|GEORGE WILLIAM (BILL) GILLETT FAMILY HISTORY||
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SUMMARY of the HISTORY
of the MORLAN FAMILY
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).
His wife was not named but he was the father of six sons, all probably born in England:
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 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:
Married: Hannah Hayward on February 25, 1769, in Loudoun County, Virginia
Married: Mary Rhodes on October 20, 1773 - she was born October 15, 1753,
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:
Married: John Reeder
Died: (date/place unknown)
Married: Moses Embree January 5, 1803, in Bedford County, Virginia - he was born November 8, 1779,
Married: Mary Wright February 7, 1802, in Bedford County, Virginia - she was the
Died: June 3, 1786 at the age of 5
Married: Martha Wright January 19, 1814, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born about
Married: John Embree February 12, 1806, in Bedford County, Virginia - he was the son of
Married(1): Mary Erwin December 30, 1819, in Fairfield, Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born
Mary (Erwin) Morlan died July 5, 1846 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 49
Married(2): Caroline Wilson about 1848 - she was born about 1805
Died: July 6, 1866 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania at the age of 75
Married: Eliza Ann Dean June 22, 1821, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was born on
Married: Ann Ingtedue May 27, 1819 in Columbiana County, Ohio. She was the daughter of
Married: Rebecca Lewis August 30, 1821, in Columbiana County, Ohio - she was the daughter of
Children: at least 2
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 FAMILYRICHARD 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: