[Editor’s Note: Elaine E. Hasleton, Deputy, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, offers this War of 1812 ancestor portrait of Truman Leonard, 3rd great-grandfather of NFL quarterback Steve Young. Do you have an ancestor who fought in the War of 1812? Contact Preserve the Pensions at email@example.com and let us know!]
Steve Young, well-known quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers from 1987-1999, and who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005, is proud of his War of 1812 ancestor. Truman Leonard, his third great-great grandfather, was twice drafted into the War of 1812. The first time he provided a substitute, but after the second draft he himself went in and was engaged in the campaign in northern New York. This campaign was likely in the Niagara region, which was a war zone for three years. It was said that those bloody battles determined the future of Canada.
Truman Leonard was born in Worthington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, on March 23, 1784 and was the eldest son of Ezra Leonard and Hannah Marsh. Truman married on June 1, 1811 to Roxanna Allis, who was born in Chester, Hampden, Massachusetts, on September 15, 1786. She was the daughter of Lemuel Allis and Rebecca (Davis) Allis. After their marriage, Truman and Roxanna resided in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for a short time and then moved to Middlesex (afterwards called Pottertown), Ontario County, N.Y. In 1835 they moved to Chatham, Medina County, Ohio, where Mr. Leonard bought a large farm and reclaimed it from the wilderness.
Truman and Roxanna had eleven children, namely Emeline, Ebenezer, Ezra, Dorcas, Lavinia, Truman, Roxanna, Franklin, Harriet, Louisa and Sarah. Steve Young descends from their sixth child, also named Truman, who married Mary Ann “Polly” Meadows. It is their granddaughter, Louise Leonard, married to Scott Richmond Young, who became the grandmother of Steve Young.
Truman Leonard died on February 24, 1846 in Chatham, Ohio at the age of 59 years and is buried in the Chatham Township Cemetery. His wife also died in Chatham on September 12 of the same year and is buried there.
The estate of Truman Leonard was probated in Medina County, Ohio. His son, Ezra Leonard, and Wm Packard were appointed as the Administrators in March 1846. The Sureties were Samuel Allis (related on his wife’s family) and Ebenezer Leonard, the oldest son.
Steve Young states this about his War of 1812 ancestor, Truman Leonard: “I realize that without the fortitude of my third great-grandfather, I would not be what I am today. He not only fought in the War of 1812, but he also laid the groundwork for future generations of our family by moving to Ohio. We are proud of the monuments for both Truman Leonard and his wife, Roxanna, which have been erected in the Chatham Township Cemetery in Chatham, Ohio.”
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