The Morris family is of direct Welsh descent. The name is variously spelled, and is composed of the Welsh words “Mawy-rwyce,” meaning strong or brave in battle.
The family claims descent from Eliptan Godrydd, a powerful British chieftain, who founded the fourth royal tribe of Wales, born in 933. From him and others of his descendants sprang the noble houses of Gadogan, the Pryces of Newton Barons, as well as families of Morice of Werrington, Morrice of Eetshanger, Morris of the Hurst, and others.
The earliest arrivals in Virginia, of those bearing the name, as yet found, listed in John Camden Hotten’s original Lists of those who went from Great Britain to the Virgian Plantations from 1600-1700. Although this is not complete, it is supposed to contain all extant known records. In this we find the following:
“From the muster of the inhabitants of the college lands in Virginia, Elizabeth Cittie, Capt. William Tucker, Master John Morris, age 24, in the ship Bona Nova, November 1619.”
“Living in Elizabeth Cittie, Va. 16 February 1623, John Morris”
In the Muster at Elizabeth Cittie, 1624/5:
“John Morris, age 24, in Bona Nova, 1619 Mary Morris, age 22, in George, 1623 (probably his wife) (This John disembarked at the Jamestown Colony from England in November 1619. Later due to religious persecution, the family moved to the sparsely settled community west of Albemarle near the Carolina-VA state line (From the Winslow-Morris Genealogy by Fred E. Winslow, Salem, Indiana) Also this entry to an unannounced destination in Virginia: “The underwritten names are to be transported to Virginia, embarked in the --- from the port of London, 1635, John Morris, aged 26”
From the above information it is probable, but not proved, that the John Morris at Elizabeth City is the forbearer of the line of the Morris family. No other Morris has been found in the records of Elizabeth. However, for the next fifty years we find nothing on the lineage of the Morris family, except that a John Morris left a will in 1696, in Accomac County, Virginia. It appears though, that some of them, if not all, became members of the Little River Monthly Meeting, friends in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. It is very probable that those in the Little River Monthly Meeting were his descendants. The Friends were among those few religious organizations that kept a rather complete record of their members, so long as they remained in good standing.
“History of Perquiman County” page 35
“Among passengers in “Speedwell” of London bound for America, 28 May 1635, was Richard Morris, age 19. Another by the same name came to Virginia from London, the same year, age 17. Edward Morris was transported to Virginia by John Ellis in April 1648. Mr. Richard Morris “Minister of Bristol Parish” Henrico County, Virginia, became later a resident of Isle of Wight County, and had a daughter Anne, who was his heir 1678, her uncle Samuel Morris acting as Executor of his estate. John Morris was living in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia in 1740.
Charles Morris, with his wife Hannah, the first to appear on the records of Perquimans County, North Carolina, attended a Monthly Meeting at Arnold White’s house 24, 4mo, 1679. He was born about 1652, & died 1679 in Virginia. He may have been the father of John. They were living in Perquimans County in 1716. Little River gives most valuable information about this family, and they are always the best of authority.
John Morris Sr., was born 3day, 3mo, 1679, recorded in Pasquotank Monthly Meeting, North Carolina.
He was married, same place, 9da, 4mo, 1703, to Mary Symons, who was born 12da, 4 mo, 1687, in Pasquotank Monthly Meeting, North Carolina, daughter of Thomas Symons, and Rebecca White. (See: Symons Family, Part IV)
They were members of Little River Monthly Meeting, North Carolina. John, an elder, died age 60, 20da 9mo 1739. Mary died age 58, 14da 8mo 1745.
Aaron Morris Sr., son of John Morris and Mary Symons, was born 14da 7mo 1704, Little River, Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
He was married 20da 6m0 1724, Symons Creek Monthly Meeting, in Pasquotank County, to Mary Pritchard, who was born 28 July 1707 at Symons Creek, daughter of Benjamin Pritchard and his first wife, Sarah Culpepper (See: Pritchard Family, Part IV)
Aaron was trustee and director of Nixonton, the first town in Pasquotank County They were members of the Symons Creek Monthly Meeting. Aaron was chosen overseer 5 June 1755.
Aaron Morris died 10 September 1770, and Mary died 12 October 1791.
Joseph Morris Sr., son of John Morris and Mary Symons, was born 4da 12mo 1709.
He was married 2da 10mo 1730 at Symons Creek Monthly Meeting, to Elizabeth Pritchard, who was born 19d 1m 1710, daughter of Benjamin Pritchard. (See: Pritchard Family, Part IV)
Zachariah Morris, son of John Morris and Mary Symons, was born 23 September 1722.
He was married l November 1752 to Ann Williams, who was born 12 December 1727-8, daughter of John Williams and Sarah___.
Ann died 28 April 1795, and Zachariah died 2 March 1809.
Joshua Morris, son of Aaron Morris and Mary Pritchard, was born 6 April 1726 Symons Creek Monthly Meeting, Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
He was married/1 on 13 November 1747, to Hannah Anderson, who died 3 May 1751, daughter of John Anderson.
He was married/2 on 9 June 1752 Huldah Newby;
He was married/3 on 1 June 1755 to Mary (Pearson) Winslow, who died 13 March 1773, daughter of Peter Pearson Sr and Rachel Bogue (See Winslow Family, Part VIII). Mary, the widow of John Winslow, had 6 Winslow children
He was married/4 on 27 April 1774 to Rebeccah Symons, daughter of Peter Symons.Joshua died 14 February 1777.
Joseph Morris, son of Aaron Morris and Mary Pritchard, was born 1 February 1731. He was married/1 on 5 June 1755, to Mary Newby, who was born 28 July 1732, and died 5 September 1763, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Newby.
He was reported married/2 on 1 November 1764, to Hannah Overman, who died 27 November 1766.
He was married/3 19 April 1769 to Elizabeth ____, (born 1769). Joseph died 24 November 1798.
John Morris III, son of Aaron Morris and Mary Pritchard, was born 11 December 1737.
He was married/1 on 20 January 1762, at the Little River Meeting House, to Mary Nicholson, who was born 3 April 1744, and died 25 January 1772, daughter of Thomas and Mary Nicholson; (See: Nicholson Family, Part II)
John was recorder of births and deaths and overseer; Mary was Clerk. John was married/2 20 September 1774, to Ruth Fletcher, widow of Samuel Winslow. John died 17 October 1776.
Mary Morris, daughter of Aaron Morris and Mary Pritchard, was born 8 January 1739. She was married/1 to Daniel Trueblood.
She was reported married/2 17 March 1773, to Silas Draper of Perquimans Monthly Meeting, North Carolina.
He was “an elder of Wells Particular Meeting, and died 23 November 1793.
Aaron Morris, Jr., son of Aaron Morris, Sr. and Mary Pritchard, was born 5 September 1744, in Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
He was married 30 November 1768, at the Meeting House near Little River Bridge, to Margaret Nicholson, who was born 1 January 1752, daughter of Thomas Nicholson and Mary Hill. (See: < a href=../../part2/other/Nicholson.html> Nicholson Family, Part II
Aaron was married/2 27 February 1782, to Lydia Symons, widow Davis, daughter of Jehoshaphat and Lydia Symons. Aaron died 8 December 1796, Lydia died 18 April 1807, both in Pasquotank County.
Thomas Morris, Sr., son of Zachariah Morris and Ann Williams was born 19 March 1769.
He was married 19 November 1789 to Sarah Musgrove, who was born 3 January 1770 in Wayne County, North Carolina, daughter of Caleb Musgrove (died 1791) and Elizabeth Cox (died 13 October 1800) Thomas was married a second time.
Many Morris families joined the Great Quaker Migration, fleeing the slavery of the South. Their wagon train, including the Thomas Moorman family, left 18 February 1815, from Symons Creek Monthly Meeting, Pasquotank, North Carolina, to Lick Creek Monthly Meeting, Washington County, Indiana.
They founded the Blue River Monthly Meeting in July 1815. They followed a trail near the North Carolina-VA state line, west to Cumberland Gap, at the corner of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Here they found a 1500-foot-mountain to climb to get to the top of the pass. No doubt, here they stopped while 2 or more teams of horses or oxen were hitched on the lead of each wagon to pull it up the mountain. Then the wagon was guided down the west side with its own team, the wagon being held by brakes. When all were over, they followed the trail northwest down a valley between high mountains, to Corgin, and on to Lexington.
Here a trail turned north to Cincinnati, Ohio, and Richmond, Indiana, but they followed the newer trail northwest to the Ohio River at Charlestown Landing, about 15 miles up the river from Louisville. They, like others, crossed there rather than risk a ferry crossing nearer the falls of the Ohio. From Charlestown, they followed an old Indian trail northwest between 25 and 30 miles to Blue River, their future home.
The trip took perhaps 8-10 weeks, for the most part through an unbroken wilderness, camping each night in the open. Here, near Blue River, each family selected a place for a home, usually located near a spring of flowing water. Their claims were composed of several hundred acres of level ground on the watershed, known for generations as “The Flat Woods” and the “Morris Neighborhood.”
Thomas Morris, Sr. died before 1819, when daughter Elizabeth married Uriah.
Mordecai Morris, son of Joshua Morris and Hannah Anderson, was born in 1749.
He was married in 1773 to Abigail Overman, daughter of Nathan Overman.
He died 1831.
Jonathan Morris, Sr., son of Joshua Morris and 3rd wife, Mary Pearson, was born 7 July 1759.
His will was probated February 1796, naming sons, Jehosaphat & Jonathan, nephew John Pool, brother Nathan, with Josiah Bundy, Executor
Thomas Morris, son of Joseph Morris and Hannah Overman, was born in 1776. He was married to 1794, in the Newbegun Monthly Meeting, to Lucretia Henley, daughter of 11,111. Joseph Henley and Mourning Anderson. (See Mayo-Henley Family, Part VIII)
Nathan Morris Sr., son of Thomas Morris, Sr., and Sarah Musgrove, was born 28 October 1806 in Guilford County, North Carolina.
He was married to Marian Benbow, daughter of John Benbow and Charity Mendenhall, a sister of Lydia Mendenhall. (See Benbow, Mendenhall Families) The family moved to Grant County, Indiana, in 1831. Marian died 11 Nov 1851. (See: Benbow Family, Part IV)
Nathan was married/2 on 16 December 1852, to Abigale Baldwin, born 15 Feb 1822, widow of John Peacock, and daughter of Charles Baldwin.
The family moved to Grant County, Indiana, in 1831. Marian died 11 November 1851. Nathan was married/2 16 December 1852, to Abigale Baldwin, born 15 February 1822, widow of John Peacock, and daughter of Charles Baldwin.
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