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HISTORY OF THE RARDINS IN AMERICA
Written and published by
James Knox "J. K." Rardin
Original manuscript is owned by his great-grandson John A.
"Jack" Rardin, Charleston, Illinois
HISTORY OF THE RARDINS IN AMERICA
Written and published by
James Knox "J. K." Rardin
Whatever be the proper spelling of the name, be it Reyrdin, Reardon, Riordan, OíReardon, Rariden, Raridon, Rerden, Rardon, Rarden or Rardin, it is of the particular branch, the members of whom in the main spell their name RARDIN and pronounce it "Rairdin" to whom this sketch is devoted.
Whether the name first originated from that of one of the sons of Brian Boruta, the hero of Clontarf, who conquered and ruled Ireland shortly after the year 1000, does not matter. Nor is it material whether the name is a familiar one in Ireland, or whether several of the name had their estates confiscated to the British Crown for attainder, nor does it concern us whether a Col. Timothy Reyrdin had command of a fortress until Oliver Cromwell compelled him to capitulate.
We are concerned about two or three brothers, who came to Western Pennsylvania at a date not far removed from the Middle of the 18th Century; settled in the forests and contended jointly with their fellow Scotch-Irish as against the French and Indians. Family tradition has it that there were two brothers, John and Dennis and that they were from Dublin, Ireland; that they were Scotch-Irish and were of the Protestant faith.
The archives of Pennsylvania reveal that Captain William Trent had a company stationed near Pittsburgh in 1746 and in the muster roll appears a "Michael Raridon" who enlisted July 11, 1746, and he was recorded as a native of Ireland, 37 years of age and a weaver by occupation. Having been born in 1706, he may have been a brother to John and Dennis.
About 1770, when Col. George Washington was sent by Gov. Dinwiddie, the colonial governor of Virginia, to Pittsburgh and down the Ohio to treaty with the Indians, as is fully detailed in "Washingtonís Notes", the small party accompanying him from Pittsburgh down the river included "a boy named Daniel Rendon", as the historians read his handwriting, but the true name of the boy being according to family tradition, Daniel Rerdon, which, owing to the similarity of the construction of the colonial "r", might reasonable have caused that letter to be taken for an "n". There were Rardins at the hamlet during that time, but no person of the name of "Rendon" has to this moment been revealed by the early records.
We do know from living witnesses, that John Rardin, living a short distance northwest of Pittsburgh, and Dennis Rardin, living perhaps thirty or forty miles southeast of Pittsburgh, in then Huntington Township, Westmoreland county, were brothers. The records at Greensburg show that: Dennis Rardin died in January, 1789 and that his son, Henry, acted as administrator and made final settlement in February, 1790.
Shortly after the death of Dennis, we find "John W. and Henry, the sons of Dennis" and perhaps the sister and brother-in-law, Cornelius Woodruff, signing an instrument relating to land to Thomas Rardin, of Washington county. He was the eldest son of John Rardin, of Alleghany county, who was a brother of Dennis and an uncle to John W. and Henry.
John Rardin, the brother of Dennis, made a will in Alleghany county on March 16, 1796, within ten days before his death, in which he names all of his children as follows: Thomas and John, (children of his first wife, who came with him from Ireland,) and the following by a second wife: William, Moses, Timothy, Jacob and Nellie, afterward the wife of John Stevens.
John, the father, it seems did not go down the Ohio with his second wife, children and their families, who followed the successful army of Gen. Anthony Wayne, several of the Rardin boys, it seems, being soldiers. They settled eventually in Ohio and Kentucky, near Cincinnati and their descendants are easily traced.
Thomas Rardin, the eldest son, not only bought the lands of his cousins, Henry and John, but by means of traffic with the Indians, he acquired a tomahawk claim for vast tracts of land, including a claim for the bulk of the present site of Pittsburgh. He was afterwards killed by the Indians in the tragic manner detailed on another page. The family tradition is that he left no wife or children, but transfers are on record signed by his wife "Ellender". He may have survived her, and again there may be descendants.
DENNIS RARDINíS DESCENDANTS
*John W. - We thus designate him because of a transfer in Washington county, Pa., was probably older than Henry. That date of his birth is not known. He married Hannah Woodruff, probably a sister of Cornelius. He seems to have spelled his name "Rardon", sometimes, but of later years, the more intelligent descendants have adopted the old way of "Rardin". John W. Rardin moved to Ohio, perhaps, when St. Clair established Marietta as the Capital, and he was drowned in the Hocking River in 1809. There is a variance as to his children but we assume the following to be near the truth: Samuel, William and Moses.
*JOHN W. RARDINíS CHILDREN:
2. JOHN was in war of 1812. Wounded in an Indian skirmish, was in battle of Lundayís Lane and Bridgewater. Lived in Virginia in 1860. Said to have died in 1873.
3. HENRY, born in 1803. Married Jane Mullen. Children: Jacob, John, Elizabeth, Moses, Phoebe (married Moses Woodruff, near Marietta, Ohio).
4. MOSES, born 1808 to 18__?, married three times: 1. Calesta Cusy. 2. Miss Webster. 3. Miss Bartlett. Children: Romulus and Diantha, died during minority; Jethro, born about 1881, and lives in Yankton, S. D.
* WILLIAM, (son of Dennis?) wifeís name was Jane. Children:? Hannah married Garret Coler, Marietta, Ohio; Beacham married Mary Croft, moved to Michigan; John married Comfrey Ingram - several children, second marriage to Sallie, widow of Sam Rardin; Malinda died unmarried.
*HENRY Rardin - Son of Dennis, was born in Pennsylvania, Nov. 17, 1756; died Oct. 17, 1855, aged 99 years, near Bartlett, O. Married Elizabeth Hull; born 1762, died Feb. 18, 1836. Elizabeth was a sister of Massie, who married Johnís John. Henry was a millwright and lived at Georgetown, Pa. They moved to Ohio in 1805. Their children were: Moses, Rebecca, William, Jane, Henry, Sarah, John and Samuel.
2. REBECCA married Jacob Minton, lived at Bartlett, O., moved to Athens, and kept tavern; moved to Chillicothe and then to Illinois about 1854. Children: John Isaac, Charles, Elizabeth and Rebecca.
3. WILLIAM born April 29, 1797 at Georgetown, Pa. died Dec. 11, 1876. Married Elizabeth Anders, of Bartlett, O., about 1816. Settled on Laurel Run two miles north of Bartlett. Finally lived and died in Bern township, Athens county, O. and are buried three miles west of Bartlett. Their ten children: 1. Mehitable (Cook); 2. Elizabeth H. (Selby); 3. Levi, (whose sons are J.J., W.W., C.C. and Joseph S.); 4. Agnes (Parkins); 5. Elizabeth; 6. Rebecca (Hanson); 7. George S.; 8. Mary A. (Hanson); 9. Wm. Henry (has a son Levi). (typistís note - J. K.ís history only listed these nine children)
4. JAMES married Sarah Lewis. Their children were: 1. Daniel, born May 5, 1826; married Zelina E. Pierrot. Daniel died June 16, 1861 leaving children: Viola (Ross), Ester A. (Hardy), Annola and James, born 1855 (lives at San Benton, Cal.); Lena, died unmarried. 2. Ruth, died unmarried. 3. Charlotte, born Oct 11, 1829, married Abram Zumbro, several children. 4. Eli, born Oct. 12, 1831. Married Riena Lawrence. Resides at Brownís Mills, O., has two daughters. 5. Andrew, born December 26, 1833, married Eunice Maines. Children: George, born Nov. 1854, married Belzona Linn, July 10, 1880; Margaret (Perry) and Ruth (Smith).
5. HENRY born 1802, died Jan. 17, 1851. Married Catherine Cradlebaugh. They had four children, but Albert is the only one to arrive at majority.
6. SARAH, first married John Jarrett and next married John Anders.
7. JOHN died in 1853. Children: Melvina (VanBibber); Martha (Stephens); Rebecca (Carr); Henry, drowned in Hocking River, 1849; John, living in Athens, O., four children.
8. SAMUEL married Sarah Cuey. Children: Rhoda A.; Clarinda (Morrow); Quincy J. B., born 1827, died 1853, buried north of Bartlett; Cuey B. lives at Danville, Ky.; Wm. H. H. died 1885; Charles died 1870; Nora.
JOHN RARDINíS DESCENDANTS
It was now the first of the year 1796, John Rardin, senior, resided in Alleghany county, Pa., with one John Witheroe. The children had married or gone to the wars, and the old manís sands of life were running fast away. He was sick and in his second childhood; he imagined his children had deserted him, and surrounded by designing scoundrels, they induced him to make a will, not only disinheriting his children, but in addition, the will was written by the conspirators in language of low buffoonery. They got the dying old man to sign his mark to the will March 16, 1796 and the sole beneficiary was John Witheroe, who was to be executor. The witnesses were William Littell, James Inglish and Robert McElhenny.
The appraisers, William Littell and Michael Christler, dated their inventory of his effects on March 16, 1796, so his death must have occurred between the 16th and 29th, very likely on the 28th, for human carrion do not waste more than a day in seizing the booty of a dead friend.
The will was probated April 5, 1796, at Pittsburgh and the record may be seen by any one (vol. I, page 95 wills.)
Leaving John Witheroe to his booty, we are thankful for his careful enumeration of all the children in regular order. He had to name them to cut them off with one penny each. There they are of record: 1. Thomas Rardin, afterward killed by the Indians; 2. John Rardin, Junior; 3. William Rardin; 4. Moses Rardin; 5. Timothy Rardin; 6. Jacob Rardin; 7. Nellie Rardin, afterward wife of John Stevens.
As has been stated, the mother of Thomas and John was dead. She came from Ireland, it is said, with her husband. The mother of the five remaining children lived to a great age and eventually died near New Richmond, Ohio.
Taking up the children of John Rardin, sr., we shall be obliged to surmise as the date of their births, because the family records have been lost.
THOMAS RARDIN.... John Rardin was the second son and as he died in 1835 and was "about 75" at his death, as living witnesses attest, he must have been born about 1760. Thomas being older than he, must have been born previous to that year. What we know about Thomas is from the deed records of Western Pennsylvania, added to the remembrances of living grand-children of John, who tell us what their grandfather said of his elder brother. That he was a man of wealth; that he was killed by the Indians, whilst the settlers were driven to Fort Macintosh for safety; that Thomas Rardin and another scout, were sent out to reconnoiter after being besieged several days, in order to ascertain whether the Indians had killed or driven away the cattle in the settlements; that they were ambushed and killed after a desperate fight, which is given in detail elsewhere; Thomas had his deed and tomahawk claims for valuable lands in his pocket, and therefore, they were never recovered; in fact, the mystery of his disappearance was never cleared up until "after the war was over and the Indians told about it".
The family tradition has it that as "Thomas left no heirs but his full brother, John, therefore, he was entitled to great estate," and also that John, in his old age had so informed his children, and wanted Samuel to go to Pittsburgh "to see about it, but for lack of funds he could not do so."
So much for family tradition. We now turn to the records.
Dennis Rardin was the uncle of Thomas. The records of Westmoreland county show that Dennis died in 1789. On July 8, 1791, John and Henry Rardin, sons of Dennis, Cornelius and Jane Woodruff sold a tract of land to Thomas Rardin, in South Huntington township, Westmoreland county, for L200.
In Alleghany we find that Thomas Rardin and wife Ellender, on Dec. 31, 1791, deeded to Thomas Hayton, a tract on the waters of Raccoon creek. (vol. 7, page 460).
In the same county, Thomas Rardin and Ellender, his wife on January 7, 1794 (vol. 7, page 463), conveyed a tract on Raccoon creek to George Eaton.
On May 5, 1796, Thomas Rardin and wife, Ellender, deeded to Thomas Aten, tract on Raccoon creek.
It seems that Eaton, Aten and Hayton were all the same name, written differently by those who drew the deeds, and the several deeds probably executed to correct the title.
But these 3 deeds prove that Thomas Rardin was living in Alleghany county in May, 1796, and that he had a wife living. It must be remembered that John, his father, had died in March previous.
It is said that Thomas was distinguished as a great trader. That he had in his pocket a tomahawk claim for a body of land now included in Pittsburgh. That he had at one time a fine rifle which took the fancy of a chief, who traded him a large and valuable tract of land for it, possibly the Pittsburgh claim.
The old members of our family asserted that Thomas was a noted Indian fighter in Pennsylvania and (West) Virginia. After his death "a brother" took up on himself to fight the Indians to the bitter end, following them remorselessly and not satisfied until he had slain enough to balance the loss of his brother. His only full brother was John, who was supposed to be a man of peace. However, it may have been one of his half-brothers, or his cousin Henry, or cousin John, the sons of Dennis.
There is this notation to add to Thomas Rardin; The deed records of 1815 in Clermont county, Ohio show that a Thomas Rardin "and wife, Mary" executed a conveyance, but this was probably a son of some of the elder Thomasí half-brothers, but others interested can probably explain this more fully. If it were the elder Thomas, he had married again, and his death must have occurred after the war of 1812.
DEATH OF THOMAS RARDIN - It must have been after May 5, 1796, for there is a deed of record in Alleghany of that date, from Thomas Rardin and wife, Ellender, to certain lands on Raccoon Creek, and, his wife must have died, or been killed by the Indians before his death, because the old members of the families, now dead, who told the story of his death to the writer (J. K. Rardin) sturdily insisted the he "left no family". But here is the story: There had been an Indian uprising and the settlers had been driven into Ft. McIntosh for safety, leaving their stock and effects at home. After a few daysí siege it became necessary to send two scouts to the settlements to ascertain if the savages had destroyed the settlements and driven away the cattle. The writer regrets having forgotten the other manís name, but is half certain it was McElhenny. At any rate, Thomas Rardin and another scout were sent to reconnoiter, Rardin being acknowledged to be one of the best scouts or rangers in Western Pennsylvania. The two whites were ambushed by the savages and Rardinís companion was wounded at the first fire. The wounded man fled and was pursued by one of the savages, while the other attacked Rardin. The two latter were at close quarters and made at each other with their tomahawks and knives, a large tree separating them. They made vain endeavors to get the advantage of each other unawares, and after a long and fruitless maneuver they began running around the tree after each other, and being obliged to hold to the tree to steady themselves, this exposed their hands to the tomahawk of the enemy, and as a result they began to chop off each otherís fingers! Finally, by a sudden movement, Rardin turned upon the Indian unawares and felled him to the earth and was just in the act of giving him the finishing blow when a rifle shot from the other Indian killed Rardin. It appears that the other savage had overtaken and dispatched the wounded scout and had returned in the niche of time to save the life of his comrade. The wounded Indian was taken home by his comrade, and it was a long time before the Indians divulged the fate of the two scouts.
Family tradition had it that Thomas Rardin was one of the best if not best scouts in that part of the country and that his hostility to the Indians was of the extreme type and that his success in killing them was very pronounced, therefore they feared him and were greatly rejoiced at his death but were obliged to conceal it until after the war was over in order to avert a terrible vengence at the hands of Rardinís fellow Rangers.
JOHN RARDIN, JUNIOR
He had grown to manhood in Pennsylvania and as there were two sisters in the Welsh family of Hull, there is nothing strange that John should have married Miss Massie, while his cousin Henry, Dennisí son, of Westmoreland county, should have married Miss Elizabeth; thus making the two cousins, brothers-in-law and the two sisters from Wales, sisters-in-law, as well.
Then again, when John, his father died in 1796, in Alleghany county, and cut off his children with one penny each; when Boone was doing great things in Kentucky; when the Indians had been driven into Indiana and almost annihilated by mad Anthony Wayne, and the army headquarters had been removed from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati what should have been more likely than for *John to sell his interest in his 200 acre farm, five miles northwest of the rivers Alleghany and Ohio to his cousin and brother-in-law, Henry Rardin, on Oct. 3, 1799 (vol. 9, page 197) and start down the river on a flatboat to procure a government homestead in the far-famed land of milk and honey? He was about forty years of age, here were the children all growing up rapidly and they would need more land than "Rardinís Bottoms" upon which he resided, besides the garrison at the forts in Pennsylvania had made a good market, but now the army was making an outpost hundreds of miles to the westward, and, why not follow the market? He did what you or I would have done - went to the vicinity of Cincinnati - to Wayneís army. Besides were not some of his younger brothers in the army and were not other members of the family powder makers?
*In deed record 9, page 197, in the Recorderís office at Pittsburgh, Pa., we find an instrument recorded as follows: John Rardin of the county of Alleghany, state of Pennsylvania, in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars paid by Henry Rardin of the county and state aforesaid, have bargained and sold to said Henry Rardin, his heirs and assigns, a certain tract of land lying and situated North and West of the rivers Ohio and Alleghany, on which I, the said John, now reside. In Jonathan Leetís district, about six miles from Pittsburgh, adjoining lands of William Cecil on the north, Samuel Ewalt on the west, William Robinson on the south and Cunninghamís district line on the east, containing 200 acres more or less. It being the undivided tract of land under an article of agreement with Thomas Cecil. Dated October 2, 1799. Recorded on the 17th of October.
So he moved to Campbell county, Kentucky, opposite New Richmond, Ohio about the year 1800. His father and mother were dead; his full brother, Thomas had probably been killed by the Indians; he was the oldest son and it was reasonable that his step-mother and half-brothers should follow John. So they did - all of them went down the river to the promised land, several if not all, of his half-brothers being married and having children. They settled mostly on the Ohio side of the river in Clermont county.
John Rardin and Massie Hull Rardin lived to a ripe old age. He died on January 14, 1835, and his wife only survived but little over a year, as she died on March 2, 1836. They have a multitude of descendants scattered in almost half the states of the union. We shall only name at this juncture their children and then pass on to his half-brothers and half-sisters.
Children of John and Massie Rardin:
1. POLLY, afterwards married to John Campbell who was in war of 1812.
2. SAMUEL born November 16, 1790 in Pennsylvania, married Catherine Light May 3, 1812. Died at Rardin, Illinois August 12, 1843.
3. JESSE B. married Rutha Applegate. He moved to Fountain county, Indiana and died there in 1866.
4. JOHN resided in Pendleton county, Kentucky about Falmouth or Butler.
5. NANCY married Elijah Herrington, Huntington, Indiana
6. HENRY, who left three children
7. PATSEY married John Newkirk in Kentucky
WILLIAM RARDIN, SON OF JOHN RARDIN, SENIOR
His children: Annie, Martha, Rebecca, Sarah, William, James, John and David can be easily traced in the family records of his grand-children.
1. ANNIE married to John Derry
2. MARTHA married William Bell
3. REBECCA married John Dill
4. SARAH married her cousin, William Rardin, son of Timothy
5. MARY married Peleg Wheeler/Wheeling?
6. WILLIAM, who moved to Boone county, Indiana.
9. DAVID who lived in Rush county, Indiana
Their children were: David, William, Mary, James, Moses, Timothy, George, Jonathan and Permelia. These children resided in Indiana and Illinois.
1. DAVID born Aug. 4, 1794, in Ohio?, married Margaret Russel. Moved to Parke county, Indiana. Was drowned with a son. Nelson Rardin of Brocton, Illinois is a son of David.
2. WILLIAM married his cousin Sarah Rardin, daughter of William. Lived in Parke county, Indiana, and died about 1877. His sons were Freeman H., dead and a Harvey living in Arkansas.
3. MARY born August 4, 1800 married to William Carnes, in Clermont county, Ohio.
4. JAMES, first wife was Mary Sapp. Their sons were Edward, Neoga, Ill.; Abel, James (both died in the army during the rebellion), and David. James married a second time and his sons were: Henry, John, Alexander and Sherman. James died near Brazil, Indiana, in 1877.
5. MOSES who died on Clay Prairie near Brazil, Indiana, in 1868 leaving a son Andrew in Fountain county, Indiana.
6. TIMOTHY died in Fountain county, Indiana.
7. GEORGE born in May 1810 in Clermont county, Ohio. Died in Clark county, Illinois March 7, 1872. He was married twice. His sons reside in Clark county, Ill., and are: Josiah, Jackson, Martin V., Elisha, Timothy, Elias and George W.
8. JONATHAN lived and died at Brazil, Indiana. Left a son Timothy and three daughters.
9. PERMELIA who died unmarried.
JACOB RARDIN, YOUNGEST SON OF JOHN RARDIN, SENIOR
1. JOHN married and moved to Wabash county at an early date.
2. ELSIE (Miller)
3. NANCY (Young)
4. ELIZABETH (Kesler)
5. WILLIAM born about 1806, married twice. His children: Samuel, lives in Newport, Ky.; William Wallace, Robert Bruce (went west), Edward (Walnut Hills), Murray, Helen and Augusta.
6. JAMES - He was a man of prominence in Campbell county and sheriff at Newport. He has been dead several years leaving eight children: Lewis and Johnson, Grantís Lick, Ky.; Jacob, Hamilton, O.; Maggie (Tarvin), Charleston, Ills.; Emily (Yelton), Campbell Co; Florence, Grantís Lick; Cordelia? (Spillman), Charleston, Ills.; Violet (Byrd), Campbell county.
7. PERRY resided at Butler, Ky. His children are William, Stephen A. D. and Lelia (Saunders).
NELLIE RARDIN YOUNGEST CHILD AND ONLY DAUGHTER OF JOHN RARDIN SENIOR
This concludes the immediate families of Dennis and John, senior, the brothers who came across the sea. We have at times given the names for the fourth generation, but as a rule, intended to embrace but the third, leaving subsequent generations for further detail by classification, including dates, which are in the main omitted hitherto. anyone of fair understanding, can, if his or her name be Rardin, take their family records and very readily extend this genealogy so that it may include infants. The data collected is unsatisfactory in may details, but from the records of the counties of Westmoreland, Beaver, Washington and Alleghany, Pa.; Athens, Putnam, Brown, Scioto, Clermont, Washington, Muskingum, Winton, Ohio; and Pendleton, Campbell and Kenton, Ky.; and Rush, Park, Clay, Boone and Fountain, Ind., and Coles, Clark, Cumberland, Edgar, Fulton and Cook, Illinois.
End of J. K. Rardin 1892 History of the Rardin Family