Edward Morris b. 1630

Edward Morris 9th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

Edward Morris was born on August 30, 1630 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England. In 1651, he sailed on the ship Confidence to Roxbury, Massachusetts.  On February 23, 1652 in Roxbury it was, “Voted that William Peacock and Edward Morris have four acres each William Lyon three acres upon the commons by John Polley.” There were conditions to receiving the land: William and Edward had to build within 2 years and could not  “carry away any wood or timber or sell farther than for building purposes”. 

September 20, 1655 Edward married Grace Bett. “Edward Morris & Grace Bett were married 20th – 9th month by Richard Bellingham Dept. Govr.” Grace and Edward had 12 children, all born in Roxbury.

January 27, 1661 Edward was a selectman and surveyor. In 1662 the townspeople decided no more land should be given away but kept for Roxbury community use. Edward was a constable in 1664, this included being a ‘fence viewer’, settling property disputes. He was a deputy to the General Court during the time when Massachusetts Bay Colony fought against England’s King Charles 2 for a charter. Edward Randolph, “evil genius of New England and her angel of death”, convinced Charles 2 to take away the charter and put Edmund Andros in charge,  who was overthrown in the 1689 Boston Revolt. “We must believe that he [Edward] was in full sympathy with the sentiment of his townsmen and the party which stood in defense of popular liberty in the conflict against the arbitrary power of the King. and his instruments”.

Edward and  family moved to Woodstock Connecticut around 1686 and were some of the first English settlers. Edward’s son Ebenezer was part of the exploring party. Edward died on September 14, 1689, sources say he was the first original settler to die in Woodstock. He is buried at Woodstock Hill Cemetery. There is a memorial to Edward and Grace Bett Morris and Edward’s original gravestone is still there. 

Find a grave memorial

Edward’s descendants moved west across America, his 5th great granddaughter Delia Angell born 1839, in Indiana moved further west to Butler County, Iowa where her great granddaughter Elizabeth Speedy was born in 1917.

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Grace Morris b. 1661

Grace Morris 8th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Grace was born on February 17, 1661 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Edward and Grace Betts Morris who both came to America from England. Grace was a middle child with 7 siblings. She and her sister Elizabeth married brothers from the Child family. In Roxbury, Grace Morris married Benjamin Child on March 7, 1683 and Elizabeth Morris married Joshua Child on March 9, 1685. Both families had 12 children and stayed there in Roxbury.

Grace died in December of 1723, Benjamin in January of 1724. They are buried in a tiny cemetery that’s now part of Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The cemetery is kind of hidden and has a few different names: Walter Street Berrying or Burying Ground, Peter’s Hill, Walters Street Cemetery.

Grace and Benjamin Child, Rose Lincoln /Harvard University Staff Photographer

From an article, Hidden Spaces, in The Harvard Gazette, “Under giant Hawthorn trees are the crude, chipping headstones etched with old New England names like Baker, Weld, and Child. One of the earliest markers is a double headstone for Grace and Benjamin Child, husband and wife. Nearby is the stone marking Benjamin’s brother, Joshua, whose wife Elizabeth is also buried in the area. (According to the 1961 edition of the Arboretum publication“Arnoldia,” Joshua and Benjamin were brothers, born a year apart and baptized the same day, and Elizabeth and Grace were sisters. Each couple had 12 children.)”

Inscriptions on Benjamin and Grace’s shared headstone
“Here Lyes Buried The Body of BENJAMIN CHILD Who Died the 24th Day of January 1724 In the 66th year of His Age.”
“Here Lyes the Body of GRACE CHILD The Wife of BENJAMIN CHILD Died Dec. ye 10th 1723 In the 63rd year of Her Age.”

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