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Randall, Peleg
Account Book of millwright Peleg Randall, of the pioneering Randall family, of Madison Township, Lake County, Ohio, 1831-1884

small quarto, 114 manuscript. pp., bound in original ¼ leather, gray paper backed thin wooden boards, front outside hinge half way open, boards very worn and rubbed, chipped at edges, spine chipped at tips, entries written in both pencil and ink, some staining, a couple of pages loose; the entries are dated 20 October 1832 to 29 June 1884, with the bulk of the account book (102 pp. of the 114 pp.) consisting of entries for the period of the1830s-1850s. A number of times the name Peleg Randall is inscribed on the flyleaves, and within the accounts showing money owed to him, etc., thus demonstrating these were Randall’s accounts.

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The account book contains over sixty different accounts for individuals, many of them well-known families of early Madison Township such as Griswold, Trumbull, Wheeler, etc. The accounts cover wages for days he worked on some accounts, others are monies owed Randall for particular things he made, or constructed, including constructing and building mills. Some of the items mentioned in the various accounts that Randall supplied to his customers are: 2 horse sleighs, 3 days labor on dye wheel, coffin, table, rockers for chair, doors, windows, framing, wedging water wheel, making stairs, etc. Besides millwright work, Randall did general carpentry work, building houses, installing doors, windows, etc., and also appears to have hired himself out to local farmers when he perhaps did not have enough carpentry work to keep him busy and worked as a laborer on their farms. He often bartered in exchange for work receiving whiskey, foodstuffs, livestock, etc.

       Peleg Randall (1811- 1888)

     Peleg Randall was born about 1811, in Easton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, the son of Lewis Randall (1781-1864) and Betsy Willis (1790-1834). His father was born in Easton in 1781, and then relocated to Madison Township, Lake County, Ohio, where he died in 1864. Lewis Randall was a pioneer of Madison Township arriving in 1816, when Peleg was only 5 years old. Lewis was a trustee of the Madison Gore Cemetery. Lewis Randall was the grandson of Jonathan Randall (1745-1805), who served as a private in Mathew Randall’s Company, Colonel Pratt’s Rhode Island Regiment during the Revolutionary War.

    Peleg Randall spent his life in Madison Township, became a millwright, and was responsible for building many of the mills in Lake County, Ohio. He was married first to Cynthia Trumbull on 30 November 1832 at Geauga, Ohio. The name Cynthia Randall” is inscribed on the front flyleaf of the volume. Cynthia appears to have died soon after their marriage (1833), and Peleg was married a second time to Harriet N. Barber on 11 October 1839 at Thompson Township, Geauga Co., Ohio. Harriet was born about 1815, in New York.

     On the 1850 Federal Census, Peleg Randall is enumerated at Madison Township, Lake County, Ohio. He worked as a carpenter, as shown by his account book. Harriet is listed as his wife. The couple had at least six children living with them in 1850: Peleg, Harriet E., Edwin, Mary, Henry, and James. The children’s ages range from two years up to ten years old, being born between 1840 and 1848. All of the children were born in Ohio. The three oldest children Peleg, Harriet, and Edwin, were all attending school. Peleg fathered four other children with Harriet. Peleg, Sr., was not listed with any valuation for real estate in the 1850 Federal Populations Census.

     In the 1860 Federal Agricultural Census, Randall is shown owning thirty acres of improved land and ten acres of unimproved land, all valued at $1500.00. He had $300.00 of livestock (2 horses, 2 “milch” cows, 23 sheep, 2 swine). His small farm had 15 bushels of wheat and 200 bushels of Indian corn. From the sheep he had 80 pounds of wool. Thus, a small farm, presumably mostly for his own use, with his carpentry business appearing to be his main source of income.

By 1860, Peleg was no longer listed as a carpenter in the census, instead as a farmer. He was also listed as a farmer in the 1870 and 1880 Census records. Peleg Randall died on 21 January 1888 in South Madison, Lake County, Ohio, and was buried in the South Madison Cemetery. Peleg outlived his second wife as well, Harriet died in 1878. 

       Bibliography:

American Biography: A New Cyclopedia, Volume 11, edited by William Richard Cutter. New York: American Historical Society, Inc., 1922, “George Arthur Randall,” pp. 49-50.

1850-1880 U.S. Federal Population Censuses, Madison Township, Lake County, Ohio, as viewed on Ancestry.com, on 2 Oct 2018,

1860 U.S. Federal Agricultural Census, as viewed on Ancestry.com on 2 Oct 2018.