Many Branches of My Family Tree From Washington County, Ohio & Beyond

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  • ID: I3689
  • Name: Willard GREENE , Sr.
  • Sex: M
  • Title: Captain
  • Birth: ABT 14 JUL 1773 in Unknown (possibly in Rhode Island).
  • Death: 10 FEB 1839 in Constitution, Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio at the age of 65 years, 6 months, and 27 days.
  • Burial: Gravel Bank Cemetery, Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio (Age 65Y 6M 27D)
  • Event: Migrated At one time he and his family lived in Lorain Co., Ohio (See letter to Ephraim Cutler)
  • Occupation: Keel-boat Captain, possibly hulling salt from the salt mills, and stone quarries for his brother in-law, Nathan Cole; Grave Stone Cutter & Farmer
  • Event: Relationship 5th Gr. Grandfather of Debbie Noland Nitsche
  • Event: Clue Willard states in his letter to Ephriam Cutler, written in 1831 that he first saw the State of Ohio about 36 yrs. ago. That would of been about the year of 1795. Also states that Willard lived in the same space (Warren Twp) for 30 + odd yrs.
  • Religion: Methodist
  • Reference Number: 3689
  • Note:
    From Williams' History of Wash. Co., Ohio 1788-1881 pg. 535
    "Captain Willard Green lived on the farm now owned by Dean Briggs. He married Lizzie Cole, daughter of John Cole. Before coming to Warren Twp, the family of Captain Willard Greene lived at Hughes River, Virginia, where the forest was dense and full of wild animals. The captain was necessarily absent most of the time, and Mrs. Green was herself compelled to hunt the cow in the woods. One evening, taking her baby, she set out, and guided by the sound of the bell, came to a small ravine, and through the shadow of the trees and underbrush she thought she saw a man approching. She caught occasional glimpses of him as she went down into the ravine, but on coming nearer was startled to find herself in the presence of a large black bear. It suddenly occurred to her that animals could be controlled by the human eye. She hastily wrapped the baby in her stout apron, and looking the monster steadily in the eye, clapped her hands vigorously. The bear, to her great relief, turned and walked away. Mrs. Greene lived to be ninety-six years old, and died in Warren Twp. on May 4, 1869."

    NOTE: The Statement above by H. Z. Williams........"Before coming to Warren Twp, the family of Captain Willard Greene lived at Hughes River, Virginia, where the forest was dense and full of wild animals.".......I'm wondering if Willard was a boatman hauling Salt and employed by the Salt Furnaces in the Kanawha, Virginia (now WV) area. (See notes for the parents of Elizabeth and Ceacy Casey)

    Williams History also states in the Dunham Twp. chapter that in 1801 the first Nathan Cole was the first one to own a tavern there, and Willard Green was a fiddler, and played at parties and dances. Nathan Cole was Lizzie's 1/2 brother.


    1807 Enumeration of Belpre Township (taken before Warren Township was formed), several familiar names appear in the following order: Benj. F. Stone, John Torrence, Nathan Cole, Willard Harris, Willard Greene, Thomas Bartley, Asa Cole, John Cole, Ichabod Cole, Gideon Rathbon, and Ephraim Cutler. When I put this list with the notes on land owners, it appears that the enumerator was moving up the Ohio River from Belpre. ---------------Linda Showalter (Constitution, Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio Historian)

    State: OH County: Washington County
    Township: Bell Prie (Belpre) Year: 1809
    Record Type: Tax List Page: 020 Database: OH Early Census Index

    State: OH County: Washington County
    Township: No Township Listed Year: 1810
    Record Type: Tax list Page: 028 Database: OH 1810 Washington Co. Census Index

    1810 Census, Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio
    Males: To 10 yrs: 1 <- Willard, Jr.
    26-45 yrs: 1 <- Willard, Sr.
    Females: To 10 yrs: 3 <- Two females would be Eliza & Louisa. Don't know who the 3rd one is.
    10-16 yrs: 2 <- Dorinda & Sylvina
    26-45 yrs: 1 <- Elizabeth

    1811 Enumeration Census
    Greenes listed in Warren Township, Washington County, Ohio
    Willard Greene, Daniel Greene, William Greene, and Thomas Greene.

    1820 Census, Warren Twp., Washington Co. Ohio
    Willard GREEN
    Males: To 10: 1 - (unknown male b. bet. 1810-1820)
    16-26: 1 - ( this is Willard, Jr.)
    45+: 1 - (this is Willard, Sr.)
    Females: To 10: 2 - (this is Eliza & Louisa)
    10-16: 2 - (this be Harriet & Dorinda)
    45+: 1- (this is Elizabeth)
    NOTE: Sylvina was m. in 1816. She is listed with her husband, Joel Dodge)

    1830 Census, Warren Twp., Washington Co. Ohio
    Willard GREENE
    Males: 10-15: 1 (unknown male, b. bet. 1810-1825.
    50-60: 1 (this is Willard, Sr.)
    Females: 30-40: 1 (this is Dorinda)
    50-60: 1 (this is Elizabeth)

    Concerning MALES in the 1820 Census: Don't know who the one in the age bracket To 10 yrs. would be. Most likely the same MALE 10-15 yrs. in the 1830 census. This tells me that there was another son, that I can't find. May have died before 1850. The one in the 1820 census would be Willard Jr. He was married and out of the home before 1830.

    Concerning the FEMALES in the 1820 census: To 10 yrs, one may be Louisa. 10-16 yrs. is most likely Dorinda and Eliza. In the 1830 census 30-40 Yrs. would be Dorinda. She married when she was 40 yrs. old.

    Deed Book 22, page 530, and is for 8-acre lot #1008 in Range 9, Township 1, Section 23, Warren Township -- originally the Ohio Company lot of John Rose -- Willard Greene and wife Elizabeth sold it to John Smith of Warren Township -- witnessed by Oren Newton and Levi Swan -- dated November 8, 1830.

    Between Nov. 1830-August 1831 Willard, Sr. and his family removed from Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio to Amherst Twp., Lorain County, Ohio.

    Below is a letter that Willard wrote to his old neighbor and friend, Judge Ephriam Cutler. (The words are spelled as they were in the letter.) Note that Willard's spelling of words in the letter is actually pretty good considering he probably didn't have much schooling. Henry Burke, a well known UGRR historian and I both believe that this could also be a "coded" letter because Willard goes into great detail the route they took into getting from Washington Co., Ohio (near the Ohio River) to Lorain County, Ohio where slaves could escape into Canada more easily. Willard also describes the people there. Humm.... He calls them Barbers and Skinners. Is it possible that Willard could of been scouting out people that would assist slaves if sent to them and all these people were concerned about is HOW to make a fast buck? Ephraim is known to be against slavery since it was he who was very sick and had to be carried in order for him to cast the final and deciding vote not to allow slavery in the the state of Ohio. Others also wrote coded letters to Ephriam concerning the escape of slaves. One story of rememberence about Ephriam and his family helping slaves escape was told by his grandson, Beamon Dawes Gates.

    Cutler Collection, Dawes Memorial Library, Marietta College.
    Letter, Willard Greene to Ephraim Cutler, March 20, 1831.

    “To Ephraim Cutler Esq.

    Dear Sir,

    Having a few leasure moments, & having the remembrance of my good old neighbors and friends which I have left behind (and amongst whome I have livd for the space of 30 & odd years,) Continually before me, I have presumed to address you by a few lines, by which you will be informd that that [sic] our healths are good at present except Mrs. Greene who has been sick and lame allmost all the winter past, & it was some time after my arrival here that I recoverd from my Sickness with which I was afflicted before my departure from the Ohio. Perhaps you would like to hear some of the perticulars of our Journey, but their is nothing worth relating of importance We arrivd at our Journeys end the 13. day in the afternoon, a Journey of about 180 miles, & though the distance was no greater, yet we traveld across 8 Counties or I believe 9, Viz, Washington, Morgan, Muskingum, Coshocton, Wayne, Medina, Portage, & Lorain, in the latter of which we now live, 3 miles from Lake Erie, 6 miles from the mouth of Black River & the distance of 7 from Elyria the County seat We live in the township of Amherst, about a North Course from Zanesville. You will next perhaps expect me to give you a description of the Country, a task which I am in some measure unable to accomplish Not having traveld much since we stoped here – the winter here has been one of the most severe I ever experienced since I saw the State of Ohio which is about 36 years, sleighing continued about 6 weeks without any variation, the snow being about 10 or 11 inches deep, adding to this a keen blast from the Lake, both together, made the weather almost intolerable the lake at the same time Coverd with Mountains of Solid Ice, as far as the eye could extend, a short Description of both Country & people shall next follow – In travailing from the Muskingum North, even over the summit, you percieve no Material alteration, or elevation ‘till you discover the little Rills making their way a North Course, the Country, at the same time allmost a dead level ‘till you arrive within about 8 miles or 9 from the lakes, when you come to a ridge or elevation of about 20 or 30 feet above the level, on which is the great post Road from Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland & c. to Detroit & c. seeming to have been formd by human hands extending or running a course paralel with the Lake shore & which is thickly inhabited by able people, In going 2 or 3 miles futher north you come to a simillar ridge Calld Middle ridge & one mile further north you come to another calld North ridge, these Ridges are Composed of sand and loam which inded makes it Convenient for Dry roads & a settlement, but not verry Productive but for a few articles, & in decending from the Ridges, you Come in the first place to springy wet land which Continues generally ½ a mile, when you come to land some thing more dry of an apparent good quality adapted to the Culture of any kind of grain but in Passing from one to another Ridge you are up to the neck in mud & water & c. the timber much as on the Ohio, except that it extends to the Clouds. "Next the People" I call my self a Yankee, & had flatterd my self I was coming to a Country where I should have the satisfaction of living among an honest, intelligent, & intelligable people, such as I had considerd them to be, but alas! I was much Disappointed I find them Barbers & Skinners, yes & shavers, (not alluding to my worthy & much respected friends in Marietta.) there is nothing to be obtaind here by a stranger except he holds the Cash in one hand while he is receiving the article with the other, "A Stranger is made of money." My folks are Discontented & homesick, and I must say, I my self have not at all times, felt verry contented, But I am in hopes when Spring returns, I shall feel more contented, for if I do not like the Country I shall lead my waggon & start back again from this place next fall I had rather be amongst Pennsylvanian & Virginian, who are a kind, Hospitable people than to be here among shavers. I keep, in spite of them, my Team, Waggon, Hors & Cow I expect to work this Summer at stone cutting which is in good demand here – I shall dear Sir be verry glad to receive a letter from you, knowing you to be capable of giving me every information of things which has taken place in my old Country – I know you have not much Education but you can Dictate, while Mrs. Cutler writes a letter fro you but I must stop my Fuss; ‘till I se you again, be pleasd Sir to write to me immediately after you receive this and write every occurrence, fill your sheet, for nothing will be more acceptable to me and all my family than a line from you who have been to me a kind neighbor & friend. My family Sends their best respects to Mrs. Cutler & yourself – I shall be glad to receive a line from any of my old Neighbors, I cannot write more now. I am Dear Sir your ever affectionate
    Friend Willard Greene
    Amherst 20 March 1831

    P.S. Direct your letter to Plato post office, Amherst Townshp Lorain County, Ohio

    Write I Say

    Prices in this Country
    Corn – 43 c.
    Wheat – 87-1/2
    Buck Wheat – 37-1/2
    Oats – 25
    Pork BBL – 11 [?]

    Willard Greene and his family were back in Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio by October 25, 1832 when he attested to knowing about Duty's Green's Revolutionary War service.



    Willard Greene's 8-acre lot #1008 in Range 9, township 1, Section 23 shows up clearly on the maps of the Ohio Company surveys. The lot is in Warren Township (now just above the Dunham Township line) along the Ohio River. There was a group of 8-acre lots in the area and the original proprietors are listed. As noted in the deed at the courthouse, the original proprietor of Willard Greene's lot was John Rose. Another Ohio Company ledger shows that John Rose resided in Pennsylvania and had purchased his share in the Ohio Company from the agency of Winthrop Sargeant. Rose does not appear in any local history books, so I suspect he may have been one of the non-resident proprietors. Next to Willard Greene's lot downriver is lot #1009, originally owned by Paschal A. Smith, and then lot #1010, originally owned by Melancton Smith.
    Linda also checked the 1875 Washington County atlas, which shows lot #1008 as being owned by Dean Briggs, who also owned a much larger adjacent lot numbered 267.
    Next above, along the Ohio River, is lot #269 which was owned by the Coles. Then comes lot #271, the site of the Old Stone House owned by the Cutler family.
    Another Ohio Co. ledger shows some of the original proprietors in the area, along with the "current" (undated) owners. The Coles were "current" owners of lot 260, which is just below the earlier mentioned group of 8-acre lots. Lot 260 was at the head of Neal's Island, just above Belpre, and probably the site of Nathan Cole's tavern. John Cole is shown as the owner of 60-acre [?] lot #269, just below the Cutler's lot #271, and John Cole also kept a tavern. The area along the Ohio River between Nathan Cole's land and Ephraim Cutler's land was occupied with the grindstone industry from the time of early settlement.
    The McClure family (who partnered with the Cutler's in the grindstone business), the Calders, and later the Hall grindstone company, all were in this area.
    ---------------Linda Showalter (Constitution, Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio Historian)


    (Debbie Noland Nitsche's research)

    --------One of the things that I find rather interesting about this, is no one seems to know who was the parents of my GGGGG-Grandfather, Willard Greene from Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio. No one has ever listed Willard's name in the ancestry of Duty Green and the fact Willard lived in the same household with Duty when they were kids, before and during the war of the Revolution. Could Willard be the nephew or brother of Duty Green???? The father in-law of Willard Greene, Sr., who was John Cole was also in Dehli, Delaware Co., NY the "exact same time" that Duty Green's brothers were there in 1790, and with Duty being very close by in Middleton Twp. I believe that Willard is indeed some relation to Duty, but only God knows at this point.

    See Duty Green's RW Pension Record and Application (Transcribed) xt.txt

    According DUTY GREEN's Revolutionary War Pension Record, Willard GREENE of Warren twp. testifies that on October 25, 1832 that he has known Duty for 59 yrs. and has lived in the same family with him at the time when he enlisted, which was in June of 1779. Willard also states that he knew of his (Duty's) marching to join the Army and went a short distance with him, and recollect perfectly well his return and think he was absent as long as he (Duty) stated in his declaration. Willard recollected perfectly well on the night after his return that he gave a description of the encounter of Major Anres execution which he (Duty) witnessed. It doesn't say what the relationship was between Duty and Willard though. Also testifying was DAVID DEMING stating he was an aquantiance of Duty Green. This David DEMING was the brother of James H. DEMING who is mentioned in the Estate of Willard Greene, Sr.

    Lets take a look at where Duty resided before coming to Barlow, Washington Twp:
    Source: Duty's RW Pension Application.
    1. March 18, 1861 - Born in West Greenwich, Kent County, Rhode Island.
    2. June 1779 -- Then living in Lanesbrough, Berkshire, MA where he enlisted in the RW. for 3 months.
    3. June 1780 - Re-enlisted at Sheffield, MA. (Ebenezer Sprout's regt. He was one of the 1st 48 settlers of Washingon Co., Ohio. He came Apr. 7, 1788.)
    4. Petersburgh, Renseller Co., New York (date uk - sometime between 1780-1790)
    5. 1790 - Census, Middleton, Delaware County, New York. (John Cole & family were also here in 1790. John Cole was Willard Greene's father in-law)
    6. Sequehanna River - Chenago County, New York (date uk - sometime after the 1790 census was taken & 1800)
    7. 1800-01 - Barlow Twp., Washington County, Ohio

    ----------10th mo. 25 day, 1832 (the time of Duty Green's RW filed his pension app.) - 59 yrs. (amount of time Willard has known Duty) = October 25, 1773.
    According to Willard's headstone, he died on Feb. 10, 1839 at the age of 65Y 6M 27D. Doing the math, with this would make Willard's DOB about July 14, 1773. This is a close enough time to safely say that Willard had known Duty Green since the time of his birth or possibly from the time he was 3 months old.
    ----------Duty Green was b. on March 18, 1761. He stated that he was born on March 18, 1761 and was 71 years old when he filed for his RW pension.
    If you take Duty's DOB and subtract it from the date that he filed his pension application, he would of been exactly 71 years, 6 months and 22 days old. The age of Duty Green when he first became aquainted with Willard Greene, Sr. was abt. 12Y 3M 26D.
    -----------Duty states that he enlisted in the service in June 1779. At that time, Duty would of been abt. 18 yrs. old. Willard would of been abt. 6 yrs. old.
    Duty's parents (John Greene & Ruth Matteson) were still in West Greenwich, Kent Co., RI at this time. They or Duty's siblings would of been the ones that took care of Willard when Duty was off to war.
    ----------Duty also stated that when he re-enlisted in June of 1780, he had seen Major Andre (the British spy & Benedict Arnold's co-conspirator in the plot against West Point) executed. This happened on October 2, 1780. Duty was 19 1/2 years old. Willard was then 7.
    See the place where Duty seen the execution:



    Another theory that I am working on, is the possibly that Willard Sr. COULD of been born in PA. According to the 1831 letter that he wrote to Ephriam Cutler while Willard was in Lorain Co., Ohio is that he made a statement that he was a "Yankee" and would rather be around people from PA and VA. In the 1850 census, Willard Jr. is listed as being born abt. the year of 1800 in Ohio, but in his Will, it states that he was born in PA. Willard, Jr. died in LaSalle Co. Illinois in 1856.

    According to census reports in1809 Willard was living in Belpre. It is possible that from 1801-1809 Willard was either living in Wood Co., Virginia with his brother in-law Philip Cole and then later living at Hughes River, Virginia [Williams History]. As with his Cole in-laws, Willard was also a STONE CUTTER & RIVERBOAT MAN, known to pilot keel-boats up and down the Ohio & Muskingum Rivers. It could be, he was at Hughes River in because of the Salt Works in Kawanha County, Virginia hauling salt in which he could of been employed by David and Joseph Ruffner and/or Harman Blennerhasset. The Hughes River and its tributaries course through Doddridge , Ritchie and Wirt counties in west central West Virginia. ... The Hughes River enters the Little Kanawha River near Newark and is the largest tributary of the Little Kanawha . The Hughes River itself is only 14 miles long, making it one of the shortest rivers in the Mountain State. The Little Kanawha River is close to the Washington Bottom area in Wood Co. Another brother in-law was Asa Cole. Asa Cole and his family migrated to Wheeling, Virginia (WV in 1863) in 1799. They were residents of the blockhouse there for 2 years. During that time he was engaged in packing salt from the Alantic seaboard to Wheeling for Ebenezer Zane, founder of Wheeling. In the spring of 1801, the family settled on Indian Wheeling Creek, within the present limits of Belmont, County, Ohio. (Williams History) Belmont County, Ohio is directly across the Ohio River from Wheeling, (West) Virginia.

    According to the 1850, '60 and '70 census reports, his daughter, Sylvina was born in NY. In 1850 and 1860 census reports, Dorinda (another dau. of Willard's) was also born in NY. Dorinda was born about the year of 1795. Sylvina was born on July 2, 1797. His son Willard, Jr. is listed as being born in Ohio in the 1850 census, but according to his Will probated in LaSalle Co., ILL, he was born in PA. His daughter, Eliza is listed as being age 48, born in Germany in the 1850 census. We know that is not correct, but in the 1860 census, she is listed as being age 55, born in Ohio. In the 1880 census for Willard's grandson, Oliver Perry Spencer, he lists his mother being born in Rhode Island and father b. in Kentucky. I actually believe that his dau. Eliza Greene Spencer was born in Ohio with her year of birth being about 1802.

    Only one of Willard's children was living when the 1880 cenus was taken. It was Harriet (Greene) Harden. The ceusus states that both of her parents was born in Ohio.



    THE FOLLOWING agreement for a school taught in Warren, Washington County, Ohio, may serve as an illustration of the way children obtained their schooling in the early days of the nineteenth century:

    "We, the subscribers, do hereby mutually agree to hire Miss Sally Rice to teach a school in the schoolhouse near Mr. William Smith's, for the term of three months, to commence on the ninth day of June, inst. She is to commence her school at nine o 'clock of the forenoon and keep on until twelve; and at the hour of one to continue until four o'clock in the afternoon. She is to teach, reading and instruct the young misses in the art of sewing and to keep all.regulations as is usual in school , for which we agree to give her the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per week during the said term which sum shall be assessed in proportion to the number of scholars we have set to our names. Provided also that in case more are sent by an y individual than he has subscribed for or any persons send who do not suscribe, they shall be assessed in proportion to the number they send; the money to be assessed and collected by a committee to be appointed for that purpose. And for the performance of the foregoing we hold ourselves bound. Dated this eighth day of June A. D., 1814.

    Willard Green, 2 scholars
    Ephraim Cutler, 4 scholars and boarding
    Levi Strong, 1/2 scholar mistress
    Isaac Humphreys, 3 scholars
    James Moor, 2 scholars
    T. Cone, 1/2 scholar
    Ezekiel Finch, 1 scholar
    T. Patten, 1/2 scholar
    Wm. Smith, 2 scholars
    G. Wilson, 1/2 scholar
    Philip Cole, 2 scholars
    Widow Terry, 2 scholars
    Seth Bailey, 2 scholars
    John Steward, 1/2 scholar
    Asa Cole, 1 scholar
    John Henry, 1 scholar
    Ichabod Cole, 1 scholar
    Widow Robinson, 2 scholars
    John Green, 1 scholar."

    To view the 1839 Estate of Willard Greene, copy and paste this link into your browser: xt.txt

    To view the headstones of Willard and Elizabeth (Cole) Greene, copy and paste this link into your browser:

    Marriage 1 Elizabeth COLE b: 4 JUN 1773 in Providence, Rhode Island
    • Married: BEF 1795 in Probably New York
    1. Has Children Louisa A. GREENE
    2. Has No Children Dorinda GREENE b: 1795 in New York
    3. Has Children Sylvina GREENE b: 2 JUL 1797 in New York - (DOB calucated from age on headstone.)
    4. Has Children Willard GREENE , Jr. b: 1800 in PA or Ohio
    5. Has Children Harriet GREENE b: 3 NOV 1801 in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio (DOB caculated from age on Death Register)
    6. Has Children Eliza GREENE b: BET 1802 AND 1805 in Ohio
    7. Has No Children Son (Name Unknown) GREENE b: ABT 1811
    8. Has No Children Annis T. GREENE b: ABT 12 APR 1813 in Warren Twp., Washington County, Ohio
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