffats (Moffett, Moffit) hailed from.

In 1828, Dr. James and Mrs Mariah Moffett contracted in Marlboro, South Carolina with a Mr. John Goodwin to build a house at Level Green, formerly known as Winfieldville. 
A Southern Piazza

The following is an excerpt from the Indenture dated October 17, 1828:

"build at the place called Level Green in Marlborough District a dwelling house of the dimensions and according to the specifications following to wit the said house to be forty-eight feet long and forty two feet wide and to be one story high, ten and a half feet wide in the clear, the width including a piazza in front ten feet wide to have four rooms on the ground floor and two rooms in the garret, a  papage (passage?) twelve feet wide, a portico in the rear sixteen feet long and eight feet wide and a stair case in the papage, to have a door and four windows in the front, the same in the rear and two windows in each end, to have four dormant windows  in the roof, viz three in front and one in the year and two windows in each gable end, the windows below to have eighteen lights and those above to have twelve lights each all of eight by ten glass, the House to be set on Brick pillars, three and a half feet high to have two chimneys with a fire place in each room: and to be finished with closets in the usual manner and the said John Goodwin is to furnish at his own cost the following materials and none others for the work hereby contracted to be done, to wit, Bricks and lime for the chimneys and pillars, all the glass, nails, hinges, locks, and fastenings-the said house to be erected, including all the mason work, and carpenter work above specified and to be done in a plain, substantial and workmanlike manner- And the said James Moffett and Mariah B. Moffett do hereby for themselves, their heirs, executor and administrators, .....the rest is legalese dealing with the contract. 
A Portico

The above link is to a blog by Penny L Richards describing students at the academy. Margaret Jane Adam married Dr. William H Moffett in 1821. He was the brother of Mariah's first husband, James. 

They were not ordinary people.

Mariah had appointed her brother-in-law as trustee over her estate when she married James in 1826. When she married her cousin, Dr. Washington Booth in 1836, Dr. William H. Moffett was released as trustee. I do not know why she did not assign her first husband, Dr. James Moffett as trustee. Perhaps she did not 'trust' him. Married women had no legal control over their finances in those days. Mariah Booth Winfield had more control than most. 

12 Apr 1826, issue
72. Married in Cheraw on the evenning last, by Rew George W. Hathaway, Coct. James Moffett of Fayetteville to Miss Maria Winfield of Marlboro Co. SC.

Her Father: Joel Winfield  from 
Book Title: A History Of Marlboro County


1 John Wilson                  1785
2 Joel Winfield                1787
3 William Fields               1788
4 Drury Robertson              1789
5 Joel Winfield                1790
6 Jno. Winfield                1804

Joel Winfield held the office of Clerk of Court in 1787 and then again in 1790. His younger brother John Thrower Winfield held the office after his death in 1803. Her uncle Drury Robertson, husband of the Winfield brothers sister Mary, held the office in 1789.


Joel Winfield, clerk, served as ordinary till 1803.
William Easterling served from 1803 till his death, 1835.
Lewis E. Stubbs elected in 1835.

The early records of Marlboro are filled with Joel Winfields signature performing marriages and witnessing deeds. Marlboro County, SC Post Offices - 1785 to 1971

Joel Winfield
aka Marlboro C.H.

Joel was the Postmaster of his own town in the early years. The following excerpt is from 

  A History of Carlisle, South Carolina

n 1785, the new county of Marlboro was created within the overarching Cheraws District at the northeastern corner of South Carolina. The District Court was held at Long Bluff, and the lower County Court House ofMarlboro County was established a few miles north of Long Bluff along the Great Pee Dee River near Gardner's Bluff. It was simply called Marlboro Court House and only lasted a few years.

The town of Carlisle had begun in 1785 and was soon thriving, so the local populace requested that it become the new County Seat. The exact date is currently unkown. However, it was located on the north bank of Crooked Creek where it crossed the old River Road.

Carlisle soon became called Winnfieldville, which was shortened to Winfield by 1801. Winfield remained the county seat until 1822 - the result of an 1819 Act of Legislation moving the county seat to a more-central location.

As Winfield, the town was granted a U.S. Post Office on January 1, 1801, with Mr. Joel Winfield as the first Postmaster. It remained in operation until April 5, 1822, when the new town called Marlboro C.H. was granted its Post Office.

In 1826, the town of Marlboro C.H. was renamed to Bennettsville, and it has been the county seat ever since. The town of Carlisle/Winfield no longer exists, but a granite monument stands where the courthouse was located.

Drury Robertson.

The Drury Robertson who served Marlboro as Clerk of Court and later as a Representative was Drury Robertson, Jr. and a Revolutionary War Major. He
married the sister of Joel Winfield, Mary and aunt of Mariah. The Winfields, Meanly's, Robertsons and Freemans migrated from Mecklenburg and Brunswick Counties in Virginia, first to Anson County, North Carolina. Drury Sr. died in Anson. Some of the younger generation then migrated either to Tennessee or Marlboro, South Carolina.

The following clipping is from:
The following article was transcribed from microfilm of the Pee Dee Advocate newspaper, and contributed by Mary Lewis, 2004.
Among the early representatives of the county a name prominent in early affairs, is that of Maj. Drury Robertson, a representative man in every respect. He married a Miss Winfield of Virginia. He was an extensive land owner, his large estates covering thousands of acres of land, beginning above Goodwin’s mill and going to Pee Dee river. He built the house at Easterling’s mill (now McLaurin’s mill), and this is one of the oldest houses in the county, being built one hundred and thirty years ago. Lafayette spent the night here on his way to Georgetown and here Gen. Winfield Scott read law while visiting his relatives, the Robertsons. Maj. Robertson left two daughters; one married a Hearsey and moved West. George Hearsey of Blenheim is her grandson. The other daughter married first an Ellerbe, the father of Col. W. T. Ellerbe.

After his death she married a Prince, and had one son. There are no living descendants. Mrs Prince, as a widow, lived at the "Old Prince Place", which was a part of Drury Robertson’s estate, with her son, Col. Wl T. Ellerbe, a man of noble character and broad culture. He represented his country many years in the legislature. This magnificent home was surrounded by an old Colonial garden, the only one of the kind in Marlboro. It covered several acres of ground and was fashioned and laid out much in the style of the garden at Mt. Vernon.
The flower beds and borders were hedged with box wood and in this plot bloomed and boloosmed from common hollyhocks, sweat alyssum, and every ready growing flower to the rare exotics that with care and attention could be made to live in this clime. Mrs Prince was an invalid from a fall, and Col. Ellerbe designed this garden for her pleasure and here with her companion, Mrs. Black, much of her time was spent. The pleasure circle was a circular plot lmade of cedars planted in a circle, their tops tied together wen young. They were kept pruned and the doors and windows were shaped. Around the roots of the cedars jasmine and woodbine trailed, and when in bloom the contrasting colors lent charm to the vision. On the inside of the circle easy chairs and tables were placed for loungers. The last vestige of house and garden were destroyed by Maxwell, a Negro senator, during the Reconstruction period. He got possession of the property by paying the taxes. The finest library in the county at that time was owned by Col. Ellerbe. He and his mother rest in Robertson’s burying grounds just back of Easterling’s mill, and a stately magnolia marks his grave. Mrs. Black after Mrs. Prince’s death became a nurse in the Florence hospital dudring the war between the states. Capt. Henry Easterling a----------- Drury Robertson’s estate including the house, and lived here until his death. John L. McLaurin lately purchased part of the property.

I imagine Moriah fashioning her garden much after her Aunt Mary Robertson's with exotic blooms and interesting walks. 

I earlier research, I found a description of her wedding to Dr. George Washington Booth at her home in Bennettsville online in an old newspaper. I have not yet been able to discover that article again, but will post it when I do. It described a beautiful porch drapped in flowers and tents set up in luxury for the many guests of the bridal couple, arriving from all over the country. It must have been an event. They had to arrive by cart and buggy in 1836, as no railway yet passed that way. 

These were not ordinary people. 

John Newland Maffitt, Jr. 

The above link is concerning Mariah's nephew, son of the brother of her first husband James, the Rev. John Newland Maffitt/Moffett/Mofit, Sr., a Methodist Episcopal minister. In doing research the other day in Fayetteville, I discovered her cousin Jordan Howell was also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Fayetteville. 

These were not ordinary people. 

The following clip is from "Hybart Family History". This is concerning the daughter of William H. Moffett and Mariah's niece.

16 THOMAS LEWIS HYBART born about 1803 in Canada died 1 January 1847 buried Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville
     (spelling of name taken from tombstone), married (marriage bond 16 February 1843 Cumberland County, North
Carolina) to Eliza Moffitt born 1823 died after 1880.

          Thomas L. Hybart was a lawyer, newspaper publisher, and representative from Fayetteville in 1835 to the North
     Carolina House of Commons who was said to have "a ready tongue and a trenchant pen". He was a strong supporter
of General Andrew Jackson. He was one of the managers of a subscription ball in 1829, indicating that he was active
in the social life of the area. When a fire destroyed a great part of Fayetteville in 1831, the house of T. L. Hybart,
Esq., located at the intersection of Union and Mason streets, was saved only by great effort.
          Children: 1. William M. Hybart; 2. Thomas Lewis Hybart, Jr.

Another article on John Newland Moffett/Maffit

Article on Margaret Adam Moffett's sister, Eliza Ann Adam

The Booths:

Guntown and John Fletcher Booth

Court Case of John Fletcher Booth, Jr. 


Charley Stanford stole a topcoat out of a car and called John Fletcher Booth (defendant), telling Booth that he had the coat Booth wanted and Booth could have it for $20. Stanford set up a meeting with Booth, but was soon after arrested when he was spotted wearing the coat. Stanford agreed to assist the police in apprehending Booth by not telling Booth about the arrest and meeting him in Stanford’s house as planned. The police hid in Stanford’s closet when Booth came over and after Stanford informed Booth that the coat was stolen, Booth said that that was fine and bought the coat. Soon after, the police arrested Booth and charged him with receipt of stolen property. The District Court of Oklahoma County found Booth not guilty of receipt of stolen property because where stolen goods have been recovered by the owner or police, they are no longer considered stolen. Therefore, when they are brought to a defendant with the intent of entrapping him, the defendant cannot be guilty of receipt of stolen goods. However, the District Court of Oklahoma County did find Booth guilty of attempted receipt of stolen property. Booth appealed.
Wills 12 Apr 1803 Will of Thomas Booth In the name of God Amen, I Thomas Booth of Mecklenburg County and State of Virginia being sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this to be my last will and Testament in manner and form as following:  Imprimis my desire is that all the perishable part of my estate shall be sold by my Executors in discharge of my Just Debts (except what's hereafter devised)  Item I give and bequeath unto my loving Daughter, Mary M Winkfield the following Negroes she has now possession, to wit, Hannah, Daniel, Henry, Evelina, Jacob, Junney, also two beds and furniture and one Set of China & Silver Tea Spoons which she has now in her possession to her and her heirs  forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Rebecca Booth the following Negroes, to wit, one Negro woman by the name of Milly and Girl the name of Mariah, also one by the name of Clary, and one boy by the name of Joshua, also two boys by the name of Heartwell & Woodlief, also two beds and furniture, one set of China and half Dozen Silver Tea Spoons to her and her heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my son, Harper Booth the land & plantation whereon he now lives, also three Negroes, to wit, Jack, Lissie and Tom, one Sorrell mare, four head of Cattle, one bed and furniture which he has now in possession to him and his heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Booth three negroes to wit, Joe, Stephen and Betty, one bed and furniture, four head of Cattle, one dark bay mare which property he has now is possession except Negro Betty to him and his heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my daughter, Judith Booth, six Negroes to wit, Pattey, a woman, also Wilson and Nelson her Children, Edy, Gooding and Billy, two beds and furniture, one Set of China ware, 1/2 dozen Silver tea Spoons to her and her heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my son Reuben Booth three Negroes to wit, Sam, Allen and Nancy black one sorrell horse, also the lands and plantation whereon he now lives to take possession of the land at the death of my beloved wife, Saving and reserving one half of my dwelling House to my three daughters, Rebecca, Judith and Salley Booth until they shall marry, also one bed and furniture, two Cows &Calves two Sows and pigs, pott & Oven, one set Caininau? Cups & Saucers, one set Knives & forks, one Set Caininau? Table Spoons to him and his heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath to my daughter, Massey? Jones six Negroes to wit, Amy, Cressy, Bob, Jinsey, Emmanuel, Metilda, two beds and furniture, yoke of Steers, one Set China ware, half dozen Silver Tea Spoons which she has now in possession to her and her heirs forever.  Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Salley Booth six Negroes, to wit, Celar, Jane, Ned, Edmund, Peterson, and Amy, two beds and furniture, one Set China ware, half dozen Silver tea Spoons to her and her heirs forever.  Item I lend to my beloved wife the land & plantation whereon I now live during her natural life and all the rest of my estate both real and personal not before devised, and at her death, my desire is that my two granddaughters, Betsy W Harper and Judith GILLIAM Harper shall divide equally with my legatees of all the Negroes and other perishable estate above lent. I do Constitute and appoint my son Reuben Booth and Harper Booth and Charles Cordle my lawfull Executors to this my last will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I have heretofore set my hand and affixed my seal this twelveth day of April one thousand eight hundred and three.  Sig: Thomas Booth Senr (LS)  Signed, sealed in the  presence of  Wit: Martha Jones Malone, Isaac Williams, Thomas C Singleton  At a court held for Mecklenburg County the 12th day of September 1803  This will was proved by the Oaths of Isaac Williams and Thomas C. Singleton, Witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and On the motion of Reuben Booth one of the executors therein named who made oath there and together with Joshua Winckfield, Thomas C. Singleton and William Darnwright his securities entered into and acknowledged their hand in the penalty of fifty thousand dollars Conditioned as the law directs. Certificate was granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form-liberty being reserved for the other executors therein named to join in the probate when they shall think fit.  Teste: William Baskerville CC 
The book "Charlotte County ... Rich Indeed" Published Charlotte County Board of
Supervisors (1979)
states Henry F. Farley was a deputy sheriff from 1811-1813 and  an Ordinary .

 Henry Forrest Farley   married Nancy Ellen White Nov 2, 1814 Mecklenburg County

Henry and Nancy Ellen had four daughters, two of which died in infancy. The two
surviving daughters were Mary Ann Jane Farley (1818-Feb 1854 Tx) and Elmira
Susan "Myra" (July 15, 1820-Aug 19, 1889 Tx)

They must have both had adventurous spirits as they began their trek Westward to
unsettled lands. Several other Virginia families probably moved along with them.

Alabama was just being settled at that time. Alabama was first included in the
Territory of Mississippi 1798, Territory of Alabama 1817 and  achieved statehood
in 1819.

After leaving Virginia,  they lived in Lawrence County Al and both daughters
were born there.

After living in AL for about 13 years, the call for settlement of Texas and the
availability of land caused them to head to Texas around 1831.

The story is that they left their eldest daughter, Mary Ann to attend school
perhaps with relatives or friends. She would have been about 13. They took their
younger daughter, Elmira (age 11 years old) with them.

Henry applied for a Texas Land Grant (1 league and 1 labor for families) in
1832, but died in 1834 before he could receive the title. 

Mary Ann Jane Farley  "eloped" with  Thomas Harper Booth around 1833 (probably
in Lawrence Co. AL). Thomas had previously been married to 
This couple moved around quite a bit, living in Itawamba County, MS (about 60
miles west of Lawrence, AL), and even in Texas, Austin Co. for short periods of

Family story, "Mary Ann cried for a whole year because they had no slaves to do
the work in Texas."

Mary Ann and Thomas Harper had six sons and  two daughters.

Elmira Susan married Frederick Miller Grimes of Washington Co. Tx on Jan 29,
1838, probably at the home of her mother, Nancy living in nearby Austin County.
 They settled on their farm on the county line of Washington/Austin.

Nancy Ellen White Farley, remarried around 1838 to Henry ? /Obadiah?/Josh
Hudson.  The court records show that Nancy appointed Isaac M. Pennington to
pursue her husband's Texas Land Grant.  The courts ruled in favor of the
daughters, and Frederick M. Grimes proceeded with the land claim.

Family story: When Nancy Ellen died (aft 1838) her daughter Elmira Susan
couldn't attend the funeral because of the high creeks due to heavy rains.

As "heirs of Henry Farley" the daughters received land in what is now Coryell
County  In 1850 when Fort Gates (later Gatesville) was set-up with soldiers to
protect the settlers, Elmira and Frederick moved there.

In 1852 they sold this land to their son, Samuel, and moved to land in the
southeast corner of Coryell County.

Several deeds are made with the joint signatures of Elmira and Mary Jane and
their respective husbands.

I can imagine Mariah being as spoiled as her sister-in-law Mary Jane Farley Booth. 

No comments:

Post a Comment