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Timothy Morgan

Timothy Morgan (1723-1795)

When I think about the Welsh Morgan family on my maternal line, I generally am thinking of the flashiest subject for stories, Jesse Morgan, the Forty-Niner. However, the Morgan family had been in American for several generations before black sheep Jesse. After my previous posts on Jesse Morgan, the elder, I decided to dig further back in that Morgan family to Timothy Morgan.

The Life of Timothy Morgan

Timothy Morgan, my 4th great-grandfather, and his wife Deborah Leeds spent their lives in Groton, New London County, Connecticut.

The grandfather of the younger Jesse, Timothy Morgan seems to have been a typical hard-working New England family man. Timothy and Deborah had a whopping eleven children, which guarantees that Deborah was also a hard-working New England woman.

Unfortunately, I have found few clues about Timothy’s life. I will be able to get a better feeling for how he lived when I read a detailed history of the town of Groton, the county of New London and/or the state of Connecticut. The larger events of the 18th century will shed life on the daily lives of my ancestors. But I am saving that history for earlier members of the family, since the Morgans spent many generations in Groton and the area.

Meanwhile, the good news: We have Timothy’s probate papers. Even better, they contain not only his will but an inventory and receipts signed by his children for the portions they received.

Timothy Morgan’s Parents and Family

But to begin at the beginning, Timothy was born to Samuel Morgan and Hannah Avery in 1723 in the seaport town of Groton Connecticut. When Timothy was born in 1723, he had three brothers, Samuel (1710), Elijah, born (1712), and Abijah/Obijah. Two girls balanced the family–Hannah, (1714) and Lucy (1717). Some records indicate two more children, Experience and Theophilus, however a search for them comes up blank.

Further, a book called “The Groton Avery Clan” (1912) lists land transactions between the siblings, and heophilus and Experience are not mentioned. “January 12 1744, Timothy Morgan of Groton deeded to Bros. Samuel and Elijah land that had belonged to his father Sam’l.” Other transactions name Abijah, Hannah and Lucy, for a total of six children of Samuel.

Because the Morgans, like many families in that age liked to repeat names from generation to generation, it is possible these two do not exist, and Timothy was Samuel and Hannah’s youngest child.

Timothy and Deborah’s Family

Timothy and Deborah Leeds married about 1747 or 1748. I have found no record, but assume the marriage took place in Groton. Timothy mentions nine of his descendants in the will. In the list below, you will find the two deaths that happened before he wrote the will. However, the couple turned out to be very fortunate in that they seem to have had no infant deaths.

  • 22 July 1749, Experience (M. Peleg Brown)
  • 1 Mar 1751, Deborah (M. Nathaniel Brown) [Note: I have not determined if Peleg is a brother to Nathaniel, whose parents have the interesting names Temperance and Comfort Brown!]
  • 8 Feb 1753, Timothy [Jr.] [Per James Morgan History. Moved West, probably died unmarried.]
  • 8 Sep 1754, Elizabeth (M. ____ Williams)
  • 2 Aug 1756, Daniel, [Died before father wrote will in January 1794, so Daniel died before he was 38 years old.]
  • 27 Jan 1758, Twins, Jesse [my 3x great-grandfather] and
  • David, [“removed west N.Y., no child probably” according to the James Morgan Family History. However, I have evidence that David had children, and we now know he was in touch with the family–at least to receive his inheritance.]
  • 12 Oct. 1759, Theophilus, (M. Mary Hinckly)
  •  12 May, 1763, Samuel,( m. Mary Holmes)
  • 27 May 1765, Aaron, d. Apr. 1786, at the age of twenty.
  • 26 July 1767, Hannah, (m. Daniel Parker.) [The James Morgan Family History hints at a tragic story of Hannah’s young death at a young age. However, we know that she lived long enough to sign the receipt for a distribution from her father’s will on 16 Dec 1796.]

As we later see from his will and inventory at death, Timothy seemed to be a small farmer, rather than having a profession that related to the sea. Since there are many coopers in the family, it would not surprise me to see that might have been his profession, but I see no solid evidence.

However he earned his living, his life centered around the first church of Groton that had been built in 1703. The Averys, a family name entwined with the Morgans, established the First Church, Congregational.

The Revolutionary War

The War of Revolution affected everything touching the lives of the Morgans. Economically, the seaport saw tough times both before and during the war because of disruptions of shipping. To some extent sailors compensated for the lag in trade by turning into privateers.

The city suffered personal losses, partially caused by the privateering. Groton included Fort Griswold, and in 1781, Benedict Arnold led British forces in what some called a massacre, killing or injuring a large percentage of the males in town. The battle would go down in history as the Battle of Groton Heights.

Personally, the family worried about Timothy’s twin sons, Jesse and David were nineteen, a prime age for service in the military. (See Jesse’s story). The older daughter’s husbands no doubt served in the militia, if not the official army. Supplies were short and Deborah would have to do a lot of making do.

The Morgan family lived through frightening times.

Time to Make a Last Will and Testament

By September, 1794, Timothy felt the weight of age and drew up a will. His brother Obijah had died in 1778 and his young son Aaron departed in 1786. Some time in 1793, twenty-year-old Aaron died. On January 6, 1794, Timothy Morgan signed his last will and testament and appointed two sons as executors.

And then in the worst blow of all, his wife, Deborah passed away nearly eight months after Timothy had written his will. Deborah’s tombstone bears the death date of August 22, 1794, and says she was 65 years old. If the complete record is in the probate file, Timothy did not update his will or enter codicils in the record. It was left to his son Theophilus to resolve the conflicts created in distribution of Timothy’s property.

Deborah Leeds Morgan
Tombstone of Deborah Leeds Morgan from Find A Grave. Posted by C. Cunkle.

The Will

After dispensing with the boiler plate language found in most 18th century wills about his present condition, committing his soul to God and paying all just debts, he proceeds to say,

Then I do give and bequeath unto my loving wife Deborah Morgan the improvement of one half of all my Real Estate During her Natural Life and Eight Cows, one yoak (sic) of oxen and one horse, twenty sheep and three hoggs (sic) and all my household Furniture to be at her Disposal forever.

The Children’s Shares

Timothy then proceeds to name his children and in each case indicate they are to be paid by his two sons Theophilus and Samuel. In a separate paper, Timothy designates these two sons as his executors. We learn from a separate entry that in November, after his father died, Samuel turned down the responsibility of being an executor. Although Samuel signed some papers as witness, Theophilus is left as sole administrator.

The papers in the probate packet include receipts from some, but not all of the children, and an interesting departure from son Jesse (my 4th great-grandfather). I have listed the named children and their bequests below. The second number indicates the amount contained in the receipt. Each child received an increase on distribution, presumably because their mother had died and Theophilus decided to divide her belongs rather than keep that amount for himself.

Timothy (Jr.),  £26; Received £40, Signed receipt “D. 1796”

Jesse, £32 *See next section.

David, £32; Received £40, Signed “23 D. 1795”

Experience, 15 shillings, Received ?? [No receipt in file for Experience and her husband Peleg Brown.

Deborah, 15 shillings, Received £13,8 s., She and her husband Nathaniel Brown signed “26 D. 1796”

Elizabeth, £2, Received £13, 8s.,  She and husband Samuel Williams signed “Sept. 26 1796.” [Unlike the others who lived in Groton, the Williams’ lived in Colchester.]

Hannah Parker, 10 shillings, Received £9. “Sept. 16, 1795.”

In addition to these seven children, Timothy gives to Theophilus and Samuel “all my Estate both real and Personal heretofore Not mentioned to be Equally Divided between them, to them their heirs and assigns forever.”

I find it interesting that there is no specific description of real property and buildings, which leaves us wondering how TImothy made a living.  The inventory shows that he owned 71 acres with buildings and appurtenances, which could be a small farm.  It also mentions two acres of Salt ____. The number of animals he owned do not point to a very productive farm–eight cows, a yoke of oxen, twenty or perhaps thirty sheep, one hors and 4 hogs.

His personal property indicates he was well dressed–8 linen shirts, one great coat and also two “close-bodied thick cloth coats” and a fur hat, as well as thick jackets.

I have puzzled over an entry for funds due that relate to each of his sons-in-law.  The four each owed him an identical £13, 11 s., 1p. (13 Pounds, 11 shillings and one pence).

The Jesse Morgan Acquittance

On the twenty-fifth of April, 1795, my 4x great-grandfather, gave back his bequest to his brother Theophilus. Apparently he borrowed £200 from Theophilus, to be secured by his share of their father’s estate. Note this is after the will was made, but before his father died, so there must have been some question about what the final amount of bequest would be.

The first paragraph says that Jesse is bound unto Theophilus Morgan …in the sum of two hundred pounds. However, the second paragraph says that Theophilus has paid Jesse forty pounds to be his full payment for relinquishing his rights. If I am translating the legal language correctly, it says that Jesse, immediately upon his father’s death, will give Theophilus all that he (Jesse) inherits, and that will end the obligation.  Otherwise he will owe Theophilus £200.

Jesse Morgan Sr. signature
Jesse Morgan Sr. signature 1795

If you read about Jesse’s attempt to get a government pension for service in the Revolution, you may remember that his lawyer pleaded that the poor old man needed the help of the government. Apparently, Jesse was already having financial difficulties.

Timothy’s Life Ends

Timothy lived another year after he signed his will with a rather feeble scrawl, dying on 13 October, 1795.

Timothy Morgan signature on will
Timothy Morgan signature on will 1794

How much wealth had Timothy Morgan accumulated to share with his nine surviving children? While there are many complex factors that make equivalents between Colonial money and today’s dollars shaky at best, most measures would say that the £40 pounds mentioned here is worth several thousand dollars.  Timothy’s total worth (according to inventory) added up to £364–not shabby at all.

How Am I Related?

  • Vera Marie (Kaser) Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette (Anderson) Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera (Stout) Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Harriette (Morgan) Stout, who is the daughter of 
  • Jesse Morgan (1805), who is the son of
  • Jesse Morgan ( 1758), who is the son of
  • Timothy Morgan (1723).

    Notes on Research

    The bulk of the research for this article came from the probate packet for Timothy Morgan, Groton Connecticut.

    Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, Connecticut State Library (Hartford, Connecticut); Probate Place: Hartford, Connecticut, (1795), Case #2266, Timothy Morgan. Accessed through Ancestry.com

    United States Federal Census, 1790, New London, Connecticut,Timothy Morgan, Census Place: New London, Connecticut; Series: M637; Roll: 1; Page: 76; Image: 53; Family History Library Film: 0568141. Accessed through Ancestry.com

    Connecticut, Deaths and Burials Index, 1650-1934,FHL Film Number3336, Timothy Morgan, 13 Oct. 1795. Accessed through Ancestry.com

    James Morgan and his Descendants, accessed through Ancestry.com and archives.org.

    Find a Grave, Deborah Leeds Morgan https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/59052372/deborah-morgan, 

 

A Twist on a German Recipe for Buttermilk Soup

I added fish to a German recipe for Buttermilk Soup with green beans and potatoes. In Germany, you can call the original: Bohnensuppe mit Buttermilch.

Mine became a Buttermilk Soup with Potatoes and Fish and Green Beans, because I was looking for a way to use up some buttermilk, and some cod that I had on hand. I found recipes for chowder made with buttermilk that called for several kinds of fish.  I found recipes for fish soup without buttermilk.  Then I spotted the Bohnensuppe mit Buttermilch, and thought, Why not?

Unlike most of my food posts, you are seeing no illustration here.  White soup with white potatoes and white fish just is not the most photogenic dish in the world. Besides, we ate it too quickly to take pictures.

 

German Buttermilk Potato Fish Soup

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Fish, Milk
Meal type Soup
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Website Kitchen Project
A traditional buttermilk soup recipe from a website is adapted by adding fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup raw green beans (Stem and cut bite-size)
  • 4 cups Red or yellow potatoes (Peel unless thin-skinned, chop into bite size pieces)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4-1lb cod or other firm fish (cut in 1" pieces)

Optional

  • medium onion (chopped)

Directions

1. Cook the potatoes and ginger in the broth until tender. (If using onions, add them and cook a few minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, take potatoes out and put in blender or food processors (or a bowl is you are using a stick blender). Puree until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in the stock you used for potatoes, just until barely tender. Blend in the potato puree and cook 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the buttermilk and dill. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add chunks of fish and cook another 5 minutes, until fish is done through, but not overcooked.
6. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika or a sprig of dill on top.

Note

The German name for buttermilk soup with green beans and potatoes is Bohnensuppe mit Buttermilch

I took several liberties with the recipe I found on the Kichen Project website.

The biggest change is that I added fish, which is not part of the original recipe. I also reduced the quantity of green beans to compensate for the added bulk of the fish, and more than doubled the amount of chicken broth (they called for chicken stock). If you follow their recipe exactly, I believe you will have more of a stew than a soup, and definitely the taste emphasis will be on the green beans.

The recipe specifies waxy potatoes like red, yellow or Yukon gold (my favorite for cooking). You don't want to use baking potatoes in soup because they will just fall apart and you won't get the nice smooth base that you get by pureeing the other kinds.

I freeze fresh ginger root so I always have it on hand. That makes it easy to grate into recipes and it lasts a very long time. If you do not have fresh ginger root, use powdered ginger, but cut the amount by about a third.

The original recipe also suggests adding a dash of hot sauce, which would be okay, but I wanted the ginger and dill flavors to predominate, so left it out.

It made a delicious fish soup, but I'm sure would also be delightful with just green beans and potatoes.

 

Blackberry Pie

When one of my DNA matches and I got to talking about family, she happened to mention that her grandma, Catherine Blubaugh (my 2nd cousin)   made such great blackberry pie that she won her husband, William Goode, that way.  I asked the DNA buddy if she could find a recipe, and she is trying to find it.  But when I saw big luscious blackberries in the market, I knew I couldn’t wait.

Blackberry pie close up

Blackberry pie, close up.

There’s still a chance she’ll come up with the recipe and we can compare it to this one.  I do know that great grandma used lard in the pie crust, and I didn’t–but she also made a chocolate cake, so maybe we’ll get that recipe.

Of course, it was more fun in grandma’s day because you would have that expedition into the countryside where you filled a bucket with blueberries, getting scratched in the process, eating berries as you went, and getting berry stains all over you.  However, there are many other benefits to eating blackberries.

Catherine Blubaugh

Catherine Blubaugh (Goode)

Seeing Catherine Blubaugh’s picture, I suspect it was more than just a pie that won her husband!

Like all my pies, this one starts with the Perfect Pie Crust.  If you haven’t tried this fool-proof recipe that calls for a bit of vinegar, maybe it is time.  As for me, I thought it was about time that I bake a pie with a lattice crust. So I did.  It certainly is not picture perfect, but it has the advantage of looking home-made.  You’d certainly never mistake this for a bakery pie, now would you?

Lattice top on pie

Before baking. Blackberry pie with lattice top

The Perfect Pie Crust dough is very forgiving, which makes it easy to handle for a lattice crust.  I cut the strips with a pizza cutter and after building up a higher than usual edge, started weaving the strips on the pie.

One other thing I want to show you is a recent acquisition.  You know how the edges of the pie tend to get too brown, because they stick up higher than the rest?  For decades, I have folded two strips of aluminum foil and awkwardly tucked them around the edges of the pie to protect it. Of course, when I pulled the rack out to check the pie, the hot aluminum foil fell off and it was a pain to try to get it back.

Recently I broke down and bought ONE MORE THING for my baking cupboard–a silicone edge protector.  How I wish I had one of these years and years ago. It is adjustable to fit all sizes of pie pans, and being silicone, will take the high heat you sometimes use to bake a pie shell.

Edge protector

Pie baked with edge protector.

Next time you see nice blackberries in the store, consider this pie. Even if you don’t need to win a husband. Not in the mood for pie? How about blackberry liqueur?

Let’s call it Blubaugh Blackberry Pie.

Blackberry Pie

Serves 6-8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Dessert

Ingredients

  • pastry for 2-crust pie
  • 4 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter (cut in small dice)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Roll out half of pie crust and line pie pan, forming a generous rim. Put in refrigerator
3. Mix sugar and tapioca, pour over berries along with lemon juice and mix gently. Let sit 15 minutes.
4. Put filling into pie shell and dot with butter.
5. Roll out 2nd half of pie crust into circle the size of the top of pie pan plus one inch.
6. Cut the circle of pie crust into 3/4 inch strips. Fasten one end of the strip along one half of the bottom crust. Fold back every other strip. Lay one strip perpendicular to the first strips, folding down the strips that are folded back. Fold back the strips that are now under the first perpendicular strip. Continue in this fashion to weave the top. Pinch the edges securely.
7. Brush top with egg yolk or milk and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Protect edges with aluminum foil or a silicone edge protector. Place pan on a cookie sheet to protect oven from drips. Bake at 400 degrees10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and bake until crust nicely browned and berries are bubbling.

Note

This recipe will work with any berries. You may have to adjust the sugar, depending on the sweetness, and be sure you have a generous amount of berries if you use a large pie pan I made this in a 9" pan.