Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Morris family of Philadelphia is descended from Anthony Morris (b. 1630) of London, a mariner and trader who was lost at sea sometime around 1656. His only son, Anthony Morris (1654-1721), was active in the Society of Friends and immigrated with his wife Mary Jones (d. 1688) and their son Anthony Morris (1681-1763) to America in 1682, settling in Burlington, New Jersey. By 1685 he had moved his family to Philadelphia, building a home on Front Street between Walnut and Chestnut Streets. Anthony worked as a brewer and established the Anthony Morris Brewhouse around 1687. He was also active in politics and civic affairs. He was among the founders of Philadelphia’s first public school in 1689 (later Penn Charter School), commissioned a justice of the peace in 1692, and elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1694. He was also mayor of Philadelphia from 1703 to 1704.
His son Anthony Morris (1681-1763) followed his father in the brewing profession, becoming apprenticed to Henry and Mary Badcock [Babcock] in 1695. He later built the Morris Brewery at Second and Arch Street. Anthony married Phoebe Guest (1685-1786). Her parents, George Guest and Alice Bailyes Guest, had emigrated from England in 1681. Anthony was also active in local politics. He was elected a member of the Philadelphia Common Council in 1715, and in 1721 was chosen as representative in the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania. In 1738 he was elected mayor of Philadelphia. Among the children of Anthony and Phoebe Guest Morris was a son, also Anthony Morris (1705-1780).
Anthony Morris (1705-1780) remained in the family brewing business. He is often referred to as “Anthony of Southwark” since he owned two properties, “Solitude” and “Peckham,” in the Southwark section of the city. Anthony married Sarah Powell (1713-1751) in 1730 and later Elizabeth Hudson (circa 1721-1783) in 1752. Anthony and Sarah had several children, among whom were Deborah Morris (1736-1787), Thomas Morris (1745-1809), and Samuel Morris (1734-1812). The children of Anthony and Elizabeth included Luke Morris (1760-1802).
Thomas Morris (1745-1809) married Mary Saunders (1747-1774). One of their children, Thomas Morris (1774-1841) married Sarah Marshall (1777-1824), who gave birth to Anthony Saunders Morris (1803-1885). Anthony S. Morris married Anne Emlen Jones (1806-1883).
Samuel Morris (1734-1812) married Rebecca Wistar (1735-1791). Together they had many children, among whom were Anthony Morris (1766-1860), Luke Wistar Morris (1768-1830), Isaac Wistar Morris (1770-1831), Catherine Wistar Morris (1772-1859), and Israel Wistar Morris (1778-1870). Luke Wistar Morris and Isaac Wistar Morris became brewers, proprietors of the Luke W. Morris & Co brewery at Dock and Pear Streets. In 1817 Luke Wistar Morris purchased a home at 225 South 8th Street known as the “Morris Mansion.” Isaac married Sarah Paschall (1772-1842). Catherine Wistar Morris remained unmarried. Israel Wistar Morris became a prominent Philadelphia broker and merchant. He married Mary Hollingsworth (1776-1820) in 1799. Among their children was Henry Morris (1802-1881). Henry Morris (1802-1881), an ironmaster by trade, joined his brother Stephen Paschall Morris (1800-1865), proprietor of the Paschall Iron Works, and a third partner, Thomas T. Tasker in 1835 to create the firm of Morris, Tasker and Morris. In 1856 the firm became Morris, Tasker and Company. Henry Morris’s home “Solitude,” was located at Fifth and Tasker Streets; he also maintained a “cottage” in Newport, Rhode Island. Henry Morris married Catherine Old (1800-1889), who was descended from 'Baron' Henry W. Stiegel (1729-1785) a German-American glassmaker and ironmaster, and one of the founders of Manheim, Pennsylvania. Henry Morris and Elizabeth Old had several children, including Henry Gurney Morris (1839-1915). Henry G. Morris married Sarah “Sallie” Marshall; he later served as executor of his father’s estate.
The Morris family papers consist of 2.2 linear feet of miscellaneous papers pertaining to the Morris family, prominent Quakers of Philadelphia, beginning with the marriage of Anthony Morris and Mary Jones in 1676, their immigration to America with their son Anthony in 1681, and the family’s establishment in Philadelphia as wealthy brewers and later as iron manufacturers. The papers include correspondence, wills, testamentary papers, deeds, estate papers and genealogical records.
The collection follows several Morris generations: Anthony Morris (1654-1721), his son Anthony Morris (1681-1763), and his grandson Anthony Morris (1705-1780), all prominent in the brewing business and all active in political and civic affairs. From this point the collection focuses on two lines of descent. One follows the family of Thomas Morris (1745-1809), son of Anthony Morris (1705-1780), his son Thomas Morris (1774-1841), and his grandson Anthony Saunders Morris (1803-1885), whose correspondence forms a significant part of this collection. The other follows the descendants of Thomas’s brother Samuel Morris (1734-1812), who married Rebecca Wistar (1735-1791). Several of their children figure prominently in the collection, including Anthony Morris (1766-1860), Luke Wistar Morris (1768-1820), Isaac Wistar Morris (1770-1831), Catherine Wistar Morris (1772-1859), and Israel Wistar Morris (1778-1870), the father of Henry Morris (1802-1881).
Box 1 includes the genealogical correspondence of Anthony Saunders Morris (1803-1885) and his wife Anne Emlen Morris and her relations. A curious but undated “Memoirs from my father to be regarded” by James Morris (Box 1, Folder 1) may relate to the James Morris born in 1688, thus containing the fatherly advice and counsel of Anthony Morris (1654-1721) to his son. Also noteworthy is the diary of an unidentified woman, possibly of the Morris family, dating from 1845-1849 (Box 1, Folder 5).
Box 2 contains wills, testamentary papers, and marriage certificates. Most of the persons represented here are clearly attested in the Morris family history background note. Others not directly attested include Samuel Howell (1723-1807), a copy of whose will is included here. He was a prominent Quaker merchant and financier of the American Revolution. His relation to the Morris family is unclear. William Carter was the second husband of Mary Sutton, whose first husband was John Morris, son of Anthony Morris (1681-1763). The Stephen Paschall and Thomas Paschall wills represent a link to Isaac Wistar Morris (1770-1831), who was married to Sarah Paschall (1772-1842). Of special note is the original 1676 marriage certificate (Box 2, Folder 7) of Anthony Morris (1654-1721) and Mary Jones, and a 1682 certificate from the London Yearly Meeting of Friends, recommending them to the Society of Friends in America in Burlington, New Jersey. The marriage certificate records additional family history on the verso. Recorded here is the birth of Mary’s last son James in 1688, and Mary’s death not long after. Midwife to Mary in 1688 was Agnes Bom, Anthony’s second wife. A photocopied marriage certificate of Elizabeth Bailyes and William Hand (1673, Box 2, Folder 7) relates to the ancestors of Anthony’s wife Phoebe Guest, daughter of George and Alice Bailyes Guest, and represents the actual beginning date of documentary evidence in this collection.
Box 3 and 4 contain deeds and related real estate documents, along with some early professional papers of Anthony Morris (1654-1721) and his son Anthony Morris (1681-1763). Most of the documents here have a direct link to the Morris family. A significant series of deeds and related documents, 1792-1863, concerns a tract of land known as Stephen’s Green in Berks, later Schuylkill County. Other deeds and similar documents concern real estate within Philadelphia. Documents of interest include 1695/6 articles of apprenticeship binding Anthony Morris (1681-1763) to Henry Babcock, brewer (Box 3, Folder 1) and Anthony’s 1725 appointment as overseer to the Charter School (Box 3, Folder 3).
Box 5 contains the estate papers of Henry Morris (1802-1881), including will, correspondence, sale papers, deeds, and some business records, including papers relating to Morris, Tasker & Co. (Box 5, Folder 3). Henry Gurney Morris (1839-1915) served as executor to his father’s estate. Of note is a photostatic copy of a document (Box 5, Folder 9) detailing the distribution of property, which contains information concerning the descendants of Henry Morris living in 1912.
Box 6 contains genealogical material, much of it fragmentary and undated. There is some significant background information concerning ‘Baron’ Henry W. Stiegel (1729-1785), ancestor to Caroline Old, wife of Henry Morris, and Elizabeth and William Bailyes, whose granddaughter, Phoebe Guest, married Anthony Morris (1681-1721). A Morris family history (Box 6, Folder 4) records the Morris genealogy in some detail. There is also a folder of photographic portraits, silhouettes, and photographs of houses related to the Morris family.
Gift of Mrs. Anthony S. Morris; 1976 acquired
A few items from the collection have been removed for conservation.They will be returned to the collection, and this finding aid will be updated, once they have been repaired.
- Morris, Anne Emlen, 1806-1883
- Morris, Anthony S.
- Morris, Anthony, 1654-1721
- Morris, Anthony, 1681-1763
- Morris, Anthony, 1705-1780
- Morris, Henry, 1802-1881
- Morris, Isaac Wistar, 1770-1831
- Morris, Israel Wistar, 1778-1870
- Morris, Luke, 1707-1793
- Morris, Thomas, 1745-1809
- Morris, Thomas, 1774-1841
- Stiegel, Henry William, 1729-1785
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by James R. DeWalt.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2015.
- Access Restrictions
Open to researchers without restriction.
Deed between Anthony and Isaac W. Morris and Joseph Campbell
Isaac and Israel Morris to George Ord
Deed, Schuylkill County - Bank of North America, Samuel Gibson, Isaac P. Morris, et al. to Israel P. Morris
Deed of partition, Southwark - Anthony P. Morris et al. to Israel W. Morris
Deed of partition, Southwark - Anthony Morris et al. to Israel W. Morris
Rowland E. Evans et al. to Samuel S. Janney
Thomas Hyam to Jonathan Paschall; Jonathan Paschall to Caleb Ash
Joseph Watkins to Catherine Wistar
Mary Morris to Isaac W. Morris and Israel W. Morris
Abraham Johnson to Luke Morris; Richard Renshaw to Stephen Paschall
Stephen's Green, Berks (later Schuylkill) County: Patent, Stephen Paschall; Wharton and Evans to Israel W. Morris; memorandum and brief of title, Stephen P. Morris et al.; deed Israel W. Morris; deed Israel W. Morris to Henry Morris
Stephen's Green, Schuylkill County, George McCallmont and Charles Graff, trustees, to Bank of North America
Partition, Richard Wistar to Anthony Morris to Catherine Morris; ground rents, heirs of Rebecca Morris
Michael Freytag to Isaac W. Morris and Israel W. Morris
Philadelphia ground rent deeds to Henry Morris; Philadelphia, First Ward deed to estate of Henry Morris
Miscellaneous items among Morris genealogical papers, mostly unrelated to Morris family
Personal portraits; photographs of houses, silhouettes.