Monday, August 31, 2020

Ezekiel Smith and Harriet Neil

     Ezekiel Smith, undoubtedly named after his maternal great grandfather, Ezekiel Mott, was the son of Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott.  Ezekiel, born on February 16, 1832, in Deerfield Township, Portage County, Ohio, joined a family of three sister and a brother.  Abner was a farmer and as Ezekiel grew older, he would have been helping his father with the farm.  Around 1838, when Ezekiel was five, the Smith family packed their worldly goods and made the journey to Portage Township, Wood County, Ohio.  The 1840 Ohio census lists them in Portage Township; however Abner is shown in a history book as an early pioneer of Montgomery Township in Wood County.  Suffice is to say, the 1850 Ohio census report shows the Smith family farming in Montgomery Township.    

     By 1860, the Smith family had removed to the Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio area.  Abner was farming a piece of land in Sandusky Township.  Ezekiel is listed as twenty five years old and working on his father's farm.  

     During the next five years the Smith family paid the ultimate price in war.  There are Civil War records for William and Ezra, who were killed in action, Orison and Augustus who served and honorably discharged and a list of Sandusky Township males who could serve in the army, that lists Ezekiel.  To date, I have not located any data that shows Ezekiel actually served in the Civil War.  This June, 1863 document lists Ezekiel as age twenty eight, a carpenter and married.  I have found only one Ezekiel Smith in Sandusky Township during this time and I have not found any marriage documents for him from 1860-1863. 

     Families did welcome visiting family members, especially farmers who could then enlist the men's support with work.  Looking at the 1870 Ohio Federal Census I was surprised to see that Ezekiel had traveled almost to the Indiana border to visit/live with his maternal uncle, Hiram Mott.  Hiram, a farmer and a pioneer of Williams County, Ohio was probably thrilled to have Ezekiel's help.

     The map of Williams County shows it is the Ohio county to the far north west in the state--Michigan to the north and Indiana to the west.  I underlined Madison Township and Deer Lick, which is the nearest post office to Hiram Mott.  The township directly to the west of Madison is Bridgewater, where the Joseph Neil family lived for several decades.

     Harriet E. Neil was born in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio on December, 1851.  She was the oldest daughter born to Joseph Neil and Sarah Bowen.  Joseph Neil was a farmer, carpenter and itinerant minister.  By 1870, he was a full time minister.  

     Ezekiel decided to make Madison Township his home.  He probably stayed on his uncle's farm.  On January 23, 1875, Ezekiel Smith married Harriet "Hattie" E. Neil in Williams County, Ohio.  Almost twenty years separated the newly weds.  Ezekiel was forty two and Harriet, twenty three.  Ezekiel signed the certificate with an "X".  I found it interesting that Harriet's father, a minister, did not marry them.

     The next record for Ezekiel is the 1880 Ohio Census.  It does answer some questions I had regarding Ezekiel.  In particular, where did he set up his new family?  To back track two years, his uncle, Hiram Mott, died on June 15, 1878.  His will is on Ancestry.  He leaves his worldly goods to his wife, Sarah. his two sons, Lewis O Mott and Celie E Mott and his daughter Mary K. Andre.  No mention is made of any portion of his estate to be given to Ezekiel Mott.  

     And yet, the 1880 census record shows the two families, Smith and Mott enumerated together.  Ezekiel, a farmer, age 44, cannot read or write and in good health.  Harriet, his wife, can read and write and in good health.  Their daughter, Sarah A., age 4 and in good health.  Next Sarah Mott, a farmer, age 61, widowed, can read but not write and in poor health. Her son, Lewis, age 35, farmer son, poor health, cannot read or write and listed as a idiot. Her son, Celie, age 21, farmer son in good health, who can read but not write.  Sarah owns the farm and Ezekiel is actually running it.  

     I have not found a birth record for Ezekiel and Harriet's first born, Sarah A. Smith circa 1876.  However, their second child, a daughter, Elsie Smith, born on June 30, 1880 in Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio does have a birth record.  There are birth records for two sons.  Martin Smith born on August 23, 1883 and Charles Smith born on May 28, 1888.  Both boys were born in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio.

     An educated guess is that Sarah Mott died between 1880 and 1883, the farm land was sold, thus leaving Ezekiel without a place to live and house his family.  Harriet's parents were living in Bridgewater Township and perhaps the Smith's moved in with them.  Joseph Neil, Harriet's father was a farmer and although on the 1880 census his son, Joseph Neil, Jr. is enumerated directly under his father as a farmer, there is always a need for help.

    Here ends the story of Ezekiel Smith.  He was alive and with his family in 1887 to conceive his son.  Did he leave his family?  I have found no further census records.  Did he die at age fifty five?  I have found no death records or grave markers.

     Harriet, age 40, remarried on June 15, 1892 in Williams County, Ohio.  Her new husband, Andrew J. Miller, a 51 year old farmer had returned to Williams County, Ohio from Clear Lake, Steuben, Indiana following the death of his first wife, Rosannah Martin Miller.

     Andrew and Harriett settled in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio.  They had one son, Irvin Harry Miller, born on January 3, 1894.  Andrew's six adult children had married or moved elsewhere by the 1900 Ohio census.  Andrew is a farm laborer.  Harriett lists five children with only four alive.  Her oldest child, Sarah A. Smith is enumerated on the census with her mother and step father.  Her youngest son, Irvin is also enumerated.  Martin Smith died in 1947.  I think I found a census record for Elsie Smith in 1910 and a death record for her in 1928.  That leaves Charles Smith.

     Harriet, listed as Hattie, died on February 17, 1908 at the age of fifty six in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio.  Where was she buried?  Beside Ezekiel Smith? Beside her second husband, Andrew Miller?  There have been no grave markers identified for either Ezekiel or Harriet.

     Andrew J. Miller died on December 16, 1910 at age seventy in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio.  There is a grave marker for Andrew at Cogswell Cemetery, Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio.  Andrew served in the Civil War enlisting on August 12, 1862 and mustering out on June 28, 1865.  


     Anyone who researches Smiths knows the difficulty piecing the family together.  Like their father, Ezekiel, all seem to be lost in space except Martin Smith.   Sarah A. Smith had a final census report in 1900, enumerated with her mother and step father.  

     Elsie Smith, I may have found!  There is an Elsie Smith as an inmate/cook living at the Williams County Infirmary in Jefferson Township.  Also living there are two of Hiram Mott's sons, Lewis and Celie.  Elsie would have been born on their family farm.  There is a listing on the 1920 Infirmary census for a Smith and it appears the first name begins with the letter "E".  Finally, I located a death record for an Elsie Smith on January 23, 1928 in Williams County, Ohio.  

     Martin Smith relocated to Marion, Marion County, Ohio.  On May 25, 1912, he married Hazel McClung.  Martin and Hazel raised two children, Beulah and Donald in Marion.  Martin died on March 26, 1947 in Marion and is buried in Marion Cemetery.


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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Augustus Hutchins Smith and Mary Plantz


     Augustus Hutchins Smith, youngest son of Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott, was born on  May 18, 1841 in Wood County, Ohio.  The Smith's had made the journey to Wood County from Deerfield Township in Portage County, Ohio and were pioneer settlers in Montgomery County, Ohio.  Augustus was probably born in Montgomery Township.

     Augustus was the eighth child in the family.  As he grew, he would have been involved with helping with the farm.  The Smith family farmed in Montgomery Township until about 1855.  Then they moved to Sandusky Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, somewhere near Fremont.  On the 1860 Ohio Federal Census, Augustus, age nineteen, was attending school while his brothers who were living at home, were working on the family farm.  

  Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in The War of the                        Rebellion 1861-1866, Volume 6, page 106.

     The Smith men enlisted for service in the Civil War.  Augustus, along with brothers, Ezra and William all enlisted with Company F, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army.  Augustus enlisted on November 25, 1861 for a three year term.  He mustered in at Camp Chase, Ohio on February 18, 1862.  He mustered out on September 11, 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Of the three brothers, only Augustus returned.  Ezra and William both died within several months of service.


       On March 21, 1866, Augustus H.Smith married Mary Edmonds in Wood County, Ohio.  The marriage certificate lists that both Augustus and Mary were residents of Wood County.  Augustus mustered out of service in September 1865 in Mississippi.  Did he return home to Sandusky County?  Did he visit his sister Sarah Plantz in Wood County?  Had Mary Edmonds, a recent widow, nee Mary (Polly) Plantz, returned to her father's home in Wood County or was she living nearby raising her two sons?  Sarah Plantz, Augustus' sister was Mary Plantz Edmonds stepmother. Mary had lost her husband of five years, Sylvatus L. Edmonds, in the Civil War.  Augustus and Mary grew up in Wood County. They would have been at the Smith/Plantz family gatherings, weddings, funerals.  Not blood relations, but related.  

     Augustus and Mary's first census is the 1870 Ohio Federal Census, Clay Township, Ottawa County, Elmore Post Office. I am confused.  Elmore is indeed in Ottawa County, but is actually in Harris Township.  How long the Smith's stayed in Wood County before moving to Ottawa is unknown.  Augustus is a farmer with 300 value in personal property.  Mary's two children from her first marriage, Franklin, age 9, and Henry, age 7, are enumerated as Smiths, actually their surname is Edmonds.  Lydia, age 3 and Marietta, age 11 months are the first two children from the Smith marriage.   

     Between 1870 and 1880, Augustus moved his family to Sandusky Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.  Augustus is listed as a laborer; however, he is enumerated on a page of farmers.  Perhaps he is farming someones land.  He has "farmed out" the two Edmonds boys to nearby farmers and they are enumerated with those families.  Franklin is with the S.B. Cole family and Harvey is with the James Barnes family.  Two sons have been born since the last census.  Jacob,  age 9, and John, age 3 months.    The Smith's have a nineteen year old servant living in their home, Mary Meyers.

     There is no 1890 Federal Census; however, there is a 1891 Veterans Census and Augustus Smith is enumerated, living in Blissfield, Michigan.  He lists himself as a Private with Company F, 72nd Regiment Ohio Infantry.

     A time for sorrow and grief befell the Smith family on December 6, 1895 when their youngest son, James Leroy Smith died at age fourteen.  He is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery, Blissfield, Lenawee County, Michigan.

           On the 1900 Michigan Federal Census, Lenawee County, Blissfield Township, Augustus and Mary, listed as Polly, are living on a farm, which they rent.  Augustus' occupation is farmer.  All their children have married and are living on their own.

     Augustus Hutchins Smith, a farmer, died on January 20, 1903 Palmyra Township, Lenawee County, Michigan at the age of sixty one.  He was buried three days later beside his son, James Leroy Smith at Pleasant View Cemetery, Blissfield, Lenawee County, Michigan.

     Mary Plantz Smith lived another twenty years.  She is enumerated with her married daughter, Maretta Smith Bowers and her family in 1910 living in Millbury, Lake Township, Wood County, Ohio.  In 1920 she is living with her son, Harvey Eugene Edmonds, his wife and grandson on Dickson Street,in Sandusky Township, Sandusky County, Ohio

     Mary Plantz Smith died in Fremont, Ohio, at the age of eighty on March 5, 1923.  She was buried three days later, beside her husband and young son at Pleasant View Cemetery, Blissfield, Lenawee County, Michigan.  [Her birth date age at death are not taken from the death certificate.  The 1900 Michigan Federal Census lists her birth as January 1842.]

     I have not blogged about Augustus and Mary's descendants.  Their information is readily available on Ancestry.      


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Friday, August 28, 2020

Jacob Plantz and Sarah Smith of Wood County, Ohio

     Blended families were not unusual in pioneer days.   There are accounts of  spouses abandoning their family.  Women did not always survive child birth.  Various diseases were left unchecked due to a lack of physicians and medicine.  Some died during battle or at the hands of Native Americans defending their land.  Wild animal attacks were not uncommon.  This is one of those blended family stories.

     Sarah Smith, daughter of Abner C. and Sarah Mott Smith, at the age of seventeen married a twenty seven year old widower, Jacob Plantz (Plants), on December 8, 1844 in Sandusky County, Ohio. 
     Jacob had traveled from Pennsylvania, settling in Wood County, Ohio.  He married Mary Kiser on April 2, 1840 in Wood County, Ohio.  Three children were born, Emmanuel, Mary (Polly) and Samuel.  I am assuming that Mary died leaving Jacob to care for his three children and farm his land.  A young woman, Sarah, walked into her first marriage having to care for three young children, ages four, two and one.   Fortunately, as one of the oldest in her own family, she undoubtedly was helpful in caring for her younger siblings.  She had training.

     During the first ten to fourteen years of her marriage, Sarah's parents were living nearby.  She was able to visit, see her siblings who were still living at home, and have help and advice from her mother.

     Jacob and Sarah added seven additional children to the Plantz family; Roena born in 1845, John born in 1847, Rosanna born in 1850, Harriet born in 1853, Amanda born 1855, George Wesley born 1858 and Alma born 1868.  There may have been additional children who were stillborn and/or died young.  

     There is a wonderful reference to the Plantz and Smith families in the 1875 Hardesty's Atlas of Wood County, Ohio, page 47EE.  The biography of Jacob Plants outlines his siblings, Sarah's family and his own family.  Published in 1875, both Jacob and Sarah were alive to supply information.  I do want to mention that Orison Smith did not enlist in the 72nd Regiment.  He enlisted in the 111st.

     Following the census reports.  In 1850, the Plantz family is enumerated in District 154, Mongomery Township, Wood County, Ohio.  Jacob is a farmer with $900 of real estate owned.  The Abner C. Smith is also enumerated in the same district.  Jacob, a farmer living near Prairie Depot, Montgomery Township, Wood County, Ohio, has enlarged his financial value by 1860.  The value of his real estate is $3000 and personal estate is listed at $300.  The Smith family had removed to the Fremont, Ohio area by 1860.  I wonder if Jacob purchased his father in laws land?  

     Continuing to add financial wealth, Jacob, a farmer, living in the Prairie Depot area, in 1870 has $7000 personal real estate and $500 in personal estate.  The 1880 census does not give the post office, so I can only surmise that the Jacob Plantz family continues to farm his land near Prairie Depot.  Personal wealth is not given in this census.  Both Jacob and Sarah are literate.

     The call of young men to serve the northern cause of the Civil War did not escape the Plantz family.  The three oldest sons all enlisted in union armies.  

     Emmanuel Plantz, served as a private with Company I, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army and died of a gunshot wound on April 8, 1862 in Tennessee.  One record lists his burial was at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.  On the website, the Pittsburg Landing name was changed in 1888 to Shiloh National Cemetery.  Grave markers have been erected there; however, sadly, there is none for Emmanuel. 

     John Plantz served as a private with Company F, 13th Infantry, Ohio Volunteer Army.  He enlisted on April 6, 1866 in Toledo, Ohio and was discharged on September 24, 1866.

     Samuel Plantz enlisted as a private with Company B, 55th Ohio Infantry.  He was honorably discharged. 

     These two 1886 Land Records show that Sarah Plantz was the owner of 11?.78 acres in Bradner, Wood County, Ohio.  Oddly, there are no such records for Jacob. In many cases, women are listed as land owners after their spouse died.  That is not the case here.  I also wonder when the Plantz family removed to Bradner as the 1860 and 1870 list them as farming in Prairie Depot, Wood County, which is Freeport on the larger map. 

     Jacob and Sarah were involved with the Methodist Episcopal Church in Bradner giving financial support to the missions program.  Copied from the book, Minutes of the Central Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church Held at Trinity Church, Lima, Ohio, September 25-30, 1890. Jacob is listed on page 708 and the page with both Jacob and Sarah listed is on page 523.  Both listings are for Bradner, Wood County, Ohio.

     Sarah Smith Plantz died in Bradner on February 16, 1894.  She is buried in Bradner Cemetery, Bradner, Wood County, Ohio.  Jacob had one additional census report, 1900.  He is enumerated with the family of his youngest child, daughter Almira Plantz Kelly.  The family is living in Bradner, where Jacob died on August 7, 1902.  He is buried beside his wife of fifty years.

     I have not covered the marriages of the Plantz children and their descendants.  All information is readily available on Ancestry.



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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Mary Ann Smith and Hubbard H. Cross

     I'm going out on a limb with this blog.  As any genealogy researcher knows, tracing the Smith surname is a challenging task.  I figure even if this Mary Ann Smith does not connect to my husbands Smith family, at least research is out there about them.

     From information written in the Smith Family Bible and shared with me over a decade ago, Abner C. Smith and his wife, Sarah Mott Smith added a daughter to their growing family named Mary Ann, born on April 2, 1825, probably in Medina County, Ohio. 

  As I followed the census reports, one of their three daughters, Harriet, Mary Ann and Sarah, was not enumerated in the 1840 Ohio census.  In the age range of 15-20, one daughter, Harriet or Mary Ann is either deceased or married.  I have not been able to find a marriage or death record for either of them dated before 1840 in either Portage or Wood County, Ohio that matches their age or residence profile. 

          However, there is a marriage record in Wood County, Ohio dated October 14, 1844 between Mary Ann Smith and Hubbard H. Cross.  No additional information is offered; no ages, parents or township.   Abner and Sarah's daughter, Mary Ann would have been nineteen; Hubbard age twenty six.  I did locate the minister, George Cronenwitt (Cronenwett) on Ohio censuses.  He was a pioneer missionary minister of the U.S.Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Between 1840-1888, he served thirteen settlements in Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa and Lucas Counties in Ohio. 

     There is a 1840 Ohio Census record for a Hubbard Cross as a farmer in Ballville Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.  Was Hubbard H. Cross' father also named Hubbard?  There is a white male and female age 50 to under 60.  One male in 10 to under 15, one male 15 to under 20 and one male 20 to under 30  (Hubbard H. Cross would have been age 22 in 1840.  To date, I have not found any other mention of this family. 
     The next record for the Hubbard and Mary Ann Cross family is the 1850 Ohio Federal Census.  The first US Census that lists the names of each family member along with some personal information.  On September 23, 1850, in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, H.H. Cross, age 32, a farmer with 200 value of personal property owned, born in Canada East; Mary Ann, age 25, born in Ohio; a daughter, Sally A, age 4, born in Ohio and a son, Geo W, age 3, born in Ohio.  Mary Ann, daughter of Abner and Sarah Mott Smith would have been age twenty five in 1850.

     The 1860 Ohio Federal Census, Ballville Township, Sandusky County, page 218 contains the Cross enumeration.  Hubbard A. Cross, age 44, a day laborer, real estate value 100, born in Canada; Mary Ann, age 38 born in Ohio; Sarah A., age 14, born in Ohio; Platt B., age 7, born in Ohio; James H., age 2, born in Ohio.  George W. Cross is missing from the family listing.

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in The War of the Rebellion 1861-1866, Volume 6, page 105.

     The Cross family was not immune to the growing conflict in the United States in 1860.  Hubbard enlisted on November 16, 1861 with Company F, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army for a three year term.  Interestingly, three of Abner C. Smith's sons, Mary Ann's brothers, are also enlisted in the same company and regiment in the same month at the same place in 1861.

     Hubbard mustered in as a private on February 18, 1862 at Camp Chase, Ohio.  He died of disease almost four months later on June 12, 1862 at Monterey, Tennessee at age 40.  One record lists his burial was at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.  Another shows a name change from Pittsburg Landing to the Shiloh National Cemetery.  Grave markers have been erected there; however, sadly, there is none for Hubbard.  

     There is a pension file for Hubbard originally filed by his widow, Mary Ann.  Of interest a minor, James C. Barnes, son or grandson applied or reapplied for the pension on March 11, 1875.  I have had no success in figuring out who he is--where he fits into the family tree..  Purchasing a copy of the pension file would help.

     On February 28, 1867, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States Congress granted Mary Ann Cross, of Fremont, Ohio pension money due her from the pension filing backdated to her husband's death .  It could be that originally she received no pension since he only served for four months before he died; however, she appealed to Congress, either on her own or through a lawyer, and she was granted pension money (The Statutes at Large, Treaties and Proclamations of the United States of America From December 1865-March 1867, Volume 14, Ed:  George P. Sanger, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1868, page 631).

     It appears that Mary Ann Cross was deceased by 1870.  I found the two children that seem to have survived; Sarah A. Cross and Platt B. Cross, enumerated with the Nicholas Bowlus family having a Fremont Post Office, in Sandusky Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.  Sarah was employed as a domestic and Platt working on the farm.  

     Sarah married Lewis Henry Bowlus, son of Nicholas, in Toledo, Ohio in 1874, moved to Kansas and had four children.  Lewis deserted his family in April 1883.  There is a pension record submitted by Sarah to try to secure funds for Lewis' service in the Civil War.  She lists his desertion and that her brother is supporting her family.  Sarah, known as Sally, raised her four children alone.  Sarah died in 1916 in Kansas.

     While researching Sarah, I found another Cross child, a younger sister to Sarah and Platt.  Mary E Cross was born October, 1860 in Fremont, Ohio.  She did not appear on the 1860 census report which was enumerated on June 12, 1860.  I could not find a 1870 census for her.  Mary is enumerated directly under the Lewis H. Bowlus family in the 1880 Kansas census report.  She may have been a housekeeper for her older sister, Sarah.  Around 1884, in Kansas, Mary E Cross married Harry Thomas Bowlus, son of Lewis Henry Bowlus and his first wife Minnie.  Harry was living in his father's home in 1880.  Mary married her sister's stepson.  Harry and Mary had five children.  One died before 1900.  Mary E. Cross Bowlus passed in Topeka, Kansas on October 16, 1938.  Her brother, P.B. Cross is mentioned in the obituary.

     When I was next able to locate Platt B. Cross, it was his 1900 Kansas Census Report.  He married Lora Belle Holden in Kansas about 1894.  Platt lists his birth as March 1855.  Around 1918-1919, Platt and family moved to Texas to grow cotton. By 1930, Platt had decided to go back to his carpentry skills.  The total number of children born to this family was eight, with one dying before 1900.  Platt Bush Cross, born March 2, 1855, listed as a farmer, died on April 5, 1941 in Louise, Wharton County, Texas, as listed on his death certificate.

     Done and done.  Down a rabbit hole I went with this.  There are plenty of additional descendants.  I have seen other folks researching this family group on Wikitree and Ancestry.  In the end, I have no proof that Mary Ann Smith is even the daughter of my husband's paternal ggg  grandparents; however, the search has been fun and I welcome anyone who is also digging into these families to post a comment.
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2020, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Family of Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott of Medina, Portage, Wood and Sandusky Counties, Ohio

       This is a blog regarding my husband's paternal great great great grandparents. Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott.  Abner was born circa 1798 in Massachusetts.  His parentage is unknown at this date, although there are several guesses.  My favorite is Abner Smith and Olive Onion of Denham, Massachusetts.  Sarah, daughter of Ezekiel Mott, Jr. and Mary (Polly) was born in Trumbull County, Ohio in 1798.

Connecticut Western Reserve map 1789 with Trumbull, Portage and Medina Counties underlined

     The story begins in Deerfield County, Ohio in 1809 or earlier, on land located then in the Connecticut Western Reserve.  Acres of land in this area was being sold by the Connecticut Land Company to pioneers from the New England area who wanted to venture west.  "Initial settlement of the area was sporadic and slow, however by the 1820's, the region began to prosper.  he first settlers and towns they established reflected the culture of Connecticut and New England." (The Western Reserve Historical Society).

     Following his service in the American Revolutionary War, Ezekiel Mott, Sr. made his way west with his family.  His son, Ezekiel Mott, Jr. probably accompanied his father.  Records are sketchy at best.  Ezekiel Mott, Jr. married Mary (Polly) and his first child, a son, was born in Pennsylvania in 1797.  His second child, a daughter, Sarah, was born in Trumbull County, Ohio in 1798.  Trumbull County is underlined in the map above, far right hand side.

     What year all the Motts arrived in Deerfield Township, Portage County, Ohio is unknown.  Both Ezekiel Mott senior and junior were enumerated in the 1810 Ohio Tax List.  Both were listed as residents of Portage County, Ohio in 1809, probably Deerfield Township.  Portage County is the middle county underlined on the map above.  Sarah was age eleven and helping her mother with household chores and raising three younger brothers.  There were numerous extended Mott family members living in the same township.

     Several Medina County, Ohio history accounts reveal that Ezekiel Mott, Jr. had removed to land in Granger Township in 1816, squatting on land that was owned by George Codding--hence Sarah's father was known as Squatter Mott.  Medina County, Ohio is the far left hand side white underlined county above.

     When Abner C. Smith arrived in Medina County, Ohio from Massachusetts is unknown.  In fact, little is known about him until his marriage.  Had Abner connected with the Mott family when they lived in Deerfield Township in Portage County and followed to Medina County?  Was he traveling on his own, a young man, from Massachusetts to the Western Reserve looking for a new life in the west?

     On October 6, 1820, Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott, both twenty two years of age, married in Medina County, Ohio.  Burt Codding, Justice of the Peace, certified the marriage on November 20, 1820.

A Digression of Sorts:  Straightening out Land Records

     I am taking a moment here to express that although the reader might think that following the life of someone named Ezekiel Mott in the early 1800's would be child's is not.  This particular Mott clan named and renamed sons and grandsons Ezekiel.  I have mentioned in other blogs that my husband, a lawyer, has always said, follow the land.  The sticky wicket for me has become land records in Medina County, Ohio.  

     Why do I mention this?  Trying to untangle Mott land records?  Because I believe Abner and Sarah may have also lived on Ezekiel's land...Abner, a farmer, assisting his father-in-law. 


     The first actual land record I was able to locate for Abner is dated 1827, Bath Township, Medina County, Ohio.  Today Bath Township is located in Summit County, Ohio which was not formed until 1840.  Abner has three head of cattle, no horses, paid his canal, school and road taxes.  

     Was this land Aber is enumerated on actually his father-in-laws property?  Ezekiel purchased sixty acres from Burt and Betsey Codding of Bath, Medina County, Ohio in 1819:  Township 3, Lot 22 for 300 (foreign coinage was utilized at this time).  The purchase is found in Medina County land books, Volume A&B, page 85.  I had originally thought Ezekiel's land was in Granger Township.  Now it appears his property was more probably in Bath Township.  Ezekiel and his wife had removed to Portage County where he died in 1828.  There is a deed of Ezekiel's property by Ezekiel to Richard Paul in 1827 and date of record in 1828 by his wife, Mary. By the 1830 Ohio Federal Census, Abner C. Smith and Sarah had removed to Deerfield Township, Portage County, Ohio.   Also note that Abner and Sarah's marriage was certified by Burt Codding, JP, probably the same man her father purchased property from one year earlier.

Back to the Smith Story

     Utilizing the land information and the fact that I can find one record, I am assuming that Abner and Sarah lived in their own cabin or with her parents on the Bath Township land.  Abner farmed.  Sarah raised children and tended to the home.  

     Back in 2000, James Brandon II, shared his Abner C. Smith database.  According to his research, Abner and Sarah had three daughters by 1830.  His data aligns with Abner's 1830 Ohio Federal Census. The names of the two youngest girls are mentioned in a biography of Jacob Plants who married the third daughter, Sarah, named for her mother. (Wood County Ohio Atlas 1875-1912, page 47FF)

     The Smith Family began adding to their family with a daughter, Harriett Smith, born April 17, 1822.  Next three years later, Mary Ann, born April 2, 1825.  On October 31, 1827, Sarah was born.  Her information lists Portage County, Ohio as her birth place.  There is no month or day on the 1827 Bath Township Land Owner Record.  Perhaps the Smith Family had relocated to Portage County by their daughter Sarah's birth or she was actually born in Medina County, Bath Township.

     The 1830 Ohio Federal Census for Portage County, Deerfield Township, is extremely difficult  (impossible) to read on Ancestry.  Back in the day, 1990's, I scrolled through microfilm and jotted down information on this particular census report.  Page 206:  one male age 30-40 Abner; one female under age 5 Sarah; two females age 5-10 Harriett and Mary Ann; one female age 30-40 Sarah.

     Records I have found on Ancestry list the birth of three sons: Ezra, 1829; William, July 2, 1830 and Ezekiel, February 16, 1832.  I question Ezra because he does not show on the 1830 Ohio Federal Census report.  On census reports from 1850 and 1860, Ezra age shows he was born circa 1833

     I found a listing for Abner C. Smith on a school census report.  Abner had three children aged 4-12 enrolled in Deerfield Township School District #1, Portage County, Ohio in 1832. (School Census of Portage County, Ohio Enumeration of White Youth, Age 4-12, 1832)  According to ages in 1832, the three girls would have been attending school.

     Abner's 1832-1833 Deerfield Township, Portage County, Ohio Tax Assessment shows that he owned two head of cattle and paid taxes for a state canal, road and county school.

     It appears that the Smith family farmed a piece of land in Deerfield Township for a decade.  There were numerous Mott families farming there during the 1830's and through the 1800's.  In fact today there is a Mottown Cemetery and a Mottown Road.  At one time there was a railroad stop listed as Mottown.

     What prompted the Smith's to pack up and leave what appeared to be the safety of family?  A place where they had made their home for over a decade.  Were they traveling with friends or extended family?  And why did they ever choose Wood County, Ohio which was covered by The Great Black Swamp?    

     Now I am running into a little technical issue.  I wrote the son's blog before the father.  To make my life easier, please excuse my cut and paste from the blog of Abner and Sarah's son, Orison.  And, to see more information on The Great Black Swamp, it is on Orison's blog.

     The exact year the Smith Family settled in Wood County, Ohio is unknown.  Abner's 1840 Ohio Federal Census, lists him as a farmer residing in Wood County, Portage Township, Ohio. Adding to the confusion, Abner is listed as an early pioneer in 1839 residing in Montgomery Township, Wood County, Ohio.  (Commemorative Historical and Biographical Record of Wood County, Ohio:  Its Past and Present, Early Settlement and Development, Biographies and Portraits of Early Settlers and Representative Citizens,  J.H. Beers & Company, 1897, page 332).

     The map above shows a portion of Wood County.  When the Smith family moved to Wood, Portage Township encompassed Montgomery Township, which adds to the confusion as to where they actually settled.  My hunch is that they were farming near the town of Wayne, which was then called Freeport.  One reason Abner wanted a plank road constructed in Freeport.  

     The Smith's seventh child, Orison, was born on October 10, 1838.  His death certificate lists Wood County, Ohio as his birth place.  Orison is my husbands paternal great great grandfather.

     The 1840 Ohio Federal Census gives a good snapshot into the family makeup.  Abner is engaged in agriculture and living in Portage Township, Wood County, Ohio.  There are two males under age 5--Ezekiel and Orison.  One male age 5-10--Ezra and one male age 10-15--William.  One male 40-50--Abner.  One female age 10-15--Sarah.  One female age 15-20--either Harriet or Mary Ann (one is either married or deceased). One female age 40-50--Sarah.

     Everyone in the family would have been engaged in running the farm and/or the house.  Farmers had to construct drainage systems on their land to clear the swamp.  Underneath was rich soil.  The area had a church, school, dry good store and a post system using a horse and rider.

     A final child, a son, was born on May 18, 1841, Augustus Hutchins Smith

     Abner has four Tax Assessments, that I located, all in Montgomery Township, Wood County, Ohio.   The 1842 tax assessment on page 116, Abner owns two head of cattle, no horses and paid his fair share for a state canal and roads.  Page 118 lists Abner with 3 head of cattle, no horses and marked delinquent in payment.  Delinquent again in 1844, he owns three head of cattle, page 40.  The 1850 assessment does not list any personal ownership for any of the men listed; only the amount paid for the state canal and roads.  Abner paid the amount due.

     I found the above listing for Abner on Google Books dated Monday, January 28, 1850.  (Journal of the House of Representatives General Assembly of Ohio, Being the First Session of the Forty-Eighth General Assembly, Held on the City of Columbus, Commencing on Monday, December 3, 1849, Volume 48, 1850, Columbus:  S. Medary, printer, page 203)  When I first read it I thought that the Smiths had removed to Fremont; however, the 1850 Ohio Federal Census, taken on October 13, 1850 lists the family as farming in Montgomery Township, Wood County.  There is no other Abner Smith listed in the 1850 census in Sandusky County.  Abner must have traveled to Sandusky County to join the other citizens in their plea for a new road from the mill to Freeport in Wood County.

     Finally.  The 1850 census lists names.  The Smith Family is enumerated in Montgomery Township, Wood County, Ohio on October 13, 1850, page 408.  Abner, age 52, born in Massachusetts, a farmer with $100.00 of owned real estate.  Sarah, age 52, born in Ohio.  William age 20, born in Ohio.  Ezra A. age 17, born in Ohio.  Ezekiel age 14, born in Ohio.  Orison age 12, born in Ohio.  Augustus age 9, born in Ohio.  The daughters are all missing.  I believe Harriet died before 1840.  I know Sarah married Jacob Plantz (Plants) in Sandusky County on December 8, 1844.  Then there is Mary Ann.

     I have not found anyone who has traced Mary Ann Smith.  So I went down a rabbit hole. Hours of on line research.  Assuming that this Mary Ann Smith is indeed the daughter of Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott Smith, she married Hubbard H. Cross in Wood County, Ohio on October 14, 1844.

     Sometime after 1855, the Smith Family made their final move, to the Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio area.  Son, Orison, states in this Civil War pension file that he was working as a sailor and shoe repairman and living at his home in Fremont by 1857.

     The 1860 Ohio Federal Census confirms the relocation to the Fremont area.  Enumerated on June 12, 1860, Sandusky Township, Sandusky County, Fremont Post Office, page 48, Abner C. Smith, age 62, day laborer, born in Massachusetts, can read and write.  Sarah, age 62, born in Ohio, cannot read or write.  Ezra A. Smith, age 28, farm laborer, born in Ohio.  Ezekiel Smith, age 25, farm laborer, born in Ohio.  Augustus H. Smith, age 19, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.  I would like to note that the family is enumerated with a page of farmers.  I am concluding that Abner is a farmer, although he lists himself as a day laborer.  Sons missing from the census:  Orison--probably working as a sailor and not at home since it is summer.  William--could be married or living on his own as a twenty eight year old man.  His Civil War pension file could lead to an answer.

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in The War of the Rebellion 1861-1866, Volume 6, page 106.

     The news of the growing civil unrest in America was certainly known in Fremont.  It is a fear that strikes a mothers heart and would have been discussed at the dinner table every night.  There are records of all of the Smith sons enlisting in service in various companies of the Ohio Volunteer Army.  William, Augustus and Ezra all enlisted in 1861 with Company F, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army.  Only Augustus returned home from service.  Orison enlisted into Company G, 111th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army and was discharged with medical disabilities.  (Details regarding his service is found on his blog).  I have found a Civil War draft registration for Ezekiel, but no information if and with which regiment he served.

William Smith

     William Smith, age twenty eight, joined Company F, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army, at Fremont, on November 16, 1861, for three years.  He mustered in as a private on February 18, 1862 in Camp Chase, Ohio.  He died of disease three months later on May 28, 1862 at Louisville, Kentucky.  His burial is listed at New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana on Find A Grave.  

Ezra A. Smith

     Ezra A. Smith, age twenty six, joined Company F, 72 Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army on November 6, 1861, at Fremont, for three years.  He mustered in as a private on February 18, 1862 in Camp Chase, Ohio.  He died four months later on June 15, 1862 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Ezra was originally buried at Wesleyan Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.  He was re interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri.

       The sorrow of the family to have two sons die within months of each other in states far away.  By 1860, there were two railroad lines crossing through Fremont.  Were the parents or other family members able to visit the burial sights to grieve?     

  The Smiths not only lost two sons to the war, also a step grandson, Emmanuel Plantz, who served with Company I, 72nd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army and died of a gunshot wound on April 8, 1862 in Tennessee.  One record lists his burial was at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.  On the website for the Shiloh National Cemetery, the name was changed from Pittsburgh Landing to Shiloh National Cemetery in 1888.  Grave markers have been erected there; however, sadly,there is none for Emmanuel.  

     Also of interest is the record of Hubbard H. Cross, also serving with the three Smith brothers in Company F, 72nd Regiment who died, at age 40, June 12, 1862 in Tennessee.  Hubbard is the husband of Mary Ann Smith, who I believe is the daughter of Abner and Sarah Smith.

     This brief biography of Jacob Plantz, Sarah Smith's husband, mentions her family; the family of Abner C. Smith and Sarah Mott.  It was in the 1875 Hardesty's Atlas of Wood County, Ohio, page 47EE.  Both Jacob and Sarah were alive to give the information.  One piece of misinformation is Orison Smith's Civil War service.  He enlisted with the 111th Regiment. 

     From the end of the Civil War forward, I have found no mention of Abner or Sarah Mott Smith, only a death record for Abner.  There is no 1870 census report, no grave or tombstone.  These two early Ohio pioneers are lost to history.

     The record of Abner's death.  He is listed as a widower, having died in Madison Township in Sandusky County, Ohio.  Perhaps on his farm?  Perhaps buried beside his wife, Sarah, in a cemetery on the farm?  As I mentioned, they have become lost in history.

   Additional Family Blogs

Orison and Drusilla Knapp Smith

Sarah Smith and Jacob Plantz

Augustus Hutchins Smith and Mary (Polly) Plantz

Ezekiel Smith and Harriet Neil

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