The Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky is comprised of the eight westernmost counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the Tennessee River and the state of Tennessee to the south. By Kentuckians it is generally referred to simply as "the Purchase".

Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased the land lying west of the Tennessee River from the Chickasaw tribe and opened the area for settlement around 1820. Within the next few years, my grandfather's ancestors came there from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - the Beadles, Clapps, Pryors and Wingos settled in Graves County with the Reeves and Halls in neighboring Ballard County.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Finally found - our Morgan Family Ancestor

There is a copious amount of undocumented, inaccurate information floating about the internet regarding our ancestor Charles Morgan. After many years of searching Virginia's Northern Neck for some tidbit of documentation to identify the father of this ancestor who stated in his 1832 Revolutionary War pension application that he was born in Fauquier County, Virginia in 1757, I think I've finally found something of consequence.

The Benjamin Morgan and Phoebe Settle lineage which I spent years investigating proved to be incorrect. I shared the details of that research in a blog post five years ago. Benjamin Morgan was the son of Charles Morgan, born 1680 to Anthony Morgan and his wife Elizabeth. Charles' birth is recorded on the 28th of September, 1680 in Farnham Parish, Rappahannock, Virginia. Deed records in Wilkes County, North Carolina proved Benjamin's son Charles to have been incorrectly attributed to his brother John Morgan and couldn't have been our Charles.

The other most frequent theory found in countless sites on the internet is that he was the son of Anthony Morgan and Mary Wilson of Brunswick County, Virginia born 1764. Charles own words in his pension statement disprove Brunswick County as a place of birth and 1764 as a date. Anthony, born circa 1720 to 1730, was the son of Anthony Morgan, brother of Charles Morgan above, and Ann Duncan of Westmoreland County, Virginia. Like Charles, Anthony's birth is recorded in Farnham Parish, Rappahannock, Virginia on the 20th of November, 1686. Over the years I've frequently searched but could find no record of an Anthony Morgan living in Fauquier County, until recently when I happened upon the index of customers recorded in the Dumfries Store Ledgers of Prince William County.

Index of Customers at Daniel Payne's Dumfries' Store
Fauquier County was established on May 1, 1759, from Prince William County which fits exactly the time of our Charles Morgan's birth. At the time he was born it would have technically been Prince William County. The excerpt at right from the index of Daniel Payne's Dumfries Stores Ledger documents that Anthony Morgan was living in the Prince William County area from at least 1758 to around 1763. These records of Anthony Morgan's residence in Prince William County finally make it feasible that he could have been Charles' father. This family connection also coincides with an abundance of fairly large autosomal DNA matches on chromosome 4 to other descendants of Charles Morgan as well as to members of the Duncan family.

Much research of this family is still yet to be done. In reviewing all the sites which list Anthony Morgan as marrying a Mary Wilson in Brunswick County, Virginia and most of his children having been born there, none of them cite any sources. The only Morgan I have been able to find historical records for in Brunswick County is a Robert Morgan 1726 through 1745. It is highly likely that Robert may be another of the children of Anthony and Elizabeth Morgan of Westmoreland County. The widow Elizabeth Morgan married John Ware after Anthony Morgan's death and Robert Morgan was listed along with his brother Anthony as sons-in-law (stepsons) in John Ware's 1704 will.

One of the primary online sites proffering Anthony Morgan's marriage to Mary Wilson and living in Brunswick County, Virginia is the SARRETT/SARRATT/SURRATT Families of America where I found the following citation - "In 1755, Anthony MORGAN III was appointed constable in the room of Lazarus Taylor." This cites the source as Ibid., O.B., 1754-1755, p 221 but makes no reference to the county where this is recorded. Research of Lazarus Taylor in northern Virginia indicates that he was a resident of Northumberland County who settled in 1744/45 on Marrs Run on land believed to be located in Hamilton Parish, Prince William County, which later became part of the newly formed county of Fauquier. If Anthony's appointment as constable was in the Fauquier area, it is further repudiation of the theory suggesting Anthony was living in Brunswick County during this period.

Another potentially significant find is an Anthony Morgan recorded in the tax lists of Surry County, North Carolina in 1771 and 1772 along with an Anthony Morgan, Jr. and Samuel Morgan in 1771. Anthony's cousin Benjamin Morgan, son of Charles of Fauquier County, migrated to neighboring Wilkes County, North Carolina around that same time. This may suggest that Anthony left the Fauquier area at the same time as his cousin, settling in North Carolina briefly as he migrated to South Carolina.

Our Morgan mysteries are definitely not resolved yet, but I believe that Anthony Morgan's listing in Daniel Payne's Dumfries ledger is a huge step toward finding Charles Morgan's lineage and ultimately our immigrant ancestor.


  1. I am descended from a William Morgan who was born, we think, sometime between 1760 and 1770, based upon Census records (his tombstone says 1755, but that seems to be a mistake), in Virginia, raised in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and then settled in what is now Owen County, KY ca. 1807, where he was a well-known Baptist minister. He died in Owen County, KY in December 1847. His first wife Elizabeth (whose maiden name may have been Holbrook) was the mother of his children, who were named Elijah (my ancestor), Thomas, William, Benjamin, John, and Susannah. His second wife, who survived him, was named Mary. For many years now there has been much speculation, and confusion, about whether or not William was related in some fashion to Benjamin and Pheobe Settle Morgan, and the various Charles Morgans you've been blogging about. So, I'm wondering if you've run across my William Morgan in your research and whether or not you have any thoughts no the subject. I seem to have an additional Wilkes County, North Carolina Morgan tie which might (or might not) tie into this same cluster of families. My ancestor Elijah Morgan's wife, Jane Simpson, was the daughter of another Baptist minister from Wilkes County, named Samuel Simpson, and his wife (and Jane's mother) was Lettice Morgan. Finally, I noted you Pryor research and just thought I'd mention that I'm actually descended from the Joseph Pryor (d. 1812/3, Bourbon Co., KY) that you mentioned in one of your blogs. His daughter Anne married Cornelius Howard Duvall, and they are my gggg-grandparents. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers,

    Jeff Duvall
    Indianapolis, IN

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I'm so glad you commented on the Morgans (and the Pryors). Your William Morgan doesn't sound like one I've come in contact before but the name William Morgan is pretty common and I may have encountered him elsewhere. I remember that there were two different Morgan families in Wilkes County, NC. The second family arrived not long before Benjamin et al left for Tennessee. I'll dig around in my computer at the misc Morgans I've kept data for and if I can find anything interesting, I'll write to you at your email address.

    I have an external hard drive that is loaded with misc data for other families with my lineages' surnames and a copious amount of documents and other things I've saved.

    As for the Pryors, do you follow Vanessa Wood's Tennessee Pryor website? Her Pryors left Virginia and went straight to Tennessee. Just like with the Joseph Pryor family, we don't know if there's a connection between our families but it wouldn't surprise me. All 3 Pryor families were in the Shenandoah Valley, Albemarle, Botetourt, etc. before they migrated through the Cumberland Gap to points westward.

    Have you entered autosomal DNA data at GEDMatch? If so give me your kit number and I'll send you the kit number of myself and my Pryor cousins to compare. They're also Morgan descendants.

    I'll touch base with you in a couple of days when I've had time to look through my notes. You can write to me at

    Thanks for writing,

  3. Jeff,

    I'm going to send you an email this morning so if you don't receive one, you might check your "spam folder".