Tag Archives: William McKee

Will of Charles Ritchey of Schuyler County Illinois

Ritchey and I standing between the McKee and Ritchey gravestones.  Sugar Grove Cemetery, Schuyler County, Illinois, 2002.

Today we are leaving Kentucky, heading northwest to Illinois, to the small town of Rushville in Schuyler County.  This is the ‘land of the Ritchey’s and McKee’s’ – my Ritchey’s maternal line (he was given his mother’s maiden name at birth).  Charles Ritchey is my husband’s gr-gr-grandfather.  He was the son of James Ritchey and Susannah Sawyer, born January 22, 1819, in Montgomery County, Ohio.  James Ritchey was born in Ireland.

Charles Ritchey married Amanda McKee, daughter of William McKee and Cassandra Frakes.  Many family members had moved from Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania – making that western trek so popular of that day.  In fact, William McKee and James Ritchey were among the first settlers in Schuyler County.

Charles and Amanda Ritchey had four sons before her death at the age of 26 – William McKee, James Sylvester, Charles Henry and Jacob.  Little Jacob was born and died on April 8, 1851.  Amanda followed him to the grave on May 17, 1851, due to problems involving the birth.

Martha J., wife of Charles Ritchey, died February 19, 1875, aged 45 years, 9 months and 20 days.

Within a few months Charles married again – to Martha J. Walker.  Life was not kind to Charles and Martha.  They had ten children – six died under the age of three, most living only a few months. John B. Ritchey was 21 when he died and Ida Olive Ritchey was 15.  Othello Greene Ritchey died in 1908 at the age of 48.  I don’t think he married.  Edwin Edward Ritchey died in 1897, age the age of 30, living a widow and two children.

Gravestones, from left, Martha Walker Ritchey, Ida Olive Ritchey, James Sylvester Ritchey, John B. Ritchey.

Cassey E., daughter of C & M J Ritchey, died December 24, 1858, 3 years, 1 month, 8 days.

When Ritchey and I visited Sugar Grove Cemetery in Schuyler County, Illinois, in 2002, he was so excited to see the gravestones of his ancestors.  Most poignant was the line of stones for the young children of Charles Ritchey.  There were no stones for the infants – George F., 1 month; Jacob B., 6 months; Rebecca B., 3 months; Laura, 3 months; and Rachel C., 14 days.

In his will, Charles Ritchey names the five sons that were alive at his death.

The Last Will and Testament of Charles Ritchey, of the town of Oakland in the County of Schuyler and State of Illinois, made and published the 30th day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three.

In the name of God, amen.  I, Charles Ritchey, of the town of Oakland, in the County of Schuyler and State of Illinois, of the age of seventy-four years, and being of sound mind and memory, do hereby make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say:

First – It is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be fully paid.

Second – I give and bequeath to my five sons, William McKee Ritchey, Charles Henry Ritchey, Othello Greene Ritchey, Edwin Ritchey and Joshua Speed Ritchey, my entire estate of every kind of which I may die possessed, in equal shares among them, subject to the following advancements.

To William McKee Ritchey, four hundred dollars for the note I now hold against him.  To Charles Henry Ritchey, the sum of two hundred dollars heretofore paid by me to him.  To Othello Greene Ritchey, the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars to include all indebtedness I now hold against him.  To Edwin Ritchey, the sum of twelve hundred dollars to include all indebtedness I now hold against him.

Joshua Speed Ritchey shall not be charged with any advancement in the settlement of my estate.

Lastly – I hereby nominate and appoint my nephew, Frank Ritchey, son of my late brother, George Ritchey, deceased, to be Executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the 30th day of August, in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three.

Charles Ritchey

The above instrument consisting of three sheets, was now here subscribed by Charles Ritchey, the testator, in the presence of each of us, and was at the same time declared by him to be his last will and testament, and we, at his request, sign our names hereto in his presence as attesting witnesses and in the presence of each other.

Jonathan C. Bagby, Kate B. Bagby, A. L. Noble

Affidavit of Decease

State of Illinois, Schuyler County

F. P. Ritchey being duly sworn, deposeth saith: That Charles Ritchey, late of the town of Oakland in the County of Schuyler and State aforesaid, departed this life in Oakland in said County, on or about the 3rd day of September, A.D. 1896, and that he died leaving a last will and testament to the best of his knowledge and belief.

F. P. Ritchey

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 17th day of October A.D. 1896

A. Rodwald Jr. Clerk



Will of Hugh McKee

Hugh McKee is Ritchey’s fifth great-grandfather.  He lived at McKee’s Half Falls, Pennsylvania.  He was a liasion between George Washington and the Shawnee Nation. 

Hugh was the son of Captain Thomas McKee and possibly one of the daughters of an Indian chief.  Hugh married Mary Nesbitt.  Nine children are listed in the will below.  Ritchey descends from son James McKee.

In the name of God Amen. I, Hugh McKee, of Peters Township, Franklin County, and State of Pennsylvania, Being weak in body but of sound memory, Do this Eighteenth day of November in the year one Thousand seven Hundred and ninety four, make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner following Viz. It is my will and desire that my just debts and Funeral charges be paid out of my estate by my Executors hereafter named. And first I will and Bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary and her heirs the sum of one Hundred and Twenty pounds, and likewise a bed and Furniture and a Horse and Saddle. Also I give to my Daughter Martha and her heirs Fifty Pounds. Also I give to my Daughter Ann and her heirs Sixty pounds. Also I give to my son James and his heirs one Hundred pounds. Also I give to my son Andrew and his heirs one Hundred pounds. Also I give to my Daughter Mary and her heirs one french crown. Also I give to my Daughter Isabel and her Heirs Fifty pounds. Likewise I give unto my daughter Elizabeth and her heirs Fifty pounds and a Horse and Saddle with a bed and furniture. And I also give to Mary Wilson and her heirs five pounds or a saddle. And likewise it is my will and desire that my executor to sell and dispose of that plantation or Tract of Land on which I now live (if possible it can be done to good advantage) in the course of the first year after my decease. But if no convenient opportunity offers they may postpone the sale until the course of the second year after my decease but no longer and also it is my will and desire (if the sale be accommodated the first year) that my Executor do out of my real estate pay the Legacies above mentioned to all and every one of my heirs respectively in four equal payments the first payment to be made agreeable to the above mentioned accommodation of the sale of the Land, Viz if the land be sold the first year. The first payment is to be made one year after my decease the second two years after my decease the third three years, and the fourth and last payment four years after my decease. But and if the Land be not sold until the second year, the first payment is not to be made until two years after my decease, the second payment three years as above specified, etc. And I do will and bequeath unto my son Thomas his heirs & assigns the one half of my Real Estate with all my personal property after my just debts and the Legacies above mentioned are paid. Likewise I do will and Bequeath unto my son William and his heirs the other half of my Real Estate after my just debts and the above mentioned Legacies are paid, to be paid to him in the following manner. After the first mentioned yearly payments are made to the above mentioned Legacies Viz, the one half of the Surplus or Remaining cash accruing yearly from the sale of the Land to be paid to him (my son William or his heirs) yearly by my Executors. And lastly I do Nominate ordain and appoint my son Thomas and my son-in-law George Dickey to be the sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament

to see that the same be duly Executed according to the intent thereof. In witness whereof I the said Hugh McKee have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal, the day and year above written.

Hugh McKee Mary (x) McKee

Signed sealed and acknowledged by the said Hugh McKee as his Last Will and testament in presence of us Alex Glendining, Walter McKinnie, Adam Rusk

On the 22nd day of May 1795 Alexander Glendining, Walter McKinnie and Adam Rusk, the witnesses to the foregoing writing appeared before me the subscriber register for the probate of wills and letters for Franklin County, and on their solemn oaths, desposeth and saith that they were personally present & saw and heard Hugh McKee, aforesaid now deceased, write his name unto and seal and publish the foregoing writing as and for his last will & Testament, and that at the time of the doing thereof he, the said Hugh McKee, was of sound mind & memory according to the best of their knowledge & belief, And that also their names signed thereto is of their own hands writing done at the same time. Alex Glendining Walter McKinnie Adam Rusk sworn and subscribed before Edward Crawford register a true copy taken from the original remaining in the register’s office at Chambersburg Edward Crawford register. Both executors sworn to file inventory on or before first July and settle in one year or when legally required 22 May 1795

Obituaries of Pioneer Citizens of Schuyler County Illinois – Jacob and Clara McKee Ritchey

Jacob and Clara McKee Ritchey are the third great uncle and aunt of my husband.  We photographed gravestones of family members buried in the Sugar Grove North Cemetery during one of our genealogy tours in 2002.  I can’t believe it was that long ago!  Rushville, Illinois, is a beautiful little town with very friendly citizens.

Jacob Ritchey, December 5, 1821 – December 29, 1901

from The Schuyler Citizen, Rushville, Illinois

January 2, 1902

Death of Jacob Ritchey

He Died at His Home North of Rushville on Sunday, After a Long Illness

Jacob Ritchey, an honored pioneer resident of Schuyler County, died at his home, four miles north of Rushville, on Sunday,  He had been in failing health for many years and for the past five years has been a great sufferer.

On Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock funeral services were held at his late residence, conducted by Elder G. W. Ford.  There was a large attendance of friends and relatives, for during the many years Mr. Ritchey has resided in this county he has enjoyed the honor and respect of all who have known him.  The remains were laid to rest in the Sugar Grove North Cemetery.

Jacob Ritchey was born in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, December 5, 1821.  He was left an orphan when seven years of age and for five years he lived with his uncle, Jacob Sawyer.  When still in his teens he accompanied his brother George to this county, living with him until he grew to manhood.

In 1849 Mr. Ritchey was united in marriage with Clara Ann McKee, daughter of the late William McKee, and the young couple settled on an 80-acre farm which was given them by the bride’s father.  To this union were born nine children, two dying in infancy, while three sons and four daughters, with his loving wife, survive the loss of a loving husband and father.

In 1852, in company with Thomas Boyd and Milton Moore, Mr. Ritchey made the overland trip to California.  In 1855 he returned to his farm where he has lived since, and where his life ended after much suffering, being an invalid for more than three years.  His life ended like a summer evening, calm and peaceful, surrounded by his wife, three sons and three daughters; one daughter, living in Kansas, did not get here.  His last words to his family were, “I am going home.”

Besides leaving an aged wife and a family of grown children he leaves a host of other relatives, friends and neighbors to mourn the loss of a kind husband and father, and a true, faithful friend and neighbor.

Clara Ann Ritchey, August 9, 1825 – March 13, 1902

from The Schuyler Citizen, Rushville, Illinois

March 20, 1902

Death of Mrs. Jacob Ritchey

Mrs. Jacob Ritchey, one of the old pioneer residents of the county, died at her home four miles north of Rushville last Thursday evening from the effects of a paralytic stroke.  Mrs. Ritchey was 75 years of age and had resided in this county the greater portion of her life.  She was a sister of the late William McKee, one of Schuyler’s prominent early settlers.

Mrs. Ritchey leaves a family of grown children to mourn her loss.  Two daughters, Misses Georgia A. and Mary, lived with their mother; Charles resides in Camden township; Mrs. R. E. Sands in Rushville township; Mrs. Susan Moore in New Salem, Kansas; and James Ritchey in Woodstock township.

Funeral services were held at the family residence on Saturday morning at 11 o’clock and the remains were interred in the Sugar Grove Cemetery.

1790 Will of John McMurtry

Scan151John McMurtry wrote his will September 6, 1790, and it was proved in the Mercer County Court in April of 1791.  He fought at the Battle of Blue Licks in Kentucky in 1782, and was captured by the Indians and held captive for about a year.  In October of 1790 he was killed during the Miami Campaign against the northern Indians – evidently wrote this will due to his leaving for battle.  Three years later his widow, Mary Todd Hutton McMurtry, married Lewis Rose, who fought with her husband at the Battle of Blue Licks.  If you missed yesterday’s post about Memorial Acre at Fort Harrod you can find out more about the McMurty and Lewis families.

Will Book 1, Mercer County, Pages 52-53

In the name of God, amen.  I, John McMurtry, of Mercer County and state of Virginia, being in perfect health praised be God, do make this my last will and testament as followeth.

I do give my son James seventy-five acres of land on the west of my father-in-law and north of John Simmons land.  I give my son Alexander McMurtry seventy-five acres of land joining the Widow Woods on the south and also from

Scan152the north-east corner of my survey, and to extend west and south for quantity so as not to take any of the improvement where I now live.  Also to Samuel I give one hundred acres joining on the west of my survey and to include a spring on that side and to my son William I give a mulatto boy called Lige and to my son John I give seventy-five acres of land on the east side of Seder Run and to my son Joseph I give the place where I now live, beginning at the east end and including the improvement and to my daughter Mary I give a Negro girl called Anny and to my wife, Mary, I give a Negro woman and the movable estate and also the house and improvements for the raising and schooling of the children till Joseph is of age and the half of the improvement during her life and my wife I make sole executor of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 6th day of September in the year of our Lord 1790.

                                                                   John McMurtry

William McKee, William Gordon, Henry Bishong

Mercer County                        April Court 1791

This last will and testament of John McMurtry, deceased, was exhibited into court and proved by the oaths of William McKee and William Gordon, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

                                                Teste. Thomas Allin, C. C.

Today In Genealogy History – January 11

William McKee was born 232 years ago – January 11, 1782 – in Hardin County, Kentucky.  William was the son of James McKee and Agnes Dickson.  He married Cassandra Frakes and together they had 12 children:  Hannah, Cassandra, James, Nancy Agnes, William, dorcas, Mary, Elizabeth, Henry T., Joel, Amanda and Clara Ann McKee.  The family moved to Schuyler County, Illinois.

Today In Genealogy History – December 13

Henry T. McKee was born 192 years ago – December 13, 1821 – in Crawford County, Indiana.  Henry was the son of William McKee and Cassandra Frakes.  I have no information about marriage or children.  Henry’s siblings were Hannah, Cassandra, James, Nancy Agnes, William, Dorcas, Mary, Elizabeth, John, Amanda and Clara Ann McKee.

Today In Genealogy History – September 28

Amanda McKee was born 158 years ago – September 28, 1855 – in Schuyler County, Illinois.  Amanda was the daughter of William McKee and Sarah C. Wilmot.  She married Henry Hite.  Amanda and Henry had 2 children before her death in 1883:  Archie M. and Willametta Hite.