The Times West Virginian

In Today's TWV

August 5, 2007

Celebrating heritage

100th Morgan Reunion attracts more than 500

PRICKETTS FORT — French Morgan took a red-eye flight from his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Thursday night with his brother, Kelly, landed in Baltimore on Friday morning, and drove to the Descendants of Col. Morgan Morgan Reunion at Pricketts Fort via the scenic route.

For them, that meant stopping off at Bunker Hill in the Eastern Panhandle, former home of Morgan, considered by many to be the first white settler in West Virginia in the 1730s, before checking into — where else? — the Clarion Hotel Morgan in Morgantown and heading to the Fairmont area for reunion activities Friday and Saturday.

“We’re the only Morgans of this clan in California,” said Kelly Morgan, who coincidentally lives in a town called Morgan Hill, Calif.

And although the brothers were born and raised in the Golden State, they have been aware of their ties to West Virginia through their ancestor and his son, David Morgan, who settled near Rivesville, because of a book they got from their aunt called “Report of the Col. Morgan Morgan Monument Commission” by Haze Morgan.

French Morgan — who shares the name not only with his father, but also with another prominent Morgan ancestor from a different branch of the family — has been more interested in the genealogy than his brother and even brought his son for a tour of the area two years ago. Kelly Morgan once lived in Charlottesville, Va., but never had visited West Virginia before.

On one fairly recent day, French Morgan idly Googled “Col. Morgan Morgan” and learned about the 100th Morgan reunion, which was celebrated Saturday with about 550 descendants at Pricketts Fort.

Usually, said Rita Laishley of Morgantown, the secretary/treasurer of the reunion committee, about 50 people attend the annual event. But with the 100th anniversary approaching, the committee decided to go all out and try to attract 100 people, one for each year the reunion has been held.

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