Saturday, July 11, 2015

History of Morrill's Corner

Little has been written online about Portland's "Morrill's Corner", at the intersection of Forest Avenue, Allen Avenue, Stevens Avenue, and the Portland & Rochester Railroad.  Stevens Avenue was constructed from the separate Horse Railroad, upon which many of the Stevens family had lived.

For whom is Morrill's Corner named?  Well, the short answer to that would be "Brothers Rufus and Levi Morrill, who dominated the business landscape of this corner beginning in the early 19th Century."

But for the long answer, I believe it's important to get the history of the Corner and the ancestry of these brothers in order.

First of all, it's important to note that all Morrills of New England descend from two unrelated colonial era English immigrants:  John Morrell (early settler of York County, Maine) and Abraham Morrill (early settler of Salisbury Massachusetts).

Stephen Morrill (1737-1816) of North Berwick (great grandson of John Morrell) was the very first of the Morrills to arrive in this part of Falmouth, long before it was given the name Deering, and he was the first of many Morrills to arrive in the area during that period.  Nathaniel Deering came from neighboring Kittery, and he was the same age as Stephen.  It seems likely that these two early Falmouth businessmen from York County had known each other and possibly inspired each other to move to Falmouth in the 1760's.

The earliest and largest business of The Corner was the Morrill Tannery run by Levi and Rufus Morrill (mentioned in more detail below).  Levi tanned cowhides, and Rufus tanned sheepskins.

Tannery operations were quite simple.  The process involved dipping sheep or cowhides in a vat of lime, followed by dipping them in a vat of hemlock juice (which hardened the hides into leather).  Finally, the hides would be soaked in hen manure and water.


1871 MAP OF MORRILL'S CORNER

As we can tell from the date of the above map, Morrill's Corner has been called this since at least 1871, which was the year that Deering was formed from Saccarappa, with the remainder of Saccarappa to the north being named Westbrook.  This map appears to have been created for the genesis of the Town of Deering.  Morrill Avenue abuts Forest Avenue just south of Morrill's Corner.

"R. Morrill"'s home (Rufus) can be found pinpointed here on Forest Avenue, just north of Morrill Avenue.  On the Horse Railroad to the west (later Stevens Avenue), one can see what appears to be "A.E. Morrill" as well.  Further south on Forest Avenue, and just north of Grove Street, one can see "C.E. Morrill Tannery", which is most definitely Charles E. Morrill's.

SERVICE STATION IN 1924
(MORRILL HOUSE NEXT DOOR)

(PHOTO COURTESY MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)
"MORRILL HOUSE" (POSSIBLY LEVI MORRILL'S)
BEHIND AMOCO STATION
MORRILL'S CORNER
1229 FOREST AVENUE / 6 ALLEN AVENUE
(CIRCA 1933)
(Became a lodging house up until 1932)

(PHOTO COURTESY MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)
MORRILL'S CORNER 2014
AMOCO STATION IS NOW SUBWAY SANDWICH SHOP
BRICK LEVI MORRILL HOUSE BEHIND IT
REPLACED BY WHITE WOODEN HOUSE FROM THE 40s


The large colonial brick house above was also known as the "Morrill House".  In its later years it was a rooming house run by George and Loretta Beach.  It was closed for business in 1932, and it was razed sometime shortly thereafter.  As I mentioned above, I believe it may have been the Levi Morrill House (brother to Rufus-more on these brothers below).

Stephen and his two wives had thirteen children, but two were most instrumental in the development of Morrill's Corner, and a third son was instrumental in fathering the Burnham & Morrill empire:

-Rufus Morrill, Sr. (1796-1860), a sheep skin tanner, married both Webb sisters (Mary and Sally), and had nine children at the Corner, most likely in the house above, which was situated next to a toothpick factory for quite some time.  Rufus Jr. (1834-1911), a nurse, who was second to youngest, had three children in Westbrook. Rufus Jr. was a railroad engineer , and he kept the house until his death, where lived with his sister Susan and his daughter Sarah (both spinsters).  Sarah owned it for many years after Rufus' death (Rufus' Sr. son Edmund had moved to Ellsworth, NH, and his eldest daughter Mary had died in China in 1900 - Edmund later became the Governor of Kansas).  Sarah rented the 2nd apartment to a variety of tenants (George A. Thombs, James Sneddon, Albert T. Stults, Truman E. Estabrook) during Sarah's final years there.  Around 1938, Sarah ended up at an elderly care private hospital on 554 Stevens Avenue (owned by Mae Ward) and Sarah's tenant, Truman Estabrook, stayed with the house until it was razed in 1941, in favor of an automotive shop.  The hospital Sarah stayed at also served as the quarters for the sexton of Evergreen Cemetery next door to it.  Sarah died there in the 1940s.

Below is an article concerning Governor Edmund Morrill of Kansas and his visit home to Portland, and this article provides quite a bit of information about the Morrills Corner of the turn of the century.

ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT GOVERNOR MORRILL'S VISIT TO PORTLAND
KANSAS CITY JOURNAL
AUGUST 29, 1895

-Levi Morrill (1802-1868) was a manufacturer.  He and his wife Harriet Quimby had two children. According to the above, he built the red brick mansion which was then occupied by Keeley Cure hospital (which might be 1229 Congress-where the Amoco station was-see photo above).  Levi tanned hides, while his brother Rufus tanned sheep skins.  Levi's son, Charles Edwin Morrill (1841-1891), fought in the Civil War.  By 1871, Charles was in charge of the tannery (located a half mile south of Rufus' house), which was then called the "C.E. Morrill Tannery", located on Forest Avenue - just north of Grove Street.  According to Morrill Online, in 1871 and 1874 he patented methods of manufacturing shoe bindings (patent no. 121,400 and 134,763), and with Charles Hardy, he patented a method of evening leather in 1874 (patent no. 147770).  This tannery could well have been previously run by his father Levi, uncle Rufus, and grandfather Stephen, prior to that.  Charles Edwin Morrill's son, Levi Morrill, carried on the family business to some extent.  He moved to Boston and worked as a leather merchant.  Levi married Anna Hill Lee of DC in April of 1904.  On their honeymoon in Atlantic City, Levi suffered from morphine poisoning and died in their room at the St. Charles Hotel.

CORNER OF FOREST AVENUE
AND GROVE STREET
(2009)
FORMER SITE OF MORRILL TANNERY

Below is a tree outline of this historic family (click to enlarge):



I created the above to give you an idea of the Morrill migration from Berwick to the Morrill's Corner area, and it omits many people.  This is subject to further update, of course, should I discover the need for it.  But as for this writing (July 2015), it gives a relatively accurate picture of the history of this family, for which Morrill's Corner is named.

In 1900, another business started up on The Corner.  It was called "Morrill's Coal & Grain Company" on 35 Allen Avenue.  The business ran until at least 1940.  This business was not owned by anyone in the Morrill family, however, to my knowledge at present.

ADVERTISEMENT
1940 CITY DIRECTORY

Today, everyone knows of Morrill's Corner as a busy, if drab looking, commercial and industrial section of Deering just north of Woodfords, and the location of established restaurants Wok Inn and McDonald's, which have been there since I was a youngster in the 70s, as well as the popular Morrill's Corner Pub just south of Wok Inn.  A proposed new development, Morrill's Crossing, is hotly debated, highly expensive, and is purported to be a revitalization of the area.  Yet, it appears that it will turn what is now a dull blighted area into high density mixed use area resembling every other development of its kind.  This was slated to begin construction in 2010, but I'm not sure of the progress of this at the moment (2015), I think it may have stalled, possibly indefinitely.  While I'm certain that the developer believes this will be a 'revitalization' of the area, it appears to be a very drastic change - something I'm certain that Mainers wouldn't take too kindly to.

Friday, July 10, 2015

York County Exodus of Early 19th Century



In my research into a variety of family groups who resided in Tuftonboro, NH (in Strafford County, which is now Carroll County) in the 19th Century, a common thread has emerged.  Many of these family groups have ancestors who moved in the early part of 19th Century to Tuftonboro from Berwick, Eliot and Kittery Maine, a horse and buggy journey of about 30-40 miles northwest.

To name a few:


I would love to find some kind of rationale, or common thread, if any exists, for these various Maine families to have moved west.  Strafford County (later known as Carroll County) wasn't known for much outside of sheep and cattle farming and a couple old grist mills.  Maine was where all the industrial shipping work was to be found.  The Embargo Act of 1807, however, effectively bankrupted many families in Maine, and was the death knell for much of Maine's timber industry.  Perhaps the move to rural NH was a reaction to the Act?  Perhaps cheap farm land was the way to go?  Perhaps these were all Revolutionary War (or War of 1812) veterans, and they received land patents for their military service?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Beans of Carroll County NH

WONALANCET
SANDWICH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

My 6th great grandparents, David Bean (1717-1770) and his wife Mary Judkins (1715-1774) (who were 2nd cousins), came from the very large Bean family of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, which established a strong military history, descending from John MacBean, Scottish prisoner of the English Civil War who was sold into slavery upon arrival in the New World.

David was born in raised in Brentwood, son to John Bean of Exeter, and great grandson to the aforementioned John MacBean.  He and Mary had twelve kids in Brentwood, and moved during the 1760s to Sandwich, in Carroll County (then part of Strafford County).  I wonder what precipitated the move to Sandwich (which was 75 miles north an over 12 hour horse and buggy ride).

When David died in 1770, his children were ranging in ages of 11 to 30.  All seven of his sons fought in the Revolutionary War (James, Samuel, David Jr., Moody, John, Josiah and Benjamin).

After the War, only a few of David's children stayed in Sandwich, and the rest moved to neighboring Moultonboro.  His youngest son David was an early founder of Tuftonboro.  In fact, several Bean Cemeteries are located in these towns, and they are the final resting places to David's many descendants, although I'm not sure where David and his wife Mary are buried at present - likely somewhere in Sandwich.

Below are handy FindAGrave links to the various cemeteries named for the Bean family:

Bean Cemetery, Bean Road, Moultonboro (David's son John and family)
Bean Burial Ground, Sodom Road, Tuftonboro  (David's son Josiah's son Andrew and family)
Bean Graveyard, Tibbetts Road, Tuftonboro (David's youngest son Benjamin and family)

Their son, David, Jr. (1743-1817), was my 5th great grandfather.  He stayed in Sandwich, where his wife Abigail Moody and he had eleven children, including my 4th great grandmother, Sally Bean-Fuller (1781-1840), who moved south to Lowell Massachusetts with her husband John Fuller, descendant of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower, and also including Nicholas Bean, whose wife Lydia Brown may have been related to my Brown family of Moultonboro, and whose daughter Rebecca most likely married into my Elliott family of Sandwich.

Below is a pedigree chart showing descent from John MacBean of these various Bean families of New Hampshire (some people have been omitted for ease of visual):






Monday, December 1, 2014

Was Sally Elliot-Morrill an Ossipee Indian?

WONALANCET
SANDWICH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

18TH CENTURY ILLUSTRATION OF ALGONQUIAN PEOPLE


This blogpost is a place for my research on the potential Indian ancestry in my family, and my theory that it might lie with my 3rd great grandmother, Sally Elliot-Morrill, born to Benjamin Elliot and Susannah Drew of Sandwich, New Hampshire in 1805, wife of Jonathan Smythe Morrill of Tuftonboro, and later of Portland MaineJonathan and Sally are the forefathers of a large number of Greater Portland Morrills.

As mentioned in an earlier post, if you ask any White American about his ancestry, they will most definitely tell you that they are "part Native American".  I've had fun with these people, trying to get proof for their claims, but the best that most can offer is that Grandma told them there was a Cherokee Indian Princess in there somewhere.  Occasionally someone offers up some DNA proof, and I've even heard of links to Indian census rolls that some folks have established.  It can happen, of course, but not nearly as much as we might wish.

The story I always heard in my family while growing up was that somewhere on my mom's mother's side of the family, we are from the "Blackfoot Tribe".   As a child, it sounded interesting enough to me.  As a moody teenager searching for validation, I began to adopt the idea as fact, and believed myself to be special in some way, given that I already had been told that my dad's side of the family had Mayflower roots (a rumor I was able to prove true with a lot of help from cousins, and digging through many old records).  I found it fascinating to imagine myself as descending both from native people and from those who colonized.

At some point after I began college in NYC, I was at the public library, where I was approached by a very obvious looking American Indian, who told me that I appeared to have some measure of Indian features, and that I should join the YMCA Thunderbirds, who could supposedly help me determine the truth of it all...with the ultimate goal of my being able to apply for government scholarships for college, since American Indians can apply for grants for that purpose, of course depending on how much native blood you can prove to posess.

I never took the kind man up on his offer, and my own independent research later led me to learn that Blackfoot Nation is located in Montana.  Was some ancestor of mine from Montana?  Did they later 'drift' to New England??  Was there even a connection?  Or, more likely, was this all an exotic story that had been passed down many generations?  I didn't know or care enough at the time to pursue it further.  However, while still in college, in one last ditch effort to try and secure government cash for my schooling, I went to my 86 year old Grandma Emily, and asked her, "Hey Gram, what tribe of Indian are we anyway?"


EMILY TEMM-CLARKE
HOLDING BABY ME (1970)

"INDIAN??  I ain't no GAWWWD damned Indian!!" was her reply...and that was that!

Now, this is quite contrary to what she had told my mother growing up.  So, blame it on a bit of senility, or exaggerated family folklore, but I was still left to sit on that for several years, until it became a pet project of mine as a family researcher.

Many have looked at the picture above and have said "How can she deny being part Indian?"  Those tough features, high cheekbones and all...but the woman above was born to parents who were deemed "WHITE" on all available records.  Her father, John Henry Temm, was half German, half Scottish, and I have records backing that up.

Her mother, Hattie Morgan Temm, was, as far as I could tell from my research, purely of English/Welsh stock.  However, she does appear quite dark in the below sepia-tone photo, but that could be easily blamed on photography:


HATTIE MORGAN-TEMM

Hattie's father, William Sanford Morgan, looks white (and is clearly the source of my gramma's high cheekbones).  He is proven to be of English and Welsh blood by many dozens of available records:


WILLIAM SANFORD MORGAN

Hattie's mother (and William's spouse), Emily Morrill, daughter to Sally Elliot, looks white too...but perhaps there's a small amount of something else there?


Hattie's sister, Adelaide Morgan-Simpson, also looks white, but carries that same 'big rough face and high cheekbones' as the other ladies:




Adelaide's only child, Emily Simpson-Pease, actually looks kind of dark (but perhaps it's also the tone of the photo?), when HER father was white and of direct British descent:


I had my mother do a maternal DNA (mtDNA) test.  This would serve to show a link to ancient racial migration patterns, but only to her direct maternal line...which would include all the ladies pictured above.

Her group came up as "Haplogroup X".  Now, A, B, C, D, and X are all associated with migratory Siberian Asian people that settled in the Americas as the first, "Native Americans"...for lack of a better term.  There is some evidence, however, that Haplogroup X also is linked to European people, so the jury isn't out yet.  People whom I've spoken with who are connected to the above people, and also to the specific mtDNA line, have also indicated that they'd heard stories of Indian or "Cherokee" blood in their families...but as established above, it's quite a common legend in many families.

I may just prove one day that there is or isn't, definitively, Indian blood in there...even though I've long ago paid for college!

Now, as discussed above, the oldest picture I have of this bloodline is of Emily Morrill, daughter to Sally Elliot of Portland Maine (who was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire).

My autosomal DNA testing shows me to be 3% Central Asian.  This would indicate to me that one of my 3rd great grandparents was either Middle Eastern or Native American.  If my mother's Haplogroup pans out to be that it's truly linked with Amerindian DNA, and if her to be received results on her autosomal DNA testing comes back with 6% Central Asian, then I will know with much certainty that Emily Morrill (my mother's great grandmother) must have had 50% Central Asian blood, with an Amerindian maternal ancestor, which of course would then mean that Emily's mother Sally Elliot was indeed Native American.

Now, the Ossipee Nation (one of the 12 tribes of Algonquian/Eastern Abenaki Indians) was located on Lake Winnepesaukee tributary known as the Melvin River.  I suppose that Sally may have been associated with this tribe?  A poem by John Greenleaf Whittier describes the famous Indian Grave by the Lake where they found the bones of a seven foot Indian and placed a memorial stone.

So, the jury is still out for now, but at some point in 2015 I believe I may have more evidence of Sally's heritage, and potential link with the Ossipee Tribe.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Parentage of Catherine Brown-Morrill of Moultonboro

My 4th great grandmother, Catherine Brown, was born in 1769 or 1770 in Moultonboro, New Hampshire, but I've yet to locate a birth record for her (a trip to Moultonboro is imminent).

Census records began in 1790 in Strafford County (which area containing Moultonboro would 50 years later be annexed into a new Carroll County).  Heads of household were the only people named on all census records prior to 1850, and the surname Brown is of course ubiquitous in 18th century New England.

But as always with these blog posts, I will lay forth what I understand about her, and who the potential relatives might be, based on available records and online trees and sources.

Catherine first appears in recorded data as bride to Jotham Morrill of Moultonboro in February 1799:


She and Jotham appear on the 1850 Census, living as paupers under the care of the Kimball family of Tuftonboro, and Catherine is listed as being unable to read or write, at the age of 80:



She appears listed as mother "Katie Brown" to Statira Morrill in a Moultonboro 1890 death record, and from here we learn that Statira was born in Tuftonboro (where Catherine and Jotham had moved soon after the wedding);


According to an email I received from Tuftonboro Town Hall, Catherine, listed as "Mrs. Jonathan Morrill" died in November of 1851.

There are many census records for her husband Jotham, where she appears as the elder female in the household.

Now, it's a worthy attempt to comb through the Brown families of Moultonboro during that period to attempt to learn possible relations for the unfortunately illiterate Katie, so here goes:

1790 Moultonboro Census:  The only census taken prior to Catherine's marriage, is a good starting point for looking at Brown heads of household, and if any of these men were age 35-40 by the time of this census, they would be more the likely:

  • Benjamin Brown (1 male under 16, 2 males over 16, 4 females).  Benjamin appears in many other subsequent censuses, and appears to have lost 2 net females for the 1800 census.  He seems to no longer be accounted for after the 1820 Census, and there appears to be a Benjamin Brown buried in Moultonboro in 1828, who was born in Ipswich, Mass in 1755, and was of appropriate age.
  • Blanchard Brown (1 male under 16, 1 male over 16, 4 females) - Blanchard appears in no other records, but one census backup record appears to indicate that he was born in 1750 for this census.
  • Daniel Brown (1 male under 16, 3 males over 16, 3 females).  Daniel stayed in Moultonborough, and the 1800 census also has three females.  In 1820, he was housing a non-naturalized foreigner, and doesn't appear in any subsequent censuses.  Based on census calculations, he appears to have been born between 1756 and 1765, so he qualifies for parentage.
  • John Brown (1 male under 16, 1 male over 16, 4 females).  John appears to have been born in 1750, and has census records continuing through 1820.  There appears to be a John Brown the 2nd born in 1792, according to burial records.  This could have been John's son, I suppose.  Now, in the next census, 1800, Catherine is living with her new husband Jotham Morrill (next door to his possible brother William Morrill), and John Brown appears to be living very close by, so perhaps this gives John a bit more potential as her father?  Who knows, really. 

In neighboring Tuftonboro, there appear to have been Browns as well:  heads of household with biblical names like Moses and Obediah.  Also, there appear to be Brown Family Cemeteries in neighboring Wolfeboro and Moultonboro.

So, the six men above appear to be possible fathers to Catherine, but Benjamin, Daniel and John being the most likely candidates.

Unfortunately, the 1790 census didn't go into detail about age of females in the house, or else we could have narrowed the list down using subsequent census records.

It's interesting to me to note that a Lydia Brown (1779-1840) of Sandwich married Nicholas Bean of my Sandwich Beans, and had a daughter Rebecca Bean who married John Elliott, of my Sandwich Elliotts.  I wonder if this Lydia may have been related to Catherine?  They were of even age to have been sisters or cousins.

Further, there appear to have been a great number of Brown families in Berwick, Maine, birthplace of Catherine's husband Jotham.  It is entirely possible they were both from Berwick originally.

Catherine and Jotham's son, Jonathan Smythe Morrill (my 3rd great grandfather), married Sally Elliot of neighboring Sandwich, and moved to Portland Maine, where my family is from, as are a large number of Maine Morrills.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

John Sibley and Jane Pochard

John Sibley (1755-1835) and Jane Pochard (1760-1860) were my 5th great grandparents, and one of very few sets of my ancestors who migrated to the US after the Colonial period.

They had eleven children, and have many hundreds of descendants living today, and their arrival in Maine was more by chance than many other New England families.

John Sibley was born in Nova Scotia to Englishman and soap magnate Henry Sibley and Halifax native Sarah Haislup.  When John was only eight years old, his father Henry sailed home to England to settle his father's estate and died at sea.  This left John and his five siblings orphaned in Halifax, which Sarah couldn't handle, so she left her children to be raised by others and moved to England.  While his siblings appear to have stayed in Halifax, John joined the Revolution.

JONATHAN EDDY
In particular, John became involved with Jonathan Eddy's movement to make Nova Scotia the 14th American Colony, to break ties with England during the American Revolution. Jonathan Eddy made a failed attempt to siege Fort Cumberland in central Nova Scotia, in the fall of 1776, and John Sibley somehow ended up in Maine (then part of Massachusetts) following Eddy's retreat back to his native Massachusetts.

John later fought in the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey, and also Saratoga with the Continental Army as a private in Captain Smart's company, Colonel Calvin Smith's regiment.  John was also at Valley Forge in 1778 and reported on command at Boston Neck in March and April 1779. He was reported deserted July 12, 1780, which many believe was the reason his pension application was later turned down.

John married Jane Pochard December 8, 1782 at Pownalborough, Maine.  Jane was born in Frankfort, Maine to Abraham Pochard, whose father was a French Huguenot who had arrived in Maine 1751 with his wife and four sons from Chenerbie, Haute-Soane in eastern France near the Swiss border. They arrived in Boston on the ship Pricilla, which sailed from Rotterdam,   Netherlands, and then proceeded directly to Frankfort Plantation (Dresden) in Maine   where they settled. Some of the family moved to Fairfield in 1775 and then to the Pittsfield area around 1814. The inability of the English speaking settlers to spell the Pochard family name correctly resulted in a variety of phonetic variations e.g. Pushard, Pushaw, Pushor, and Pushan.

They lived in Fairfield, Canaan, Warsaw (Pittsfield), and Passadumkeag, Maine.

John applied for a Revolutionary War pension on March 12, 1834, which reveals that he was born in 1755 in Halifax, N.S.  The pension application was denied due to his apparent desertion near the end of the War.

Passadumkeag, Maine incorporated as a town in 1835. When they did their first Town census after incorporation, Jane was listed as widow Jane Sibley.  So we know that John died about 1835.

John and Jane had twelve children, four girls and eight boys, including my 4th great grandmother Margaret Sibley-Burrill, who married Benjamin Burrill of Fairfield, who was 4th great grandson to John Alden of the Mayflower.

Jonathan and Sally Morrill of Portland Maine

My third great grandfather was Jonathan Smythe Morrill (1802-1881), a carpenter, ship builder, stevedore, and laborer born in Tuftonboro, NH to Jotham Morrill and Catherine Brown, both of Moultonboro, NH.


MORRILL FAMILY PLOT
FOREST CITY CEMETERY
(who else is buried there?)



Jonathan married Sarah "Sally" D. Elliot (potentially of Native American descent, and from Sandwich, NH) on 14 Dec 1826, in Tuftonborough, NH (Source:  Early Marriages of Strafford County - thanks to Google Books free previews!).  However, the Mormon FHL has a record of their marrying in nearby Moultonboro, which record states that they were both from Moultonboro.  It's possible that some more research there would be beneficial, to find if perhaps this record is more accurate (there are no Eliots in either the 1810 or 1820 Moultonboro census).

After marriage, they immediately moved to Maine, first living in Westbrook (then part of Deering) (1830 Census).  Next door to them was Benjamin Elliot's family.  See census below (not a great copy, by the way), where I've yellow highlighted the Elliot and Morrill heads of household:



By the 1840 Census, the Morrills had taken up a rental residence in the rear apartment at 62 Washington Avenue in Portland, where Jonathan worked as a pile driver and a bridge builder.  His family was one of the first Morrill families to arrive in Portland.


62 WASHINGTON AVENUE
PORTLAND, MAINE
(2010)

Jonathan & Sally lived in the East Bayside district of Portland the remainder of their lives, which was quickly becoming a diverse neighborhood, filled with African Americans and Irish, and was then the locale for the Cumberland County Jail on Monroe Street.  In 1854, their son, John HB Morrill, had purchased 62 Washington from Peter Andrews, but in 1861 he deeded the property to his mother Sally (not sure why it didn't go to his father!).  In 1878, they moved around the corner to a rear apartment on 15 Winthrop Street for the remaining few years of Jonathan's life, a place they rented from Irish immigrant family, the Maddens.  The Morrills were not counted here on the 1880 Census, for some reason.  Maybe the census taker failed to look at the rear apartment.  In any case, 1881, just after Jonathan passed away, Sally sold the Washington Street building saw the sale of the building for only $125.00, which would be over $4K today!  I wonder why Sally was taken to the cleaners like that?

For the 1866 City Directory, it appears that 62 Washington (rear) had another interesting dweller, one Smith Morrill, a dock builder living right in the same apartment as Jonathan.  Not a clue who that could be, and the only Smith Morrill I can locate in other records at that time was living in Gardiner Maine. 



Jonathan & Sally had nine children in Portland.  I believe at least three of them died young.  Here is a best copy image of the birth roster from Portland archives, courtesy of the Mormon Library:




Transcribed below, with a brief history:

1. Abigail Morrill (1827 – ) doesn't appear in any later records.  She had died prior to the 1840 Census.

2. Sarah Jane Morrill (1828 – ) was a dressmaker.  She married at age 17 to a 52 year old Portugese sailor named Peter Andros (who Anglicized his name to Andrews, and his descendants were born with that name).  They had four children, and then divorced around 1862.  Sarah Jane remarried to Woodbury Morse in 1864, then had another four children.  She and Woodbury died sometime between the 1900 and 1910 Censuses.

3. Benjamin Morrill (1831 – ) doesn't appear in any later records.  He was definitely dead by the 1840 Census.

4. Statira G. Morrill (1831 – 1862) was named after her aunt Statira Graves of NH.  She lived in Portland for her entire, very short, life.  She worked as a seamstress, and at 17 she married a Samuel Tucker.  A few years later she married a Canadian named Joshua Carey.  They had one child, Naomi Carey, in 1858.  Naomi was only 4 when her mother died, and was therefore raised by her grandparents.  Joshua soon remarried a woman named Amelia, and had six more children.  I'm not sure why Joshua couldn't raise Naomi.  Naomi married Edward Hall, a carriage painter, and son to the British Halls of that neighborhood.  Edward Hall's brother Joseph was later a 2nd husband to Naomi's aunt Emily Morrill. Naomi & Edward had three children.

5. John Henry Brown Morrill (1834 – 1894) fought in the Civil War, and worked as a hair dresser in Portland.  He married Maria Beal from Freeport in 1863, and they had three children of their own:  Frederick, John & Nettie Morrill.  Maria also had three kids from a prior marriage, Ira, Phebe, and Bertha Chase.  Bertha was adopted by John, so she became Bertha Morrill.  This particular family has many descendants.  John was a very popular barber, and he is well mentioned in his former boss, John Todd's 1906 Book, "A sketch of the life of John M. Todd : sixty-two years in a barber shop, and reminiscences of his customers".   One particularly amusing anecdote from that book follows: 


John H.B. Morrill worked for me sixteen years.  He was a character, a man of impulse, not always governed by the highest principles, and also a genius.  After the great fire he moved over to the Cape, now South Portland.  He bought a cow and calf.  He took the cow over the ferry at noon, but the calf he sold to a butcher, who was to take it home at evening.  After the great fire in 1866, I bought a photograph saloon and hauled it upon the sidewalk in front of the post office.  The custom house at that time was in the post office building in the room now occupied by the United States Court.  Mr. Morrill hitched the calf to the wheel of the saloon until the butcher called for it.  Of course, as soon as the mother was taken away, the calf commenced its music, and such bleating and blarting was never heard in front of the post office before nor since.  One of the inspectors of customs came in a great rage and said: “Todd, I want that calf moved at once.” “That is not my property, Mr. Blank,” I replied. “Whose calf is it?” “Mr. Morrill did own it, but has sold it to a butcher.”  “Mr. Morrill, you remove that nuisance at once.” “You don’t like that music, I reckon,” Mr. Morrill replied.  “Mr. Blank, you will blart worse than that when the Federal tit is taken from you.” 

He kept the cow all summer, sold her, I think, to Captain Mareen.  “I see she has but one horn, Mr. Morrill.  She is not breachy, and broke her horn by hooking fences, I hope.” “She never troubled me any that way.”  In a few weeks the captain called on Mr. Morrill.  “Happy to see you, Captain.”  “I don’t know whether you will be happy or not to see me, I have come on business.” Morrill told me afterwards he knew what the business was he came to adjust.” You told me, Mr. Morrill, that cow was not breachy.  I can’t keep her anywhere.  She will toss over her head every fence she comes to.  She would break up a camp meeting.  Now what did you mean by telling me that she was not breachy?” “I never told you so.” “You certainly did, for I asked in particular if she was not and spoke of her horn being broken off.  Don’t you remember that?”  “Yes, I remember your speaking about that, and I told you in plain words, Captain, that she had never troubled me any on that account.  She would come home every night full of herd grass and clover she had got by breaking into the neighbor’s field, but it never troubled me any.  But it did trouble Neighbor Dyer, I have no doubt, some; but it never did me.” The captain burst out laughing, bade him goodby and went home.
In 1858 there was a closely contested election for mayor.  At that time there were no secret ballots and the voting was not as closely watched as now.  Everybody was supposed to be honest then.  Morrill was a great hustler.  He boasted that he could get more floaters to the polls to vote than any man in the city.  He belonged to fire engine number eight, and the company had as lively a set of boys at that time as any company in the city.  One of the boys hailed Morrill and said “We must get every voter out today that is on the voting list, or we shall get left.  I just looked over the list.  There is Patrick Ward’s name there.  He died about two years ago.  You can get someone to vote in his name.  There is a dollar to pay the fellow that you get.” John plants himself upon the sidewalk to look over the longshoremen as they go to dinner.  Mr. Blank was warden at that time.  He was a great politician.  Morrill did not have long to wait before an Irishman, a coal heaver, on his way to dinner, appeared.  John stepped up to him in a most familiar manner, reached out his hand with a “How are you, Mr. Ward?” “And who are ye talking to, young man? My name is not Ward at all, but Mike Flannagan.”  “Never mind that.  I have a dollar for you.”  “What for?”  “I want you to vote for me.”  “Faith, I can’t.  I’m not naturalized.”  “That makes no difference today.”  “Is that so, and how is that?”  “Why, there is a name on the voting list; I want you to vote in that name, and the dollar is yours.  Will you do as I want you to, for obedience is better than sacrifice in this case? Now listen; I want you to walk up to the desk over there, hold up your head, as though you owned the whole shooting match, and say, ‘Pat Ward, sir.  Speak up loud,’ and he will say, ‘What ward?’  Tell him * Ward one.’ “He marched up as big as Billybeblessed.”Mr. Ward, sir.’ He forgot to put in Pat.  Mr. Blank said, “What Ward?” “Ward one, sir.  Vote Mr. Ward.”  One of the Republican checkers said, “He did not understand you, Mr. Blank, when you asked for his given name.” “Well, I did,” said the warden, amid a roar of laughter.

6. Isaac Morrill (1837 – ) doesn't appear in the 1840 or 1850 Census. He must have died as a child.

7. Catharine Morrill (1838 – ) doesn't appear in the 1840 or 1850 Census.  She must have died as a child.

8. Martha W. Morrill (1840 – 1917) married James Hiram Curtis, and had at least 6 children: Charles F., James E., Annie J., Ida E., Florence Louise, and William E.  Martha was widowed by 1910.

9. Emily N. Morrill (1844 – 1900) was my 2nd great grandmother.  She married William Sanford Morgan, a Civil War veteran, on 28 Oct 1865, and had three daughters:  (1) Abbie (who never married), (2) Adelaide (who married George Simpson and later Presbury Dennison, and had one daughter, Emily Simpson-Pease), and (3) my great grandmother, Hattie.  William & Emily divorced (due to his constant drinking) and then both remarried at the end of the 19th Century.  Emily's 2nd husband was neighbor and childhood friend Joseph G. Hall, a carriage painter (and brother to her niece Naomi's husband Edward from the neighborhood).  They married in 1891, and lived on 123 Cumberland Avenue, right around the corner from where her mother (then widowed) was living on 21 Cleeve Street.  Joseph died in 1895, and then Emily died in 1900 of hemiplegia.  Everyone is buried at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland.


EMILY N. MORRILL-MORGAN-HALL
(ca 1890)



123 CUMBERLAND AVENUE
PORTLAND, MAINE
(2010)

GRAVE OF EMILY MORRILL-MORGAN-HALL & JOSEPH G. HALL



Below is a pedigree for Emily.



Unfortunately, due to New Hampshire's lack of records, I've yet to go back three generations for her.  She appears to be fully English, but as mentioned elsewhere, there's a slight chance that her maternal grandmother was Native American.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Mysterious Jotham Morrill


Well, he's a mystery to me at least.  I don't know that an overworked farmer in post Revolution New Hampshire could have anything other than a straightforward life.  I'm grateful to have found several records for this 4th great grandfather of mine, but there are many unanswered questions.

Here's what I know about Jotham:
  • Married Catherine Brown (of unknown parentage) in Moultonboro, New Hampshire, Feb. 23, 1799, meaning he was likely born before 1783.
  • Fathered a daughter, Statira Morrill-Graves in March of 1800.
  • Fathered a son, Jonathan Smythe Morrill in 1804.
  • Owned livestock in neighboring Tuftonboro, NH 1804 and 1806, according to the Town Clerk there.
  • August 1800 Census - Moultonboro, lived next door to a William Morrill (who had migrated there from Berwick around 1783).  Household included:  
    • one male aged 16-25 (who?)
    • one male 26-44 (Jotham), this means he was born between September 1755 and September 1773.
    • two females under 10 years old (one was Statira, but who was the other girl?)
    • one female 26-44 (Catherine), this means she was born between September 1755 and September 1773
    • one female 45 and over (who?)
  • August 1810 Census - Tuftonboro, listed here as Jonathan Morrill.  Household included: 
    • one male under 10 (my ancestor, Jonathan)
    • one male 26-44 (Jotham), calculating this with the above, he was born between September 1766 and September 1773.
    • one female under 10 (Statira)
    • one female 26-44 (Catherine), calculating this with the above, she was born between September 1766 and September 1773.
  • 1820 Census - Tuftonboro, destroyed.
  • June 1830 Census - Tuftonboro.  Household included:
    • one male age 50-59 (Jotham), calculating this with the above, he was born between July 1771 and September 1773.
    • one female age 50-59 (Catherine), calculating this with the above, she was born between July 1771 and September 1773
  • 1840 Census - Jotham doesn't appear.  He doesn't appear on either of his children's censuses either.
  • June 1850 Census - Jotham and Catherine are living with the Joseph Kimball household, no apparent relation, given that Joseph's wife's maiden name was Hannah Ellsworth.  
    • Jotham is listed as a pauper farmer, at 78 years old.  This would mean he was born between July 1771 and July 1772.
    • Catherine is listed as 80 years old.  This would mean she was born between July 1769 and July 1770, which is in conflict with the prior census records.
In the April 1813 entries of U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, a Jotham Morrill appears, to be rather close in age, and enlisted in NH.  This Jotham is listed as having black eyes, black hair, and dark complexion, and enlisted at 45 years of age, fighting in the War of 1812.












According to the Remarks section of this entry, he was present for roll call in Feb 16 & 28, 1815. He was sick in quarters on April 30, 1815. Presented sick in Regimental Hospital. William S. Foster's, Co. 5 " U.S. Infantry. Sacred Heart? June 30 1815. Book F Discharged June 14 or 15 1815 at Buffalo, on surgeon's certificate of disability, old age. Book 600 Appears to have served in Lieutenant Hoits, detachment 1st New Hampshire Volunteers prior to enlistment in the regular Army. 4" made 5". 

Given that the name "Jotham Morrill" was so unique, I am quite certain that this is his record, and that '4 made 5' means that he was given credit for his full five years of service, even though he was discharged for being sick.

As for his age, if he truly was 45 at the date of this record, it means that he was born between April 25, 1767 and April 24, 1768, which runs as a conflict against the 1830 and 1850 Census, as shown above, but only a discrepancy of about 3 or 4 years.

As for this Jotham's birthplace, the Town of Berwick Maine is a big clue that he was descended from the John Morrell of Kittery line, as was William Morrill of Moultonboro (who was of close enough age to be a sibling, and the two men were living next door to each other on the 1800 Census!).

My current theory (2014) is that William and Jotham were brothers from Berwick.

I've written a study of the Tuftonboro Morrills, which can be read here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Samuel Morrill Cemetery in Tuftonboro New Hampshire

Samuel Morrill (1779-1849) was born in Eliot Maine to Joel Morrill and Hannah Wilson of Eliot.

At around age 30, in 1810, he met Mary "Polly" Hodgdon of Strafford County New Hampshire, and married her in Tuftonboro, and they remained there for the rest of their lives.  In 1840, the portion of Strafford containing Tuftonboro and surrounding towns was incorporated into new Carroll County.


HOME OF SAMUEL MORRILL
1810-1849 (OR LATER)
FEDERAL CORNER ROAD
TUFTONBORO, NH

This family directly descends from John Morrell of Kittery (one of the two English founders of Morrill families in New England), and is one of many Morrill families to have moved to Strafford County, New Hampshire.

In fact, other families made the move from York County Maine to Strafford County as well, and they are discussed in more detail here.

The old red house sits on a 23 acre lot, but just south of the house, on a separate 2 acre lot (containing no house) sits a modest little graveyard surrounded by a stone wall and many maple trees, and contains 11 gravesites with very well kept head and footstones.  As is often the case with old New England towns, there were no public cemeteries until mid 19th century in Tuftonboro, and no churches, so people resorted to backyard burials.  There are 47 such family graveyards in the Town, according to Tuftonboro New Hampshire:  Cemeteries, Graveyard and Burial Sites 1800-1995, copyright 1997 by The Tuftonboro Association.

I've profiled everyone resting in Samuel's backyard on Find A Grave, but here is a summary of its inhabitants:



GRAVE OF SAMUEL MORRILL
(POLLY IS BURIED HERE TOO, I BELIEVE, BUT UNMARKED)

Samuel died in 1849 at home, and Polly died in 1876 in neighboring Rochester (perhaps the house was already sold by then?).

As for their eight children, three died as babies, and the other five died between ages 20 and 50:




-Sally Morrill-Foss (1810-1854) was Samuel's eldest.  She married John Foss (1797-1859) and they ran a small farm in neighboring Moultonboro with their five children, most of whom appear to be buried at Lee Cemetery in Moultonboro.

-Joel Morrill (1815-1867) was clearly named after Samuel's father.  He married Almira Piper and ran a large farm in Newport, Maine with their three children.  None of this family is buried here.

-Hannah and Almira Morrill appear in no records after their births, so it's possible they were stillborn or might be buried in unmarked graves here in the backyard.

GRAVE OF WILLIAM MORRILL
AGE SIX MONTHS


-William Morrill (1819-1819) lived only six months, and he has his own gravesite next to his father.  This is what leads me to believe the two older girls were stillborn.


GRAVE OF CARRIE MALLARD
AGE 8

GRAVE OF MARY JANE MORRILL-MALLARD

-Mary Jane Morrill-Mallard (1822-1861) married an attorney named John D. Mallard and moved to Brookline, Massachusetts with their young daughter, Carrie (who died at age 8).  When Mary Jane's sister, Sally Foss, and her husband both died, their young daughter Sally moved in with them until she married and moved up to Epsom, NH.  John may have remarried after Mary Jane died, since I cannot seem to locate his burial place.

GRAVE OF ELIZABETH MORRILL-SMITH
THOUGHTFULLY REPAIRED AFTER SOME VANDALS GOT TO IT


-Elizabeth Morrill-Smith (1828-1866) married a John G. Smith, whom I cannot locate a single record for (perhaps the commonality of the name is to blame). 



-Julia Morrill-Leavitt (1830-1853) was the youngest of Samuel's children.  She married Woodbury Leavitt (1827-1863), son to Samuel Leavitt and Jemima Piper, and grandson to adjutant John Leavitt,  and they had one child, Samuel C. Leavitt (1849-1870) also buried here.  After Julia died, Woodbury worked as a farm laborer and then died during the Civil War from chronic diarrhea.

Also buried in the backyard is a Willie Hodgdon Smith (1861-1866), son to Elizabeth Morrill.

GRAVE OF WILLIE HODGDON SMITH

I believe that once Samuel died in 1849, his house and land must have been sold immediately, since everyone scattered to other places afterwards.  At least the new owner was kind enough to allow the subsequent burials to take place here.  I'd like to find out when the land was sold.  I believe the house is kept up nicely and is used as some kind of museum or meeting house, judging from my visit there in November 2011 (when I took these photographs).  It would be nice if a member of this family living today would stumble upon this post, and maybe have more info to share to help fill in the blanks.