Since I’ve been updating my research of several SELLERS bushes in my tree, I decided to look at some of my old files and found information about a Sellers family and Fort Ruddell in early Kentucky. My photocopies from the book, Paris (Hopewell) Sesquicentennial, provides a list of the inhabitants of the fort when Captain Bird, his British troops and Indian warriors attacked the fort.
Built 1779 by Isaac Ruddel one mile from Lair Station near Bourbon County line, now Harrison County.
The following list of persons resided at Ruddle’s Station at the time that fort was taken by Captain Bird and his British and Indian warriors. Ref.: Draper Mss. and Depositions filed in suits.
Capt. Isaac Ruddell
Elizabeth Bowman Ruddell
John Rudell, son of Isaac
Isaac Ruddell, Jr., son of Isaac
Stephen Ruddell, aged 8, Son of Isaac
Elizabeth Ruddell, small child
Capt. Jhn Hinkson
Lieut. __ Ravenscraft
Capt. John James Trabue
Samuel VanHook (later at Martin’s)
Mrs. John McFall
Mrs. Robert McDaniel
Six Toffelmire Children
Anna Maria — his fiancee
Mrs. John Long
Rhoda Long, young child
Four other Long children
Mrs. John Conway
Seven Conway children
Sarah Ruddle Davis
Capt. John Duncan
Nellie Sharp Duncan
Master Duncan, son
Frank Berry — tradition
Nelly Sharp Berry
Patrick Mahan taken to Detroit
Miss Mahan — married Wilson
Wm. Mahan, youth, kept journal at Wilson’s station when he returned from Montreal, about 18 years old
Isabella Mahan Morrow
Mrs. Agnes Mahan
Mrs. Samuel Conway
Two Misses Conway
Mr. and Mrs. Lail
Capt. Charles Gatliffe
Give Gatliffe children
Robert (or Charles) Knox
*Gasper Casner, 1780
George Finley, 1780
Benj. Harrison, 1780
* Capser Karner ?Ardery, Mrs. Wm. Breckenridge. Paris (Hopewell) Sesquicentennial. np: Mrs. W. B. Ardery, 1939.
While the book indicates Fort Ruddle was attacked, it does not provide details about the attack or what happened to the occupants. Fortunately, a detailed account of this attack was published by the Kentucky Historical Society in the October 1956 edition of their Register.
Below is an account of the capture and plundering of Fort Ruddle.
Many of the captured prisoners were marched from Kentucky to Detroit, with some going on to Montreal.
Captain Bird related the conditions of the march to Detroit in his letter written in July of 1780.
While the article in the Register does not discuss their release, the book, The British Invasion of Kentucky , by Winston Coleman provides details about their release in 1782 with some held prisoner until 1795.
While Nathan Sellers of Preble County, Ohio is said to have migrated to Preble county from Bourbon County, Kentucky, I currently have no record indicating that the Sellers family at Fort Ruddle was Nathan Sellers – or even related to him.
Since Nathan Sellers of Preble County, Ohio has a DAR marker on his grave, I decided to look up his military record to see if he was serving in 1780. That’s when I discovered that the DAR has indicated that future applicants must prove correct service for Nathan Sellers of Preble County, Ohio. While it is possible that Nathan Sellers was at Fort Ruddle, one would think that there would be mention of this in county histories.
Until I find more information, the identity of the SELLERS family at Fort Ruddle will remain a mystery.
- Coleman, Winston. The British Invasion of Kentucky. Lexington, KY: Winburn Press, 1951.
- Lafferty, Maude Ward, “Destruction of Ruddle’s and Martin’s Forts in the Revolutionary War” The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 54, October, 1956, No. 189.
- Ruddle’s Station Historical Marker
- British Invasion of Kentucky (Wikipedia)
- Ruddell’s and Martin’s Station Historic Association