DNA results for both Clif and Craig Hullinger indicate .3% Native American. We think that ancestry comes via:
William Morgan HartWilliam Morgan Hart was born in 1804, Knox County, Kentucky. He was the second child and first son of John Hart and his first wife, Permelia Morgan. He was named after his maternal grandfather, William Morgan. We find that, although he often used his entire name, he seems to have been known quite often as simply "Morgan" Hart.
The area where his parents were living at the time of his birth was located on the south side of the Cumberland River, near where Patterson Creek enters that river. This area was in Knox County at the time Morgan was born, but was taken from Knox to form the new County of Whitley in 1818. William Morgan Hart's children state that their father was born in "Whitley County, Kentucky". This is not pedanticly accurate, as the county was not formed until he was 14 years old, but his parents home was taken into that new county, and he did indeed live in Whitley County, first on Patterson Creek and later on Meadow Creek, for the next ten years, until he married.
William Morgan Hart married his first cousin, Elizabeth Hart, on April 8, 1828 in Whitley County, Kentucky. Elizabeth was born January 7, 1807 Knox County, Kentucky, the daughter of Peter and Hannah (Iahannah?) Poe Hart. Elizabeth's father, Peter Hart, and William Morgan Hart's father, John Hart, were brothers.
Elizabeth's family migrated from Ashe County, North Carolina to Knox County, Kentucky where the John Hart family had settled a few years earlier. Her family stayed only a short time, but are found on the 1807 tax list in Knox County, which leads us to believe that Elizabeth was born while they were living there. Her family returned the next year to Ashe County, North Carolina, where they remained for almost 20 years, before again moving west.
The Peter Hart family is again found on the Whitley County, Kentucky tax lists in 1827. William Morgan Hart would have met the cousin that he never knew that year, and married her the next year. When Elizabeth's family left Kentucky, to move farther west, William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart also moved west, with her family. There is much additional information on Elizabeth Hart Hart's family in the section of this book relating the Peter and Hannah Poe Hart family.
William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart apparently left Kentucky in 1829 or early 1830. We find the couple on the 1829 tax list in Whitley County, Kentucky, but by the time the 1830 census was taken, they are found living in Vermilion County, Illinois, close to other members of Elizabeth's family. We believe that several members of William Morgan Hart's family also left Kentucky and moved to the same general area, along the Indiana and Illinois State line, in those same years. In 1830, the young couple have a daughter, who was probably born the year before in Kentucky. We know nothing of this child, who apparently died young as she is not shown on the next census taken in 1840. In 1831 Morgan and Elizabeth moved farther northwest in Illinois to Putnam county along with other members of her family.
In May 1832, William Morgan Hart enlisted at Hennepin, Putnam County, Illinois, to fight in the Black Hawk war. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in Captain William Haws Company. This confrontation with the Sauk (Sac) and Fox Indians, led by Chief Black Hawk, lasted only a few months in the summer of 1832, at Hennepin, Illinois. We find a record of his [William Morgan Hart's] service at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Included in the file is an application dated 1855 in Mercer County, Missouri, which shows William Morgan Hart applying for the Bounty Land to which he may be entitled under a recent Act of Congress, based on his service in the Black Hawk War.
He was issued a Warrant #80817 for 160 acres of land. The records do not show where this land might have been located, and we know nothing more of the disposition of the Warrant or the 160 acres of land. A more complete background of this War in Illinois is found in the section of this book on the Peter and Hannah Poe Hart family.
William Morgan and Elizabeth had three more children, born in Putnam County, Illinois. Nancy Caroline was born in 1832, Hannah Jane in 1834 and their only son, John Morgan was born in 1837.
Elizabeth Hart Hart died soon after the birth of this list child. She died in Putnam County, Illinois. We do not know the exact date of her death, nor where she is buried.
On November 13, 1838, William Morgan Hart remarried in Putnam County, Illinois to Elizabeth's younger sister, Rebecca Hart. She was born December 25, 1816, Prathers Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, also the daughter of Peter and Hannah Poe Hart. She was nine years younger than her sister Elizabeth, William Morgan's first wife.
He and Rebecca sold the property that William Morgan had been living on to Rebecca's father, Peter Hart, in 1838 and moved from Putnam County, Illinois farther west to the old Livingston County, Missouri. They are found on the Missouri census in 1840, with the three children from William Morgan's first marriage. Rebecca's parents, Peter and Hannah Poe Hart, as well as other members of Rebecca's family are found living in Livingston County, Missouri in 1840.
The area where the Hart families settled was Layfayette Township, Livingston County at the time they arrived in Missouri in 1839. This area in the northern part of the county was taken from Livingston County to form the new County of Grundy in 1841. Four years later, in 1845, a new county was again formed from Grundy County and the area where the Hart's were living became Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri, which it remains today.
William Morgan and Rebecca Hart's first child, James Elliiott Hart, was born in January 1840, in the northern part of old Livingston County, in an area known as the Goshen Prairie. We have been told that he was the first "white child" born in that sparsely settled area, close to the Iowa State line. Others have told us that he was not actually awarded that "distinction" locally, as his grandmother, Hannah Poe Hart, was full or part Cherokee Indian, making him part Indian and, thus, not considered to be wholly "white". This is not a story we have verified, but do find interesting. Perhaps local historians in Mercer County could furnish more information on what child is "officially" considered to be the first white child born in that county.
In a "History of Mercer and Harrison Counties", published in 1888, William Morgan Hart's son, Franklin Benton Hart, states that his father entered 100 acres in (present day) Mercer County in 1839, when he came to Missouri. He states that his father lived on that land the rest of his life. Land purchases taken from "U.S. Land Sales" Abstract of Sales (in Missouri) do not show a purchase of Federal Land by William Morgan Hart until 1846, when he entered 520 acres at the Plattsburg Land Office. This land was all located in Mercer County, Missouri.
Perhaps William Morgan Hart's first land purchase was from a private sale. Franklin Benton Hart goes on to state that his father owned 1500 acres of land in Mercer County at one time, which would certainly have made him a respected land owner in Mercer County.
More children were soon born to William Morgan and Rebecca Hart. They had a daughter, Missouri America, in 1841, Rebecca Kentucky in 1842 and a son, Franklin Benton, in 1844. These three children were born while the area where the family was living was Grundy County. Their last four children were born in Harrison Township, Mercer County, after that county was formed in 1845. Willard P. Hall was born in 1846, Eliza Ann Josephine in 1848, Virginia Lind in 1850 and Hazeltine Hall, their youngest daughter was born in 1852.
William Morgan's daughter Hannah Jane, born in 1834, relates in "Roger's History of Mercer County", published in 1911, that her husband's uncle, Johnny Reeves, and her father were the first settlers of what was referred to as the Goshen Prairie. She states that there were Indians living in that area at the time her family settled there, and Hannah recalls them visiting her stepmother, Rebecca Hart. They were fed and at times would stop for the night at the Hart home, where they slept, wrapped in blankets, before the fireplace.
William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart Hart's oldest daughter, Nancy Caroline, left home before she married and is found on the 1850 census at age 18, living with her widowed grandmother, Hannah Poe Hart in Polk County, Iowa. She married later that year to Joseph S. Neely in Polk County. We have been unable to find this family on census records, and know little of them.
William Morgan Hart's estate settlement, in 1876, states that his daughter Caroline Neely was living in Fannin County, Texas at that time. Caroline's half brother Franklin Benton Hart states in "History of Mercer and Harrison Counties" that Caroline died September 7, 1887, but does not state whether she was still living in Texas. We have tried to find this family with absolutely no success. We find a James Neely, age 24, born in 1856 in Missouri and also a John Neely, age ???, both in Fannin County, Texas on the 1880 census. This is a possibility that these could be Caroline Hart Neely's sons, but have no way of knowing for sure if they are.We do not find Joseph and Caroline Hart Neely in Fannin County, Texas in this year.
William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart Hart's son, John Morgan Hart, is found living at home, at the age of 13 on the 1850 Mercer County, Missouri census. We have been told that he did not get along well with his stepmother and left home at age 16 to "live with relatives" in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa. We do not know of any "relatives" living in Davis County in this time period and do not know if this story is accurate.
We have searched for John Morgan Hart on the 1860 Iowa, as well as later, Census both in Iowa and in other states. We have been unable to find him. He is listed in his father's estate settlement in 1876, with his residence given as "unknown". His family did not know where he was, and at one time we felt he might have died at a young age, in another state with no one knowing where his family lived, to notify them.
But, recently, we have obtained a copy of an undated letter that we feel was written in the 1950's or 1960's. This letter was written by Mrs. Grace Friede (now deceased) of Chinook, Montana. Mrs. Friede was trying to trace her Hart ancestors, and in talking to the local barber in Chinook, Clarence Hart, she discovered that he was the grandson of John Morgan Hart, and the great-grandson of William Morgan Hart.We have tried to find Clarence Hart, with no success.
We are told that he and his family moved from Montana to California, many years ago. It has been a frustrating attempt to find the family of a man who left home in about 1853 and apparently was never again heard from by his family. Yet, he did marry and have children - and his grandson, Clarence Hart had been told that William Morgan Hart was his great grandfather. Perhaps someone will be more successful than we have been, and will be able to find John Morgan Hart in census records and find his family.
We have located the remaining nine children of William Morgan Hart: a daughter from his first marriage and all eight of his children from his second marriage. A record of their families is found here. Some of these accounts relate interesting stories of what the area, in northern Mercer County, was like when this family settled there over 150 years ago. Members of this family are still found living in Mercer and Harrison Counties today.
In an interesting joining of families, four sons of Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss married three daughters and a granddaughter of William Morgan Hart. Joseph Moss was born in 1812, York District South Carolina, the son of Joshua and Jennie Howser Moss. His family moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in 1815. In 1832, Joseph went north to Knox County, Kentucky, where he married Fanny Prichard, who was born in Knox County, Kentucky in 1813. Joseph Moss and his family moved from Kentucky to Mercer County, Missouri in 1840. This family, who was joined to the Hart family by four marriages, came from the same County in Kentucky where William Morgan Hart was born -- and the adjoining County to Whitley County, where William Morgan Hart's parents lived all of their lives.
Both families migrated by different routes to Missouri. They both arrived in Mercer County within a year of each other, with William Morgan Hart and his family arriving in 1839 and the Joseph Moss family in 1840. Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss' son William P. Moss married Rebecca Kentucky Hart, their son Calvin married Eliza Ann Josephine Hart, and their son Joseph L. married Hazeltine Hill Hart. These three Hart wives were all the daughters of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca.
Joshua Moss married Jennie E. Reeves, the daughter of Hannah Hart Reeves, William Morgan Hart's daughter by his first marriage to Elizabeth.
William Morgan Hart died October 17, 1876 at his home in Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri. His wife, Rebecca, with the help of their two sons, Franklin Benton Hart and Willard P. Hall Hart, continued to live on the farm where she had spent most of her life. Rebecca Hart Hart died there 15 years after her husband on March 21, 1891.
William Morgan and Rebecca Hart are buried together in afamily cemetery, which was then on their own property. This cemetery is surrounded by a wrought iron fence, and is fairly well taken care of today. It is close to where the town of Goshen was once located. This town, which was once well known in the area, cannot easily be recognized as a "town" today. But the local people can still tell you where it once was.