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Capt Morgan Edgcomb

Death Jul 1872 (aged 72)
Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan, USA
Burial Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 101994222 · View Source
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Morgan Edgcomb was an infirm Sailor via his death record and of Saugatuck, Allegan, MI via the 1870 census. In 1870 he is living with his son, William G. Edgcomb.

As a Sailor, there is very little census data on Morgan, however the first known record of Morgan Edgcomb is found in the book "Men of Upper Canada, Militia Nominal Rolls 1828-1829" page 137 in which Morgan and James Edgcomb are listed as privates in the 3rd Regiment of Lincoln Militia between the ages of nineteen and thirty-nine. The reference for this is National Archives of Canada RG9-I-B-1, vols. 2 and 17, R1022-2-5-F. A review of this source may provide more details as to his birth and if he was married in 1828.

The next record found is in the 1832 City Directory of Buffalo, Erie, NY which lists Edgecomb, Morgan, seaman, Canal St. After that there in a newspaper account of a meeting held on 31 Dec 1834 in Buffalo of Upper Great Lakes Captains, in which one of those Captains present was a M. Edgcomb. Another article on Great Lakes Shipping listing ships on the Great Lakes for Oct 1836 lists a M. Edgecombe as the captain of the "Post Boy" a Schooner out of Buffalo. The book "Modern antiquities: comprising sketches of early Buffalo and the Great Lakes, also sketches of Alaska" 1898 lists Morgan Edgcomb as the Captain of the Post Boy.

Maritime records confirm that Morgan Edgcomb was the captain of the schooner Post Boy out of Buffalo on 8 May 1835. The Post Boy, a 59ft., 2 masted schooner was built at Portland Harbor, New York in 1832. Its owners were Augustine Eaton of Buffalo; with Daniel Brown, James Huas and Eleakim Ashton of Michigan City, Indiana.

The next known record of Captain Morgan Edgcomb is found in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio on 7 Jun 1836 with the registration of the Schooner Texas, in which he is listed as captain and part owner. The Texas was a 78ft., 2 masted schooner built at Black River, Lorain, Ohio in 1836 by Joseph J. Hamblin. It was owned by Joseph B. Hamblin of Black River, OH; with Horatio N. Gates, William E. Fitch, Morgan Edgecomb, & Orastus Root of Black River and Eber N. Parks, Amos Taft of Cleveland, OH and James Mayhew of Buffalo, NY. At the time there were only 217 sail craft and 45 steam vessels on Great Lakes This record establishes that Morgan Edgcomb was of Black River by June of 1836 and was the managing owner of the Texas and it's captain by 17 Jul 1837 and at that time he was of Cleveland.

In the 1837 Cleveland City Directory it lists Edgecomb, M. (Schooner Owner, Schooner Texas) Cleveland, OH (Male) and in the 1837-38 Cleveland and Ohio Directory, under "List of Vessels belonging to the District of Cuyahoga" it lists:
Schooner Texas, 135 60 M. Edgecomb.

In Nov 1836, the schooner Texas ran ashore at Ceder Point.

Lake Accident.—The ship Milwaukee, and the schooner Texas, ran ashore on Thursday night, the 13th inst, near Sandusky. Vessels and cargo were supposed to be lose. We learn more recently, that the Milwaukee will probably be got off without much damage.
This accident occurred in consequence of the want of a light in the light house. Both were endeavoring to make port, and ran by a light on shore taken to be the regular light by them, and found their error only when they stuck fast upon the rocks.—[Buffalo Spectator, Dec. 31 1836.]

(Of note is the fact that THIS Ship Milwaukee was lost at at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River near Saugatuck, Allegan, MI in Nov 1842)

Schooner Texas ashore at Buffalo Nov 1837

Via a legal notice printed in the New York Times, it is known that Morgan Edgcomb had some financial troubles back in Erie County, NY, presumably in Buffalo. The notice reads: By order of Frederick P. Stevens, Esq., Judge of Erie County Courts, and Counselor in the Supreme Court, notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the statute authorizing attachments against non-resident debtors, that an attachment has issued against the estate of Morgan Edgcomb, a non-resident debtor, and that the same will be sold for the payment of his debts, unless, he appear and discharge such attachment according to law, within nine months from the first publication of this notice ; and that the payment of any debts to due him by residents of this state, and the delivery of any property belonging to such debtor, to him or to his use, and the transfer of any property by him for any purpose whatever, are forbidden by law, and are void.
Dated the sixth day of January, 1840.
Attorney for Attaching Creditors.

It is known that the Schooner Texas was sold on or before 2 May 1840 when it was registers in Buffalo with Charles Howland of Buffalo replacing Morgan Edgcomb as part owner, with E. C. Barnard as its new captain. It can be assumed that this transaction was due to the law suit referenced in the Jan 1840 legal notice printed in the New York Times.

Via census records, Morgan Edgcomb was of Black River, Lorain, Ohio in June of 1840. However, this census data does not support a man born in 1800 being there. The head count lists a boy born between 1835-1839, 2 young men born between 1811-1820, a girl born between 1826-1830, and 2 young women born between 1821-1825. Since Morgan is thought to be in Fort Erie in 1830 and he as yet to be found in the 1850 census, it is hard to speculate as to who is actually listed in this 1840 census. An explanation could be Morgan lied about his age, or it's a census error, or the census taker simply failed to state it was Mrs. Morgan Edgcomb's household as Morgan may have been out on the Great Lakes or away in Cleveland on business.

It is known that James Edgcomb, Morgan's assumed younger brother, and assumed to have been the 1st mate of the Anthony Wayne in 1850, was in Fort Erie at Saint Paul's church on 22 Mar 1840 for the christening of Susan Maria Maxwell, daughter of John and Catherine Malvina (Whitcomb) Maxwell. John Maxwell, a fellow mariner, is believed to be James Edgcomb's brother-in-law via James' marriage to Susan Maxwell in 1832.

A seemingly excessive number of Court ordered Sheriff's Sale of assets and property published in the Lorain Republican between 1842 and 1844 (available on-line at concerning Morgan J. Edgcomb would suggest that Captain Morgan Edgcomb was still having financial troubles and needed to sell off both personal property and real estate in the Charleston aka Black River district of Lorain, Lorain, Ohio between 1842 and 1844. It is known that this is Captain Morgan Edgcomb as one of the court ordered sales was due to a law suit, Kelley vs Edgcomb and this appears to involve Captain Henry Kelley, who in the fall of 1836 went to Black River to fit out the schooner Texas on which he sailed as first mate in 1837.

As to Morgan's interests in Black River an examination of Property records in the village plat of Charleston in Lorain county, Ohio for lots No 42, 44, 92, and a part of village lot No 97 being eight rods of land in the west corner of said lot No 97, would provide clues as to when Captain Morgan Edgcomb bought this propery. In addition, determining the relationship between Morgan Edgcomb and the various parties in these law suits might shed light on if they were simple business debts or personal debts as in what is the significance of the sale of a splendid Spanish Guitar in 1843.

In the 1850 census, Morgan Edgcomb has not been found, however if the 1860 census is correct, he should be living back in Erie Co., NY via the birth date listed for Melcom Edgecomb, if that is his son and not a nephew of an unknown brother. It is known that Morgan's assumed brother James G. Edgcomb is assumed to be in Wayne Co., MI under the name Hedgcomb, and James' brother-in-law, John Maxwell is in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, there appears to be some disturbing facts in Lorain Co., Ohio that imply Morgan may have abandoned two sons. One is James M Edgcomb found in Elyria, Lorain, OH, stated to be born in Ohio in about 1846, and Morgan N. Edgcomb, found in Black River, Lorain, OH, now apart of Lorain, Lorain, OH, stated to have been born in Ohio in 1848.

The next known record of Morgan in found in the 1856 Buffalo Directory that lists: Edgecomb, Morgan, pilot, h. over 107 Main. This time frame also corresponds to the recorded birth of Petrus Decator Edgcomb on 23 Jun 1856 and christened on 27 Jul 1856 in Buffalo,​ Erie, NY, who's parents were Morgan Edgcomb and Harrietta Menauer. This time period, via Naval records, is also when son William G. Edgcomb stated be began his career as a mariner prior to his service in the Navy in 1861.

On 16 Aug 1860 in Buffalo, Erie, NY, Morgan apparently finally married Henrica or Harrietta Menauer. Harrietta's parents are listed as Petri and Josephina (Chartrand) Menauer. At that time Morgan listed the name of his mother as Maria Caskey.

Via the 1860 Census, under the name Escomb in the 9th Ward of Buffalo, Erie, NY finds Harriett, born in about 1828 in Canada with Malcom, born about 1848 in NY, Equator, born about 1856 in NY, and Nelson, born about 1858 in NY. They are living in the home of Eunice Jones (Hubbard) Blossom, widow of Col. Ira Allen Blossom (1798-1856) a very prominent citizen of Buffalo.

In the 1865 NY Census, Morgan H. Edgcomb is living in the 2nd ward in Buffalo, NY. At that time he states he was born in Erie Co., NY in about 1801, has been married twice. He is a Sailor that works on the Lake and a native voter. In his household are his declared wife Harriet, born about 1831 in France (French Canadian) married once with two children, a son Ecator, born in Erie Co., NY in about 1865, and son Robert, born in Erie Co., in about 1859.

It is known via the 1870 census that Morgan is listed twice and with some inconsistencies. Morgan Edgcomb is listed in Buffalo, Erie, NY, stated to have been born about 1830 in New York to parents of foreign birth. He is a Ship's Carpenter living with Harrietta, born about 1828 in France (French Canadian); with Henry, born about 1856 in NY to a mother of Foreign birth; Robert, born about 1861 in NY to a mother of Foreign birth; and Micheal, born about 1866 in NY to a mother of Foreign birth. Then there is the 6 June 1870 census in Saugatuck, Allegan, MI were Morgan Edgcomb, born about 1800 in New York an Invalid is living with son William G. Edgcomb. The only explanation would be that Morgan was in Saugatuck and Harrietta back in Buffalo just reported that he was of Buffalo if not working on the Lake and the difference in his age is due only to her vanity. In addition, it must be remembered that the census is a political tool to determine the number of Representatives in Congress and in that, a New York census taker might take liberties to enhance the population in a district.

In July of 1872, Morgan Edgcomb died in Allegan, Allegan, MI, the county seat. It is believed he died at the Poor Farm in Allegan some 25 miles east inland from Saugatuck. At that time he was stated to be a Sailor and a widower that died of general infirmity. As to why he would be stated to be a widower when his wife Harrietta was still alive and living in Buffalo can not be answered. It might be that his son, William G. Edgcomb did not know at the time of his 2nd marriage and simply reported him as a widow, or it could have been general confusion when Morgan was admitted as William might have stated his own mother was dead and thus assumed Morgan was a widower. It was a Poor Farm and no records remain.

Via their marriage record in 1861, his mother name was Maria Caskey. Via the 1875 NY census, Harrietta states she was a widow.

Via Captain William G. Edgcomb's (1842-1929) death record, he was the son of Morgan E Edgcomb born in England and Mary A. Caskey born in Pennsylvania, most likely Erie, PA. From a Bio on him it state he was one of six boys. From this it is believe that Morgan married one or two women named Caskey, one being Maria Caskey known mother of Morgan Edgcomb of Buffalo, NY, and Mary Ann Caskey, known mother of William G. Edgcomb of Saugatuck. Or there are two Edgcomb brothers sailing the Great Lakes who marry sisters Mary Ann and Maria Caskey presumed to be both of Buffalo, Erie, NY.

Via James M. Edgcomb's (born about 1844 in Lorain County, Ohio) marriage record on 03 Aug 1895 in Keokuk, Lee, Iowa, to Sarah E Hurley, he was the son of Morgan Edgcomb. His wife Sarah was of Hancock, Illinois in 1870, which is where the 1847 Morgan Edgcomb can be found. James M. Edgcomb only appears in the 1900 census and may have been a riverboat sailor. It appears that he died or was divorced prior to 1906 when his wife married George Wooster.

In respects to Caskey research, there is a William Caskey in Buffalo in 1832, who was born in Buffalo in 1814 and was a Sailor. He was a resident of Tonawanda,​ Erie,​ NY in 1850 and in 1861 a resident of Louth,​ Lincoln,​ Ontario,​ Canada and died there on 22 Feb 1877. He may be a brother of one or both of these Caskey woman who married Edgcomb men.

There is also a Joseph H Caskey born in Canada in about 1803 living in Buffalo. He may be another brother.

There is also Captain Joseph Caskey who was master of the Schooner John Richards out of Buffalo on 5 Nov 1831 which was built in Erie, PA in 1830. It would seem that he also was the captain of the Schooner Geauga of Fairport out of Cleveland on 17 May 1832 and captain of the Schooner Atalanta of Fairport out of Cleveland on 21 Jun 1833. News from Chicago reads: Atalanta schooner from Buffalo, NY, under Capt. Joseph Caskey; called at Chicago on July 1, 1834; Caskey, age c.35, died in Buffalo shortly thereafter, as per notice in the Chicago Democrat of Sept.10, 1834; on Nov. 6, 1835, the vessel returned to Chicago from Buffalo under Captain Shepherd.

As to other Edgcombs sailing the Great Lakes in the mid 1800's:

There is James G. Edgcomb, the 1st mate of the steamship Anthony Wayne that sank in lake Erie on 29 Apr 1850.

There is James Edgcomb, who was born in Buffalo, Erie NY on 18 Aug 1836, who was a deck hand on the steamboat Arrow in 1850, which picked up survivors of the Anthony Wayne and brought them to Sandusky, Ohio on 30 Apr 1850. In a bio of this James Edgcomb, who later became Captain James Edgcomb in 1859 who was out of Buffalo in 1875, it states he served with his father in about 1851 on the Steamboat Southerner, which was out of Detroit and later out of Cleveland. This James Edgcomb died in Buffalo on 11 Nov 1901. Of interest to researchers would be that he was baptized in Fort Erie and in some way related to the Duncan family.

And finally, there is William Edgcomb of the USS Chesapeake under the command of Captain James Lawrence (1781-1813) and the British captured that ship and brought it to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1813. Lawrence was a friend of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819) who built a fleet in Erie, PA. It also should be of note that the Captain of the USS Chesapeake prior to Lawrence was Stephen Decatur, Jr. (1779-1820) and the Middle name of the son of the 1830 Morgan Edgcombe found in census records in Buffalo, as Petrus Edgcomb, Petrus D. Edgcomb, Decatur Edgcomb or Peter D. Edgcomb was named Decatur.

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  • Created by: James Faasen
  • Added: 10 Dec 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 101994222
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Morgan Edgcomb (Jan 1800–Jul 1872), Find A Grave Memorial no. 101994222, citing Allegan County Poor Farm Cemetery, Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by James Faasen (contributor 47275456) .