James Morgan

James Morgan (1607 - 1685)

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James Morgan
Born in Landaff, Glamorgan, Walesmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married in Roxbury, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Groton, New London, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 4,185 times.

Categories: Groton, Connecticut | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
James Morgan migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm




Birth: 1607[1], in 1657 he deposed his age was 50.

Marriage: James Morgaine and Margery Hill were married Aug. 6, 1640.[2]

Death: 1685 or more specifically 5 Apr 1685, in Groton. His memorial placque and footstone in the Avery-Morgan Burial Ground in Groton lists his birth as 1607 and death 1685.[1]. Note: There must be a primary source for the more specific date. If you know of one please add it or leave a note.

Untangling the Tree

"James Morgan, the common ancestor was born in Wales, in 1607, but in what precise locality our progenitor first saw the light is uncertain, though probably in Llandaff, Glamorgan Co. The family appears to have removed from Llandaff to Bristol, Eng. on the opposite side of Bristol Channel, a short time at least, perhaps a few years, prior to 1636. The name of his father is unknown, but there is some traditionary evidence that it was William."[3]

The internet (including Wikitree) is full of lovely family trees, extending James' family tree back as far as the 1200s. As far as I can tell they are unsourced and as such should be suspect. I believe the forerunner of these modern trees, may be A History of the Family of Morgan, From the Year 1089 to Present Times, by Morgan Appleton. Self published about 1902. Unfortunately, for more careful genealogists, he lists no sources for his information.

If we use Appleton's, sometimes difficult to follow, trees we find on page 102 the often repeated:

"James Morgan, sailed from Bristol, in the ship Mary, with a kinsman, Robert Morgan, in the summer of the year 1636, and landed in Boston, Massachusetts Bay. Settled first at Sandy Bay, near Gloucester, on Cape Ann, but found the coast bleak and the Indians troublesome."

Appleton on page 100 lists James' father.

"William Morgan, of Llanvabon, born 1571 (his will describes him as late of Eglwysilian). He bore arms, Cilfynydd." Issue: 1. Evan. 2. Thomas. 3. John. 4. James. 5. Watkin. 6. Johnathan. 7. William."

No wife is mentioned, nor is a death year.

If we choose to accept this, we can then eliminate all the other Williams who appear as his father, and we can eliminate all their wives named Elizabeth or anything else. This also eliminates Miles of Springfield as his brother. Miles was the son of Elizabeth of Tredegar (1583-), d/o William Morgan of Tredegar and her husband William Morgan of Dderw/Diveru.[4]

Historic note

May 17, 1649. The General Court or Colonial Assembly at Hartford, "graunted that ye bounds of ye plantation of Pequett shall be foure myles on each side of ye Great Riuer and six myles from ye sea northward into ye country — Provided that ye aforesaide bounds bee not distributed to less than forty familyes."

March 11, 1657, by act of the General Court, the settlement at Pequot was named “New London in memory of ye renowned City of London," At that time it embraced not only what has since been divided and subdivided into several towns on the west side of the river, but also what are now the towns of Groton and Ledyard, on the east side.

It was on the east side of the Thames River that James Morgan finally settled, with his wife and family of three sons and a daughter. This territory was made the separate town of Groton in May 1705, after James' death, and was divided again in 1836, setting off the town of Ledyard.

James' Life and Accomplishments

James Morgan, is first recorded in Roxbury, Massachusetts. On Aug. 6, 1640, he married there, Margery Hill, of Roxbury. His children were all born there. He signed the freeman’s oath in Roxbury on May 10, 1643. He was an original donor of the Free School. He is named as a resident of Roxbury in the inventory of John Graves, dated 1646, and was a freeholder there as late as 1650.

1650 is the year he removed to Pequot, (now New London, Connecticut) and had a houselot assigned to him. Early in that year he had lands granted him at Pequot, which were soon after occupied by him as a homestead, "on the path to New street,"(now Ashcraft, There is a small park nearby named “Morgan Park.”) A further entry upon the record shows that "James Morgan hath given him about 6 acres of upland, where the wigwams were, in the path that goes from his house towards Culvers, among the rocky hills." These tracts were located near the present Cedar Grove Cemetery, in the western suburbs of the city of New London. They were afterwards considered sterile and dreary and, in a few years, were abandoned by their occupants for homes and better lands on the east side of the Thames River. James continued to occupy this homestead on the path to New street until about March, 1657.

On Dec. 25, 1656, he sold his homestead and removed soon after, with several others, across the river, upon large tracts of land previously granted them by the town. James Avery, William Meades, and Nehemiah and John Smith, also had grants of land adjoining James. They were all among the first settlers, residents, and farmers on the east side of the river, which is now Groton.

James was a large proprietor and dealer in lands. He was frequently employed by the public in land surveys, establishing highways, determining boundaries, adjusting civil difficulties as a magistrate. He was one of the "townsmen" or selectmen of New London for several years, and was one of the first Deputies sent from New London plantation to the General Court at Hartford for the May session, 1657, (at which date he deposed his age to be "about 50 years;"). He was nine times afterwards chosen a member of that assembly, the last time in 1670. James Morgan, was considered a man of honesty and integrity. In a controversy between the General Court and the New London plantation, about boundaries and jurisdiction, it was ordered that the matter be submitted to three arbiters, mutually agreed upon. New London at once named their townsman, James Morgan. The General Court promptly accepted him, and without naming another, agreed to submit to his sole decision, which when made, seems to have satisfied everyone.

He was an active and useful member of the church under Rev. Richard Blinman's ministry. At one time he and Mr. Tinker and Obadiah Brown, were chosen to select the seats of people in the meeting house. In 1661, he was one of a committee of the General Court to lay out the bounds of New London, "on the east side of the Great River." In 1662, he was one of a committee to contract "for building a house for the ministry," at New London. As his son, James, approached maturity he is refered to as James Morgan Sr. In 1662, his worth on the town assessment list, stands the third highest in amount. The spot where he first built his house, resided and eventually died in Groton “is a few rods southeast of the present dwelling (1868) of Elijah S. Morgan, about 3 miles from Groton Ferry, on the road to Poquonoe Bridge.” Placement of his residence on modern maps (2014) is in the vicinity of Filter Plant Rd. in Groton, Connecticut, just southwest of the Avery-Morgan Cemetery.

He died in 1685, aged 78 years, and his estate was divided soon after his death among his four surviving children.

Children born in Roxbury, Massachusetts

  1. Hannah b. 18 May 1642; m. Nehemiah Royce 20 Nov 1660.[3]
  2. James b. 3 March 1644; m. Mary Vine Nov 1666.[3]
  3. John, b. 30 March 1645; m. (1) Rachel Dymond m. (2) widow Elizabeth Williams[3]
  4. Joseph , b. 29 Nov 1646; m. Dorothy Park April 1670[3]
  5. Abraham, b. 3 Sep 1648; d. Aug 1649[3]
  6. Unnamed daughter b. 17 Nov 1640; d. the week after.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Photos at Findagrave
  2. Vital Records of Roxbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849. Volume II.--Marriages and Deaths. p 206. Salem, Mass.: The Essex Institute, 1926.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Morgan, Nathaniel H. Morgan genealogy : A history of James Morgan, of New London, Conn., and his descendants; from 1607 to 1869. With an appendix containing the history of his brother, Miles Morgan, of Springfield, Mass.; and some of his descendants. Hartford: Press of Case, Lockwood and Brainard, 1869. (p. 17)(Children p. 22)
  4. Morgan, Appleton. A History of the Family of Morgan, From the year 1089 to present times. p 16, 40. Self published about 1902.
  • A history of James Morgan, of New London, Conn., and his descendants; from 1607 to 1869 ... With an appendix containing the history of his brother, Miles Morgan, of Springfield, Mass.; and some of his descendants. Hartford: Press of Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1869. Open Library
  • Walter Eliot Thwing. History of the First Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1630-1904. Boston: W.A. Butterfield, 1908. Open Library
  • Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692. Vol. I-IV. Boston, MA: 1860-1862. You can find links to Savage at: FamilySearch


Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Don Hill and others.

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James Morgan Immigrant
James Morgan Immigrant


On 26 Apr 2017 at 17:55 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

His migration to New London may have occurred as a member of the Blinman Party (see Category: Blinman Party). James Morgan is named in some accounts of that party, and the dates are totally consistent with the dates in the text of this profile.

On 21 Sep 2016 at 15:14 GMT Anne B wrote:

The new addition of [[Wynter-34|Elizabeth Wynter] is incorrect. She is not his mother or the wife of Morgan-309. See the comment on her profile.

As I was looking I realized that the wrong father is attached to James of New London. He should be William Morgan of Llanvabon. I must have missed that change.

Of course this is all built on information in A history of Family of Morgan., which I am never too sure of as a source, but it seems to be the only source.

Are you OK with putting William of Llanvabon back?

On 8 Apr 2015 at 19:31 GMT Anne B wrote:

I have asked Smith-75958 to provide source for Re: Cwladis Morgan-4555. as mother of James Morgan-229 and wife of William Morgan-1874?

On 4 Apr 2014 at 04:37 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Anne, I included links to free online copies of your sources.

On 4 Apr 2014 at 04:23 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Cut Luther loose. There was no Luther shown as being b. in Roxbury.

On 3 Apr 2014 at 15:44 GMT Anne B wrote:

Mark and Vic. I'm done with the writeup. Thanks for your assistance and cooperation.

On 3 Apr 2014 at 15:08 GMT Mark Miller wrote:

Cutting Luther is fine with me.

On 3 Apr 2014 at 11:28 GMT Anne B wrote:

There is a child, Luther, attached to James and Margery. I've not heard of him. Have either of you? If not I'm going to cut him loose.

On 3 Apr 2014 at 02:32 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

As far as I am concerned, you can remove mother.

On 3 Apr 2014 at 02:13 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Re the name "Moga": I adopted the profile, so I don't know personally. But it sure looks like a typo to me.

more comments

James is 17 degrees from George Barnes, 22 degrees from Amy Utting and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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