Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Doctor's Daughter, Mary Keziah (Chew) Lemasters (1847-1927), 52 Ancestors # 14

Mary Keziah (Chew) Lemasters

The 14th ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is my paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Keziah (Chew) Lemasters (1847-1927).  Mary is number 17 on my Ahnentafel list, and previously I've written about the details of her life in an Exploratory Data post.

I am descended through:
* her son # 8 Luman Cooper LeMasters (1867-1933), married # 9 Barbara Isabel Wehrly (1869-1930) in 1886.  
* their son, # 4 Ord Wehrly LeMaster (1906-1971), married # 5 Ruth Pauline Haley (1911-1990) in 1932 - my grandparents.

Mary was born February 13, 1847 in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey1,2, the daughter of Dr. E.C and Caroline B. (Woolston) Chew.  She was the oldest daughter of the family.

Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Ohio, where in 1850 they were living in Jackson Township of Montgomery County3.  By 1860, the family was living in Neave Township of Darke County, Ohio4, where her father was a doctor.

At age 17, Mary married Luman Walker Lemasters Jr. on October 2, 1864 at Versailles, Darke County, Ohio5. Luman was a Civil War veteran who had been discharged on May 4, 1864 due to injuries he had received in battle.  Luman had enlisted from Jay County, Indiana, which borders Darke County, Ohio to the northwest.  The distance between Versailles, Ohio and Portland, Indiana is about 52 miles.

While it is possible that the families knew each other before the war, my theory is that they met during Luman's convalescence, perhaps when Mary's father, Dr. Ezekiel Cooper Chew, was treating him for his war wounds.   Tax records show that E.C. Chew was listed as a physician on January 25, 1864 in Lancaster, Jay County, Indiana6.  Lancaster is the former name of the village of Salamonia, near where the Lemasters family was from.

After their marriage, the family alternated between living in Ohio and Indiana.  Their daughter Beulah was born in Ohio in 1865, but son Luman was born in Jay County, Indiana in 1867.  Mary and Luman lived in Darke County, Ohio, renting land where they were enumerated in 1870 in Allen Township7.  By 1876, they were back in Jay County when their son Ord was born, and the family was enumerated in 1880 in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana8.

Mary was the mother of 11 children, 10 of whom survived into adulthood.  The family was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church of Salamonia, and led to its organization in 1876.  As mentioned in the biography in the 1922 county history, Mary was a Sunday school teacher for several years.

When Mary died in Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana on February 22, 19272, she was 80 years old.  She and her husband are buried in the Salamonia Cemetery.


1. Mary K. Lemaster obituary, Commerial-Review, Portland, Indiana, February 22, 1927, page 1.
2. Mary K. LeMaster, death certificate Book H-8, page 144 (1927), Jay County Health Department, Portland, Indiana.
3. Ezekiel Chew household, 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Jackson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, dwelling 901, family 901; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 714.
4. Ezekiel Chew household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Neave Township, Darke County, Ohio, dwelling 1166, family 1128, page 164.
5. Milton T. Jay, History of Jay County, Indiana: including its World War Record and Incorporating the Montgomery History (Indianapolis, Indiana : Historical Publishing Company, 1922), page 196.
6. U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data:National Archives (NARA) microfilm series: M603, M754-M771, M773-M777, M779-M780, M782, M784, M787-M789, M791-M793, M795, M1631, M1775-M1776, T227, T1208-T1209; Chew, E.C., District 11, Monthly Tax Lists, January 1864.
7. Luman Lemasters household, 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Allen Township, Darke County, Ohio, North Star P.O., sheet 21, page 12, dwelling 79, family 79; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 1194
8. Walker Lemasters household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 161, SD 6, page 4, dwelling 47, family 48; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 287.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge was created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog.  The premise is to write once a week about a specific ancestor - whether it be a story, a biography, a photograph or a research problem.

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