Tag Archives: California

Random Ancestors: Annie Morgan, The Traveler

This ancestor caught my eye because of the passport application. Annie Morgan,lived life her own way, traveled to Europe when many of my ancestors never traveled out-of-state.

The Traveling Cousin

Anna Isabel Annie Morgan (1856-1948), second cousin two times removed.

Anna Isabel Morgan

Annie Morgan in her 1922 passport photo. A nice looking lady at 65.

This is the Morgan line of my traveling great-grandfather Jesse Morgan. Anna/Annie Morgan ‘s grandfather was George Morgan, brother of my 2x great-grandfather, Jesse Morgan. If you haven’t read Jesse’s  story and his letters, I encourage you to put Jesse’s  name in the search bar. He is the most interesting character by far of all my relatives. His letters to my great-great-grandmother were written while he was trading horses around the Midwest. Yep, that would be the one who left my 2x great grandmother behind when he went on the California gold rush without telling her, and got himself shot and killed on the streets in California.

But the inclination to wander perhaps spread throughout the Morgan family.  I found a DNA match with a Morgan, and in trying to figure out if it was Jesse’s family, I checked out Jesse’s nieces and nephews.  That led me to the interesting Anna or Annie as she was called.

Born in Indiana, she died in Los Angeles. And she may have never married. However her life was well documented, including a passport application in February 1922 when she was 65 years old.

I know from census records, a Morgan history, and the passport application that her father was Abel Leeds Morgan, son of George Morgan. Anna Isabel Morgan was born in Lexington Indiana and living there with her family in 1860 and 1870. Her brothers and sisters were Rosalie (Manasse) (  1844- After 1915), Melvin (b. 1847), Fairfield (1849-1916), Adeline (Woods) (1851-bef. 1915), and Ada (Smith) (1856- bef. 1915)

The family’s father died in March 1880 and later that year when the census taker arrived, Annie Morgan, now 23 and once again listed as single, was living with her mother and grand-mother in Lexington.

Of course the 1890 census is not available. I also have not located her on the 1910 and 1920 census records. So at first I thought that the next time she surfaces, she is living in Chicago and preparing to take a tour of Europe in 1922.

I want to say thanks to a fellow user of Genealogy, Just Ask! on Facebook for explaining to me that looking at passport records can be confusing, because Ancestry shows the front page of the application on the right hand side of the page, and a picture of the previous person listed shows up on the left.  I spent some time trying to understand how Annie could be a male before I got the hint that I needed to go to the next page’s image for the back of Annie’s application and her picture.

passport application

Annie Morgan passport, 1st image. Front of her passport application on right, another application on left.

passport application

2nd image. Back of Annie’s passport application is on the left.

Confused yet?  I surely was until someone straightened me out.

This definitely is the right Annie, because it has her father’s name, exact date of birth that corresponds with a death record, and the fact that she now lived in Chicago.  (At this point I still didn’t know why she lived in Chicago anyhow.

So what did I learn besides the fact that by 1922 she had moved to Chicago? At 65 years old, she is still single, stands 5’8″ tall and has blue eyes and gray hair and fair complexion.

Two other important things stand out that are more puzzles than information.

  1. In her reasons for travel Annie Morgan listed going to France to visit family. Additionally she would be traveling to Switzerland, British Isles, Italy and Gibraltar–a wonderful Grand Tour.

Since the Morgans come from Wales, I am still curious as to what family was in France in 1922.  And sadly, she seemed to have no close friends or relatives in Chicago.  Her witness was her optometrist and she put down his address for her passport to be sent to.  (Perhaps she was traveling to see family in the U.S. before leaving on her European tour and would not be in Chicago to receive the passport.) And incidentally, how could she afford a trip to Europe? Did she travel alone?  It seems unlikely.

2.  Why does she have the name of an optometrist in the witness section and an optometrist’ address for return of the passport? Did she have no friends?

Then in 1948, a death notice appears in California.  According to the California record, Anna Isabel Morgan, daughter of Abel Leeds Morgan, died in Los Angles. Another puzzle. Why did she move to L.A.?

After I thought I was finished with this report on Annie Morgan, I decided to scan a couple of her siblings to see if I could pick up any more information.  I hit gold.

Her brother Fairfield, an optometrist (AHA! that explains the witness and address for her passport), had moved to Chicago in 1868 according to the Cook County voter records. Because of his occupation, he was easy to find in city directories, and his listings helped me locate his sister Annie . Following this additional source–city directories–It turns out Annie Morgan did have an occupation after all. She was an elocutionist at the Chicago Conservatory as early as 1888. (An elocutionist teaches proper speech to public speakers and actors) And she did have family living in Chicago.

Note:  Looking through newspaper articles with Anna Morgan in them, I found a bridal notice in a 1928 Chicago Newspaper saying the bride attended the Anna Morgan Studio of Dramatic Art.  This surely is Annie Morgan, elocutionist.  But then look what I found.  The address matches that in the 1905 Chicago city directory–The Fine Arts Building, Chicago.

Ad for Anna Morgan Studio

Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh Wisconsin, September 17, 1902.

I found Fairfield Morgan’s will, filed in 1916. (He died on August 11, 1916).  He had no wife, and outlived most of his siblings. His surviving older sister Rosalie Morgan Manasse, lived in Chicago in 1916, and he leaves her just $50.  He did, however have two nieces, daughters of his deceased sisters Adeline and Ada. Both of them lived in Los Angeles when he wrote the will, and he left each of them a hefty $6,000. He also designated to “My sister Annie I. Morgan, now residing in Rockford Illinois all the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal.” Additionally, Annie was entrusted with the task of being executrix of the will.

Another Aha!  So the aging Annie, European adventures behind her, moved to Los Angeles to be near her nieces, perhaps the only close relatives she had. Or perhaps, like my great-great grandfather, Jesse, her great-uncle, she just wanted one more adventure and set off for California..

As with Jesse Morgan, I have not answered all the questions about Annie Morgan, but I have found enough evidence to suggest she was a very interesting lady. I probably will return again and again to the Abel Leeds Morgan family because I am still intrigued with those questions. Perhaps more DNA matches will help put a broader picture in focus.

Early California : The Cochrans and the Moores

A child born in a hacienda in the central valley of California in the early California could have held citizenship in three countries before she reached the age of thirty. The growth of early California was tumultuous. After being Spanish at birth in 1820, she would have become Mexican in 1822 when Mexico won its Independence from Spain, and then become an American in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe HIldalgo, ceding California to the United States.

The History of Early California

Although the first organized party of settlers to reach California by land arrived in 1841, the state evolved quickly into a powerful force.  Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, triggering a mass migration within the North American continent. Covered wagons headed West until in 1866 railroads started coming across the mountains. After the brief U.S.-Mexican war (1846-1848), California became a state in 1850.

U.S. Map 1850- California

What Manifest Destiny looks like on a map. Photo from Wikipedia. Click for attribution.

Coming from Scotland and Across America

Several of my ancestors were part of this migration. The Cochrans  came from a long line of feisty people willing to “follow the money”. Jane Cochran married Robert Moore, and the Moore family also had emigrated from Scotland. The Cochrans/ Cochranes, Scottish Presbyterians, were drawn to Ireland both by an opportunity to be paid militia, and later by King James of England, a Protestant who wanted to squelch the Catholics of Ireland.  So firmly Scottish were they, that the clannish Scots never thought of themselves as Irish, even though some families lived in that country for generations. (Read the history of the Cochranes here, and learn why there are so many Williams and Alexanders in the line.)

When the Catholic Irish became tired of the Presbyterians and the English crown no longer supported them, our doughty Scottish ancestors headed for America, the land of opportunity. Once there, they kept pushing inland, away from the already settled lands and towns into the forested lands of Pennsylvania, and when that became too crowded they moved on to the Northwest Territory where they were Ohio pioneers.

Once they had leveled the forests and started thriving farms, established churches, schools and towns in the new state of Ohio, they looked for more opportunity, and found it in fighting in the War of 1812, the U.S. Mexican War, and the Spanish American War. Then came California, and the lure of Manifest Destiny.  They were determined to once again break new ground and be the first to profit from the riches of California–which naturally they believed should belong to the United States.

Portrait of Andrew Bines Moore from History of Guernsey County Ohio by Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Sarchet.

Portrait of Andrew Bines Moore from History of Guernsey County Ohio by Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Sarchet.


It might be helpful here to explain my connection to these California pioneers.

  1. My mother was Harriette Anderson Kaser, and she was the daughter of
  2. Vera Stout Anderson, who was the daughter of
  3. Dr. William C. Stout, who was the son of
  4. Emmeline Cochran Stout, who was the daughter of
  5. Col. William Cochran, who was the brother of Jane Cochran Morrow Moore, the wife of
  6. General Robert Bines Moore.

Who Went to Early California?

Jane Cochran Morrow Moore was the step-mother of Jacob G. Moore and George W. Moore, and the mother of Robert Alexander Campbell Moore who settled in California. Her other step children also moved to California when she and Robert Moore moved. Not all stayed.

Jane’s nephews John Henderson Cochran and Jacob Benjamin Cochran, and Alexander Cochran (sons of my 3x great grandfather Col. William Cochran) also went to California for varying lengths of time. There was also a James Cochran who went to California in 1852, but I have not determined his relationship to Jane, since there are several Jameses.

Robert Bines Moore fought in the U.S. Mexican War (1846-1848), and that was probably what gave him the idea to move to California.  Although I have not determined exactly when they moved their family, Robert had to be there prior to 1854, because he was elected to office in 1855. Their son, Robert A.C. Moore was born in Ohio in 1843, leading me to assume that there move was after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo in 1848.

Butte County, California

Robert Bines Moore , known as “The General”, with his wife Jane Cochran Moore bought a portion of an old Spanish land grant called the Francisco Grant.  Once again, Jane, whose family pioneered in Guernsey County, Ohio, would become pioneers.

Their home was located in what would become Hamilton Township in Butte County. A busy town grew up near the Feather River and for some time was the county seat.  In addition to farming, Robert B. Moore also cashed in on the business generated by the Gold Rush by running a ferry in Butte County, over the Feather River. It was called the Hamilton Ferry, and he wills the license to his wife and son, but I can find no clue as to its exact location.

Movers and Shakers

California became a state in 1850, but it took a while for the legislature to authorize the election of County Commissioners. When the first election for County Commissioners was held in 1855, Robert Bines Moore got the highest number of votes. A couple of years later, after new townships were organized, he again ran and again topped the number of votes.  He and his family obviously were very influential in their corner of early California. In 1862 his son, J. G. Moore was elected to the State Assembly. The following year he was elected as County Clerk, and at the end of his term two years later he was re-elected.  Meanwhile, son George was elected County Coroner.

Hamilton Ferry, however, disappeared. A history of Butte County states that “After the removal of the county seat to Bidwell the town languished and finally disappeared altogether.”  The town’s hotel burned down in 1865.  “Mr. Robert Moore [son of Robert Bines and Jane] is now the sole occupant of the town-site [ in 1882] and one visiting his pleasant home can hardly think what a busy little village was here.”

John Henderson Cochran

John was 32, married with a two-year-old and an infant in 1850. He kept a grocery store in Middleton, Guernsey County, Ohio. He and his wife had three more children in Ohio, and in 1857 they set off in a covered wagon for California. His wife, pregnant at the start of the journey, gave birth on the way across the Plains. He stayed in California the rest of his life.

Jacob Benjamin Cochran

Other members of the family engaged in gold mining. The 1860 census lists Jane’s nephew Jacob Cochran as a miner.  Like others who went off to strike it rich, he left his wife behind in Ohio. It is sad to see him listed in Butte County, California in the 1860 census, while his wife and six children, ages 5 through 14, are still in Guernsey County, Ohio.  He may have left Ohio as early as the end of 1854, at the first hint of the gold rush, since his youngest child was born in 1855.  After making some money in California, and serving a 4-month stint in the Civil War in 1964 (Corporal in Co. A, 142nd Infantry Regiment), he returned to his wife by 1870, but they were then living in Troy Iowa.

By 1880 Jacob Cochran was married to a second wife and they had a second child. Iowa was not his last stop as his 2nd wife and their large family had moved to Kansas by 1895. He would be an interesting character to research further, since he married a woman 30 years younger than he, and fathered his last child when he was nearly 70.  The circumstances of that 2nd marriage and what happened to the children of the first are a bit of a mystery. He died in Kansas

Alexander Cochran

Another adventurer attributed his young man’s journey to the gold mining country as a great learning experience.  Alexander Cochran, another of Jane’s nephews (son of Col. William Cochran), went to California when he was nineteen (1951) and stayed six years according to a Guernsey County history. Alexander returned to Ohio with money in his pockets and helped grow the town of Cambridge before founding Quaker City.  Although he is buried in Quaker City, he died in West Virginia. The West Virginia death index lists his occupation as “capitalist.”

1860 Census

By 1860, the first Federal Census  conducted in California reveals a gold mine of information on these lands built around gold mining.

Jacob G. Moore

Son Jacob Gomber Moore (know as J.G.), 37, now married with two small children, is a Physician.  He owns $10,000 worth of land and employs four farm laborers and a Chinese cook, giving us an interesting glimpse into the life of wealthy American farmers. (As I mentioned above, he was elected to public office.)  But future census reports show his fortunes shifting, as he is living in California with no real estate value listed. He is working as a Clerk in the Customs House–no doubt a political appointment. He lived his life in California.


Who Were the California Settlers?

It is obvious that in Butte County, where Chico, California is now the County Seat, the attention had turned from gold to grapes (and wheat, olives, nuts and other crops).  Most of the people listed on the 1860 census surrounding the Moore’s are farmers. And the new residents came from every state and from many countries–Baden (Germany), Saxony (Germany), Ireland, England, Canada and China–especially China.

The Chinese Neighbors

1860 California Census

Chinese miners, neighbors of General Robert Bines Moore in 1860 census, Butte County, California

The exceptions to the farm occupations are a large number of neighbors with names like Lo Low, Ah Luke, Ah Long, Ah Foo, etc., all listed as miners–presumably gold miners, since this was a central part of the California gold rush territory. They are listed on three different pages in groups of two to eight or ten, which leads me to picture tents or small huts along the rivers where they panned for gold. All the non-Chinese on the census are engaged in agricultural activity. Only these Chinese are miners.

In 1850 fears by American miners that foreigners were taking away most of the gold, led to imposing a tax of $20 a month on foreign miners, but riots and unrest led to repealing that law the following year.  Two years later it was restored at $4 a month, showing that the resentment against foreigners was still there.

R.B. Moore’s wealth

Another interesting fact turned up by this census is how very cheap land was in the early days of California. Robert B. Moore owned 1363 acres when he died in 1866, and presumably about the same in 1860.  In the census, his land was valued at $60,000 and personal property at $2,000.

[If you want to know more details of the life of Jane Cochran Moore and her husband Robert Bines Moore, please turn to last week’s story about them: Jane Morrow Cochran Moore and the General.

Notes on Research

History of Guernsey County, Ohio, Two volumes,   various pages, by Col. Cyrus P.B. Sarchet, PUblished by B. F. Bowden and Co., Indianapolis, 1911 Available at Google Books.com

 History of Guernsey County, Ohio, page 368. excerpts on web site Ohio Geneaology Express. The article about James Cochran and others leaving for California published April 2, 1852 in the Guernsey Times.

History of Butte County, California, 2 volumes, by Harry L. Wells and others,  San Francisco,1882 Available at Google Books.com

U. S. Federal Census reports

  • Guernsey County Ohio, Wills Township 1820, Cambridge Township 1830, 1840, QUaker City, 1880
  • Hamilton, Butte, California, 1860, 1870, 1880
  • San Francisco California, 1870
  • Graham, Graham, Kansas ,1900
  • Troy, Troy, Iowa, 1880

U. S. Find a Grave for Jane M. Cochran Moore, Robert Alexander Campbell Moore, Jacob Benjamin Cochran,  Robert Bines Moore, Alexander Cochran.

California Wills and Probate Records 1792-1999, Probate Court Case Files, 1850-1879; Author: California. Probate Court (Butte County); Probate Place: Butte, California, Robert Bines Moore

California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 44; FHL Roll Number: 977099

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Ancestry.com

West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973, Ancestry.com



Jane Morrow Cochran Moore and the General

I don’t mean to play favorites with my ancestors. Really I don’t.  But sometimes somebody surfaces that I just feel a strong connection with. Jane Morrow Cochran, a 4th great-aunt, is one of those.  Jane was the great- aunt of my great-great grandmother, Emeline Cochran Stout , the sister of Emeline’s father, Col. William Cochran.

How can you resist, when you find this description of Jane Morrow Cochran Moore?

“The old lady presided at the feast and was the life of the party, full of animation and joyousness for all her 84 years, telling stories of early times in Guernsey [county, Ohio] and talking of the old days in Cambridge [Ohio] and the people who are no more.”

Jane Morrow Cochran 1800-1887

Jane was born into that enormous family of  Alexander Cochran, the last of the children to be born before Alex moved everybody from Pennsylvania to Ohio Territory around 1802, so she surely grew up identifying more with Ohio than Pennsylvania and taking in stride the hard work of settlers in a raw forest land who built a farm and started toward civilization.  She was seven years younger than her brother, my direct ancestor Col. William Cochran.

We don’t know much about Jane’s life in Guernsey County, Ohio up until the age of 39 or 40, but about that time, she married Robert Bines Moore, who had fought in the War of 1812 at the age of 22. After the war he had married Catherine Brengle Comber, with whom he had (probably) nine or ten children. Catherine died, probably as a result of childbirth in 1839.  Their youngest child was born that year.

I have determined the identities of five of those children, but am not certain how many step-children Jane would actually be looking after. I do know that after Jane married Robert B. Moore, she had a son in 1843. At that time, I know that Moore’s children from his first marriage included Andrew (23),  J. G. (20), Elizabeth (18), Cyrus (7) and George W. (4). These names and ages are calculated from the 1860 census when George W., and R. A. (Robert Alexander) are still at home, and from information at Find a Grave.

On the 1840 “chicken scratch” census report from Guernsey County, Ohio, I can account for all of these children, and Jane as the wife, but there should also be a male child and a female child between 10 and 15 , and three females between 15 and 30. (Note on the 2nd image, that Alexander Cochran, Jane’s father was next door to Robert Bines Moore.) “Rob” Moore did not go far to find his second wife.

Robert B. Moore 1840 United States Federal Census - Ancestry.com 2016-01-27 09-57-12

Robert Bines Moore

“Chicken Scratch” census 1840 for Robert B. Moore and Alexander Cochran

Family trees on Ancestry.com list:

  • Andrew Bines Moore (b. 1820)
  • ? Susan Gomber Moore (1821)
  • Jacob Gomber Moore (1823)
  • Elizabeth Moore (Beal) (1824)
  • ? Thomas Moore (1826)
  • Catharine Gomber Moore (Green) (1830)
  • ? Harriet Moore (1832)
  • Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Moore (1836)
  • George Washington More (1838)

and Jane’s only child: Robert Alexander Campbell Moore (1843)

I have put question marks before those for whom I can find no documentation other than family trees.  Many list Maria (1832) based on the 1860 census, but as you will see below, she was not a child of Robert Bines Moore.

According to an entry at Find a Grave, in 1846, Robert Bines Moore, now a General, commanded a detachment of Ohio Volunteers who fought in the  U.S.-Mexican War to win California for the United States. [California and the Southwest were Mexican territory, ceded by the Spanish, when the war started in 1846. ] However, I cannot find him listed in a document purporting to list all soldiers and officers of the Mexican-American war. He is referred to as General in several mentions, including some papers filed with his will.

General Robert Bines Moore

General Robert Moore Grocery bill, filed with probate papers

Whether he was in the war in California or not, he and Jane and the children , even those who were adults, moved to California some time before 1855. (Since he was elected to office in that year, it is probable that they moved a few years before.) This part of their life is so interesting, that I have decided to write a separate post about early California.

Deaths Decimate the Moore Family

If the family trees who list Susan Gomber Moore and Thomas Moore as two more children are correct, those two were the first children to die.  Thomas would have been nineteen in 1845 and Susan would have been 25 in 1846 when they passed away, presumably in Ohio before the family moved to California.

The 1860 census  shows Maria Moore, widow of Moore’s oldest son (with his first wife) living with Jane and Robert Moore. Although this census does not specify relationships, Maria was a daughter-in-law. Maria’s husband Andrew Bines Moore had died at the age of 37, reportedly of pleuresy. The census was taken in June of 1860, and in the winter a epidemic of typhoid swept through their area.  Maria, who cared for others who were sick, according to one account, died of typhoid fever in December 1860. While I do not have proof that it was typhoid, Moore’s son Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Moore also died that year. He was just twenty-four years old.  A daughter Hariett listed in some family trees might have also died in the same year at 28 years old.

The 1860s continued to take its toll on the family when Elizabeth Moore, married to John Beal/Beale died in 1864, leaving a young daughter.  The daughter, Mary was living with Robert Alexander Campbell Moore in 1870.

In 1865, George Washington Moore, the youngest of General Moore’s children with his first wife, also died. It is possible that he was a soldier in the Civil War, but I have not tracked that down.

The General’s Bequests

Then in 1866, General Moore himself wrote his will at the end of September and died on October 2.

He left  everything to his wife Jane and their son Robert Alexander Campbell Moore. In case R.A.C. Moore did not have children, there were some bequests to Catherine Green, his daughter and her husband, Dr. James Green and their children, as well as another Green in Guernsey County and a man in California.

“Everything” included the farm on the Fernandez Grant in Butte County, containing 1,363 acres, house and furniture, farm animals and equipment and the right to run the ferry. (see post on early California).

It is sad that of his eleven children, only Catharine, Jacob G. and Robert Alexander Campbell survived him.  Jacob (known as J.G.) was named as executor of the estate. Presumably he did not share in the inheritance because he was very well off in his own right.  He was a physician and owned a farm large enough to require four farmhands to run it.  Later he moved to San Francisco where the 1870 census shows that he had what was probably a political appointment in the customs house.  The fact that his personal worth was only $750 leads me to believe he may have lost money in some bad business deals. And why was he no longer practicing medicine? Mysteries for someone else to solve.

“General” Moore was buried in Hamilton, Butte County, California, but was honored in Guernsey County by another marker (cenotaph) at the Guernsey County Founder’s Cemetery. He was a pioneer in Ohio Territory and then in a California just emerging from Spanish rule–from haciendas to gold mining and modern developments.

Jane continued to run the farm for some time alone with R.A.C. living on the next farm over. But when she was 80, in 1880, she was living with her son Robert Alexander Moore and his wife on their farm near Hamilton California. (This of course could be the same farm that Robert’s father farmed, but I have not researched properties lines.)

Her 84th birthday is referred to in the quote at the beginning of this page. The party was attended by two children and and eight grandchildren. Another quote from the paper:

R. M. Green of Oroville was present and by one of the party who had recently been in Cambridge [Ohio] skillfully drew out “Aunt Jane” about the old inhabitants until she fairly excelled herself.

Jane passed away in 1886, after a life of pioneering, like her husband, in two states.

Robert Bines Moore

Robert Bines Moore cenotaph in Guernsey County

Photo of his headstone in the Founders Cemetery , Cambridge , Guernsey County , Ohio .
Was Taken By Carole Marie (McMahan) Selby

How I Am 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
  • William Cochran Stout, who is the son of
  • Emeline Cochran Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Col. William Cochran, who is the brother of
  • Jane Morrow Cochran Moore

Notes on Research

(To Come)