Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wives of Dr. Ezekiel Cooper Chew: Caroline

Meet Dr. Ezekiel Cooper CHEW, my paternal 3rd-great grandfather.  I think my dad favors him a bit.  Dr. Chew and the Chew family has been one of my favorite lines to try to search, simply because there are so many of them and they seem to spread out far and wide.  But those stories can wait.  Today I'm going to talk about my attempt to flesh out the details on Dr. Chew's wives.

Dr. Chew's first wife was my 3rd-great grandmother, Caroline Bishop WOOLSTON.  Caroline was born February 6, 1826 in Vincentown, Burlington County, New Jersey, the daughter of Abel B. and Rachel (WOOLSTON) WOOLSTON. The Woolston family was an old Quaker family, much like the Chew family, who had become Methodists after the Revolutionary War.  Caroline had two sisters, Beulah and Sarah, who were well-known missionaries in China.  I am fortunate enough to have a picture of Caroline :

Ezekiel and Caroline had several children: I have 14 named children in my database, which still needs some cleaning up of dates, etc.   The family bible surfaced back in 2002, but I was unable to obtain it.  A transcription of sorts does exist on a message board posting.

Ezekiel and Caroline were married December 29, 1842 in New Jersey, according to the Genealogy of the Chew Family by Robert L. Chew.  The marriage took place in Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Here is a snippet from the Gloucester County Historical Society showing the record:

Source: Marriage record database, Gloucester County New Jersey Historical Society,, accessed 18 November 2010.

I am not a member of the society, so I couldn't pull up the full record.  I was unable to locate this marriage in the database of New Jersey marriages.  However, the beta site had the following:

Groom's NameEzekiel C. Chew
Groom's Birth Date
Groom's Birthplace
Groom's Age
Bride's NameCarolina B. Woolston
Bride's Birth Date
Bride's Birthplace
Bride's Age
Marriage Date29 Dec 1842
Marriage PlaceWoodbury, New Jersey
Groom's Father's Name
Groom's Mother's Name
Bride's Father's Name
Bride's Mother's Name
Groom's Race
Groom's Marital Status
Groom's Previous Wife's Name
Bride's Race
Bride's Marital Status
Bride's Previous Husband's Name
Indexing Project (Batch) NumberM01430-5
System OriginNew Jersey-EASy
Source Film Number1001853
Reference Number

After their marriage, Ezekiel and Caroline lived in Blackwood, New Jersey where  Ezekiel was the town doctor.  They moved to Montgomery County, Ohio before 1850, as the family was enumerated their in the 1850 cenus in Jackson Township.  Living with them in the household, was Ezekiel's father, Nathaniel, a preacher.

 Source: Ezekiel Chew household, 1850 Census, Jackson Twp., Mongtomery County, Ohio, dwelling 901, family 901, [database on-line]

Caroline is enumerated as Cordelia in this census record for some reason.  Her age is listed as 24 years, born in New Jersey.  The children listed are Abel, age 6 born New Jersey; Nathaniel, age 5 born New Jersey; Mary, age 3 born New Jersey; James age 2 born Iowa; Milford age 3 months born Ohio.  Also listed in the household was Ezekiel's father, Nathaniel Chew, age 64, occupation Preacher, born New Jersey.

From this reading sometime between 1847 and 1848 the family was in Iowa, where son James was born.  There were other members of the Chew family known to be located in Mahaska County, Iowa at this time.

According to the 1922 history of Jay County, Indiana, by 1855 Dr. Chew was residing in Farmersville, Montgomery County, Ohio and by 1857 the family was in Ft. Jefferson, Darke County, Ohio.  The next census of 1860 finds the family in Neave Township, Darke County, Ohio.

Source: Zeechel Chew household, 1860 census, Neave Twp., Darke County, Ohio, dwelling 1166, family 1128, [database on-line]

Caroline was enumerated in this census as being aged 34, born in New Jersey. The children listed were A.W. [Abel Woolston], aged 17 born New Jersey; Nathaniel aged 15 born New Jersey; Mary aged 13 born New Jersey; Sarah aged 8 born New Jersey; Caroline aged 6 born New Jersey; William aged 2 born Ohio; and Zeechel [Ezekiel] aged 1 born Ohio.  Again, father-in-law Nathaniel Chew, 74 year old minister, born in New Jersey, was living with the family.

By this census, sons James (1848) and Millard F. (1850) were deceased, as well as another son Samuel W. (1852) not recorded in any census records.

If daughter Sarah's birthplace is correctly recorded, then the family would have moved back to New Jersey sometime around 1852-53 and then would have been back in Ohio by 1855 to be living in Farmersville.  Later census records for Sarah reflect a New Jersey birth, so the family must have gone back "home" to New Jersey for a time. Caroline's mother, Rachel WOOLSTON (1800-1851) died in Burlington County, New Jersey on September 11, 1851, so perhaps the family went back to New Jersey to help settle the estate.

Records for Ezekiel place him in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana in 1863-64.  In May 1863 he was assessed federal income tax as a lawyer in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana.  On June 24, 1863 he was again assessed federal tax as a lawyer in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana.  On January 24, 1864 he was assessed a tax as a physician in Lancaster [now Salamonia], Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana.

The census of 1870, however, finds them living in New Madison, Twin Township, Darke County, Ohio.

Source: Ezekiel Chew household, 1870 census, Twin Twp., Darke County, Ohio, dwelling 128, family 127, [database on-line].

Caroline was enumerated in this census as 44 years old, born in New Jersey and keeping house.  The children were Sarah age 17 born New Jersey; Carrie B. age 16 born Ohio; Cooper age 14 born Ohio; Willie A. age 12 born Ohio; Charles age 10 born Ohio; Horace age 5 born Ohio; and Dona age 1 born Ohio.

By the time of this census, son Jesse (1862) had been born and died; and the older children had began to marry and have families of their own.  Abel married Salome HOLDEMAN September 25, 1862 in Greenville, Darke County, Ohio.  Nathaniel had married Margaret HEISTAND on April 18, 1867 in Darke County, Ohio.  Mary had married Luman LEMASTERS on October 2, 1864 in Versailles, Darke County, Ohio.

Catherine died on February 27, 1879 and is buried in the Webster Cemetery, Rossburg, Darke County, Ohio.  A memorial page has been created at the Find A Grave website.  

Caroline's sister, Sarah WOOLSTON, wrote her will dated September 29, 1879 which makes interesting mention of our Dr. Ezekiel Cooper Chew.  Fortunately, her estate would up going to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Thanks to Google Books, I found Reports of cases decided in the Court of Chancery of the state of New Jersey, Volume 79.

In her will, Sarah, who had been a missionary in China, wrote  the following items:

Fourth: I give and bequeath to each one of the ten children of my deceased sister Caroline B. Chew, to them and their heirs, the sum of twenty-five dollars.  The shares of the younger children to remain in the hands of my executrix or executor until each one comes to the age of twenty-one years when it shall be paid to him with interest from the time of my decree.

Seventh: And I will and direct that the other half of all moneys belonging to my estate be divided into twelve equal parts, two of these parts shall be given  to my sister Rebecca Ann H. Deacon to her and her heirs, and the other ten parts shall be given to the ten children, to them and their heirs, of my deceased sister Caroline B. Chew.  And I do further will and direct that the shares of such of these children as are minors shall remain in the hands of my executor until each one is twenty-one years of age when it shall be paid to him with interest from the time of my decease.  And I do especially direct that my executor shall see that each one of these children receives his and her full part without any diminution whatever.

Eighth: In case the father, Ezekiel Cooper Chew, of the ten children of my deceased sister Caroline B. Chew, under any pretense whatsoever, claim any part or portion of the share or shares of any one or more of these children, then I do will and direct that they receive only twenty dollars each, and the remainder of these ten shares shall be given to the American Bible Society to be used in printing the Holy Scriptures in the Chinese language.

Apparently, Dr. Chew did not endear himself to his sister-in-law, Sarah, who was concerned that he might claim an interest in her estate.

Next, I will focus on Dr. Chew's second wife, Laura...

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