John Gregg-Ruble-John Todd Connnection
Richard McMurtry Feb 2006
The purpose of this essay is to show how John Gregg’s
connection to the Ruble family of
John Todd 1750-1813 of Shelby Co, KY is thought by some to be the son of Andrew Todd d 1791 who settled in Chester Co, PA in 1760, moved to Bedford Co, PA by 1778 to live with his son William, and then moved towards the end of his life to Louisa Co, VA where he died in 1791 in the home of one of his other sons, Dr. Andrew Todd. Though there are about 15 pieces of circumstantial evidence to support the hypothesis that the John of Shelby County is the son of Andrew d 1791, none of the evidence is 100% conclusive.
The evidence we have suggests that John Todd was in
In trying to find more evidence to substantiate the
assumptions above, it was noted that John Todd was closely associated in
There is a John Gregg who lived a few miles from the Todds
Since no Todd sibling or cousin was known to have married a
Gregg, any family connection between the John Gregg and John Todd of
So the question arose: Would it be possible to find a John Gregg who (1) was in Frederick Co, VA (where the Rubles lived) at the time of his marriage, and (2) who moved to Bedford Co, PA by 1773, and (3) who moved then to Jefferson/Shelby Co, KY by 1788?
We have made a diligent effort to search the records of
I believe the evidence is compelling that John Gregg of
Given that John Todd is known to have married Mary Ruble and that the next generation saw a marriage between a daughter of Mary Ruble/John Todd and a son of David Ruble of the Frederick County VA Ruble family, it seems likely that John Gregg was the person through whom John Todd met and married Mary Ruble in Bedford County.
Of all the possible relationships between Ann (wife of John
Gregg) and Mary Ruble wife of John Todd, the one that seems to best explain how
Mary Ruble came to move from Frederick County, VA to Bedford County, PA is that
Mary could have been the daughter of Ann and that Ann was the widow of John
Ruble (who reportedly died 1760-1762).
In this case, John Gregg is seen as bringing to
I frankly am comfortable in the belief that John Gregg was
the link between John Todd and Mary Ruble and that the Todd-Ruble marriage
The most logical next step to confirm (or refuter) this conjecture
would be to find the estate settlement of John Ruble or a guardianship record
for Mary. No such records have been
We do not know the parentage of the wives of John Gregg and John Todd, but let us look at one conjecture:
I must admit that the Ruble connections cited here are highly
conjectural, that is, I have made up many things without supporting data. But it is an elegant solution because it
explains (1) how John Todd in Bedford County could meet a Ruble from Frederick
County, (2) what part of the Ruble family John Gregg married into, (3) what
part of the Ruble family Mary came from, (4) the cousin relationship between
Mary Ruble and the son of David Ruble who married Mary’s daughter in Shelby
County KY in the 1790s. I must also
admit that some pieces of this conjecture have NO supporting data and some
pieces have confounding evidence. Therefore
I propose it here simply as a research hypothesis. More research is needed, especially in the
Ruble family records in
There are other possible scenarios, such as (1) Ann being the youngest daughter of Ulrich Ruble and that she died before the heirs settled the land inheritance issues in 1793 (and therefore was not named) and (2) Mary being the daughter of George and that she died around 1807 - before George died in 1813 and therefore not named in George’s will. But such scenarios leave us without any explanation of how John Todd met Mary Ruble and without any explanation of why the Mary or Ann’s children were not mentioned.
For the present, we simply need to be content that we have
found a John Gregg with close geographic connection to the Rubles in Frederick
County, VA and to
For those who would like more detailed information, read on! For those who just want the gist of the conclusions, you can stop here.
The Location of John Todd-Mary Ruble marriage
Before we begin to list all the evidence, let us consider
the importance of determining where John Todd’s wedding took place. We know that John was in
I assume they married in late 1775 based on their oldest son
Andrew Todd being born 27 Dec 1776. John Todd appears on the 1774
If the marriage took place in
If the marriage of John Todd and Mary Ruble took place in
I am leaning towards a
The principal evidence of the Gregg-Ruble connection and a Frederick County-Bedford County connection consists of (1) a 1765 land purchase in Frederick County by “John Gregg of Cumberland County, PA”, (2) a John Gregg, single man, entry in a 1761 tax list in Hamilton Township, Cumberland County, (3) 1763 and 1765 references to John Gregg being a neighbor on land in what later became Bedford Township, Bedford County, (4) the 1766 sale of his Frederick County land by John Gregg of Frederick County and Ann his wife.
The most fascinating evidence is that John Gregg bought land
on Isaac’s Creek, a tributary of Back Creek, in May 1765 in Frederick County,
VA. This land lies only 4 miles from where the George
Ruble lived on Back Creek and perhaps 7 miles from where David Ruble lived. In the deed of purchase, he is listed as
“John Gregg of
Looking for a John Gregg in Cumberland County, we find in the 1761 tax lists, there are two John Greggs listed – one in the Carlisle area which is 90 miles NE of Bedford and another in Hamilton Twp which is 55 miles east of Bedford but which lies much closer to the Maryland border and to the border with the Indian Territory as the boundary existed in 1760.
The first of these John Greggs first appeared on the
Cumberland County tax lists in 1753 in Middleton Township (near Carlisle) in
the northeast of the county and also almost continuously through the last
published list in 1785. He was born
about 1727 and died there in 1807. He
was the son of Andrew Gregg, formerly of Chestnut Level in
The second one appears in the 1761 tax lists in
There is also a John Gregg (who might be the Hamilton Twp
John but might be a third John Gregg) who is listed as a neighbor on land
records dating from 1763 in the area that that lay 55 miles west of Hamilton
Twp. In 1763, settlement in the region was illegal
because the land had not been “purchased” from the Indians yet. There was no township in
John Gregg is involved with a court case in 1771 with a
George Scheinawolf with jurors who later appear in the
The land in
The somewhat sparse records of John Gregg in the
Cumberland/Bedford County area can be explained by John Gregg having followed a
frequent pattern of land speculation on the western PA/MD/VA frontier. This pattern involved buying land in several
locations as a speculation. This is
suggested by the
Since he sold his
This migratory pattern of the Gregg family from VA
northwestward is supported by the fact that Robert Gregg, who lived near
Winchester, Frederick Co by 1766, moved to the Cumberland, Washington Co,
So at this point, we have shown a geographic connection between John Gregg and the Ruble family in Frederick County, evidence of land speculation on the Cumberland frontier in the early 1760s, a possible migration to Cumberland and then Bedford County by 1771 or 1773; a residence only 4 or 5 miles from the Todds; a departure from Bedford after the 1784 tax list, the same year that John Todd departed.
The Identity of John Gregg’s Wife
We also note that John Gregg’s wife in 1766 based on the
We can now ask the question:
If John Gregg married into the Ruble family in
Ann was married by 1766; so she must have been born by the late 1740s or early 1750s. There are three major possibilities for her connection to the Ruble family: (1) youngest daughter of Ulrich Ruble d 1759/61, (2) oldest daughter of George Ruble, son of Ulrich, (3) widow of John Ruble d abt 1760-62, son of Ulrich.
Possibility 1. She could have been an unnamed daughter of Ulrich Ruble based on age, but we have no supporting evidence for this. We do know he had a daughter Elizabeth born about 1740 and a daughter Susanna born about 1738. So a daughter Ann born about 1742 or 1743 would not be out of the question. On the other hand, no mention of her or her children is made in the 1793 deed related to the heirs of Ulrich.
Possibility 2. If Ann were a daughter of one of the sons of
Ulrich, the only one old enough was George, the oldest son, who had a daughter
Jane married about 1768 and therefore assumed to have been born by 1750. Since all the other brothers appear to have
had their oldest children in the 1760s, George seems to be the only candidate amongst
the siblings to be Ann’s father. On the
other hand, George makes no mention of Ann or her descendants in his 1813
Possibility 3. John
Ruble, son of Ulrich, does not seem a likely candidate for having a daughter
born in the late 1740s, but could have had a widow by the 1760s. He was born by 1730 and of full age in 1751
when he entered a survey but didn’t secure the land. He was still alive in 1760 when he witnessed
a deed in
This last possibility is a tantalizing one. What if Ann were born in the 1730s, married
John Ruble, and became a young widow in 1760-62, and then married John
Gregg. What if John and Ann had a
daughter Mary born about 1759. What if they brought Mary with them to
However, I can not explain why Mary as a grandchild would
not be mentioned in the 1793 deed of Ulrich’s heirs other than the fact that
she was in
The Connection with Jefferson/Shelby County, KY
Both John Gregg and John Todd left
John Todd is in
All this constitutes a “good fit” though we can’t show a specific reference that connects the two individuals in the two locations.
Conclusion and Future Research
I believe that John Gregg married into the Ruble family in
I am not so certain of the exact branch of the Rubles that produced Ann and Mary, the wives of John Gregg and John Todd, but the hypothesis of Ann being John Ruble’s widow and Mary being Ann’s daughter seems plausible.
Future research may prove this entire theory to be false; however, the next step is to search the records of Berkeley County, WVA and other counties surrounding Frederick County for both Ruble and Gregg references and to search the records of Washington and Allegany County, Maryland (where Robert Gregg settled and where John may have lived while in transit between Frederick County and Bedford County).
 The John Todd who appears as a single man in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, PA tax list in 1774 seems likely to be the son of Andrew d 1791 who is the only other Todd living in East Whiteland Township in 1774. Andrew d 1791 sold his land in 1778 and neither Andrew nor John appear in 1779 tax list in East Whiteland, suggesting they both left the county and possibly together.
Andrew Todd d 1791 was
known from family tradition to have moved to Bedford Co, PA to live with his
son William. William appears in the
John Todd was in the
portion of Jefferson Co, KY that became Shelby Co by 1786. This is compatible with the departure of John
 The essay is on the following website: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mcmurtriecfr/richard/todd/toddentrance.htm
 See the
 The tax lists are contained in the documentation refereneced in the previous footnote.
 See abstract of will in GGR (Gregg Genealogy Report):
wife Ann; eldest son David, eldest daughter Margaret, daughter
 Mary Ruble and John Todd are identified as the
parents of their children in a
 Marriages of
 Deed of sale referenced in “Essay Documentation”;
John Gregg to John Borland, Bk B, p 207, Bedford Co, PA Deeds
I John Gregg of the
Samuel Borland and
7 March 1786 .. Samuel
Bourland of Twp of Bedford,
Rachel Borland, June 25,
1822. She was the daughter of Samuel Borland, who emigrated from
Rick (Ray) Borland has
clarified some of the sources of the “
My three great
grandfather, Samuel Borland Jr, a son of Samuel and
To quote the William
Borland Neel biography from the Westmoreland County History book (I believe
dated 1882) on page 208: (speaking of the second marriage of William's father)
"Samuel Neel was again united in marriage with Rachel Borland, whose
father, Samuel Borland, came from Ireland to America and settled in "The
Manor," Westmoreland county, Pa., where he followed the occupation of
farming. He, too, was a presbyterian; his wife was Lydia Gregg, who was born in
Email by Richard McMurtry:
searching of the 1782-1787 tax lists in Frederick Co, I found a Daniel Curry in
1782 and 1783 and then it looks like Daniel Carry in 1785. So I would say
that either (1) Daniel Curry and Daniel Carry should be searched to see if
indeed this is a
I found this:
1801 - Daniel CURRY and Abigail HERRING, dau. of Leonard HERRING, were married, 22 Jan 1801, at Rockingham Co., Virginia. Adam CURRY was surety.
This makes me think that the name was correct as Curry and that there were no Cary/Carey’s in Frederick Co in the 1780s.
I should mention that Robert Gregg owned a lot in
 See “Todds in PA Tax Lists”, a compilation of Todd entries in PA county and state tax lists, mostly of tax lists published in the PA archives
 Rootsweb file of Gregg Branum lists Andrew’s birth and death dates as exact dates, suggesting a family bible source.
 See the GGR for the deed abstracts.
 See Map 5 in Cecil Odell’s book on Back Creek
Settlers for the location of George Ruble’s land near Gainsboro. David Ruble’s land appears to have been a few
miles downstream. See map of Geetsema, a
surveyor in Berkeley Co, WVA for location of Hannah Cook’s property. Galtjo Geertsema, PS, 1225 W King St.,
 IN the land records of Bedford County are references to land bounded by John Gregg’s land. This Bedford County records refer to the land as formerly in Cumberland County, even though at the time settlement in the area of this land was illegal because it had not yhet been bought from the Indians, according to a staff person at the Cumberland County Historical Society.
a. Land Warrant; John Finney (message posted by Stacia Liegey)
b. Situated on the waters of the Shawanese Cabin Creek in the Tonwship and county of Bedford containing 300 acres.. surveyed for Samuel Johnston 16 Aug 1793 on warrant dated Aug 20 1765: N5.5W 20 by land of John Gregg, N87W 76 by land of John Finney, N21 W 145 by John Finney, N32E 66 by john finney , N46W 140 by Alexander’s Claim, S83W 95 by John Baldwin, S3W 286, S85E 191, S87E 76 by John Little.
c. Situated on the North side of the Raystown Barnch of Juniata in the Township and County of Bedford ..306 acres and 118 p..survyed for John Little 16 Aug 1793 on warrant dated Aug 20 1765. N84E 48, S62E 150 by Frederick Helsimer, s3, s83E 115 by Frederick Helsimer, S21W 40, N39E 140 by surveyed land, N64W 60, by John Gregg’s alnd, n5.5W 95 by John Gregg, N87W 76 by Samuel Johnson, N85W 192.78, S10E 141
 See file:
 See “Essay Documentation” for early land record references to John Gregg being a neighbor in 1763 and 1765
 See Raymond Bell’s book: Mother Cumberland for maps of townships in 1760 and 1770
 Verbal statement by staff of Cumberland County Historical Society
 Court case abstract from Bedford County Genealogy website.
Sheinawolfe, George; John Gregg
Posted by: Joan Christopher (IP Logged)
Date: December 12, 2005 10:47AM
George Sheinawolfe vs. John Gregg, case #58, relevied and delivered to plaintiff. (Source: Bedford County Civil Court Docket, Bedford Co., Pa., July Term 1771.)
Case #58, Sheinawolfe vs. Gregg, jury selected for Oct. 1771: Samuel Drenning, William McCombe, Hugh Ferguson, George Wills, Allen Rose, Thomas Hays, James Deley, Moses Read, John Fisher, James Mollott, Jacob Money, Bernard Money (Mooney?). Find for plaintiff.
 A Frederick County court order book in the 1767-72 period (Vol 14, p 393) states “Robert Gregg (Plaintifff) vs John Gregg(Defendant) “in Debt”: Dismissed being agreed by the parties and an entry in the 1772-1781 period (Vol 17, p 232) says: Robert Gregg Plt vs John Gregg Deft. “In Case”, Discontinued.
 See GGR for records of Robert Gregg in
 See Ulrich Ruble Family Summary for the dates of birth of his grandchildren
 This letter was from Andrew Todd Jr to John McCulloh in 1799. See “Essay Documentation”