Jonathan Pitman Life Sketch

(1747 - 1834)

Jonathan Pitman was born on December 23, 1747 in British Colonial New Jersey. Jonathan married (1) Susannah Bowers on March 5, 1771, in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Jonathan married (2) Rebecca Clevenger around 1776 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Jonathan married (3) Jane Argadine on December 2, 1825, in Hamilton County, Ohio. Jonathan Pitman died on August 27, 1834 in Hamilton County, Ohio.


Jonathan Pitman was born on December 23, 1747 in British Colonial New Jersey. His parents are currently not proven. He was raised in Monmouth and at the age of 24 married Susannah Bowers. It is not known if Jonathan and Susannah had any children, and it is also not known what happened to Susannah, but around 1776 Jonathan married Rebecca Clevenger.

Jonathan and Rebecca had the following known children:

  1. Sarah Pitman
  2. Calvin Pitman
  3. Joshua Pitman
  4. Massy Pitman
  5. Susan Pitman
  6. Theodosia Pitman
  7. Jonathan Pitman
  8. Ephraim Pitman

In the fall of 1776, 29 year old Jonathan enlisted in the Continental Army at Monmouth County, New Jersey. In his pension record Jonathan testified that he marched to Amboy, became sick and returned home after serving only 1 month. As soon as he was better, Jonathan enlisted again. He served as a private in Captain Peter Wikoff’s Company and in Captain Nathaniel Polhemus’ Company, and was promoted to Ensign. Following the Battle of Germantown, on October 16, 1777 Jonathan was promoted to Captain. He served under Colonel David Forman whose regiment returned to Monmouth after the Battle of Germantown. The regiment guarded the lines between Shrewsbury and Tom’s River and protected the Salt Works from raiding British and Loyalist troops. The regiment joined the Continental Army at Valley Forge for the winter and remained there until the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778. The regiment was then attached to the Second Regiment New Jersey Militia. As a part of the Second Regiment

New Jersey Militia, Jonathan may have been part of Sullivan’s Expedition although Jonathan’s pension application does mention the expedition. Captain Jonathan Pitman was discharged in 1780 after serving 3 years in the Continental Army.

Jonathan moved his family to Pennsylvania as stated in his pension application, the move must have occurred between 1780 and 1786. The family likely lived in Bedford County where Pitman and Clevenger families from Monmouth, New Jersey are known to have located, and DNA ties exist between Jonathan and Rebecca Clevenger Pitman and these families.

In 1788 and 1789 two events occurred to which Jonathan Pitman’s name is tied. In 1787 Benjamin Stites made a large purchase of land in the Northwest Territory, now Ohio. He was anxious to take possession of the land and in 1788, put together a party of 26 people, mainly natives of New Jersey, and included 4 women and 2 boys. They departed from Pennsylvania and floated down the Monongahela River to the Ohio River, arriving at their destination on November 18, 1788. They named the settlement “Columbia” - today it is a part of Cincinnati, Ohio. Jonathan Pitman’s name is listed among the names of the first settlers of Columbia.

In 1789 Captain Abraham Covalt organized an expedition in Bedford, Pennsylvania, consisting of 45 persons including families, that traveled by flatboat from Pennsylvania to Columbia. They left Pennsylvania on January 1, 1789 and arrived at Columbia on January 19th. Covalt’s expedition then proceeded up the Little Miami River about 10 miles and built “Covalt’s Station” which consisted of seventeen cabins and a mill. Jonathan’s name is also listed among the names of Covalt’s Expedition.

It appears that Jonathan left his wife Rebecca, who may have been pregnant with Theodosia, and family to join Benjamin Stites expedition, then either returned to Pennsylvania to gather his family and joined Covalt’s Expedition, or met Covalt’s Expedition on their way to Columbia. However the means, Jonathan and his family lived in Columbia in 1791.

In 1792 Jonathan joined a group led by Henry and John Tucker, to establish an outpost in the wilderness, “Tucker’s Station”. It was situated on an old Indian trace, leading from Cincinnati to Fort Hamilton, and located in Springfield Township. The group began to build a block house and cabins but before completing the outpost, returned to Columbia due to increasing Indian hostilities in the area. For at “Covalt’s Station” in March of 1792, Captain Covalt, his two sons and Joseph Hinkle were attacked by Indians while gathering timber. Joseph Hinkle was killed by tomahawks and then scalped. Captain Covalt was shot twice, urged his sons to run to the fort, ran one hundred yards holding his ax, then fell dead and was scalped.

Jonathan and the Tuckers returned to “Tucker’s Station” in 1794, a few months after General Wayne started his campaign to cease Indian hostilities and provide better protection to outpost stations.

In 1795, Jonathan purchased 119 acres of land at the site of “Tucker’s Station” and next to John Tucker. The property was located in what would become Springfield Township, Hamilton County. Jonathan also purchased lots near Columbia in 1795.

When Ohio became a state in 1803 and Hamilton county was organized, the voters of Springfield Township met at Jonathan Pitman’s house to elect the justices of the peace.

In 1806 Jonathan purchased additional acreage in Springfield Township from John McCashen who had also helped build Tucker’s Station.

In 1814 Jonathan and Rebecca sold their property of more than 150 acres in Springfield Township and moved a few short miles away to Sycamore Township, where Jonathan ran a tavern and his house was used as a meeting house and polling place. According to historian C. E. Dubbs, “Pitman’s tavern was the first and only voting place in Sycamore township of Hamilton County, Ohio, as well as the meeting place for all political as well as public gatherings.”

In 1815 Jonathan purchased land in Butler County, Ohio, 148 ¾ acres near the town of Oxford. Jonathan’s son Calvin settled on the land. Jonathan held onto this land until 1829 when he sold it to Samuel Frazee.

In 1816 Jonathan purchased 12 ⅓ acres in Springfield Township. His motivation for purchasing property in Springfield Township is unknown but may have been for the benefit of one of his children. Jonathan sold the property in 1823.

In 1817 Jonathan purchased an additional 40 acres in Butler County. Jonathan and Rebecca sold 30 of the acres in February of 1825. After Rebecca’s death, Jonathan sold the remaining 10 acres to his daughter Massy, “wife of John White”.

In 1823 Jonathan purchased 4 lots in the town of Reading, Ohio, lot #s 5, 100, 104 and 106. He sold #s 5, 104 and 106 in 1829.

Jonathan’s wife Rebecca died in March of 1825 at the age of 69. By December Jonathan remarried, 18 year old Jane Agardine. He was 77 years of age. Jane’s family lived near the Pitman family in Sycamore Township.

While Jonathan and Jane did not have any children together, testimony many years later by those who knew and saw the couple at church, in their home and at other places stated that they “always acted and treated each other as husband and wife and were by the whole community in which they lived so treated.”

On December 4, 1826, Jane’s father Edward Argadine bound Jane’s brother Robert to Jonathan to learn husbandry and also to learn to read and write. Robert was 12 ½ years old. On the same day, Edward assigned a lease which he owned to Jonathan and Jane for the benefit of his youngest daughter Mary. Edward Argadine would assign the lease again in January of 1834, this time to Jonathan only, without mention of his daughter Mary.

In late 1830, both sons Calvin and Jonathan Pitman patented 160 acres of land, Calvin in Clinton County, Indiana, and Jonathan in Darke County, Ohio. Since the timing of their purchases was in months of each other, likely both received assistance from their father.

On August 20, 1834, Jonathan wrote his last will and testament and on August 27 he died at the age of 86. Jonathan Pitman was buried on his own property next to his wife Rebecca.

Jonathan devised to Jane the leased land assigned to him by Jane’s father Edward Argadine. She also received cash and personalty. As for his homestead, his will directed that Jane stay in possession of it until she received the leased land and after that, the homestead was to be sold. The proceeds from the sale was to be equally divided into 8 portions, the portions devised to children Sarah, Calvin Theodosia, Jonathan and Ephraim, and to the children of Jonathan’s deceased children Joshua, Massy, and Susan. Calvin Pitman and Jonathan’s good friend Amos Cleavenger were named co-executors.

In January of 1835, Calvin and Amos Cleavenger assigned the leased land to Jane Pitman. She immediately assigned the land to Samuel Cunningham. Sometime in early 1835, Jane married for a second time, Isaac Hunt. Jane and Isaac went on to have 8 children. Jane died in 1883 in Greensburg, Indiana, at the age of 76.

Many years after the death of Jonathan Pitman, great grandson Harry Pitman went to visit his ancestor’s graves and saw a bulldozer encroaching on the small family graveyard in preparation for a development. The headstones were down so Harry took the headstones and stored them in his garage for safekeeping. Many years later the headstones were finally placed at the Reading Protestant Cemetery.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch Updated: April 2022


Sources:

"New Jersey, Marriages, 1670-1980," database with images, FamilySearch, Jonathan Pitman and Susannah Bowers, 05 Mar 1771; citing Marriage, New Jersey, United States, Division of Archives and Record Management, New Jersey Department of State, Trenton; FHL microfilm 007719783.

"United States Census, 1820," database with images, FamilySearch, Jonathan Pittman, Sycamore Township, Hamilton, Ohio, United States; citing p. , NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm .

"Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016", database with images, FamilySearch, Jonathan Pitman and Jane Argardine, 1825.

"United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch, Jonathan Pittman, Sycamore, Hamilton, Ohio, United States; citing 206, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 132; FHL microfilm 337,943.

"United States Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1818-1872," database with images, FamilySearch, Jonathan Pittman, 04 Mar 1831; citing Ohio, United States, NARA microfilm publication T718 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1962), roll 8; FHL microfilm 1,319,388.

"Ohio Probate Records, 1789-1996," database with images, FamilySearch, Hamilton Co., Wills 1798-1861. Vol 7-8, image 205 of 433. County Courthouses, Ohio.

“History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio”, S. B. Nelson & Co., Cincinnati, OH. 1894.

“History of Hamilton County, Ohio”, Henry A. Ford & Mrs. Kate B. Ford, L. A. Williams & Co., Cleveland, OH. 1881.

“Early Days of Cincinnati”, A. B. Jones. Cincinnati, 1888.

“Centennial History of Cincinnati”, Charles Theodore Greve, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, IL. 1904.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book A Folios 505, 506, 508.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book N Folio 270.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book M Folio 587.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book Q Folio 96.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book R Folio 594.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book 21 Folio 117.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book 22 Folio 12.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book W Folio 595.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book 38 Folio 386.

“Ohio, Hamilton County. Deed Records 1787-1877.” Images, Family Search. Book 53 Folios 482-485.

“Ohio, Butler County. Deed Records 1803-1876.” Images, Family Search. Book E Folio 94.

“Ohio, Butler County. Deed Records 1803-1876.” Images, Family Search. Book G Folio 51.

“Ohio, Butler County. Deed Records 1803-1876.” Images, Family Search. Book L Folio 202.

“Ohio, Butler County. Deed Records 1803-1876.” Images, Family Search. Book P Folio 8.

“Ohio, Butler County. Deed Records 1803-1876.” Images, Family Search. Book R Folio 388.

Calvin Pitman (Crawfordsville, Indiana), State Volume Patent no. 8494; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

Calvin Pitman (Crawfordsville, Indiana), State Volume Patent no. 8495; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

Jonathan Pitman (Cincinnati, Ohio), State Volume Patent no. 1740; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

Jonathan Pitman genealogy research