Reuben Weed
of Abbeville county, South Carolina, d. 17912.

Born in Connecticut, Reuben Weed moved to New York and then to South Carolina. The move from New York to South Carolina is well enough documented, but it would be nice to have better documentation for the move from Connecticut to New York, in order to be more certain of the identification of Reuben Weed of New York and South Carolina with the Reuben Weed whose birth on 16 October 1740 was recorded at Derby. Nevertheless, the identification appears to be valid. The residents of Newburgh, NY and nearby New Windsor (previously Little Britain) in the 1770's included Reuben Weed, Nathaniel Weed, John Weed, and Abel Weed, corresponding well to the names of sons of Samuel and Sarah (Richardson) Weed [see the page of Samuel Weed]. On 6 October Reuben and Martha Weed of the precinct of New Windsor, Ulster (now Orange) co., NY, sold to to Benjamin Wright of Hempstead tp., Queens co., Long Island, NY, for 259 4s 3d, two parcels of land in New Windsor precinct, one of thirty acres and the other of 52 1/4 acres [Ulster co., NY Deed Book II: 509, FHL film #944,744]. This must have been in preparation for the move to South Carolina, for in 1839 his son Reuben Weed stated that it was in the year 1774 that his father moved the family to South Carolina [Rev. War Pension file #R11274, FHL film #972,521, frames 418-9, see below]. According to another statement by his son Reuben, the elder Reuben Weed served as an aide of General Pickens in South Carolina during the American Revolution [ibid., see below]. The statement of the younger Reuben Weed in his pension file that he was born near Newburgh, New York and moved to Abbeville district, South Carolina in 1774 is the most important piece of evidence documenting the move of the family from Ulster (now Orange) county, New York to Abbeville county, South Carolina [ibid., see below].

On 28 March 1792, Martha Weed, Andrew Jones, Andrew Weed, Nathaniel Weed, Reuben Weed, and James Cochran made a bond stating that Reuben Weed had before his death made a will that was left in the possession of Martha Weed, that the will was by some mischance lost or taken away, but that the substance of the will was remembered by the witnesses and legatees and had been put into writing, and that those making the bond would abide by it [Abbeville co., SC Will Book 1: 83, FHL film #22,825; bond witnessed by Robt Crawford, John Taylor Mitchel, and Martha Cochran]. Although not so stated in the bond, the list of those making the bond consisted of the widow, the sons, and the sons-in-law of the deceased. As reconstructed by the witnesses and legatees, the will of Reuben Weed of Long Cane, Abbeville county, South Carolina, supposedly dated 11 November 1791, and proved 1 September 1792, mentioned his wife Martha, his son Reuben, his son Andrew, his son Nathaniel, his daughter Martha, and his son-in-law Andrew Jones, with his wife Martha, his son-in-law Andrew Jones, and his son Andrew Weed as executors. A note at the end of the registered copy of the will states that Reuben Weed deceased made his will about 23 August 1790 [Abbeville co., SC Will Book 1: 84, FHL film # 22,825; will transcribed in Southern Weeds, 16-7]. In the 1800 census of Abbeville county, Martha Weed was enumerated as the only member of the household [Martha Weed 1F>45, 1800 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 2]. The will of Martha Weed of Abbeville district, South Carolina, dated 22 September 1809, and proved 2 October 1809, mentioned her son Andrew, her son Nathaniel, her son Reuben, her son Reuben's son Reuben, her son-in-law James Cochran, "one Negro Boy named Harry for Schooling & Raising of my Daughter Marthas Children untill James is twenty years of age then the sd. Negro Boy to be the property of the sd. James only paying an Equal Share to his Brothers John & Rueben ...", and her daughter Martha's three daughters (unnamed), with James Cochran, Robert Crawford, & Jno. Devlin as executors. The inventory of her estate, which included two slaves, was taken 22 November 1809 [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 98, Pack 2403, FHL film #181,7126; will also in Abbeville co., SC Will Book 1: 382, FHL film #22,825; will transcribed in Southern Weeds, 18].

Date of birth: 16 October 1740.
Place of birth: Recorded at Derby, CT.
[Vital records in Derby, CT Deeds 4: A2, FHL film #4,059]

Date of death: 11 November 1791 28 March 1792.
Place of death: presumably Abbeville co., SC.
The reconstructed will of Reuben Weed was dated (retrospectively) 11 November 1791, which is presumed to be before his death. He was deceased on 28 March 1792 when his heirs appeared in court [see above].

Father: Samuel Weed, b. 18 July 1704, rec. at Derby.
Mother: Sarah Richardson, b. 20 April 1710, rec. at Waterbury.

Spouse: Martha _____, d. Abbeville co., SC, 22 September 2 October 1809.

As noted above, the wills of both Reuben and Martha Weed mention three sons and a daughter, with the will of Reuben mentioning a son-in-law Andrew Jones and the will of Martha mentioning a son-in-law James Cochran. It is not immediately clear just from these two wills whether their daughter Martha was successively married to Andrew Jones and James Cochran, or whether Martha, the wife of Andrew Jones, and the wife of James Cochran were two or three distinct individuals. Fortunately, this is cleared up by other records. Estate records survive for both Andrew Jones and James Cochran (see below), but unfortunately neither of them supply the names of their wives. The will of Martha Weed shows that her daughter Martha was the mother of three sons, James, John, and Reuben, and three unnamed daughters, but unfortunately the surname of these six children is not given. However, the list of six children of Martha matches very well with the five children named in the will of James Cochran, a son having apparently died in the interval (see below under Martha), and Martha Cochran was a witness to the 1792 bond. Thus, Martha was married to James Cochran. It has frequently been stated that Martha was married successively to both Andrew Jones and James Cochran, but that is not a reasonable conclusion from the available evidence. It is clear from the bond appearing before the will of Reuben Weed that Andrew Jones and James Cochran were married to distinct daughters of Reuben and Martha Weed. The name of the second daughter of Reuben and Martha Weed, the wife of Andrew Jones, is apparently unknown. What little information we have about ages would suggest that Nathaniel, Andrew, Reuben, and Martha were born in that order, but the evidence on which that conclusion is based (discussed below) is not of the highest quality, and better evidence could easily overturn this order. There is no evidence at all for the birthdate or order of birth of the unnamed daughter.

Nathaniel Weed, b. say 1762, d. 16 March 3 August 1818;
Elizabeth _____, d. 14 October 20 December 1826.
He was listed as over 45 in the 1810 census, suggesting a birthdate in or before 1765 [Nathan. Weed 11001-02101, 1810 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 125], and the fact that he had a son born in 1786 also suggests a birth before 1765. With the birthdates of both of his brothers apparently in the 1764-5 neighborhood, a slightly earlier birthdate has been estimated for Nathaniel, clearly subject to much uncertainty. The 1767 or 1768 birthdates often given to him seem to have no reasonable authority.

Andrew Weed, b. ca. 1764, d. Abbeville co., SC, February 1850;
m. Mary [Gray?], b. ca. 1766, d. bef. 29 September 1857.
On 15 November 1827, Andrew Weed applied for a pension to the State of South Carolina, stating that he was in his 63rd or 64th year. An undated request of the widow Mary Weed for a pension states that Andrew Weed died in February 1850, and that she was married to him at the time of his service in the American Revolution, but another document states that it appears that she only married him afterwards, and recommended that the pension be denied [SC Audited Accounts #8316, FHL film #2,411,015]. The will of Andrew Weed, dated 26 January 1850 and proved 4 March 1850, gave most of his estate to his wife Mary Weed, and mentioned his daughter Anna Mitchel, with his wife, William H. Simpson, and Alexr. Houston as executors [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 127, Pack 3750, FHL film #181,740; will inaccurately abstracted in Abstr. Old 96, 504]. The estate of Mary Weed was administered on 29 September 1857 by her grandson John G. Gray [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 146, Pack 4140, FHL film #181,752]. One source says that Andrew Weed was born 11 March 1764, died 10 February 1850, and married Mary Gray in 1786 [SC Patriots, 975]. Cemetery inscriptions of Andrew and Mary Weed at the old Presbyterian church in Willington, SC give dates that disagree [Maj. A. Weed, d. 23 Feb. 1851 ae. 90y 11m 7d, Mary Weed d. 8 Sep. 1857 ae. 92 y 1m 2d, South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 28 (1927): 248; the 1851 death date is obviously wrong]. The 1810 census shows Andrew Weed as over 45 and his wife as under 45 [12001-20110, 1810 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 15], and the 1820 census shows both as over 45 [000001-01001, 1820 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 12]. The 1830 and 1840 censuses both indicate that Andrew Weed (A. Weed 1840) and his wife were born in the decade 1760-70 [1830 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 70; 1840 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 4]. Mary Weed was aged 84, living by herself in the 1850 census [1850 cen., Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville co., SC, 29].

Reuben Weed, b. near Newburgh, NY, ca. 1765, d. 30 June 1845;
m. [Elizabeth? _____].
In the 1810 census, Ruben Weed's age is given as under 45, suggesting that he may have been the youngest of the three brothers [31110-11010, 1810 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 110]. In 1820, he and his wife are, as expected, over 45 [011101-00001, 1820 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 19]. I did not find him in 1830, and in the 1840 census, he is only listed as 60-70, with his apparent wife aged 50-60, both probably a decade too low [1840 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 35]. On 7 October 1839, Reuben Weed of Abbeville dist. SC, aged 74, applied for a Revolutionary War pension, stating "That he entered the service of the State as a volunteer in Febuary in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two under Captain Joseph Calhoun and served as a regular militia soldier in the capacity of a private, until near Christmas, that he was stationed at the block house in the district of Ninety Six, in the said state, near to the present cite of Abbeville courthouse, that he remained in the said block house in service, as a private soldier, under the command of the said Captain Calhoun not less than nine months, That Major Noble and Major Hamilton, Colonel Anderson and General Pickens were the general officers. That his Father Reuben Weed served as aid to Gen Pickens in the revolutionary war. That he was born in the Highlands in New York within five miles of Newberg, left there with his Father in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four and removed to the State of South Carolina and settled in the District of Ninety Six (that part of it is now Abbeville district) That he has no living witness of his service except his brother Andrew ... That he has no record of his age Thinks that he received a discharge <signed by Captain Joseph Calhoun> but has lost it - That he has lived in Abbeville District ever since the revolutionary war, except about five years that he lived in Georgia." [signed by Rubn Weed Senr, with a affidavit on the same date by his brother Andrew Weed confirming that Reuben served at the Block House, Rev. War Pension file #R11274, FHL film #972,521, frames 418-9] On 12 May 1853, Andrew J. Weed appeared in court in Abbeville co., SC and stated that Reuben Weed had died on 30 June 1845, and that his surviving children were three sons, Andrew J. Weed, John Weed, and James Weed, and Andrew J. Weed was granted letters of administration for the estate of Reuben Weed [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 136, Pack 3873, FHL film #181,747]. The name of his wife has been reported as Elizabeth Dale or Elizabeth Hathorn, but I know of no good evidence for even the first name.

Martha Weed, b. after 1765?, living 11 November 1791;
m. James Cochran, d. Abbeville co., SC, 122 October 1822.
The will of James Cochran of Abbeville dist., SC, dated 1 October 1822, and proved 21 October 1822, mentions his wife (name not given), his daughters Martha, Nancy, and Sarah, and his sons James and Reubin, with son Reubin and Thomas M. Downey as executors [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 17, Pack 345, FHL film #181,688]. As noted above, this matches well with the statement of Martha Weed's will on 22 September 1809 that her daughter Martha had sons James, John, and Reuben and three daughters. The son John who evidently died between 1809 and 1822 may have been the John M. Cochran, deceased, whose administration was granted on 27 November 1817 to Martha Cochran and John L. Cooper, with James Cochran as one of the bondsmen [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 21, Pack 461, FHL film #181,690]. Jas. Cochran Esqr. appears in the 1810 census of Abbeville co., SC with a large household which apparently included more than just his children [1M<10, 2M10-16, 3M16-26, 1M>45, 4F<10, 2F10-16, 1F16-26, 1F26-45]. This would be more useful if we knew for sure that Martha was still alive in 1810, but the Martha Cochran of 1717 could be the daughter and James Cochran's unnamed wife in his will could be a second wife. Still, it seems more likely than not that Martha was the woman aged 26-45 in the 1810 census, therefore probably born after 1765. See also the discussion of Martha Weed Jr. below.

_____ Weed (daughter);
m. Andrew Jones, d. 28 October 1798.
As noted above, the notion that Andrew Jones was married to Martha Weed must be rejected. He is called a son-in-law and named executor in the reconstructed will of Reuben Weed, but the name of his wife is unrecorded. She may already have been deceased at the time Reuben Weed wrote his will, which would explain why she is not explicitly named in the will. The date of death of Andrew Jones is given by the records of the Cedar Springs A. R. P. church in Abbeville co., SC [South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research 11 (1983): 89]. On 29 October 1798, Reuben Weed and William Deale Jr. applied to the Abbeville co., SC court for letters of administration of the estate of Andrew Jones, late of Abbeville co., SC, deceased, as next of kin (the name "Reuben" being written over "Andrew" which was crossed out), and on 4 November 1799, Reuben Weed and William Deale Jr. were granted the administration of the estate [Abbeville co., SC Probate Records, Box 108, Pack 2909, FHL film #181,731].

Who was Martha Weed Jr. in the 1800 census?

Two Martha Weeds appear as heads of households in the 1800 census of Abbeville county, South Carolina. One of them, mentioned above, was aged over 45 and living alone [1800 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 2]. The other one, of uncertain age, was designated as Martha Weed Junr [1M<10, 1F10-16, 1F26-45, 1F>45, 1800 cen., Abbeville co., SC, 31]. The head of household need not be the oldest member, so it is uncertain whether Martha Weed Jr. was the woman aged 26-45 or the woman over 45. Adding to the interest is the fact that she was enumerated adjacent to James Cochran, the only man of that name enumerated in the county, and therefore presumably the same person as the James Cochran who was a son-in-law of Reuben and Martha Weed [2M<10, 1M10-16, 1M26-45, 1F<10, 1F26-45, ibid.]. So, who was this Martha Weed Jr? A number of scenarios can be suggested, but some of them are extremely improbable, and none are entirely convincing.

Was Martha Weed Jr. the not yet married daughter of Reuben and Martha Weed?
At first glance, this would seem like the obvious guess, but closer scrutiny shows it to be improbable. The 1809 will of Reuben's widow Martha Weed shows that her daughter Martha already had six children at that time. Although not impossible, very rarely does a woman have six children within the space of nine years. If we assume that Martha Jr. married James Cochran after 1800, then in addition we run into the strong evidence mentioned above that James Cochran was already a son-in-law of Reuben and Martha Weed by 1792.

Was Martha Weed Jr. the widow of Andrew Jones, reverted to her maiden name and not yet married to James Cochran?
This scenario seems to be the one most often suggested [e.g., Southern Weeds, 33], but it does not seem feasible. It was not the usual custom for widows to revert to their maiden name, and as was pointed out above, the evidence is strong that Andrew Jones and James Cochran married two different daughters of Reuben and Martha Weed.

Was Martha Weed Jr. the wife of James Cochran, temporarily separated or divorced from her husband?
This is possible. She would have to be the woman aged 26-45, for a daughter of Reuben and Martha Weed would not yet be 45 years old in 1800. It would fit well with the strong evidence mentioned above that it was Reuben's daughter Martha who was married to James Cochran. The main weaknesses of this hypothesis are that it is somewhat contrived and it lacks direct evidence. Its main strength is that the main alternatives seem even weaker.

Was Martha Weed Jr. the widow of Reuben Weed's younger brother John Weed?
If Martha Weed Jr. was the member of her household aged over 45, then she could not be a daughter of Reuben and Martha Weed, but would instead have to belong to an earlier generation. In this respect, it could be noted that there is really no solid evidence about the name of the wife of John Weed, younger brother of Reuben Weed [see the page of Samuel Weed]. Thus, it is difficult to rule out the possibility that Martha Weed Jr. was John's widow. However, this possibility is very speculative, and cannot be accepted without better evidence than we have.

Was Martha Weed Jr. actually the wife of the Reuben Weed who heads this page?
It has generally been assumed that Reuben Weed's wife Martha was the Martha Weed who was living alone in the 1800 census, but was that necessarily the case? If Reuben's wife was actually the Martha Jr. of the census, then she would be living next to her son-in-law James Cochran. In this scenario, the Martha Weed who was living alone would be a presumably older relative, perhaps a widow of one of Reuben's uncles. To give an extremely speculative example, Martha (Peck) Weed, wife of Reuben's uncle Caleb Weed, would have been 75 in 1800 if still alive [see the page of Reuben's grandfather John Weed], although I know of no evidence that she ever went to South Carolina. This scenario seems rather unlikely, and I mention it primarily to illustrate how difficult it is to eliminate possibilities when trying to identify individuals in these early censuses.

Other possibilities?
Obviously, other scenarios could be offered which, however unlikely, could not be completely ruled out on the available evidence. For example, perhaps there was no genealogical connection at all between the two Martha Weeds. Thus, it is hard to give a satisfactory answer to the question of who Martha Weed Jr. was. As we have seen, the evidence is strong that Reuben's daughter Martha married James Cochran before 1792. Thus, there seem to be two main possibilities. If the Martha Weed Jr. of the census was Reuben's daughter, then in that case she would seem to have been living apart from her husband under her maiden name in 1800. On the other hand, if Martha Jr. was not Reuben's daughter, it is more difficult to identify who she might have been. The fact that Martha Weed Jr. was enumerated adjacent to James Cochran would seem to tilt the scales in the direction of the first option, although not decisively.

Reference abbreviations

Abstr. Old 96 = Willie Pauline Young, Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds (Abbeville, 1950).

SC Patriots = Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution (Baltimore, 1983).

Southern Weeds = Louie Clarence Weed & Louie Gordon Weed, Southern Weeds and Allied Families (Baltimore, 1990).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 14 August 2011.