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MC 1058: Morell Family fonds

Dates of creation: 1828-1958

Physical description: 30 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1787, Hugh Morell immigrated to New Brunswick in July 1826.  His wife, Margaret Jane Ross, had died in Ireland about 1826. The Morells had no fewer than four children:  David (1813-1891), Sarah (1820-1913), James (1821-1913), and Jane (1825-1909).  Hugh established himself at Newcastle, Northumberland County, and his children joined him over the next two decades.  In the 1850s, at age 75, Hugh Morell, although ill, was still employed as a post master, a position he had probably held for a number of years.  He died on 20 May 1855 at Newcastle.   

The Morell children also settled in Newcastle. David, who married Sophia Hannah in Ireland, arrived in New Brunswick in 1839.  Jane married Andrew Crocker (1815-1905); and Sarah married Walter Lowrie.  She was living in Lakewood, Ohio, when she died on 27 May 1913.  James married Janet Lowrie (d.1886) in 1841. Later generations immigrated to St. Paul, Minnesota, and Vancouver, British Columbia - but some stayed in Newcastle or moved to Fredericton, N.B.

James and Janet (Lowrie) Morell had 10 children and lived in Newcastle.  The younger children included Walter (1855-1933), who married Annie Haines in 1885.  They lived in Newcastle on 5 acres of land which he bought from his father.  Walter and Annie had 10 children - but 1 died as a teenager and another by the age of 2.  Of the remaining eight, six were writers or recipients of letters in this fonds, i.e. Janet Lowrie (1897-1979); Fred Clifford (1888-1978); Walter Horace (1892-1918); Arthur Herbert (1894-1973); Annie (1904-  ) and James (1907-  ).

Fred C. Morell married Grace Jones of Woodstock on 30 September 1916.  They had 4 children: Horace, Fred Jr., George and Lois.  Horace and Fred Jr. served overseas in World War II and some of their letters to family members are in this fonds.  Walter’s son, James G.P. Morell, married Vesta Roberta Webber of St. Stephen on 28 December 1940.  He went overseas in WWII and this fonds includes many of his letters.  After the war, he and his wife settled in Fredericton.  They had two sons, James Leonard and David Andrew.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists primarily of family correspondence, including letters received by Hugh Morell (1828-1840); James Morell (1856-1906); Janet (Lowrie) Morell or Mrs. James Morell (1881-1882); Andrew Morell (1936); Jessie Morell (1902-1925); Sarah Jane (Morell) McDowell and her children (1885-1904); and Emma Morell (1 letter from her sister Mary Morell, 1877).  There is also one letter to "brothers and sisters" from Jimmie Morell, of St. Paul, U.S.A. (1887).

Of particular interest are letters addressed to Walter Morell or his wife, Annie, from their sons, Fred, Herbert (Herb), and Horace (Horrie) who served overseas during the First World War (MS4). Herb writes most frequently but there are letters from all three soldiers. Horace Morell was killed in France on August 8, 1918 – but his two brothers returned home safely in 1919. These letters span the years, 1916-1919.  There are also letters (dated 1941-1945) from Walter and Annie's youngest son, James (Jimmie) and their grandsons, brothers Fred Morell, Jr. and Horace Morell, who served overseas during World War II.  Many of the letters from the Morells serving overseas are addressed to Janet Morell or Annie Morell and occasionally other family members. 

The soldiers' letters in this fonds are unusual because they are from two wars and six different soldiers all from one extended family.  Son Jim's letter to his mother from Camp Sussex (sometime in 1941) as he prepared to go overseas indicated that for a mother to have sons in both wars was not normal; he wrote "For you to have to go through it all again after the last time isn't any small thing." Both the frequency with which the soldiers write, and their choice of words signify close family ties. They also indicate that they received lots of "goodies" and letters from the home front, which was vital to soldiers.  Letters contain details about how soldiers passed their time when not fighting and often contain news of their other Morell soldiers - amongst whom there was a lot of contact.

Finally, the fonds includes post war letters (1946-1958) to Janet Morell (in Montreal) from her mother, Annie Morell; a letter to Grandmother Annie and aunts Jen and Annie from Dilys Morell at Camp Medley, 1947; a genealogy of the Morell family and the annual report for St. James' [Presbyterian] Church, Newcastle, December 1913.



MS1                             Hugh Morell Correspondence, 1828-1840

   A                   Letter to Hugh Morell from his brother, John Morell, 7 April 1828, Mill Brook, Ireland

               B                   Letter to Hugh Morell from J. Morell, Fairview, Ballibay, Ireland, 26 February 1829

               C                   Letter to Hugh Morell from his son, Rich. [Richard] Morell, Ireland, 18 July 1838

               D                   Letter to Hugh Morell from his friend, Rich. [Richard] Ross, Drum Crain [Drum Crin] Cottage, Ireland, 3 November 1840

MS2                 Correspondence of Children of Hugh Morell

A                    James Morell (Newcastle, N.B.) Correspondence, 1856-1906:

1          Letter to James Morell from James Beatty, Monaghan, Ireland, 4 January 1856

2           Letter to James Morell from James Beatty, Monaghan, Ireland, 13 January 1857

3           Four letters to James Morell from his four grandchildren, Maud, Hugh, Mary and James, St. Paul, Minneapolis, United States of America, 18 December 1889 (Morell Grandchildren)

4           Letter to James Morell from his son, James, St. Paul, United States of America, 26 November 1892

5           Letter to James Morell from his grandson, Charlie McDowell, Vancouver, British Colombia, 6 April 1906

6           Envelope addressed to James Morell, Newcastle, (child's printing, with make-believe scribbled letters attached)

            7           Receipt from “D & J Ritchie & Co.” – marked paid: January 1905

            B                    Janet (Lowrie) Morell (wife of James) Correspondence, 1881-1882

1          Letter to his mother from J.L. Morell, St. Paul, United States of America, 10 April 1881

2          Letter to his mother from Walter Morell, St. Paul, United States of America, 28 October 1881

3          Letter to his mother from Walter Morell, St. Paul, United States of America, 30 January 1882

MS3                             Children of James and Janet (Lowrie) Morell

A                      Andrew Morell (Newcastle, N.B.) Correspondence (including cards), 1936, n.d.

1          Letter to Andrew Morell from Janet Jardine, Newcastle, 4 January 1936

2          Christmas card to Uncle Andrew from Jennie, n.d.

3          Christmas card to Andrew Morell from Margaret J. Adams, Campbellton, n.d.

B                      Jessie Morell (Newcastle, N.B.) Correspondence (including Christmas Card), 1902-1913, 1925

1           Letter to his Aunt Jessie from Arthur, Campbellton, 4 January 1902

2           Letter to his Aunt Jessie from Arthur, Campbellton, 27 June 1902

3           Letter to Jessie Morell from her father, St. Paul, U.S.A., February, [1903]

4           Letter to Jessie Morell from her sister, Sarah McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 19 June 1907

5           Card to Jessie Morell from Saville Mowatt, Lakewood, Ohio, re death of Sarah Lowrie, 4 June 1913

6           Letter to Jessie Morell from her sister, Sarah McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 9 September 1913

7           Letter to Jessie Morell from her sister, Sarah McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 21 September 1913

8           Letter to Jessie Morell from her brother Richard, California, U.S.A., 18 December 1919

9           Christmas Card to Aunt Jessie with love from Jennie, Christmas 1925

                        C                      Sarah Jane (Morell) McDowell and children

1           Teacher's Agreement - Contract between Sarah Morell and the Trustees of School District Number 7, Parish of Newcastle, County of Northumberland, 20 March 1885

                        2           Correspondence

     a      Letter to Jessie McDowell from her father, John McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 29 July 1904

     b      Letter to Sarah McDowell (Mama) from John McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 13 August 1904

    c     Letter to Jessie McDowell from her father, John McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 14 August 1904

    d      Letter to Charlie McDowell from his father, John McDowell, Vancouver, B.C., 16 August 1904

3          Short notes and sketches that accompanied letters from John McDowell, ca. 1904 (3 pages)

D                      Letter to Emma Morell from her sister, Mary Morell, Green Bay, 18 December 1877  (Not certain who Mary Morell is – calls Emma and Sarah her sisters – so must be a daughter of James and Janet – but there is no Mary listed amongst their children in the Census Returns, 1851 – 1871 or in the “Morell Family History” in this fonds.)

E                      Letter to his brothers and sisters from Jimmie Morell, St. Paul, U.S.A., 1 January 1887 [on the death of their father]

MS4                             Letters received by Walter and Annie Morell or their children.

                        Letters of the six Morell soldiers (in WWI and WWII) to other family members also follow.

A                      Walter Morell or Mrs. Walter Morell (Annie Haines Morell), Newcastle, NB.  (Letters are dated, 1885, 1911, 1916-1919.)  Walter (1855-1933) was the 6th child of James and Janet (Lowrie) Morell.

1           Note to Walter Morell from the [Rev.] T.G. Johnstone, the “Manse, Blackville” saying he will be happy to perform the marriage ceremony for you at the Haines Residence, on Tuesday evening (the 24th); note dated 19 November 1885.

2           1911:  Letter from Mary E. McAvity (Saint John) to Mrs. Walter Morell, 3 January [1911]

3          1916

4          1917

                            a      1 January – 3 June

                            b      1 July – 31 December

                        5          1918 – 1919

                            a      4 January – 30 June

                b      19 July 1918 – 10 March 1919 (only 6 letters 2 postcards are dated 1919)

6          1922  (1 Christmas letter from James L. Morell, St. Paul, Minnesota)

7          19 November – 12 December 1933 (Letters of condolence upon Walter’s death: 18 November)

8          1941 (and Miss Annie Morell) 1942 (and Miss Annie Morell)

9          1942 (and Miss Annie Morell) 1942 (and Miss Annie Morell)

10        1943 (and Miss Annie Morell)

11        1944 (and Miss Annie Morell)

12        1945 (and Miss Annie Morell)

13        1950 (1 Postcard from Jane Watters)

         B                         Annie Morell (Newcastle) (younger sister or aunt of the soldiers)

1          1916-1919 (2 letters, one of which is incomplete, and 1 postcard)

2          1939, 1941-1942 (1939 item is Royal Visit Pass, Newcastle)

3          1943

4          1944

5          1945

6          1947 (To Ann, Grandma and Aunt Jen from Dilys at Camp Medley, 25 July 1947); 2 cards, n.d.

            C                      Janet L. Morell (Montreal)  Most of the early letters are from her three younger brothers serving overseas as soldiers in World War I (i.e. Herb, Jim or Horace.)  In World War II, she receives letters from her brother, Jim and her two nephews, Fred Jr. And Horace, all of whom were serving overseas. After WWII, all of her letters are from her mother, Mrs. (Annie) Morell. Letters are written to Jen, Jennie and Aunt Jennie never Janet.

                        1          1916

                        2          1917

                        3          1918

                        4          1919

                        5          1937 (1), 1939 (3)

                        6          1940

                        7          1941

                        8          1942

                        9          1943

                        10        1944

                        11        1945

                        12        1946-1947 (from Mother)

                        13        1950-1952

                        14        1953

                        15        1954

                        16        1955

                        17        1956

                        18        1957

                        19        1958

            D                      Jim Morell from Herb, 1916-1919 (4 items)

E                      Hugh Morell from Herb, December 13, 1916 (One letter in which he discourages his younger brother from enlisting reminding him that three of us are enough over here.)

F                      1918 (card from Herb also undated letter); and card from Jim, Christmas, 1941.

            G                      Christmas card from Frank, n.d.

MS5                             Genealogy of the Morell family

MS6                             Annual Report of St. James Church, Newcastle, New Brunswick, 31 December 1913