The DNA project has discovered the family of Joshua Carter’s son John Carter and wife Nancy of Hamilton County mentioned in the deed for the sale of Joshua Carter’s property following his death in 1831.
Larry Carter has a match with a descendant of John and Nancy’s daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Carter and her husband, Allen Branch’s family. They are part of the John Branch family group. They also share a match with P.H. (managed by globalpathfinder), who is known to be a descendant of William Carter and Rachel Brenneman, and two other matches that are thought to also be Carter cousins.
Larry Carter and Tom Sibcy also both have a match to another descendant of Sarah Carter Branch, but his one is to the Rose Branch family group.
According to his headstone, John Carter was born 16 Feb 1800. He was likely born in Clear Creek Township, Warren County, Ohio on his father’s farm. A marriage record has not been found for John and Nancy; however, the Iowa marriage of their son, James H Carter lists his mother’s maiden name as Stewart. John passed away on 1 Oct 1876 in Crosby Township, Hamilton County, Ohio and Nancy on 4 Jun 1894.
We are looking forward to welcoming our cousins from this branch of the family and introducing them to their ancestors from New Jersey.
My idea to expand the Carter DNA project beyond my close cousins that are actively researching our Carter family came about from two early successes that were only possible because of DNA matching. Both involve Children of William Carter (Joshua, Joseph Carter II) and Rachel Brenneman; their youngest daughter Emeline and their eldest son, who was only hinted at in the 1830 and 1840 US census records.
The first success was with finding that Emeline, whose actual given name was Rachel Emeline Carter, had married Samuel Johnson in Darke County, Ohio shortly after her mother’s death. We had been unable to trace this in the records because, in the 1850 and 1870 census records, her name is given as Emeline, but in her marriage record, she is listed by her legal given name of Rachel and her middle initial “E”.
This discovery was made early, in the beginning of the project, after identifying one of my and Marla Carter’s matches that shared matches with six of our other known Carter cousins, including one from the Carter-Kirby branch of the family. This match did not have a tree attached to their test, but from what I had learned about how Autosomal DNA is shared, and because they were also a match to one of our Carter-Kirby cousins, they had to be either a descendant of Joseph Carter and Mary Gaskill or a descendant of one of their ancestors. (Gaskill, Shinn, Lippincott cousins, etc.) Because of the strength of the match to Marla and me, I was reasonably certain that they were also a descendant of Joseph Carter and Mary Gaskill and not a more distant cousin.
I decided to contact them and presented my theory and asked if they had any Carter ancestors that they were aware of, and asked if they would be interested in learning more about their Carter ancestors. They replied and told me that their great-grandmother’s name was Rachel Carter and she was born about 1825 in Ohio and was married to a man named Johnson, but that was all that they knew about her. I examined my tree and found that James Carter and Sarah Freel’s son, William, who had married Margaret Chancery, had a daughter Rachel who was born in 1845. That was the only unattached Rachel Carter that I had in my tree. After a couple more message exchanges, I was told that the 1825 date wasn’t certain and was given information about their grandparents.
With that information, I began researching up from their grandparents and discovered that their great-grandmother was born in 1847 according to the 1880 and 1900 census records, and though the 1850 census shows Rachel as being born in 1845, I became reasonably sure that this was the correct connection to our family; however, questions and doubts remained because Rachel and her parents and siblings are not found in any records after the 1850 census.
Then a strange and lucky coincidence occurred. Both Larry Carter and Marla Carter had decided to try researching Emeline Carter again. They had both traced possible marriages of Emeline and had reached different conclusions and sent me an email asking if I had an opinion on which might be correct. Both of their theories seemed plausible, and since it had been many years since I had tried to trace Emeline, I decided to see what new records might have been made available on Ancestry.com since my last search. The record that caught my eye was the birth record of Walter Johnson, the son of Rachel E Carter and Samuel Johnson. I had not discovered Walter’s birth record when tracing the tree of the aforementioned match’s family because, in the record, his mother is listed as Emeline Carter and not Rachel Carter. It was then that I realized that Rachel and Emeline were the same people. Emeline’s 1850 and 1870 census records listed her as being born in 1847, the same as Rachel E Carter’s 1880 and 1900 census records, resolving that inconsistency. It also explains the higher than expected number of matches to the descendants of William Carter and Rachael Brenneman that a 6th cousin from James Carter’s descendants would have.
Then, in an even stranger coincidence, my cousin Denia Woodland, sent me this picture from the pictures our great-grandparents had. There are no markings on it, but I immediately recognized Mary Carter-Oliver, and her brothers William and John sitting in the front row behind the children. The woman sitting next to Mary is most likely her youngest sister Rachel Emeline Carter-Johnson. This assumption is based on her appearance (she appears to be younger than her brothers and sister and older than any of her brother and sister’s adult children in the picture.) and the adult man and woman standing behind her. I believe that they are Emeline’s twins, Clara and Clarence Johnson. Twins appear to be a trait of the Johnson family, as Samuel Johnson’s first wife gave birth to a set of twins, and Emeline gave birth to three sets of twins.
From the 1830 and 1840 census records, we knew that William Carter and Rachel Brenneman had one older son that, because he is not in the 1850 census with William and Rachel, we had no given name, that we could use to try to trace him.
I had been researching matches with trees attached to their test, shared between our cousins. I came across one promising match that had traced their family back to a Harrison Carter, born about 1829 in Ohio. After adding that match as a possible Carter cousin to my database, I found that the participants in the DNA project had matches to four other descendants of Harrison Carter. It did not take long to find Harrison’s 6 June 1849 Drake County marriage record to Hannah Elliot. Harrison and Hannah had left with Hannah’s family to go to Iowa before the 1850 census. If it was not for the DNA project, Harrison’s connection to our Carter family may never have been possible.
The latest success story of the DNA project came after the discovery of Joshua Carter’s sale of his land by his heirs. Until this time, the true and correct children of Joshua and his first wife were unknown, and I was busy tracing the descendants of Joshua’s son, Josiah Carter, and looking for DNA matches to Carter cousins from that branch of the family.
One method that I have learned to find possible cousins matches, is to look at the Ancestry Tree Hints, that are shown in the record hints for a person. I go to the profile page of each user shown in the hints and look to see if I or any of the other DNA tests that I have access to have a DNA match to that username. Much to my delight, I found one that person that had a match to me and Larry Carter. Tom is now a Participant in our DNA project, and with the addition of this test, we have discovered three other descendants of Josiah Carter and a new descendant of Sarah Carter and Joseph Kirby.
The author at the headstone of Joshua Carter
The birth and death dates being used and copied by people on Ancestry.com and elsewhere are based on a booklet published by Jack Hutchinson called; A Quaker Migration to Southwestern Ohio (AQM). In the booklet he presents the following:
- Mary Carter, c.1759— No more is known of Mary by this compiler.
- Joseph Carter, Jr. Nov. 26, 1760—Feb. 26, 1831. Joseph married a woman named Hannah.
- Joshua Carter, Nov. 26, 1760 (or 1769)—Feb. 26, 1831 m. 1st to ____, after 1806 m. 2nd to Garthery (Brooks) Merritt, Mar. 26, 1764—Feb. 16, 1852, widow of Abraham Merritt, 1758-1806. (Joseph Carter, Jr. and Joshua Carter may have been twins.)
- James Carter, 1761—1832, m. Feb. 23, 1804, to Sarah Freel, -1827.
- Sarah Carter, Sept. 20, 1764—Feb. 15, 1847, m. Joseph Kirby, Feb. 3, 1760 — June 22, 1832.
Most of these dates are either provably wrong or cannot be substantiated by any currently known records. Unfortunately, Mr. Hutchinson passed away in 2014 so the source of this information may never be known.
The following paragraphs set forth the documentation and reasoning I have used to determine the dates of their births and deaths.
All of the Joseph Carter II and Mary Gaskill’s children were born in Burlington County, New Jersey. They were most likely born on the two acres in Springfield Township that Joseph Carter II inherited from his grandfather. They may have acquired other property and moved within the township but they never moved far enough for Mary to have changed Quaker meetings, otherwise, a certificate of removal would have been requested and would have been noted in the Mount Holly meeting minutes.
All of the children, with the exception of Joseph III, died in Warren County, Ohio and are probably buried in Turtle Creek (Kirby) Cemetery along with their spouses; although Joshua Carter and his second wife Garthery are the only ones with headstones. The cemetery is on land that belonged to Robert Kirby, the brother of Sarah Carter’s husband Joseph Kirby. Even though the Carter’s lived in Clear Creek Township and the Kirby Cemetery was in Turtle Creek Township, it was the closest cemetery. It was also a family cemetery and not a “Township Cemetery” until long after the deaths of the Carter children. Joseph Carter III is buried in Mound Hill Cemetery in Preble County, Ohio.
There are no official, birth or death, records for any of the children, and with the exception of Joshua and Joseph III, no specific birth or death date can be assigned.
Joshua’s headstone records his death as occurring on 26 February 1831. The inscription is now weathered and unreadable; however, a reading of the stone done in the 1950’s states that he was 3 months and 70 years old, giving him a birth date of 26 November 1760.
Sarah Carter’s date of birth as given in AQM is 20 Sep 1764. Although no record can be found giving this specific date, the year of her birth conforms nicely with the information that we know about her. When Sarah was married on 3 March 1783, her brother Joshua accompanied her and Joseph Kirby to the courthouse to obtain their license. Because Sarah was under the age of 21, she required the permission of her parents to marry. Joshua, who was of age, had to present himself to attest that Sarah had her parents’ permission to marry and a bond had to be posted as required by New Jersey law. The birth date given in AQM would make her nineteen and a half years old when she married which is perfectly reasonable, so I am inclined to use this date until new information can be found. Her death date as given in AQM of 15 Feb 1747 and is consistent with the sale of Joseph Kirby’s property in 1847, so I am also using this date for her death.
The 9 Sep 1841 edition of the Eaton Register contained the following notice: “Carter, Joseph born 1769, died Sept. 3, 1841, age 72 years 7 months, buried Mound Hill.” This would make Joseph Carter III’s date of birth 3 Feb 1769. (It is not lost on me that both Joshua and Joseph III appeared to have died on their birthday. This could be a strange coincidence, or it could be that the numbers of additional days that they lived were omitted.)
In 1787, when the family prepared to move to western Pennsylvania, the 6 September Mount Holly meeting minutes recorded the decision to disown Joseph Carter but to grant a Certificate of Removal to Mary Carter and her minor children Joseph, Mary, and James. The Quakers were fastidious record keepers and always listed the children of a family in the order of their birth from oldest to youngest, so from this record we know that Mary and James were both younger than Joseph III and that James was younger than Mary.
Mary Carter’s date of birth is constrained by Joseph III’s birth plus nine months and by the fact that she was at least 21 years old when she married James Stephenson in the early spring of 1792 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. This is established by the Westland, Pennsylvania Quaker meeting minutes beginning on the 25th of March 1792 and culminating on the 23rd of September 1792 when it is recorded: “Whereas Mary Stephenson (late Carter) hath has a Right of Membership amongst us the People called Quakers but hath so far deviated from the good order established amongst us as to keeping company with and Marry a Man not of our Society by the assistance of a Baptist Preacher, for which Friends have labored with her in order to convince her of the inconsistency of her conduct, but she not appearing so sensible whereof as to condemn it to satisfaction, we disown her from Membership with us until she be enabled to make satisfaction to this Monthly Meeting which that she may is our desire.” In order for Mary to have been considered a member and also disowned she would have had to be at least 21 years old.
This gives a date range of approximately December 1769 and early 1771 for Mary’s birth. I have chosen to use 1770. Her death date is less certain. All that we currently know is that she appears to have died after having one or more children, one of which appears to have been born in Ohio, and that she died before her husband died in 1830.
James Carter’s birth date is hard to determine with any accuracy. He was born between 1772 and 1782, the upper date being capped by the fact that he was at least 21 years old when he married Sarah Freel in 1804. Because of his mother’s age, I have chosen to use Abt. 1775. James signed his Last Will and Testament on 5 May 1831 and it was entered into probate on 11 Sep 1831. He died between these dates; however, his specific date of death cannot be determined.
The Children of Joseph Carter II and Mary Gaskill
Joshua Carter (26 Nov 1760 – 26 Feb 1831)
Sarah Carter (20 Sep 1764 – 15 Feb 1847)
Joseph Carter III (3 Nov 1769 – 3 Sep 1841)
Mary Carter (Abt. 1770 – Bef. 1830)
James Carter (Abt. 1775 – 1831)
In A Quaker Migration to Southwestern Ohio, Jack Hutchinson list’s the children of Joshua Carter and his first wife as Samuel Carter (c.1802 – ? ), Sarah Carter (c. 1805 – c. 1835) and Fenton Carter (? – deceased by May 1831). He also notes that “Living with Samuel in 1850 was a Beulah Carter, aged 59.” and asks, “Was she a sister of Samuel?”. Hutchinson’s evidence appears to be based solely on Joshua Carter’s probate record, the guardianship papers for the children of Fenton Carter, and the 1850 US Census.
Unlike his brothers and brother-in-law, Joshua died without leaving a last will and testament which would have listed his heirs, and because births were not recorded by the government until much later, an alternative record had to be found to produce a definitive list of his children and heirs. In this case, that document was the deed of sale for Joshua’s property after his death.
The deed is the sale of the property by the heirs of Joshua Carter to their brother, Samuel Carter, who was apparently living on the property at the time of his father’s death. It lists Joshua’s heirs as follows: Joshua Carter and Sarah his wife, William Carter and Rachel his wife, John Carter and his wife Nancy, Josiah Carter and Elizabeth his wife, and James Wills and Sarah [Carter] his wife.
The deed did not include Fenton Carter, who had died a few months earlier, or his heirs; nor does it mention Beulah Carter. Beulah was listed in the 1850 census as an “Idiot” and in the 1860 census as “Dumb”, so, therefore, may not have been considered competent, and her consent to the sale would not have been required.
Fenton Carter had died months before his father and during my research, I found he was survived by his wife, Rebecca Barnes and two children, Elizabeth and Joshua. On 11 May 1831, Rebecca was awarded guardianship of her children by the probate court and should have represented her children in the sale the following September, since they would have been entitled to a share of the proceeds. Why they were not represented may never be known; however, because of the guardianship records, we know that Fenton was the son of Joshua Carter.
From these records we can determine that Joshua Carter had the following eight children who, except for Fenton, survived him:
The children are listed in alphabetical order and their birth and death dates are beyond the scope of this article.
So far, only the branches of Joshua’s sons, Josiah and William, have been confirmed by the DNA project.
When Joseph and Mary Carter prepared to move the family to Washington County, Pennsylvania in October of 1787, their son Joshua Carter, who was 27 and single, prepared to go with them. He had submitted a request for a Certificate of Removal from the Mount Holly meeting when his parents had requested theirs, but in September when his father was disowned, Joshua’s request was continued until the next meeting.
The usual reason for a matter to be continued was to allow the Quaker’s assigned to investigate it more time to talk with the person and his friends and family. Evidently, Joshua told them that he was planning to return to Mount Holly after seeing his parents safely in Western Pennsylvania. So, at the October meeting the decision was made not to give him a certificate; because if he was going to return, there was no need to transfer his membership to Westland and then back again.
It’s not known if Joshua returned to Mount Holly shortly after traveling Pennsylvania. His name has not been found in any Quaker record after the 4 Oct 1787 Mount Holly meeting minutes. It’s also unclear why he would return. Perhaps Joshua knew that he would meet the same fate as his father. He may not have attended meetings regularly and he had also been involved in some of his Quaker friends and family members marriages outside of the Quaker community, so disownment was a possibility, he may have even been told this, and devised the ruse of returning to Mount Holly, and effectively ending the inquiry into his fitness to be considered a member, in good standing, of the Quaker community.
What is know is that in 1792 he and his wife were living in Fayette County, Pennsylvania where their son Josiah G Carter was born. If Joshua did return to Mount Holly, it may have been to marry; however, no record of a marriage has been found in New Jersey or in Pennsylvania.
We do not know who Joshua Carter’s first wife was, not even her first name. There are only two things that we know about her. From their son William Carter’s 1880 census record, we know that she was born in New Jersey. We also know that she died in Warren County, Ohio because some of her children were born there. No actual record of her death has been found.
One additional clue may lie in the fact that their son William Carter was born in New Jersey in 1796.
1796 was a busy year for the Carter family. In May, Mary Carter and her son James Carter[i] were granted Certificates of Removal from the Westland meeting in Washington County, to the Redstone Meeting in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Because Joseph Carter II and III had been disowned by this time, it is unclear if they also went to Fayette County in 1796.
I assume that they may have moved there to be closer to Joshua and his family or perhaps Mary and James went there to take care of Joshua’s farm and children, while he and his wife traveled to New Jersey to take care of some business.
I believe the most likely reason Joshua and his wife would have to make the 300-mile journey back to New Jersey, would have to do with the death of one of his wife’s parents, and so the proof of her identity might be found in a will, probate or land sale record in New Jersey.
Finding that needle in the haystack of records is a daunting task. It is my hope that the DNA Project will be able to provide us with a probable surname and reduce the mountain of records to a molehill.
[i] Because James Carter had requested a Certificate of Removal for himself, he was at least 21 years old. This puts the cap of the upper end of the window for his birth to March of 1775.
When cousin Becky Griffith’s (NS Fenton Carter FG) aunt passed away, Becky was given some of her personal belongings. In one of the boxes, she discovered a notebook of Chance Family reunions that dated back to 1933. Mira Chance was the wife of Daniel Collins Carter, the son of Josiah Carter. While looking through the notebook, Beck found a hand-written eulogy for Josiah Carter, that she has generously shared.
Josiah Carter, the subject of this brief memoir, was born in the State of Pennsylvania Nov. 30th, 1792 removed to Ohio in 1812 and bade the world a peaceful adieu on the 3rd day of January 1842 in the 50th year of his age.
He had been an acceptable and truly exemplary member of the M. E. Church 15 yrs. Brother Carter was remarkable for his amiable and Christian deportment, and for a lively faith & zeal & love that appeared on all occasions to characterize his Christian profession. His daily walk and conversation were such as to adorn the religion on which he professed and exhibited indisputable evidence that his peace was made with his God, and his affections set on things above.
In all the relations of life he sustained the character of a truly good man. As a citizen he was quiet, peaceable, industrious, as a husband and father kind and affectionate as might be expected in the closing scene of his “all was well” the gloom and shadows of deaths vale were gilded by the presence of his blessed redeemer in whom he trusted, with perfect resignation unspeakable joy and complete triumph, he bade adieu to his weeping companion and sorrowing children, exhorting them to meet him in heaven, consoling indeed is the reflection that their loss is his eternal gain.
June 11th, 1842
The eulogy does contain one obvious error. From the records, we know that Josiah’s sister Beulah was born about 1799 in Ohio and his brothers Samuel, Fenton and possibly John was also born in Ohio after 1800, so unless Josiah was “left behind” with another family, it would be safe to assume that he arrived in Ohio well before the 1812 date given in the eulogy.
I recently sent a request for Josiah Carter’s will and probate records to the Butler County Records Center. They replied that they have no records for Josiah Carter at all. That may seem unusual, but his brother William also died without leaving a record. At least with Josiah, we have a date for his death.
CASSIUS W CARTER
(Daniel Carter, Josiah Carter, Joshua Carter, Joseph Carter II)
Centennial History of Butler County, Ohio, Bert Surene Bartlow; B. F. Bowen, 1905 – Butler County (Ohio) – 989 pages
Among the successful agriculturists of Union township whose names are worthy of mention in this volume is Cassius W. Carter, a native of Butler county, Ohio, and the third of nine children who constituted the family of Daniel and Maria (Chance) Carter. Daniel Carter was also a native of Butler county and by occupation a farmer and carpenter. He spent the greater part of his life in Liberty township, where he owned a good home and was a man of sterling worth and excellent repute. He devoted his attention very closely to his chosen callings, exercised a salutary influence in the community, and his death, on the 11th day of December 1876, was deeply lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances who had learned to prize him for his high character and spotless integrity.
Mrs. Carter, who is still living, resides in the town of Bethany and has reached her sixty-eighth year; she was her husband’s able assistant and efficient adviser during their married life, reared her children in the way they should go, and her wise counsel and judicious instruction had great influence in molding their characters and shaping their lives for good.
Cassius W. Carter was born December 11, I860, spent his early life on the homestead in Liberty township and received his education in the district schools. Owing to his services being needed at home, he was not permitted to prosecute his studies as long as the majority of country boys, a matter which he has always regretted, but for which he has largely made up by a wide course of reading and close observation in subsequent life, being at this time one of the intelligent and well-informed men of the community in which he lives. When a mere youth he quit school and engaged as a farm hand, in which capacity he continued for several years, retaining only enough of his wages to keep himself comfortably and respectably clad, the rest being generously turned over to his widowed mother, to whose support he contributed until a short time prior to his marriage.
In the year 1884 Mr. Carter contracted a matrimonial alliance with Miss Mary Allen, of Butler county, daughter of Martin Allen, a well-to-do farmer of Union township, and for ten years thereafter worked for a Mr. Kyle, following which he entered the employ of his father-in-law, whose farm he cultivated for a period of three years. Sometime after the death of Mr. Allen he purchased the farm and has lived on the same ever since, the place, under his industry and effective management, being converted into one of the best improved and most valuable tracts of land of its size in Union township. It consists of two hundred and thirty-three acres of excellent land, the greater part under cultivation, the buildings being modern and in good repair, the dwelling commodious and comfortable, the fields in fine condition; indeed, everything pertaining to the place indicates the energy and success with which it is cultivated, while the wisdom and enterprise displayed in its management bear eloquent testimony to the proprietor’s skill and tact as a judicious, progressive and, in every sense of the term, representative agriculturist.
Owing to a severe injury caused by the accidental falling of a bridge Mr. Carter, for some time past, has not been able to do much manual labor, but he gives personal attention to his business affairs when able. Possessing mature judgment, sound discretion and keen forethought, he lays his plans wisely and well and in the main carries them to a successful conclusion, being seldom mistaken in the outcome. In the midst of his various farm duties and business affairs, he finds time to meet his obligations as a citizen and to give attention to those public matters in which every enterprising, wide-awake man should be interested.
In the state and national issues, he is a Republican and an unswerving supporter of his principles, but, holding good local government above mere party, he usually votes for the best-qualified candidates in township and county affairs. In religion, the Cumberland Presbyterian church represents his creed and for some years past he has been an elder and trustee of the congregation with which he holds membership. In common with the majority of humanity, Mr. Carter has experienced many of life’s vicissitudes, but on the whole, his career has been eminently successful, and he stands today by common consent among the leading farmers and public-spirited men of affairs in the community honored by his citizenship.
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Carter, namely: Warren Kyle, born October 21, 1884, died when about four months old; Cora I., born December 17, 1885, now at home; Edith Anna, born September 19, 1888, died July 19, I892.
This 1856 Map of Warren County, Ohio is what I am using to make the Township Maps. It is available free from the Library of Congress website in various formats, though none of the high-resolution formats will open in most common image programs. High-resolution image files are available from a number of commercial websites for $20-$50.
I have created a 15,530 X 15,205, 72 dpi, 43″ X 43″ jpg image file that can be viewed in any image software. This high-resolution image file is suitable for printing or whatever your needs. The file is 29.2 mb and is available for download HERE. (off-site link opens in new tab.)
Clear Creek Township
My Clear Creek Township map is ready for the deed book to show up online so I can start filling it in with the original landowners.
The roads shown are from the 1856 plat map that I traced the map from. I’ll need to figure out what roads may have been there in 1797, I’m sure the Dayton Pike (Center N-S road) was there when our Carter family arrived, but I’m not sure about the rest. I’ll have to see if I can find an even older map, or just guess at it. Not that it matters much because I’m sure what they called a road at the time would have been nothing more than a trail cut through the woods.
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