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Morton - a Douglas sept


Morton - a Douglas sept

Though shrouded by the mists of time, the chronicles of Scotland reveal the early records of the Norman surname Morton which ranks as one of the oldest. The history of the name is interwoven within the colourful plaid of Scottish history and is an intrinsic part of the heritage of Scotland.

Members: 11
Latest Activity: Apr 23, 2019

Ancient history

The family name Morton is believed to be descendent originally from the Norman race. The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin but were, more accurately, of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D., under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, about 940 A.D. under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France. The French King, Charles the Simple, became first Duke of Normandy. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, was descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

After the Conquest, Duke William took a census of most of England in 1086; it became known as the Domesday Book. By 1070, William’s nobles were growing restive and dissatisfied with their grants of land. William took an army north and laid waste most of the northern countries. King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland offered refuge to these nobles, granting them land. Later, (about 1160), King David also encouraged his Norman friends to come north to join the royal court and obtain lands.

Not to be confused with:
The Earls of Morton
The Douglases of Morton Castle

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Comment by Mary Frances Keyes on May 5, 2014 at 15:02

Thanks..keep me in mind if you run across my Mortons. George 1782 could be a possibility by the dates.

Comment by Bruce Stewart Morton on May 5, 2014 at 14:46


I have only reached John MORTON and have not yet looked for siblings or any other children other than my direct ancestor. My MORTON ancestors were all in Scotland until ~1910 when they all moved to London, UK.

John's descendants were John (b. 1731), Archibald (b. 1760), George (b. 1782), and George (b. 1825).

I am not discounting emigration during that timescale since so many Scots either emigrated because of the terrible hardships in Scotland or were transported (some as slaves).

I'll keep battling on!!

Comment by Mary Frances Keyes on May 5, 2014 at 14:30

Bruce, Have you the names of John Morton's children. Greenberry named a son John. I have seen that name in North Carolina records but cannot connect. Also the name Jehu stands out in our lineage. My grandmother told me the Mortons were from Scotland. They called her grandmother, "grandmother MOTON".

Comment by Mary Frances Keyes on May 5, 2014 at 14:23

Greenberry was my 4th great grandfather, Jeremiah was my 3rd great grandfather. I have a copy of Jeremiah's medical records from Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Listed as father was Samuel Morton and Nancy, but that was in error since she was called Wincy. We can not prove past Greenberry. I have shared my work with Lyndia and she with me. I also was contacted by Joey Brackner for the Morton history. I have some of the Morton shards which was given to me by Joey Brackner.  I am also a 3rd great grandaughter of William Jeffery Hughey and 2nd great granddaughter of Robert Soloman Ham as well as The Ussery family.Robert Solomon Ham and the Miller family had a pottery that still stands today in Sprott, Perry County, Alabama. Greenberry is OUR brick wall. 

Comment by Bruce Stewart Morton on May 5, 2014 at 13:27

I have traced a direct line of the Morton family name to John Morton, born c. 1711 in St. Cuthberts, Edinburgh. I have, I hope temporarily, hit the proverbial wall. I am keen to establish a link with the Douglas clan. All my forebears were proud to wear the Douglas tartan, as indeed I am.

Comment by William Douglas on May 5, 2014 at 9:38

Greenberry Morton was a potter who came to Alabama from North Carolina. He married into the Ussery family who were also potters and came to Alabama at the same time as Greenberry. It is believed according to a book on Alabama Potters that he was the first potter in Perry County and that he trained the Hamms and Hugheys who later became potters also. We know that they worked for him as well as other potters because they are listed in the censuses. Greenberry and Jeremiah both have pottery pieces in the Birmingham Art Muesem. There are also pieces of Morton pottery owned in private collections.
per Lynda Holifield

One would think with a name like that, he would be easily traceable, but...
I note that several researchers do not record his first name as Samuel, which adds the the confusion.

Comment by Mary Frances Keyes on May 5, 2014 at 1:52

Kenneth David Morton Douglas,

I can not go further back than 1804 in North Carolina for my Samuel Greenberry Morton. He went by his given name Greenberry. He moved into Raldolph County, Alabama and then into Perry County, Alabama. I believe he had a brother named James Morton as it looks like they married sisters. I was told by my grandmother they were from Scotland.

He married Winnifred Ussery in Richmond County, North Carolina.

His children's names were: Martha, Lecia Jane, Jeremiah Franklin, Margaret,  and John Thomas Morton. 

Any help for my brick wall will be appreciated.

Comment by William Douglas on January 3, 2014 at 11:54
Comment by Kenneth David Morton Douglas on March 27, 2012 at 18:49

I have been able to trace my family line back to Alexander Douglas who according to "Burkes Commoners" was "the first of this family to settle in England when he crossed the border in the retinue of King James 1st (6th of Scotland) and he was of the Morton line of the house of Douglas. It is possible that he was related in some way to Sir George Douglas of Kirkness ( 12.1609)"

Unfortunately I have not been able to discover where Alexander came from in Scotland so have hit the proverbial wall.

However I do know that the family name of Morton that I carry has been held by each of my male ancesters since James Edward Morton Douglas (b.1794 d.1864).

I can also recall that my father said that we were related to the Queensburys and the Douglas-Homes and were from the Black Douglas clan.

If there is anyone out there that can help with my search to find where Alexander was born I would be eternally grateful.

Ken Douglas



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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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