Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Okay, the last posting left off with a Ralph Miers in North Carolina in 1800 being mentioned in his father Nathan‘s will. Also, please recall that I stated that I had no proof that this Ralph Miers was our Ralph. You may also remember that I have stated in the past that you should not believe everything you see on the census or read in the newspaper (or my ramblings).

On the 1850 census, Nathan Myers (son of Ralph) lists his state of birth as Ohio. According to family records, Nathan was born on May 21, 1811. When I say “family records” here I mean that Nathan’s birth date matches information on his tombstone at Gray Cemetery.

The obituary for Samuel Myers (son of Ralph) published in the Anderson Morning Herald on February 13, 1895 stated, in part, “Mr. Myers was born eighty-two years ago the 4th of last November in Clinton county, Ohio.” In other words he was born on November 4, 1812 in Clinton County. However the obituary goes on to state that his parents were South Carolina Quakers which is extremely unlikely. Prudence Taylor Elmore Myers was a disowned Quaker from South Carolina. Prudence’s mother Mary Pearson Taylor Mills was a Quaker from South Carolina and close neighbor of Ralph’s in Ohio as were Mary’s sons Elijah and Enoch Mills and Mary’s step son John Mills Jr.. I underlined Elijah thinking that this might be where Herman Myers got the name Elijah Myers for his Myers family history essay.
1850 census Samuel Myers lists his state of birth as Ohio.
On Samuel’s 1880 census record his father (Ralph) was reportedly born in North Carolina.

Mary Myers (daughter of Ralph) is listed in family records as born in Clinton County on August 8, 1814.
Caesars Creek Monthly Meeting records.
1831, 10, 27. Mary [Miers] recrq (She joined the Quaker church on this date.)
1834, 1, 24. Mary [Myers] m Thomas Roberds (Married her 1st husband on this date.)
m. 2nd Levi Jessup 1843 Whitewater Monthly Meeting, Wayne Co. Indiana. (Quaker records say "Mary Roberds, a widow, dt. of Ralph and Prudence, both dec. m. Levi Jessup.” Information from Lora Jeffries.) I have underlined Prudence to confirm the name of Ralph’s wife.

No information on the fourth child, Ralph Myers.

William (T.) Elmore continued to live in Clinton County, owned property there, married, had children and died there and is buried in New Burlington Cemetery in the far northwest part of Chester Township. William Elmore is believed to have been a nephew of Prudence Taylor Elmore Myers.

Mahala Elmore (step-daughter of Ralph) married John Arnold.
1833, 2, 21. John & Mahala recrq (They joined Quaker church on this date.)
………Mahala b 1800,4,9 d 1845,4,30 bur Caesars Creek
Caesars Creek Monthly Meeting Record. ^

Okay, if Nathan was born in Ohio on May 21, 1811 (and I see no reason to think that he was not) that could mean that Ralph was married in 1810. Now, if you read the posting on Prudence Taylor Elmore Myers, you know that Prudence was in Ohio in 1809, so she could have been the mother of these children.

Our Ralph Myers first “officially” appears in Clinton County, Ohio, “…. this third day of fifth month one thousand Eight hundred and seventeen….” when he purchased 69 acres of land, from survey #777 adjoining survey #2231, draining into Caesars Creek from Henry and Sarah Fletcher for $345.00. In addition, he purchased an adjoining parcel of 175 acres from survey #2231 on December 29, 1818 from Benjamin and Jonah Farquhar for $525.00. Both properties were purchased with cash and both deeds were recorded on November 19, 1819. I can not explain the tax records that I have for Ralph in Clinton County for 1820 which list Ralph as owning 69 acres in survey 777 and 125 acres in survey 2231.

It should be noted that the copy of the will I have for Ralph Miers is a recorded copy and not the original will so there is no way to tell if the copy clerk actually spelled the last name as written in the original copy.
Pages 26 and 27, Will Book A, Clinton County, Ohio.
The last Will and Testament of Ralph Miers, deceased.
The last will and testament of Ralph Myers of Clinton County Ohio State. Be it known to all people whom these presents may concern that I Ralph Myers do make ordain and constitute my last will and testament in the following manner.
First, I desire that my body be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my friends, my funeral charges and just debts paid with all convenient speed after my decease all the rest of my estate both real and personal I will and bequeath to the management and disposal of my step daughter Mahala Elmore for the raising maintaining and schooling of my children, namely William Elmore, Nathan Samuel, Mary and Ralph Myers till my youngest son Ralph is twenty one years of age, then the remainder of my property and my land I desire should be sold and the money equally divided among my above named children (to wit) William Elmore, Nathan, Samuel, Mary and Ralph Myers but and if my step daughter Mahala Elmore should marry or decline the raising of my above said children or any occurrence happen that they disperse then I desire that my movable property be sold and my plantation rented out till my son Ralph comes of age, my children I desire to be under the care of Ceasars Creek Monthly meeting and at the time of my son Ralph’s maturity I will that my land be sold and the money therefore and all the remainder of my estate after raising and schooling my children be divided as above mentioned.
And lastly I nominate and appoint Jesse Arnold Executer Of this my last will and testament disannulling and revoking all other wills by me ?????? and ?????? This and this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I set my hand and seal this 24th day of the 4th month 1820. (Signed) Ralph Mires (Seal)

Signed Sealed published and declared by the testator to be his last will and testament in the presents of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presents of the Testator and of each other____
Josiah Farquhar, William Edwards, Saml’ Whitson.

No. 5 The foregoing last will and testament of Ralph Myers deceased Exhibited by Jesse Arnold Executor within named and firmed by Jonah Farquhar and William Edwards witnesses named and ordered to be recorded at September term 1820
Recorded 13th October 1820.
Isaiah Morris clt.

In addition to the name Miers and Mires, in the body of the will and the order to record, the spelling “Myers” appears five times. The will was recorded on “13th October 1820”. At this point you should be able to deduce that Ralph died between April 4, 1820 and October 13, 1820. The name Josiah Farquhar appears as a witness to the will, this is a mistake on the part of the copy clerk and should read Jonah Farquhar. Jonah Farquhar was a neighbor of Ralph’s and had sold property to him and is listed as a witness to the will in the order to record, so given those three facts and the fact that I can find no Josiah Farquhar in Clinton County at the time leads me to conclude that the copy clerk made a mistake. The executor of the will, Jesse Arnold, was a nephew of John Mills Sr.. Mills was Prudence Taylor Elmore Myers‘ step father. One of the most striking and unusual elements in this will (to my mind) is the total absents of any religious reference.

After a search of record indexes in Clinton County, no guardianship records for Ralph’s children were found. Perhaps since Ralph named Mahala Elmore as guardian in his will, and she indeed acted as guardian, no other records were required. No records were found that Caesars Creek Monthly Meeting was involved. I could not find an exact date that Mahala Elmore and John Arnold were married however, according to the terms of the will, “….. if my step daughter Mahala Elmore should marry or decline the raising of my above said children or any occurrence happen that they disperse then I desire that my movable property be sold and my plantation rented out till my son Ralph comes of age ….”. Jesse Arnold, the executor named in Ralph’s will, died early in 1832 and John Arnold was appointed executor on “….the second Monday of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty two….”. The court, at the same time, also ordered an inventory and settlement of the estate. This could mean, among other things, that Mahala and John were already married and that Ralph (the youngest child) had died.
I have been unable to find a record of any inventory being filed.

Other bits…………
Ralph named his first born son Nathan (perhaps Ralph’s father’s name), his second child is named Samuel (Samuel Pearson was Mary Pearson Taylor Mill’s father and Prudence’s grandfather), his third child Mary (Mary was Prudence’s mother’s name) and he repeats the family name Ralph with his fourth child.

Ralph Miers (or other versions of the last name) does not appear in the index of marriages of Bertie County, North Carolina.

Given that I feel that Ralph and family were in Clinton County by 1811, I will relate a few tales and history of the county around that date. From tax records and a map of part of Chester Township, given to me by Lora Jeffries, Ralph’s property was located very near Turkey Run, a creek draining into Caesars Creek.
The following stories and history are taken from The History of Clinton County, Ohio, W. H. Beers & Co. 1882. From a microfilm copy at the Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, Indiana.

First two excerpts from pages 649 and 650.
The Jay and Mills families (Which included Mary Pearson Taylor Mills, my 3rd great grandmother.) would have left South Carolina some time in 1804-5 traveling by wagon through “Tennessee and Kentucky, crossing the Ohio at Cincinnati on a flat-boat, the horses tied to it and swimming behind. They landed near the present site of Waynesville, and the family remained there in camp for some time, or until the husband and father could find a place of settlement. He finally took a lease on the lands of James Murray……”

When the quote says, “that they landed in Waynesville“, I am assuming it was meant that they landed on the Ohio side of the river and continued north by wagon until they reached the area now known today as Waynesville. The above mentioned James Murray had purchased the land from Horatio Gates in 1796. I think that the interesting part of the above story is that the Jay family had a lease on the property. I am assuming that Ralph Myers might have done the same thing, took a lease, and then purchased property in 1817 and 1818. Oh, by the way Cincinnati, at that time, was a village of maybe 15 to 20 homes or cabins.

“Their cabins were of unhewn logs, the bottom ones placed directly upon the ground,
with poles and clapboards overhead, and contained but one room. The floor was made of puncheons, or logs split and then hewn, so that the flat or uppermost side presented a tolerable flat surface, but which made a very substantial floor. The roof was of clapboards, held in place by large poles laid lengthwise. The chimneys were of sticks and mud, or clay. The fire-place was generally of large dimensions, often as wide as seven feet, and capable of taking in large sticks of wood……”.

The following are reminisces of John Jay, a grandson of John Mills Sr. and can be found on pages 650 and 653 of the above reference.

Wild life was abundant at this time, Turkey Run was named for the flock of turkeys in the area and a few miles north Buck Run was named for the large herd of deer, and in addition to squirrels and rabbits there were also wolves and bears. Also at this time, there were more friendly Indians than settlers. “ ’I well remember them coming to my father’s cabin,‘ said the venerable John Jay to the writer, ‘and sitting or standing around my father’s shoe bench until late bedtime. Jim Logan, a chief, and one of the number, could talk English some. I very well remember the rings suspended from their noses and ears, and vividly the night when Jim took an awl from my fathers bench, and, taking me by the ear, pretended he was going to pierce it. I screamed loudly, when he threw down the awl and pretended to feel very bad about it. Every night we could see the light from their camp-fires. I also recollect one evening when my father, one of my brothers and myself were out in the little clearing pulling turnips, we heard the Indians’ dogs coming through the wood, making a loud noise with their barking. My father said they were pursuing a bear, and for us to remain where we were until he could go to the house, get his gun and return, which he soon did. We then followed after the dogs and soon came up with them, and also with the bear, who had safely, as he thought, ensconced himself in the top of a tree. My father waited some time for the Indians to come up, when, fearing it would then be too dark to see, shot and killed it. The Indians soon after came up, and hastily removing the skin they cut the bear in twain gave my father half, and returned in a merry mood to their camp.’”

“The nearest trading place was where Waynesville now stands, and that a very small affair indeed. It was kept by David Halloway in a log cabin, and was the first and only one there at the time I speak of. His counter and his only shelf were puncheons, while his stock consisted of knives, forks, spoons, knitting-needles, weavers’ reels, awl blades, sewing thread, needles, powder, lead, tobacco, whiskey and a few other articles daily called for by the settlers.’”

The Jay family continued to live in this area until 1809 then moved to Darke County, Ohio where the father died in 1814 from the “milk sickness”. “ My mother then returned to Chester Township with her children to her father’s, John Mills, who then resided on Turkey Run.“

Other families…………
Their paths almost crossed.
1. In September 1813, Kentucky Governor Shelby raised a force of volunteers to join General Harrison to clear the British from Detroit and the upper Midwest. From the 9th to the 13th this force marched from the Cincinnati area to Urbana, Ohio, passing within 30 to 50 miles of Ralph and his family. The Lockhart side will remember that Charles De Pauw was a mounted volunteer in this group. De Pauw is my 4th great grandfather.

2. A few miles north of Ralph in Green County, John and Ruth Brown Mendenhall (4th great grandparents), their son and his wife Joseph and Ann Barnett Mendenhall and their son Jesse were living. Ann Barnett Mendenhall’s mother, Jane Hutchins Barnett, was also living in the area but I’m not sure where. Joseph and Ann’s son, Jesse, was born, probably in Green County, in 1809.

3. James and Mary Rees Haworth (4th great grandparents) and their son George moved to Warren County, Ohio in 1804-5. In 1810, that portion of Warren County became the western portion of Clinton County. George married Jane Thornburgh August 5, 1812 in Highland County and their daughter, Phoebe Rebecca was born in 1813. Jane
Thornburg’s father, Edward, was also in the area but I am not sure where.


  1. This is very interesting. I am working on the Arnold family in Clinton County. I have Jesse Arnold as the son of George Arnold and Rachel Jay. Jesse Arnold's 1831 Clinton Co OH will states "whereas there is a family understanding between my parents and me that the farm whereon we now reside ... the title of which is now in my father, George Arnold, shall descend to me or my estate after the decease of him, my said father, and his wife, Rachel Arnold, in which case I give and devise said farm to my son John." You said that Jesse Arnold was a nephew of John Mills Sr. I do not show that connection. I believe the John Arnold who married Mahala Elmore is connected to this Arnold family but I have not been able to document the connection.

    1. I do have a connection of Jesse Martin to James Mills. His mother, Rachel Jay Arnold's sister, Lydia Jay, married James Mills. They moved to Clinton Co OH with their family. After the death of James Mills and Rachel Jay Arnold, the widow Lydia Jay Mills married the widower George Arnold in Clinton Co OH on Oct. 9, 1837. On 1838, 1, 25, Rachel Arnold was disowned for disunity by the Caesars Creek MM. Perhaps a third sister married John Mills Sr.

  2. Okay, I am probably wrong. I'm not sure where I found the information but will see if I can find it in my notes. I think it came from a Mills family listing.