Johannes Morf1

Male, #13490, (24 Jan 1734 - before 1790)
Father*Hans Jakob Morf1 (s 1710 - 1762)
Mother*Elisabeth Bosshard1 (s 1713 - )
Name Variation He was also known as John Murph. 
Name Variation He was also known as John Murff.1 
Birth*24 Jan 1734 Johannes was born at Zurich, Switzerland, on 24 Jan 1734.1 
Marriage*before 1764 He married Susanna (?) at South Carolina before 1764.1 
Deed*10 Apr 1764 He granted a deed on 10 Apr 1764

Marriage*say 1770 He married Ann D. (?) at South Carolina say 1770.1 
Birth of Sonsay 1773 His son Frederick Murff was born say 1773 at South Carolina.1 
Birth of Son1775 His son John Murff Jr. was born in 1775 at South Carolina.1 
Marriage*say 1777 He married Elizabeth (?) at South Carolina say 1777.3,1 
Biography* John Murff was living near Herman Geiger in 1775, as the following record from page 23 of South Carolina Memorials of Land Titles 1774-1776 shows: "John Allen, 28 Aug 1775, 121 acres on the South side of the Broad River. Bounded NW by Herman Geiger, NE by John Murff; SE on the Broad River (2-318:2). 
Death*before 1790 He died before 1790.1 
Research note*13 Mar 2011 Hi, Lew.
There were two different (Hans) Jacob Morfs who arrived on the ship Greenwich from parish Illnau, Zürich, in 1749. The Saxegotha-Jacob was the older one, his family on page 5 of the attached. Staatsarchiv Zürich has a firm policy of sending responses in German, although they accept questions in French or English as well. I do not read German, but genealogy reports are so standardized that I can usually interpret them. The natural order of events is birth, baptism, marriage and death, regardless of language...

At any rate, Johannes Morf was born in village Effretikon, parish Illnau, canton Zürich, on 24 Jan 1734 (Gregorian calendar used in Switzerland, so no need for double-dating). He did not live adjacent to Herman Geiger at any point in time, so that note should probably be deleted from your report. Herman Geiger had a grant on the Broad River (lower Dutch Fork), and it was adjacent to the 500-acre patent for Hans Jacob Morf on 20 Apr 1752--after Geiger's death in 1751, but Herman never lived on it anyway. The Broad River land was left to John Morf per his father's will. John (with no spouse) sold half of it on 10 & 11 Mar 1763 to Michael Moulbare (SC Deed Book E-3, p. 735). He sold the other half of it with first wife Susannah on 9 & 10 Apr 1764 to John Gottfrey (SC Deed Book E-3, p. 741). He married second wife Ann Elizabeth (maiden name unknown, widow of Rudolf Theiler) prior to ~1770, because Elizabeth's daughter Margaret Murff was born 1 Apr 1771. The Margaret (Murff) Sitler tombstone was erected by her son John Sitler (b. 1793) in 1856. John Sitler recalled the names of his maternal grandparents as John and Ann E. Murff. Percy Geiger inadvertently recorded the inscription on the tombstone as Ann D, but it is still legible as Ann E. The German name-usage was long extinct in 1856; John Sitler did not know that an Anna Elsbetha of the previous century was called "Elizabeth", not Anna or Ann E. The four known children of John Murff were John, Margaret, Frederick and Elizabeth. John Jr. "may have" been a child of Susannah, but no evidence suggests that. The others were children of second wife Elizabeth.

The death of John Murff/Murph was reportedly at the Battle of Cowpens, which took place on 17 Jan 1781. This was asserted on DAR applications from 3 Bell sisters resident in Edgefield Co SC, beginning ~1900. There is at least a reasonable question about the reliability of the report. The SC Accounts Audited and Stub Indent records (and all other Rev War sources) list a single John Murff with Revoluationary service. He was a member of the Orangeburgh/Amelia TWP branch of the Morf family, lived in Fairfield Co SC with wife Sophia Kinsler from their marriage in 1789. A descendant of his son Samuel (a Methodist minister) was admitted to DAR on John's service, Application #395859.

The DAR applications for descendants of John Murff of Saxegotha were submitted by Aileen Valentine Bell Malone (#50513), Rebecca Miles Bell Dennis (#50514), and Salome Bell Clotworthy (#50515). Their information, published in DAR Lineage Book 51 (1904), p. 233, was accurate for parents and grandparents. Their great-grandfather was accurately identified as "a" John Murff (with wife Elizabeth), but they apparently attached the service record of the John Murff of Fairfield Co. They used his birthdate (1750) and SC birthplace too. That Stub Indent entry listed service at Cowpens, but that John Murff (of Orangeburg and Fairfield Co) lost an arm, not his life.

Saxegotha-John lived near Savannah Hunt Creek of the Congarees, in a region that was predominantly Loyalist. He was not listed in the extant muster rolls of either side. He died before the 1790 census, when widow Elizabeth was enumerated with the two sons (John and Frederick) and two daughters (Margaret and Elizabeth) of John Murff. Her son John Tyler (byRudolf Theiler) lived next door. The 3 males aged 16+ in his household may have included his brothers Jacob and Herman Theiler/Tyler. I think that the best one can do re a death date for John Murff (b. 24 Jan 1734) is "reportedly killed at the Battle of Cowpens, per undocumented DAR application #50513" I don't know where the reference to Elizabeth's surname as Kaigler/Keigler may have originated, as used on the DAR application, but Kaigler was definitely not it! Andrew Keigler and his wife Anna Margaretha Leitner arrived in SC with no children in 1752. Elizabeth MNU was married to Rudolph Theiler by 1758. QED: she wasn't a Kaigler daughter--some colonial women may have married fairly early, but not prior to age 6.


Family 1

Susanna (?) (say 1742 - )
Marriage*before 1764 He married Susanna (?) at South Carolina before 1764.1 

Family 2

Ann D. (?) (say 1742 - before 1776)
Marriage*say 1770 He married Ann D. (?) at South Carolina say 1770.1 

Family 3

Elizabeth (?) (say 1737 - )
Marriage*say 1777 He married Elizabeth (?) at South Carolina say 1777.3,1 
ChartsLWG / Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper Griffin (Lew Griffin's gtgm): Ancestral Chart
Last Edited27 May 2011


  1. E-mail written Aug 2004 -- Apr 2011 to Lew Griffin from Harriet Imrey, Chicago, IL, e-mail address.
  2. Clara A. Langley, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1719 - 1772 Vol. III, 1755-1768, 1983, Reprint, Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, 2001.
  3. DAR Patriot Index, Washington, DC: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003.
    has Elizabeth's surname as Keigler.