Morrison, Robert, 1782-1834

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Epithet: of Londonderry

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000841.0x00001b

English orientalist and missionary.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : to Rev. I. Arundel, 1825 Jan. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270613042

Epithet: of Add MS 39105

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000841.0x00001a

Epithet: of Add MS 33111

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000841.0x000019


Morrison was the first Protestant missionary to China; he published a six volume Chinese dictionary in 1821.

From the description of Robert Morrison letter : to Adam Clarke, 1826 March 9. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64074942

Morrison Family and Jacob Levin (undated, 1887-1989)

Jacob Levin, 1853-1921

Born in Russia or Poland (Russian Poland), possibly in the town of Korria, Jacob Levin (also Levine or Levins) immigrated to the United States around 1882 and was naturalized in Boston in 1887. His wife, Annie (Stark) Levin and their first child, Etta (born in 1880 or 1881) joined him in 1883. Once in the United States, the Levins had four other children–Bernard, Eva, Lillian and Agnus-between August 1883 and October 1889, born either in their first place of residence in New Jersey or in Boston. Once settled in Boston, Levin worked mainly as a salesman and manufacturer, and was involved in Jewish communities in various suburbs of Boston where he lived over the years. He donated to Jewish charitable organizations, including the Benoth Israel Sheltering Home and the Boston Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews and Orphanage, where he was an Associate Member at least between 1890 and 1891. His eldest daughter Etta married Morris Morrison, making Robert, Ralph and Sidney Morrison his grandsons. He died in 1921.

Morris L. Morrison, 1872-1949

Morris Morrison was born in 1872 in Chaniya, Russian Poland (near Brest-Litovsk) to Moishe Velvel, a miller, and Shayna Chaya (Jennie Lenn), a seamstress and midwife. Three weeks before Morrison was born, Moishe died in a mill accident, leaving Shayna a widow with three children – an older sister and brother, Raphael, along with baby Morris, then known as Moshe or Maishe, after his deceased father. After a difficult life in Chaniya, Morrison immigrated to the United States around 1889. Upon arrival, he changed his name from Moshe to Morris Lenn Morrison, modeled on his Hebrew name of Moshe ben Moshe (Moshe son of Moshe) with his mother’s maiden name as his middle name. This combination of Old and New World was typical of Morrison. A classically-trained Eastern European yeshiva student beginning with cheder at age four, he easily navigated and referenced typical Judaic texts like Torah, Talmud, Pirkei Avot (Ethics/Chapters of the Fathers) and Rambam (Maimonides) throughout his life, while also investing himself in the American Jewish community and working in his own insurance firm. By 1910, Morrison was heavily involved in Boston politics, even going so far as to run for a seat in the 1910 election as a Democratic representative in the General Court for the 21st district of Boston. He moved to Florida and remained involved with the Jewish community there before returning to live with his wife, Etta, in Brookline. She died in 1948, and Morris followed slightly over a year later. His children remembered him as a constantly giving, uncomplaining and invested member of their family and community.

Ralph Morrison (1870/1871-?)

Morris Morrison’s older brother Ralph was born Raphael in 1870 or 1871. A few years after his birth, he was registered as the only male in his family in order to avoid military conscription for himself and his brother. After he emigrated in 1902 or 1903, he and his wife Lena had four daughters (Bertha, Mirian, Francis and Anna) and two sons (Fred and Sumner). Ralph was a shochet accredited by Rabbi B. Boruchoff of Malden, and worked for Sturtevant & Haley, a subsidiary of the meat-packing giant Swift and Co. He corresponded with rabbis from various Jewish communities, both in and out of Massachusetts.

Robert M. Morrison (1904/1905-1986)

Born in Boston in 1904 or 1905, Morris and Etta (Levin) Morrison’s oldest son was consistently involved in Jewish and Zionist organizations from very early in his life. He was a member of the primarily Jewish Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) fraternity as a student at Harvard. From at least 1927, he was connected to such groups as the Federated Jewish Charities, Young People’s League of the United Synagogue of America, Zionist Organization of America, Jewish Big Brother of Boston, Temple Ohabei Shalom of Brookline, Massachusetts, Yeshivat Torat Israel and Temple Israel of Boston. He continued to work with such associations for most of his life.

Sidney L. Morrison (1911-1996)

The third Morrison son, Sidney was also involved in Jewish communal life, although his participation was less documented than his father's and brother's. His largest works involved family history, including organizing and copyrighting the two volumes of his father's autobiography, Shtetl Tintypes and “M.L,” as well as typing up his own memoirs, entitled Saga of Sid Morrison . The husband of Ruth Dvilinsky Morrison since 1937, Sidney died in 1996.

  • July 1853: Jacob Levin born in Russia/Poland.
  • June 14, 1872: Morris Lenn Morrison born in Chaniya, Russian Poland.
  • May 1880/1881: Etta Levin (Morrison) born in Russia/Poland to Jacob and Annie (Stark).
  • October 21, 1887: Jacob Levin naturalized as US citizen.
  • May 23, 1896: Morris Morrison naturalized as US citizen.
  • April 15, 1902: Morris Morrison and Etta Levin marry in Everett, Massachusetts.
  • January 29, 1903: Eva G. Morrison born
  • February 5, 1903: Eva G. Morrison dies
  • March 25, 1904/1905: Robert Martin Morrison born in Everett, Massachusetts.
  • 1907: Ralph E. Morrison born.
  • May 1910: Morris Morrison named principal assessor of the City of Boston by Mayor John Fitzgerald.
  • October 1, 1911: Sidney L. Morrison born.
  • May 5, 1921: Jacob Levin dies; buried in Adath Jeshurun Cemetery in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
  • March 1927: Robert Morrison appointed to Board of Governors of Federated Jewish Charities.
  • December 1927: Robert Morrison elected second vice president of Young People’s League of the United Synagogue of America.
  • April 15, 1932: Robert Morrison marries Norma Falk at Beacon House, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1933: Sidney Morrison graduates Harvard University.
  • 1937: Sidney Morrison and Ruth Dvilinsky marry in Brockton, Massachusetts.
  • June 1946: Morris Morrison elected to the Board of Trustees of the Associated Jewish Philanthropies (precursor to Combined Jewish Philanthropies).
  • June 17, 1948: Etta Levin Morrison dies; buried in Adath Jeshurun Cemetery in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
  • November 3, 1949: Morris Morrison dies of a heart attack; buried in Adath Jeshurun Cemetery in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
  • 1982 - 1983 : Morris Morrison’s memoir Shtetl Tintypes published as a series of articles in the Broward Jewish Journal, and as a volume self-published by Sidney Morrison.
  • 1986: Robert Morrison dies.
  • 1989: Morris Morrison’s memoirs from 1889-1941 published as a book called M.L.
  • December 19, 1990: Sidney Morrison compiles a book of his own memoirs, The Saga of Sid Morrison.
  • August 27, 1996: Sidney Morrison dies in Boca Raton, Florida
Footnotes 1 Information used in this finding aid is from the following sources: Materials from the collection "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch <> accessed 03 Aug 2012, Morris L. Morrison and Etta Levin, 1902. "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch <> accessed 03 Aug 2012, Jacob Levins, ED 1260 Precinct 2 Boston city Ward 8, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 16B, family 276, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240678. "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch <> accessed 03 Aug 2012), Morris L Morrison, Roxbury District Precinct 6 Boston City 16, Suffolk, Massachusetts; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 3A, family 57, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820733. "Massachusetts, Births, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch <> accessed 03 Aug 2012, Morrison, 1903. "Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch <> accessed 03 Aug 2012), Eva G. Morrison, 1903. Sidney L. Morrison obituary, Orlando, Florida, Orlando Sun Sentinel, 27 August 1996, <> Ruth Dvlinsky Morrison obituary, Orlando, Florida, Orlando Sun Sentinel, 21 October 1994, <>Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910. (From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. <>, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.) U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: <>

From the guide to the Morrison Family and Jacob Levin, Collection, undated, 1887-1989, (American Jewish Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Roberts, Edmund, 1784-1836. Papers, 1805-1839. New Hampshire Historical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. DXL (ff. 206). July 1715-1722.includes:f. 1 Toby Purcell, Colonel, Governor of Duncannon Fort: Letter to Lord Sunderland: 1715.ff. 2-3b Peter Flournoys, Huguenot; tutor in Sunderland household: Memorandum rel. to: [1715?].f. 4 Thomas Norg... British Library
creatorOf Morrison, Robert, 1782-1834. Autograph letter signed : to Rev. I. Arundel, 1825 Jan. 31. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIb, 1807-1825 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Journeys round Tengyueh, 1877-1908. Cornell University Library
referencedIn American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions archives, 1810-1961. Houghton Library
referencedIn Klaproth, Julius von, 1783-1835. Julius von Klaproth letters, 1817-[ca. 1820]. Cornell University Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Council for World Mission, 1775-1970 School of Oriental and African Studies
referencedIn Ritter, Carl, 1779-1859. Letter, 1837 January 3, [n.p.], to an unknown recipient. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Morrison and Levin Family Papers Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society
referencedIn Vol. xii. (ff. 425). Mar.-10 Aug. 1803.includes:f. 1 B-M-Donogh, British Consul at Tripoli: Letter to the 2nd Earl of Chichester: 1803. f. 3 London, England: Report on mendicity in: 1803. f. 3 Matthew Martin: Report on mendicity in London: 1803. ... British Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Albert Morrison collection, Morrison, Albert collection, 1841-1886 William L. Clements Library
creatorOf Morrison, Robert, 1782-1834. Robert Morrison letter : to Adam Clarke, 1826 March 9. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Vol. CLXXV (ff. 367). Feb.-Apr. 1863.Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley: Correspondence with Sir A. H. Layard: 1846-1881.includes:ff. 1, 155, 197 William Perry, Consul-General Venice; Knight 1872: Letters to Sir A. H. Layard: 1861-1866... British Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Arundel, I., person
associatedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Klaproth, Julius von, 1783-1835. person
associatedWith Levin, Jacob person
associatedWith Massachusetts. General Court corporateBody
associatedWith Morrison, Etta Levin person
associatedWith Morrison family family
associatedWith Morrison, Morris person
associatedWith Morrison, Ralph person
associatedWith Morrison, Sidney person
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith Ritter, Carl, 1779-1859. person
correspondedWith Roberts, Edmund, 1784-1836. person
associatedWith Sturtevant & Haley corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Borneo, Indonsesia
Malta, Europe
Ireland, Europe
Poland, Europe
Persia, Asia Minor
United States of America
Morocco, North Africa
Serbia, Europe
China, Asia
Cochin-China, Asia
London, England
Brazil, South America
Boston (Mass.)
Ireland, Europe
Emigration and immigration
Politics, Practical--20th century
Encyclopedias and dictionaries, Chinese


Birth 1782-01-05

Death 1834-08-01





Ark ID: w63v1x8h

SNAC ID: 7658480