Adams County History & Genealogy

Adams County, Ohio Descendancies

Descendants of John Morrison

Descendants of John Morrison

John Morrison, great grandfather to the writer, and his brother, William, came to America from County Downs [sic], Ireland, -- Broun Edge -- when John was twenty one years of age. The name of his father is to the writer unknown, so it is unknown as to how many brothers and sisters John had, but it is claimed by some that John's father came over to America with his wife and seven sons, John and William being two of them. John and William came to Fleming County, Kentucky. John married Jennie McGarry, but do not know when. William married also and by that union had four children: Joseph, William, Isabelle and Polly Ann. John and William moved to Adams County, Ohio, in 1801 with their families, buying farms and resided there until their deaths. We will now trace William's family.

Joseph's children are James who died in the Union Army in 1862.
_________ who married _____
Alice who married John Inns (or Inus?), Middlefork, Clinton Co.,
Indiana, resident now with numerous childeren.
Lousia who married John Spahr.
Andrew, now dead.
Maria who married John Coplinger, now a resident of Clinton Co., Indiana.
Margarette who remains single.

William, son of William, is designated as William the Blacksmith.
His children are Mary, who married John Fleming who is now a
resident of Clinton County, Indiana and was for two terms County Treasurer, 1874-1878.

David, who married Maggie Purdum, Middlefork, Indiana.
Sarah, Hannah, Maxwell Joseph, William, Ann and Jane who married
[undec.] Crawford. A more particular description can not now be given.

Isabelle, daughter of William, married [undec.] Billsby and Polly
Ann married David Young. Both have descendants, residents in
Adams County, Ohio.

John Morrison's children who lived to be grown are James, the writer's grandfather, John, Henry, Joseph, William, Jane, Sarah, Polly*, Isabella. His two eldest children died before he moved to Adams County, Ohio, in 1801 when his oldest living child was six years old. This child was James.

James was married to Margaret Spahr at the residence of the bride's father, Martin Spahr, on Brush Creek, Adams County, Ohio, and remained there among his people until after three children were born to them, John, the eldest, and Martin and Henry Young. When Henry Y. was about two years old, James concluded to go to the far west, settle in the fine agricultural country of the Wabash. Accordingly, he, in company with other young men of his neighborhood, constructed a keel boat and early in the spring started for the Shawnee Prarie in Fountain County, Indiana. They placed on board all household furniture, together with the famil- lies and good farm utensils and a year's provisions. The families accompanying them were Martin Spahr and wife, brother to James Morrison's wife, and Henry Morrison, unmarried brother to James, Henry Spahr, unmarried, Martin's brother, John Duncan, unmarried, Captain of the boat, and Renna Marvin, unmarried[1].

The crew had also procured and placed on board, for speculation, by way of trading at the river towns, a large quantity of whiskey, carraway salt, dried fruit, flour, earthen ware and cedar ware, such as buckets, tubs, churns etc. The Ohio and Wabash were both up as the spring rains had set in. This fact assisted them greatly in making the descent of the Ohio and especially made it less dangerous in riding the falls, but hindered them in making the ascent of the Wabash. It was often difficult to find bottom to push on and they frequently could not see land. They were obliged to avoid the current and steer thru (?). The first pushing bottom was found near New Harmony and the remainder of the trip was attended with many adventures. They stopped at the towns along the river to trade their wares. One mile above Vincennes they ran into a snag which took about three feet of plank out of the bottom of the boat. The water rushed in rapidly and came near swamping but the alacrity with which the boat was unloaded saved it. Margaret Spahr, wife of James Morrison, assisted in unloading by lifting the salt barrels off the floor on to the bow unassisted, a work which few men would undertake at this day. Having unloaded, they jacked the boat off the snag, mended the break by locking a board (?) into fit as near as the could and then tacking the skin off of pickled pork over the break on the outside which affectually checked the leak. The trip on to Attica was made not without mis-adventures but nothing of a ser- ious nature took place. At Attica the boat was unloaded, families, household goods and furniture and a part of the provision was un- loaded. The remainder of the cargo was taken to Lafayette.

Written by James W. Morrison, son of Henry Y.. This was found in the attic of his home after his death. Question marks are for words too blurred to decipher with accuracy.

* - "Polly" was frequently used for Mary in family records.

[1] A handwritten "Runa" could be easily mistaken for "Renna". The LDS records show a marriage between Runa Marvin and Catherine Alenduff on 3/4/1830 in Fountain Co., IN. The Bureau of Land Management has a record of two land patents in Fountain County to Runa Marvin of Adams Co., Ohio, on 1/30/1828, at;=36309.45

From a typewritten copy of a manuscript record left by James William Morrison (1853-1928), of Frankfort, Indiana (notes in brackets are by WMF). One of his daughters was Esther, my mother. His father was Henry Young Morrison, b. 1826 in Adams County. This document details the early family history, centered on Adams County.