Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Woman Named Anarchy?

I spent several hours Tuesday researching at the Calvin M. McClung Collection in Knoxville. I followed my plan to use published abstracts for Bedford County, Tennessee to help me trace my Mosely and related lines forward and to find things missing from my ancestral line research.

As I checked the index of a volume, I came across an unusual name. Turning to the page, I found the entry summarized thusly:

Marriage Volume A, page 438
Couple: Clifton Neill and Anarchy Moseley
Security: B. M. Tillman
Marriage Date: 29 July 18661

As I read the entry, I wondered who would name a child Anarchy. This record appears in the section for colored marriages so I assume Anarchy recently enjoyed her first taste of freedom from slavery. Another section in Volume A records marriages of free persons of color. Of course, by 1866, former slaves were free. I located the marriage record's image at Ancestry to verify the abstract's information.2

The mulatto couple resided in Bedford County's fourth district in 1870 with ten-year-old Jim. Clifton was enumerated as Cliff Neil and Anarchy was enumerated as Anica. Both were age forty-five.3 It is unknown if Jim was the natural son of both Cliff and Anica or if only one "parent" belonged to him. Many African-Americans married in the years following the Civil War, and Bedford County's marriage register is filled with multiple entries on each day, with many of the grooms serving as securities for another groom marrying on the same day.4

I was unable to locate the family in 1880. Is the woman's name Anarchy as the marriage record suggests or Anica as the 1870 census suggests? Without further evidence I may never know. Perhaps I'll run across a record with additional evidence for the name. I certainly hope it turns out to be Anica.

1 Helen C. Marsh and Timothy R. Marsh, Official Marriages of Bedford County, Tennessee (Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1996), volume 1, page 66.
2 "Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1780-2002," database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 July 2018), Clifton Neill to Anarchy Moseley, 29 July 1866, Bedford County; citing marriages available at Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.
3 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Bedford County, Tennessee, population schedule, 4th District, Shelbyville post office, page 177B (stamped), page 22 (written), dwelling and family 140, lines 27-29, Cliff Neil household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 July 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 1514.
4 Marsh and Marsh, Official Marriages of Bedford County, Tennessee, pages 51-77/

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