Family has always been important to me! Probably one of the most important “things” in my life. I know I get it from my parents, who got it from their parents…must run in the family!

Front row left to right: Aaron Layton, Guy Morris (Floyd’s brother), Clarence Engle, Alfred Decker (in front of Clarence), William Henry Decker, Alfred Layton, Riley Decker

Back row left to right: Oliver D. Morris (great great grandfather), Albert Decker, Raymond Morris (Floyd’s brother), Benjamin Morris (great grandfather), Floyd Morris (grandfather).

Everyone in this picture (above) is related to me in some way! Oliver married Isabel Layton, who was the daughter of Samuel Layton. That’s where the Layton’s come into the family – they came from England. Benjamin married Margaret Divelbiss, they’re originally from Germany. We didn’t know it til recently, but Hans Michael Divelbiss settled in Frederick, Md. Debelbesin was the original German name.

My grandparents


As far as I can tell the Morris’ come from Wales – Isaac Morris was born in Wales in 1824, died in 1898 in or near Bushcreek, Fulton, PA. His wife’s name was Leah and came from Germany (don’t know her maiden name, 1854 census). His son Oliver is my great great grandfather. Isaac’s father was Thomas who was born in Wales, not sure where he died. Thomas’ father was William Morris…the William Morris known for botany, antiquary, letter writer (and wallpaper).

I’ve been able to trace this line all the way back to Charlemagne (through one of the wives), and further. Some famous names are Tudor, Salisbury, Oliphant (Scotland), Wheeler/Welere/Welert, Lancelot Bors de Esposyni (Sir Lancelot – I do believe), Colius (old king Cole, he was a real king!)…if I made the connections right. I’m pretty sure I did. I have an account with MyHeritage, but I haven’t been able to do anything with it lately.

When Charlemagne popped up in the tree, I did some research. One of the websites said that if Charlemagne is in your ancestry, you’re related to all of Europe! Wow!!!

My ancestry through the Morris line goes all the way back to 20 B.C., goes into Finland, Sweden, and Russia (lots of kings). When I did the research I had no idea that I would find this!! Sometime I’ll go into detail about what I found with the Norse lineage I found. It’s too much for this post.

Oliver Morris (2nd from right)

We’re supposedly related to Princess Diana. Haven’t found the connection yet, but considering that the Morris’ come from Wales, it’s entirely possible. One of the Morris’ that signed The Declaration Of Independence is also an ancestor. As far as I can tell, he would’ve been a distant cousin. We’re also related to President Bush – both… Senior Bushes 2nd or 3rd great grandfather was my 4th or 5th great grandfather. Go figure…

Benjamin Morris sitting on wheel

Oliver Morris back row, 3rd from right, Benjamin Morris back row far right

Rosa Morris Smith

Rosa Smith is Benjamin’s sister. She married Ira.

Lydia Mason married Cecil Shaffer. Laura was a Devore. Lydia and Cecil were my great grandparents…story goes they were caught in the barn fooling around and were forced to get married. 7 or 8 months later, their oldest child was born.

I have to look and see how exactly Oscar and William are related. William and Rachel Mason are more than likely Jessie Mason’s parents. My dad did most if not all of the research on that side of the family (Shaffer/Mason/Devore), I did the research on the Morris’. My dad passed away in 2017, so I can’t ask him. All the paperwork is around here somewhere, will be a later post.

Uncle Larry, my dads brother
Keith Morris
Max Morris

Max, Keith and Larry were sons of Marion (Shaffer) and Floyd Morris.

Winfield Frederick Ningard (my grandfather)


The Ningards come from Germany. The original name was Nichengard, I believe they were night watchmen ( night guards). When they came to the U.S. the name was either to long or to hard to pronounce. I don’t have a lot of information about them, but I do know that my great great (?) grandfather participated in the civil war in Ohio and came back with an Indian bride (Souix). As far as I know, her name was Kate. They lived in Baltimore, MD.

Mary Holly

Mary Holly married Winfield Ningard. Her father’s name was George Holly. That’s not the original spelling, at one point it was either Hollie or Holley – George changed the spelling of it a couple times, but I can’t remember the actual original spelling.

That’s about it for now. I have a lot more information – like Max married Charlotte Ningard (Winfield’s daughter). That information will come later.


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