Monday, August 27, 2018

Expanding the search for the Morgan’s part three

There is much information found on the many Morgan’s in the Census’ of Montgomery County and the surrounding counties; including Chatham County, however, other than family stories, legends and a lot of assumptions, I do not seem able to tie the families together through documentation. I studied the Charles Morgan family from Chatham County, as there was a tremendous research effort across the internet to tie this family to the Montgomery County Morgan’s; other than some of the first names being the same, I am not able to definitively say these are the same families. There is just not enough of a paper trail.

Charles Morgan, Chatham County, who left a will, had six sons and two daughters listed in his will. He leaves the house, land and mill equally divided between all eight children. He leaves a bed and furniture to his granddaughter, Geane Stewart. His sons, Charles Jr and Joseph, appointed executors and the will witnessed by John Stewart and James Smith; dated 12 Nov 1787. The will probated in February session 1788. No wife mentioned.

Children of Charles Morgan as listed in his will:
Joseph Morgan, Charles Morgan Jr, Edward (or Edmond) Morgan, John Morgan, Zachariah Morgan, William Morgan, Hannah West, Rachel Stewart

Several names here show up in Montgomery County, Joseph (my own ancestor), Charles, John, Zachariah and William are names found in Montgomery County. Further searching in Chatham found a will for a Joseph Morgan, probated 1806. It is likely that this Joseph is the son of Charles, but it is only speculation, and not absolute proof. This Joseph looks to have died young. His wife lived to the year 1843 and he listed at least one underage child in his will.

Those mentioned in Joseph’s will are John Morgan, Rachel Richardson, Polly Brewer, son in law Abel Brewer, and Jemimah Morgan

Twice in the will, Joseph specifically states that he wishes his children to live peaceably on that part of the land whereon they currently live and to not remove or tear down the dividing line (a fence, an orchard and a field) between them and his ‘present wife’ and George Dismuke’s line. Joseph lists his wife last in the will, and names her as Ferreby Morgan. George Dismuke, John Morgan and Ferreby Morgan listed as Executors and Executrix of his will. The will, dated 3 Dec 1805 is probated 1806.

Ferreby Morgan's will dated 16 Oct 1843, probated 1843, and lists the following people:

Andrew Jackson Morgan, grandson
John Morgan, son
Zachariah Morgan, probably the son of Andrew Jackson Morgan
Polly Brewer, daughter, wife of Abel Brewer
Rachel Richardson, daughter, wife of Samuel Richardson
The children of my daughter, Jemima Taylor, who is now dead
Lucian Burnett, Executor
A.H. Dismuke, witness

It is obvious from the two wills that Joseph and Ferreby Morgan were married and the parents of the named children. Joseph looks to have died early and Ferreby never remarried. Zachariah is not mentioned in Joseph’s will and may be the son of Andrew Jackson Morgan. Although Ferreby does not mention Zachariah with any title, she has told us that Zachariah is her great grandson. She says about the remaining part of her estate, "I lend unto my son John Morgan during his life time and after his death to go to the above named Andrew Jackson Morgan and his issue (crossed out) Zachariah Morgan them and their issue." 

On Family Search, I found the guardian papers for the sons of a William Morgan, Chatham County, Alston Morgan and Nathaniel Morgan, dated 1809. It is possible that William is the brother of Joseph and son of Charles Morgan. There obviously is a close relationship to the Dismuke’s family and I wonder if Ferreby’s maiden name might be Dismuke. Perhaps George is her brother or uncle. George died in 1827 and she is not mentioned in his will.

I visited Orange County to see if I could connect the Morgan’s there to the Chatham County Morgan’s. Again, aside from some of the same first names repeated, I found no paper trail that definitively connects these Morgan’s together. The closet I came to a connection is with John Morgan, Orange, 1807. Lands in both Orange and Chatham are specifically stated and I feel safe in assuming that this John had a connection to both Orange and Chatham Counties.

On to the Tax Lists
I found William Morgan and Gowing Morgan on the tax list for Montgomery County between the years 1779 and 1780. I found a William Morgan in Anson County with a land grant from 1769. This possibly is the same William Morgan. This particular Morgan line seems to have been in the area of what is now the Uwharrie National Forest for a very long time.

Muster Rolls
Hardy Morgan and Joseph Morgan both found on the Muster Rolls for Montgomery County in the year 1812, as is William Morgan. Of interest, William Morgan is found on the Muster Rolls for Anson County in 1814.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Exploring the Morgan's of Montgomery County, North Carolina part two

In researching my Morgan line over the past two months, I learned that I have two Morgan lines, one in Montgomery County and one in Rowan County. I discovered my sixth great grandfather, Nathan Morgan, born 1756, died 1842, Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. Nathan, and wife Naomi Poole (1760-1851), are buried in the Morgan Cemetery in Rowan County. The area where the cemetery is "once served as a muster ground for Confederate soldiers, and nearby, stands the weather beaten portion of the old Morgan precinct house, which served the community for voting, tax listing, and tax collection. History says the building was in use when the country elected Abraham Lincoln president."

Read more about Pooletown and these Morgan’s at Job’s Children, This Old House.

Morgan Cemetery Rowan County NC find-a-grave

Quite a fascinating find on two Morgan lines. I cannot help but wonder if the Rowan County Morgan's are related to the Montgomery County Morgan's. More on the Rowan County Morgan’s in another Blog. In this Blog, I want to cover the Montgomery County Morgan’s because they are one of my brick wall ancestors.

The name Morgan can be found in Montgomery County, North Carolina as far back as when the county formed from Anson in 1779. Morgan’s, who lived in the part of Anson that became Montgomery, suddenly found themselves in Montgomery at the county formation; just as those Morgan’s who once lived in Bladen County found themselves in Anson County at its formation in 1750. Sometimes, ancestors do not migrate to another area; but rather, the name of the area they are located in, changes.

google images

Bladen County formed in 1734 from New Hanover Precinct, formed in 1729 from Craven Precinct, formed in 1705 from the now-extinct Bath County. With the abolition of Bath County in 1739, all of its precincts became counties.

google images

Joseph Morgan, my fourth great grandfather, was born about 1785, probably, in North Carolina, but not necessarily. I do not know who his parents were but there are three men listed on the 1790 Census for Montgomery County who are possible fathers to Joseph, as all of them have a male under the age of 16 years in their household.

1790 Census

It is also possible that at least one of these Morgan’s, William, was in Anson County prior to the formation of Montgomery as there is a land grant to a William Morgan, 1769, Anson County, On the Baptist prong (branch) of Clarks Creek, East of Pee Dee River, for 200 acres. I spoke to a fellow researcher who told me that the identification of this area might have been called ‘Baptist prong’ because a Baptist-meeting house was located there.

Land Grants NC

According to the USGS GNIS website, the current location of Clarks Creek is in Montgomery County, starting near Liberty Hill Church Road and running south west, until finally dumping into the Pee Dee River in the Mount Gilead area below what is now Lake Tillery. However, in 1769, this same location would have been Anson County and Lake Tillery would not have existed.


William Morgan will acquire 150 more acres of land, 50 acres in 1783 on the North East side of the Yadkin (River) and 100 acres in 1794 adjoining his own lands on the Baptist prong of Clarks Creek.

Land Grants NC

Land Grants NC

William Morgan, through many more land grants, will accumulate land, in 1783, 50 acres on Clarks Creek including Jno. Morgan's Improvements, in 1783, 100 acres on North East side of Yadkin on waters of Clarks Creek, in 1783, 100 acres on a branch of Clarks Creek, in 1789, 100 acres on Clarks Creek. William Morgan continues to accumulate land up until 1811.

I know Jonathan was alive in 1783 because William Morgan acquired a land grant that included “Jno. Morgan’s Improvements.” In 1802, Jonathan Morgan acquires, through a land grant, 300 acres on waters of Rocky River.

Land Grants NC

The Rocky River is a 95-mile-long river in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, beginning in Iredell County near Mooresville and flows south into Cabarrus County, where it is the principal waterway in the county. The river continues southeastward to form the line between Stanly, Union, and Anson counties. It empties into the Pee Dee River just below Norwood, North Carolina at the junction of Stanly, Montgomery, Anson, and Richmond counties, at the foot of the Uwharrie Mountains. [Wikipedia]


In 1804, Thomas Morgan acquires 100 acres, through a land grant, on the northeast side of Pee Dee River, on the waters of Little River, adjoining the land of John White. Little River is a tributary of the Pee Dee River that flows through Randolph, Montgomery, and Richmond counties.

Land Grants NC

The 1800 Census offers more information but still not enough to identify who Joseph’s parents were. Thomas, Jonathan and William are still alive in 1800; Mark looks like he might be newly married and just starting his family with two young daughters, under ten years of age. I think we are safe to cross Mark off the list; he is not Joseph’s father. Jonathan or Thomas look to be the most logical candidates with males between the ages of 16 – 25 but there is not enough evidence for a firm conclusion.

1800 Census work sheet

Of note, most of the research I read suggests that Joseph may be the son of a Charles Morgan from Chatham County. I also read some interesting research, to include DNA testing that adamantly refuted this claim. It is obvious that much more research is required before I can be firmly convinced.

In 1810, Joseph appears on the Census as a male between the ages of 16 and 25. It is logical to assume that he has come of age, previously living in the household of his father, but is now married with a family of his own. He looks to be newly married, as there is a female between the ages of 16 and 25 and 1 male child under ten years of age. A young family, just starting out.
Jonathan, Mark, Thomas and William have either died, moved on or are listed by another name. Three new names appear in 1810, along with Joseph’s, Charles, Zacha(riah) and Hardy.

1810 Census work sheet

Joseph married Susannah Smart around 1808/9 and their first-born son, Matthew, was born about 1810. Priscilla, followed in 1812 and Joseph G. in 1814. There is a Mary ‘Polly’ Morgan Dennis, who has been attached to Joseph and Susannah Smart Morgan, but, I am not able to place Mary Morgan Dennis as the daughter of Joseph and Susannah at this time. Some research suggests that perhaps Joseph was married prior and Mary is his daughter by a first wife, but if that is the case why is she missing on the 1810 Census with Joseph, Susannah and Matthew?

On June 1, 1812, President James Madison sent a message to Congress recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. After Madison's message, the House of Representatives deliberated for four days behind closed doors before voting 79 to 49 (61%) in favor of the first declaration of war. The Senate concurred in the declaration by a 19 to 13 (59%) vote in favor. The conflict began formally on June 18, 1812, when Madison signed the measure into law and proclaimed it the next day. (Wikipedia)

Family legend says that Joseph Morgan was in the War of 1812, where he lost his life. My search for any files in regards to his death have been futile up to this point. Following is the only record I have been able to find; there was nothing more in the file, just this one lone card. Family legend says that Joseph Morgan’s faithful friend, Joel Henderson, served alongside him in the war, when Joseph fell; Joel married his widow and raised his children as his own

Update 3 Jan 2019:
Pay vouchers was the system used to pay soldiers in the War of 1812, and in some cases those who gave supplies to the war effort. The soldier was later able to redeem the pay voucher for money. The vouchers were pre-printed forms with specific details like name, rank, and company filled in by hand. When a voucher was redeemed, a hole was punched through it.

While researching Hardy Morgan's military file on Fold3, I also came across Joseph Morgan's pay voucher. Joseph Morgan is my fourth great grandfather. Both Hardy and Joseph were issued their pay vouchers on 7 May 1815. Hardy’s pay voucher is listed as number 1713 and Joseph’s is listed as number 1725. Both pay vouchers were redeemed as a hole is punched through them.

I now know that Joseph Morgan was alive on 7 May 1815, five months after the War of 1812 ended and his pay voucher was redeemed as there is a hole punched through it. Thus, Joseph Morgan could not have been killed in the War of 1812.

See also: Christmas Wishes do Come True – some Answers to the Morgan Mystery
End update

Some research suggest that Joel Henderson came from Pitt County while others believe he was from western North Carolina. The lack of a complete paper trail has left me quite frustrated. I have read many family stories and legends about the lives of Joseph Morgan, Susannah Smart, and Joel Henderson; to date, no intact paper trail has revealed itself to convince me of anything concrete.


Susannah Smart Morgan married Joel Henderson around 1815; seven children were born to this marriage; Nathaniel (1815), Lockey (1816), Lewis (1823), Massan (1824), George (1827), Alexander L. (1830) and Mary Ann (1838), raised alongside their stepbrothers, Matthew, Joseph, and stepsister, Priscilla.

There is no 1820 Census for Montgomery County, North Carolina but the 1830 and the 1840 Census shows Joel Henderson and wife, Susannah, along with the Morgan and Henderson children, living on the East side of the Pee Dee Yadkin River.

1830 & 1840 Census Ancestry

In 1850, we finally get a look at all the people living in a household as well as their occupations. Joel Henderson is a Blacksmith, age 62, born 1788 in North Carolina, with a Real Estate value of $1250. Susannah looks to be 58 years old, making her born about 1792 in North Carolina. Alexander (19), William (17) and Mary Ann (13) are at home. At this time, I am not sure if Mary Ann is the daughter or granddaughter of Joel and Susannah.

1850 Census Ancestry

My line descends through Priscilla Morgan Hearne, the daughter of Joseph Morgan and Susannah Smart, and my third great grandmother. She married Stephen Hearne about 1831/2.

Montgomery County seems to be the land of mystery! Once again, I have found many family stories about Stephen Hearne. However, I am not able to locate the much-needed paper trail to convince me who his parents are. Some researchers have alluded that his father is James, while others say it is William, and still others state it is William James. It well could be either or all of these, but I need documentation. Of which, I will probably never get due to so many lost documents from court house fires and other mishaps.

Read on for what documentation I did find.

Stephen and Priscilla Morgan Hearne had the following children:
Joseph (1833), Massy Ann (1835), Ebenezer (1836), Thomas (1838), Susannah (1840), Mary (1842), Sarah (1845), Margaret (1847), Melvina (1850), William (1852), Martha (1854)

Clues abound in the names of children! Is it possible Stephen and Priscilla were traditionalist and followed a child-naming pattern that so many others did? Perhaps the son, Joseph, was named for maternal grandfather who died in the War of 1812, second born son, Ebenezer, named for paternal grandfather and following sons, Thomas and William, named for uncles. Certainly, I can know for sure that at least two of the children, Joseph and Susannah, were named for their maternal grandparents.

Update: The Stephen listed in Ebenezer Hearn's division of land went to TN and was married to Elizabeth "Letha" Harris, this family thinks she may be the daughter of Etheldred Harris, and the couple did name one of there son's Etheldred H. Hearn. Stephen Hearn who married Priscilla Morgan was son of William S. Hearn and Rutha Skein/Skeen. William S. is the son of Stephen Hearn and Prudence Coggins, this Stephen also married to Mary Hurley and was the son of Thomas Hearn and Nancy Wilson.

It is curious to me that the Morgan and Hearne families seem interconnected in some way. A Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, North Carolina) dated 16 Mar 1842, Wed Page 3 article suggest that Hardy Morgan, remember, he showed up on the 1810 Census at the same time Joseph did, was in some way connected to the Hearne family. What undivided interest did Hardy Morgan have in the lands belonging to the Estate of Ebenezer Hearne dec’d?


Once I found the Newspaper article with a date, I went to the Estate files for Montgomery County and found the court records for Ebenezer Hearne, dec’d. The court paper states that Disey, wife of George Hearne, Polly, wife of Gabriel Russell, Senora (or Lenora), wife of William Morgan, Elisabeth, wife of Rowland Harris, Nancy, wife of Clayton Steed, Stephen Hearne, George W. Hearne, and Joel Hearne, all of full age show that they are the children and only heirs of Eben Hearne, deceased.

Eben Hearne died being possessed of a tract of land lying in said county (Montgomery), adjoining the land of Alexander McKaskill, dec'd, on or close to the great market road from Troy to Fayetteville, containing five hundred acres being the same on which said Eben lived at the time of his death. The children, heirs of Eben Hearne, are now petitioning the court to sell the land as one tract rather than dividing it up.

Family Search

In a second court appearance, it appears that some of the heirs have not yet received payment for the sale of the land and are petitioning the court for the payment. The land originally sold for $310 on 16 Dec 1847 to James Batten.

Family Search

Family Search

I also learned that Lenora was the wife of Thomas Ingram and not William Morgan, as originally stated in the first court documents. Alternatively, perhaps she remarried following her first husband’s death. More research is required to sort out Senora’s marriage.

Family Search

Family Search

In Jan 1854, the court case ends with the money collected and paid to the heirs of Ebenezer Hearne.

Family Search

The court case, in its entirety, is located on Family Search:

However, I am still at a loss as to why Hardy Morgan took George Hearne to court in 1842...