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Abner Suber (Circa 1778 -- 1840)

 

The first known record of Abner Suber was on September 20, 1799 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (just north of Philadelphia) when he became of age. The papers were filed with the Bucks County Pennsylvania Register of Wills & Orphans' Court. In Pennsylvania, the Orphan's Court was (and is still) responsible to inspect and take care of the estates, usage, and employment of persons that are not able to take care for themselves. Included are minors, incapacitated persons, decedent's estates, et cetera. The 1799 Court document released the estate of Thomas Jenks, deceased, as Abner's guardian. Abner received 21 pounds sterling.

At the time, the "age of majority" in all of the United States was 21 years of age. Thus, Abner was born in approximately 1778.

The bond for administering the estate of Abner's father, John Suber (a.k.a. Johannes Subers), was filed at the Bucks County Orphan's Court on February 18, 1783. It named John's wife, Catherine Suber, John's brother, George Suber, and Jonathan Carlile (relationship unknown) as administrators and directed an inventory of John's estate. Apparently, the inventory was already prepared since it was dated February 12, 1783. Thus, John Suber died in about 1782. Abner would have been about four years old at the time of his father's death. However, his mother Catherine (Van Horn) survived John.

"Catherine Subers" appears in the 1790 U.S. Census for Bucks County. It shows that her household had three male children over 16 and three females total including her. Abner, and his two brothers, Jacob and Joseph, would not have been old enough to be counted. Also shown in Bucks County is a Mary Subers. The latter was the widow Mary (LaRue) Suber who had been married to John Suber's brother, Jacob.

Mary Subers, now alone, is again shown in the 1800 census in Middletown, Bucks County (between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey) along with Abner's brother Joseph and his family. (The 1786 Middletown Township Tax Records show both Mary and Joseph Subers along with Thomas Jenks and Jonathan Carlile.) Catherine is not found in the 1800 census or any subsequent census, but she could have been living with someone else since only heads of households were named.

A Settlement of the Account of the Estate of Abner Suber, a Minor, with Joseph R Jenks, Thomas Jenks, & Thomas Story Exit of his Guardian Thomas Jenks, Deceased was filed with the Bucks County Register of Wills & Orphans' Court on November 4, 1799[1]. The account was started in May 1794. Abner would have been around 16 years of age. Apparently, his mother stopped supporting him then. In April, 1796, there is an entry to pay his mother for making him shirts. That is the last known record of Abner's mother. Apparently she died shortly thereafter and Abner became an orphan at around 18 years of age.

According to Abner's Guardian Account, his guardian, Thomas Jenks, apprenticed Abner to John Doan in November, 1798. This was probably done by the executors of Thomas Jenks' estate since Thomas Jenks died on July 12, 1798. Abner soon ran away. John Doan posted the following in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 5, 1798:

RAN AWAY from the subscriber, on the 22d of the 3d month last, an indebted apprentice to the carpenter trade, named ABNER SUBER; (sic) he was about 6 feet high, with light red hair, limps as he walks, occasioned by a cut on his heel, is of a sly countenance, remarkably fond of himself, boasts of his riches, and endeavours to insinuate that he is of a great family. Whoever takes up said apprentice, and secures him in Philadelphia or Bucks county gaol, and gives information thereof to the subscriber, shall be entitled to Two Dollars reward, and all reasonable charges, paid by JOHN DOAN.

Bucks county, 12 mo. 3d, 1798.

The outcome of this escapade is unknown. In any case, less than a year later, Abner was free of this indenture. Abner, living alone, appears in the 1800 census in Lower Makefield, Bucks County (near Trenton) as well as his brother Jacob and his family. In about 1800, Abner's brother John moved across the Delaware River into Camden County, New Jersey and his family began to spell their name "Subers". However, their history was interrupted because the 1800, 1810, and 1820 New Jersey censuses have not survived.

Abner does not appear in the 1810 Bucks Co. census. It is likely that he immigrated to Ohio between 1800 and 1810.

After 1800, Abner Suber's name next appears in Washington County, Ohio 1810 Tax Records. He owned 115 acres in Wooster Twp.:

Survey Name Township Range Section Lot Acres Original Owner
Wolf Creek 4 10 23,29 33 85 Nathaniel Evans
Little Wolf Creek 4 10 30 39 30 Elijah Warren

Ohio became a state in 1803 and the 1810 U.S. census was the first time that Ohio was included. Unfortunately, the 1810 Ohio census was lost, except for Washington County. In 1810, Washington County included areas that later became parts of Morgan, Monroe, and Noble counties. Abner is not listed in that census.

The 1812 census of Ohio listed all resident land owners. Abner was listed in Marietta, Washington Co.

The Washington Co. Marriage Records show that Abner married Sarah Parker on March 8, 1813. They were married by Isaac Baker, Esq. (probably a Justice of the Peace). Abner was about 35 years old.

Abner might have been married before. In 1969, a genealogy researcher recorded a cemetery monument[2] inscription that read: "Erected to the memory of Benjamin Winecup Suber, son of Abner and Ruth Suber, who died 28 November 1812, aged 15 months and 6 days". The cemetery is near the west branch of Wolf Creek in Waterford Twp., Washington Co. and was formerly the churchyard of the Wolf Creek Chapel (demolished). Later, the Center Memorial Church stood in front of this site (now demolished). It is about 2 1/2 miles southwest of the town of Waterford on township road T142.

Benjamin's death would have been only a few months before Abner's marriage to Sarah. "Winecup" might have derived from "Wynkoop", the husband of one of Abner's sisters.

However, no record of the marriage or death of Ruth Suber has been found.

In the 1820 census, Abner Suber appears in Wooster Township, Washington County, Ohio -- one male under 10 (probably his son Paul), one male between 26 and 45 (himself), one female under 10 (probably his daughter Catherine), and one female between 16 and 26 (his wife Sarah). Abner would have been about 42 at the time. In 1824, Wooster Township was renamed Watertown Township. It remains so named today and is between 5 and fifteen miles WNW of Marietta, Ohio.

Abner Suber does not appear on the 1827 Tax Roles of Washington Co.

The records of the Subers in Washington Co., Ohio warrant further local research.

The next public record of Abner Suber is found in the The Early Land Records of Hancock County, Ohio, Hancock County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS), 1986, p. 65:

Suber, Abner (2)           residence Seneca         entered Richland Twp     04 Nov 1834
Suber, Paul                   residence Seneca         entered Richland Twp     04 Nov 1834

Paul was Abner's son. It appears as if Abner applied for two patents and Paul one. 1834 would be the date they applied for Land Patents (when land was first sold by the U.S. government). They had two years to make the payment.

The next year, Abner paid for his land. When a Land Patent was paid off, it was recorded by the General Land Office (now the Bureau of Land Management -- BLM). On May 18, 1835, Abner received Land Patents for four parcels totaling about 250 acres in Crawford County, Ohio. He would have been about 57 years old.

Township Range Section Present County Name Present Township Name Acres
2S 12E 12 Hancock Richland 80
2S 13E 7 Hancock Salem 43.88
2S 13E 7 Hancock Salem 86.97
1S 12E 35 Seneca Ridge 40

The townships, the six-mile-square land blocks which were the original divisions of land from the federal land grants, were divided into 36 one-mile squares. The township numbering was the north-south numbering, starting from the center line. The range numbering was the east-west numbering, starting from the center line. The section is the one-mile-square portion (approximately 640 acres) of a township. Sections were numbered one to 36, beginning with the number one in the northeast section, and proceeding west and east alternately through the township, with progressive numbers, until completed in the southeast corner of the township.

Ohio Sections.jpg (13166 bytes)

The original image of the patent says that he was from Crawford County, not Seneca as recorded by the OGS. In either case, Abner must have already been living nearby.

Perhaps Abner paid for the tract for which Paul applied and perhaps there is another entry in the land records for the fourth tract that did not get transcribed by the OGS.

At the time that Abner purchased his land and until 1842, there was a 147,840 acre Wyandot Indian reservation (called the Grand Reserve) centered on Fort Ferree, the locality now known as the town of Upper Sandusky. The reservation was about 19 miles from east to west, and 12 miles from north to south. The Wyandots ceded this land by a treaty made on March 17, 1842. They were the only Indian tribe remaining in the State.

Apparently, Abner moved to his land. In the book The History of Wyandot County Ohio published in 1884, Abner Suber is listed among the first 20 settlers of Salem Township. That book says that he owned 216 acres in "Section 7" (in 1845?). Section 7 was in Salem Township, but was adjacent to Section 12 in Richland Township[3]. He might have sold his land in section 35 in Seneca Co., Ridge Twp. Once the patent was issued, the land became private property and was then sold with a deed.

Abner's land was about nine miles NW of Upper Sandusky near the intersection of Wyandot County Route 4 and Wyandot County Route 95. The property must have been on the very edge of the Wyandot Reservation. In fact, most of Salem Township seems to be within what was the Grand Reserve area.

Crawford County was created in 1820. In 1845, the western portion of Crawford County, including Salem Township, (along with parts of Marion, Hardin, and Hancock Counties) became Wyandot County. Upper Sandusky is the county seat. County government records for Salem Township dated before 1845 would be found in Bucyrus, the county seat of Crawford County.

In 1994, a descendant of Abner wrote:

Abner owned land in Seneca Township, Seneca County at Range 14E Township 1W[4] 1/2 S.W. 1/4 Sec 28 which he obtained on 10 Sep 1830 in the name of Abner and Joseph[5] Suber.

Abner and his son, Paul Suber, had land in Hancock Co., Richland Township which was recorded on 4 Nov 1834. (See Early Land Records of Hancock, Ohio, O.G.S. Findlay, Ohio 45839 pub. 1986) Henry County was later formed from part of Richland Township[6].

Abner died 1840 at Crawford Co., Ohio (Court record &1840 Crawford Co. AD1 pages 58, 73). William M. Buell, John Carey, Reuben Swidge were appointed appraisers of Abner's estate. Widow Sarah Parker Suber uses the name "Sally Suber" on estate documents. Adam Nign is estate administrator. Among the various debts owed by the estate is 25 cents for a pint of brandy. Also, a fee for transportation to Crawford Co. and seven days nursing care for Abner just prior to his death was paid by the estate. Another bill was for necessities from the local merchant store. The estate distributed funds for shoes for the children during the administration of the estate. Estate auction advertised in the Bucyrus Democrat newspaper in 1840.

In 1840, Abner's estate administration records might have been in Richland County Probate Court since many Crawford County records did not start until 1867 and those might be spotty at best.

In the 1840 census, Sarah "Subert" appears in Crawford Township, Crawford County, Ohio --

one male between 20 and 30 (Paul),
one male between 15 and 20 (John),
one male between 10 and 15 (unknown),
one male between 5 and 10 (unknown),
one female between 40 and 50 (Sarah),
one female between 20 and 30 (Lucinda),
one female between 15 and 20 (Catherine),
and one female between 10 and 15 (unknown).

After his death, Abner's wife Sarah married Peter Stephens, a physician. The marriage took place between 1840 and 1850. The location and the exact date are unknown. In 1850, they were living in Wyandot Co., Ohio.

Again, none of this has been confirmed. Confirmation has been inhibited by lack of access to local records and has been confined mostly to Internet searches. Only the Bucks County estate papers were copied from original records. Much of the information herein was thus gathered by other people and typically, original sources are vague. There might be other records, both public and private, which document Abner Suber's life. More will probably become available in the future.

Any help that could substantiate either the Pennsylvania or the Ohio information would be welcomed.

 

By:
M. Paul Hawes
September, 2006


Appendix A

A Statement of the Accts of the Estate of Abner Suber, Minor with Joseph R. Jenks, Thomas Jenks, & Thomas Story Exects of his Guardian Thomas Jenks (Dec'd)

 

Cr

L s d
1795        
May 4 To Cash for Joshua Vanhorn for Board 1 16 9
Dito To Do p'd. Charles Clark for Sundry clothing 0 12 5
  Do p'd. to buy p---- ---- Taylor --- 0 17 62
June 27 To cash to buy a shirt and stockings 0 15 0
1796        
April Do p'd his mother for making shirt & trousers 0 9 0
1798        
March 3 To cash 1/6 dito expenses at Newtown on his business with John Doan 1/---- 0 3 42
Novb 31 To cash p'd John Doan for sundry articles of clothing for Abner Suber when he went apprentice by my order 2 14 3
1799        
March 25 To cash p'd. Abner Suber 1 10 0
  To cash p'd. him as --- account 45 0 0
  Dito to ------ ----- ----- account as in line above 18 15 -
  A bond on Gerardus Wynkoop for 34L 10s 10d payable on the death of his mother 34 10 10
  Commission for managing the estate 3 - -
  Expenses of settlement to register clerk of orphans court sheriff -- which includes the whole expense of settlement 2 10 1
  Balance found in the hand of the accountant & paid to said Abner Suber as per his receipts 21 19 6
    135 1 9

 

 

Dr

L s d
1794        
May 5 Received a Bond of Cornelius Vansant 73 0 2
  Dito by cash received 8 15 2
1795        
May 1 By cash received 4 7 7
  Received the above of Vansant and placed eighty pounds of it on interest in Joseph Taylor hands for three years which is --- 14 8 -
  A bond on Gerardus Wynkoop for 34L 10s 10d payable on the death of his mother ---- 34 10 10
  Commissions for 135 1 9

 

Bucks --

Sept 20th 1799. The Register of Wills &c. doth herby certify to John B. Coxe, Sr., President and his associates judges of the Orphans Court that he hath examined this account and finds it conformant with the Vouchers and Evidences produced for its support has filed the same and given the notice required by law to the heirs creditors and others all which is never the less submitted to your Honours for further necessary investigation & approbation

James Hanna


Appendix B

Abner Suber's Wyandot Co. Land

Map Abner Land.jpg (194453 bytes)


Footnotes

[1] See Appendix A.

[2] In 2006, this monument could not be found.

[3] See Appendix B.

[4] There is no Township 1W. Seneca County consists of Townships 1N, 2N, and 3N. Crawford and Wyandot Counties consist of Townships 1S, 2S, 3S, and part of 4S.

[5] Abner's brother Joseph remained in Pennsylvania and died there. The Bureau of Land Management has no record of this land patent. The only Ohio land purchases from the government by any Suber are the four land patents granted to Abner.

[6] Henry County was formed directly from Indian Territory in 1820.

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