Rebecca married James Findlay Whiteman May 13, 1840 at the Upper Piqua farm. She died April 26, 1841, age 22, several weeks after giving birth to her son, Benjamin, who followed her in death a few months later. The death was blamed on the birth though, as was often the case in the 19th century, the most likely cause would have been contamination carried to the mother through the person of the attending physician (if there was one). Doctors in this time period had no concept of germs and few washed their hands between patients.
John Johnston to his children at home, January 22, 1833
Rachel Johnston to Rebecca Johnston, December 20,1833
Julia Patterson to Jefferson Patterson – Piqua, April 13, 1833
I suppose by this time you are beginning to feel a little lonesome and would like to receive a letter. I know I should be monstrously glad to get one myself. Ma and I had a pleasant ride up though the roads were much worse than I expected to find them. All went well until Friday noon when Rebecca found an apple in my basket which she took and eat it and not being accustomed it made her very sick. She then went into a cold room to lie down and took a violent cold which has increased very rapidly and made her very ill. The Doctor is attending her and I believe considers her dangerous. At least he says he is astonished that inflammation has not taken place in her stomach. He bled her a few moments since and I think she appears easier. Neither Pa nor Ma appears at all alarmed about her, but it is my firm belief that her health will never be restored.
George Holtzbecher (brother-in-law) to Stephen Johnston Esq
It becomes my painful duty of informing you of the death of your dear sister Rebecca Whiteman who left us for the world of spirits today at 2 Oclock P.M. – Eight days since she became the mother of a fine boy since which time she was attacked with the bilious fever which terminated in a mortification of the bowels. – I need not endeavor to offer to brothers & sisters consolation for such a bereavement for you alone know the value of such an inestimable sister. – Her poor disconsolate husband is indeed to be pityed (sic), he was the most (devoted) of husband. he was throughout her sickness to be found at her bed side, he is inconsolable. Your father has not yet visited us being still at Sandusky, it will be a heavy stroke for his feeble frame to bear
Epitaph, Johnston Cemetery: