MORRIS, Thomas, Jr, of Campbell Co KY

Note: I no longer consider this man to be the father of George Morris. Here are some reasons:

  • He always seemed to me to be too young to have had a son born in 1790.
  • Thomas was not known to have been in the area of Lexington KY around 1790, when George was said to have been born there.
  • No strong DNA matches to this Morris family.
  • The only evidence that this is our ancestor were the notes of a woman in 1879, who knew her late husband had a half-brother named George Morris who was born in Kentucky in 1790, the same area and year as our George.
  • With the exception of George Morris (b 1790), all the other claimed children of first wife, Betsy Stephenson, were obvious or likely duplicates of children of the second wife, Anna Smith.
  • Thomas Morris was later married to a woman whose birth name was Elizabeth Stephenson. Did he really have two wives named Elizabeth Stephenson?

It remains a puzzle if several Stephenson DNA matches to our family are accurate or not. One possibility is that Zadock Stephenson’s wife, Alice Appleton, was related to Susannah Appleton, who is likely our George Morris’s mother.

Thomas Morris[1] was born 20 May 1772 in Pennsylvania and died 20 May 1856[2] in Campbell County, Kentucky. He was the son of Thomas Morris, Sr.[3]

Thomas married first Betsy Stephenson ca 1789. He married second Campbell Co KY, 11 Jan 1799, Anna Smith, a daughter of Henry and Winnifred (Holt) Smith.[4] And he married 30 Apr 1815 Elizabeth (Stephenson) Stanley, a first cousin of his first wife, the widow of Dency Stanley, and the mother of two sons.[5]

In the Campbell County KY marriage book[6] I found the following marriages. It is possible these Morris names were all from one family:

  • Thomas Morris m Elizabeth Stanley 4-30-1815 (as Elizabeth Stephens[on], she previously married D_ Stanley on 12 May 1807)
  • Nancy Morris m Dudley Stephenson 1-22-1817 (Daughter of Thomas)
  • Lucy Morris m Stephen Hiatt 12-6-1817 (Daughter of Thomas)
  • Anna Morris m Peter Trout 6-21-1818 (not a daughter of Thomas)
  • Minnie Morris m Wm. Matthews 3-11-1819 (Dau. of Thomas)
  • Evaline Morris m Joseph Dawson 3-1-1819 [should read Morin]
  • Charlott Morris m David McElroy 8-10-1820
  • Benjamin Morris m Elizabeth Thomas 9-17-1823
  • Elizabeth Morris m Nelson Frazier 1-10-1825
  • Thomas Morris m Nancy Whiteacre bm-Silas Egelston

Some of these Brown Co OH marriages may also be connected:

  • Henry Morris to Christina Crawford on 27 Jul 1820.
  • Joseph Morris to Elizabeth Boude on 8 Aug
  • Joshua Morris to Sarah Sutton on 20 Jul 1826. [this is from James Morris’s branch and likely not this family]
  • George Morris to Elizabeth Herd on 3 Sept 1827. (Son of Thomas)
  • Joshua McConlley to Mary Morris on 22 Apr 1819.
  • William Draper to Pasty Morris on 12 Jun 1826. Oath of Henry Morris.

Thomas was bondsman in Campbell Co KY for this marriage: Jun 21 1831- William Garner to Aurelia Lumis, bm-Thomas MORRIS.[7]

And who was this? On Oct 6 1796-Jesse Lucas to Polly “Moriss” {application signed by John MORRISS attested by Tom MORRIS and John GRANT} bm-James MORRIS. This may be a brother and sister of Thomas’s.

Thomas was on 1800, 1803-1809 tax lists in Campbell Co KY. The Alexandria, Campbell Co KY, Court Order Book 1, page 131, 27 August 1810: Ordered that Lewis Colvin and Thomas Morris be added to the hands of Robert Dickerson Surveyor of the road from Allen’s Mill to Grant’s Salt Works.

Thomas’s census record includes these entries:

1810, Campbell Co KY, Thomas Morris: 20010/30010; the children of a supposed first marriage are not with him.

1820 has not been found.

1830, Boone Co KY, Thomas Morris: 20011001/0210001. This time he was near several Stevenson families. Thomas (10001/10001) and Elijah Morris (201001/201001) are next door to each other in Campbell Co KY.

1840, Boone Co KY, Thomas Morris: 001100001/00020001.

1850, Boone Co KY. Thomas Morris 76 PA, with Thomas J, 22, Elizabeth, 6, and Eliza Brumback, 10.

Thomas and his first wife Betsy had these children, according to Shelia Lyon, based on information dictated in 1879 by Jane (Simpson) Morris, widow of Lewis Morris:

  1. George MORRIS was born in 1790 (thought at one time to be the man born 1790 in Lexington, Fayette Co KY, and died in Mason Co IL, on 1 Jun 1861).
  1. Jeff MORRIS was born ca 1793 in Campbell Co KY.
  1. Elizabeth MORRIS was born ca 1797 in Campbell Co KY. She may be the same as Ann Morris was born 1797 and died 11 Sep 1873 in Clermont Co OH.
  1. Vina MORRIS was born ca 1798 in Campbell Co KY. On 18 Feb 1819, as “Winnie Morris,” Vina married William MATHEWS in Campbell Co KY.

Thomas and his second wife, Anna Smith, had the following children:

  1. Elijah MORRIS was born ca 1800.
  1. Thomas J MORRIS was born 1800-1810. He probably married Nancy Whiteacre, 1 Aug 1831.
  1. Nancy Ann MORRIS died in 1865 in Lewis Co MO. On 22 Jan 1817 Nancy Ann married Dudley STEPHENSON, son of Nathaniel STEPHENSON & Mary COLLEY, in Campbell Co KY. Nancy Ann died in 1865 in Lewis Co MO. Born on 2 Mar 1798 in KY, Dudley died ca 1850.
  1. Lucy MORRIS was born ca 1802 in KY. On 6 Dec 1817 when Lucy was 15, she married Stephen HIATT in Campbell Co KY. Hw was born in 1798 in PA.
  1. Minnie MORRIS. This daughter is possibly the same as Vina, above, in which case we do not have certainty which wife was her mother. Minnie was also stated to have been married on 11 Mar 1819 to William MATTHEWS in Campbell Co KY.
  1. Lewis MORRIS was born on 21 Nov 1806 and died 2 Feb 1875 in Boone Co KY. Married Jane SIMPSON, 13 April 1831.

©2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] “Shelia’s Family” gedcom created 13 Jun 2000 by Shelia Cromwell Lyon of Norman, Oklahoma, posted at, no longer online. She was unable to provide sources for this family, so it is very tentative. Later evidence pointed at the family record dictated in 1879 by Jane (Simpson) Morris.

[2] Death certificate, which names his father, online at, Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953.

[3] There was an older Thomas Morris one county away, in Boone Co KY. This Thomas was a Revolutionary War veteran and was thought to be Thomas Jr’s father, but total lack of either DNA matches or any earlier connection to Kentucky (where George was born ca 1790) have led me currently to doubt this identification.

[4] “Shelia’s Family”: A marriage bond was posted 11 Jan 1799 at Campbell Co KY and recorded at Alexandria, Campbell Co KY with consent of her father. Bondsmen were the groom, Thomas (his x mark) MORRIS, and Jesse SMITH. Testes were Jesse SMITH and John COLVIN. Her father wrote this note giving her permission to marry: “I do hereby certify that I Henry Smith of Campbell Co have given my consent and am willing for Thomas Morris to marry my daughter Anney as witness my hand and seal. January 11, 1799. Henry Smith.”  From her father’s will dated 1818 & probated 1823, we read: “Daughter Anny’s children that she had by Thomas Morris when they come of age to have 1/4 of my whole estate.”



[7] Campbell Co KY Genweb.

Published on September 15, 2008 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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