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Maness North Carolina Research

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
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Surnames/tags: Maness Manis Manus
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This space contains research for the the family of William Maness, Sr. and descendants.

William Maness Sr. (abt.1715-bef.1787) and his son William Maness Jr. (1738-1832) have been fairly well documented since their arrival in Moore County North Carolina at The Wallace Family of Moore County, NC. There are, however, Maness family members who never seemed to "stop off" in Moore County, and those need to be tracked down as to HOW they are related to William Maness. The Wallace Family of Moore County, NC has no other children listed for William Sr., and it seems probable by these other records that he had a few other sons who migrated through North Carolina with him.

As for migrating from Virginia to North Carolina, this is also a mystery. There is not ONE Maness (various spellings) that I've found in Virginia in the 1790 census. There are a few in Pennsylvania. This would likely mean that the entire family left Virginia at the same time. Seth Manis, in Hawkins County, TN, stated in his Revolutionary War Pension hearing that he was born in Bedford County, VA in 1762. This brings the 1755 tax records into question, UNLESS we either assume that the tax records do not indicate residence in that county, or William Jr went back to Bedford VA for a time. It is entirely possible that the 1755 tax record in Orange County, NC is NOT our Maness family, but instead the "Maner" family who was from Bertie/Chowan (often confused with this family). We will use Seth's affidavit as indication that the family was indeed in Bedford VA in the early 1760s. This would then indicate that they moved very soon after Seth's birth, because William Maness, Jr (his assumed father) was a chain carrier in a land record in Cumberland (Moore) County in 1764.


This is a list of possible birth dates for the Maness family members who are listed in various records below:

  • before 1739: John (listed in 1755 tax list - would need to be at least 16)
  • before 1739: Henry (listed in 1755 tax list - would need to be at least 16)
  • before 1751: James (1767 Tax List Cumberland County - maybe)
  • 1751-1760: Ambrose (1790-1810 Moore Co)
  • 1751-1774: Benjamin (Sampson County, just East of Cumberland County - later in census as Magnes)
  • before 1756: Arthur (1777 tax list)
  • before 1756: Nathan (1777 tax list)
  • before 1757: John (1778; 1783 tax list - could this been the John above in 1755 who is now in Cumberland County?)
  • 1761-1774: Daniel (Moore Co) our William Jr's son) (1762 in family tree)
  • 1761-1774: James (1790;1810-Moore Co)
  • 1761-1784: Frederick (1810- Rowan - Seth was in Rowan in 1790)
  • 1761-1784: James (1810-Rockingham)
  • 1786-1794: Ambrose - (1810 Moore CO - possibly the son of the other Ambrose?)

Locations to Track

Orange County, North Carolina

1755 there are:
William and Son
Henry with a slave named Peter
William Sr's wife Nancy Williamson is said to have been born in Orange County, NC

Cumberland County, North Carolina/Moore County Records (Moore County formed prior to 1790 census)

This list does not include the obvious records we have from MooreCountyWallaces

Possible James Maness

Sampson County, North Carolina (just west of Cumberland)


Rowan County, North Carolina

1790 Census
1810 Census

Anson County, North Carolina

1790 Census

Surry County, North Carolina

1790 Census

Rutherford County, North Carolina

Benjamin - his name looks like Magness

Rockingham County, North Carolinia


Rutherford County, Tennessee

Lydia Her name looks like Mayness or Magness

Records of Note

1755 Tax List for Orange County, North Carolina

All born 1739 or earlier - 16 years and older

In 1755, there are at least four adult Maness family members in Orange County, NC. This seems to be a natural migration pattern from Virginia.

In 1755, there are the following possible "Maness" in Orange County, with the typical spelling variations.

  • John Maness
  • William Maness and son - we assume that these are our Williams. However, in 1800 there is a William on the same census page as John and Richard. For now, we are assuming that the 1800 William is John or Richard's son!
  • Henry Maynor with enslaved man Peter. While it is possible that Henry is not a Maness, we have seen Maness spelled Maner, Manor, Manis, Manus, Manes, Maness, etc., and there is a Henry Manus in the 1790 census. There is also a Henry Maner who is a documented child of John Maner of Berthie County - not our Maness!

1765 Land Grant for John Smith Maness

All people in this transaction would have to have been "of age". Since the tax rolls listed people 16 and older, we must assume that all of these people were 16 and older. - thus born by 1749.

  • John Smith Maness entered the land grant
  • Eleanor Bell Maness - chain carrier
  • George Bell Maness - chain carrier

It would be logical that Eleanor and George are siblings. Both with middle name Bell. It doesn't make a lot of sense that they would be spouses.

1767 Tax List for Cumberland County

all born 1751 or earlier - 16 years and older

  • James Maness (possibly - very hard to read)

1777 Tax List for Cumberland County

All would be born before 1756, as in 1777 21 was the age for the list.

  • Arthur
  • Nathan
  • William Sr
  • William Jr

1778 Tax List for Cumberland County

All would be born before 1757

  • William Jr
  • William Sr
  • Daniel
  • John

1783 Tax List Cumberland County

  • John

1784 Petition to create Moore County from Cumberland County

  • Wlliam
  • Nathan
  • Seth

1785 Marriage Register

  • Ambrose Maness & Katherine Hunnicutt

1790 US Census

In the 1790 Census, we find the following people in North Carolina:

  • Ambrose (Manus) - Moore Co
  • Daniel (Manus) - Moore Co
  • James (Manus) - Moore Co
  • Seth (Manas) - Rowan Co (this is surely the Seth who goes to Hawkins, TN)
  • William (Manus), Jr. - Moore Co
  • Henry (Manis) - Surry Co - if this is the same Henry who was a slave owner in Orange County in 1755, he would have to have been born in the 1730s or sooner, and therefore likely a brother (or at least contemporary) of William Jr. It is POSSIBLE that he could be a brother of William Sr. There are 2 males over 16 in his household and 6 females.
  • John (Manus) - Anson Co - as with Henry, if this is the same John from 1755, he is probably William Sr's brother or cousin, etc.
  • Richard (Manus) - Anson Co

1800 US Census

In the 1800 Census, there are the following in North Carolina that are not represented by our other William Sr. records:

  • Ambrose (Manous) - Moore Co.
  • Benjamin (Manos) - Sampson Co.
  • John (Manus) - Anson Co
  • John (Manes) - Rutherford Co
  • Richard (Manus) - Anson Co

1810 US Census

In the 1810 Census, there are the following in North Carolina that are not represented by our other William Sr. records:

  • Ambrose Maness - Moore Co
  • James Maness - Moore Co
  • John - Anson Co
  • Benjamin - Rutherford Co (could be Magness)
  • Elizabeth - a spouse of whom?
  • Frederick (Menis) - Rowan County
  • James Manes - Rockingham Co
  • Lydia - Rutherford County Tennessee! Could be Magness

1820 US Census

In the 1820 Census, there are the following in North Carolina that are not represented by our other William Sr. records:

  • Amos (Manus) - Anson Co
  • James or Ambrose - Moore Co - The beginning of the line is missing, and it looks more like James to me. It definitely does not seem to have an e at the end or a br. However, someone has "corrected" in on Ancestry to be Ambrose
  • John - Moore Co
  • Judith - Moore Co - need to find a Judith spouse OR this could possibly be truly a maiden name Judith Maness
  • Nathan (Manus) - Anson Co
  • Richard Sr. (Manus) - Anson Co
  • Richard Jr. (Manus) - Anson Co
  • William Jr (Manus) - Anson Co
  • Andrew (Manes) - Rowan Co
  • Benjamin (Magness) - Rutherford NC - there are quite a few Magness - I have not listed them all, as I'm not sure of the relevance yet.
  • James (Manus) - Rutherford, Tennessee
  • Lydia (Magness) - Rutherford, Tennessee - I'm listing her again, since there is also a James in the same county during this time.

1830 US Census

In the 1830 Census, there are the following in North Carolina that are not represented by our other William Sr. records:

  • John - Moore Co (he's there in 1820 - just need to place this one
  • Amos - Anson Co
  • William D - Moore Co - he marries Elizabeth Moore - not quite sure where this William D belongs yet!
  • James - Grainger Tennessee
  • William - Anson Co
  • Jacob - Sevier Tennessee (he looks to be in his 40s, has a male age 80-89 in the family)
  • Joseph - Sampson Co - there was a Benjamin here earlier

There are a few McManis throughout in Chatham - I do not think they are "directly" related to this bunch, but might be relations, etc.



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