The Riddle/Morris/Carmack/

Coffman/Brandon Families


I was born in Sullivan County, Missouri in 1944, and from my early childhood I had heard about the distinctively named Tyre in my relatives' oral history of our family.  From that history I heard that Tyre lived in North Carolina, that he was one of several brothers who became separated when going through the immigration process upon arrival in New York, and that he had lived in Virginia before coming to North Carolina.   I know now that it is not uncommon for families to have a story passed down through the generations of members separated during immigration, and so far I have no documentation to the fact in my family.  I have, however, found that there was without question a Tyre Riddle living in North Carolina at the end of the 18th century.


When the fledgling United States government irritated its citizens with the first census in 1790, my great, great, great grandfather Tyre Riddle was among those listed as living in Stokes County, North Carolina, as were two other Riddles -  John and Randolph.  The relationship among the three is uncertain.  That census report provides the earliest known solid piece of documentation to serve as the tap root of my Riddle family tree.   Tyre really did exist.  His grandson, William Riddle (1830-1909) was demonstrably real, since his clearly marked tombstone is in the Owasco cemetery, but until I saw that census list Tyre seemed somehow imaginary.


About the time that Daniel Boone led an expedition to the Kentucke region in 1769 and Thomas Jefferson built Monticello, old Tyre Riddle was likely born - possibly in America - probably in Scotland - but maybe someplace else entirely.   Also some time in the last half of the 18th century my great great grandfather Daniel Morris was born, thus beginning the chain of descendants that eventually connected in the marriage of my father's parents, Ewell Lee Riddle and Alice Morris.


It is through my Morris ancestors that I am related to the Coffman and Carmack families.   The Palmer and Dollahite/Dollyhite connections are through my Riddle ancestors, as are my ties to the John Brandon family.


Tyre Riddle had a son, Asa, and he in turn had a son, William.  William was born in 1830, the same year that Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church.


William's son, Ewell Lee, was born in 1864, the year that Ulysses S Grant was given command of the Union Army and the Red Cross was established by the Geneva Convention.  Lee Riddle was my grandfather, but he died in my 5th year and I remember nothing except that he seemed bigger than everybody else.  I am told that he was tall, had red hair, and a club foot.


Lee Riddle's 2nd son was Fred Douglas - my father - who was born the year the Spanish American War began in 1898.  Fred was the third of the 5 children of Lee Riddle and Alice Morris.  Fred and Martha Cleeton, his 18 year old bride, spent the first year of marriage living in an upstairs room of his parents' home in Morris township - named for his mother's grandfather, Roberson Morris. 


We do not know the year of birth for my great, great, great grandfather Daniel Morris, but it was likely around 1780. We know that his son, Roberson, was born in Kentucky in 1807, the year that Aaron Burr was arrested for sedition.  Roberson moved to Sullivan County, Missouri, where he became a landowner of note, and information about him is easy to find.   I have not yet identified Daniel's ancestors, but his wife was Mary (or Molly) Crosthwait, and she was the child of Isaac Crosthwait and Elizabeth Rippetoe.  I believe that Isaac's father was William Crosthwait,  born around 1695.


Roberson's granddaughter was Alice Morris - the mother of Fred Douglas, and my grandmother.