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Rufus Herrick (1765-1828) and Jerusha Pellet Pierce (1768-1827)
The Herricks Remain Elusive to Find Records For
Rufus, the son of Eleazer Herrick and Mary Rea, was born 29 Aug 1765 in Preston, New London, Connecticut. He is somewhat elusive to find records about, but you can find him on family trees on ancestry.com. It’s a little harder to find out anything about Jerusha; however, both Rufus and Jerusha are in the family oral history.
Rufus would have only been 11 years old when the Revolutionary War began in 1776. Although many young men of 15 and 16 fought in the War, it is unlikely that anyone would have let Rufus participate at the age of 11. If he participated when he reached the age of 15, there has thus far been no record found.
Rufus marries — first to Sarah Brewster
Rufus married Sarah Brewster on 21 Sept 1788, in Preston, New London, Connecticut (red area on map; thanks to Wikipedia). They were both 23 years old. Their marriage is well documented. It is assumed that they had some children, perhaps as many as five. Sarah probably died before 1798, perhaps in childbirth, leaving Rufus widowed and probably with several young children.
Rufus marries again — this time to Jerusha Pellet Pierce
By about 1799, a year after Sarah’s death, Rufus married Jerusha Pellet Pierce. At the time, Rufus was 34 and Jerusha was about 31. Marriage records cannot yet be found, so it is not known whether they married in Connecticut or New York, but since Jerusha was from Connecticut, they probably married there. Jerusha was born in 1768 in Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut. She was three years younger than Rufus and no doubt became the stepmother to his children.
Rufus and Jerusha moved from Connecticut to New York, probably shortly after their marriage. This was not an uncommon trip at the time. The Hudson River Path (a migration route) began in the Connecticut and Massachusetts areas and went directly through Chenango County in New York, and eventually Steuben County as well.
In the 1800 Census, there is a Rufus Herrick living in Norwich, Chenango County, New York. According to the record, there are three boys under the age of 15 and two girls between the ages of 10 and 25. There is an adult male, we assume Rufus, and an adult female, presumably Jerusha. If this is the right family, then Jerusha became the stepmother to at least five children, as no young children are listed.
By 1810, the household has 8 people: five boys, 1 girl, and 2 adults. This would suggest that Jerusha gave birth to one child: Pierce 2, born in 1804 in Chenango County, New York. Other children possibly born to them were: Charles, Daniel, Edith, George, Hiram, Jerusha, and Sally (in addition to Pierce). It is not certain which of these children were Sarah’s and whose were Jerusha’s (except for Pierce).
By 1820, there were 10 people listed on the census for the Rufus Herrick household, suggesting that perhaps Jerusha gave birth to at least two more children between 1804 and 1810.
Another move — this time to Caton, New York
Some time after 1820, Rufus and Jerusha moved to Caton, Steuben County, New York. By this time, Rufus would have been 55 and Jerusha 52. They may very well have followed their son, Pierce, who settled in Steuben County at Caton as early as 1820. He and his wife remained there for many years.
Rufus and Jerusha may have needed their son’s help because of failing health. Jerusha died 25 June 1827 in Caton and was buried there; Rufus died almost exactly one year later, on 30 June 1828. He is also buried in Caton.
This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of Rufus Herrick and Jerusha Pierce. This page last updated on May 7, 2019.