Tuesday, April 19, 2016

David West (1758 – after 1826) Part 1: 1758 – 1810

Compiled by Joy Ikelman, April 2016. All disclaimers apply.

David West (1758 – after 1826) 
[Part 1: 1758 – 1810]
Thomas West (1630/1631 – 1720) m. Phebe Waters
    Benjamin West (1665 – 1733) m. Hannah Shadduck
        Benjamin West, Jr. (1688 – after 1739) m. Mehitable Bailey
            Elijah West (1722 – 1798) m. (1) unknown; m. (2) Hannah Thurber
                David West (1758 – after 1826) m. Susannah Hoag

Summary: David West is the ancestor of one of our West DNA Family Group #5 participants. At least two generations of David West’s family were members of the Religious Society of Friends. West lived in Dutchess County, NY, Prince Edward County, Ontario, and Genesee County, NY. His children eventually settled in Michigan.

Note: Quaker customs and record-keeping are unique. Please refer to Understanding Quaker Records on this blog site for more information.


Signature from David West’s land lease petition,

Ameliasburg, Prince Edward County, Ontario, 1811.

1758 – 1779: Early Years of David West
David West was born 28 Feb 1758 in Pawling, Dutchess County, NY. [1] His father was Elijah West and his mother is unknown. Elijah West was a tenant farmer [2] and also an innkeeper. [3] David siblings were Benajah, Elisha, Mary, and Abigail. [4]

In 1774, David West’s father, Elijah, moved to Windsor, Windsor County, VT [5].  He married Hannah Thurber [6] and started a new family. He left his five children behind in Dutchess County, NY. David was about 16 years old when his father moved away. It is possible that a neighbor, Nehemiah Merritt, looked over the West children. He is mentioned several times in association with the West family. [7, 8] The Merritts were Quakers, and it possible that David West was led to become a Quaker from this association. Or, he may have joined the Friends after he married.

Circa 1779 – 1782: David West and Susannah Hoag Are Married

Looking for Proof. I thought it was “family tradition” that David West married Susannah (or Susanna) Hoag, who was from a much-respected Quaker family. However, I found only one source for this information.

In about 1949, Julia Hoag Quackenbush donated a typed manuscript about Hoag family history to the New York State Library in Albany. [9] This seems to be the source of the West/Hoag marriage information in various on-line genealogies. In 2001, Frank Doherty cited this source in his narrative on “The Hoag Family” in Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York. [10] The notation from Doherty (Quackenbush) reads: Susanna, b. 3 July 1755; m. David, b. 28 Feb 1758, son of Elijah West of Beekman.

We still need a primary document to show the marriage of West and Hoag. It might be found in an Oblong or Nine Partners Monthly Meeting minute book. [11] For this article, we will assume that Quackenbush’s statement is true. We know from the Quaker records that David married a woman named “Susannah,” because they are found together in two Quaker records. [12]

Estimated Marriage Date. If David was already a member of the Society of Friends, he would have been at least 21 years old when he married Susannah. This was a Quaker custom in the 1700s. [13] Their first child, Benjamin, was born in November of 1782. So, their marriage date would be between 1779 and 1782. Also, if David was not a Quaker at the time of marriage, Susannah would have received mention for “marriage out of unity” or “marriage out of discipline.” It would be recorded in a Meeting minute, and this would give clues to a marriage date.

A Little about the Hoag Family

Hoag Ancestors. There are several versions of Hoag family history in old books and New England genealogies. Here is Susannah’s direct line. Dates are approximate.

    Richard Hoag m. Joan _____
        John Hoag (1643/1644 – 1728) m. Ebezener Emery
            Benjamin Hoag, Sr. (1680 – after 1760) m. (1) Sara Norris; (2) Esther Swett
                Benjamin Hoag, Jr. (1714 – after 1781) [14] m. Lydia Jones
                    Susannah Hoag (1755 – after 1819) m. David West

A common family story is that Richard and Joan Hoag went back to England in the early 1650s, and John stayed behind in Boston as an apprentice. [15] John Hoag eventually moved to Newbury, Essex County, MA. His children became Quakers in the early 1700s. [16] The next two generations lived in Amesbury, Essex County, MA. John Hoag was a local judge during the Salem Delusions (witch trials), but was dismissed because he believed the accusations were false. [17]

The Hoags Move to Dutchess County, NY. The Hoags and other Quakers moved to areas in and around Beekman Patent by the 1740s. [18] They were part of the men and women who established the Oblong Meeting in 1742. [19] Benjamin and Lydia Hoag, Susannah’s parents, came to Dutchess County in about 1755. Benjamin Hoag, Senior and Junior are listed as “Heads of Families” in a 1761 Quaker census (membership list) of Oblong Monthly Meeting. [20]

Susannah’s name and birth date were also listed in this Quaker census. [21] She appears in the list with her brothers and sisters. We do not know if Susannah was born in Amesbury, Essex County, MA, like her older siblings, [22] or in Dutchess County like her younger siblings.

1782 – 1796: Children of David and Susannah West

I believe that the following were David and Susannah’s children:
  • Benjamin West (1782 – 1858)
  • Daughter West (b. ca 1785)
  • Abraham West (1787 – 1864)
  • Jacob West (b. ca 1789 – d. after 1845)
  • Daughter West (b. ca 1793)
  • Levi West (b. 1796 – d. after 1847)
Benjamin, Abraham, Jacob, and Levi have good paper trails. They have geographical locations in common. They are listed together in historical records. The two daughters are implied by the Censuses of 1790 and 1800, and are not proven.
Benjamin was named after Susannah’s father, Benjamin Hoag. This was a Quaker custom. [23] David and Susannah selected Biblical names for their other male children—Abraham, Jacob, and Levi. I spent some time looking for an “Isaac”—as in the Biblical lineage of “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Levi.” [24] There were Isaac Wests in the area, but none were related. Some historians include “Morgan West” as one of the children. He was associated with FG#5 descendants in his later years. [25] As of 2016, there is not enough documentation to prove with certainty that he is related to these West brothers.
1790: U.S. Census of 1790, Dutchess County, NY
In 1790, David West was counted in Washington, Dutchess County, NY. [26] His brother, Elisha, was counted there too. The two names appear on the same Census page.
In 1790, the David West family had one male 16 years and older (David, age 32). There are also five males less than 16 years old. These would be Benjamin, age 8; Abraham, age 3; possibly Jacob, age 1, plus two more boys. There are two females—Susannah, age 35, and probably a daughter, about 6 years old. Perhaps two sons did not survive into the 1800 Census, and this accounts for the two “extra” boys.
There are two more possibilities, based on the Quaker customs of (1) apprenticeships and (2) caring for all children from Meetings. Apprenticeships were almost mandatory during the ages of 14 to 21. Members of a Meeting would decide what a child (male or female) would learn, and pick the family that would provide this education. The children were counted with the family of their “Master.” [27] Friends also placed Quaker children from their Meetings who were orphans or from very poor families. This was called “putting out to Friends.” [28] So, in the 1790 Census, it is possible that David was teaching apprentices, or has taken in children who were in need.
1800: U.S. Census of 1800, Dutchess County, NY
In the 1800 Census, David is still in Washington, Dutchess County, NY. [29] David’s brother Elisha is counted in Stanford, Dutchess County. [30] It is unlikely that either brother moved. In 1793, the Township of Washington had been subdivided into Stanford to the north, and Washington to the south. [31] Elisha was on the tax rolls of Stanford, NY. [32] David was not on the tax rolls. Once again, the numbers of David and Susannah’s children—and their ages—do not add up.
David West’s record shows one male 45 and over—David was actually 42 years old. The record shows one female 26 to 44—Susannah was 44 or 45. There is one female under 10 years old, and one 16 to 25. The record shows two males under ten, and one male 16 to 25 years old. Their son, Benjamin, would have been 18 years old. The two males “under 10” were probably Jacob (age 11) and Levi (age 4). Who was left out? It was Abraham, who was 13 or 14. Abraham was at the right age to be an apprentice for some other Quaker family, and would be counted with them.
1810: U.S. Census of 1810, Greene County, NY
I could not find a record for David West in the 1810 Census. However, his son Jacob West and a female in Jacob’s age group (most likely his wife, Lana) were counted in the Census in Windham, Greene County, NY. [33, 34] He was on the same page as Asael (Asahel/Asahael) Disbrow. He was the father of Polly Disbrow [35]. Polly married David’s son, Benjamin, in 1806. [36]
Benjamin and Polly West were not listed in this Census. In fact, the entire West family, with the exception of Jacob and his wife, were in Upper Canada (Ontario) by 1810.
The Quaker migration to Canada in the early 1800s was a significant time for the Religious Society of Friends. The Friends began to interact with non-Quaker settlers in daily life. This was actually a new idea, and contrary to Quaker discipline that still required that Friends were to be “set apart.” David and Susannah West—and their sons—were part of the modernization that was occurring.  
Please see Part 2: 1810 – 1826 to learn more about David West.  [coming soon] 
References and Additional Notes
West Family DNA group results are at http://web.utk.edu/~corn/westdna/west5.htm.

1. Hartland Monthly Meeting of Friends, “Members of Hartland Monthly Meeting, Niagara County, New York, Residing at Elba, Genesee County, New York,” Membership 1821-1862, H303. Vol. 3.3, p. 8. Archived at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
2. Frank J. Doherty, 1990: “Historical Records,” Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York: An Historical and Genealogical Study of All of the 18th Century Settlers in the Patent, Volume 1, Frank J. Doherty, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Pleasant Valley, NY, p. 352.
3. Frank J. Doherty, 1993: “Abbot to Burtch,” Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York, Volume 2, p. 572.
4. William Slade, compiler, 1823: Vermont State Papers: Being a Collection of Records and Documents, Connected with the Assumption and Establishment of Government by the People of Vermont, J.W. Copeland, Middlebury, VT, p. 504. The names of the children are listed in a land deed dispute.
5. Sherman Evarts, 1914: “The Vermont Constitution and the Constitution House,” The Vermonter, Volume 19, Number 4, April, p. 61.
6. Katherine E. Conlin, Wilma Burnham Paronto, and Stella Vitty Henry, 1977: Chronicles of Windsor, 1761-1975, The Countryman Press, Taftsville, VT.
7. Frank J. Doherty, 2003: “Hunter to Leavens,” Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York, Volume 7, p. 863. Nehemiah Merritt’s land bordered Elijah West’s land. After Elijah moved to Vermont, Merritt took over the rent payments.
8. State of New York, 1925: Minutes of the Committee and of the First Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York, December 11, 1776 – September 23, 1778 with Collateral Documents, New York Historical Society, New York, NY, p. 529. In 1777, Elisha West (brother to David) mentions Nehemiah Merritt in his testimony about a murder case. Elisha was about 17 years old and David was 19.
9. Julia Hoag Quackenbush, 1938-1949: Hoag Ancestry: from John 1st Who Came to this Country, and Includes the Descendants of the Three Sons who Remained Here. Typed manuscript. Archived at the New York State Library in Albany.
10. Frank J. Doherty, 2001: “Hadden to Hunt,” Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York, Volume 6, p. 527.
11. Susannah Hoag’s family attended the Oblong Monthly Meeting and later, Nine Partners Monthly Meeting. Both were in Dutchess County, NY.
12. There are two instances listing David and Susannah together. (1) Farmington Monthly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox), 1803-1897: Men’s and Joint Meetings, 1816-1821, F335, Volume 1.3, pp. 94 and 109. Archived at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. This was a membership transfer to Farmington Monthly Meeting. (2) Hartland Monthly Meeting of Friends, 1821-1905: Vital Records: Marriages 1821-1850, H393, Volume 3.1. Archived at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. David and Susannah West are listed as the parents of Abraham West who is marrying his second wife, Anna French.
13. J. William Frost, 1973: The Quaker Family in Colonial America: A Portrait of the Society of Friends, St. Martin’s Press, NY, p. 136. Age 21 was the age of legal accountability, and men were encouraged to marry after this age. Frost states (p. 151) that in the latter part of the 18th Century, the average age for marriage was 22 for women, and 26.5 for men.
14. Benjamin and Lydia Hoag were witnesses to the marriage of Levi Hoag (Susannah’s brother) in 1781, at Elijah Hoag’s Creek Meeting in Dutchess County. Previously, researchers have listed the death date as “after 1760” for both Benjamin Senior and Junior. The 1781 marriage record is located in Nine Partners Monthly Meeting data—Vital Records: Births, Deaths, Marriages, Disownments, Manumissions 1769-1798, N335, Volume 4.1, p. 32. Archived at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
15. J. Hoag, 2003: The History of the Hoag Family in America. Word document on-line at http://hdhdata.org/whoag/NEW.HOAG-1.doc. Partial revision, 2008. Accessed Feb 2016. This seems to be a working document for genealogies on the Hoag and Emery families, written by a family historian. It is very well researched and documented. Records show that the Hoags were in Boston before 1636.
16. Joseph Hoag, 1846: A Journal of the Life and Gospel Labors of that Devoted Servant and Minister of Christ, Joseph Hoag, printed in 1860 by David Heston, Sherwoods, NY, p. 2-4.
17. Ibid, p. 2.
18. William P. McDermott, 1986: “Colonial Land Grants in Dutchess County, N.Y., A Case Study in Settlement,” The Hudson Valley Regional Review, September, Volume 3, Number 2, p. 15.
19. Frank Hasbrouck, 1909, editor: The History of Dutchess County, New York, S.A. Matthieu, Poughkeepsie, NY, p. 53.
20. Warren H. Wilson, 1907: “Appendix A: List of Heads of Families on the Verge of our Monthly Meeting Held on the Oblong and the Nine Partners Circularly,” Quaker Hill—A Sociological Study, Columbia University, New York, NY. The list was compiled on “4m 16d 1761.”
21. Oblong Monthly Meeting, 1744-1903: Vital Records 1745-1783, Volume 3.1, O373, p. 198. Archived at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
22. The Topsfield Historical Society, 1913: Vital Records of Amesbury, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, Topsfield, MA, p. 126.
23. David Hacker Fischer, 1989: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Oxford University Press, NY, p. 505. In Quaker families during this time, the first son was named after the mother’s father.
24. Book of Genesis, Chapters 25-29. In The Bible, Abraham’s son was Isaac. Isaac’s son was Jacob. Jacob’s son was Levi.  
25. In the 1850 Census, Morgan West was counted with the family of Ira and Elizabeth (West) Smith in Franklin, Fulton County, OH. He was 59. Elizabeth was Abraham’s daughter. The record that follows next is Charles and Lydia (West) Munson. Lydia was Levi’s daughter. By the 1860 Census, Morgan West moved with Elizabeth Smith and her three children to Raisin, Lenawee County, MI. In 1870 at age 79, Morgan West was living with the family of Daniel and Charlotte Smith in Plainfield, Kent County, MI.
26. Census of 1790, Washington, Dutchess County, New York. Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
27. Frost, p. 140. Children attended school from age 7 to 14. At that time an apprenticeship was carefully chosen by parents and by the local Meeting. “The apprentice could be treated as if he were his (the father’s) child, because he was generally an acquaintance’s son or daughter.”
28. Frost, p. 45.
29. Census of 1800, Washington, Dutchess County, New York. Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
30. Census of 1800, Stanford, Dutchess County, New York. Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
31. Hasbrouck, p. 654.
32. New York Comptroller’s Office, 1799-1804: Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, New York State Archives, Albany, NY.
33. Census of 1810, Windham, Greene County, New York. Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
34. William Wade Hinshaw, Thomas Worth Marshall, and Dr. Barlow Lindley, compilers, 1946: “Adrian Monthly Meeting,” Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 1607-1943, Volume IV, p. 1372. Lana is mentioned in the marriage record of Maria West to Henry Leeds in 1842. Maria is the “dt Jacob & Lana, Adrian, Lenawee Co., Mich.”
35. Lorraine Cook White, editor, 1994-2002: The Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Vol. 1-155, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. “Fairfield (Connecticut) Vital Records, 1639-1850,” p. 46.
36. _______, 1888: Portrait and Biographical Album of Lenawee County, Michigan, Chapman Brothers, Chicago, Illinois, p. 452.
Many thanks to Lorelle VanFossen for her excellent genealogical work. VanFossen is a descendant of Levi West. To see her compilation of the descendants of David West, go to: http://family.cameraontheroad.com/family-names/david-west-descendants/

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