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