Surname Saturday – Root
November 26th, 2011 by Jessica

This week we take a look at the lineage of the Root surname as it pertains to my husband’s family history.  Other than locating a few Census records and typing up a sketch passed down through the family, I have not researched this line in detail.

Earliest Known Ancestor

My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather was Frederick Franklin Root, born in either 1800 or 1803 in Greenville, Greene County, New York (depending on the source you believe).  His parents were Asa Root and Lorena Judson.  A full detail of his life and family can be found in the sketch below.


Root Family Lineage

Root Family Lineage


Andrew Arthur Green > Jerald Max Green > Max Earl Green (1919 – 2001) > Fred Ozro Green (1882 – 1961) > Marion Dearborn Root (1861 – 1941) > Frederick Franklin Root (1800 – 1886)

Items of Interest

The following sketch was authored by the children of Frederick and Rachel Root in the early 1900’s.

Sketch of the life of Frederick F. Root

It seems meet for us that we should write a chronicle, and preserve for posterity an individual history of our ancestors.

Frederick Franklin Root was the son of Asa Root and Lorena (Judson) Root, and began life in Greenville, N.Y. of the 10th of Sept. 1800, thus passing his life in an epoch of wonderful industrial advancement. He spent the First 15 years of his life in Green Co. N.Y. and after the death of his parents, he with the rest of his family moved to Tioga Co. N.Y., which was then wild and mountainous, living with an older sister, Mrs. Obedience Pierce and her husband Franklin Pierce.

At the age of 16 years he met with a serious accident while engaged in making maple sugar he fell into the fire, having fainted from overwork, loss of sleep and exhaustion, and was so seriously burned that his right arm was amputated below the elbow. Full of courage, he took up the duties of life with a strong heart although seriously handicapped he managed to accomplish as much with one hand as most men do with two, and there was no kind of work too difficult for him to attempt. He was noted for his wonderful fetes of strength and activity.

The time passed by this family, living in the nineteenth century, constitutes a link between the old pioneer days and the later era of opulent prosperity and manifold advantages.

We of today can scarcely conceive of the conditions of things one hundred years ago when Frederick Root was a young man- no railroads, no telegraphs, no telephones, wireless systems, mowers, binders or other farm machinery found on the farms in the first part of the twentieth century.

We (his children) recall the stories related by him about the hand sickle for harvesting wheat, the scythe for mowing hay, and the many primitive implements in use in his day, and we can but wonder how they would serve our needs in this twentieth century.

After living in southern New York for some time he again moved, taking up his residence at Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pennsylvania. Somehow this was the finest town he had ever struck-the soil was so rich, the birds so beautiful and the trees so fine and stately. Was it all these? Or was it! Alas? There was a maiden in Lawrence (and she was called the handsomest girl in the Susquehana River) that captured his affections. Her name was Rachel Malvina Stewart.

They soon agreed to share the burdens of life and on the 9th of Oct. 1842 they were married. They lived in Lawrence seven years, then in 1849 thinking it was better farther on, he took his family northward to the Erie canal and going by boat to Detroit and Kalamazoo which was at that time the western end of the Michigan Central Railroad.

He located on a farm 8 miles northwest of Kalamazoo in the township of Oshtemo. He was a sure shot and a successful hunter and took a keep delight in his ability to surpass the younger man in marksmanship even after old age and failing vision had overtaken him. The writer recalls when a mere child seeing him drive a nail that was marked with chalk on the head to make it visible at a distance of ten rods. He was then 75 years old.

After the death of his wife in 1879 he sold his farm and spent his remaining years with his daughter, Mrs. Abner Oakes Green and died at the ripe old age of eighty-six at Kendall, Van Buren Co. Mich. March 30th, 1886.

Frederick F. Root, son of Asa Root & Lorena Judson
Rachel M. Stewart, daughter of John Stewart & Nancy Rathbone born in Sulivan, Tioga Co. Pa. Sept. 7th, 1824
Frederick F. Root and Rachel M. Stewart were married at Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pa. Oct 9th, 1842.

Obituary for Marion Dearborn (Root, Green) Forbes

Obituary for Marion Dearborn (Root, Green) Forbes

The family of Frederick F. and Rachel M. Root

Frederick Franklin Root was born in Greenville, New York on September 10, 1800
Rachel M. Stewart was born in Sulivan, Tioga Co, Pennsylvania on September 7, 1824
They were married in Lawrence, Tioga Co, Pennsylvania on October 9, 1842

Children of Frederick and Rachel Root

  1. Asa Theodore Root was born in Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pa. Nov. 12, 1843
  2. Sarah Lorena Root was born in Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pa. Sept. 1, 1845
  3. Nancy Amelia Root was born in Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pa. Sept. 30, 1848
  4. Helen America Root was born in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. Feb. 10, 1851
  5. Maria L. J. Root was born in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. Aug. 12, 1853
  6. John F. Root was born in Alamo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. Oct. 4, 1856
  7. Marion Dearborn Root was born in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. Jan 23, 1861
  8. Emma Allucia Root was born in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. June 6, 1868


  • Asa Root died in Lawrence, Tioga Co. Pa. Jan 7, 1846
  • Nancy A. Root died in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. April 24, 1853
  • Maria L.J. Root died in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. 1865
  • Rachel M. Root died in Oshtemo, Kalamazoo Co. Mich. Dec. 13, 1879
  • Sarah L. Brackett died in Pierson, Montcalm Co. Mich. Dec 24, 1880
  • Helen A. Pichett died in Hutchinson, Kansas March 2, 1916
  • Emma A. Green died in Kalamazoo, Mich. May 11, 1941
  • Marion D. Forbes died in Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 6, 1941
  • John Frederick Root died in Caro, Mich. Jan. 14, 1947

Family Notes

I would like to find the following information over the course of my future research:

  • Obituary for Frederick Root, d 1886 Van Buren Co, Michigan
  • Obituary for Rachel Root, d 1879 Van Buren Co, Michigan
  • Census record for Frederick in 1840, 1830, 1820
  • Census record for Frederick in 1850 (I don’t think it’s “Oliver’s” family)
  • Census record for Asa Root in 1810, 1800
  • Death date for Asa Root, died before 1815 according to Sketch above

Additional Information

Check out my Ancestry Family Tree for Frederick Franklin Root.

See the Find A Grave Memorial for Marion Dearborn (Root Forbes) Green.

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