Tuesday, October 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 ~ Erastus Waterman's Signature

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

Today, I'd like to introduce you to my 3rd great-granduncle, Erastus Waterman. He was the second child born to my 4th great-grandparents, Luther and Phebe Waterman.

Erastus Waterman was born on 6 May 1780 in Connecticut.

On 11 September 1851, Erastus Waterman signed a Power of Attorney document, which is found in Luther Waterman's Revolutionary War pension file. In this document Erastus appointed Mr. John Welch to be his attorney in order to procure any money due to him and his siblings from their father's Revolutionary Pension. Erastus' mother, Phebe, had already passed away by the time this Power of Attorney document was signed.

Here's the Power of Attorney document that was signed by Erastus. About half-way down the page is his signature.

And here's Erastus' signature cropped from the page.

Erastus was 77 years old when he signed this document. He passed away on 13 April 1859 in Coolville, Athens, Ohio.

I don't have any information indicating Erastus ever married. In fact, in the book Waterman Family, Descendants of Robert Waterman, Volume 1, page 563,1 it states the following: "No wife or family have been found." The book also states the following regarding Erastus' burial place: "Gravestone near Coolville, Athens Co., Ohio"

Erastus was living with his nephew John Smith and his family in the 1850 federal census.2 This image shows John's wife Lydia and their children. Erastus is on line four. John is listed on the previous page.

I'll be introducing you to another of Luther and Phebe Waterman's children in a future 52 Ancestors post.

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. 563. Print.
2 "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12328-142003-35?cc=1401638 : accessed 05 Oct 2014), Ohio > Meigs > Salem > image 23 of 34; citing NARA microfilm publication M432.


  1. You have to admire how clearly people were able to write with quill pens. Erastus had beautiful penmanship.

    1. What a great point about the quill pens Nancy! I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jana, those pension files are often filled with wonderful information. Congratulations on uncovering this information for your family!

  3. I've been looking at a lot of pension applications recently -- love 'em. Yours is especially fine since you have the signature of a really OLD ancestor. How cool is that!

    1. I love pension files too Wendy! And they're especially cool when ancestor signatures are found inside those pages. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love it when you are able to find an actual signature and not an x. He lived to a ripe old age, especially for that time period!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Yes, it can be sad to find an X instead of a signature. It's interesting that in the Civil War pension file for Iver Iverson, my 2nd great-grandfather, I he signed with his signature and with an X on different documents. It could have been that an illness caused him to be unable to sign his name later in life. But, I'm not sure. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!




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