Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jonas Sweetland Wight, Chenango County, NY Farmer, 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks



3rd Great Grandfather Jonas Sweetland Wight was a farmer and lifelong resident of Chenango County, New York. He was the son of Orange Wight and Roxana Sweetland born September 30, 1807. [1] The 1855 New York State census says Jonas was born in Chenango County while the 1865 and 1875 New York State census states his birthplace was Broome County, New York. Broome County borders Chenango’s southern border.

Jonas married Caroline Ackley Dec. 19, 1830 probably in Chenango County. Caroline was born March 15, 1890 at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Her parents were Henry Ackley and Ruth Purple. Sometime after Henry Ackley died in 1814, I believe Caroline’s mother brought the family to Chenango County where other Purple family members had migrated from Connecticut.

Six sons were born to Jonas and Caroline. Orange Henry Wight born in 1833 died a few months after birth. Richard (my 2nd Great Grandfather) was born 1834 followed by Hiram in 1837. (Hiram died a young man in 1859.) George Tarbell Wight arrived in 1839, Morris B. in 1846 with Eli T. Wight the youngest born in 1848.

Jonas Wight purchased 10 ½ acres in McDonough, Chenango Co. that was the southeast part of Lot No. 57 from John F. Hill and his wife Frances Ann Dec. 7, 1835.[2]

The 1847 McDonough Town Assessments indicate Jonas owned Lots No. 56 and No. 57 consisting of 100 acres with a real estate value of $300. [3]

In 1848 Jonas S. Wight acquired all quitclaim rights to 100 acres from members of the Everitt family for Lot No. 65 located in McDonough. [4]

On June 24, 1851 Jonah and Caroline Wight sold 5 acres 36 rods of land that was part of Lot No. 65 to Lucy Barnes, all of McDonough, Chenango County, NY. [5] Within a few days on June 28, 1851 Jonas purchased land in McDonough known as the North half of Lot No. 65 containing about 100 acres. He paid Kinyon Singleton and his wife Mary $500 for the property. [6]

Jonas and Caroline bought more property that was part of Lot. No. 65 from Lewis Burdick and his wife Melissa Dec. 10, 1858. The lot sold for $500 and contained 50 acres described as “the north 50 acres of the north 100 acres of Lot No. 65 in the subdivision in the town of McDonough”. [7]

I got a little peek at Jonas’ farm with 1860 federal census enumeration and the accompanying agricultural census for Jonas. His real estate was valued at $3,500 with his personal worth $2,600. According to the agricultural census Jonah owned $200 worth farm implements and machinery, 2 horses, 17 milk cows, 2 other cattle, 1 sheep and 6 swine. His livestock was valued at $921.

Jonas again was purchasing land in McDonough in Lot. No. 56 from William A. Hubbard and his wife Margaret. The 1 acre 77 rods parcel was bought for $250 June 2, 1862. [8]

During the Civil War Congress passed the first Internal Revenue Act (July 1, 1862) which taxed goods and services to raise money for war expenses. Beginning in 1862 and continuing until 1865 Jonas S. Wight was taxed annually for owning a horse drawn carriage.

The Wights sold their lands for $4,000 to Almon O. Bliven and Samuel R. Bliven on March 17, 1865. The property consisted of 100 acres that were part of Lot No. 56, 10 ½ acres part of Lot No. 57 and 50 acres part of lot No. 65 all in McDonough. [9] The March 27, 1865 New York State census has Jonas and the family still living in McDonough.

Change came for the family Jan. 1, 1866 when Jonas Wight bought 120 acres in the Town of Smithville, Chenango Co., New York from Orlando F. Cowles for $7,584 in Lot No. 16 of the second township of Chenango Triangle. [10] By this time the older boys were married with families of their own.

Jonas S. Wight would die in Smithville May 8, 1878. He was taken to McDonough for burial in the McDonough Union Cemetery.

From the "Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph", Norwich, New York, Wednesday morning, May 15, 1878 issue:


In his will Jonas left everything he had to his ‘beloved wife Caroline’ for as long as she lived. After Caroline had been gone for eighteen months, the sons would get the following monies: Richard $2,000, Eli T. $5,000, Morris B., $4,000 and George T. $2,000. Any remaining real and personal property was to be divided in equal shares among his sons. [11]Caroline Wight passed March 21, 1894 at her son Eli’s home in Coventry, Chenango County.


My lineage: Myself, My Mother, My Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty, My Great Grandmother Emily (Wight) Taylor Doty, My 2nd Great Grandfather Richard Wight, My 3rd Great Grandfather Jonas Sweetland Wight


[1] The Wights, A Record of Thomas Wight of Dedham and Medfield and of his Descendants by William Ward Wight, page 134
[2] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 63, pages 129-130
[3] Early Records of McDonough, Chenango County, New York copied from the originals in the Town Clerk’s Office presented to New York State Library, Albany, New York by the James Madison Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution of New York State, 1969-1970, Volume 332, page 27
[4] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 82, pages 298-299
[5] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 89, pages 412-413
[6] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 136, pages 452-453
[7] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 136, page 452
[8] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 135, page 461
[9] Chenango County,  New York Land Deeds, Book 122, pages 254-255
[10] Chenango County, New York Land Deeds, Book 124, pages 237-239
[11] Photocopy of Jonas S. Wight will provided courtesy of Wight Family Researcher Glenda Schwem

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