Although family tradition points to George Carey having come from New Jersey, we've found no evidence from that state, such as deeds or wills, that support this claim. All NJ census data from 1790 through 1820 have been lost. The facts that George's wife, Phebe Clark, came from a NJ family and that their children intermarried with other NJ families make it unlikely that George came from elsewhere to Ohio, though. For further speculation on this subject, see our page on George Carey's origins.
George and Phebe and their children are supposed to have arrived in Staunton township, Miami county, Ohio, in the first decade of the 19th Century. It's possible this family migrated via Kentucky and/or the Cincinnati area and spent a year or two in those places before settling in Staunton. The year of their arrival is hard to verify because the 1810 census for Ohio was also lost. The 1810 tax list for Miami County includes the following names which may or may not be any of George's relatives:
According to family tradition, George was a stonemason who worked on the Miami Canal. Several of his sons and sons-in-law were listed as stone masons or brick masons, but George died before men's occupations were listed in the census, so we have no confirmation of this legend. Construction of the first section of the canal between Cincinnati and Dayton took place between 1825 and 1829, a time when George Carey was already in his sixties. It didn't reach Miami county until 1837. By that time George was in his seventies and had moved to Paulding county. The canal was completed all the way to Lake Erie in 1845 and was rechristened the Miami & Erie Canal. While I doubt that George, at his advanced age, ever put in much time working on the canal, it is possible some of his sons were involved, even while they owned and worked their farms. As mentioned at the canal's excellent web site, "Building of the canal was a labor-intensive effort. Many local farmers worked on the project."
I found a map of Miami county among Col. Warren Carey's research papers on which he marked the areas where he believed some of our ancestors' property was located:
Only the pertinent portion of this map is reproduced below. The Great Miami River and Troy are on the left side.
The following clues to George and Phebe's whereabouts after coming to Ohio have been gleaned from census records:
1820. George Carey is indexed as Cory in the 1820 census by some services, as are some of his family members. His surname could be read as either Cory or Cary. The following families were all found on page 103 in Staunton township:
The 1820 census line for George's household accounts quite neatly for him, Phebe and their children, with sons David and Isaac being listed as heads of separate households. The two lines after David's household list the families of John Clark and Isaac Clark, who are two of Phebe's brothers. Preceding son Isaac's entry is that of his father-in-law, Shadrack Hudson. All of these facts may be only coincidences, but they point very convincingly to this being the right George and Phebe Carey with the right children in the right place.
1830. These are the census lines for George Carey's household and other possibly related families, from page 39 for Staunton township:
Heads of Families
|John C. Winans||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
By now, George and Phebe's children are all grown and have moved out, with Thomas living elsewhere in Spring Creek township, John in Monroe township, and Isaac and Sarah in Paulding county. Our surname is being spelled more consistently now as "Carey".
1840. The following Careys and other related families were all found on page 24 of the 1840 census in Auglaize township, Paulding county, Ohio, with the first four households on consecutive lines:
Heads of Families
|Benjamin Carey||2||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1 [?]||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
A "George Carey" appears in other records indexed by the Miami Valley Genealogical Index, in Staunton Township, as follows:
There are entries in the Miami Valley Genealogical Index which list transfers of land in Staunton township from George Cory and from Benjamin and Hannah Carey (my g-g-grandparents) to unnamed individuals in 1836. These transfers might fix the time of George's move, along with his son's family, to Paulding county, where Isaac and Sarah had been living for more than a decade.
Death. George Carey is said to have died in 1846 in Defiance county and to be buried in Raper chapel cemetery, in Miami county. Burial records for that cemetery no longer exist and its list of grave markers was compiled long after many of its stones had become unreadable.