Polish Cadet Corp circa 1830

+3 votes
I'm trying to track down the origin of Szarlowski Moro Phillips [[Phillips-24471]] aka S. Moro Phillips in the US.  I have extensive documentation on him - he was later one of the wealthiest residents of Philadelphia, and owned large parts of what's the "Main Line" suburbs among many other things.  He was a cadet involved in the uprising against the Russians in 1830 - the cadet corp was heavily involved in the initial uprising, and he would have been 18 then.  He emigrated to the US via probably Boston in the early 1830's, ending up in New Orleans and soon after was an early resident and major citizen of Galveston, Republic of Texas.  The US also tried (and failed) to get Texas to extradite him on charges of stealing two slaves in New Orleans.  (There is tons more info in the profile and the references, and yet more on Ancestry in my tree (https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/4693668/person/-1563527970/facts) and in genealogybank.com.)

I'm looking to help/leads/anything try to track down his family in Poland; perhaps via the Cadet Corp records, if any exist, or maybe German birth records.  He apparently was born in Berlin to a polish diplomat in 15 July 1812.  "Moro" is apparently an important name in the family according to family accounts.  He told his children to "forget the nobility nonsense"; of course on his death his (rich) children promptly disobeyed - the eldest son, Moro Phillips, moved to England (and traveled into "Russia" (perhaps Poland in reality)), and titled himself "Duke Moro de Moro", and lived in a palatial estate there.  A daughter divorced her husband, moved to Europe, and referred to herself as "Countess Marinka de Moro Potter" (Potter was her married name) before remarrying.  A granddaughter did likewise, and her brother (probably wildly exaggerating, in a front-page article about Duke Moro in the Philadelphia Inquirer) stated that she had declined a morganatic marriage to a Russian Grand Duke (this would have been shortly after the Russian Revolution).  She ended up marrying an English  Viscount.

WikiTree profile: Moro Phillips
in Genealogy Help by Randell Jesup G2G1 (1.6k points)
One other bit that might allow tracking his family - he apparently (from family history) had a brother in the Jesuits; Jesuit records from that area/time might help
Note that he would have been born right in the middle of Napoleon's 1812 campaign against Russia (with Polish troops), which ended disasterously.  Poland was reconquered by Russia in 1813.

Moro would have been part of the November Uprising, where cadets attempted to capture the Russian Grand Duke, who escaped them by dressing in women's clothing.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_Uprising

1 Answer

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by Summer Orman G2G6 Mach 8 (87.8k points)
I'm afraid little there is of use, especially without a geographic location for the family (Berlin doesn't really help).  Moro is an unusual name in Poland, but wasn't a family name.  The time period also kicks out most of the sources.  He may have well been from the formerly-Prussian section of the Duchy of Warsaw.

Unfortunately, the doubtless extensive info that "Duke Moro" had died with him in England in the 1920's.  My understanding from someone descended from a servant/butler for him was that the English treated him as an amusing coot, and perhaps rolled their eyes at "Duke".  He was rich, however.  It's possible there is a connection to one of the higher-titled families in Poland/etc, but that's to be seen.

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