James Wright Moore, Esther Cotten, & Captain John Jones

Sally’s great-great-great Grandparents:

James Wright Moore 1773 – 1815 | his parents
& 1804 Esther Cotten 1782 – 1854 | her parents
& 1825 Capt John Jones 1764 – 1844 | his parents
of Mulberry Grove, Hertford County, North Carolina

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

the original portrait of Mrs. Esther Cotten Moore Jones
by James McGibbon that was at Mulberry Grove and Maple Lawn.

During their tenure at Mulberry Grove it was still a story and a half 18th century styled house.

James Wright Moore and Esther Cotten (pronounced Easter) were married 1804
and made their home at Mulberry Grove, Hertford Co, NC with her parents.
James Wright Moore, son of William Edward Moore and his wife Pensie Wright was born in Nansemund Co, VA 7 March 1773. His father died while he was still a boy and he was raised by his uncle, James Moore, who had married a daughter of Arthur Cotten and was living in Hertford County, NC.
“James W. Moore was noted in his day for high spirits, good looks, and devotion to field sports.” (Moore) He died 17 June 1815 at Mulberry Grove.
Esther Cotten, daughter of Godwin Cotten and his wife Sarah Brown, was born at Mulberry Grove 2 July 1782.
In 1825 she married next, Capt John Jones of Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, VA
who they tell us was known locally as “Hell-Cat” Jones.
[His father a lay minister was called “Hell-fire” Jones.]
They lived in a huge brick house with a slate roof (seven windows across the front)
on a bend of the Meherrin River.
She died 6 September, 1854 at her home at Lawrenceville, VA.

Children of James Wright Moore and Esther Cotten:
1. Emeline E. Moore ca 1805 NC – 3 Nov 1872 Marion, AL
married NH Co 23 Dec 1822 Dr. Nathaniel W Fletcher died ca/bef Jan 1845 Mobile AL
of Lawrenceville, VA.
“They lived about ten miles from Mulberry Grove at the village of Roxobel in Bertie County, where he practiced his profession. the house they lived in was built in 1814 and is still used as a home.” by John E. Tyler in the Feb. 2000 “King’s Landing”
they later moved to Marion AL and the doctor died suddenly late Dec 1844 or Jan 45 while on a visit to Mobile AL with his young son Richie.” [see letter] SMK

Emeline Moore Fletcher [later LeVert] portrait by James McGibbon
after Conservation treatment by David Goist of Raleigh, NC
now in the Murfreesboro Historical Assoc. collection
This painting looked down on me [Sally] as I slept when I was young as it was over the Mantle in the Long Room which was the girls’ room for my generation; the generation before, it had been the boys’ room
We think it was painted during the time she was a widow as she is dressed in dark gray.

married 9 Feb 1847 2nd Rev. Eugene Verdot LeVert 20 Oct, 1795 VA – 1875 Marion AL
son of Dr. Samuel Claudius LeVert and Ann Lea Metcalfe & brother of Dr. Hernry LeVert 1804-1864 of Mobile
grandson of Francois LeVert & Margot Verdot

2. Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore 7 Nov 1806 – 6 May 1880
UNC for three years then graduated UP medical school with high honors

MooreGC Julia-Wheeler

Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore & wife Julia

married 25 June 1832 Julia Munro Wheeler 4 June 1814 – 17 May 1887

3. Sarah Matilda (Tillie) Moore ca 1812- 30 Sept 1865
Tillie was reported younger on every census so I am not certain of her birth date

Tillie Westray portrait by James McGibbon
after Conservation treatment Nov. 2000 by David Goist of Raleigh, NC
now in the Murfreesboro Historical Assoc. collection

married 3 May 1836 Turner P Westray ca 1801 – 14 May 1868 Nash Co NC
son of Samuel Westry of Nash Co and wife Sarah Bradford

Child of Esther Cotten and John Jones:

1. Dr. Charles Godfrey Jones 28 Feb 1828 VA – 21 March 1892 Monterrey, Mex.
graduated University of Pennsylvania school of medicine
eloped with the house-keeper’s daughter to Texas” – the story we heard


the story his children heard – “he met Camilla at a “boarding house” in Tennessee on his way to Texas, and married her quickly.”
married 9 Oct 1865 Camilla A Fossen Porter 8 Mar 1841 TN -15 Oct 1917 TX

Esther’s Step-Children
Children of John Jones 1764-ca 1845 & Lucy Binns Cargill

1. Dr. Thomas Williamson Jones died 21 July, 1824 (grad UNC 1810)
(died near Brunswick Ct House, VA on Wed the 21st inst. Dr. Thomas W Jones.
His death was occasioned by being thrown from his gig. Raleigh Papers 30 July, 1824.)

married Mary Armisted Goode
2. Col. John Cargill Jones born 9 June, 1795
married Mary Ann Walker and had 13 children,
11 of whom lived to mature age.

3. Lucy Cargill Jones
married 1819 Dr. John M Walker (parents of Mrs. Hilliard of TX)
4. Martha Jones died age 19

to 16 16 up
1790 Godwin Cotten 0 1 6
0-10 10-15 16-25 26-45 45 up 0-10 10-15 16-25 26-45 45 up
1800 James Moore 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
1810 James Moore 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 0
1820 Godwin Cotton 1 2 0 0 1 2 1 0 1 1
0-5 10-15 15-20 30-40 60-70 70-80 5-10 40-50
1830 John Jones Sen 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
1840 John Jones 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
12 12 Esther Jones 65 f 8000 NC
Charles G Jones 22 m farmer VA

19 Feb 1845 from Esther Jones to her son Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore and wife Julia

EJletter1 EJletter2 EJletter3 EJletter4

letter was written on two pages front and back
the fourth side serving as the envelope when folded and sealed
note remains of seal and messenger’s name
the second page has been damaged by water and silver fish
letter now encased in plastic by NC archives and in possession of James E Moore

letter1d letter1c letter1b letter1a

1 March 1846 from Charles G Jones & John W Moore to Dr. Godwin Cotten Moore

Hellcat Jones Home in Lawrenceville, Va Hellcat Jones Home in Lawrenceville, Va
“Level Grove” alias “Laurel Grove”

Home of Esther Cotten and her second husband Capt. John Jones
Photo taken on an 1969 excursion with my nephew James Moore and his sister Debbie. left: front. right: rear with dining room wing
“On one of my visits home my nephew James had me drive him and his sister Debbie to Lawrenceville VA to try to locate the house that the Major John Wheeler Moore, the historian and poet, had described as the most beautiful house he had ever seen located on a bend of the Meherrin River, the home of his grandmother which he had visited often as a child.
It was a Saturday, and we stopped the postman and asked if he knew about Capt John Jones and his handsome home. No, he didn’t but he thought we should go talk to Mr. Jones, who was an authority on the local history. He was quite elderly at the time. He was no relation to Capt. John Jones but he knew just who we were talking about. “Oh, you are looking for old Hell-Cat Jones,” he said. We spent a couple of hours talking. He told us there was a memorial to Hell-Cat on the outside of the Court House and that we really should have come during the week when the court house was open. He also told us that at that time the house still belonged to descendants and that they had used the place as a summer house up ’til the fifties. That they had removed the beautiful woodwork and installed it in a new home. I didn’t record all this, but my nephew at 15 was a much more meticulous researcher. Mr. Jones also pointed out the way to Hell-Cat’s house but wouldn’t go with us– so we having gone that far, ignored all the no trespassing signs (after all, we were family) And took a look at the place. The immense size of the house was quite impressive. The roof was slate. All the dependencies were in a state of collapse and the dining room wing which was of wood was deteriorating. It might have had a view of the “beautiful” Meherrin river a hundred years before, but was quite grown up with trees and I could not discern the river from the house. We made our way around the place taking it all in. Snapped the pictures of the house and left, all of us quite pleased and satisfied with having actually located the house we only knew from those couple of lines in a book. Were the rest of the family surprised! We had the pictures as evidence that we had been there. It was a great adventure.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *