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CRARY, Oliver Esquire
YORK, Hopestill
(1734-Bef 1770)
WITTER, Ebenezer (Captain )
GEER, Abigail
CRARY, Christopher
WITTER, Mary Polly
CRARY, Erastus W.


Family Links

DUNWELL, Rebecca C.

CRARY, Erastus W. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

  • Born: 15 May 1785, Preston, New London County, Connecticut 15
  • Marriage: DUNWELL, Rebecca C. on 21 Apr 1807 in Phelps, Ontario County, New York
  • Died: 2 Sep 1867, Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio at age 82
  • Buried: Sep 1867, South Kirtland Cemetery, Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio

bullet  General Notes:

Along with his parents and siblings, Erastus took his family to Kirtland, Ohio in 1811 and became the first settlers of the area. His daughter, Rebecca, died their first winter in Ohio and was the first white person buried in the area.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Cause of death: Nephritis, Old age, 2 Sep 1867, Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio.


Erastus married Rebecca C. DUNWELL, daughter of Stephen A. DUNWELL and Deborah WITTER, on 21 Apr 1807 in Phelps, Ontario County, New York. (Rebecca C. DUNWELL was born on 19 Jun 1788 in Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, died on 13 Apr 1865 in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio and was buried in Apr 1865 in South Kirtland Cemetery, Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio.)



1 Unknown, History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio: Kirtland Township (Ohio Historical Archives), Section DA, Row 11, Grave 11. Surety: 4. "Without doubt the pioneer of settler in Kirtland township was Christopher Crary. He was originally from Hinsdale, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, emigrating from thence in the year 1811, and locating in this township in the southern portion on lots eighty-two and ninety-one in tract three, then some six miles by road to the nearest neighbor. The family of Mr. Crary consisted of a wife and nine children. Erastus, the eldest of these, was at the time a married man, and brought his family into the wilderness. We learn that Mr. Crary took an active part in the Revolutionary struggle on the side of his country, was twice incarcerated in British prison ships - once in Halifax, from which he made his escape, and again on board the "Old Jersey," in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Crary removed to Union country, this State, and there deceased - the father in 1848 and the mother some ten years later. Christopher G. Crary, son of this pioneer family, still resides in Kirtland.

We take the following from a manuscript prepared by N.M. Whelpley, and kindly furnished us by Mr. C.G. Crary. It furnishes an account of the senior Crary and family's introduction to their wilderness home.

The Crary's made a temporary stay in Mentor during the time their cabin was being erected in Kirtland, seven miles distant. In early autumn of the year 1811, the building was ready for their use, and the family started for their wilderness home. We quote:

'We took the old Chillicothe road, which had been traversed scarcely at all, except by cattle and wild beasts. The trees on either side were so interlaced as to form a canopy overhead, which rendered it quite romantic, but gloomy. We forded the Chagrin River without difficulty, and supposed our worst fears removed, but on going a little further our wagon broke, and night was fast closing around us. Mr. Crary unhitched his team, which he drove before him, taking his youngest child in his arms. His wife took the other by the hand, and the writer brought up the rear. Our way was dark and intricate, and the canopy of branches above, which had but recently been so beautiful, served now to hide the light of the stars from us. But the katydids cheered us with their ceaseless music. The latter part of our way we had no road, and nothing to guide us except marked trees, which, of course, were useless in the darkness. My father and the oxen knew the way, and we finally arrived there long after midnight, footsore and weary. A bright fire was burning near the cabin - a necessary protection against the bears and wolves. Our beds consisted of hemlock boughs, which were, perhaps, better appreciated than beds of down might have been under other circumstances. The winter of 1812 was the coldest that had been known for many years. At the time we had no neighbors on our side of Chagrin River, and, to crown the gloom of those melancoly days, one of our number died [Erastus' daughter, Rebecca Marie]. We had to send twelve miles for a physician, who arrived too late, and there was no clergyman nearer than the Harpersfield settlement. Those, indeed, were dark days.'"

2 Unknown, Ohio County and Family Histories, 1780-1970: Pioneer Women and The Western Reserve, Kirtland, Lake County (Ohio Historical Archive), Pioneer Women of The Western Reserve, Kirtland, Lake County: page 780. Surety: 4. "During the first winter a married son [Erastus] lived with them [Christopher Crary and wife], and while there, his oldest child, a girl four years old, died, and was buried in what is now South Kirtland cemetery, the first white person buried in Kirtland."

3 1850 US Census (Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus Crary (age 65, b. CT) wife Rebecca [Dunwell] (age 62, b. CT), and children Alfred A. (age 25, b. OH) and Nancy (age 25, b. OH), this is probably recorded inaccurately as Nancy was 27 at this time), living in Kirtland, Ohio. Also in the household is Gorden? Gran? (male, age 60, b. CT), whose relationship to the family, if any, is unclear. Erastus is listed as a "farmer." Gorden is listed as a "painter." Living nearby is their son, Erastus, and his family.

4 1810 US Census (Phelps, Ontario County, New York). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus Crary (age 16-25, b. 1784-1793), wife Rebecca [Dunwell] (age 16-25, b. 1784-1793) and children: 1 daughter (age <10, b. 1800-1810) [Rebecca Marie], living in Phelps, New York. Living nearby are Stephen Dunwell Jr. (age 16-25, b. 1784-1793), who is likely the brother of Rebecca; and Stephen Dunwell Sr. (age 45+, b. bef. 1764), who is probably Rebecca's father.

5 1860 US Census (Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus W. Crary (age 75) and wife Rebecca (age 72), living on their farm in Kirtland, Ohio. Also in the household are son in law Marvin Daniels (age 36, b. OH), wife Maria [their daughter], and their children Nancy (age 7, b. OH), George (age 3, b. OH) and Almeda (age 1, b. OH).

6 1820 US Census (Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus W. Crary (age 26-45, b. 1774-1794), wife Rebecca [Dunwell] (age 16-26, 1794-1804), and children: two sons (age <10, b. 1810-1820) [Erastus and Henry] and three daughters (age <10, b. 1810-1820) [Polly, Almeda and Stella], living in Kirtland, Ohio. Also in the household is one female (age 45+, b. bef. 1774), who may be Rebecca's mother or some other relative.

7 1840 US Census (Rutland, Lake County, Ohio). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus Crary (age 50-60, b. 1780-1790), wife Rebecca (age 40-50, b. 1780-1790) and children: 1 male (age 20-30, b. 1810-1820) [prob. Henry Dunwell Crary], 2 males (age 10-15, b. 1825-1830) [prob. Alfred & Addison], 1 male (age 5-10, b. 1830-1835) [prob. Stephen], 2 females (age 20-30, b. 1810-1820) [prob. Almeda & Stella], and 1 female (age 10-15, b. 1825-1830) [prob. Nancy] living in Rutland, Lake County, Ohio.

8 Lake County, Ohio Death Records, Vol 1, page 2, #16. Surety: 4. Death of Erastus Crary, farmer, on 2 Sep 1867, age 83, in Kirtland, Ohio.

9 South Kirtland Cemetery Inscriptions (Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio). Surety: 4. Our Father and Mother, Erastus Crary, died Sept 2, 1867, Aged 82 years; His wife, Rebecca, died Apr 13, 1865, aged 77 years. War of 1812 flagholder.

10 Crary, Christopher Gore, Personal and Pioneer Reminiscences (Marshal Printing Company: 1893). Surety: 4. My oldest brother and James Newton, a cousin who was stopping at our house, volunteered and went as far as Sandusky. [Referring to Erastus W. Crary and the War of 1812].

11 War of 1812 Service Records ( Surety: 4. ERASTUS CRARY: 1st Regiment (Beard's), Ohio Milita. Enlisted as: Ensign. Discharged as: Ensign.

12 1800 US Census (Partridgefield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Christopher Crary (age 26-44, b. 1765-1785), wife Mary [Witter] (age 26-44, b. 1765-1785) and children: 1 son (age 10-15, b. 1785-1790) [Erastus W.], 1 son (age <10, b. 1790-1800) [Oliver Augustus], 1 daughter (age 16-25, b. 1774-1785) [Mary Witter], 1 daughter (age 10-15, b. 1785-1790) and 3 daughters (age <10, b. 1790-1800) [Lucy, Estelle and Sarah], living in Partridgefield, Massachusetts.

13 1790 US Census (Partridgefield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Christopher Crary (age 16+, b. bef. 1774), wife [Mary Witter], and children: 1 son (age <16, b. 1775-1790) [Erastus W.] and 2 daughters [Mary Witter and Abigail Polly], living in Partridgefield, Massachusetts. The ages of women were not included on this census. However, only two of Christopher's daughters were born before 1790.

14 1830 US Census (Kirtland, Geaugua County, Ohio). Repository: Ancestry. Surety: 4. Lists Erastus Crary (age 40-49, b. 1780-1789) and wife [Rebecca Dunwell] (age 40-49, b. 1780-1789), and children: 2 sons (age 10-15, b. 1814-1819) [Erastus William and Henry Dunwell], 2 sons (age <5, b. 1825-1830) [Alfred and Addison], 2 daughters (age 15-19, b. 1810-1814) [Polly Mary and Almeda Martha], 1 daughter (age 10-15, b. 1814-1819) [Stella], and 2 daughters (age 5-10, b. 1819-1824) [Maria R. and Nancy Elvira], living in Kirtland, Ohio. Living two houses away are Erastus' parents, Christopher and Mary Crary. Also living nearby is Henry Dunwell (age 30-39, b. 1790-1799), who is likely the brother of Rebecca.

15 Barbour, Connecticut Town Marriage Records, Barbour Collection (Preston Vital Records Part I - 1687-1850), p. 72. Surety: 4. Erastus [Crary], s. [Christopher & Polly], b. May 15, 1785.

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