Moses Cockerham, Sr.
of Surry County, NC

Moses Cockerham, Sr., was probably born between 1730-1740, in Virginia, and died bef. Feb. 1817 in Surry Co., NC. He married Elizabeth, last name unknown (possibly ELLIOTT). She died after 1817.

Children of Moses Cockerham, Sr., & Elizabeth:

  1. Susannah Cockerham, b. bet. 1770-1775, Surry Co., NC; d. 1820-1830, Surry Co., NC; m. Jarot (Jarrett) AUBERRY (b. 1770-1775; d. 1830-1840).
  2. James Cockerham, b. 1770-1790, Surry Co., NC; d. bef. 1816; m. Elizabeth__. Child: William Anderson Cockerham.  Elizabeth and her son moved to Greene Co., AR.
  3. +Moses Cockerham, Jr., b. abt. 1780, Surry Co., NC; d. 1850-1860, Surry Co., NC; m. Susannah JARROT and/or Martha, last name unknown (b. abt. 1777; d. 1850-1860).


Moses Cockerham, Sr., arrived in Surry County, NC, by 1771, and settled on Fishers River.  According to Emmett E. Cockrum, A History and Genealogy of the Cockerham Family in America, p.82, "Moses Cockerham, 3rd son of John Cockerham, was born in Lunenburg Co. before 1737.  He was in Surry Co. NC, from 1771 till his death in 1817."  However, other sources identify Moses' father as William Cockerham of Caroline County, VA.  Moses Cockerham's wife's name was Elizabeth (proven by Moses' will).  Her last name is often given as ELLIOT, but verification is needed.

There are many records of a Moses Cockerham in Lunenburg and Mecklenburg Counties, VA, from 1748 to 1769.  Most researchers believe this is the Moses Cockerham who moved to Surry County, NC, around 1770.  Several different men named Cockerham lived in Surry County in the late 1700's, including Moses, Daniel, Henry, Humphrey, and David Cockerham.  It seems likely that they were related, but sources conflict about many details of the Cockerham family.  According to the biographical sketch in Surry County Heritage Vol. I, Moses Cockerham came to Surry County in 1771 with his brother, William Cockerham, and nephew David Cockerham.

Moses Cockerham, Sr., of Surry Co., NC, is often identified as Moses V. Cockerham in published family trees, including the article in Surry County Heritage Vol. I.  So far, I have not been able to verify that his middle initial was "V." and some believe it was an error by a long-ago researcher.


Lunenburg Co., VA

1748 Tax List, Lunenburg Co., VA, between Hounds Creek and Meherrin River:
Henerey COCKERHAM, John HIX & Moses COCKERHAM, 5 tithes.

1749 Tax List, Lunenburg Co., VA, between Hounds Creek and Meherrin River:
Henry COCKERHAM & Moses COCKERHAM, 4 tithes, 0 heads and scalps

1750 Tax List, Lunenburg Co., VA: Moses COCKERHAM, John STONE, & John WYNN, 5 tithes

Sept. 19, 1754. Will of Henry COCKERHAM of Lunenburg Co., VA, dated Sept. 19, 1754, proved May 3, 1757, names sons Henry and William, daughters Frances and Susannah. Execs: wife (name not given) & John HIX. Wits: John HIX, John SMITH, Moses COCKERHAM. (Lunenburg WB 1, p.182.)

Aug. 2, 1758. Joseph GENTRY to MOSES COCKERHAM, both of Lunenburg Co., 60 acres on lower side of Reed Creek & both sides Horsepen Branch, for £20, part of grant to Michal MACKEY dated June 13, 1743, since conveyed to Joseph MINER & by him to said GENTRY. Wits: Thomas PETTIS, John HIX. (Lunenburg DB 5, pp. 293-295.) Proved Aug. 1759 (ack&39;d).

Mar. 4, 1760. Boundary line between John HANNAH & Moses COCKERHAM processioned in the presence of Joseph GENTRY. Line between Moses COCKERHAM & Edward DOWSING processioned in the presence of Jos. GENTRY & Richard BROOKS. (Cumberland Parish Vestry Book, p.507.)

May 6, 1760. MOSES COCKERHAM witnessed a deed between George FARRAR & George JEFFERSON for 385 acres on Roanoke River. (Mecklenburg DB 6, p.34.)

Feb. 2, 1762. Joseph GENTRY, Planter, to Moses COCKERHAM, Planter, both of Lunenburg Co., VA, 68 acres, for £20, being part of two tracts, (1) being part of 350 acres granted June 13, 1740, to Michael MACKEY and (2) being part of a tract granted Dec. 16, 1760, to Daniel MASON, both sold to Joseph GENTRY. (Lunenburg DB 7, p.152.) Proved Feb. 1762 (ack&39;d).

1764 Tax List, Lunenburg Co., VA, Cumberland Parish: Moses COCKERHAM, William LEIGH, 2 tithes, 200 acres.

Dec. 12, 1767. Moses COCKERHAM witnessed a power of attorney given by Elizabeth WALLS to her brother Richard WITTON. (Mecklenburg DB 2, p.53.)

Dec. 14, 1769. Moses COCKERHAM of Mecklenburg Co., planter, to Jonathan PATTISON Sr. of Lunenburg and Cumberland Parish, merchant, for £80, a certain tract of land in Lunenburg Co. bounded by John HAWKINS, Phillip COCKERHAM, & Jonathan PATTESON, Jr., about 200 acres. Signed: Moses COCKERHAM. Wits: none. Elizabeth, wife of Moses COCKERHAM, relinquished her right of dower. (Mecklenburg DB 11, p.318).

1833 Map of Fishers River, Surry Co., NC

Fishers River, Surry Co., NC
from an 1833 map

Surry Co., NC

1771 Tax List, Surry Co., NC: MOSES COCKRAM

1772 Tax List, Surry Co., NC: MOSES COCKRAM

Aug. 11, 1774. Jacob BONN, Esq., binds unto Moses COCKERHAM a base born child of Jemima CROOK, aged 2, named Dudley CROOK, as apprentice until he is age 21. Wit: Jesse BENTON. Rec. Aug. 1774. (Surry WB 1, p.27.)

Aug. 27, 1777. Moses COCKERHAM and others purchased property from the estate of Ann ELLIOT. (Surry WB 1, p.87.)  Note this record record may be the source of the claim that Moses Cockerham was married to a woman named ELLIOT.  Purchasers at estate sales were often, though not always family members of the deceased.

Aug. 11, 1778. Moses COCKERHAM enters 300 acres in the Hollows on Rentfroe's Creek adj. James DOAK. (Surry Land Entry No. 424.)  Also described as being on both sides and in the fork of Little Fishers River under Fishers Knob. (Source: Joseph Winston His Entry Book by Agnes Wells (self-pub., 1987).)

Feb. 19, 1779. Moses COCKERHAM enters 250 acres on Little Fishers River beg. at his line running down the river to Thomas NORMAN. (Surry Land Entry No. 1424.)

Bet. 1778-1781. Moses COCKERHAM enters 100 acres on Fishers River joining his own [undated]. (Surry Land Entry No. 1678.)  (Source: Joseph Winston His Entry Book by Agnes Wells (self-pub., 1987).)

Bet. 1778-1781. Moses COCKERHAM enters 50 acres on both sides of Fishers River inc. his improvement [undated]. (Surry Land Entry No. 1915.)  (Source: Joseph Winston His Entry Book by Agnes Wells (self-pub., 1987).)

Apr. 3, 1780. State of NC to Moses COCKERHAM, 300 acres on Little Fish River. (Surry DB A, p.355.)  [Note, this grant was presumably the same 300 acre entry that he made on Aug. 11, 1778.]

1782 Tax List, Surry Co., NC. Moses COCKERHAM, 400 acres on Little Fishers River.

1784 State Census, Surry Co., NC: MOSES COCKERHAM
1 w/m 21-60
4 w/m under 21 or 60+
6 white females

1785 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Humphrey's Dist.: Moses COCKERHAM, 400 acres, 1 white poll, 1 black poll.

Feb. 19, 1785. Ordered that Moses COCKRAM, Joel KERBY, Edmond KERBY, Job MARTIN, Thomas SMITH, Esq., Wyatt GARNER, & John BURCH explore the Yadkin River from Wilkes County line to Rowan County line and mark best navigation for same, take notice of shoals and obstructions and expense of deepening the channel to 18 inches at low water for canoes or battaeux of 60 feet long and 6 or 8 feet wide. (Surry Court Minutes.)

May 13, 1785. Moses COCKRAM was a witness for Thomas CODY in the case of Thomas CODY vs. James SHEPPERD, paid for 150 miles travel, 12 days. (Surry Court Minutes.)

1786 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Humphre's Dist.: MOSES COCKRAM

Aug. 2, 1790. Moses COCKERHAM witnessed a deed from Thomas NORMAN to Henry NORMAN, 150 acres on Little Fishers River. (Surry DB E, p.80.)

1790 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.182: MOSES COCKRAM
3 white males over 16
2 white males under 16
4 white females
1 slave

May 4, 1795. Moses COCKERHAM's land on Little Fish River mentioned in a land grant to Gottlieb SHOBER. (Surry DB F, p.26.)

1800 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.710: MOSES COCKERHAM
1 w/m 16-25 2 w/f 16-25
1 w/m over 45 1 w/f over 45
no slaves  

Nov. 20, 1804. Moses COCKERHAM enters 100 acres on Fishers River adj. his own line. (Surry Land Entry No. 1678.)

Undated. Moses COCKERHAM enters 50 acres on both sides of Fishers River including his improvement. (Surry Land Entry No. 1915.)

1810 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.192: MOSES COCKERHAM
1 w/m 10-15 1 w/f 16-25
1 w/m over 45 1 w/f over 45
1 slave  

1812 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Underwood's Dist.: MOSES COCKERHAM, 200 acres, 1 poll

1815 Tax List, Surry Co., NC: Moses COCKERHAM, 500 acres on Fishers River.

1817 Tax List, Surry Co., NC: Moses COCKERHAM, 500 acres on Fishers River adj. Davis HOLDER.

Feb. 25, 1816. The will of Moses COCKERHAM, dated Feb. 25, 1816, proved Feb. term 1817, names wife Elizabeth; son Moses to have the grist mill until William Anderson Cockerham is age 21; the latter is the son of "my dec'd son, James." Also names a daughter, Susanna AUBERRY. Execs: son Moses COCKERHAM & Catlett SMITH. Wits: Mitchell THOMPSON, Elizabeth COCKERHAM. (Surry WB 3, p.124.)

1820 Census, Surry Co., NC: the household of Moses COCKERHAM, Jr., includes a white female over age 45; this might be Moses Jr.'s mother (widow of Moses Sr.).

Will of Moses Cockerham of Surry Co., NC

Dated Feb. 25, 1816; proved Feb. 1817
Surry Co., NC, Will Book 3, p.124
NC Archives File No. CR.092.801.6
Digital image

Note: the North Carolina Archives file contains two versions of Moses Cockerham's will.  The spelling "Cockram" is used in the original will, but "Cockerham" appears in the copy made by the clerk Joseph Williams.

I Moses COCKRAM of the County of Surry and State of North Carolina do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say,

First I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife ELIZABETH all my lands a grist mill together with the appertenances and emolumnets appertaining to the same also all my stock of horses cattle hogs sheep &c. together with all my household and kitchen furniture also all my plantation utensils in during of her natural life and after her decease for my well beloved son MOSES COCKRAM to have my grist mill with full priviledge to get timber any where on my lands to keep the same in repair until WILLIAM ANDERSON COCKRAM son of my son JAMES COCKRAM dec'd shall come of age or to the age of twenty one years old at which time my son MOSES COCKRAM right to sd. grist mill shall cease and all the tract of land together with the grist mill on which I now live supposed to contained two hundred acres be the same more or less to be enjoyed by him the said WILLIAM ANDERSON COCKRAM forever, but with this reserve that my son MOSES COCKRAM shall have the priviledge of holding the above named tract of lands after his mothers decease until the above named WILLIAM ANDERSON COCKRAM shall come of [age] but the sd. MOSES COCKRAM JUN. shall not be allowed to commit any waste by cutting more than is necessary for keeping the said plantation in good repair,

And after my wife ELIZABETHS decease I give and bequeath to my well beloved daughter SUSANNA AUBERRY one cow if any there should be, and all the rest of my estate if any there should be stock of all nature and kinds soever also all my household and kitchen furniture together with my plantation utensils and all and every part of the estate both real and personal if any there should be after my wife ELIZABETHS decease I give to my well beloved son MOSES COCKERHAM JUN. to be by him enjoyed forever.

Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son MOSES COCKRAM JUN. and Catlet SMITH executors to this my last will and testament revoking all former wills by me made in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty fifth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.

MOSES (X) COCKRAM (his mark)

Signed & acknowledged
in presents of
Mitchel THOMPSON Jurat
Elizabeth (X) COCKRAM (her mark)

State of North Carolina
Surry County

At a Court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions, begun and held for the County of Surry at the Court-House in Rockford on the 2nd Monday of February 1817

Whereas it appears to this court, that MOSES COCKERHAM late of said county, is deceased, and hath made a last will and testament in writing, which was exhibited into this court and duly proved, where he hath appointed MOSES COCKERHAM JUN. and Catlett SMITH his Executors; whereupon MOSES COCKERHAM one of said Executors as aforesaid, came into court and qualified as such agreeable to law.

These are therefore to authorise and empower the said MOSES COCKERHAM Executor as aforesaid, to take into his possession, all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits of the said deceased, wheresoever in this state to be found; and a true and perfect inventory thereof return on oath to the court aforesaid, within ninety days from the date of these presents; and all the just debts of the deceased to pay as far as said estate will extend or amount to.

Witness JOSEPH WILLIAMS Clerk of our said court, at his office in Rockford the 2nd Monday of February Anno Domini 1817 and in the 41st year of American Independence.