Tuesday, September 16, 2014

52 Ancestors: #37 ~ Phebe Barker – Wife of a Revolutionary War Surgeon

This is part of the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" Challenge begun by Amy Johnson Crow, author of the blog No Story Too Small.

My maternal 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Luther L. Waterman was a surgeon during the Revolutionary War. This is the second page from his pension file.

I've written about Luther before on this blog. Today, I'd like to introduce you to Luther's wife, and my 4th great-grandmother, Phebe Barker.

Phebe Barker was born on 22 August 1756 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Dr. John Barker and Phebe Hyde.

Phebe married Luther Waterman on 1 January 1778 in Franklin, New London, Connecticut. They were the parents of nine children.

  1. Samuel Waterman (1778-1857)
  2. Erastus Waterman (1780-1859)
  3. Child Waterman (died 1784)
  4. Jerusha Waterman (1786-1867)
  5. Phebe Waterman (1789-?)
  6. Asher Waterman (1791-1875) [my 3rd great-grandfather]
  7. Eusebius B. Waterman (1795-?)
  8. David Bassett Waterman (1798-1851)
  9. Lucinda A. Waterman (1803-1879)

I love pension files! They can provide so much valuable family history information. The page from Luther Waterman's pension file at the top of this post says the following:
Left Side of Page


Phebe Waterman decd. widow of Luther Waterman who died on the 9 Sep 1807 of Athens Co. in the state of Ohio who was a Surgeon in the Co. commanded by Captain --- of the Reg commanded by Col Webb in the Conn (? Page ripped) for 15 months increased from $300 p. ann.
Inscribed on the Roll of Cincinnati ? the rate of    Dollars    Cents per ann. to commence on the 4th day of March 1834 (? Page ripped) on the 2 Feby. 1843 the day of her d (probably death).
Certificate of Pension issued the 22 day of July 1844 and sent to A. Ray   (P ?)
Arrears to the 4th of "
Semi-annual allowance ending
Right Side of Page
A? Notified See Let
July 22 1844
Pay to Samuel, Erastus, Asher, Eusebius B., David B. Waterman, Jerusha Smith, Phebe Pierce, & Lucinda Bicknell, children of Phebe Waterman deducting the amount already paid under said (?)
Lt. A. G. Brown
May 26/55

Isn't the right side of this pension file page especially wonderful? It lists the children of Luther and Phebe, including the married names of their daughters.

Luther passed away on 9 September 1807 in Cazenovia, Madison, New York. Most of Luther and Phebe's children had moved to Athens County Ohio, by the time the 1850 federal census was taken.

I found this interesting paragraph in The Waterman Family, Volume 1, Descendants of Robert Waterman of Marshfield, Massachusetts through seven generations.1
"The widow Phebe Waterman and her children settled on a farm near Coolville, Athens County, Ohio. It is now on Route 7 out of Coolville. There they laid out a private Waterman graveyard, which is now (1938) on the farm of Mr. John Humphrey, originally part of the old Waterman purchase. One goes from the house through two pastures to reach it. Here there is a stone to the widow, the inscription on which reads: "Phebe Waterman, Consort of Dr. Luther Waterman and daughter of Dr. John Barker, died Feb. 2, 1843, in 87th year."
I wonder if the old Waterman graveyard still exists. If so, I think it would be really amazing to visit it someday.

As was stated in the paragraph from The Waterman Family book, Phebe Barker Waterman passed away on 2 February 1843. She passed away in Troy, Athens, Ohio.

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Jacobus, Donald Lines, and Edgar Francis Waterman. The Waterman Family. Vol. 1. New Haven, CT: E.F. Waterman, 1939. 297. Print.


  1. I love YOUR Revolutionary pension file. I have one from the Revolutionary War and one from the War of 1812 (sent off to the National Archives) and as luck would have it, neither mention their children! What's up with that? I know that is the exception, and that most do, but what a major disappointment. That being said, mine did provide some other interesting information, but I really wanted to see the list of his children. As for the cemetery, sounds like a field trip is in order. If you are like me, you have quite a list of places to go and see.

    1. Oh wow! How disappointing to not have a listing of the children in your ancestor's pension file! Major bummer!

      Regarding the Waterman cemetery, yes, I would so love to see that in person. Maybe someday. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Those pension files are so interesting. Look at all that good information. It's interesting that Phebe was both a daughter of a doctor and wife of a doctor.

    1. Yep! It is interesting that Phebe was married to a doctor and was the daughter of one too. Mr. Jacobus stated in the Waterman Family book that Phebe's father, Dr. John Barker, was an eminent physician in Norwich, Connecticut.

      I love pension files too. They really can be filled with such interesting information. Thanks for stopping by!




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