Having survived the harsh conditions of soldiering in the Revolutionary War, William Morris led his family to Kentucky with a hearty and pioneering spirit. Along with service to his country, William gave to his descendants a heritage of civic involvement.
We do not know exactly when or how William Morris came to Kentucky but we do know that he was most likely in Kentucky by 1797 when his son Robert was born and prior to the formation of Clay County in 1807. He appeared in Clay County’s first tax list of 1807 and again in the tax list of 1811.
Appearing in the DAR Patriot Index, our William Morris is the only William Morris listed as a Revolutionary Soldier in Kentucky. Belle’s daughters used descent from their great-grandfather for entry into the DAR in 1950. They were very proud of their Morris ancestry.
In the 1830’s, towards the end of his life, William Morris was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace and later appointed as a judge in Clay County. He was in his seventies at the time.
William’s sons obtained land grants for over 2,000 acres of land in Clay and Owsley Counties primarily along Island, Sexton, Sturgeon and Blackwater Creeks. We can find no specific grant or land purchase for their father other than the conveyance of 70 acres to his son Henry after William’s death in 1836. (This record is significant because it confirms the names of William’s children.) The 1843 Kentucky law outlining the boundaries of the newly formed Owsley County mentions the property of Robert Morris, William’s eighth child.
Martha Belle Morris
Great Grandaughter of William Morris, the patriot.
totaling about $21,000 in 2007 dollars
Generation #1: William Morris, the patriot (circa 1760—circa 1836)
Generation #2: Robert Morris (1797-1865) married Araminta “Minty” Johnson
Generation #3: William Morris (1820-1882) married Mary Bowman
Generation#4: Martha Belle Morris (1866-1923) married Samuel Welch