For the past century, the descendants of West Virginia’s first settler have gathered annually to celebrate their prominent family tree.

And with more than 500 descendants booked from 27 states and two countries, this year’s 100th Anniversary Reunion of the Descendants of Col. Morgan Morgan slated for Saturday at Pricketts Fort is expected to be one of the county’s biggest events of the year. Scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m., the event will last all day and celebrate the settlement of the state in 1726.

“This is a very exciting event,” said JoAnn Lough, a descendent of Col. Morgan and member of the committee organizing this event.

“This is not your usual reunion. It’s a celebration,” Lough added. “This is a celebration of our state. It celebrates our state and this area. It’s really quite a patriotic gathering.”

The other two members of the committee, Raymond Morgan and Paul Prunty, came before the Marion County Commission both this week and last to promote the event and ask for funding help.

“I didn’t dream when I got involved with this that it was going to blossom like it has,” said Prunty. “I really feel good about the program. There are so many different people coming from different places.”

In addition to monetary donations from the county commission to the fort and the Police Reserves, Raymond Morgan said the committee also sold commemorative coins and received donations from some local groups and businesses to help pay for the event.

Thus far, he said hundreds of coins, which are plated in gold and display the Morgan coat of arms, Col. Morgan’s tombstone at Bunker Hill, and the names of the settler’s eight children, have been sold to patrons.

Group members said the agenda for the day will include a variety of programs celebrating the Morgan history, a tour with 11 busses to an area just past Rivesville where Col. Morgan’s son, David Morgan, settled, traditional music performances from local bands, plenty of traditional food, and a host of historic information sharing, among other activities.

Col. Morgan originally settled in Bunker Hill, which is now Berkeley County, from Wales in 1726 and became the state’s first civil officer, judicial officer, commissioned military officer and road engineer. He also built the first public road, sponsored and built the first church, and is an ancestor of the state’s first governor.

Col. Morgan and his wife, Catherine Garreston, had eight children, James, Anne, David, Charles, Henry, Evan, Zackquill and Morgan, who also played significant parts in the further settlement of the state. Locally, both David and Zackquill made considerable contributions.

David was an early settler of Marion County and is buried in an area outside Rivesville near the home one of his grandchildren built in 1840. His tombstone and the historic house is a stop for the bus tour that will be taken Saturday. And just a few miles away in Monongalia County, Zackquill founded Morgantown in 1785.

Along with Raymond Morgan, Lough and Prunty, most everyone who is attending Saturday’s event are descendants of the Morgan family and will be gathering to celebrate their ties to the famous European settler.

And with so many large families from the 1700s, Lough said there are people who are descendants of Morgan who do not even know it.

“This has already been exciting,” she said. “It has caused so many people to think about their families. That’s what’s wonderful about any reunion.”

E-mail Mallory Panuska at mpanuska@timeswv.com.

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