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    Volume 1 Issue 4 December 1996   

Samuel Wiser

Samuel Wiser was the son of Benjamin and Kezia Wiser.

He was born about 1784 in Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

The first record we have of Samuel is his military record. He served in the War of 1812 in the 23th United States Infantry. His enlistment record describes Samuel as 5 feet 11 inches tall, black eyes, dark hair, dark complexion, age 30, farmer, born Haverhill, NH. He enlisted April 1814 at Fort Oswego, NH.

About 1820, probably in Truxton, Cortland County, NewYork, he married Betsey (Elizabeth) Babcock, the daughter of James and Temperance (Decker) Babcock.

Betsey was born about 1790 in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Her family moved to Fabius Township, Onondaga County, New York about 1810. James Babcock was a cordwainer (shoemaker) and farmer. Fabius Township, Truxton Township and Cazenovia Township (where Samuel's father, Benjamin lived) were all adjacent to each other in three different counties.

Benjamin lived in New Woodstock in Cazenovia Townsip as late as 1812; by 1820, all of Benjamin's sons were living in Truxton township. Samuel and Betsey had at least the following children:

1. Amanda, born 1820, probably in Truxton, died 13 May 1886 in Cascade, Dubuque County, Iowa. She married first, 20 Feb 1840, in JoDaviess County, Illinois, Marshall Cottle. She married second, Patrick McManus.

2. Temperance M. Wiser, born 8 Jul 1821, probably in Truxton, died 13 Jan 1881 in Bennezette Towwnship, Butler, IA.. She married 2 Jan 1842 in JoDaviess County, Illinois, William Jefferson Adams.

3. Ezra Wiser, born about 1824, nothing more known, except mentioned in 1856 State Census of Utah, though he probably never lived there. There were a number of people mentioned in the census who never actually lived there, the territory was trying to become a state at that time.

4. John McCormick Wiser, born 22 Jun 1826, probably in Truxton, Cortland, New York. John married first, 22 Feb 1849 in Jackson County, IA, Sarah Ann Silsbee. She died of birth complications, 27 Dec 1849 in Jackson County, IA. After the death of Sarah and their newborn child, John left Iowa to find his fortune in the West. On his way to the gold rush in California, he stayed the winter in Utah and never left. John married second, Martha McKinney Frost, the widow of Harmon Jackson Akes and George Washington Langley. They were married in the Spring of 1851 in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. John died 25 Jul 1897 in Lewiston, Cache, UT.

5. Samuel S. Wiser, born about 1829 in Truxton, nothing more is known, also listed in 1856 census.

6. Matilda Ann Wiser, born 1832, probably in Truxton, died 1861 in Dubuque, Iowa because of childbirth complications. She married 9 Sep 1847 in JoDaviess County, Illinois, James Gregory.

7. William Henry Wiser, born about 1834 probably in Truxton. Supposedly died young.

Samuel and Betsey Wiser are mentioned in the land records of Onondaga County in 1832, probably soon after the death of Betsey's father, James Babcock. In 1834, Samuel died in Truxton. Betsey supposedly remarried a brother of Samuel, we have always believed that it was Theodore Wiser. Theodore and Betsey had a child, Albert Henry Wiser, born about 1838 in Truxton. Albert is mentioned in the 1850 Census of Farmersburg Township, Clayton County, IA, living with his sister, Temperance Adams. Nothing more is known of Albert. Theodore and Betsey left New York shortly after 1838. Theodore joined the iron miners of JoDaviess County, Illinois to find his fortune.

In 1839, Theodore and Betsey supposedly died in JoDaviess County, Illinois, and the children were given to various families to be raised.

Later in life, John went East to try to find traces of his brothers and sisters, but to no avail, though two of his sisters still lived in Iowa. The whereabouts of his brothers are still a mystery. However, it is thought that Ezra and Samuel also went West.

Samuel Wiser is mentioned in the 1820 and 1830 Census of Truxton, and in January 1831, three of his children were attending school in Truxton School District No.7. It is not known when he left New Hamsphire for New York, but by 1805 his father was in Cazenovia Township, New York. There is a Samuel Wiser mentioned in the 1815 tax list of Bath, New Hampshire, but this could also have been a son of Benjamin Jr.

We have been able to compile much on the descendants of Amanda Wiser Cottle McManus, Temperance Wiser Adams, John McCormick Wiser and Matilda Ann Wiser Gregory. The other siblings remain a mystery.

Betsey's parents, James and Temperance Babcock, were married, 16 Feb 1777 at the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, Orange County, New York. James was born, 22 Jun 1755, in Exeter, Washington County, Rhode Island, the son of James and Sarah (Sheldon) Babcock. Temperance was a native of Orange County, New York, but her parents are not presently known. The first record we have of Temperance is as a witness of Solomon Smith's will, 21 Jun 1775 in Goshen.

James and Temperance had the following known children:

1. Sarah (Sally) S. Babcock, born about 1781, died 4 Sep 1805, buried in Lenox, Massachusetts.

2. Betsey Babcock.

3. Susan Babcock, the wife of Simeon Kingsley and Asa Crandall.

4. Amanda Babcock, the wife of Joshua Davis, they lived in Lafayette Township, Onondaga, New York.

James and Temperance had at least three sons, names unknown and one other daughter. All must have been deceased by 1832.

James and Temperance were in Pittsfield, Massachusetts by 1784 where he was assessed taxes for 3 tillage acres, 97 woodland acres, 1 horse and 1 cow.

He was mentioned in the 1790, 1800 and 1810 Census of Pittsfield. In 1810, he bought land in Fabius where he lived when the 1820 Census was taken.

We continue to find more information on these families as more records become available. Should you have any additional information on these particular families, would you please send me a copy. Hopefully, working together, we can solve a few of the remaining mysteries of our family.

We still have not found the parents of Benjamin or Kezia Wiser, though the search continues. As mentioned in the October newsletter, there is a lot of similarity in given names with the Wiser Indian family of Natick, Massachusetts.

Of course, another theory would lean towards a Palatine (German) origin. A few Palatine families ended up in Scotland prior to their arrival in America.

Benjamin is not a German given name, so if his family lived in Scotland for a generation, this could explain how he was given this name. And then of course, Weiser would be the correct spelling of our surname. If Benjamin was of Palatine origin, then it would be very likely that he would somehow be related to Johann Conrad Weiser.

I wish to express to all who have written to me during the past few months my appreciation. We are hopeful to publish a book on the descendants of Benjamin Wiser Jr. by the end of 1997. Next, we hope to publish books on the remaining brothers of Benjamin including an update of the Wiser Family History first published in 1974.

Please send me updated family information when convenient. If is easier, please use a computer data file rather than hard copy.

Please have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year-Ron Wiser.