Monday, October 20, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 ~ Jerusha Waterman – Daughter 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. 

In previous 52 Ancestors posts, I introduced you to
Samuel and Erastus, two of the nine children born to my 4th great-grandparents, Luther and Phebe Waterman. Today, I'd like to introduce you to Luther and Phebe's eldest daughter, Jerusha Waterman.

Jerusha was born on 8 Jun 1786 in Amenia, Dutchess, New York. Her father, Dr. Luther Waterman had served as a surgeon in the
American Revolutionary War. In Luther's pension file, Jerusha is listed as one of his and Phebe's children and on one of the documents she signed her name. In fact, in this amazing pension file, the signatures of all of Luther and Phebe's children can be found. I'll share Jerusha's signature in a future post.

Jerusha married Jonas Smith sometime before 1805. She and Jonas were the parents of nine children. Their first two children were born in New York and their third child was born in Pennsylvania.  The rest of their children were born in Ohio.

  1. Hiram Smith (1805-1878)
  2. Lavina Smith (1807-1880)
  3. Harriet Smith (1809-1888)
  4. Asher Smith (1812-1880)
  5. Jacob Smith (1815- 1882)
  6. John Smith (1817-1880)
  7. Phebe Smith (1819-1883)
  8. Sarah L. Smith (1826-1908)
  9. Amanda Catherine Smith (1832-1905)

Jerusha and her family were living near her brothers, Samuel and David Bassett Waterman, in the 1850 Federal Census for Troy Township, Athens, Ohio.1 You can see her brothers and their families listed below Jerusha's family in the image below.

This is a cropped portion from the 1850 Federal Census showing Jonas and Jerusha Smith and three of their daughters.

Jonas Smith passed away on 8 January 1853 in Coolville, Athens, Ohio, leaving Jerusha a widow for 14 years. In the 1860 Federal Census, Jerusha is listed as the head of household in Troy Township, Athens, Ohio.2 The image below is a cropped portion from that census record. Her daughters, Lavina and Sarah (Sally) were living with her at the time. Also, a young man named Benjamin Humphrey was living with them too. It looks like he was helping with them with their farm.

Jerusha passed away on 1 June 1867 in Coolville, Athens, Ohio. She was buried in Bethel Cemetery which is located in Troy Township, Coolville, Athens County, Ohio.

I'll introduce you to another of Luther and Phebe Waterman's children in a future post.

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Oct 2014), Ohio > Athens > Troy > image 14 of 34; citing NARA microfilm publication M432.
2 Year: 1860; Census Place: Troy, Athens, Ohio; Roll: M653_934; Page: 105; Image: 214; Family History Library Film: 803934. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.


  1. Wow! signatures of ALL of their children. What a wonderful find.

    1. Yep! ALL of the children's signatures are included in Luther's fantastic pension file. It really is incredible. I wonder how often that occurs in pension files.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great story! Has to be hard chasing a SMITH name!

  3. Occupation "retired widow" strikes me as humorous. How do you retire from that? Get married again?

    1. Haha! Ya, that's an interesting occupation Wendy. I wonder why that question was answered that way.




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