Susan Wilcox Justice
Susan Wilcox was the last of my direct female ancestors to have migrated from Nantucket to Cincinnati in the early 1800s. She was about 14 years old when her mother (Phebe Foye), step-father (Thomas Myrick), and 3 half-siblings moved off the island she was born on and moved West. Her father had died young, perhaps at sea which wasn’t uncommon for Nantucketers, but there is no record showing this. She was the only child of Reuben Wilcox and Phebe Foye.
It is likely that the young Myrick family first settled in Clermont county, Ohio for at least a few years. They may have then moved into Cincinnati, or maybe Susan moved in to live with a relative to be in a more settled area. Whatever the reason, Susan was said in an obituary to have lived in Cincinnati from 1811 (when the family migrated West) to 1845 before moving across the Ohio River to Newport, Kentucky where she lived out her life.
We don’t know how Susan met Jesse Justice, Jr., possibly in Cincinnati through one or another social interaction. Jesse was the son of a Methodist circuit rider and preacher, and they were married on 3 June 1819 in Clermont county, Ohio by Andrew Pinkham, J.P. Andrew Pinkham would have been a Nantucket friend of Susan and her family (see the post on Sea Letters). At that time Jesse lived on a farm in Clermont county and the young couple probably first settled on his farm. Jesse later moved into Cincinnati and had a grocery business. The move was presumably before September 1830 when he wrote to his mother who was still in Clermont county that he had sold his farm and needed her to sign a quit-claim deed.
Susan and Jesse had 7 children in all, but only 3 lived into adulthood. The other children died in infancy or as a young child; three of the 4 died between 1833-1834. Susan was in her mid-30s when these deaths occurred, all in Cincinnati. Her last child, a son, was born in April 1840 in Cincinnati. The family likely moved to Newport, Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati soon after that.
Her husband Jesse only lived to age 55, dying in July 1850. She lived on in Newport, consistently next door to her only daughter’s family. Her youngest son was only a few months older than her daughter’s first child and these cousins grew up together. Susan became the matriarch of the two families and was particularly important for the younger of her granddaughters. Susan’s daughter, Catherine Justice Coffin, died of tuberculosis at a young age, having been sick for some time and her younger daughter (my great grandmother Katie) was not yet 14 when she died.
Susan lived to age 84, dying in July 1881 at her home in Newport. There were a number of newspaper notices and obituaries reporting on her life and her death. This is one that provided some information about her life.