Moving West -- Settling in Southern Indiana:
The first Ragle members of our line for which we have clear records are Jacob Ragle and Susanna Ritchey Ragle, married in Abingdon, Washington County, Virginia on January 21, 1803. Abingdon is just to the east of the present state line dividing Tennessee from Virginia, and a few miles west of Glade Spring, VA, the birthplace and the marriage location of several Ragles.
Our story begins with a few introductory statements which we can only document in a fragmentary way. Jacob Ragle was apparently born in Pennsylvania about 1773. On the 1803 marriage certificate from Washington County, Virginia, his surname is spelled Regle. This is a very good approximation to the German pronunciation of the name 'Riegel,' and that fact, coupled with the appearance of the family along the traditional route of migration from Pennsylvania Dutch [sic] country to the old west, leads us to the possibility that 'Ragle' was originally the surname 'Riegel.' Susanna Ritchey was born in Virginia around 1782. Her first name is spelled Susannah in some records, and similarly her last name appears as Richie and Richey. This may be the same surname that appears in the Washington County, VA marriage records as 'Riche;' in which an Elizabeth Riche marries a Jacob Huffaker. After their marriage, Jacob and Susanna moved over the Tennessee line into Sullivan County and settled along the Holston River. This corresponds well with the description in the land records, above. The couple had several children, all born in Sullivan, Tennessee according to later census (and other) records. Of these people, Harold Eugene Ragle says: "This family and others were moving to Indiana some time between 1813 and 1822." The fact that the surnames Parrott and Halfacre appear in the Indiana record implies that members of these families moved with the Ragles.
Indiana was the second state carved (in 1816) out of the Northwest Territory, following Ohio in 1803. The earliest Ragles in southern Indiana appear to have been in a wave of settlement following statehood, although as early as 1803 the southeastern part of Indiana had been colonized by Swiss immigrants. For source material on the period of time during which the Ragles were in Orange County, Indiana, the reader is referred to the two-volume work by R. Carlyle Buley, "The Old Northwest. The Period from 1816 to 1840," Indiana University Press, 1950.
A natural entry point for people coming to Indiana from the Holston River area in Tennessee would have been the area around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, KY or New Albany, IN. A short amount of further travel would have found them in the area around Paoli, Orange Co. In 1820 there was a stage line running from Louisville to Vincennes, and by 1834 this route had become heavily travelled, as can be seen from the following quotation:
From the October 9, 1834 issue of the Paoli Patriot: "We presume that not less than one hundred and fifty wagons have passed through this village in the last two weeks."
In its geography, Orange County is a transition zone at the eroded southern edge of a limestone plateau which runs southward from Bloomington. In the south it has sharp relief and fertile bottoms. As one progresses toward Loogootee from Paoli, one gradually enters countryside of a different character. Examination of a roadmap for northern Orange County, Southern Lawrence County, and Daviess County shows a network of county roads running at right angles to each other, characteristic of flat or slightly rolling prairie countryside. The prairie is broken by ditches or by creeks which have been ditched out to facilitate drainage, and is typical prairie farmland in appearance. There are occasional outcroppings of bituminous coal, such as that which appears in Will Ragle's description of the Alonzo Ragle farm (q.v.) In fact bituminous coal is the major mineral export of the State of Indiana. Fulkerson (1886, vide infra) says that there is a "fine coal mine" near Raglesville, probably referring to the mine owned and operated by A. F. Stoy. A link to a newspaper halftone picture is given below. This picture has been left large enough so that some of its finer detail is visible. In some browsers this image can be further enlarged by clicking on the pushbutton which appears in the lower righthand portion of the graphic when the cursor is placed there."The Stoy Coal Mine near Raglesville Coal mine operated by Abraham F. Stoy. Abe's son George Mead Stoy married Mary M. Ragle, the daughter of Robert and Nancy [Richardson] Ragle.
We have surmised [vide supra that Jacob Ragle died around 1814. There is a probate court record in Orange County, Indiana, concerning his five children and dated 1823 which reads as below. A supposed sixth child, Jacob, b. 1803, is not mentioned. The original record is contained in a small string-bound notebook inside the first Probate Order Book beginning 1816, Orange County, Indiana, and was in the County Clerk's office in April 1995. It is clearly legible, and the Clerk kindly permitted the author to make photocopies of this record.
"At a called session of the Probate Court, bigan [sic] and held at Paoli this 11th day of January A. D. 1823.
"On the application of Elizabeth Halfacre, aged 18 years and Peter Ragle aged 16, being of an age by common law to make a choice of guardians, request the court to appoint James Parrott as their guardian and of a John Ragle aged 13 years, Margaret Ragle aged 11 years and Susannah Ragle aged 9 years being the infant and only heirs of the said Jacob Ragle deceased. By the laws of this State being incapable of making choice, it is ordered that the said James Parrott be appointed guardian of the above named infants and only heirs of Jacob Ragle deceased, The court being satisfied that the ages of infants as set forth are true, and the said James Parrott filed his bond with securities approved of by the court.
"Thomas Vandeveer and Sam'l Cobb"
The security filed by James Parrott, $ 200, was restored in a later hearing. The source for this information is the same as above.
"The Special Court of Probate held in Paoli on the second day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and twenty three,
/"Thomas Vandeveer and Samuel Cobb, Judges
"Now at this day came James Parrott who was appointed on the 11th day of January 1823 Guardian of the infant heirs of Jacob Ragle and Entered in to Bond with James Mayer his security in the sum of Two hundred dollars conditioned for said Parrots faithfull Performance and the Bond therefore given by said Parrott is ordered to be distroyed."
We have not found a marriage record, but it is apparent that Susanna Ritchey Ragle married the James Parrott referred to in this court record, for she and her children by Jacob next appear in the Will Records in Paoli for 1827 in the will of Francis Wood. She appears as Susannah Parrot(t). A portion of this will is given below: It is significant because, in the absence of a marriage record, it establishes that this Susannah Parrott is the Susanna Ragle who was the mother of the Ragle children. The transcription below is from an audio tape made by me in the Paoli, IN County Clerk's office, April 17, 1995. Because this document was in a hard-bound volume, Xerox copying of this document was not permitted. The name "Parrot" is spelled throughout this document with one 't.' Our editorial comments are set between square brackets .
"State of Indiana
"September the Eleventh Day in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-Seven in the name of God, amen.
"I, Francis Wood, of the County and State aforesaid, being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God, calling into mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men, one to die, I do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is, to say principally and first of all I give testament, my soul unto the hands of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executor, John B. Mayer, Joseph Crawford, and W. Hingle [the name 'Hingle' appears as minister in one of the marriage records mentioned above], nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I will receive the same again by the mighty power of God that gave it, and as touching such worthly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless in this life, I give, devise, and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: First, I give to Sarah Ann Parrot, the daughter of Susannah Parrot, the northeast quarter of Section N [illegible] Range 1 east and township 3N containing 156 acres more or less and for her to be liberally educated from the rest [illegible, the page is torn] and shall be made on the place. If she should not live to have as her heir herself, the place is to be sold and equally divided among Peter Ragle, John Ragle, Margaret Ragle, Susannah Ragle, and Parrot's three children, Katherine, Mary, and Barbara Ann Parrot. I leave the south Quarter-Section 3 Range 1 [illegible] to the child that Susannah Parrot is now to bring forth, if it lives, and if it dies, to leave it to John Ragle, and if he should die, for it to be sold and equally divided among the rest of the children. The property that I have in Orleans [near the northern border of Orange Co.] by default I leave it to Sarah Ann Parrot, the daughter of Susannah Parrot, and if she should die, for it to be sold and divided as the first estate, namely, the northeast quarter of Section number 30, the northwest quarter of Section number 22, in township N3N of Range 1 West in the district of lands offered for sale at Vincennes which plat or Quarter Section contains one hundred and sixty acres I give to Presley Sims..."
From this point, the will goes on to talk about payment of debts, disposition of horses and cattle, family tools, and concludes with the signature of Francis Wood, and sealed and witnessed by William G. Berry, James Parrot, the State of Indiana at [illegible]. Note that some of the language is, to say the least, ambiguous, but clearly Margaret Ragle, Susannah Ragle and James Parrot were still living in September 1827. The name 'Sims' is found in the records of Orange, Daviess, and Martin Co., and connects with the Ragle family somewhat later in the period. The "lands offered for sale at Vincennes" are probably those around Raglesville, in Daviess Co. The remainder of the will is a paragraph which attests the authenticity of the document.
"The last will and testament of Francis Wood, deceased, was produced to me, William Haggit, Clerk of the Court for the County aforesaid, and proven by the oaths of William G. Berry and James Parrot."
The will of Francis Wood appears again in Chapter LXVIII, pp.143-144 of the actions of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, December 24, 1846 as "An Act for the relief of Wiley M. Edmondson and Sarah Ann Edmondson, his wife, late Sarah Ann Parrott."
Susanna Ritchey appears in the Orange Co. IN census for 1830 as Susannah [Ritchey Ragle] Parrott, widow of Jacob Ragle. The census record is on p. 30, between Peter Ragle, p. 28 and John Ragle, p. 36. She next appears in the marriage records of Martin County, IN, as Susannah Parrott, who married James Watt on March 4, 1833. James Watt was a landowner and a school teacher in this area, and he is commemorated in the name of James Watt Ragle, a son of the John Ragle mentioned in the Probate Court document and in the Wood will. He is mentioned in L. Rex Myer's "History of Daviess County" as a teacher at the Long School in Elmore Twp. Daviess Co. in 1844.
At this point, Susanna Ritchey disappeared from my records, but recent research by Maryanne Berrett of Salt Lake City, Utah, takes up the story. The work by Ms. Berrett is such a model piece of research that I have included it more or less verbatim, below. I have collected together a series of her emails, edited out comments of a personal nature, and arranged the rest in chronological order. I have also added occasional line breaks for emphasis.
Note that there are two Lawrence Counties which figure in this set of data, one in Indiana on the northern border of Orange County, and one just across the river and Illinois/Indiana state line from Vincennes.
Ms. Berrett writes:
I am a descendent of the Fredrick Halfacre who apparently married Elizabeth Ragle.
My name is Maryanne Elaine Kiser, born October 02, 1945 in San Diego, CA
My mother is: Mary Margaret Knox, born September 03, 1917, in Moab, UT
My grandmother is: Margaret Deane Halfacre, born August 30, 1892 in Cripplecreek, CO
Her father is: Richard Townsend Halfacre, born 19 Oct 1867 in Lawrence Co. IL
Richard's father is: Jacob Halfacre born in 5 Aug 1829 in Lawrence Co. IN.
Jacobs father is: Fredrick Halfacre born abt 1800 in VA
Jacobs mother is: Elizabeth Ragle born 1804 in Sullivan, TN daughter of Jacob and
Susanna Ritchey Ragle
In 1820 in Lawrence Co., IN there is a Jacob Halfacre [Halfaire], one male under 10,
one male, 10-15, one male 16-25, one male 45 and over, one female 10-15, three females 16-25 and one female 26-44.
There is also a listing of both Jacob and Fredrick Halfacre in the 1822 tax list of Lawrence County, IN. So it would appear that Jacob dies between 1822 and 1830 but who knows for sure.
I also looked up the 1820 census entry for James Parrott in Lawrence county, IN. It would appear from the numbers of people that they already had two of the Parrott girls. James Parrott wasnt listed in the 1822 tax list of Lawrence county so I would assume that they had already moved to Orange county.
In 1830 Fredrick is in Lawrence Co. IN. One male under 5, one male 20-30, one female under 5 and one female 20-30.
There is also a Elizabeth Halfacre in Lawrence Co. IN in 1830. One male under 5, two males between 15-20, one female 15-20 and one female 40-50; she is two lines down from Fredrick.
So apparently my Halfacre family settled in Lawrence Co. IN and that is where Fredrick marries Besta Rayle. I have a copy of the orginal marriage license made in 1821 and the name looks like Rayle or possibly Royle, but it doesn't look like a "g".
It appears that Fredrick Halfacre's mother and father are Jacob and Elizabeth Halfacre. Jacob disappears after 1820 but haven't found any death records. I wonder if he is the Jacob Halfacre that married Elizabeth Riche in VA. Could she and your Susanna be sisters or cousins?
In 1840 in Illinois in Lawrence County there are two Halfacres - Fredrick with one male 10-15, one male 15-20, one male 30-40, one female under 5, one female 5-10, one female 15-20, one female 30-40 and one female 60-70. Their ages line up with the ages of their children listed on the 1850 census except that there isn't a male that would have been the 15-20 which is why I wonder if the Jefferson Halfacre, age 23 isn't that male. The oldest female would have to have been Susanna age 23. In 1830 Fredrick has one male and one female under the age of five, so maybe they overstated the boys age. Jefferson lists his age in 1850 as 23, 1860 as 34 and in 1870 as 46 (if that is his real age then he would have been between 10-15 in 1830) and is always born in IN. He had children named Owen (later listed as Aaron), Sarah Elizabeth, Luticia A (later female that age is called Samantha), Grantville (later called Granvil), Hartwell, Almira, Calzy, La vern, and Charles. He apparently married Roxy Ann Daggot of NY. They have listed with them two Daggot boys ages 21 and 22 in 1860 with an Owen,48 and Elizabeth, 48 Daggot living next door. She is born in NY. The older female would be Elizabeth widow of Jacob, Haven't found her in 1850, but is back with Fredrick in 1860.
I believe that Jefferson and Susanna could be twins. Jefferson settles in Marion Co. IL.
Next to Fredrick in the 1840 [Illinois Lawrence Co. - JLR] census is a David Halfacre with one male 20-30, one female under 5, one female 5-10 and one female 20-30. It would appear to possibly be a brother. There was a David Halfacre who was married in Orange County, IN to Polly Moore on 25 Sep 1834 that looks promising. Also Jacob Halfacre has a male in 1820 census that falls in the 10-15 age bracket which lines up with David's age listed in 1840. Didn't see him in 1850 but I haven't checked out all the different spellings. I did find a marrage of Nancy Halfacre in Richland County - next county to the west of Lawrence- who is the daughter of David Halfacre. She married John Hinebarger on 22 Oct 1868. It is also where Jacob Halfacre, son of Fredrick gets married on 24 May 1855. The other marriages in Richland Co., IL are between Idia A Halfacre and Peter C Evans, on 15 Nov 1877, Louzia R Halfacre and Jacob S Geisler on 6 Oct 1875 (states she is the daughter of Elizabeth Ruark, marriage is listed here), Margarate C Halfacre and Peter Berry on 23 Oct 1864 and Mrs. Elizabeth Halfaker and Reson Ruark on 6 May 1872.
The family is living in Lawrence Co. IL in 1850. The family is Fredrick Halfacre (50) b. VA wife Elizabeth (47) b. TN children: Susanna (23) b. IN, Jacob (20) b. IN, Mahala (17) b. IN and Margaret (12) b. IL. The only other Halfacre in Lawrence, IL is Jefferson Halfacre (23) b. IN. He is listed as a laborer.
I also found a second Elizabeth Halfacre living with Fredrick Halfacre in 1860 who is 84 born in SC.
There is an Elizabeth Halfacre buried with children of F & E Halfacre's children (one named Barbara Ann born 7 Aug 1842 died 21 July 1845 and James born 23 Dec 1844 died 9 July 1845) in Denison Cemetery in Lawrence Co., IL. She died August 21, 1868 at age 88 years, 4 days.
In the 1860 census Fredrick is listed as 60 born in TN, Elizabeth is 58 born in TN.
In 1870 Fredreck is listed as 70 born in Virginia, Elizabeth is listed as 68 and born in Virginia.
In 1880 Elizabeth is living with her daughter Margaret Woode (I think this might be a second marriage for Margaret). She is listed as 78 and born in TN and both parents listed as born in VA.
I think I have found the daughter Mahala married to John Moore
and living in Lawrence Co. IL
There is also an Isaac and Elizabeth Halfacre that settled in Clay County, Illinois about the same time as Fredrick did. This might be the Isaac and Elizabeth that you have married in Va or another brother of Fredrick or someone else all together. I haven't check him out yet. I just discovered him through land records on the internet.
In Virginia there is also a Huffaker family in Washington county that uses the Halfacre spelling. They are listed on the internet at http://members.tripod.com/~wd9t/gedpages/fam00007.htm.
We were looking at cemetery records of two of the children
of Fredrick and Elizabeth Halfacre and found a Susanna and James
Watt. The cemetery is the Denison Cemetery in Lawrence County,
IL (yes Illinois) and listed in order are:
1. James, son of F. and E. Halfacre, died July 9, 1845, aged 7 months, 17 days
2. Memory of Barbara Ann, daughter of F. and E. Halfacre, died July 21, 1845 aged 2 years, 11 months, 14 days
3. Susanah, wife of J. Watt, died March 22, 1852, aged 60 years
4. James Watt, died - stone broken
5. Elizabeth Halfacre, died August 21, 1868, aged 88 years, 4 days
I believe the last one is Elizabeth mother of Fredrick and I wondered why there were Watts between her and the children of Fredrick and Elizabeth. The only question I have is that the age of Susanna makes it wrong to be Elizabeth's mother. The stone could be carved wrong or read incorrectly. I also have a Ada J Watts living with the wife of Jacob, son of Elizabeth and Fredrick, and her second husband and hers and Jacob's children in 1880. She is born in IL and is 20 years old. She may be the Ada (no known last name) that marries one of the sons, Wiley Halfacre, who is 21 in 1880.
I found James and Susannah Watt in the 1850 census of Lawrence County IL. They both listed their ages as 59. His occupation was school teacher with real estate valued at $1000. His birthplace was listed as Scotland and hers as Virginia. Living in the same house was Marjory Watt, female listed as 21 born in Indiana and Franklin Wagley, male, age 18, occupation farmer born in Indiana.
There were only two other listing of Watts- one family with the head being Thomas, age 30, born in Illinois, occupation clerk, also listed with him was (Mrs. Eleanor Ashbrook) Ellen, female age 35 born in KY, J.D. Ashbrook, male age 10 born in Illinois, William Ashbrook, male age 8 born in Illinois, L.A. Watts male age 4 born in Illinois, and E.J. Watts, male age 2 born in Illinois.
The other Watts was J. Benson Watts living in a boarding house who was a male age 21 born in Ohio and occupation was a clerk. It was a typed version done by the DAR.
I also checked out wills and found a will for a James Watt. It was dated 8 April 1854 and entered 26 Jan 1856 in Lawrence County, IL. It stated that after his funeral expenses that all the rest of his worldly goods be left "unto my beloved friend, Wiley Edmondson and Sarah Edmondson his wife." The witnesses were Ephraim D. Turner and Robert B Turner.
In checking the other records I have collected I find that Sarah A Parrott married Wiley M Edmondson in Daviess County, Indiana on 3 March 1846. There was a daughter of Susannah Parrot named Sarah Ann Parrot in the Frances Wood will. So it looks like it all connects, except the age of Susannah. The only possibilities that I can come up with are that
1. she could have lied about her age when she got married to
James Watt because she was older.
2. She was married at 11 years old. or
3. She was a second wife of Jacob Ragle or a sister of Jacobs who raised his children after his death.
I also copied Frederick Halfacres will while I was there. He leaves everything to his wife Elizabeth Halfacre and then to be given at her death to his daughter, Margaret Woods and her heirs except her son Wm R Moore. He list his land and signs it with an X. It also is in Lawrence County, Illinois. I still havent found their burial place but will keep looking. He died between 17 Nov 1873 and 25 Oct 1876. Witnesses were Milton Laughlin and William D Dennison. I have been looking at "my collection" of material and found that in 1870 census of Lawrence County that Jacob Halfacre (son of Fredrick and Elizabeth) is household #37, Fred and Elizabeth Halfacre are household #38 and household #39 is Wiley Edmason, age 47, farmer, born in TN, Sarah, age 43, keeping house, born IN, Isom, age 17, works on farm, born IL, John, age 15, works on farm, born IL, Catherine, age 13 born IL, Stewart, age 10, born IL, Leonard, age 9, born IL, Jennie, age 7, born IL, and Maggie, age 3, born IL.
Also Jacob Halfacre (son of Fredrick and Elizabeth) names his first son Wiley M Halfacre. I also have them in 1850 and 1860 in Lawrence county, IL. They are also by one of the women that I believe is Fredrick's sister. The other interesting detail to me is that the uncle of the women that Fredrick's son Jacob married is right next to them in 1850 and 1860. Jacob named his first son the same name as her uncle which makes me wonder if he didn't introduce them to each other.
I decided to try and check out the Halfacre, Ragle and Parrott girls marriages to see if they fit with the family. I think I found that three of the Halfacre women that were in the marriage records of Lawrence county and vicinity that are more than likely Fredricks sisters. Two end up in Illinois by Jacob and Jefferson Halfacre. One other is in Orange county in 1850 and two households away from one of the ones that went to Illinois later. There are at least two others that I havent found. I also think that Jefferson could be a late child of Jacob, but without more information I cant tell if he is Fredrick and Elizabeths first child or Jacobs son, living with Fredrick along with Jacobs widow in 1830. According to the listed birth places of the girls it would appear that Jacob lived for a short time in Tennessee after the family moved from Viriginia.
The Daviess Co. marriage record for Sarah A. Parrott and Wiley M. Edmondson on 3 March 1846 is mentioned by Ms. Berrett. This is doubtless the same Sarah Ann Parrott mentioned in the Frances Wood will.
It seems clear that our 3rd great grandmother Susanna Ritchey and her husband James Watt moved across the river to Illinois about 1845 from the Raglesville area, and that James survived Susanna by a few years. The single inconsistency in this train of detail is the quoted age of Susanna Ritchey. If she were 60 in 1852, her birth year would have been 1792, and her age at her marriage to Jacob Ragle would have been 11. This is improbable (but not impossible), and we concur with Ms. Berrett's suggestion that she shaded her age late in life by a few years so that she would not appear older than her husband James Watt.
One other point is worth mentioning again. In the Virginia marriage records cited above, a Jacob Halfacre married Elizabeth Riche in 1795. Assuming that Elizabeth Riche is the Elizabeth m. to Jacob in Lawrence Co. IN, d. 1868 Lawrence Co. IL means that a connection between Elizabeth Riche and Susanna Ritchey is possible. This would provide a satisfying completion to the entanglement of these families.
Returning to the Ragle family, from the guardianship hearing, which is strong contemporary evidence, the children of Jacob and Susanna are definitely:
Elizabeth, b. 1804
Peter, b. March 4, 1806
John, b. 1808
Margaret, b. 1811
Susannah, b. 1813
Jacob Jr., b. 1803 is a special case. Of this Jacob, Marilyn Blank writes in 1974 to Annabelle Toliver:
"Said to be a '49er thought to be massacred. Had a lg. family. Have found nothing to substantiate this, except for one thing: there is a Jacob Ruggles listed on the 1840 Daviess Co. census who might be him."
Dr. James Wadsworth has found a record from Flora, Clay County, IL which records the death of a Jacob Ragle, born in Sullivan TN in 1803, as well as his wife, Susannah. No marriage record for Jacob Jr. has yet come to light. The Probate Court document previously cited from Paoli, IN clearly states "...infants and ONLY heirs of Jacob Ragle deceased" [my emphasis]. Nevertheless, records clearly attach this man to Jacob and Susannah.
There seem to be several possibilities: (a) no such person existed, (b) this Jacob "Jr." belongs to another family, (c) Jacob "Jr." could have been born out of wedlock, rendering his status as an "heir" doubtful, (d) Jacob "Jr." and his mother or father may have quarreled irrevocably, or (e) the Jacob listed as Jacob "Jr." might actually have been the Jacob married to Susannah, but who "moved on" and deserted his family, the date 1803 being a confusion between a marriage date and a birth date. These are simply speculations, none of which should be taken too seriously at this time. One last comment may further confuse the issue: on an 1852 railroad map of the State of Indiana in the Library of Congress, the settlement we refer to as 'Raglesville' is actually shown as 'Rugglesville.'
Our further inquiry into this matter find a Jacob Ruggles also listed in Barr Twp in the 1850 Daviess Co. census, and a Jacob Ruggles listed in the 1860 California census. Marriage records for Jacob Ruggles exist in Daviess County:
Jacob Ruggles & Henrietta McDonald 11 February 1823, Daviess
Jacob Ruggless & [Mrs.] Cenith McDonald 27 June 1848, Daviess Co.
As we see from the documentation, Elizabeth had already married Halfacre by January 1823. The record from Lawrence Co., just to the north of Paoli, a Xerox copy of which is in our possession, shows Betsa Rayle marrying Fredrick Halfrace on 12.25.1821. The names, dates, and places are conclusive. This record is shown in CD-ROM collections as a marriage between Betsy Rayle and Fredrick Halfacre. Elizabeth and Frederick Halfacre appear in the Lawrence Co. IN 1830 census records. A Jacob Halfaire appears in the Lawrence Co. IN 1820 census. No further census records for the Halfacres exist in the area. A marriage of a Frederick Halfaker to Eleanor Calliham is recorded in 1826 in Washington Co. VA.
The marriage of Peter to Peggy Wadsworth, March 20, 1828 is actually recorded as married March 17; John to Eliza Webster June 18, 1829, license issued June 17, 1829, and Susannah to Hiram Alfred Shepard, license issued Dec. 12, 1831 "by order of mother written," married December 15, 1831 (by William W. Marten, minister). These marriages are recorded in Paoli, Orange County, IN.
There were other Ragles in the immediate area, as the marriage records of Orange County, Indiana list a Nicholas Ragle who married Delila Samuels on Oct. 29, 1829 and a William Ragle who married Polly Edgington on July 15, 1830. The identity of these latter two Ragles is not yet known to us. William Reigel appears as a "yeoman of the State of Indiana," and son of William Riegel, as signatory in a power of attorney dated May 10, 1823. A tantalizing reference appears in the 1862 Indiana State Gazette and Business Directory entry for Loogootee: "Ragle & Nicholas general merchandise." This may refer to Nicholas Ragle. The records found by Dr. Wadsworth attach these people as children of Jacob and Susannah Ritchey Ragle, but this is doubtless an error, as neither Nicholas nor William are recorded in the Probate record. Margaret Ragle, 11 years old in January 1823, disappears from the record at this point, except for an unconnected marriage record of a Margaret Ragle to Emberson Holt in Daviess County in 1849. This marriage is likely to have been between another Margaret Ragle, daughter of John Ragle (b. 1808), the son of the Jacob married to Susannah Ritchey.
Two additional court records bear on this Ragle family during their stay in Orange Co. IN. The first concerns Peter Ragle. This record is also found in the Probate Order Book in Paoli. The record does not identify the offense. In its entirety, it is:
"March Term 1st day, 1824
"State of Indiana
"This day the dft being called on his recognizence failed to appear."
Peter would have been turning 18 at this point. My son and I carefully paged through the court's records from 1820 to 1824, but no prior mention of this action was found. We are therefore free to speculate, and from what we are told of Peter later in life, a possibility is that this was for disorderly conduct, i.e. fighting or brawling.
The second record concerns James Parrott:
"April Term 1st day 1822
"dismissed by order of Plaintiff."
The final remaining record pertinent to this period is the Indiana Census of 1830. In the record for Orange County, Vol. 10, pp. 36 and 28, Peter Ragle and John Ragel are both listed as Heads of Family. Note the spelling of John's name in the record. John Ragel, address Loogootee, Martin County, was a second lieutenant in the Civil War. He enlisted as a 1st Sgt.; Co. C, 14th regt. Indiana Volunteers, on Apr. 23, 1861 and gave his age as 42. He was promoted to 2nd Lt. July 11, 1861 and resigned his commission on May 10, 1862. The record comes from the muster cards in the Indiana State Archive, copies of which are included in an appendix. The identity of this person is not entirely clear, but it is most likely John Ragle, b. 1808, shading his age by 10 years. There are no other Ragles in the record.
Southern Indiana, from Orange to Daviess County, mid-1830's: