Thursday, April 9, 2009

Crossroads of Groveland

Crossroads of Groveland
Dunns/ Harrisons/ Acres/ Kiser
Karen Rasmussen

A brief explanation of how the Dunn, Harrison, Acre, and Kiser families intertwine.

Dunn Family:
Who were the ancestors and relatives of Simeon Adams Dunn born 1803 in Groveland, then Ontario County, New York? The current family theory is that his earliest Dunn ancestors [James, then William] started out in Connecticut in the Windham County area. By 1743, William Dunn and his wife, Esther, had moved to Enfield, Hartford Connecticut where they had at least their first 7 children. Then we believe William and Esther moved down to New Jersey (perhaps Middlesex or Sussex Counties) before they eventually find themselves in Pennsylvania at the Wyoming Valley Massacre in July 1778.

The remnants of the Dunn family seem to flee back to Sussex County, New Jersey to Newtown (that portion that later became Frankford). William & Esther’s oldest child, Esther, marries Francis Price who becomes a justice of the peace in Frankford. He performs the marriage of several of her siblings (Hannah, Sarah, Joseph). While some of the family may have stayed in New Jersey, others determined to move further out on the frontier by about 1800, specifically New York. These include at least: Thomas, the wife and children of Simeon b. 1751, Samuel, and Sarah.

Thomas Dunn b. 1747 moved to what was known as Lumberland, Ulster County, New York (later known as Big Eddy, Tusten, Sullivan County, New York). Samuel Dunn b. 1791 and Sarah Dunn Adams b. 1767 moved to Phelps, Ontario County, New York. And Simeon Dunn’s family moved to Groveland, then Ontario County, New York.

We assume that Simeon Dunn b. 1751 died in New Jersey prior to coming to New York. And that his wife, Ann Gustin Dunn, was brought to the Sparta/Groveland area by her children (Levi, Simeon, and Betsey) who all lived here. We do not know if son, William, stayed in New Jersey where he was married or continued on to New York. And there is a question about a daughter named Mary.

Levi Dunn b. 6 May 1773 settled in Sparta. His first wife, Mary Parker died, and he married a second wife, Sarah Holtzlander. Levi lived the remainder of his life in Sparta. He is buried in the Groveland Pioneer Cemetery. After his death, his wife and many of her children moved to Michigan along with many of their neighbors.

Simeon is said to have settled in Williamsburg or Groveland area. Both he and his wife are said to have died while the children were still young. Most of his descendants (Mary, Simeon) move onto Michigan like many of their neighbors. Son, William, moves to Canada. It is still unknown exactly where James went.

Betsey Adams Dunn marries Isaac Kiser, probably while the family is still in New Jersey. However, they too are living in Groveland from approximately 1815-1835. Prior to 1840 they and their children leave the area and move to Ohio and Indiana. Two of their daughters have married brothers. Sarah Kiser marries Nathan Acre and Catharine Kiser marries Samuel Acre, both from the Groveland area. Daughter, Ann Kiser, marries Refford Harrison from Groveland. What becomes of the other children (Peter, Isaac, Jane) is still unknown. This is the point where the Dunns become connected to the Kiser, Harrison, and Acre families.

Harrison Family:
So, who are the ancestor’s of Refford Harrison who marries Betsey Adams Dunn? The Harrison family emigrated from England in the early 1700’s. Elias Harrison was born in Pennsylvania in 1739. He married Hannah Baxter 22 Jul 1772 at Tinicum, Bucks, Pennsylvania. While living in Pennsylvania, their 9 children were born. However, like many other families by 1800 they had moved to the Sparta/Groveland area in Ontario County, New York. By this time, many of his older children were at an age to marry and began establishing their own households and having children. I presume that one of these children was Refford Harrison. My best guess is that he is a child of John Harrison, son of Elias Harrison. But this has yet to be proved. (I saw that Abraham Harrison, another son, has a will in Will Book 3, page 125. I will try to get a look at it in a few weeks when I go to SLC.) Refford Harrison stayed in Groveland, now Livingston County, New York the remainder of his life. He married Ann Kiser and had at least four known children (Walter, Frances, Olivia, and Marion).

Simeon Adams Dunn, born 1803, towards the end of his life took a trip back East to collect genealogical data. It is obvious that he knew these families as among the names of the people he recorded are: Refford (he called Kaffara) Harrison, Ann Kiser Harrison, John Harrison, Isaac Kiser, Betsey Adams Dunn, Sarah Kiser, Peter Kiser, Catharine Kiser, Samuel Acre, Henry Acre as well as others. Many of those listed would have been his contemporaries.

Kiser Family:
As has been mentioned, it seems like Simeon Adams Dunn was familiar with his Kiser cousins, the children of Isaac Kiser and Betsey Adams Dunn. It is possible that Isaac Kiser and Betsey Dunn married in New Jersey, possibly Sussex County. As their children consistently report being born in New Jersey in later census records.

The family first appears in Groveland in the 1820 Census. By 1840 Isaac and Betsey have left Groveland and moved to Dover, Ohio. Where I assume they lived the remainder of their lives. Nevertheless, while living in Groveland, two of their daughters (Sarah and Catharine) marry two brothers Nathan Acre and Samuel Acre, sons of Albert Acre. These young families leave Groveland presumeably at the same time. Nathan and Sarah move to Parma, Ohio. Samuel and Catharine move to St. Mary’s Township, Adams, Indiana. It is unknown what became of the other children (Peter, Isaac, Jane, ?others)

Acre Family:
As was mentioned above, Nathan and Samuel Acre married sisters, Sarah and Catharine Kiser. Nathan and Samuel came from a large family of at least 12 children. Their parents were Albert Acre and Sarah Hart. It appears that this family may also may come to New York from the Frankford, Sussex, New Jersey area.

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