The Welshers came originally from Wales and settled in New Jersey. The first identified Welsher in our line is John, born in 1750,
probably in New Jersey. John and his wife Phoebe had five sons and one daughter. The Welsher family came to New York and first
settled in Phelps and shortly thereafter went to Monroe County, New York. A considerable amount is known about John's two oldest
sons, Aaron and David, but very little is known about the other four. It is believed that Aaron and his wife Sally Wingett Welsher had
twelve children. However, of the twelve, I have birth information on ten, and detailed information on only three: Aaron Jr., Jacob,
and John. David married Keziah Wingate and they had thirteen children. It was from Monroe County that the family began to head
in different directions.
Aaron Jr. married Fear Andrew in 1823. After the birth of their first son Alanzo Andrew Welsher, the family headed to Rochester,
Lorain County, Ohio, arriving there in 1836; he was joined by his father Aaron Sr. and wife Sally the following year. Aaron Sr, and
Aaron Jr. both were active in the formation of the Rochester Methodist Church. Aaron Sr. was the first class director, with classes
held initially at the dwellings of settlers and later in the Meach School House. Aaron and Fear had a second son Bishop Starr
Welsher born in Rochester; both sons later left Ohio and moved to Iowa. The two Aarons remained in Ohio and are buried there.
Aaron Sr's son Jacob Welsher married Permelia Knapp in Monroe County. After having their seven children there, Jacob and
Permelia headed to Hartland, Niagara County in 1858. Sons Andrew and Amos also moved to the Hartland area, although it is not
known whether they accompanied him or went at different times.
John Welsher was born in 1790 and was bound out to a Mr. Oliver Clark of East Palmyra, New York until 1811, at which time he
received $75. He married Mehitable Culver in March of 1812, purchased 50 acres of timber land and began clearing the land for
farming. By the time he was 30, the farm was significantly larger, he had built a brick residence to replace the original log cabin,
and was earning a comfortable living. Without having moved, he lived in two counties, first Ontario and then Wayne, and in three
towns, first Sodus, then Lyons, and last Arcadia.
John Welsher's second son David stayed in Monroe County, raising his children there and was buried in the West Webster
Cemetery after his death in 1855. Interestingly, three of David’s children married siblings from the Erastus Devereaux family.
William married Philenda Devereaux and stayed in Webster, eventually living with their younger son Edward. William and
Philenda's oldest son William F. was a member of A Company, 19th NY Vol Reg and was killed in action on May 31, 1863 in Falmouth,
Virginia. David's daughter Sally married Epaphroditus Devereaux and they moved to Lorain County, Ohio, apparently joining her
Uncle Aaron and his family there. David J, the youngest, married Sarah Ann Devereaux and they moved to Hartland, probably around
the same time that Jacob did, during the late 1850s. These marriages might lead one to conclude that the two families had
adjoining farms and the offspring were naturally drawn together. It's been documented that The three Devereaux's oldest brother
Jonathan moved to Monroe County sometime prior to 1850. While there is no record of Epaphroditus, Philenda, and Sarah Ann
joining him there, it seems logical that it must have been the case. At this time, the tie between the two families is still not fully
explainable, but certainly undeniable.
David J. and Sarah Ann Welsher’s move to Hartland was probably after the birth of their seven children. They had four girls; their
names were Lorinda Lucritia, Luna Maraia, Iva Keziah, and Ester Ann – only one of the girls thought she had a weird name. Care to
Lorinda married William A. Chaplin in 1871. The two families lived across from each other on Ridge Road in Hartland. Their eldest
son, Anson D. Chaplin purchased his Grandfather David Welsher’s home.
David and Sarah's oldest was Alanson Sears Welsher, my Gt Grandfather. Alanson enlisted in
the 8th New York Heavy Artillery on December 28, 1863 and was mustered in on Dec 31st. The
Regiment was assigned to protect Baltimore until May 1864, when it joined the 2nd Corps of the
Army of the Potomac and marched south into Virginia. The 8th was bloodied almost immediately
on May 19th at Spotsylvania and again shortly thereafter at Cold Harbor. Alanson was wounded in
action on Aug 25, 1864 at the Second Battle of Reams Station, for which he received at $40 bonus
and three months respite from action. He rejoined his unit in November and was mustered out on
Jun 5, 1865.
Alanson married Mary Emerette Fasset in 1871 in Orangeport, Niagara Co, NY. They had two
daughters before Mary died, Carrie Luella and my Grandmother Sarah Emerette “Sadie” Welsher.
Upon Mary’a death in 1877, Alanson married Carrie “Lizzie” Faeber and they had five more children,
the first three born in Niagara Co, and the last two after they had moved to the Port Huron, Michigan
area around 1886.
Alanson initially worked at a car inspector with the Grand Trunk Railroad. Later he had a grocery
store at 3549 Gratiot Ave near Holland Ave in Port Huron close to what is now Lakeside Park. Their
home was in the same building behind the store. He also served at the Fort Gratiot 10th Precinct
Supervisor and later was the "Clerk in Charge" of Postal Sub-Station #8, which was located in his
Lizzie died in 1915 and Alanson married for a third time in 1919 to Rosella Devereaux. Rosella was the widow of Alanson's cousin,
David D. Devereaux, who died in in 1904 in Penfield, Ohio. Alanson died 1921 in Wellington, Ohio and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery
in Port Huron.
I recall two stories my Aunt Jessie told me about Alanson after he arrived in Port Huron and started his store. The first is that a thief
broke into his house one night after everyone was asleep to steal the cash receipts from the store. There apparently was evidence
that he looked almost everywhere for the money but never found it; Alanson kept it in his trouser pocket hanging next to his bed.
The other story is that Alanson allegedly loaned the cash to his daughter Sarah’s father-in-law, Thomas Purkiss so he could start
his meat market on Lapeer Ave and 13th St.
I remember visiting the old Welsher home on Ridge Road in Hartland, as a pre-teen. The home was still occupied by Anson Chaplin
and his family, with whom I stayed during my visit of several days. His second son, Arnold Chaplin, and his family occupied the farm
across the road. The eldest son, Mark Welsher Chaplin, at that time lived elsewhere, but I believe moved into the Welsher home,
possibly upon the death of his parents.
My Paternal Grandmother was
Sarah Emerette "Sadie" Welsher
|David J. Welsher Farm
|Alanson Sears Welsher
Meeting of the G.A.R.