Saturday, June 4, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ Morgan of Guysborough, Nova Scotia

The earliest Morgan I have in my family tree is John Morgan. Guysborough Sketches has a brief description of him as a "pre-Loyalist" settler whose sawmill was producing lumber by 1784 when the Loyalists arrived, suggesting that he had been in Guyborough prior to 1784.
Guysborough, Nova Scotia
"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." [Guysborough Sketches, p. 155]

His wife was Diana Hadley, whom he married between 1784-1789. Last fall I borrowed a Family History Library microfilm of Guysborough Baptismal Records, which shows that John and Diana (Dinah) had at least six children: John, Henry, Ruth Hadley, Joseph, Diana, and Sarah Margaret.

I don't have birth information or death information for John Morgan and I wonder if more research in Guysborough County would help.

I descend from their daughter Diana.

Generation 2:
Diana Morgan was born December 17, 1803, in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

She married Thomas Cutler Whitman on March 13, 1827, in Guysborough. They followed their daughter, Esther, to Boston in 1857. I wrote about Diana in a 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks post last year.

She and her family can be found in Jamaica, Queens County, New York in the 1860 U.S. Census.

She died "after a lingering illness" on April 25, 1861, in New York City. She is buried in Elmont Cemetery, Nassau County, New York, and there is a FindAGrave memorial for her.

They had nine children, born between 1828 and 1851: Esther Abigail, George William, Thomas, Judson, Maria E., Ira A., Harriet, Charles, and Gordon. Most of them came to New York, but a few remained in Canada.

I descend from their oldest child, the daughter they followed to Boston: Esther Abigail Whitman.

Generation 3:
Esther Abigail Whitman (1828-1921) married James Pyle (1823-1900). They had seven children and three died very young.

Generation 4: James Tolman Pyle (1855-1912) married Frances Adelaide McAlpin
Generation 5: Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893-1966) married Elizabeth Adsit
Generation 6: Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. married my mother.
Generation 7: Me

Much of what I know about my Morgan line are from the following sources:

[1] Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost. The revised edition was published in Guysborough, Nova Scotia in 2009.
[2] Pyle, Smith and Allied Family Histories (Privately published, 1951). As I noted in my Surname Saturday~Pyle post, there are only a few copies of this book owned by second cousins. However, keep in mind that this is a secondary source that does not include primary sources. I'm not 100% sure of its accuracy.


  1. I am a descendant as well! My name is Diana Morgan, named after my Aunt Diana. My father is John Morgan and we are from Guysborough County in Nova Scotia. This has made me so happy!

    1. Based on my DNA matches, I think there are a lot of descendants of John Morgan and Diana Hadley. I would love to connect and see how we are related. See my contact form in the right-hand column of the blog.
      Thanks so much for the comment!