A few years ago, thanks to DNA testing, our family discovered that our earliest known Morris ancestor, Laban MORRIS, was actually a LEDBETTER by birth.
It wasn’t too much of a surprise, after all, the older generations had “heard tell of it” when they were children, that “we weren’t really Morrises, but that we were Ledbetters.”
They had heard that Laban’s father was a Ledbetter, but for one reason or another, he didn’t want to use the name and instead was known as a Morris.
We’ve since had other direct male descendants of Laban Morris tested and found the same result — that we match with multiple Ledbetters, verifying the oral tradition within the family.
We are hoping to eventually have a direct male lineal descendant from each of Laban’s sons to get DNA tested so that we can use the broader results to narrow down just which of a handful of potential Ledbetter men fathered Laban.
Laban’s known children with his wife Caroline “Kitty” WILLIAMS were:
- John Morris (1806-)
- William B. Morris (1809-1880)
- Thomas Morris (1811-)
- Joseph Morris (1817-)
- Alpha Morris (1818-)
- Levi M Morris (1824-1865)
- Roland Morris (1828-)
Also listed in Laban’s household from at least 1850 through 1860 (although, based on gender and ages, it’s possible she was living with Laban & Kitty as early as 1830) is Nancy Morris (b. abt 1820). She is not his daughter, and she’s too young to be the daughter of any of his children, so there’s also a mystery as to who she is. Maybe a niece of the family from whom he got his MORRIS name?
If you are interested in participating in solving this mystery, please contact us using the form below.