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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. FRANKLIN G. MORRIS, a man of prominence in the educational, business, and religious circles of Northampton, was born in East Salisbury, Essex County, November 19, 1841, being a son of John and Eliza (Brown) Morris. He is descended from English and German ancestry, distinguished on both sides for vitality and longevity. His maternal grandmother was a member of the Old South Church of Boston from the time when she was eight years old to the date of her death, when she had nearly completed a century.

John Morris was a seaman, and most of his sons followed in his footsteps in their liking for a sea life. He belonged to the United States Navy, and at the time of his death, in January, 1876, was the oldest boatswain in the service, being then in the ninety-first year of his age. He had a very strong and rugged constitution. When eighty-nine years old, he one day remarked that, had he taken proper care of himself, he might live to a good old age. He was twice married, rearing twelve children by both unions. His second wife, mother of the Rev. Mr. Morris, was Mrs. Eliza Brown, nee Jennison, who bore him four sons and one daughter, Franklin G. being the fourth child. Of the remaining children Charles Henry was the only one that grew to maturity. He was lost at sea in 1864, the craft on which he sailed never having been heard from after leaving port. One of his elder sons, George, a half-brother of Franklin, also found a watery grave, having been sail-maker’s mate on board the “Cumberland,” which went down in the fight with the “Merrimac,” March 8, 1862. The mother died very suddenly of heart disease in 1869, aged seventy years. The father buried his wife and eleven of his twelve children before he, too, passed to his final reward. This occurred at the home of his surviving son in Watertown, Mass.

Franklin G. Morris was reared to manhood in Ipswich, Mass., where his parents lived twenty-two years, and where the remains of both now rest in the beautiful cemetery. After concluding his studies at the public schools, he attended the Wilbraham Academy, from which he was graduated in 1861. He was one of the first volunteers that responded to the first call for three months’ men made at the beginning of the Civil War, but he did not go to the front. Mr. Morris is of a deeply religious nature, the fundamental principles of Christianity having been instilled into his heart by his honored parents; and at the early age of seventeen years he began teaching and preaching the Methodist doctrine. For seventeen years he was a member of the New England Conference and a most devoted and efficient pastor of the ten churches over which he has presided. Among them was the Saratoga Street Church of East Boston. In 1882 he was located in Easthampton. In 1876 the degree of A.M. was conferred on him by the Wesleyan University of Middletown, Conn. Beginning to study shorthand in 1867, Mr. Morris is now an expert in the art, and for the past seven years has been the official stenographer of Hampden County. He was one of the four reporters of the General Conference in 1888; and he has since reported five murder trials, accomplishing, with the aid of his staff of writers, a plain hand transcript of each day’s proceedings by the ensuing night.

Mr. Morris was first married November 24, 1864, to Lucy A. Morley, who died three years later, leaving two children: Emma, a teacher in the public schools; and Charles Edward, who died in 1887, aged twenty years. In 1869 Mr. Morris was again united in marriage with Miss Georgia A. Waterhouse, a native of Lynn, Mass. He was a member of the State legislature, representing the district of Watertown in 1875, where he was then located. At the same time he had charge of a church, and was equal to the undertaking. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, in which his late father was a Master Mason. He is a very influential and prominent brother, having united with the organization thirty years ago. He has taken the Scottish rite degrees, has been at the head of the Royal Arch degree in his Chapter, and has the distinction of being one of the three Grand Chaplains of the Massachusetts Grand Chapter.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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