A Family of Achievers and Characters

Louise Morgan, born in October, 1833, was the third of my great-great-grandfather Jesse Morgan and his first wife Mary Pelton Morgan’s four children who lived past childhood.  Louise, also called Louisa, lived a mobile life. She moved around not just because she was the child of a wandering father, but because she was the wife of a preacher who relocated frequently.

To start at the beginning, Louise was born while Jesse and his first wife still lived in Chautauqua County, New York, the same place that her three siblings, older brothers Charles and Carlos and younger sister, Malvina were born.  And with her parents and siblings, she moved to  Ohio at a young age.  At four years of age, Louise and the Morgan family moved to the small village of Killbuck, Ohio.

Louise’s mother died the following year and I have not found a clear record of where she lived before her father married my great-great-grandmother, Mary Bassett Platt Morgan.  Jesse and Mary Bassett Platt Morgan continued to live in Killbuck, but older brother Charles went to New York to live with his mother’s family and Carlos may have moved in with relatives as well.  We only know that in 1850, younger sister Malvina was living with Mary Morgan  in Killbuck.

I did find an intriguing possible connection in the 1850 census of Westfield, Chautauqua, New York.  There is a Loiza Morgan living with a Dr. Carlton Jones.

Louise Morgan

“Loiza” Morgan, 16 with Dr. Carlton Jones family. 1850 census Westfield NY

Since Louise or Louisa Morgan is not an uncommon name, why do I think this matches, despite the lack of details? Well, the census locates her in Westfield, her birthplace, near the place her parents had spent many years. When Louise’s mother died, Jesse was not prepared to take care of a toddler so she might have gone back to New York State. I’m just betting that Luisa, the wife of Dr. Carlton Jones, is a cousin of Jesse’s, or that they lived in close proximity to the Morgan family, but I have not proven that. Another possibility would have her serving as a maid in the house, not unusual for 16-year-old girls at the time.

In 1855, a Louise Morgan is living alone in an apartment in Brooklyn New York. The birthplace is listed as Westchester rather than Westfield, but that could very well be an error. This Louise has been living in Brooklyn for two years and works in dry goods. Again, I cannot be totally certain.

In 1860 I spot a Louise Morgan teaching school in Bloomington, Indiana and living with the family of the principal of the school.  This probably tracks with our Louise, since it places her in the state where she met her husband. She married Rev. Thomas Hopkins in Indiana in February 1861, and her first son is born in December of that year, also in Indiana.

Louise’s Family 1861 to 1909

While they lived in Indiana, besides the first son James (1861), Louise and Thomas have three more children–daughter Caroline/Carrie (1863)  and sons Edwin (1866) and Addison (1868). Between April 1868 and 1870, Thomas Hopkins moves his family to Piqua, Ohio.

In the next five years, Louisa gave birth to three more children, Thomas Jr. (1871), namesake Louise M.(1873), and Wilbur (1875).

In 1880, the Reverend moved his family to Xenia, Ohio, just 45 miles away from Piqua.

Before 1900, Rev. Thomas and Louisa moved to Denver. Four of their adult children still lived with them: Thomas, Carolyn, Addison and Louise. Carolyn and Louise were school teachers, Thomas was a doctor, and Addison an attorney. A promising group of offspring, indeed.

When Rev. Thomas died in 1901, Louisa continued to live in Denver.

Most of the children stayed together after their father died in 1901. They pursued a variety of lifestyles and occupations. As in most families, Louise had children who she could be proud of and others who must have been a continual source of worry. Mother Louise died in 1909 and was buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.

Jesse Morgan’s Grandchildren–The Children of Louise Morgan Hopkins

The Doctor

One who surely inspired pride –oldest son James G. Hopkins became a physician. He practiced medicine in Iola, Kansas when he answered the 1900 census. James moved to Las Animas in eastern Colorado in 1910 and to nearby Eads, Colorado by 1920. He still lived in Eads in 1930, but the trail ends there. James never married, which no doubt concerned his mother.

The Carpenter

Edwin Kirkwood Hopkins, who married in 1896, followed a twisting path. He worked as a carpenter, a miner, and a minister in various places in Kansas and Colorado. He and his wife had five children, presenting Louise with her first grandchild in 1897.

Soon after his marriage, Edwin struck out for Clear Creek, Colorado seeking gold. Clear Creek would have been a typical rough mining town at that time. What a place to raise a young family! Edwin’s family was joined by his brother according to the 1900 census.Perhaps the most interesting, and certainly the least tethered member of the family, youngest brother, Wilbur Lewis Hopkins, worked and lived  with his brother in the gold mines.

The experience at the gold mining camp apparently wrought changes in Edwin’s life, as he made a startling career change. In 1910, we find him working as a minister in Sedgwick, Colorado. Mother Louisa surely would have been relieved to see her son leave the rough life of a gold miner for his father’s profession in the church. She could have died content that he was on the right path. But the path changed before long.

Edwin’s wife died before 1920,  and he went back to his earlier occupation of carpenter. A single father of five children, he now lived in Udall Kansas. In the 1930s and at least until 1940, Edwin lived with a daughter and her family in Garden, Kansas, working as a carpenter until he retired.

School Teacher Sisters

We might call Carrie Dixon Hopkins an  “old maid school teacher”, but sister Louise narrowly escaped the title when she married at almost 40. Both women lived with their parents in Denver at least through 1890. In 1891, Louise Morgan Hopkins attended the University of Denver. In 1892 (she would have been 19) the school’s catalogue lists her as a second year student. According to a year book from the school where she taught, Caroline attended Cooper Academy.

By 1897, the family has moved to another residence in Denver, (Fillmore Street) and Louise is now a teacher.  They remain at the Fillmore Street address until 1902, after their father dies, when they move to 2710 East 12th Avenue. During that time, their brother Wilbur lives with them at various times. (See below). After nine years at the 12th Avenue address, the sisters move in 1911 to 1048 Milwaukee.  During their years of teaching, Caroline teaches math at West High School and Louise at Ashland School.

Louise married in late 1911 or early 1912, and Caroline probably lived alone until her death in 1929.  Her record in the City Directories picks up in 1913, the probable year after her sister’s marriage, living on Washington Street.  Poor Caroline can’t seem to settle down. She is in a different place in 1918, and yet another in 1919 when she lives at 933 Corona in Denver, still teaching. She moved to a yet another address in 1920, and stayed there for at least five years. Her final address seems to be 526 Steele, where she lived in 1925, 27 and 28.  Caroline is buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. She died in 1929.

A grave in the Denver Fairmont Cemetery lists Louise Hopkins Davis, B. 1873, D. 1918. It appears that Louise Morgan, daughter of Louis Morgan Hopkins, married late in life–probably about 1911, a couple of years after her mother died. She would have been nearing forty when she married and not yet fifty when she died in 1918. The same stone bears an inscription for a John Thomas Davis 1913-1922.  This must be Louise’s child, who unfortunately died at the age of nine, four years after his mother.

Mother Louise did not live to see Louise married, and I have no doubt that having two unmarried daughters was a source of worry, although she would have been glad to have them living in the same city during her lifetime.

The Surgeon

Thomas Mayes Hopkins became a physician, like his older brother James.  He practiced surgery, specializing in the throat. He was the most settled of all of Louisa’s children.

After Thomas’ marriage in 1904 in Salt Lake City, he settled in Denver where he stayed the rest of his life. Thomas not only had a distinguished career and a settled life, but he had the perfect little family of one boy and one girl.  His family buried him in Denver Fairmont Cemetery when he died in 1940. Mother Louise lived long enough to greet the little girl named after her as well as he new grandson William.

The Seeker of Gold

In 1900, Addison A. Hopkins still lived with his parents at the age of 32. However, he had become an attorney, which seemed to promise a settled life. While his father was alive, he lived with his parents and worked as an attorney in Denver (from at least 1895 through 1901).  His life record becomes puzzling after that. He seemed to wander in search of riches much like his grandfather, Jesse Morgan.

In 1910, the year after his mother died, we find Addison in Tucson Arizona, employed in a railroad shop. The census report says he is married, but the census lists no wife with him in the boarding house where he lives. And even more confusing, by the time of the next census in 1920, he is in Oregon,a widower working as a quartz miner. Obviously the man  inherited the wanderlust of his grandfather Jesse Morgan, Addison made a trip to Canada in 1929 and in 1930 the census lists him as a prospector for precious metals, living in Oroville, Washington, quite near the Canadian border. By 1935, he has moved to Talent, Oregon, another gold mining town. Although he’s been listed as single or a widower in the past, the 1940 census says he is divorced. Several marriages? Perhaps. Addison at seventy-one years old lived in Gold HIll,  Oregon, yet another gold mining community and that is the last we hear of him.

The Unsettled Son

But if you think Addison had an unusual life, take a look at the youngest son, Wilbur Hopkins. I am quite tempted to label him a free-loader.

As mentioned above, in 1900 Wilbur was counted living with his brother Edwin and also with his father.  The brothers Edwin and Wilbur were gold mining.  From 1895 to 1910, Wilbur lived with his parents or with sisters Caroline and Louise in Denver variously described as a miner or a student. In 1910 Wilbur apprenticed with a florist, a reputable job for the young brother of the two school teachers. But whatever he had been studying off and on, including flowers, fell by the wayside.

By 1917, according to his World War I draft card, and in 1920, according to the census, he lived and worked on a farm in Arapahoe, Colorado. Moving again, but still listing farm work as his occupation, in 1930 Wilbur lived with his brother, the surgeon Thomas Hopkins in Denver. Wilbur continued to live with Thomas and in 1940 reports that he is working as a handyman. Wilbur never married and never lived in a home–or even an apartment, of his own.

Surely this youngest son’s life would have caused much concern for his mother, Louise Morgan Hopkins, had she lived long enough to see him turn away from his abortive training as a florist.

Family Members Living Together

I had to make a table of locations, based on Denver City Directories to figure out where these people were in relationship to other members of their family.

In 1895, Louise Jr. was a student and she was living with Carrie, now a teacher and Addison a lawyer with their parents at 1243 South 14th Street.

From 1897 through 1901, the adult children Louise, Caroline/Carrie, Addison and Wilbur lived with their parents at 1135 Filmore Street in Denver.

In 1899, Wilbur was not at the Fillmore Street address, presumably mining with htis brother Edwin.

In 1902 and 1903, after the father died, Louise, Carrie, their mother and Wilbur live at 2710 E. 12th Street.

From 1904 through 1910, Wilbur lives with Carrie and Louise at 2710 E. 12th, but their mother is not listed in the Denver directory.

Summarizing Jesse Morgan’s Grandchildren–My First Cousins 2 x Removed.

So there are the children of Louise Morgan Hopkins–the grand-children of my great-great-grandfather, Jesse Morgan.  I tend to assign the wild streak in Wilbur and Addison to genes inherited from Jesse.  What would he have made of these grandchildren? And I can’t help wondering if my great-grandmother Mary Morgan met any of her step-grandchildren.

We met Jesse Morgan’s other children. Charles Morgan, a veteran of the Union army, had one daughter, Miranda (Leach) who in turn had two children. He also had six step-children although they were adults by the time he married his second wife, their mother. He followed his father, Jesse’s, footsteps moving to Illinois and finally to California.

Carlos Morgan also rambled westward. He married the beautiful Jane Warfield of Iowa. With her brothers family, they move to Bozeman Montana, where Carlos works as a tinner. To my knowledge, they had no children.

Malvina Morgan, the sibling closest in age to my great-grandmother Hattie Morgan (Stout), lived a typical wife-and-mother life in New York and Ohio until her husband, Austin Grimes, died. Then the independent Malvina moved to Colorado Springs where she worked in a shop of some sort according to family tradition. Malvina and Austin had two daughters, Emma and Eva.

So, counting Louise‘s seven children, I am related to the families of ten grand-children of my great-great grandfather.  Hellooooooo? Anybody out there???

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Harriet Morgan Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Jesse Morgan, who is the father of 
  • Louise Morgan Hopkins

Notes on Research–To Come

Best of 2016, Politics, Baby, Heirlooms and Food

I have published 420 posts since I launched the blog in April 2013, 89 of them in 2016. I tend to write what I am interested in, assuming that surely somebody else must be interested in the same subject, or curious enough to read a bit. What is the Best of 2016?

There are always surprises when I turn to Google Analytics at the end of the year to see what you’ve been reading throughout the year.

The Ten Most Popular Kids on the Block–Best of 2016

Politics tea

Harriette Anderson attending a tea for politician John Bricker. June 1936

10: Family Politics: My Mom and Dad’s Political CourtshipPublished in March as part of a series on family members who have been involved in presidential campaigns for James Madison, William Henry Harrison, Alf Landon, George W. Bush.

tea and scones

Tea and Cranberry Scones and Lemon curd.

9: Cream Tea and Scones, from May, discusses the fine points of proper tea and shares some heirlooms.

8: Colonial Orange Cake, borrowed from the book, The Midwife’s Revolt, in April. I must say I LOVE this cake. And the post also presents my review of the book, which I also recommend highly.

7: Welsh Skillet Cakes, part of my research into my Welsh ancestry, published in August.

Calendar pencil polished

Calendar propelling pencil after polishing

6: The Propelling Pencil–a mysterious object my siblings and I discovered in our great-great-grandmother’s chest of antiques. Another in my occasional posts on heirlooms appeared in June.




Skylar Ross Walters

Skylar September 2016 Prescott

5: Meet the New Twig: Skylar Rose. The birth of our first great-grand daughter in Janaury (after two earlier great-grandsons) warranted a little meditation on the meaning of her name. As you can see, she had changed a lot by the time we visited her in September.

4: Why Genealogical Research is Never Done.  I don’t often write about the nuts and bolts of research, but sometimes the reader needs a warning label–“this work not complete”. Published in July.

3. Invalid Cooking – Rice Pudding. This article about how our ancestors in the 19th century through the early 20th coped with illness appeared in March at the end of flu season. The rice pudding is one of my family favorites. This post followed a more informative one that includes several suggestions for food for the sick. Sick Food – Barley Water. Even though you understandably might not be attracted to barley water, this post gives a worthwhile picture of the sick room of yesteryear.

After School Peanut Butter Cookies

After school snack of peanut butter cookies and milk. Harriette Kaser’s china, vintage Daffy Duck glass and Grandma Vera Anderson’s apron

2. Peanut Butter Cookies. Mothers have shoved aside the beloved treat of my childhood. The increasing problem of peanut allergies forced a change in after-school treat. But I learned that many people share my nostalgia when I published this in April. (Some heirlooms make their appearance in this post.)

1. The Story of a House, The Home of Jeddiah Brink.   I experimented with the Adobe Spark tool that presents a flashy slide show. It provided a good way to show off pictures of this ancestor’s farm house. Newly discovered cousins, the present owner of the house, a Facebook community site, and a fellow ancestor seeker collaborated with me in this June production. I name them all at the end of the post.

Some posts have legs, we say.  Just like in 2015 and 2014, you continued to love the post about Perfect Pie Crust. Another post with legs, about my Grandmother’s Corn Meal Mush (Not Polenta), also first appeared in 2013, but both still earn a place on the best of 2016.

Searches on the site focused mostly on food, with the exception of people looking for Peregrine White and  Jerusha Howe. Otherwise, an overwhelming number of you searched for German desserts. You also looked for Amish buttermilk cookies, Birds’ Nest Pudding, Creamed Celery (REALLY??), Buckwheat Pancakes, Joy of Cooking cookbook, food grinder (Maybe when Cuinsineart recalled the blades on their food processor?) and a recipe for Harvard Beets.

New This Year at Ancestors in Aprons

I launched a new feature called A Slice of My Life, in which I talk about my own experiences.

I increased the number of posts about heirlooms and have been labeling and photographing as fast as possible so that I can share more of them here.

I made a book for siblings and children based on family group pictures and stories I had used at Ancestors in Aprons, dating back as far as the mid 1800s and up to last June.  This is a first step in finding ways to share this famly research with immediate family.

I began to experiment with the new Ancestry app, We’re Related. An addenda about that app below, in case you are curious about it.


Sometimes my idea of the best of 2016 is not the same as yours. My wild great-grandfather Jesse Morgan who ran off to California and got killed on the street in Sacramento did not fascinate you as much as he did me. One of the letters Jesse wrote to his wife to tell her “that I am alive” came in twelfth in the popularity list. Still, I feel blessed to have photocopies of a bunch of his letters to his wife from the period just before his trip to California. I wrote several posts on Jesse, plus some on his family.  I encourage you to seek out his saga.

Coming Next–Fewer Posts

So much for look back–what’s in store for 2017?

I’ll be doing a lot of research, and cleaning up loose ends on the work I have done in the past three years. Plus I have expanded some of my searches into Europe, and would like to wrap that up within six months, so I do not have to continue to pay Ancestry the extra amount for World coverage.

In order to do that, I’ll be writing far fewer blog posts.  Rather than letting the blog rule my life with scheduled posts on Tuesday and Thursday each week, I’ll only be writing when I have something particular to say. So you may not hear from me for stretches of time. Don’t worry. I’m here, and  you can always catch up on things you have missed in the past.

A very Happy New Year to you from Ancestors in Aprons.  Have a piece of Swiss New Year’s Bread, or Scottish Black Bun, or Dutch Olibolen (sorry, no picture available).




The New Toy

Ancestry.com launched an app called We’re Related that pops up with people they calculated as cousins.  Most of my “relatives” were 6th cousins. And the first ones to show up were both Clilntons–Hillary and Bill; plus Barak Obama, which sent my Republican ancestors whirling in their graves. I don’t get excited about the matches with pop stars, but match me with Ralph Waldo Emerson, or Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill and many others and I’ll pay attention.

Controversy arises mainly because Ancestsry bases conclusions on a compilation of family trees. Those trees often contain faulty information.  No evidence attached to conclusions breeds serious doubts about truthfulness. (Garbage in, garbage out.)

However, I follow the theory that a monkey can compose a symphony if he bangs on a piano for a thousand years. Some people carefully research their trees. The task calls for a quest to prove or disprove. And I’m learning some valuable things that add to my knowledge of my own line.

I cannot claim Helen Keller, it turns out, because the Ancestry equation links her through my Brink line. They use a great-grandmother whose maiden name I cannot confirm, and the line they assign to that woman doesn’t prove to my satisfaction.

On the other hand, Kevin Bacon, Winston Churchill, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, Henry David Thoreau and John F. Kennedy all seem to check out.  “Seem to” because I can only check my own side of the line in most cases. Since most very famous people have verified lines, this turns out not to be a serious barrier. The problems arise when I am allegedly connected to a famous person through a remote overseas ancestor.

Most people recommend using the app  for entertainment, not serious research, but I have chosen to use it as another research tool.  Have you used this app? What do you think? Can you find a way to make it useful?

Family Heirloom: Gift Book for Christmas

This post is dedicated to those of us who are tempted to give an Amazon gift card for a present. Here is a hint on how to make a gift book into a family heirloom.

My Gift Book

Our family frequently gave gift books for Christmas presents.  My mother and father almost always wrote inscriptions in the front of the book and dated and signed them.  I treasure those gifts, particularly this one which probably accounted in large part for my life long fascination with Greece and the culture of the Golden age.  I read that book so much that the hard cover is long gone.  Here is the title page, and the very treasured inscription written by my father, Christmas 1947 when I was eight years and nine months old.

Grandma Vera’s Gift Book

What a nice surprise it was to discover that this tradition went back two generations before me. I found books that my great-grandmother, Harriet Morgan Stout gave to my grandmother and to my great-uncle–writing an inscription in each.  Even more fun, my Grandmother, Vera Stout (Anderson) did what many young people do–she “wrote” on the pages. The inscription indicates that she would have been six years old when she received this book, but the book seems a bit young for a six-year-old, and she surely would have known better than to draw in a book by that age!

The book is beautifully illustrated and teaches us much about how children dressed and what they played with. Some things have not changed–skipping rope and blowing bubbles. Some toys have disappeared–whipping tops and hoops.

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Great-Uncle Will’s Gift Book

Vera’s older brother William Morgan Stout (Willy or Will), received a very different book for Christmas 1886 when he was 13.  The inscription is in the handwriting of my great-grandmother, but my mother added the “age 13”.

Review of Davy and the Goblin in American Magazine advertising section January 1888.

Review of Willy's Book

Review of Davy and the Goblin in January 1888 issue of The American Magazine.

This is a very odd book. The author, Charles Carryl, was known as the Lewis Carroll of America–writing humorous fantasy, perhaps as an escape from his day job as a stock broker.

This book published in 1894, obviously aims to cash in on the popularity of Alice In Wonderland which was first published in 1865, and continued to be a best seller.  Carryl tells some original stories, like Davy’s confrontation with the giant Badorful, but he also riffs on familiar tales like Sinbad the Sailor, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Robinson Crusoe.

The illustrations are black and white, but surely would appeal to an adventure-minded young man.  Thirteen year olds today might find this a bit young for them, but I can imagine my great-uncle “Willy” eating it up.

Willy's gift book.

Willy Stout’s gift book, Davy and the Goblin meet Giant Badorful, 1887

I post this in the hope that it will influence you not only to give books to family members, but always, ALWAYS, write the date, their name, an inscription and your name. It will enhance the value of the book in the century or two to come.  Amazon gift certificates may disappear in the cloud, but books will stick around for a long, long time.