Where the Clues Surrounding the Mysterious Death of Morgan D. Morgans: Murdered at Sea

+3 votes


We know very little about my great-great-great grandfather Morgan David Morgans, but have many questions. He was born in Wales sometime between about 1780-1800 or so, and then emigrated to America  no later than 1820 when he shows up on the  U.S. Census for Radnor, Delaware, Ohio.  He was a blacksmith by trade.

On 10 Dec.1821 he received a U.S. Land Office Patent for 80 acres in Delaware County, Ohio.  There was a thriving Welsh community there, many of the inhabitants coming from Welsh settlements in Cambria and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania. Whether Morgan settled there before coming to Ohio is not known.  On 3 Jul. 1833, he sold a parcel of land to Samuel Powell, Esq., in Marion County, Ohio, and that’s the last record of his I’ve ever found.  After this he disappears, except in family legend.

Morgan's wife Mary (last name unknown) was from Connecticut, and we only know of her because she is listed in the 1850 U.S. Census for Marion Twp., Decatur Co., Indiana, as living with their son Ephraim and being from Connecticut. She was 69 years old at that time, which would put her birth year at about 1781. Whether Morgan and Mary met in Connecticut is not known, but could possibly be feasible.  

A brutal and tragic malfeasance ended my g-g-g grandfather's life. According to family history, Morgan had to make a journey back to Wales at some time before 1850 to settle some family estate matters, an undertaking which necessitated him carrying a substantial sum of money on his person. At some point during the ship's passage to England, or on the return voyage, a black-hearted ruffian (or ruffians) murdered him, took his money, and dumped his body overboard. Morgan David Morgans was never seen again on this earth. It is unknown whether the evildoers were ever brought to justice.

The facts concerning his sad fate has been lost – a serious family mystery for as long as I can remember (60+ years).  I’ve tried contacting long lost relatives only to find the same brick wall  And - with the availability of records on the internet - have pored over endless lists of names on ships’ passenger lists (both for his immigration and the fateful return to Wales and back). The above information, sadly, is all I’ve ever found on him. Would love someday, somehow, to connect with any remaining relatives – if any  – in Wales.

The mysteries surrounding Morgan David Morgans and his sad fate continue to haunt my dwindling family to this day, and I will keep  on researching.  Somewhere there is a clue.

--James Morgans

   July 16, 2011

WikiTree profile: Morgan David Morgans
in Genealogy Help by James Morgans G2G1 (1.3k points)
recategorized by Liander Lavoie

1 Answer

+1 vote
I responded to your other post before seeing this one. The cynic in me thinks maybe he ran off with the money and started a new life. In those days, I don't know if people who did that would have changed their names or continued with the same one. If he abandoned his wife, she may have made up a more tragic tale to spare the children or her own feelings.
by Auriette Lindsey G2G6 Mach 2 (29.0k points)
I hadn't ever thought about this sort of scenario before, but it can't be counted out. He was one of the founders of the Welsh Congregational Church in Radnor, Delaware, Ohio before 1820 so the thought of chicanery never crossed my mind, but given the human condition of imperfection in thought and deed, temptation spares no one. I thank you greatly for your thoughts. My mind has opened!  -- James Morgans, 3rd great grandson of Morgan D. Morgans

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