A Review of Morton’s “History of Preston County, West Virginia”, published 1914
Versus “The Evidence”
Oren Morton’s “History of Preston County, West Virginia” published in 1914 provides a sketch of the family of Michael Teets on p. 474. The purpose of this section is to address specifically what is written in that sketch and compare each detail with other newly found evidence on Teets family members. That evidence is comprised of Tax Records, Land Office Records, census records, and other reasonably credible sources.
Below is the (abbreviated) information on p. 474 of Morton’s book, and only the first generation is described: (See p. 474 for the complete sketch as written by Morton)
1. Michael – drowned 1850, m. Margaret Miller
2. George – m. [unstated]
3. Abraham – m. Catharine J. [no surname]
4. Adam – m. Elizabeth Mosser.
5. John – m. Elizabeth Wolfe
6. Anthony – Upshur
7. Mary – m. John Wolfe
8. Elizabeth – m George Wolfe
9. Daughter – m. Samuel Wolfe
Unfortunately, this book does not offer specific citations for where the documented information was found, so we are left with an otherwise un-sourced family sketch. The following are this author’s comments on the above, with some elaboration to provide a basis for those comments. Each of Morton’s family members (the first nine listed below) is commented on separately:
Now to compare what is written in Morton, p. 474 against the evidence (or lack thereof):
No convincing and credible evidence has been found at the time of this writing to support a Michael Teets as being the father of the children in this list. Morton’s book seems to be the primary place where this is stated. There is one other place where it is stated that “Daniel Teets is the son of Anthony Teets, and the grandson of Michael Teets, immigrant from Germany” (Union and Confederate Soldiers of Barbour County, West Virginia, p. 108, published 2005). The source of that information could well have been, among other unknown sources, Morton’s book on the History of Preston County. Largely because of Morton’s book, most of the family trees on Ancesty.com, Rootsweb.com, and other genealogy sites have Michael Teets as the father of these children. Prior to recent findings, this author also was one of the researchers making such claims.
Michael is Not the Father?
The author now believes that this Michael Teets is not the father of these children. Based on the official records available, it appears evident that Henry Teets and his wife Mary Teets were the parents of these and the other stated Teets children who were from Monongalia and Preston County. This author can only surmise that when Morton was collecting information to document the above sketch that interviews with family members was a primary source of such information, and some of that information is just not supported by official records.
Henry Teets is the Pioneer…
The author concludes that Henry Teets is the pioneer, not Michael Teets (at least not this Michael Teets as documented in Morton’s book). Some of the evidence leading to this conclusion is discussed below.
Based upon available and credible sources of information, Henry Teets most likely would not have been born in the Monongalia or Preston County area, based upon the 1800 census from Sandy Creek, Allegany County, Maryland. Given that census and that Henry and Mary were perhaps 18-19 years old at marriage (an approximation), that would place both Henry and Mary's marriage date to c1778, and their birth dates to c1760 or even earlier. No credible source is yet available to substantiate or deny these claims. Birth location for both Henry and Mary are unknown at this time.
It should be noted that Allegany County, Maryland was formed in 1789 (from Washington County), and in 1872, Allegany County was split up and Garrett County, Maryland was created. Perhaps the 1800 Allegany County Census was actually taken in parts of what is now Garrett County (based on a review of deeds for Sylvester Ryland and Jacob Markley, adjacent landowners to Henry Teets at the time of the 1800 census, Henry and his family were residing very close to what is now Friendsville, Maryland). Many Teets families are known to be from the Garrett County area (such as Oakland, Friendsville, Loch Lynn Heights).
[Note: an ironic fact is that the author’s Mother was married in Oakland, and the author himself was married in Loch Lynn Heights. Certainly neither my mother nor I were aware of Henry Teets presence in 1800 in the same county! It must be in our blood…]
Henry moved his family from Allegany County, Maryland where he appeared in the 1800 census, to Monongalia County, Virginia (Later Preston County, Virginia) between 1800 and 1802, where he first appears in the Monongalia County Tax Records. He appeared many times between 1803 and 1832 in the Monongalia (before 1818) and in the Preston County Tax Records (after 1818). Several of his sons also appeared in these records.
In the 1832-1833 land owner information, it is revealed that Henry Teets is listed, but is crossed out and shown as Henry Teets heirs, implying that he was deceased at that time, and the property was then passed to his heirs. The land owner information, in combination with the tax records indicate that Henry died in late 1832 (after the tax records were recorded), or early 1833. Also, it is clear that David is one of Henry’s children since he was on 25 of those acres previously owned by Henry. Other evidence in the land records reveals that John Teets got a land grant.
A Review of the Children of Morton’s Michael Teets, p. 474
Below are comments on each of the children cited in Morton’s book (the first nine children). Following those nine children, a few more children that are not listed in his book are discussed (the next seven):
1. Michael – drowned 1850, m. Margaret Miller
Michael Teets does clearly appear to be a member of this family, and did in fact marry Margaret Miller in Shenandoah County, Virginia on November 2, 1811 as is documented on this site. However, this Michael most probably died before 1830 (not 1850). The 1850 date in Morton’s book could easily have been a typographical error, or just invalid input from interviewed family members. As the evidence in the Preston County Tax Records clearly shows, he appeared many times between 1811 and 1829 in the Monongalia County (before 1818) and in the Preston County Tax Records (after 1818). His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records. He presumably died before 1830 never to appear in any records again, as Elizabeth appears as a head of household in the 1830 census. Elizabeth also appears multiple times in the Tax Records between 1830 and 1833, which further supports this theory. Elizabeth goes on to marry John Markley before 1837 (per Shenandoah County Deeds and Wills records).
Michael seems to appear in the 1800 and 1810 census records, which when combined indicate a derived birth date between 1790-1794. Michael shows up for the first time on the 1811 Tax Records list, and is married November 2, 1811 to Elizabeth Miller. As described below (see 10. Jacob Teets), Elizabeth Miller is a sister to Mary Barbara Miller who married Jacob Teets. Michael is between 26-44 in 1820, and apparently dies before 1830, as there are no other census records where he appears. His wife Elizabeth is 61 in 1850, giving her a birth date of 1789. Based on the census record age range, and birth dates of siblings, Michael's birth date was chosen to be 1791. His is birth location remains unknown.
The list of Michael Teets’ children cited in Morton’s book does appear correct and represent that family well; additional information on those descendants is contained on this site.
2. George – m.[unstated]
George Teets as documented in Morton is not supported with any other evidence outside the book. So this author cannot support a George Teets as a sibling in this family (at least not by the name George). A George Teets never appears in the Monongalia or Preston County Tax Records or Land Records.
However, Morton’s book does state that this George had three children: Henry m. Elizabeth Benson; Daniel; and a daughter that married Jacob M. Thomas. Henry, b. c1811 is on this site with details on his family, Daniel is unknown at this point, and the daughter who married Jacob M. Thomas has not been found as of this writing. So regarding George, there is no evidence supporting him as the father of these children, only one of which has been located to date. So this George Teets does not appear on this site at this time.
3. Abraham – Catherine J. [no surname]
An Abraham Teets does appear in the Preston County Tax Records in 1818 and 1819, but no other evidence has been found. Perhaps he moved away, or was deceased after 1819. What is interesting here, is that Andrew Teets did marry Catherine J. Ringer, and that is well-supported by census records. This author does believe that it is possible Abraham was a son of Henry and Mary Teets, but not that he married a Catherine J., as there is no evidence available which supports it. Again, perhaps family members provided information that was “almost, but not quite right”. See the description below on Andrew Teets for further detail on him.
So at this point, there is no evidence other than the 1818 and 1819 Preston County Tax Records, and that alone is not enough to establish him as a son of Henry and Mary Teets.
There is an Abraham or Abram Teets that appears in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census in Cumberland, Illinois that could possibly be the same Abraham Teets, but there is no evidence to support that theory (yet). This Abraham Teets died in Cumberland, Illinois and married Ellen Sebring; that family is on this site as well, but is not (yet) connected to the Henry Teets family for a lack of strong evidence.
4. Adam – m. Elizabeth Mosser
Adam Teets is also clearly a member of this family, and does appear to have married Elizabeth Mosser.
Adam Teets appeared many times between 1807 and 1849 in the Monongalia County (before 1818) and in the Preston County Tax Records (after 1818). His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records.
While Adam seems to appear in every census between 1810 and 1860, his age was explicitly shown as 61 in 1850, and his age was explicitly shown as 73 in 1860. Using this information, his birth date is calculated to be between 1787 and 1789. Using the 1800-1810 census records makes it more difficult to calculate a birth date (range calculated was 1795-1799 which does not match up with the ages stated in 1850 and 1860). In another source, the biography of Alpha Teets, his son, in the "McDonough County, Illinois History Book" states that Adam was born in 1790. Using these sources, 1789 was chosen as his birth date. His birth location remains unknown.
The list of Adam Teets’ children cited in Morton’s book does appear correct and represent that family well; additional information on those descendants is contained on this site.
5. John – m. Elizabeth Wolfe
John Teets is also clearly a member of this family, and does appear to have married Elizabeth Wolfe (more evidence needed).
He appeared many times between 1815 and 1840 in the Monongalia County (before 1818) and in the Preston County Tax Records (after 1818). His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records.
John appears in the 1820 census in Preston County (under name Teater), and in 1850 and 1860 census where it shows that he is 65 in both of those census. There is no way to determine if either of those records are correct. His first appearance in the Tax Records was 1815. So, with no better source available, the author chooses to use a birth date of 1795, and birth location remains unknown.
Additional information on his family with Elizabeth Wolfe is on this site.
6. Anthony Teets – Upshur
It There is no evidence that there was an Anthony Teets in this family. Morton’s book states “Upshur”, apparently meaning that Anthony moved to Upshur County (and nothing else is documented). It is very clear to this author that there are multiple Anthony Teets, but there is at this point in time no strong credible evidence that any of these Anthony Teets was a member of the Henry Teets family.
There were in fact, multiple Anthony Teets found in (West) Virginia identified as possibilities:
1. Anthony Lee "Tony" Teets, b. December 11, 1858 in Upshur County. His death record is recorded in Upshur County showing he died January 8, 1940. This Anthony is definitely not a son of Henry Teets, he is a son of Martin Teets and is well-documented.
2. Anthony Teets, b. November 21, 1820 in Hardy County. This Anthony Teets also has a death record recorded in Upshur County. Death certificates are also recorded in Upshur County for sons Daniel Noah Teets and John Allen Teets. Both name as their father Anthony Teets, with Anthony’s birthplace listed as Hardy County, West Virginia. It is well documented that he is the son of Jacob Teets, b. c1787, now shown to be a son of Henry Teets. This Anthony Teets is also not a son of Henry Teets.
3. Anthony Teets, b. c1813. An Anthony Teets and a son Daniel Teets, b. 1823, are described in the “Union and Confederate Soldiers and Sympathizers of Barbour County, West Virginia” (published 2005), where it is stated that this Daniel Teets “was the son of Anthony Teets, b. Preston County, settled in Barbour County; grandson of Michael Teets, immigrant from Germany, settled Preston County”. It is also possible that this parentage was derived from Morton’s book, p. 474. This Daniel Teets, b. April 21, 1823, died March 30, 1911, was buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Barbour County (per Findagrave).
Based upon Daniel’s stated birth date (1823), his father Anthony Teets would most likely have had a birth date perhaps in the early 1800s. Such a birth date for this Anthony Teets would make him a candidate to be a son of one of Henry Teets sons (i.e. a grandson of Henry Teets). The Preston County Tax Records chart shows Anthony in Preston County in 1844 and also in 1845, and in Barbour County until at least 1851. The Preston County Tax Records sheet shows an Anthony in 1837, 1843, and 1844. Then he appears in Barbour County in years 1845 through 1851. Considering all of this information, including Daniel’s birth date, the 1850 census which shows a birth date for Anthony of c1813, along with the death record of an Anthony Teets in Barbour County, West Virginia in 1880, the author concludes that this Anthony Teets is the son of Michael Teets and a grandson of Henry Teets. Further evidence is being pursued. In any case, it is highly doubtful that Henry Teets (or any Michael Teets) had a son Anthony.
7. Mary – m. John Wolfe
Mary Teets is also clearly a member of this family, and it does appear that she married John “Wobby” Wolfe c1813. Mary Wolf’s death record shows that she was 68 when she died in September 1857 in Preston County. Her death record also clearly states that she was the daughter of Henry and Mary Teets.
It appears that Mary was in the 1800 and 1810 census records with her parents. That information leads to a birth date of c1789-1790. Based on her death record, 1789 was used, and the birth location remains unknown.
8. Elizabeth – m. George Wolfe
Elizabeth Teets is also clearly a member of this family, and it does appear that she married George Wolfe between 1810 and 1820. In the 1850 census, Elizabeth is stated to be 40; the author believes this is incorrect. In the 1860 census, Elizabeth is widowed and age 65, which seems more accurate and implies a birth date to be between 1790 and 1794, which was chosen for her. Additional information on her family with George Wolfe is on this site.
9. Daughter – m. Samuel Wolfe
This daughter per Morton appears to clearly be Sarah Jane Teets, who married Samuel Wolfe around 1810 (no source other than census and birth dates of children).
Her death record gives her age as 80 in 1859. Also, in the 1800 census for Allegany MD, the second oldest female in the household of Henry is between 16-25 years, which appears to be Sarah Jane. She may or may not have been born there. Henry moved his family to Monongalia County (Later Preston County) between 1800 and 1802, where he first appears in the Tax Records. In the 1810 Monongalia census she is between 26 and 45. The combination of the 1800 and 1810 census records and the Tax Records appear to fit well with her given age shown in her death record in 1859. So c1779 was chosen as her birth date, but her birth location is unknown.
Additional information on her family with Samuel Wolfe is on this site.
This concludes comments on the children of “Michael” Teets per Morton’s book, p. 474.
Below are additional children identified as siblings of the above based on the evidence, which are now included on this website:
10. Jacob Teets
Jacob Teets (my ancestor) appears to be the son of Henry and Mary Teets. It is not known why Jacob Teets does not appear in Morton’s list of children. He appeared many times between 1804 and 1848 in the Tax Records for Monongalia County (before 1818), in Preston County (after 1818) and in Barbour County (after 1845). His father Henry and several of his brothers and sons also appeared in these records.
In the 1800 census in Allegany County, Maryland, there are 2 males between 10 and 16 and in 1810 those same 2 are between 16 and 25. Age ranges in the census for 1800 and 1810 can support Jacob's birth date as well as that of Henry Jr.
While Jacob seems to appear in census records for 1800 (with parents), 1810, and 1820, his age was explicitly shown as 63 in 1850, and explicitly shown as 72 in 1860. Using this information, his birth date is calculated to be between 1787 or 1788. 1787 was used as his birth date. His birth location is unknown.
Additional information on his family with Mary Barbara Miller is on this site. It must be noted that Mary Barbara Miller who married Jacob Teets on August 11, 1806 in Shenandoah County, Virginia is the daughter of George Miller. Another daughter, Elizabeth Miller, married Jacob’s brother Michael Teets. So Barbara Miller and Elizabeth Miller were sisters.
11. Christian Teets
Christian Teets, also known as Christopher, is also a son of Henry and Mary Teets. It is not known why Christian Teets does not appear in Morton’s list of children. He also appeared many times between 1811 and 1818 in the Tax Records for Monongalia County (before 1818), and later in Preston County in 1842-1844 but not after that. His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records. He does not appear in the Tax Records for Preston County between 1819 and 1841, indicating that he possibly did not live in Preston County during that time.
Christian presumably appears in the 1800 and 1810 census records with his parents Henry and Mary. He could not be found in the 1820 census as a head of household, even though he was in the Tax Records in 1811, 1815, and 1818. In the 1830 census for Preston County, he appears as "Christopher Teats", age between 30 and 40. In 1850 in Greene County, Pennsylvania, there is a Christopher Teats age 60 with wife Mahala (Burch) and family, putting his birth data at c1790. Finally, in 1860, he and wife Mahala are in the census of Bracken County, Kentucky where his age is stated as 55. Obviously, these ages conflict, yet the family appears to be the same family (in spite of the fact that their birth states (Pennsylvania) appear to be incorrect. Using the 1830 census, he would have been born between 1790 and 1800. So, discounting the 1860 age of 55, the 1930 and 1850 census records indicate a birth date of c1790, so that was chosen until other evidence can be located. His birth location remains unknown.
12. Andrew Teets
Andrew Teets is a son of Henry and Mary Teets. Andrew Teets appeared many times between 1823 and 1849 in the Preston County Tax Records (Preston was formed in 1818). His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records.
Andrew married Catherine J. Ringer c1823 and they lived in Preston County most of their lives. Their family is documented on this site.
Andrew appears in every census between 1830 and 1860, all in Preston County. In the 1800 and 1810 census records, it appears that he was born between 1795 and 1799. Yet in the 1830 census he appears to be born between 1800 and 1810. In 1840 his age is stated to be between 40 and 50 (1790 to 1800). 1850 his age is stated as 55 (birth c1795). In 1860, his age is stated as 60 (birth c1800). In 1870, in Allegany County, Maryland, he is living with his grandson Lucian, next to his son George W., and he and wife Catherine are stated to be 77 and 75, respectively. That census suggests a birth date of c1793. So, with these sources, the author chose a best estimate birth date of 1793; his birth location remains unknown.
13. David Teets
David Teets is a son of Henry and Mary Teets. He appeared many times between 1822 and 1840 in the Preston County Tax Records. His father Henry and several of his brothers also appeared in these records.
David first appears in the Tax Records of Preston County in 1822, and again in 1830, 1833-34, 1838, and 1840. He seems to appear in the 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830 census records with his parents Henry and Mary. The calculated combine birth range across those three census records indicates that he was born between 1795 and 1799. It should be noted that in the 1830 census for David Teats, there is a male and a female between the ages of 60-69, which matches up perfectly with the ages of his parents. It is quite possible, even likely, that these two people could be Henry and Mary living with their youngest son. It is not known what happened to David Teets after 1840 as no further records have been found; perhaps he got married and moved, or was deceased.
As stated above, in the 1832-1833 land owner information, it is revealed that Henry Teets is listed, but is crossed out and shown as Henry Teets heirs, implying that he was deceased at that time, and the property was then passed to his heirs. The land owner information, in combination with the tax records indicate that Henry died in late 1832 (after the tax records were recorded), or early 1833. Also, it is clear that David is one of Henry’s children since he was on 25 of those acres previously owned by Henry. Other evidence in the land records reveals that John Teets got a land grant.
David's birth date is calculated to be c1799, but his birth location is not known. Given that Henry moved his family to Monongalia (aka Preston) county before 1802, it is quite possible that David was born there.
14-15. Two Unknown daughters
From the 1800 and 1810 census records, it would appear that there are additional daughters of Henry and Mary that cannot at this point be identified, currently called Unknown F2, probably born between 1795 and 1800 and Unknown F3 probably born between 1800 and 1810. They may have died or married, unknown at this time. See the “Teets Births” chart.
Per Morton’s book, p. 474, this author cannot at this time confirm via evidence who George, Abraham and Anthony are, so they are not included on this site at this time. The rest of the children identified by Morton are in fact siblings, but children of Henry and Mary Teets. Not named at all by Morton are the additional siblings Henry Jr., Jacob, Christian, and David, and the two unknown daughters as described above.
So Morton lists 9 children, 3 not confirmed…for 6 children seen in Morton, p. 474.
Not listed by Morton are 6 additional children supported by evidence.
Total 13 children, 8 males, 5 females, as described.
The author respectfully offers the above in the sincere hope that it is convincing and credible. If other researchers wish to contest any of these conclusions, the author genuinely welcomes that discussion; just come prepared with credible evidence.
John J. Teets II, Author
Teets Family & Ancestry