Thursday, February 19, 2015

Who Was Jeremiah Rushton?

George Rushton of Hamilton County, Indiana

The Rushtons that first came to Indiana all settled in the same area. These families all settled in Morgan and Hendricks County in the same time period with land patents from 1827 to 1837. All were usually right around the Morgan-Hamilton County line. In tracing back my third great grandfather, George Rushton, I first had to separate him from the other older George Rushton. This has been a process of over 10 years to get these two families separated and the job is not done yet. They all came from the same area in North Carolina, Randolph County, so that has made it even harder. A lot of researchers for a lack of good documentation have lumped these families all into one group – the family of William and Dorothy Rushton, but I believe there are at least 2 distinct family groups. The only problem that has not been resolved is the appearance of these two George Rushtons. My great grandfather, George and Sarah (Needham) Rushton eventually moved eastward to Hamilton County, Indiana.

In working on the older George Rushton who married Sarah Conner I came across a mysterious man, Jeremiah Rushton. He doesn't seem to fit in anyone's family tree on-line. He seems to have lived during the Revolutionary War and he is associated with these families in this same area. He doesn't show up in any census that I can find anywhere either.

A Jeremiah Rushton got a land grant in 1837 April 5 in Morgan County. In 1852 August 24 in a land transaction in Morgan County a group of people went together and sold land to Jourdan and Agnes (Rushton) Page and these sellers were: John & Priscilla Rushton of Hendricks County, George & Sarah Rushton, Joel Rushton, and Katherine Campbell all of Morgan County, from the Estate of Jeremiah Rushton. I think this shows a distinct family group who are all probably some kin of Jeremiah Rushton.

I have found references to a Jeremiah Rushton living during the Revolutionary War in New York and that he came to Indiana. From the Library of Congress website from the Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Volume 43, page 288 on Jan. 25, 1848 we find a reference to a Jeremiah Rushton. “By Mr. Richard W. Thompson: The memorial of Jeremiah Rushton, of Morgan County, in the State of Indiana, praying remuneration for moneys paid by him for government land, which had been entered previously.” Is this the same mysterious Jeremiah Rushton? It clearly states where and when he was living – in Morgan County, Indiana in 1848.

In another reference, the book “American Migrations 1765-1799” page 330 we find another reference to a Jeremiah Rushton. “Jeremiah Rushton Memorial – Cumberland 1786. He served with the Westchester Refugees from March 1781 until he left NY in 1783; he received no pay. Claim for two horses, clothing. Rejected. (13/26/429-430).

If this is the same Jeremiah Rushton this would give a reason as to why he was so mysterious. The Westchester Refugees were Loyalists and fought on the British side in the Revolution. They were considered criminals after the Revolution and their property was confiscated. Most left New York and went to Canada. Maybe this Loyalist decided to stay in the U.S., but was very mindful to avoid anything to do with the government until about 60 years later. Also some were known to have deserted from the British army.

In going back to tie him to this family going back through other researchers’ family pages I found a reference to a Campbell family bible. It names four of the above children: Agnes, Katherine, and Joel Rushton. Another that is named in it is a Jeremiah Rushton who is born in 1805. This one certainly wouldn’t be old enough to be the older Jeremiah Rushton from New York, but could he be a son? There certainly isn’t a Jeremiah Rushton mentioned in any census during this time either younger or older. Could this younger Jeremiah Rushton have got the land grant, died, and then not leaving a family left it to his siblings? (So many loose ends?) The naming conventions in the Rushton family have been very traditional in studying my own family line. What I hope to present with this query is more research on this Jeremiah Rushton. Is there more documentation out there somewhere that could help fill in these family lines. I also hope all those that have their family trees on-line will take a look at this and just not jump at the easiest thing to do. If you don’t have documentation of your family ancestry then please just don’t put up anything that easily, but mistakenly ties up a loose end for you.