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William RUGGLES and Family

Replies: 6

William RUGGLES and Family

Posted: 922881600000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1065027558000
Introducing the William Ruggles (bef.1760-c.1819) Project -- Dick Kraus project monitor

This is a project of Ruggles-L mailing list overseen by Bill Perkins.

We are asking you for any information you may have or can find regarding this William Ruggles of Mason County, KY and elsewhere, his
parents, siblings, spouses, or children. We intend to build a comprehensive, reliable picture of these three


For people who appear to be among our predecessor Ruggles, I have seen the following variations:

For the first part: Rigg, Rug, and Rugg;
For the second part: els, lass, le, les, less.

That makes a possible 15 variations. If you have other variations, please let me know.


William may have been born in Maryland or Virginia.

As an adult, including the years 1778-1789, he seems to have been in Allegany, Frederick or Washington
Counties, MD ( present-day Allegany [from Washington {from Frederick 1776} 1789] or Garrett [from
Allegany 1872] Counties, MD. Given the proximity, he may well have been active in Bedford,
Cumberland or Westmoreland [from Bedford 1773] Counties, PA, (present-day Fayette [from
Westmoreland 1783], Somerset [from Bedford 1795], Bedford [from Cumberland 1771], or Fulton [from
Bedford 1850] Counties), and Augusta, Berkeley, Frederick, Hampshire and Monongalia Counties, VA
(present-day Preston [from Monongalia {from W. Augusta 1776}1818], Tucker [from Randolph {from
Harrison (from Monongalia 1784) 1787} 1856], Grant [from Hardy {from Hampshire 1785} 1866],
Mineral [from Hampshire 1866], Hampshire [from Frederick 1753], or Morgan [from Berkeley {from
Frederick 1772} & Hampshire 1820] Counties, WV).

To summarize, William and his relatives may have been active in the records of:
PA: Bedford, Cumberland, Westmoreland
VA: Augusta, Berkeley, Frederick, Hampshire, Monongalia
MD: Allegany, Frederick, Washington
Or within the current boundaries of:
PA: Bedford, Fayette, Fulton, Somerset,
WV: Grant, Hampshire, Mineral, Morgan, Preston, Tucker
MD: Allegany, Garrett

William probably ended his days in Kentucky, prior to the 1820 census.

William and his children are next (at least as early as 1797) found in Kentucky, in the area of Mason,
Fleming and Greenup Counties (present-day Mason [from Bourbon 1788], Fleming [from Mason 1798],
Rowan [from Fleming & Morgan 1856], Lewis [from Mason 1806], Carter [from Greenup and Lawrence
{from Floyd & Greenup 1831} 1838] and Greenup [from Mason 1803] Counties).

To summarize, William and his children were active in the records of:
KY: Fleming, Greenup, Mason
On lands which may have been within the current boundaries of:
KY: Carter, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Rowan

Evidently most of WilliamÂ’s children died in Indiana, Ohio and northeaster Kentucky.


I have seen no speculation as to WilliamÂ’s parents. Maryland records so far yield few clues. The only
Ruggles in SkordasÂ’ EARLY SETTLERS OF MARYLAND is Mary Ruggles transported 1674 (p.399).
No Ruggles is listed as a landholder in Maryland in Peter ColdhamÂ’s multi-volume SETTLERS OF
MARYLAND 1679-1783 nor is any partial of land mentioned in those volumes named for any Ruggles.
No Ruggles is mentioned in Robert BarnesÂ’ MARYLAND MARRIAGES 1634-1777. The Barnes book is
far from comprehensive since marriage records in that period were badly kept and ill preserved, but the
Skordas and Coldham works are very comprehensive.

Peter ColdhamÂ’s ENGLISH CONVICTS IN COLONIAL AMERICA, vol. I, lists one Ruggles, James
(p.231) sentenced, probably at the Old Bailey in London (p.xiv) to transportation for life at Sessions of
Gaol Delivery in the sessions of Oct. 1744-Jan.1745. According to Coldham (p.305) the next ship carrying
convicts to America was the Tryal under Capt. John Johnstoun which sailed for America in Jan. 1745, and
the next (p.306) was the Italian Merchant under Alexander Reid which sailed to the colonies in America in
May 1745. James Ruggles most likely would have been on one of those ships. Coldham (p.x) says that
“… after 1718 … Maryland and Virginia became the almost invariable landing places….” of such ships. If
such convicts survived the voyage, which Coldham (p.xi) describes as incredible in “human misery and
degradation” , they were (p.x-xi) “for a set period, usually seven years … [sold] “to the highest bidder …”.

My understanding is that if such a person survived his seven years of servitude, and many evidently did
not, they were free to acquire property, marry, and, if healthy and skilled, to prosper. It is said that many of
VirginiaÂ’s best families began their American experience in this way.

If this James survived, he would have completed, probably in Virginia or Maryland, his seven years in mid-
1752. If he married in the succeeding years, he could have had a son William born before 1760. “Our”
William apparently named his eldest son James. I know from my other family studies that it was very
common in those days to name ones eldest son after his fatherÂ’s father.

By the time Coldham completed his work on emigrants, he found one other Ruggles not headed for the
northern colonies. Coldham, COMPLETE BOOK OF EMIGRANTS, 1607-1776, CD version: Ch.VI, p.2:
William Ruggles sentenced to transportation in April 1755; transported in May aboard the Rose from
London, Thomas Slade, master. The 1790 Census for Prince George Co, MD has: William Rugless, 1
male, 3 females, 1 slave. This William would not have completed his seven years servitude until mid-1762,
so would seem unlikely to be the parent of a William born before 1760.

If WilliamÂ’s Ruggles were from Virginia, by 1810 they were pretty much gone. A complete reading of
Madiline CrickardÂ’s INDEX TO THE 1810 VIRGINIA CENSUS yields only one VA county which may
have had Ruggles. On page 109 indexing Frederick County, where WilliamsÂ’ people should have been
likely, there are four households of what is transcribed as the Riggle family: three headed by a George and
one by a Joseph. As will be seen below, I have speculated on other grounds that William had a brother
named GeorgeÂ…

Or did WilliamÂ’s people come down from New England??


Most secondary sources give WilliamÂ’s wifeÂ’s name as Lucy Conway. I have never seen a contemporary
source which gives even her first name and I consider the last name suspect since WilliamÂ’s eldest son did
marry a ConwayÂ… some early research may have confused the families of his wife and his daughter-in-


At least one secondary source gives WilliamÂ’s middle name as Isaac. I do not know if there is any
contemporary source for that.

My guess is that William had a least one brother who was named George. I am told that there is at least
one contemporary record, something called TALLEYÂ’S PAPERS OF KENTUCKY which names the father
of Jean or Jane Ruggles born about 1777 as George Ruggles. This Jean is said to have married Thomas
Plummer in Mason County in 1798. In the same time span and locale in which WilliamÂ’s children were
marrying. One Jonathan Ruggles is said to have been JeanÂ’s bondsman for the wedding.

These dates and places would suggest that George Ruggles was a least a cousin if not a brother to William
and that Jean and Jonathan were offspring of George and likely niece and nephew of William.

Elsewhere it is suggested that WilliamÂ’s siblings were Jane, John (b. bef. 1765) and Jonathan.


The various secondary sources and censuses I have seen give the following Ruggles, Rugless, Ruggels
dates, names and places:

G2 1778 Jonathan Allegany (sic) Co, MD born
W1 1784 James Allegany (sic) Co, MD born
W2 1786 John Maryland born
1789 Allegany Co, MD formed from Washington Co.
W4 1790 Enoch Allegany Co, MD born
G2 1797 Jonathan Mason Co, KY m. Mary Elizabeth Bowen
G2 1798 Jonathan Mason Co, KY bondsman at JeanÂ’s wedding
G1 1798 Jean Mason Co, KY m. Thomas Plummer
W3 1801 Thomas Ohio m. Rachel Freeland
W1 1804 James Mason Co, KY m1 Sarah Conway
W0 1804 William Mason Co, KY gives permission for James to marry
1806 Lewis Co, KY formed from Mason Co.
W4 1810 Enoch Lewis Co, KY on tax list
W4 1812 Enoch Kentucky in militia
W2 1812 John Lewis Co, KY m. Elizabeth Wilson
W1 1813 James Fleming Co, KY m2 Margaret Clancy
W1 1814-17 James Lewis Co, KY 3 children born here
W1 1816 James Lewis Co, KY appraiser of an estate
W1 1816 James Lewis Co, KY bought land on Stone Creek
G2 1816 Jonathan Lewis Co, KY lived on Stone Creek
W0 1816 William Lewis Co, Ky lived on Stone Creek
G3 1820 Dawson Lewis Co, KY 26-45 in census
W4 1820 Enoch Lewis Co, KY 26-45 in census
W2 1820 John Lewis Co, KY 26-45 in census
G2 1820 Jonathan Lewis Co, KY >45 in census
W3 1820 Thomas Lewis Co, KY 26-45 in census
W1 1820-25 James Fleming Co, Ky three children born here
W1 1824 James Lewis Co, Ky summoned to court
W4 1821 Enoch Shelby Co, IN settled there (sic?)
W1 1825 James Greenup Co, KY land grant, Barrett Creek
W3 1826 Thomas Lewis Co, KY land grant, Kenniconick Creek
W12 1830 Alpheas Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
W4 1830 Enoch Lewis Co, KY 40-49 in census
G4 1830 George Lewis Co, KY 40-49 in census
W2 1830 John Lewis Co, KY 40-49 in census
G2 1830 Jonathan Lewis Co, KY 50-59 in census
W3 1830 Thomas Lewis Co, KY 40-49 in census
W2 1833 John Rush Co, IN lived there
W2 1834 John Shelby Co, IN moved there
W12 1840 Alpheas Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
W1 1840 James Lewis Co, KY 30-39 in census
? 1840 Jes. Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
? 1840 Lindsay B. Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
? 1840 M(male1) Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
? 1840 M(male2) Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
W11 1840 Silas Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
W3 1840 Thomas Lewis Co, KY 60-69 in census
W15 1840 William Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
? 1840 W.B. Lewis Co, KY 20-29 in census
W1 1843 James Hendricks Co, IN JP
W1 1845 James Carter Co, KY land grant, Little Sinking Creek
W4 1850 Enoch Shelby Co, IN in census
W1 1850 James Hendricks Co, IN in census, Brown Township, age 66
W2 1850 John Shelby Co, IN in census
W1 1857 James Shelby Co, IN died, will?
W2 1863 John Shelby Co, IN died
W4 1870 Enoch Shelby Co, IN in census
W4 1880 Enoch Shelby Co, IN died

In most cases, the relationships and family identities of the people in the list above are not given in the
source or reference available to me. William, his children, nieces and nephews are tentatively identified as
follows with best guesses as to identify noted on the list above:

W0 = William

His children:
W1= James b 4 Jan 1784; his children: W11 Silas, W12 Alpheus, W15 William
W2= John b 9 Jan 1786
W3= Thomas b abt. 1788
W4= Enoch b 11 Jan 1790

His nieces and nephews:
G1= Jean b 1777
G2= Jonathan b abt 1778
G3= Dawson b abt 1780
G4= George b abt 1783


Those contributing information to the foregoing were, in alphabetical order: Kellie Bertrand, Phoebe Bush,
Sue Davis, Jan Hayek, Betty Hund, Joyce Kerr, Dick Kraus, Helen R.W. Pryor, Charles E. Reyburn, the
Steve Ruggles Genealogy Home Page, David Smith. Any responsibility for error or misleading
presentation is entirely mine since none of the others realized their information would be used in this way
nor did they have a chance to see the text in advance – hopefully, they will have much more to contribute
and as well as wonderful corrections and suggestions to make! Dick Kraus


Anyone who can correct or enhance the foregoing is eagerly invited to e-mail me with such correction of
enhancement. Anyone who can provide the reference and the quotation from the original, contemporary
source for any of the above or any correction or enhancement of the foregoing is enthusiastically invited to
e-mail that to me. In doing so you may either CC the Ruggles-L mailing list, or understand that some
digest of what you send me will in all likelihood end up before the readers of that list, since this is an
official project of the List! Hope to be hearing from you soon. Dick Kraus

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
DickKraus 922881600000 
Howard Bentley 942408000000 
DickKraus 947764800000 
Barbi Norris 1071761501000 
Dick Kraus 1071776064000 
Barbi Norris 1071783131000 
kathywigley 1389838256000 
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