Abraham Layporte, Father of Many

Old Abe
Old Abe

He was born July 1, 1777, in Maryland, the 7th of 15 children born to George Layport and Nancy McCaslin. He moves with the family to Cadiz, Ohio where he resides through the 1830 census before moving to Rush Creek, Logan County in western Ohio in 1835. Between 1804 and 1805 he married Margaret Blakely (born 1778, died August 15 1848, at Logan, Ohio); they had 11 children.

On December 16, 1811 Abraham purchased from his father, George Layport, 130 acres (1/4 section) of the section of land (640 acres) which George had purchased from the U.S. Government in 1806. The deed stated that Abraham Layport, son of the said George and Nancy Layport, was granted this land for the sum of $53. This deed is the only document that directly confirms that Abraham was the son of George and Nancy. Abraham also purchased additional land in Harrison County in 1818 and 1822.

During the War of 1812, Abraham was a Lieutenant in the Ohio State Militia, serving in Captain Nicholas Davis’ Company, Russell’s Battalion.

Abraham was a lieutenant in the Company under Captain Nicholas Davis, Russell’s Battalion in the War of 1812. Abraham’s pay and muster cards indicate that he served from 26 August 1814 to 25 February 1815, was paid $30 per month and was stationed in Detroit — 340 miles from his first place of rendezvous in Cadiz. He was probably involved in protecting Detroit from a possible British attack from Canada which did not occur. Those forces were concentrated in the Lake Champlain area where they were defeated. Detroit had been surrendered to the British in August 1812 and not regained until Admiral Perry destroyed the British fleet on Lake Erie in September 1813. As a result, the British were forced to retreat eastward from the Detroit region. At the time Abraham came on active duty in Cadiz, Ohio, the British had just burned Washington, D.C. Subsequent British defeats, however, forced the English to sign the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, 1814 with the U.S. Senate ratifying the treaty 17 February 1815. Abraham was discharged 25 February 1815 and allowed 17 days to return to Cadiz ( the details of Abraham’s military career are compliments of  J Richards of Colorado Springs, descendant of Abraham Layport through his son, Bezaleel…Thanks, Richard)

Cool picture. No idea if Abraham actually saw fighting.
Cool picture. No idea if Abraham actually saw fighting.

Ohio was at the center of most of the actual fighting during this little remembered war. In brief, many “Hawks” in Washington felt that with the British tied down in an endless war with Napoleon, that Canada was ripe for the taking. In reality, despite a war fever that enticed some 24,000 Ohioans to enlist, the US was ill prepared for war with the British Empire. Washington was burned by the British and we got a national anthem. Expeditions to Canada were disasters and the British soon took the war to Ohio. The Ohio forces managed to withstand two sieges of Fort Meigs, near modern day Toledo, in 1813. 18

The British Indian allies were disgusted with the British and would continue their fight against the settlers following the war. Abraham’s actual roll is still unknown but he knew how to raise a family.

It is asserted in some records that after Margaret’s death, he married Juliann Whalen (born about 1781, Logan County, Ohio). They then had 4 children. She would have been 57 and Abe 61 at their marriage. If true, his powers were almost Biblical.

Abraham and his clan move in 1835 to the western Ohio town of Rush Creek near the land development known as Rushslyvania. The reasons are not entirely clear except that Abe saw an opportunity in the west. As a family of farmers, land was the draw and the family was part of the national Western Movement.

Spring time hear Rush Creek, Ohio. According to records, this was the LaPorte farm. The house is new.
Spring time hear Rush Creek, Ohio. According to records, this was the LaPorte farm. The house is new.

The 1850  Census for Rush Creek Township in Logan County makes it clear that 73 year old Abraham had taken root. Abraham is alone as Margaret had died in 1848. He is a farmer, as is his son Ephraim. Two other sons Abraham W. and John describe their occupations as Carpenters. John is married to Verlinda Harrison, the second cousin of the future President.  John will build the first commercial building and become its proprietor in 1851. Abraham W.’s son, Zephaniah enlisted in the 23rd Ohio for the Civil War. At Antietam he was wounded in the head but recovered to go on to a teaching career  and serving as the justice of the Peace. I know this looking at the honorable members of Abraham’s clan may seem pointless, but the reasons will become apparent when I start to focus on Abe’s son, Samuel, from whom I am descended.

Abe's last resting place. Harper Cemetery near Rush Creek. Ohio
Abe’s last resting place. Harper Cemetery near Rush Creek. Ohio

6 thoughts on “Abraham Layporte, Father of Many

  1. Old Abe was full of vim and vigor
    Knew how to fight and procreate
    Biblical powers he doth had
    Nevertheless, Harper Cemetery, was his fate.

  2. I’ve done extensive research on the Layport family and part of the narrative I’m writing for a manuscript covers our shared Layport ancestors. Below you’ll you find my research on the Abraham and Margaret Layport family that provides a little more info on Abraham’s War of 1812 service gleaned from his muster cards. I’ve also collected a great deal of family history on Abraham’s father, George Layport, who was a Revolutionary War veteran. I’d be happy to send it to you.

    One of George Layport’s sons, Abraham (our ancestor), was born 1 July 1777 in Washington County, Maryland and was married to Margaret Blakely about 1804, probably in present-day Harrison County, Ohio. They raised 11 children; three daughters — Eleanor, Barbara and Susan — and eight sons — Samuel B., John, Isaac, Charles D., Abraham W., Bezaleel, Ephraim and William — born between 1805 and 1820.
    On December 16, 1811 Abraham purchased from his father, George Layport, 130 acres (1/4 section) of the section of land (640 acres) which George had purchased from the U.S. Government in 1806. The deed stated that Abraham Layport, son of the said George and Nancy Layport, was granted this land for the sum of $53. This deed is the only document that directly confirms that Abraham was the son of George and Nancy. Abraham also purchased additional land in Harrison County in 1818 and 1822.
    During the War of 1812, Abraham was a Lieutenant in the Ohio State Militia, serving in Captain Nicholas Davis’ Company, Russell’s Battalion. Abraham’s pay and muster cards indicate that he served from 26 August 1814 to 25 February 1815, was paid $30 per month and was stationed in Detroit — 340 miles from his first place of rendezvous in Cadiz. He was probably involved in protecting Detroit from a possible British attack from Canada which did not occur. Those forces were concentrated in the Lake Champlain area where they were defeated. Detroit had been surrendered to the British in August 1812 and not regained until Admiral Perry destroyed the British fleet on Lake Erie in September 1813. As a result, the British were forced to retreat eastward from the Detroit region. At the time Abraham came on active duty in Cadiz, Ohio, the British had just burned Washington, D.C. Subsequent British defeats, however, forced the English to sign the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, 1814 with the U.S. Senate ratifying the treaty 17 February 1815. Abraham was discharged 25 February 1815 and allowed 17 days to return to Cadiz.
    In the 1820 census Abraham was living with his wife, seven sons and three daughters, three of whom were involved in agriculture. His brother, Isaac, was enumerated one house away and died in 1825, leaving Abraham as the guardian of his children. In 1828, two of Isaac’s children were placed in apprenticeship indentures where Abraham was listed as guardian. Eight-year-old John Valentine Layport was indentured until his 21st birthday to learn the trade of farming and 10-year-old Margaret was indentured until the same age to learn spinning, knitting, sewing and customary branches of housewifery.
    Following the death of his brother, Abraham purchased, through the estate executor, Isaac’s quarter-section of land which was located adjacent to his land. This was originally a part of the section of land purchased by George Layport from the U.S.
    Government in 1806 and subsequently sold to Isaac in 1811 for $53. Abraham purchased this land for $1000 on 5 July 1828.
    Abraham was living in Cadiz Township in the 1830 census with his wife, five sons and two daughters. His sons Samuel, John and Abraham, Jr. had moved out of the house and were enumerated nearby. About 1835 Abraham moved his family (probably using the National Road) to Rush Creek Township in Logan County, Ohio and purchased the land of Elijah Beale where the town of Harper now stands, living there the remainder of his life. That land was purchased 16 September 1837 and later transferred to the children from his second marriage. After being laid out in 1851, the town of Harper saw the construction of the first building by Abraham’s son, John, who became the proprietor of the first store in town.
    The 1840 census shows that Abraham and Margaret still had two sons (one was probably Bezaleel since he did not marry until 1843) living at home with three individuals (most likely the males) listed as being involved in agriculture. Margaret died 15 August 1848, leaving Abraham living alone in the 1850 census, listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $3000. Three of Abraham’s sons lived in adjacent households, two of who were carpenters (Abraham W. and John) and Ephraim was a farmer.
    Abraham married Juliann Whalen (born in Pennsylvania about 1825) on 5 November 1851 and had three children from this union — Marie, Brockerman and Rose Ann — born between 1852 and 1855.
    Evidently in failing health, Abraham, on 20 September 1859, sold the land he had purchased in 1837 to his children Rose Ann and Brockerman Layport for one dollar. Abraham died 23 December 1859 in Logan County was buried in the Harper Cemetery.
    — Researched and written by J Richards of Colorado Springs, descendant of Abraham Layport through his son, Bezaleel

    • Thank you. I will incorporate you fine research when I return home from our pilgrimage in France and Spain. I believe I have found our ancestral home in France. I will try to find a French genealogist to assist in finding George’s parents and linage.

      • As a long-time genealogist with experience in conducting European research, I’d be interested in what tip-offs you have that you’ve discovered the ancestral homeland of George. If you have some valid evidence, I would suggest that you not hire a French genealogist, but first check out what’s available on microfilm/digitized online for that specific area of France in the LDS Family History Library. Ordering and researching several rolls of LDS microfilm containing French church records at $7.50 a roll is much cheaper that hiring a French genealogist, especially if you have no firm evidence for them to work from.
        When you return from Europe I’d be happy to share with you what I’ve written concerning George Layport.

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