Thomas and Hetty Carey

At one time, I knew little more about Thomas Carey than that his name appeared in lists of the children of my 3g-grandfather. With the help of a cousin, Jerry Stout, who has done a significant amount of research into the Rollins family, I've filled in more information on Thomas and the interrelated families who settled in the Miami valley in the early 1800s. There are still significant gaps in our knowledge of Thomas and his descendants. I hope that by making available the limited amount of information we have on Thomas, we will hear from others who might have more information on him and his family.

Birth. Thomas was born about 1795 in Essex county, New Jersey, the son of George and Phebe (Clark) Carey. I've also seen his birth date given as 1799, but doubt the correctness of that information, since his brother Isaac Carey's birth has been established, with a fair amount of accuracy, as having occurred during that year.

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." The first name could be that of Thomas' older brother. If the second is our Thomas, he would have been about 17 or 18 years of age.

Marriage. As far as we know, Thomas was married twice, to:

Residence. Thomas came to Ohio's Miami valley around 1807 along with his parents. In the 1820 census, he could be one of the three males in the 18-to-26-year-old age group with "George Cary" in Staunton township, Miami county. The 1830 census lists Thomas as a head of household in Staunton township, and the 1840 census lists him in Brown township. The following land dealings, copied verbatim from the Miami county recorder's index, help us identify Thomas and Hetty's moves around Miami county:

Date         Party of 1st part             Party of 2nd part  Bk Pg#  SecTwpRng Location
===========  ========================      ================== ======  == == ==  ================
17 Aug 1816  Carey, Thomas             <-- Clark, David       03 096  14 01 11  Staunton Twp
07 Jan 1819  Cary, Thomas              <-- Mayo, Asa          07 111  21 01 11  Staunton Twp
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
28 Jan 1828  Carey, Thomas, Mehitable  --> Sutton, Enoch      07 168  21 01 11  Staunton Twp
13 Jan 1829  Carey, Thomas, Metitable  --> Walkup, William    07 208  02 01 12  Springcreek Twp
15 Aug 1829  Carey, Thomas, Metitable  --> Rollins, Isaac     07 342  20 01 11  Staunton Twp
16 Sep 1831  Carey, Thomas             --> Sloan, John        12 013  18 01 10  Staunton Twp
06 Jul 1841  Cary, Thomas              <-- Rollins, William F 22 077  23 02 11  Brown Twp
18 Oct 1845  Cary, Thomas, Mehitable   --> Rollins, Isaac T.  22 120  23 02 11  Brown Twp
10 Nov 1845  Cary, Thomas              <-- Baughman, Joseph   25 305            "Lease"
15 May 1849  Cary, Thomas              <-- Rollins, Isaac T   24 745  23 02 11  Brown Twp
22 May 1849  Carey, Thomas, Mehitable  --> Lukens, Hiram M.   24 745  23 02 11  Lena

This list of transactions and the census records imply that Thomas was acquiring land and residing:

The next, and final, entry in the public record for Thomas and Mehitable is their enumeration in the 1850 census in Concord township, Elkhart county, Indiana, near the Michigan border and more than 200 miles away from Brown township, Ohio. There is some question about this entry since the census taker had a bad habit of recording "Mrs." as the first name for married women. However, Thomas and "Mrs." are both the right age and "Mrs." was reported as being born in Vermont.

Children. The 1830 and 1840 census entries below offer some clues as to the number of children Thomas and Mehitable might have had, but not their identities. The 10-15-year-old female listed in 1830 is possibly Thomas' child by his marriage to Mary Winans. Thomas and Hetty seem to have had four boys and three girls. The only child who appears in a census with them is Phebe Ann Carey, listed as 13 years old in 1850.

M 00-0520
M 05-1011
M 10-1502
M 15-1901
M 40-5011
F 00-0501
F 05-1002
F 10-1510
F 30-4001
F 40-5010

In the 1840 census, there's a 20-to-30-year-old Richard Cary listed on the line after Thomas with a female under 5 years old and another female in the 15-19 age group in his household. We have no other information on this young man. We can deduce the following children by studying the 1830 and 1840 census records:

Birth YearsMalesFemalesComment
1835-4001Phebe Ann
1825-3020includes Joseph?
1815-2001by first marriage?

These two records actually agree pretty well for the children, except that we don't see any explanation for Richard. If he was already 20 years old by 1840, how is he accounted for in 1830? With census day falling on 1 June in both years, he would have to have been misreported in one year or the other if he is the same person.

The parents are another matter though. How could Hetty have been over 40 in 1830, but under 40 in 1840? Having seen some wildly inaccurate data in many other censuses, it would not surprise me at all if the 1830 census taker failed to record Tom and Hetty's ages correctly, or if he came to the door while ma and pa Carey were out plowing or caring for animals and ran into one of the little folks who, when asked about ma and pa's ages, answered something like "well, I reckon they're pretty old, maybe almost 50 years old!"

"Census day" in 1840 was 1 June. If the birth date of 24 May 1800 for Hetty is correct, whoever answered the door may have forgotten that Ma was 40 now instead of 39, or maybe Hetty wished to stretch the truth by 8 days!

Joseph T. Carey. Jerry Stout discovered a 24-year-old Ohio-born Joseph T. [?] Carey listed on the page after Thomas in the 1850 census for Elkhart county, IN, living with the family of Isaac McKinney and his "Mrs." When Jerry first mentioned him, I scoffed at the possibility that Joseph could be Thomas' son, saying that I didn't think a good Methodist boy would be working as a "tavern keeper". However, I later found an 1849 marriage listed in the MVGI between an Eliza A. McKinney and a Joseph F. Carey. Column 10 is checked on Joseph and his wife's census lines, indicating they were married within the past year. The 1840 census in Springcreek township lists an Isaac McKinney. I am now virtually certain that this Joseph Carey really is Tom and Hetty's son. In the 1850 census, the birthplaces of Isaac and his wife, as well as Eliza, are all listed as New Jersey. Judging by the ages and birthplaces of Isaac McKinney's children in the 1850 census, the McKinney family moved from NJ to OH some time between 1832 and 1840. Could this be a family the Careys had known in New Jersey?

In September 2006, I received a phone call from cousin Doug Carey, of Piqua, Ohio, who has gathered a great deal of information on this family. Doug sent a photo of Joseph's grave in the Hyattsville cemetery, in Miami county. That marker, and another monument there, identify J. T. Carey as a veteran of the Civil War who served in the 44th Ohio Infantry. When I couldn't find this unit in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, I doubted, momentarily, the accuracy of the monuments but then I located the 44th at the Ohio in the Civil War site, which informs us that the unit reenlisted en masse as the 8th Ohio Cavalry, served a total of almost four years, and participated in numerous battles in West Virginia, Kentucky Tennessee and Virginia. The 8th Cavalry's roster lists a Joseph T. Carey, in Company E, who mustered in as a private and mustered out a corporal.

Joseph's great-great-granddaughter, Pam Carey Rawski, is also helping us to research this family. Joseph and some of his descendants apparently returned to Ohio. Joseph's son, Pam's great-grandfather, Riley Monroe Carey, was living in Monroe township, Miami county, at the time of the 1880 census. We've heard from other descendants of this family and have learned that Riley married a woman named Belle Cottrell, whose mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Westfall. Pam sent us a copy of Riley's death certificate, which provides the following information:

City, Village or TownshipTroy, Miami County, Ohio
Full NameRiley Monroe Carey
Marital RelationWidowed
Name of WifeBell Carey
Age76 - 0 - 25
Date of BirthMarch 26, 1853
BirthplaceElkhart, Ind.
Name of FatherJoseph Carey
BirthplaceElkhart, Ind.
Name of MotherAngeline McKiney
BirthplaceTrenton, N. J.
Place of BurialThomas Cemetery
DateApril 22, 1929
Date of DeathApril 20, 1929

Death. We have no information as to when or where Thomas and Hetty's deaths occurred. The lack of census or other data for them after 1850 should not be taken as implying anything one way or another.

The "other" Thomas. In the same Miami county recorder's index where we found the land transactions listed above, we also located six transactions in Union township and one in Monroe township, all between 1847 and 1850, by a Thomas Cary or Carey whom we believe to be a different person. One of the transactions included a wife's name of Hannah. Unlike the transactions above, none of them were to or from any person whose name was familiar.

Thomas Corey. There are numerous land transactions, mostly in Bethel township, for either Thomas Cory or Thomas and Margaret Cory. I located a Thomas Cory in Bethel township in the 1820 census and a Thomas Corey in 1830 and 1840. In 1850, he was listed as 67-yr-old Thomas Corey, born in NJ, along with 61-yr-old Margaret, born in VA, and 21-yr-old Isaac and 15-yr-old Harriet, both born in OH. Although his New Jersey birthplace caught my eye, when I searched the entire list of "Thomas Cory" land transactions in the Miami county recorder's index, I could find no evidence of transactions between him or Margaret and any of our familiar Carey/Clark/Rollins/Winans relatives. Also, his surname was consistently listed as Cory or Corey. Even in those days of sloppy or inconsistent spelling, I think this would rule out any confusion with our relative. Thomas Cory's will was probated in 1852.

The "other" Mehitable. While searching through the MVGI for traces of Thomas and Hetty, I was intrigued to discover a Mehitable Simmons, also born in Vermont. I was about to jump to all kinds of conclusions, but Jerry Stout informs me this other Mehitable is actually a first cousin of "our" Mehitable. Her maiden name was also Rollins and she lived from 1793 to 1875. She's buried in Fletcher cemetery, in Brown township.

Hetty Rollins' family. Mehitable Rollins was born 24 May 1800 in Corinth, VT, the daughter of Josiah Rollins (1773-1821), who was born in Rockingham county, New Hampshire, and of Nancy Tucker, who was also born in New Hampshire. Josiah was listed in the 1820 U. S. census in Staunton township, Miami county, OH, on the same page as George, Isaac and David Carey. Jerry Stout has assembled extensive information on the Rollins family, including its intermarriages with the Winans and Carey families after their arrival in Ohio. This information has helped us clarify some relationships and fill in gaps in our knowledge of these families.

The following biography of Hetty's brother, from page 555 of Beers' 1880 History of Miami County, is interesting for providing some background on the Rollins family and on the early days of white settlements in Miami county:

ISAAC T. ROLLINS; farmer; P. O. Troy; was a son of Josiah and Nancy (Tucker) Rollins, who were born in the State of New Hampshire. They were parents of ten children, of whom two only are now living,2 viz., Isaac T. and Hannah, who is now Mrs. Stewart. Josiah, the father, moved from New Hampshire to Vermont, where they resided for a time, and in 1815,3 came to Ohio, locating in Miami Co., on the farm on which Isaac now lives; he bought the farm with just a few acres cleared, on which were two small log-cabins; the cabin on the east part of the farm is of historic interest.

During the war of 1812,3 they built a substantial stockade around the cabin, and the families, for some distance around, took shelter here every night, for better security from the enemy. The grandfather, Joseph, was also born in New Hampshire, but moved into Vermont, where he lived and died; the grandmother, Hettie, lived to come to Miami Co., with her son Josiah, living and dying on the same farm where Isaac now lives. Mr. Rollins, the subject of our sketch, was united in marriage Nov. 28, 1828, with Eleanor Hart, daughter of Charles and Nancy (Chamberlin) Hart, who were natives of New Jersey, but came to Miami Co. in 1812. By this union they have had seven children, viz., Charles H., Josiah B., Caroline, now deceased; Leander J., Marion J., Sylvester A. and Horace J.4

Mrs. Rollins, coming to this county so early in its settlement, remembers distinctly the dangers and trials they passed through during the war of 1812; although but a child, yet the events were indelibly fixed upon her memory. Mr. Rollins' farm consists of 95 acres of excellent land, and has now been owned by the Rollins family for about sixty-five years.

During the war of the rebellion, five out of the six sons of Mr. Rollins enlisted in defense of their country, serving until discharged by sickness, disability, or the close of the war; the oldest son, Charles H., served four rears and nine months, being in some of the hard-fought battles, such as Pittsburg Landing, Atlanta campaign, and in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, Tenn.; during this service, he was promoted for bravery and meritorious conduct from a private to Captain.

The Rollins family, in its history, dates back for nearly 250 years in this country, and then connects with its history in England, where it has had a prominence for many ages past. The youngest son, Horace J., is, by profession. a landscape painter, being a student of the art at the McMicken University of Cincinnati; he has devoted many years to this art, and has acquired a proficiency in its principles which entitles him to the notice of the public, and especially to those who are students and lovers of this science; he is author of a book entitled, "Studio. Field and Gallery," "intended as a Manual of Painting for the Student and Amateur, and information for the general reader," Of the merits of this work there can be no doubt, as it is published by D. Appleton & Co., of New York City, who having undertaken its publication, is a sufficient guarantee of its intrinsic worth and value.

Hetty's brother-in-law's biography, which quoted nearly verbatim from an earlier sketch in Beers, appeared on page 524 of the 1900 Biographical History of Miami County:

On the 6th of March, 1895, there passed away one of the oldest residents in Miami county, for Clark E. Stewart was called to his final rest that day, at the age of ninety-five years. Like the day with its morning of hope, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful effort, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of this honored man, and his memory remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him. He was born in New Jersey, September 5, 1800, his parents being David and Sarah (Clark) Stewart,5 both natives of the same state. Emigrating westward in the early part of the century, they located in Staunton township, Miami county, in 1817, and there secured a tract of government land, on which the father erected a log cabin.

He then began clearing his land in true pioneer style, but his labors in his new home were of short duration, as he was attacked by milk sickness, to which so many settlers fell victims. He died in 1820, about three years after locating here. His wife and daughter also died of the same disease in three days' time. The only surviving child, Clark E. Stewart, was also prostrated with this terrible disease, but eventually recovered from his illness, after which he made his home with his uncle for about three years. He then began learning the mason's trade under the direction of Abraham Miller, of Piqua. He remained with his employer for six years, and became an expert workman, taking an active part in the building interests in his section of the county.

On the 25th of November, 1834, Mr. Stewart was united in marriage to Miss Hannah E. Rollins, a daughter of Josiah and Nancy (Tucker) Rollins, both natives of New Hampshire, whence they came to Ohio in 1815. They were among the pioneer settlers of the county, and took an active part in opening up this region to civilization. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were born ten children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are: Josiah R.; David C. and Richard W., now deceased; Sarah A., wife of David Rusk, of Troy; Mayhew H., deceased; Abigail W., wife of James Whisman, of Piqua; Elizabeth, deceased; Phoebe, deceased, wife of John Drake, of Piqua; and Mary J.6

After his marriage Mr. Stewart resided for twenty-one months on the Winans farm, and then purchased a tract of land adjoining the farm where he spent his last days. He there remained for a year and a half when he came to the place now known as the Stewart homestead. When he started out in life for himself he had no capital, but was possessed of strong energy and determination, and as a result of his resolute purpose and capable management he worked his way steadily upward, overcoming all the difficulties and obstacles in his path. He was ably assisted by his wife, who proved to him an excellent helpmeet, and thus they acquired a good farm and home for themselves and their children. He had seventy-one acres of rich land on section 19, Staunton township. The house which he erected was built of brick manufactured on the farm, and all the improvements upon the place stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise.

He reached a very advanced age, and his career was certainly a long, useful and honorable one, meriting the confidence of all with whom he was associated. He gave his political support to the Democracy, and was a faithful and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His wife died July 27, 1889, and he survived her for six years, passing away on the 6th of March 1895. He retained his mental and physical faculties largely unimpaired until the last, and was able to read without glasses almost up to the time of his death. He possessed a strong constitution, and the way in which he husbanded his resources undoubtedly led to his long lease on life. Miss Mary J. Stewart now resides upon the old homestead, and superintends the farm. She is a good business woman, and a kind, generous lady, who stands high in the community where her many good deeds have won her the love and esteem of all who know her.

One key to our understanding of the intermarried Carey, Rollins and Winans families in Staunton township seems to be the family of John and Sarah Winans:

John and Sarah had the following children:

If the marriage dates and places given above are correct, it's likely some of these Winans, Rollins and Hudsons were already in the area of Cincinnati, Hamilton county, Ohio, well ahead of my Carey ancestors. The early arrival of Jonathan and Jonah Rollins,8 as well as Shadrach Hudson, is attested to by the following excerpts from the Miami county section of Henry Howe's 1846 History of Ohio, which is available at the Miami County Genealogical Researchers site:

Dutch Station. -- The inmates of a station in the county called the Dutch station, remained within it for two years, during which time they were occupied in clearing and building their respective farms. Here was born in 1798 Jacob Knoop, the son of John Knoop, the first civilized native of Miami county. At this time there were three young single men living at the mouth of Stony creek, and cropping on what was afterwards called Freemans Prairie. One of these was D. H. Morris, a present resident of Bethel township; at the same time there resided at Piqua, Samuel Hilliard, Job Garrard, Shadrach Hudson, Jonah Rollins,8 Daniel Cox, Thomas Rich and ---- Hunter; these last named had removed to Piqua in 1797, and Dutch station comprised all the inhabitants of Miami from 1797 to 1799. In the latter year John, afterwards Judge Garrad, Nathaniel and Abner Garrad and the year folowing, Uriah Blue, Joseph Coe and Abraham Hathaway, joined us with their families. From that time all parts of the county began to receive numerous immigrants. For many years the citizens lived together on footings of the most social and harmonious intercourse - we were all neighbors to each other in the Samaritan sense of the term - there were some speculators and property-hunters among us, to be sure, but not enough to disturb our tranquility and general confidence. For many miles around we knew who was sick, and what ailed them, for we took a humane interest in the welfare of all. Many times were we called from six to eight miles to assist at a rolling or raising, and cheerfully lent our assistance to the task. For our accommodation we sought the mill of Owen Davis, afterwards Smith's mill, on Beaver creek, a tributary of the Little Miami, some twenty-seven miles distant. Our track lay through the woods, and two days were consumed in the trip, when we usually took two horseloads. Owen was a kind man, considerate of his distant customers, and would set up all night to oblige them, and his conduct materially abridged our mill duties.

JONATHAN ROLLINS was among the first white inhabitants of Miami county. In connection with nine others he contracted with Judge Symmes, for a certain compensation in lots and land, to become a pioneer in laying out a proposed town in the Indian country, at the lower Piqua village, where is situated the pleasant and flourishing town under that name. The party left Ludlow station, on Mill creek, in the spring of 1797, and proceeded without diffculty to the proposed site. They there erected cabins and enclosed grounds for fields and gardens. But the judge failing in some of his calculations was unable to fulfil his part of the contract, and the other parties to it gradually withdrew from the association, and squatted on the land as best pleased themselves. It was some years after this when land could regularly be entered in the public offices; surveying parties had been running about the county, but time was required to organize the newly intrduced section system, which has since proved so highly beneficial to the Western States, and so fatal to professional cupidity.

Indian Grief -- Some of the hardy adventurers settled in and about Piqua, where they have left many worthy descendents. Mr Rollins finally took up land on Spring Creek, where he laid out the farm he now (1839) occupies. While this party resided at Piqua, and for years after the Indians were constant visitors and sojourners among them...

See also the 1831 deed which records the transfer of property from Jonathan Rollins to Thomas Layton.

Wills. The information below, which seems to pertain to another of Hetty's brothers, was transcribed by Sandi Evilsizer Koscak from a book of Miami county wills:

Rollins, Joseph
Pg 69 dated Feb 1 1828 recorded Apr 12 1828
Wife Mary; son William P; brother Isaac my right , title, etc. to estate of my father, Josiah Rollins of Staunton Twp.
Exec; Nezer S Yates, William P Rollins
Wit: Jacob Counts, James Brown, Jacob Julien

1 In case you're wondering about the origin of Miss Rollins' unusual first name, there's a Mehetabel who is mentioned in Genesis 36:39 as the wife of Hadad, one of the kings of Edom. A similar name is found in the poems of Don Marquis (1878-1937), who wrote of Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the cat.
2 This implies that Hetty died before 1880.
3 These seem to be conflicting dates, since the War of 1812 ended with the signing of the treaty of Ghent 24 Dec 1814. The news of this treaty reached North America 8 Feb 1815.
4 See Isaac and Eleanor's family's 1860 census record.
5 It's likely that this Sarah Clark was one of the many Clarks who migrated from New Jersey to Miami county in the early 1800s. I don't have any other information on this woman which would connect her with a specific Clark family. Sarah was the most popular female name among these Clarks!
6 See Clark and Hannah's family's 1860 census record. The families were obviously near neighbors; the Stewarts' listing was on pages 3 and 4 of the Staunton census; the Rollins were on pages 1 and 2. In the 1830 census, the families were on the same page, two lines apart.
7 Pioneer Marriage Records, Hamilton County Ohio, 1791-1820 lists a marriage on this date between Shadrach Huston and Lydia Winans, which was performed by Minister of the Gospel John Smith, of Columbia. It appears Lydia was married at age 13. While women tended to marry at early ages on the frontier, this is the youngest age at marriage I've come across yet. She isn't listed among John and Sarah's children in Mrs. Egy's Winans Genealogy.
8 I don't know how the Jonah Rollins, mentioned by Howe, is related. The other surnames in Howe's history are familiar to me through studies of Miami county census records and legal documents.
This page was last updated 22 Sep 2011.