An American Family History


Tullis Family


The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.

Frederick County, Virginia was formed in 1743 from Orange County. Old Frederick County included all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia: Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick, as well as five in present-day West Virginia: Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.

Moses Tullis was born about 1725 in New Jersey.

Catherine Tullis (1747, married Peter Peckinpaugh)
Sarah Tullis (1748, married Timothy Sewell)
Moses Tullis, Jr. (1750, married Letitia Newell)
Mary Tullis (1752-1838)
Aaron Tullis (1753-1840)
Jonathan Tullis (1755-1825)
Michael Tullis (1756-1832, married Mary Humphreys and Elizabeth Jones),
Thomas Tullis (1757-1775)
David Tullis (1761)
John Tullis (1762-1833)
Mariam Tullis (1766-1806)
Samuel Tullis (1767-1833)
Joel Tullis (1769-1824)
Amos Tullis (1772-1861)
William Tullis (1772-1846)
Isaac Tullis (1775-1845).

The Tullises were early settlers in, what is now, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

In 1762 Moses bought land in Frederick County, Virginia, from Lawrence Harrison.

In 1764 Moses appeared on rent roll for Frederick County, Virginia.

In 1770, Moses Tullis was named in a deed as one of three trustees, along with John Wright and Peter Burr, for the Elk Branch Presbyterian Church.

He was on the roll in Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1772, 1776, and 1777.

In 1775, Moses Tullis signed the "Petition of Freeholders of Berkeley County to the Convention."
Moses wrote his will in 1777.

Berkeley County, Virginia was created from the northern third of Frederick County, Virginia in 1772. Jefferson County was formed from the county's eastern section. In 1863 Berkeley County became part of the new state of West Virginia.









West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.

Office of Berkeley Co., W. VA County Court, Will Book #1, pp 118-119.

I Moses Tullis of Berkeley County in the Colony of Virginia. . .

I first order my Body be decently interred in such place as shall be thought most convenient and

that all my just debts as I owe in right conscience to any manner person or persons be justly paid. . .

First, I leave my beloved wife, Mary Elizabeth, one-third part of all my plantation and my Bed and furniture and the mare she customarily rides with saddle and bridle and one-third part of all cows, horses (one colt excepted) sheep, hogs, implements of labour, house-hold furniture and crops now growing.

Secondly, I leave to my be-loved son, Aaron Tullis, the sorrel colt and

all and every of the remaining two-thirds of the land and other goods I order to be sold by my Executors and equally divided to each of my children and equal part or share and

at my wife's decease I order her third share of the plantation to be sold and an equal division of it to be made to all my children then living or to their Heirs.

This I make, constitute and ordain to be my last Will and Testament disanulling all other Will or Wills by me heretofore made either by word or write.

I constitute Timothy Sewell my Son in Law and Aaron Tullis my son both of Berkeley County in Virginia to be my whole and sole Executors . . .

In witness whereof I have here-unto set my hand and seal this Tenth Day of June of 1777

Rent rolls were lists of landowners showing whether they had paid their annual quit-rents to the Crown. A quick-rent was a feudal remnant and was paid by a freeholder in lieu of services that might otherwise have been required.


Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

from Early Nineteenth Century Consumer Preferences at the Mount Pleasant Site (46Jf215) Jefferson County, West Virginia:
An Interpretation of a Rural Farmstead by Michael A. Bednarchuk

. . .The first known inhabitant of the Mount Pleasant Site was Moses Tullis and his family beginning on August 2, 1762 with his purchase of 346 acres from Lawrence Hanson. Prior to this, the property containing the Mount Pleasant Site was owned by Jacob Hite and before him was part of the extensive holdings of Thomas Lord Fairfax.

Moses Tullis was born in 1730 as the son of Welsh or Scottish parents. He was married to Mary Elizabeth VanDyke or Vandike, daughter of Jan and Margaret Barcolo VanDyke, while still living in New Jersey in 1750 or 1751. Between them they had 14 children.

Records indicate that the Tullis family had moved to then Berkeley County prior to the purchase of their farm that would eventually be known as Mount Pleasant. In 1770, Moses Tullis was recorded as a trustee of the Elk Branch Presbyterian Congregation, the precise location of which is unknown. He was also noted for being one of some 100 protesters of the election of a member of the state convention in 1775.

Moses Tullis died in 1777 dividing his estate between his second born son Aaron and Moses Tullis’ own wife Mary Elizabeth; two thirds went to Aaron and one third to Mary. A curious statement seems to contradict this by indicating that the estate was to be divided equally among the children or their heirs. The perplexing wishes of the will were not long abided by. Mary Elizabeth was indeed bequeathed her dower rights to 120 acres (latter determined to include only 100 acres) that included the Mount Pleasant Site, but Moses’ first born son Moses Jr. bought out the interest of his living siblings for the remainder of the property in 1778. At the same time he sold the property that Mary held dower rights to Robert Rutherford while still recognizing Mary’s right to the same (McAndrews et al. 2003: 34-36).

A conveyance in 1786 indicated that Mary Elizabeth Tullis had married and was living on the Mount Pleasant property. Quoting the county deed book it stated that “the dower right of Elizabeth Timmons late Elizabeth Tullis tenant in possession during her natural life” retained the interest still (McAndrews et al. 2003: 36). Records do not indicate directly who her new husband was but other records indicated that only a Bryan Tymmons of rural Berkely County had such a similar surname. In 1796 Mary Elizabeth sold her dower rights to a Charles Yates. Prior to this Robert Rutherford had sold the Mount Pleasant property to Charles Yates in 1786 to pay off a debt. In both cases of the latter land owners, Robert Rutherford and Charles Yates, records indicate that neither of these men actually lived on the Mount Pleasant property

Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693 – 1781) inherited a vast area granted by Charles II in colonial Virginia. This Northern Neck Proprietary was bounded by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.