1. Although my great grandfather, Richard Mooney of Sewanee, TN, claimed, according to census records and family tradition, to have been born in MS about 1848, I looked for all Mooneys (and Mauneys and Moones) who were born in MS during 1848 ± 5 and found only one Richard. I concluded, after several years and much effort, that this Richard (Richard/MS) remained in MS through 1900. Further, I looked at most of the Richards, regardless of the surname, born in MS at this time; none matched our Richard. I have to conclude that my Richard was not born in MS. I always thought it highly unusual that my Richard would move from the hills of MS to the mountains of TN. It is more likely, consistent with the data below, that he would move from the mountains of NC to the mountains of TN. 2. If this is true, I am left to speculate as to why my Richard gave incorrect information to the census takers. He never talked about his family. Perhaps there was some friction between him and other family members, and he didn’t want others to make a connection between him and his family. 3. In the census records, our Richard stated that his father was born in SC and his mother in NC. The records below indicate that Charles, the father of another Richard (Richard/NC) was born in NC. Nevertheless, Rockingham (Simpsonville, Monroeton) borders SC. Such a mistake is understandable. Consistent with census data for my Richard, the mother of Richard/NC, was born in NC. 4. As indicated by the census data, Richard/NC was separated from his family in 1870. He would have time to move to Sewanee and marry Catherine Sutherland in 1872. 5. The Zelman listed as a male aged 17 in 1860 is apparently the female Anna aged 24 in 1870. Zelman was 4 years older than Agnes in 1860, and Anna was 5 years older than Agnes in 1870. Her name was likely Zelma Ann. 6. Apparently, all of the siblings of Richard/NC were female. I found information on Richard’s sister Rachel; she never married and died in NC in 1916. I haven’t found anything of note on the other siblings or on mother Nancy. 7. I haven’t yet been able to find Charles Mooney in 1840, 1850, or 1880. He probably died in the 1870s, perhaps near the time Richard/NC moved to TN. 8. As a working assumption, I am going to conclude that Richard/NC is my Richard. 9. If I could establish that the middle initial of my Richard was “H,” the evidence would be almost conclusive.
Census for Rockingham, NC 6/28/1860 Charles Mooney 58 W M Farmer NC Nancy 53 W F NC Elizabeth 25 W F NC Rachel A. 22 W F NC Sarah F. 20 W F NC Zelman 17 W M NC Richard H. 15 W M NC Elizabeth 25 W F NC Agnes C. 13 W F NC
Census for Cleveland, NC 8/19/1870 R. H. Mauney 23W M Works at wright mill NC
Census for Simpsonville, Rockingham, NC 10/11/1870 Charles Mooney 68 W M Farmer NC Nancy 64 W F NC Anna 24 W F NC Agnes 19 W F NC