d.18 Sep 1801 Fairfield County, South Carolina
m. Abt 1757
Facts and Events
About William McMorries
William McMorries was born on September 21, 1735, possibly in Northern Ireland, although some claim that he was born in Scotland and moved to Northern Ireland at some point later. William married Jane Donovan (b. c1735) in 1757. Tradition has it that Jane was the cousin of Rebecca Argyll, sister to the Duke of Argyll, who is thought to have married Col. John Kincaid. Colonel Kincaid was a neighbor and friend of William's and two of Col. Kincaid's sons, James and Alexander, married two of William's daughters, Mary and Ann, respectively.
On December 27, 1767, William and his family arrived at Charleston, South Carolina aboard the ship, Admiral Hawke, which had departed from Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Belfast Newsletter contains an advertisement for the very same voyage that William and his family sailed on. It reads,
"For Charlestown in the flourishing Province of South Carolina, The good ship Admiral Hawke, burthen 300 tuns, John Mc. Gaddon, Master, will be clear to sail from Londonderry for the part aforesaid on the 4th day of September next at farthest. Any person or persons who incline to go there, are desired forthwith to apply to Caldwell, Vance, and Caldwell, merchants in Londonderry, who will agree with them on very reasonable terms.
The ship is remarkable for making short passages, and the Master has had a long and successful experience in the passenger trade. She has been some time in port, and being almost fitted out, will certainly sail at the time appointed.
N.B. Mr. Joseph Barnet who has resided long in South Carolina is now in the neighbourhood, will return in the said vessel, and can give a full and satisfactory account of that country to all who please to apply to him.
Dated at Londonderry, the 7th of August, 1767."
The Clerk of the Fairfield County Council meeting of January 5, 1768 reported that "he had in pursuance of his Excellency the Governor's directions been on board the ship, Admiral Hawk, John McAdam Master, who had lately arrived in this Province from Londonderry with poor Irish Protestants on the encouragement of the Bounty given by the Act of the General Assembly passed on the 25th of July 1761 and had administered the usual oaths to such as were of age, agreeable" to those listed on board.
On this list were the names of William, age 32; Jane, age 32; Ann, age 6; James, age 1; Jane, age 4; Mary, age 10; and William Jr., age 8. It was ordered the "the public Treasurer do pay the Bounties of four pounds and two pounds sterling according to their respective ages to Messrs Torrans and Pouag in Consideration of their passages and the remaining Twenty Shillings Sterling to themselves agreeable to the directions of the said Act."
William settled in Fairfield County (Craven County at that time), South Carolina. It is recorded in the book Citizens and Immigrants -- South Carolina, 1768 that William was granted 450 [actual grant was 400] acres of land following Petitions for Warrants of Survey. It was here that William fathered four more children: Alexander, John B., Joseph B., and Charles B. The image below may be the plat record for the original 400 acres William received as his bounty for coming to South Carolina.
It is said that William served in the Revolutionary War as a Lieutenant for the Patriot forces, my personal belief is that the reference is to William Jr. and not Senior. Especially since it refers to some of his sons also serving in the war and that two of them were killed. One being killed at the battle of Tories and the other at the battle of Cowpens. Both sons were said to be commissioned officers, one a Captain and the other a Lieutenant. As of this writing, there is no written evidence that I can find for the claim that William Sr. served in the Revolutionary War. The DAR Genealogical Research System - Online Patriot Lookup record for William McMorries Sr. lists his service as being Civil Service - juror for the Camden District, South Carolina. The source citation for this information is shown as Hendrix & Lindsay, Jury Lists of SC 1778-1779, pp 44, 50.
A quote from Mills, Statistic of South Carolina, published in 1826 by act of the South Carolina Legislature says, "Believing that but few persons in the County have a history of Fairfield, Colonel Aromanos Lyles, Colonel John Winn, John Gray, Benjamin May, William Strother, John Strother, William Kirkland, Joseph Kirkland, Robert Hancock, John Buchanan, William McMorris, John Cook, Captain Balar, Captain Watson, and Edward Martin were among the brave defenders of their country, suffered in cause, and closed in honor their mortal career."
William lived out the rest of his life on a 150 acre plantation. He died at the age of 66 on September 18, 1801. His wife Jane died ten years later in 1811 at the age of 74. Both are buried in the area of the east bank of Little River, Fairfield County, South Carolina and a marker sits in William's memory at the Ebenezer "Brick Church" Cemetery located on the plantation to which William received a grant for on March 5, 1770.
The Brick Church was erected by Captain James Kincaid, husband of William's daughter Mary. It was in this church that the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod of the South was organized on May 9, 1803. The church stills stands today in Fairfield County.