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William Morton

Male 1844 -


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  • Name William Morton 
    Born 1844  Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Person ID I670  The Serdinski - Gill Family Tree
    Last Modified 7 Jul 2018 

    Father Robert James Morton,   b. 1802, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1893, Selkirk, Interlake, Manitoba, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Mother Sally Anne Ferguson,   b. 8 Apr 1819, Coaticook, Estrie, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1865, Gananoque, Leeds and Grenville, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Notes 
    • 'A Short History of William George and Sarah Ann Hamilton Family', Written by Gladys Aileen Hamilton circa 1977.

      John Morton was born in Gananoque County, Ontario. He married Mary Ann Seale, probably of Dutch origin, who had been born at the Seigniory of Argentine in Quebec, probably near Lachine.
      The Mortons may have lived in that area as well at some time. Mary Ann Seale's father was Thomas Seale and her grandfather also was Thomas Seale. Mary Ann's mother was Anne Johnstone and her maternal grandfather was George Johnstone, from west of Montreal.

      When their children were small, the family moved to Saginaw, Michigan. After Mary Ann's death in 1872 in Gananoque, John married Ellen Cruise at Morin Heights. Ellen was the sister of John Cruise of Lachute, Quebec, who was father of Mrs. Ella Andrews. In the late 1870's John decided to go west in search of land while his wife returned to Lachute to care for her brother's motherless children.

      On the old Red River, south of Morris, John met the Woods and the Moodies. Here he took up land but at this time Bishop Tache of St. Boniface got a concession from the Manitoba Government to establish a French Roman Catholic colony over the St. Jean area. All English speaking Protestants were given the option of remaining, if desired, or accepting compensation and leaving. The latter choice resulted in the coming of the three families to the Morton district north-west of Miami, where homesteading had begun in the 1880's.

      Ellen had rejoined John and, with his aged father Pappy, they homesteaded SE 3 22-5-7, the nearest available land to that of his two daughters, Lizzie (Mrs. John Duncan) and Sarah (Mrs. George Hamilton) who had preceded them and were farming at Old Nelson, now known as Dunston.

      Tragedy struck swiftly and soon. During a mental lapse - too soon to predict or prevent - Pappy shot and killed his son John and his daughter-in-law Ellen. The impact of such an event on so small a community was beyond description, 'Grandpa', as he was affectionately known to the Woods children to whom his stories were a delight, and whose cane was their favorite steed was taken to Selkirk where, in his 96th year, swift and merciful death followed a sudden return to sanity and realization.

      Evidently Pappy had hated his daughter-in-law Ellen and had taken a shotgun and sat by a window waiting for Ellen to return to the house. When he heard footsteps, he shot - and killed his own son John. He still waited, and also shot Ellen when she arrived.

      For many years the house, the scene of the tragedy, stood as a constant reminder of it, evoking endless repetition and version. A son Robert and his family occupied it until they moved to Deerwood.
      Later the Mustards lived there, during which time the old horror was replaced by the warmth and friendliness of its new tenants and by the time it was torn down, the tragic details were almost forgotten.

      The Morton district north-west of Miami was named in John Morton's memory, as he had been highly thought of in the district. It was also as a tribute to all the early settlers there. A cairn in the district is dedicated to the early pioneers. The Morton School , built in 1890, was also named after John.
    Census
    1861CanCen-SarahFerguson-RobertMorton.jpg
    1861CanCen-SarahFerguson-RobertMorton.jpg
    1861 Canadian Census record for the family of Sarah Ferguson and Robert Morton. Also in residence is Jane Lloyd (7), their Granddaughter.
    1871CanCen-RobertMorton.jpg
    1871CanCen-RobertMorton.jpg
    1871 Canadian Census record for widowed Robert Morton in the household of Harriet and John McVinch.
    1880USCen-AnnBeaton-WilliamMorton-RobertMorton.jpg
    1880USCen-AnnBeaton-WilliamMorton-RobertMorton.jpg
    1880 US Census record for the family of Ann Beaton and William Morton. In residence was William's father, Robert Morton. Also in residence, noted as a Servant was Margaret Beaton, possibly Ann's sister.
    1891CanCen-RobertMorton.jpg
    1891CanCen-RobertMorton.jpg
    1891 Canadian Census record for Robert Morton after the murder of his son and daughter-in-law. He's listed with a wide variety of people of various ages and positions. There is no clear definition that this was a Hospital or an Institution but it's obvious it was more than a Lodger's house.
    Family ID F200  Group Sheet

    Family Ann Beaton 
    Children 
     1. Margaret Morton,   b. Jul 1879, Michigan, United States of America Find all individuals with events at this location
    Census
    1880USCen-AnnBeaton-WilliamMorton-RobertMorton.jpg
    1880USCen-AnnBeaton-WilliamMorton-RobertMorton.jpg
    1880 US Census record for the family of Ann Beaton and William Morton. In residence was William's father, Robert Morton. Also in residence, noted as a Servant was Margaret Beaton, possibly Ann's sister.
    Last Modified 7 Jul 2018 
    Family ID F236  Group Sheet

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