Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association

    DeWeese Family
    By Kay DeWeese, 1998

    DeWeese Family Early settlers in Miami County were Lewis, Rev. Samuel and James Deweese. They were sons of Rev. Joshua Deweese, who was born in Kent County, Delaware. He and his brothers, John and Cornelius, joined the patriots of the Revolutionary War in Capt. Dallinger's company. Joshua is said to have been with the patriots at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, where he lost part of his foot due to frostbite. Born a Presbyterian, Joshua underwent a conversion and became a Baptist Minister in Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delaware.

    He married three times: 1) Elizabeth Bowman, 2) Hannah Birch and 3) Elizabeth New. With Elizabeth Bowman, he had four children: Anna, Thomas, Lewis and Samuel. With Hannah Birch he had one child, William. With Elizabeth New, he had five children: James, Jethro, Joshua, Elizabeth and Mary.

    Joshua was suffering from consumption, but wanted to move westward where he "might have lands for his great family." His brother, John, had already located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Although he "was wasting fast" he moved, with his third wife, Elizabeth New, and family and joined John in Fayette County. Before he died in Dec 1791, he purchased land across the state line in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia), but did not have time to build a house. Reports abound that he died in Miami County, Ohio in 1819, but this is in error. His will was proved and is on record in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

    There they remained until after Elizabeth died and they settled estates about 1802. They continued in Monongalia County, apparently prospering, until about 1804, when Thomas and Jethro, sold their lands and migrated to Fairfield County (now Licking Co.), Ohio. About 1807, Lewis sold his land and is reported to have settled on land in Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio. Early stories say that Lewis, Samuel and James, with their families, came down the Ohio River on a raft and then upriver by wagon. They all took out patents and improved their lands. Lewis was also a tanner, Samuel was the first minister of Lost Creek Baptist Church and James was also a blacksmith. Some of their sons and daughters migrated to Shelby County, Ohio in the 1830's. Many descendants still live in Miami and Shelby Counties, Ohio.

    In 1832, another DeWeese clan arrived at Hyattsville, Monroe Twp., Miami County, Ohio. They were William and half brother, John. They came from Montgomery County, Virginia. John's wife died soon after and he remarried and moved to Patterson Township, Darke Co., Ohio, when it was only wilderness. He married three time and had 15 children. Descendants still live in Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties. These two clans of Deweese did intermingle and made a challenge for sorting out the genealogy. At least one marriage involved descendants of the two clans. Emma Hathaway was the daughter of Ebenezer Goble Hathaway and his wife, Catherine K. DeWeese. She was the great grand daughter of Rev. Samuel DeWeese (b. Kent Co., DE). William H. DeWeese was the youngest son of William Deweese, who came to Hyattsville from Montgomery Co., VA. The couple were married in Miami County 13 Feb 1865.

    Grandchildren of the first DeWeese group decided to hold a reunion in 1887. It was so successful, they continued and began to involve all DeWeeses in the area of western Ohio (there was also another DeWeese clan in Wood County). The group held their 110th reunion at Troy Park in 1997. An early record book has been found which contains the records of the DeWeese Family from 1887 to 1948. This group had the honor to host the First National Dewees/ DeWeese/ DeWese Reunion in 1995. The Second National Reunion was held in 1996 in Kingman, Kansas by descendants of Barnabas Deweese, son of John Deweese of Darke County. They will be hosting the Third National Reunion at the same place the third weekend in August, 1998. The Rev. Joshua descendants are in the process of publishing a book about the Descendants of Rev. Joshua DeWeese.

    The above was by Kay E. DeWeese, Piqua, Ohio. Researching descendants of Rev. Joshua Deweese for publication by the Deweese Reunion Committee. ---- Page Master's note: Kay passed away on 17 Jan 2000. She is greatly missed by the genealogy community.

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