My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yes, we are THAT Cleveland!

I thought I blogged yesterday but I guess I didn't.  I must have been too deep in Olympic spirit and genealogy. Here's one of the lines I've been working on:
my dad is Jim Gant, son of
Leta Ward, daughter of
Charles Pelham Ward, son of
William Cleaveland Ward, son of 
Caroline A. Cleaveland, daughter of
John Cleaveland, son of

Aaron Cleaveland (1727-1785)
A few notes from the family archives:

Col. Aaron Cleaveland was the fifth son and tenth child of Josiah and Abigail (Paine) Cleaveland.   
He lived all of his life in Canterbury, Connecticut.
He married Thankful Paine, his mother's niece and therefore his first cousin. 
Together they had eight children: Aaron, Moses, Abigail, John, Paine, William Pitt, Thankful and Camden.
Moses and William both graduated from Yale, classes of 1777 and 1793 and were both lawyers.
I haven't been able to determine the education or profession of my ancestor in this line, John. 

From the Paine Family Records by Henry D. Paine, 1883 "Aaron Cleaveland was a distinguished man in Canterbury, and prominent in public affairs during the Revolution.  He furnished the 'pent up' Bostonians a cow for food in 1776.  He was known as Col. Aaron.  He was struck with palsy and died after a lingering illness."

(I found this information on but I've seen it other places as well so I'm not sure where it originates) He served as captain in the French and Indian wars; was a man of wealth, and well known throughout New England in business and political circle. He bore a conspicuous part in the Revolutionary struggle as a gallant soldier and meritorious officer, was present at the time of Governor Tryon's assault upon Horse-Neck, and saw "General Putnam plunge down the steep bluff, the bullets of the baffled dragoons whizzing around him, and even passing through his hat." 

Colonel Aaron Cleaveland was a man of great wit and humor, with wonderful powers of mimicry. He accompanied his son Moses to Ohio, and with him invested largely in those Western Reserve lands, making their purchases from the Indians. The land on which the City of Cleveland stands was purchased by them and named for them."

According to "A History of Cleveland and It's Environs: The Heart of Old Connecticut" , it was Moses Cleaveland who traveled to Ohio and Moses Cleaveland for whom it was named. My family, but a great-great-great-great-great-uncle. Apparently there was some concern among the residents of Connecticut that things were getting too crowded so they formed an expedition to explore and expand. This was the Connecticut Land Company. 

My brief study on the Connecticut Land Company showed they intended to go West and "survey and make locations on said land and to enter into friendly negotiations with the natives who are on said land or contiguous thereto and may have any pretended claim to the same".  In other words, kick out the Indians.

If you would like to know more about the Connecticut Land Company, this is from wikipedia: 

The Connecticut Land Company was formed in the late eighteenth century to survey and encourage settlement in the Connecticut Western Reserve, part of the Old Northwest Territory. The Western Reserve is located in Northeast Ohio with its hub being Cleveland. In 1795, the Connecticut Land Company bought three million acres (12,000 km²) of the Western Reserve. Settlers used the guidelines of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which demanded the owners survey the land before settlement.[1] In 1796, the company began surveys and sales on property east of Cuyahoga.[2]
The original proprieters, 57 of the wealthiest and most prominent men in Connecticut, included Oliver Phelps, the largest subscriber and chief manager of the project. In 1796, one of the largest shareholders, Moses Cleaveland, planned a settlement on the banks of the Cuyahoga River with Seth Pease. This planned settlement would become the city of Cleveland.[1] 

This is what wikipedia says about old Uncle Moses:

At Buffalo a delegation of Mohawk nation and Seneca tribe Indians opposed their entrance into the Western Reserve, claiming it as their territory, but waived their rights on the receipt of goods valued at $1,200. The expedition then coasted along the shore of Lake Erie, and landed, on July 4, 1796, at the mouth of Conneaut Creek, which they named Port Independence. The Indians were propitiated with gifts of beads and whiskey, and allowed the surveys to proceed. General Cleaveland, with a surveying party, coasted along the shore and on July 22, 1796, landed at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. He ascended the bank, and, beholding a beautiful plain covered with a luxuriant forest-growth, divined that the spot where he stood, with the river on the west and Lake Erie on the north, was a favorable site for a city.
He accordingly had it surveyed into town lots, and the employees named the place Cleaveland, in honor of their chief. There were but four settlers the first year, and, on account of the insalubrity of the locality, the growth was at first slow, reaching 150 inhabitants only in 1820. Moses Cleaveland went home to Connecticut after the 1796 expedition and never returned to Ohio or the city that bears his name. He died in Canterbury, Connecticut. Today, a statue of him stands on Public Square in Cleveland. The statue makes occasional appearances in popular media referencing Cleveland, including the movie Major League and the viral video "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video", in which he is credited for "inventing" Cleveland.[1]
The place called "Cleaveland" eventually became known as "Cleveland". One explanation as to why the spelling changed is that, in 1830, when the first newspaper, the Cleveland Advertiser, was established, the editor discovered that the head-line was too long for the form, and accordingly left out the letter "a" in the first syllable of "Cleaveland", which spelling was at once adopted by the public.[2] An alternative explanation is that Cleaveland's surveying party misspelled the name of the future town on their original map.[3]

President Grover Cleveland is a relative but I have been unable to figure out the exact lineage. 
"In Memory of Col'o Aaron Cleaveland; Who died of a fit of apoplexy on the 14th day of April AD 1785 AET. 57. Born the 7th day of Dec'r 1727, on the 17th of June AD 1782, when in the bloom of health, & prime of life, was struck with the dumb palsy; From that time to his death had upwards of sixty fits of the palsy & apoplexy. -- He was imploy'd in sundry honourable offices, both Civil and military."