Searching for information on parents of James Morgan, Alton, Illinois.

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James Morgan (born 1853 in Alton, Illinois).  Family letters state James was orphaned at a young age by "parents of Irish immigrants".  He was taken in by a "Banta" family who reared him.  Many Banta men fought in the Civil War - adoptions were almost ordinary during that time.  One letter I have mentions Lafayette Banta and Milton F. Banta who served in 1863-65 in Missouri.  There are no adoption or other records I can locate for James.  A Hill genealogy book mentions that James was raised by a Banta family - my heritage comes from Hill/Morgan. I cannot locate any record of Irish immigrants who lived in Alton, IL in 1853, and no record of death.  I assume the Morgans and the family who took James in were likely close neighbors.  I' hoping someone can find this lost connection.
WikiTree profile: James Morgan
asked Sep 14 in Genealogy Help by David Ward G2G2 (2,740 points)
retagged Sep 15 by Dorothy Barry

1 Answer

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Best answer

There is a Martin Morgan who lived in Alton, Illinois in 1850, and there is a household containing "Lafayette Banty", "Milton Banty", and "Jas Morgan" in Concord, Missouri in 1860. I see no obvious connections through their immediate neighbors. These records are probably of interest to you.

1850 US Census

1860 US Census

answered Sep 14 by Chris Rickerd G2G1 (1,360 points)
selected Sep 15 by David Ward
This might be the connection I've been looking for.  I have a document answering a letter written in 1971 by an Aunt, from the Headquarters Missouri National Guard.  She requested information on James Morgan, Lafayette Banta and Milton Banta. She must have had some information on them in relation to James.  The document has the wrong James Morgan, who actually deserted "at Arcadia Illinois" - his age was 28, making him born @ 1834 and was not "our" James, as we have most of his story.  Milton Banta enlisted in 1862 at 22 years of age, and Lafayette enlisted in 1864 at 18 years of age.  There is one memo that James tried to enlist but was too young, but large for his age, and was used as a messenger.  The Gov't document correctly identifies the "Banta" name.  I have little faith in whomever entered information on the Census, as many Census documents are filled with incorrect names or erroneous information. I'm leery of the 1850 Census with name of Martin Morgan, but is food for thought and further research. It's possible he married and fathered a James Morgan.

Thanks for your providing this information.  It doesn't resolve the names of James' parents, but certainly fits with my family records that the Banta's took him in at a fairly early age.  Gives me more fodder to search deeper.  Muchas Gracias from El Paso..!

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