Thursday, January 25, 2018

52 Ancestors: Dinner with Keziah Frazier

This week the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge asks whom we would invite to dinner. Keziah Frazier, daughter of John Frazier and Lucy Shiflett, might make an interesting guest. Although she did not live to see her half-brother Leland Shiflett/Frazier face a murder charge, she might be able to share other interesting stories about him. Certainly she could also solve the mystery of her mother Lucy and Lucy’s first marriage. Maybe Keziah even knew her grandparents and could tell me their names.

If Keziah had other fascinating tales to share, they have likewise been taken to the grave. Like many women of her day, she married, gave birth to a large number of children, and took care of the house while her husband farmed. Like too many women, Keziah died in 1855 from “childbed disease” after the birth of her ninth child.

Keziah’s husband Lively Morris, on the other hand, certainly lived up to his name. In September 1869, he and their son George Fountain Morris and other well-known citizens of the county were arrested for “illicit distilling.”

from Richmond Daily Dispatch 14 Sep 1869
accessed on Chronicling America
WHOLESALE ARREST OF ILLICIT DISTELLERS --Special Deputy Marshal Graham arrived in this city last evening with the following prisoners, charged with illicit distilling. They are residents of Greene, Madison, and adjoining counties, and were arrested on complaint of Supervisor Presbrey. They were taken before United States Commissioner Chahoon immediately upon their arrival and bailed for their appearance before him at 12 o’clock today: Lively Morris, Herndon Shiflett, Joab Watson, Walker Frazier [Keziah’s brother], J. Morris Harden, Calvin Morris, George F. Morris, Grattan Haney, William T. Simms, B. A. McMullen, D. H. Wheeler, and J. W. Martin.  
Richmond Daily Dispatch 14 Sep 1869

Family of Keziah FRAZIER and Lively MORRIS:
Keziah FRAZIER (1811 Albemarle Co, VA- 08 Oct 1855 Greene Co, VA) and Lively MORRIS (1812 - c 1890 Greene Co, VA) m. 27 Nov 1838 Greene County, VA
  1. Leland T. MORRIS (1840 Greene Co, VA - 23 May 1864 Fayetteville, WV)
  2. Noah Jackson MORRIS (12 Aug 1842 Greene Co, VA - 12 Jan 1928 Greene Co, VA) and Rachel MORRIS (09 May 1845 Greene Co, VA - 13 Nov 1932 Greene Co)  m. 25 Jan 1866 Greene Co, VA
  3. Durrett MORRIS (Sep 1844 Greene Co, VA - 1898 Rockingham Co, VA) and Sarah Elizabeth CRAWFORD (Mar 1850 Rockingham County, VA - 1926 ) m. 07 Feb 1867 Rockingham Co, VA
  4. Susan MORRIS (May 1845 Greene Co, VA - 21 Aug 1916 Elkton, VA) and Charles W. HERRING (1839 Greene Co, VA - after 1910) m. 14 Mar 1867 Greene Co, VA  
  5. Mary Ann "Polly" MORRIS (Aug 1847 Greene Co, VA - 1945 Greene Co, VA) and Valentine ROACH (1841 in Rockingham County, VA - 31 Aug 1920 Greene Co, VA) m. 04 Nov 1865 Greene County, VA
  6. George Fountain MORRIS (Oct 1848 Greene Co, VA - 08 May 1914 Greene Co, VA) and m1) Kitty Margarett SHIFLETT (1850 Greene Co, VA - Nov 1892 Greene Co, VA) m. 28 Dec 1869 Greene Co, VA ; m2) Drucilla FRAZIER (c 1850 - ) m. 15 May 1894 Rockingham Co, VA
  7. Nancy France MORRIS (May 1852 Greene Co, VA - 07 Oct 1935 Greene Co, VA) and m1) John Elsie SHIFFLET (16 Mar 1849 Greene Co, VA -21 Mar 1922 Albemarle Co, VA) m. 20 Jan 1870 Greene Co, VA ; m2) Austin Jackson FRAZIER (Jun 1855 Albemarle Co, VA - Dec 1921 Greene Co, VA) m. 02 Mar 1876 Greene Co, VA
  8. Sarah Elizabeth MORRIS (1853 Greene Co, VA - after 1930 Greene Co, VA) and George Nathaniel MORRIS (Aug 1850 Greene Co, VA - 1918 Greene Co, VA) m. 28 Sep 1871 in Greene Co, VA
  9. Kesiah Jane MORRIS (04 Dec 1854 Greene Co, VA - 06 Dec 1929 Doylesville, Albemarle Co, VA) and Henry Clay KEYTON (1853 Albemarle Co, VA - 14 Mar 1915 Albemarle Co, VA) m. 29 Dec 1874 Greene, VA

© 2018, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Enjoy reading your blog...thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh my goodness, I bet Keziah would have more than a few stories to tell at dinner. Can I listen in? Enjoyed this post.

  3. I wonder if our ancestors would actually share their secrets. I remember talking to my great aunt, the last of the Coyle family. She shared very little with me. I had questions about her father that are still unanswered. She was evasive. She said no one needs to know.

    1. You're probably right. I have an aunt who complains about the family keeping secrets, yet she is keeping the biggest one of all.

  4. As the times change the secrets change as well. There is a family rumour about my grandmother (born 1898/99 nobody is really sure) that she has a different father to her two elder sisters and brother. These days it wouldn't be thought to be such a shocking thing.

  5. What an interesting woman it would be to interview and share dinner with!

  6. This prompt has prompted me to share in the #52Ancestors challenge. I will, most likely, not get to 52 but at least I'll get somewhere. Thanks for spurring me on!