Thomas Francis Morgan Sr.

Born about 1787, greater London
Died 31 Mar 1869, Richmond, Indiana

Based on personal recollections by his daughter, Sophia Elizabeth Morgan, we know that my 4th-great-grandfather Thomas Francis Morgan married Sophia Elizabeth Charles in the London area in about 1800.

We also know that several Thomas Morgans married women named Sophia and Elizabeth in London at about the same time - and several of the couples then emigrated to America. It appears likely that amateur genealogists (including myself) have perhaps mixed and matched these individuals, their dates of birth, and the names of their children. While a few of my dates may be slightly off, I am confident that the individuals listed here are accurate.

Thomas Morgan's early family

  • Thomas was born on 6 May 1787 in London, perhaps in the Islington area.
  • Thomas Morgan's parents lived in Hampstead, a suburban area of London at the time, where they ran a dairy - assisted by their daughter Ann's son, Charley Hosley.
  • Papa Morgan (Thomas's father) died in Hampstead in 1821.
  • Mama Morgan (maiden name unknown) had a brother "Blind Thomas"
  • After her husband's death, Mama Morgan opened a small store. It was located across from the Red Lion Tavern at the base of Red Lion Hill.

Thomas Morgan's siblings

  • Sister Ann Morgan married a Hosley. They had a son Charley Hosley who helped Papa Morgan run his dairy.
  • Brother John Morgan fell in love with a cousin on his mother's side, Miss Day. He felt his case was hopeless, so he emigrated to America with his brother Thomas in 1819.
  • At age 16, sister Jane ran away to marry a man named Rice. He was a poor shoemaker, and a consumptive. They had twin children.
  • Charley Morgan is described as Thomas's youngest brother; he married Sarah (pos. last name Ellen.) They had daughters Caroline Ellen Morgan and Mary Morgan.

Thomas Morgan's marriage

  • Thomas married Sophia Elizabeth Charles in London, perhaps on 17 Dec 1809 at Saint Botolphs Bishopgate.
  • Their first four children were all boys.
  • They named their first daughter Sophia Elizabeth Morgan for her mother, and called her "Sophy." She was born in London on 3 Nov 1817.
  • All four sons died of smallpox in the course of a few weeks when Sophy was about 1.5 years old - so probably early 1819.
  • Thomas, in his despair, decided to go to America in 1819 (accompanied by his brother John) and make a new life. He planned to send for his (now-pregnant) wife, daughter Sophy, and their future child shortly after he was settled in America. He had a much more difficult time than he expected in Philadelphia and couldn't send for them for seven years.
  • After Thomas left, his wife Sophia worked as a forewoman in a large fur and silk hat establishment.
  • Sophia and her son John apparently resided separately from her daughter Sophy, who lived with Thomas's parents in Hampstead.

Thomas in Philadelphia

  • Thomas had trouble finding well-paying jobs after his arrival in 1819.
  • Eventually he found employment at a drug store owned by a man named North.
  • North offered to advance him money to bring his family to America in 1826.
  • After an arduous journey, wife Sophia, daughter Sophy and son John arrived on sailing ship Electra on 6 Apr 1826.
  • They stayed with Mr. North and his son/grandson Ben until North's death, then moved in with a friend from England, Mrs. Bondfield.
  • Daughter Ellen Alice Morgan was born about 1830 in a Philadelphia hospital.
  • They joined the Baptist Church, under pastor Dr. Brandly.

Migration to Shawneetown, Illinois - and back to Philadelphia - about 1831

  • Thomas's brother John had moved west to Shawneetown, IL, a frontier town on the Ohio River.
  • John wrote to Thomas in 1830 or 31 and convinced him to join him out west. Thomas went first, followed by his family.
  • The journey was by stage coach across the mountains to Pittsburgh, then by boat to Shawneetown.
  • Thomas found work in a warehouse on the Ohio River, but did not get along well with his brother.
  • Wife Sophia didn't like the frontier lifestyle and convinced the family to return to Philadelphia, perhaps in 1831 or 1832.
  • Their final child, Thomas Francis Morgan Jr, was born in Philadelphia after the return from Illinois. Some evidence states that he was born in 1830, but this story line suggests a later date: 1831 or 1832.

West to Indiana - about 1833

  • Thomas still wanted to go west, and joined the Stanley family to move near Madison Indiana, along the Ohio River about halfway between Cincinnati and Louisville.
  • Thomas began a timber farm, cleared an acre of land, built a two-room cabin and sent for his family.
  • Nearby Marion (different location than the current Marion) had two hotels; daughter Sophy found successful employment as a seamstress there.

Move to Cincinnati - 1836

  • Thomas's wife Sophia was not happy living in the woods, and convinced the family to move to Cincinnati in about 1836.
  • Thomas's eldest son John was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Marion; he did not move with the family to Cincinnati.
  • Thomas and Sophia kept boarders when they arrived in Sophia with three of their four children.
  • One of their boarders was named Robert Ireland. He married their daughter Sophy in Cincinnati on 20 May 1837.
  • Thomas became sexton and treasurer of the First Baptist Church under Dr. Lynd; his appointment included a residence in the church.
  • Robert Ireland Sr., daughter Sophy's father-in-law lived with Thomas and Sophia for some amount of time before his death, somewhere around 1845-1848.

Phalanx and Clermont County OH

  • Thomas left the Baptist Church to work for several years in the late 1840s at the Clermont Phalanx, about 45 miles southeast of Cincinnati as schoolmaster.
  • Presumably Thomas and Sophia lived there in Clermont County OH for several years.
  • Thomas and Sophia returned to Cincinnati in the early 1850s, where it appears they lived with their son Thomas Francis Morgan Jr. and his new wife Eliza Fairfax for a time.

Are we related?

Here are the GEDmatch Kit #s for my father and mother:

GI: A909282
CL: A216073

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