Uriah Edgecomb (1781-1861) and Elizabeth Doud (1792-1838)
Key words: Uriah Edgecomb, Elizabeth Doud Edgecomb, Betsy Doud Edgecomb, Betsey Doud Edgecomb, Elizabeth Edgecomb, Betsy Edgecomb, Betsey Edgecomb, Alvah Doud, Mary Ann Edgecomb Pangle, Mary Ann Pangle, Anna Edgecomb Pangle, Anna Pangle, Lydia Edgecomb Roberts, Lydia Roberts, Warren Roberts, Elisha Pangle, Amy Edgecomb Cowan, Amy Cowan, J. P. Cowan, Uriah and Betsy Doud Edgecomb, Uriah and Betsy Edgecomb, Uriah and Betsey Doud Edgecomb, Uriah and Betsey Doud Edgecomb, Uriah and Betsy Edgecomb, Uriah and Betsey Edgecomb
Uriah (b. 1781) was married to Elizabeth "Betsey" Doud (born 17921 and 11 years his junior) in Connecticut sometime c. 1808 to 1810.2 At this time, the Doud and Edgecomb families began the move to the western frontier. Uriah Edgecomb is listed in the 1810 census for Canton, Connecticut3 with a female the appropriate age to be Betsy and one child under 10 (presumably their eldest son, Uriah). We find Uriah selling land in Canton, Conn. in March of 18114 , and purchasing land in August in Preston, Chenango County, New York the same year5. This land was described as "part of lot number 42 to 43 in Township number fourteen".
Map of the Town of Preston, from a map of Chenango County by David H. Burr, 1829 (David Rumsey Map Collection) Source file
Apparently Uriah and Betsey made the move to New York with her brother Alvah Doud.6 Alvah is also listed in the 1810 census there and Uriah and Alvah sold land together in Preston in 1815. Betsey's parents and their family also made the move west to New York. They were not alone, as many other Connecticut residents were also moving west during this time. "The pressure of the rapidly growing population in [Connecticut] meant that many families were being driven to cultivation of thin marginal lands, which under then current agricultural practices could not produce crops adequate for a decent standard of living. ... It is little wonder that the availability of far cheaper and more fertile lands on the frontier caused an explosive emigration movement by thousands of Connecticut Yankees."7 Uriah and Betsey lived in New York until about 1818. Uriah and Betsey signed a deed together when they sold land there.8
As was the case in many pioneer families, Uriah and Betsey immediately began a family which grew to thirteen children:
Sumner-Savory Map of the Connecticut Western Reserve and Fire Lands - 1826 (Cleveland Public Library) Source file
Movement to the Western Reserve in Ohio
Following the end of the War of 1812, many settlers from Connecticut were hit by "Ohio Fever" and moved to the northeast corner of Ohio. This area, called the Connecticut Western Reserve, was an artifact of the early colonial period when most of the original colonies claimed land from their eastern borders west to the Pacific Ocean, even though they had no idea what lay beyond the Appalachian mountains. This caused some problems after the formation of the United States, since some states (such as Connecticut and Pennsylvania) claimed the same areas. When Connecticut ceded her claims to land in Pennsylvania, she specifically reserved a strip of land in the Northwest Territories (now Ohio), the "Western Reserve". This land was not unoccupied - it was the home to many Native Americans and it was not until after these people had been coerced into moving further west in 1805 that settlers began to migrate there in large numbers.7 In 1820, we find Uriah and Betsey living in Paris Township of Portage County, Ohio with their six children.18
There appears to have been an extensive migration of families from Chenango and Cortland Counties in New York to southwest corner of Trumbull County (which borders Paris Township) soon after this time. Alvah Doud, Betsey's brother, came about the same time as she and Uriah did. They were followed by her parents and three sisters, several of her aunts and uncles, and Uriah's brother John (who applied for a pension there in 1831). Other families which would later be closely associated with the Edgecombs in Allen County, Ohio also moved from New York to Trumbull County at this time, namely the Lewis's, Snyders, Bassetts, Everetts, and perhaps the Olmsteads. In 1830, Uriah lived in Braceville Township with his family which had now grown to 9 children. By this time, the oldest son, Uriah (III), was either living on his own or had died, since the census does not place him at his parents' home. Ezra may have also been on his own by that time.19 It has been suggested that Uriah and Betsy were living with or near Betsey's brother Alva or her parents.20
The Edgecombs in Allen County, Ohio
We don't know why the urge to move on was so strong - whether the soil in northeast Ohio was too poor or if Uriah just had itchy feet, but by 1832 the family was ready to move on again to Allen County in Northwestern Ohio. We also don't know why they chose to go there in particular, since Uriah and his family seem to have been the first of many Trumbull County folks to go there. In any case, Allen County was a wilderness at the time they moved.
Although much of the rest of Ohio had been settled by whites much earlier, the northwest quarter of the state had been set aside in the Treaty of Greenville of 1795 as a "permanent" reserve for the Indians. It was not until 1817, when the white population of Ohio became overcome with greed for this Indian land, that they pushed the Indians onto three small reservations of twenty-five, ten, and forty square miles respectively in the Treaties of Maumee and St. Mary's. Although this act theoretically opened up the area to settlers, the settlement actually proceeded rather slowly. One reason for this was that much of the area around Allen County consisted of two great wetlands: the Great Black Swamp and the Hog Creek and Sciota Marshes. The soggy soil made farming impossible in many places and malaria (known at that time as "ague" and which was thought at the time to be caused by the vapors of the marsh) made life difficult there. The first white settlers in Allen County came in 1824 and started the Sugar Creek settlement in Bath Township on higher ground between the two swamps. To give an idea of how dense the wilderness was at that time, a second family lived at the Hog Creek settlement within a few miles of the Sugar Creek settlement for a year before the two parties became aware of each other's existence!
Uriah's oldest daughter, Marilla was married to Josiah DeLong in about 1832. It is not known whether they were married before or after the family moved to Allen County. Lansil, who did move with the family apparently returned briefly in 1837 to Trumbull County for his marriage. The family's trip to Allen County must have been difficult, since roads were non-existent and the family was large, ranging from Ezra who was twenty, to the infant girls. Walter Edgecomb, who was about thirteen at the time, describes the family's journey from Trumbull County thus: "He states they were twenty-one days making the trip, bringing their stock with them. When they arrived Indians were still in the neighborhood, and he remembers seeing them frequently passing through the woods in single file."21
On 12 Jul 1832, Uriah bought eighty acres of land located near the banks of the Sugar Creek in Bath Township22. This land was an original grant from the State of Ohio and was a part of several tracts of land given by the federal government to the State of Ohio. The proceeds from the sale of the land were intended to be used to finance the building of the Miami-Erie Canal, which passed through the western part of Allen County and was a major factor in the development of the area after it opened in 1844. On those 80 acres the family made their home. An Indian cemetery was located in the northwest corner of their farm and this may explain why they frequently saw the Shawnee Indians passing by on their way from the nearby Hog Creek reservation (now Shawnee Township).
But the Indians were not to remain for long. Despite promises that the reservations were theirs forever, they were persuaded to sell them and relocate to Kansas. In the fall of 1832, "many surrendered themselves to despair, and plunged into a course of dissipation; others, with more regard to the legends of the tribe, collected their trophies, articles of the chase, domestic utensils, and even leveled the mounds of the burial grounds of the tribe. This accomplished, the sub-agents, Robb and Workman, gave the order to proceed on that long Western journey, and 700 members of the Shawnee family, with half that number of Senecas, moved toward the west...".23 Their wooded hunting grounds and sacred burial grounds were transformed into corn fields and their memory would only be evoked when some later resident plowed up one of their relics years later.
In about 1834, Betsey's sister Chloe and her husband, George Olmstead followed the Edgecombs from Trumbull County to Allen County.24 This was the beginning of a tide of Trumbull County folks who were among the first white settlers of the northwest corner of Bath Township. Included in this group was Uriah's nephew, Phineas Spencer Edgecomb (b. 5 Sep 1795, son of Uriah's brother, John) who lived out the rest of his life there. Uriah's older sons, Ezra and Lansil, bought land near his farm in 1833, and Robert did the same in 1835. The children of Uriah and Betsey began families of their own. For supplies and news, the families traveled to the log cabin village of Lima (now a city of 40 000), founded only a few years earlier in 1831. On 4 Apr 1835, Uriah and Elizabeth Edgecomb took out a mortgage on their farm for $250 with the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co.25 In the record of this transaction, Elizabeth signed with "her X mark", indicating that she was illiterate.
Tragedy struck the Edgecomb family when Betsey died on 11 Jan 1838. She was laid to rest in a small cemetery on a hilltop just north of their farm on what is now Wolfe Road. Other family members were later buried there, including Uriah, Ezra, Amy, and Phineas. The weathered tombstones of these and other Trumbull County emigrants can still be seen there today. Another cemetery in the nearby village of Beaverdam contains the graves of Walter, Marquis, and Sarah, as well as Betsey Edgecomb's sister Chloe (Olmstead) Mowen.
Several of Uriah's children married children from the other Trumbull County families that followed the Edgecombs to Allen County. One such family was Samuel and Elsie (Lewis) Bassett, who came to Bath Township in 1836. Walter married Laura, the oldest Bassett girl, and Sarah married Lewis Bassett. In addition to Walter and Sarah, Ezra, Clarinda, Marquis, and Amy lived out most of their lives around an area called "Lordstown" (after a township in Trumbull County) in the northwest corner of Bath Township and around the nearby village of Beaverdam. The Edgecomb family maintained connections with their relatives in Trumbull County and were visited by Doud cousins from there. 26
In 1845, Uriah bought the southeast quarter of section 11 (shown as the Hiram Prottsman farm on the 1880 map)27. He lived there with his youngest son Marquis28 until 1857, when they moved just west of Beaverdam29. Both Uriah and Marquis bought land there in the late 1850's. In the 1860 census, Uriah was listed living by himself in Richland Twp. in a separate household from Marquis.30 Uriah died on 22 Jul 186131, at Marquis' home.
This account was taken from History
of the Edgecomb, Bassitt, and Snyder Families of Allen County, Ohio by
Steven J. Bassett Baskauf, 2007. This portion of the book is freely
available under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License provided you give the citation
listed above. On the web, a link to this page would be helpful.
Comments? Questions? Contact Steve Baskauf
2. In 1808 Betsy would have been 16, so it is unlikely that she would have married before then. Based on the birth dates of their children, their first child could not have been born after 1810. Census records also indicate that he was born in 1810 or earlier.
11. This birth date agrees with that given by his son in "History of the Edgecomb Family back as far as the 7th generation" [pg. 2] [handwritten original pg. 1 pg. 2 pg. 3] by Lansil Edgecomb (b. 1869), Pennville, IN 16 Sep 1938.
12. Tombstone inscription, old Beaverdam Cemetery, Richland Twp., Allen Co., OH "WALTER EDGECOMB Died June 16, 1893 Aged 73 Y. 10 M. 10 D." It is possible that the final digit in the days might be a 6 but the lack of an obvious ornament such as the one seen at the top of the "6" of the "16" indicates that it is a zero. Monument entire inscription dates dates enhanced
13. Tombstone inscription, Old Shawnee Cemetery, Zurmehly and Shawnee Rds., Shawnee Twp., Allen Co., OH. "CLARINDA WIFE OF P. SNYDER DIED DEC. 19, 1866 AGED 44 Y 8 D" Monument inscription enhanced inscription
15. Tombstone inscription, old Beaverdam Cemetery, Richland Twp., Allen Co., OH "Marquis Edgecomb Died May 20, 1901 aged 74 y 5 m 9 d". This gives the same birth date as History of Allen. Monument inscription
16. Tombstone inscription, Sproat Cemetery, Wolfe Rd., Bath Twp., Allen Co., OH. "Amy wife of J. P. Cowan died Dec 11, 1850 aged 23 y 2 m 28 d". Monument
17. Tombstone inscription, old Beaverdam Cemetery, Richland Twp., Allen Co., OH "Sarah wife of Lewis Bassitt died Jan 28, 1891 aged 59 y 4 m 8 d". Dates agree with those from family Bible of Philo Bassett & papers, entries from 1875-1917, in possession of James H. Bassett. Monument inscription poem poem enhanced "Mother thou hast from us flown To the -- forever. -- --- --- ---- anthem"
24. Diary of Davis R. Doud, Gardner, Illinois, 1902. It may also have been that they came at the same time as Uriah and Betsey as suggested in Diary of Davis R. Doud, 31 Dec 1902, quoted in a letter from Inez L. Eagleton to Steve Bassett (Baskauf), 9 Sep 1981.
26. Letter Eagleton Sep 1981 p.2 (see also pg 1) reports that Davis R. Doud, son of Alvah Doud and nephew of Betsey Edgecomb noted in his journal that he visited his first cousin Robert Edgecomb. Frank P. Edgecomb also mentioned in his reminiscences, 1944 Oct 29, recorded at Allen Co, OH Museum that "When I was a small boy a man named Doud came from Trumbull County and visited four or five days. He asked my father if he recalled some one back in Connecticut. He was related to some of the Edgecomb family."
31. Tombstone inscription, Sproat Cemetery, Wolfe Rd., Bath Township, Allen County, Ohio. "U Edgecomb Died July 22, 1861 aged 80 yrs 3 mo". Monument
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