The Family Tree of Morgan Fairchild


Morgan Fairchild comes from a family of Texas educators. Her mother and both grandmothers were teachers, while her grandfather and a granduncle were school superintendents. 

By James Pylant
Copyright 2007, 2013—All rights reserved
Do not post or reprint without written permission

Photo: s_bukley/Shutterstock

The original actress to play Jenna Wade in the television series Dallas, Morgan Fairchild had an interesting parallel to that character. She is a Dallas native and her grandfather was in the oil business. One of her first name-making roles came in 1981 with the NBC-TV series Flamingo Road as Constance Carlyle, the wealthy secret love child of Lute-Mae (Stella Stevens). The next year, Morgan Fairchild played a stalking victim opposite Stevens’s son, Andrew Stevens, in the thriller, The Seduction.1 “I know my mother told me 30 years ago that a search had proved I’d be eligible to join the DAR, but not sure where she got that,” Morgan tells me.2 She comes from a family of educators—her mother and both grandmothers taught school, while her grandfather and a granduncle were school superintendents.

The strikingly beautiful actress with the equally impressive stage name was born Patsy Anne McClenny on 3 February 1950 in Dallas to Edward Milton McClenny and Martha Jane Hartt.3 She has a younger sister, the actress Cathryn Hartt.4

Edward Milton McClenny was born 28 February 1919 in Dallas5 and died 27 July 1999 in Dallas.6 Martha Jane Hartt, a Dallas native, was born 31 July 1924.7 A retired teacher, Mrs. McClenny died 4 May 1999 in Dallas. Martha Jane (Hartt) McClenny graduated from Southern Methodist University. In 1981 she retired after teaching English at Richardson High School for twenty-four years.8

The McClennys
Morgan’s father, Edward Milton McClenny, was the son of Silas Milton McClenny and Susie Mae (McGlamery) McClenny.9 The 1920 federal census listed the household of Silas M. McClenny, a 45-year-old carpenter, and wife Susie M., age 33, and two children: Beulah M., age two, and 11-month-old Edward M.10 A decade later, the widowed Susie M. McClenny, age 43, lived at University Park, Dallas County, with six children: Beulah, 13; Melton [Milton], 11; Jacob R., nine; Annie, eight; Ferrell, six; and David, four.11 Children named in Silas McClenny’s obituary were four sons, Milton, J. R., Ferrell and David, and two daughters, Beulah Mae and Annie Lee.12

Silas Milton McClenny was born 7 June 1874 in O’Fallin, St. Charles County, Missouri, to James Redman McClenny and Sarah Ann Ferrell.13 He died at age 52 at his Dallas home on 17 December 1926 and was buried in Breckenridge, Stephens County, Texas.14

At age thirty-six, Silas, working as a carpenter, lived in the household of his parents, J. R. McClenny, age 71, and Sara A., age 65, in Stephens County. His parents had been married 48 years, and Mrs. McClenny was the mother of seven children, all of whom were then living.15 Before settling in Stephens County, the family lived in Tarrant County where they farmed.16

James R. McClenny was born on 8 September 1838 in Missouri and died on 29 May 1917 in Stephens County.17 Sarah Ann Ferrell was born on 22 October 1843 in Missouri and died on 18 January 1933 in Weatherford, Parker County, Texas. According to J. A. McClenny, Sarah’s parents were Ben Ferrell and Sarah Hutcheson.18

Susie Mae McGlamery was born on 4 October 1886 in Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas, and died on 12 June 1953 in University Park, Dallas County. A school teacher, she was the daughter of Jacob Biffle McGlamery and Jimmie Lyster,19 who were married in Hopkins County on 29 November 1883.20 The 1900 census listed 13-year-old Susie M. McGlamery (born in October 1886) in the household of her father, Jacob McGlamery, a Tennessee-born blacksmith, in Stephens County, Texas.21 Her brother, Bert McGlamery, served nearby Eastland County’s education system as county superintendent.22

The Hartts
Morgan’s mother, Martha Jane Hartt, was the daughter of Grover Hartt, a Dallas attorney, and Mattie B. (Harnesberger) Hartt.23 In 1930 Grover Hartt (age 43, born in Texas) was the manager of an oil company when the federal census was enumerated that year. Others in the household included wife Mattie B., age 31, born in Texas; Grover Jr., age eight-and-a-half; and five-year-old Martha J., both born in Texas; and brother-in-law Gordon Harnesberger, a 28-old Texas-born dentist.24

Grover Hartt was born 17 September 1886 in Texas and died 16 March 1957 in Dallas. According to Grover Hartt Jr., Grover Sr. was the son of Jim Hartt and Elizabeth LaRue.25 Grover Sr. started his law career with a practice in Ranger, Eastland County, in 1919. He relocated to Dallas the following year, where he founded the Hartt Petroleum Company.26 However, the census enumeration for 1920 shows 33-year-old Grover Hartt, working in the oil business, and wife Mattie B., 27, renting a dwelling in Austin, Travis County. Living with the Hartts were Mattie’s sisters, Mozell Harnesberger, 18, and Norma Harnesberger, 14. All were Texas natives.27

Mattie B. Harnesberger, Morgan Fairchild’s maternal grandmother, was born on 6 February 1892 in Beckville, Panola County, Texas, to Robert Fulton Harnesberger and Fletcher Jane Biggs. She and Grover Hartt married on 11 June 1913 in Beckville.28 “My sister has a copy of a letter from my grandfather around 1913,” Ms. Fairchild says. “He was also the superintendent of a school system around then, too.”29 Mattie Harnesberger Hartt, who taught in public schools at Tenaha, Timpson and Austin until 1920, took a prominent role in the Dallas City Council of Parent-Teacher Associations.30

Mattie first appears in census enumerations in 1900 in the household of R. F. Harnesberger, a 42-year-old physician, born in January of 1858 in Georgia to Georgia parents. Others in the family include: wife Fletcher, 32 (born in August 1867 in Texas); son Robert F., nine (born July 1890); daughter Mattie B., eight (born in February 1892), daughter Odessa, two (born in August 1897), and five-month-old son Gordon B. (born December 1899). All of Dr. and Mrs. Harnesberger’s children were born in Texas.31

Dr. Harnesberger, who opened his medical practice in Beckville in 1884, attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.32 He and Fletcher Jane Biggs were married in Panola County on 1 July 1889.33

Fletcher Biggs, at age twelve, is listed as the daughter of Joseph Biggs on the rolls of the 1880 census in Panola County. He was a 44-year-old farmer, and his wife, Martha, was 38. Both were Georgia natives. The couple had four other children: Willie, ten; Mittie, eight; Eva, six; and James, one. All five children were born in Texas.34

Fletcher J. Harnesberger died on 13 October 1906 in Beckville, Texas, where she was buried in Conner Cemetery. According to her tombstone inscription, she was born in Rusk County, Texas, on 12 August 1866.35

The 1910 census lists Panola County physician Robert F. Harnesberger, 50, with a wife named Lola, age 38, born in Georgia. The census indicates that they had been married less than a year, and that it was his second marriage and her first. His children were Robert, Jr., 19; Mattie P., 18; Odessa, 12; Gordon B., 10; Thelma M., eight; and Norma, five.36

As shown above, Mattie’s sisters lived with her at the time of the 1920 census enumeration. However, they are enumerated twice; Mozell, age 17, and Norma, age 15, are the two youngest children in the household of 60-year-old physician Robert Harnesberger, which included wife Lola, 50; daughter Odessa, 21; and son Gorden B., 19.37 In 1930, Lola Harnesberger, 61, appears on the census schedule that year as a widow, in Beckville.38 Her husband had died on 19 April 1920. According to his tombstone in Conner Cemetery, he was born 13 January 1858.39

The 1870 census for Panola County shows J. E. Biggs, 36, a farmer, with Martha, 29; Sarah, 11, at school; Fletcher, three; and three-month-old William. Sarah, like her parents, was a Georgian, and the two younger children are listed as Texas natives. The real estate of J. E. Biggs had a value of $320, while that of his personal property was estimated at $250.40

Fletcher Biggs’s parents came to Texas from Georgia. Joseph E. Biggs, Morgan Fairchild’s great-great-grandfather, served in Company C, 3rd Georgia Cavalry of the Confederate States Army. He enlisted on 28 April 1862 in Columbus, Georgia, and served until May of 1865. “I was with Johnson’s Army in North Carolina at the Surrender,” Mr. Biggs stated when applying for a pension in 1909. By that year the 73-year-old was disabled, according to a written statement given by son-in-law R. F. Harnesberger, M. D.41

In 1860 Joseph E. Biggs, 23, farmed in Talbot County, Georgia. The federal census enumeration that year shows his real estate valued at $800 and personal property worth $3,752. He and Martha E., age eighteen, had one child, Sarah T., age ten months.42 Joseph E. Biggs and Martha E. Carter were married 28 October 1858 in Talbot County.43 His tombstone in Conner Cemetery in Panola County states he was born 13 January 1836 and died 21 August 1911.44

  1. Morgan Fairchild, online,, accessed 3 August 2007.
  2. Morgan Fairchild to James Pylant, 7 April 2007.
  3. Patsy Anne McClenny entry, Texas Birth Index, 1903-1977 (Austin: Texas Department of Health [TDH]), 1950 Births, p. 2159.
  4. Cathryn Hartt, online,, accessed 6 August 2007.
  5. Edward Milton McClenny birth certificate, no. 6213 (1919), TDH.
  6. Edward McClenny entry, Social Security Death Index, online,, accessed 21 August 2013. Also, Edward Milton McClenny entry, Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998, online,, accessed 23 August 2013.
  7. Morgan Fairchild to James Pylant, 7 April 2007. Also, “Martha Jane Hartt McClenny, Mother of Actress Morgan Fairchild,”The Dallas Morning News, 12 May 1999.
  8. The Dallas Morning News, 12 May 1999.
  9. Edward Milton McClenny, Texas birth certificate.
  10. Silas M. McClenny household, 1920 U.S. census, Dallas Co., Tex., population schedule, Dallas, Enumeration District [ED] 2, Supervisor’s District [SD] 329, dwelling 308, family 315, p. 38, National Archives (Washington, DC) [NA] microfilm T625-1791.
  11. Susie M. McClenny household, 1930 U.S. census, Dallas Co., Tex., population schedule, University Park, ED 57-100, SD 10, p. 252, dwelling 90, family 91, NA microfilm T626-2321.
  12. “Silas M. McClenny, 52, Found Dead at Home,” The Dallas Morning News, 18 December 1926.
  13. Birthplace of Silas McClenny from Edward Milton McClenny’s birth certificate. Also, Charley Sherman McClenny’s death certificate, no. 76580 (1961), TDH, states he was born 22 December 1863 in St. Charles Co., Mo., to James R. McClenny and Sarah Ann Ferrell.
  14. Silas Milton McClenny death certificate, no. 41180 (1926), TDH.
  15. J. R. McClenny household, 1910 U.S. census, Stephens Co., Tex., ED 244, SD 16, p. 196, dwelling 11, family 12, NA T624-1589.
  16. James R. McClenny household, 1880 U.S. census, Tarrant Co., Tex., pop. sched., Precinct 4, ED 96, SD 8, p. 171, dwelling 80, family 81, NA microfilm T9-1328.
  17. Dates and birth and death from James Redmond McClenny tombstone, memorial 35279150, online,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  18. Sarah Ann McClenny death certificate, no. 4497 (1933), TDH.
  19. Susie Mae McClenny death certificate, no. 29488 (1953), TDH.
  20. J. B. McGlamory/J. A. Lyster [sic], marriage, “Texas Marriages, 1837-1937,” online,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  21. Jacob McGlamery household, 1900 U.S. census, Stephens Co., Tex., pop. sched., Justice Precinct 4, ED 141, SD 6, p. 209, dwelling 164, family 164, NA microfilm T623-1670.
  22. Abilene Reporter-News, 25 September 1952.
  23. “Grover Hartt Sr. Dies after Collapse at Office,”The Dallas Morning News, 18 Mar. 1957.
  24. Grover Hartt household, 1930 U.S. census, Dallas Co., Tex., population schedule, Dallas, ED 57-19, SD 10, p. 51, dwelling 96, family 103, NA microfilm T626-2314.
  25. Grover Hartt Sr. death certificate, no. 12789 (1957), TDH.
  26. “Grover Hartt Sr. Dies after Collapse at Office, The Dallas Morning News, 18 March 1957.
  27. Grover Hartt household, 1920 U.S. census, Travis Co., Tex., population schedule, Austin, ED 105, SD 10, p. 254, NA microfilm T626-1852.
  28. “Recently Married at Beckville,” The Dallas Morning News, 22 June 1913.
  29. Morgan Fairchild to James Pylant, 3 August 2007.
  30. The Dallas Morning News, 11 February 1946.
  31. R. F. Harnesberger household, 1900 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, Justice Precinct 2, ED 67, SD 7, p. 80, dwelling 53, family 58, NA microfilm T623-1663.
  32., “Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929,” online database,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  33. R. F. Harnesberger/Fletcher J. Biggs marriage (1889), “Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973,” online,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  34. Joseph Biggs household, 1880 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, Beat 2, ED 61, SD 1, p. 225, dwelling 214, family 299, NA microfilm T9-1322.
  35. Fletcher J. Harnesberger tombstone inscription, BillionGraves, online,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  36. Robert F. Harnesberger household, 1910 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, ED 124, SD 2, p. 82, dwelling 54, family 55, NA microfilm T624-1583.
  37. Robert Harnesberger household, 1920 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, ED 326, SD 156, p. 66, dwelling 87, family 90, NA microfilm T625-1389.
  38. Lola Harnesberger household, 1930 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, Beckville, ED 183-6, SD 2, p. 66, dwelling 64, family 71, NA microfilm T625-2382.
  39. Dr. R. F. Harnesberger tombstone inscription, BillionGraves, online,, accessed 21 August 2013.
  40. J. E. Biggs household, 1870 U.S. census, Panola Co., Tex., population schedule, Beat 2, dwelling 758, family 758, p. 274, NA microfilm M593-1601.
  41. Joseph E. Biggs file, Confederate Pension Application, no. 18227, Texas State Library and Archives, Austin.
  42. Joseph E. Biggs household, 1860 U.S. census, Talbot Co., Ga., population schedule, Military District, dwelling 506, family 506, p. 595, NA microfilm M653-137.
  43. “Talbot Co. Marriages, 1828 1867,” online,, accessed 15 July 2007.
  44. J. E. Biggs tombstone inscription, BillionGraves, online,, accessed 21 August 2013.