ISHAM WALLACE [1801-1882]

Isham Wallace, the son of Everet and Caty/Catherine Wallace, married Nancy Furr [1806-1884] and is considered one of the mostly widely held common ancestors in upper Moore County. Nancy was the daughter of Charles Furr and Nancy Sowell. Isham, a lifelong farmer, lived on over 1100 acres of land in the Buffalo Creek/Meadow Branch area southeast of Robbins [just east of the intersection of Hwy 24/27 and the Mt. Carmel Road]. Isham and Nancy as well as a large number of their descendants are buried, not far from their home, at Flint Hill Baptist Church.

Throughout the years, I was fascinated and amazed by the stories that my grandfather, Mallie Wallace, told about his ancestors. The Wallaces were known to be a rough and tumble crew, spending more time at the County Courthouse for drinking, fighting and so on as they did in church. Isham was always one of his favorite subjects. My grandfather was the grandson of Emsley Wallace and great grandson of Isham. An 1880 article in the Chatham Record depicted Isham and his family, much as my grandfather remembered: "in upper Moore old man named Wallace is over eighty years old, straight as an Indian, six feet high, is capable of doing a good deal of work, has fifteen children living almost in sight of his house, and all of his descendants together amount to about 215 persons. Of the children, six are daughters and nine are sons, and their average height is six feet and their weight two hundred pounds and not one male among the entire family belong to any church."


Isham and Nancy had the following children: Clarkey Ann Wallace [1820-1891], ElizabethElizabeth Wallace [1825-1871], Mary Ann Wallace [1826-1892], William Wesley Wallace [1828-1906], Sarah Ann Wallace [1830-1899], Quimby Wallace [1832-1895], Dempsey Wallace [1833-1839], Lockey [1836-1884], Emsley Thomas Wallace [1837-1918], Samuel Bascom Wallace [1841-1913], Lovedy Jane Wallace [1844-1916], Sampson Delaney Wallace [1845- bet 1890-1900], Virgil Spinks "Byrd" Wallace [1846-1917] and John M. Wallace [1850-1923]. Among these children, most resided in close proximately of their parents and raised large families that are still located in upper Moore County. Their children intermarried with the neighboring Cockman, Melton, Hunsucker, Horner and Garner families.

The three oldest daughters all married sons of John Cockman and Mary Richardson: Clarkey Ann married George Cockman, Elizabeth married J. Sampson Cockman M. Wallace, and Mary Ann married Noah Emsley Cockman, each Wallace and Cockman union produced at least ten children. William Wesley married twice and produced fourteen children. He first married Elizabeth Melton and later in life married Margaret Louise Seawell. After Wes' death, Lou moved the family to Greensboro. Sarah Ann married John Garner and raised a family of eleven. Quimby married Arabaella Stewart and produced nine children, while his brother Dempsey died at the young age of six. Lockey married Susan Muse and raised a family of seven. Emsley married Priscilla Melton, daughter of James Melton and Temperance Horner and sister to Elizabeth, Temperance, and Candace who married Emsley's brothers. Emsley and Priscilla went on to raise eight children. Samuel Bascom married Temperance Levina Melton and produced ten children. Sam also married Nancy Smith later in life after Tempy passed away. Loveday Jane married James Washington Horner, son of George Washington Horner and Mary Ann Ritter and raised a family of six. Sampson Delaney married Missouri Coleman Hunsucker and produced eight children. Laney was the only son of Isham to actively fight in the Civil War and became a local deputy sheriff after the war. Upon Laney's death, Missouri moved their family to Rockingham, NC where several of their descendants still reside. Virgil Spinks "Byrd" was married twice, and produced a total of eighteen children. Byrd's first marriage was to Regina Hunsucker, daughter of George M. Hunsucker and Elizabeth Williams and sister to Missouri. Byrd's second marriage was to Flora Ann Garner, daughter of Stedman Garner and Ann Elizabeth Davis. John M. was married Candace Ellen Melton and had one son in NC. John later moved to Perry County, AR where he was elected as a Judge, was married four more times and produced at least 13 more children.


One of the more fascinating stories that my grandfather, Mallie Wallace, was told by his grandfather, Emsley Wallace, related to our possible American Indian heritage. According to the story, Isham Wallace was married to a full blooded Cherokee Indian named Nancy Chiffon. One year when her family was traveling on the Salem-Cross Creek road from Salem, NC to Fayetteville, NC to sell furs at the marketplace in Fayetteville, Isham saw her briefly when they camped near his house. The next year when they traveled to Fayetteville again - he married her. According to my grandfather, many of the "older" Wallaces had "jet black hair and darker complexions." He believed that this was a result of the Indian heritage.

While historical research debunks part of this story I believe the story is too elaborate for some part of it not to be true. From census research and numerous other records we know that Isham Wallace married Nancy Furr, a daughter of Charles Furr and Nancy Sowell and sister to Malvina Furr, wife of Enoch Wallace. I don't believe that the Furrs were Indians as they are a well documented family going back to Switzerland.

It is very possible that Indians were traveling along a trade route to Fayetteville, much earlier than Isham's generation [born 1801] as the Cross Creek-Salem route was established around 1754 and was well traveled by 1775. Whatever the true story was regarding the Indian connection, chances are that it was further back than Isham's generation. It is interesting that one of Everet's children, Susannah , was listed in the census as mulatto [an offspring of a black and a white parent]. Manda's [Everet's daughter] children were also listed as mulatto while they were younger. It may have been possible that they were listed as mulatto because census takers observed their darker skins and concluded they were of mixed race rather than Indian.