Back to Gillett History GEORGE WILLIAM (BILL) GILLETT FAMILY HISTORY BACK to the MORLAN FAMILY
BACK to MORLAN FAMILY STORIES

SUMMARY of the HISTORY
of the MORLAN FAMILY

The Beginning

The Morlan name has been spelled in various manners throughout the records: "Moreland - Morelan - Moorlan - Mourland - Morland - Morlan".

The name Morlan is an English name meaning "one who came from Moorland". This is a grove by a moor and, generally speaking, it means a dweller near a swamp.

A majority of the following information comes from records of the Society of Friends (Quakers).

The Eighth Generation   -   The Benjamin Morlan Family

The first Morlan of record was Benjamin Morlan who was born in Kent, England, in 1630. He emigrated to America in 1670 at the age of 40. He settled in New Jersey.

His wife was not named but he was the father of six sons, all probably born in England:

  • Benone Morlan - Born: about 1649
  • Richard Morlan - Born: about 1651
  • Evan Morlan - Born: about 1653
  • William Morlan - Born: about 1655
  • John Morlan - Born: November 30, 1657 - Died: 1720 - (direct ancestor)
  • Alsolum Morlan - Born: about 1659
There is some question as to the location of birth of their children as they did not arrive in America until 1670, but the Quaker records indicated the birth of John Morlan in 1657 in their records of Newby Stead, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This could have been just a Quaker recording of a birth that took place in England.

The Seventh Generation   -   The John Morlan Family          BACK to the MORLAN FAMILY

JOHN MORLAN, son of Benjamin Morlan, was born probably in England on November 30, 1657, but was recorded in Newby Stead, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This was registered at the Strickland Monthly Meeting - the record system of the Society of Friends or more normally called Quakers.

The Quakers had a very structured religious and record keeping system and have probably the best kept records for any one religion. Their religious meetings were usually held in homes or small log cabins on a weekly basis. They were normally called 'particular' or 'preparative' meetings.

They were also unusual in that they had both women and men ministers. A group of these meetings met monthly which they rightfully called 'monthly' meetings. The monthly meeting was a business meeting attended by delegates appointed by meetings of worship. All matters of interest to the meetings of worship were discussed and the clerks of the worship meetings brought their records of births, deaths, and marriages for recording by the clerk of the monthly meeting. Complaints against members and all matters of dispute were decided here. The Quakers also held quarterly and yearly meetings.

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, is located about twenty miles east of Pittsburgh or about 400 miles inland. This would probably mean that this was one of their records centers with John not actually being born there.

John came to America about 1670 from England as recorded at the Strickland Monthly Meeting in Newby Stead, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. John Morlan married Sarah Tucker. They were the parents of at least two sons:

  • William B. Morlan - Born: 1720 - Died: 1790 - (direct ancestor)
  • John Morlan - Born: about 1721 - Died: about 1748
John Morlan and his family lived in Bordentown, Burlington County. He died in Nottingham Township of Burlington County, New Jersey, in 1720 at the age of 63. His Will, which was dated on April 20, 1720, may be found at the Bureau of Archives and History, Trenton, New Jersey. Bordentown, New Jersey is on the Pennsylvania - New Jersey border about 35 miles northeast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His wife, Sarah (Tucker) Morlan died there in 1748.

The Sixth Generation   -   The William Morlan Family          BACK to the MORLAN FAMILY

WILLIAM MORLAN, the first son of John and Sarah (Tucker) Morlan, was born in 1720 in Bordentown, New Jersey. If the dates are correct, then this is also the year his father died at the age of 63.

William married Sarah French on January 3, 1741. Sarah French was born January 20, 1714/15, the daughter of Richard and Mary (King) French of Northampton, Burlington County, New Jersey.

The William Morlans were living in Chesterfield, Burlington County, New Jersey, until about 1758. They then started to move south to Virginia as recorded by the records from the Redstone Monthly Meeting House. This was an era in which a number of Quakers started to move south from Pennsylvania and New Jersey into the mid-southern states, Virginia and the Carolinas. The movement was caused by the unrest in the north prior to the Revolutionary War.

The MORLANS had moved to Loudoun County, Virginia where William was listed as being granted 36 acres of land in 1774. Loudoun County is just west of Washington D.C.

D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) records indicate that William Morlan had joined in the Revolutionary War with Captain Samuel Woodsons' Company, the 9th Virginian. These records are located in the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, as indicated in the application for membership to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. "I certify that on four pay rolls of Samuel Woodson's Company (for April 1777, for May 1777, for June 1777 and October 1777) appears the name of William Moorland (Morlan, Morland, Mourtand)". Signed H.R. McIIwain, State Librarian, July 22, 1913.                 See: MORLAN FAMILY in AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The Quaker records did not indicate that William Morlan was ever disowned from the Society for bearing arms, which was normally the case. Because of this it might be possible that this was not the same William Morlan, although the D.A.R. has approved the records.

The Morlans had moved to Bedford County, Virginia, about 1780. This part of Virginia, Bedford and Campbell counties, was very strong in the Quaker religion at that time. There were a number of Societies (churches) in the area.

Bedford County is located in the southwest part of the state between Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia. Lynchburg was a city built by the Quakers. In 1805 the population was about 500 people of which a large percentage were Quakers.

William and Sarah (French) Morlan were the parents of five sons:

  • Jason Morlan
      Born:   June 6, 1742
      Married:   Ann Richardson on December 28, 1765, in Loudon County, Virginia.
      Died:   January 10, 1824
      Children:    7
        Jason was disowned by the Quakers in 1777 for owning and selling a slave into bondage. He owned 634 acres of land in Columbiana County, Ohio
  • Benonia Morlan
      Born:   1744
  • William Morlan
      Born:   1746
      Married:   Hannah Hayward on February 25, 1769, in Loudoun County, Virginia
  • Richard Morlan
      Born:   1748 - killed by an Indian
  • Stephen Morlan - (direct ancestor)
      Born:   December 25, 1750
      Married:   Mary Rhodes on October 20, 1773 - she was born October 15, 1753,
        the daughter of Moses and Mary (Meade) Rhodes
      Died:   April 9, 1810
      Children:    10
William Morlan died in 1790 in Bedford County, Virginia, at the age of 70, while his wife, Sarah (French) Morlan, passed away (also in Bedford County) on December 1, 1798, at the age of 83.

The Fifth Generation   -   The Stephen Morlan Family          BACK to the MORLAN FAMILY

STEPHEN MORLAN, the fifth son of William and Sarah (French) Morlan, was born December 25, 1750, in Chesterfield, New Jersey. He married Mary Rhodes on October 20, 1773, at the Fairfax Monthly Meeting House (the Church of the Quakers) in Loudoun County, Virginia. Mary (Rhodes) Morlan was born October 15, 1753, in Loudoun County, Virginia, the daughter of Moses and Mary (Meade) Rhodes.

The Quakers had very strict rules in marrying. The young people wishing to marry must come before the monthly meeting at least twice and declare their intentions of marriage. The meeting appoints a committee to examine the lives of both parties and report back at the next meeting. If there is no objection, then the couple is free to marry. Another committee is appointed from both the mens' and womens' meetings to attend the marriage to see that it is carried out according to the order as established by the Quakers and to bring the marriage certificate back.

Marriages between first cousins were not allowed. But since the communities were so closely related, a number of first cousins married anyway and were therefore disowned by the Society. They were generally reinstated after making a written offering for their offense.

At the time of their marriage, on October 20, 1773, Stephen Morlan was 22 years old and his wife, Mary (Rhodes) Morlan, had just turned 20 years old. The marriage took place at the Fairfax Monthly Meeting House in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Seven years after their marriage they moved to Bedford County, Virginia. They did not inform the Quakers of the move and therefore the following letter was sent to the monthly meeting house in Bedford County.

Application being made to us for a few lines by way of Certificate for Stephen Moreland and Mary, his wife, with their three children, namely Edwin, Abigail and Jonah, we may inform you that they left our parts without acquainting the Monthly Meeting of their intention of removing, which was contrary to the advice of our Yearly Meeting, but with respect to their conduct it appears, after the needful enquiry that their lives and conversation have been in some good degree orderly. They attended our religious meeting at times and have settled their outward affairs to satisfaction as far as we know. We therefore recommend them and their children as members of our Society to your Christian care and oversight, desiring their preservation and growth in the truth, and remain your loving friends. Signed on behalf of our Monthly Meeting at Fairfax, held November 25, 1780.
Stephen and Mary (Rhodes) Morlan were the parents of ten children:
  • Aden Morlan
      Born:   July 20, 1774 - he was the first overseer for the Carmel Monthly Meeting when
        the Orthodox Friends started their church on December 20, 1817
      Married(1):   Amy Johns on October 26, 1808 - Amy was born October 12, 1787, the daughter of
        Griffith & Sarah Johns - while giving birth to their fifth child, Amy (Johns) Morlan died on May 11, 1817
        - she was 34 years old at the time
      Died:   May 28, 1857, at the age of 82
      Children:   5
      • Lydia Morlan
          Born:   December 28, 1809
          Married:   Joseph Winder March 25, 1842 - he was born October 12, 1805,
            the son of William and Adah (Bradfield) Winder
          Died:   February 16, 1906 at the age of 96
            Joseph Winder died April 23, 1893, at the age of 83
          Children:   at least 1 son
      • Sarah Morlan
          Born: November 9, 1811
          Married: Lewis Pim July 26, 1839 - he was born April 14, 1814, the son of
            Nathan and Sarah Pim
          Died: March 12, 1881 at the age of 69
            Lewis Pim died May 16, 1887 at the age of 73
          Children: 7
      • Mary Morlan
          Born: October 15, 1813
          Married: Henry Morlan October 22, 1835 (her second cousin) - he was born
            July 27, 1802, the son of Joseph and Catherine (Loyd) Morlan
          Died: October 26, 1890 at the age of 77 - Henry Morlan died January 11, 1892
            at the age of 89 - both are buried in Columbiana County, Ohio
          Children: 12
            Henry was previously married to Abigail Ferguson and with her fathered seven children, making him the father of a total of 19 children
      • Achsah Morlan
          Born: January 7, 1816
          Married: John Reeder
          Died: (date/place unknown)
          Children: 3
      • John Morlan
          Born: May 11, 1817
      Married(2):    Rebecca Heald, the daughter of John and Phebe Heald, January 3, 1822, in
        Columbiana County, Ohio - Aden was 47 years old at the time - Rebecca (Heald) Morlan passed away December 9, 1862
      Children: 4 -- Aden was 56 years old when his last child was born
      • Stephen Morlan
          Born: February 12, 1824
          Married: Melissa A. _______
          Died: (date/place unknown)
          Children: at leasts one son
      • Amy Jane Morlan
          Born: December 11, 1825
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Phebe Morlan
          Born: May 30, 1828
          Married: _______ Whitacre
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Armella Morlan
          Born: February 9, 1830
          Died: November 8, 1838 at the age of 8
  • Abigail Morlan
      Born: November 14, 1776
      Married: Moses Embree January 5, 1803, in Bedford County, Virginia - he was born November 8, 1779,
        the son of Moses and Mary Embree - Abigail was 26 years old at the time of their marriage - Moses Embree had a saw mill on the Cherry Fork tributary located in Fairfield Township of Columbiana County - the tributary was known as Embree's Run
      Died: (date/place unknown)
      Children: 6
      • Stephen Embree
          Born: August 28, 1805
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Rachel Embree
          Born: February 18, 1808
          Married: Isaac Cope December 12, 1827 - he was born December 23, 1804, the son of
            Isaac and Sarah Cope
          Died: October 1, 1859 at the age of 51 - Isaac Cope died October 1881 almost 77 years old
          Children: 5
      • Mary Embree
          Born: April 6, 1810
          Married: ________ Underwood
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Charity Embree
          Born: January 7, 1813
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • William Embree
          Born: March 4, 1816
          Died: February 26, 1831 in Fairfield, Ohio at the age of 14
      • Moses R. Embree
          Born: September 11, 1820
          Married: Ann Maris March 17, 1842
          Died: (date/place unknown)
  • Jonah Morlan
      Born: March 16, 1779
      Married: Mary Wright February 7, 1802, in Bedford County, Virginia - she was the
        daughter of Joseph Wright
      Died: about 1829 about 50 years old
      Children: 6
      • Elizabeth Morlan
          Born: December 6, 1802
          Married: _____ Ira
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Huldah Morlan
          Born: November 8, 1805
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Rhoda Morlan
          Born: October 1, 1807
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Stephen Morlan
          Born: October 20, 1809
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Joseph Morlan
          Born: September 17, 1812
          Married: Mary Jackson April 2, 1835, in Sandusky, Ohio - she was the daughter of
            Isaac and Ann Jackson
          Died: (date/place unknown)
          Children: 6
      • Hiram Morlan
          Born: November 25, 1814
          Died: (date/place unknown)
  • William Morlan
      Born: April 12, 1781
      Died: June 3, 1786 at the age of 5
  • Isaac Morlan
      Born: April 18, 1785
      Married: Martha Wright January 19, 1814, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born about
        1795, the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Wright
      Died: (date/place unknown)
      Children: 8
      • Albert Morlan
          Born: October 23, 1814
          Married: Rebecca Morris
          Died: November 14, 1893 at the age of 79
          Children: 2 sons
      • Charity Morlan
          Born: September 12, 1816
          Married: _______ Mann
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Joel Morlan
          Born: July 7, 1819
          Married: Lydia ______ - she was born September 4, 1825
          Died: May 24, 1897 almost 78 years - Lydia Morlan died June 30, 1897, at the age of 71 -
            both are buried in Columbiana County, Ohio
          Children: 2 daughters
      • Joseph Morlan
          Born: July 14, 1822
          Married: Naomi Whitacre - she was born January 1822, the daughter of Cornelius
            and Leana (Ades) Whitacre - Naomi died March 26, 1853, at the age of 31
          Died: (date/place unknown)
          Children: 1 son
      • Harriet Morlan
          Born: April 11, 1824
          Married: _____ Shaw
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Isaac Morlan
          Born: September 28, 1826
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Mary Morlan
          Born: September 14, 1829
          Died: early in life
      • Martha Morlan
          Born: February 26, 1831
          Married: ______ Williams
          Died: (date/place unknown)
  • Huldah Morlan
      Born: March 28, 1788
      Married: John Embree February 12, 1806, in Bedford County, Virginia - he was the son of
        Moses and Mary Embree
  • Richard Morlan - (direct ancestor -- great-great grandfather)
      Born: February 18, 1791, in Bedford County, Virginia
      Married(1): Mary Erwin December 30, 1819, in Fairfield, Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born
        March 5, 1797, in Bedford County, Virginia, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Holmes) Erwin -
        Mary (Erwin) Morlan died July 5, 1846 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 49
      Children: 7 sons
      Married(2): Caroline Wilson about 1848 - she was born about 1805
        and died around 1895 about 90 years old
      Children: 2
      Died: July 6, 1866 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania at the age of 75
  • Mordecai Morlan
      Born: May 14, 1793 - he was a furniture finisher
      Married: Eliza Ann Dean June 22, 1821, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born on
        January 26, 1801 - they were the first couple married at the Sandy Springs Monthly Meeting house in Columbiana County
      Died: January 28, 1880 at the age of 86 of diabetes - his wife, Eliza Ann (Dean) Morlan, died just
        four months later on June 9, 1880, at the age of 79
      Children: 10
      • Edwin D. Morlan
          Born: April 18, 1822
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Lenora Morlan
          Born: October 22, 1823
          Married: ______ Lenhart
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Theophilus Morlan
          Born: June 16, 1826
          Married(1): Sarah Atkinson April 28, 1852 - she was born September 22, 1830, the
            daughter of Waner and Maria Atkinson - Sarah died February 9, 1853, nine months after their marriage, at the age of 22
          Married(2): Lydia French March 19, 1856 - she was born December 2, 1827, the
            daughter of Barzillai and Mary French - Lydia died April 26, 1859, at the age of 31 - they were only married three years
          Children: 1 daughter
          Married(3): Sarah P. Holloway March 27, 1861 - she was born August 23, 1830, the
            daughter of David and Rachel Holloway - Sarah died January 7, 1908 at the age of 77
          Children: 6
          Died: January 16, 1902 at the age of 75 - he and his 3rd wife are both buried
            at Columbiana County, Ohio
      • Roxana Morlan
          Born: January 30, 1828
          Married: _________ Wilson
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Caroline Morlan
          Born: August 18, 1831
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Micajan Morlan
          Born: July 29, 1833
          Married: Anna _______
          Died: (date/place unknown)
          Children: 2
      • Newberry Morlan
          Born: June 3, 1835
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Elmira Morlan
          Born: March 11, 1837
          Married: _______ Pyle
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Amelia E. Morlan
          Born: September 20, 1839
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Albert M. Morlan
          Born: October 9, 1850
          Died: (date/place unknown)
  • Hosea Morlan
      Born: November 20, 1796
      Married: Ann Ingtedue May 27, 1819 in Columbiana County, Ohio. She was the daughter of
        William and Magdaline Ingledue
      Died: (date/place unknown)
      Children: 7
      • William Morlan
          Born: April 15, 1820
          Died: December 10, 1827 only 7 years old
      • Amos Morlan
          Born: April 19, 1823
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Abner Morlan
          Born: August 29, 1824
          Died: December 29, 1827 only 3 years old
      • Rachel Morlan
          Born: April 25, 1828
          Married: ______ Shafer
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Sally Ann Morlan
          Born: September 18, 1829
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Lucy Ann Morlan
          Born: (date/place unknown)
          Married: _______ Winder
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Huldah A. Morlan
          Born: (date/place unknown)
          Died: (date/place unknown)
  • Brazillea Morlan
      Born: February 20, 1800
      Married: Rebecca Lewis August 30, 1821, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was the daughter of
        Jesse and Jane (Erwin) Lewis
      Died: (date/place unknown)
      Children: at least 2
      • Matilda Morlan
          Born: (date/place unknown)
          Died: (date/place unknown)
      • Jesse Lewis Morlan
          Born: (date/place unknown)
          Died: (date/place unknown)
Stephen Morlan was the overseer for the newly formed Goose Creek Monthly Meeting House in 1786. He was recommended as an elder on August 16, 1794, for the South River Monthly Meeting in Campbell County, Virginia. He was approved as its minister in 1809.

In the early 1800's there was a migration of Quakers from Virginia into the Ohio Valley, the then "Northwest Territory". This was mainly caused by the slavery issue being so strong in Virginia.

Another cause of the migration was the Revolutionary War. Many young Quakers had joined the Revolutionary Army of Virginia, for which they were disowned by their meetings. Generally they were reinstated after the war. Those that fought in the war were granted land boundries by the legislature of Virginia in the Virginia Military District of Ohio. Over 8,000 land warrants were issued at the time to Virginia soldiers, ranging in size from 100 acres for a private who served three years to 1100 acres for a general who served three years.

Congress had also set up Federal Land Grants. Ohio was unique because it was the first area of land in the United States to have its land sold through Federal Land Offices. In 1800, the first four offices were opened in Steubenville, Chillicothe, Marietta, and Cincinnati.

Initially the settlers were required to purchase 640 acres at $2.00 per acre but later it was reduced to 320 acres and then finally to 80 acres in 1820. This allowed more land to get into the hands of settlers, as compared to land speculators. They had five years to pay for their property.

The first records of the Steubenville, Ohio Land Office in the Northwest Territory of Ohio showed that Stephen Morlan of Bedford County, Virginia, applied for land in 1802, in which he purchased 640 acres at $2.00 per acre or $1,280.

His brother, Jason, had already purchased land in the Elk Run Township of Columbiana County, Ohio, in the fall of 1801. He was one of the pioneer settlers in the area. He had come north with his family and sons-in-law. In 1805, Aden Morlan, son of Stephen Morlan, settled in the area on land that Stephen Morlan had purchased.

In 1803, when the required population was reached, Ohio became a State. The county of Columbiana was erected the same year. This was all happening as the Morlan's were establishing their new home.

It was not until after Stephen Morlan's death that the remaining Morlan family members moved to Columbiana County, Ohio. This included all their living children and their families. Columbiana County is located on the Ohio - Pennsylvania border about 30 miles south of Youngstown, Ohio.

The initial settlement of Columbiana County was started around 1800 and therefore the Morlans were one of the first in the area. The county was classified as having excellent farm land. The population for the county increased as follows:

1803 -     543
1810 - 10,878
1820 - 22,033
1840 - 42,662

In most cases the Morlans were listed as farmers and were not involved in day to day activities of the local goverments with very few holding any government office. Most of the Morlans were active in the Quaker religion, making it easy to trace their records.

Stephen Morlan died April 9, 1810 while on a religious journey with Christopher Anthony. He was 59 years old at the time of his death. It is not too clear in his Will, dated March 3, 1810, but it appears that he had over 300 acres of land in Virginia and 440 acres in Ohio. The actual date of his death varied within the records with at least two different dates used: April 9 and August 4, 1810.

After his death in 1810, his wife, Mary (Rhodes) Morlan, traveled with her family to Columbiana County, Ohio. After her son, Richard Morlan, married Mary Erwin in 1819 in Columbiana County, she moved with them to Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Beaver County is located just east of Columbiana County.

Mary (Rhodes) Morlan died January 9, 1830, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 76.

The Fourth Generation   -   The Richard Morlan Family          BACK to the MORLAN FAMILY

RICHARD MORLAN, the seventh child and sixth son of Stephen and Mary (Rhodes) Morlan, was born February 18, 1791, in Bedford County, Virginia. He married Mary Erwin December 30, 1819 in Columbiana County, Ohio. Mary was born March 7, 1797, in Bedford County, Virginia, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Holmes) Erwin.

Mary (Erwin) Morlan died July 5, 1846, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania at the age of 49. Richard Morlan died July 6, 1866, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania at the age of 75.

For more information on the Richard Morlan family, go to: