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Virginia Garland Moseley


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At a Glance

Probably the niece of William Dunn Mosely, first elected Governor of Florida after statehood.


Mary C. Engstrom states that Virginia Moseley was the daughter of the first elected governor of Florida after it attained statehood, William Dunn Moseley. This was an understandable assumption, as Virginia was from the same area of Florida as Gov. Moseley, but William Dunn Moseley did not have a daughter named Virginia,. He had seven children, one of whom died as a baby, so most biographical articles state that he had six children. According to Governor Moseley’s papers (see the attached copy of an email from an archivist with the Florida Historical Society), his children were William Green (presumably named for Mr. Moseley’s classmate at UNC). Elizabeth, Susan, Matthew, Alice, and Alexander. (Alexander’s connection to Virginia will be explained later!) Other sources I found noted that William Moseley’s daughters all had the middle name, “Hill,” which was his wife Susan’s maiden name.

William D. Mosely was born at Moseley Hall, in Lenoir County, NC in an area now called LaGrange. He had several brothers, and at least one of them, his older brother Joshua, moved to Florida. However, no listings under the household of Joshua Moseley include a child named Virginia. He was an 1818 graduate of the University of North Carolina and received an M.A. in 1821. He studied and qualified for the law, practiced in Wilmington and taught school. He also served in the state legislature for some years. He then moved to Florida and established himself there as a lawyer, politician, and landowner/farmer. In 1845 was elected its first Governor under Florida statehood, serving the one term allowed under the state Constitution.

The 1850 census listings for Leon County, Florida, where Governor Moseley’s citrus plantation and residence were located, lists him and three of his children, Alexander, Mathew, and Susan. The same census also includes a listing for three Moseley girls living in the household of Jacob Elliott, 44, a physician, and Susan Elliott, 65, presumably his mother or older sister. The Moseley girls in that household are Virginia, 12, Betsy, 10, and Mary, 7. This is the only Virginia Moseley mentioned in the 1850 US Census for Florida.

Jefferson County split off from Leon County and so some of the residences seem to change counties from one census to the next.

The same family of three sisters, Virginia, Elizabeth/Betsy, and Mary Mosely, appear in the 1860 Census for Wakulla (sp?) County, page 12, of a district whose name is illegible to me. Wakulla County is adjacent to Leon County. The girls were listed as living with their father, John G. Moseley, a physician. Dr. Moseley and his daughters were listed with the household of William N. Taylor, farmer, his wife Elizabeth and their four young children. William Taylor, Dr. Moseley and all of his daughters list their birthplace as North Carolina, while Mrs. Taylor and the children were born in Florida.

I learned from an email from Bettie Hamrick, a descendant of Joshua Moseley, Governor Moseley’s brother who later moved to Florida, that William D. Moseley’s youngest child, Alexander, born in 1839 and called “Zander,” married a “Mary Moseley,” the daughter of “John G. Moseley,” but as far as my correspondent knows, it has not been learned what relation John Moseley was to William D. Moseley.

Mrs. Hamrick states:

Zander was married to Mary Moseley, Leon Co. Marriage License on 28 Mar. 1867. Mary Moseley was evidently the daughter of John G. Moseley and Rachel Elliot. (from a Moseley genealogy, “The Descendants of William Moseley 1605/1606-1655 of Norfolk, VA , Vol “ by 4 authors in 2000.

Mrs. Hamrick also notes that John G. Moseley was not William Moseley’s brother, as the names of Gov. Moseley’s siblings are known, but they were both from the same area of North Carolina and had to have been connected in some way.

Since Mary, Virginia and Elizabeth were the daughters of John Moseley and Rachel Elliot, we might guess that Jacob Elliot, who was caring for the girls in 1850, could have been their mother Rachel’s brother and therefore the girls’ uncle. Gov. Moseley mentions Jacob Elliott in his writings in 1850, as having come to him with news of his (Governor Moseley’s) sister’s death, so we can assume they were well acquainted and perhaps related (see letter from Betty Hamrick below). Perhaps John Moseley was away on business for an extended period during 1850 which would explain why his daughters were listed in another household.

It is likely that Mary Mosely, who married Zander Moseley, was the younger sister of Virginia, and that Virginia, daughter of Dr. John Moseley, was the Burwell student..

Virginia appears in an entry in the autograph book of Burwell student Mary Easley of Virginia. The autograph book dates from around 1851 and one of the entries is “Lou Virginia Moseley,” Centerville, Florida. (Centerville is in Leon County, where Gov. Moseley and the Virginia Moseley of the Elliot household lived.)

A family tree posted on provides information on Virginia’s marriage and children: three separate postings agree that she was born on October 10, 1837, in LaGrange, NC (formerly called Moseley Hall). She was named Virginia Garland Moseley. These family trees state that she became the third wife of George Granger Gibbs in Habersham County, Georgia on March 5, 1874. She would have been 37 years old. The same family trees state that she had four children:

Rose R. Gibbs, Dec. 10, 1874 (almost precisely nine months after her marriage….!); died at two years of age

George Theodore Gibbs, April 26, 1876

Mary Moseley Gibbs, June 12, 1878, clearly named for Virginia’s sister Mary

Bessie Alexander Gibbs, February 25, 1881, perhaps named for sister Betsie and Uncle Zander?

The user-submitted family tree states that Virginia died in 1908 in Tallahassee, Florida.

In the 1880 census George Gibbs is listed as a farmer and Virginia (41)“keeps house,” in District 88 of Leon County, Florida, page 45 of the census record. Three children are with them: Theodore, 4, Mary, 2, and Charles, 12. (I believe Charles was a son from George’s previous marriage).

In the 1900 Census for Leon County, Florida, District 11, page 7: George Gibbs, 63, born in Georgia; Virginia M. Gibbs, 62, born in North Carolina; and two children, Theodore, 24, and Bessie, 18.

Supporting Documents:

Interesting subtext regarding a brother of Gov. Moseley, Joshua, who stayed on at Moseley Hallin NC, then moved to Florida:

The following excerpt is from the transcribed records of Bear Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Lenoir County, NC, placed on a collection of historic documents called USGenweb, on a website called, and submitted by Martha Mewborn Marble.

“A letter found between pages 34 & 35

Madison Sept 27, 1859

NOTE: Joshua Mosely moved to Jefferson County, Florida – an abstract

Brother Dawson,

Refers to Dawson’s letter of the 19th – refers to 6 acres of land & all

land around it belonged to my father who did a Quit Claim deed to old Bear

Creek Baptist Church – 6 acres for a meeting house – the Church did not live

up to its sides & the deed null & void – guess the 6 acres belongs to me now,

it was part of 1000 acres given to me by the Will of my father & acknowledged

by a Quit Claim from my brother William – if present members would erect a

Church I am agreeable – is there strife among your members – some one has

offered to buy this land so there would not be a Church – it would be an

injustice to Sister Walters or her son to sell the adj tract

Signed – Joshua Mosely

PS – my health is better, wife in good health, children scattered to the 4

winds – son Baaz in south Fla to route the Indians, son Algernon has gone

to Kansas, two daughters one is up north and one in SC

DEED – Lenoir County

NOTE: The deed is torn

15 July 1806 - Matthew Moseley of Lenoir Co as a donation to the

Predistinarian Baptist on Bear Creek – a tract on ES Bear Creek adj Lewis

Whitfield’s mill land – 6 acres – for a building of worship of God – can cut

timber, build wells and make improvements

signed Matthew Moseley

WIT Bryan Whitfield, B ??? Skinner, L. Whitfield

Jan Court 1809

Enrolled 15 Jan 1809 by Jas. Bright, Regr

Sat Before 1st Sun March 1878 – Bro Alexander Dawson joined

Sat Before 1st Sun June 1878 – Sister Susan Taylor joined

Sat Before 1st Sun Nov 1878 – Sister Sallie Dawson rejoined

Sat Before 1st Sun Feb 1879 – Bro Lewis Uzzell given letter of dismissal to

join another church in good standing

Sat Before 1st Sun May 1879 – sister Alice Smith joined July 1879 – Bro.

E. C. Smith joined

Sat Before 1st Sun Feb 1880 – Bro Y ??? Dawson & Sister E. Dawson to join

Rose of Sharon Church

Sat Before 1st Sun Sept 1880 – sister Mattie Baker joined


Copyright. All rights reserved.

This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by

Martha Mewborn Marble -


Email to Kate Faherty, March 12, 2008:

Dear Kate Faherty:

I have a typescript of a Diary and other papers of William D. Moseley, 1848-1856. It is the transcription done by the Historical Records Survey of 1938--part of the WPA. The original manuscript was owned by Susan Moseley Moragne. Finding names of important people's children is hard but I lucked out. He grew up at Moseley Hall, North Carolina and attended school at Spring Hill Academy. In the diary Governor Moseley lists all of his 7 children and there is no Virginia. He married Susan Hill in May of 1822. He graduated from Chapel Hill in 1818 He studied law beginning in 1819 and started his practice in 1820. His wife died in Florida at age 37 on March 7th, 1842 at Monticello, Florida. He had a son William Green, another son born in 1826 who died in 1829. His third child was a daughter Elizabeth and then a daughter named Susan, then a son Matthew and his 6th child was a daughter Alice and his 7th child a son named Alexander. There is no Virginia Moseley listed.

Virginia could have been his niece. Governor Moseley had several brothers who appeared to live in in Florida also. His brothers were named Alexander--who died in 1846 in Madison Florida. He also had 3 other brothers, Jonathan, Joshua and Matthew. A J. Moseley is listed as a teacher in Putnam County Florida.

I am sorry that I could not find Virginia for you. Look in Putnam County Florida records on line--maybe she is there. Good luck.

Debra Wynne, Archivist

Florida Historical Society

435 Brevard Avenue

Cocoa, Florida 32922

PH: 321-690-1971 ext. 211


Email from Elizabeth, (Bettie) Hamrick

Bradenton Florida

Descendant of Joshua Moseley

Author of Biography of William D. Moseley

April 15, 2008

Dear Kathleen,

Linda Smith forwarded your letter to me concerning Virginia Moseley of Centerville, FL. I cannot give you a clear cut answer, but I will tell you some relative information.

The children of Wm. Dunn Moseley are listed by him in his diary and there is no Virginia. He had two sons. I know absolutely nothing about the children of his oldest son., Wm Greene. The son, Alexander called Zander by his father was born in Florida on 6 July 1839. His mother died when he was three. This means Mrs. Moseley was not living when Wm. Dunn was governor. Alexander was in the CSA for Florida, was captured at Gettysburg and was held in Johnson Island Prison (as was his Uncle Joshua's son Algernon Sydney Moseley, captured at Missionary Ridge) .Zander was married to Mary Moseley , Leon Co. Marriage License on 28 Mar. 1867, Mary Moseley was evidentially the daughter of John G. Moseley and Rachel Elliot. (from a Moseley genealogy). The Descendants of William Moseley 1605/1606-1655 of Norfolk, VA , Vol I) by 4 authors in 2000. Alexander (Zander) is buried in Tallahassee, either in the Old Cemetery in downtown Tallahassee or in St. Johns, Tallahassee. I do not know who is buried with him, but that could probably be found out, from a Cemetery Book.

Who is John G. Mosely? That is a mystery to me and the folks who wrote that genealogy I quoted. He is not a son of Matthew Moseley, father of Wm. D.. He not a grandson of Matthew.

Who are the Elliots? In Gov Wm. Dunn Moseley's diary He writes  " 15 July 1850. Jacob Elliot came and told me of my sister Maria, who died in Sanford (Sampson) Co. N.C. Tues. July 30 1850."  In another entry he writes  "Sent horses home by Bob Elliot".

I was given some clippings by a descendant of one of Wm. D. Moseley's sisters. In them there is a mention of Joseph Elliot, principal of Spring Hill Academy, and another where he said, or it was said that he, Wm. D. Moseley, was at UNC with John Elliot.

When Alexander Moseley Collins died in Ocala, FL several years ago, his obit stated that he was a great grandson of Gov. Moseley. He was the 5th child of Joel Walter Collins and Rachel Moseley Collins.

Maybe Virginia was a sister to Mary Moseley who married Zander. Incidentally Centerville is in Leon County, but the Governor lived at Miccasoukee in Jefferson County. They were not far apart, nevertheless.

In the Gov.'s diary he sends money for two of his daughter's expenses, and neither is to Hillsborough. I have not had time to look the Elliots up on the 1850 census.

We have just moved from our home of 50 years to a seven story apartment on the Manatee River. We have downsized to three rooms and fitting in our  "stuff"  is hard and time consuming.

I descend from Wm. D's brother Joshua, who is mentioned often in the diary I have mentioned. He came to Florida in 1848. I did a supplemental in USD1812 on Joshua, and went into the Jamestowne Society on Arthur. Linda said that you might have an 1812 Ancestor. There is a NC book which lists those who served from NC.

Sorry that I cannot identify Virginia Moseley. Hope I have helped somewhat.

Sincerely, Betty Hamrick 1533 4th Ave, W., Apt. 216, Bradenton, FL 34205

(Elizabeth McRae Hamrick--- Mrs. David)


1860 Census for Florida

THE GIBBS SURNAME DNA PROJECT?Y-Line 21: Isaac Gibbs of Thomas Gibbs -born 26 Apr 1752 in Lebanon Crank, CT As Submitted By: Peggy Gibbs Burton:


“Leon County Florida Confederate Pension Application Files Index”

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Cathy Burnsed,

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information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial

entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These

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extracted from:


Kate Faherty

April, 2008

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Virginia Garland Moseley was born on October 10, 1837. She died on November 6, 1908.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended