Friday, November 18, 2005

Ezekiel Cleaver ~ One of the Earliest Quaker Pioneers

According to Beer's 1882 History of Warren County, p. 580:
In the fall of that year (1801) Ezekiel Cleaver came here from Virginia, leaving his family at Brownsville, and put up a house at the crossing of Third and Miami Streets, on the east corner of said crossing in Waynesville, and, in the spring of 1802, moved here with his family. With him came John Mullen, Rowland Richards, David Holloway and others.
Miami Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends was later established in Waynesville, Ohio, October 13, 1803, meeting on First Day (Sunday) and on Fourth Day (Wednesday). It embraced all territory north of the Ohio River and west of Hockhocking. The meeting for worship had first met in the log cabin of Ezekiel Cleaver. Because of the rapid growth of the Quaker community, Friends build a 30-foot square log cabin which would be the first meetinghouse and schoolhouse on Quaker Hill. It was located where the Red Brick meetinghouse now stands.
Ezekiel Cleaver (b. 7 mo. 4th 1787) was one of the founders of Miami Monthly Meeting. In Virginia he had wed one of the daughters of Quaker minister, Rowland Richards.
Ezekiel Cleaver of Frederick Co., Va., the son of Ezekiel and Mary, later of Gwynedd, Montgomery Co., Pa, deceased, married at public Meeting at Crooked Run, Abigail Richards, daughter of Rowland and Lydia Richards of Frederick Co., Va. on 7 mo. 4th 1787. They had four children:
  • Mary (1789)
  • Abigail (1792)
  • Ezekiel (1794)
  • Peter (1796)

(see, The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. VI. (Virginia) [Genealogical Publishing Company, 1994], p. 593.)

Information about the marriage certificate of Ezekial and Abigail Cleaver can also be found on (Frederick County, Virginia, Hopewell Friends History (database online). Orem, UT:, 1997. Original data: Joint committee of Hopewell Friends. Hopewell Friends History 1734-1934: Frederick County, Virginia: Records of Hopewell Monthly Meetings and Meetings Reporting to Hopewell. Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1936.
Ezekiel Cleaver is buried in the 1808 Friends graveyard, First row, #3, interment on September 23rd, 1832. His wife Abigail Richards Cleaver is also buried there: First row, #6, interment on February 3rd, 1833.
The Ezekiel Cleaver Papers, 1729-1895, are located in the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. They were a gift from Thomas and Elizabeth Foulke. This collection includes correspondence and miscellaneous papers of a Quaker family concerning the Hicksite/Orthodox controversy in Ohio, conditions of everyday life in Virginia and the Midwest, and observations on slavery and the use of tobacco. Also included is an account of Cleaver family births and deaths, 1729-1895.


Blogger Neal Cleaver said...

Karen: I live near another Ohio town with a significant Quaker (Hicksite and Hopewell) heritage. I am a distant cousin of Ezekiel Cleaver. My line is descended from his uncle. If you contact me personally, I will give I more information.

I sent your blog to several of my cousins. One pointed out that it lists the same date for Ezekiel's birth and marriage. The correct dates are:
Born: March 25, 1757, in the area of Abington Meeting, Philadelphia County, PA
Married: July 4, 1787, to Abigail Richards
This information is from "Some of the Descendants of Peter Cleaver" by William Jessup Cleaver, published by the author in 1983, especially pages 21-23 and 46-49

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Blogger amyc84 said...

Karen, do you have copies of the Ezekiel Cleaver Papers? I'm not having any luck getting them from Swarthmore. Thanks!

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