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THE FRED FAMILY

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

See the Descendants of John Fred

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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 January 30, 2005

   

THE FRED FAMILIES OF KENTUCKY

By

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 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.

We find him for the following years:

1787, John FRED, Fayette Co., KY, enumerated with William Stafford. (0 poll) (source, Kentucky Tax List)
1788, John FRUND, Fayette Co., KY, (could be Fread?) (source: Kentucky Tax Lists)
1791, John FRED, Nelson Co., KY; a witness in a court case
1792, John FRAD, Nelson Co. , KY; The actual date on this census was Nov. 29, 1792. Also, he was a witness in another court                                                                      case.
1793, John FRAD, Nelson Co., KY; no land, 1 horse, 7 cattle
1795, John FRED, Clark Co., KY; delinquent tax list
1795, John FRED, Madison Co., KY
1796. John FRED, Clark Co., KY
1797, John FRAD, Montgomery Co., KY; no land
1800, John FRED, Montgomery Co., KY
1807, John FREDD, Boone Co., KY; he was an appraiser for an estate.

Lois 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., 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 known 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.

The above is Copyright 1999 by Patricia O'Connor

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