James Carpenter

Our ancestor, James Carpenter, is the lost ancestor, otherwise, the top most common ancestor of the Carpenter Family and we use his name as the title for the website. This paper, “Who was James Carpenter?” is a research guide. We start with his biography.

The Family of Samuel and Rebecca Carpenter

Samuel Carpenter, sibling of Elizabeth, Mary, William, John and James, was born about 1785 in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Samuel died on 10 December 1872 in Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana and is buried in the local Moscow Cemetery. Before 1810, Samuel married Rebecca Machlan, daughter of John Machlan and Hester Updegraff. Rebecca was born about 1789 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and died 16 February 1847 in Rush County, Indiana. She is buried in the Rev. Merritt Machlan Farm Cemetery in Orange Township. Samuel and Rebecca Carpenter had 11 children: (1) John, (2) Mary, (3) William, (4) Hester, (5) James E, (6) George William J., (7) Sarah, (8) Samuel P, (9) Alexander, (10) Phoebe and (11) Elizabeth. After Rebecca died, Samuel married Mrs. Rachel Smith (maiden name unknown) on 9 September 1847 in Rush County, Indiana. According to census records, Rachel was born about 1803 in Tennessee. She had (4) daughters by her Smith husband – all born in Indiana. The trail for Rachel indicates she is likely a widow of a son born to John Smith (1760-1827), with Smith and Stevens family ties to Samuel’s brother, William, in Franklin County, Indiana (E. Clark).

The Family of John and Mary Carpenter

The Genealogical Record of the Descendants of John and Elizabeth Campbell (Descendant 1883) contains the family tree of the Campbell family but also the family tree of John Carpenter about 5 generations. The second genealogical record immediately following the John and Elizabeth Campbell record is their daughter, Mary Campbell, the wife of John Carpenter. Roger Carpenter in the early nineties started his search for the descendants of the children of David and Hattie Carpenter listed in the genealogical record. David Carpenter is a direct descendant of John Carpenter. Several years later, the author received a letter from Roger inquiring about his family. The biography of Joseph Carpenter, son of Jesse B. Carpenter, gives us a closer look at James Carpenter. Probably family stories Joseph had obtained during his life and especially stories about James from his grandfather, John who was living with his family as indicated in the 1860 census.