Friday Finds

Have you ever looked in a county history of an adjoining county for mention of an ancestral family? While my RICKETTS family lived in Clinton County, Indiana, and Fleming County, Kentucky, I at one time took notes from a history of Rush County, Indiana.

Instead of finding anything about my ancestor, John Ricketts, his wife Orilda Reed or her parents, I took notes about John’s brother, William. This biography provides information about William’s (and thus John’s) parents and grandfather.

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William Ricketts, one of the principal farmers of Anderson Township, was born in Fleming County, Ky., March 21, 1820, son of Edward and Sarah (Storey) Ricketts, and is of Scotch-Welsh origin. His father was born in Pennsylvania, in 1787, and died in Rush County, September 8, 1838. His mother was born in Kentucky, in 1789 and died in Rush County, in 1854. The paternal grandfather of our subject was John Ricketts, a Pennsylvanian, and was one of the first settlers of Kentucky, and died in that state. The Ricketts family emigrated to Rush County, in 1831, and settled four miles northeast of Milroy. That portion of the county in that day was almost an unbroken wilderness. When the subject of this sketch was sixteen years of age or in the fall of the year 1836, as he was returning home from Jacob Plough, he met in the dense woods a large, black bear, and this perhaps was the last bear ever seen in this neighborhood. Mr. Ricketts was raised on the farm, and was a student at the Pleasant Run Schoolhouse. At nineteen years of age he went to Greene County, and there taught school one winter. In 1848, he settled on a farm just below Milroy, and there remained until 1864, he then moved to Greensburg and there remained until 1879, when he came back to Anderson Township and settled where he now lives. He owns 188 acres of well improved land. He was married January 31,

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1850, to Miss Nancy J. Maunt, who was born in Anderson Township, July 19, 1830; she was the daughter of William and Catherine Maunt early settlers of this county. From 1854 to 1858 he served as Justice of the Peace. He was elected Township Trustee of this township, in 1859, and re-elected in 1860, and also in 1861. Mr. Ricketts was formerly a Whig, but is now a staunch Republican. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church and are among the most highly respected people of this part of Rush County.

History of Rush County, Indiana (Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1888)

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