I am cross-posting this reply I sent to the Ellis list because there are a number of Varnal/Varnell folks involved in all of this.
Okay...we're still trying to straighten all this stuff out as we only recently realized that Jesse had changed his name (after several years and several POUNDS of research into the Bass family with no luck).
There are a number of families all tied together in Shelby County, Tennessee via marriages and eventual care of orphaned children.I'm warning you now...you'll be pulling your hair out by the time you get done reading this...
Ok, let's start with the Ellis family.
1. On November 25, 1808 Simeon Ellis married one Delilah Smith (spelled Delilas in the record) in Sumner County, Tennessee.
2. Simeon died in 1815 in Wilson County, Tennessee.Delilah appears on the 1830 Wilson County, Tennessee census.
3. On June 15, 1835 Delilah Smith Ellis married Jones Bass (sometimes misnamed James) in Wilson County, Tennessee.She was his second wife, and as far as I know they had no children together.
4. Jones Bass' son Solomon Franklin Bass (by Jones' first wife Kizziah Rowland) married Sarah Neal Varnell/Varnal on January 1, 1839 in Shelby County, Tennessee.They appear on the 1850 District 6, Tipton County, Tennessee census next door to Jones and Delilah, with their children: Louisa A. Bass, William J. Bass, James A. Bass, Susan Bass, and Solomon H. Bass.
5. Louisa A. Varnell/Varnal, Sarah Neal Varnal's sister, married one William W. Ellis on July 17, 1842 in Shelby County, Tennessee.They are found on the 1850 Dyer County, Tennessee census with their children: Elizabeth Ellis and Mary Jane Ellis.There is also a M. Ellis (female) in the household who is likely William's sister.Richardson Bass was the security for William and Louisa's marriage, with James Neel as the J. P. performing.
6. On August 16, 1842 Richardson Bass married Amanda Hale in Shelby County, Tennessee.William Ellis was the security.
7.At some point before 1842/1843 Sibbey/Silvey (last name unknown) married (first name unknown) Ellis.They had at least one child: Samuel Jesse Ellis (he went by Jesse).At some point between then and 1850, Jesse's father must have died.
8. On April 27, 1845 Reddick Bass married Manerva Ellis in Shelby County, Tennessee.
9. William C. Hale/Hail (unknown how he relates to James M. E. Hail/Hale) married Martha Jane Oglesby on March 16, 1848 in Shelby County, Tennessee.They appear on the 1860 Quitman, Conway County, Arkansas census with their child: Nicholas B. Hail.Also living in this household are two of Martha Jane's half-siblings: John A. M. Oglesby and Lucy Sophronia D. E. Oglesby (children of Richard C. Oglesby).
10. On August 15, 1850 John H. Parrot married Sibbey/Silvey Ellis in Tipton County, Tennessee.They appear on the 1850 District 6, Tipton County, Tennessee census next door to Solomon and Sarah Bass.Sibbey/Silvey's son, Jesse, is living in the Parrot household, along with John's children from his first marriage: James H. Parrot, William Parrot, John S. Parrot, Larkin B. Parrot, and Jackson C. Parrot.
11. Jones and Delilah Smith Ellis Bass are listed on the 1850 District 6, Tipton County, Tennessee census, with Jones' daughter Mary J. Bass, and one Martha J. Gipson also living in the household.Jones is inaccurately listed as "James" here.
12. On October 21, 1854 James H. Parret married Martha Jane Gibson in Shelby County, Tennessee.
13. Louisa A. Bass, daughter of Solomon Franklin Bass, married James M. E. Hail/Hale on November 1, 1859 in Pulaski County, Arkansas.They appear on the 1860 Quitman, Conway County, Arkansas census in the household of William W. Ellis.All of Louisa's siblings except William J. Bass appear in this household at this time as well.In addition, Jesse Ellis, son of Silvey/Sibbey (Unknown) Ellis Parrot is living in this household.William has his two daughters, plus a son, J. A. Ellis, in addition to all these others in the house.
14.In the 1860 Muddy Bayou, Conway County, Arkansas census we find Larkin Parrott living with a Wilson family.
15. At some point between 1860-1867 Jesse Ellis changed his name to Samuel Jesse Bass.On January 27, 1867 Samuel Jesse Bass married Lucy Sophronia D. E. Oglesby.(Yes, this whole thing is a huge circle)
It is unknown precisely how Jesse Ellis is related to William W. Ellis, but I am guessing that William was Jesse's paternal uncle.I am currently on a search for Jesse's father, but so far have been unable to locate a marriage record for Silvey before her above marriage to John Parrot.My mother and I will be taking a trip to Memphis near the end of this month and we hope to be able to find at least some probate records or something on the man.