David Jennings of Columbiana Co., Ohio (1740-1790)
Descendants of David Jennings
Columbiana County, Ohio
 Compiled by Norma Jennings 1997-1998

Edited October 10, 2003
You may freely link to these pages, but you may not reprint or copy these pages in their entirety except for your own research.
Generation No. 1

  1.  David2 Jennings  (Henry1) was born Abt. 1740 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and died 1791 in Columbiana, Ohio.  He married Sarah Cushman1 December 27, 1763 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. An interesting account of the life of this David Jennings has been recorded in the history of the Northwest Territory in a letter that was written to a Mr. Hibben, to wit:



The citizens of the Miami country did not realize that exemption from difficulties and dangers on account of Indian depredations at as early a period as they had anticipated; after the victory of the 20th of August, several persons were killed, and other damage accrued in the course of the fall and winter; but it was generally believed that it was the acts of marauding parties, who were out from home and did not know of the truce that had been agreed upon between the hostile parties. The first person killed by the Indians about Columbia, after the battle, that I recollect of, was David Gennings. The circumstances connected with his death by the Indians were so very remarkable that I would not publish them to the world as facts were I not personally acquainted with Mr. Gennings and many of the circumstances, as to leave no doubt, in my own mind, that all I am about to relate to you is true. Mr. Gennings was a respectable farmer, living in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, near where the town of Brownsville now stands, then called Red Stone Old Fort, and in the neighborhood from which Major Benjamin Stites and his party emigrated in 1788, when they descended the river to make the first settlement ever made by the white people in the Miami country. Having heard of the arrival of Major Stites and party, and of their success in making their settlement before they were discovered by the Indians, and of the extraordinary fertility of the soil, Mr. Gennings determined to move his family to Columbia in the spring of 1790, and accordingly made the necessary preparations the preceding winter. At the time he made his arrangements to start, he had had all his effects that he intended to take, except such as were wanted for their comfort in cooking and sleeping the last night, placed in the boat the previous day, so as to make an early start the next morning. In the night he dreamed he had performed his trip down the river in safety, but, after arriving at Columbia, had been most horribly killed and mangled by the Indians. He awoke from sleep and told Mrs. Gennings his dream, and appeared, as she said, very much disturbed, and in the morning told her he had concluded to abandon his intention of removing to the Miamies. Mrs. Genning, being a very resolute woman, told him it would be folly in the extreme to abandon the idea of removal on account of a dream, after they had sold their farm" and other property, but all to no purpose, for the more he thought,  the greater his reluctance to remove. Finally, finding she could not remove his difficulties by anything she could say, she addressed him thus: " Well, David, if you think you can not with safety go, do you stay here and make another crop, and I and the boys will go to the Miami country, and raise one, and we shall be able to leave if there is danger, and will send you word, and, after hearing from us, if you think you can venture you can follow the next season " The last proposition was agreed upon.

Mrs.  Gennings, with the family, descended the river, having three sons young men, and Mr Gennings following in the winter; of 90 or '91. After arriving in the country Mr. Gennings very unhappy on account of his dream  said to those he talked with upon the subject, that he had no other expectation but that the Indians would kill him. I recollect hearing him expr ess himself, in a conversation witl my father, that he expected to be killed by the Indians, and being a very pious Christian he spoke of not be ing  terrified at the thought of dying as he was of the cruel barbarous manner he expected to die. My father then said to him "If I were in your situation I would take the advice your friends are giving you, to go back to the old settlements and stay until the Indians are driven back, or make peace. "

He finally concluded to adopt that course, and made preparations to return to Pennsylvania with a party that expected shortly to Start through the Wilderness for Wheeling , but when the time to start came he shrank back, fearing he would be killed on the way. He afterwards, apparently with less fear, continued in the country until after Wayne's victory, when he with most others, thought there was but little to  fear from the Indians. Sometime near the Ist of October breadstuff being very scarce) he gathered a grist of corn and started with it to Round Bottom, to mill and to avoid danger, if there was any, he crossed the Miami and went through Newtown and continued his course undisturbed until he had nearly approached the ford, where he expected to cross the river again,  to get over to the mill As he was passing a grove of paw paw bushes he was fired at by two Indians; the ball sh ot by one of them passed through one lobe of his lungs,  but he did not fall,  and the horse turned immediately round, and conveyed him home unconscious of much danger  he saw the Inclians fly in much, haste, instead of following him Aftcr he had arrived at home, though his wound was not considered dangerous, the family and neighbors thought it best to send to Cincinnati for a doctor (for there was none in  Columbia) The physician came (I believe Dr. Sellman)and, on examination told them the wound would prove fatal; he sai d the ball had passed through his lungs as was evidenced by the breath passing  through the wound as often as he breathed. In the course of the night an inflamation  took place, and the next morning he died.

In the Confident belief of entering into glory his death produced a deep  sensation upon the minds of those who had often heard him talk of apprehended danger.  He wa buried in the burying ground attached to the meeting - house on the hill at Columbia, where no doubt, his ashes still repose. The funeral sermon was delivered by Elder John  Smith, pastor of the church to which he belonged, and was attended by a very large concourse of people who appeared  to feel that a strange, mysterious Providence was connected  with the whole affair.

 Yours with much respect, E.F.


It is significant that the Draper Manuscripts also contain the above account as given by Benjamin Stites, who refers to David Jennings as Uncle David Jennings and refers to David's eldest son Henry Jennings.

Other notes gleaned from Columbiana County, Ohio gives further insight into this family.
History of Hamilton Co., Ohio 1881, L.A. Williams & Co., Evansville, Ind. {Note this
is the other Jennings family who lived formerly in Fayette Co., Pa prior to going to

Early Colonists at Columbiana: David Jennings, James H. Bailey; Henry Jennings;
Levi Jennings

Original body of pioneers: Major Benjamin Stites & family including
Benjamin Stites, Jr; Elijah Stites & family; Jonathan Stite; Greenbright
Bailey & Family, including John F. Bailey and Reason Bailey; Abel Cook &
Family; Jacob Mills & Family; Hezekiah Stites, etc. p. 350

Old Church at Columbiana:

Two members of church, Francis Griffin and David Jennings were killed by
savages 1791-92. Number more of inhabitants killed and several taken
prisonor including O.M. Spencer, son of Colonel Spencer.

1792: Supreme Court of The Territory: Samuel Ralston; Benjamin Jennings,
jury to try May murder; John C. Symmes, Judge

 Notes for David Jennings:

Buried in the burying ground near the Baptist Church on the hill at Columbia.

 Notes for Sarah Cushman:

A land deed recorded in the courthouse in Troy, Miami Co., Ohio in August of 1827 which conveys the sale of 160 acres of land in Monroe Twp., owned by Sarah Cushman Jennings (deceased). The deed was recorded in Deed Book 6, pp. 421-423. All of the surviving heirs signed the deed, including the five children of Ignatious Ross and Mary Jennings. Ignatious and Mary (Jennings) Ross  were deceased at that time. Thomas and David Ross appeared with Rhoda (Jennings) Whitestone and her husband Jacob Whitestone in the Clermont Co., Ohio courthouse on 20 August 1827. Eleanor (Ross) McCormick and her husband Johnston McCormick appeared with Jacob and John Ross in the Hamilton Co., Ohio courthouse on 18 August 1827.

  Children of David Jennings and Sarah Cushman are:

 + 2 i. Cyrenus3 Jennings, born Abt. 1765; died 1841.
  3 ii. Hanna Jennings.  She married Cory.
  4 iii. Sarah Jennings.  She married Dunham.

  5 iv. David Jennings, born Abt. 1767.  He married Margaret Bailey 1815 in Warren Co., Oho. Notes for David Jennings: Warren Co. Ohio Court Records, David Jennings was appointed guardian of James M. Baily, age 8 years, John R. Bailey, 7 years, and Thomas J. Bailey, 5 years old, sons of Thomas J. Bailey Deceased (prl) p. 166 edo-p.134 Bx 15.  In Monroe Co., Ohio, land bought 6-13-1826 from Geo. Paul and Eliza. sold to Joseph Morris and David Jennings.
+ 6 v. Mary Jennings.

 7 vi. Rhoda Jennings.  She married (2) Jacob Whitestone.  She married (1) Jacob Houk2 January 05, 1803. Notes for Jacob Houk: Marriage Records of South West Territory 1803-1835

 8 vii. Henry Jennings, born Abt. 1770; died 1839.  He married Sarah Smith.
+ 9 viii. Levi Jennings, born January 31, 1771 in Frederick Co., Va; died 1837 in Wabash Twp., Tippecanoe Co., Indiana.

 10 ix. Benjamin Jennings.
Generation No. 2

  2.  Cyrenus3 Jennings (David2, Henry1) was born Abt. 1765, and died 1841.  He married Margaret Cuber. Notes for Cyrenus Jennings:

In 1790 census for Fayette Co. Pa.,  On 4-10-1826 Cyrenius Jennings was appointed guardian for John R. Bailey, 15 years old, son of Thomas J. Bailey. Prior to that the children of Thomas Bailey were under the guardianship of a David Jennings.

Child of Cyrenus Jennings and Margaret Cuber is:

  11 i. Levi4 Jennings.  He married Matilda Payne in Warren Co., Ohio.
  6.  Mary3 Jennings (David2, Henry1).  She married Ignatious Ross 1785.

Notes for Mary Jennings: Mary Jennings and her husband apparently moved to Hamilton Co. Ohio from Clermont Co. Ohio about the same time other members of her family moved to Hamilton Co.

Notes for Ignatious Ross:

Ignatious Ross is listed in Hamilton Co. Deed Book A, p. 4 as purchasing 100 acres of land on 30 May 1793 in Hamilton Co., Ohio in the Virginia Military District. He is also listed in the same Deed Book A, p.448 as purchasing 634 acrs of land with his neighbor, John Whetstone which was located in Anderson Twp. in hamilton Co., on 28 November 1795.

Ignatious Ross and Hugh Ross were listed in the Gano and Stanley Account Book, 1794. A general store was kept at Columbia by John Stites Gano and William Stanley. Listed are the customers of 1794, residents primarily of eastern Hamilton County and men attached to Fort Washington . The original manuscript is in the possession of the Cincinnati Historical Society.

Clermont Co., Ohio land records, Ignatious Ross (7-14-1801) and wife of Hamilton Co., Ohio to Zaddock Watson.  Another entry same date of Ignatious Ross to John McGraw.  Also a land entry for 3-15-1802.

  Children of Mary Jennings and Ignatious Ross are:

  12 i. David4 Ross.
  13 ii. John Ross.
  14 iii. Jacob Ross.
  15 iv. Eleanor Ross.  She married Johnston McCormack.
 + 16 v. Thomas Ross, born 1789 in Washington Co., Pa; died February 14, 1861 in Brown Co., Ohio.
  9.  Levi3 Jennings (David2, Henry1) was born January 31, 1771 in Frederick Co., Va, and died 1837 in Wabash Twp., Tippecanoe Co., Indiana.  He married (1) Elizabeth.  He married (2) Elizabeth Bell, daughter of Abel Bell and Elizabeth.

 Notes for Levi Jennings:

Deed Records, 11-1-1799- Hamilton Co., Ohio-Levi Jennings and his wife Elizabeth to John Stites, John Cleves Symmes land-purchaser bound to begin improvement within 2 years or forfeit one-sixth of the land.

114c-1799 Monongalia County Court.  Samuel Everly and Levi Jennings summoned to testify in behalf of Simon Everly, plaintiff against Boaz Burrows, defendent.  25 November 1799.

 Notes for Elizabeth Bell:

110a - 5 November 1800 Monongalia County Court. Levi Jennings and Rebecca his wife, formerly Rebecca Everly named in list of children and legal representatives of Casper Everly.

  Child of Levi Jennings and Elizabeth Bell is:

  17 i. Levi4 Jennings.  He married Susan Huls Shepard in Cedar Co., Ia.
  17 ii. Sarah Jennings
Generation No. 3

  16.  Thomas4 Ross (Mary3 Jennings, David2, Henry1) was born 1789 in Washington Co., Pa, and died February 14, 1861 in Brown Co., Ohio.  He married Mary Elizabeth Dobbins.

  Children of Thomas Ross and Mary Dobbins are:

  18 i. Eveline5 Ross.
  19 ii. Malinda Ross.
  20 iii. Albert Ross, born Abt. 1812.
  21 iv. Mary Ross, born Abt. 1815.  She married Walker.
  22 v. Rachel Ross, born 1819; died September 26, 1843 in Brown Co., Ohio.  She married Aaron Wiley.
  23 vi. Thomas W. Ross, born 1824; died May 31, 1888.  He married Francis.
Notes for Thomas W. Ross: Co. K 27th OVI -Civil War
 24 vii. Rhoda Ross, born April 28, 1828; died 1830.


1.  Will Book 1828, Clark Co., Ohio.
2.  Marriage Records of the SouthWest Territory 1803-1835.
3.  Northwest Territory