More William Ralston (1750-after 1801) Information

A couple of additional documents from the Pennsylvania Published Archives. Here are two pages that document William Ralston of Westmoreland County receiving his pay as an Ensign for his service in 1780 during the American Revolution. He was paid 15 British pounds in 1782.

Below you will find several pages that document the most probable reason William Ralston lost his land during the American Revolution, and this loss resulted in a court finding that he be compensated. You will see below that “a set of people who call themselves Virginians have taken possession of most of the lands here…” writes Devereux Smith from Hanna’s Town in 1775.

Devereux Smith writes again on behalf of the white inhabitants in and near Hanna’s Town that they are in need of assistance to deal with the Virginians.

Searching for William Ralston in Deeds, 1773-1886 Westmoreland County.

Re: Digitized records available at through the catalog. There is an index and then all deeds are digitized.

So we saw from the last blog post William Ralston’s 1769 and also 1786 warrant survey for his land on the south side of Sewickley Creek in Huntingdon Twp, Westmoreland County. His land of about 280 acres bordered William Boyd on the east, William Howey on the west, William Boggs to the north, William Martin, James Robinson on the south, and on the 1786 survey the land shows adjoining Henry McClintock.

Then in 1790 William sells land to Robert Ralston. He sells the land for 300 pounds. There are 299 acres, John Boyd is on the east, James Robinson is on the south, William Huey on the west, James Pinkerton on the north. The land comes with water rights, a warrant, and a map, two mares, a cow, a sow, and 9 shoats (piglets) on the 25th day of May, 1790.

I am fairly certain that this is the land William first claimed in 1769 and of which the two warrant maps show.

William Ralston Deed to Robert Ralston

Then in 1792, Robert Ralston dies. He leaves a will. Signed on the 17th May 1792.

He is Robert Ralston of Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County. He leaves half of all his estate real and personal to his beloved wife, Jean and the other half to his son Robert.

Unto his brother William’s son Jeremiah 150 acres out of the estate his father now lives on and being in the township of Huntingdon.  And the remainder of that estate he wants equally divided between William’s wife and children viz unto Isabella and Jennet, Martha and Robert. He allows Jeremiah to give unto his brother John 6 pounds as soon as he comes of age. Robert made his wife and John Cambel executors.

So Robert names William’s family in the will that he is leaving something to. Viz unto denotes a listing that will follow of whom he was speaking about prior. Since Martha is mentioned on another land record as being William’s wife, we may be able to assume that William’s children were Jeremiah, Isabella, Jennet, Robert, and John.  You will note that John is not yet of age at the time of the will in 1792, which corresponds with our birth year of 1776 for John. This does not mean William did not have other children, only that I cannot document at this time that they existed.

I will have to check on how old Jeremiah was in 1792, he is listed as being born in 1786 elsewhere, making him only 6 years old at the time of the will. William’s son John is only left 6 pounds.

Robert Ralston’s Will from 1792

The land sale and will are attempts by William to not be forced into forfeiture of his land. Robert willed William’s land back to William’s minor children and wife, which gave William legal ownership of his own land. Unfortunately, this was an unsuccessful attempt.

You will see in the deed below that upon petition of John Nesbitt, James Lawson, and William Moore a judgment was obtained in the PA supreme court on 19 JAN 1792 against William Perry, the former treasurer of Westmoreland County. And two tracts of land in S. Huntington Twp were levied in the judgment, one being 300 acres owned by John Miller and the other being 300 acres owned by William Ralston. A fieri facias was issued on the judgement 21 JAN 1792. The rents issues and profits rendered within 7 years of the judgement did not satisfy the exection and a writ of vendition exponas was issued 29 MAR 1800. The sheriff then sold William Ralston’s and John Miller’s lands to satisfy the judgment.

Sheriff’s Sale Record of William Ralston’s Land 1803

William’s land was sold to Daniel Brenniman for $1180 and John Miller’s land was sold to John Hanna. While this sheriff was in office, he did not render the deeds as Brenniman had not fully paid for the land. The final deed below testifies that Brenniman did pay in full a couple of years later and so the deeds were rendered.

Testimony that Brenniman Paid for Land

The deed to Brenniman is kind of misleading as it says that William Ralston and his wife Martha of Allegheny County sold the land to Daniel Brenniman for $1380. But Ralston was forced to sell the land by the sheriff and give whatever he still owed for the judgement. We know this is the warrant land William claimed in 1769 and which there is a warrant survey of in 1786: it is land adjoining Henry McClintock’s land. And adjoining McClintock’s is how it is described in the deeds of 1801 through 1804.

William Ralston Deed of Land Sale to Brenniman 1801

It is good to see confirmation that William’s wife’s name was Martha and now we have a residence for the couple in 1801: Allegheny County. We know that both of them were alive in 1801.

Because William lost his land it is highly unlikely that he left a will but now we can look for him in Allegheny County.  Actually, we will look in Butler County, which was formed from Allegheny County in 1800. Why Butler County? William’s son John is reported to have purchased property in 1801 in Brady Township, Butler County.

So what’s up with this William Perry, who did something and it caused William Ralston and John Miller to lose their tracts of land?

Time to search that story out.

I also noted all Ralstons who sold land in Westmoreland County through the 1810s and will check those deeds out: Allen, David Sr, Elizabeth, James, John, Martha, Robert for any connections to our William and his brother Robert.

To be continued …

William and Robert Ralston Westmoreland Co, PA Land Warrants

You can look up on the Warrant Registers at the PA State Archives for your ancestors to see if they were the “first” owners of land in Pennsylvania, given to them on a warrant. Remember that the Native Americans owned this land first and then that land was taken from them.

The Warrant Registers are divided by county.

In order to check the Westmoreland County warrant registers for names and where exactly in the county the land was located go here:

You will need to write down the Letter and Numbers listed after the name, as designated on the far left of the entry. For instance H-31 105 and A-51 35.

I did take the time to check if any of the lands in Westmoreland had been released to William or Robert Ralston, as the register is alphabetical to original warrant applicant. I did find one example of this, so maybe worth the time.

Not all of the copied warrant surveys are digitized.  The copied surveys run from Volumes A through D.

You can find the copies here:

William Ralston’s Warrant Survey of 350 acres was recorded 16 MAR 1786:

Volume A-13 228 and Vol D-57 266

Book A-13 pg 459Book A-13 pg 458 WmRalston

Book D-57 pg 531WmRalston

Robert Ralston’s land warrants (Robert died in 1792):

Indiana County (originated out of Westmoreland) Vol A-51 35 30 JUL 1784, Huntingdon Twp C-178 256 29 APR 1785, From Claudius Paul Raquet to Robert 14 MAY 1788 C-168 189:

Book A-51 pg 73Book A-51 pg 72RobtRalston

Book C-178 pg 512Book C-178 pg 511RobertRalston

Book C-168 pg 377Robertbought

A surprise find is there is a John Ralston in the same area, listed as Indiana County, who has a warrant from 22 JAN 1787. Volume C-190 300. Could he be another brother to William and Robert?

Book C-190 pg 600Book C-190 pg 599JohnRalston

There are more land records to dig through. To be continued…




William Davis & Almy Greene Rathbun

William and Almy Davis were the parents of Eunice Amanda Davis. In 1850, William and Almy lived in Elbridge, Onondaga County, NY as did Samuel H Cutler and his wife Eunice Amanda (nee Davis).

They all moved to Cleveland, Ohio about 1853.

William and Almy sold to the railroad company Lot 35 in Elbridge on 4 JUN 1851.

Here is the deed:


Funny thing is, they got a mortgage for the same lot, Lot 35, in the town of Elbridge in 1852 and again in 1853.

In 1852, they sell lot 36 (or a part of it) in Elbridge and again in 1853, same lot (or the other part of it).

I looked up the deed to see if it says the town that they came from, but it says Elbridge. I do not know where they came from in New York prior to this appearance in Elbridge. Samuel H Cutler also appears suddenly in 1850. He was 28 at the time.

Darius Townsend’s Land Purchase in Cayuga County, NY

I finally found the deed for Darius Townsend’s land purchase in section 4 of Cayuga County (formerly the township of Brutus). This purchase I was unable to find on any grantee index so I had to go through each book of deeds. Each book of deeds on does have its own Index, usually in the front of the volume. Master indexes were created from the book indexes, so always look for an index in land record volumes before searching through pages of deeds. Unfortunately, the scan of this volume was not adequate to see the entire page number Darius’s deed was located on, so I did end up searching through the 300’s.

Darius bought 60 13/100 acres on 4 FEB 1832 for $502.00 from the Dexter family (Katherine, Franklin, and Samuel W.) who had an attorney out of Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA acting upon their behalf.

This is the land Darius sold months later, by splitting it and selling it to his sons William and Christopher. In July 1834 William bought Christopher’s portion of this land. Better maybe to not be such close neighbors. Christopher remained in Cayuga County until he moved with his family by 1860 to Jackson County Michigan, passing away in Hanover in 1862.

Darius did not own land in Cauyga County until this purchase, so he was farming someone else’s land.

Darius Townsend Land Purchase
Darius Townsend Land Purchase


Darius & Abigail Townsend of Conquest, NY

I am convinced now, but without concrete proof, that Darius & Abigail Townsend were the parents of Nathaniel P. Townsend.

Nathaniel was the biological father of my third great-grandmother Mary Alice Cutler Ellison.

Abigail Townsend’s parents were Nathaniel Paddock and Mary Crane. I believe my Nathaniel’s name was Nathaniel Paddock Townsend.

Nathaniel’s first-born son was Darius Townsend.

Below is a copy through of the deed in which Darius sells some of his land to his son William on Christmas Day in 1832. The land was in Conquest, but formerly called Brutus. He sold him the land for 200$. I think he bought 21 acres but it is difficult to read. I am not sure if William paid full real estate value of the time. The area was booming because of the Erie Canal (completed in 1825) and Darius had moved to Cayuga County to work on the canal.

What I cannot find are any records for when Darius purchased all of this land.

Darius & Abigail sell some land to their son William.
Darius & Abigail sell some land to their son William.


Nathaniel P. Townsend Questions to Answer

Nathaniel P. Townsend Questions to Answer

Nathaniel was born circa 1814 in New York. I have as of yet, determined who his parents were, but am strongly leaning toward Darius and Abigail Townsend from Bolton, MA removed to Conquest, Cayuga County, New York. Darius died in 1834 in Conquest, but there are no probate records on his death.

Who were N.P. Townsend’s parents?

On 10 Feb 1839, N.P. married Betsey A Welch, the daughter of John Welch and Maria ‘Polly’ Court. They were married in Jordan, Onondaga County, New York by the Reverend William Eddy.

What church was William Eddy associated with?

In 1840, N.P. lived in Conquest, Cayuga County, New York with another male aged between 70 and 79 and two females: one is obviously his wife Betsey and one is under the age of five.

Who was the elderly male and the young girl?


In 1841, Betsey and N.P.’s only son, Darius, was born.

On 28 March 1848, Elizabeth E. Townsend was born to N.P. and Betsey.

Elizabeth’s Birth:

On 11 April 1848, Betsey dies in Cato, Cayuga County, New York.

Betsey’s Death:

On 31 July 1849, N.P. had a child with Mary Eliza Perkins. We can safely assume they were married by then. They didn’t name this child.

Unnamed Birth:

What happened to this child? A child of the age to correspond with this birth date never appears again on any records.

Mary Eliza Perkins was the widow of Cyrus James Gleason of Cicero, Onondaga County, New York.

Mary had three known children with Gleason:

Sarah Elizabeth born in 1839.

Lodowiski Lovilla born in 1842.

Edson H. born in 1844.

In 1840, the Gleason family was comprised of two males, one between 10 and 14 and two females, one under age 5 (Sarah Elizabeth).


Who was the young male in this household and what happened to him?

In 1850, N.P. and Mary were living in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. N.P. was a cooper by trade. Living with them were:

Sarah Elizabeth





N.P. had given his infant daughter Elizabeth up to a couple named Samuel H and Amanda (Davis) Cutler, who were living in Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York on the 1850 Census with a young child, now named Mary Alice Cutler. There are no probate guardianship records to reflect this, as control remained with the father. He did not need to go to court to give his child away.

Mary Alice Cutler became Mary Alice Ellison, wife of Benjamin Walker Ellison.

There are lots of questions that come up with this story, aren’t there? Especially, when N.P. remarried so quickly and had more children.

Charles Nathaniel Townsend was born in 1851 to N.P. and Mary. Charles married Minerva Freelove Barden and they resided for some time in the state of Washington. Charles was living in Lamoni, Decatur, Iowa in 1925.

Where/when did Charles die?

Adonirum Elnathan Townsend was born 2 April 1854 to N.P. and Mary. Adonirum married Josephine Hannah Shafer in Iowa. They moved to Washtenaw County, Michigan and Adonirum died in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1904.

In 1855 N.P. was on the Wisconsin State Census in Wauwatosa Township, Milwaukee County.

On 2 April 1857 N.P. buys 80 acres of land in Waupaca County, Wisconsin.


Eliza Jennie Townsend was born June 1860 to N.P. and Mary. She first married Charles Marsh then Riley Isaac Glazier in Ashton, Osceola County, Iowa in 1889. She died in 1926 in Sibley, Osceola County, Iowa.

On the 1860 US Census, N.P. was living in Farmington, Waupaca County, WI with:


Darius, 19

Charles, 9

Adonirum, 5

Edson, 17

Lodawiski, 19

Eliza J., one month


On 10 June 1861, Darius joined Company B, 5th Wisconsin Infantry.

In the summer of 1862, Darius disappeared. Military records conflict. He was listed as discharged due to disability after being left in Williamsburg, VA after the Battle of Williamsburg in May 1862 then listed as being a deserter in August of 1862.

N.P. told the Federal Government on a pension application that Darius was reported to him as having been killed at the Battle of Antietam in September of 1862.

Darius disappears entirely from historical/genealogical records in 1862.

With the help of Archivists, I am working on this mystery.

Can you shed any light?

On 6 August 1861, Edson joined Company A, 8th Wisconsin Infantry. He also served in the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. Edson survived the war.

On the 1870 US Census, N.P. lived in Farmington still with:


Adonirum, 15

Eliza J., 9


In 1875, N.P. was listed in Appleton, Outagamie County, on the Wisconsin State Census. He was living with one other male and two females.


On the 1880 US Census, NP was 66 years old and living in Grand Chute, Outagamie, Wisconsin as a farmer. Only Mary lived with him at this time.


On 4 Jan 1888, Mary Eliza died in Ashton, Osceola County, Iowa.

What happened to N.P.?

I searched the microfilm death records of Osceola County, Iowa between the years 1880 and 1941. Only the record for Mary can be located.

I don’t think N.P. died in Osceola County, Iowa.

Any help anyone can offer me in answering the above questions would be greatly appreciated!

John Ralston Jr and Joseph Elrod

John Ralston Jr and Joseph Elrod were written about in Ruby Ralston’s book The Search for Our Ralston Ancestors.

According to Ralston, John Ralston Jr. was a captain in the PA militia and knew Elrod from there. John also purchased land from Elrod and the land records were transcribed.

You can read theseRalston1 Ralston2 Ralston3 Ralston4 Ralston5 Ralston6 Ralston7 RalstonCoverPage pages by clicking on them.

Thank you to the Butler Area Public Library for sending these to me.

Samuel H Cutler Cleveland, Ohio Land Deeds

My mysterious ancestor, Samuel H. Cutler, born somewhere in New York around 1819 and showing up suddenly on the 1850 US Census in Elbridge, Onondaga Co, NY with a wife, Amanda (nee Davis) and a two-year-old daughter, Mary Alice. Mary is purported to be adopted.

In June of 1853, Samuel enters into a land contract for a lot in Cleveland, Ohio and in the end of November, sells his interest in that lot.

On 26 APR 1861, he buys a lot in Cleveland from William Fiske and wife for 250.00$. Below is the original deed from FHL microfilm:



On 31 DEC 1862, Benjamin Walker Ellison (21 years old) and Mary Alice Cutler (Mary is only 14 years old) get married by a reverend for the Western Seaman’s Society.

The next day, New Year’s Day, Samuel goes into the courthouse and records that he sold his lot for $250.00 to his wife Amanda Cutler.



Mary and Benjamin move to Oakfield Township, Kent County, Michigan sometime in 1863. Samuel H Cutler registers for the Union draft out of Oakfield Township in July of 1863.

Then he disappears.

1883 Boyne Valley Township, Charlevoix County, MI Tax Assessment

1883 Boyne Valley Township, Charlevoix County, MI Tax Assessement

As transcribed from FHL Film # 2364735 from RG 80-62 Charlevoix County Treasurer Vol 82: Boyne Valley Dates: 1883

© 2011 by Jennifer Ralston Porter

Note: Section Number is listed only one time, even when taxed for same section more than once. Names are transcribed as written on documents scanned to film. Please ask permission to re-print this material.

Page 1
John McKirnan	2
Jerry Taylor	2
August Tromley	2
Andrew A Nowlland	4
George Ford	4
Lonie Barry	4
Patrick B?itt	4
Mrs. L. Hammer	4
Enoch K. Robinson	6
Herman Seiler	6
Anthony Jeppeson	6, 15
Page 2
Geo C Leddiff	6
Emma L LeCleor	6
Hiram Wright	6, 15
Michael Nebel	7
Hulda Lischnevsky	7
Hiram A Rothenberger	7
Peter Fred Catten	7
Otto J Kruse	7
Jacob Dietz	7
Frederick Reinhardt	7
Patrick Doyle	8
Eugene Kyes	8
Hiram Wolford	8, 16
Page 3
Simon S Baringer	8
Hearry F Manning	9
Chas & Wm Steele	9
George Schanglin	9, 17
George Van Buren	9
John Kirschenmann	9
Mr Farmer	10
Wm Rusnell	11
F F Strong 	11
Page 4
Benj W Ellison	12
Mary A Ellison	12
Marshall Magee	12
Sanf H Ward	12, 32, 15
Lyman S Howe	13
Frederick Kritsch	13
John Cramer	14
Jacob Dietz Jr	14
George Kyes	14
John Carmody	14, 15
Wm Howe	14
Page 5
Wilson Phelps	15
John Paskiewicz	15
Lyman R Hastings	15
Mrs Olive J Gager	15, 14
Frank Gruboski	15
Lucretia H Powers	15, 16
Page 6
Lucretia H Powers	15
Harry H Powers	15
Jos H Powers	15
Edna L Powers	15
Page 7
A D Carpenter or Owner Unknown	32
Oscar H Marsh	15
J W Barnes	15
Chas W Dutcher	15
L G A Hurd	15
Henry H Eaton	15
John Redpath	15, 10
Sarah Redpath	15, 27, 34
Elizabeth Galster	15
Fred J Galster	15, 17
Page 8
Charles H Horn	21, 16
Christian Knudsen	15
Anna C Holfback	15
Peter Peterson	15
Mears & Austin	15
Wm A Nelson	15, 8
Page 9
Harrison Branch	15, 14
Clarence E Branch	15
Geo H Branch	15
Sidney M Jones	15
Julius A Lane	15
Israel Dawdy	15
Edward McLaughlin	15
James D Mitchell	15
Billia Smith	15
Willis Hurd	15
Page 10
William Nelson	16, 22, 15, 12
John J Galster	17
Wm Galster	17
Wm Kinkel	17
John Hunts & Sons	18
Page 11
Thompson Green & Co	18
Frank P Myers	18, 15
John A Snetman	18
Page 12
John Hansler	20
John Collins	20
Cromwell Magee	20
Henry Collins	20
George Bennett	21
Daniel Paine	22
John Scalley	22
George R LeClear	22
John Hopkins	22
Thomas J Baughman	22
Page 13
Robert Findley	26
Emerald Magee	28
Semantha P Jones	30
Jacob Stoesser	30
Geo W Jones	30
Blood & Meaher	35, 36
Royal Magee	Year 1882 Section 8
	Year 1883 Section 8
Wm Ellis	Year 1882 Section 15
	Year 1883 Section 15
Ends Resident Lands
Non-Resident Lands
Page 1
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	1
Dodge & Phelps	2
Cutman & Rothschilds	2
SF & WC Page	2
D G Peck	2
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	3
Dodge & Phelps	3
Cutman & Rothschilds	3
Geo F Beardsley	3
SF & WC Page	3
Page 2
Wm Hazzard	4
Pierce Kinsella	4
Cutman & Rothschilds	4
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	5
Wm T Addis	5
Geo F Beardsley	5, 6
C V Monroe	6
Eliza A Robinson	6
Catharine S Coan	6
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	7
Geo F Beardsley	8
George Weller	8
John Weller	8
Page 3
Eliza Baxter	8
Geo F Beardsley	9
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	9
John W Baldie	9
Owner Unknown	9
Wm T Addis	10
Cutman & Rothschilds	10
Dodge & Phelps	10
J L Wood	10
Hiram O Rose	10
Page 4
Oscar W Kibbie	11
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	11
Thomas Grafton	11
J M White	12
James S Cypher	13
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	13
Dodge & Phelps	13
H B Childs	13
Frank Huntington	14
Dodge & Phelps	14
John Kressell	14
Jacob Smits	15
Page 5
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	15
Edward H Green	15
Lemuel D Bartholomew	16
Amos Fox	16
Max Spangenburg	17
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	17
Michael Heagney	15
Hastey	15
Pierce Kinsella	15
Page 6
Owner Unknown	19
Feedler & Wuerth	19
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	19
John Rock	19
Sarah A Linsley	20
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	21
H P Christy & Gottanger	21
Dodge & Phelps	21
Geo F Beardsley	21
Page 7
Michael Heagney	22
Ernest W Anson	22
Byron Mason	22
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	23
Cutman & Rothschilds	24
Thomas H Sanborn	24
Wm Sturgeon	24
W J Kilpatrick	24
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	25
W J Kilpatrick	26
Dodge & Phelps	26
Bank of Sheboygan Wis	26
Page 8
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	27
H P Christy & Gottanger	27
Henry Morgan	27
Geo F Beardsley	27
Charles F Freman	27
H P Christy & Gottanger	28
Geo F Beardsley	28
Dodge & Phelps	28
Charles L Ortman	28
Cutman & Rothschilds	28
SF & WC Page	28
Page 9
SF & WC Page	29
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	29
Dodge & Phelps	29
Cutman & Rothschilds	29
H P Christy & Gottanger	29
Owner Unknown	29
H P Christy & Gottanger	30
Owner Unknown	30
H P Christy & Gottanger	31
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	31
Page 10
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	31
Henry Korthase	31
SF & WC Page	32
Dodge & Phelps	32
Wm J Chase	32
Abraham Sanborn	32
Robert Abbot	32
Owner Unknown	32
William Cook	32
Owner Unknown	32
Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad	33
Owner Unknown	33
Page 11
Geo F Beardsley	34
Dodge & Phelps	34
W J Kilpatrick	34
H P Christy & Gottanger	34
Walter & Smith	34
Wm Sturgeon	34
Dodge & Phelps	35
Geo F Beardsley	35
Bank of Sheboygan Wis	35
C F Searles	36
H J Kilpatrick	36
End of Tax List
Signed by Enoch K Robinson, Supervisor