Monday, April 19, 2010

The Morgans of New England


The Morgan surname is Welsh.  Some believe the name to be derived from Celtic for "sea circle", and is derived from the Old Welsh name Morcant.  The surname Morgan traces its origin from the powerful Welsh family established c. 1330 by Morgan ap Llewelyn, (son of Llewelyn ap Ifor, Lord of St. Clere, and Angharad, daughter and heiress of Sir Morgan ap Maredudd (Meredith), Lord of Tredegar), meaning either "great kingdom" or "great hundred". It is a popular family name in Wales, as well as there being a group of Morgans from "Morgund". It is possible that the name was Celtic from the Cornovii Tribe who lived in the North of Scotland and in the Severn Valley near the Wrekin in Shropshire.



My immigrant ancestor (and 8th Great Grandfather) was Robert Morgan (1601-1672) from Tredegar, Monmouthshire Wales.  He migrated to Virginia in 1635, and soon moved north to Salem, Massachusetts.  His son, Samuel, was my direct ancestor, but his eldest son was Sir Henry Morgan, famous privateer which the rum "Captain Morgan" was named for.



But starting from more recent history, and going back to Robert, my 3rd great grandparents were Henry Gray Morgan (1808-1883), originally from Bucksport (just across the Penobscot) & Harriet Holmes (1816-1856) of Frankfort (formerly Winterport), Maine.  Harriet was a member of the extremely large and wealthy Holmes family of Plymouth, Massachusetts who descended from colonial settler John Holmes of Milton Keynes, England.  Many thousands of Americans descend directly from John Holmes.  Harriet's father, Thomas Holmes, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, but migrated north to Winterport, Maine in Waldo County.  Harriet's brothers appear in many court records of Waldo County filing claims against many townspeople to whom they had lent money.


HOLMES HOMESTEAD
WINTERPORT MAINE
(CORNER OF MAIN AND HOLMES STREET)
MORGAN HOMESTEAD
WINTERPORT MAINE
(WILLOW STREET)

HENRY GRAY MORGAN HOUSE
END OF STREET ON THE RIGHT

According to Winterport Town Records I located on microfilm at the LDS Library, Henry was a wood surveyor and also a juror for Winterport.

Henry & Harriet had five children in Winterport:

1.  Albert H Morgan (1839-1863) died fighting the Civil War in Louisiana in 1863, as part of the Maine 16th Regiment.

2.  My 2nd great grandfather, William Sanford Morgan (1841-1920), also fought in the Civil War, and settled in Portland.  Not sure yet which regiment.

GRAVE OF LOUISE AND ROGER RUNDLETT
LOUISE'S DEATH DATE UNKNOWN


3.  Louise Maria Morgan (1843-??) married Roger Sheridan Rundlett of New Hampshire, moved briefly to Cambridge Mass, but came back and settled in Winterport.  No children.  Roger was a surveyor, along with his brother-in-law Seth Morgan (see below).  Roger also was a Civil War veteran and was listed as a "tuner for H&MO Company" in the 1878 Cambridge Directory.  Also in 1878, Roger lent his brother-in-law, William Sanford Morgan, $200.00 for a mortgage on William's Beech Ridge Road property in Scarborough, Maine.  William paid his brother back within two years.


GRAVE OF HORACE B. MORGAN
Togus National Cemetery, Augusta, Maine

4.  Horace B. Morgan (1845-1911), a short man like his brothers (5'3") also fought for the last year of the War, as he had just turned 17 at that point.  He and his wife Jennie moved around a lot.  They lived in Peabody Mass, Portland Maine, Boston, and Chelsea, Maine.  He also stayed at Togus hospital, like his brother William.  He had a heart valve problem, and hemiplegia.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage.  He was survived by his wife, and two sons (Henry & Horace).

5.  Harriet Augusta Morgan (1849-??) married twice - briefly to Alfred Rand, and then later to Charles Emery, who pre-deceased her.  I'm not aware of any children.

Soon after little Harriet was born, Henry & Harriet divorced.  Henry kept the kids, married Abigail Harding from Winterport, and had one more child, Seth Morgan (1858-1924), who never married, but took care of his ailing brother Horace.  Seth and his brother-in-law, Roger Rundlett, worked as surveyors, and according to the book An Old River Town by Ada Douglas Littlefield, they surveyed the icy width of the Penobscot River in 1904 and measured it to be 1/4 mile wide.

As for Henry Gray's ancestry, below he is included on the birth listing for Bucksport (formerly Buckstown), Maine, to William and Rachel Morgan, and he was one of 8 children:




William Morgan and Rachel (Page) Morgan were from Bucksport, Maine, and yet it appears that many family researchers conflate them William Morgan and Rachel (Sheldon) Morgan of Pittsford, Vermont.



William (1775-1852) and Rachel (1779-1848) both had settled in Winterport along with their son Henry, and are all buried there together in Oak Hill Cemetery. 



Here are the Winterport graves of this family:

MORGAN FAMILY PLOT
Oak Hill Cemetery
Winterport, Maine


Grave of two of Henry's children:
Adelaide Morgan (daughter of Henry & Harriett)
Seth Morgan (son of Henry & Abigail)

Grave of Baby Irving
Son to Henry & Abigail Morgan

Grave of William's son Henry Gray Morgan
and both wives Harriet Holmes & Abigail Harding


Grave of Elders
William Morgan & Rachel Sheldon


Graves of Parents of Harriet Holmes (and baby John)
Oak Hill Cemetery
Winterport, ME


William's parents, Israel & Sarah Jackson-Morgan, were originally from Spencer, Worcester, Masachusetts.

No comments:

Post a Comment