Search for content in message boards

Joseph Morton

Joseph Morton

Posted: 1343488596000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Morton
My great grandfather's brother, Joseph Morton, fought in the Boer War. He was part of the Railway Pioneer Regiment as a Bugler. After he left, he was supposed to return to Cumbria, but cannot find any record of him doing so. I wonder if anyone can help me find out what happened to him, and whether he remained in South Africa.

Re: Joseph Morton

Posted: 1343521087000
Classification: Query
The Railway Pioneer Regiment was a South African Raised unit.
His Record of Service is available free at

It shows he had 3 shillings a day stopped from his pay and sent to his Wife at 9 Main St. Frizington, Cumberland.
He was discharged in Johannesburg 31st March 1902 and gave his contact address as P.O. Frizington, Cumberland.

I have checked the QSA Medal Roll for his entry but there are no notes to say where his medal were sent to so it would appear it was issued to him before discharge.

Looks like Joseph married Elizabeth Mary Cowling in 1893

GRO Registration reference

Morton Joseph, Mar Qtr 1893, Registration District Whitehaven, vol 10b page 798
Cowling, Elizabeth Mary, Mar Qtr 1893, Registration District Whitehaven, vol 10b page 798

1901 Census his Wife is living at 8 Main Street, Frizington.

She did not claim to be head of family

MORTON, M E, Wife, Married, F, 31, where born Tavastock Doncaster, Yorkshire
MORTON, M A, Daughter, Single, F, 7, where born not given
MORTON, J W, Son, M, 3, where born not given

Address: 8, Main Street, Arlecdon, County: Cumberland
Sub District: Harrington, Enumeration District: 9, Ecclesiastical Parish: Frizington St Paul
Municipal Borough: Frizington

RG13 Pce 4889 Fo 156 page 1

Birth Registrations

Morton Mary Ann, Mar Qtr 1894, District Whitehaven, Vol 10b page 602
Morton John William, Sept Qtr 1897, District Whitehaven, Vol 10b page 668

In 1911 the family appear to be living at Skelsceugh Road, Frizington and Elizabeth (Lizzie) is recorded as a Widow.

Address: Skelsceugh Road Frizington Cumberland

MORTON, Lizzie, Head, Widow, age 40, Washer Woman, birth place England Cumberland
MORTON, Martha Ann, Daughter, Single, age 17, birth place Frizington Cumberland
MORTON, John William, Son, Single, age 1, birth place Frizington Cumberland
WHITTEN, Ellen Sister, Married, age 26, birth place England Cumberland
WHITTEN, Edna Mary, Niece, Single, age 4, birth place Arlecdon Cumberland

RG14, Piece: 31482.

Registration District: Whitehaven; Sub District: Harrington
Enumeration District: 8; Parish: Arlecdon
County: Cumberland

He had over 500 miles to cover from Johannesburg to the nearest main port of Durban, that is provided he chose to travel that route.

There are a number Morton deaths at sea between 1902 & 1911 but none have a given name. If he died in South Africa his death should have been registered in South Africa in which case a record should be in the SA Archives, but I cannot help with that detail.

You could check incoming UK passenger lists on Ancestry just in case he made it to the UK but not back home, or have a look for a death notice in the local newspapers held at the Cumbria Archive and Local Studies Centre, Scotch Street, Whitehaven.

Re: Joseph Morton

Posted: 1344073555000
Classification: Query

Thank you so much for your reply which has helped enormously. It will definitely help me in my quest to find out what happened to him. His grandson is still alive living in the United States, so he will be very interested.

Thank you again

Re: Joseph Morton

Posted: 1344110731000
Classification: Query
If John came back by military transport he will not show up in incoming passenger lists.

Bearing in mind there’s another Joseph Morton born and living in the area, who would be around the same age (check BMD’s and census), there’s a death registration that could be your man.

MORTON Joseph, Jun Qtr 1904, age 28, District Whitehaven, vol 10b page 409

Be interesting to check his address and the informant.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic