Daughter Morris: Birth: ABT. 1764. Death: UNKNOWN
Richard Morris: Birth: ABT. 1766. Death: UNKNOWN
Eleanor Morris: Birth: ABT. 1773. Death: UNKNOWN
Note: SOURCE: See Maryland in the Revolution p. 410. Member Second Battalion, Maryland as Private. Vol. p. 410 "Maryland in the Revolution" William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 24, Page 189 Census of Maryland 1790 See National Number 317,520 of Mrs. Rella Morris Foos During the Revolutionary War, John's residence was in Prince George's County, Maryland.
SOURCE: Permission from Anne Morris Mertz to use some of her material which is a wonderful in-depth work over seven years to find the truth. We owe such a great deal to her for her tenacity to accumulate proof and the genealogists and her own search and travels to follow our ancestors footsteps. Her book is entitled, "Morris Migration: A Saga of Forebears and Descendants."
At a compatible later time and place a JAMES MORRIS, son of JOHN II appears, born in Maryland, 1762. James is the father of William Andrew Morris who later marries Clarinda Fox, daughter of Jacob FOX. Both were born in Ohio and their daughter Esther Ann Morris is our link to MORRIS. William Andrew preferred to be called Andrew and always signed his name as such. He was also known as Andy. They had a son, named William Andrew who was called Willie. In the late 1860s the family moved to Iowa.
The region of Virginia to which the MORRISES, SPURGEONS, ROBINETTS, and Frazees went is difficult to define both geographically and historically. At first it had no name except "TERRITORY--west of the Blue Ridge." In 1720 it was called "SPOTSYLVANIA" and by 1734, "ORANGE County." Four years later the counties, FREDERICK and AUGUSTA (named for the wife of the Prince of WALES and mother of King George III) were laid off by the colonial legislators. These two counties included all the land west of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Mississippi River. Most of the early comers were almost entirely from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
SOURCE: Chapter III "Morris Migration" by Anne Morris Mertz.
JOHN JR, born about 1737, (we used 1738), must have been in the Maryland MILITIA, although this has not yet been proved. When he was taxed in 1761, he was recorded as head of household, so we can assume he was already married to ELENOR. The recorded birth of DORCAS Morris (who later married David CUSHMAN) was 1765. Anne believes DORCAS must have been the second daughter of JOHN and ELENOR, judging from a family count and a family will. So DORCAS must have been born in FLINTSTONE as was her older SISTER, because their parents, JOHN and ELENOR, lived there at least four years. ***** NOTE: Sherrett Rae believes John II's first wife was (Maria) Hannah Downing who is believed to have died after the birth of Jospeh who was born in 1771. Eleanor must have married John II in Maryland and cared for his children and they had the two mentioned in his Will.
Sherrett has found them both listed in the DAR Centennial Edition which also states he was born in Wales. There is an application to the DAR and another with additional documentation that is required by the DAR. In going over Michelle Rush's genealogy, it has matching ancestors in her lineage. All of documents are in Sherrett's files. What we have to determine is "was this soldier John I or John II. Needs to be reanalyzed. ***** Land: Four years was time enough to save money to buy land, which John II did in 1765. The record shows that John Morris, "farmer," bought a fifty acre tract for forty-four pounds and ten shillings called "Johnsons Folly," also referred to as "Johnstons. (Annapolis, Land Book BC & GS 28. pp. 292-3. There was a "Johnson's Hollow" in the area on Warrior's Mountain.) It was on the east side of Martin's Mountain near "the head of the draught" of Flintstone Creek, a branch of Town Creek. This was probably a minor draught in Maryland since the document didn't bother to name it. Patented in Maryland, it was also sold in Maryland by a Maryland deed, well after the Pennsylvania-Maryland line was established. So, although the "big draught" is north in Pennsylvania near Cheneysville, there is no doubt that John's land was not there. His land was in or somewhere very near the village of Flintstone, probably not far from the two tracts of land owned by Richard Morris, about nine miles from the Potomac River. The Morris brothers probably lived much nearer Flintstone than Oldtown. (Flintstone is about fifteen miles east of Cumberland on Route 40, and Flintstone Creek flows into Town Creek.) (See Annapolis, Judgements Book P, p. 467.
"John Morris I" who emigrated from Wales, was living with his son, John II, wife Eleanor, and their children. The family notes of NANCY HAINES, great-granddaughter of John Morris II, mentions his father, John. Only one John Morris was listed in Frederick County at this time. By 1782 there were eleven persons in the household of John II, which would account for his old father John, for DORCAS and for her SISTER (name unknown). Because of the young children and the aging father, John II must have delayed leaving Maryland.
Also curious is a record of 1771 which tells of the beating and asaulting of Eleanor Morris, presumably John II's wife, by one Patrick Dougherty. The indictment in a Frederick County court was "quashed," ordered in a marginal not in the Annapolis, Book Q, p. 382.
Our WELSHMEN made their way through the Cumberland Narrows, a thousand foot deep natural gap with sheer rock cliffs on one side, carved away Wills Creek and named for the well-liked Indian Chief WILLS. This was a few miles upstream from its confluence with the Potomac River. As early as 1748 there had been McCullough's Packhorse Path, formerly an old Indian trail. A good bit later, in 1772, and two years after Richard Morris and his sons went westward, a couple of log-wheel wagons of wide tread and extra length were drawn by oxen and cows over the rough rail. General Braddock and his men further improved and extended it to the mouth of Wills Creek. Here was Caiuctucucu, an Indian village, later a trading post. Then Michael Cresap, who worked for the Ohio Company, built a stockade called Fort Ohio as a defense against the Indians and the French. This became Fort Cumberland by 1750, where George Washington had begun his military career as an aide to General Braddock.
Christopher Gist, also of the Ohio Company of Virginia, helped by Indians, soldiers, and young George Washington, widened and enlarged the way westward. Michael CRESAP blazed a trail toward the Ohio River later to become "BRADDOCK'S TRAIL." By 1773 TEAGARDEN ROAD became the first public road west of the Monongahela River. This gradual improvement was an encouragement to all pioneers, and our JOHN MORRIS II must have had an easier transport than Richard by waiting just a few years.
John and his wife Eleanor lived on GEORGES CREEK in GEORGES or WHARTON Township in FAYETTE County, Pennsylvania, when he made his will in 1796. He was living just north of Pennsylvania border and MORRIS Crossroads. (SEE THE COPY OF JOHN II's WILL} However, the WILL was filed in Monongalia County, Virginia.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`~ TRANSCRIPTION OF JOHN MORRIS' WILL JOHN MORRIS' WILL 13 October 1798 George's Creek, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania WILL F 840 755 In the name of God amen, I JOHN MORRIS of Campbell County & State of Kentucky now residing in Pennsylvania on Georges Creek being weak in body but sound memory blessed be God for it do make & publish this my last will & Testament in the following manner that is to say I give unto my son JOSEPH Morris one hundred acres of land lying on the north east side of a tract of land on Monongalia county and State of Virginia the bonddages to be as has run by John Runyon surveyor the rest of s'd tract to be sold at the time & in the manner my seem best to the executor I give one third of the price of s'd land to my wife Elanor Morris of my movable property I give to my son MORRIS is fifteen pounds lawful money I give to my daughter Elizabeth MORRES fifteen pounds lawful money I give to my son JOHN Morris fifteen pounds lawful money I give to my daughter ELENOR MORRIS fifteen pounds the aforesaid sums to be lawful money of the State of Kentucky the rest of my movable property I give to my wife ELENOR MORRICE & two thirds of the price of the afores'd land I give unto my four sons RICHARD Morris II, JAMES Morris, MORRIS Morris, JOHN MorrisIII to be equally divided among them.
I make and ordain JOSEPH Morris my son the sole executor of this my last will and testament. My hand & seal this twentieth day of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety six. John Morris ( Seal ) Witness present Job Bacorn, Saml. Woodbridge, Dunham Martin.
NOTE: See Richard MORRIS for further information on description of land in Pennsylvania, Mason county, etc.
In 1774 John Jr. son of our emigrant father John from Wales, had arrived at the Glades. By then, John and his wife Eleanor were able to leave Flintstone, Maryland, as tales of wonderful hunting and settlement rights continued.
Lord Baltimore in 1774, opened his lands "westward of Fort Cumberland" to settlement, and many tracts in what is now Garrett County, Maryland, were surveyed for land speculators "down east" the same year Virginia sent John Trimble to survey lands on Sandy Creek.
John Murray, the thirteenth Lord Dunmore of Scotland, was the last British governor of the Virginia Colony. Evidence exists that he issued land grants to many Tory Loyalists in the 1770s in order to cloud the titles of settlers with claims lesser than military grants. Realizing that war with the Colonies was inevitable, he despoiled the land ownership situation by typing up titles to lands claimed by Virginia but also by the Pennsylvania Colony, the British, the French, and the Sawnees. The British neither supported nor defended these lands.
This Lord Dunmore, Virginia's evil British governor, gave a land grant of some 28,000 acres, covering the waters of both the Cheat and Kanawha Rivers, to a British soldier named Richard MORRIS, to his principal sergeants and soldiers, and to a British regular army officer named Savage. A Virginia lawsuit ensued in which for many years OUR Richard MORRIS was a defendant and deposee. SAVAGE claimed the land our Richard had settled on in 1770. Complicating this matter was that one of the plaintiffs with SAVAGE was the British soldier named Richard MORRIS. (Lyman Chalkeley, Records of West Augusta county, Virginia.)
Dunmore was cruel to the pioneers, who hated him. He paid a ransom for scalps -of men, women, children--it didn't matter. He stole and mrdered, hoping to win back the new Americans. He also sent an emissary to stir up the Indians in order to assist a regiment of Tories--to burn, plunder, rape, scalp, massacre--all in the name of the British.
This was "Lord Dunmore's War."
Sometimes the settlements were deserted in panic from torch and tomahawk. "The frontiers suffered greatly, scarcely a lone and exposed household escaping attack. Most of the settlers fled to a line of seventeen forts which had been established under Benjamin FRANKLIN'S direction in the mountain gaps." (Samuel Kercheval, A History of the Valley of Virginia. 1883)
The magazine at Winchester, Virginia, was fortified. BUTLER'S Fort was built at the mouth of Roaring Creek, near the Cheat River. Then occurred in April of 1774 the horrible murder by drunken white men, renegades, of the defenseless wife and children of the Indian Chief Logan, "peaceable, inoffensive Indians at Captiva and Yellow Creek, which brought on the despicable, terrifying war of Lord Dunmore in the spring of 1774." (The Rev. Dr. Joseph Doddridge, "Memorir," in Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars, p. 82. Records say the men were led by Daniel GREATHOUSE, a neighbor of Richard MORRIS, whose daughter he had married. The chief of the Mingoes returned with thirty-one white scalps, and Logan never again forgave or agreed to peace terms.
These pioneers who had settled beyond the beautiful Blue Ridge watched each night the blue deepen into purple, saw the darkness slowly cover the mountains and trees, and finally the cabins. Each simple, rustic noises of the wildlife disturbed the silence. They seldom slept very soundly, and an uneasiness must have been ever-present until first light came through chinks in the shuttered windows.
Very soon after this horrifying massacre of Logan's family so near the Morris family, they had even more reason than others to be fearful, since Richard's violent, uncouth son-in-law was the known leader of the drunken "party." With the help of the entire community, the settlers felled trees and erected a fort on Richard's land in 1774, raising log walls with a a communal room, laying puncheon floors, and building a protective barricade. Richard MORRIS was said to have the most cleared land at this time; a forty-acre plot was recorded. It was a great advantage to have a wide clearing for preventing a foe from getting within good range. This for MORRIS on Hogue's Run and BUTLER'S fort were two safety zones in PRESTON County. ASHBY'S and FRIEND'S Forts in western Maryland added to the settlers line of defense. Open glades became empty; the wood again belonged to the Indians, with the trees their barricades.
Not surprisingly, "No Indian alarms disturbed our MORRIS settlers until the Sawnee War of 1774 when Fort Morris ... was built for protection of the tri-state area." (see Charles F Hoye, "The Cuppett Family, " quoted in Maryland Mountain Democrat 1935 p. 9) Because the fort was in the northwest corner of Virginia, near the boundaries of both Pennsylvania and Maryland, it served as a link with militia activities of all three colonies. Curiously, no MORRISES or their neighbors seem to have been on the payrolls for Dunmore's War. But many, many records have been lost.
Maryland's "Mountain Democrat" described "Fort Morris in the open glade on Hog Run ... built in time for the Sandy Creek settlement and for others including the FRIENDS, FRAZEES, and HALLS of Maryland to take refuge during the Battle of Point Pleasant." (Ibid., p. 239) Our FRAZEE "cousin" Samuel was twenty-one and served as a scout under General LEWIS for this fierce battle, which took place on the tenth of October 1774, when recruited settlers defeated the Indians.
Hog Run was a tributary of Little Sandy, called this several times in old records. Other records show that Zebulon Hogue (Hoguemeyer). from Hagerstown, Maryland, was one of the very first settlers here in 1770. In 1986, however, the local farmers, seemingly amused, called it "Hog Run." the latter name seems to be the one that prevailed.
A year after Fort Morris was built, a company of "Ranger" was organized by the settlers of the Sandy Creek area and was headquartered at Fort Morris. This company protected the settlement until the close of the Revolutionary War, accoring to "West Virginia History," which lists the officers as Capt. Augustine FRIEND, Lt. Gabriel FRIEND, and Sgt. Abija HERRINGTON.
This fort was used until after the war. In 1784, ten years after it was built, George Washington and his nephew, Bushrod Washington, stopped there on their return from Washington's last exploratory trip across northwestern Virginia. Coming eastward from Ice's Ferry and Bruceton Mills, they passed through the old Quaker settlement of Brandonville and asked for lodging at the house of James SPURGEON, which was right beside Fort Morris and Richard MORRIS'S home The next night they camped on the ground, sleeping on their overcoats, then traveled southward to the house of Charles FRIEND to get porridge (corn or mush) for their horses. They traveled the old McCullough path, then over the Allegheny table-lands and home to Mount Vernon on the Potomac. This trip is described in "West Virginia History," which proved a map and reveals the detailed notes that Washington kept. (Bushrod Washington, the nephew became an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.) (Charales Henry Amber, "West Virginia History." Encylopedia Britannica, Vol. 23.
Accounts state that Fort Morris could accommodate many families and they stress its great importance. Several of these forts and block-houses were erected during the terror and panic of the spring and summer of 1774. By affording shelter and protection, even the smaller forts served their purpose and prevented abandoning entirely this section of the country at the time of Dunmore's War. The Indians had no artillery so they seldom attacked or scarcely ever took a fort. Sometimes additional cabins outside the fort were erected for temporary living. Then the occupants could retreat into the fort in case of attack. These cabins were not only a range of defense, but also formed a neighborhood goup. (Boyd Crumrine, ed..History of Washington County, Pennsylvania, p. 73.)
An assemblage of cabins ... built of sapling logs standing eight or ten feet above the ground were sunk about three feet into the black alluvial earth.... Here the families of the Sandy Creek Glades fled for shelter at the rumor of an Indian incursion.... Within a stockade the people were fairly secure, since the natives did not like to storm a fort which they could not reduce by stratagem." (Core, p. 358)
"The people in the vicinity ... fled across Monongahela River to the shelter of Morris's fort ... southeast of Uniontown ... one of the first grade ... was much resorted to by the old settlers on the upper Monongahela and Cheat Rivers and from Ten Mile." (Franklin Ellis, History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. pp. 68-70) (Ten Mile country covered an area of today's Greene and Washington Counties of Pennsylvania, settlements of the Ohio Valley and of Ten Mile River and its tributaries in West Virginia and Maryland, according to Hilda Chance in "Ten Mile Country."
For MORRIS was "...a stockade fort enclosing about an acre. The settlers of Washington County, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia repaired over the Old Sandy Creek Road (earliest road on record and within a mile of Fort Morris) for protection.... The settlers forted during the summer, but were not molested." (Richard T. Wilely, The Monongahela: the River and the Regions, pp. 367-8.) It was also written that the settlers got the ague from bad water.
Petition were signed and the names are entirely authentic. (see Howard L. Lackey, The Ten Mile Country and Its Pioneer Families, pp 142, 144-6, 148, 152) There were also petitions signed for a request that the government of Virginia officially inform the citizens whether parat of the region had been given to Pennsylvania. (see Archives of the Virginia State Library, Richmond.) One list is in alphabetical order, with FRAZEES, MORRIS', ROBINETTS, SPURGEONS, WORELEYS, and WORRALS all signed up. (Virginia Genealogist, vol. 17 (1992), pp. 216-223. Anne Mertz has a copy in her possession of even more important work because all the signers are listed by neighborhood. Since we have records of most of our Morris neighbors, the signers' names help to determine which are our morris's. It appears that probably at least five members of the combined two MORRIS brothers' families were old enough to be signers.
The big revolt against England had been brewing in coastal towns for some time. It soon became a duty for seaboard people to stay in the East in order to help resis the invading enemy; emigration across the mountains nearly ended. So now there was little oportunity for the pioneers to trade for tools, salt, and weapons.
Frontier people had to be self sufficient in every way and had to defend alone their homes from the savages turned loose by the British. Backwoods Indian hostility grew fierce as liquor-peddling traders brought poverty and debility to the unknowing natives, and their vengeance had no limits. This "second front" of the colonies has been much neglected by historians. It has been said, however, that frontier battles were as much a part of the revolutionary conflict as the battles of Trenton and Monmouth. Border life seemed a "ceaseless patrol."
Now called to fight for their rights and fair taxation, frontiersmen also answered the call for independence with great ardor. Accounts reveal that practically all Virginia settlers served sometime during the Revolution, although many, many records no longer exist to prove it. As an incentive to enlistment, Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut promised bounty land to everyone who lived in those sections of the Northwest Territory which their charters included. A former serviceman's land warrant was a license to find land anywhere in the PUBLIC DOMAIN. Maryland, on the other hand, appropriated all the vacant lands west of Fort Cumberland to fulfill service obligations and issued numbered lots of fifty acres each. Rank determined the number of lots a man received. This was not like the Virginia and Federal systems. All this free bounty land was an inducement to join the Continental Army--a powerful one but life-taking.
It is truly remarkable that an attempt by the U.S. Government was made to take a population count of the citizens soon after the Revolution. It is even more remarkable that a census in this wilderness area was largely accomplished as early as 1782. In those days and in those places few pioneers could read and write.
In Virginia's large Monongalia County in that first 1782 count are listed our Morris brothers, who had settled there much earlier, Richard in 1770 and John about 1774. John Morris, not adjoining, his brother's land, is listed as having eleven in his household who had come from Flintstone, Maryland, with his wife, Eleanor, to Sandy Creek with a "passel" of children.
Guided by JOHN MORRIS WILL: (Monongalia County Deeds, OS 052: 347; Monongalia County Will Bk 1, pp. 302-303. Witnesses: Job Bacorn, Samuel Woodbridge, and Dunham Martin. There was an early town called Bacorn near Glades Farms, the current name for the Sandy Glades settlement.) John's WILL written twenty-two years after his arrival in Virginia, it difures that probably these nine were, first, a daughter name unknown; second, oldest son, Joseph; third child, Dorcas (born 1765 in Flintstone and later, in 1788 Dorcas married her neighbor, David CUSHMAN, brother of the above-mentioned Sarah); then Richard, James (OUR JAMES) John IV, Morris II, Elizabeth, and Eleanor. This would account for the five sons and two daughters mentioned in John's will. The two oldest daughters not mentioned in the will, were married long before the will was written and had established homes, and probably had received a dowry earlier, which was often the custom. Married daughters were frequently not mentioned in these early wills. Also recorded in WILLS, 1:302 and OS 2:347
SOURCE: Letter written, 29 Sep 1998, by researcher Rick Toothman, RR3 Box 228, Mannington, WV 26582 Telephone: 304/825-6029. The letter was written to Michelle Rush.
He states that 9 years before he did some work for Mrs. Anne Morris Merta, of Wilmington, DE, on the John and Richard Morris families of Monongalia (now Preston) County, WV. Her primary goal was to identify Morris Morris b. 1780 and d. 1864, of Indianapolis, formerly of KY, whose wife was the granddaughter of Richard Morris, Sr. but whose own placement in the family was not certainly known.
It seems reasonably certain that John who died in the fall of 1796 at Georges Creek, Fayette Co, PA. He bought land on Town Creek in 1765 but his name appears on (the 1761 taxes for Old Town Hundred survive only by chance). He sold his MD land in 1785, with wife Eleanor on the deed, which calls them "of Washington Co, MD," though this may be an error.
John Morris was married to Eleanor by at least 1785, when they sold his land at Town Creek. There are no pre-1885 marriage records, per se, for Fayette Co, PA. The earliest surviving ministers' returns from Monongalia are dated late 1794. I'm not at all sure that any marriage records were kept earlier than this. They were not required under VA law till 1781 and most counties did not immediately comply with the law, as I have learned in my work. If Monongalia had any, they were evidently burned in the clerk's office in 1796.
SOURCE: "Ancestral lines of the Doniphan, Frazee, and Hamilton Families, by Frances Frazee Hamilton (Greenfield, IN published by William Mitchell Printing Co., 1928).
SOURCE: Land Measures History Magazine Oct/Nov 1999 An acre of land is supposed to be the area that could be plowed by an ox in a day. A hide of land, about 120 acres, is the amount of land that an ox could plow in a year. A hundred hides was the origin of the sub-division of a county in England called a HUNDRED, a term still used in certain areas.
The ox was used for plowing almost exclusively until 150 years ago when horses became more common. The Romans never learned how to harness a horse to pull a plow, a skill that was not learned until about 1200. Cows were originally kept only as breeding stock to produce oxen; milk came from goats and sheep.
SOURCE: A History of Preston County, West Virginia, Vol 1 by Oren F. Morton. Published by Kingwood, West Virginia, 1914 originally. Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore MD 1997 ISBN: 0-8063--4690-6 Set #: 0-8063-4689-2
Page 534 Surveys By John Trimble, may 5-14, 1774 (Recorded in Augusta County,
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