Jacob and Ann Waters

Jacob Waters appeared in Upper Merion, Montgomery County, around 1777 when he joined the militia. His origins and family are unknown.1 He served in the Sixth Battalion, in Captain Lette’s company in 1777 and in 1784 in Captain Arnold Francis’ company.2 Since he was born in 1757, he was a young man during the Revolution.3 He was a blacksmith. In 1783 he was still in Upper Merion, taxed for a modest estate.4

In April of 1783 he married a woman named Ann. Her last name is not known, but she was the niece of Edward Tew (or Tue), who died in Philadelphia in 1788 and named her in his will.5 She might have been the daughter of Samuel Tew of Gloucester County, New Jersey, who was known to have a daughter Ann, but there is a question of how a young woman of Gloucester County would meet a young man from Montgomery County.6

In the 1790 census, Conrad Waters of Upper Merion had two men, one boy and four females living with him. This could be Jacob and Ann and their three oldest children, suggesting that Conrad was Jacob’s father. In 1793 Jacob Waters of Upper Merion bought land in Easttown, Chester County from Henry Ruth.7 In 1795 Jacob and Ann sold land in Easttown to Henry Zook8, and bought land in Honeybrook from Isaac Gibson.9 Honeybrook was about 20 miles west of Easttown. In 1798 they still owned a house in Montgomery County, a two-story stone house with a stone kitchen.10

By 1800 Jacob and Ann were settled in Honeybrook, living close to Benjamin Jones, whose son Benjamin would marry their daughter Sarah.11 Jacob subscribed to a fund for building a stone wall around the graveyard of the Presbyterian church in the forks of the Brandywine.12 They were still in Honeybrook in 1810.13

At some point they moved their family about 350 miles west to Licking County, in central Ohio. Why would they move so far across Pennsylvania and halfway across Ohio? “… In 1840, the population had almost tripled to over 2,700 people. Most residents earned their living from agriculture in Newark’s early years. By the late 1840s, the town was home to three newspaper offices, ten grocery stores, two gristmills, an iron foundry, a wool factory, a bookstore, two hardware stores, as well as several other business establishments. Construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal began just south of Newark at Licking Summit in 1825. The canal led to local prosperity in the 1830’s and 1840’s.”14 As a farmer, Jacob apparently hoped to benefit from that prosperity. Jacob and Ann’s daughter Sarah Waters Jones visited them there with her husband Benjamin, “riding the entire distance from Rockville, Chester county, on horseback.”15

In 1832 Jacob applied for bounty land as a Revolutionary War veteran, submitting a paper with the names of his children and dates of birth for him and his wife Ann.16 Records show that he did receive a pension, paid until his death in 1840.17 He is buried at Brushy Fork Cemetery, Licking County.18 Ann died in 1849, aged 84, a widow, survived by seven of her children.19

Some of the children stayed around Brushy Fork and associated with families in the Church of the Disciple there. “The Brushy Fork Congregation… was organized in the latter part of 1837 with… John Oatman and wife, Andrew Nicholson and wife…first members”.20 Andrew Nicholson was married to Nancy Waters; Nancy’s sister Jane was married to Andrew Oatman, probably related to John Oatman.

Children of Jacob and Ann:

Nathan, b. June 1784, alive in 1849.

Sarah, b. June 1786, d. 1872, m. Benjamin Jones, moved to Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin died there in 1828, leaving Sarah with eight children.21 Children of Benjamin and Sarah: Nancy Ann, Samuel, Caleb, Hannah, Mary Ann, Jacob, Benjamin, Sarah.

Jacob, b. June 1788, d. 1860, m. Mary Trout. Jacob was a farmer in the 1850 census in Crawford County, Ohio. He and Mary had five children. She died in 1877 and is buried with Jacob at Luke Cemetery, Crawford County.22

Nancy, b. July 1790, m. Andrew Nicholson. In the 1820 census Andrew Nicholson lived in Hanover Township, Licking County, Ohio with four people in his household, a farmer.23 They have not been found in later census records.

Joseph, b. July 1792, d. July 1799

Rachel, b. August 1794, d. October 1795

Liddy, b. Dec 1796, no further records

Elizabeth, b. April 1799, m. John Patterson.24 In the 1850 census they were in Hanover Township, Licking County, Ohio.25 John was a farmer, age 60. Their sons Joseph and John were living with them.

Joseph, b. Oct 1802, d. before 1849.

Mary, “Polly”, b. Dec 1804, married a man named Lake.26

Jane, b. 1810, d. 1889, m. Andrew Oatman. In the 1860 census they were living in Mary Ann Township, Licking County, where Andrew was a farmer.27 In 1860 they owned 200 acres of land, managed eight horses, 15 cows, 14 sheep and nine swine, grew corn and produced wool.28 Andrew and Jane were buried at Barnes Cemetery, Licking County.29 Children: Charles, Harriet, Emily, Eliza, Warren, George, Jemima, Nancy.30

  1. He may have been related to Conrad Waters of Upper Merion, also in the militia. See the discussion about the 1790 census.
  2. PA Archives, series 6, vol. 1-14.
  3. Ancestry tree, Gofton-Jones, created by Benjamin Gofton. He includes documentation such as pension rolls, tax lists, tombstones.
  4. PA Tax and Exoneration 1768-1801, Upper Merion, on Ancestry, image 59.
  5. Philadelphia County wills, books U, p. 46, proved in 1788.
  6. Samuel Tew died in 1774, left a will in Gloucester County.
  7. Chester County deeds, book H2, p. 392. Easttown is about eight miles west of Upper Merion.
  8. Chester County deeds, book O2, p. 210. Note that Jacob’s first two land dealings were with men of German background.
  9. Chester County deeds, Book M2, p. 35.
  10. US 1798 Direct Tax, Montgomery County, on Ancestry, image 170. This was the “windowpane tax”.
  11. 1800 census, Honeybrook township, Chester County.
  12. McClune, James, History of the Presbyterian Church in the Forks of the Brandywine, 1885.
  13. 1810 census.
  14. Wikipedia, Ohio History Central website.
  15. Biography of Benjamin Jones Jr, Commemorative and Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania, 1898, p. 357.
  16. The list of dates is saved on the Gofton-Jones Ancestry tree.
  17. US Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1812-1872, 8-Vol. H, on FamilySearch, image 314.
  18. Findagrave, Jacob Waters, buried in Brushy Fork Cemetery, Licking County, Ohio. The entry says that Jacob was born in Upper Merion, but there is no evidence for this.
  19. 1850 census mortality schedule, Licking County, Ohio, District 9, on Ancestry, image 1. For what it’s worth, the census entry said she was born in Pennsylvania. The children who survived her were: Nancy Nicholson, Nathan Water, Sarah Jones, Jacob Waters, Elizabeth Peterson, Polly Lake and Jane Oatman. (Findagrave entry for Jacob Waters. This record, probably from a probate record or obituary, has not been traced.)
  20. Jacob Winter, “Historical Sketches of the Disciple Churches in Licking County, Ohio”, Pioneer Paper #53, Licking County Historical Association, on Google Books.
  21. Two others had died in infancy.
  22. Findagrave, which includes photos of their tombstones.
  23. 1820 census, Licking County, Hanover Township, image 2. John Oatman and Vincent Lake were in the same township.
  24. Ancestry trees say that she was born in April 1800 and married John Peterson. The date here is from Jacob’s application for bounty land in 1832. The name of her husband is from the 1850 census.
  25. 1850 census, Hanover Township, on Ancestry, image 12.
  26. From the Findagrave entry for her father Jacob, citing the surviving children after Ann Waters died in 1849. This record has not been traced to a source.
  27. 1860 census, Mary Ann Township, on Ancestry, images 15-16
  28. Federal non-population schedule, 1860, Ohio, Agriculture, Licking, Mary Ann Township.
  29. Findagrave.
  30. 1850 census, Mary Ann Township, on Ancestry, image 14; 1860 census; Ancestry trees.

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