- Born: Abt 1665, Northampton Co., VA
- Marriage (1): John Smock about 1667
- Marriage (2): Henry Read in 1693-1695 in Somerset Co., MD
- Marriage (3): Thomas Morris about 1705 in Somerset Co., MD
- Died: 04 Jan 1721-02 Jun 1721, Somerset Co., MD 1
From "Feminine Power and Widowhood - Case Study of Parthenia Ennis Smock Read Morris - Colonial Women" by Katie Ross at the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD: "...Parthenia was the daughter of William Ennis, Sr., a prosperous planter who had come to the colonies from England in 1635. She had four brothers, William, Nathaniel, Samuel, and Cornelius; and two sisters, Francis and Percy. The Ennis family moved to Somerset County from Virginia by August of 1674 where William enhanced his reputation by becoming a justice of the peace in 1677. The Ennis family also enhanced its social connections by marrying into several prominent families. Samuel, Cornelius, and Percy all married into the Smith family while Francis married the wealthy Thomas Poynter. The Ennis children also remarried, often among the same families. For example, when Samuel Ennis died, Mary Smith married Thomas Morris. This same Morris was later to become Parthenia Ennis' third husband.
Yet there was more to social networking than marriage ties. Family members often interacted concerning legal matters and exchanges. For example, John Smock, Parthenia's first husband, purchased a parcel of land called Cannarnee [sic] in 1679. This land was adjacent to land owned by Parthenia's father, William Ennis, Sr. A year later, John assigned the land to Parthenia's brother Nathaniel Ennis. Such interaction indicates that marital ties could be reinforced by ties of land. Moreover, the geographical proximity of relatives and their spouses maintained the overall unity of family, both nuclear and extended. Other ties included acting as legal witnesses, as with the will of Edward Smith, Jr. Married to Percy Ennis, Edward included his "brother Samuel Innis" who was married to Edward's sister, Mary, as well as to Nathaniel Ennis, who acted as executor in his will. Furthermore, in 1694, an indentured was struck between Thomas Morris, Cornelius Ennis, and their wives, Mary and Elizabeth Smith involving the sale of land that had belonged to Edward Smith, Sr."
A case appears in the Somerset records of 1695 involving Parthenia Read that suggests she marries Henry Read sometime between 1693 and 1695: "John Cornish Gent. plt.; Henry Reed &a dft. Henry Reed & Perthenia his Wife was attached to answer unto John Cornish Mercct of a plea of Trespass on the Case &ca '97And whereupon the sd John by Peter Dent his Attorney Complains yt whereas the Said Perthenia ye 21th day of November in the year of our Lord 1693 at Pocomoke within the Jurisdiction of this Court by her Certain Note in wrighting Subscribed with the propper hand of her the sd Perthenia assumed on her Self & to the Said John faithfully promisse, that she the sd Perthenia to the the sd Jno would well & truely Content & pay all Such Sum or Sums of tobacco as was then owing unto the sd John Cornish from one John Smock late of this County deceased as by the sd Note may appear and the sd Jno Cornish Saith that the sd Jno Smock at the time of his death was indebted to the sd John Cornish ye full Sum of Eighteen hundred & fifty five pounds of tobacco for Sundry goods & Merchandizes by the sd John Cornish to the sd John Smock in his life time Sold & delivered as by an accot of the Same here in Court produced may appear and the Said Perthenia in manner afd being indebted, did assume upon herself & to the Said John Cornish faithfully promise that She ye Said Perthenia would well & truely the said 1455 Pounds of tobacco would well & truely Content & pay Nevertheless the sd Perthenia ye the sd Sum of tobacco to the sd John Cornish while she was Sole & unmarried, Nor the sd Henry & Perthenia Since the marriage between them had & Sollemnized nor either of them, the Same to the sd Jno Cornish hath not paid, but hath hitherto refused & doth still refuse to the damage of the sd Jno Cornish of 3000 pounds of tob & thereupon he brings his Sute &ca. Jno Doe Dent pr Quer Pledgs &ca Rich Roe And the Defendt by Saml Alexander their Attorney Saith Non assumpsit in manner & forme, & of this they put themselves upon ye Court, Sam Alexander
And the Plt Saith she did assume &ca Dent Dr John Cornish.
// 9ber ye 21th 1693 //
Sr/ yours I recd & in answer there unto these Serve to Informe yw that I am not Willing to put you to any Charge in Seeking what is justly due to you by law, but however am willing before I pay yr demand to receive from yw a note of prticulers of what goods my husband had of you, and as Soon as I am Satisfied what it is for Shall readily give Order to you or your order upon those which owe it to me. In the meantime I take leave & Rest.
your friendly Srvt, Perthenia Smock. //
Maryland. 1691 // Oweth
Mrs Perthenia Smock Widdow of mr Jno Smock deceased lb tob.
April 29th- To one Bible & a Book of Cometts -------- 170
to 4 yds Sarge 160lb & 2 pcs tape 60lb ---------- 220
to so much pd mr Wale yr Order ----------------- 096
to one frying pann ---------------------------------- 060
to one pr wool Cards: 75lb. 2 qr papr . 60lb --------- 135
to one Ivory Comb 30lb . 3 axes 120lb ------------------ 150
to 2 Weeding hows ------------------------------------ 045
to 1 Wt pine 4 horn Combs 1d lace, one Ivory hafter knife ------------ 144
Janry 4 to 10½ yds Sarge 735 47 yds lining 200 ------------------- 935
One hamer 45 20 sk Silk 40lb -------------------------- 085
to So much pd Coleman pr ordr 267lb pork at 2lb .pr lb is -------------- 534
to So much pr order discompted with Devorex Dregers ------------------ 403
1691 // Per Contra Cr lb tob.
By receiving 21. hhds tobacco ----------------------------- 420
By receiving 37 ditto --------------------------------- 740
Ballance due -------------------------- 1855
Errors Excepted pr John Cornish.
The within accot was Sworn to before me this 12th 7br 1695 .
Tho Jones ------- James Round
The Decl being read ye issue joynd &ca the whole matter being fully heard, it was then fully Considered and judgmt was by ye Worll Court given agt the Defendg for 1855 libs of tobacco with Cost of Sute alias Executio //" (SoJ-1695/96:45-46)
In 1705, Parthenia Reed, widow, executes deed of gift to to her son William Reed, the son from her second marriage to Henry Reed, 200a of land called "Turner Hall" on the north side of the St. Martins River.
Parthenia (Ennis) (Smack) (Reed) Morris' will was written Jan 1 1720/21 and probated Jun 2 1721 in Somerset Co., MD where she bequeathed "two hundred acres of called called Turners Hall beginning at the land of back creek on the North side of San Martins River" to her son William Reed. The rest of her estate went to daughter Parthenia Morris except she reserved one yearling heifer to Joseph Morris, son of Thomas Morris (her step son). She states that should her daughter die before she marries, this residue of the estate to be equally divided amongst her grandchildren Mary Rackliffe (as Ratliff), Parthenia Kennett (as Kennat), Sarah Smack (as Smock), and Elliner Reed. Executors are Nathaniel Rackliffe (son-in-law) and William Reed (son) with witnesses Elizabeth Powell, Matilda Tyrer (Taylor?) and William Robinson.
Parthenia married John Smock about 1667. (John Smock was born in 1644-1645 and died on 13 Jan 1693-23 Mar 1693 in Somerset Co., MD 1.)
Parthenia next married Henry Read in 1693-1695 in Somerset Co., MD. (Henry Read was born in 1634 and died on 16 Dec 1703-27 Jul 1704 in Somerset Co., MD 1.)
Parthenia next married Thomas Morris about 1705 in Somerset Co., MD. (Thomas Morris was born about 1669 and died on 22 Feb 1714-02 Dec 1714 in Somerset Co., MD 1.)