October 4, 2011

Mariah Ordway and her Hubby, Joel P. Ross

Aaron and Susannah Ordway’s  daughter and my gggg - grandfather Harrison’s sister, Mariah Ordway, was born on 13 August 1805 in Strafford, Orange County, Vermont.  She was the middle daughter between Tamar (born in 1800) and a younger sister, Lydia (born 1807).  Mariah was not yet sixteen when she married Joel P. Ross on 3 March 1821 in New York.  She and Joel led a long married life and both died at advanced ages, after having many children together and living out their days in Lorain County, Ohio

Thanks to some descendants of Mariah and Joel, I have these photos  and more information to share.   Here's Mariah (also called Maria in some records) ~

Mariah’s obituary was printed in The Norwalk Daily Reflector on Friday, December 21, 1894.  She had died a week early on December 15th.
“Mrs. Maria Ross, an old pioneer of this place, died December 15, at the age of over 89 years.  The deceased lived in the place over 47 years, moving from Vermont to Ohio in 1821.  She was the mother of 15 children, 47 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.  Five of her children live to mourn her loss.  She was a true and devoted member of the Methodist church for 47 years, and she will be missed by her many friends and relatives.  She survived her husband 14 years.”

 Another source, Walter Gunn’s letter to Lewis Hayes:
“Mrs. Maria Ross, my great grandmother, was born in Vermont, 13 Aug. 1805 and died at her home in Brighton, Dec. 15, 1894, at the advanced age of 89 years, 4 months and 1 day.  She was married to Joel Ross, March 3, 1821.  They moved from New York state to Ohio about 65 years ago.  They moved to Brighton 47 years ago, where she lived ever since until death relieved her suffering.  She, with her husband, united with the M. E. church about 47 years ago, where she has been a faithful and devoted Christian, ever since her husband precedingher to his future home some thirteen and one half years ago.  She was the mother of 15 children, eleven that became grown up.  Mrs. Anna Jeffrey of Hartland, Joel Ross of Wakeman, Mrs. Fannie Fletcher of Wakeman, Mrs. Angeline Moon, and Mrs. Charity Gunn of Brighton and a large circle of grandchildren.  She was a faithful wife and a kind and loving mother.  They children wises to return their sincere thanks to the friends and neighbors for their kind assistance during sickness and death of our dear mother.”

Joel P. Ross, Mariah’s husband,  was born on 5 March 1799 in Groveland in Livingston County, New York.  The Biographical Record of the Counties of Huron and Lorain, Ohio has a sketch about Joel P. and Mariah’s son, Joel II  that really gives a good historical account of his father’s life, as well.

It first speaks of the son, Joel Ross II:
“This well-known influential farmer and stock raiser of Wakeman township first saw the light March 12, 1828, the locality of his birth being the same farm where his father was born March 5, 1799 in Groveland township, Livingston County, New York.

Joel P. and Maria (Ordaway) Ross, parents of the subject of this sketch, had a family of thirteen children; of whom are living the following: Anna (Mrs. William Jeffries), a widow, living in Hartland; Fannie Jane, wife of William Harrison Fletcher, living in Wakeman, Ohio; Angeline, wife of John Moon, and Charity, wife of Melvin Gunn, both residents of Brighton, Lorain County; and William, a farmer of Michigan.  When our subject was about eighteen months old, he came down the Ohio river on a raft with his parents, and his father moved to Scioto county, Ohio, afterward coming to Lorain county, dying in Brighton, March 9, 1881, at the age of eighty-two years; for some time prior to his death, he had resided in Florence township, Erie county.  He was a lifelong farmer, politically, he was a Republican, and he was a member of the Methodist church, as is also his widow, who is yet living in Brighton, Ohio, now in her eighty-eighth year.

Joel Ross II, whose name opens this sketch, received his education at the common schools of the vicinity of his home, at the same time assisting his parents in the work of cultivating and improving the farm.  When he was nineteen years old, he commenced working away from home by th emonth, and, saving his money, paid for fifty-three acres of land in Brighton township, Lorain county.  After five years, he went to California, where for four and one-half years, he was engaged in mining, driving team, etc., saving his money with judicious care.  Returning to Huron county, he bought 150 acres of wild land in Wakeman township, and leased the fifty-three acres in Brighton to his father, who lived thereon to the time of his death.  Clearing the land, our subject sold the timber, built himself a comfortable log house, barn, etc., and prospered.  He now owns 150 acres and successfully carries on general agriculture, including stock raising.”

The sketch goes on to tell of Joel Ross II’s marriage to Miss Ann Haines in 1859 and of their five children.  Joel II served as a school director and in other “offices of trust” in his township.

Mariah Ordway was my great-great-great-great aunt.  Quite a looker, don't you think?


  1. Diane, I have a picture of my great, great grandfather, Joel Ross, with his wife, Elizabeth Haynes Ross, and their Daughter Anna Ross Haynes and her husband William, Parents of E.J. Hayes, who is MY grandfather. We have Joel down as a 49er. I don't know how to post the picture.

  2. I would love to see the photo! Please send to the email shown after you click on my profile above. I love collecting the old photos and I would be glad to eventually post the one you send. Please send a little info with it, if you have it. Thanks!

  3. Hi, I am part of the Ordway family, and I am not sure if there is any connection. My grandfather was Frances laird Ordway born in LA. I know that they had 1 large land and 2 small pieces of land in Iowa. I have traced the family back in connection with the Hubbards in Iowa. My g grandma was Sarah Ordway who died in LA. Thank you for your time.

  4. Hello, Candice, I'm not sure about that Ordway connection. I have not come across any Ordways in my direct line in those areas, but that doesn't mean yours can't be part of a collateral line. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.