LIGHT, David, of Clermont Co OH and Edgar Co IL

David Light was born 5 Sep 1800 probably in Clermont Co OH, a son of Jacob and Catherine (Harmon) Light.[1] He died 16 Sep 1888 in Edgar Co IL.[2] 

On 6 Dec 1821 in Clermont Co OH, David first married Harriet Dickinson.[3] On 12 Nov 1874 in Edgar Co IL, he married second Rebecca (Tabor) Scott, the widow of Samuel Scott and mother of one of his sons-in-law.[4] 

Harriet Dickinson was born 20 Nov 1802 in Wyoming, Ontario Co NY, the daughter of David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson.[5] She died 26 Jan 1873 in Edgar Co IL.[6] 

In 1831, David received an inheritance from his father’s estate.[7] Also a Clermont Co OH Deed[8] from 1836 names David’s wife Harriet and lists him as an heir of Jacob Light, along with his brothers and sisters. 

David Dickinson apparently gave or sold land to his daughters when they married. In 1832, he made four deeds ceding land to some, possibly the unmarried ones, of his children. In these deeds, he mentioned Harriet and Nancy, apparently married daughters, as well as the land of his neighbors David and Jacob Light.[9] 

No David Light in 1830 Clermont Co OH index fits our David. His family should be 21001…/01001… In 1820 there was only one David Light in the county, the one in Williamsburg Township, who is still there in 1830. And the other Lights in Ohio Township were brothers of our David: John, Peter, Benjamin and another John. This is also the township where David Dickinson said his land adjoined Harriet’s. So, most likely the census taker was mistaken about the ages of the sons of our David Light, on page 220, Ohio Township, and wrote: 000110001…/01001001…  Or were older members of the family, possibly David Dickinson, residing with David’s family? 

In 1838, at the time of David’s move to Illinois, he obtained four land grants in Edgar County.[10] In 1840, his census read: Edgar Co IL, p 77. David Light, 113001/010101. In 1850, they were in the same county: Edgar Co IL District 19, page 170B, lines 16-22; David was a farmer, and oldest son at home was Oliver a schoolteacher. In 1860 and 1870, the parents were living alone. In 1880, David was with his new wife and stated that his parents were born in Pennsylvania. 

The children of David and Harriet (Dickinson) Light were: 

1. Charlotte LIGHT. Born on 24 Dec 1822 in Clermont Co OH. Charlotte died on 26 Jan 1891. On 24 Mar 1843 when Charlotte was 20, she married John SCOTT, son of Samuel SCOTT & Rebecca TABOR, in Edgar Co IL. Born on 9 Sep 1820 in Morgan Co IN. John died in Scottland, Prairie Twp, Edgar Co IL, on 8 Aug 1889. They had the following children: 

                        i.          Harriet Rebecca (1845-) 

                        ii.         Winfield (1847-1910) 

                        iii.        Serena Ann (1849-) 

                        iv.        Sarah Jane (1852-) 

                        v.         Wellington (1854-ca1895)

                        vi.        John Charles (1857-)

                        vii.       Nancy Carlise (1860-)

                        viii.      Julia Ellen (1862-)

                        ix.        Samuel (ca1864-)


2. Charles Dickinson LIGHT. Born on 1 Sep 1824 in Clermont Co OH. Charles Dickinson died in 1824; he was under one year of age


3. Benjamin Franklin LIGHT. Born on 6 Mar 1826 in Clermont Co OH. Benjamin Franklin probably in Lamar, Barton Co MO, on 2 Feb 1873. On 26 Feb 1848 when he was 21, he married Florella WOOD in Edgar Co IL. Born on 24 Nov 1825. Florella died on 5 Jul 1890. They had the following children:

                        i.          Harriet J (1849-)

                        ii.         David W (1850-ca1895)

                        iii.        Joseph S (1852-)

                        iv.        Mary Caroline (1854-ca1895)

                        v.         John Charles (1857-)

                        vi.        William Nelson (1859-ca1895)

                        vii.       Dora Bell (1861-1961)


4. Oliver Perry LIGHT. Born on 7 Apr 1828 in Clermont Co OH. He died in Wymore, Gage Co NE, on 28 Mar 1904. Rev. Light spent his life as a Methodist Minister, having received his formal education at Georgetown Seminary, Georgetown, Vermilion Co IL. On 6 Sep 1853 when Oliver Perry was 25, he married Nancy Jane PRATHER, daughter of James Russell PRATHER & Louvica Caroline VEACH, in Shelbyville, Shelby Co IL. Born on 12 Sep 1833 in Clark Co IN. Nancy Jane died in Wymore, Gage Co NE, on 4 Aug 1895. They had the following children:

                        i.          Mary Catherine (1854-1854)

                        ii.         Minnie (1858-1858)

                        iii.        Laurie Matilda (1859-1943)

                        iv.        William Russell (1861-1934)

                        v.         David Franklin (1863-1863)

                        vi.        Harriet Caroline (1866-1927)

                        vii.       Francis Dickinson (1873-<1934)

                        viii.      Olive Jennie (1877-1899)


6. Reuben Spencer LIGHT. Born on 21 Jan 1830 in Clermont Co OH. Reuben died in Princeton, Caldwell Co MO, on 3 Sep 1904. On 9 May 1858 when Reuben was 28, he first married Elizabeth Emily PARKER in Edgar Co IL. Born on 28 Jul 1829. Elizabeth Emily died in Edgar Co IL, on 3 Sep 1866. They had the following children:

                        i.          Albert (1859-1859)

                        ii.         Francis D (1860-1883)

                        iii.        Luellen (1862-)

                        iv.        Nettie V (1862-)


On 8 Apr 1869 when Reuben Spencer was 39, he second married Lovina MAGUIRLY. Lovina died on 25 Mar 1906. They had the following children:

                        i.          Hattie May (1869-1869)

                        ii.         Margaret O (1871-1871)

                        iii.        David Adelbert (1873-)

                        iv.        Willis  (1877-1877)

                        v.         Arthur Edward (1882-)

                        vi.        William N  (1879-1880)


7. Catherine Ann LIGHT. Born on 10 Mar 1832 in Clermont Co OH. She died in Union City OK, on 27 Dec 1926. On 1 Dec 1849 when Catherine Ann was 17, she married Andrew Yeatton WHEELER, son of Edward WHEELER & Nerisa JONES, in Edgar Co IL. Born on 12 Sep 1825. Andrew Yeatton died after 1922; the couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. They had the following children:

                        i.          Alfred (1851-1900)

                        ii.         Alice (1853-)

                        iii.        Alva Nerissa Belle (1859-)

                        iv.        Alma Harriet (1863-1931)


8. Samuel Henry LIGHT. Born on 17 Apr 1834 in Clermont Co OH. He died in Edgar Co IL, in Jan 1914. On 17 Apr 1853 when Samuel was 19, he married Elizabeth COFFMAN in Brown Co OH. Born on 1 Jan 1832. Elizabeth died in Mt Carmel Cemetery, Edgar Co IL, in 1912. They had the following children:

                        i.          Margaret (1854-1911)

                        ii.         William Marshall (1855-1947)

                        iii.        Laura (1858-<1895)

                        iv.        Charles Kansas (1859-1942)

                        v.         (infant son) (1863-1863)

                        vi.        Hattie Bell (1866-1869)

                        vii.       (infant son) (1869-1869)


9. William Wallace LIGHT. Born on 4 Mar 1836 in Clermont Co OH. William died in Edgar Co IL, on 9 Dec 1917. On 5 Jan 1860, he married Katherine LIGHT, a cousin,  daughter of Jacob LIGHT & Elizabeth LIGHT, in Clermont Co OH. Born on 29 Sep 1836 in Clermont Co OH. Katherine died in Edgar Co IL, on 21 Jun 1908. They had the following children:

                        i.          Edwin Lincoln (Died as Child) (1860-1875)

                        ii.         David Owen (1865-)

                        iii.        Hattie Frances (1867-)

                        iv.        Finley I (1869-)

                        v.         Lissie Dell (1871-)

                        vi.        Rubie Alfreddy (1874-)


This writer wants readers to note that the eight children of David and Harriet who had families of their own, each had a daughter named Harriet or Hattie. Harriet apparently had a brother Charles, since she named her first son Charles Dickinson Light; but two of her children named sons Francis Dickinson Light. The reason for this is not clear; Harriet had a great-uncle named Francis Dickinson, who lived in Worcester Co MA from 1746-1823. Harriet would not have known this man, but her father surely did. And David Dickinson, Harriet’s father, had a half-brother who very likely never saw David after his early childhood, but also named a son Francis Dickinson.

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

[2] David Light obituary and funeral notice, Paris Daily Beacon, Paris IL, 18 Sep 1888, 21 Sep 1888. Light tombstone, Mt Carmel Cemetery, Edgar Co IL, visited and photographed by Art and Evelynne Alvis. Mt Carmel Cemetery, Brouillets Twp, Edgar Co IL, 6 pages copied 1959, indexed and retyped 1973. David and Harriet are on page 4, as well as their sons Samuel H, William W, their wives, the first wife of son Reuben S, many of their families and a son of Benjamin Franklin Light. I have a certificate that the county has no record of his death.

[3] Clermont County Marriage Book 2:018, published page 133 of Marriage Records, 1800-1850.

[4] Edgar County Marriage Book, Grooms’ Index, Apr 1874-77, Court Clerk’s Office, Paris IL. She was born on 4 Feb 1803 in Cabell Co VA [now WV]. Rebecca died in Scottland, Prairie Twp, Edgar Co IL, on 7 Feb 1886.

[5] Edgar Co Illinois, op cit. Also the cemetery record. All of these dates are also included in the OP Light papers.

[6] Harriet Dickinson was the mother of my grandmother’s grandfather and a close enough relation that when I started doing genealogy in the 1960s, my grandmother could give me names and dates and tell me where Harriet had lived and was buried. Although my great-great-grandfather, Oliver Perry Light, had left a great deal of data on his father’s family and on the families of both of his wife’s parents, all he listed for Harriet Dickinson were the dates and places of her birth, marriage and death. Harriet’s part of the biography in History of Edgar Co IL, 1879, includes details about her family’s moves: residence in NY until 1816, then Ohio. The move to OH from NY in 1816 is key. I studied all Dickinsons or variants of the name in Clermont Co OH at the time of Harriet’s marriage there in 1821. There were four families in the 1820 census, when Harriet was 18: Joseph Dickson, p 26, a young man with a wife and one son under 10; William Dickson, p 27A, in the household 1 man 26-45, one girl under 10, 5 women 26-45, and one woman over 45 (the spelling Dickinson is sometimes used for this family, but in censuses it is always Dickson); Morgan Dickinson, p 28, 45+ with one son 5-10, three daughters 10-26, and a wife 26-45; and David Dickinson, p 32, who had three sons and 5 daughters (or 4 daughters and a daughter-in-law). It seemed that David was the most likely of the four—with Morgan Dickinson being the only other real possibility. William Dickinson was in Clermont Co as early as 1802, so he was doubly eliminated, since Harriet’s family came in 1816, per her published biography. I also found a deed that David Dickinson bought land in New Richmond in 1819. There were no other Dickinson families in Clermont Co through at least 1840, except Peter Dickinson, a free black in 1830. Cemetery records show that Morgan Dickinson Jr (1805-1892) was buried in Hamlet OH; his Clermont Co will mentions by name his 25 nieces and nephews as next of kin, with surnames Hare (5), Fagin (12), Dolin (1), Widmeyer (1), Herget (1), and Porvin (1) and his deceased sisters Matilda Hare and Minerva Fagin. Not naming the third sister indicates that she died without issue. Her children would have to have been named in the will, otherwise the will has untrue statements sworn to be true. Harriet Light was not the sister of Morgan Dickinson. David Dickinson was closer in the county to the Light family than was Morgan Dickinson. David Dickinson made four deeds giving land to his unmarried children in 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, as well as Harriet’s, adjoined David Dickinson’s. Copies of all four deeds are included here. David Dickinson and four members of the Light family, Jacob (Harriet’s father-in-law), Daniel, John and George C (a cousin who married Harriet and David Light), were in Ohio Township of Clermont Co in the 1826 tax list. Members of David Dickinson’s family and Lights are buried in several of the same cemeteries in Ohio Township.  It was by comparing the 1820 census with 1810 NY censuses that I was first able to locate David Dickinson in Steuben Co. As soon as I located the Steuben Co deeds, I knew it was the same David who moved to Clermont Co, that his wife’s name was Anna, probable data on her brother and sisters, and that her father was probably Elisha Gilbert. At no time in his adult life was David Dickinson living in proximity with any other Dickinsons, who might have been his relatives. [KP, 1997]

[7] Jacob Light will (1831), Clermont Co OH Will Book D, 164.  SearchLight I: II: 2, copies a deed record naming his heirs, including David and Harriet Light. Extracted by Bertha Minnick: “To his wife, 40 acres New Richmond, river front; after her death, it goes to his daughter Betsy Rankin and son Benjamin Light, to share and share alike. To his three oldest sons, John, Daniel, and Jacob, each $1000.00 one month after his death. To his son David, 150 acres, to his son Peter, New Richmond, 100 acres, to his son, John Light, Benjamin Light, 100 acres, Betsy Rankin, 100 acres, this off the same tract of land as above. Mary Dorrel and Susannah Conner, $500.00 each. Caty Hardin tract of land his son-in-law Samuel Hardin now living on in the State of Kentucky opposite New Richmond, Ohio. To his four grandsons, being the sons of Caty Hardin, Jacob, John, David and Peter Hardin, all of his lands laying and being in the State of Kentucky, supposed to be 100 acres. All of his town property in the town of New Richmond, Ohio, to be sold and divided between all of his heirs. His two sons Peter and David Light and his brother Daniel executors of his last will and testament. His will made 19 Mar 1831.”

[8] Clermont Co OH Deeds, Liber M-2 (1836):252.

[9] 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.

Published on January 7, 2009 at 2:20 am  Comments (4)  

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  1. You have a very detailed, wonderful sight. I am a decendent of the Lights. From John Light(1682), to his son, John Light,(1726) his son, Abraham Light, (1806)his daughter, Catherine Light. (1830) She is the Mother to my Great-Grandmother, Elizabeth Day Long.(1850)
    I recently purchased “The History of Lebanon and Dauphin Co”. by Egle. I have enjoyed reading about the LIghts, and their “OLD FORT”.
    I wondered if you could possibly direct me to any pictures of that, or of those Lights, mentioned above.
    I also live in Oklahoma. Thanks for your help, and great sight. Lisa

  2. Hello, very informative site!

    I’m a descendant of a Ruth Light born between 1825 – 1830 perhaps in CLermont OH. She married a James Whitney in either Clermont Ohio or Clark Illinois, then a Joseph Golladay in Coles Illinois. I can’t link her to any of the Light families so far tho. I belive her husband James WHitney is related to the Hespsibeth Whitney married to Peter Light in Clermont OH but am not 100% sure how. They have a daughter Ruth who is not the one I’m looking for. Ruth’s first son’s name is Oliver Perry Whitney.

    Just wondering if you’ve ever come across a daughter for the Lights that might be her?

  3. Nice to read your post above. As you might guess from my name I am a direct descendant of Samuel Scott. Every so often I get back into genealogy and would like to share information with you if you’re interested. It seems the Scotts and Lights married at least twice, probably more with Edgar being such a small place.

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