John and Martha Frost Howsmon

Martha Frost

John Howsmon

Parents: Hannah (Taylor?) and Willam Frost

Parents: John and Christina Howsmon?

Born: January 25, 1759, Frederick,VA (birth record)

Born: October 15, 1755 PA (birth record)

Married: March 15, 1782 to John Howsmon in Frederick, VA (marriage)

Married: March 15, 1782 to Martha Frost in Frederick, VA (marriage)

Died: June 19, 1832, near Sedalia, Madison County, OH

Died: July 29, 1818, Range twp, Madison County, OH

Interred: Bethel Cemetery, near Sedalia (tombstone)

Interred: Bethel Cemetery, near Sedalia (tombstone)

Occupation: farmer

"Martha Frost is supposed to have come from New York or New Jersey to Virginia where she met and married John Howsmon. It is known that they lived near Winchester, VA., prior to 1804 when with their family, they moved to Ohio. She is described as tall and straight, with black hair and sparkling black eyes. She is said to have been one of triplet sisters, cousins of President Zachary Taylor [on her mother's side]. I have not been able to trace her in any of the Frost genealogies that I have examined. She was the mother of a large family." (source) "Although hitherto known in the family records as Martha, it appears from her father's will that she had a double name Elizabeth Martha. It is just possible however that Elizabeth was a sister." (source) -- William Perry Hay (1871-1947). [Note however, that elsewhere in his notes he states that the Frost family was in Virginia by the 1730s, prior to Martha's birth; it is her ancestors who are thought to have been from NY/NJ. Also, the triplet story is thought to be in error. -- DLH] Note that on daughter Margaret Howsmon McClimans' 1880 census she confirms her mother's birthplace as VA

"John Howsmon is said to have been a native of Virginia and is known to have lived near Winchester, VA up to 1804 [maybe 1807*]. In that year, he moved with his family to Ross County, Ohio, where he is supposed to have lived near Chillicothe. In 1812 or thereabouts, he moved to Madison County, and settled on land about halfway between Midway [Sedalia] and Mount Sterling, in Range Township, where he remained until his death. The farm he occupied included what is now Bethel Cemetery and the old Howsmon burying ground is now a part of the cemetery. The old farm house is said to have stood near the present entrance to the cemetery." (WPH source) "I have not been able to discover anything about the parents or the nationality of John Howsmon. However, I have developed the impression that the family was of English, rather than German, origin, that they were Quakers, and came to Virginia from Maryland or Pennsylvania." -- William Perry Hay (1871-1947). Note that on daughter Margaret Howsmon McClimans' 1880 census she states her father was born in PA.

Census data: 1787, 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830

Census data: 1787, 1790 (see 1790), 1800, 1810

page 1 (entire book)
Howsmon 1805 Fractur Book: Martha Frost and John Howsmon commissioned a fractur family record book in VA just prior to their move to Ohio. It includes all the children but Martha, who was born in 1806. This book is still in existence, owned by the Compton family of Indianapolis in 2012, since sold. This book appears to be drawn by an English artist, not German, who was from Pennsylvania. As the Frosts were one of the original settlers of the Quaker community in Frederick,VA in 1734, and the Howsmon family was in Winchester,VA in the 1750s, it begs the question, how did they cross paths with a Pennsylvania artist? I (DLH) think it was through their daughter-in-law Abigail Britton -- the Brittons lived in Pennsylvania until 1790, and probably saw these fractur books while they lived in Bucks,PA in 1787-1790. Note that while the majority of the fractur book appears to have been designed and illustrated by a Pennsylvania artist, there were a couple drawings that appear to have been illustrated by a different Virginia artist. The first picture is of "St. Paul's Church", thought to be the famous one in London, which underscores the assumed English/Welsh background and not German background of the Howsmon family.

Special request of Isaac and Mary descendants: can you find their page which is missing from the book?



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. William

12/15/1782 Frederick, VA

8/19/1863 Madison, OH

1- 5/26/1802 Abigail Britton
2- 12/29/1833 Frances Wrenn Roberts


2. Frances

2/10/1785 Frederick, VA

4/18/1865 Madison, OH

(never married)


3. Abraham

7/8/1787 Frederick, VA

1812 Sandusky, OH



4. Isaac

12/3/1789 Frederick, VA

11/10/1866 Madison, OH

4/10/1819 Sarah McClimons


5. Mary "Polly"

4/18/1791 Frederick, VA

6/18/1847 Madison, OH

3/28/1815 Thomas T. Reeves


6. Jacob

10/30/1794 Frederick, VA

12/18/1859 Madison, OH

(never married)


7. Hannah

6/4/1797 Frederick, VA

12/22/1866 Madison, OH

(never married)


8. Samuel Taylor

6/26/1800 Frederick, VA

8/10/1819 Madison, OH



9. Margaret "Peggy"

6/26/1803 Frederick, VA

4/22/1885 Madison, OH

11/21/1822 James McClimans


10. Martha "Patsy"

2/14/1806 Frederick, VA

8/16/1878 Madison, OH

1- 9/23/1824 William Rayburn
2- 7/15/1838 Philip McDaniels



William Perry Hay's 1930s/1940s Howsmon book pages for: John Howsmon p.16,17,18, 19,20, 21,22 and Martha Frost 23,173. Pages for their children: William (24, 35,36; plus his wife Abigail Britton 39 and 183; and his second wife Frances Wren); Frances; (reputed son John); Abraham; Isaac; Mary; Jacob; Hannah; Samuel; Margaret; Martha.
-- William Perry Hay included a page for a son John based on a list by genealogist Mr. Slattery who said John died at age 18. (Thomas Slattery, 1895-1960, was William Howsmon and Abigail Britton's great-great-grandson.) While this is possible, John would have had to have died young, specifically prior to the fractur book in 1805, as only one page is missing from the book and that is for Isaac and Mary; so he would have had to have been born prior to 1787 (although it seems that an adult deceased child may have been remembered in the fractur book). Or perhaps this was a child born last, after Margaret, although this is deemed unlikely due to Martha Frost's age (47 upon Margaret's birth). Perhaps John was somehow confused with Abraham who died at age 24; this seems quite likely given that Slattery's list did not include Abraham (see more details). Given that this child is not in Bethel cemetery and is not included in the 1885 bio below (while Abraham was), makes his existence seem unlikely to me (DLH), so he is not included on the list above; child John is not mentioned by any other Howsmon/Frost genealogist.

William Perry Hay, who had no access to the fractur book, had some notes stating Abraham was born between Samuel and Margaret (i.e., born 1801-1802) -- I am sure this is incorrect and he was born earlier for two reasons: the fractur book and the circumstances of his death. The fractur book lists him as the third-born child born July 8, 1878, consistent with his death during the Sandusky (Erie County, OH) Massacre in the War of 1812 (he was missing after this massacre, last seen cleaning his rifle).

1885 "The History of Madison County, Ohio, Range Township" -- John Housman, a native of Virginia, married Martha Frost; emigrated to Ohio, and settled in Ross County; thence, about 1813, removed to Madison County and settled in Range Township, on land now owned by Mrs. Hicks. They had nine children, of whom but one now survives - Mrs. Margaret McClimans. Those deceased were William, Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, Samuel, Francis, Mary, Hannah and Martha. Of these, William married Abigail Britton, and spent his life in this county as a farmer till quite advanced in years, when he removed to London and engaged in the business of keeping hotel till his death He was twice married. By his first wife he had ten children; two now survive -- Joseph and Francis. His second wife was Frances Roberts, by whom he had one child, now deceased. Isaac married Sarah McClimans and spent his life as a farmer near the old home place of his father. He also engaged largeley as a stock dealer, and accumulated a large property prior to his death, was a leading, prominent man, and represented the county in the Legislature, and was Associate Judge of the Court of Common Please for some years. He was the father of eight children; three now survive -- Mary, wife of William Baldwin, and resides in Fayette County, Ohio; Martha, wife of Granville Rogers, and resides near Knoxville, Tenn; and Margaret, wife of John W. Steel. Jacob never married, but spent his life on the home farm with his sister Frances, who also remained single, and both died at the old homestead. Mary married Thomas Reeves. Hannah never married. Martha married William Rayburn; he died, and she married for her second husband Philip McDonald [sic], and remained a resident of this county till her death.

*Daughter Martha stated on her census (in 1860 and 1870) that she was born in Virginia with her age as 55 and 65 (indicating 1805 birthyear, or perhaps that she is in her 55th and 65th year of life). But if the birthdate of 1806 (or 1805) is correct for her, and the Virginia birthplace is correct, the move to Ohio had to have been 1806/1807 and not 1804. This later date for the move to Ohio would be consistent with the 1805 fractur book date; the fractur book is known to have been made in Virginia and not Ohio. Perhaps the fractur book was commissioned to coincide with the move to Ohio. The Britton family (Abigail's father and siblings) moved to Ohio at the same time as the Howsmon family. Some of the Frost relatives (Martha's siblings) stayed in VA, some moved to OH, and one to SC; John Howsmon is not known to have siblings, at least any brothers.

The original marriage bond for William Howsmon and Abigail Britton was found by William Perry Hay; it was dated May 25, 1802, he paid $150, Jesse Britton (Abigail's father; WPH first thought he might be a brother due to finding the record for his second marriage) served as surety, and it was signed in William's own hand as "William Howsmon" which appears to be the first instance of the spelling of Howsmon. Note that the 1805 fractur book also uses the spelling "Howsmon;" this spelling was carried foward for at least four more generations.

William Perry Hay also recounts a charming story of how on the migration from Virginia to Ohio, the girls had taken willow riding whips with them, and then planted them beside the little stream by the home, and these whips grew into stately trees.

For a description of Bethel Cemetery and the tombstone inscriptions for Howsmon descendants.

Frederick,VA records for Howsmon/Housman:
• Jno Houseman voted in 1758 and 1761 but not in 1755.
--- This confirms son John's birth in 1755 was not in VA, consistent with daughter Margaret Howsmon McClimans 1880 census on which she stated her father was born in PA
--- This confirms his (assumed) father's name is also John.
• April 8, 1767 John Howsman/Houseman sold stock (hogs and cattle) to a Jacob Staley (D.B. 11, page 374)
• (undated) John Houseman and wife, Christina named as defendants in a suit (Order Book #15)
--- These two records provide further indication that John Howsmon's parents were John and Christina Howsmon.
• Two John Housemans served as Patriots according to Gwathmey’s "Historical Record of Virginians in the Revolution" and Eckenrode’s "Revolutionary War Records"; it is not certain if these are the same person or father and son.
• 1774 military service: John Houseman (Jr) was a soldier in 1774 in Virginia for Lord Dunmore's Expedition under Capt. Peter Helphinstone.
• ~1776-1781 There are reputed to be Virginia state Revolutionary War records for a John Houseman (not found by me, DLH) -- family stories handed down include patriot service by Howsmon ancestors; these may be a match.
• 1790 Frederick,VA census data lists John Houseman with a family of two; it is assumed this record is for John Howsmon Sr and Christina; John Howsmon Jr is married with four children.
• Dec 1, 1795, John Houseman bought land from William Frost
• Dec 3, 1798, John Houseman bought land from Abraham Frost
• 1800 Frederick,VA census data lists John Houseman with a family of ten; this matches the family composition for John Howsmon and Mary Frost.
• Sep 20, 1806 John Houseman with his wife Martha sold land to Isaac McCormick
• Mar 10, 1810 John Houseman with his wife Martha sold land to Charles McCormick
• Apr 2, 1810, John Houseman sold land to William Pansbaker &bul; July 15, 1814, John Houseman with his wife Martha of Madison Co., Ohio sold land in Frederick,VA to John Wright and John Griffith.
--- since the land records starting in 1795 do not specify a Jr, it is assumed that John Howsmon Sr likely died in the 1790-1795.

HOWSMON Heritage:

Some additional sources:
• W.P.Hay's ~1930s Howsmon book
• ~1950 The Housman Family of Frederick Virginia book.
1671 Wales Hearth Tax List for John Housman (unknown if any relation); this supports an English heritage idea for our Howsmon family instead of a German heritage.
• Our family's fractur family record book appears to feature a London church (St. Paul's), further supporting the idea of an English heritage.

• 1937 Houseman of Westmoreland,PA book -- no relation

• 1955 The Housman (Huysman) - Simonson Family of Staten Island,NY booklet shows no relation to the Howsmon family of Frederick,VA: Johannes/John Huysman/Housman b.1/13/1734, d.1800, did not move to VA.
--- Genealogist William Perry Hay (1871-1947) referenced other research that claimed the Frosts lived in NY along with Brittons and Howsmons, and these families migrated together from NY to PA through MD to VA. This apparently came from a purported reference in the New York Genealogical Magazine which article stated the Long Island,NY Frosts were part of the Hite/Ross & Bryan expedition to VA.
--- This magazine has not been found to exist. It is thought this was an erroneous assumption from the NY heritage of Hite; although Hite was originally from NY, and did settle the area in Frederick (now Berkeley,WV) where William Frost bought land in the 1750s, 85% of Hite's families were from the Delaware Valley and not NY (see more below). DE Quakers were under the umbrella of the Philadelphia YM (not NY).
--- "The Brittons, Frosts and Housemans, all early immigrants to the Island [Staten Island], apparently traveled from there into New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and to Frederick County, Virginia, where their names appear in early records of those colonies." (source: Alice Haney Blue 1950s "The Houseman/Housman Family of Frederick County, Virginia and Madison County, Ohio", p.1).
--- Research into the Frost and Howsmon families finds no genealogical links between the NY and VA families; there are links however between the NY and VA Britton families.

• There were also a David and Martin Houseman in Berkeley,VA (later WV)
--- David Houseman died 1794; his will mentioned a wife Mary, and after her death the property was to be divided equally among his children, sons and daughters, except that son Martin was to have £20 and the others £10; Martin and Mary were executors. In 1795 the estate was settled among Martin, George, Peter, Christian and David Houseman. This family is not related; David Houseman is apparented Johann David Haussmann born in 1728 in Oberboihingen, Germany and his wife was Mary Mechant/Seitpan born in Holland. The daughters were Katherine, Barbara, Elizabeth and Sibyl.

• Coincidentally, a sister of Dutch ancestor VanDolah married into a Houseman line at about the same time -- Charity VanDolah (born ~1732) is known to have married an unknown Hausman by 1758 in Hunterdon,NJ.
--- This is not thought to be a match; the spelling is not consistent with Houseman (note that the German Hausman is more common than the English/Welsh Houseman)
--- No records for Charity Hausman have been found outside of NJ
--- Our Howsmon family was in PA in 1755 and VA at least by 1758, so it is assumed to not be a match
--- This reference in a VanDolah will could have been the basis of the statements that Frosts, Howsmons and Brittons lived in Staten Island and migrated together to PA/VA then Ohio (mentioned above)

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