John Pittman, Sr. and (1) Elizabeth Mauck, (2) Christiana Pope Oatman
John Pittman, Sr. was the second-born child and eldest son of Nicholas and Catherine (Snapp) Pittman. He was born ca. 1762 in (then Frederick Co.) Shenandoah Co., Virginia (Bly, 1993; Wolph, 1980). He married Elizabeth Mauck on 7 May 1787 in Shenandoah Co. (Wolph, 1980). They lived in the Valley near Strasburg until they emigrated to Indiana ca. 1809 (Bly, 1993).
Historical records from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Strasburg, Virginia (Sonner) offer the following references to John and Elizabeth.
John and Elizabeth were witnesses for the baptism of their nephew, Philip Bitman, son of brother “Lawrence Bitman and wife Catha.” on 19 March 1797.
John and Elizabeth’s daughter Magdalena was baptized on 20 October 1799. “Benj. Grabil and wife Catha.” were witnesses to the baptism.
John and Elizabeth’s son Philip Peter was baptized on 25 March 1804 Peter “Maack” was the witness to the baptism.
John and Elizabeth’s son David (my 3rd great-grandfather) was baptized on 19 September 1807. “Johannes Bitman and wife Elisab.” were witnesses.
In 1808, John and his wife Elizabeth appear to have sold their land in Virginia prior to their migration to southern Indiana:
“Between John Pitman and Elizabeth his wife [to] Samuel Kern ... consideration of five Hundred Dollars ... two certain Tracts of Land situate lying and being on the North side of the north river of Shenandoah the first tract of two hundred & ten acres ... on the river bank near an Indian grave ... line of Survey made for Mathias Funk ... The second tract containing five acres ... Corner to Peter Black ... which said Tracts of Land containing 215 acres was conveyed from Lawrence Pitman and wife to John Pitman also the first tract was conveyed from Nicholas Pitman to Lawrence Pitman & from Martin Roller and wife to Nicholas Pitman and was granted from Lord Fairfax to said Martin Roller ...” (Gilreath, Bk Q, p. 307 - 12 Sept. 1808)
John and his family emigrated to the newly formed Harrison County of the Indiana Territory in ca. 1809 and settled in what was then Harrison Township (later Scott Township) in the western side of the county (Wolph, 1980). Scott Township was eventually dissolved and merged back into Harrison Township on 1 January 1939.
John’s earliest known land purchase in the Indiana Territory was recorded in the territorial capitol of Vincennes in 1809. The tract of land was 194 acres in the SW quarter of Section 31, Twp. 3 south, Range 3 East (Neighborhood Youth Corps, 1971). This land today lies north of Old Forest Road and east of Highway 462; and is bisected by Feller Road. In John’s Last Will and Testament (1835), he refers to this property as the home farm.
“The farm on which I now live except three fourths of an acre including the grave yard it being the South West quarter of Section thirty one in township three South, range three east of the Second principal meridian…”
The graveyard referred to in this description is known as the Hottel or Conrad Cemetery and is located on the west side of Feller Road north of Old Forest Road. Many descendants of John and Catherine (Pittman) Snider are buried here, but the only descendant of John Pittman that has been identified in this cemetery is Lena Maude Pittman, 2nd great-granddaughter of John Pittman, who died in 1903.
In that same year of 1809, John’s aforementioned brother-in-law John Snider purchased 160 acres diagonally northwest in the NE quarter of Section 36, Township 3 south, Range 2 east (Neighborhood Youth Corps, 1971). John Snider purchased an additional quarter-section diagonally northwest (SW ¼,25, 3, 2 ) in 1818 and another quarter-section immediately north of that in 1821 (NW ¼, 36, 3, 2).
John Pittman purchased at least three other tracts of land in Harrison County. In 1811, he purchased 160 acres along Valley View Road SW about 1 mile west of the Heidelberg Church and Cemetery (SE ¼, 9, 4, 3). John Snider purchased the quarter section adjacent to the west in 1814 (SW ¼, 9, 4, 3).
In 1813, John Pittman purchased an additional 160 acres in Section 8, to the west of his 1811 purchase (SW ¼, 8, 4, 3). John Snider purchased two additional quarter-sections in Section 17 to the south in 1817 (SW ¼, 17, 4, 3) and 1818 (SE ¼, 17, 4, 3).
Finally, John Pittman purchased another quarter-section in 1820 north of his original purchase in Section 25 (NE ¼, 25, 3, 2). This last purchase was that referred as the “Blue River Farm” in John’s Last Will and Testament.
According to Griffin (1959b),
"The former Scott Township lays in western Harrison County; it is bordered on the north and west by Big Blue River. Indian Creek cuts across the southeast corner and through the middle it is cut by the Potato Run and the Cold Friday Run. In the southwest it is bordered by the Ohio River. ........ The first settlers of this area were Benjamin Grable and John Pitman in 1809. In 1810 and 1811, William Daggs and Walter Craig entered land and in 1814 and 1818, Henry Briles and John Snider settled here."
John and Elizabeth had eight children that have been identified. The existence of John’s family in the county was documented in the 1810 Census. Prior to the 1850 Census, records only listed the name of the head of the household but not the names of household members, only their sex and age range.
The 1810 Census of Harrison Co. (Hoosier Genealogist, June 1976) lists John Pittman in Harrison Twp. plus 3 males under 10 years of age (assume Philip Peter b. 1803, Isaac Noah b. 1804, and David b. 1806), 1 male betw 10-16 (assume John b. ca. 1795), 1 male betw 16-25 (assume Lawrence b. between 1787 & 1790), 1 male over 45 (assume John), 2 females betw 10-15 (assume Mary Magdalena b. 1799 and Catherine b. 1797), and 1 female over 45 (assume wife Elizabeth). Also listed were 5 slaves.
According to Bly (1993), "John Pitman and his family moved to Harrison County, Ind. in 1809 and settled in Scott Township where he operated a ferry on the Ohio River." In fact, John probably did not operate the ferry until he married Christiana (Pope) Oatman in 1814 following the death of his first wife Elizabeth (Mauck). Furthermore, the ferry was not in Scott Twp as implied by the quote from Bly (1993), but rather to the east in what today is Floyd Co.
John’s second wife Christiana was a widow who had inherited land and the ferry that her husband Joseph Oatman operated near the present city of New Albany, Indiana. According to Wolph (1980), “After Joseph Oatman's death in 1812, John Pittman married his widow. He operated the ferry established by Joseph Oatman on the Ohio River in 1807, but it continued to be called the Oatman Ferry.” The ferry was located at the easternmost end of the Corydon-New Albany Pike (today’s Hwy 62), probably at the very end of today’s Ferry Street. According to Griffin (1959a), “Early roads went out from Corydon as early as 1809. Most of these roads led to the south where the ferries crossed the Ohio River. The main traveled road was from Oatman's Ferry where New Albany is now located west through Corydon to Harrisons Mill.”
The 1820 Federal Census, Harrison Co. lists a John Pittman household with one male 45 or older (assume John) plus 2 males 10-15 yrs old, 1 male 16-18, 1 male 16-25 (incl. head), 3 females 10-15 and 1 female 26-44 yrs old (Christina?). John's age as 45 or older would equal a birthdate of 1775 or earlier, agreeing with his recorded birthdate. His first wife, Elizabeth, died in 1810, so the oldest female listed was likely Christina. The ages & number of the children listed, though, do not agree with the records for John & Elizabeth. Sarah, Lawrence, John, and Mary Magdalena were already married before 1820 and presumably living on their own. That would have left only four children living at home in 1820. Catherine would have been abt 23 yrs old. Philip would have been abt 17 yrs old. Isaac would have been abt 16 yrs old. David would have been abt 14 yrs old.
The 1830 Federal Census, Harrison Co. lists a John Pitman (sic), Sr. household: 1 male 60-69 yrs old (John?), 1 female 20-29 yrs old (Catherine?), and 1 female 60-69 yrs old (Christina Pope Pittman?).
The 1840 Federal census of Harrison Co. lists the household of John Pitman (40-49 yrs old), who was likely John Sr's son. There was a male, 70-79 years old, listed in his household but it is uncertain who that may have been. John Sr. reportedly died in 1839, whereas his second wife Christiana lived until 1843. It is possible the census taker mistakenly listed her as a male because her age would have certainly agreed with that listed in the census.
The 1840 Federal Census, Harrison Co., Harrison Twp lists (very illegibly] a John Pittman (40-49 yrs old) plus 1 male less than 5 yrs old, 1 male 5-9 yrs old, 1 male 10-14 yrs old, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 20-29, 1 male 70-79 yrs old (mistakenly recorded for Christiana?), 2 females 5-9 yrs old, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 40-49 yrs old (Susannah?).
John and Elizabeth had 8 children:
- Lawrence, born between 1787–1790 Virginia, moved to Indiana with his parents ca. 1809, married Catherine Lopp 1813, little else is known about Lawrence and his family.
- Sarah, born between 1792–1794 Virginia, moved to Indiana with her parents ca. 1809, married Jonas Fleischmann (Fleshman) 1810 and farmed in southwestern Harrison County, Indiana, probably buried in Fleshman Family Cemetery on their home farm.
- John Jr., born July 1792 Virginia, moved to Indiana with his parents ca. 1809, married his step-sister Susannah Oatman and eventually moved to Knox County, Illinois where he died 1850 and is buried in Rice-Blue Cemetery, Henderson Twp, Knox County, Illinois.
- Catherine, born 1797 Virginia, moved to Indiana with her parents ca. 1809, died 1855, buried in Jordan Cemetery, Harrison County, Indiana. Little is known about her life, but she apparently was living with her younger brother David in her later years.
- Mary Magdalena, born 1799 Virginia, moved to Indiana with her parents ca. 1809, married John Lopp 1818 (brother of Catherine Lopp who married Lawrence Pittman), died 1872, buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Harrison County, Indiana.
- Philip Peter, born 1803 Virginia, moved to Indiana with his parents ca. 1809, married Mahala Grant. After his death ca. 1835, Mahala married Emanuel Conrad.
- Isaac Noah, born 1804 Virginia, moved to Indiana with his parents ca. 1809, married Mary Elizabeth Grant, eventually moved to Miami County, Kansas where he died 1880, buried in Glenwild Cemetery,West Line, Cass Co, Missouri.
- David, born 1806 Virginia, moved to Indiana with his parents ca. 1809, married Catherine Eddleman. After her death ca. 1834, David married Mary E. Young. They later moved to Cass County, Nebraska. Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cass County, Nebraska.