DICKINSON, David, of Ontario and Steuben Cos NY and Clermont Co OH

David Dickinson [Jr] is probably the David Dickinson born ca 2 Apr 1769 in Ashburnham, Worcester Co MA, son of David and Persis (Wheeler) Dickinson.[1] He died apparently between Dec 1832 when he deeded land to several of his children and Oct 1835 when the deeds were filed.[2]

He was married about 1795 probably in Ontario Co NY, present Addison Township, Steuben Co NY, to Anna Gilbert, daughter of Elisha and Hepsibah (–?–) Gilbert.[3]

Anna was born 11 Aug 1776 in Middletown [now Middletown Springs], Rutland Co VT,[4] and was living in Louisa Co IA in 1850 with a married daughter and an unmarried son and daughter. She died there 5 Mar 1851.[5]

The 1795 Ontario Co NY deed, from Elisha and Hepsibah Gilbert to David and Anna Gilbert shows that David was presumably already married to Anna, who is named in the deed. In 1790 Elisha was in western NY, a resident of Chemung Twp, Montgomery Co NY (later Chemung Co) and by 1791 of Middlebury (later called Addison), Ontario Co NY (later Steuben Co), so David must have been in the area when he met his future wife.[6]

The first official record of this David is in 1800 Ontario Co NY, Northampton Twp, p 322: David Dickinson, 10010/10100. Abel “Cleaveland,” who was an associate of David’s in that county and then in Chautauqua County, was only a few pages away. David was in the 26-45 age group, i.e., born 1755-74.

David was an ensign in the Genesee Co NY militia in 1803.[7] He is also listed as a town officer in Leicester NY in the same year.[8]

Later that year or the next, David’s family along with Abel Cleveland’s family moved to Pomfret, Chautauqua Co NY.[9] The two men were founders of Silver Creek and partners in an early sawmill. The History of Chautauqua County, New York, from its first settlement to the present time; with numerous biographical and family sketches, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, has three passages referring to David. “Abel Cleveland and David Dickinson bought where the village of Silver Creek now stands. The land was taken up in 1803 or 1804 (p 76)…” A traveler in the area stayed with the David Dickinson family. And David was an innovator who brought a new kind of “corn-cracker” to the mill he built (p 89).

Other Chautauqua Co books also refer to David; one gives more details about the partnership of Abel Cleveland and David Dickinson and states that Dickinson and Cleveland were natives of Berkshire Co MA.[10]

David Dickinson was first shown buying land in Steuben Co NY in 1809, as a resident of Pomfret, Niagara Co (later Chautauqua Co) NY. This deed was filed and recorded the same day as the 1795 deed.

When he sold this land in 1816, he was shown as a resident of Clermont Co OH, where he first bought land in 1819.[11]

In 1810 David was in Steuben Co NY, page 64: David “Dickerson,” 21110/31010, next door to Elisha Gilbert. Additional records demonstrate David’s relationship to the family of Elisha Gilbert. David was in the 26-45 age group, i.e., born 1765-84.

As daughter Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s biography states, the family moved to Clermont Co OH ca 1816.[12] In 1820 David was in Ohio Twp, Clermont Co OH: David Dickinson, 110101/12201/3; and in 1830 they were in Clermont Co OH, David Dickison, p 214: 000110000000/000210010000. The father is missing from this record, but was still alive.

David Dickinson made four deeds giving land to his unmarried children[13] in December 1832, in which he mentioned without giving last names Nancy and Harriet and also Jacob Light, who was Harriet’s father-in-law, and D Light, her husband. Jacob and David Light’s land, like Harriet’s, adjoined David Dickinson’s.

I used to wonder if the son David W Dickinson, who was born 1800-1805 in NY and married in 1833 in Clermont Co OH, might have the middle name Wheeler, after the possible mother of David Dickinson, as given above. I was pleased to discover that he had a grandson named David Wheeler Dickinson, who lived in Nebraska.

I have not been able to trace most of the children of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson. The children, based on the Clermont Co OH deeds, marriages and census records, and their known families were:

1. Nancy DICKINSON was born between 1796 and 1800. Nancy was probably married before 1832, when David mentioned “Nancy’s land” in a deed. She may be Nancy Jones, 50 NY, Franklin Township [wife of Anthony Jones, 1830 Washington Twp, four houses away from Joseph Dickinson, who was not related], but is not Nancy (Thacker) Leever, 46 NY, Goshen Twp [wife of Samuel Leever, Goshen Twp in 1830], both in Clermont Co.

The Clermont Co Genealogical Society listed her name as having an unclaimed letter, 1 Apr 1826, from the Ohio Star & New Richmond & Susannah Gazette: Miss Nancy Dickenson.

2. Charles C DICKINSON was born about 1798 in NY. In 1819 Charles first married Jane SMITH in Clermont Co OH. Her daughter Nancy’s 1880 census indicates Jane was born in Maine, and she died before 1828. Nancy A Dickinson, who married David Kirghanin 1840, was probably a daughter of Charles’s, since Charles Dickinson was next door to the William Kirghan family in 1840: 0010001/000111. In 1839 David Kirgan was deeded land from Charles Dickenson. Charles Dickison is listed among a list of people who had letters remaining at the Post Office at Batavia, Ohio.[14] These are assumed to be their children, from the 1840 census record, living with their father:

i.            Nancy A (1820-20 Apr 1901)

ii. Samuel Dickinson, born ca 1827, living in 1856 in Louisa Co IA with aunt Jane Stephen.

iii.    Hannah J (1829-)

In 1828 when Charles was 30, he second married Elizabeth MITCHEL in Clermont Co OH. Hannah was probably a child of the second wife.

3. Harriet DICKINSON was born on 20 Nov 1802 in Wyoming, Ontario Co NY. Harriet died in Edgar Co IL, on 26 Jan 1873 and was buried in Mt Carmel IL. On 6 Dec 1821 when Harriet was 19, she married David LIGHT, son of Jacob LIGHT & Catherine HARMON, in Clermont Co OH. Born on 5 Sep 1800 in Clermont Co OH, David died in Edgar Co IL, on 16 Sep 1888. They had the following children:

i.            Charlotte (1822-1891)

ii.            Charles Dickinson (1824-1824)

iii.            Benjamin Franklin (1826-1873)

iv.            Oliver Perry (1828-1904)

v.            Reuben Spencer (1830-1904)

vi.            Catherine Ann (1832-1926)

vii.            Samuel Henry (1834-1914)

viii.     William Wallace (1836-1917)

4. David W[heeler] DICKINSON was born on 1 Jan 1805 in NY. David Wheeler died in New Richmond, Clermont Co OH, on 11 Apr 1870. On 15 Oct 1833, he married Phebe HANCE in Clermont Co OH. Born on 13 May 1813 in NY, Phebe died in Clermont Co OH, on 11 May 1890. They had the following children:

i.            Wellington (1834-<1931)            [15]

ii.            Amanda Helen (1836-1853)

iii.            Eveline (1838-<1931)

iv.            Emily (1842-1916)

v.            Cynthia A (1844-1891)

vi.            Sarah J (1847-1931)

vii.            Francis (1851-<1931)

viii.            Charles Thaddeus (1854-1931)[16]

5. Mary Ann DICKINSON was born in NY between 1804 and 1810. On 30 Mar 1826 in Clermont Co OH, she married Reuben S SEARL, who was living near her mother and siblings in 1840, in Louisa Co IA. Born in 1799, this Reuben S Searl died in Louisa Co IA, in 1840, after marrying a second wife, Nancy Ann.[17] In 1830 the Searl family was two houses from David Dickinson in Ohio Twp: Reuben S Searl, 00001/01101. Mary Ann died, say mid-1830s, and her husband later married Nancy Ann –, who survived him. Reuben S. Searl died in June 1840, and his widow, Nancy Ann (–) (Searl) Nichols died 18 Aug 1869 in Muscatine Co IA.

6. Elizabeth DICKINSON, born 1809, was living in from 1850 through 1885 in Louisa Co IA, unmarried, with the family of her sister Jane Stephen.

7. Caroline DICKINSON was born about 1810 in NY. On 10 May 1832, she married William BOALS in Clermont Co OH. He was born in 1780s. He may have been the man in 1830 Pleasant Twp, Brown Co OH: 1211001/1111001. There was a William Bowles, “Boat Man,” living in a boarding house in 1850 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co OH.

8. Jane DICKINSON was born in 1815, married Levi Stephen in Louisa Co IA on 22 Dec 1841, and died there 16 Jul 1905. Her complete census record provides family data and revealed that her mother lived over 20 years longer than previously believed. A book entitled Portrait and Biographical Album of Louisa County, Iowa Acme Publishing Co, 1889, page unknown, states the following: “Mrs. [Levi] Stephen is a native of Steuben County, N. Y., and a daughter of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts, though the father was of Scotch descent, and the mother of English ancestry.”

9. William F DICKINSON was born between 1815 and 1820. The name Francis Dickinson occurs several times in this family; this may be his middle name. He is listed in Louisa Co IA censuses in 1850 and also 1856, unmarried.

© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1] Ezra R Stearns, A Genealogical Register of Ashburnham Families, 1887, p 681.

[2] Clermont Co OH Deeds, Liber K-2 (1834), pages 244-247, dated Dec 1832, filed Oct 1835. Four deeds from David Dickinson to some of his children.

[3] 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. 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 4:348. Entered in Nov 1809, the apparent release of David Dickinson from a mortgage made on 25 Dec 1793 to Charles Williamson for land in Steuben Co. I do not have the second page of this document, which includes more than one mortgage.

Steuben Co NY Deed Book 7:124. David bought more land in Steuben Co on 20 Aug 1814, recorded the same day.

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, so he may have died before that date. The three assumed sons-in-law 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. It appears that David did not return to Steuben Co to sign the deed, but sent written instructions.

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 probable daughters Aney and Lucy received $28.66 each. David Dickinson was one of the witnesses. Note above that one of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson’s granddaughters married a Kirghan.

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 (see below) 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 and sisters and nieces and nephews.

The Steuben Co Will Book 1:391 has the administration of Elisha Gilbert’s estate. Although the copy I have is hard to read, it can be seen that Nathan Stephens was the administrator, the case was filed 18 Apr 1818, and that there is no mention of a widow.

With these deeds I had speculated that Elisha and Hepsibah Gilbert had the following children: Anna Dickinson, Chloe Gillespie, Rachel Stephens and Ebenezer Gilbert. After this, I located the Brainard, Gilbert & Torrey book on the Gilbert family which gives a remarkably similar account of Elisha’s family: Anna, b 1776, Chloe, b 1778, Ebenezer, b 1780, Rachel, b 1782, Ruth, b 1785.

These births were registered in Middletown VT.  Since Elisha left at some date not too long after for NY, it is possible there were younger children not registered in VT. The entry cites a Stephens family genealogy and mentions the marriage of Rachel and Nathan Stephens and 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 the deeds between David Dickinson, Nathan Stephens and Brown Gillespie, and the close relationship of David especially with Ebenezer indicates that the Anna I expected to find does indeed fit into the family of Elisha Gilbert, Anna, his eldest child.

Elisha Gilbert is referred to in the History of Steuben Co NY, 1879, pp 138-140, also in proximity with men who appear on David Dickinson’s deeds. All of the family, including David Dickinson, served as public officers. Note also in the Middletown VT book the names Reuben Searl and Abel White which also appear in early Steuben Co NY; a few generations later we find descendants of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson marrying a Reuben Searl and a David Kirghan, additional evidence of the connection between the Dickinson and Gilbert families.

[4] H. W. Brainard, H. S. Gilbert, C. A. Torrey, The Gilbert Family: Descendants of Thomas Gilbert, 1582(?)-1659, New Haven, CT: 1953

[5] 1850 FC IA, household of Levi Stephen. Ancestry.com. Iowa Cemetery Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

Original data: Works Project Administration. Graves Registration Project. Washington, D.C.: n.p., n.d.

[6]Steuben County deed book, plus Prof. W W Clayton. History of Steuben County, New York. Philadelphia: Lewis, Peck & Co,. 1879, pp 138-140, 228.

[7] Military minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, p 692.

[8] History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase…, by O. Turner, 1851, pp 353. Among the town officers in 1803 of the newly formed town of Leicester NY were David Dickinson and Abel “Cleavland.” Reference is made to Leicester in relation to Wyoming, Allegany and the south part of Erie. Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s 1850 census gave her birthplace as Wyoming NY.

[9] My other Dickinson ancestor was Mary (Dickinson) Joy, who was in nearly Portland, Chautauqua Co NY, in 1810. At one time I thought the families would be connected, but they are not. Mary’s brother David Dickinson, like this man, was born in 1769.

[10] History of Chautauqua County, New York, by Obed Edson, 1894, on page 168. This fact is possibly important in identifying our David Dickinson; the earlier David Dickinson, the father of this David, lived for a time in Shelburne, in the county next to Berkshire. It was here that he served in the revolutionary War. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, p 740: “Dickerson, David. Receipt dated Shelburne, Sept. 22, 1777, for mileage, etc., from Shelburne to Stillwater, paid said Dickerson and others by the Selectmen of Shelburne; Capt. John Wells certifies that the men whose names appear upon the receipt went out of town with him.” We do not know where our David was from the time more or less of his mother’s death in 1782 until he appears in NY ca 1795.

[11] This fact establishes that the same man was in Pomfret, later Steuben Co NY and finally Clermont Co OH.

[12] History of Edgar County, Illinois. Wm. LeBaron Co, 1879, 687.

[13] David W Dickinson, William F Dickinson, Jane Dickinson, and Elizabeth Dickinson.

[14] Article in the Clermont Courier March 30, 1839.

[15] There was possibly also a son David, or this son may have been David Wellington Dickinson.

[16] He had a son named David Wheeler Dickinson.

[17] Springer, Arthur. History of Louisa County, Iowa, from its Earliest Settlement to 1912, vol. 1, page 257, state that Reuben’s wife was a sister of Levi Stephen; this does not appear to apply to Nancy Ann, who later married Samuel Nichols and had children with him, but rather to Dr. Searl’s wife, who was a sister of the wife of Levi Stephen (even though Dr. Searl had died before Jane Dickinson married Levi Stephen).

Published on August 28, 2008 at 9:44 am  Comments (12)  

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  1. I was Googling my ancestor Reuben Searl and your website came up. I am trying to find his years of service in the Rev. War. He was with Col. Ebenezer Allen’s regiment, part of the Vermont Green Mountain Boys. I can find records of individual marches but not his muster in/muster out dates. While scrolling your list of family names, I saw Moser. My brother-in-law was a Moser. I don’t know his family history. Just wanted to say what a nice site you have. It was a pleasure.

    • What do you know about Reuben W Searl, who married Mary Ann Dickinson, 30 March 1826 in Clermont Co OH? I’d like evidence that Mary Ann was a daughter of my David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson, but it looks as though she died before 1840, so I can’t get help from the censuses.
      My ancestor, Elisha Gilbert, appears on several Revolutionary War records, but nothing as specific as muster in or muster out dates. I believe since these were militia and other local troops that records were either not kept as completed or not preserved as well as the Continental Army muster rolls.
      Have you looked at The State of Vermont. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783, compiled and edited by John E. Goodrich,, 1904, page 832, at http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/ViewStory.aspx?tid=9414976&pid=-465055156&did=84961b4b-b5bf-4a56-997f-70f331174232&src=search ?
      I really enjoyed this book for background on that era: Michael A. Bellesiles, Revolutionary Outlaws: Ethan Allen and the Struggle for Independence on the Early American Frontier, 1993, page 116, a possible arrival of Elisha in Vermont.

  2. hello, my name is sara crystal and I am a descendant of john hale and also of elisha searl. reading your blog I noticed several familiar names. I believe there was a connection between these families several times. our family is lucky to have the”Pioneer History” about 12 pp written by john hale son of asenaath searl, daughter of elisha searl, and john hale. john was b 1825 in virginia but a large family/friends group migrated to ohio then putnam county illinois then henry on the illinois river. anyhow they continued to new boston, nr toolesboro. john hale sr and john jr’s uncle peter dewitt built a house for FRANK DICKINSON, “on what is now known on the old bromley place” and john hale jr assisted.he was abt 14 at the time.this would be 1839 or so. since our families had connections I greet you with friendship. from oakland ca, sara crystal
    scrapbasket@earthlink.net is the best way to contact me back

  3. sorry, I meant to say “what is now known AS the old bromley place. he also tells other stories mentioning reuben searl, timothy searl, william searl,and other relatives. love sara

  4. oh sorry in my email I got a little mixed up processing tons of new info. obviously I found your blog! we are def related thru the searls, you will see when you read the pioneer story, and your info helps me tremendously. glad to find you, and happy mother’s day again. love sara

  5. ps I am also so happy to locate the rev war service of the searls.

  6. Sara,
    I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was with you information about our families. We may never find a blood link between us, but you have given me information to confirm one of my circumstantial cases.

    If you have read my blog (which I now need to update), you know that I have been unable to trace what happened to several of the children of David and Anna Dickinson. The Frank Dickinson you mention may be their youngest son, William Francis Dickinson.

    But here’s the great thing. I went to the Louisa County Iowa genweb site, since you mentioned New Boston in that county. There I found an 1885 biography of Levi Stephen, whose wife was Jane Dickinson, “Daughter of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson.” The evidence was strong that David’s wife Anna was a daughter of Elisha Gilbert, but this was confirmation from an independent and contemporary source.

    Plus, I now know the full story about David’s daughter Jane. Since she was in Louisa County, that adds to the probability of identifying the Frank Dickinson you mention. I just so far have found any of these people in census records.

    You can tell how I spent much of yesterday. Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s son, Oliver Perry Light, i.e., Jane and Frank’s nephew, was in Louisa Co IA as a Methodist minister in 1870. I wonder if he knew and met any kin there. His youngest son was Francis Dickinson Spencer Light. One of his brothers also had a son named Francis Dickinson Light.

    Do you have copies of the “Pioneer Stories” book? I would be glad to pay for you to take it to Kinko’s or Staples and have scans of the pages made and copied on a CD. That would be faster (and I hope easier) than scanning or Xeroxing each page. Please share this treasure.

    I was also able, thanks to you, to correct the marriage of Elisha Searl’s brother Reuben S Searl; he married a sister of Levi Stephen, not a sister of Jane and Harriet Dickinson. The identity of this sister’s husband, Reuben L Searles, is still a puzzle.

    Yours, happily,
    Kathy

  7. I have sent you a word file of the john hale story, it is sadly only 12 pp long because we all would like more. he really brings the time to life and mentions many names we are searching. I wish it was longer. let me know if you cannot access the file and the photo of john and children in his garden, I believe this is wapello, ia. I am also excited about your work and think it will help me a lot. happy mother’s day. love sara

  8. ps I think reuben searl are two, father and son. john mentions reuben his uncle and also the younger.

    • Hi…I’m descendant of Elisha Searl, buried in Louisa, IA born near Dayton, OH. His son, JK (Jarvis Kibby), would be an uncle to your John Hale, is my gggrandfather. Elisha had a brother named Reuben as was his father name Reuben. I’m now living in Iowa although my dad’s family was in Wisconsin.

  9. thanks so much for writing back. we must be some sort of cousins. great to hear from you. will check in more later. love, sara crystal and family


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