Monday, October 19, 2015

Diana (Morgan) Whitman - 52 Ancestors #42

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, I am sharing the little bit I know about a third great-grandmother, Diana Morgan.

Finding information about Diana is a challenge. From the Pyle genealogy (Pyle, Smith, and Allied Family Histories, privately published, 1951), I learn that she was born on December 17, 1803, in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, to John Morgan and Diana Hadley.

(I recently explored some Guysborough Baptismal Records (on an FHL microfilm) and found that she had several siblings. I still need to go through the saved images and record the data in my database.)

I believe that this is one Guysborough County line (the Morgans and the Hadleys) that were not Loyalists; they were living there before the American Revolution.

Diana Morgan married Thomas Cutler Whitman on March 13, 1827, in Guysborough County, and had nine children:
Esther Abigail Whitman (1828-1921)
George William Whitman (1833-1900)
Maria E. Whitman (1842-1901)
Thomas Whitman (1839-????)
Judson Whitman (1841-1860)
Ira A. Whitman (1844-1889)
Harriet Whitman (1846-1901)
Charles Whitman (1848-1909)
Gordon Whitman (1851-1864)

In 1849, their eldest daughter, Esther, traveled from Guysborough to Boston, and ultimately ended up in New York City, where she married James Pyle, who preceded her in this migration by six weeks. Several years later, most of the Whitman family followed their eldest daughter.

Database online. Year: 1857; Publication Number: T938; Roll: T938_51; Ship: Eastern State; Lines: 38-40.
The arrow points to the record for Mrs Whitman, Miss Whitman, and Harriet Whitman.

I have analyzed the passenger lists for 1857 from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to Boston, Massachusetts, and have determined that most of the Whitman family moved to Boston and ultimately ended up in New York City. (The passenger list for Thomas and their other sons can be found at 52 Ancestors: #1 Thomas Cutler Whitman - A Fresh Start.)

The family is in Jamaica, Queens County, New York, in the 1860 U.S. Census with seven of their children, including two children-in-law and two grandchildren. Oldest daughter Esther is living with her husband, James Pyle, three sons, and brother Thomas in New York City.

Early on in my Whitman family research, I remember being excited to find Diana's brief death notice in the 1861 New York Times. (See Sunday's Obituary ~ Diana Whitman 1861, some of which I repeat here.)

The New York Times, April 26, 1861
WHITMAN. - In this City [New York], on Thursday, April 25, after a lingering illness, DIANA wife of Thomas C. Whitman, Sr. in the [57]th year of her age.
  Funeral services will be held at the residence of James Pyle, No. 67 North Moore St., this Friday morning at 8 1/2 o'clock. Friends of the family are invited to attend, without further notice.

I was also thrilled when someone fulfilled my photo request for her FindAGrave memorial. She is buried in Elmont Cemetery, in Elmont, Nassau County, New York, with several other Whitman family members. The gravestone includes a birth date, which confirms what the Pyle genealogy reported.

I descend from Diana Morgan as follows:

Diana Morgan
Esther Abigail Whitman
James Tolman Pyle
Charles McAlpin Pyle
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.


  1. Microfilm to the rescue! I have Canadian ancestors too, and Canadian records don't tend to be very good. :-(

    1. Yes, Canadian records are a mixed bag. I do need to continue to explore what can be found on microfilm. And one of these days, I'd love to visit Guysborough County!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I am helping my next door neighbor's son trace his Morgan family ancestry. He also descends from John Morgan and Diana Hadley through their son Charles Morgan.

    Do you have any information regarding John Morgan. I have seen some postings that suggest that he was born c. 1767 in New York state but have never seen any evidence for this assertion. The family here have been told that the Morgans originally came from Wales.

    Also, what Guysborough FHL microfilm contained the information on the children of John & Diana?

    1. I don't know much about John Morgan other than what I found in the book, Guysborough Sketches and other Essays: Revised Edition (2009), by A. C. Jost.

      From this book: "John Morgan may have been a "pre-Loyalist" settler whose sawmill was producing lumber by 1784 when the Loyalists arrived" (p. 123), and it also states that "Morgan ... is said to have been a Welsh millwright, and one of the first mills in which he was interested is said to have been on the Hadley property." (p. 155)

      The FHL microfilm of "Church, cemetery and genealogical records for Guysborough County, Nova Scotia" is 1378473.

      If you want to email me with additional information about Charles Morgan and his line, I would be interested to see how I connect with a distant Morgan cousin!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.