New Look At Ohio History By David McCullough

The American history author, David McCullough hunkered down in Marietta Ohio, on the Ohio River, to write about the lesser-known pioneers who first settled the Northwest Territory.

Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

Pioneer Association of Washington County
Meeting of the Pioneer Association in Marietta in 1870. Augustus Stone, one of the sons of my pioneer family, would be here. Photo from Washington County Public Library

Anyone with ancestors in early Ohio will find this book helpful. In fact, it’s way of showing how national events affect individual families could be useful to anyone who wants to understand their ancestors’ lives between 1788 and the early 1800s.

McCullough has chosen to focus on one town–Marietta–and a handful of the leaders who made the settlement possible. General Rufus Putnam, who led fellow veterans of the Revolution westward and meticulously planned the “New England on the Ohio” town takes main stage, of course.

But McCullough also gives mini-biographies of lesser known figures who were essential to the founding of Marietta. Manasseh Cutler, a New England preacher who tirelessly campaigned for federal support of the Northwest settlement and against slavery; his son, Ephraim Cutler who settled in Ohio and held important positions; General Tupper, another Revolutionary War veteran; Joseph Barker, builder responsible for many of the homes on land and boats on the river; and Samuel Hildreth, Physician.

These men are very interesting, however, rather than spend a chapter on the shenanigans of Aaron Burr, and another on a visit by John Quincy Adams, I wish that he had spent more time on the “ordinary” people rather than only on the leaders. Of course it is hard to see ANY of the pioneers who took the chances they took to settle this new land as “ordinary.” As intriguing as Aaron Burr is and as much as I admire John Quincy Adams, their connection to the Northwest Territory was tenuous.

The Challenges

A catalogue of problems faced by the pioneers, makes me wonder if I would have left civilized New England for that unknown territory. We are reminded, however, that after the Revolution, the new country’s economy took a dive and since few of the soldiers ever received pay, the heroes of the Revolution were in serious financial trouble after the war. They believed, with typical American optimism, that the wilderness of Ohio Country promised a rich new life. All they had to do was work hard and the land would reward them.

Although that was the case, first they had to get across the mountains of Pennsylvania on foot or in oxcart, and down the Ohio in flatboats that they built themselves. Then they had to clear forests of trees larger than they had ever seen before, build forts, houses, and stores and churches.

Picketts Point monument to recall the Indian Wars along the Ohio River.
Picketed Point, reminder of the Indian Wars along the Ohio River 1791-1796 Photo by Photo by Richie Diesterheft, Flickr.

Meanwhile, they would be fighting off clouds of gnats. Listening to the wolves and panthers every night in the “howling wilderness,” and waiting for an Indian attack. For the first couple of years, The Ohio Company were ignored by their government in Washington, until a particularly onerous massacre woke up the law makers and George Washington himself stepped in to assure adequate funding and troops to establish a peace with the Indians.

My Family Arrives

1789 brought a harsh winter that killed crops prematurely and a measles outbreak adding to starvation. Next small pox hit the settlement. But in the summer the famine ended and General Putnam went back to Ohio to collect his wife and children and bring them West, along with fifteen other settlers. My 8th cousin, once removed, Israel Stone and his family added a considerable portion of that fifteen.

Benjamin Franklin Stone
Benjamin Franklin Stone

Of course I was disappointed that “my” family didn’t make it into McCullough’s book, particularly since one of the sons, Benjamin Franklin Stone wrote a journal detailing their journey and settlement in Rainbow, up the river from Marietta. McCullough also does not mention Rainbow. Among many interesting tidbits, Benjamin tells with how the family made it through the starvation times–PUMPKINS. Since another son, Sardine Stone held elected office for many years,I thought the family might have warranted mention.

Note: You can read New England Magazine, Vol. 16 1897(starting on page 210) with most of Benjamin Franklin Stone’s Journal in a digital copy on Google Books (FREE).

At the least, it would have been helpful to have a list of the settlers that came in the original caravan and in the later caravans led by Putnam. I doubt anyone could complete a totally accurate list, since McCullough reports that there were new people arriving every day. Naturally some of those people moved farther west after a brief stay, and some gave up and returned to the East.

Basic Principles

The dedication of these early pioneers to certain American principles, makes me proud to be an Ohioan. From the beginning their compacts included wording insisting on fair treatment of the Indians (although they were not totally successful), a ban on slavery and inclusion of all religions. From the very first year, they established schools, even Ohio University at the idealistically named new town of Athens, Ohio got their early attention. And every family in the Ohio Company was required to plant fifty apple trees. Johnny Appleseed was not the alone in carrying the gospel of the apple throughout Ohio.

I came away thinking that these people had both a phenomenal ability to believe in the future, together with some failings to see how things would change. They somehow knew that the towns they established would become cities of great importance, but they overestimated the lasting importance of river trade. Even after the invention of the steam engine and railroads started crisscrossing the country, they were slow to see the change. They wisely built roads much wider than needed by their carts and pedestrians, but of course had no clue that those roads would one day carry motorized vehicles. And flying machines? A fantasy. .

But whatever advances civilization made, those Pioneers were right about one thing–education.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Isaiah Stout 1773-1810, Isaiah’s Grandfather

I wanted to trace the Stout family (my maternal grandmother’s maiden name) back to its origins in America, which was very , very early. But it would be cheating just to skip all the generations in between my Grandmother’s grandfather, Isaiah Stout and that first hardy couple, wouldn’t it?

My theme is to explore what it was that moved Isaiah Stout (1800), my Grandmother’s grandfather, to walk the trek from New Jersey to Ohio in the early 1800s. And today I have gotten up to that Isaiah’s namesake, his grandfather, Isaiah Stout (1773). This Isaiah, unlike the later Isaiah, stayed in New Jersey. But what about his children and brothers and sisters? That’s what I am exploring.

As a side note, I would like to also explore the wives, but it is proving difficult. The wife of Isaac Stout (1800), Mary Ann Johnson is my direct ancestor, but he was also married a second time to Hester Bennett. Isaiah (1773) married Catharine (or Catherine) Kennedy, daughter of Henry Kennedy. I cannot locate either Mary Ann or Catharine with enough information to draw a clear picture. [Slight rant: I thought someone named Mary Ann Johnson would cause a problem by showing up multiple times, instead she seems invisible.]

On to Isaiah Stout (1773) my 4x great grandfather. As I mentioned in the profile of his son Isaac, this Isaiah had seven children. If you did the math with the numbers in the title, you already know, that Isaiah was not to live long.

Isaiah was born on March 1, 1773 in Clover Hill, Hunterdon, New Jersey to Isaac Stout and Mary Quinby. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Isaiah Quinby. The second oldest of five children, he was preceded by a sister, Rachel (1768), and followed by Josiah (1780) and Aaron (1781); Sarah (?-1790) and Mary(?-1810) were the babies in the family. Of the two great uncles to the Isaiah who went to Ohio, Josiah moved to Tazewell, Illinois when he was an old man, and he died there. Aaron moved to Butler County on the Eastern edge of Ohio in 1820. Would the fact that great-uncle Aaron was in Ohio and great-uncle Josiah in Illinois influence Isaiah (1822) to walk to Ohio in 1839? Possibly. I will talk more about Aaron and Josiah and their children, Isaiah’s cousins, next time. As for the three girls, Rachel and Sarah died before Isaiah was married, and Mary lived only to 1810.

Isaiah Stout (1773) lost his mother when he was twenty years old. Three years later, he married Catharine Kennedy. Married May 23, 1799, Isaiah and Catharine started their family immediately. Of Seven boys, six lived to adulthood

  • Isaac 1800-1977
  • Henry Kennedy 1802-1868
  • Elisha 1803-1880
  • Joseph 1806-1879
  • Moses, born in 1809 died as an infant
  • Isaiah 1810-1879

Then, apparently too suddenly to write a will, in 1810, at the age of 37, Isaiah died, leaving Catharine with children aged 10, 8, 7, 4, 2 and an infant. Aln abstract of the probate inventory shows his property valued at $3, 190. That figure was sworn to by Josiah Stout, his brother, and Archibald Kennedy (a relative of his wife). I found it interesting that the Court Surrogate [July 22, 1811] also split administration of Isaiah Stout’s property between his brother, Josiah, and Archibald Kennedy (Presumably Catharine’s brother). Although I learned long ago that wives had no legal rights in those days.

I would have expected that Catharine remarried, but it is difficult to track a woman named Catharine or Catherine at that time, and some evidence says she did not. For the next 14 years, she may have soldiered on taking care of her brood of six boys as a single mother.

I do know that she died in 1825, and court records refer to her as Catharine Stout, so she may not have remarried after all. When she died, The Orphans Court [May 30, 1825] administration of her property was given to Isaac Stout (oldest son. 25); Henry K Stout (next oldest son, 23) and William Kennedy (whom I am guessing is her brother). When she died, William Kennedy was also appointed guardian of two of her minor sons, Isaiah (then15) and Joseph (then 19). The bond was put up by Isaac Stout and Henry Kennedy (Her father-in-law and father).

I will continue to look for more information on my 4th great-grandmother.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1800), who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1773).

Notes on Research

Hunterdon County New Jersey Marriages 1795- 1895. Isaiah Stout and Catharine Kennedy, Viewed at Amazon.com

New Jersey Marriage Records 1670-1965, Isaiah Stout and Catharine Kennedy, 23 May 1799, viewed at Ancestry.com

New Jersey Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, 23 Jul 1811, Isaiah Stout, Amwell, Hunterdon, New Jersey

New Jersey Wills and Probate Record 1739-1991. New Jersey, Surrogate’s Court, (Hunterdon County) ; Probate Place, : Hunterdon, New Jersey. Viewed at Amazon.com, Isaiah Stout, 22 Jul 1811; Catharine Stout, 30 May, 1825 and 18 June, 1825.

History of Stout and Allied Families, Herald F. Stout, Captain, U. S. Navy, 1951, Eagle Press, Dover, Ohio.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Search for Stouts Begins

Isaac Stout ( 1800-1877)

When I wrote about my great-grandfather, “Doc” Stout’s brother Frank (John Franklin Stout), I discovered a tidbit about Isaac, their grandfather. According to a biography of Frank in a book about Omaha, where he settled, I read that Frank was of Dutch stock and his father, Isaiah walked from New Jersey to Ohio. However, their grandfather, Isaac lived all his life in New Jersey.

The Questions

Where does the idea come from that the English Stouts were Dutch? Well, that search uncovered the most interesting of my many fascinating female ancestors. But first–a few generations in between Doc Stout and that 8th great-grandmother.

Although my mother and her mother and her grandmother were in touch with the Stout family of Guernsey County, Ohio, they never regaled me with stories about the ancestors in the Stout line. Undertandably, they focused on our Pilgrim ancestor William Bassett and the builders of the How Tavern in Sudbury Massachusetts. I’m sorry that my mother missed out on some very interesting people. The Stouts have a rich history in New Jersey before they went West.

Isaiah, the father of “Doc” Stout and my 2x great-grand father, arrived in Guernsey County Ohio about 1839. He was only seventeen when, according to that history of Omaha, he walked all the way from New Jersey to Ohio. But surely he was walking alongside wagons carrying other families? If so, who were they and why did he head for Ohio?

Isaac Stout (1800) — His Beginning

To try to understand these questions, I needed to go look back at 2x great- grandfather Isaiah’s family–his father Isaac (my 3x great-grandfather) and Isaac’s brothers, uncles, and aunts.

4x great-grandparents Isaiah and Catherine Kennedy Stout had seven children, all born in New Jersey, and all boys. (I will tell their story in the future). They named Isaac, the first child, for his grandfather. And yes, you are seeing the beginning of a naming penchant that would make life difficult for family historians from then on. The numerous Stout families all seemed to name a son Isaac and another one Isaiah for many generations.

Isaiah Stout (1822) and His Siblings

At twenty-two, (December 19, 1822) Isaac Stout married Mary Ann Johnson, my 3x great grandparents . Their first child–you guessed it–named for his grandfather Isaiah— born in 1822, would later walk to Ohio, and among other accomplishments, become my 2x great-grandfather.

Ann Elizabeth (Eliza) Stout (1825)

The young couple, Isaac and Mary Ann, must have been devastated when they learned the condition of the second child, Ann Elizabeth, known as Ann Eliza in census records. Born in 1825, she continued to live at home until 1839, despite the fact that later census reports classify her as “idiotic.” By 1839, her mother had died when she was seven and her father had remarried the same year–1832.

It is very sad to contemplate the condition of care given to people in need. However, I can understand that with four other children, having a girl who was incapable of normal life would be beyond their abilities. Particularly when she reached her teens. We have to remember that developmental disabilities were not understood and there were no social workers or psychologists to help the parents.

I can’t help wonder if the first son, Isaiah’s, decision to leave home at seventeen might have been related to the family sending Ann Eliza away, since it was the same year.

From the time she was fourteen years old she lived on a “Poor farm” with others who had “defects.” She lived in the township of Hillsborough, within an hour’s buggy ride from her parents home in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

I’m guess that she was intellectually disabled, the more recent name–“retarded.” But since the catchall term of the time was “idiot”, that is how she is classed on census forms. In 1880 the schedule of “defectives” shows two “idiots”, two crippled and one “sunstroke and rheumatism” and one “insane.” Other Poor Houses or Institutions in the county housed paupers or insane.

Ann Eliza Stout, fourth on this 1880 Scedule of Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes.

Sadly, the first census with her name, 1850 when she was twenty-five years old also shows a two-month-old named Isaac Stout, most probably her child. I have been unable to find any further information about this Isaac Stout, who does not show up on subsequent census reports. If he survived childhood, he may have been adopted by someone who changed his name.

Ann Eliza lived until 1888, her entire life spent in these “poor farms” where various farmers and their families provided shelter for a dozen or more “defectives.”

George I Stout (1827)

The third child in the family, George I (sometimes transcribed as George J) was only five when his mother, Mary Ann, died, so spent most of his childhood with his step-mother.

He married about 1849, and he and his bride, Susan Davidson, moved in with his in-laws, where his first child, Mary, was born in 1850. They had two more children, George in 1855, and Sarah in 1852. George never left North Brunswick, New Jersey, where he died about 1856 when he was not quite thirty.

The probate papers for George, filed in New Jersey, show that he was a partner in a business called Runyan and Stout. I could not find information about his partnership, so do not know what business he was in. By the time debts and claims were paid, the estate was insolvent and many creditors were paid on the basis of a few mills per dollar owed.

By 1860, Susan was remarried.

Isaac Stout (1830)

Next, in 1830, baby Isaac Stout arrived. Isaac, perhaps following in the footsteps of his brother, headed west. Since he would have been only 9 or 10 when Isaiah left for Ohio, I doubt that he went along on that trek. I also have some nagging doubts about whether the California Isaac Stout in the 1860 and 1870 census reports and Find a Grave are the same as the Isaac Stout from New Brunswick, New Jersey. There is another Isaac Stout born about the same time in Indiana. So this Isaac is still a bit of a mystery.

If I have the right Isaac, and he did go to Contra Costa California, he died at the age of forty-three and is buried there . Another young death in this small family.

Isaiah’s Father Remarries, Stays in New Jersey

Isaiah was ten when his mother died and his father remarried about 1832. Although the record is not crystal clear, I believe he married Esther/Hester Bennett. This assumption comes from a marriage license and census reports. I also believe she was probably a widow and Bennett was her first husband’s name. However, I cannot prove that yet.

According to census reports, Isaac had two children with Ester in 1836. Mary J. about 1834 and Julian about 1836. I have not found definitive information about Julian, who is marked as a female on the only census where I see the name. I did find a Julian occupied as seamstress in a city directory, and also searched for female names close to Julian with no results.

In 1880, Esther Stout, then 76 years old, was living with Mary J. and her husband Edwin Stewart. I have had to add this information after I originally published this post, partly because another Esther married another Stout in the same generation, and both of their names vary from Esther to Hester and back again. But chiefly because of a census report that gets the prize for most errors or one particular person. Beware, if you are studying an 1880 census report for New Brunswick New Jersey.

The census taker, James Price, who seems to have good hand writing, puts Edwin’s name as Edward; and makes a very funny mistake on occupation (which I have confirmed is actually Hatter). He also changed Edwin’s age from 52 to 32. Well done! Not.

And the prize for most errors on a single person in a census goes to…..

Isaiah’s father, Isaac, died at the age of 77, October 1, 1877 and is buried in New Jersey. He had done nothing in his life to draw the attention of the authors of various books about his region or books about the Stout family. I assumed he lived all his life as a farmer. However, an 1850 census does show an Isaac Stout, 51, cabinetmaker and his wife Esther in Brunswick, New Jersey. There is also an index of craftsmen that lists an Isaac Stout as cabinet maker but it has no dates. It was quite possible that he both had a farm and was a cabinetmaker, as I have seen with some of my other ancestors.

Coming Next

Next I will look at Isaac’s brothers and sisters to see if any of Isaiah’s uncles could have been responsible for the young Isaiah’s travel to Ohio.

How I Am Related to Isaac Stout and Isaiah Stout

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
  • Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
  • Isaac Stout (1800)

Notes on Research

United States Census Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, New Brunswick Middlesex, New Jersey; 1850, Somerset, Hillsborough, New Jersey.

U.S. Federal Census – 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes,

New Jersey State Census Report, 1905 Pasaaic, Patterson, New Jersey, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Nonpopulation Census Schedules for New Jersey, 1880: Supplemental Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes; Year: 1880; Publication Number: A3469 , Ann Eliza Stout, Accessed at Ancestry.com

New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965, Ancestry.com, Edwin Stewart and Mary J. Stout , Accessed at Ancestry

New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895 , Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp , Somerset, N. J., Isaac Stout and Esther Bennett, 1832, Accessed at Ancestry

New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971, Hillsborough, Somerset, NJ, Ann E Stout , Ancestry.com

New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1739-1991, Probate Records, 1794-1945; Indexes, 1804-1972; Author: New Jersey. Surrogate’s Court (Somerset County); Probate Place: Somerset, New Jersey , George Stout, 1827, accessed at Ancestry.

U S Federal Census Report, 1860 and 1870, Contra Costa, California, Isaiah Stout.

California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898, California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 10; FHL Roll Number: 976458 , Isaac Stout. Accessed at Ancestry.com

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/103256455 , Isaac Stout, 1873, Contra Costa California

Print Friendly, PDF & Email