Moses Metcalf

1792 New Hampshire - 1871 Minnesota

son of Obed
grandson of Samuel Sr.
g-grandson of Michael Sr.
gg-grandson of Eleazer Sr.
ggg-grandson of Michael Jr.
gggg-grandson of Michael Sr. who emigrated from England in 1637

Moses' father, Obed Metcalf was born in 1763 in Massachusetts (probably Franklin). Obed was in the Revolutionary War from Franklin, Mass.  He marched twice to Rhode Island on an alarm, July 28-Aug 7, 1780 & Mar 3-17, 1781; then served in the army until his discharge Nov 29, 1781.  His records describe him as 5'3", dark complexion.  Obed was a captain in the Army and he retained that title until his death.    He married Abigail Park in Feb. 1790 in Framingham, Massachusetts, and probably very soon afterward they moved north to New Hampshire, where they were in the 1800 census, Cheshire Co, Croydon twp.

Moses was born Dec 13, 1792 in Croydon township, Cheshire (now Sullivan) County, New Hampshire.  [Don't know the relationship, but Ralph Metcalf was born in 1798 in Charlestown, NH, and later was governor of NH in 1855-56.]

Moses married his third cousin, Nancy Williams [Nancy's grandmother was also a Metcalf. Their great-grandfathers were brothers.] on June 5, 1820 in Cheshire/Sullivan County, NH.  Nancy was born in 1795 in Cornish, NH. (Croydon and Claremont were near Cornish.  Daughter Susan's obit says she was born in Claremont, NH.) 

Moses & Nancy were in Croyton township in Cheshire Co, NH in 1820 until it became Sullivan County in 1827.  Then they were in Croydon twp, Sullivan Co in 1830, 1840 & 1850.  
[Painting: Going Home (probably New Hampshire), 1860, by Frederick Dickinson Williams]

1820 Cheshire Co, Croydon Twp, p 89:
Metcalf, Moses (16-45)  [Moses-28]
female (16-45) [Nancy-25]

1830: Moses Metcalf
1 male 30-40  [Moses-38]
1 female 30-40  [Nancy-35]
1 female 5-10 [Edena-9, Susan-7, Nancy-6]
1 male 5-10 [Cyrenus-4]
1 male 1-5 [Obed-0]
1 female 1-5

1 male 40-50   [Moses-48]
1 female 40-50    [Nancy-45]
3 females 15-20    [Edena-19, Susan-17, Nancy-16]
1 male 10-15   [Cyrenus-14]
2 males 5-10   [Obed-10, Williams-7]
1 female 5-10   [Ursula-5]
1 male 80-90   [maybe Nancy's father? William-82]
1 female 80-90   [maybe Nancy's mother? Susannah-83]
1 female 60-70   [Moses' mother Abigail-77]
[Not sure who these older people were. Moses' parents, Obed died in 1836 and Abigail died in 1852, so one of the women was probably her. She would have been 77 and a widow, and she was also living with Moses in 1850.]

Croyton was founded in 1763 and is still a small town today.
[from an 1817 Gazetteer of NH]: Croydon mountain runs NE through Croydon. The soil is moist and rocky. It has several ponds that supply branches of the Sugar River on which are located 4 corn mills, 5 sawmills, 1 cloth mill, and a carding machine.

1850 Sullivan Co, NH (Croydon twp)
#60 - Moses Metcalf - 57, NH
Nancy - 55 NH
Adina A - 28 NH    [Edena died 3 yrs later; probably never married]
            [Susan had married in 1846]
Louisa - 26 NH    [Louisa married the next year, 1851]
Cyrenus - 24 NH
Obed - 19 NH
William - 17 NH
Ursula - 14 NH
Edwin - 9 NH
Abigail - 86 Mass [Moses' mother]
Jullia A. Robinson - 34 NH

Moses' mother Abigail lived with them after her husband Obed died in 1836 until 1852 when she died.
In 1855-56 there was a great movement of settlers who moved to Minnesota. There were also other Metcalf families who moved to Minnesota who may have been cousins or somehow related to Moses. His cousin, Alexander Metcalf was a wealthy farmer and justice in Northfield, Minn.

Moses and Nancy moved "out west" to Winona Co, Minnesota in 1856 with most of their children.

1860 Minnesota census - Winona Co, Whitewater twp - p 13 109/107 -  [Winona county in purple, Wabasha co in blue]
Moses Metcalf - 67, b NH (farmer, real estate-500, pers prop-150)
Nancy - 65, NH
William - 27, NH (farm laborer, RE-320, PP-100)
Ursula W. - 24, NH (teacher)
Edwin S. - 19, NH (farm laborer)
p 11 95/93 -
Obed Metcalf - 30, NH (farmer, RE-800, PP-125)
J.P. - 24 (female), NH

In a letter in July, 1864, daughter Ursula (in Minnesota) writes to her husband away at War: "Father came up Friday. Mother went home with him, the next day. I will write to our Mother in Wisconsin soon." [Her in-laws lived in Wisconsin] Ursula wrote to her husband that she was lonely on their farm and might go to stay with family "in the valley" as he called it, while he was gone.
In Oct 1864, right after Ursula had her first baby, her husband wrote to her, "I hope, Sula, that surrounded by your folks you will not feel as lonesome as you did." This makes it sound like she had gone to live with her parents, who must have been fairly nearby.  Ursula replied, "We are at Whitewater Falls [NW corner of Winona Co]. I am stopping at Obed's; think I shall stay here until spring."
March 1865 Ursula wrote: "Father and Mother are enjoying their usual health (about the same as when you went away).  I am glad to hear that you heard from Mother. I owe her a letter and cannot blame her if she waits until I write her."
April 1865 Ursula writes: "Twelve men were drafted from this town last week. Only six are wanted but they drew twice as many names as they wanted men this time [Obed's name was eleventh on the list of drafted men] I don't know yet whether he will have to go. I am staying at William's now. Please direct in care of Moses Metcalf instead of Obed after this. I wish Father and Mother could write you, but Mother can never write any more, and Father seldom writes; has only written one to Edwin since he went into the army."
July 30, 1865 Ursula writes from Whitewater Falls (MN): "The boys [Obed, Will & Edwin] have been fitting up a house for Father and Mother, and we shall move there this week. It is up near Obed's by the brook. I shall stay with Father and Mother, until you come back I think. That is if Little Edwin don't worry his grandmother so as make her home unpleasant. Her health is much better than it was when you went away. Edwin, I wrote you in my last letter had returned from the army. His health was poor, but 'tis now much improved. He still lives with us at Father's while about here. He don't know where he will settle / sometimes talks of going farther west.  [These letters are posted]
[In the 1870's Edwin did move to the west side of MN, and eventually to the west side of South Dakota.]

Whitewater Falls is the name of an abandoned townsite in sections 27 and 34 of Whitewater Township in Winona County, Minnesota. It is no longer listed as a town in Minnesota, but in a book, "Minnesota Geographic Names," I found this:
"Whitewater township and its village Whitewater Falls bear the name of the river flowing through them northward to the Mississippi, derived in translation from two Dakota words 'mini'-water and 'ska'-white. In Wabasha county this stream has a township and village named Minneiska."
Even after this explanation, I still don't know where Whitewater Falls is, but it must be within a mile or two of Beaver, MN, which is in the far NW corner of Winona Co.

Whitewater township is in the very NW corner of Winona County. Though there is some good farm land around up on high ground, after driving all through it, it looks like most of the land in section 22 of this county is sloughs, too low and marshy to farm. I don't know where their property was located, but apparently they eventually moved about 6-10 miles west to Plainview, Wabasha Co (in Highland twp).  (Wabasha township map)

Settlements began in Whitewater Township in the 1850s and soon the farmers were digging up forest land to plant wheat.  The fertile soil created a booming wheat business for a few years and hundreds of farmers were able to make a living. But the poor agricultural practices caused much of the topsoil to wash away into the creeks and the valley could not support the intense farming. In 1878 there was a crop failure.

In 1870 Moses and Nancy were listed in 2 different places in the Minnesota census:
Wabasha Co, Highland twp [N of Plainview]  - Moses Metcalf (p14, with Nancy)

also as living with Cyrenus in -
Winona Co, Winona City, p 52 :
Cyrenus age 43 NH in Winona a stone cutter
Alice age 40 b Maine
Frank W. - 12 MN
Moses - 77 NH
Nancy - 75 NH
Obed - 39 NH a stone cutter
Jane - 33 Vermont

Winona Co, Whitewater twp [in NW corner of county] -
William Metcalf (p2, with Cornelia, Ernest & Jennie)

Nancy (Williams) Metcalf (78) died in Highland twp, Wabasha Co, MN, 7 May 1874, and was probably buried in the Greenwood Cemetery, in Plainview, Wabasha County. Two months later her 8-month-old grandson, Clayton Emery was buried there after dying from cholera.  Grandson Edwin Emery (21) was buried there in 1885, and her son-in-law, Levi Emery (61) was buried there in 1895. The part of SE Minnesota where Plainview was located was called "Greenwood Prairie".  This is probably where the name of the cemetery came from.

1880 Minnesota census, Wabasha Co, Highland twp (p 536B)
Levi Emery - 46, b NY (father-Vt, mother-Vt)
Ursula - 44, b NH (fa-NH, mo-NH)
Edwin L. - 15, MN
Sumner (son) - 13, MN
Ernest - 11, MN
Irving - 9, MN
Cleon - 6, MN
Mary S. - 4, MN
Ursula N. - 2, MN
Moses Metcalf - 87, NH (widower, parents b MA)

Since Moses was living with his daughter Ursula in Highland twp of Wabasha Co, MN in 1880, that is probably where he is buried.

CHILDREN of Moses Metcalf and Nancy Williams:

1.  Adina Metcalf died in 1853 in NH, age 32, unmarried. Her parents moved to Minnesota in 1856.

2.  Susan Metcalf married Miles Pease in 1846 (he was living in Burlington, VT). They were in Lowell, MS in 1850, in Providence, RI in 1852, and back in NH in 1855. She & Miles (and maybe some family) moved to MN in 1856.  Then in 1859, leaving all of her family in Minnesota,  they moved to southern Missouri where she and Miles died.

3.  Nancy Louisa Metcalf married Mark Tuck in 1851, probably in New Hampshire.  Mark was a minister. She did not move west to Minnesota with all the rest of her family. She was in Maine (1852) and New York (1854-1863).  But they were in Hillsdale Co, Michigan in 1870 and in Holly, Oakland Co, Michigan (nw of Detroit) in 1880.Frank W. Metcalf

4.  Cyrenus Metcalf was born in 1826 in New Hampshire.   He went to MN with the Metcalf family and married there to Alice Fox in 1856. In 1870 he was in Winona City, Winona Co, (southeast) MN on the Mississippi River. On same page were his parents and brother Obed. He had 2 sons, Frank W. and Purt T.  Purt was born in 1872 in California, so evidently the family made a trip there. This is his son Frank at right, pictured as graduating from Winona, MN Normal School in 1879, so their stay in California was relatively short.  Cyrenus was in Grant, Barton Co, KS in 1880.  By 1900 Purt had died and Cyrenus and Frank were living in Utah where Frank was the Superintendent at the Utah State School for the Deaf. Then they moved to Portland, Oregon before 1905 where he died in 1915.  Frank lived in Portland, Oregon, where he had 4 daughters and died in 1947.

5. baby died in NH in 1829.

6. Obed Metcalf was born in 1830 in New Hampshire. He married Jane P. ? after he moved to MN. In 1860 he and "J.P." were in Whitewater twp, Winona Co, MN (south-east). In 1865 Ursula writes that her brothers are fixing a house "near Obed's by the brook" for their parents to live in. In 1870 he was in Winona City, Winona Co, Mn. In 1880 he was a widower in Pipestone Co, (southwest) MN.  In 1900 he was in LeSueur Co, Kasota twp. (south-central MN) with his second wife Rhoda.  He died in 1904 in LeSueur Co, MN. No children.

7. William(s) Metcalf was born in 1833 in New Hampshire.  He married Cornelia Pease (sister of Miles) about 1864, probably in Winona Co, MN. In 1870 he was in Winona Co, MN. Cornelia died in 1874 leaving William with 2 small children. She was buried beside her father, Christopher Pease in Whitewater twp, Winona Co, MN.  In 1880 William was in Hope, Lincoln Co, Mn with his 2 children. His brother Edwin was also in Lincoln Co, but in another twp.  By 1900 he had moved with his grown son, Ernest, to Beltrami Co (north-central) MN.  The place he lived became Clearwater Co. in 1902, and he died there sometime after 1900.   (There is a burial of a William S. Metcalf in Lake City, Wabasha Co, MN, but it might not be him.)  He had a daughter and a son.  His son, Ernest S., also had a daughter and a son, George E., who lived in Clearwater Co, MN.

8.  Ursula Metcalf was born in 1835 in New Hampshire.  She married Levi Emery in 1864, prob in Winona Co, MN.  (See pictures). They were probably the first in the family to move about 5 miles west of Whitewater Falls to the neighboring township of Highland in Wabasha Co, MN. It was higher up and better farm land (not so many sloughs).  Levi died in 1885 in Highland twp.  17 years later, In 1902 UrsState Soldiers Home, SD ula took her children to Lake de May, Alberta where she died in 1915.

9.  Edwin Metcalf was in the Civil War. In 1870 he was in Winona Co (southeast) MN. In 1880 he was in Lincoln Co (southwest) MN. He bought 160 acres there in 1892.  By 1900 there may have been a split in the family. His wife was in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Co, SD in 1900 (don't know where he is).  Sioux Falls is the big city just across the state line from Lincoln Col, MN.   In 1910 his wife was still in Minnehaha Co, SD, but Edwin (68) was living in the State Soldiers Home in Hot Springs, Fall River County, SD (which is all the way across the state in the southwest corner).

At right is a picture of the State Soldiers Home in Hot Springs, SD in 1907, so it's possible that Edwin is in this picture.

Minnesota plat books are on microfilm at:

site map: Metcalf line - Michael-17 - Moseshome

If you would like to check my database to see if the information on your family is correct, go to my ancestor file then search for the name of one of your ancestors. (Only those born before 1930 or no longer living are listed by name. I have names of the living, but they are not displayed in the online database.)  Please email me if there are any corrections or additions!!