John Russell and his descendents

Virginia to Missouri to Kansas to the West

Pix of men
Pix of men

Note: This website was created on Jan 9, 2013. I am adding information to it on an ongoing basis. Every time you visit, you should find more information about more people. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at janet@janetvalade.com

John Russell - Generation 1

1. John1 Russell was born about 1756. He died in Aug 1821 in Boone County, Missouri. He married Barsheba _____ who was born about 1760 and died after 20 Aug 1821.

Early Years

John Russell was probably born about 1756, but no documented trace of him has been found before 1782. The birth estimate is based on the date at which he established a family and his likely age at that time. His parents have not been identified. Since his oldest sons are named John and James, it is probable that his father was named John or James. However, research into probate documents for John or James Russell has not produced any definitive evidence of his parents. Russell is a very common surname at that time and John and James are common first names.

A recently discovered genetic match (67) between a male descendent of this Russell line and a male descendent of Joseph Russell, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, has raised the possibility that this John Russell, or some of his family, lived in North Carolina. Also, a Nathan Russell who lived near John in Virginia for a short time, lived in Rowan County, NC. Nathan Russell and his family moved to Boone County, Missouri about the same time as John and his family moved there. It seems likely that Nathan was a sibling or a cousin of John.

In addition, while John lived in Washington County, a James Fulkerson lived close to him and signed the tax forms. James Fulkerson previously lived in Rowan County, NC, and moved to Washington County, close to John. Later, the Fulkersons moved to the same area of Missouri at about the same time as John's family. And one of John's granddaughters married a Fulkerson. A website documenting the Fulkerson family http://www.fulkerson.org/abraham.html shows that they came from New Jersey. Therefore, it is possible that John Russell or his family lived near to the Fulkerson's in New Jersey. A Nathan Russell joined the army in Connecticut, so another possibility is that the Russells lived in Connecticut, but close to the Fulkersons in New Jersey.

Marriage and Children

John's probate document lists his widow as Barsheba.1 An exhaustive search of sources of Virginia marriages has not found a record of this marriage, so Barsheba's maiden name is unknown.

Several trees on Ancestry.com show John's wife as Margaret Barsheba Payton. The evidence suggests that this is an error. A John Russell married a Margaret Payton around this time. However, there is no evidence to suggest that her middle name was Barsheba. Also, John Russell and Margaret Payton are documented fairly well.2 Their birth places and children are documented. These facts do not match the John Russell that is the subject of this website. The following information on John Russell who married Margaret Payton is found in the Peyton book:

   John Russell Sr was born in 1762 NC. He died between 1807 and 27 Apr 1808, Wilkes Co., GA. Children of 
   Margaret7 Payton and John Russell Sr. were as follows: 
      + 235. i. Robert Russell, born circa 1780. 236. 
            ii. William Russell was born between 1780 and 1790. 237. 
           iii. Thomas Russell was born between 1780 and 1790. + 238. 
            iv. John Russell Jr, born 1783 NC; married Jane Meroney.
 

The John Russell of this website died in Missouri in 1821. The children of the John Russell who married Margaret Payton are very different from the children of this John Russell.

John and Barsheba had eight children:

  1. James, born about 1783.
  2. Sarah "Sally", born about 1785.
    1. married William Allen.
  3. John, born about 1787.
  4. Henry A. H., born about 1789.
    1. married Sobrina Jane Clay, 1 Mar 1818 in St Charles Co, Missouri.3
  5. Joseph, born about 17914.
    1. married Mary "Polly" Chiles, 24 Nov 1810 in Washington Co, Virginia
    2. married Charity Howard, about 1853 in Missouri
  6. Elizabeth, born about 1793.
    1. married John Allen
  7. Barsheba "Bessie", born about 1797.5
    1. married Abraham Nordyke Foley on 8 Aug 1815 in Scott County, Virginia.6
  8. Patterson Y., born about 1800.7
    1. married Sarah Hirsh on 15 Apr 1824 in Boone County, Missouri.8

The following is an abstract of a sworn affadavit by the executor, Patterson Y Russell, that lists the legal heirs of John Russell.9 Heirs are generally listed in birth order, in this case, males first in order, followed by females in birth order.

Russel, John – No. 7 – Adm. Aug 20, 1821. Paterson Y. Russell Admr. Heirs – James Russell, John Russell, Henry Russell, Joseph Russell, Patterson Y. Russell, Sally Allen wife of Wm Allen, Elizabeth Allen wife of John Allen, Barsheba Foley wife of Abraham Foley, Barsheba Russell wid. of John Russell Sr. dec.

The birth dates of the children were estimated based on their birth order, some dates in census records, and the appearance of his sons on the tax records, discussed later on this Web page.

In Virginia

John Russell is documented extensively from 1785 to 1814 on both the Personal Property Tax lists and the Land Tax lists in Washington County. He first appears on the property tax list in 178510 and on the land tax list in 1786.11

A record of a survey for John Russell on 3 Feb 1795 was found in the Washington County surveyor's book.12 The entry appears as follows:

Page 433 - John Russell, assignee of Micajah Frost - 60 ac - treasury warrant #2482 - on Talleys Branch on the south side of the north fork of Holstein River near to a line on the east side of said Russell's land -crossing Russell's spring branch - February 3, 1795

Micajah Frost is one of several Frosts who were neighbors of John's.

No record of a land grant for this property in John's name has been found before 1795. However, he patented land on 6 Sep 1809 that appears to be this land plus additional land.13 In addition, he paid land tax from 1786 to 1814. In 1786, he paid for 265 acres jointly with James Smith.14 By 1787, he is the sole owner of 120 acres. He was taxed for this land until 1796.15 In 1797, he paid taxes for 100 acres, which probably is just an adjustment of his property lines, not a loss of actual land. He paid for 100 acres until 1812.16 In 1813, he paid taxes on two plots of land--200 acres and 100 acres. In 1814, he paid taxes on three plots of land--200, 100, and 100 acres. In 1815, he paid no taxes to Washington County, possibly because his land is in Scott County, which was created in 1815 from part of Washington County. Given the surveyors entry, his 1809 land patent, and his appearance on the land tax records, the evidence that John settled on this land in 1785, when he first appeared in Washington County, and remained on the same land until he sold the property in 1816 and emigrated to Missouri is strong.

When the property is located on a map, it is found to be on both sides of the Holston river. The land is lush meadows, better suited for livestock grazing than farming. Thus, it makes sense that John had more livestock than the typical farmer. When he first appears on the property tax list, he had 3 horses and 7 cattle, quite a bit of livestock for that time and place. The next year he had 11 horses. The 11 might be a mistake because the number of horses goes down after that, but he continued to have extra horses, from 2 to 6, which is unusual. In 1804, his son, James, appeared on the tax list, probably because he owned a horse. That year, John had 4 horses and James had 3.17 In 1805, John had 6 horses and James had 4. James continues to appear on the tax list until 1809, when he disappears from the tax list. Perhaps he moved away. However, in 1810, Joseph appeared on the tax list with 1 horse. Joseph remained on the tax list until 1814, with 2-4 horses. As far as cattle, the state stopped counting cattle in 1797, but they were counted once in 1815 and John had 22.18 The implication of this is that the family operated some sort of livestock based business, such as raising horses and/or cattle.

The tax list for 1800 shows a James Russell with one horse. The tax list for 1803 shows a James Russell with one horse, listed in Rich Valley. It's not clear whether this James Russell is John's son or not. Rich Valley is in a different part of Washington County than John's property. So, this James Russell is probably the same James Russell listed in 1800 and may not be John's son. On the other hand, he may be John's son who may have been living on and/or managing property at another location. However, the James Russell on the Washington County Personal Property tax lists from 1804 to 1807 is clearly John's son because their tax information was collected at the same time in the same location.

John Russell may have been in Washington County before 1785. A John Russell is found on the property tax list in 1782, with 1 horse.19 However, he is not on the tax list in 1783 or 1784. If this is the John Russell who is the subject of this Web page, he may have left for 2 years, or, more likely, was living and/or working on another person's land and was not subject to a tax. A theory might be that he was working for or with James Smith, the person with whom he owned property in 1786. Smith might have partnered with him to give him a start and then John was able to purchase his own land in 1787. An additional theory is that a man might partner with his son-in-law in just this way to help him get started. Therefore, Barsheba might be Barsheba Smith. There is, however, no evidence for this so it is just a possibility.

A Nathan Russell was found once on the Washington County personal property tax list, in 1784. Since the Nathan Russell family is found later in Missouri, close to John's family, it is very likely that the Nathan Russell family is related to John. Possibly a sibling, cousin, or uncle. The Nathan Russell family is documented in North Carolina, reinforcing the previously mentioned genetic evidence that John Russell came from North Carolina.

During the early years when John was in Washington County, the settlers lived with the constant danger of indian attacks.20 Settlers were killed and captured, some left their land for a while, and some went into forts during the summer when the indians were most active. 100 stories of indian attacks on the Virginia western frontier, based on an unpublished manuscript, are available on a website.21 The site contains stories of indian attacks from 1774 to 1794.

A history of Scott county contains an official account of an indian attack, given by Elizabeth, wife of Peter Livingston, certified on 15 Apr 1794, and sent to the Governor of Virginia.22 The Linvingston place was situated on the North Fork of the Holston, the area where John Russell had his land, and Peter Livingston is found close to John in the 1810 census.23 She describes the indian attack, the capture of the household, and the burning of the house. The following is an extract from her account:

We were all hurried a short distance, where the Indians were very busy, dividing and putting up in packs for each to carry his part of the booty taken. I observed them careless about the children, and most of the Indians being some distance off in front, I called with a low voice to my eldest daughter, gave her my youngest child, and told them all to run towards neighbor John Russell's.

She goes on to describe traveling with the indians for a few days, then being rescued by a party of 13 men, commanded by Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs. During the fight to free her, the chief, Benge, was killed. Benge was the half-Chrokee leader of a band of marauders who plagued the settlers.

Elizabeth's account places John in a location where indian attacks were a concern. The story of this attack is also available on the 100 stories of indian atrocities website mentioned above, where it is titled, "The Last Indian Raid upon the Western Frontiers of Virginia". Another account of this raid, available on the Web, is titled, "Chief Benge's Last Raid".24

The years 1811 to 1814 are particularly interesting in determining the genealogy of John Russell. The probate for John Russell in Missouri contains some tax bills for Washington County,25 providing evidence that the John Russell who died in Boone County, Missouri is the same John Russell who was found in Washington County for so many years. In addition, the tax bills from the probate file can be compared to the Virginia property tax lists, as follows:

  Probate File Tax Lists
  Horses Slaves Horses Slaves
1811 6   6  
1812 5 1 5 1
1813 4 1 4 1
1814 5   5  

As you can see, the amount of property matches exactly, providing convincing evidence that the John Russell in Missouri is the same John Russell who was found earlier in Washington/Scott County, Virginia.

In 1810, John is found in the US Census in Washington County, Virginia.26 At that time, his household consisted of:

His son, Joseph, is found close to him in this census. Joseph did not have any children at that time, having married his wife in Nov 1810.

John is found on the property tax list for Scott County in 1815, as is his son Joseph.27 He is shown with two taxable persons, which may include his son Patterson or his son Henry. In 1816, John is also shown with 2 taxable persons. Two of his sons, Joseph and Henry, are on the 1816 list as well. Henry served in the War of 1812. He may have returned and been living with his father in 1815 and set up his own household in 1816. The second taxable person on the list could be Henry in 1815 and Patterson in 1816, when he turned 16.

In 1816, John sold all his property. He sold 100 acres to his son, Joseph.28 He also sold property to the heirs of James Foley.29 James Foley was a neighbor, found next to Joseph Russell in the 1810 census. James was a baptist preacher who officiated at the weddings of two of John's children, Barsheba and Joseph.30 Barsheba married Abraham N Foley, James nephew.

In Missouri

John is found in 1817 in the Missouri Territorial Census.31 The sale of his property in Virginia in 1816 matches this time frame. He lived in Femme Osage Township, St. Charles County. St. Charles County is on the central eastern edge of Missouri.

The trip from Virginia to Missouri would have taken 2 months, or more. A travel journal, kept by Anne Middleton Craig Mitchell, chronicles her trip from Washington County, Virginia, to Missouri in 1836. She traveled further into Missouri, but passed through St. Charles County. Her journal is available on-line at a family history website.32 Her journey took two months, but was 20 years later, and thus, probably easier and faster than John's journey. The website provides maps showing her route, which was probably the same route traveled by John and his family.

John's sons Henry and Patterson also lived in Femme Ossage Township in 1817. Abraham Nordyke Foley, who married John's daughter, Barsheba, is also found in the 1817 Femme Osage Township census. Femme Osage is where Daniel Boone lived the last years of his life and died in 1820.

At some point, John moved further west in Missouri to Boone County, where he was living when he died. It's difficult to determine exactly when John moved because there is no 1820 census for Missouri. Abraham Foley, with John's daughter Barsheba, also moved to Boone County. Abraham is mentioned several times in the book, the History of Boone County, as an early settler. He is found in 1817 in Boone County.33 Perhaps Abraham and Barsheba moved first, or they may have moved at the same time as John.

John's son, Patterson, also moved to Boone County. He is found on a jury shortly after John died.34 He also married in Boone County in 1824.35 However, he is found in the 1830 census again living in St Charles County. Henry, his brother, stayed in St. Charles County, not moving to Boone County. Henry and Patterson live next to each other in the 1830 census.36

Death

John died in Boone County, Missouri. A death certificate has not been found. His probate document was dated 20 Aug, 1821. His son Patterson Y is listed as his executor. Many documents were found in his probate file, showing that he is definitely the John Russell who resided previously in Washington County, Virginia. There are documents concerning his possessions, his financial matters, and Patterson's administration of the estate.37

His grave has not been found.

Notes

  1. Boone County, Missouri, Estate Files. Executor's statement by Patterson Y Russell; Midwest Genealogy Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
  2. The Peytons of Virginia II, Book on CD. Published by The Peyton Society of Virginia, 1976. (http://www.peytonsocietyva.org)
  3. St Charles county, Missouri, Marriage Books, Henry Russell-Sobrina Clay, 1 Mar 1818; digital images Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com " accessed 18 Jan 2013), source: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
  4. See the Joseph Russell Web page on this Web site (http://johnrussell-fromvirginia.com/joseph/joseph2.html).
  5. 1870 U.S. census, Lane County, Oregon, Bursheba Foley, digital image, Ancestry.com(http://ancestry.com : accessed 16 Feb 2013), citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm Roll: M593_1286, Page: 466B, Image: 267.
  6. See the web page for Barsheba Russell and Abraham Foley on this website (barsheba/barsheba2.html).
  7. Colley, Thomas, "Owen, C. C. Capt" [son-in-law of Patterson Y. Russell], Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, Goodspeed Brothers Publishers, Chicago, 1894. digital copy on-line, Access Genealogy (http://www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/data/database.cgi?file=Data&report=SingleArticle&ArticleID=0029673 : accessed 16 Feb 2013).
  8. Boone County, Missouri, Marriage Book, p. 18, Patterson Russell-Sarah Hirsh, 15 Apr 1824; digital images. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com " accessed 18 Jan 2013), source: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
  9. Boone County, Missouri, Estate Files. Executor's statement by Patterson Y Russell; Midwest Genealogy Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
  10. Washington County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists, Washington County, 1782-1805, at Binns Genealogy, from Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Washington County film 340.
  11. Virginia, Washington County. WashingtonCoVA Land Tax Lists, 1782-1794. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Microfilm Reel 332
  12. Virginia. Washington County. Washington County Surveyors Record 1781-1797 book transcribed on-line, New River Notes (http://www.newrivernotes.com/washington_history_1781-1797_county_surveyors_record.htm : accessed 28 Jan 2013), site owned by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc.
  13. Virginia, Washington County. District Court Deed Book B 1801-1840, no 247, Abingdon District Court, Abingdon, Virginia
  14. Virginia, Washington County. WashingtonCoVA Land Tax Lists, 1782-1794. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Microfilm Reel 332
  15. Virginia, Washington County. WashingtonCoVA Land Tax Lists, 1795-1802. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Microfilm Reel 333
  16. Virginia, Washington County. WashingtonCoVA Land Tax Lists, 1803-1822. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Microfilm Reel 334
  17. Binns Genealogy. Virginia's Personal Property Tax Lists, Washington County, 1782-1805. Digitized tax lists.
  18. Virginia, Scott County. ScottCoVA Personal Property Tax Lists, 1815-1845, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, Microfilm 313.
  19. Binns Genealogy. Virginia's Personal Property Tax Lists, Washington County, 1782-1805. Digitized tax lists.
  20. Summers, Lewis Preston, History of Southwest Virginia and Washington County, Volume 1, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2010, updated from original published in 1903.
  21. Hamilton, Emory L., Indian Atrocities along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers of southwest Virginia, 1773-1794, unpublished manuscript, online transcript, accessed from the Washington County Virginia Genealogical Research Site, part of the VAGenWeb project. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~varussel/indian/100.html : accessed 3 Mar 2013)
  22. Addington, Robert M. A Hitory of Scott County Virginia, p 116, Johnson City, Tenn: The Overmountain Press, 1932.
  23. 1810 U.S. census, Washington County, Virginia, p. 754 (penned), line 13, image 67, Peter Livingston; digital image, Ancestry.com(http://ancestry.com : accessed 2 Mar 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M252, roll 71.
  24. Addington, Luther F., "Chief Benge's Last Raid", Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, website, accessed from the Washington County Virginia Genealogical Research Site, part of the VAGenWeb project. (http://vagenweb.org/washington/HSpub4.html : accessed 3 Mar 2013).
  25. Boone County, Missouri, Estate Files. John Russell tax bills from Washington County, Virginia, Midwest Genealogy Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
  26. 1810 U.S. census, Washington County, Virginia, p. 753 (penned), line 27, image 66, John Russell; digital image, Ancestry.com(http://ancestry.com : accessed 11 January 2013), entry indexed as John Rupile; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M252, roll 71.
  27. Virginia, Scott County. ScottCoVA Personal Property Tax Lists, 1815-1845, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, Microfilm 313.
  28. Virginia, Scott County. Deeds 1:212-214; Scott County Courthouse.
  29. Virginia, Scott County. Deeds 1:214-216; Scott County Courthouse.
  30. Brown, D.E., compiler, The Marriages of Washington County, Virginia 1781-1853, to which is added short sketches of the Early Ministers of the County, 1993.
  31. 1817 Missouri Territorial Census, Femme Osage Township, St. Charles County, Missouri, John Russell (alphabetical). Online Index. The History and Genealogy of Callaway County, Missouri, St. Charles County, Femme Osage Township Index (http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/callaway/Census/1817StCharles/FmOsageIndex.html : accessed 10 Jan 2013).
  32. "Anne Middleton Craig Mitchell Travel Journal, 1836", on-line transcription, provided by her family, (http://evermore.imagedjinn.com/blg/622/anne-craig-travel-journal-1836/ : accessed 3 Mar 2013).
  33. Unknown author, History of Boone County, Missouri: Written and Comp. from the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources;..., page 132, St Louis: Western Historical Company, (1882), accessed on Google Books (http://books.google.com/books/about/History_of_Boone_County_Missouri.html?id=_PwBAAAAMAAJ : accessed 3 Mar 2013).
  34. Unknown author, History of Boone County, Missouri: Written and Comp. from the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources;..., page 164.
  35. Boone County, Missouri, Marriage Book, p. 18, Patterson Russell-Sarah Hirsh, 15 Apr 1824.
  36. 1830 U.S. census, Washington County, Virginia, image 5, Patterson Russell; digital image, Ancestry.com(http://ancestry.com : accessed 11 January 2013), entry indexed as Sallerson Rassell; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, Roll Number: 72; .
  37. Boone County, Missouri, Estate Files. John Russell, Midwest Genealogy Center, Kansas City, Missouri.