George Morton is one of my favorite ancestors. I both love him and hate him. He is a pilgrim father and was part of both the Scrooby and Leyden congregations of Pilgrims. He was a merchant and was a financial mainstay of the Leyden pilgrims. However, for whatever reason, he stayed in London and did not set sail on the Mayflower. Perhaps he was in the Speedwell which turned back. In any case, you can't get Mayflower Society membership from George Morton. You can't membership from the Rev. John Robinson either.
George Morton's parents are unknown and his ancestry is unknown. We know he is called a merchant of York on his marriage record. He no doubt came from the district by Scrooby. There is an Anthony Morton living there and many people have assigned him as the father of George. In fact, if you google George Morton you can see his whole ancestry which has nobility and royalty in it. But you will note that the DAB even says that George was probably the son of Anthony Morton. In any case, no scholarly book of royal lines includes George.
George is also a case of being almost famous. When the Dictionary of American Biography was published in the 1920s, he was included. However, when the American National Biography was published he was not included. His contribution to life in North America is very limited due to his early death. His son, Nathaniel, on the other hand, deserves the mention he gets. Both are in wikipedia.
1. George Morton was born about 1585 and died in June 1624 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. He married at Leyden, Holland (the Netherlands) on 22 July 1612, Julianna Carpenter, baptized 7 March 1584/5 at Bath, England and died 19 February 1664/5 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, daughter of Alexander Carpenter of Wrington. After George's death, Julianna married Manasseh Kempton, born 26 February 1689/90 at Berwick-upon-Tweed, England and died 14 January 1662/3 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. George emigrated in 1623 on the Anne. George and Julianna had five children: Nathaniel, Patience, John, Sarah, and Ephraim.
2. Sarah Morton was born about 1616 at Leyden, Holland and died 25 August 1691 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Sarah married at Plymouth on 20 December 1644, George Bonham (Bonum), born about 1618 and died 28 April 1704 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Sarah and George had six children: Ruth, Patience, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, and George. Sarah is the subject of the children's book Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters.
Dictionary of American Biography ed. by Dumas Malone (Scribner's, New York, 1932) Vol. 13:254.
The Scott Genealogy by Mary Lovering Holman (1919).
Robert Charles Anderson The Great Migration Begins; Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (NEHGS, Boston, 1995) II:1296-7.
The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton 1878-1908: Part I, The Ancestry of Warren Francis Kempton 1817-1879 by Dean Crawford Smith (Boston, NEHGS, 1996). [Kempton]
The Ancestry of Thomas Chalmers Brainerd by Thomas C. Brainerd; edited by Donald Lines Jacobus (Montreal, 1948). [Carpenter]
Note at New England Historical & Genealogical Register 111:68.