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Fred Family Photos


This site is developed with the help of others, my thanks to Mark Parsons, Richard D. Fread and Warren Freads.  We have shared all our information on the Fred family.  My thanks to all of you, cousins.  

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Pictured is Samuel and Sarah SPRADLING FRED with son Enoch Franklin and his wife Judith HUDSON. The two little girls are Stella and Lulu, the older girl standing is Cora, daughter of Samuel's son Thomas Justis FRED.

Revised March 5, 2000

     After receiving a message from Fred researcher, and probable cousin, Kim Richardson, I have been reading over my old mail and believe that I must add Jacob Fred to my list as a probable descendant of John Fred. It is possible that Jacob is a son of John's, or, he could be a son of James, John's apparent older son. James was born ca 1780 in Kentucky, Jacob, 1802. However, Alfred, who I show as John's youngest son, was born ca 1808, so the same could be said of him.  I have been very wrong in ignoring Jacob!  I think I did so simply because he did not come into Indiana with the rest of the family.  But we don't know that James came in at the same time either since we have no record of a first marriage for him.  I want to apologize to Jacob's descendants and ask them to forgive me for wearing blinders.  Please furnish us with a link to your web site, or let us carry your email address.



Patricia O'Connor

In attempting to discover the roots of the Fread family, we have found probably six brothers.  James, William, Samuel, John, Jacob and Alfred.   All six men were born all in Kentucky between 1780 and 1806. Four of them moved to Franklin County, Indiana around the same time. Five had sons named James; all six had sons named William: Five of them had sons named John, Samuel lost his oldest son who might have been his John. William and James had sons named Henry: Samuel and Alfred had sons named William Henry. Obviously, this is not proof of a relationship, but the information may possibly give another researcher a clue.

Throughout the centuries, the name has been found spelled FRED, FREDD, FFRED, FREAD, FRID and FRAD. The only Fred we found in Kentucky at the proper time was John Fred.

The Kentucky Tax Lists show:

1787, John FRED, Fayette Co. enumerated with William Stafford. (0 poll, too young or too old?)

1792, John FRAD, Nelson Co. The actual date on this census was Nov. 29, 1792.

1795, John FRED, Clark Co. delinquent tax list

1795, John FRED, Madison Co.

1800, John Fred Montgomery Co.

It has been theorized that John may have married a daughter of William Stafford and that was why he was living with him in 1787. No marriage license, will or probate records have been located in either Kentucky or Indiana to prove this, although Staffords moved into Franklin Co. at approximately the same time as the Freds. It is more probable that John was a farmhand, employed by Stafford.

The family of William Fread has been covered in the book by Lois DOTSON, "The FREAD's And The ROCKEFELLER'S". This book can be found in some libraries or the LDS library. I have a copy and if you want information, I'll be happy to look up a name for you.

Mrs. Dotson, in her book, The FREADS and The ROCKEFELLERS has posed the assumption that the emigrant ancestor was Hans Gerg FREDRICKS who arrived in 1737 at Philadelphia in the ship Virtuous Grace. This theory has now been rejected since finding the obituary of Sarah (Spradling) Fread where it states "she was the last of the old English-American settlers in Highland Township, except for her husband Samuel Fread, ---". Franklin County, Indiana had a large German population, it would have been very strange to call a second or third generation German-American an 'old English-American'.

In checking further back, the only Fred family that we can find that might be called "English-American" is the family of John and Catherine (Starkey) Fred who arrived in Pennsylvania from Ireland about 1713. John and Catherine were married in Ireland in 1685 and their children were grown by the time they all arrived. The Fred name is definitely Germanic, and the time that they were married is just at the beginning of the Palatine era, so it is probable that he or his parents left Germany for religious reasons. We do know that John and Catherine were Quakers and he and his family finally left Ireland because of religious reasons.

One of John and Catherine's grandsons, Joseph moved to Loudoun Co., Virginia about 1769. It may be one of his descendants that moved on west, but we haven't been able to find any information.

Assuming a twenty-five year period before his first son was born, John would have been born about 1755. We find two John Freds in Pennsylvania at the proper time, A John Fred married Ann Davis in Sep 1772 at a Quaker Meeting house in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, and a John Fred, son of Nicholas, and grandson of John and Catherine, married Susannah Hope and had sons Abraham, John Jr. and Henry.  (I have no source on this)  Either one of these men could be our John, although on the 1880 census, Samuel's parents are both shown as born in Ky.

By 1775, Daniel Boone's men had blazed the first trail, known as the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Mountains and into the rich valleys of Kentucky. Sometime between 1775 and 1787, our Fred ancestor traveled this trail. Before 1796 only pack teams could cross this area so when John traveled through, it was probably by pack animals.

In 1787, John is listed as being in Fayette Co., here his son John was born that same year. John Sr. evidently had a wandering spirit; by 1792, he had moved west to Nelson Co., by 1795, he had come back east to the Clark and Madison Co. area. We wonder at this seemingly aimless wandering. Was he looking for just the right spot? Or perhaps he was searching for someone who had gone into Kentucky ahead of him. We will never know, but we applaud his fortitude.

In 1879, William McClure wrote (from the1882 Atlas, Chapter 3, page 12. Civil and Political History) "My father moved to Richland Creek, about four miles below Brookeville in 1807. At that time Ralph WILDRIDGE and the FREADS and perhaps John and Samuel ROCKEFELLER lived about New Trenton, and over the river, ----"

Sometime before the year 1807, the FREDS left Kentucky and arrived in the Northwest Territory in the area now known as Franklin Co., Indiana. At that time this was still Indian country. There were trees to fell in order to farm or build a cabin. There was still wild game to hunt and dangers to face. It must have been a beautiful county. The forests were still dense and dark, the White River wild and untamed. It took courage to face life here. There were no schools or churches. The circuit riding preacher would hold church services in cabins in the winter and out of doors in the summer. None of this generation of Freds could read or write, but all of their children attended school until they were sixteen or so.

We don't know if John came into Ky with his sons, it is probable that his wife did. On the 1820 Franklin Co., IN census, William is shown with two unidentified females, one age 16-26 and one over 45.

In Lawrence Co., IN, on the 1820 census, we find a John Fread, over 45 years, with 1 male under 10, 1  10-16, 2 males 16-18 and 2 16-26.  It shows 4 in agriculture.  He has 2 females under 10, 1  10-16 and 1 26-45.  I have not been able to find him after this period, and have no idea if he was the father of our Freds or another line.

The above is Copyright 1999 by Patricia O'Connor


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