Squire D. Umstead 1812-1867

Submitted by Ann Veazey Davis


Squire D. Umstead was the son of Daniel Umstead (1781-1860) and Mary Roberts. Daniel's father was a Justice of the Peace, and so he was known as "Squire" Daniel Umstead.

I believe that the son, Squire D. Umstead, was also a Justice of the Peace because he was involved in a number of legal documents in Granville County. His name is always listed as Squire D. Umstead or just plain D. Umstead. No one has discovered a document to date that spells out his full name.

Adelaide "Addie" Waller wrote in her Waller Family History that the father was Squire Daniel Umstead, Sr., and the son was Squire Daniel Umstead, Jr. Adelaide's grandfather, Clarence Calvin Waller was a brother to Squire D.'s wife, Martha Preston "Patsy" Waller.

Martha Preston "Patsy" Waller and Clarence Calvin Waller had another sister, Margaret Frances Waller, who married William Francis Umstead, a brother to Squire D. Umstead (Jr.) When William F. Umstead died as a young man, his brother, Squire D. Umstead was appointed the administrator of his estate. When he made purchases at the estate sale, he was sometimes listed as only D. Umstead.

Squire D. Umstead (1812-1867) named one son DeWitt Clinton Umstead (1837-1919) for the Governor of New York who was famous for his support of the Erie Canal. Ground was broken for the Erie Canal in 1817 and opening ceremonies were not held until 1825. The ceremonies lasted for 10 days and Governor Clinton traveled the length of the canal in a packet boat. Page Smith wrote that "the historian has difficulty in suggesting the degree to which the canal obsessed and enchanted Americans in the fall of 1825. It was taken to be a symbol fo the boundless potentialities of the country, its resilience and its hopes."

There are a number of young men born after 1825 in Granville County, NC, who bear the name DeWitt Clinton _______. I believe that Squire D. Umstead and Martha Preston Waller Umstead did indeed name their first son, Dewitt Clinton Umstead, after the Governor of New York when he was born in 1837.

However, I do not believe that Daniel Umstead and Mary Roberts Umstead had ever heard of DeWitt Clinton in 1812, when their son Squire D. Umstead was born. This was five years before the first spade of dirt was turned in Utica, New York.

Another Umstead-Waller connection: Squire D. Umstead and Martha Preston Waller Umstead named another son, John Wesley Umstead. John married his first cousin, Louisa Goodman Waller, daughter of Carter Waller. Carter was another brother of Martha Preston Waller Umstead.

I believe that Addie Waller was closely related enough on more than one line to the Umstead family that she had heard or been told what Squire D.'s initial stood for and that he was named for his father and not the Governor of New York.


Back to Bios and Pics

Back to Governor Umstead's Bio

Top of Page