David and Betsy Carey

Related page:
David Carey estate

David Carey. Now there's a name you'll encounter frequently in this Carey Family Album! The men we know of who have borne this name are:

This page has to do with the first of the David Careys listed above. It's another page which we started with virtually no information at all on its subjects, warning that it "should be thought of as a stub file - a concept which we encounter as we peruse the pages of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia." But once we put it in place in our Family Album, a lot of new information materialized, thanks to the research and detective work of these cousins:

You're welcome to contact them, or me, via our researchers page if you have any questions about this page, or would like to make your own contributions.

Birth. David was born in 1790 or 1791 in Essex county, New Jersey, the son of George and Phebe (Clark) Carey.

Military Service. The Ohio Historical Society's roster of War of 1812 soldiers lists a "David Cary" and a "Thomas Cary" among the members of "Captain Charles Hilliard's Company, probably from Miami county" who "served from Februay 22, until August 21, 1813." These soldiers could be David and his younger brother, Thomas Carey, both of whom were of prime military age in 1813.

Marriage. According to the Miami County Marriage Index, David married Betsy Winans, 13 May 1815, in Miami county, Ohio.1

Who was Elizabeth, or Betsy, Winans? Col. Warren Carey thought she was a "daughter of Samuel Winans", but of which Samuel? In Alice Winans' book, she lists two different Elizabeth Winans who might have married a "David Cary":

When and where was Betsy born? There's conflicting information on this subject which illustrates the difficulty of taking seriously any census data, and possibly Betsy's sense of humor:

186070S. C.
187085Ohio, of foreign-born parents!

My own guesses are that Elizabeth Winans was born between 1790 and 1795, based on her husband's age, their marriage date and the birth dates of her first and last children. If she's indeed the woman listed on page 12 of Mrs. Egy's book, her mother's birth year is given as 1749, although that may not be accurate, either. I had also guessed that she was not born in Ohio, but rather in New Jersey, until Jerry Stout took me to task, writing:

Anyway if you look at the dates on these [deeds] and consider the fact that they had to live on these lands for seven years and make improvements on them in order to keep them, you could come up with at least early 1790's for these families living in what then became Hamilton Co. OH. I'm attaching a few samples of the WINANS and PRYOR deeds. In one of these you'll see a witness: AMY WININGS ... Ethel Hoke and I feel sure she was the daughter of John Winans & Sarah PRYOR and the first wife of Jonathan ROLLINS. That deed is signed 1796 about the year of her marriage to Jonathan Rollins, though we were unable to find a marriage record.

So the place and date of Betsy Winans' birth remain open questions. Watch for more information here from the deeds and other information which Jerry has supplied.

Residence. David came to Ohio's Miami valley around 1807 along with his parents. In the 1820 census, he appears on page 103 in Staunton township, Miami county, Ohio, on the same page as his father. Their surname could be read as either Cory or Cary:

David Cory20001000100

In 1830, David and his family were listed on the first line of page 40, once again in Staunton; George and several other Careys were on page 39:

Names of
Heads of Families
David Carey201111000000002000 10000000

The only land transactions for David we could find in the Miami county recorder's index were the following three, the first two of which seem to indicate that David swapped properties with his brother Thomas:

Date         Party of 1st part             Party of 2nd part  Bk Pg#  SecTwpRng Location
===========  ========================      ================== ======  == == ==  ================
03 Apr 1827  Carey, Thomas             <-- Carey, David       06 472  02 01 12  Springcreek Twp
03 Apr 1827  Carey, Thomas, Mehitable  --> Cary, David        06 269  14 01 11  Staunton Twp
21 May 1831  Carey, David, Elizabeth   --> Layton, Joseph     09 023  02 01 11  Staunton Twp                  

The third transaction is especially interesting for the number of other names in the deed. Cousin Jerry Stout provided a transcription of the deed which we've included in our collection of Miami county deeds. Jerry wrote:

If this is the Elizabeth "Betsy" WINANS who married David CAREY 18 May 18151 at Miami Co. OH, then she was the daughter of my ancestors John WINANS and Sarah PRYOR. The deed mentions siblings, Sarah Winans, 2nd wife of Jonathan Rollins; Lewis Winans husband of cousin Lydia [another Winans]; Elizabeth Winans wife of David CAREY and MOSES WINANS who was deceased. Their sister Lydia WINANS wife of Shadrach HUDSON is not mentioned but I'm guessing that is because Shadrach Hudson had already signed over their share to Jonathan Rollins.


The 1820 and 1830 census entries above seem to agree perfectly that David Carey's family included several children, although some of the people counted could have been nieces, nephews or servants. Since there is a time span of more than four years between David and Betsy's marriage and Isaac's birth, could the other male child in the 1820 census be a son who died in childhood?

I formerly assumed Isaac to be David and Betsy's only child, based on Warren Carey's notes, but cousin Jerry Stout provided our first clue to additional children when she located the household of George and Rebecca Carey, both 22 years old, in the 1850 census for Staunton township. This household includes a 23-year-old David Carey, plus a 50-year-old woman named Elizabeth Carey. Add one more name to the list of David Careys at the top of this page! And we're both certain Elizabeth is David's widow.

The 1820 census would place the birth year of the adult male of the household between 1775 and 1795, while the 1830 census has him being born in the 1790-1800 decade. This agrees with what we think we know about David, and we can account for the younger people as follows:

Birth YearsMalesFemalesComment
1825-3020David & George
1820-2502Phebe & Sarah?
1810-1510a farm hand?

Deaths. We don't know the story behind David Carey's passing while still in the prime of his life, 20 June 1832 in his "42d year", according to his tombstone inscription at the Raper chapel graveyard. Warren Carey was my original source of information on the tombstones of both David and his son Isaac, from the same cemetery. There's no entry for either David or Isaac in the list of Raper chapel grave markers available on line. We don't know if Warren actually located these tombstones himself on one of his visits there, or if he obtained the dates from his father, the Rev. George E. Carey, who was pastor at Raper during the early years of the 20th century. (No sooner had I written this paragraph than I received a photograph of David's perfectly legible tombstone from his descendant, Kelly Conrad!)

Since David Carey died intestate, the heir to his estate was his oldest male child, Isaac, who was only twelve years old at the time. It was necessary for a court to appoint a guardian for Isaac, as described in the following document:

[page] 424
Miami Common Pleas April June 1834.
Monday 7th April 1834

[... summaries of 4 unrelated criminal cases ...]

[Margin Note:] (64)
David Carys heir
In open Court Came Isaac C. Cary minor heir of David Cory [sic] Aged fourteen years on the third day of Jany 18342 & made Choice of John C. Winans for his Guardian & the Court approve of said Choice & order that the Guardian give Bond Conditioned &c in the Sum of 200.00 with Michael Miller for his Surety

We've compiled a separate page of additional entries in the public record which includes the image from which this court order was transcribed, along with Kelly's analysis of the documents' significance.

Less than three years after David Carey's death, tragedy struck this family again. Isaac died 5 June 1835 and was buried next to David at Raper chapel.

Post-1832 -- Betsy. In 1838, Elizabeth (Winans) Carey married Francis Webber; I had scanned right past this entry in the marriage index any number of times until Kelly Conrad called it to my attention. Francis apparently died very soon afterwards. In the 1840 census, which still includes only heads of households' names, Betsy is listed on page 381 in Staunton township:

Names of
Heads of Families
Elizabeth Webber00200000000000002001 100000

The under-20 entries account very nicely for David, George, Phebe and Sarah. If that's Betsy in the 40-49 age group, who is the older woman? A servant? An aunt? Betsy's neighbors, at least on the 1840 census page, included John C. Winans, John H. Ayres, Lewis Winans, Benjamin Winans, Richard Winans and James Winans.

As mentioned above, Betsy was listed in the 1850 census as Elizabeth Carey and was allegedly 50 years of age. We don't know whether she told the census taker her name or the enumerator deduced it from the surname of her son George, who was listed as head of household. After George and family moved to Auglaize county in the late 1850s, Betsy remained in Staunton township and moved in with Sarah's family. The Miami county probate court index lists a probate record for an Elizabeth Cary dated 30 Jun 1883, case number 07224, book 2, page 0415. (Is the 0415 a misprint? That's the same page number as for Isaac's record in a different book!)

Post-1832 -- Children and Descendants. In 2001, I received e-mail from Kelly Conrad, who wrote:

Hi Cousin, maybe!

I've apparently got some info on two misplaced Carey ladies from Staunton Twp., Miami Co., OH.

These girls are Phebe Carey (b.abt. 1827 - d. unk), and Sarah Carey (b. & d. unknown). Phebe Carey married my gt gt gt grandfather, Daniel Prilliman 'Jr.'3 (b. abt. 1814, Miami Co., OH, - d. 9 Feb 1875, Auglaize Co., OH)...

I'm ashamed to confess that I couldn't make what should have been an obvious connection between Kelly's ancestors and mine. Since Warren Carey had listed only one child for David and Betsy Carey, I assumed that's all there was. I thanked Kelly for his information and filed it away in my endless e-mail archives. It wasn't until Jerry Stout and I stumbled over the marriage and census records for Phebe and her sister that I reexamined seriously Kelly's research, which has helped me fill in a lot of the blanks in the story of David Carey's family and descendants.

Phebe (Carey) Prilliman. In 1843, Phebe married Daniel Prilliman,3 whose parents were among the earliest settlers of Miami county. He was born there about 1814 and died in 1875 in Auglaize county, OH. The census records for 1850, 1860, and 1870 show that Daniel and Phebe lived in Staunton township until about 1858, when they moved to Auglaize county, north of St. Marys. Why Auglaize county? Kelly theorizes:

Daniel and Phebe Prilliman's move up to Auglaize Co. brought their family much closer to the eastern Indiana farms of Daniel's uncle, William Prilliman and Cousin, Jacob. I see the Auglaize residence was also about halfway between Miami and Paulding Counties.

The four census records we have for Phebe confuse the issue of when she was born, giving her age as 23 in 1850, 40 in 1860, 44 in 1870, and 72 in 1900, when the widowed Phebe told the census taker in Wells county, IN, that she was born in Feb 1828. I couldn't find Phebe in the 1880 census. She and Daniel had the following children:

  1. Sarah I. Prilliman, born about 1842.
  2. Mary Ann Prilliman, born about 1844.
  3. Henry H. Prilliman, born March 1847. Listed as Charles in the 1850 census. Henry is Kelly's g-g-grandfather. He moved to south central Kansas some time between 1880, when he and his wife and seven children were enumerated in Auglaize county and 1900, when they were in Sumner county, KS.
  4. Eliza Prilliman, born about 1855.

Kelly writes:

Phebe (Carey) Prilliman died and her intestate estate was probated in Adams Co. Indiana in the early 1900s...

I'm going to postulate that the reason that Phebe (Carey) Prilliman later moved to Adams Co., IN, was that she had kin there--probably Winans kin.

Kelly located numerous Winans census entries in Adams county which appear to belong to members of Benjamin B. Winans' family. We'll continue to investigate these connections together and include them in one page or another of this Carey family album when we're more certain of who's who.

Sarah (Carey) Spicer. In 1842, Sarah married Samuel S. Spicer, who was either born in Ohio about 1815, or in New York about 1812, and died between 1860 and 1870. Sarah stayed in Staunton township until at least 1870. They had the following children:

  1. David Spicer, born about 1844.
  2. George W. Spicer, born 1850 or 1846.
  3. Mary Spicer, born about 1852.
  4. Rebecca Spicer, born about 1854.
  5. Eliza Spicer, born about 1858.

The census enumerators' reporting of Sarah's age is just as contradictory as that of her husband's age and birthplace and her mother's and sister's ages -- 27 in 1850, 38 in 1860, and 45 in 1870. The 1880 census' reading of 55, when Sarah was enumerated in Van Wert county, OH, is at least consistent with 1870 and hints that Sarah may have been born as late as 1825. Her daughter Rebecca's birth year could be in error in one or another census, and we're not sure whether the report of 21-year-old Mollie in 1880 is yet another child, or a census-taker's garbling of one of the girls' names above.

David Carey. I don't know what became of David after 1850. Did he go to California to hunt for gold? Was he lost at sea? Killed in the Civil War? A search of the 1860 U. S. census turned up a 32-year-old Ohio-born David Cary in McLean county, Illinois, with a wife named Emerine, a son named G. W. and daughter named Elizabeth. The same couple was in Elk county, Kansas, in 1880. I have no evidence one way or another for this being "our" David. If he has any descendants, we hope they'll get in touch with us.

George Carey. See separate page for information on George and his descendants.

1 David and Betsy obtained their license 13 May and that date is given in the index. Their wedding took place 18 May.
2 Although Isaac's tombstone implies a birth date of 4 January, the document appointing a guardian clearly states "Aged fourteen years on the third day of Jany 1834..."
3 Kelly Conrad now [in 2008] regards his earlier theory that Phoebe's husband Daniel was the son of another Daniel Prilliman to be unsupported by relevant records.
This page was last updated 9 Aug 2013.