Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rev. James Ashley Moody, 1854-1928

The search for Rev. Moody began with an annotated photograph in an old cdv photo album belonging to the Moran family:

Rev. Moody

A quick google search for "Rev. Moody" and Weakley County didn't bring up anything.  So I tried different combinations, again with zero results.  And then I remembered we have a copy of the history of the Dresden First United Methodist Church 1833-1983 and on the inside front cover I found an entry for a circuit rider named J.A. Moody, 1884.

Back to google I went and found an entry in the Dresden Enterprise, April 29 1892 that said "Rev. J.A. Moody of Sharon circuit visited the family of Mr. J.L. McGlothlin last week" and with that information I was off to the races.

Rev. James Ashley Moody was born to D.S. Moody and Caroline Midget/Midyett in Brownsville Tennessee on April 22, 1854.  That much is listed on his Texas Death Certificate.  In the 1880 census he is a boarder at the home of Ike Bell in Henderson TN.  His occupation is listed as D.D., Doctor of Divinity, his age was 26.  His mother Caroline died in 1903 according to the Christian Advocate: "wife of D.S. Moody born Mar 25, 1827; married Nov 27, 1851; died Oct. 26 1903; 2 daus., 1 son (Rev. J.A. Moody, Memphis Methodist Conference)."  A year later his father passed away, "David S. Moody born May 19, 1826, married (1) Eleanor Mydgette, Dec. 21, 1848; (2)Caroline Mydgette; died Oct 26, 1903 had 2 daus and one son, Rev. J.A. Moody." 

I thought his first wife was Elizabeth McGlothlin because I found the marriage record which says Lizzie McGothlin and James Ashley Moody were married in Weakley County on July 21, 1885.  But then I came across a death notice in the Christian Advocate dated August 25, 1883:

"Fannie Moody, nee Young, born Louisiana, Sept. 27, 1860; about age one year moved with family to Miss. where her mother died when she was five years old; moved with her father to Fayette Co., Tenn. where he married his first wife's sister.  She married James A. Moody, Sept 27 1882; died in home of her father-in-law, D.S. Moody, Crockett Co., Tenn, July 13, 1883."

So it seems that James was perhaps not so lucky in love.  His first wife died less than a year after they were married.  His second wife was Elizabeth McGlothlin.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Henrietta M. Fonville and Judge Joseph L. McGlothlin of Dresden.  Elizabeth died a year and a half after the couple were married. From the Christian Advocate: "Mrs. J.A. Moody born Jan 19, 1862; died Jan 15 1887.

After the death of Elizabeth James married Mary Susan Cason.  Although I wasn't able to confirm the marriage year family trees on say they married in 1888 and they do appear in the Newbern Tennessee 1900 Census. The couple had five children: Cason Ashley, Carrie , Margie Nell, DAvid Shelton and Marion Lee.   By 1910 they have moved to Morris County Texas.   The 1920 Census has them living in Alvin County Texas and in 1928 the Reverend James Ashley Moody passes away on March 31, 1928, in Houston Texas.  His wife passes away in 1953.

Sophia Gunn Moran was a deeply religious woman and very active in the Methodist Church of Dresden.  It's possible we have the photo simply because Rev. Moody was a good friend of the Moran family.  Or possibly, was a distant relative through his marriage to Lizzie McGlothlin.  Her mother was a Fonville and there are Fonville's in the Moran tree.  I haven't explored that branch very much but perhaps now I have a reason.

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