{Submitted by - Richard E. LewisWm. Polen is Richard’s 3rd great-grandfather descended through William Polen Jr. and Sarah Jane Wallace.} “It was 1828 in Jefferson County Ohio’s Salem Twp. and the Polen Family from Loudoun Co, VA was being reunited. William Polen, a 59-year-old wheat farmer, and the roughly 20 other members of his extended family, including his 73-year-old Aunt Kitty Pegg, had arrived on their new farm. The previous year they had worked out a trade with Adrian Swartz of Jefferson County, that swapped the Polen farm in VA for new property in Ohio’s wheat belt.

In 1822 William’s oldest son Nathaniel had married Rachael Palmer and was already established in nearby Harrison County, German Twp. The real treat for William was seeing his twin brother, Nathaniel, who was also living with his growing family of 11 children a few miles to the west in Harrison County.

William and Nathaniel were born in 1769 in Loudoun Co, VA to a father identified as Daniel, Barnet, or William. Their mother was Hannah (or Mary) Pegg who traces back to a prominent Quaker landowner and businessman of Philadelphia, Daniel Pegg, and his second wife, Barbara Jones.

William Polen put down roots in Jefferson County. January 9, 1829 William’s wife, Elizabeth died becoming the first known burial in the family graveyard. Other events followed when daughter Jane married Lewis P. Griffith, neighbor on 11th of May 1830. On Christmas Day 1831 son George wedded Mary Gutshall and in June of 1833 the second eldest daughter, Elizabeth married James Wallace of Jefferson County. Then in November of the same year Mary became the wife of Simon Swartz. Tragically Robert, the almost two-year-old son of George and Mary Polen died on 31 March 1837, and was interred in the family cemetery.

By 1840 census William Polen was now in his early 70’s. His 22 year-old son Charles and his 18 year-old brother, Peter was working on the farm with teenage twins Ann and Sarah assisting Aunt Kitty Pegg with housekeeping.

Son William Jr. had married Sarah Jane Wallace in 1838 and like his brother George and his sisters Mary Swartz and Jane Griffith had moved to separate homes in Salem Twp. The Palmer family, who were neighbors to the Polens moved to Carroll County but they left behind the grave of their daughter, Lucinda who had died in 1833.

The 1840’s saw significant changes to the William Polen family. On 13 April 1846 Rachael Palmer Polen, son Nathaniel’s wife, died and was buried in the family cemetery. She was followed in death less than two months later by her sister-in-law Jane Polen Griffith. Then, according to the family Bible entry, on 18 August 1848 93 year-old Aunt Kitty Pegg was laid to rest in the Polen family plot. Dated December 9, 1848, recorder’s files note the sale of 98-1/2 acres in the s/w Ľ section of 22 of Twp. 10, Range 3, to Peter Polen by William Polen. Then on 28 August 1849 William Polen died without a will.

William’s daughter Elizabeth Polen Wallace died in 1851 leaving six offspring and by William’s final estate settlement in 1857, there were 32 “heirs in law.” Sons Peter and Charles continued to work the property. Just before the Civil War son George and his family joined his sister Catherine’s clan in Indiana.

Locally, Ann married Adam Porter, a grocer in East Springfield. She passed in 1852 leaving a 3 year-old daughter, Jane. Son Nathaniel died 13 November 1881 in Jefferson County and is probably buried in the family cemetery next to his first wife Rachael Palmer since an existing footstone engraved, “N.P” can be seen. Son Peter survived until 1901 and his wife Ann, who died in 1911, was the last known person to be interred in the Polen Family Cemetery. The William Polen farm remained in the family until the early part of the 20th century.

The only physical traces of the William Polen family farm remaining in Salem Twp. are the 15 headstones in the almost forgotten family cemetery. However, the heritage of the family remains strong in the family names still in the area. Whether spelled, Polen, Polan, or Poland there is a good chance current residents of the Jefferson County area can trace their roots back to William or his brother Nathaniel.”