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Francis Morgan c.1819-1876

Francis Morgan was a mason, who married twice. He was born in Llanbaddock c. 1819 and died, I believe at Prescoed, in 1876. He was buried along with his second wife, Johanna, at Mount Zion Baptist Chapel in Glascoed.

According to his descendant, Geoff Stratton, Francis was “quite a colourful character and a stalwart of Mount Zion Chapel. He was described as “more saint than sinner” and also did some of the re-building, masonry and painting work at the chapel. He was appointed as treasurer in 1868, served on the Committee from 1870 and was also appointed as a deacon in that year and was appointed to dig graves in 1873.

It’s really worth reading the minute books, since Francis’ name appears all over them. I’m especially intrigued by this entry:

“1874 April 1st Church Meeting

… that the two Sisters Abigail Llanwarne and Esther Williams be excluded from Communion and Church fellowship in this place in consequence of bad conduct to Brother Francis Morgan”.

I wonder what the story was there …

He fancied himself as a bit of a poet, as the following stories seem to testify! He was a man who was not afraid of speaking his mind and going against the flow of opinion (see Doggerel and Discipline links!)

His first wife was Sophiah Morgan (this was also her maiden name). Sophiah died in 1870 and her death was registered at Pontypool 1870 MAR Qtr 11A / 127 - my contact cannot find her burial location but we know that Francis & Joanna are buried together at Mount Zion Baptist Chapel. They had six children. These were:

 Francis Morgan born 1843.

 Margaret Morgan 1845

 Elizabeth Morgan 1849.

 Thomas Morgan 1852

 James Morgan 1855

 William Morgan 1857

Francis (junior) married an Elizabeth Stead in 1876 and the marriage was registered at Pontypool 1876 MAR Qtr 11A / 169. This Francis and Elizabeth are on the 1881 census with their children (8 in total to 1888) living at Caederi, near the saw mills, and is on the bottom road linking Llanbadoc and Coedypaen.

Elizabeth, went on to marry Thomas Stratton, one of the children from Poplar Tree Cottage. Elizabeth died on 17th November, 1868, shortly after the birth of their son, Frank. The death was registered at Pontypool 1868 DEC Qtr 11A / 88.

Within a couple of months, Francis (senior) had taken it upon himself to bring up his young grandson Frank Stratton in his home at No. 2 Prescoed Cottages, Llanbaddock parish.

After Elizabeth's death Thomas Stratton moved to the Middlesbrough area and remarried an Alice Tabley on 6th March 1877 at Leng Memorial Chapel (Baptist), Stockton and registered Stockton 1877 MAR Qtr 10A / 111. Frank Stratton appears to have been brought up by the extended family around Llanbaddock. At the time of the 1881 census he was living with his step-grandmother, Joanna Morgan. Frank was employed as a woodcutter in the woods and was still a single person. At the time of the 1901 census, he was living as a boarder with his Aunty Joan (now Williams) - see below.

Following Sophiah's death and within about 6 months in 1870, Francis (Senior) then married Joanna Jones (born c.1843 at Llanbaddock) in 1870. This was registered in Pontypool Reg District, in the SEP Qtr of 1870 Vol: 11A Page: 169

Francis & Joanna had a further 2 children

Joan went on to marry William Williams. Look on their pages for full details of their family.

Francis Morgan himself died 28th October 1876 and his death was registered at Pontypool 1876 DEC Qtr 11A / 193 making Joanna a widow

On the 1881 census you will find Joanna as a widow with Edward, Joan, William (her stepson -Francis's son from his 1st marriage, born 1857) and Frank Stratton as a Step Grandson.

Many thanks to Geoff Stratton, Glyn Williams and another contact who at present wishes to remain anonymous for help in piecing this information together.

You’ll find a photograph of Francis and Joanna’s grave here: