New england, west virginia
Joseph Parsons Leavitt, the son of Major John and Mary (Parsons) Leavitt, was born in Effingham, New Hampshire on 4 Sept 1800 [Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, v. 4, pg 77/132]. The twelve acres in Effingham he had purchased from Morris Leavitt in 1823 were sold off in 1826, Joseph having moved to Dover, NH by that time. He remained here through 1833, as the next city directory in 1837 no longer finds him there (though sister Lucinda is now here). He removed to Kingston, Ulster, NY by the 1840 census, which is possibly where his wife Abigail died in 1842. He remarried the following year, with son Charles born "in New York" in 1844. From there he went south to Virginia, and was in the settlement called "New England" by 1847. This unincorporated place was within the Harris District, Wood County.
His younger brother, Samuel Quarles Leavitt, even after buying half of his father's farm in 1832, instead decided to join his brother, either while still in New York, or perhaps after he reached Virginia. Sister Susan, with husband Asa Pease and their children, also made the trek, along with Asa's brother Sylvester. Lucinda P. Leavitt, the youngest child of Major John, who had been living in Dover, NH in 1843, also removed to Wood County with her siblings. Considering the method of travel at that time, where they "traveled from Philadelphia over the Allegheny mountains by stage to Pittsburgh, then down the Ohio River by boat" [Desc. of Thomas, pg 132], it is likely they would made the journey together.
Here on an 1877 map of New England (Harris), West Virginia, the several Leavitt names are marked out. If that straight road from the town center to "Leavitt's Landing" existed, it didn't last long, considering the hilly landscape. The later 1886 map shows that Joseph took an easier way around, using the flatlands to reach his homestead. The blacksmith (B. S.) shop on map was on a 1/2 acre of land owned by Samuel Q. Leavitt, whose home was next door (#3). That house lot of 3 acres was willed to daughter Mary Rhodes in 1877 (on 1886 map, marked as "L. Rhodes Heirs").
Below is the New England community from an 1886 map, now with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad running along the Ohio River. The Leavitt related locations are numbered, with comments below.
1. "J. P. Leavitts Heirs" - family of Joseph P. Leavitt (1800-1881), his wife Mary died in 1887. Purchased 1400 acres of land on the Ohio River in 1847 (Wood County Deeds: Bk 14 pg 215 and 14-337); sold portions off to relatives soon after.
2. "Cem" - The New England Baptist Cemetery
The family of Joseph P. Leavitt is buried here - over a dozen Leavitt names found in the cemetery transcription: Wood County Cemetery Transcriptions, Vol. 1, pg 207 (his family monument includes his first wife Abigail and two young sons, who died before he settled in western Virginia).
3. "P. Leavitt" - Pierce Leavitt (1853-1927), son of Joseph. Bought 56 1/2 acres from his father in 1879, "on the North Fork of Lee Creek". He later moved to Chattanooga, TN. His former homestead may still be standing, though long abandoned. Image clipped from Google satellite view. Located at GPS: 39.202908, -81.699695
4. "V. W. Leavitt" - Virgil Warren Leavitt (1858-1891), son of Joseph
5. "G. E. Leavitt - Store & P.O., Res" - George Elmendorf Leavitt (1848-1930), s/o Joseph. There is a house dated 1860 on south side of the Ridge Road, which is either George's or his neighbor "D. C. Whitlock". A few outbuildings on property are also very aged. Hard to pinpoint, even when trying to trace back land deeds.
6. "Asa Pease" - married to Susan Leavitt, sister of Joseph. Arrived in Wood County, 1847 (dau Lucinda b. Nov 1846 in NH). The house currently standing in area where Asa's property is marked on map is dated 1884, so not original home he lived in.
7. "S. Pease" - Sylvester E. Pease, brother of Asa; married to Lucinda P. Leavitt, sister of Joseph P., in 1857.
On the Vintage Aerial website, there are multiple rolls of film that cover this area in the 1980's and 1990's. I've marked many of them with "New England" for ease of finding. https://vintageaerial.com/photos/west-virginia/wood
Map: Harris Magisterial District, Wood County, WV (1886)
Map: Upper Ohio Valley Part XII (1877), includes New England
Wood County Parcel Viewer (individual land lots w/ owners and acreage)
Updates about our Leavitt genealogy research, our DNA projects, and other notes to keep our membership informed.
Other Blog Pages:
Leavitt Photo Archive
Stones and Stories