John and Martha Earhart, Ohio Pioneers

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John and Martha Earhart
and Their Children

Brown County, Ohio Pioneers

Compiled by Norris Taylor
Primary Researcher: Linda Emry
And also Norris Taylor and Gay Nyce
John & Martha Earhart were the grandparents of Kansas Pioneer Martha Jane (Earhart) Millirons

The Parents: John and Martha Earhart

Ohio only had enough people to apply for statehood in about 1800, and was admitted as a state in 1803. It was still a primitive area at that time in most areas. The period from 1800 to 1820 was the early settlement period for most of Ohio, when basics like surveying, and roads, and post offices, and towns, and schools, and churches, were being started, not to mention the early clearing of the forests into farms. John Earhart was one of those early pioneers in Brown County, Ohio, which is on the southern tier of counties of Ohio, with the Ohio River as its southern boundary and Kentucky its neighbor to the south. Cincinnati is about 100 miles to the west. Pages 556-7 of Beer's History of Brown Co, Ohio, recalls John and Martha Earhart:

"John Earhart, born Oct 11, 1777, in the state of Pennsylvania, came here (Brown Co, OH) in the spring of 1815 (at age 38), and purchased the farm on which he ever afterward lived, located southwest of of Locust Ridge, now the property of George F. Moyer, and present residence of Lydia Thompson. Although he spent much of his time on his farm tilling the soil, he was a cooper by trade, and timber being plenty and of little value until manufactured into implements of utility, the profits of his labor were such as to enable him to live comfortably and happily.

He died in Feb, 1851, and was laid to rest in the little family graveyard on the farm. His sons - Adam, David, John, and William - are still living (when this history was written, which was 1883) Adam and William being present residents of the township. The former was born in Lancaster Co., Penn; came with his father to Ohio when boy not yet four years old, and lived at home until he married and moved on the farm on which he now lives; he also purchased part of the homestead of his father, which joined his first purchase. He (Adam) is in his seventy-first year, and has always made farming his occupation. William was born five years after his father settled at the old home. He, like his father, is a cooper, but does not work much at his trade of late."

Note that Benjamin is not mentioned as son of John in this biographical sketch. By 1880, Benjamin has been gone for more than 20 years Whoever gave the info for this sketch probably didn't know anything about him. Benjamin IS mentioned in John's will.

A cooper is one who makes barrels and casks.

Another biography, of son Adam Earhart, says John's wife's name was Martha, but no clues yet as to her maiden name.

Adam's biography says that John and Martha had 12 children. We have only accounted for nine. If there were 12 children, we believe they died at a young age, but it's possible that we may be missing a branch!

Per Beer's History of Brown Co, OH: "In the western part of the township, religious services were held at the residences of John Earhart and others as early as 1824, by Rev. Beck, a Methodist minister."

John would have been of age to have been in the War of 1812, but we have no evidence that he served. His boys would have been of age to have served in the Mexican - American War (1846-48), but, again, we have no evidence that any of them were. However, a bunch of John's grandchildren were in the Civil War. See our Veteran's Page.

The location of the Earhart home place, which is where John and Martha Earhart are buried, is: left off of Oakland-Locust Ridge Road just before the Locust Ridge city limits. The cemetery has been pastured and neglected for years, all the stones were down and broken in many pieces in 1976, when the Brown County Cemetery Index was made.

There are three Earharts shown as being buried in the family cemetery at Earhart Cemetery No. 1 who we have not been able to place in the family yet. We hope to be able to as time moves on: David, d 06/09/1868, age 72, Andrew H., d 1860, age 32, and Benjamin F, d 1845, age 13.

We have accounted for 387 descendants to date (588 counting spouses) to date, but we have lots of missing downlegs. We believe there are several thousand descendants of this pioneer couple.

Virginia Mary (Earhart) and Isaac Thompson

Virginia Mary Earhart, b abt 1805, married Isaac Thompson, b abt 1807, about 1831, who was the son of Brown County pioneer William Thompson. They had Julia, Caroline, Martha, Andrew, William, Mary, Lorinda, and Maria, all born in Ohio in the years from 1831-1845. William and Andrew were in the Civil War.

Andrew's Civil War recap states: Andrew was the only person present when Gen. McPherson was killed at the battle in front of Atlanta. He (Thompson) was captured here. He is now (1883), and has been for nine years, Superintendent of the Brown County Infirmary. (History of Brown Co / Beers 1883).

Benjamin and Rebecca (Donalson) and Sarah (Shotwell) Earhart

Benjamin, b 1806, and Rebecca, b 1816, were married in 1834 (just before the first wagon trains were starting to traverse the plains) and had three children before Rebecca died in 1842. In 1848, Benjamin then married Sarah (Shotwell) Boulware, the widow of Hiram Boulware, Sr., who also had three children from her previous marriage. Then Benjamin and Sarah had three more kids of their own. So Benjamin and Sarah each had a total of six children of their own and three step-children. (Note: Three of the Earhart boys married three of the neighboring Shotwell girls.)

Unlike many of his siblings, who seemed to stay in Ohio, Benjamin was a traveling sort. He migrated to Putnam Co, Missouri in 1854, when that area was still in its settling stage. Then, sometime in the late 1870's / early 1880's, he homesteaded in Cloud Co, Kansas (Homestead Certificate 3074, application 17117) and was there in the 1885 census. He was at an advanced age at this time, 83. He sold this farm and moved back to Putnam Co, MO where he died in 1894. Sarah followed him in 1903. See his Timeline Biography.

Eliza (Earhart) and George Allen

Eliza Earhart, b 1809, married George Allen b 1803, in the early 1830's and had Martha, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, John, Lurinda, Almira, and Catherine (one boy and seven girls!) between 1833-1847. We believe they stayed in the Brown County area their whole lives. George died in 1888 and Eliza followed in 1893. They are buried in Clover Cemetery in Clermont County, the county just west of Brown County.

Harriet (Earhart) and Jonathon Church

Harriet Earhart, b abt 1811, married Jonathon Church, b abt 1809, about 1835 and they had Byard, James, George, Lionidas, Eliza, Jonathon (Jr.), William, and Martha, from 1835-50, all in Ohio. Byard, James, George, Lionadas, and Jonathon all served in the Civil War in the Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and all returned home safely as far as we know.

Adam and Nancy (Shotwell) Earhart

Adam stayed in Brown County, Ohio all his life and died there. He was primarily a farmer, but also dabbled in the mercantile trade and served as a township officer of different titles in the 1840's and 1850's. (Brown County History / Beers 1883).

Per Beer's Brown County History: "Adam Earhart was born in December 24, 1811, and is a native of Pennsylvania. He is a son of John and Martha Earhart, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they matured and married about the year 1800. Thirteen years later, they emigrated to Virginia, and July, 1814, they pressed onward to Clermont County, Ohio, and in 1815, they moved to Pike Township, Brown Co, Ohio, where they purchased a farm and cultivated it until within a few years of his death, which occurred in Pike Township; our subject being the second son and fifth child of a family of twelve children, of whom six are living. He has been a resident of this county since 1815, where he was raised and schooled, in the pioneer days of the county, passing through many privations and hardships that can be described by only those that experienced the trials of those days.

In August 28, 1833, he married Nancy Shotwell, with whom he lived a long and pleasant life until July 7, 1877, at which time she died, leaving him and six children to survive her. Soon after his marriage, he began farming for himself as a renter; he continued renting for a period of seven years, when he bought eighty-two acres, where he now resides; has since added twenty-three acres, and now owns, in all 105 acres, which has undergone great changes, and is now a fine grain and stock farm operated well.

Mr. and Mrs. Earhart were the parents of nine children, of whom six are now living (in 1883) - Caroline, Alonzo C., Leavitt T., Benjamin, George, and Adam E."

Alonzo C. became a postmaster in Brown Co, Ohio, and was Postmaster in 1883. George was a charter member of the Pike Grange, No. 448 in 1874. Alonzo, Leavitt T., and Benjamin F. were in the Civil War. Another son, John, died at the age of 17, in 1870.

Adam's sons Leavitt T. and Benjamin F. both served in the Civil War. They both served in the Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a unit in which several of their cousins were also in. Although most of the Earharts were shown as privates, Leavitt's record in Beers shows: "enlisted as a private, and was regularly promoted for good conduct to the rank of First Lieutenant."

David and Catherine ( xxx ) Earhart

David, b abt 1815, and Catherine (maiden name unknown), b bef 1825, were married about 1843, and had Agnes, Vanche, Catharine, James, Martha, William, and John O. between approximately 1844 and 1850. We don't know if they stayed in Brown County or not at this point.

John and Margaret (Shotwell) Earhart (Jr.)

John (b 1816) and Margaret (Shotwell) (b 1822) were married in approximately 1841 and had only one son that we know of, Tilford E. Earhart. He died at a young age, just after the Civil War, on May 31, 1866. He was only 24. We don't believe the son was married or had any children before he died. They lived all their lives in Brown County, and all three are buried together in Tate Township Cemetery in neighboring Clermont Co, OH. John passed away in 1899, and Margaret in 1903. Margaret was one of three Shotwell sisters that married three Earhart brothers.

Samuel Earhart

Sam died in 1850, when he was only 30 years old, and is buried in the family cemetery, on the old family farm, called Earhart No. 1 Cemetery (no, I don't think there was a No. 2). We haven't placed Sam in a marriage as yet, and we don't believe he had any descendants. We also don't know what caused his death at such a young age. (See parents biography for directions to the old family farm.)

William and Catherine (Rose) Earhart

William Earhart, b 1820, and Catherine Rose, b abt 1827, were married in 1845, and had Nancy J. and James H between 1847-1849, when the Mexican-American War was going on and when gold was discovered in California. They lived in Brown County, Ohio, their whole lives. William died in 1890, and is buried in Tate Township Cemetery, in neighboring Clermont County, Ohio. We haven't located a grave for Catherine yet.

William, according to his father's biography, was primarily a cooper (i.e. one who makes barrels, and possibly also wooden wagon wheels), one used to forming wood into curves.

About the researchers: Most of what we know about this family before 1900, is from the research of Linda Emry, who has been following this family for twenty years. Norris Taylor and Gay Nyce have joined with Linda recently with details of their branches and have helped fill in some "holes" here and there. This collaboration was made possible by connecting on the internet. We are still missing "live" people in parts of this large family and hope to connect with more branches as time goes on.

Linda is John > Benjamin > Samuel....
Norris is John > Benjamin > Martha Jane > Adolphus Millirons....
Gay is John > Adam > Benjamin Franklin....

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