The following text was copied from papers typed by Veazie Winthrop O'Hara some time in the 1940's or 50's, and placed here on the web for everyone to enjoy.
Veazie Winthrop O'Hara, 1977
AXTELL - CONDIT - DILLEY and our Allied Ancestors. By V. Winthrop O'Hara
The story of our ancestors, to and ever Westward through the States, may be traced by a study of group movements and of certain individuals among them. Generally, it may be said that the 1st and 2nd generations came from Great Britain to New England; the 3rd generation came to or were born in Mass.(or Conn.), then removed, or came direct to New Jersey; where the 4th to 7th generations were born; the 8th were born in Washington Co., Pa.; the 9th in Mercer Co., Pa.; the lOth in Warren Co., Ill.; and the 11th, etc. still further West, many like myself in Kansas.
By years, our own ancestors spent from 30 to 100 yrs. in Mass., 50 to 100 yrs. in N.J., (lastly
Mendham Township., Morris Co.), 10 to 25 yrs. in Washington Co., Pa., approximately 40 yrs. in Mercer Co., Pa., and 35 yrs. in Warren Co., Ill., before moving to Kansas in 1873, where we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the event in 1948 with a reunion of more than 75 O'Hara relatives present, on the farm 3 mi. S.E. of Partridge where my father homestead.
The origin of the Axtell family is definitely English, from Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. The origin of the Condit family is English or Welsh (Norman). The origin of the Dilley family is presumed English, ours possibly Scotch-Irish (see separately). The origin of the O'Hara family is definitely Northern Ireland (County Sligo).
The migrations to the Western Hemisphere took place at different times and by various routes. Thomas Axtell came in 1643 when he bought 4 acres from his friend Edmund Rice at
Sudbury, Mass. (where we attended an Axtell Family reunion in 1952 with descendants of Rice and Goodnow
families - his oldest daughter Mary married a Goodnow). George Dill (e or y purposely or not left off?)
came as Capt. of the ship "Goodfellow" to Salem, Mass. in 1639, where he received 1/2 acre as an
Inhabitant, later removed to Boston, where to him and wife Abigail Hands, were born John 1645, Samuel
1647, Joseph 1649, and Benjamin 1652. Abigail, widow of George Dill, married Capt. John Hanniford in
1655, in whose will were mentioned Samuel, Joseph and Benjamin, sons of Abigail and George Dill - no
mention of John. In 1659 we find mention in Court proceedings at Salem of one John Dilly of the age
indicated, who may have been apprenticed out. Of our Allied families, the Tuttle family from Northampton came in 1635 in the ship "Planter" to Boston but settled in Conn. George and Susan Merriam of Kent came from London in the ship "Castle" in 1638. Daniel Dod and wife are first found at Bradford, Conn. in 1646, and Thomas Beach at New Haven in 1640. Other associated early families in New England were Moore, Newton, Hayden, Linkon, Pratt, Gobel, Drury, Cook, Burt, Edmister, Cooper, Reed, Blachly and Ward.
Some families or individuals returned to England, such as Thomas' brother Nathaniel Axtell, who started back from Conn. but died at Boston in 1640. Others tried life in So. Carolina, like the Pratts, Gobels, and Dillys, but returned to Mass. or N. J., many removed to N. J. from New England. - Typical is that of Daniel Axtell, who possibly accompanied Elder William Pratt from Mass. to So. Carolina, married his daughter, Thankful Pratt there, had their first children in S.C. but returned to Mass. where they raised a large family. After Daniel died in 1735 his widow and children removed to Mendham Township., Morris Co., N.J. The Dods had moved from New Haven to Newark in 1657. John Dilly and wife Sarah came to Woodbridge, N.J. in 1668. In 1678 John Condit and son Peter came from England to Newark. Families from Newark,Elizabeth, Woodbridge, etc. on the coast moved inland westward, most of these families inter married and with others in Mendham Township., Day, Lincoln, Baldwin, Price, Thompson, Tunis, Andrews, Lumm, Lindley, Ross, Cozad, Byram, Riggs, Leonard, Pitney, Lyons, Wade, Pierson, and Dille. Concerning the last named, there is the story that brothers David and Ichabod Dilly went from England to Jamaica, thence they or sons of the same names went to So. Carolina, and thence to Amboy, N.J. apparently about 1740-5, a feud or something caused them to at least spelled their family name differently. Thus we find David Dille, born about 1719, and large family at Mendham 1754-1771 as members of the Presbyterian Church, and find that Ichabod born about 1725, and Abigail Dilley buried sons John (4 months.) in 1749 and Thomas (1 year) in 1751 in Newark's "oldest burying ground".
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To confirm the possibility that our known ancestor, Price Dilley, born in N.J. in 1754, was the son of Ichabod, he named his oldest daughter Abigail and his oldest son Ichabod. Price was married to Abigail Totten, Nov. 27, 1774, at New Providence, N.J. by Rev. Nathaniel Elmer. He could have named his daughter for either Abigail, mother or wife. He named one son Price for himself according to custom. Price also had sons Lewis, our ancestor, and Mathias, and daughters Hannah, Selma and Lusinda. We also find an adult William Dilley, parentage unknown, at Woodbridge in 1758, Ephraim Dilley born 1755, and Thompson Dilley born 1765. These may all be sons of Ichabod Dilley. David and Ichabod may be sons of John Dilly born 1681 and his second wife Marcy d. 1747, and may have ventured to Jamaica and S.C. and returned to N.J. rather than coming from England. We are sure that all of the present New Jersey Dilleys stem from the Woodbridge Dilly family and perhaps David Dille and Ichabod Dilley did also
The migration from the Mendham area to Western Pa. took place in three, four or more group movements, - one possibly as early as 1765-6, one 1775-9, one 1790, and one in 1796 according to one O.L.C., son of one of the latter pioneers. The story is told through the Dodd and Axtell families.
Father of the Mendham branch of the Dodd family was Stephen, who was born in the "Doddtown" section of Newark, now part of East Orange, and moved to Mendham about 1745. He was the father of 7 girls and 4 boys, of whom Lebbeus, Thaddeus and Daniel started for Washington Co., Pa., in 1777. Lebbeus married Mary, daughter of Caleb and Hannah Baldwin, Thaddeus married her sister Phebe, and their niece Eunice Baldwin married Eliab Axtell of our line. Thaddeus Dodd was born 3/9/1740 in Doddtown, spent his boyhood in Mendham, graduated from what is now Princeton and was licensed at Connecticut Farms (now Union) in 1776 and ordained at Newark Mountain (now Orange) in 1777 to proceed to "Redstone" in Western Pa. An Indian uprising beyond Patterson's Creek, Virginia., on the Cumberland Trail held them there for nearly two years. In Sept. 1779 he, with family and brother Daniel, crossed the mountains and settled in Ten Mile (now Amity), Washington Co., Pa. where he died in 1793. He founded an Academy for training young men for the ministry, the outgrowth of which is now Washington and Jefferson College. A chain of forts from Wheeling to Pittsburgh protected Ten Mile, where a colony of some 20 families from Morris Co., N.J. had settled some years before. (The Lindleys in 1773.) Among them must have been Babitt, Baldwin, Ball, Brown, Carmichael, Clark, Coe, Cook, Cooper, Day, Dille (& Dilley), Goble, Hathaway, Hays, Leonard, Lincoln, Lindley, McFarland, Michelrath (McIlrath), Minton, McVay, Ricky, Ross, Tuttle, etc. which family names were common in Morris Co., N. J. and are found in Washington Co., Pa. as serving in Capt. Miller's 2nd Bat., Pa. Militia 1781-2, as did Price Dilley and Daniel Axtell, and are also found in the 1790 Census of Heads of Families there.
"The Axtell migration", so called among themselves, from Mendham to Ten Mile was in 1780, headed by Daniel Axtell born 1748 (married Ruth Tuttle, daughter of Sarah Lindley), brother Thomas Axtell born 1750 (married sister Mary Tuttle - see family below), and cousin Luther Axtell born 1753 (married Hannah Condit, 2 of whose daughters married Dodds). With them were other Mendham families. Jonas Condit born 1769 (married 1st Eunice Leonard, married 2nd Hannah Dodd, daughter of Rev. Thaddeus) came to Washington Co., Pa. about 1794. Although a carpenter, cleared a spot in unbroken wilderness, and built a large home where the little colony that emigrated from the same place in N.J. and settled in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio, used to stop on their journey to and from their native place. Jonas died there in 1850. Others like brother Ezekiel Condit, of our line, possibly emigrated direct to Mercer Co., Pa. about 1800.
The removal from Washington Co. to Mercer Co., Pa. was typified by Ezekiel's brother, David Condit born 1764 in N. J. who married Rachel Ross in Washington Co., Pa. where his two eldest children were born, and moved to New Vernon, Mercer Co. in 1798. Some other families accompanied them. This locality was then an unbroken forest, the nearest, Taylor
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settlement being 16 mi. North, and French Creek settlement (now Franklin) 20 mi. East. Another nearby settlement is now Mercer. Their first summer was spent in clearing a place for a home. A small log cabin was erected. Their first crop was a few bushels of oats and turnips. Subsistence was inadequate and David was selected to remain and care for their stock while the others returned to Washington Co. for the winter. He lived on little more than cornmeal, milk and game. The colony returned in the Spring. His wife traveled the one hundred miles on horseback, using a man's saddle and carrying her infant on her knee. They raised a large family, had good crops, spun their own clothing and provided well.The members of this colony were Presbyterian and founded what is now known as the old Fairfield Church, of which David was an Elder. My grand parents, Samuel Dilley born 1818, and Belinda Axtell born 1822, were both born in Mercer Co. Pa. For examples of the many inter marriages of the Axtell, Condit, Dilley, Dodd, and Lindley families see this very partial list:
MaJ. Henry Axtell b 1738 m. 2nd Mrs. Phebe (Condit) Day
Luther Axtell b. 1753 m. Hannah Condit - 2 daughters m. 2 Dodd brothers
Hannah Axtell b 1775 m. lst Levi Lindley, m. 2nd Ithiel Dodd, son of Daniel, all born in N.J.
Sister Sarah Axtell m. Timothy Lindley who m. 2nd sister Ruth Axtell
Sister Phoebe Axtell b. 1787 m. Ichabod Dilley b. 1783, son of Price.
Brother Samuel Axtell m. Mary Loveridge, studied medicine at Washington College and settled in Mercer Co. His son Wm. H. was also a Dr., as was his grandson John L. Axtell. His daughter Hannah b. 1823 m. Dr. J. W. Dillie (descendant of David Dille).
Sister Cecilia Axtell m. Darling Day b. about 1780.
(Philip Condit b. 1709 m. Mary Day b. 1713 of earlier family).
Hannah Dodd b. 1809, daughter of Ithiel above, m. Thomas Dilley of Mercer Co.
Sister Lovina Dodd b. 1807 m. Daniel Condit
Minerva Condit b. 1801 m. Simeon Axtell b. in Mercer Co. Pa. (our great grandfather).
Sister Elizabeth Condit b. 1802 m. Joseph S. Axtell (Uncle of Simeon) - Everett family.
Sister Bathsheba Condit b. 1804 m. Thaddeus Axtell (brother of Simeon).
Sister Phebe Condit b. 1810 m. Stephen Dilley of Mercer Co., Pa. (relationship of Thomas and Stephen Dilley to Samuel not definitely determined).
Wm. Dilley b. 1811 (brother of Samuel) m. lst Mary Axtell, m. 2nd half-sister Eunice Axtell - Russell Dilley, J. Andrews.
Samuel Dilley b. 1818 m. Belinda Axtell b. 1822, both born in Mercer Co. Pa. but married in Illinois - O'Hara
The migration from Mercer Co., Pa. to Warren Co., Ill. was from 1840-2. The story of their adventure is given in our family bible in my mother's handwriting. The Axtells, Dilleys and other families went separately but to the same locality, Roseville, where mother was born in 1846. From her mother she has it that "Simeon Axtell, the father, and sons Zenas and John, and daughter Phebe lying dead in the house at the same time, with Belinda and Minerva, the mother, sick in bed. It was the first winter in the Wilderness of Ill. - their old home was Pa. - they lived in a chinked log house and the whole family took some sickness due to exposure. There is no further mention of Eunice but it is presumed that she died that winter too. (Great Grandmother Minerva Axtell lived in Galesburg when mother (Durilla) was a girl going to school at the Academy.) She kept boarders, had red hair and peppery as to temper".
The O'Haras came to Western Pa. about 1773 with the migration of protestant Scotch and Irish that came to this area in the 1770's. O'Haras are also to be found in New Jersey by the 1750's, and in Mass. at an earlier date. Grandfather John Joseph O'Hara was born by 1819 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Father Henry Clay O'Hara was born 1841 Evansville, Indiana. and came as apprentice to same area in Ill., in 1849-50. After service in the Civil War he married in 1864, Durilla Loretta Dilley born 1846. In 1873 Henry and Durilla O'Hara, with her parents Samuel and Belinda Dilley, migrated to the prairie of Reno Co., Kansas, in the relative comfort of covered wagons, to conquer drought, grass hoppers, and fiery
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politics, and raise a large family of which I am the tenth and last. The intermittent journey "into the wilderness" was a calculated adventure for more land for more children, for better living, in which they were in the end relatively successful.
Lest we give the impression from the foregoing that WE are THE Axtells, Condits, Dilleys and Dodds, or their only or principal descendants we should be reminded that in most cases only a few of the more adventurous migrated from each region to the next, for reasons as varied as the persons themselves, but usually involving the promising prospects of acquiring more land more cheaply or better for ever increasing families, the possession of land being one of the most evident indications of well being. Many stayed behind.
Thus there were Axtells left in Mass., descendants of whom still live there, ditto in N.J., in both Washington and Mercer Cos., Pa., and Warren Co., Ill., as well as many from other lines of the family who are now to be found in most of the states of the Union. While Condit is predominantly a N.J. family, they too are to be found in many States. The Dilley and Dille families are found widely scattered and in most cases do not know or recognize distant kinsman but nearly all lines trace their origin "back to N.J. in the 1700's" and almost everyone I have contacted here in N.J. should trace their origin back to John Dilly of Woodbridge. The Dodds and Lindleys, much inter married between themselves and with the Axtells, some with the Condits and Dilleys, and some few with our own line, are wide-spread and have well defined Family Books - the Dodds even spread to several foreign lands as missionaries. They are both strong in N.J.
But it was the ancestors like John Dilly, Daniel Axtell and William Pratt
(and their wives and daughters like Thankful Pratt Axtell), Demas Lindley and Jacob Cook, Rev.
Thaddeus and Daniel Dodd, Daniel Axtell and Price Dilley and Dille cousins (Rev. War ancestors),
David and Jonas Condit, William and Samuel Dilley, Simeon and Minerva (Condit) Axtell, and lastly
Henry Clay and Durilla Loretta (Dilley) O'Hara, who pioneered the western expansion "into the
wilderness", - all of these were made of the stuff which has made America large and great and strong,
and of whom all of us, their descendants, should know more and be proud, of them, of what they did, and
the country they helped materially to establish.