1830 census there are a total of 20 John Morgans in Ohio, and two living in Monongalia County, [W]Va.  Some I've ruled out include the five in Hamilton County (Cincinnati), but others are much harder.  For example, while we know that John Morgan supposedly married Jemima 3 years after the census, we cannot just assume that the one John Morgan in Harrison County is ours (we can't assume he isn't either).  There are at least two other strong candidates one from Sommerset Twp. Belmont County (bordered Harrison to the south), and another in Columbiana County, in Augusta Twp..  Augusta has since become part of Carrroll County that borders Harrison.  So we have three strong contenders, plus the two in Monongalia County, WV.  My genealogist gut tells me it's the one in North Twp., Harrison County, but only a search for deeds could firmly establish that.

Of course, John was born in 1803, if someone made a mistake and put him down as a 30-40 year old instead (easy to do) that opens up about 3-4 more possibilities in the same exact region.  John Morgan was a very common name in the Harrison County area.

As I said above they were supposedly married on March 5, 1833 in Harrison County, Ohio.  I have not checked deeds to see when the family actually first purchased land in the county, but they do appear in the 1840 census in Harrison County.  Also, the 1850 census states that their daughter Rachel (age 16) was born in Harrison County, Ohio putting them there about 1834.

Together they had 7 children.

1. Rachel [J. Morgan] Williams was born about 1834 in Harrison County, Ohio, and married William J. Williams on October 15, 1855 in Gallia County.

2. Elizabeth [E Morgan] Williams was born about 1836 in Harrison County, Ohio, and married Josiah W. Williams on September 10, 1856 in Gallia County, Ohio.

3. Joseph A. Morgan born about 1839, in Harrison County, Ohio.

1840 census  John Morgan had living with him 1 male under the age of 5 (1835-1840) -- that would have been Joseph b. abt 1836.
1 male 30 and under 40 (1800-1810) would have been John, himself.  One female under the age of 5 -- that would have been Elizabeth, one female 5 and under 10 (1830-1835) Rachel b. abt. 1834, one female age 30 and under 40 (1800-1810) would be Jemima, and one female 60 and under 70 (1770-1780) probably either John or Jemima's mother, but which?

4. John A. Morgan was born about 1841 in Harrison County, Ohio.

5. Alcinda Morgan was born March 2, 1843 in Harrison County, Ohio.  She married George F. Hixon.

6. Jesse Morgan was born about 1846 in Harrison County, Ohio.  He married Ophelia Chick.

1850 census  John Morgan age 47 farmer $700 real estate born Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and wife Jemima age 47 born in Monongalia County, VA Children, all born in Ohio: Rachel 16, Joseph 14, Elizabeth 11, John 9, Alcinda 7, Jesse 4
1850 census Ohio, Harrison, Monroe, District #72.  Image Number 25 of 28.

7. Julia Morgan.  With the 1850 census, the enumerator was only to take the names of those living in the household as of  the "1st day of June, 1850," Julia does not appear on it, as she was born August 6, 1850, so even though the census taker came by September 10th, Julia was not recorded.  Julia was the first wife of William George Tope, and they were married in Gallia County on August 17, 1868.  William and Julia had the following children: Ebert, Bertha, Hattie, Albert, Nelson, and Lucy.  Lucy was born August 25, 1885.  Julia died due to complications of childbirth on August 31, 1885, and baby Lucy followed her less than a month later on September 21, 1885, having survived not quite a month.

1860 census name census taker wrote her name as Gemima Morgan.  She's living with her husband John and four of their children John, Alcinda, Jessy and Julia.  John and Jemima are both listed as being 56 John's valued at 3500 real estate and 400 personal property, and was born in Pennsylvania.  Jemima was born in Virginia, and the four children were born in Ohio.  John was 19 (and like his father, listed as a farmer), Alcinda 16, Jessy was 15, and Julia 10.  1860 census, Ohio, Gallia, Walnut, Smith's was the post office.  Census taken August 9th.  Image 29 of 29

1870 head of household living with son Jesse, in Walnut Twp., Gallia County, Ohio.  Ancestry.com translator mis-translated name to be Norgren, but there is no doubt that she is the right lady as the ages are right, and they live right next door to George W. and Elizabeth Donaldson Tope, and [W] George and Julia Morgan Tope, Julia being one of Jemima's daughters.  Jemima lives with son Jesse.  She is 67 years old, keeps house, and was born in Virginia.  Jessie was 24 and "works on farm," he was born in Ohio. 1870 census Ohio, Gallia, Walnut, Patriot was the post office Image Number 19 of 44. "Jemina Norgren" 

1880 lives with son Jesse.  He's age 34 and a farmer.  He was born in Ohio, his father was born in Pennsylvania, and his mother was born in Virginia.  His wife was Ophelia age 27, keeps house, but currently confined (pregnant?), she and both parents were born in Ohio. they have a son John age 5 and a daughter Cora, age 2.  Jemima age 77 is listed as the mother of Jesse, and she keeps house, and was born in Virginia.  Her father was born in England, and her mother in Virginia.  1880 census Ohio, Gallia, Walnut, District 37 taken June 7, 1880 p. 2 of 38. "Jemmima Morgan"

While visiting my Cousin Audrey Johnson a while back, she loaned me a day book that my great grandfather kept.  In the back he had dates, and some clippings.  The following is the obituary of Jemima Merrill Morgan, no date given, name of paper was probably the Gallipolis Journal.

"MORGAN -- Mrs. Jemima Morgan died October 1, 1885, aged 82 years, 9 months, and 14 days.  The deceased was born in the State of Virginia.  Came to Ohioin early life, settled in Tuscarawas County.  Was married to John Morgan (her maiden name was Merrell).  They moved to Gallia County in 1852, where they lived until their death.  Mr. Morgan died nineteen years ago.  Mrs. Morgan joined the Presbyterian Church in early life, and was a consistent member of that church until the organization of the Pisgah Congregational Church, of which she remained a member until her death.  The deceased had a stroke of paralysis several years ago, of which she never recovered, and although her death was sudden, it was looked for by her friends.  Mrs. Morgan leaves behind six children to mourn the loss of a kind and affectionate mother; her youngest daughter dying by a few weeks before her."

The youngest daughter was Julia Morgan.  It was a sad time in the Morgan household as they mourned three deaths all within a very short period of time.  They were Julia Morgan Tope b. August 6, 1850 d. August 31, 1885 (complications in childbirth), Lucy Julia Tope b. August 25, 1885 died Sept. 21, 1885 (ill from birth), and Jemima Merrill Morgan October 1, 1885.  Three generations (mother, daughter, and grandmother) gone in one month's time.  

1. Photograph of Jemima.  Original owned by Earl Tope of Gallipolis, Ohio.  Copy in my possession.
2. Date of Birth based upon his tombstone at Bethesda Cemetery 68 years, 6 months, 14 days (1798)
Obit says in the 64th year (1802/3) I realize that the gravestone dates would make him born in 1798, but each census record AND his obituary give his year of birth as 1803
3. Will of Michael Morgan probated in Harrison County, Ohio March 31, 1829
4. Gravestone at Bethesda Cemetery
5.  though it makes sense when one looks at the 1850 census.  Oldest child (Rachel) would have been born in 1834 in Harrison County, so the source for John and Jemima marrying in 1833 makes sense.
6 John Morgan obituary Gallipolis Journal September 20, 1866.
7. Jemima's obituary found in son-in-law's day book, gives age in months, days and years, subtract from death date and get birth.
8. 1850 census Ohio, Harrison, Monroe, District #72.  Image Number 25 of 28.  Census taker gives county and state of birth.

This page last updated July 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM

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The Morgan and
Merrill family
of Gallia and Lawrence
County, Ohio.

                            Jemima Merrell Morgan  1

John Morgan was born February 16, 1803. 2 possibly to Michael and Sarah Morgan, 3 and died August 30, 1866. 4  He married Jemima Merrill supposedly on March 5,  1833 in Harrison County, Ohio. 5 

His obituary reads as follows:  "Our friend John Morgan is dead.  Pennsylvania gave him birth, and Ohio a grave.  For more than sixteen years, he was a peaceable and upright citizen of Walnut township, in this county.  He moved to this region from Harrison County, Ohio, and by his industry and economy, he aquired a competency for himself and his family.  In this aquisition, he was greatly aided by the toils and labors of a faithful and devoted wife.  Her watchful care, and the prudent and successful management of her domestic affairs added to their daily store, and increased their individual and social comforts...Various were the maladies with which Mr. Morgan was afflicted.  His chief disease was chronic diarrhea.  After a painful and lingering illness of some weeks duration he left his clay tenement... August 30th, 1866, in the 64th year of his age..." 6

So if John was indeed born on February 16, 1803, he would have had his 63rd birthday in February of 66, and been in his 64th year at the time of his death.

Who John's parents were has been long debated, though there is some strong evidence showing them to be Michael and Sara Morgan.  Michael's will was probated in Harrison County, Ohio having been written on February 11, 1829, and recorded on March 21, 1829.  In it he names his wife Sara, and his children George, John, Jacob, James, Christina Morgan Hurless, Catherine Morgan Read, Elizabeth Morgan Harrison and Polly Morgan.  This would be an open and shut case except for two things.  First, there are three John Morgans living within close proximity to Harrison County.  The first is John Morgan of North Twp., Harrison County, Ohio.  Second is John Morgan Sommerset Twp., Belmont County, Ohio, and the final is John Morgan of Augusta Twp., Columbiana [now Carroll] County, Ohio.   The second potential problem is that there is a John Morgan who married a Polly Kirby about four years before John married Jemima.  Is this the same John?  Did Polly pass away, and if so when?  Deeds of sale in Harrison County should help to clarify this, as sale requires wife's signature. 

Jemima was born December 18, 1802 7 in Monongalia County, [W] Virginia 8 (Morgantown area).  She is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Batton.  Perhaps one of the most fascinating things I have learned is that Elizabeth Batton was a triplet daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Little Batton.  The triplets were Elizabeth and Jemima and Ellen, and all lived well into their 70s, if not beyond.  Elizabeth and Jemima married brothers, and both had a daughter Jemima Merrill.  Because it is confusing, here are the two lines.

Father of John         Father of Joseph
Joseph MerrillJohn Merrill
Mother of John       Mother of Joseph
Grandma JemimaCousin Jemima

       Henry Batton  Henry Batton
Elizabeth Batton     Jemima Batton
    (triplet)Elizabeth Little      (triplet)  Elizabeth Little

However, I do wonder about one other possibility.  In the 1840 census Jemima and her family were living next door to Jesse and a couple doors down from John.  According to Harold Merrill it is assumed that Joseph died in Monongalia County between the 1830 and 1840 census, and his widow, Elizabeth Batton Merrill appears living with her son Burr, there is no man old enough to be Joseph.  Harold said that they have not looked for wills or estate records for Joseph, so that is one possible direction that I can take

Still, this leaves me with questions, if Jemima was Joseph's daughter, why did she, as a single lady move to Harrison County with her Uncle Jesse and Uncle John? Why not stay with her father?  Was John Morgan her first marriage (at the age of 30), or did she move to Harrison County with her new husband?  Was the John Morgan running around in Monongalia County in the 1820s and 30s the same John Morgan that Jemima married?  So many questions still unanswered.  In a listing of Jesse's children there is no Jemima, so that can rule him out as a possible father.

In 1850 John is gone but Jesse still lives next door to Jemima and her family.  According to the 1850 census, Jesse is old enough to be Jemima's father, but a listing of children in his obituary can rule that out.  Are there any records, wills, anything that show Jemima Merrill born 1802/03 in Monongalia County [W] Va who married John Morgan, is the daughter of Joseph and not John?  I'd love to find a male descendant, but descending from a Miss Merrill, and not having a clue who her brothers or father was I cannot get a DNA test done. 
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com