Submitted by Geraldine Cole
Huron County First Family Member # 178

Circumstances and Family History

The date: July 15, 1848. The place: New London, Ohio. Family and friends were probably in a state of shock when they heard the news-James White had died! Whether the death had been by an accident or caused by a long lingering illness is simply not known. However, it can be said with certainty that the death of forty-six year old James White altered many lives including the life of my great-grandfather, Ira Wilson White.

 The death of a husband and a father is never easy. But the problems multiply quickly when there are twelve surviving children, and another one on the way. Forty-two year old Caroline was in her third trimester of pregnancy when in an instant, her status changed from that of a wife to a widow.

 James White, age 46, was not only a husband and a father, but also a grandfather with two infant granddaughters. The two oldest children, Eliza and Charles, were now married and starting families of their own.

 What a difficult time it must have been for Caroline.... the death of her husband, and the shock and grief she must have experienced. In addition, there was the funeral and the burial at Butterfield Cemetery, the discomfort of the baby stirring within her, and then the remorse brought on by the thought that James would never see or hold his baby, and likewise, the baby would never know his/her father.

 But fortunately for Caroline and her family, many relatives Jived nearby, and she may have had some support from them. Both the Munson's and White's were early settlers of New London and Huron County. The families moved to the area from western New York where they had experienced the miserable weather of 1816. Caroline was only eleven when she moved to the area in 1817 from Brighton with her parents, Nathan and Abigail Dodge Munson. James reportedly moved in 1820 from Livingston, New York with the Richard White family.

 And sometimes-unusual circumstances can prove to be a determining factor in one's life. Who would have predicted that a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world would play a part in the lives of James and Caroline . . .and that each would leave the western part of New York state with their families and settle on the Western Reserve.

 New London and Huron County was the place where both families Settled and the place where Caroline and James married in 1823.  New London Township would be their home for the next twenty-five years. On October 31, 1848, three months after her husband's death, Caroline gave birth to her fourteenth child, a son she named James Richard. The combination of the names suggests that he was probably named for his father and apparently his grandfather) Richard White, who had also settled in early New London.

 James died without making a will, so the court appointed an administrator to handle the estate. The land was sold in front of the King Hotel. After the sale, Caroline, and five of her children including my great-grandfather, Ira White, left New London, the place she had called home for forty years. They eventually settled in Rock County, Wisconsin, near some of her married children.

 Rumblings of discontent were heard throughout the land, and all too soon, the nation was divided. Caroline would see four of her sons leave to fight for the Union cause: Eli, Abram, Ira, and Clark. All but Abram returned to marry and have families of their own.

And with a bit of irony, Abram, who was born in New London in 1832, died there March 4, 1863. Alex Thorn Jr. was bringing his injured brother-in-law home from a hospital at Little York, Pennsylvania, but on the way back to Rock County, Wisconsin, Abram's condition worsened, so they stopped at New London, probably staying with relatives.

 Abrarn's body was taken back to Clinton, Wisconsin, where he was buried beside his fourteen year old brother, James Richard, who died on Christmas Eve, just two months earlier. Thirty-two years later, in 1895, eighty-nine year old Caroline Munson White was laid to rest beside them.

Ten of her children married and made their homes in Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and even far away Oregon. Even though none of the children returned to New London to raise their families, they were still connected through relatives and friends who remained there. No matter how many miles separated them from the place of their birth, itís almost certain that memories of New London stayed with the family for the rest of their lives.

 Researched and written by Geraldine L. Cole, Arlington, KS

Pregnant, Widowed, and No Social Security

Caroline Munson White, Mother of Fourteen Children ©1998


 Connecting Families

Caroline Munson White James White Their ten married children had the following spouses:
Mother's Maiden Name:
Mother's Maiden Name"
Sibling's Spouses: Sibling's Spouses: Perkins: 2 daughters, 1 son
Croy Knapp Thom: 2 daughters married Thoms
Gleason Pixley Robinson
Buffum Wickham Wright
Park Wilson Stocking
McMaugh Manchester may be the surname of Henry White. Brown
Smith Rood