After many years of looking for the parents of Moses EASTEP / ESTEP, born c1784 (or c1775-84), in Rowan Co., NC, I found a record naming Moses' mother in the ROWAN COUNTY REGISTER, a quarterly publication edited by Jo White Linn (Vol. 13, No. 3, Aug 1998, p. 3022). Moses was paid for the keeping of his mother Rebeckah ESTEP and the funeral / burial expenses. This record was dated Aug 1822.
Moses married 1 Sep 1803 in Rowan Co., NC to Elizabeth JONES, born c1787 to Solomon and Elizabeth JONES. The bond was signed by Abraham ESTEP and J. HUNT. Moses would be about 19 years old at that time. Abraham ESTEP was son of Thomas ESTEP, Jr., of Rowan Co., NC. J. HUNT may be the John HUNT, one of the witnesses to Thomas ESTEP, Jr. will. It was believed by many researchers that Moses was also a son of Thomas ESTEP, Jr., but I believe that he was more likely a grandson, rather than a son. Now with the above record, we know his father would not be Thomas because Thomas' widow was Hannah (McCANNON) who survived him in 1805.
Now who was this Rebeckah ESTEP? And which ESTEP did she marry?
Going backwards to 1800 NC census, we find that there were 5 ESTEPs living in Rowan Co.: William, Thomas, Isaac, Jacob and Abraham. Thomas was the father of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham who were named in his will. William is a possible son or just a relative. Knowing that Moses would be about 16 years old at that time, Thomas' household was the only one with a male child in the 16-26 age range. There were no males in 10-16 range for any of those families in 1800.
On the 1790 NC census, we find two ESTEPs in Rowan Co. -- Thomas ESTEB and Samuel LASTEP. Both had males under the age of 16 years old. Some researchers had suspected that Samuel was Moses' father, but the problem is that Samuel married Susannah ADAMS (second wife) on 3 Nov 1789 in Rowan Co. Samuel could not be Moses' father because of this record. If Samuel married Rebeckah after Susannah then Moses could not be Rebeckah's son. It is possible that Samuel and Rebeckah could have divorced then Samuel married Susannah, but I do not think so. Samuel was not in Rowan Co. on 1800 census and the Samuel on 1810 census was a younger man. The young Samuel could be a son of William from the 1800 census and that William was deceased by 1810, leaving "widow" ESTEP on the 1810 census with one son and one daughter still at home. The 1800 census showed them with 2 sons and 2 daughters. Per ages of these children, Moses does not fit in this family on the 1800 census.
Again, who was Rebeckah? And where does she fit in?
Thomas ESTEP, Jr. wrote his will on 30 Apr 1805 in Rowan Co., NC and named his three sons - Isaac, Jacob and Abraham - and one daughter - Rebecca. He named his wife Hannah. The will was proved in open court on 2 Nov 1807. Now going back to the 1800 census, we find a 26-45 year old female which would make her born around 1755 to 1774. Could she be our Rebeckah? This could explain why she and her son Moses were living with Thomas and his wife (Susannah) on the 1800 census. Thomas, at an old age of 72, married Hannah in 1803. Later in the same year Moses married and (his uncle?) Abraham was the bondsman. The JONES lived in the northern area of Rowan Co. (now Davie Co.) near Thomas ESTEP's property.
Rebecca / Rebeckah and Moses were not on the 1810 census as a household heads. They were likely living with another family of a different surname. Research is needed.
Moses and his family remained in Rowan Co. until 1827 when he sold the last of his property and moved to Lauderdale Co., AL. His mother was deceased by August 1822.
According to researchers, records and the THOMAS ESTEP, SR....book by Vidal, et al, the known children of Thomas ESTEP, Jr. were: (by first wife Delila) Rachel (born 1759), (by second? wife Susannah) Rebecca (c1755-74), Honor (c1760-62), Isaac (1762), Mildred "Milley" (1764), Sarah (c1770-75), Abraham (1776) and Jacob Alexander (c1779). There may be others. All of these children, except for Rebecca, were married by 1800. Rebecca was still single in 1805 per her father's will. Did she have a child out of wedlock or did she marry a man whose surname was also ESTEP? With Moses being born around 1784, Rebecca would be at least 15 years old making her born around 1769 or earlier. She could fit in between Milley and Sarah.
I would love to hear from you about this. Let me know what you think. Could Thomas ESTEP, Jr.'s daughter Rebecca be the same one who died in 1822 and be the mother of my Moses ESTEP? Your input is welcome!