GILBERT, Elisha, of MA, VT and Steuben Co NY

New Flash: On April 10, 2013, the NSDAR approved my supplemental application for Elisha Gilbert. He is now recognized for his service, and I have been recognized by a genealogical authority as his descendant. Yeah! All it took was 30+ years and over 200 pages of documentation and multiple case studies.

Elisha Gilbert was born in Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts, 29 Sep 1752, the son of Henry and Sarah (Domer) Gilbert.[1] He died after making his will, 18 April 1818, Steuben County, New York.[2]

Elisha was married to Hepsibah (–?–), 14 Jan 1776, as recorded in Middletown [now Middletown Springs], Rutland County, Vermont.[3] Hepsibah died before 1818.

Elisha and his family were in Vermont during the American Revolution. He was a member of Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys.[4]

In May 1782, Elisha was one of the founders of the first church organized in Middletown VT. “There were probably about the same number of females as males, but it is more difficult to designate them than the males.”[5] At the first town meeting of Middletown VT, Elisha Gilbert was named hayward. At least two others in the Middletown records, Reuben Searl (or Searles) and Abel White, moved at the same time as Elisha to western NY, to what became Addison Twp, Steuben County.[6]

Before 1800, Elisha and his family had moved to western New York. They were in Chemung Township, Montgomery Co in 1790, probably in the part of the county that became Steuben County in 1796. “…[T]hose who soon followed … in the settlement of Addison were Reuben and Lemuel Searles, Oliver Miller, George Goodhue, who had previously settled near Painted Post; John Martin, Jonathan Tracy, Abel White, Isaac and James Martin, James Benham, Asahel Stiles, Silas Morey, Elisha Gilbert, Lemuel Stiles, William Wombaugh and Martin Young.” [7] Many of these names are found in Middletown VT records, and some can be traced on to Ohio with some of Elisha and Hepsibah’s children. In the first town meeting in Middletown, Steuben Co NY, in April 1797, Elisha was selected one of the fence-viewers. In 1799, he named a path-viewer, and In 1803, he was licensed to keep a public inn or tavern. The same book states that his daughter Rachel Gilbert married Nathan Stephens in Addison, 14 May 1804.[8]

A different Steuben Co book states that the “first persons married [in the county] were Brown Gillespie and Miss Gilbert, daughter of Elisha Gilbert.” This was Chloe, who in 1814 along with her children moved to Clermont Co OH.[9]

In his 1800 census Elisha Gilbert was three houses from Elisha Searl, 4 from Reuben Searl, and on the same page as Abel White. I have questioned the possibility of a connection between Elisha Gilbert, Reuben Searl, and Abel White, since they were together in Middleton VT, Steuben Co NY, and Clermont Co OH, but have not found a connection until 1832 in Clermont Co OH, when a Dickinson descended from Elisha’s oldest daughter married a Searl. Elisha’s family in 1800 was Steuben Co NY, p 266: Elisha Gilbert, 00110/12110.

In 1810, the entry reads: Steuben Co NY, page 64: Elisha Gilbert, 00001/01101/00. David Dickinson was next door. The census record matches the children given in Torrey et al, one son and four daughters. The children of Elisha and Hepsibah Gilbert were:

i. Anna GILBERT was born on 11 Aug 1776 in Middletown, Rutland Co VT. Anna probably died in Clermont Co OH. Anna Gilbert.

Before locating the family of Elisha Gilbert as detailed in Brainard, Gilbert & Torrey, The Family of Thomas Gilbert, 1953, I had speculated, based on deeds from Steuben co NY, that Elisha and Hepsibah Gilbert had the following children: Anna Dickinson, Chloe Gillespie, Rachel Stephens and Ebenezer Gilbert. This source gives a remarkably similar account of Elisha’s family.

The births of Elisha’s children were registered in Middletown [now Middletown Springs], Rutland Co VT. The entry cites a Stephens family genealogy and mentions the marriage of Rachel and Nathan Stephens and the names of Nathan’s parents. A Steuben Co History states that a daughter of Elisha Gilbert married Brown Gillespie, the first marriage in the county. The parallels in deeds described below between Elisha Gilbert, David Dickinson, Ebenezer Gilbert, Nathan Stephens and his father Jedediah Stephens, and Brown Gillespie, and the close relationship of David especially with Ebenezer Gilbert indicates that the Anna I expected to find does correspond with Anna, the oldest daughter of Elisha Gilbert.

The following deeds establish continuing relationships between David Dickinson and his wife Anna and Elisha Gilbert, Brown and Chloe Gillespie and their heirs, Nathan and Rachel Stevens, Ebenezer Gilbert and his wife Mehitable.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 4:254-7. Elisha and Hepsibah Gilbert, in what was then Ontario Co NY, deeded land for £100 to David and Anna Dickinson on 15 Aug 1795, but recorded the deed on 15 Mar 1809, when, as can be seen in other deeds, David returned to Steuben Co from Pomfret, Chautauqua Co NY. It was not legally necessary to mention the name of the wife of the buyer, but reasonable if Anna was the daughter of the sellers.

On the same date in 1809 Elisha Gilbert also recorded a deed made 1 Sep 1808 to Jedidah Stephens, witnessed by Nathan Stephens (known from another source as Elisha’s son-in-law) and a deed made 26 Jan 1809 in which Jedidah Stephens sold the same land to Ebenezer Gilbert (known from another source as Elisha’s son) and David Dickinson for the same amount of money, also witnessed by Nathan Stephens.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 4:329. On 28 Oct 1809 Ebenezer and Mehitable Gilbert sold their half of the same land to David Dickason, witnessed by Brown Gillespie (known from another source as Elisha’s son-in-law).

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 7:198-9. David bought land 19 Sep 1814 from Nathan and Rachel Stephens. This land was bounded by land owned by the heirs of Brown Gillespie, who died before that date. The three assumed sons-in-law of Elisha Gilbert had adjoining properties.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 8:25-26. On 3 May 1815 David and Anna Dickinson sold land to Rezin Scarce. Both David and Anna signed the deed.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 8:377-8. On 3 Jun 1816 David Dickinson, now of Clermont Co OH, sold land to Lemuel Benham. Note how exactly this coincides with the date Harriet gave years later for her family’s moving from NY to OH. David appeared in person in Steuben Co to sign the deed on 8 [?] May 1817.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book 12:61-2. On 13 Nov 1822 David Dickenson of Clermont Co OH sold land to William Wombaugh.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book [?]:337-9. On 6 Aug 1823 Cloe Gillaspie, Aney Cooper, & William and Lucy Kirgin of Clermont Co OH sold land formerly owned by David Dickerson to William Wombaugh in Steuben Co NY.  Cloe received $200.00 and her daughters Aney and Lucy received $28.66 each. David Dickinson was one of the witnesses.

•Steuben Co NY Deed Book [?]:475-6. On 24 Apr 1832, the heirs of Brown Gillespie, deceased, Richard, Augustus, Rachel, Brown, and Mary Ann Rowland, all now of Clermont Co OH, sold to William Wombaugh land formerly owned by David and Anna Dickinson in Steuben Co NY. This was land adjoining that sold above and each of the five heirs mentioned here received $20. Reuben Searl was one of the Clermont Co witnesses.

Note also that cumulatively these deeds establish as a certainty that David Dickinson, as Harriet claimed for herself, came to OH from NY in 1816, and that David Dickinson and Anna his wife were closely connected to the Gilbert family for over 30 years, especially to her brother, sisters, nieces and nephews.

In ca 1795, she married David DICKINSON, son of David Dickinson and Persis Wheeler, probably in Ontario or Montgomery Co NY, present Addison Twp, Steuben Co NY. Born ca 2 Apr 1769 in Ashburnham, Worcester Co MA. David died in Clermont Co OH, in 1832/1835. They had the following children:

i.            Nancy (1796-)

ii.            Charles C (~1798-)

iii.            Harriet (1802-1873)

iv.            David Wheeler (1805-1870)

v.            Mary Ann (1804-)

vi.            Jane (~1810-)

vii.           Caroline (ca1810-)

viii.         William F[rancis?] (1815-)

ix.            Elizabeth (1820-1880)

ii. Chloe GILBERT. Born on 4 Feb 1778 in Middletown VT. Chloe probably died in Clermont Co OH, aft 1850. She married Brown GILLESPIE in ca 1797. They had the following children:[10]

i.            Lucy (1800-<1832)

ii.            Aney (d<1832)

iii.            Richard (1807-)

iv.            Augustus (1804-)

v.            Rachel

vi.            Brown (1811-)

vii.            Mary Ann [Rowland]

iii. Ebenezer GILBERT. Born on 15 Sep 1780 in Middletown, Addison Co VT. Ebenezer died in Clay Co IN, on 22 Dec 1858. Ebenezer married Mehitable SEELEY. Born on 10 Dec 1782 in Litchfield CT, Mehitable died in Cory, Clay Co IN, on 10 Apr 1851.[11] They had the following children, plus probably at least three others:

i.            Jedediah (1805-1860)

ii.            Elisha (1807-1894)

iii.            Lorenzo Dow (1817-)

iv.            Jane (1819-1894)

v.            Charles Dickens (1827-)

iv. Rachel GILBERT. Born on 17 Nov 1782 in Middletown, Addison Co VT. Rachel died in Steuben Co NY, on 7 Feb 1850. On 14 May 1804, she married Nathan STEPHENS, son of Jedidiah and Abigail (Corey) Stephens, in Steuben Co NY.[12] Born on 8 Dec 1783 in Harderstown, Mercer Co NJ, Nathan died in Canisteo, Steuben Co NY, on 3 Apr 1862. They had the following children:

i.            Elisha G

ii.            Jedediah H M

iii.            Ebenezer C

iv.            Franklin D

v.            Joshua Chapman (1816-)

v. Ruth GILBERT. Born on 7 Jun 1785 in Middletown, Addison Co VT.


[1] Brookfield MA VR, 1909, p 93.

[2] Steuben Co NY Index of Wills, Elisha Gilbert 1:391, 18 Apr 1818.

[3] Brainard, Homer Worthington, Harold Simeon Gilbert and Clarence Almon Torrey. The Gilbert Family; Descendants of Thomas Gilbert, 1582(?)-1659. New Haven, CT, 1953. It is easy to imagine that Hepsibah’s family was also among the early settlers of Middletown VT, but I have traced most of those listed below and do not find a place for her.

[4] Goodrich, John E. State of Vermont: Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1904. (http://www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/revwar/NH/greenmountain_ roster.html) Vermont Men in the Revolutionary War, p 381. Among Middletown VT troops who marched 10 Jun 1781. Fisher, Carleton Edward, and Sue Gray Fisher. Soldiers, Sailors, and Patriots of the Revolutionary War—Vermont. Camden MA: Picton Press, 1992, p 207, Elisha Gilbert: #1. Cpl, Cont, Lt Pixley’s Co 1776; 19, p 61; 41, p 660. #2. VT, resident Pawlet; Capt Allen’s Co 1778, 41:, p 141. New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, “Green Mountain Boys”: Rank: Enlisted Men; Name: Elisha Gilbert.

[5] History of Rutland County, Vermont: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason, 1886, 3: 668.

[6]Barnes Frisbie. The history of Middletown, Vermont: in three discourses. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1867, pp 10-11.

[7]Millard F Roberts, Steuben County, New York, John Single: Syracuse, NY, 1891, p 93.

[8] Roberts, op cit, ages 94-96 and 202.

[9] History of Steuben Co, 1879, p 138.

[10] Steuben Co NY Deed Book [?]:475-6.

[11] Travis, William,. A history of Clay County, Indiana: closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1909, 2: 315.

[12] History of Steuben Co NY, Clayton, 1879.

Published on August 17, 2008 at 10:58 am  Comments (11)  

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  1. One of my Mates from PA who were connected to my Palmer’s from NY & Jackson Co., OH married briefly into the Searl/Searles family. So while looking for the Searl/Searles I came across the following which does show the White/Searl connection:

    Searl/Searles/White

    Apparently a Searl/Searles came from England with his brother Gideon, this brother of Gideon had a son Reuben b England, and a son Nathaniel b February 1788 Middleton, Rutland Co., VT.

    Nathaniel Searl/Searles b 1788 m Rebecca White b 1797, daughter of Abel White (wife, Comfort), Rev. Vet from Steuben Co., NY. The White’s died in Scioto Co., OH. Nathaniel Searl and Rebecca White married Steuben Co., NY, March 26, 1806. They moved to Scioto from NY in 1813. Son: Judge Fernando Cortez Searl born July 8, 1825, his biography you will find on the following site:

    http://www.heritagepursuit.com/Scioto/Scioto1901CIXP272.htm

    • Most of the history relayed in this reply was from the biography in my great-grandfather’s poetry book (Collected Poems of Fernando Cortez Searl). That family history was mostly inaccurate. I have the actual family history of the Searl(les) if anyone is interested.

      • I am very interested in the family history you have, in particular Reuben Searl who married Mary Ann Dickinson in 1826 in Clermont Co OH. I assume he was a son of the Reuben Searl who was in the 1800 census in Steuben Co NY, near Elisha Gilbert, Mary Ann’s grandfather, and also in Middletown, Vermont.

  2. In searching the Butler family, I found John and Thomas Butler (brothers) listed in the 1790 Chemung census. Also listed is Elisha Gilbert. According to the census Gilbert lists 1 free white male under 16 and 6 free white females including head of family.

    There has been some evidence that the Butler Brothers may have also lived in Vermont. Now I am curious if there are any connections.

  3. Pretty neat stuff…

    I can tell you that the ” Searl ” family and ” White ” family are related to the same family as my Ancestors here in Scioto county Ohio .

    I have an ancestor Abel White , that had a son Daniel White ,who married Sarah Osborn .

    Abel White also had a daughter , Rebecca White ( Daniel’s sister ) that married a Nathaniel Searl .

    Nathaniel Searl and Rebecca ( White )Searl had a son named .. Fernando Cortez Searl ( F. C. Searl )..who became a teacher, lawyer & judge in Portsmouth , Scioto County .

    I have info , photos, and Gravesite info…on all above…

    • Right now I am concentrating on who was in these areas of Vermont at the early dates where Elisha Gilbert appears on various lists: the taking of Fort Ticonderoga, May 1775; Pawlett Township, 1778; Poultney Vermont, 1781; Middletown, 1784. My hypothesis is that Elisha went from Massachusetts with Lt. David Pixley’s troops and stayed in the same region, where he married Hepzibah, Jan 1776. So, who were Hepzibah’s parents? Who was there with a family that early?

    • I am descended from the Searl side of this tree and would be very interested in exchanging information with you.

  4. If you will send me your email address, I can send you a Gedcom file with all of the history I have on the SEARL family, back to when they came to this country, around 1620, I think.

    Linda Freeman Clifford

  5. Email me at lkclifford@aol.com. Thanks.

  6. Email me, I have information for you of the Gilbert clan in Illinois that ar a part of this family tree. becky58US@yahoo.com

  7. My husbands g grandfather was David Gilbert who was born in Vermont approx 1827. Apparently his parents were Canadian. Does anyone know this branch of the family. thank you Janice


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