John Morgan (1784 -1850s)

Eudine Britton’s Book

When I was about 70% finished with sorting out this family I discovered a quite excellent book written more than 25 years ago by Eudine Britton of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   When I realized that she had extensively researched several of the children of John Morgan, I changed course and edited this page so as to avoid covering too much of the same ground, and instead focused mainly on augmenting Ms. Britton’s excellent research.   (When I attempted to contact her for permission to reproduce elements of her book, I learned that she had passed on in 2012.)  Her book is available in the LDS library as John Morgan (b. 1784 NJ) and his family of Georgia…, (Self-published, 1989) by Eudine M. Britton.

Origins

John Morgan’s origins are uncertain.  The first record of him that we can be certain of is his appearance in the 1830 census of Habersham County when he was in his mid-40s.  Where he was before that is not completely clear.  There were a number of men named John Morgan in Georgia and sorting them out is nearly impossible due to the extensive record losses of Georgia counties.

The 1850 census, indicating a birthplace of “N.J.”, has to be taken with a least a tiny degree of skepticism, as census takers wrote what they were told by whomever they interviewed.  I am slightly bothered by the disparity between John Morgan’s birth date and his age in the census — it makes me wonder if it was his new wife who provided the census taker with the information. Nevertheless, if he was born in New Jersey it would eliminate some otherwise promising hypotheses. 1  Franklin County records show that he died in 1790 leaving a will (which unfortunately no longer exists),  a widow named Elizabeth, and unnamed minor orphans who may have included the John Morgan and others taxed in Franklin County about ten years later.2 That might be a promising area of exploration except that, if our John Morgan was truly born in New Jersey, he could not be a son of that John Morgan.))   Another reason for some skepticism is that his son Richard’s 1880 mortality census record shows his father’s birthplace as “Georgia” and his daughter Deidamy listed “Georgia” as her father’s birthplace in both 1880 and 1900.  To add to the confusion, his daughter Lodoisky listed both her parent’s birthplaces as North Carolina in the 1800 census.

Enumerated in Habersham County in 1830

Thanks to information from the Cannon Bible (see below) we can identify John Morgan in the 1830 census as the one in Habersham County, Georgia.  A dozen people named John Morgan were enumerated in Georgia in 1830 but only one is a perfect match to the household composition suggested by the list of children and birth dates in the Bible record.3  Six sons and two daughters were still living at home, while two older daughters had already married.4

Note that in 1830 Habersham bordered South Carolina on the east and the Cherokee lands on the west.  Franklin County lay to the south and Rabun County to the north.  Habersham had been created from Indian lands in 1818, so John Morgan surely had arrived from somewhere else.

In Walker County, Georgia  by 1840

After decades of conflict, the whole of northwestern Georgia west of the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers was seized from the Cherokee Nation by the state of Georgia in 1830. 5  The state initially designated the entire area as Cherokee County, which it surveyed it in 1831. 6   A land lottery was held in 1832 to distribute its land in 160-acre lots. 7  In December 1832, Georgia added parts of Habersham and Hall counties to Cherokee County and then subdivided it into ten counties:  a smaller Cherokee County plus nine new counties — Cass (now Bartow), Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union.8   Walker County was carved out of Murray County a year later in December 1833.9  Dade County was created from northwestern Walker in 1837 and the southern part of Walker was annexed into Chattooga County in 1838.  By the 1840 census in which John Morgan and his sons appear, Walker County was only slightly larger than it is today.

John Morgan moved his family into the new territory sometime in the late 1830s.  He did not draw a lot in Walker County in the 1832 lottery so, like the great majority of new settlers, he must have either purchased land from a winner or a land speculator — or perhaps simply claimed land by squatter’s rights.  His land was almost certainly within District 6 of the Fourth Section of the 1832 Land Lottery — Section 6 lay just above Lafayette and included a long stretch of West Chickamauga Creek where the later community of Pond Spring was located.  (Interestingly, one of the drawers in that section was a James Morgan of Franklin County.)

John Morgan and three of his sons (“Jeffrey”, Richard, and William) were all enumerated in the space of ten names in the 1840 census of Walker County.10  They were located in District 881, an original district surrounding the community called Pond Spring.  (The fact that ancestry.com mis-indexed the 1840 Walker County census as Walton County has evidently confused legions of family researchers, but the page as are those around it is quite clearly marked as District 881 of Walker County.)  The census household appears to contain John Morgan’s youngest two sons and two daughters as well as an older female who was probably his wife.  There was also an older male aged 60-70 in the household whose identity is unknown.  Two sons-in-law, Marmaduke Vickers and Bird Cannon, were both enumerated in 1840 fourteen names apart elsewhere in the county.

John Morgan was still alive in 1850, and enumerated along the West Chickamauga Creek valley, presumably still living in or near Pond Spring.  His age was given as 64 and birthplace as “N J”.  His wife was Panina (age 42) with John B. Morgan (age 22), Alonso F. Morgan (age 12), and Henry W. Boss (age 5) in the household.  (The 12-year old was actually Alonso F. Hamilton. See below.)

Neither he nor his wife was enumerated in the 1860 census.  He is presumed to have died sometime in the 1850s, though Panina was alive as late as 1853 and may have remarried.

Walker County record loss

Unfortunately, an arsonist burned the Walker County courthouse in 1883 (setting fire to it twice for good measure) resulting in the destruction of all its records.  We are therefore limited to the very modest number of records stored elsewhere, most of which postdate the lifetime of John Morgan.

Panina Hamilton (1807 – after 1853) — his last wife

John Morgan married a 35-year old spinster named Panina Hamilton in Franklin County, Georgia on 30 July 1842.   One cannot help but wonder how they met — we have solid evidence that Panina was born and lived in Franklin County before her marriage, but John Morgan had never lived there.  Panina had evidently been enumerated in the 1840 census household of her widowed mother Mary H. Hamilton in Franklin County — that household included a woman of Panina’s age and a young male of the right age to have been Panina’s illegitimate son Alonso Hamilton.  Panina’s identity is clarified by a Revolutionary War pension record and its associated court filings.  (Incidentally, her signature and these court records clearly read “Panina” rather than “Parina”.)

A Revolutionary War veteran from South Carolina named William Turk (c1744-1795) died in Franklin County, Georgia in 1795.   His widow Margaret (Archibald) Turk was eligible for a widow’s pension based on his service but died in 1842 before collecting it.  Ten years later her son William Turk (1794-1877) applied to have the $362.50 due to her paid to himself and his sister Mary H. Hamilton (1787-1852) testifying that they were Margaret Turk’s only heirs.  According to testimony given in Lumpkin County court on 20 April 1853, Mary H. Hamilton died in 1852 but was survived by four children named Elvira Williams, Panina Morgan, William B. Hamilton, and John T. Hamilton.11

William Turk, the son, had been a Colonel in the Seminole Wars and in 1853 was a serving justice of Franklin County who testified that he was born in Franklin County in 1794 and had lived there all his life.  The four children of his sister Margaret H. Hamilton testified that she had died in Walker County on 24 March 1852, having lived there for ten months, but had previously lived in Cobb County, apparently with one of her children.  The 1850 census enumerated two of her children in Cobb County: Elvira Williams (born c1806), wife of George K. Williams, and William B. Hamilton (born c1808).  Her other two children were enumerated in Walker County: Panina (born 1807), and John T. Hamilton (born c1813) who was listed just two doors away from Richard Morgan.

A Bible record included by William Turk contained, among other items, the birth date of Panina Hamilton as 16 November 1807.  Panina Hamilton Morgan was alive as late as 20 April 1853 when she and her three siblings personally appeared in Lumpkin County court.12

The 12-year old Alonso F. “Morgan” in John Morgan’s 1850 household was born well before his marriage to Panina and is not mentioned by the family Bible record, so we assume he was the illegitimate son of Panina Hamilton suggested by her mother’s 1840 census household, which included a male under 5 and a female 30-40 — presumably the unmarried Panina and her son Alonso.  Indeed, although he was enumerated as a “Morgan” in 1850 he was “Hamilton” in 1860 and thereafter.  As A. F. Hamilton he enlisted at Lafayette in the 39th Georgia Infantry Regiment on 4 March 1862, was captured at Vicksburg on 4 July 1863 and paroled 4 days later, rejoined his old regiment and served until the conclusion of the war, being finally paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina on 1 May 1865.  He returned to Chatooga County, Georgia where he was enumerated as Alonzo Hamilton in 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910.  Oddly, a woman named Elizabeth Morgan was in his household in 1870 (age 50) and 1880 (age 62).

Panina must have been well liked by her stepchildren, as several gave her name to their own children.  Her son Alonzo named his first daughter “Mary P.” Her stepson William Morgan named his first daughter “Elizabeth Panina”, John B. Morgan named a child “Mary Panina”, and Nancy Morgan Vickery named a daughter Martha Panina (or Penina.)

Cannon Family Bible

A family Bible published in 1829 was apparently owned by Bird Cannon and Lucinda Morgan.   It was owned by a daughter of Commodore Columbus Cannon, the youngest child of Lucinda and Bird Cannon when it was inspected by Eudine M. Britton in 1988.   One of its pages lists John Morgan’s name and birth date, followed by the names and birth dates of his children, all written in the same hand and apparently at the same time.  Exactly who made those entries and when they were made is unknown, but the handwriting matches pages devoted to the Cannon family which were written much later.   In fact, entries bearing dates as late as 1881 are similar enough that I suspect the John Morgan page was written or copied into the Bible by Columbus Cannon or his wife.

Curiously, the name of John Morgan’s wife (or wives) does not appear anywhere in the Bible.  Nor are any dates of death noted, except for members of the Cannon family.  One wonders if a page or two has gone missing over the years.

The ten children listed in this Bible are these:

  1. Lucinda Morgan (2 July 1810 – 31 March 1881) She married Bird Cannon (1804-1871) at the age of 15 on 2 March 1826 in Habersham County.13  The Cannon Bible lists the births, marriages, and deaths of their thirteen children: Martha J., Amanda C., John M., Richard B., William B., Nancy E. (died in infancy), Nancy L., Thomas J., Linna M., Elizabeth M. Theodore C., Lucy Ann P., and Commodore C.  Cannon.   This family and their descendants are treated extensively in Ms. Britton’s book, which describes their life in Cherokee County, Alabama to which they moved sometime in the 1840s.
  2. William Morgan (7 January 1812 – 15 Nov 1883)   That death date, which appears on his gravestone, is confusing as there seems to be no sign of him after the 1860 census; if it were not for the gravestone we might conclude that he died twenty years earlier.  However, the stone appears to be original and the birth date matches that in the Bible.  He was the same William Morgan who married Elizabeth Carter by license taken out in Rabun County on 18 March 1832.  According to the obituary of a son they moved from Habersham County to Walker County “early in their married life”.14   He was enumerated in Pond Spring, Walker County in 1840 consecutively with his brothers John J. and Richard with a household that included two sons and two daughters.15

    Ms. Britton wrote that William Morgan purchased land in Walker County in the 1840s, but he was apparently (and inexplicably) living in Union County in 1850 when he and Elizabeth were enumerated with seven children and $500 in real estate.16   He and his wife Elizabeth were enumerated in the “Upper Cove” of Walker County in 1860, with three children:  Richard Johnson, Elizabeth Panina, and Susan D. Morgan.  Their son Jesse Carter Morgan, age 23, maintained his own household next door but five of the seven children from the 1850 household were not evident.  William Morgan’s birthplace was listed as Tennessee in both 1850 and 1860.  (But I note that his children listed his birthplace as Georgia in later censuses.)  The 1860 Agricultural census shows him farming 480 acres of land in the Upper Cove, served by the Cedar Grove post office.  J. C. Morgan was listed consecutively without land.   Both his sons signed the oath of allegiance on 12 July 1867 and were registered as voters, but there was no mention in those records of a William Morgan.

    He was apparently living apart from his family, perhaps institutionalized, by 1870, as Elizabeth Morgan was living with her daughter Elizabeth Panina and her husband James K. Forister near Frick’s Gap.   (Elizabeth Morgan was evidently representing herself as a widow, as she owned $800 in real estate.)  Her son Jesse Morgan was listed in the 1870 Agricultural census as farming 400 acres served by the Cedar Grove post office — perhaps his father’s land — with James K. Forister listed just 12 names away farming 250 acres.  In 1880 Elizabeth was living with her son, now called simply J. Morgan, in Cedar Grove where the 1880 Agricultural census listed him with only 160 acres.   She is buried in the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in Cedar Grove with a stone identifying her as “Elizabeth wife of Wm Morgan” bearing the dates (1811-1887). 17  Her son Richard is buried in the same cemetery as “R. J. Morgan” (1846-1889).  The same cemetery, according to find-a-grave, contains the grave (but evidently not a stone) for a William Morgan with the dates 1811-1887 (sic).   However, a gravestone also exists for William Morgan in the Coulter Memorial Cemetery bearing the dates 7 January 1812 – 15 Nov 1883.  If William Morgan was alive in 1867 and later there is no sign of him among the extant records of Walker County.

  3. Nancy Morgan (15 November 1813 – 1864?)  Married Worth Marmaduke Vickrey in Habersham County about 1828  (at the age of 14 or 15?) as the first of thirteen children was born about 1829.  They were enumerated in Walker County in 1840 and 1850 near Rock Spring, and Nancy was enumerted as the head of household in 1860.  This family is extensively treated by Ms. Britton in her book.

Some internet postings insert a son named John R. Morgan at this point, but the Cannon family Bible contains no entry for such a son.

  1. Richard Morgan (14 April 1815 – 30 May 1880)  He married Mahanna Wyatt (1815-1882) on 28 July 1838 in an unspecified location according to a marriage certificate in the family Bible.18  From 1840 through 1870 they were enumerated living in the Pond Springs area of Walker County.  (Note that for several years ancestry.com incorrectly indexed the Walker County 1840 census as Walton County.)  The 1880 Mortality Schedule shows him dying in May 1880 and, incidentally, lists his father’s birthplace as Georgia.  Although the cause of death is difficult to read, it afflicted him for 43 years.   I note that his signature on the 1867 oath of allegiance is quite shaky.  An original gravestone exists in the Cove Cemetery with his birth and death dates.   His 1850 through 1870 census households included thirteen children: James Jefferson, Elizabeth, Matilda (or Mary in 1870), William J., Amanda J., Martha P., Sarah A., John W., Lewis C., Samuel R., Alice H., Benjamin F., and Emma S.  A grandson wrote a history of the Richard Morgan family in 1960 and Ms. Britton (also a descendant of Richard Morgan) devotes more than seventy pages of her book to his family and descendants.
  2. James Jefferson Morgan (22 March 1817 – 1860s)  See James J Morgan page.
  3. Samuel Johnson Morgan (18 January 1820 – 18 September 1862)  He was apparently the male aged 15-20 in John Morgan’s 1840 household.  The 1850 census enumerated him in the West Chickamauga Creek area with a wife named Lucinda (age 29) and children named Jackson (9), John (6), Richard B. (4), and William (2).  His wife was Lucinda Posey according to the death certificates of two of the children, one of which gives his middle name as “Johnson”. ((Texas death certificates of Green B. Morgan (1853-1927) and Margaret Elizabeth Morgan Smith (1862-1943).))   Lucinda was apparently a daughter of Green Posey, who was enumerated next door to Samuel J. Morgan in 1850.  Samuel Morgan, who styled himself “S. J.” in records, along with two of his wife’s brothers were in Cherokee County, Texas by 1855 when he appeared on its tax roll with 170 acres of land.  His 1860 Cherokee County census household had added three children born in Texas to the family: Green B. (7), Susan (4), and Lucinda (8 months).

    Giving his age as 41, he enlisted in Company G of the 1st Texas Infantry (CSA) in adjacent Anderson County on 11 April 1862, for which he was paid a $50 bounty.  According to company records, he took sick in late June and died of typhoid fever in a hospital at Richmond, Virginia a few months later.19   (His brother-in-law, Jackson Posey, also enlisted in the same company and died of typhoid in Richmond.)   The widow Lucinda appeared on the Cherokee County tax list for 1864 but was not found thereafter.  I did not find her in the 1870 census, but their eldest child James Jackson Morgan was still living in Cherokee County.  in 1880 four of the five sons were living near one another in nearby Bosque County, Texas.

  4. Emma Morgan (13 September 1822 – ?) Married Jeptha H. Adams (1820-1890) in Habersham County on 10 October 1839 according to his obituary in the Walker County Messenger.20  They had fourteen children, many of whom are treated by Ms. Britton’s book.
  5. Lodoisky Morgan (5 February 1825 – after1893)  Her name is written in the Cannon Bible as “Lodoizky” Morgan.  (But recall that this was written much later than her birth.)  She was evidently still in her father’s household in 1840 and was listed as an apparent widow “Lodoiska Boss”, age 26, in the household of her sister Emma Adams in 1850.  There were two young boys named Henry W. Boss in that census; one of them, age 5 and evidently her son, was in the household of her father John Morgan.21 Exactly which Boss she married is unknown, but he was surely a relative of Henry W. Boss who had moved into the county after 1840.   She married George Washington Catlett (1812-1878) sometime after the 1850 census.  In 1860 the Catlett family was enumerated in Catoosa County by their initials only with nine children (not all of them hers).  In 1870 George W. Catlett and his wife “Lodusky”, age 42, were in Catoosa County with six children aged 4 to 16.  Catlett died on 16 March 1878 and is buried in the Old Antioch Cemetery in Cedar Grove, Walker County.  The 1880 census shows “Loduska” Catlett living in Pond Spring, Walker County, with three younger children still in the household.

    Many internet trees show her dying in Yell County, Arkansas on 1 June 1880.  This is mystifying, as on 6 June 1880 she was enumerated heading a household in Walker County, Georgia consisting of her children John, William H., and Emma E. Catlett.  Indeed, she was alive as late as 3 April 1893 when “Lodusky Catlette” applied for a widow’s pension on her husband’s Cherokee War service.22  George W. Catlett had served in Capt. Samuel Farriss’ Walker County company of the 45th Georgia Militia, as he appears on its muster roll dated 4 July 1836.  He may also have served with Fariss in 1838 as well according to his bounty land warrant.  I have not retrieved the pension application but I assume descendants would want to do so in the hopes it contains valuable genealogical information.  At least two of Lodoisky’s Catlett children did move to Yell County, and she apparently accompanied them, but she must have died after 1893.

  6. John Bush Morgan (23 February 1828 – 19 January 1865)  A grandson who owned his family bible disclosed that his full name was John Bush Morgan.23  He married a neighbor named Martha J. Jackson in Walker County on  22 March 1853.   They were enumerated in 1860 living in Rock Spring, in central Walker County, with three children named Panina L. Morgan, Amanda Morgan, and John R. Morgan  He enlisted in Company G of the 9th Regiment of Georgia Volunteer Infantry on 1 April 1863 but evidently served only three months before leaving service.  He was listed on surviving muster rolls from November 1863 through February 1864 as “absent -sick” and from March 1864 through February 1865 as “absent without leave”,  most of the rolls noting that he had been absent since June 30, 1863 and had never received any pay.  He was identified as a “Rebel deserter” when he took the oath of allegiance in Chattanooga on 14 March 1864.24  He was described in that document as 5’4″ with black hair and gray eyes, and a resident of Walker County.

    He died of an unknown disease on 19 January 1865, and his widow married a man named John Williams about 1867.  His three Morgan children were enumerated in 1870 in the Frick’s Gap household of John and Martha J. Williams just two doors away from Deidamy Morgan and her husband Abraham Jackson.  A fourth Morgan child, a girl named “Dei D.”, age 7, was in the household as well as a 1-year old named Jesse Williams.   By 1880 Martha Williams, now 59, had been widowed again, and her census household included her children John R. Morgan, now 20, and Delana Morgan, now 16, Jesse Williams, now 11, and two younger Williams children.  According to the family Bible, John B. Morgan’s first child, James Jackson Morgan (1854-1855) and his third child, William J. Morgan (1857-1857) died in infancy.

  7. Deidamy Morgan (4 June 1830 – 1903?)  She is listed in the Cannon Bible as “Deidamy, and in censuses as variations on the same name.  She married Abraham B. Jackson.  He was “Ben” in 1850, Abraham in 1870 and other records, “A. B.” in some records but “Absalom” in the 1900 census.  They were enumerated in Twiggs County in 1850, Walker County in 1860 and 1870, Chattanooga in 1880, and Birmingham, Alabama in 1900. According the the 1900 census of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama they had been married 53 years and she was the mother of five children, four of whom were living.  This is confusing, as censuses seem to show eight children:  Laurance, George W., James L., Adaline H., Frances, Dewitt F., Ollie B, and Adelia V. Jackson.  Abraham B. Jackson applied for a Confederate pension in 1895, stating that he had served in the 5th Georgia Reserve Infantry.  Confederate records show that he enlisted at Macon in 1864 and was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina on 1 May 1865. 25

    In both the 1880 and 1900 censuses, Deidamy’s father’s birthplace was listed as Georgia rather than New Jersey.

 

 

  1. For example, a John Morgan of Georgia served in the Revolution, refugeed to Virginia during the war, and returned to Georgia in 1784 to claim back pay and bounty land in Franklin County. ((Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, Certificates #552 and 553, Warrants #635 and 636. []
  2. Executor’s Bond and estate inventory filed consecutively in Franklin County Wills and Estates Book A, unnumbered pages. []
  3. 1830 Census, Habersham County:  John Morgan 1122001-110001. []
  4. We know that Lucinda and Nancy had married before 1830, and that the last child, Deidamy, was born three days after the enumeration date of June 1st. []
  5. Georgia Laws 1830, page 137. []
  6. Georgia Laws 1831, page 74. []
  7. there were no 50-acre “gold lots” awarded within the bounds of Walker County. []
  8. Georgia Laws 1832, page 56. []
  9. Georgia Laws 1833, page 52. []
  10. 1840 census of Walker County, Georgia, page 84:   John Morgan 001100011-0101001, (5 names intervene), Jeffrey Morgan 00001-100011, Richard Morgan 1001-10001, (Henry W. Boss intervenes), William Morgan 20001-11001. []
  11. Revolutionary War Pension File #W4357 and associated Final Payment Vouchers file. []
  12. Final Vouchers File. []
  13. The marriage is recorded in both Habersham County and in the Cannon Bible. []
  14. Britton, page 110. []
  15. 1840 Walker County census, District 881, page 84:  William Morgan 20001-11001.  Note that ancestry.com mis-indexed this as Walton County for several years. District 881 was the area of Pond Spring. []
  16. Just two households away was Morris G. Morgan, age 40, from an apparently unrelated Morgan family of Rutherford County, North Carolina. []
  17. Censuses consistently give her birthplace as North Carolina. []
  18. Britton, page 153. []
  19. One muster roll gives his date of death as 23 September 1862 but hospital records show the date of death as 18 September. []
  20. Britton, page 247. []
  21. Henry Winfield Boss later moved to Arkansas, apparently in conjunction with the Catlett children. []
  22. Application #4002, Certificate # 2517. []
  23. Britton, page 256. []
  24. Georgia Confederate Records. []
  25. Robin Sterling, Cullman County, Alabama Confederate Soldiers, page 259. []