An American Family History

David Frazee

Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania was formed on July 1, 1781. 

David Frazee was born in 1756 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. His parents were Stephen Frazee and Sarah Allen.

He inherited 5 schillings when his father died in 1766 as well as land on the Squan River.

David married Mary Fox and Mary Sutton, daughter of Abraham Sutton.

There is a great deal of confusion about which Mary was David's first wife.

David's children probably included:

Phoeby Frazee (1780, married William Graham),
Sarah Frazee (February 8, 1779, married Andrew Dickson),
David Frazee (July 1, 1782, married Catherine Sutton, daughter of David Sutton),
Mary Frazee,
Ann (Nancy) Frazee (April 9, 1788, married Samuel Warrick).

According to Beers, David moved to Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania from New Jersey about 1780.

David Frazee was in the tax lists of Amwell in 1781-1789. In 1786 David Frazee was on the tax list of Washington County, Pennsylvania

David died in June, 1789. His will is summarized in Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 6:

David Frazee of Amwell Township, Washington County, dated June 15, 1789, proved June 23, 1789; wife Mary; children, Pheby (daughter by former wife), David, Sarah, Mary and Ann (minors); executors, brother-in-law David Fox and Brother Jonathan Frazee; witnesses, David Sutton, Ebenezer Heaton, Timothy Ross and Isaac Sharp. 1, p. 101.

About 1790, Mary married Simeon Porter. John Warrick wrote in the Family of Samuel Warrick and Nancy Frazier Warrick that

Mrs. Frazier married a traveling preacher who made a complete failure of running the farm and after a time drove all the children from home.

The Washington County, Pennsylvania Orphan’s Court Book A-1, p. 87, for March 4 1791 recorded that

The court do allow Simeon Porter husband of Mary Porter formerly Mary Frazee wife of David Frazee deceased ? pounds for the year last (?) past (?) for keeping David, Mary, and Ann Frazee, minor children of David Frazee aforesaid...

And on May 3, 1791 the court record said Abraham Sutton and Philip Hewit were appointed guardians of the minor children: Phoebe, Sarah, David, Mary and Ann Frazee who were all under age 14 years old.

Washington County, Pennsylvania Orphan’s Court Book B-1, p. 26 Isaac Leet, Jr. was the guardian of Mary Frazee and Isaac Leet, Sr. was the guardian of Ann Frazee, David Frazee, and Sarah Frazee

Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.



Deposition A, Case of Mary Frazee
Widow of Jacob C. Frazee, Co.D, 140th Pa. On this 24 day of November, 1896...

Jacob C. Frazee was born near Hickory, Washington Co., Pa., April 11, 1828. His parents [I think this should be grandparents] were William Frazee and Mary Frazee, maiden name Fox, I believe, now both dead. Jacob C. went to Ohio with his parents, near Coshocton, Ohio, and lived there until he was about 14 years old, then returned to Washington Co., Pa., with his brother, David, now dead, made his home with his uncle, Col. David Frazee, now dead, and worked out among the farmers, and always lived in Lone Pine community after that.

I was married to Jacob C. Frazee on Jany. 12, 1850, by Rev. Lyman P. Streator, who preached at Christian Church, Lone Pine, Pa., and elsewhere, and now resides near Washington, Pa. We were married at house of David Frazee, dead, son of Col. David Frazee, now dead....

The Foxes are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham , Amariah Bonham, Christian Bonham Fox, Bonham Fox, Levi Fox, John Newton Fox

From Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893). Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton.

John A. Frazee who belongs to one of the oldest and most prominent families of Amwell township, is a native of the same, born May 28, 1834. His grandfather Col. David Frazee, was the son of David Frazee who moved from New Jersey in about 1780, locating in Amwell township, this county, where he died in June, 1789.

Col. David Frazee was born about 1782 in Amwell township, and afterward removed to West Bethlehem township. The father dying when David was a boy of seven years, the family were soon separated, and his early life was passed in West Bethlehem, where he purchased what was afterward known as the Frazee Homestead, on Brush run, a tributary of North Ten-Mile creek.

He was married to Catherine Sutton, daughter of Andrew [sic-Abraham] Sutton, and their children were David, Andrew and Sallie (who married Peter Miller), all now deceased. The father passed from earth in 1850.

Col. Frazee was one of the leading men of the time, and was often asked to decide matters of difference by arbitration. At one time he and his son David owned 1,000 acres in the two townships Amwell and West Bethlehem. In politics he was a Whig, and though by no means an office seeker, he worked earnestly for the interests of his party. He was a member and one of the founders of the Disciple Church at Lone Pine.


Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

Kentucky was originally a Virginia county and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.

From "History of Family" by Mrs. Paul Friend, 1934.

William Graham was born in County Down, Ireland, May 1, 1756, and in 1760, when 2 years of age, was brought to America by his parents, William and Sarah Graham. The vessel in which they made the voyage was caught in a storm and encountered ill winds and the supply of drinking water was exhausted. The father upon landing drank so much water that he died the second day after landing. 

The mother, whose maiden name was Sarah McLean, was born in Ireland Oct 31, 1721. She, with her infant son, first settled in Delaware, Pennsylvania, but in a short time they removed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where young William worked at the tailoring trade. 

In 1776 at the age of 18 years, he was drafted into the Continental army to guard prisoners taken by Gen. Gates at Saratoga. He was again drafted to defend his country from the depredations of the frontier Indians, and was a member of the Kaskaskis expedition under Gen. Clark. 

In 1787 he was married to Nancy Venard. Three children were the result of this union, of whom two died in infancy, and one son, Francis, lived to manhood. 

In 1788 Mr. Graham and wife and widowed mother removed to Kentucky near Lexington. Here he continued to work at the tailoring trade and made an entire suit of buckskin for Daniel Boone, the famous Kentucky hunter. 

In 1795 his wife died and in 1796, not liking the institution of slavery, he, with his mother and little son, Francis, removed to Deerfield, Warren Co., Ohio. 

In 1799, Mr. Graham married for his second wife Phoebe Frazie, who was born Jan. 15, 1780. His wedding suit consisted of buckskin pants, to which the stockings were buckled at the knee, a scarlet vest and brown cloth coat cut Quaker style. This union was blessed with eight sons and four daughters. 

Fifty years elapsed before the death angel visited this family. The twelve children were raised to man and womanhood and the bill for medical services in the family only amounted to $10.00. This is of course exclusive of professional services at childbirth, which in those days was usually rendered by a midwife, with very little compensation. He made a cradle out of the clapboards in which all the children were rocked, and which is still an heirloom in the family. 

In 1800 he located in Clearcreek Township. near Utica. Here he began to open out a farm as there was not a stick amiss.  He purchased the land of John Cleves Symmes and, owing to some irregularity in the survey of the grant from the government to Symmes, he was forced to pay for his land the second time. 

Produce was very low in price. New Orleans was the nearest market and the only means of transportation was by raft down the rivers. He still worked at his trade, and, as he often expressed, cleared his farm with his needle. 

Here his mother died Jan. 14, 1823, aged 101 years. A marble slab marks her last resting place in the Baptist graveyard at Ridgeville. 

In early years Mr. Graham joined the Methodist church, but in his maturer years he renounced orthodoxy and espoused the more liberal and reasonable faith in the universal salvation of the whole human family. 

In politics he was a Democrat, his first vote was for Washington and his last for Buchanan. 

He was a man who paid particular attention to fruit-raising, which in those early days was free from pests or blight, and he planted the first orchard in Clearcreek township. As a consequence the family diet consisted largely of delicious fruits, together with temperate habits and fine physique may be attributed the remarkable health in his family. 

He appreciated the benefits of educational advantages and generously donated the site on his farm where was built what was familiarly known as the Buttermilk schoolhouse, which was one of the first in the twnshp. Here his children received their primary education. 

The double log cabin with puncheon floor afforded shelter for this large family until the year 1828, when a frame house was built, but which burned down while being finished. The following spring Mr. Graham burned the brick and built the substantial dwelling which still remains. 

His wife, who shared the toils and pleasures with him for 56 yrs., died May 18, 1855, aged 75 years. He died Aug. 3, 1858, aged 100 years. They were buried in the Kirby graveyard.

European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.
Childbirth was was perilous. Around 1.5 percent of births ended in the mother's death. Since women gave birth to many children, chances of dying in childbirth were quite high.
George Washington ( 1731/32  – 1799) was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789–1797).


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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