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Jeremiah Leavitt and Sarah Shannon

Jeremiah LEAVITT. [Ancestors].
Born 10 July 1760 at Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire; son of Nathaniel Leavitt and Lydia Sanborn. (S8).

Jeremiah Leavitt married Sarah Shannon (about 1780)(about 1784), probably married in Chester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Their marriage in Chester is indicated by two things, first that Sarah's family was from Chester, and secondly that they are living in Chester in the 1790 census.

Jeremiah Leavitt appears in the 1790 Census in Chester as follow:
Jeremiah Leavitt.
Free white males of 16 years & upwards including heads of families: 1
Free white males under 16 years: 2

Free white females including heads of families: 1 (S7).
This would be: Jeremiah, Sarah, and their sons Weare and Nathaniel.

Did Jeremiah and Sarah live for a time in Grantham, Sullivan County, New Hampshire?
Grantham, N.H., was originally incorporated in 1761. The 1761 charter was granted to a group of 68 proprietors, but when the requirements for settlement were not met, the charter was forfeited. The second charter was granted in 1767 to another set of 70 proprietors (including one woman) for a town called New Grantham. The first settlers built homesteads in scattered areas on the west side of Grantham Mountain. Early settlements in Grantham included the Dunbar Hill area in the 1770s, the Leavitt Hill section around 1790-93 and Howe Hill around 1813. In 1790, the first year of the census, Grantham had 333 residents. Sullivan County was formed in 1827, from a portion of Cheshire County.

The first settlement in Grantham was upon the west side of the mountain, in 1767. Among the first settlers were Ezra Buswell, Elijah Gleason, Abel Stevens, Francis Smith, esq., Ithamer Bartlett, Job, Stephen and Caleb Colton, Jonathan Parkhurst, Jabez Bennett, Isaac Jenny, Ebenezer Burr, Robít and Charles Scott, Samuel, John and Robít Duncan, William Moulton, Ebenezer Stebbins, Abner Johnson, Parker Carr, Joab V. Young, Willard Marcy James Smith and William Huntington. (History of Grantham, by L. D. Dunbar).

Jeremiah I had previously bought land in Quebec, known at that time as Lower Canada, and about 1798, they migrated north into Hatley, Quebec, Canada, just over the border from Vermont. Here were born to them, John, Betsy, and Rebecca. Apparently Jeremiah didn't sell his lands in New Hampshire and leave for good until about 1800. Their last daughter, Hannah, was born on the Vermont side of the border, although the family was still living in Hatley. When they first arrived in this place, it was virgin land, well-wooded but with large areas for farming, and also suited to lumbering, fishing, and hunting. It was here that they established their home. Jeremiah I died and was buried in Hatley about 1806. Sarah Shannon Leavitt stayed on in Hatley with her family. Most of the children married local friends. However, all contact was not lost with friends and relatives in the States, as Jeremiah II returned there to find a bride. {S6}.

Jeremiah died in 1806 in Stanstead, Quebec, Quebec, Canada. (S1).

Sarah SHANNON. [Ancestors].
Born (about 1765)(in 1765-S1,S4,S5)(1766) at (Chester-S1,S4,S5)(Exeter) Rockingham County, New Hampshire; daughter of Thomas SHANNON and Ann RAND. She was christened in Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire-S1,S4).

She married Jeremiah LEAVITT (about 1780)(in 1817-S5) at Hatley, Stansted, Quebec, Canada. She died in (1839-1840-S1,S4)(1840) at (Twelve Mile Grove, Adams, Illinois-S1,S4).

She believed in baptism by immersion and so joined the Free Will Baptist Church in Hatley, She attended the meetings, read the scriptures, and prayed earnestly for guidance, but was never quite satisfied. {S6}.

Meanwhile, word began to reach this part of Canada of a new church in the United States led by a latter-day prophet named Joseph Smith. No missionaries had as yet visited Hatley, but one day a man who had attended a Mormon gathering came into town with two books, "A Voice of Warning" and the Book of Mormon, which he loaned to the Leavitt family. Night after night, the members gathered to read these books and discuss their contents. As Jeremiah II would say later, "We believed them without preaching." {S6}.

The family decided they must move to the gathering place to join the members of this church, and for weeks they studied maps and gathered information. They decided to make their first stop Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois on the southern edge of Lake Michigan. The company left Hatley on July 20, 1837 (1835?). It included all the sons of Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt and all her daughters except two, of whom we have no record. Dudley celebrated his seventh birthday a few days after they left Hatley. He was a sturdy, healthy, independent child who asked no help but tried to care for his sister Mary and baby brother Thomas, both of whom were younger than he. {S6}.

The Leavitt family arrived in Kirtland, Ohio towards the end of August. Jeremiah II, Sarah and Louisa were baptized in the church and they heard the Prophet, Joseph Smith, speak at the General Assembly. By this time, September 1837, Jeremiah II and Sarah found their funds were exhausted and they settled in Mayfield, Cuyahoga County, Ohio to work and replenish their stores. The rest of the family went on to Twelve Mile Grove in Illinois with Jeremiah and Sarah promising to meet them there. (S6).

Their detour to Kirtland cost them a little more than a year. Dudley was past nine years of age when they arrived at Twelve Mile Grove, eager to rejoin their family. They were saddened to learn that Grandma Sarah Shannon Leavitt was dead, just worn out with the rigors of the long journey. Also dead were Jeremiah II's brothers, Weare and Nathaniel. Nathaniel's three boys were taken into Jeremiah II's care. Many of the others were sick and discouraged. The country was swampy and many were plagued with chills and fever. (S6).

Twelve Mile Grove was located in Wilton Township, Will County, Illinois and was settled in 1832 on land that was originally and Indian reservation. In this grove was once an Indian village of which Se-natch-e-wine was chief. The Indian name for the grove was Na-be-ne-ka-nong, which roughly translated means "twelve miles from any other place". The stream known as Forked Creek ran through the grove which is said to have been one of the finest tracts of timber in Norther Illinois and was full of deer, wild turkeys and other game when the first white settlers arrived. (S6).

  1. Weir (Weare) LEAVITT. Birth 1785/1786, Grantham,Cheshire,New Hampshire. Married (1) Abigail COWLES in 1810 in Sullivan, New Hampshire. He married (2) Phoebe COWLES on 11 NOV 1825, possibly at Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. He died 3 March 1839 at Wilson, Lake County,Illinois and was buried there.
  2. Nathaniel LEAVITT. Birth: 1790, Chester,Rockingham,NH. He married (1) Betty BEAR in 1813, probably at Hatley, Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. He married (2) Deborah DELANO about 1817 at Grantham, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. He died in 1838 at Sturgess,Prarie,MI.
  3. Josiah LEAVITT. Birth: 1792, Chester,Rockingham County,NH. He married Deborah DELANO on 6 MAR 1817 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. [Note: Source 4 has he and his brother Nathaniel both marrying the same person]. He died in 1838 at Sturgess,Prarie,Michigan
  4. Lydia LEAVITT. Birth: 1794, Chester,Rockingham,NH. She married Thomas ROWELL in 1818 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. She died 4 AUG 1846 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire.
  5. Sarah (Sally) LEAVITT. Born about 1795 at Chester, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. She married (1) William ROWELL on 6 MAR 1817 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. She married (2) __?__ STURDEVANT.
  6. Jeremiah LEAVITT. [Ancestors]. Born on 30 May 1796 at Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. He married Sarah STURTEVANT on 6 March 1817 at Barton, Orleans County, Vermont. He died 20 August 1846 between Bonopart and Mt Pisgah, Van Buren County, Iowa. He was buried at Bonaparte, Van Buren County, Iowa.
  7. John LEAVITT. Bon on 27 July 1798, Hatley,Stansted, Quebec, Canada. He married Lucy ROWELL on 13 MAR 1822 at Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke County, Quebec, Canada. He died 17 February 1852 at Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.
  8. Rebecca LEAVITT. Born on 27 September 1802, Of Hatley,Quebec,Quebec,Canada. She married Franklin CHAMBERLAIN on 29 January 1820 in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. She died on 27 February 1892
  9. Betsey LEAVITT. Born on 23 November 1804, Hatley,Qbc,Canada. She married James ADAMS on 27 May 1821 in the Angelican Church at Hatley, Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. She died 25 December 1853, Council Bluffs, Pttstt, Iowa.
  10. Hannah LEAVITT. Born on 26 DEC 1805, Sy-Johnsbury,Cldn, Vermont. She married Horace FISH on 18 MAR 1824 at (Hatley, Stanstead, Quebec, Canada)(in Vermont, though the family was living in Hatley-S6). She died on 5 November 1876 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah; and was buried 7 November 1876 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah.


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