The Mobley Family

Jethro Mobley

I spent several months locating the birthplace of my great grandfather, John McBride Clayton, in Butts Co Ga. His wife proved to be Lucinda Gahagan, and her mother was Elzy Mobley Gahagan, who is buried at Vienna, LA. Elzy was the daughter of Jethro Mobley of Butts Co. Soon thereafter I came across a book, several books in fact, that told me just about all there is to know about the Mobleys--a very large clan whose genealogical data has been extensively recorded. The first of these books was Mobleys and their Connections by William Woodward Dixon, written about the beginning of the 20th century; it contained the little I know about Jethro's parentage. However the family line going back to the old country was extensively documented by Dixon, and by others who have advanced our knowledge of the Mobley family. (For all the Mobley information you could possibly desire look at the Mobley Home Page. Mr. Dixon seemed to have a considerably more certain opinion about the origin of the early Mobberleys than do later genealogists. Two of these have on line valuable records of early data they have collected: the Debrett file and the work of Olivia Mobley Andem. (you may download these zip files.)

Later I traced my Clayton family to Cheshire Co. England, and was surprised and pleased to learn that Mobberleys were quite prominent there--and fairly close to Middlewich where James Clayton, blacksmith, was said to originate. The geographical proximity of the two familes is perhaps purely coincidental, but one can't help wondering....

I. The Large Clan of Mobleys
Cheshire County

Cheshire County is east of Wales, south of Liverpool and Manchester. It contains the most concentrated dairying industry in England. The county seat, Chester, is on the boundary between England and Wales. Chester Castle contains the genealogical records of the inhabitants of the County.

A few miles east of Chester is Delamere Forest. Formerly a hunting preserve, it is now a significant national forest. Further east one finds Middlewich, the 17th century home of blacksmith James Clayton and his family. Some 12 miles north of Middlewich is Mobberley, family seat of the Mobley family, who intermarried with the Claytons in the 19th century in Georgia.

The Mobleys can be traced back a number of generations before their immigration to America, but here we confine ourselves to the American branch of the family. There is a legend that William Mobberley came to America with William Penn and married Penn's governess, Phoebe Lovejoy. Dixon describes this as fact, but few sceptical genealogists of the 20th century accept it as true.

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the Mobberley/Mobley family tracing the paternal line from William, the immigrant to Jethro, my ggg grandfather: (There is a record of the arrival of an Edward Mobeley in 1712 in Boston on the ship, Peter and Phillp from London, but we don't know what relation that has to our Edward Moberley.)

William and Phoebe are said to have had 8 sons. His son, Edward, can be traced from Eastern Maryland to Frederick County Md, to the Otter River in VA and finally to Fairfield Co. SC. Dixon places the date of the arrival of the family in SC between 1758 and 1761, just in time for a bloody engagement with the Cherokees. In 1717 Edward had married Susanna DeRuel and enjoyed a large family, made up of 6 sons and 6 daughters. Dixon's book dwells largely on the families of these 12 children of Edward and Susanna. One of their sons, named John, is said to have married Mary Beam. Jethro is said to be the son of John and Mary, although there seems to be some uncertainty about that.

(My big question is: Who was Jethro Mobley? I know a few things about him: such as, he was my ggg grandfather; he was in Fairfield, SC in 1792. In 1806 he was administrator of the estate of Edward Lovejoy Lovejoy in Jackson County, Ga. (probably Lovejoy's son-in-law); Jethro died in Cowetta Co. Ga. He was closely associated with Eliazer and with William Mobley in SC and Ga. There is a lot more data about him in the following:

The Mobleys in Maryland

We will select 1700-87 as the approximate life span of Edward Moberley and 1702-61 as the life span of his wife, Susanna De Ruel. The marriage took place some time around 1720-25.

Records show that in 1715 Edward Moberley received a grant of 100a 1717 Edward Moberley was granted a piece of property in Anne Arundel Co. (MD) called Powells Purchase. The 1718 rent roll shows him holding 150a, called Renchar's Adventure, adj to property held by Joseph Lovejoy. This seems to be the first evidence of the relation between the two families.

The Mobberleys drifted westward. In 1742 a group of settlers petitioned for creation of All Saints Parish (out of Prince George's Parish), which may have been the beginning of Frederick County. Among them were Edward Mobberley, his two sons, Wm and Clement, Jno and Elias Delashmett and Benjamin Osborn. Son, Wm, was to marry Ann Osborne, likely the daughter of Benjamin. Mary Delashmett, daughter of Jno, became the mother of one of Edward Mobley's descendants.

In 1744 the Prince George's Court ordered commissioners to lay out a road to continue by Edward Mobley's to the wagon road (the Manor Road) (p. 55 of T.J.C.Williams, History of Fred Co, Md). In 1748 Frederick County was established, but the Moberleys by that year had established themselves in Lunenberg Co. VA.

The 1749 Militia Co of Capt. James Wilson of Prince Georges, included John Bean, whose daughter, Mary was to marry John Mobley.

The Mobleys in Virginia

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs up western Virginia until it meets the Skyline Drive in the Shenondoah National Park. Two of the campgrounds along this stretch are the Peaks of Otter and Otter River. Camping there through the years I had no idea that it was home terrain for my Mobley ancestors. But so it proved to be, certainly one of the most scenic of their many dwelling places. When they arrived ca 1748 it was part of Lunenburg Co. Afterward it fell in the newly created Bedford Co. 1747 Edward Moberly on north side of Otter just above the mouth of Oak Mountain Branch. Clement Moberly on both sides of Otter River.
This stuff on page 113 of Kegley's Virginia Frontier.

Much of the Mobley record in Virgina is found in Landon C. Bell's Sunlight on the Southside:

The 1748 tithe (tax) list includedd the following Mobleys" Ed and Benja 2 tithes Wm. 1 Clem 1 Rich Hill 1 (Richard Mobley's son-in-law) other Hills, Barkers, Prices, Callaways, Browns, and Crosbeys--and these names are all found in Fairfield S.C. a few years later. (Hill p 235)

In 1749 the same precinct (of John Phelps from Falling River westward) was divided. Some of the Mobberleys were in Matthew Talbot's precinct, from Falling River to Goose Creek, north of the Roanoke River; the others were in John Phelps list

The 1752 tithe list shows Edward, Clement, Benja, but not Wm, Ed, Jr. or John. They have gone to Edgecombe Co. NC

In 1755 Clement Mobberly of Bedford Co. deeded 200 acres on both sides of Otter River to Jeremiah Sorberry. He said the property was in sight of Peaks of Otter.

1759 100 acres Clem. of Bedford to John Handy lying in the fork between Otter River and Creek known by the name of Little Otter. Wit. James Lilly and Jason Meador (husband of Sarah Mobley).
1759 245 acres s side of Otter River Clem M of Craven Co S.C. to Sam Drake of Bedford Co.
1762 Deed from Edward M. of Craven, S.C. to Phil. Preson of Bedford Co. 400 acres on both sides of Island Creek, a branch of Otter River per patent bearing date Aug 21, 1760., etc.

1752 John Mobley (of Lunenburg Co, Va?) will signed and probated 1753 in Edgecomb County, N.C. wife and Extx: Rachel- 2 negroes sons: John, Mordeca, Edward (Exr) and Hamon (Harmon)- 1 negro each. Bro Edward Mobley
Wit: John Williams, John Ward, Lewis Atkins.
(This John Mobley, who died in N.C. leaving four sons, appears to have been the brother of Edward of S.C. and thus my gggggguncle. Also very likely the ancestor of the Martin County Mobley.)

The Mobleys in South Carolina

Dixon did not seem to be cognizant of the (above) Va data, but picked up the story with the journey of Edward Mobley and a large tribe of Mobleys to South Carolina:

The area where the SC Mobleys lived on the east side of the Broad River was originally called Craven Co., then Camden District and finally Fairfield Co. It lies just above Richmond Co. and Columbia.

"The first South Carolina Mobley had married Susanah DeRuel and of this union were six sons and six daughters, William, Clement, Benjamin, Edward, John, Samuel, Polly, Susanah, Sallie, Elizabeth, Keziah, and Dorcas. We know this much: that Clement married Mary Fox, Ben married the widow Hill, Edward, Susanah, Sallie, Elizabeth, and Keziah all married Meadors. Dorcas married Richard Hill and John married Mary Beam. The youngest son of the first South Carolina Moberley was Samuel, who married Mary Wagner daughter of Hans Wagner,and had four sons and eight daughters to live to maturity." Other sources record the marriage of son William to Ann Osborne. Of this list it appears that the patriarch Edward and two of his sons, William and John, were direct ancestors of the writer.

The book Hill and Hill-Moberley Connections of Fairfield County, compiled by George A Hill contains a listing of the families of these two men:

William Moberley and Anne Osborne were married before 1750. William Moberley, Sr., Edward's eldest son, received the first Mobley grant in South Carolina. (Hill; p. 201)

9/3/6/377/4: means col plat (9), vol 6 p 377 the 4th one (at the bottom) Pursuant to a precept directed by Egerton Leigh, Esq his Majesty's Surveyor General dated 6 Dec. 1757 I have surveyed and laid out unto William Mobley a tract of land containing 100 acres situate lying and being on the N side of Broad River and a branch thereof called Beaver Creek butting and bounding by vacant land on every side and hath such shape and marks as the above plat represents. Certified the 20th day of March 1758 John Hamilton D.S.

The children of William and Anne Mobley were:
1. Capt Eliaser Mobley --m Widow Lyles.
2. William m Frances Rogers
3. Samuel (died unmarried)
4. Isham m Susannah Mobley
5. Jemima (oldest dau?) m Edward . (more follows)
6. Capt. Thomas Mobley m Mary Funderburgh
7 Dorcas m Wm Hill
8 Mary m Richard Hill
9 Keziah m Cullen Mobley
10 Eliz m Micajah (Cage) Mobley

Issue of John Mobley and Mary Beam:
1 Williamm Mobley m Drucilla Meador
12 Issac Mobley m Brown
13. Susan Mobley ---m -----
Where's Jethro? Hill doesn't place Jethro in this family, doesn't give his family connection in fact although Jethro appears in several records--as witness or on a land lottery or census list.

(P 211 show a John Moberly, son of Benjamin. who m Nancy Jenkins. This is the one who was admin for a Jenkins in Chester Co., not my grandfather. He is said to have moved to Kentucky with others of the clan about 1788. Several land transfers about that time witness this.)

The records of Dixon and Hill are contradictory with respect to the parentage of Jethro Mobley. Dixon has him as the son of John Mobley and Mary Beam. Hill gives other children for this couple, but not Jethro. Until that discrepancy is cleared, the Mobley line going down to Lawrence and Elzie Mobley Gahagan, will remain uncertain. It is certain however that Elzie and her children were descendants of William Mobley through his daughter, Jemima, who married Edward Lovejoy. These were Elzie's maternal grandparents.

Jemima Mobley, oldest daughter of Wm. and Ann Moberly, married Edward Lovejoy, Jr. 1790 census of Camden - Fairfield District... Edward Lovejoy..2 males over 16 years; four males under 16 years; and five females. (one list shows Edward as a Rev. War Veteran).

The Mobleys in Georgia

By the early 19th century there were a great many Mobleys in the great state of Georgia; no attempt will be made here to enumerate all of them. Our chief concern in Georgia is the family of Edward and Jemima Mobley Lovejoy and the family of Jethro Mobley, who married Hester (Esther) Lovejoy, their daughter.

Edward Lovejoy was a contemporary of the older children of Edward and Susan Mobley, and it appears that he may have gone south with the Mobley clan. His dates were 1738 to ca 1800. He was the son of John and Margaret Miles Lovejoy of Maryland.

About 1765 he married Jemima Mobley, daughter of William and Anne Osborne Mobley and sister of Eliazer Mobley. Of their 12 children the oldest daughter was apparently Hester Lovejoy. (The list of her siblings is found on the Lovejoy page.)

Edward and Jemima Lovejoy seem to have moved to Georgia some time between 1799 and his death ca1807:
1799 Edw Lovejoy, grand juror in Fairfield (Edw Mobley petit juror) CF Holcombe, Fairfield Minutes. p 164.
1807 Feb. 9 Jackson County (GA) ordinary Court Jemima and Wm Lovejoy and Jethro Mobley petition to obtain admin on the estate of Edw. Lovejoy. (Ga microfilm Drawer 35 Box 36)

The above record suggests that Jethro Mobley must have married Hester Lovejoy by 1807.

Jethro is not present at what may be the final disposition of Edwards estate:
Jackson Co (GA): William and Jemima Lovejoy, Admrs. of Edward Lovejoy estate, will sell at his late residence on Beach Island in said county, four slaves on Dec. 27 next. Adv. dated Oct.26, 1814. (GaGen 1967 (p.1596) quoting Ga Journal (Milledgeville)

Jethro Mobley

Marilu Burch Smallwood in her book Burch, Harrell, and Allied Families, (you may download this zip file) appears to be interested primarily in the family of John Mobley of Lunenburg VA and Edgecombe NC. Elements of this family seem to have moved to South Georgia before the end of the 18th century. She traces a number of them in various places in Georgia. I have not studied her book in great detail, but I haven't come across evidence that she was aware of the SC branch of the Mobley family, and one paragraph, on page 342, seems mystifying:

she tells us that Jethro Mobley was born ca 1773 and by 1794 owned 10 negroes and 164 acress on the Ogeche River (which I take to be Warren Co. GA). She did not know the parents of Jethro or of Eleazer Mobley who had property adj to Jethro's. (We know that Eleazar was the oldest son of William Mobley of Fairfield Co. SC and brother of Jethro's mother-in-law, Esther Mobley Lovejoy, but Jethro's parentage remains clouded.) (taken from Some Tax Digests of Georgia by Ruth Blair)

Both men were most likely born in S.C. where we find several records of their presence. With extensive property in GA Jethro Mobley was still present in Fairfield Co. SC where he witnessed deeds in 1797:

1792 Jethro Mobley listed 1 slave in Fairfield Co. Tax List
1792 Jethro, Dan and Tho. Mobley on 22 March wit deed Cullen M to Micajah M. 63 acres in Camden Dist. (Fairfield) p. 243
1796 Irthero Mobley, petit juror in Fairfield.
1797 Jethro Mobley and Wm Alsup wit to Edward Mobley action re Wm Hill and Dorcas Hill (Rich Hill) re deed. 27 May p. 16.
This is the last record I've found of Jethro in SC.

1804 Eleaszer Mobley admin Samuel Mobley Aug 14, 1804 in Jackson Co. Estate Records.
1808 Jetha Mobley of Randolph Co. for $1000 bought 202 1/2 in Baldwin Co., land lot #194. (Jasper Co. Deed Book 1 page 259)
1808 Jasper Co. First Grand Jury, Feb. 1808 includes Jethro Mobley, cf Hist. of Jasper Co. p 353.
1820 Eleazar Mobley m Eliza Lane, Oct 15, 1820 , B. Crawford, J.I.C. Cf Jasper Co. Ga (History p 332 (this work also has Edward Lovejoy and Jos McBride marriages.)
1820 Jethro and Wm Mobley in Jasper Co., as was also Ed. Lovejoy, Jr.(1818)
1825 Malinda Mobley md S. Freeman in Jasper Co.

Jethro Mobley married Esther Lovejoy, daughter of Edward and Jemima Mobley Lovejoy. She gave him 8 children:
1. Eliazer (he came to Butts Co with his father and became a member of the court.)
2. Ruthie m a Barnes
3. Malinda m Jeremiah Freenam in 1825 in Jasper Co.
4. Tabitha m James V. Hogg in Butts Co.
5. Matilda m a Billings
6. Elsie m. Lawrence Gahagen (These of course are my great, great grandparents)
7 Eldridge m. Elizabeth Finney. He was a large land and slave owner.
8. Warren Lovejoy m Mary P. Robinson in 1837 in Butts Co.

Jethro appeared in Butts Co about the time it was established (ca 1825), but he had property in Jasper Co. until 1833. At that time he sold "all my possessions in the County of Jasper, containing 405 acres....." to Abel T. Wilson of Jasper Co. Witness were Mary A. Mobley and Warren L. Mobley (Deed Book B-1, p. 598, deed 10/15/1833)

Two Eliazer Mobleys

Jethro's oldest son, Eliazer, was named after an earlier Eliazer Mobley who had been closely associated with Jethro in SC and GA as well. This man was the oldest son of William and Anne Osborne Mobley, the older brother of Jemima Mobley Lovejoy, who was Jethro's mother-in-law. In other words Eliazer was Jethro's wife's uncle.

In 1771 Eliaser received a land grant of 400a in what became Fairfield Co. At that time he was said to be 21 years old which would make his birthdate ca 1750. He married a widow, Ann Lyles and served with Colonel John Winn in the Revolution. He was some 23 years older than Jethro.

In 1773 he received another grant on the "north side of Broad River" and in 1775 made it over to Ephraim Mabry.

1785 Eliazer Mobley overseer of road from county line, Sandy River to Alcorn's old place in Fairfield Co.

By 1789 he gave his address as Richmond Co. GA in a deed of 100 acres which he had inherited from his father. He sold the property to Thomas Burns of Fairfield Co. (One of the witnesses, Armenus Liles, may have been Eliazer's brother-in-law or father-in-law.

Mr. Hill states "from the above record, it seems that Eleazer Mobley moved to Richmond Co., Georgia and that is our last record of him." However since he wrote that, many deeds naming Eleazer have been found in various Georgia counties.

1794 Mobley Jethro Ga Warren tax list; shows 10 slaves, 164a on Ogechee River adj. Oliver and Abercombie; tax: 1 pd; 2 shillings (copy in Mobley folder)

1794 Mobley Eleazer Ga Warren tax list; adj. Jethro Mobley; minimum tax 1 shilling and 9 pence.

1800 Mobley Jethro Ga Jackson chain bearer for warrant of Eleazar Mobley of 228a on Beach.

1804 Eleazer Mobley admin Samuel Mobley Aug 14, 1804 in Jackson Co. Estate Records. Samuel was most likely Eleazer's brother.

1806 Eleazar Mobley land grant (or homestead exemption?) (Microfilm 223-30), Jackson County: 228a on Beech Creek, p 597. (There seemed to be no Lovejoys on this film, but Edward Lovejoy's residence was said to be on Beach Island in Jackson County in the 1814 newspaper ad for sale of four slaves by his exors.

One might confuse this older man with Jethro's oldest son who was given the same name. The 1830 Ga census shows on p.168 Eleazer Mobley of Butts Co. with 2 males under 5, 1 30-40 , 2 females under 5, 1 5-10, and 1 20-30. Suggests that Eleazer (Jethro's son) was no older than 40.

The 1830 Ga census shows Jethro with
1 male under 5
1 5-10
1 15-20
1 20-30
1 50-60
females 1 50-60.

Last Years of Jethro Mobley

Some time before the 1840 census Jethro moved with his family to Coweta Co. where he spent his last years. He died ca 1849 and left the following will:

Summary of Will of Jethro Mobley, 5/12/1849: recorded in Coweta Co.,GA
-All property of every kind to wife Esther Mobley during her life, todispose of crops etc. as may be proper-
-To sons Eldridge and Warren Mobley 405 acres of plantation in CowetaCo. GA-
-To sons Eldredge and Warren one negra slave girl Martha abt. 6 yrs.old, to take effect at decease of Esther-
-If son-in-law James V. Hogg shall d. before daughter Tabitha,leaving her a widow, slave Chaney(28) and child Berry(4); if not widowed,then slaves to go to executors in addition to lawful fees-
-To son Eleazer $400, and he not to account for any moneys previously received from testator-
-To son Eldridge slaves Sarah(48), Abram(?)(48,Bob or Robin(14),Ailey or Elsey(6) after d. of Esther-
-To son Warren slaves Patience(48), Sampson(55), Nance(18),George(15) after d. of Esther-
-To daughter Malinda Freeman, widow of Jeremiah Freeman, slaveMary(20) after d. of Esther-
-To daughter Ailsey Gahagan, wife of Lawrence Gahagan, slave Peter(8)after d. of Esther-
-To daughter Rutha Barnes. wife of Isaac Barnes, slave Amey(6) afterd. of Esther-
-To grandson Armens(?)[Aramanus] L. Barnes slave Sam(12) after d. ofEsther-
-To grandson Eldridge Barnes slave Buck(11) after d. of Esther-
-Esther may dispose of any property in accordance with the will-
-To son Eldridge slave Isaac(45) after d. of Esther-
-Eldridge and Warren to be executors-
(Taken from Carl Mobley's MIA on the Mobley home page)

Jethro's wife, Esther, lived another 5 or 6 years and left a verbal will:
Verbal will of Esther Mobley 12/3/1855 in presence of Charles P. Duke and Eliza Kittredge and Noah Smith:
-After paying burial and other expenses-
-Eldridge and Warren Mobley to have all crop of corn fodder and oats,flock of goats, and cotton crop, to be equally divided between them
my study ends here.

For corrections, comment, or inquiry e-mail Larry Clayton.

2001 Larry Clayton