This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series. This week’s prompt is Comedy. (To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index.
A few unrelated genealogy happenings have aligned the past few weeks to give our family some laughs, culminating in my finding a new cousin — my husband!
We took a family road trip to Kentucky earlier this month and included stops at Daniel Boone’s grave, Fort Boonesborough, and Cumberland Gap National Park purely for their historical value. A few weeks before the trip, my husband’s cousin who does Collins research reminded me that their family is related to Daniel Boone. He is my husband’s 7x-great-uncle; therefore, the boys’ 8x-great-uncle! Our historical sightseeing quickly turned into a mini-genealogy road trip. We checked out age-appropriate books from the library about Daniel Boone’s life and had fun learning more about this distant relative — and then bringing his frontier story to life for our sons.
After our trip, my grandfather’s half-sister emailed me about several research topics, including if I believed we were related to Daniel Boone through our Guess family. She doesn’t use Facebook and hadn’t seen our vacation photos, so she didn’t realize the great timing of her inquiry. I haven’t thoroughly researched our Guess family, but I took her clues and quickly discovered she was correct — it looks like I’m related to Daniel Boone, too!
I went to bed one evening with a husband and woke up the next morning with my 9th cousin. Our shared ancestors are Edward and Elizabeth Morgan, Daniel Boone’s maternal grandparents.
Because he is integral to this comedic finding, I’m profiling Edward Morgan in this post. I’ve only had two days to learn about Edward, so most of my information is from Ella Hazel Atterbury Spraker’s The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone Who Came to America in 1717. This work references land and church records and provides great guidance for me to access these original source documents in a future research project.
Because Edward Morgan was the father of Daniel Boone’s mother Sarah, he has been extensively studied by researchers. Unfortunately, no definitive information about his origins are known, as up to four men by this same name lived near one another and are often conflated. What is certain about “our” Edward is that he was a Welsh immigrant who settled in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, in 1704. He was of the Quaker faith and attended the Gwynedd Friends Meeting. Much of the information about his life has been gleaned from their church records.
Edward’s wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John and Margaret Jarman. They may have had eleven children. I descend from their confirmed son John Morgan who married Sarah Lloyd. My husband descends from their confirmed daughter Sarah Morgan, who married Squire Boone. This couple’s children includes the famous Daniel Boone, as well as my husband’s ancestor Samuel Boone.
Edward purchased 309 acres of land near what is now Towamenchin, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in February 1708. This area is about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia, and Edward and his family were the first settlers on the land. Edward’s son John, my 7x-great-grandfather, received 104 acres of this land on August 23, 1723, and he owned it through 1741. A portion of the Morgan settlement is preserved today as the Morgan Log House and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the log house was built between 1770-74 by a later settler, it is a great example of colonial Pennsylvania architecture, and the museum shows what life was like for early settlers like the Morgans.
Edward Morgan died sometime between 1728 and 1734. He is likely buried in the graveyard of Gwyneed Friends Meetinghouse; however, these early Quaker settlers did not believe in marking graves with personalized stones. The graveyard is adjacent to the Gwyneed Friends Meeting, a congregation that has met continuously since 1699.
I’m so glad I took another version of the Daniel Boone grave photo. I actually stepped in for one shot, not realizing we’re all actually related!