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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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JOHN ROBERTS MORRIS, son of Charles Ellis and Elizabeth Holstein (Amies) Morris, was born August 14, 1856, at Dry Valley, now Winfield, Union county, Pennsylvania, where his father was the manager of an iron furnace. Soon after the birth of John R. Morris, his parents removed to Conshohocken where his father managed the iron works of J. B. Moorhead & Company, and in 1859 the father became superintendent at the works known as Swedes’ Furnace, at Swedeland, midway between Bridgeport and West Conshohocken, in Upper Merion township, where the son attended the private school kept by Mrs. Allen, and later the school taught by Isabel Hitner, at Swedeland. He next attended the school of Mrs. Craig, at Norristown, and afterward was a pupil of Professor George Barker, at Germantown. He then went to the Oak street public school, Norristown, after which he entered a Norristown bookstore, acting as clerk for a time. His father, having abandoned the iron business, operated the Holstein lime kilns, near King-of-Prussia, in Upper Merion township, and John became bookkeeper for his father. He was thus engaged until arriving at the age of twenty- one years, when he entered into a partnership under the title of Charles E. Morris & Sons, manufacturers and dealers in lime, in which he continued until the late seventies, when the elder Morris bought the farm of Lewis Schronk, of Spring House, in Gwynedd township. The family removed to this farm in the same year and John Morris was actively engaged as managing farmer for his father until the death of his parents, December 28, 1883.

On July 28, 1881, Mr. Morris married Ella Mary, born July 28, 1856, daughter of Alfred Dupont and Mary (Henderson) Woolaston, of Henderson Station, in Upper Merion. Their children are: Emily Walker, who was born March 27, 1882, and resides with her parents at their home, Norwood; Courtland Southworth, who was born December 19, 1884, and resides at home, managing the family estate; Russell Dupont, who was born August 29, 1887, and died September 6, 1896; and Charles Ellis, who was born October 17, 1889, and is a student at Blue Bell.

Mr. Morris continued to reside on the farm near Spring House until 1888, when he removed with his family to a farm near Lafayette Station, where he remained for two years, after which he returned to Gwynedd township and spent the following three years at farming. Later he was engaged with the Prudential Insurance Company, at Ambler. In 1895 he purchased the old Wentz homestead, at one time known as the Rising Sun Tavern or Wentz’s Tavern, on Skippack road, a half mile south of Center Square. The farm contains forty acres of highly improved land, to which, on account of the many trees to the north of the house, the name “Norwood” has been given. John R. Morris is a Republican in politics and he and his wife are members of the Episcopal church.

Charles Ellis Morris (father), born March 7, 1825, was the son of Samuel Wells Morris. Samuel W. Morris was the son of Benjamin Wistar Morris, who married Mary Wells, at Muncy Meeting of Friends, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1710.

Mrs. John R. Morris is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of Alfred Dupont and Mary (Henderson) Woolaston. Mrs. Morris’ father, Alford Dupont Woolaston, was a native of Wilmington, Delaware. In the early ‘50s he moved to Chicago. He owned large tracts of timber in Illinois and Michigan and he died in Michigan about 1870. His wife, the mother of Mrs. Morris, died when Mrs. Morris was nineteen months old and she was reared by her aunt. Mrs. Woolaston belonged to a well-known family of Upper Merion, after whom Henderson Station was named. Her parents removed from Chicago when Mrs. Ella Mary Morris was quite young, making their home at the Henderson homestead. She attended the private schools taught by the Misses Allen, and later the school of Misses Boyne and Dillaye, at Sixteenth and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. At the age of fifteen she removed with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John Southworth, to Springfield, Massachusetts, where she attended the schools taught by the Misses Howard. Later she returned to Upper Merion and made her home with her uncle, Wallace Henderson, of Henderson Station, Upper Merion, where she remained until her marriage to Mr. Morris.

Mrs. Elizabeth Holstein (Amies) Morris, mother of John R. Morris, was the daughter of William and Mary Atlee (Holstein) Amies. Mrs. William Amies was the daughter of Colonel George W. Holstein, a very prominent resident of Upper Merion township. Her maternal great-grandmother was Elizabeth Wayne, a sister of Major General Anthony Wayne, of Revolutionary fame.

The Holsteins are the descendants of Matts Holstein, who was born in Philadelphia (or where that city now stands), in 1644, of Swedish parents, two years after the second immigration of Swedes to the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill. The family were thus located in Pennsylvania forty years prior to the coming of William Penn. Matts Holstein’s son, Matthias, came to Upper Merion in 1705, and bought one thousand acres of land, running west from the Schuylkill, near Swedes’ Ford, and extending to Red Hill, in the same township. In 1714 he built a stone house near the center of the tract, where four generations were born and lived.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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