Wileman and Related Family Histories Title of Your Page


Ancestors of Judith Kerr Valentic

Generously submitted to this site by Judy Kerr Valentic,
thanks so much!
Please contact Judy if you would like a copy of the pictures.
This is so interesting, a must read for researchers interested in the history of Pendleton County!


Dr. Abram Wileman


Notes from conversations with Florence Wileman Kerr in May 1976, 7 months before her death from a stroke at the age of 93. They were combined with an audio tape done without her knowledge (due to the youthful ignorance of her granddaughter of how to ask) in 1974 and stories from internet resources.

Compiled in 2006 by Judith Kerr Valentic (edited when dates/names/places were not agreeing with other sources)



Origin: English

Coat of Arms: On a blue shield a chevron between three wheat sheaves.

Crest: A gold deer.

Motto: Nil conscire sibi.

Motto Translated: To have a conscience free from guilt. 



This is the story of my motherís family.

Joanna Rodebaugh (1829-1895) was brought back by horseback to Philadelphia by Catherine Davis who belonged to the Bradford County Pennsylvania Meeting. She had never married. On a trip up north visiting another Meeting she brought back this baby. She never adopted her, but must have had some contact with the family (who were Pennsylvania Dutch), as several pieces of furniture this family gave Joanna were handed down. The Shaker rocking chair was hers. Traditionally it is given to the oldest daughter at the birth of her first baby, as all the babies received their baths from this chair.

Joanna Rodebaugh married Owen Hatton in 1849.

He was from Buckinghamshire England. I had his naturalization papers dated 1840. He worked for Catherine Davis, taking care of her horses, and evidently fell in love with Joanna. He bought two brickyards in Philadelphia, but in the panic of 1873, he was unable to collect some money he had loaned and his business was almost ruined. He tried to build terrace row houses, but it didnít succeed. They had six children who all went to the Friendís school in Philadelphia. They had twins, Anna and Catherine "Kate" (my mother), then Owen, Emma, Martha, and Henry. Joanna died around 1894-5. I remember the Hatton house; it was on the corner of Germantown and Gardner in Germantown, Pennsylvania. It had a spiral staircase.

Catherine Hatton married Erasmus Darwin Wileman (my father) 

Anna Hatton married a man named Silus .I donít know his last name. He owned a farm in Bradford County near Canton, but got caught in the 1931 depression and had to sell the farm to his wifeís brother, Owen.

Owen Hatton Jr. married a woman named Nelly (Helen), and inherited his fatherís brickyards, which he took care of until he retired.

Emma Hatton married an Englishman-Henry Marsden- who ran a grocery store.

Martha Hatton married Howard Evans (his mother was Suzanna Heydrick, his father David Evans) who was in the construction business with his brother.

Henry Hatton died of typhoid fever at eighteen.




Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: John Wildman settled in New England in 1767; Richard Wildman settled in Maryland in 1775.

Motto: Tentenda via est.

Motto Translated: The way must be tried.

Crest: A lion issuing from a crown holding a battle axe.

This is the story of my fatherís side of the family.

Samuel Coates (1786-1826) married Margaret Cherrington (179-1852) on February 2,1809 and they lived in Cheshire County, Pennsylvania. They had 8 children: Rachel (1811), Cherrington (1817-1902), Anna (1813-1877), Sarah (1824-1886), Abigail (1809-1897), Esther (my grandmother 10-19-1815 to 3-18-1873), Joseph (1820-1822), Mary (1822-1893). Esther Coates marries Abram Wileman, Sarah Coates marries Daniel Smith Harris, Mary Coates married Alban Cutler.

Sarah Coates Harris married Daniel Smith Harris (1801-) in 1851. He was a steamboat Captain on the Mississippi River and a survivor of the Black Hawk war of 1832. In 1860, she presided over a Womanís Suffrage Convention in Galena where the featured speakers were Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sarah graduated from Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago in 1879. There was an investigation of the college after she graduated, she defended herself and became Dr. Sarah Coates Harris at age 55. She had seven children, two died in infancy, her last born when she was 44.She died 1886 of cancer.

The Wildmanís were from Lancashire, England. There is a picture of the Wildman family crest. These Quakers were radical for the 1600ís, they didnít believe in paying tithes into the Church of England, would not take oaths, either of allegiance or in court, and would not use titles, such as Mr., Mrs., Sir, Your Highness, etc. Because they believed that everyone was equal, they would not take their hats off to anyone, even in court, only to pray. The name changed from Wildman to Wileman.

Abraham Wileman (b.2-8-1751 Bucks Co,, PA d.2-8-1851) married Letitia Janney (1758-1831) in 1778.

They had 10 children, all born in South River, VA.: Jonah (1779-1864,never married), Elizabeth (1781-1805) Amy (1783-1861 never married), Deborah (1785-1866) Mahlon (1788-1850), Mary (Polly) (1790-1825).Sarah (1792-1875),Ann (Nancy) (1794-1871) Jesse (1796-1844) and William (1800 

Letitia was given a wedding present of a mirror, bought in Wilmington Delaware in the late 1700ís. She brought it from Lynchburg Virginia to Ohio in 1814 packed between two feather beds and un-wrapped it every night. Esther Coates Wileman had this mirror in her office in New Jersey. A small tilt-top table of black walnut also belonged to Letitia.

Mahlon Wileman (1-19-1788 to 11-1869) who had married an Irish woman, Elizabeth Logue (1782-1850) in May 22, 1817 in Stark County., Ohio. Their marriage certificate is in the Toledo Library. They lived on a farm in Marlboro County, Ohio where they ran an Underground Railroad during the Civil War. They had 3 children: Esther (1820-?), Abram Gabriel (7-20-1822-10-5-1863) and Hannah (1825-?), The Black Walnut chest of drawers with mirror/marble top belonged to Mahlon. 

3-26-1828 Marlboro Meeting Minutes. "Elizabeth Wileman (wife of Mahlon) is complained of for uniting with and supporting points of doctrine inconsistent with of principles of Friends: for making use of language calculated to spread discord and to lay waste the principles of our society such as stating the Blood of our Saviour shed upon the cross was no more to us than the blood of an animal, or water: and that he was no more the Son of God than we care: and made other such like sentiments."

Abram Wileman met Esther Coates through a group of Quakers around Massillon at the Marlboro Meeting. They were married in November 1844 in Chester Co, PA. 

Margaret Cherrington Coates gave her daughter, Esther, six silver spoons for her wedding to Abram Wileman (1832-1863) in November 1844. 

Margaret had a dozen serving spoons that had been made for her of coin silver, and she had four daughters. The spoons had Her initials (M.C) on them, and she engraved the daughterís initials on the ones of my grandmother (M. C. to E.C. W). 

Abram and Esther had a daughter, Floretta, in May of 1850 who died of scarlet fever at age two or three. There is a framed oil painting of her. 

After this, Esther decided to study medicine, but Abram didnít want her to. She left him and went back east to Philadelphia to Medical School in 1851.After returning to Abram, she left again to her sister Maryís house in 1854. When she arrived, she discovered she was pregnant. Erasmus Darwin Wileman, (my father, named after Charles Darwin), was born. Esther delivered him herself (she already had her degree). She told the doctor " I will not send for thee until I need thee, but when I send, Iíll really need you to come". I donít know what happened, but he didnít come. She told the woman who was to help her what to do. The doctor showed up and there was the baby and he said "I had no idea you were this far advanced in labor". And she said "I told thee when I needed thee, I would call for thee". She graduated from the Philadelphia Womenís College of Medicine (her degree is at the college) Her medical school notes I kept. (2006- Judith Kerr Valentic)

Abram started "reading" medicine in Ohio. Esther wouldnít go back to him. She had an offer to go west, to California with a family to take care of two children. She left Erasmus with her husbandís sister, Hannah, in Alliance, Ohio. Hannah was married to Samuel Brooks: they had no children, so she brought Erasmus up. Abram filed divorce papers from Pendleton Co in 1858. He stated that he and his wife lived together until 1853 when she "became discontented and disposed to isolate herself from the company about the home of the plaintiff to such as degree as to render the married state to both miserable".

Esther came back, went to Boston and met a man who was with the Unitarian Church (he was married). She left her Quakers and became Unitarian. She opened a medical office in Vineland, New Jersey where Erasmus was occasionally sent to her. He remembered waiting for the blacksmith to help fix the hinges on her door, but he was too busy. Esther unfastened the hinges and had Erasmus help her carry the door to the blacksmith. She was a very energetic soul. One time her office needed painting and he didnít come on the day he said he would. She waited two days for him and then went downtown and bought white lead paint and linseed oil, mixed it up, rented a ladder, and painted the office herself. She was a feminist if ever there was one. I had a lot of her letters, but I let them get away from me. 

Esther went to Florida every winter and often stayed with her sister, Mary Coates Cutler, on a big farm in Lancashire 
County on the Susquehanna River. They would help hide the slaves who came up the river. Esther died in 1874 in Florida and left a few thousand dollars.

Abram had learned medicine and he married Parthenia Race (1836 Kentucky-1928 Ohio) on 10-28-1858 ) They were married at the home of Thomas Scott, by William Tucker, in the presence of George W. Tucker and William A. Warner. Warner would later become Wileman's commanding officer in the 18th Kentucky Infantry. They had three children (Dalton 1859 and Elizabeth "Lizzie "(12-21-1860 unmarried d 1889) and a daughter Katy (12-12-1862, deceased in 1863) 

Abram G. Wileman enlisted in the Police Guard Kentucky Central Railroad, at Falmouth, Kentucky, from October 14, 1861 to February 8, 1862. He was commissioned as a Captain on November 15, 1861. He was mustered into service at Paris, Kentucky, on February 8, 1862, then put in charge, still as a Captain, of Company D, 18th Kentucky, Volunteer Infantry. In February 1863, he was promoted to Major for "gallantry and honor in battle". Major Wilman's commission was issued at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He was appointed Acting Assistant Inspector General of the Second Brigade, Crook's Division, on April 27, 1863. He led his men through many battles in Kentucky and Tennessee. Many of the soldiers were from Pendleton County, Kentucky and surrounding areas. 

As a Major, he was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia during which in two days of fighting in September, 1863, over 18,000 Confederate and 16,000 Northern soldiers lay dead.. On 27 September 1863, he requested leave while recuperating in the Officer's Hospital, at Nashville, Tennessee. The surgeon, R. D. Lynde, stated that he had suffered a gun shot flesh wound on the left forearm on or about 10 September 1863. A Confederate soldier found him, dragged him out of the house, tied him up, and shot him in 1863. His wife and children went to Hannahís, and eventually Parthenia married again.

A. G. Wilman's widow, Parthenia Race Wileman, grief stricken, continued to reside in Stark County, Ohio, until sometime around 1900, when she moved to Cleveland, Ohio. She remarried on 19 September 1870, at Marlboro, Ohio, to Eli H. Walton and by him had one son, Howard J. Walton, with whom she resided while living in Cleveland. He died prior to 1908. Her husband, a mechanic, died on 24 October 1894, of paralysis and is buried in Marlboro Cemetery. 

All alone, Parthenia Race Wileman Walton, spent her declining years living in Cleveland. On 25 January 1928, she was admitted to the Cuyahoga County Infirmary at Warrensville, Ohio, suffering from facial erysipelas, chronic myocarditis, and senile dementia. She passed away there on 11 February 1928.

This letter was taken from the Friday, 23 October 1863, edition of the Western Citizen, published in Parks, Kentucky, one of the few extant newspapers which published throughout the Civil War. 


Dear Sir: 

I have just returned from the funeral of Maj. A. G. Wileman, of the 18th Kentucky, who was foully murdered and robbed in this county on Monday night last. He had only returned on furlough, on Friday last. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga River. The Cincinnati papers have incorrect statements as to the particulars of his sad end. He was brave and true a man as ever lived; behaved with marked gallantry at the Battles of Richmond, Howe's Gap, and Chickamauga. He was a man of superior intellect and education; a Physician with a large practice when he joined our regiment as Captain, and was promoted for bravery and good conduct on the battle-field as Major in May last. 

He was sitting in his house between 6 and 7 o'clock P. M.; with four of his neighbors, three gentlemen and one lady and his wife, when the murderers entered with pistol in hand presented, demanding money and person. They represented themselves as belonging to Breckenridge's Command, and said their forces had taken Falmouth and they had been sent for him. He refused positively to let them have his money, which they did not get, but they got near two hundred dollars from two of the gentlemen present. They then took him out and carried him about a mile and a half from his house, and there stripped him of all his clothing, with the exception of his boots and shirt, shot him through the head, the ball entering the left temple and powder-burning his wounded arm, his chin mashed down and jaw broken. After murdering him, they dragged him down a branch some thirty steps and left him dying on his face, his shirt over his head, being dragged by his feet. They afterwards robbed a store in the neighborhood owned by a former Lieutenant, Samuel Patterson, of the 18th Kentucky, who was severely wounded in the Battle of Richmond. They met in the road a farmer, Thomas Winn, whom they arrested. They held a consultation over him and determined (as they said) to serve him a disposition to make of him. He, however, overheard their conversation and concluded to run the chances by making his escape, which he fortunately did. The number of the gang is variously estimated from 8 to 40, and several of them recognized as former citizens of this county. This is the beginning of a terrible state of affairs in this part of the State, and a stop must be put to it. If I only had my trusting Old Eighteenth here, we would soon quiet the Northern half of the state, as have done theretofore. There is great excitement here, and well there might be - We have several returned Morgan men here that will have to take their washing further South. They are made heroes of and nursed as pinks of perfection, whose hands a short time ago were red with the blood of their fellow citizens, riding their stolen horses, and are allowed to settle down quietly amongst us until a fresh opportunity offers for them to commence their hellish work again. 

The Major left a wife and three children to mourn his sad fate. 

Yours truly, W. A. Warner 

P. S. They got Winn's horse, saddle, and bridle, all the clothing of the Major, his gold watch, and a heavy gold ring, which I heard this evening, they cut off his finger to obtain. W.A.W.

Jim Kellar, the murderer of Major Wileman, a well-known and notorious "Rebel" is made mention of in the same newspaper edition. 

JIM KELLAR CAPTURED - A detachment of the 71st Indiana Mounted, Infantry, captured the notorious Jim Kellar, and five of his men, on Saturday night, near Sharpsburg. On Thursday night, Kellar and his gang were in Flat Rock and robbed Mr. Alexander Evans of about $400.00; Mr. W. Watkins of $350 and a horse; Mr. Lewis Earlywine of $180, and all his wife's jewelry.

While taking the gang down in Flat Rock, Kellar told Watkins that he was the man who killed Wileman, and that he come to kill him; but as he was a pretty fellow he would not do it this time, but said if another Union Flag was put up in Flat Rock, he would kill him and Evans. The soldiers who made the capture, not being acquainted with the country, took with them, Mr. Wm. Fox of Flat Rock, who, it is thought, was mainly instrumental in securing success. The prisoners were taken to Mt. Sterling on Sunday morning, and while under guard, in the Provost Marshall's office, we are told, Mr. Watkins, late a member of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry, stepped in and shot Keller twice, who died from the effects of the wounds. On Monday night, we learned that a man named Jones, from the neighborhood of North Middleton, and two of the Sheshires from this place, were among the captured. 

Major Wileman's death, it is interesting to note, was not brought before the Pendleton County Grand Jury for the trial of those accused of his murder. Of course, the accused Jim Kellar had been killed. Others involved in the crime were arrested by Deputy Provost Marshall for Pendleton County, and William G. Woodson, a respected citizen and early resident of Turner Ridge, Pendleton County. 

After Wileman's death, Woodson began his investigation of the crime. Unfortunately, the Provost Marshall's records are scant and an actual trial and sentence record could not be found, 

Two of the accessories in the crime were apparently Richard and John Slater, sons of Samuel Slater, Sr., of Knoxville, Kentucky. A deposition was mad by Missouri Devlin of Pendleton County on 09 October 1863. She was one of the first people Woodson examined upon starting his investigation. Her deposition states: (9) 

"Missouri Devlin being of lawful age and first duly sworn upon her oath declared and says that she resides near Samuel Slater. That she spent the evening there on Monday last the 5th inst. That Samuel Slater asked her when she first met him if she knew whether Wileman was home or not and remarked that he wanted to buy his wife and children, the two Negroes that he had living at his home with him (laughing) and that after she had that conversation with old man Slater, Dick Slater came up to the house, took a saddle and disappeared. This affiant saw him no more while she remained. She left there before dark." 

On the following day, 10 Oct 1863, Mr. Woodson interviewed Lt. John T. Ford, of Grant County, Kentucky, who gave a most interesting deposition: (10) 

Personally appeared before the undersigned, John T. Ford, a citizen of Grant County, Kentucky, and a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army and being first duly sworn according to law, declares and says that he is acquainted with Samuel Slater and his sons, Richard and John. That he stayed all night at Slater's on the night of the 6th instant. That the young Slaters, Richard and John, left home shortly after supper which was a little after dark. That they returned in the latter part of the night, precise time not known, perhaps two or three o'clock in the morning. Richard Slater came and got in bed with affiant and slept with him the balance of the night. This affiant walked out in the morning and saw Andy Landrum pass. He had some conversation with Landrum and went into the house. Old man Slater then told him that the rebels had come into the county the night previous, and that they had arrested old man Wynn and robbed him; taken his horse from him and remarked further that Old Billy Woodson would have to go up tonight, that the rebels had told Dick so. Dick then told this affiant that he had met the rebels on the road; that they were cursing and talking in a loud and angry tone; some were crying out "shoot the damned old son of a bitch" meaning Thomas Wynn, and others opposed it. He stated that Rob McNay and young Wolf was with them." 

On that same day, William G. Woodson addressed a letter to Capt. G. W. Berry stating: (11) 

Dear Sir: 

I have been engaged for two days past in taking proof in relation to the murder of Major Wileman. I am going there again next Monday. I design sending or bringing the proof down when I get through. We have some evidence against young McNay and against the Slaters that amounts to evidence and I think we have a clue to more; Co. Warner ordered the arrest of John Webster and James McGraw; we have some proof against them. It is rather slight. It is said that Patterson and McNay say that McGraw came to them and inquired if there were not rebels out on the road and cautioned them against saying anything about it. I am also told that Thomas Wynn recognized Nathan Thompson among the crowd. I would like to be informed in these points by Monday morning's mail. Please give this you attention. 

W/ G. Woodson
Dep Pro Marshall 

It is interesting to note that Woodson interviewed a witness who had strong testimony against the accused including another accessory, Robert McNay, Jr. The witness was Thomas Wynn (or Winn) spoken of above by Col. Warner in his letter to the "Western Citizen". Mr. Wynn's testimony was: (12) 

"I saw Robert McNay, Jr., Richard Slater, and John Slater, Monday night, 5th October 1863, at the residence of Lindsey Johns; they met me in the road and halted me and asked where I had been. I told them I had been to Lindsey Johns on business. They then wanted to know where I was going. I told them I was going home. They then took my horse by the bridle and said "you God damned old black hearted abolitionist son of a bitch, you are played out. We are going to kill you and Jerry Tomlin and Samuel Patterson and clean this country out of all abolitionists". They kept me half an hour and I them managed to escape." 

Thomas (X) Wynn 

Witness: Granville Gardner
Jefferson Booth


Erasmus Darwin Wileman graduated in Stark County from Mount Vernon College, Ohio, in 1873. He went to Cornell College (thereís no record of any happenings there). He hitchhiked from Ithaca, New York to Aunt Maryís farm (Mary Coates Cutler) in 1874. In 1876 the Centennial came and a local newspaper in Stark County gave him a job. He lived with cousins in Philadelphia. That cousin went to the same school as Catherine Hatton, my mother, did. They married in 1876.


Links: Wileman & Related Family Album