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Martha (Morse) Tucker (1779 - 1862)

Martha "Patty" Tucker formerly Morse
Born in Walpole, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at age 83 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: DG Ewing private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 8 Nov 2008
This page has been accessed 5,493 times.


This profile is part of the Morse Name Study.

Martha Morse was born in Walpole, Massachusetts, on February 7, 1779.[1] Her parents were Jethenal Morse and Martha (Hayden) Morse. Martha (nicknamed Patty) married Joseph Tucker[2] on December 29, 1899, in Roxbury (about 19 miles away from her hometown, near Boston).[3]

Patty and her husband had ten children[4] together:

  1. Betsy (1800)
  2. Louis (1802)
  3. Linis (1803)
  4. Lydia (1805)
  5. Thomas (1807)
  6. Charlotte (1809)
  7. Caroline (1811)
  8. Mary (1813)
  9. Nancy (1816)
  10. George (1820-1821)

The family lived in Roxbury, Massachusetts, for decades.[5][6] By 1830, only 2 of their adult daughters were still living with Patty and Joseph at the family home.[7]

Patty was widowed upon Joseph's death (likely in 1837[8]), and she is recorded as subsequently living with her adult children: in 1850, she was living with Mary (now married to Nathaniel Jenkins),[9] and in 1855[10] and 1860,[11] she was living with Lydia (now married to James Morse, no relation).

Patty passed away on October 12, 1862, in Roxbury. She was 82 years old. Her cause of death is alternately listed as paralysis[12] and old age.[13] She is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Boston.[14]

Today, Patty is known for being the great-grandmother of celebrated American novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder, who chronicled her family's journey across the Midwest during the late 19th century. Laura's mother Caroline was the daughter of Patty's daughter Charlotte. Melissa Wiley's Little House: The Martha Years presents a heavily-fictionalized account of Patty's life. In perhaps the most important deviation from real-life, these books are set in Scotland while all records point to Patty having lived in Massachusetts for all her life.

Research Notes

  • No vital records have been found for the birthdates of Patty and Joseph's children; the years in this profile come from family records and past genealogical research. Per the 1810 census,[5] Patty and Joseph had four children (two boys and two girls) under the age of 10 at the time. However, in 1820[6] Joseph is listed as living with his wife and 3 daughters (two under ten, and one aged 10-16), so some of their children may simply have been living with relatives nearby.
  • D.L. Tam compiled a biography for Martha based on vital records and family history, found here.


  1. Birth Record: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988. Page 117, entry 7. Transcription: "Martha [th]e Daughter of Yathenal Morse and Martha his wife born Feb [th]e 7: 1779." collection. Ancestry link: [1]
  2. Though her spouse's given name is almost always recorded as Joseph, their son Louis's death record lists him as "Louis." This is alost certainly incorrect.
  3. Marriage Record: "Delaware, Church Records, 1707-1939," database, FamilySearch ( : 12 February 2020), Joseph Tucker and Patty Morse, ; citing Marriage, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  4. Eggers, Elizabeth. (1977). Genealogy of the Carpenter-Quiner Family.
  5. 5.0 5.1 1810 Census: "United States Census, 1810," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 1 December 2015), Massachusetts > Norfolk > Roxbury > image 22 of 27; Page 278, Line 3, citing NARA microfilm publication M252, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. 6.0 6.1 1820 Census: "United States Census, 1820," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 July 2015), Massachusetts > Norfolk > Roxbury > image 14 of 25; Page 80, Line 8; citing NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. 1830 Census: "United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 August 2015), Massachusetts > Norfolk > Roxbury Parish 1 > image 33 of 48; Page 218, Line 12; citing NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. Possible Death Record for Joseph: "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 November 2020), Joseph Tucker, 12 Jun 1837; Page 402, Line 3; Image 244, Line 25; citing Death, Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston; FHL microfilm 007009473.
  9. 1850 Census: "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 December 2020), Martha Tucker in household of Nathaniel Jenkins, Roxbury, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. 1855 Massachusetts State Census: "Massachusetts State Census, 1855," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 March 2018), James A Morse, Ward 01, Roxbury, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 953,955. Page 28, Lines 3-5; Image 17.
  11. 1860 Census: "United States Census, 1860," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 March 2017), Massachusetts > Norfolk > Roxbury Ward 1 > image 59 of 147; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, ( : n.d.); Page 59, Line 16; citing NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  12. Original Death Record "Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, 1921-1924," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2019), 0960181 (004220471) > image 338 of 766; State Archives, Boston.
  13. Copied Death Record "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 November 2020), Martha Tucker, 12 Oct 1862; citing Death, Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston; FHL microfilm 004277218.
  14. FindaGrave Memorial: Find A Grave: Memorial #138309943 Find a Grave, database and images, memorial page for Martha Tucker (7 Feb 1779–10 Oct 1862), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7565657; Maintained by D. L. T. (contributor 47964839).

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Categories: Walpole, Suffolk | Boston, Massachusetts | Massachusetts, Morse Name Study