Tag Archives: Groton Connecticut

A Revolutionary War Story Too Good to Miss (Part I)

Jesse Morgan (1758-1846)

A reader commented on one of my old posts about the twin brother of Jesse Morgan Sr. (father of the scoundrel great-great-grandfather who went off to California and left his wife and children in Ohio.) While trying to verify that reader’s theory about some Morgan relationships, I stumbled across a Revolutionary War story that I want to share. Today’s post, however, is only setting the stage, so don’t forget to come back next week for….the rest of the story.

A Thumbnail Sketch of Jesse Morgan (1758-1846)

I have not written before about Jesse Morgan, Sr. (There were other Jesse Morgan’s before this one, and I DID write about a Jesse Morgan Sr., Pioneer who was a couple of generations further back in history. ) However, the Jesse Morgan we are discussing today, emerged on the same day as his twin brother in Groton Connecticut. He lived in that town with his parents, Timothy Morgan and Deborah Leeds Morgan until he married Matilda Fish in 1783. (Except during the Revolutionary War.)

1776 and the Revolutionary War

In 1776 when Jesse was 18–seven years before his marriage– Jesse’s twin brother David joined the American Revolutionary War Army. Whether he joined voluntarily or was summarily conscripted by local militia, I do not know. All men were required to belong to a militia–originally formed by the British, but converted by the American patriots to their own cause. Jesse and David, at 18 surely would have been marching in drills with the militia.

At this point, David’s story becomes mysterious, as he seems to disappear from the records. Jesse’s story, better documented, follows a twisted path that I’ll explain next week.

Jesse’s Family

Jesse supported the family as a cooper, a maker of barrels . There must have been a good market for barrels in the shipping port of Groton where they lived.

Between 1800 and 1805, the couple took their surviving son and four daughters and moved to Pennsylvania. Two other sons and a daughter had died in infancy. It is not clear why Jesse decided to move to Wayne County, Pennsylvania, or what he did when he got there. Did he continue as a cooper, or did he become a farmer, like his son George?

My great-great-grandfather, the youngest son, was born in 1805 after the family moved. His parents named him Jesse. A brother who died in infancy had also been named Jesse, but custom encouraged naming children the same as dead siblings–particularly when the name was that of the father or mother.

Jesse and Matilda’s Children

  • Aaron Morgan (1783-1784) Infant death
  • George Morgan (1785-1879
  • Hannah See Morgan (1787-1873)
  • Maltilda Morgan (1789-1864)
  • Jesse Morgan (1791-1791) Infant death
  • Harriet Morgan (1796-1796) infant death
  • Charlotte Morgan (1800-1867)
  • Jesse Morgan (1805–1850)

Son George, a farmer, is listed as blind in the 1860 census and may have been blind for many years. I have no way of knowing. He stayed in Wayne County PA all his life.

Daughter Matilda married and lived near her parents all their lives.

Daughter Hanna married Isaac Purdy and moved to Ohio.

Daughter Charlotte married Solomon Frisbie. Solomon followed the same trade as her father. He was a Cooper. They lived most of their lives in Pennsylvania, but in the 1860 census were living in Tennessee with their son Silas. When Silas, a farmer, was 19, he enlisted in the Union Army. He re-enlisted in 1864 and was killed in battle . Charlotte and Solomon returned to Pennsylvania, where she later died .

Son Jesse, an adventurer, horse trader, one time school teacher and later traveling man, moved to New York and later to Ohio. Then his travels took him to California where he died six years after his father. The link in the previous paragraph to a letter written by Solomon Frisbie, also contains an index to all of Jesse (Jr.) Morgan’s extant letters, if you wish to trace his travels.

Jesse Morgan the father of this brood, reached 88 years old, outliving his wife by nine years.

At the age of 81, the old man applied for a pension because of his service in the Revolutionary War. And then we learn about the adventures of his young life. Was he a soldier by choice or force? Did he see actual battles? Did he receive a pension? To be continued…..

How I am Connected

  • Vera Marie Kaser (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 (Jr.) who is the son of
  • Jesse Morgan