Morgan Morgan (November 1, 1688-November 17, 1766) is traditionally considered the first white settler of West Virginia. He was was born in Wales and emigrated to Delaware about 1712. About 1714, Morgan met and married Catherine Garretson, with whom he had nine children. He was a merchant tailor and coroner and achieved enough standing in the Delaware colony to be one of the executors of the will of its lieutenant governor, John Evans. Morgan, Catherine, and five of their children moved to Virginia about 1729.
Morgan received an original land patent for 1,000 acres in the Bunker Hill area of present Berkeley County in 1735, land that he had settled about 1731. By 1740, there were enough others in the area that Morgan helped to establish Christ Episcopal Church in what is now Bunker Hill, along with fellow early settlers Joist Hite and Dr. John Briscoe. Morgan built a log house that still remains. The building was restored by the Berkeley County Historical Society in 1976.
Modern historians have established that Morgan Morgan was not actually West Virginia’s first settler, but rather among the very early arrivals. His children were also influential pioneers. Morgan’s son, David, was a renowned Indian fighter in the Monongahela Valley; his son, Zackquill, was the founder of Morgantown, and Morgan Morgan II was a prominent minister. Morgan Morgan died near Bunker Hill.
This Article was written by Georgia Caldwell DuBose
Last Revised on October 20, 2010
Conley, Phil. West Virginia Yesterday and Today. Charleston: West Virginia Review Press, 1931.
Morgan, French. A History and Genealogy of the Family of Col. Morgan Morgan. Washington: 1950.
Genealogical & clipping files. Berkeley County Historical Society.