History of Neriah Lewis and Mary Moss Family
The Neriah Lewis and Mary Moss family consisted of twelve children born between 1800 and 1820. The fact that five of Neriah and Mary's sons joined the LDS Church is an indication they came from a good home. Neriah and Mary moved with their family from Pendleton District, South Carolina to Simpson County, Kentucky in 1810. The Lewis family were successful farmers and they worked well together, clearing the land and doing the many tasks that had to be done by those who lived on the land. They were also coopers by trade and made wooden buckets, churns, tubs, and barrels. There were eight boys and four girls in the family. When Ann and Martha, the two oldest, were married that left only Elizabeth to help her mother. The youngest child, Mary, was too young to work. Reading from a short history of their son, David Lewis, it is seen how they solved the problem of more help for mother - "When I was twelve years old I was taken from the farm to aid my mother as my two oldest sisters, Ann and Martha, had married and left home. I was put to cording and spinning cotton, as it was common for women to make their own wearing apparel in that country. I soon become skilled in that business so I could even best my grown sisters at cording and spinning. I was also trained at the wash tub cooking and all common house-work and spent three years of my time in helping my mother in this way. This was not common employment for boys or men folks in that country so I often felt embarrassed when neighbors came in, but at about fifteen I again went to the field."
The five brothers of this family who joined the LDS Church were Benjamin, Tarlton, Beason, David, and Neriah.
The only one of these five who did not come west with the Latter-day Saints was Benjamin; he was killed at the Haun's Mill Massacre, Caldwell County, Missouri in 1838. His wife, Joannah, died in 1846. Beason became the guardian of his brother Benjamin's children, bringing them to Utah in 1847.
Much of the temple ordinance work done on the Lewis line was done as a result of the research of Mrs. Alice Houts, who lived in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a descendant of Hannah Lewis, who was a daughter of David Lewis and Ann Beason. Mrs. Houts was not a member of the LDS Church, but spent over 50 years doing Lewis research and passed much of her findings to such Lewis family genealogists as Grace McBride Larson and Laura McBride Smith. Mrs. Houts spent many months in Virginia, North and South Carolina, working on the problems and searching for the records of the children, grandchildren, and ancestors of John Lewis who married Priscilla Brooks, who were the grandparents of Neriah Lewis Sr. Another Lewis family genealogist who has done much on our Lewis and allied lines is Jessie Layton Ewing.
Neriah Lewis, son of David Lewis and Ann Beason, was born 25 June 1778 in Guilford County, North Carolina. He married Mary Moss, daughter of Samuel Moss and Rachel Julian. She was born 29 October 1775. Neriah and Mary lived in Pendleton District, South Carolina. Pendleton District become Anderson County in 1826. Their first six children were born while they were still living in Pendleton District. In 1810 they left South Carolina and settled in Simpson County, Kentucky, were six more children were born, making a total of twelve children. The Lewis family were farmers and Neriah and Mary taught their children the value of work.
An excerpt from the diary of David Lewis, son of Neriah Lewis and Mary Moss - "My father had four hundred acres of beautiful land, about one large double house (two story) on a public road three miles East of the town of Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. A beautiful yard surrounded the house, about one acre square, neatly covered with blue grass. Two beautiful mulberry trees and one beautiful cedar tree growing in the South yard. Beautiful cherry trees grew on the out edge of the yard one rod distance from each other. These mulberry and cherry trees bore splendid fruit. A beautiful orchard on the west which joined the yard and in it were most all the varieties of fruit that were common for the country. My father was a large man weighing about 330 pounds and my mother was a large woman weighing about 240 pounds." Neriah and Mary provided a very comfortable living for their large family. Though not affiliated with any religion they were good, honest, and hard working people, which virtues they passed on to their children and descendants. Five of their sons joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The later years of Neriah and Mary were spent in Macoupin County, Illinois, where Neriah died on 27 November 1843 and his wife, Mary, followed in 1844. Their first six children were born in Pendleton District, South Carolina and the last six were born in Simpson County, Kentucky.