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Joseph Morden

The Morden family emigrated from Yorkshire about 1750 and settled in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  At that time Joseph Morden, my 3rd great-grandfather was  10 years of age.  In 1760, Joseph married Laurania Howell and they came to settle in the Mohawk Valley, New York where Joseph was a tenant farmer of Sir William Johnson. 

After Sir William died, his son, Sir John Johnson found that his situation was being made more difficult by the rebels and he wanted to avoid capture at all costs.  He gathered friends and tenants together to begin a long march north to Montreal to join the forces there.

Joseph Morden was one of that brave group of men who left everything  and made the arduous trek by foot in the winter over rough terrain.  They were poorly equipped for the journey but most of them finally arrived at their destination, tired and weak from lack of food.

Sir John Johnson was commissioned to raise a battalion to be called The King’s Royal Regiment of New York.  Joseph enlisted on the first day, 19th June 1776, along with his younger brother Daniel. Joseph took part in some expeditions and during the time their company was encamped near Montreal there was an outbreak of smallpox.  Joseph died of the disease 24th November 1777.

Joseph and Laurania had eight children, all of whom married and settled in the Bay of Quinte area.  Laurania later married Matthew Forrest who was a corporal in the KRRNY, they settled in Fredericksburgh.

Of Joseph’s brothers:  Ralph Morden was convicted of giving aid to Robert Land and assisting him to escape; Ralph was hanged for treason.  Ralph left a wife Anne Durham and a large family who came to settle in West Flamborough.  Three of Joseph’s brothers came to West Flamborough as well:  Moses, Daniel and Jonathan.

During the early 1850’s many of the Morden family left the Quinte area for the Queen’s Bush (now Bruce County).  My grandfather Robert Morden was with them, he was married in Walkerton and later moved to the Manitoulin Island where my mother, Susan Morden was born in 1887.

Submitted by Shirley Fellowes UE