William T G Morton

William Thomas Green Morton (1819 - 1868)

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William Thomas Green (William T G) Morton
Born in Charlton, Worcester, Massachusettsmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticutmap
Died in Manhattan, New York City, New Yorkmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Jun 2017
This page has been accessed 277 times.

Categories: American Notables | Dentists | Unconnected Notables.

William T G Morton is Notable.



William Thomas Green Morton was an American dentist who first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. The promotion of his questionable claim to have been the discoverer of anesthesia became an obsession for the rest of his life. (See link below to his WikiPedia page).

William was born in 1819 in Charlton, Massachusetts to a farmer, James Morton and his wife Rebecca Needham. He studied both dentistry and medicine, but never graduated from either program. In 1844, he married Elizabeth Whitman, niece of former Congressman Lemuel Whitman. They had five children together. Morton died in 1848 from a major stroke.


Name: William Thomas Green Morton
Event Type: Birth
Birth Date: 9 Aug 1819
Birth Place: Charlton, Massachusetts.
Father Name: James Morton
Mother Name: Rebeckah[1]


Name: William T G Morton
Marriage Date: May 1844
Marriage Place: Farmington, Connecticut, USA
Residence Place: Boston
Spouse: Elizabeth Whitman
Spouse Residence Place: Farmington[2]


1850 U.S. Census

Name: William T G Norton (misspelled as Norton)
Age: 31
Birth Year: abt 1819
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1850: Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA
Household Members
Name Age
William T G Norton: 31
Elisabeth W Norton: 24
William J Norton: 5
Meriam Norton: 3
Edward W Norton: 2
Elisabeth W Norton: 0[3]

1860 U.S. Census

Name: William T Morton
Age: 40
Birth Year: abt 1820
Birth Place: Massachusetts
Home in 1860: Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
Post Office: Unionville
Household Members
Name Age
William T Morton: 40
Elizabeth D Morton: 33
William J Morton: 15
Marion A Morton: 13
Edward W Morton: 11
Bessie Morton: 10
Nathaniel B Morton: 2[4]

1865 State Census

Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts (living with wife and all five children) [5]


  1. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).
  2. Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original Data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.
  3. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Year: 1850; Census Place: Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Roll: M432_330; Page: 295B; Image: 593
  4. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Year: 1860; Census Place: Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut; Roll: M653_77; Page: 596; Family History Library Film: 803077
  5. Massachusetts. 1855–1865 Massachusetts State Census [microform]. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 31 October 2018), memorial page for William Thomas Green Morton (9 Aug 1819–15 Jul 1868), Find A Grave: Memorial #1759, citing Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  • Probate Index, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Vol 2, L - Z, 1910. Boston, MA, USA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1910. Cat. #F/72/N8/M45/v.1.
  • Archives Center, National Museum of American History: THE MORTON FAMILY COLLECTION 1849-1911 #118 ("The material in the collection was gathered by Morton's son, W. J. Morton, in defense of his father's character and work, and presented to the Smithsonian Institution by him on April 2, 1918. It includes correspondence, reprints of articles from medical and surgical journals, other publications, reports of congressional committees, materials relating to securing a U.S. patent, and testimonials on behalf of Morton's claim. ") http://amhistory.si.edu/archives/d8118.htm
  • Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA: Godfrey Memorial Library. Volume 121, Page 394
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston: The New England Historic Genealogical Society. Volume Number: 136. Page Number: 324

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No known carriers of William T G's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 3
William T G Morton
William T G Morton

Morton's Ether Inhaler
Morton's Ether Inhaler

The first use of ether in dental surgery in 1846 by Morton
The first use of ether in dental surgery in 1846 by Morton


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