The Family Puzzles - Demystified (Sort of)

Benjamin Conard

Male 1810 - 1902


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  • Name  Benjamin Conard 
    Born  14 Sep 1810  Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  7 Nov 1902  Hillsboro, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  High Top Cemetery, Highland, Ohio (Clear Creek Burial Ground) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I22059  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  7 Nov 2014 

    Father  Cornelius Conard,   b. 9 Feb 1764, Bucks, Pensylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1836, New London, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Susannah Chalfant,   b. 10 Oct 1770, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1817, New London, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1790  Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F1924  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Mary Ann Moore,   b. 21 Sep 1811, London Grove MM, Chester, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Feb 1834, London Grove MM, Chester, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  15 Mar 1832  West Grove, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified  10 Jul 2007 
    Family ID  F5682  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Eliza Roberts,   b. 27 Oct 1810, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Apr 1854, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  11 Feb 1836  Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Almira Conard,   b. 29 Dec 1836, Miami MM, Warren, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Mar 1931, New Vienna, Clinton, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Cornelius Conard,   b. 13 Aug 1838, Miami MM, Warren, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1900
     3. Alice R. Conard,   b. 22 Jan 1840, Miami MM, Warren, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Dr. George R. Conard,   b. 5 Jan 1842, Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Feb 1929, New Vienna, Clinton, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Granville Conard,   b. 30 Oct 1843,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. William Conard,   b. 23 Nov 1844, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1915, Hillsboro, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Elwood H. Conard,   b. 24 Jan 1849, Miami MM, Warren, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Mary Conard,   b. 23 Apr 1852, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Sep 1912, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  10 Jul 2007 
    Family ID  F5681  Group Sheet

    Family 3  Elizabeth Hussey,   b. 18 Apr 1818, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1913, Peoria, Peoria, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  23 Oct 1855  Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Emma Conard,   b. 5 Jan 1857, Highland, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Dec 1927, Peoria, Peoria, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  10 Jul 2007 
    Family ID  F5683  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Sep 1810 - Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 15 Mar 1832 - West Grove, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 11 Feb 1836 - Chester, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 23 Oct 1855 - Highland, Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 7 Nov 1902 - Hillsboro, Highland, Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - High Top Cemetery, Highland, Ohio (Clear Creek Burial Ground) Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Benjamin Conard and Family, 1874, Hillsboro, Ohio
    Benjamin Conard and Family, 1874, Hillsboro, Ohio
    Benjamin Conard and Family, 1874, Hillsboro, Ohio

  • Notes 
    • When Benjamin Conard married his third wife, Elizabeth Hussey, they decided to each keep a journal for a year or so. He prefaced his with an account of his ancestors and early life. I feel as if I know him, and what life was like in early Chester County.Here are a couple of paragraphs:

      "My paternal ancestors emigrated from Germany about the time that William Penn commenced the settlement of Pennsylvania. They settled at Gernantown, near Philadelphia. Eventuallysome of the name removed to Bucks Co., Pa. There my grandfather Everard Conard was born, and he resided there at the time of the War of the Revolution. He was reputed a staunch Whig in principle, though he took no active part in the struggle for independence. He married early in life Margaret Cadwalader, said to have been English, or a descendant of English parents [she was Welsh, the daughter of John Cadwallader-MM]. The following are the names of their children, my uncles and aunts, all of whom married and raised families except Margaret' viz, Isaac, Cornelius, Abraham, Sarah, Mary, Everard, Margaret, and Jesse. My grandfather was a wagon maker, but after his children were well grown, he abandoned that business and removed to New London Township, Chester Co., Pa, where he purchased some 300 acres of wornout land and commenced the farming business which he followed until near his death, which was in the 84th year of age.

      "My father, Cornelius Conard, was born the ninth day of the second month, in 1764. At a suitable age he was put apprentice to a tailor, on account of his lameness from an accident which he received when a small boy. It was during his apprenticeship that his father moved to Chester County. After learning his trade, he also followed his father, and worked at his trade there, until he was married to my mother, Susanna Chalfant. His father then settled him on fifty acres of the tract he had originally purchased. On this my father resided until his two oldest children, Lydia and William, were born. Then, at
      the solicitationof his father and others of his friends, he sold his little farm and invested the proceeds in a store in partnership with his cousin, John Conard. The store was in Tradiferen [sic] Township, Chester Co., Pa, near the Valley Forge, a place famous in history as the place where General Washington encamped with his army. At this place he dontinued in the business of storekeeping and tailoring for ten years, at the end of which time he found himself minus his original funds and with a large family around him.
      Then, in 1807 or 1808, he rented a large farm in the neighborhood, for which he paid $600 a year rent. On this, by untiring industruy and rigid economy for ten or eleven years, he found himself worth a few hundred dollars. Again he suffered himself to be influenced by the advice of others, and in the year 1818, purchased a farm in New London, of 72 acres, so poor that it would not raise enough to keep his family, though he was obliged to go in debt $1,300 to purchase it.

      " I should have stated before this that in the sixth month preceding the removal of my father with his family back to New London, death deprived him of an affectionate wife, and his children of a kind and indulgent mother. I was then not quite seven years old, and this was the first of many heavy losses that I have been made to feel from the death of those near and dear to me.

      "On that New London farm my father managed to get along some way, and to improve the land. One thing I do know, the luxuries of life were unknown to us. Even the necessities at times were not too abundant, particularly during the first few years, after improving the land with lime, he managed to live quite comfortably. Some four or five years before his death, after the marriages of his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, his housekeepers, he gave up farming, rented the farm to me, and made his home with me. He closed a life of energy and industry, in the latter part of the 10th month, in 1836.
      He lived respected by all who knew him. That he was without failings, it would be useless for me to assert, but upon the whole, few men could have lived under the same circumstances, and left a better name behind him. He possessed a well cultivated mind, was well versed in ancient and modern history, and was remarkably well versed in the scriptures for one of his station."

      Benjamin then goes on with with the story of his own life, but I don't want to clutter up your mailboxes.

      Benjamin descended from Thones Kunders(1), Madtis Cunrads(2), Cornelius Cunrads(3), Everard Conard (4), and Cornelius Conard (5).

      "After these few facts concerning my forefathers, I will not try to give a short sketch of my own life up to the present time, not that I expect to be very interesting to many, but yet there may be some who, in years to come will take a sufficient interest in it to give it a preusal at least.

      "I was born on the 14th day of the ninth month, A.D. 1810, on the farm previously mentioned, in Chester County, Pa., near Valley Forge. I was the youngest. Eight now survive; Lydia, William C., Esther C., Mary, Joseph, and Amy. Two others died in the time my father and mother were residing at the store. Here, in a venerable old stone mansion, on the banks of the beautiful Valley Forge Creek, I lived, with all the pleasures of a careless, frolicing boy, now playing in the green meadows on the banks of the creek, then paddling in its rippling waters, trying to catch 'red fins,' or sliding over its glassy surface on a sled drawn by my older brothers or sisters. It was probably owing to my playing so much along the beautiful stream that I acquired a liking for water that never left me. I have sometimes thought that no child ever enjoyed himself more than I did in my early youth, but my youthful happiness was destined to meet with a severe shock, for my kind and indulgent mother died in June 1817, when I was not yet seven years old, being too young to feel in its proper sense the loss I had sustained, but in after years I was made fully sensible of it.

      "I was sent to school some, before my father moved with the family to New London, as I remember very well going to what was called the camp school here, and passing what we called the 'old fort' which I have since come to suppose from the recollection of its appearance, to have been intrenchments thrown up by General Washington for the defence of the samp.

      "After the move to New London the next spring, each one of the family was obliged to do all in his power towards getting along. Those who were not old enough to get an education when conditions had been more favorable, were obliged to put up with a verylimited one, but I was from my earliest remembrance, very fond of reading, and there was quite a large library at New London crossroads, from which I used to hire books at one cent a day, and well do I remember having to sit up half the night to read books that I got that way, for fear my funds would run out before I got them read through. As soon as I could raise the money, I became a regular stock holder in the library, and could read more at my leisure.

      "I was allowed by my father to go to my Uncle Isaac Conard's one winter, to go to school, though much against the will of the rest of the family. The time I spent there, I often think of, as the only bright spot in my boyhood life. The loving kindness of Uncle Isaac and the motherly attentions of Aunt Mary endeared them to me so strongly that I well remember that when the time came for me to start home after being there for four months, the tears flowed freely at the idea of again going to that home where there were none of the loving smiles from a mother.

      "In the spring of 1831, mytwo sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were married, leaving none at home with father but my sister Lydia and myself. We lived in that way one year, but before that year had fully rolled around, a change had come over my future prospects; I had for the first time been made sensible that I was beloved, that I was necessary to the happiness of one verydear to me; for the first time in mylife I had been made to feel that I was of some account in the world. The person upon whom I had thus centered my everyhope of earthly happiness, was Mary Ann Moore, an orphan about a year under my own age. We were married in March 1832, and at the earnest solicitation of my father, I reluctntly rented his farm, as he did not wish to farm, or even keep house any longer. We started the world--as it is termed--full of bright hopes; though poor, we had good health and had been raised to industry. All passed on brightly for the first year; 'Then like the lark I sprightly hailed the morn!'

      "At the end of that year our union was blessed with a daughter, but she died, in spite of our love, at the age of five months. Very shortly after that the symptoms of onsumption began to show themselves in my beloved Mary Ann, and in February, the things of Earth were closed to her forever.

      I" hired a housekeeper, and continued my operations on the farm in that way, for two years, when I again yielded to the balmy influence of woman's love, and was married to Eliza Roberts, daughter of George and Alice Roberts, and a distant relative of my deceased companion. My father died in the fall of that year, 1836, leaving his farm to me, subject to the payment of certain legacies as had been agreed between us, on condition that I should stay with him his lifetime.

      "It was not long until I began to think that that farm was not the place for me to live on longer. Neither did I like the neighborhood, though I had been raised there. In the Spring of 1839, I sold the farm and bought another 100 acres in 'Little Britain' township, Lancaster County, Pa. I was obliged to go about $2,300 in debt, but the quality of the land was much better than what I left. With the heavy debt and a rising family I was not able to do much more than make a good livingfor my family, and improve the land. During the eleven years that I was there, I put on the land about seven thousand bushels of lime, which was reckoned to be worth about 20 cents per bushel, or about $1,400 worth. The stone for making this lime we had to haul ten miles. The weather was never considered too cold to start out in the morning and face the northwest wind for a load of limestone. The wood too was to cut and haul to the kiln, all of which made a great deal of work. Besides, I did considerable wagoning for other people. The produce of the farm was all to draw to market, usually to Wilmington, Delaware, a distance of 35 miles. So I was not able to make many improvements to the buildings, though they were old. True, I dug a well at the barn, and failing to get sufficient supply permanently, I put in a hydraulic ram at the spring, forcing the water up both to the house and barn."

      [I have no idea how long a message one can write, so I'll put the rest in another message--Maggie]
      "At the time we moved to Lancaster county, we had two children, Almira and Cornelius, and three were buried in Eastland graveyard, since.

      "Previous to our move, my brother Joseph had moved near us, and in partnership with Charles Good, his brother-in-law, bought a farm of 166 acres, and continued to work it jointly for seven years after I loved there. Then he sold his interest in the farm and moved to Highland County, Ohio, where he resided until his death. I have thought there were hardly ever two brothers that were more attached to each other than we were. We spent a great deal of our time together, often making it suit to make long trips with our wagons together, and even when we were hauling limestone, we mostly made it suit to be together. In allour intercouse and numerous business connections, I have no recollection of anything like a quarrel, or even hard words passing between us. In 1845, he and I came to the conclusion that we had so far confined our lives solely to work, but now would take a trip to Ohio for pleasure and to see our sister. We made our intentions know to our brother William, who resided near the place of my birth in Chester county. We started about the middle of the tenth month, were met by William, in Lancaster county, and we all three went on together. We saw many things to interest and amuse us; we took the cars to Harrisburgh, then we went on board a canal packet boat, traveling about four miles an hour. At Haladaysburgh we too 'portage railroad' over the mountains to Johnstown. There were five inclined planes up and five down on this railroad, with a stationary engine set up; raising up and down at the head of each plane. We then went by canal boat to Pittsburgh, then by steamboat down the Ohio river to Portsmouth. From there a hack took us to Chillicothe [Ohio]. A marketwagon took us to Greenfield, and from there we walked to Robert Edwards, aving been eight days on the roiad. We were so much pleased with the appearance of the country that brother Joseph had concluded the purchase of 200 acres before the next spring, and moved out to it. I had advertised my farm for sale, and the next year, in August, 1846, returned with Wm. Cook, and brought back a drove of 189 cattle--sold them in Pa., made $400.

      "During the latter part of my stay in Lancaster county, I became concedrned, with some of my friends and relatives to start a Lycaeum, or Literary Society, which met every two weeks on first day afternoons. This society existed about eight years, doing a good deal to improve the minds and morals of the neighborhood. This society became strong enough to build a hall in which to hold its meetings.

      "The longer I stayed there the more I became convinced that I was not able to make the improvements that i would soon be compelled to make in the buildings, loaded as I was with debt. I therefore determined to sell as soon as possible, and in the Fall of 1849 I succeeded in selling for $4,500, the same that I had given for it eleven years before. I had previously sold a wood lot off of it for $210, which was all the advance I got to pay for my improvements. I immediately started for Ohio; here I purchased this place for $24 per acre -- 151-3/4 acres. It was then without any buildings, except a log cabin and an old log stable. We moved on to it in April, 1850, bringing with us six children. We went to live in the cabin, which was something new for us, but we all appeared to be very happy.

      "I commenced the first summer to make preparations for building a house. Before harvest we cut and hauled logs to the mill, and after harvest we made the bricks. I employed a man to mould and burn them at 75 cents a thousand. The following summer we put the house up, had the roof on before harvest, and moved into it a week before Christmas. We felt we had gained a long desired object. Eliza had long desired to have a house suited to her mind, and now I felt the greatest satisfaction in providing it.

      "During the time that the house was building, I performed the heaviest labor, carrying all of the bricks myself, even to the tops of the chimneys, though there were a great part of the time four bricklayers. One great object of my life was now gained, to have a good house for my wife and family. The next was to have a good barn. Accordingly, in 1852, I got nearly all the sawing done and the lumber hauled hom in the summer. I quarried the stone myself, in Hixson's quarry, and had some of it hauled home that fall. I considered that the hardest job of work about the building. This fall I had a hand hired, for two months.

      "The next summer, 1853, we put up the barn in time to put our harvest in it. My boys and myself did all of the work of the farm and waited on the workmen, except for some nine or ten days when I hired a man to tend the measons. The whole cost of the barn esides our own labor, boarding, and the lumber cut on the place, was $696.10; for the house, $998.02.

      "We now seemed toi be fixed as we desired, with a house and barn suited to our needs, ourselves and the children all in the enjoyment of good health; in fact it seemed as if Eliza's health, which for the better part of her life had been rather delicate, seemed the best. But alas, in the latter part of November, she took a disease of the kidneys, which was afterwards worse, and a disease of the heart kept her quite unwell until her death the following April. She passed from works to rewards four days after giving birth to a dead child. Whose is the pen that can made others sensible of even a tithe of the grief that is felt at parting with the companion of one's bosom?

      "In November, following this sore affliction, my daughter Almire married, leaving me with no one but Alice for housekeeper, and she, being young and not verystout, I was obliged to break up housekeeping soon after harvest in 1855. Four of the children went with Almira, Alice, William, Elwood, and Mary. George went to live with Martha Hussey, to go to school until Spring. Cornelius and myself boarded at Amos Hiatt's and lodged at home.

      "This way of doing with my dear children scattered about was anything but agreeable. I soon became convinced that there was no way but to look round for some one on whom I could bestow my affections, and who in return would grant me hers, and be a kind and affectionate mother to my children. Finally I found such a one in the person of Elisabeth Johnson, and we were married on the 23rd of October, 1855. The same day we started on a pleasure trip to Peru, Indian, where her sister lived. We went by way of Cincinnati, Madison, and Indianapolis, returning through Richmond and Hamilton. We also saw two of Elisabeth's nephews who were attending college at Oxford [Ohio]. On our return E. moved home with me and entered upon her new duties."

      Benjamin and Elisabeth Hussey (she had previously married Isaac Newton Johnson) were both Quakers. At some time, Benjamin opened a "Queensware" store in Hillsboro. He died in 1902 in Hillsboro, and is buried there. Elisabeth lived until 1913, died at the home of her daughter Emma in Peoria IL, and is buried in Hillsboro beside her husband.