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Benjamin Morrell - History

Son of John Morrell (1734)& Sarah Winslow

Benjamin Morrell
Son of John Morrell (1734)

Benjamin Morrell, son of John and Sarah Winslow Morrell, was born November 3, 1764, at Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine.
Little is known of Benjamin but he no doubt moved to Windham where he was appointed one of a committee to divide the town into districts. (Records of this time, 1773-1796, were burned. Only land records survived.)
Benjamin married twice, according to the Morrell Manuscript, both wives had the surname, Armstrong. [McCollister, Ethel, Boston Transcript] His second wife was Mary Armstrong, and they were married on February 5, 1799, in Windham. [Windham, Cumberland County, Maine Vital Records, 1762-1841; Pual (Paul?) Little, J. P.]
We have been able to compile the names of most of the children of this second marriage because of many land and court documents for them in Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois. However, we have not found any records for their births in Maine in town vital records. The census records for 1850 and later years give their place of birth as Maine, however. Cyrus Wilsonís birth is said to have been in Belgrade, Kennebec County, Maine, October 6, 1806. He is the only child we have a place of birth for. However, we have only found records for Benjamin in Cumberland County, Maine. We believe that Benjamin is the father, but we must remember that we cannot actually document this.
There is a Benjamin Morrell who served in the War of 1812 from Windham. The only records we have are a Pay Roll slip and a Muster Roll slip from the military records in the National Archives. The Pay Roll is dated at Portland, December 15, 1814, and the Muster Roll is dated December 6, 1814, at New Gloucester. Nathan Goold in the detached Regiment of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Foxcroft. There are no records of a pension being paid to Benjamin or his widow, Mary Morrell. According to all records we have found, they both probably died before any pensions were approved by congress.
After the War of 1812, people began migrating west where new territory was beginning to open up. It was around 1815 that Benjamin Morrell is believed to have taken his family to join others in the movement west. The Morrells no doubt traveled by waterway. For years the Morrells were involved in commerce along the waterfront and were familiar with this mode of travel. Travel across the Appalachian Mountains was not possible as only an occasional Indian trail could be found. The Ohio River was used by most settlers to open the territory.
After the Revolutionary War, land grants were given for service to the soldiers in payment. Even though most did not exercise their warrants, they did sell them for cash to land companies who in turn resold them to the new settlers. Western New York and Ohio were the largest tracts of land. The land grant warrants were also given for service in the War of 1812. However, there was a minimum amount of time served to earn the warrants. The few days of service of Benjamin Morrell may not have been sufficient. Land grants were not found for his service. [Morrell/Morrill organization]

The counties where records have been found for the Morrells are Scioto and Clermont Counties, Ohio; Campbell and Kenton Counties, Kentucky and several counties in Illinois for the children. Benjamin and Mary probably only lived in Scioto County, Ohio, and Campbell county, Kentucky. We think that Benjamin died in Kentucky, but only the obituary of Elbridge Morrell, brother of Cyrus states that his father died in Kentucky. Another brother, Elmore, was married in Campbell county, Kentucky to Nancy Wright, date unknown.

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