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The Migrations of the Children of
Henry and Mary McCart
Who Were Early Ohio Pioneers - circa 1800

Researcher: Norris Taylor

Parent's Page: Henry and Mary McCart
Henry McCart, Jr.
John McCart
Jesse McCart
Martha (McCart) Crawford
Sarah (McCart) Taylor
Amy (McCart) Bigelow
Rachel (McCart) Vanetta


One thing must be said for the McCart's.. they were cutting edge pioneers. Notice:

So, as you can see, the kids seemed to inherit a sense of pioneering spirit from their parents, coming to lands before roads and post offices were established and before the land had ever been broken for farming.

Following is an accounting of the migrations of the children of Henry and Mary McCart that we have found thus far.

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Henry McCart (Jr.)

Raised in Richland Co, OH. We see a Henry McCart moved to Walworth County, Wisconsin, in 1837, one of it's earliest settlers. The 1882 History of Walworth County, Wisconsin reports him as not living at that time, 1882. I believe him to be the older boy, Henry, primarily because three young McCart's show up in Walworth County in the late 1830's, all with names of our McCart siblings and one is married to the nephew of Gideon Bigelow, who their mother married after Henry died. . He didn't use Jr., and was referred to in the chancery for dower proceedings only as Henry. I have seen references to a person who seems to be this Henry as William Henry in the LDS Ancestral File, but I have not found any official document to support that.

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John McCart

From a newspaper account of his mother's chancery for dower court action, the reason that court action had to take place to assert the mother's dower rights in the farm that Henry McCart owned when he died, was that John McCart had left home and couldn't be located. That was in 1831. So, a court action and public notice had to be done for her to get the property. That's all we know about John at present.

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Jesse McCart

A Jesse McCart is reported to be one of the early pioneers of Johnson County, Iowa, in the late 1830's. Is cited in several places in the History of Johnson County, Iowa, for serving on a jury, on a tax roll, etc. This Jesse McCart is a good candidate to be our Jesse.

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Martha McCart

A Martha McCart was married to a J. Crawford in Walworth County, Wisconsin in 1837. It was the first marriage in the county. This is one of the young McCart's that show up in Walworth County, all with given names of three of Henry and Mary McCart's children.

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James and Sarah (McCart) Taylor

They lived in Richland County, OH, for about thirteen years after marrying in 1843. In 1856, they migrated to Washington Co, IA, the county just south of Johnson County, IA, where Jesse McCart moved to. See the biography of James and Sarah (McCart) Taylor.

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Daniel and Amy (McCart) Bigelow
Biographical Sketch
History of Walworth County, WI - 1882
Western Historical Company

"DANIEL BIGELOW, farmer, sec 17; PO Millard. He has 140 acres of land; is the son of Daniel and Emma Bigelow, was born near Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 24, 1815. He came to Milwaukee with his parents in 1834. They made their home in the woods, on the Milwaukee River, four miles above Juneau's trading post, which was about all there was of Milwaukee at the time. There his father built a saw-mill, and the family resided at that place until April, 1837, when he came to Sugar Creek, Walworth Co; located on the land which he now occupies until 1841, where he also kept bacehlor's hall. Then he went to Ashland, Ohio, and was married the 21st of that month, to Miss Amy McCart, daughter of John McCart (See Editors Note Below). Mrs. Bigelow was born in Richland Co, Ohio. They at once proceeded to take possession of the log cabin at Sugar Creek. In the course of time they were blessed with four children, three daughters and a son - Mary, Dora, A.D. and Ella. The oldest daughter married is the wife of Charles Kinne, of Sugar Creek. Dora is Mrs. Robert Hall, of Vivian, Waseca, Co, Minn. A.D. married Miss Melissa Welch, and resides in Sugar Creek. Mr. Bigelow has served two terms as Assessor of Sugar Creek. During the year of 1874, he made a tour of California and Oregon. Fine buildings and a well cultivated farm now greet the eyes in place of the log cabin and woods of 1837, on the site of the old claim."

The History of Walworth County goes on to say:

"Daniel Bigelow was one of the earliest comers of 1837. He took up his claim, where he still lives, on Section 17, where the first plowing in the town was done, and the first crop of Winter wheat was harvested.

"Daniel Bigelow and John Byrd did the first breaking on Sections 8 and 17, in the summer of 1837. They plowed nearly fifty acres which was sown to winter wheat, and was, when harvested in 1837, the first crop of wheat raised in the town. They did their plowing with two yoke of oxen. After it was finished, Mr. Bigelow went with the team to Ottawa, Illionois, a distance of over one hundred miles, for the seed wheat required. It cost him in Ottawa $2.00 per bushel. So scarce was seed wheat in the newly-settled country that on his return he was offered $5.00 per bushel. Nothing short of the price of his whole expected crop could have bought it. These pioneer families lived on the plainest possible fare while starting this first field, and it required fortitude, patience, and perserverance to inaugurate farming, even on the fertile fields of Sugar Creek, WI, forty five years ago.

"The first road was the mail route from Milwaukee to Janesville, via Troy, opened in 1838 ( a year after the Bigelow's and other early settlers arrived). In 1839, the territorial road from Racine was opened through the town.

"The first post office was established in 1840. The first general store was opened in 1840. The first school was opened in 1840.

"Thus, from the small cabin of the hermit Davis, in 1836, and the first field of Daniel Bigelow, in 1837, have grown the broad acres of well-tilled farms, dotted with farmhouses, and barns and granaries; the homes of as thrifty and independent a people as dwells in all the land. Nowhere but in America have such marvelous changes been wrought within the span of a single life and the memory of men still living."

Editor's Note: The article lists John McCart as Amy's father. I believe that Henry McCart of Richland Co, OH was her father for the following reasons: Henry had a daughter named Amy, per chancery for dower court action, documented. The Bigelow genealogy has this Amy, wife of Daniel, as the daughter of Henry and Mary McCart. The only John McCart I have run across in Richland County, OH, from 1809 through 1850, was the John McCart mentioned in one of the early histories of Richland Co as being there in 1809. But, he is not listed in any subsequent census, or any other record that I can find. The only other John was Amy's brother. However, it's always precarious to assume a historical record has a mistake because it doesn't fit the "neat" picture I have drawn. I will be looking for other evidence to show that this Amy is the daughter of the Richland County, OH, Henry McCart.

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Benjamin and Rachel (McCart) Vanatta

Rachel married Benjamin Vanatta in Richland County, Ohio, on November 9, 1843. I haven't been able to locate them as yet. There is a 27 year-old Rachel, about the right age, with a small child, Josephine, in the household of her 65 year-old step-father, Gideon Bigelow, in 1850. However, the census shows the surname as Bigelow, simply by showing "ditto" marks for her. If the name in the census is wrong, and this is really Rachel (McCart) Vanatta, this could suggest either a death of Benjamin, divorce, or simply Benjamin was out west somewhere establishing a home for the family, and that she was simply staying with her step-father in the meantime.

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Related Links

Return to the McCart Index at this site.

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