Family Stories

Fayette County’s Raven Run Nature Sanctuary and A Genealogy Discovery!

Revolutionary Soldier, Baruch Prather, 1st Sergeant and Patriot of Maryland, October 20, 1742 – December 2, 1810. Placed by Transylvania Chapter DAR.

Yesterday was beautiful in Kentucky – so we decided to make the most of it!  After a quick lunch at DQ – Dairy Queen – Julian’s favorite place for fries – we headed for the 734 acre Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.  It is a terrific hiking place – Ritchey and Linton have been there several times.  But recent information that came to light makes it much more interesting than just a place for a good hike!

Prather Cemetery

Baruch William Prather, a Sergeant in the Maryland Militia during the Revolutionary War, once owned this property.  He and his wife, Sarah Higgins, married in Frederick County, Maryland, November 16, 1775.  About 25 years later they moved to Fayette County, Kentucky, purchasing 166 acres of Henry Bell’s 3,000 acre military warrant, in 1804 – which is now part of Raven Run!  The family homestead is still standing – you can tell it has been lived in not too long ago due to the electric line running to it and the storm door on front!  It must have been well built.

At the back of the house is the family cemetery, surrounded by a low rock wall.  Many stones are still standing, but many are difficult to impossible to read.  According to Find A Grave there are 36 people buried in this cemetery.  Baruch Prather’s stone has a military marker installed on it by the DAR, and an additional, readable stone, at the back.  Sarah’s stone is beside Baruch’s, and is still readable.

Baruch Prather, 1 Sergeant, Maryland Militia, Revolutionary War, 1742-1810.

Baruch Prather was born at Orphans Gift, October 20, 1742, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the son of Aaron Allen Prather, Sr., and Mary Jane Cousin.  He died on his plantation near Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, on December 2, 1810, and was buried in the cemetery at the back of his house.

Sarah Prather, consort of Baruch Prather, who died January 10, 1844, aged 83 years.

Sarah Jane Higgins, the daughter of James William Higgins and Luraner Becraft, was born in Frederick County, Maryland, August 29, 1761, and died January 20, 1844, on the Prather farm in Fayette County, Kentucky.

Another view of the cemetery.

Baruch and Sarah had at least nine children:  Thomas W., Deborah Oliver, Martha Sprigg, Ann Nancy, Mary, Rebecca, Benjamin Higgins, Walter D., and Luraner.

Ritchey and Julian beside their great-grandfather’s grave.

But the most important discovery is that this is Ritchey’s fifth great-grandfather!  And Julian’s seventh great-grandfather!  They are now eligible to become members of the Sons of the American Revolution!  I was so excited to get a photo of the two of them with Baruch Prather’s gravestone.  This is part of Ritchey’s Jolly line – that we would never have discovered without his DNA test.

Julian, of course, didn’t really take it all in – he was much more interested in running, birds and butterflies, the trees and grass and the tall house – not walking in the footsteps of his ancestors.  But one day he will realize the importance of this day and be glad we came!

23 replies »

  1. My mother’s sister, Fay Watts, of Perryville, KY married Rupert Harmon whose family lived in Boyle County nearPerryville. He had a brother named Prather Harmon and I just wondered if this Harmon Family could be descended from the Baruch Prather family. My aunt Fay and uncle Rupert moved to Tallulah LA in the 1920-1930 period with some other members of the James Thomas and Gillie Huff Watts family. Marilyn

  2. Thanks for sharing! I found your blog by a google search, as I was trying to find photos of the home place of what is now Raven Run. We’re cousins! My line is: Baruch & Sarah, Benjamin Higgins Prather, Randolph Jackson Prather, Pleasant Samuel Prather, Roy Prather, Ruby (Prather) Wainscott, Kenneth Ray Wainscott, me. We’re in Owen County, Ky and will have to visit Raven Run very soon! I’m really excited about having found this standing home and cemetary, as so many are lost to us. Baruch also makes my 3rd, and best recorded, ancestor to qualify me for DAR!

    • We are second cousins, Angela. My grandfather is Fred, another of Pleasant Samuel’s sons. We plan to visit Raven Run next week. I was there with my mother and sisters about 12 or so years ago.

    • Hi Angel, or I should say cousin. my gt gt gt grandfather was Benjamin also, his wife was Elizabeth Keightley., Mine then jumps down to William W Prather and Mary Ann. I can believe you are in Owen county with how much that comes up in my tree. Nice talking to you. Mary Prather Thoma

  3. Great pictures, thank you for sharing! I plan on going out there someday when my kids are a little older (I’m in Iowa). Baruch is my 5th G-Grandfather and James St.Clair is my 4th G-Grandfather. They are both buried there in the cemetery. I’ve been trying to get more info on the parents of James (or at least a little more info) for the better part of a decade now, but no luck. Hoping a grave rubbing might give a little more detail…IF I ever make it out there!
    Thanks again for sharing!!

  4. I also discovered relatives when I explored genealogy. I am a little confused. It seems that my “uncle” Jesse Copher, built the core of the Prather House, and it was added to later. However, I also read that Jesse bought the land from someone who had it in the 1790’s, so seems like that person would have started the house. ??

  5. This is my husband’s family. We found out through ancestry. It’s so awesome to find things like this

  6. I guess we are cousins! I was doing research for my family tree and recently just because part of the Daughters of the American Revolution via Basil W Prather being my 6xGGF. My 7xGGF Aaron Allen Prather is who we have in common! I been lurking the internet trying to find all information on the Prather’s. I plan on visiting the cemetery Basil W. is buried at and would love to visit his brothers family cemetery. I hope all is well 🙂

  7. Hi Angel, or I should say cousin. my 4x gt grandfather was Benjamin also, his wife was Elizabeth Keightley., Mine then jumps down to William W Prather and Mary Ann. I can believe you are in Owen county with how much that comes up in my tree. Nice talking to you. Mary Prather Thoma

    • I remember my Dad talking about his cousin that lived in Owen County and would visit him.

  8. This is so interesting to find out where our family originated. We are planning a family trip there in Late September. My Dad was Riley Prather that lived down in that area when he was a kid, his Dad’s name was Clark Riley Prather. Never knew much about my Dad’s side of the family since he was an only child and his Dad passed away around 1930. Sure looks like I have alot of cousins all over the place.

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