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Ursula "Ursey" Webb Greer
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Birth: 1797
Rocky Mount
Franklin County
Virginia, USA
Death: Nov. 18, 1880
Rocky Mount
Franklin County
Virginia, USA

Ursula was the daughter of Theoderick F. Webb [formerly Theoderick Fitzgerald] and Sarah Huff.

She married Rev. Thomas B. Greer in Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA on 6 Mar 1816.

Ursula's father had been baptized into the Primitive Baptist church by Ursula's future husband Thomas B. Greer's brother, Rev. Moses Greer, who also baptized Thomas. Ursula would also later be baptized into the church, probably by either Moses or by Thomas himself, who at some point either before or after his marriage received ordination.

The Primitive Baptists were a strict, uncompromising sect, strict Calvinists, the old "hard shell" Baptists. They believed (and still do) in the total depravity of human nature, the ‘final perseverance' of the saints, baptism by immersion, and the foot washing ritual. They broke away from the main body of Baptists over the issue of missionary societies, Sunday schools, and the use of instrumental music in church – among other things. The Primitives opposed all of these. They also discouraged the idea of an educated clergy, believing that an ignorant man was more likely to be imbued with the true faith than a learned one.

The anti-missionary movement arose suddenly about 1820 in at least nine different Christian denominations, although it was mainly attributed to the frontier Baptists. It arose as a reaction against a growing tendency in the east of the larger denominations to establish central seminaries, missionary societies, and Sunday school curriculums and to send out ‘missionaries' to win converts from other denominations. The smaller sects feared that they would be overwhelmed and even predicted the re-establishment of an ‘orthodox' Christianity and loss of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion. The minorities reacted by withdrawing from interdenominational associations, the Primitives becoming perhaps the most isolated. They even managed to estrange themselves from other Baptist by the severity of their doctrine. Regular ‘missionary' Baptists were willing to concede the benefit of some education for the clergy and saw nothing wrong with trying to win converts from other denominations.

Thomas represented Franklin County in the Virginian General Assembly, as did his father and later his son, Moses Theodrick Greer.

He and Ursula were well off, as shown by the 1820 census enumerating twelve slaves in their household. They did not have any children:

1820 census, Franklin Co., VA, pg 145
Thomas B. Greer
one male age 26-44 - Thomas
one female age 16-25 - Ursula
Slaves (11 total)
one male age over 45
one male age 26-44
one female age 26-44
one male age 14-25
three females age 14-25
four males age under 14

1827 – Thomas's mother Nancy (Bailey) Greer died.

By 1830, they had four children and fifteen slaves:

1830 census, Franklin Co., VA
Thomas B. Greer
one male age 40-49 - Thomas
one female age 30-39 - Ursula
one male age 5-9 - Ursula Jane
one female age 5-9 - William & Moses
two males age under 5 - Thomas Jr.
Slaves (15 total) one male age 55-99
one male age 39-54
one age 24-35
one female age 24-35
three males age 10-23
two females age 10-23
two males age under 10
four females age under 10
Free blacks in house one male age 24-35

12 Dec 1831 – Franklin Co., MO Thomas witnessed a deed for Joel and George Walker with three of his brothers-in-law:
Signed and sealed and acknowledged Joel Walker Seal
In The presence of us
Bird S. Webb
Creed T. Webb
Harvey Claytor
T.B. Greer

In 21 Jan 1832, Franklin Co., VA - Thomas witnessed a will:
Will of John Webster, 1832 John Webster ( seal)
T. B. Greer
David Webster
John Webster
2nd day of December 1833 - he confirmed he had witnessed it.

1834 - Thomas's father Moses Greer died.

Thomas and Ursula's family first six children were all born in Virginia. By the late 1830's, due to economic conditions in the state, many of their friends and family were beginning to move west, especially to Missouri. A large wagon train of them set off to settle in Monroe Co., MO, in 1838.

According to source "From Pioneer Families of Franklin County, Virginia", Thomas and Ursula went west to Missouri with the 1838 wagon train:
"In 1838, he and his wife joined a caravan of covered wagons to Monroe County, Missouri. There he lived out the remainder of his life, died and was buried."

However, they went in 1840 with a different wagon train of friends and relatives.

Thomas and Ursula eventually decided to follow the tide, and made the trek west to the same place in the spring of 1840. The trail they took was probably identical to that of the 1838 wagon train with which Thomas' nephew Samuel Greer and his family traveled, a description of which is found in Marshall Wingfield's 1964, "Pioneer Families of Franklin Co., VA":

‘Samuel W. Greer and his family left Franklin County September 11, 1838, in company with Webbs, Pollards and others numbering nearly a hundred, including several slaves. They drove over the Alleghany Mountains, through Tennessee and Kentucky, crossed the Ohio River at Parker's Ferry into Gallatin County, Illinois, and crossed the Mississippi River at Alton. They reached Monroe Co., Missouri, on the thirty-first day of October, 1838, making the whole trip in wagons.

Thomas and Ursula settled down southwest of the Monroe county seat of Paris in Jackson township among numerous family and friends from Virginia.

Thomas's sister Elizabeth and her husband James Calloway [son of Col. James Calloway] came. Elizabeth (Greer) Calloway died 7 Mar 1856 in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri.

Thomas's sister Molly and her husband Chattin Doggett Pollard also came to Monroe Co., MO. Husband died Oct 1843 in Monroe Co., MO. By Mar 1845, Molly was back in Bledsoe Co., TN. By Apr 1855, she was back in Franklin Co., VA.

The 1840 census shows that Thomas and Ursula left most of their slaves back in Virginia - one hopes so that they weren't separated from family owned by other households. In Missouri they had only five, what looks like a mother and her four children. Most households in Monroe Co., MO had none; the largest slaveholder in 1840 had only 34:

1840 census, Monroe Co., MO, Jackson Township, pg 138
[listed next door to a L.W. Greer, age 40-50]
T. B. Greer
one male age 50-59 - Thomas B.
one female age 40-50 - Ursula
one male age 15-19 - Ursula Jane
one female age 15-19 - William
two males age 10-14 - Moses & Thomas
two males age 5-9 - John & Walter
5 slaves
One female 24-35
Two males under 10
Two females under 10

In Mar 1841, Thomas gave security for Ursula's brother, Bird S. Webb, when he became guardian their sister's orphan children when their father, Robert M. Beard died.

Beard, Amanda, Robert & Harvey, minor heirs of Robert M. Beard, decd. Guardian, Bird S. Webb. Sec., Thomas B. Greer & Henry Howell. 11 Mar 1841. (i66) Robert M. & Harvey C. Beard, minor heirs of Robert M. Beard, decd. G&C, John C. Beard. Sec, Bird S. Webb. 5 Mar 1850. (2-115)

In 1841, Thomas became the pastor of the Primitive Baptist Middle Fork Church in or near Paris. He remained in that position until his death in 1845:
Church and Family History Research Assistance for Monroe County, Missouri CHURCHES: MIDDLE FORK (CEDAR GROVE)
"Middle Fork Church, near the Paris Covered Bridge, was organized May 7, 1831...
The church was originally called Bethlehem, but the following April (1832) the name was changed to Middle Fork of Salt River. The original meeting house was in the town of Paris, on the bank of the Middle Fork of Salt River. Elder Edward Turner was the first pastor, John Curry was the first clerk, and Isaac Coppeage and John Hocker were the first deacons.
The Two River Association was organized October 1838, by Middle Fork, Lunies Creek, South River, Flint Hill, Bear Creek, Clear Creek, Elk Fork, Ebenezer, Saverton and Providence churches. Things went along in peace and prosperity until 1840, when the contention became so great over the modern mission system that Middle Fork Church divided. After the division, both factions of the church met in the same building for some time...
Pastors of the church included Elders Edward Turner (1831), Anderson Woods (1836), Thomas Greer (1841), John L. Linsey (1845)..."

Cedar Grove Cemetery
Originally compiled by: Carl Moss Bounds and Susie Boone Bryan Bounds from original permits and monuments in the cemetery in July 1967.
"The Cedar Grove Primitive Baptist Church was organized at the home of Eli Bozarth on May 7, 1831. There were 19 members. The first church building was inside Paris, a log building located at the south entrance to the covered bridge; the second building was a brick structure. Later a split occurred between the missionary and the non-missionary members and after using the same house of worship for a time, the non-missionary members sold their interest in the building and built what is now the Second Baptist Church of Paris. Later this was sold to the Negro Baptists and the congregation moved to the present Cedar Grove location."

About 1842, Thomas's and Ursula's seventh and last child, a girl they nicknamed "Kitty", was born.

Thomas and Ursula lived less than five years in their new home, working to build up Thomas's new congregation (almost certainly still without a church building) and seeing their eldest son, William, married and eldest daughter Ursula Jane married to the son of a fellow Baptist Virginian ex-patriate. Thomas died in January of 1845. He was buried in the Baptist cemetery on the farm of Ursula's brother, Bird S. Webb.

Ursula, presumably unhappy in the unpolished frontier community or perhaps just wanting to obtain a better education for her children still at home, returned to Virginia with the younger children. She likely traveled that same year with her nephew? Robert J. Webb and his family when they returned to Virginia in December 1845.

From "Pioneer Families of Franklin County, Virginia," 1935 by Marshall Wingfield, page 92:
"The following children of Thomas Bailey Greer: Thomas Bailey, John Henry, Moses Theoderick, Walter Callaway, and Catherine Bailey returned with their mother to Rocky Mount where they lived in a house on Main Street, later owned by the heirs of Mrs. Maria Turnbull. Thomas Bailey, John Henry, and Moses Theoderick Greer became physicians and practiced in different sections of Franklin (County, Virginia)."

Ursula and her children were living in Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA in 1850:

1850 census, Franklin Co., VA, pg. 59B
Ursula Greer, 50, born VA
Moses T., 20, Merchant, $1,000, VA
John H., 17, VA
Walter C., 15, VA,
Catherine E., 7, MO

[two doors away]
Ann J. Greer, 29, Postmaster, $1,200
James E., 9
George, 5

Ursula in the Civil War - I haven't been able to find Ursula on the 1860 census. Presumably she was still living in Rocky Mount. Her son Walter, a doctor, in had been married in 1859 in Missouri where he had apparently gone back to rejoin his older brother William, who was also a doctor. Walter served in the Union army, in the 32nd Missouri Infantry, while his brother John served as a surgeon in the Confederate army – truly a case of brothers serving on opposite sides of the war. Ursula's daughter Kitty was reputed to have led a group of girls out dancing on her school campus to welcome the arrival of a unit of Confederate troops.

The war brought a great many changes to Rocky Mount:
"Rocky Mount's population was depleted as many people and resources were drawn off to support conflict during the Civil War. The close of the war brought freedom for one-third of Rocky Mount's residents who sought employment and new opportunities for advancement locally. The 1870 census shows black residents in and around Rocky Mount primarily as farm laborers with a few domestic servants, a blacksmith and a farmer who owned his land and equipment."

In 1870, Ursula lived with her physician son Thomas and his wife Celestia:

1870 census, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA, p. 416
Thomas B. Greer, 43, Physician, $5,000 $7,000, VA
Celestia A., 38, keeps house
Charles, 17
Emily, 14
Thomas, 11
Crockett, 8
Norborne, 2
Ursula Greer, 72, no occupation

Ursula's decision to return to Virginia had turned out to be a wise one for her children. Four of her and Thomas's sons became doctors; the fifth a painter (artist or house painter?). Thomas' namesake, Thomas Bailey Greer, Jr., would serve as a representative in the Virginia Legislature.

She was living with her youngest daughter Kittie in 1880:

1880 census, Franklin Co., VA, Snow Creek, p. 182D
Zachariah T. Wade, 33, farmer, VA VA VA
Kittie B., 35, VA VA VA
Celestie D., 6, VA
Emma T., 4, VA
Eva K., 2, VA
Ursula Greer, 82, VA

Ursula died in Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA, on 18 Nov 1880. Her death was recorded by Fairmont Baptist Church at Dillon's Mill, of which she was a member.


1. Dr. William Armistead Burwell Greer, b. 1821, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; m. 2 Aug 1842, Monroe Co, MO to Mary F. Mason [b. 1822, KY; d. after 1891, Macon Co., MO]; he d. 1880-91, New Cambria, Macon Co., MO; obituary exists, but haven't seen.

2. Ursula Jane Greer, b. 24 Jun 1824, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; m. 16 Aug 1842, Monroe Co., MO, to Walker Wright [son of Larkin and Nancy Ann (Sebree) Wright]; she d. 21 Jun 1866, Monroe Co., MO; buried Webb cemetery.

3. Dr. Thomas Bailey Greer, b. 10 Feb 1827, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; m. 1st Celestia Taliaferro; m. 2nd 16 May 1883, Franklin Co., VA to Mrs. Katherine Frederick [widow of Col. Fred Claiborne of SC and daughter of Nathaniel H. Claiborne and Elizabeth A. __]; he d. 26 Dec 1891, Franklin, VA; buried High Street Cemetery, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA.

4. Dr. Moses Theodorick Greer, b. Oct 1829, Franklin Co., VA; m. Louisa J. Thompson [b. 1833 VA; d. 1880-1900, Blackwater, Franklin Co., VA]; 1900 living in Blackwater Dist., Franklin Co., VA; d. 1904, Paris, Monroe County, MO; buried Willis Family cemetery, near Paris, Monroe County, MO.

5. Dr. John Henry Greer, b. May 1833, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; m. 1st c. 1855, Franklin Co., VA to Maria Webb [1st cousin, d/o Creed T. & Mahala F. (Booth) Webb. Creed was son of Theodorick B. & Sallie (Huff) Webb]; 2nd m. 12 Jul 1865, Franklin Co., VA to Elizabeth Mosby Wade [sister of Kitty Greer's husband and daughter of Henry Wade and Elizabeth Patterson. Elizabeth (Patterson) Wade married 2nd to Ramsey Webb, son of Theodorick F. Webb and Nancy Tate]; he d. 6 Oct 1905, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; buried High Street Cemetery, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA.
Civil War served in Patrol Guard 11 Cong. Dist. (Mounted.)

6. Walter Callaway Greer, b.c. 1835, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; m. 12 May 1859, Macon City, MO, to Martha Elizabeth Craig; d. after 1880, Macon Co., MO. Returned to Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA, with mother after father's death in 1845? Haven't found on 1860 census. He served with the Union army during the Civil War.

7. Catherine "Kitty" Bailey Greer, b. Oct 1842, Monroe Co., MO; m. 2 Oct 1871, Franklin Co., VA to Zachary Taylor Wade [b. Jan 1849, VA; son of Henry Wade and Julia Patterson]; she d. after 1900, prob. Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA; almost certainly buried with husband in High Street cemetery, Rocky Mount, Franklin Co., VA. 
Family links: 
  Theodorick Fitzgerald Webb (1771 - 1807)
  Sarah Huff Walker (1772 - 1855)
  Thomas Bailey Greer (1783 - 1845)*
  William Armistead Burwell Greer (1821 - 1890)*
  Ursula Jane Greer Wright (1826 - 1866)*
  Thomas Bailey Greer (1827 - 1881)*
  Moses Theodorick Greer (1829 - 1904)*
  John Henry Greer (1832 - 1904)*
  Walter Callaway Greer (1835 - 1890)*
  Catherine Bailey Greer Wade (1842 - 1918)*
  Nancy C. Webb Beard (1794 - 1841)*
  Ursula Webb Greer (1797 - 1880)
  Theodorick F. Webb (1800 - 1885)*
  Bird S. Webb (1802 - 1870)*
  Creed T. Webb (1803 - 1868)*
*Calculated relationship
High Street Cemetery
Rocky Mount
Franklin County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Bev Golden
Record added: Jun 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70749878
Ursula Ursey <i>Webb</i> Greer
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Robert Lawrence McKillip
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


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