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Colonel Morgan Morgan (November 1, 1688 — November 17, 1766) was an American pioneer. He was thought to have founded the first permanent settlement in present-day West Virginia at Cool Spring Farm.
Little direct evidence of Morgan's early life and education have survived. His birth date seems to have been 16 May 1692 in New Castle Co, DE because Morgans Chapel at Bunker Hill, which he helped to found, recorded the following upon his death: "Colonel Morgan died November 17, 1766 aged 78 years November 1st." No British records have been found of where he was born or when or how he came to America, but according to American records he seems to have been born in Glamorganshire, Wales during the reign of William III.[n 1]
Emigration to America
Morgan Morgan emigrated to the America as a single man at the age of 24, probably during the last years of the reign of Queen Anne. Arriving in Delaware in about 1712 or 1713, he soon afterward got married, but no record of the date has been found. Morgan commenced business as a merchant at the place now known as Christiana. Some Quaker records record that Morgan Morgan was educated at Cambridge University and went to Delaware as Crown Council.[n 2] In 1713, Morgan married Catherine Garretson in what is now New Castle County, Delaware. Their first child, James, was born in the fall of 1715, and this is recorded in the church register. Morgan evidently arrived with some money and had a very respectable social standing, for the early records list him as a merchant and tailor, and in 1717 he was appointed as executor of the will of the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. At that time what we now know as Delaware was a part of Pennsylvania. Since the trade guilds were very strong in England, one wonders if he learned the tailoring trade in London, from his father, or if he bypassed the law in the new country and started a combined mercantile and tailoring business. As well as working there as a merchant, he was also a magistrate. He has been claimed to have been an ordained Church of England clergyman, and one who established a church in Westminster County in 1727, but there is no evidence to support this. Morgan is often incorrectly cited as having arrived at present-day West Virginia in 1727, although he was still living in Delaware at that time, acting as the coroner of New Castle County. His first land transaction on record dates from November 20, 1723, when he bought 245 acres (0.99 km2) for the price of 70 pounds. Almost the whole of this land was cultivable. In 1924, a committee appointed by the Governor of West Virginia determined that the first crude shelter erected by William G. Morgan Great Grandson of Morgan Morgan was built on the Morgan Acres property.
Claim of first settlement in West Virginia
Morgan Morgan arrived in what is now West Virginia in 1731. In January 1734, he, among others, was appointed to the 'Commission of the Peace', meaning that he was a magistrate. He probably received a Patent for 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) '[i]n the Forks of the Rappahannock River & Westwood of Sherrando River' on December 12, 1734. The long-standing claim that he was the first permanent resident there is, however, doubtful. In fact, the area now known as Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was probably settled by German-speaking immigrants as early as 1727.
Morgan had eight children by his marriage to Catherine Garretson. One of their sons, David Morgan, became famous as an Indian fighter due to an encounter with Delaware natives at his homestead. Francis Harrison Pierpont, governor of Virginia, was a descendant of Colonel Morgan. Morgan Morgan held military and civil positions in colonial Virginia which entitled his female descendants to membership in the Colonial Dames of America.
Notes and references
- The only information comes from the bible of David, the grandson on David Morgan, the Indian Fighter, and the second son of Col. Morgan. Morgan was born in New Castle Co, DE, Morgan Morgan was probably educated at the University of Cambridge, a Reformed and even Puritan institution at that time.
- Hopewell Quaker files from Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy gives added information.
- http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=12798 Morgan Cabin Marker
- "Colonel Morgan Morgan Reunion". colmorganmorganreunion.org. Descendants Of Morgan Morgan. 2009.
- Ruth, Frances D.; Berkely Co. Hist. Landmarks Comm. (September 30, 1983). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: William G. Morgan House" (PDF). State Historic Preservation Office: Division of Culture and History: State of West Virginia. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Des Cognets, Louis, Jr. (1958). English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records. Princeton, NJ. p. 118.
- Rice, Otis K.; Brown, Stephen W. (1993). "Ch. 2: Explorations and Early Settlements". West Virginia: A History (2nd ed.). Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 14–5. ISBN 9780813118543.
- Callahan, James Morton (1912). Butcher, Bernard Lee, ed. Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia. 3. Lewis Historical Publishers. p. 950.