Looking for information on William Samuel Morris prior to 1911.

+8 votes
He is listed as being born 21 January 1881 in Des Moines, IA. Information on parents changes depending on where listed. He was my grandfather so I know his history from when he married my grandmother Willy Gladys Bracking in 1911 in MT until he died in 1944 in Spokane, WA. He never wanted the family to check into his past and supposedly left home at age 14. All the information that shows up for him prior to 1911 is information that he supplied to whoever was filling out the document. Proving his past is a brick wall.
in Genealogy Help by

2 Answers

+1 vote

Hi Don,

Here are the obvious sources. But you probably already know these:

I encourage you to also join WikiTree to help document your family tree here. It allows others to collaborate with you more easily.

by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (507k points)
Also: It's going to be challenging to find his parents and family based on Census records. He was born in 1881, which is after the 1880 US Census. The 1890 US Census was destroyed in a fire. If he left home at the age of 14, that places it in 1895. That means wherever he was in 1900, it was not with his parents. You'll probably need to find birth records and start there.
I agree with what you are saying Eric but so far his record of birth has not been able to be found using the information available from him and there is always the possibility that he lied. There is also a SSN application for him from 1938 that lists his mother as Sarah Weise in contradiction to Sarah Moore listed on his marriage license. There is also contradicting census reports for his father's place of birth. The one you cited shows United States and another one I have seen shows he was born in England. Still hoping ancestry DNA and Gedcom are best bets.
About the only thing that seems to be consistent, is that he lists his birth place as Des Moines, Iowa. That and the birth date seems to be consistent. Maybe you could write the State of Iowa and see if you can locate his birth certificate (or any birth records). Maybe that would be a more direct way to find out information on parents.
Thank you for your help Eric. I will seriously consider contacting the state of IA. I have joined the Iowa DNA project but so far no leads there. At times I wonder if my grandfather changed his name and I am not really a Morris. That is where I am hoping that DNA will at least give a Morris relative to confirm that. I guess I should have looked in to this 60 years ago when more relatives were alive but hind sight is 20/20 and also I didn't have the interest then.
+1 vote
Name: William S . Morris
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Age: 62
Estimated birth year: abt 1882
Death Date: 3 Aug 1944
Death Place: Spokane, Spokane, Washington
Father: Robert Morris
Mother: Sarah J Moore
Spouse: Gladys
FHL Film Number: 2032394
Reference ID: 1148


Source Information

Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)

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