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Children of John Mason Moody and Martha William Wright

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Date: 14 Nov 2012 [unknown]
Location: Northampton County, North Carolinamap
Surnames/tags: Mason Moody Wright
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John Mason Moody and Martha had five surviving children: William Scott Moody, b. 1835; Mary Elizabeth Moody, b. November 21 1836; Martha Alice Moody, b. April 18, 1838; John Mason Moody, Jr., b. Sept 12 1840; and Laura Estelle Moody, b. 1847.

William Scott Moody studied to become a physician, but I am not sure he ever practiced medicine. In March 1869 he married Virginia Tabb, also known as “Sippi”. (She did not like to be called Virginia, claiming she was not from Virginia but from Mississippi—thus the nickname.) Sippi was the younger sister of Laura (Tabb) Moody who was married to John Mason Moody, Jr. Upon the death of their parents Laura had physical guardianship of Sippi. On Laura’s death in September 1868 Martha and John Mason Moody brought Sippi back to Woodland to live. It seems from letters that Sippi and Martha did not get on well, whereas Martha liked Laura very much. My impression is that Sippi was rather wild. The 1870 census records show William and Sippi were living in Mississippi where he is a farmer and physician. (? Her land? I believe so.) In 1875 William bought a store, barroom and shoe store, in Waverly (Sussex Co.) VA. Apparently this was not a successful venture as he was force to sell within four years claiming the Homestead Exemption. In the 1880 census Sippi and the children (Charlie and Lena) were in Mississippi, and William was in Petersburg, Virginia.
William and Sippi had five children. Gordon, Nellie and Willie died in childhood and are buried in Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia. Charlie and Lena grew to adults. After William’s death Lena was raised by Dr. H.G. Leigh and his wife, Martha Alice (Moody) Leigh who was Williams’s sister. Charlie was raised by Nathaniel Gregory and his wife Laura (Moody) Gregory, another of William’s sisters. William died September 17, 1882, and is buried in Blandford Cemetery. This date was recorded in the record book at the cemetery. The tombstone gives his birth and death dates as b. 9-17-1835 d. 4-26-1883. After William’s death Sippi had a child out of wedlock, a daughter, Bessie, born in October 1884. On Dec 2, 1888 Sippi married William A. Bohannon and had a son, Alexander. Mr. Bohannon doesn’t appear to have had much to offer and ended up in the poor house. In a chancery Court case in Chesterfield, Sippi indicated that she did not know when marrying that he was a “lunatic” and had been hospitalized in both Stanton and Williamsburg insane asylums. Sippi asked the Court to enter a restraining order as she feared for her life. She also asked the Court to annul the marriage. A restraining order was issued, but a hearing was ordered for the marriage issue. There is no indication that that hearing ever took place. Sippi died in Chesterfield County in 1898, having retaken the Moody name. She spent her last years unsuccessfully trying to save her Tabb inheritance for Bessie and Alex. Bessie and Alex were sent to an orphanage upon her death, not raised by family as Charlie and Lena were.
Mary Elizabeth Moody was known as “Mollie”. She was born November 21, 1836 in Greensville County, Virginia. She married Joseph Gray Lockhart July 16, 1855. The Lockharts were a prominent family in Northampton County. Census records show Joseph as an editor. Early in their marriage Joseph and Mollie lived in Mississippi, perhaps helping to manage Moody lands there. Joseph and Mollie had three children: Joseph Barron Lockhart, John Mason Lockhart and Annie Gray Lockhart. The boys both died in early childhood. Mollie died September 21, 1871 and is buried in Blandford Cemetery. Annie, her daughter, was raised by Martha, her grandmother. Annie married John Thomas September 12, 1892, and died shortly afterward, having no children. She is buried in Blandford Cemetery. Joseph Lockhart did not remarry. He died July 19, 1885 In Petersburg and is buried in Blandford Cemetery.
Martha Alice Moody was my great-grandmother. She is referred to as Alice and I don’t believe she was ever called Martha. She was born April 18, 1838 in Greensville County, Virginia. She was educated at Petersburg Female College. On June 30, 1859 at her parents’ home in Northampton County, NC (Woodland) she married her first cousin once removed, Dr. Hezekiah Gilbert Leigh II (Gib). To my knowledge, I have never seen a picture of her. My impression of her from documents (her will and The Moody letters) is that she was a whiner. She died in Petersburg June 2, 1906 and is buried in the Leigh Lot in Blandford Cemetery.
Dr. H. G. Leigh was born in Mecklenburgburg Co. VA March 12 1833. He grew up in Boydton, VA, attended Randolph-Macon College where he received an bachelor’s degree and a master‘s degree in languages. He taught languages at the college for two years. After his father’s death he and his brother, Richard, went to Lowndes Co. Mississippi to look after and manage property there left to them. While in Mississippi he taught languages for a year at a female academy in Aberdeen (Monroe County) MS before returning east and attending medical school, both at the University of Virginia and in New York. During the Civil War he served as surgeon for the 58th Virginia Regiment and for the 5th Louisiana Regiment. After illness (1863-64) he managed the Confederate Hospital in Raleigh, NC. He attained rank of Major. After the War the family lived in Petersburg, 20 Union Street where Dr. Leigh practiced medicine. Dr. Leigh was a steward of the Washington Street Methodist Church and Coroner for the City of Petersburg from 1870 until 1897. During John Mason Moody’s bankruptcy proceedings Dr. Leigh bought most of his land at auction and either put it in Martha’s name or, in the case of the Dancy land, gave it to his wife. Dr. Leigh died Nov. 16, 1898.
Dr. Leigh and Alice had four surviving children: Mary Eulah Leigh (Minnie), b. June 13, 1860; John Hamilton Patterson Leigh, b. June 8, 1862; Martha William Leigh (Willie), b. April 30, 1865; and Hezekiah Gilbert Leigh III (Bert), b. Nov 1, 1866, my grandfather. There was at least one child who was stillborn and two children who died in infancy, Robert and Alice. H. G. Leigh and his wife, Alice, and the children, Robert and Alice, are buried in Blandford Cemetery.
John Mason Moody II was born in Northampton County, NC September 12, 1840. Before the Civil War, he went out to Columbus, Mississippi to manage Moody lands there. He served briefly in the war and resigned after about a year for ill health. He met and married in Columbus, Laura Tabb, orphaned daughter of Thomas Bolling Tabb of Amelia County VA and Laura E. Taylor. John and Laura’s marriage was celebrated January 21 1864, Joseph Gray Lockhart and James E. Leigh (Gib’s brother) acting as bondsmen. John and Laura had two sons, William Robert Moody, b. March 2, 1867 and John Mason Moody III, b. 1868. John Mason Moody III died shortly after his birth as did Laura, his mother, on September 22, 1868. They are buried in Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, MS. After Laura’s death, William was raised by his grandmother, Martha Moody. John remained in Mississippi overseeing the lands there.
On November 12, 1877 John Mason Moody II remarried Rosalie Agnes Terry, b. March 20, 1860. They had four children: Mary Rosalie Moody, (Oct. 17, 1878-Jan. 12 1938); John Mason Moody IV, (Apr. 11, 1881-Dec. 29, 1931); Gilbert Leigh Moody, (b. May 3 1884); Martha Alice Eugene Moody,(b. Sept. 12, 1886). John Mason Moody, II and his families lived in Cobb’s Switch or Bent Oak, Mississippi (Lowndes County). The property which was occupied by this Moody family until 1930 was on the railroad between Columbus and Artesia. John Mason Moody IV served as switchman. John Mason Moody II died Nov 16, 1890. Rosa Terry Moody died December 8, 1948 in Columbus. Both are buried in Friendship Cemetery.
Laura Estelle Moody was born in Northampton County about 1847. I know very little about her. My cousin, Anne (Moody) Page, has a portrait of her as a child. She married Nathaniel Alexander Gregory, b. 1843, in Richmond, VA June 26, 1867. They lived in Oxford, NC, and had four children: Albert L. Gregory, Lucy W. Gregory, Effie E. Gregory, and John Mason Moody Gregory. Nathaniel and Laura cared for Laura’s nephew, Charlie Moody, on the death of his father, William Scott Moody. Likewise Effie Gregory, a maiden school teacher, cared for Robert and James Moody when their parents, William Moody and Daisey (Butler) Moody and grandmother died. Laura died in November 1906. Nathaniel died June 23, 1927.
Virginia Leigh Refo,
November 14, 2012

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