Lora Hunt Jeffries' Indiana Home Page:Information about William Morris
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William Morris (b. January 01, 1721/22, d. December 01, 1792)William Morris was born January 01, 1721/22 in Liverpool, England, and died December 01, 1792 in Kanawha County, Virginia (now WVA).He married Elizabeth Stepp on January 01, 1745/46 in Orange County, Virginia, daughter of Joshua Stepp and Martha Coffey.
Notes for William Morris:
History of the William Morris Chapter, NSDAR
The William Morris Chapter was named in honor of William Morris, “Pioneer” of the Great Kanawha Valley. William Morris was born January 1, 1722, in England.He came to the United States in 1736, at the age of 14.History has it that he was at the shipyard in Liverpool, England, and boarded a ship out of curiosity.While exploring the ship, unbeknown to him, it set sail.It was 2 hours out of port before he was aware it had left dock.A well-to-do gentleman aboard the ship from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania befriended 14 year-old William and provided him a home and an education.
William married Elizabeth Stepps, who was born in Orange County, Virginia, in 1729.They had 10 children:eight sons and two daughters:
William Morris, Jr., married Catherine Carroll
Henry Morris, married Mary Bird
Leonard Morris, Sr., married first wife Margaret Price, 2nd wife Margaret Larkin.
Joshua Morris, Sr., married Frances Simms
John Morris, Sr., married Margaret Droddy.
Archillas Morris, Sr., married Elizabeth Garrett.
Levi Morris married first wife, Margaret Starke, 2nd wife, Margaret Jarrett.
Benjamin Morris, Sr., married Nancy.
Elizabeth Morris, married Michael See.
Frances Morris, married John Jones.
William Morris, Sr., died December 1, 1792.His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1793.
William Morris was guardian of Kelly’s Post and founder and defender of Fort Morris, the first fort on the Great Kanawha River.
He and his eight sons gave service from 1744 to 1792, first in the Dunmore War, the Battle of Point Pleasant and at different forts in the Great Kanawha Valley.
Mrs. Fenton Morris Brown, Organizing Regent, organized the William Morris Chapter, NSDAR, February 27, 1922 in Pratt, West Virginia.The Chapter was confirmed by NSDAR on March 27, 1922, and the Charter issued March 13, 1944.
On November 5, 1927, William Morris Chapter unveiled a marker at Virginia’s Chapel, “The Little Brick Church,” located in Cedar Grove. Inscribed on a bronze plate and imbedded in a bolder:
In Honor and Memory of
1722 - 1792
Founder and Defender of Fort Morris
The first Fort built on the great Kanawha River in 1774 near this site and school house and made the first permanent white settlementin the great Kanawha Valley and of his wife Elizabeth Stipps 1729-1795
This tablet erected by the
William Morris Chapter DAR
Our chapter was strengthened in 1992, when a merger between the William Morris Chapter and Fort Lee Chapters was approved. This merger has brought with it new friendships and increased opportunities for service.
There are conflicting stories about how William Morris came to America.It was without the knowledge of his parents.He was in Philadelphia in 1732.He was the first permanent white settler in Kanawha County, VA (now WVA).He and his family purchased land from the widow of Walter Kelly who was killed by Shawnee Indians.In the fall of 1774 Morris built Fort Morris with a stockade and cabins within it.He served in the American Revolution and fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant (Indian Wars).He was named a DAR Patriot and now has a DAR chapter named after him.
The Morris family increased its holdings from Kanawha Falls to Campbells Creek.Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone were frequent visitors.This was the end of the "Old State Road" from eastern VA.This road avoided the New River Gorge by following a buffalo trail from near Anstad, crossing the Gauley River and following Kelly's Creek to Cedar Grove.From this point west, travelers used the river.
General Andrew Lewis's troops camped here on the way to meet Cheif Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant.The dugout canoes used by George Rogers Clark were hewed out at the Morris boatyards.The Morris family later became rich building flatboats for pioneers moving west.
History of Shenandoah Co. VA, p. 622.William Morris had resided east of the Blue Ridge before coming to Shenandoah....he represented Kanawha Co. in the VA house of delegates 1792-1794.
Atkinson-History of Kanawha Co. VA, p. 203.... Old Billy Morris and Daniel Boone, the great hunter, were the first representatives Kanawha Co. sent to the Legislature of VA....Mr. Morris, though a man of superior intellect, could not write his name.....William Morris, Sr. built a large frame residence in 1798-9 about 1/2 mile above the mouth of Kelly's creek, which was called the "White House".... Old Billy owned the falls of Kanawha....It is thought to be one of the finest water-power locations in the world.....
Laidley-History of Charleston, p. 60. The Morris family were English and also were Baptists.They first came to Philadelphia, then to Culpepper, VA then to Greenbrier and then to Kanawha Valley.They were movers and were growing all the time.They were land buyers and were on the lookout for good lands all the while.
Wallace, George-Cabell County Annals and families-p. 456-Bishop Thomas Asbury Morris-
William Morris who was born in 1722 in London, England, and died in Kanawha County in 1799, came to Philadelphia when he was 12 years of age.He married Elizabeth Stipes of Orange County, Virginia, and lived in Culpepper County for a time and reared most of his family there.About 1773 he migrated to the western portion of Greenbrier County and located on the Kanawha.He had 10 children, one of whom was John Morris, a Revolutionary soldier, who was born in 1741 and died in August, 1818.
WILLIAM M. MORRIS
1722 - 1794
WILL BOOK A, PAGE 30
Kanawha County, WV
"Ordered John JONES and John CAMPBELL come into Court and prove upon oath the last Will & Testament of William MORRIS, Sr., Deceased . . .
In the name of God, Amen. I William MORRIS, Senr, of the County of Kanawha and Commonwealth of Virginia, Being Weak in Body, but of perfect mind and memory, and calling to mind the mortality of body an know that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my Last will and testament --
Firstly I will and bequeath my soul unto the hands of Almighty God the giver And my Body to the dust of the earth. To be buried in a Christian like and descent manner at the descretion of my Executors hereafter named; not doubting but at the General resurrection they will again unite by the Almighty Power of God ----
--- And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleasured God to bless me in this life do will and devise to my two sons, to wit, Levi and Benjamin, one hundred acres each of the tract of land where on they now live, to include there persons settlements which lands I do hereby will and direct my executors hereafter named to convey a title in principle to them and their heirs forever.
I do hereby also will and direct that my said Executors do in like manner convey in principle to my son William MORRIS and his heirs for ever, the residue of the said tract of land above mentioned. Which is his own property; altho included in a grant or patent issued from the register of Virginia in my name.
I further will and direct that the whole residue of my estate both real and personnal be equally divided amoungst my ten children, to wit, William, Henry, Leonard, Joshua, John, Carlus, Levi, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Frankey, to be them and their several lawful heirs freely and fully possessed and enjoyed provided never the less that my loving and lawful wife Elizabeth Morris have all my movable estate in her possession during her natural life at the termination of which said whole estate with the interest thereof shall be divided as aforesaid, but if she my said wife Elizabeth should again ingage herself in the bonds of wedlock with any person then and on that condition it is.
William M Morris
Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Published and pronounced and declared
in presence of
More About William Morris:
Burial: Unknown, Virginia's Chapel-buried beneath the church.
More About William Morris and Elizabeth Stepp:
Marriage: January 01, 1745/46, Orange County, Virginia.
Children of William Morris and Elizabeth Stepp are:
- +Leonard Morris, b. Abt. 1748, Virginia, d. May 20, 1831, Kanawha County, Virginia (now WVA).