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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Morton

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 859-862 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The name of Morton, Moreton, and Montaigne, is earliest found in old Dauphine, and is still existent in France. In family annals there is a repeated statement that one of the family emigrated from Dauphine, first to Brittany, then to Normandy, where he joined William the Conqueror. The family in England was noble and held exalted position in both church and state. Prominent among the English Mortons who came to America were Thomas Morton, Esq., Rev. Charles Morton, Landgrave Joseph Morton, proprietary governor of South Carolina, and George Morton, ancestor of the Albany family of Warner Groom Morton. In America the family has achieved prominence in every department of life, public and private. Perhaps the best known of the name is Levi Parsons Morton, M.C., foreign diplomat, governor of New York and vice-president of the United States.

(I) George Morton, the first of the name to found a family in America, was born about 1585, at Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, and is believed to have descended from the ancient family of Morton who bore arms "Quarterly gu. and em.; in the dexter chief and sinister base each a goat's head or. Crest: A goat's head or, attired or." Of his early life nothing can be told. It is definitely known that he early joined the Pilgrims at Leyden and continued in their company until his death. When the first of the colonists departed for America he remained behind, although he "much desired" to embark then and intended soon to join them. One writer says that he was "the financial agent in London for the Plymouth Colony." The work, however, for which he is most noted and which forever links his name with American history, is the publication by him in London, 1622, of what is known as "Morton's Relation," but entitled "Relation or Journall of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England by certain English Adventurers both merchants and others; with their difficult passage, their safe arrival, their joyful building of and comfortable planting themselves in the now well defended Towne of New Plymouth; as also a relation of four several discoverees since made by some of the same English Planters there resident," etc., etc. The "Relation" may be justly considered the first history of New England, and is composed of letters and journals from the chief colonists at Plymouth, either addressed or entrusted to George Morton. The "Relation" is full of valuable information, and still continues an authority. Two copies of the work are in the Lenox Library, New York City. Shortly after it was placed before the public, George Morton sailed for America with his wife and five children in the ship "Ann," the third and last ship to carry what are distinctively known as "The Forefathers," and reached Plymouth early in June, 1623. He had been very active in promoting emigration and it may be inferred that the "Ann's" valuable addition to the colony was in a great measure due to his efforts. He did not long survive his arrival, dying in June of the year following. His early death was a great loss to the infant colony. He is described as "a pious gracious servant of God, and very faithful in whatever public employment he was intrusted withal." He married, in Leyden, Holland, August 2, 1612, Julianna, daughter of Alexander Carpenter, and sister of Agnes Carpenter, second wife of Mr. Samuel Fuller, a passenger in the "Mayflower" and the first physician to settle in America. His wife Julianna survived him and married (second) Manasseh Kempton, a member of the first assembly of the colony. She died February 19-29, 1665-6, aged eighty-one years, and in the Plymouth town records is called "a faithful servant of God." Children, all born in Leyden:

  1. Nathaniel, born about 1613. To him is due the good preservation of the archives of the Plymouth Colony. He was clerk of the colony court from 1645 to his death, June 29, 1685. He wrote the "First Beginnings and After Progress of the Church of Christ at Plymouth," which has preserved the early history of the first church established in New England. But the greatest work upon which his fame securely rests is "New England's Memorial," published at Cambridge, in 1669, frequently referred to as "the corner stone of New England history." It is a time-honored book, has passed through seven editions, and is an impartial history of the Pilgrim Fathers. He married Lydia Cooper, and had eight children.
  2. Patience, born 1615, died 1691; married, 1633, John Faunce, who came in the "Ann" in 1623; nine children; a descendant is William Bradford, lieutenant-governor of Rhode Island, U. S. senator, and president pro tem. of the senate in 1787.
  3. John, born 1616; constable of Plymouth, 1654; deputy to general court, 1662; assessor, 1664; selectman, 1666; collector of excise, 1668. In 1670 removed to Middleboro, Massachusetts, of which town he was one of the twenty original proprietors and its first representative to the general court, holding until his death in 1673. He married Lettice (possibly Hanford); nine children; to his eldest son John, born 1650, is due the establishment of the first absolutely free public school in America, which he "erected and kept" in Plymouth in 1671 "for the education of children and youth."
  4. Sarah, born 1618; in 1644 became second wife of George Bonum, who died 1704, aged ninety-five years, six children.
  5. Ephraim, of whom further.

(II) Ephraim, youngest child of George and Julianna (Carpenter) Morton, was born in 1623, on the ship "Ann," on the passage to New England. He was made a freeman of Plymouth, June 7, 1648; constable, same year member of grand inquest (jury). 1654; was elected deputy to the Plymouth general court in 1657 and continued therein for twenty-eight years. When Plymouth and Massachusetts merged he was chosen one of the first representatives to the general court; was head of the board of selectmen of Plymouth twenty-five years; magistrate of the colony, 1683, and at the time of his death was justice of the court of common pleas. He was sergeant of the Plymouth military company; in 1664 was elected lieutenant; in 1671 was chosen a member of the "council of war," continuing on during the period of King Philip's war and rendering good service. He was chosen deacon of the Plymouth church, August 1, 1669, and served until his death, September 7, 1693. He married (first) Mary Cooper, whom Savage [James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England] says was his cousin, daughter of John and Priscilla (Carpenter) Wright Cooper, the latter widow of William Wright and sister of Julianna (Carpenter) Morton. His first wife Mary died September, 1691. He married (second) Mary, widow of William Harlow, and daughter of Robert Shelly, of Scituate, Massachusetts. She survived him and married (third) Hugh Cole, in 1698. Children, all born in Plymouth:

  1. George, see forward.
  2. Ephraim, born January 27, 1648; married Hannah Finney.
  3. Rebecca, March 15, 1651.
  4. Josiah, 1653; married Susanna Wood, or Ward.
  5. Mercy.
  6. Nathaniel, married Mary, daughter of Joseph Faunce.
  7. Eleazer, born 1659; married Rebecca Dawes Marshall, daughter of Benjamin, and granddaughter of John Marshall, who came in the "Hopewell," 1635.
  8. Thomas, born 1667; married his cousin Martha, daughter of Edward and Sarah (Faunce) Doty.
  9. Patience, became third wife of John Nelson, of Middleboro, Massachusetts.

(III) Deacon George, eldest child of Ephraim and Ann (Cooper) Morton, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1645, and died August 2, 1727. He was one of the original purchasers of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1652. It is quite probable that he was twice married, as there is record, May 22, 1663, of the death in Plymouth of "Phoebe, wife of George Morton, aged 18 years." She may have been his first wife. He married December 22, 1664, Joanna, born 1646, died June, 1728, daughter of Ephraim and Joanna (Rawlins) Kempton. At the summit of Burial Hill, Plymouth, is a row of four stones of slate marking the graves of Deacon George Morton, his youngest son Thomas, his wife Joanna, and his brother Ephraim. That of Deacon George has been bound in metal to preserve it from the weather and to prevent pieces being chipped off by relic hunters. Children, all born in Plymouth:

  1. Hannah, November 26, 1666; married Ephraim Morton.
  2. Mannasseh, of whom further.
  3. Ephraim, April 12, 1671; married Hannah Morton.
  4. Joanna, June 24, 1673; married Thomas Holmes.
  5. Ruth, December 21, 1676; married Stephen Barnley.
  6. George, July 16, 1679; married Rebecca Churchhill.
  7. Timothy, March 12, 1682; married Mary Rickard.
  8. Rebecca, July 18, 1684; married Nicholas Drew.
  9. Elizabeth, November 20, 1686; married Haviland Torrey.
  10. Thomas, July 2, 1690; married Abigail Pratt.

(IV) Manasseh, eldest son of Deacon George and Joanna (Kempton) Morton, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, February 3, 1669. He was a resident of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He married Mary, daughter of Captain Thomas and Mary (Thompson) Taber, of New Bedford, granddaughter of Francis Cooke, the "Mayflower" pilgrim. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, born July 10, 1704;
  2. Zephaniah, January 6, 1707;
  3. Taber (see forward);
  4. Ruth, 1714;
  5. Seth, 1722.

(V) Taber, son of Manasseh and Mary (Taber) Morton, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, March 3, 1709. He married and had issue.

(VI) Reuben, son of Taber Morton, was born August 1, 1747, and died December 27, 1818 or 1813. He married Mary Worth, born December 4, 1747, died April 5, 1818. Children:

  1. Reuben (see forward);
  2. Cynthia, born 1771, died November 1, 1812, married Isaac Northrop;
  3. Sally, born September 7, 1777, married Benjamin Haxton;
  4. Seth, born March 19, 1779, died March 10, 1827; married Charlotte Whiting;
  5. William Burgess, born 1781, died November 6, 1813, unmarried;
  6. Elizabeth, born May 5, 1786, died December 12, 1839;
  7. Jesse, born December 6, 1792.

(VII) Reuben (2), son of Reuben (1) and Mary (Worth) Morton, was born November 24, 1769, died June 6, 1828. He married Nancy Clark, born March 20, 1780, died June 17, 1843. Children:

  1. Henrietta Maria, born August, 1803;
  2. William Hayward, born February 27, 1805, married Maria, daughter of Seth and Rebecca (Rogers) Wait;
  3. Sally Ann, born July 18, 1807, died February 2, 1870; married Henry Van Loan;
  4. Charlotte, unmarried;
  5. Reuben, unmarried;
  6. Imogene, born February 21, 1815; married John B. Leffingwell;
  7. Elizabeth, born October, 1818; married William Colson;
  8. Seth Worth, see forward.

(VIII) Seth Worth, son of Reuben and Nancy (Clark) Morton, was born March 12, 1821, and died August 21, 1883. He established a retail coal business in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and was the first agent of the Boston & Albany Railroad Company appointed in that town. He was water commissioner and chief of the Pittsfield Volunteer Fire Department. He was a member of the South Congregational Church, and politically was a Republican. He married Rebecca Groom, of Athens, Greene county, New York, born July 17, 1823, died February 20, 1898. Her grandfather, Peter Groom, was appointed ensign of Greene county militia in 1817, and was commissioned lieutenant by Lieutenant-Governor John Taylor. Children:

  1. Emily Coffin, born September 30, 1844, died May 4, 1907;
  2. Peter Edward, born February 3, 1846, died December 19, 1882;
  3. William Hayward, born February 20, 1848; resident of St. Louis, Missouri;
  4. Henry, born August 14, 1849, died May 3, 1874;
  5. Warner Groom, of whom further.

(IX) Warner Groom, youngest child of Seth Worth and Rebecca (Groom) Morton, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, March 2, 1851. He was educated in the common and high schools of that city, and at an early age engaged in the coal business with his father, remaining until 1888, when he removed to Albany, New York, and has since been a resident of that city. In 1884 he established a wholesale coal business in Albany, but did not remove his residence until four years later. This business is still (1910) successfully continued. He has other business interests in both Albany and Pittsfield. He is president of the New England Cold Storage and Warehouse Company of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and of the P. E. Steem Paper Company of Chatham, New York. He is an attendant at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Albany, and a supporter of the Republican party. His clubs are the Fort Orange, Country and Yacht of Albany; the Park of Pittsfield; the Transportation of New York City; and the Deal Golf, of Deal, New Jersey. He married, December 17, 1871, Kate Root Gregory, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, September 2, 1853, daughter of Joseph and Jane Charlotte (Root) Gregory. Joseph Gregory was born in ————, England, and married in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Jane Charlotte Root was educated at the Albany Girls' Academy. She was a granddaughter of Colonel Oliver Root, born November 24, 1741, at Westfield, Massachusetts, died at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, May 2, 1826. At the age of eighteen years he became a member of "Rogers' Rangers" (French and Indian war), along with the two later famous revolutionary generals Stark and Putnam. When the conflict came between England and her American colonies he again enlisted and served with distinction. He was at Ticonderoga and at Burgoyne's surrender. He was major under Colonel Brown at Stone Arabia, Montgomery county, New York, October, 1781, and when the latter fell mortally wounded, Major Root succeeded to the colonelcy of the regiment. The epitaph on his tombstone in the Westfield Cemetery reads: "He fought the enemies of his country in two wars, and his only enemies were the enemies of his country." He married ———— Waite. Their daughter, Jane Charlotte Root, died January 19, 1895, married, October 21, 1840, Joseph Gregory, born October 9, 1816, died November 24, 1897, son of Rev. Joseph Gregory, born in England, June 27, 1787, died at the age of seventy-seven years, and Ann Coleman, born May 27, 1787, died at the age of seventy-seven years. They were married in Trom Church, England, and had children:

  1. William, born December 17, 1809, died at age of fifty-five years.
  2. Lucretia, born December 24, 1810, died at age of fifty-four years.
  3. Ann, born July 20, 1812, died at age of fifty-two years.
  4. Matilda, born February 1, 1814, died at age of fifty years.
  5. Joseph, born October 9, 1816; married Jane Charlotte Root.
  6. Alfred, born February 15, 1817.
  7. George, born July 4, 1819, died January, 1908.
  8. Daniel, born February 28, 1820, died 1904.
  9. Elizabeth, born July 2, 1822.
  10. Emma, February 12, 1824.
  11. Richard, March 29, 1827.

Joseph Gregory and Jane Charlotte Root had issue:

  1. William C., born September 3, 1841, died March 10, 1894;
  2. Edwin Gustavus, died January 28, 1849;
  3. Kate Root, born September 2, 1853, married Warner Groom Morton;
  4. H. Francis Kimball, born February 22, 1865.

Warner Groom Morton and Kate Root Gregory have children:

  1. Lucretia, born July 17, 1873; educated at St. Agnes' School; married Thomas E. Bancroft, of New York City, and has a daughter, Katharine Morton, born January 7, 1907.
  2. Florence, born March 21, 1875, died September 22, 1895.
  3. Charlotte, born December 5, 1878; educated at St. Agnes' School, Albany, and Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.
  4. Seth Worth, born June 27, 1882, educated at Boys' Academy, Albany, and Preparatory School at Andover, Massachusetts; is now (1910) engaged in business with his father; he married, August 1, 1908, Isabella Matthews Gregory.

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