Mary Morris Pipes

ary Morris is a vital link in the Pipes family history. For those of us who descend from John Pipes Jr, she was his second wife and the mother of 11 children, my GG grandfather Nathaniel among them. She left us some very important information and after a closer look we find that she has family ties to some of the oldest families in the new world.

Mary Morris was born in Morristown about 1760 and I speculate that her mother may have died during Mary's birth or that of a close sibling, because her father, Nathaniel Morris, married his second wife, Hopestill Wood in 1763 in the same Church in Morristown. (An interesting aside is that Hopestill Wood is a descendant of the Hathaway family.) Mary probably grew up in her father's new family and married John Pipes Jr. there in 1777, during her seventeenth year while he was a soldier in the New Jersey Line of the Continental Army. About 1780 she removed to Surry County, N. Carolina with John, apparently to be closer to John's father and brothers and to her own father who had relocated his second family from Morristown to Surry County.  Her aunt Sarah and husband John Ayres are also residents of Surry County during this time. They remained there, farming North of the Yadkin River for 15 years and then finally joined the migration to Kentucky in 1795, following John's brothers and some of her step brothers. She remained in Kentucky, raising family and tending farm until John's death in 1821. She then managed to live on her own and with her children until 1841, when she passed on, leaving a very important document in her application for a pension that had been designated for revolutionary war veterans and their surviving spouses. She also left an estate inventory that provides a picture of a woman who was fairly well off for her age and for that time.

For several years her mother's family was a mystery, mainly because her mother's name had been interpreted to be Rebecca Baily. Some further scrutiny by Lynda Henderson ( ) revealed that her mother had the surname of Bayles, not Baily. The Bayles family members  are recorded in the records of Morristown and Mary's father, Nathaniel Morris has a recorded marriage in the First Presbyterian Church there to Rebecca Bayles on June 21, 1750. Several sources list the name as Bailey, an easy conversion to make as the names Bayles, Bayle and Baily, Bailey were very often interchanged.

After the name was determined to be Bayles it was a fortunate turn that a descendant of the Bayles family had researched and recorded much of the history of his branch of the family and had self published the information in a book that had a printing of less than 100. Howard Green Bayles published his work in 1944 in Texas and gave credit to Frederick Phinney Bayles for much of the research. The book is titled: "The Bayles Families of Long Island and New Jersey and their descendants". This book lists the marriage of Nathaniel Morris and Rebecca Bayles in Morristown as well as several generations of Rebecca's ancestors. Rebecca had a sister named Sarah who also has a marriage listed in the Presbyterian Church in 1754 when she married John Ayres. The book by Howard Bayles is available on the Family Tree Maker site on the Web called This is a paid subscription service and the book is also available in some of the larger history libraries. I have produced an ancestor chart for Mary's Bayles family based on this book and it is listed below.

Several pieces of information tie all of this together and allows us to be reasonably certain of the correctness of the data.

1. Mary Morris wrote a Pension application near the end of her life which states many of the facts supplied above. One of the most important is that she states the names of several persons who attended her wedding, among them her uncle, Joseph Morris, who later died from wounds suffered at the battle of Brandywine. Several researchers have tied this Morris family and Nathaniel Morris ( Mary's father) to the family of Joseph Morris. Among those researchers is J. Montgomery Seaver, "Morris Family Records". So there is little doubt that her father is Nathaniel Morris. #2 below affirms the connection to her mother.

2. The marriage, christening and death records in the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey. Nathaniel Morris and Rebecca Bayles; John Pipes Jr. and Mary Morris; Nathaniel Morris and Hopestill Wood; Benjamin Bayles and his wife Letitia, Sarah Bayles and John Ayres.

3. Mrs Ellsberry's book on the descendants of John Pipes Jr. and Mary Morris.

4. The Bayles book mentioned above lists the marriage of Nathaniel Morris and Rebecca Bayles. It also lists Rebeccas's family.

5. Mary Morris named several of her children for her side of the family: Nathaniel, her oldest son for her father; Rebecca, her daughter for her mother; She also named a daughter Sarah for her aunt Sarah and a son named William for her uncle William. She also had a son named Morris, after her maiden name. The name Rebecca goes back several generations in Mary's family on the Bayles side.

6. Mary states in her application that she was "in her 17th year" when she married John Pipes Jr. in 1777. That places her birth in 1759 or 1760, under that of Rebecca Bayles, as her father did not marry Hopestill Wood until 1763.

7. As part of her pension application she has several affidavits that confirm that she is the Mary Pipes who was married to "Captain" John Pipes of the revolution.

8. She offered as evidence, a piece of paper money that had been given to her husband for his service in the war. That piece of paper is still preserved and is in the Kentucky Archives. ( I do not understand how it survived, unspent, during all those years. Perhaps it was not negotiable after the war, but I consider it a small miracle that it is still there for us to see.)

The pension application written by Mary Morris in 1837

A letter verifying the marriage of John & Mary for her Pension Application    NEW 2010

A short document showing the piece of Paper Money

The Estate Inventory for Mary Morris Pipes 1841

The ancestor Chart for Mary Morris Pipes

A short History of the ancient ancestors of the Bayles Family

A short history of the Morris ancestors

SOON:  The Riggs family and Harrison family connection