Born: 1741 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Resident: Hickman Creek, Fayette County, Kentucky
Died Jan. 26, 1814, Fayette County, KY. "Maj. John Morrison of this neighborhood "(Kentucky Reporter, January
29, 1814, p. 3)
Buried - Gravestone located in the Frankfort KY Cemetery
Married - Martha Campbell in 1756, Martha died on July 20, 1825, Buried: Unknown?
Died - "Mrs. Martha Morrison, relict of the late Major John Morrison, of Fayette county, [Mrs. M. was the first white
woman in the town of Lexington, where she arrived in 1779]" (Kentucky Reporter, July 11, 1825, p3) -- note death
date in paper before reported death date.
- John had a stepfather named James Mitchell. John's dad (Robert Morrison) died a few weeks after his birth.
- John was referred to as "Major" John Morrison. Fought in the "Tory" war as Cap't of Whigs, Captain in
Revolutionary war 1776, Major in the KY Militia April 7, 1792.
- Was Issued "Land-Office Military Warrant" for 200 acres of land for service in "the war as a soldier in the Virginia
Continental Line." Certificate is dated June 24, 1783. Warrant ID number is 1139.0 Warrant was given for land in
Kentucky. No record of it being used. Reasons could include reassignment to another, lost and replaced by
another certificate, or many did not accept land gift because some veterans felt it was a patriotic duty to serve
country. Other land grants registered after this date, see time line below.
1741 - John was born in Pennsylvania, his dad reportedly died the same year.
1744 - His mother remarried, moved within 3 miles of Charlestown South Carolina.
1755 - After his mother died, he started back to Pennsylvania to see his brothers and sisters
1756 - Made it as far as Agingdon, VA, meet his wife and married (age 15). Went back to South Carolina. Had
three children. Made way back to Virginia under siege from Indians and British (Reportedly killed five British
soldiers who wanted to do harm to his wife Martha). See Tories War http.//home.webkorner.com/whigkid/ncrevweb/
Abt. 1775 - Moved about Virginia and Eastern Tennessee in battles against Indians and British (Kings Mountain
and Holstead). Said to his wife, "Martha, I will never be a prisoner - death or victory is my motto" (133) (Above time
line developed from Draper Manuscripts, Vol. 37, Pages 131-140, Harrodsburg Public Library)
Late 1770s - Moved to be near the protection of the Fort at Harrodsburg, KY, south of present day Lexington.
April 1779 - John builds a blockhouse in present day Lexington, KY, (about 320-330 West main) Blockhouse is
corner of soon to be built Fort in Lexington.
In the autumn of 1779, a little company of which John Morrison and his wife were a part, removed from
Harrodsburg, KY to the fort at Lexington (p.226) Mrs. Morrison was the first white woman settling in Lexington and
their son was the fist child born in the town (p. 231). From History of Fayette County Kentucky (1882) by Robert
1781 - 1782 - Many Indian attacks on the Fort and Lexington.
From the late 1770s to mid 1780s, John engaged in many battles against the Indians, some took him into Ohio
where he was "shot through the side of the head and his ear shot all to pieces" (p. 136 Draper Manuscripts)
April 14, 1782 - John signature appears on petition to form town of Lexington, KY
June 15, 1784 - Land grant, Fayette County, KY, "400 acres joining his settlement" and "400 acres on the waters
of the north fork of Elkhorn beginning about one mile and a half from Bryants station." (http//ajax.lva.lib.va.us)
Abt. 1784 - Moved 4 1/2 miles south of Lexington, lived there until John died.
December 2, 1785 - Land grant, Fayette County, KY, 400 acres on Fork Lick Creek, a branch of Hickstons Fork,
emptying in on the south side. (http//ajax.lva.lib.va.us)
January 5, 1812 - Will in Fayette County, KY
1814 - John Died
Picture and article of the Morrison Home in Lexington
Historians write that John was a strong leader, well respected, and a "brave man" (Lexington 1779; Pioneer
Kentucky by Bettye Lee Mastin and The History of Pioneer Lexington 1779-1806 by Staples)
- John was in the original party that founded Lexington, KY. 1 He built several cabins one of which is still in use!
John is listed as one of about 70 who secured lots in early Lexington (December 26, 1781) and was "required to
pay proportionable part of the money necessary to build the public houses and expenses arising toward good
order and regularity in the town." (USGENWEB)
- The history of Lexington, KY includes many references to the Morrison's.
- Mrs. Martha (Campbell) Morrison, of Fayette County, "was the first white woman ever in the town of Lexington,
KY., where she arrived in 1779." (Kentucky Paper 1825 and Narrative of *Robert B. Morrison about his dad, Major
John Morrison... Margaret I King Library, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY Draper Manuscripts, Vol. 37, Pages
- Note on Martha: Not much is recorded on woman in these times. One can assume though, that Martha was a
strong person and supportive wife. While John was frontiering, Martha was taking care of the children and
providing for the home surrounded by a hostile environment. Being the first white women residing in Lexington
must have taken lots of patience, courage, and bravery. On a side note, Martha's maiden name of "Campbell" was
a popular last name in Southwestern Scotland. One source lists nine different Archibald Campbell's at different
times (1513-1761) serving as Dukes or Earls of the area called Argyll. I would guess it is from this region
(Campbeltown, Scotland) that our Morrison's emigrated.
- Also, from the Draper narrative, the question was written, "How many had my father?" Robert B Morrison
answered, "9 Archibald who was wounded at Fort Meggs, Dead. John Campbell Morrison was a Capt. In Dudley
Defeat. Killed. David C. Morrison, died with fever 5 years since youngest sister Nancy. Jane, Nancy, & Polly all
dead. Sarah, a widow, & Martha Morrison, my youngest sister both living on my father's old farm 4 miles from
Lexington, KY. With me, makes the no. 9 in all." (I presume this was written sometime after 1828 or abt. 1844.
The writer, *Robert B. Morrison, said he was 59 at the time of the writing.)
- From Fayette County Records Vol 2 (Cook and Cook 1985) P 292 and 294... Indenture, John and Martha
Morrison to Archibald Morrison of the same county, for 5 pounds, a tract on the waters of Elkhorn in Fayette
County, about three miles northeast of Lexington, being 200 acres... part of land patented to Morrison. Recorded
July 10, 1797. Historians note that while settlers around Lexington were discouraged by Indian attacks thus driving
down land prices, John continued to purchase and trade land in and around Lexington.
Children of John:
• Jane b. 1775 Married Nathaniel Hodge or Hodges.
• Mary "Polly" b. Dec 22, 1777 d. 1842. ~Marry married a man named Hanna **Abt May 24, 1820
• John C. (b. Abt 1780) "Believed to be Captain who fell at Dudley's Defeat in 1813." There is a marker that
bears his name at the Frankfort, KY Cemetery.
John was the first white child born in the fort at Lexington, KY, and books record him as the "First native of
Lexington" (p. 28, History of Lexington). He was a bachelor.
• Sarah "Sally" b. Oct 1, 1781 d. Oct 12, 1855. **~Married Charles Campbell June 23, 1815. Records
indicate that later separated.
• Archibald b 1783 d. July 1, 1828. ~Some records say this Archibald married first Mary Stone and later
Catherine Coffman. According to the will, this is incorrect and may be confused with Archibald's son Archibald II).
• David C. b. 1784 d. 1837. Married **1. Nancy Irvine, **2. ~Married Margret Clark Dec 28, 1824, **3. Married
Sarah H. Young. Residence was Hickman Creek, Fayette County, KY. Children from 2.: William C., Robert S.,
• Nancy b.? d. ? Married a Hays (Is husband Robert C. Hays, who bought land with 2nd Archibald, Clark Co
• *Robert B. b. Jan 31, 1785 (~1784 or **1782?) d. abt March 12, 1850 in Butler Co. KY. Bachelor. Was
county clerk in Butler County, KY. Mr. Draper sent letters to numerous people asking for their family history.
Robert replied concerning his father, John. "Draper Manuscripts."
• **Martha "Patsy, b. 1787 d. Oct 15, 1860. Will dated March 16, 1859 and recorded 1860. Married a
Spinster?. Residence: Old Stone-Morrison house in Lexington, KY.
~ Information from "Unidentified Manuscript in Family History Room, Frankfurt, KY"
**Some Early Morrison Families by Theron V. and Louise Morrison.
Compiled by Carl Crabtree Email: email@example.com