Category Archives: Morse

Immigrant Ancestors from England

A look at some of the branches of my family I’ve traced back to England, and the original immigrant ancestors from those lines.


Jonathan Fairbanks arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 from Yorkshire, England before settling in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The weird thing about the Fairbanks family is that they touch mine via marriage of Jane Fairbanks to Rev. William Duff, who lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Jonathan Fairbanks (1595 – 1668)
George Fairbanks II (1619 – 1683) Son of Jonathan
Eliezur Fairbanks III (1655 – 1741) Son of George
Cap. Eleasur Fairbanks IV (1690 – 1741) Son of Eliezur
Eleazer Fairbanks (1716 – 1760) Son of Cap. Eleasur
Rufus Fairbanks (1759 – 1842) Son of Eleazer
John Eleazer Fairbanks (1793 – 1860) Son of Rufus
Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks (1823 – 1871 Daughter of John Eleazer
Annie E. Prescott Duff (1847 – 1930) Daughter of Jane Elizabeth


Thomas Jones (1620 – 1671) arrived from Hampshire, England to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638.  His great-granddaughter Sarah Jones married Newton Ransom (1722-1796):

Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804)
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia

William Jones came from England to Massachusetts, likely around 1640.  His descendant Mehitable Jones married Paul Dexter Pond (1760-1843):

William Jones (1589 – 1677)
Thomas Jones (1645 – 1679) son of William
Thomas Jones (1674 – 1729) son of Thomas
Aaron Jones (1713 – 1742) son of Thomas
Samuel Jones (1740 – 1786) son of Aaron
Mehetabel Jones (1765 – 1841) daughter of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1790 – 1865) son of Mehetabel
Louisa “Lois” Adams Pond (1823 – 1896) daughter of Samuel


Richard Knight (1603-1683) arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in April, 1635 aboard the ship “James” with another of my ancestors, Anthony Morse.  His daughter Elizabeth Knight married Anthony Morse (1631-1677):

Deacon Richard Knight Sr. (1603 – 1683)
Elizabeth Knight (1639 – 1667) Daughter of Deacon Richard
Ens. Anthony Morse (1662 – 1710) Son of Elizabeth
Elizabeth Morse (1697 – 1762) Daughter of Ens. Anthony
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Elizabeth
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Samuel Lathrop came to Plymouth from Egerton, Kent, England in 1634.  His descendant Sarah Lathrop Adams (1765-1857) married David Morse (1756 – 1840) thus combining two Pilgrim lines:

Samuel Lathrop Lothrop (1623 – 1700)
Israel Lathrop Lothrop (1659 – 1733) Son of Samuel
Samuel Lathrop (1692 – 1753) Son of Israel
Capt Elisha Lathrop (1713 – 1787) Son of Samuel
Sarah Lathrop (1765 – 1857) Daughter of Capt Elisha
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of Sarah
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Anthony Morse came from Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, and settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635. Apparently Anthony testified at his sister-in-law’s trial where she was accused of being a witch!  His descendant Sally Maria Morse married Samuel Pond (1790-1865):

Anthony Morse Sr. (1606 – 1686)
Deacon Benjamin Morse (1641 – 1707) Son of Anthony
Deacon William Morse (1673 – 1749) Son of Deacon Benjamin
Daniel Morse Sr. (1697 – 1766) Son of Deacon William
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Daniel
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


George Polley (1625 – 1683) came to Woburn, Massachusetts before 1649 from Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His grand-daughter Mary Polley married Thomas Jones (1681-1729):

George Polley (1625 – 1683)
George Polley (1656 – 1698) Son of George
Mary Polley (1682 – 1729) Daughter of George
Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804) Daughter of Mary
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Daniel Pond arrived in Dedham, Massachusetts from Edwardston, England in 1630.  His descendant Lois Pond married Charles H. Thomas.

Daniel Pond (1627 – 1697)
Ephraim Pond (1656 – 1704) Son of Daniel
Samuel Pond (1729 – 1806) Son of Ephraim
Paul D Pond (1760 – 1843) Son of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1791 – 1866) Son of Paul D
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Samuel


Robert Ransom arrived in Massachusetts from England in 1654.  His descendant Sophia Ransom was the mother of Charles H.L. Thomas

Robert Ransom (1637 – 1697)
Joshua Ransom (1665 – 1713) Son of Robert
Robert Ransom (1687 – 1777) Son of Joshua
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) Son of Robert
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Richard Smith (1596-1666), came to the US from Gloucestershire, England and settled in Rhode Island in the 1630’s.  He established a trading post on the western side of the Narragansett Bay at a place called Cocumscussoc, later to become the village of Wickford in modern-day North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  His daughter Joan Smith married Thomas Newton (1630-1683):

Richard Smith (1596 – 1666)
Joan Smith (1627 – 1664) daughter of Richard
Capt James Newton (1654 – 1739) son of Joan
Alice Newton (1686 – 1779) daughter of Capt James
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) son of Alice
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia


Nancy Taylor, born about 1784, was born in London, England according to her son Seneca Folsom’s death record.  She married Gordon Folsom (1788-1813) on 27 Jan 1806 in Rome, Kennebec, Maine.  She died about 1835 in Monmouth, Kennebec, Maine.  She is one of the only English direct ancestors I have that didn’t arrive at the time of the Pilgrims.

Nancy Taylor (1784 – 1835)
Charles Taylor Folsom (1808 – 1886) son of Nancy Taylor
Lucy Gilman Folsom (1835 – 1916) daughter of Charles Taylor Folsom
Helen Maria Nason (1863 – 1912) daughter of Lucy Gilman Folsom


Simon Wolcott arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his parents Henry Wolcott (1579 – 1655) and Elizabeth Saunders (1584 – 1655) at the age of six from Tolland, England.  His descendant Theodosia Wolcott married Dr. Luther Ransom:

Simon Wolcott (1624 – 1687)
Henry Wolcott (1670 – 1747) Son of Simon
Thomas Wolcott Sr (1702 – 1762) Son of Henry
Luke Wolcott (1730 – 1762) Son of Thomas
Theodosia Wolcott (1762 – 1825) Daughter of Luke
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Theodosia
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


The Parents of Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805-1890)

This morning I got an email from a cousin related to my Morse and Pond families.  She was writing about my 4x great-grandmother Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.  She asked:

“Do you have firm evidence that Sally Maria Morse ( Samuel Pond’s wife) was in fact the daughter of David Morse? I have seen other trees that attribute her parentage to a Benjamin Morse.”

Here is what I’ve been able to piece together about this. (Note: For purposes of disambiguation, I’m going to refer to my grandmother as “Sally” despite the fact that she actually always went by “Mariah” or “Maria” in all the records we have for her.)

According to the Morse Society, Sally was born on 24 Mar 1805 to David Morse and his second wife Sarah Lathrop in Sharon, Vermont.  Indeed Sally’s headstone in Burke, New York gives that as her birth date.


Sally Morse’s grave in Burke Center Cemetery.

Sally’s obituary states: “In Malone (NY) Aug. 23rd, Mariah Morse, relict of the late Samuel Pond of Burke (New York), died aged 85 years 5 months.  Deceased was born in Sharon, VT, March 24, 1805, and moved with her parents to Chateaugay, this County (Franklin County, New York) in 1809.”  It also indicates she moved to Burke, NY around 1830.


Obituary from the Franklin Gazette (Malone, NY), Friday August 29, 1890.

We do, indeed, see David Morse in Sharon, VT in the 1800 Census, then in Chateaugay, NY in the 1810 and 1820 Census, so that fits perfectly with what the obituary says.

David Morse died in 1840 in Johnstown, NY.  If we look in the 1850 Census for Burke, NY we can see Sally with her husband Samuel Pond, and eight of their children.  Also living with them is Sarah Lathrop Morse (age 85):


Pond Family 1850, Burke, NY

It was very common for elderly women to live with one of their children after their husbands passed away.

David Morse was, according to his death notice, a “patriot of the revolution”.  He was also listed as a veteran in the 1840 census for Johnstown, New York.


David Morse death notice, Albany Argus, Albany, New York, 14 Jul 1840

(Note: I have found reference to a “Sergeant David Morse” who served in Guilford, Connecticut before and after the Revolutionary War, but I don’t believe this is my ancestor.  So far I have not managed to find reference to a David Morse in the Revolutionary War that matches what we know of my grandfather.)

David’s wife Sarah Lathrop received pension payments of $96/year for her husband’s military service (wherein he is also described as a sergeant).  The payments stop after a final payment in March 1857, and no payment is made in September 1857.


David Morse Pension, 1857

Sarah Lathrop Morse died in Burke, NY on 2 Jun 1857 (between the pension payment that was made and the one that was not made).  She was buried in Burke.  From this, we know the Sarah who died in Burke and had been living with Sally is the same Sarah who had been married to David Morse.  This, to me, firmly establishes the link of Sally Morse Pond to David Morse and Sarah Lathrop.

On the other side of this, evidence-wise, is a copy of a birth record from New Hampshire which shows a Mariah Morse born to Benjamin Morse and his wife Abigail exactly one year earlier on 24 Mar 1804 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.


Mariah Morse Birth, 1804

This Benjamin Morse married Abigail Emery in Orford, New Hampshire on 31 Dec 1799, and had at least six children in Haverhill.

There is a Benjamin Morse in the census for Sharon, VT for 1800 with two sons and two daughters, but this Benjamin Morse was having children in that town as early as 1791 (Son Henry Morse, alongside Benjamin in the 1840 census, was born in Sharon on 16 Jun 1791). This rules him out as the Benjamin who married Abigail Emery and moved to Haverhill.

The Benjamin from Haverhill seems to have stayed in New Hampshire; he is in the Haverhill Census for 1800 and 1810, and in the 1850 census for Concord, New Hampshire living with his daughter Harriet (who was born in Haverhill).

We have seen that our Sally Morse moved to Chateaugay in 1809, whereas Benjamin Morse is in the 1810 Census for Haverhill with three young daughters.  We also have birth records for three daughters born to him in Haverhill between his marriage and 1810, one of whom is Mariah Morse.  So it would seem from this that the Mariah Morse who was born in Haverhill was still there with her parents in 1810, not in Chateaugay, New York with David Morse.  This makes unlikely the idea that she was born to Benjamin in Haverhill, but then went to live with David in Chateaugay as an adopted child.

Going back to Sally’s birth… she was said in her obit to have been born in Sharon, VT on 24 Mar 1805.  David Morse is indeed seen in the 1800 Census for Sharon, Vermont with his first wife Esther Larabee.  Esther died 31 Dec 1803 in Sharon (her death was recorded in nearby Royalton, VT), and David married Sarah Lathrop on 21 Feb 1804 in Sharon, VT according to the Morse Society.  So that aligns well with them having a daughter a year later in March, 1805.


Esther Laribee Death, 1803

Sally, for her part, gives her birthplace as “Vermont” in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census records.  She certainly believed she was born in Vermont and not in New Hampshire.

I believe at this point that the name and birth day are a coincidence, and the Mariah Morse born in New Hampshire is not Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.



Archie Forrest & Family

I have been in contact with a couple of new cousins recently: Don Forrest and Bruce Morse. They are both the grandchildren of Archibald Alexander Forrest (1875-1946), the brother of my great-grandfather John Prescott Forrest.  My hope in contacting them was to get to know my great-grandfather’s brother and his family a bit better.

[Interestingly, I am related to Bruce twice.  Once because his mother was a Forrest, and once because his father was John Harleigh Morse, who has the same Morse ancestor, Ensign Anthony Morse (1662-1710) as I do.]

Archie was born into the powerful family of Rev. John Forrest and Annie Prescott Duff in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He arrived in the US in December of 1895 at the age of 20.  Archie Forrest was a hockey player in his younger years, and one day the very wealthy business tycoon and famed art collector Henry Harper Benedict attended a match with his daughter Helen Elizabeth Benedict (1879 – 1961).  Apparently she liked what she saw in young Archie and asked to meet him.

[Incidentally, Henry Benedict’s personal fortune was not only vast, but also the subject of the most ridiculous, over-the-top, tawdry tale of intrigue you could imagine. Since it’s not really my story to tell, I will link to a version that writes it up as well as I ever could:

The Curse of the Remington Typewriter Fortune

It’s really well researched and documented, so please take the time to check it out if you can.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you made it up people would accuse you of being too “soap opera” and not believable.  Gold-digging nurses, suicides, runaway heiresses, lost fortunes, evil stepmothers… it’s got it all.]

A few years later Archie and Helen were married at St. George’s Church in London, England on 11 Oct 1904.  Archie was a real-estate agent at the time he got married, but soon he was given a lucrative job as a vice-president of his father-in-law’s company, Remington Rand.  The family seems to agree that hard work was not Archie’s forte.  He seemed to prefer hunting and fishing.  His grandsons remember fly-fishing trips to Canada and other extravagances that kept him away from his office.  Archie’s brothers George Munro Forrest and John Prescott Forrest would also work as executives for Remington Rand.

Three children followed for Archie and Helen: Marie Alexendra (1907 – 1982), John Benedict (1909 – 1976), and Henry Harper (1911 – 1970).

Marie Forrest & Henery Benedict, 1880.

Marie Forrest & Henry Benedict, 1908.

According to Don Forrest (John Benedict’s son), the upbringing was rather unusual to most of us, although it was probably not unusual at all to those in the upper classes of that time period.  He described his grandparents’ “Anglophilic” style of child raising.  That is, most of the child-rearing was handled by a nanny.  The only meal that the children shared with their parents was on Sunday afternoon and no talking was permitted at the table.  As soon as was practicable, the children were sent away to boarding school in substantial wealth.  All of this had an effect on the children, and all of them would go on to have complicated family lives themselves.  It was Don’s opinion that all three of Archie’s and Helen’s children turned out to be “wonderful people”, despite those issues.

The Archie Forrest Summer home was on Old Post Road in Rye, New York, although it was only one of their homes.  They also “wintered” in New York City, where they lived in a town house at #5 East 75th Steet in Manhattan.  The property was owned by the Benedict family, and was described as being “the size of a small Swiss hotel”.


Archie was a village Trustee in Rye, and was briefly the Mayor of that town in 1930.  He and his family took trips abroad and generally lived the life of the upper class in New York.  There were cruises, in-home servants, fine clothes, and all the trappings of that lifestyle.

So with all this in mind, tonight I got my first glimpse of Archie and his family in this photo sent to me by Bruce Morse, Archie’s grandson:

Archie Forrest & Family, c1929.

Archie Forrest & Family, c1929.

I just adore this photo.  It’s so.. “New Century Explorer and his perfect family”.  The reality, of course, was much more complex, but if you give it some scrutiny, this photo captures all that complexity so perfectly.  John so handsome and charming, but with just a hint of mischief.  Henry sort of angsty and brooding.  Marie looking strong and resigned.  Archie, the distant, stylish, trendy father.  Everyone wearing their best clothes, impeccably dressed while the waves crash behind them.  This is the perfect photo for how I imagined this family to be.  I’m so grateful to have it.

Finding the Lost Morse Family Link

On a lark, I did a search for “Morse Family Genealogy” tonight and came across a website dedicated to the Morse family in New England.  So I shot them a note about my 4x great grandmother Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.

Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse was born in Sharon, VT on 24 Mar 1805 and moved to Chateaugay, NY about 1809 with her family.  She married Samuel Pond (of the well-documented Pond family) in Burke, NY on 3 Aug 1822.  In fact, in the 1850 Census for Burke, NY Mariah’s mother Sarah Morse is living with them, so her father probably died before that.  I have tried (so far without success) to find her father’s name.

Mariah and Samuel Pond’s first daughter was Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823-1896) who was named after Samuel’s previous wife Louisa Adams whom he married 28 Nov 1821 in Whiting, VT.

Louisa Pond married Charles H. L. Thomas (11 May 1823 – 8 Aug 1896), a blacksmith from Chazy, NY, about 1845 in Burke, New York. They had six children, all of whom I have researched thoroughly.  The eldest son was Horace Luther Thomas (1846-1929), my 2x great grandfather.

Horace married Anna Clifford (2 Aug 1851 – 8 Jan 1929), the daughter of Irish immigrants, born in Alburg, Vermont.  They were married 8 July 1872  in Colchester, Vermont.  They had seven children, the youngest of whom was Frederick Clifford Thomas Sr. (1889 – 1976), my great-grandfather.

Frederick Sr. married Delia Bacon, the descendant of one of the first French families to settle in Quebec City in 1645.  My 8th great grandfather Gilles Bacon (1622-1654) arrived in Quebec as a Jesuit missionary in 1645.  Delia and Fred had two children, a girl and a boy, before Delia died in the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.  The boy was Frederick Clifford Thomas Jr (1918-2006), my grandfather.

His eldest son is Frederick Clifford Thomas III, my father.

I got back a reply almost immediately:

Sally Maria’s father was David Morse, b. 1756 in Preston, CT. He married Sarah Adams in 1804. He and Sarah had 4 children, plus he had 10 children from a previous marriage. His first wife died in 1803, so Sarah was undoubtedly a very busy mom! We have all the details back to Anthony Morse (who landed in Newbury, MA in 1635).  We will send them shortly…


Oddly, the Morse family is from Dedham, Massachusetts, the same town the Fairbanks Family was from.  Apparently the webmaster for the Morse family site is, like me, also related to the Fairbanks family.   Small world back in the New England of the 17th Century!

Obituary from the Franklin Gazette (Malone, NY), Friday August 29, 1890.