Asa & Orson Carpenter Family
Submitted by Jessie Deith
Huron County First Family Member #286


According to "The History of the Fire Lands" Asa and Orson CARPENTER came to Ohio in 1825. Family tradition claims they walked along the shore of Lake Erie until Ohio was reached; others say they came by boat but walked from the shore of the lake island. what we do know is that the Carpenters are an old New England family starting with William Carpenter, born on the 23rd of May 1605, in England. He and his family sailed on the "Bevis" arriving in Rehobeth, Massachusetts. His son William was living there when his son Benjamin was born on October 20, 1663 but Benjamin and his wife, Hannah STRONG moved to Connecticut as that area opened to settlement.

Their child, Jedediah was the father of Daniel Carpenter born about April 1727. The Coventry, CT, town records show Daniel and Elizabeth Carpenter giving birth to another Daniel. This younger Daniel was born May 9, 1755 and this Daniel, according to the DAR is buried in the Christian Church cemetery in Ripley, Ohio although there no longer is a tombstone visible for him. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and his pension papers were of a great help in tracing the family.

He first applied for a pension while living in Vienna, Oneida County, NY. According to those 1818 papers, he had enlisted with Captain Ozias Bissel of East Hartford, CT in November or December of 1775. Next in his pension papers is one item written in 1820. In it he says he is a "Mason by trade and is infirm and incapable of laboring as he used to do". He also lists his dependents- "Harvey aged 16, Asa aged 15, Orson 13 and his wife (unnamed but we suspect Huldah LEONARD) aged 56" The two older boys are earning their keep during farming season by working for neighborhood farmers. The family had come upon hard times at this point. Daniel lists his possessions as 2 kettles, 1 pot, 1 table, 3 chairs, 2 masonry tools, 3 teacups, 1 ladle, 3 knives and forks, 5 plates, 5 spoons, 3 earthen bowls and a promissory note against his son-in-law Chauncey TUTTLE for forty dollars. He is indebted to the doctor for 30 dollars. There does not seem to be a record of them living in Oneida County, NY, so possibly they were living with another older child. The last paper in the pension packet was written in Ohio, in 1833, in which he says his reason for moving to Ohio was to be with his sons.

They, Asa and Orson, are to be found in the 1830 census. There is another Carpenter, in that census that could be the third brother, but the writing is not too clear. Orson was newly married in Fabruary, having met Ester (Esther) Marie KEITH in Ohio. She was born in the East but came out with her father nathan KEITH about 1819, with Judge Robert S. Southgate's party. They settled in Bronson.

Unfortunately Nathan died from an accident about a year later that happened while he was helping erect Carkhuff's mill. Ester's mother, Marie, with one or two infants to raise, married an older man by the name of Jones who was also trying to raise a family single handedly. Orson became a farmer and on two occasions, a minister for the Christian Church in Ripley. Asa, I believe, married Roxanne SCOTT in NY but we have no proof of this as yet. We do know there is a gravestone in the Christian church cemetery for Rosetta CARPENTER, daughter of Asa and Roxanna CARPENTER, and Roxie Scott is listed as the mother and Asa as the father of Leonard CARPENTER on Leonard's death certificate. Asa took a second wife, Abigail WEST in 1836. It seems probable that Roxanne died close to that time, but we have no records yet.

Asa's children that I know are Rosetta born 1826, Leonard E. born December 21, 1829 in Fairfield and Eunice or Unice (Mrs. David LYON) born 1831 and Edwin 1833. David Lyon was a son of William Lyon, an early settler in Richland County. Orson Leonard CARPENTER's children were Huldah E., born 1833, Roena A. (Mrs. Jacob P. Houfstater) born 1835, Nathan K. born 1838, Chester H. born 1841, Aro D. born 1845 and Horace M. born 1848.

There is a family story that could have taken place as they moved into the wilderness in New York or later in Ohio. It seems the little family had brought a piglet along with them, intending to butcher it when it was grown. The children, as children will, made a pet of said piggy so when their crude cabin had been built but the door not installed, little piggy would slip in at night and burrow under the covers of the children sleeping by the fireplace. Being a warm, happy pig, but not very wise, he would start giving "contented" little grunts. This would alert the Mother who indignantly pointed out that she knew coming west meant hardships but she was not going to have her children sleeping with pig! So out would go Mr. Pig - for a while.