Moses Stewart (10 September 1792 – 29 November 1874)

Early Settler of Ohio

The proof of his parentage is circumstantial and explained elsewhere.  His widow’s War of 1812 pension application states that Moses Stewart was, “as she understands”, born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, served in an Ohio Militia company in Greene County, Ohio, and married her back in Indiana County.

His father was the Andrew Stewart from Indiana County, Pennsylvania who died about September 1805 in Champaign County, Ohio.   He was among the early settlers of Greene County, Ohio, being enumerated as one of 154 white males over 21 in Beaver Creek Township on 10 May 1803 just a few weeks after the county was created. 1

On 18 September 1805 Jacob Shingledecker and John Shingledecker of Greene County and Abigail Stuart of Champaign County posted a bond of $8,000 in Champaign County as joint administrators of the estate of Andrew Stewart, deceased. 2   It seems nearly certain that Abigail Stewart was a sister of the Shingledeckers, the evidence for which is explored elsewhere on this site.  (The estate may also have spilled into Greene County, but its records are lost for the period.)

Most early Ohio records, including federal censuses before 1820, no longer exist.  But we have record that his mother Abigail Stewart remarried in 1807 in Greene County to Elisha Chambers and the 1820 census found Elisha Chambers and the brothers Moses Stewart and Andrew Stewart enumerated consecutively in Beaver Creek township of Greene County.  Both Andrew and Moses were again enumerated consecutively in 1830.

War of 1812 Service

We know from his pension application that Moses Stewart served in the War of 1812 under Captain Jacob Shingledecker in or around Greene County, Ohio.  Contemporary records tell us that Moses Stewart and his brother Andrew Stewart both served in the 1st Regiment of Ohio Militia in a company commanded by their presumed uncle Jacob Shingledecker.  (More on that later.)   The company also included Jacob’s brothers John and Isaac Shingledecker.  The company was organized in Greene County and was active from 24 August to 31 December 1812.3

Dealing with his father’s estate

According to the widow’s pension application, Moses Stewart married in Indiana County, Pennsylvania to Teresa Cannan (1800 – 9 October 1886).  His brother Andrew Stewart married her sister Lavinia Cannon on the same day  A search for their family may be found here.

On 3 November 1817  Jacob Shingledecker, administrator of Andrew Stewart’s estate, appointed Moses Stewart and Andrew Stewart, residents of Greene County, Ohio, to collect whatever was due to the estate of their father from two men in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.4. Less that four months later Moses Stewart and his wife Teresa and Andrew Stewart and his wife Lavinia sold their interests in “two adjoining tracts of land situate in Black Lick Township, Indiana County, late the estate of Andrew Stewart dec’d.”  ((Indiana County, PA, Deed Book 3, page 205.))

After the War

Moses Stewart appears in the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Beaver Creek township, Greene County, Ohio about halfway between Xenia and Dayton.5 6  In both censuses he was enumerated adjacent to his brother Andrew Stewart.  Andrew Steward died not long after 1830 and Moses apparently moved just over the county line to the vicinity of Dayton about that time.

Moses Stewart was enumerated in the 1840 census of Montgomery County, Ohio with a household that included only eight of the first ten children below.7   In 1850 he was enumerated in Clay township, Montgomery County with his six youngest children still in the household. 8

By the 1860 census Moses and “Terrisa” Stewart were living in the tiny township of Bond, in the northern part of Lawrence County, Illinois with only the last four children still in the household.  (Lawrence County is on the west bank of the Wabash River opposite Knox County, Indiana.)  The Illinois state census of 1865 appears to show the same household. 9  In 1870 Moses and “Trica” were living with their daughter Sarah and her husband Robert Duff, next door to their son Amos.  By the 1880 census Moses was dead and “Terracy” was living with her son Henry Stewart.

War of 1812 Pension

Until 1871 pensions were only available to soldiers who were injured in the war and to widows of soldiers who were killed.  On 14 February 1871 of a new pension act awarded pensions to surviving soldiers who had served at least 60 days and to widows of soldiers providing they were married prior to the end of the war.

On 10 September 1873 Moses Stewart, residing in Bond township, Lawrence County, Illinois, but giving his mailing address as Crawfordsville, Crawford County, Illinois, applied for a pension for his War of 1812 service. 10  He declared that he enlisted at Old Town [near Xenia], Ohio on 12 August 1812 in Capt. Jacob Shindledecker’s company of Ohio militia and served until sometime in March 1813, being discharged at Ft. Meigs.  He later declared that he was discharged on 24 October 1812, thus barely meeting the 60-day service requirement.  Rosters of that company also included his brother Andrew Stewart and  Jacob Shingledecker’s brothers John and Abraham Shingledecker.  (Also in the company was an Aaron Stewart, who may have been related, and a cousin named Andrew Longstreth.) The company was raised in Greene County and served from 24 August to 31 December 1812 according to other sources.11

His initial application suggested that Moses Stewart subsequently served a second term in a different unit.  He declared that at some unspecified date at Ft. Meigs he “joined Harrison at Carrion Ridge after the defeat of Winchester” — an event that too place on 22 January 1813 — “and marched back to Fort Meigs & stayed there till discharged, had a skirmish with the British & Indians while at Ft. Meigs.”  Fort Meigs was constructed beginning in February 1813, so he may have played some role in its building but his name does not appear on the few surviving muster rolls.

I note that the application lists his wife’s maiden name as “Clarissa Canam”, an error that his attorney later corrected when it arose during his widow ‘s pension claim.  Moses Stewart signed by mark, so he was evidently unable to proofread the application.

The Widow’s Pension Application

After his death in 1874 his widow “Teracy” applied for a widow’s pension. 12  She declared that her maiden name was Teracy Cannam  and that they married on 12 February 1818 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.   I note that she could not sign her own name and her first name in the pension file is spelled both as Teracy and Terracy (and once as Theresa)  and her last name appears as both Canam and Cannam.  (The death certificate of their son Henry Vantile Stewart appears to declare his parents as Moses Stewart and “Tericey Cannon”.  The death certificate of his brother Amos Alexander Stewart lists his parents as Moses Steward and “Tracia Cannon”.)

A declaration she signed with her mark on 2 January 1875 included the information that she was 74 years old; that Moses Stewart died 29 November 1874; that her maiden name was Teracy “Cannan”; and that they were married on 12 February 1818 by —— Howard, J. P. in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

The widow’s pension was denied because the only widows eligible to receive a pension were those who married the soldier before the end of the war.  The Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, was ratified on 17 February 1815.  Thus a marriage in 1818 was too late to qualify.

On 9 March 1878 a new pension act accommodated widows who had married after the war, and Teracy Stewart applied again for a widow’s pension.  Lacking proof of her marriage, she provided statements by several neighbors and a lawyer that she and Moses were man and wife.  She also changed the year of her marriage, claiming that she had earlier misstated the year owing to lack of records and faulty memory.  She declared on 4 June 1878 that, while she was certain of the day and month of her marriage, she “does not remember certainly the year but thinks it was 1815 because she was 77 years old last spring and was fifteen years old when she married.”13  I note that the birth of the eldest child in 1820, together with the 1818 deed mentioned above, suggest that the 1818 date for the marriage is correct.  Teracy Stewart may have claimed the 1815 date after consulting with her sister Lavinia.

Moses’ brother Andrew Stewart, who served in the same company, had married Teracy’s sister Lavina Cannam.   Lavina Stewart applied for a widow’s pension of her own, but was careful to claim a marriage date prior to the end of the war. 14   On 15 March 1879 Lavinia Stewart of Dayton, Ohio, provided an affidavit (signed with her mark)  on behalf of her sister Teracy .  She declared that she and Andrew Stewart and Teracy Cannam and Moses Stewart were married in Indiana County, Pennsylvania by the same justice of the peace on the same day: 12 February 1815 — five days before the cutoff date for the Act of 1871.

The pension was awarded in the amount of $8 per month and continued until her death on 9 October 1886.

In her second application was some useful information.15 She stated that Moses Stewart was “as she understands” born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.  Although she did not know him prior to his discharge from the militia, she thought he was a farmer before the war.  She described him as 5′ 8″ tall with blue eyes, light hair and a “light complexion”.  She again stated that her name before marriage was Teracy Cannam, and that she was married on  her father’s farm in Indiana County.  She stated that her husband died at home in Bond township on 29 November 1874.

She also declared that they moved from Indiana County to Cincinnati “in the spring and staid (sic) till fall” apparently meaning 1815 (or 1818).  “From Cincinnati they moved on a farm ten miles east of Dayton, Ohio; lived there about three years, from there moved to to Dayton, Ohio, lived there five years, from there moved onto a farm north of Dayton fifteen miles, lived there seven years, from there moved to the farm in Lawrence County, Illinois where they ever after lived and where the said Stewart died.”16  This fifteen-year span in Ohio doesn’t quite match the reality of census records, which show them living in the vicinity of Dayton from at least 1820 through 1850.

Records of the children

Moses Stewart died intestate, and Henry V. Stewart was appointed administrator of the estate.  According to estate records the living children were named Annie, Mary, John, Moses, Amos Alexander, and Henry V. 17

Sue (Mrs. James) Lovell of Floydada, Texas provided me with a Bible record of the children.  The precise source of this record was not disclosed.

  1. Mary Stewart (25 November 1818 – ?)
  2. Anna Stewart (11 November 1820 – ?)
  3. Lieutetia Stewart (17 March 1823 – c1845?) As “Luticia Stuart” she married in Montgomery County to Oscar McCoy on 27 January 1841 with her father’s consent.  Their son David was born on 2 November 1841.  The couple moved to adjacent Butler County, where Oscar McCoy died intestate in 1844.  Leticia appears to have died about the same time,
  4. Moses Stewart (22 June 1825 – ca1903)  See separate paper.
  5. George Washington Stewart (20 January 1828 – ?)  He married Abby [Happy] Jemima Criswell in Montgomery County, Ohio on 3 March 1850 by license dated 28 February 1850.   The 1850 census enumerated her as “Abby”, when they were living with her father John Criswell in Dayton.   He was perhaps the same person who registered for the draft in 1863 as a resident of Franklin Township, Ross County, but was not further traced.
  6. Andrew Jackson Stewart (22 February 1830 – ?)
  7. John Alexander Stewart (2 January 1832 – ?)
  8. Teressa Jane Stewart (14 June 1834 – ?)
  9. Henry Vantile Stewart (28 January 1837 – 21 December 1916)  His death certificate [abstracted] lists his parents as Moses Stewart and “Tersicey Cannon”.
  10. Amos Alexander Stewart (25 November 1839 – 8 November 1922)  He remained in Lawrence County, living in Bond.  He married Nancy Jane Vaught 26 September 1866, but never had children.  They are in the censuses beginning in 1870 as a childless couple, living next door to his parents in 1870. Nancy died on 21 June 1917, her death record naming her parents as Jefferson Vaught and Barbara Winn.   His death record lists his father as Moses Stewart, mother as “Tracia Cannon” and his birthplace as Dayton, Ohio.  Both Amos and Nancy are buried in the Derr Cemetery in Lawrence County.  His gravestone gives the year of his death as 1923.
  11. John Stewart (20 July 1842 – ?)
  12. Sarah Elmira Stewart (25 November 1844 – 26 March 1871)
  1. George F. Robinson, History of Greene County, Ohio (S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1902), page 24. []
  2. Champaign County Administration Bonds and Settlements Book 1, page 11.  Securities were James Demint and Robert Boyce of Champaign County. []
  3. Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, page 12. []
  4. Indiana County, PA, Deed Book 3, page 188. []
  5. 1820 census, Greene County:  Andrew Stewart 100010–101, Moses Stewart 000010–201 []
  6. 1830 census, Greene County, p335: Moses Stewart 300001–02101, Andrew Stewart 121001–101001 []
  7. 1840 Census, Montgomery County:  Moses Stuard 2120001-010201. []
  8. Montgomery County, Ohio 1850 census, p423:  Moses Stewart 60 PA, farmer $1000, Clarasa 52 PA, Andrew 20 OH, Clarasa 16 OH, Henry 12 OH, Alexander 10 OH, John 8 OH, Elmira 6 OH. []
  9. He is listed as “M. Steward” with 3 males and one female between 10 and 20, and one male and one female between the ages of 60 and 70. []
  10. Original Pension File for Claim No. 29261 and Pension Certificate No. 21093, Widow’s Claim No. 11263 and Cert. No. 27263. []
  11. Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, page 12. []
  12. Widow’s Claim No. 11263. []
  13. Declaration dated 4 June 1878. []
  14. Widow’s Claim No. 35931 and Pension No. 25853. []
  15. Declaration dated 4 June 1878. []
  16. Declaration dated 4 June 1878. []
  17. Stewart Clan Magazine, Vol. XIX, No. 10 (April 1942), page 264. []