My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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AMOS BRIGGS. This gentleman is one of the heavy farmers of Clark County, his attractive home being situated in Madison Township, on a tract of land which has been in the possession of the family for many years. The dwelling is one of the well-built frame structures which do credit alike to the taste and home care of the occupants, and is a model of hospitality and comfort. It occupies the site of the log cabin which was the original family home in this State, and which was erected by John Briggs, the grandfather of our subject. His father, Samuel Briggs, the great-grandfather of Amos, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The family is of English lineage, and several generations ago was represented in Virginia by various members. Among these was Samuel Briggs, a native of the Mother Country, who spent the greater part of his life in the Old Dominion. In 1804 his five sons, including John, the grandfather of our subject, settled on Paint Creek, Ross County, Ohio, whence two years later one of them with his wife and family, came to the place now occupied by our subject, the other brothers remaining near Chillicothe. After other settlers began to locate in this neighborhood, John Briggs opened his house to the preaching of the gospel for a number of years, the old log school-house which stood on land formerly owned by Mr. Paullin, near where the brick one now does, being afterward used as a place of worship. The wife of John Briggs was Catherine Peterson, a lady of German ancestry. The remains of both rest in the New South Charleston cemetery. Grandpa Briggs lived until 1852, reaching the age of eighty-six years; his widow survived until June 1864, being about ninety years old when called lienee.

The first purchase of John Briggs in this section was four hundred and ninety acres of land, with which he was content, never adding to the acreage. He had a family of five sons and four daughters, that grew to maturity, and one child that died in 1814, and is buried near the home which is now quite a famity neighborhood. The estate was divided between the sons, and finally the larger portion came the possession of Samuel, to whom some of the others sold, removing West. He departed this life September 8, 1850, his wife surviving until January 30, 1889.

About a year after John Briggs settled here, there came to this section from Virginia, George Hempleman and his family. When Mr. Hempleman caught sight of the cabin in the woods, he turned to his wife, who was riding a pack-horse, and said: “I wonder what fool ever got out to this God-forsaken country.” The travelers remained over night in the cabin, where they were treated with the old time frontier hospitality. The supper consisted of venison, and bread baked in a Dutch oven, and was heartily enjoyed by them as they were all very hungry. Elizabeth Hempleman, then about six years of age, often afterward referred to it as the best meal they ever had. The family went on four miles, settling where the parents spent the remainder of their lives. Miss Elizabeth, after reaching maturity, became the wife of Samuel Briggs, under whose father’s roof she and her parents had been sheltered on their first entrance into this neighborhood. The George Hempleman mentioned above, was the son of another George a native of Germany, who also came to Ohio in 1808, settled two miles north of Charleston, and lived to be one hundred and ten years of age. His mortal remains were also deposited in the old South Charleston cemetery.

Amos Briggs, of whom we write, was born February 13, 1828, in a house on the old homestead, where he was reared amid somewhat more primitive surroundings than those of his present life. He took his chance in the schools of the day, and acquiring a good practical knowledge of the important branches of study, developing a sturdy manliness which seems to be almost a necessary consequence amid the scenes in which his boyhood was passed. On March 12, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret A. Bateman, a noble hearted and intelligent woman, who has been his most cherished companion since their wedding day. The union has been childless.

Having abundant means to gratify their tastes, Mr. and Mrs. Briggs indulge in such pleasures as people of intelligence, refinement, and a love of nature can enjoy; and find an outlet for the kindliness and generosity of their natures in quietly assisting the needy and aiding in various good works. In 1875, they made an extended trip to the West, which was greatly enjoyed by them at the time, and affords much pleasure in the retrospect. They spent a few days in Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City, thence going to Denver and Colorado Springs, and visiting the points of interest in the Centennial State. They then passed through Utah and Nevada to California, stopping as fancy led them, and after reaching the Golden State, making a thorough tour of the Yosemite Valley, and Calaveras County, the home of the big trees. From California they went to Oregon on a Pacific steamer, returning by the mountain route, so being enabled to view every variety of scenery that the Rocky Mountain and coast region afford.

Mrs. Margaret Briggs is a great-granddaughter of Henry Bateman, who bought the mansion of Lord Baltimore near the city of that name, that historic edifice becoming the family home of the Batemans. In it William Bateman was born February 17, 1741. He married Margaret Ducker, a lady of English ancestry, who was born May 5, 1749. Their marriage was celebrated December 27, 1771, among their children being Daniel H., who was born June 1, 1787, and who was the father of Mrs. Briggs. The family is a patriotic one, William Bateman having sent two sons to the War of 1812, and having had a brother John, who was an officer in the Revolutionary War.

Daniel Bateman chose for his wife Miss Elizabeth Surlott, who was born in Bracken County, Ky., and who accompanied her parents to Ohio in 1820, their settlement being made in Ross Township, Greene County. Mr. Bateman had come to this section in 1812. In 1851, he removed with his family to South Charleston, where both he and his wife passed away. The death of the latter occurred November 18, 1854, and he survived until February 2, 1863. The Batemans were believers in the doctrines of the Episcopal Church, and the Surlotts have been Methodists for generations. Mrs. Briggs is a member of the Methodist Church. Politically, Mr. Briggs is a stanch Democrat.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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