Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The name of Morton, Moreton and Mortaigne is earliest found in old Dauphine, and is still existent in France, where it is represented by the present Comtes and Marquises Morton de Chabrillon, and where the family has occpied many important positions, states the "Genealogy of the Morton Family," from which this sketch is taken. In the annals of the family there is a statement repeatedly met with, that as the result of a quarrel one of the name migrated from Dauphine, first to Brittany and then to Normandy, where he joined William the Conqueror. Certain it is that among the names of the followers of William painted on the chancel ceiling in the ancient church of Dives in old Normandy is that of Robert Comte de Mortain. It also figures on Battle Abby Roll, the Domesday Book, and the Norman Rolls, and it is conjectured that this Count Robert, who was also half-brother of teh Conqueror by his mother Harlotte, was the founder of the English family of that name. In the Bayeux tapestry he is represented as one of the Council of William, the result of which was the intrenchment of Hastings and the conquest of England. Count Robert held manors in nearly every county in England, in all about eight hundred among which was Pevensea, where the Conqueror landed, and where in 1087 Robert and his brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, were beseiged six weeks by William Rufus. Here Camden (1551-1628) found "the most entire remains of a Roman building to be seen in Britain."
When William, Earl of Moriton, and Duke of Cornwall, son of Robert, rebelled against Henry I, that prince seized and razed his castles, but this one seems to have escaped demolition. In early Norman times this William built a castle at Tamerton, Cornwall, and founded a college of canons, as appeared by the Domesday Book, where it is called Lanstaveton. On the north side of the Gretna in Richmondshire stands an old manor house, called Moreton Tower, from a lofty, square embattled tower at one end of it.
Of the family of Morton were the Earls of Dulcie and Cornwall; Robert Morton Esq., of Bawtry; Thomas Morton, secretary to Edward III; William Morton, bishop of Meath; Robert Morton, bishop of Worcester in 1586; John Morton, the celebrated cardinal archbishop of Canterbury, and lord chancellor of England, 1420-1500; Thomas Morton (1564-1659), bishop of Durham and chaplain to James II. Prominent among the English Mortons who came early to America were Thomas Morton, Esq., Rev. Charles Morton, Landgrave Joseph Morton, proprietary governor of South Carolina, and George Morton.
(I) George Morton, the first of the name to found a family in America, and the ancestor of former Vice-president Levi P. Morton, was born about 1585, at Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, and it is believed was of the ancient Mortons who bore arms: Quarterly, gules and ermine; in the dexter chief and sinister base, each a goat's head erased argent attired or. Crest, a goat's head argent attired or. Hunter, in his "Founders of New Plymouth," suggests that he may have been the George Morton hitherto unaccounted for in the family of Anthony Morton, of Bawtry, one of the historical familes of England, and that from Romanist lineage "he so far departed from the spirit and principles of his family as to have fallen into the ranks of the Protestant Puritans and Separatists."
Of George Morton's early life no record has been preserved, and his religious environments and the causes which led him to unite with the Separatists are alike unknown. His home in Yorkshrie was in the vicinage of Scrooby Manor, and possibly he was a member of Brewster's historic church; but it is only definitely known that he early joined the Pilgrims at Leyden, and continued of their company until his death.
When the first of the colonists departed for America, Mr. Morton remained behind, although he "much desired" to embark then and intended soon to join them. His reason for such a course is a matter of conjecture. As he was a merchant, possibly his business interests caused his detention, or, what is more probable, he remained to promote the success of the colony by encouraging emigration among others. That he served in some official capacity before coming to America is undoubted. One writer says he was "the agent of those of his sect in London," and another that he acted as "the financial agent in London for Plymouth County."
The work, however, for which this eminent forefather is most noted, and which will forever link his name with American history, is the publication issued by him in London, in 1622, of what has since been known as "Mourt's Relation." This "Relation" may justly be termed the first history of New England, and is composed of letters and journals from the chief colonists at Plymouth, either addressed or intrusted to George Morton, whose authorship in the work is possibly limted to the preface. The "Relation" itself is full of valuable information and still continues an authority. Shortly after it was placed before the public, George Morton prepared to emigate to America, and sailed with his wife and children in the "Ann," the third and last ship to carry what are distinctively known as the Forefathers, and reached Plymouth early in June, 1623.
"New England's Memorial" in speaks of Mr. Timothy Haterly and Mr. George Morton as "two of the principal passengers that came in this ship," and from Morton's activity in promoting emigration it may be inferred that the "Ann's" valuable addition to the colony was in a measure due to his efforts. He did not long survive his arrival, and his early death was a serious loss to the infant settlement. His character and attainments were such as to suggest that the thought that had he lived to the age reached by several of his distinguished contemporaries, he would have filled as conspicuous a place in the life of the colony. The Memorial thus chronicles his decease:
"Mr. George Morton was a pious, gracious servant of God, and very faithful in whatsoever public employment he was betrusted withal, and an unfeigned well-willer, and according to his sphere and condition a suitable promotor of the common good and growth of the plantation of New Plymouth, laboring to still the discontents that sometimes would arise amongst some spirits, by occasion of the difficulties of these new beginnings; but it pleased God to put a period to his days soon after his arrival in New England, not surviving a full year after his coming ashore. With much comfort and peace he fell asleep in the Lord, in the month of June anno 1624."
He married Juliana Carpenter, as shown by the entry in the Leyden Records: "George Morton, merchant, from York in England accompanied by Thomas Morton, his brother, and Roger Wilson his acquaintance, with Juliana Carpenter, maid from Bath in England, accompanied by Alexander Carpenter, her father, and Alice Carpenter, her sister and Anna Robinson, her acquaintance" "The banns published 16 July 1612. The marriage took place 23 July 2 Aug. 1612." Mrs. Morton married (second) Manasseh Kempton, Esq., a member of the first and other assemblies of the colony. She died at Plymouth Feb. 18, 1665, in the eighty-first year of her age, and is mentioned in the town records as "a faithful servant of God."
Nathaniel, Patience, John, Sarah and Ephraim.
(II) Hon. Ephraim, third son of George and Juliana (Carpenter) Morton, was born in 1623, on the ship "Ann," on the passage to New England, and died in Plymouth Sept. 7, 1693. It seems that after the death of his father he was adopted by Governor Bradford. He, like his father and two brothers, was a man of ability, and was called to fill various places of honor and trust among his fellow citizens. He was made a freeman of the colony June 7, 1648; constable for Plymouth, 1648; member of the grand inquest, 1654; in 1667 was elected a representative to the Plymouth general court and was a member for twenty-eight years; in 1691-92 Plymouth was merged into Massachusetts, and he was chosen one of the first representatives to the general court; was head of the board of selectmen of Plymouth for nearly twenty-five years; magistrate of the colon in 1683; at the time of his death he was justice of the court of common pleas; was sergeant of the Plymouth military company, and in 1664 was elected lieutenant, and in 1671 was chosen a member of the "Council of War," in which he was of much service for many years, including the time of King Philip's war; for many years he was a deacon of the Plymouth Church, having been chosen Aug. 1, 1669, and serving until his death. His will, dated Sept. 27, 1693, was probated Nov. 2, 1693.
Ephraim Morton married Nov. 28, 1644, Ann Cooper, who died Sept. 10, 1691. The genealogist, Savage, says she was his cousin, daughter of John Cooper, of Scituate, and Priscilla (Carpenter) Wright, widow of William Wright, and sister of Juliana (Carpenter) Morton. He married (second), 1692, Mary, widow of William Harlow, and daughter of Robert Shelley, of Scituate. The marriage covenant between Ephraim Morton and Widow Harlow, dated Oct. 11, and acknowledged Oct. 19, 1682, provided: She is to have her right of dower in the estate of her late husband, and is to quitclaim her rights to the estate of Ephraim Morton if she survive him.
Children of 1st wife:
George, Ephraim, Rebecca, Josiah, Mercy, Nathaniel, Eleazer, Thomas and Patience.
(III) Ephraim (2), second son of Ephraim (1) and Ann (Cooper) Morton, was born at Plymouth, Jan. 27, 1648, died Feb. 18, 1732. He was buried on Burial Hill, Plymouth, the inscription on his gravestone being: "Here lyes ye body of Mr. Ephraim Morton, who decd Febry ye 18th 1731-2, in ye 84th year of his age."
He married, about 1775-76, Hannah Phinney, who was born in 1657.
Hannah, Ephraim, John, Joseph and Ebenezer.
(IV) Ebenezer, fourth and youngest son of Ephraim (2) and Hannah (Phinney) Morton, was born at Plymouth, Mass., April 11, 1685, and died in Plymouth, but the date of his death is not known. His first wife was Hannah Morton, and the second, whom he married in 1720 was Mercy Foster.
Children of 1st wife:
Mary, Edmund, Patience, Zacheus.
Child of 2d wife:
(V) Captain Edmund, eldest son of Ebenezer and Hannah (Morton) Morton, was born in Plymouth in 1713, and died suddenly at Dorchester, Jan. 9, 1786. About all we know of him is that he was a mariner. He was buried in the Dorchester North cemetery.
His tombstone bears the inscription:
"In Memory of Capt. Edmund Morton, who departed this life Jan. 9, 1786, aged 73."
In his life he was a kind and loving husband, a tender provident parent, a friendly and benevolent neighbor, pitiful and liberal to the poor, needy and distressed, his life useful, his death lamented. His will was made Feb. 8, 1772. His estate was inventoried and appraised at 655 pounds, 15s. 9d.
He married, in Boston, April 23, 1740, Elizabeth Rogers, who survived him.
Edmund, Ebenezer, Elizabeth, Zacheus, Mary, Hannah, Solomon, Isaac, Patience and Sarah.
(VI) Captain Isaac, fifth son of Capt. Edmund and Elizabeth (Rogers) Morton, was born in Boston, April 18, 1754, died Sept. 24, 1824. Family tradition states that he was a member of the Boston Tea Party, and was an ensign in a Boston company at the battle of Buker Hill, June 17, 1775. He enlisted as a private in the revolutionary army, April 5, 1776, apparently (according to the records of the U. S. war department) in Captain Samuel Bradford's company, Twenty-third regiment, Continental troops, raised in Massachusetts. "His name appears on an undated pay roll of the company, which shows that he received pay for Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. of 1776, but affords no further particulars relative to his service," says a letter from the chief of the record and pension office, war department, Washington, D.C.
The records of the family also show that he served as an ensign and as a captain. The chief of the record and pension office, above mentioned, further states: "The records also show that one Isaac Morton served as an ensign and as a lieutenant in the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment, commanded by Colonel Thomas Marshall, Revolutionary war. He was commissioned ensign Nov. 6, 1776, promoted to be lieutenant Nov. 1, 1777, and discharged Dec. 4, 1777."
From the records of revolutionary war service in the office of secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is learned that "Isaac Morton appears with the rank of captain on muster and pay roll of Colonel Thomas Poor's regiment. Engaged July 8, 1788; discharged Oct. 2, 1778; time of service, three months seventeen days, including twelve days (two hundred and forty miles) travel home. Company commanded by Lieutenant Zaccheus Thayer, subsequent to Oct. 12, 1778. Regiment raised for the term of eight months from time of arrival at Peeksill." He "appears among a list of officers of Suffolk county militia appointed to command men raised for various purposes. Said Morton detached for service at Peekskill. Commissioned July 14, 1778." He "appears in an account rendered against the state of Massachusetts by said Morton, Captain, for state pay for service from July 14, 1778, to Oct. 24, 1778, 3 months, 10 days, at North river. Reported a supernumerary oficer." He "appears with the rank of Captain on pay roll of Capt. Isaac Morten's company, Col. Thomas Poor's regiment, for Sept., 1778, dated Fort Clinton, Nov. 14, 1778." He "appears in a copy of a regimental order dated West Point, Oct. 12, 1778. Said Morton and others reported as having been discharged by Colonel Poor from any further service in his regiment, agreeable to General Washington's orders. Rank, captain."
The records of the family state that Captain Morton served throughout the war, eight years in all, in the army and navy; also that he drew a pension of twenty dollars a month. At the close of the revolutionary war Capt. Morton removed from Boston, Mass., to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, engaging in the bread and sea bisquit baking business. In 1798 yellow fever appeared in Portsmouth and he removed to Exeter, N. H., where he continued the baking business, his son William, then about twelve year old, delivering the bread to customers. Isaac, like his father, died suddenly. It is said that he was sitting in a chair down by the old Piscataqua bridge, telling his revolutionary yarns, when he fell backward dead. As the graves of Capt. Morton and his wife are in Portsmouth, it is presumed they returned there from Exeter after the yellow fever epidemic had passed. He and his wife are buried in the Proprietors' cemetery, in the south part of the city.
The following inscriptions are upon the gravestone:
"Captain Isaac Morton, Died Sept. 24, 1824, AE 70.
Anna his wife Died Aug. 2, 1817, Ae. 62."
Isaac Morton married, 1774, Anna, born May 1, 1755, daughter of John and Anna (Eaton) Barber, of Reading, Mass.
Elizabeth, Anna, Isaac, Benjamin, William, John (died young) and John.
(VII) William, third son of Capt. Isaac and Anna (Barber) Morton, was born Dec. 7, 1785. He was a noted contractor, builder and millwright, and developed the water power and built the first mills at Salmon Falls, New Hampshire. He died suddenly at Salmon Falls, and was found dead in his room at the hotel which he built, Dec. 12, 1865, aged eighty.
He married, at Portsmouth, April, 1813, Sarah Roberts Griffith, born in 1793, died at Salmon Falls Feb. 8, 1849. Both were buried at Portsmouth, N. H.
William Henry, Albert, Charles, Eliza Ann, Edmund Griffith, John Barton, James Anderson, Mary Hannah, Charles Augustus and Isaac Newton.
(VIII) Charles Augustus, seventh son of William and Sarah Roberts (Griffith) Morton, was born at Portsmouth, N. H., March 25, 1834, died at Biddeford, Maine, April 28, 1879. He was educated in the public schools and at the academy at South Berwick, Maine. He was an expert machinist.
He married, at Standish, Maine, Oct. 15, 1856, Susan Nason, born Oct. 15, 1834, died at Biddeford, Jan. 30, 1892, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Meservey) York. She was a member of the Second Congregational Church of Biddeford.
Children, all b. in Biddeford:
1. Lillie Sarah Eliza, born April 1, 1858, married July 31, 1882, John Kermott Allen, journalist and author, and resides in Chicago.
2. Cora Estelle, born Aug. 8, 1860, married at Biddeford Nov. 29, 1904, Levi Woodbury Stone, ex-mayor of Biddeford.
3. Charles James, born Jan. 23, 1863; resides in Boston.
4. William, born Oct. 24, 1865.
5. Angie Fidella, born Aug .29, 1867, graduated from Biddeford high school 1885; married at Biddeford Sept. 3, 1889, Abraham L. T. Cummings, and resides in Portland.
6. Charlotte May, born Sept. 19, 1872, married in Biddeford June 27, 1900, Henry Hutchinson Gove, manufacturer, Biddeford.