The word is a Cymric derivative, meaning one born by the sea (muir, sea; gin, begotten). The little town of Caermathen, in Wales, is the place where this famous name originated. The town itself is supposed to be the Meridunum mentioned by Caesar in his commentaries. It may have been the place that Shakespeare had in mind as the scene of those parts of Cymbeline that are located in Wales. Quotation: "Myself, Balarius, that am Mogan called."
Prior to the Roman invasion this district was inhabited by a warlike tribe called by the Romans the Demetae. A chieftain of this tribe, Cadivoer-fawr, died in the year 1089. His wife was Elen, daughter and heiress of another chieftain, Llwch Llawan.
The Morgan line descends from their third son, Bleddri. In the sixteenth generation from Bleddri is found Sir William Morgan, of Tredegar, knighted in 1633, member of parliament in 1623-25. There is still standing in Wales several of the Morgan ancestral homes, about seven miles form Cardiff, and numberous families of this name still reside there.
The Morgan name has been notable in the United States in many ways, and especially in its military annals. It has also been distinguised in educational and philanthropic work and in finance, and is now scattered from one end of the country to the other. It is worthily associated with the history of Northern New York.
There were several immigrants of the name early in New England, and as above noted their descendants spread throughout the country.
Miles Morgan came from Bristol, England, in 1636, to Boston, and became one of the founders of Springfield. Richard Morgan was a pioneer at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and had many descendants in that state.
(I) James Morgan was born in 1607, in Wales, probably in Llandaff, Glamorganshire, whence the famly moved to Bristol, on the opposite side of Bristol channel, prior to 1636. There is a tradition that his father's name was William.
In March, 1636, he sailed from Bristol, accompanied by two younger brothers, John and Miles, and arrived in Boston, Mass. the following month. John Morgan was a high churchman, and soon parted from the austere Puritans and made his home in Virginia. It is supposed that James Morgan lived for a time at Plymouth, but this cannot be proven. He was in Roxbury before 1640, and was made freeman there May 10, 1643. He appears there in 1646, and was a freeholder as late as 1650, the same year in which he removed to Pequot, now New London, Connecticut, and had a house lot assigned to him there. The records of that town show that lands for cultivation were granted him early in that year, and were soon occupied by him. His homestead was on the "new street," now Ashcroft street, and a subsequent entry shows that "James Morgan hath given him about six acres of upland, where the wigwams were, in the path that goes from his house toward Culver's, among the rocky hills." These tracts were located near the present third burial ground, in the western suburbs of New London, a sterile and dreary location which was soon abandoned by its occupants, who made their homes in the more promising district east of the river Thames. James Morgan became a large landed proprietor in that district which has ever since been occupied largely by his progeny.
He was public-spirited, was often employed in surveying lands, establishing highways and boundaries, and as magistrate in adjusting civil difficulties. For several years he served as selectman, and was one of the first deputies sent by New London plantation to the general court at Hartford (May session, 1657), at which time he was fifty years old. An active member of the church, his name is prominent in every movement of that body. "James Morgan, Mr. Tinker and Obadiah Brown are chosen to seat the people in the meeting house, which they doing, the inhabitants are to rest silent."
In 1661 he was one of a committee to lay out the bounds of New London "on the east side of the great river," and the next year he was on a committee to contract for building a house for the ministry at New London. He died in 1685, and his estate was soon after divided among his four surviving children.
He married, Aug. 6, 1640, Margery Hill.
and a daughter who died unmarried.
(II) John, second son of James and Margery (Hill) Morgan, was born March 30, 1645, in Roxbury, died in Preston, Conn. in 1712. He settled in the latter town about 1692, and was a prominent citizen both there and in his former location, New London. He represented the latter town in the general court in 1689, and Preston, 1693-94, and was an Indian commissioner and adviser.
He married (first) Rachel, daughter of John Dymond, and after her death married (second) Widow Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Governor Theophilus Eaton.
Children by first wife: John, Samuel, Isaac, Hannah, Mercy, Sarah, James.
Children by second wife: Elizabeth, William, Rachel, Adnrew, Margery, Joseph, Theophilus and Mary.
(III) James (2), fourth son of John and Rachel (Dymond) Morgan, was born about 1680, in New London, and died in Preston (CT) before Nov. 7, 1721, when an inventory of his estate was taken. His wife's name was Bridget, but nothing more concerning her is discoverable.
(IV) Samuel, eldest child of James (2) and Bridget Morgan, was born Dec. 16, 1705, in Preston, and died in the same town, Dec. 29, 1769, at which time he was clerk of the town. He married, Sept. 19, 1728, Elizabeth Forsyth.
Samuel and Simon (twins).
(V) Jonas, youngest child of Samuel and Elizabeth (Forsyth) Morgan, was born Dec. 20, 1752, in Preston, and died at Lansingburg, New York, Oct. 7, 1824. He remained in Preston until after two of his children were born, and was a soldier of the revolution form his native state, serving as ensign in the first company of Colonel Samuel McLellan's regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, his commission signed by the governor and council Sept. 25, 1777.
He married, Dec. 13, 1781, Sarah Mott of Preston.
(VI) William Henry, sixth son of Jonas and Sarah (Mott) Morgan, was born Oct. 4, 1796, in Lansingburg, and went to Plattsburgh, New York, as a youth, about 1813. He engaged in the general mercantile business, which he continued throughout his active life, living retired a number of years. He died March, 1876. He was an active member of the Presbyterian church of Plattsburgh, in which he served as deacon and elder many years. In 1825 he was a lieutenant of the Thirty-sixth Infantry, Forty-second Brigade, Eleventh division, New York state Militia, and was promoted to captain in 1827.
He married (first) Feb. 14, 1822, Lucy B. Demming, of Plattsburgh, who died June 27, 1837. He married (second) Feb. 22, 1838, Mary L., daughter of Thomas Hagar, of Montreal, Canada. She died Feb. 27, 1854. He married (third) April 15, 1855, Harriet Clarinda, widow of George P. Allen and daughter of S. F. Hyde.
Children of first marriage: William Deming, Mary E., Lucy Ann, and Charlotte C., of whom two grew to maturity. The eldest had three children, of whom two survived, Lucy D. and Moss Platt. The latter resides in Evanston, Illinois, his wife Carrie and two daughters, Helen and Lucille. Charlotte C. Morgan became the wife of Peter M. M. Platt, and had a daughter, Mary M., now the wife of F. P. Lobdell, of Plattsburgh, with two chldren, Ross and Margaret.
Children of second marriage: George Hagar, thomas Henry, died Sept. 1903, Francis Louise (died young), Mary Louise, Jane Ketcham and Emma May. The eldest had two children, Blanche and Herbert. Mary Louise Morgan is a Sister of Charity attached to Bishop Doane's cathedral in Albany, N.Y. The next died young.
Third marriage: two daughters were born, Kate Hamilton and Dora Hyde. The latter, born May 9, 1859, married Colonel Franklin Palmer, of Plattsburgh, and had two sons, Morgan and Franklin.
(VII) Jane Ketcham, sixth daughter of William Henry Morgan, and fourth child of his second wife, was born Aug. 11, 1848, in Plattsburgh, where she has resided all her life and is one of the social leaders, ever interested in philanthropic work and the general progress of humanity. She has been very active in supporting the Home for the Friendless of Northern New York, and is its treasurer and a member of the board of managers, and is a member of Saranac Chapter, Daughters of American Revolution, of Plattsburgh.
She married, June 21, 1871, at the homestead where she was born, and has always lived, William J. McCaffrey, a priminent citizen of Plattsburgh, treasurer and general manager of the Plattsburgh plant of the Lake Champlain Pulp & Paper Company. He was born Dec. 4, 1846, in Eaton, Canada, son of John and Kate (Ferguson) McCaffrey. Mr. and Mrs. McCaffrey had four children: Kate Louise, Ella M., Henry Morgan, and Mary Morgan. The eldest, born Aug. 12, 1872, died at the age of twenty-eight years, in 1900, being then the wife of James de Forrest Burroughs, and leaving a son, William McCaffrey, born Nov. 1897, married, March 23, 1898, Major F. J. Kernan, of the United States army, and has four children: Francis, born Jan. 23, 1899, in Chevy-Chase, Maryland; Catherine, born at Plattsburgh, at the homestead of her great-grandfather, August 5, 1900; George and Philip (twins), April 10, 1903, in Chicago. The only son of William J. McCaffrey died in infancy, and the youngest daughter, born March 18, 1879, is at home. [transcriber's note: this was published in 1910].
Preston Morgan, of an old New England family, was born in Vermont, about 1800, and died in South Colton, New York. He married Sarah ____.
William, Solon, Sidney A. (mentioned below), Clarissa, Betsy, Matilda.
(II) Sidney Adam, son of Preston Morgan, was born in 1831 in Vermont, died in South Colton, N.Y. 1895. When a small child he came with his parents to South Colton, and was educated in the schools there. He always followed farming and lumbering as occupations.
In politics he was a Republican, and in religion a Methodist.
He married Mary Ann, born in Pierrepont, N.Y., now (1910) living in South Colton, daughter of Jesse Olmstead.
1. George A., mentioned below.
2. Frank, died in Potsdam, 1904.
(III) George A., son of Sidney Adam Morgan, was born Oct. 30, 1866, in South Colton, N.Y. He was educated in the schools of his native town, and lived there until 1898. For two years he conducted a hotel in Newton Falls, N.Y., and in 1898 removed to Potsdam, where he has a large farm about a mile out of the village. He buys and sells western horses, also raises blooded horses, and carries on farming.
In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Oswegatchie Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, also a member of Independent Order of Foresters, and of Modern Woodmen of America.
He married, in 1893, Ida, daughter of Ira Dox, of Ogdensburg, N.Y. They have no children.
The Morgan family, of which Jane F. (Morgan) Gaylord, mother of Mrs. William J. Dominick is a representative, is traced to Isaac Morgan, of West Springfield, born in 1737, died in Houseville, Lewis county, N.Y., Aug. 2, 1814.
(II) Ithomar, son of Isaac Morgan, married Olive Hart Flagg.
(III) Orin, son of Ithomar Morgan, was born in Berlin, Conn., May 27, 1828, died in Turin, N.Y. March 1, 1867; married Elizabeth Bauder, the second child born in the village of Lowville, N.Y., March 23, 1800.
(IV) Jane T., eldest child of Orin and Elizabeth (Bauder) Morgan, was born in Houseville, N.Y. Oct. 23, 1828, died at Lyons Falls, Aug. 13, 1897; married A. Seymour Gaylord.
(V) Jennie F., daughter of A. Seymour and Jane T. (Morgan) Gaylord, married William J. Dominick.
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