John Morris was among them.
From the Fortress of Solitude
Tonight’s digital family gathering brings a return to the Williamson side of our family. Yesterday I sent out an email asking for help in pushing back the family tree along the Morris line. We know that Effie Helen Victor’s (wife of William Jonathan Williamson) mother was Nancy Morris and that was about it. Nancy seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.
Yesterday I received several emails from a distant Morris cousin with detailed research on the Morris line. He gives very convincing evidence from multiple sources that Nancy’s father was Isaac Morris. We are unsure about Nancy’s mother. Isaac’s listed wife if Jane Tway but Jane was born in Ohio and Nancy stated in the 1870 census that her mother was born in Virginia.
It is then assumed that Jane was Isaac’s second wife (although there is no evidence to that fact).
Because we are not 100% sure that Isaac was Nancy’s father I put the “?” in front of his name on the family tree (click on the tree at the top of the right side bar). However, the evidence is convincing enough that I’m willing to continue the Morris line starting with Isaac.
The family tree shows the Morris line back to the 1600’s in New Jersey. So, let’s take a moment tonight to meet one of our ancestors, John Morris. We start with the Relationship Chart:
Daniel Morris and Mary Riggs
Isaac Morris and Rebecca Hathaway
Benjamin Morris and Mary Spinning
Isaac Morris and ?
Nancy Morris and Whitty Victor
Effie Helen Victor and William Jonathan Williamson
Charles Williamson and Elda Vercellino
Charles Williamson and Luella Mattson
John and Sarah Morris were among the first 30 Puritan families sent from New Haven Conn. to settle Newark, New Jersey.
The following is a short biography of John’s service to Newark.
It was John whose birth was duly recorded in the New Haven Vital Statistics as 16 December 1666 who grew up to cut a wide swath in Newark as “Captain” John Morris. The official records are fairly spotted with notations of his services to the community. He was, as Mr. Samuel H. Congar, published about 1902, pointed out, the high sheriff of Essex County in 1700. He was chosen in 1698 to “lay penalties upon swine.” The next year he was chosen by vote “To give notice when cattle shall go into the Neck and when it is to be taken out.” in 1702 he was assessor for the north end of town. A few years later he was chosen on a committee to set a table of fees for the town clerk. In 1711 he was on a committee to settle the boundary line between Newark and Elizabeth Town. In 1716 he and James Nuttmann were chosen to select three men to “Seat the meeting house.” He was surveyor of the highways and collector for the overseers of the poor. Captain John lived to a ripe age, and in the delightful phrase of Mr. Congar, “did not soon die as has been said but lived four score years.” He died in 1749. He left at least three daughters, Charity, Phebe, and Abigail; Three sons for sure, Daniel, John, and Stephen. In the book, “First Presbyterian Church in Newark,” by Jonathan French Steam, is the records of the first settlers of Newark 1666-1680, with John Morris in the North West Section.”
The Following is the History Behind John and Sarah's move to Newark with the other Puritan Families.
In 1665 New Haven and Connecticut were merged into one colony. The new constitution allowed baptism of children irrespective of the parents church membership. This was displeasing to the strict church members of New Haven, as the Puritan practice permitted this ordinance only for the children of "the elect". This act created an religious environment that was intolerable for them.
When Governor Carteret of New Jersey sent agents to New England, seeking homesteader for colonization, and carrying the constitution of the Government that granted the religions freedoms sought by the Puritans, they accepted the offer. A yearly quit-rent of a halfpenny per acre was to be paid to the lord Proprietors of New Jersey for the land. In May 1666 about 30 families traveled by sea and arrived at the Passaic River. As they unloaded their goods, they were met by a tribe of Hackenssack Indians who claimed the land. The Puritans learned that the Governor had not attended to the treaty price with the Indians, as he had guaranteed. Reluctantly it was decided to return to Milford. As they prepared to reload their goods, the Governor arrived and acknowledged his failure to fulfill this part of the contract.
The Governor implored the Puritans to stay and arranged for them to purchase the land from the Indians for "fifty double-hands of powder, one hundred barrs of lead, twenty Axes, Twenty Coats, ten Guns, twenty pistolls, ten Kettles, ten Swoards, four blanks, four barrells of beere, ten paire of breeches, fifty knives, twenty howes, eight hundred and fifty fathem of wampum, two Ankors of Licquers or something Equivolent and three Troopers Coats". The Indians also agreed to a Bill of Sales that allowed the Puritans to pay in the Spring of 1667 when Branford and Guilford arrived. And so is the founding of Newark by Martin Tichenor and 29 other Puritain Families.