Tuesday, August 5, 2014

John Walters (52 Ancestors, #27)

John Walters > Melchior Walters > Freeman Walters > Florence Eugene Walters > Cecil Lloyd Walters > Charles Lloyd Walters

Earlier this week I had a delightful lunch with my cousin – my fourth cousin twice-removed, to be exact, but a cousin all the same. We chatted about our common line and shared stories about other branches too, as well as life in general. I thought it fitting that my next post be about our common ancestor.

John Walters was born on June 11, 1783 and was christened at the First Reformed Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His parents were Melchior and Barbara Walters.
Sometime after 1800, the Walters family moved from Lancaster to Bath in Steuben County, New York. He married Pamela Chapman, daughter of Caleb and Lydia Chapman, sometime before 1810.

John, along with his father-in-law, Caleb Chapman, was one of the founders of the town of Urbana. It was formed on April 17, 1822 out of the township of Bath, New York. The first elections were held in March 1823 and John was one of several men elected as "Path Master." A history written about the area stressed the importance of this position, saying it was one of “the most essential and important offices in the town.” The Path Masters, or Overseers of the Roads, were responsible for the roads in this untouched land and “to have good roads was the key to the rapid development of the township.” John was also chosen to be a fence viewer. A fence viewer would be in charge of inspecting the conditions and location of fences and settling any disputes that may arise due to placement or escaped livestock.

Based on census records, it appears John and Pamela had at least 7 children, although not all lived to adulthood. Son Melchior is my direct ancestor and his brother Franklin is the forefather of my cousin. Following Pamela’s death in 1822, John married Susanna.

John died on April 2, 1850 and is buried in the North Urbana Hill Cemetery in Urbana. Pamela, Susanna and a number of other family members are also buried there.

Sources: census records from Ancestry.com; birth records from Familysearch.org; An Outline History of Tioga and Bradford Counties in Pennsylvania, Chemung, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins and Schuyler in New York from Google Books; cemetery report from paintedhills.org

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