Revolutionary War Soldier
Contributed by ©Ed Wiessing
Signature of Nathan Rawlings*
History passed down through generations of the descendants of Nathan Rawlings indicates he was born in Baltimore County, Maryland in Oct 1750.1 There is some evidence in the public records of Bourbon County, Kentucky that he was actually born about 1765.2 If this is the case, then certainly some of the early events of the American Revolution which have been attributed to him must have involved another Nathan. Among the records of Washington County, Pennsylvania is the file of the estate of a Nathan Rawlings, administered by a brother, Daniel Rawlings, in the early 1780's.3
The Nathan Rawlings we are concerned with here was the son of Michael and Mary Rawlings, owners of the parcel of land in Baltimore County, Maryland known as "Chattom".4 The first record that may concern this Nathan that this author has found is the reference to him in Baltimore in January 1774 when he delivered a deed in which Michael and Mary conveyed to Aaron Rawlings their rights to Chattom. The reference reads as follows:
"BALTIMORE COUNTY On the third day of January One thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Four before me the Subscriber, one of the Justices of the Peace for said county came Nathan Rawlings and being one of the people called Quakers did solemnly affirm and declare that the names Michael Rawlings and Mary Rawlings within subscribed are of the proper handwriting of Michael Rawlings herein named and Mary Rawlings his wife and the names of John Nevill and William Patterson two of the Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Berkeley and that he this affirmant was present at the execution of the within deed and did then and there see the said Michael Rawlings and Mary Rawlings execute the same as also the same John Nevill and William Patterson subscribe their names as witnesses thereto altho he the affirmant did not subscribe his name.
Affirmed Before Thos Buchanan and John Neale" 5
If the deliverer was the son, Nathan, he would have been about 23 years old at the time, assuming his generally accepted year of birth (1750) holds true. But it may also have been the older Nathan who delivered the deed. A short time after the deed was delivered, Michael and Mary Rawlings settled in what would become known as Washington County, Pennsylvania. In fact, it was in Pennsylvania currency that Aaron Rawlings purchased Chattom from Michael.6
The next reference to Nathan (could be the older Nathan again) is on a petition requesting the division of Yohogania County, Virginia, which was signed 27 October 1778.7 Some of the other names on the petition included David and Thomas Rankin. David Rankin would later become Nathan's father-in-law.8 In about the year 1780, Nathan’s father, Michael Rawlings died in Washington County, Pennsylvania.9
During the American Revolution, Nathan Rawlings served in Captain Andrew Swearingen's company of Washington County, Pennsylvania militiamen, and was a ranger on the frontier (1778-1783) serving in Captain Charles Bilderbeck's company from the same county. He was issued a certificate for this service 25 March 1788.10 Thus, it was certainly the younger Nathan who served here, as the elder Nathan was deceased by this time, and could not possibly have received the certificate. This figures significantly, and adds more certainty to Nathan's involvement in a prominent massacre of peaceful Indians in 1782 at a village in western Pennsylvania called Gnadenhutten. It has been written that,
"Nathan Rollins, among the tomahawk-wielders, had previously had his father and uncle killed by marauding Indians; he now took his vengeance by successively tomahawking 19 of the women and children, but when he finished he sat down and wept because what he had done gave him no degree of satisfaction for the deaths of his kin."11
Nathan also served in Captain Eleazer Williamson's company from Washington County. He was a Cecil Township resident when he served in Williamson's company (1782).12
It wasn't until 1818 that pensions were allowed per se for services during the war. Even then, they were granted only when the veteran demonstrated serious need. “Captain Nathan Rawlings” was on the list of soldiers who had served in the Revolution from Pennsylvania.13 The rank of Captain, however, must have referred to his service in later Indian Wars and not to his Revolutionary War service.14
A deed recorded 7 December 1785 in Washington County, Pennsylvania indicates Nathan Rawlings sold the following for 60 pounds Pennsylvania currency to Andrew Swearingen, his former Captain from the Revolution:
"A certain tract of land on the waters of Shertees Creeke containing one hundred acres of land adjoining lands of James Alison on the south side, James Morsin on ye west, James Campbell and Andrew Ritchie on ye
north and bounded by the WIDOW ROLINGS on the east." 15
In May of 1786, Joseph Brown petitioned the Orphan's Court for Washington County, Pennsylvania to allow him to sell the land once owned by Michael Rawlings, deceased, in order to pay the debts of the estate. In his petition, he indicated that,
“he[Joseph Brown] is one of the administrators of Michael Rawlin, deceased that the widow or relict of the deceased being the other, hath left the state and removed to Virginia,..." 16
As part of his request to sell the land to settle the estate's debts, Brown asked that a warrant for 400 acres of land that had belonged to Michael be issued to him in order to prevent the land from being taken by others. This apparently could have been done since the rightful heirs had left the state. A warrant was granted 5 Apr 1786, and Brown had the land surveyed 7 Jun 1786. The official measure of the tract called "Content" was 377 3/8 acres. The actual survey shows that "Content" was bounded on the South by James Allison, on the West by James Morrison, on the North by James Campbell and Andrew Ritchie, and on the East by the Chartiers and Little Chartiers Creeks.17 This indicates that the land that Nathan had deeded to Andrew Swearingen was from the same tract that had belonged to Michael, and it was the same tract upon which Michael's widow lived for some years after his death. Figure 1.1 (see page 2) shows an image of the survey as it was taken in 1786.
On 20 September 1786, a public sale was held, and the land called "Content" was sold to the highest bidder, one Jacob Foster for 235 pounds, 12 shillings, and 6 pence.18 The money was used to settle the debts of Michael Rawlings' estate. It is not know if his widow or other heirs ever saw any of the money from the sale.
Several conclusions may be arrived at from the above information. First, it is a certainty that the "Widow Rawlings" mentioned in Nathan's deed was Mary Rawlings, widow of the late Michael Rawlings, who was deceased by 1780. Second, it seems quite clear that Nathan Rawlings, who conveyed part of "Content" to Andrew Swearingen in 1785, was an heir of Michael Rawlings, and almost certainly his son.19 Third, it appears that the Rawlings heirs left Pennsylvania for Kentucky (which was part of Virginia at the time) prior to May 1786.
It may be that Nathan Rawlings and several of his brothers and other families left for Ohio prior to their settlement in present-day Kentucky. They may have been among those white settlers who were forced out of the Northwest Territory in 1785-1786 prior to the official opening of the region to westward expansion. There are several references to a Michael Rawlings who was a "squatter" in the territory, and who was one of many who were forced out by the military in 1785 to re-settle in Kentucky.20
The next appearance we have of Nathan Rawlings is on the 1787 tax list of Fayette County, Virginia (present day Kentucky).21 His name is spelled "Nathan Rollins". Also listed is a "Darnall" Rawlings. "Darnall" was actually Daniel, Nathan's brother. Daniel was married to Sarah Nuttal, and is mentioned in the 1796 Fayette County, Kentucky will of Elijah Nuttal, his father-in-law.22
A deposition taken from John Grant 18 May 1801 shows that Nathan was living in Bourbon County, Kentucky ( on land that is in present-day Harrison County), in June of 1789. According to Grant,
"In ye year of 1789 I went at request of Laurence Speakman with intent to assist him in reloading his boat which was left on the main Licking River immediately at the junction of ye south Fork and Ye North Fork and returning with him and Jovah Robertson in Bourbon Co. near where Nathan Rawlings then lived. The 5th day of June of ye year 1789." 23
A 1791 tax list of Bourbon County lists "Mary Rolinins" and "Nathan Rolens".24
Family traditions are that Nathan had claimed he had six brothers, that two died in "the war" and two were killed by Indians.25 Whether that is true or not is uncertain. We do know that some of them were Asahel (died in Knox County, Indiana in 1814), married to the former Nancy Pendergrass; Moses/ Michael (1740-1787), apparently killed by Indians in Kentucky in the spring of 1787; Daniel, mentioned above, who died about 1801, probably in Gallatin County, Kentucky; and Joshua (1766-1801), who was married twice. His first wife was Verlinda Darnall, and his second was Sophia Kennedy.26
According to pension Records in the National Archives, Nathan Rawlings was a Captain. This rank was achieved several years after the Revolution while a company commander in the Kentucky militia during the Indian Wars of the 1790's.27
In April of 1790, Nathan Rawlings was recommended for the rank of Lieutenant in the Kentucky militia from Bourbon County. He was commissioned with that rank in November. The following year he was recommended for Captain. He received that rank in October 1791. A reference in the 28 June 1792 entry in the Executive Journal of Governor Isaac Shelby indicates that,
"the following persons were duly elected officers of the Regiment."
The list included the name of Captain Nathan Rawlings.28
In the early 1790's, Indian tribes living in the Northwest Territory opposed white encroachment of their tribal lands, and attacked pioneer settlements, killing and driving off many farmers and their families. In response, Major General Arthur St. Clair, the military governor of the region, dispatched two expeditions against the Indians in order to prevent them from continuing their opposition to the settlements. Two successive excursions, the second of which was led by St. Clair himself, suffered decisive defeat by Indians under the command of Chief Little Turtle. As a result, then-President George Washington
enlisted the services of his former subordinate, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Wayne raised an Army at a place called Legionville, near Pittsburgh, and traveled with them down the Ohio River to Fort Washington (present-day Cincinnati, Ohio). Augmenting the force (called the Legion of the United States) was a brigade of Kentucky militia under the command of Major General Charles Scott. One of the regiments in Scott's command was led by Lieutenant Colonel Horatio Hall. Captain Nathan Rawlings commanded a company of mounted volunteers in Hall's regiment in the summer and fall of 1793.29
Wayne's plan to ensure final victory over the Indians was to integrate the Kentucky Militia into the Legion's training and to drill his collective force into a very well disciplined army. Having achieved this with a great deal of success, Wayne released the militia in the fall of 1793 to return to their homes and take care of their families for the winter.30 Nathan Rawlings was among the released militiamen, and he returned to his family in Kentucky.
In December, back home in Harrison County, Nathan Rawlings was appointed by Governor Shelby as a justice of the peace for newly formed Harrison County.31 In February 1794, he took his position as one of the men who made up the first group of justices of the peace for the Harrison County Court.32
As summer of 1794 approached, the Kentucky militia was recalled to participate in General Wayne's decisive campaign against the Indians, now led by Chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnee. Blue Jacket had been impatient with Chief Little Turtle's reluctance to fight against the "general who never slept", and took over command of the Indian confederation that would stand in opposition to Wayne. The Kentuckians joined Wayne in southern Ohio in July. From their encampments, the Legion marched northward, and on August 20, fought the Indians in an engagement later referred to as the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The fighting took place near the rapids of the Maumee River, not far from present day Toledo, Ohio. Nathan Rawlings was again in command of a company of mounted volunteers, this time in Major Notley Conn's battalion. When the fighting was over, it was a decisive rout for Wayne and the Legion of the United States. A contemporary account in the Herald, Norfolk and Portsmouth Advertiser showed that Captain Nathan Rawlings was among the wounded at Fallen Timbers.33 He was also mentioned conspicuously in General Wayne's dispatch to the Secretary of War, in which the general wrote,
"the wounds received by...Cap't Rawlins...of Mounted Volunteers, bear honorable testamony to [his] bravery and conduct."34
Family history indicates that Nathan Rawlings was carried back to Kentucky on a litter and nursed back to health by his wife, the former Mary Rankin.35
In 1795, Nathan Rawlings served as a state representative in the Kentucky General Assembly for Harrison County.36 He was also appointed that year by the governor to be one of the Justices of the Court of Quarter Sessions.37 On 16 December, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in command of the 20th Regiment of the Kentucky Volunteer Militia.38
Nathan Rawlings appears in deed and court records in Kentucky (primarily Harrison County) several times over the period from the mid-1790's to about 1800.39 He re-located to Ohio probably no later than 1803. It was in that year that the local newspaper published a list of persons who had failed to retrieve letters at the post office. One of the individuals on the list was Nathan Rawlins, Franklinton.40 He was one of the first justices of the peace and lived in Pickaway County on the Franklinton Pike. He kept his ledger on a hewed log in his house, below the joist where the upper floor was laid. Among others, he conducted the marriage ceremony for his nephew Moses Rawlings to Sally McCandliss in Franklin County in 1807.41
The Rawlings family left Ohio shortly after the War of 1812. There is evidence and may have lived for a time in Indiana, where Nathan's brother Asahel was living until his death in 1814.
According to Washington Rawlings, Nathan's grandson, (son of Benjamin Scott Rawlings), Nathan and Mary Rankin Rawlings were the parents of eight children (5 boys and 3 girls) who grew to adulthood. The sons were Michael, Nathan Jr., Provence, James, and Benjamin Scott. The daughters were Letitia, Jane and Sarah.42
Nathan Rawlings' final settlement was at Lawrence County, Illinois after 1806, when
"William Spencer built a double log house...Shortly after this, Nathan Rawlings settled on Indian Creek,..." 43
Another reference indicates that...
"The Rawlings family were from Kentucky and located here [Lawrence
County] in 1816. The old man was very aged when he made his advent
here, and lived but a few years."44
Yet another reference describes Nathan Rawlings as,
"…a noted hunter in his day, and … a champion of all athletic sports."45
Nathan Rawlings entered his claim to land in Lawrence County in 1816. By this time, he was in his late 60's. He died on 10 May 1821 and is buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery not far from Bridgeport, Illinois.46 Nathan Rawlings was married to Mary Rankin, probably by about 1784-5.47 Mary was the daughter of David and Hannah Rankin.48 Over the years, researchers of Nathan and his family have wondered where and when Mary passed away. The author is in possession of an original deed signed in 1809 by both Mary and Nathan, showing that Mary survived long enough at least to make the move to Ohio. Whether she settled in Illinois with her family about 1816 is unknown, though speculation is that she did indeed accompany her husband to Illinois and may have died in the 1820’s.49
The Nathan Rawlings Family Migration
Nathan Rawlings’ descendants have placed his year of birth as 1750. 1 In fact, that is the date on the gravestone placed over his grave in Old Spring Hill Cemetery the early 1970’s. 2 But there is only one reference to his age among contemporary records; that is, records that were created during Nathan’s life. According to Bourbon County, Kentucky Records, Nathan Rawlings was about 34 years of age in 1798 or 99. 3 That would make him born about 1764 -66.
At first look, one might thinks that this date of birth is in conflict with records of Nathan’s service during the American Revolution. However, as mentioned earlier, the records attributed to one Nathan may actually reflect the service of two distinct Nathans – perhaps uncle and nephew. 4 In fact, based on a holistic approach to the available evidence, it appears that the Nathan Rawlings whose estate was administered in Washington County, Pennsylvania in the early 1780’s may have been the uncle. 5 Nathan Rawlings certainly was a ranger on the frontier serving in Captain Charles Bilderbeck's company, as he was issued a certificate for this service 25 March 1788. 6 The elder Nathan was deceased, so it could not be his service that was given credit. 7 Perhaps Nathan was on Captain Bilderbeck’s militia roster for only a part of the time (1778-1782). 8 In any case, the issue of Nathan’s date of birth, while not critical, is still important to determine his place of birth. 9
Michael Rawlings, Nathan’s father, was a resident of Baltimore County, Maryland during the 1740’s through the 1760’s, so it is a near certainty that Nathan himself was born in or near Baltimore County, Maryland, probably on the land called Chattom that his father had received in 1748. 10
No doubt Nathan was part of the Rawlings clan that migrated to Berkeley County, Virginia by the early 1770’s and then to present-day Washington County, Pennsylvania by about 1776 or 1777. 11 It is while in Washington County that Nathan’s war service began. 12
Nathan’s first appearance in the local public record appears to be in 1785, when he apparently attempted to sell part of "Content" to Andrew Swearingen. 13 Prior to this time, Nathan may not have attained the age of majority (21), suggesting again his 1764-66 year of birth, thought it could actually have been earlier. 14
It appears that there was a Rawlings migration westward from Pennsylvania into Ohio prior to 1786. 15 In fact, the records show a Michael Rawlings living there by 1785. 16 This may have been a brother of Nathan’s as his father was deceased at least five years before. 17 This is also about the time period during which he married the former Mary Rankin. They were either married in Pennsylvania or in Ohio. 18 It is uncertain where their first child (Michael) was born, as he probably died before the 1850 census, which was the first to document place of birth; however, the 1880 census listing for his son Nathan shows that he was born in Ohio. 19 This places Nathan in Ohio about 1785 during the time period when squatters were being evicted by the military. 20
When federal troops were ordered to remove squatters from the Ohio Territory in 1785, Michael Rawlings was one of the men who signed petitions to request the opportunity to build homes south of the Ohio River in Kentucky before their homesteads in Ohio were burned to the ground. 21 Permission was granted, and it is presumed that the families indeed had homes set up in Kentucky before leaving Ohio.
Nathan Rawlings’ name appears in the 1787 tax list of Fayette County, Kentucky (then Virginia). 22 It appears he resided in the Bourbon/ Harrison Counties area from about that time until about 1800 or 1801, when he and his family returned to Ohio.23 Nathan’s residence appears to have been in the northern part of Pickaway County, just south of the Franklin County line.24
There is some evidence that Nathan Rawlings ventured westward into Indiana/ Illinois prior to 1810. 25 Because he doesn’t seem to have moved there permanently, and because he was still in Ohio as late as 1809 or so, his actual settlement in southern Illinois appears to have taken place about 1816 or 1817. 26 He may have spent some time across the river in the Knox County, Indiana area prior to that time, where his brother Asahel had moved from Kentucky by about 1810. 27
It is certain that Nathan Rawlings died about 1821. 28 His residence at the time was almost as certainly just west of present-day Bridgeport in the part of Edwards County that later was in Lawrence County, Illinois. 29 Depending on which source for his year of birth is given the greater weight, Nathan Rawlings was from 55 and 70 years old when he passed away. 30 The 1820 census says only that he was above 45 years of age. 31 One early account tells us he was a “noted hunter in his day, a champion of all athletic sports”. 32 A different narrative says that when he settled in southern Illinois, he was “very aged” and lived for only a few years afterward. 33
Deed evidence shows that Mary Rankin-Rawlings was living in Ohio as late as 1809. 34 What became of her following that year is not known; however, during the 1820 census of Edwards County, Illinois, Nathan did have a female living with him above the age of 45. 35 It seems quite likely this woman was Mary and that she made the trek from Ohio and Indiana. She may even be buried in Old Spring Hill Cemetery alongside her husband, Nathan.
Chapter 1 NOTES
* Nathan Rawlings' signature above was found along with the signature of his brother Asahel on a Harrison
County, Kentucky promissory note executed in mid-1794 just prior joining the Kentucky militia's expedition
with General Anthony Wayne which culminated with the U.S. Army's victory at Fallen Timbers in August.
1. From Family Notes by Bessie Geraldine Rawlings Lathrop (1880-1961) –, great granddaughter of Nathan
Rawlings (Nathan > Benjamin Scott > Luke > Bessie) copies of which are in the possession of the author.
2. Bourbon County, Kentucky Court Records - "Deposition of Nathan Rawlings, age about 34 taken at the
house of Samuel Tharp in Town of Cynthiana, June 5, 1798 or 9, he was in Paris at the house of Lanier,
opposite the Public Ground in company with Proatzman." - This note is from the works of Bessie Rawlings-
Lathrop (annotated later).
3. Washington County, Pennsylvania Intestate Records - 1782. A later record indicates that in May 1785,
Daniel Rawlings, brother to this Nathan, and administrator of his estate, showed to the court that there was a
balance of more than 68 pounds left from the estate settlement and that the "Administrator [was] subject to
distribution according to law"-the Nathan mentioned in this intestate record could not then have been the same
Nathan who in December of 1785, deeded part of "Content" to Andrew Swearingen.
4. Baltimore County, Maryland Deeds, Folio Y #1, page 234.
6. Baltimore County Deed Book #1 - 0331.
7. Virginia Genealogist, vol. 17, p. 214.
8. Will of David Rankin, JR, Harrison County, Kentucky, in which he names his daughter Mary Rawlings, October Court 1795.
9. Estate of Michael Rawlings, Washington County, Pennsylvania - It appears that a promissory not concerning Michael Rawlings' debt to John Preble was executed in 1780. Estate proceedings were underway by 1782.
10. Military Records from Pennsylvania Bureau of Archives and History - data cards (Data Cards)
11. Eckert, A., (1995), That Dark and Bloody River, Bantam Books, New York, NY.
12. Data Cards.
13. Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Series Vol. XI.
14. From American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796.
15. Washington County, Pennsylvania Deed Book 1-B, page 288.
16. Estate of Michael Rawlings, Washington County, Pennsylvania - Joseph Brown's petition for warrant to sell
land previously inhabited by Michael Rawlings - May 1786.
17. Ibid. - Survey Document showing drawing of survey dated 24 Mar 1788.
18. Washington County, Pennsylvania Deed Book 1-D, page 23.
19. Since the Washington County intestate record shows that the elder Nathan Rawlings was deceased by this
time, it must have been the younger of the two who in December of 1785, deeded part of "Content" to Andrew
20. Several references allude to a Michael Rawlings in Ohio during 1785:- Photostat of Northwest Territory
Expenses, listing monies paid for various services provided the military under Josiah Harmar. Michael
Rawlings and others paid 156-11-6 on 3 August 1785 (Copy from National Archives).- April 1785 petition of
inhabitants of the Northwest Territory requesting time to establish homes elsewhere, before being ejected by
military forces under command of Josiah Harmar. Petition contains signature of Michael Rawlings.
21. Shreiner-Yantis, The Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Fayette County, Virginia (now
22. Fayette County, Kentucky Estate Records - Will of Elijah Nuttal (1796), naming daughter Sarah and son-in-
law Daniel Rawlings.
23. Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol.37, p. 379 - From Bourbon County, Kentucky Circuit
Court Records. Note: Col. John Grant (1754-1826), pioneer; salt producer in the Licking Valley. Grant
County, Kentucky was named for him. He was a prominent early settler in Bourbon County and would
probably have known Nathan Rawlings on a personal basis. Founded Grant's Fort, also known as Grant's
Station, and was a Bourbon County settlement located on Houston Creek near Bryan's Station and the
Fayette County line. John Grant, of North Carolina and William Wllis, of Virginia, built this fort in 1779 to
accommodate approximately 20-30 families living at the fast over-crowding Bryan's Station. An Indian war
party attacked here in June of 1780. The fort was burned and two men and one women were killed. It was
rebuilt later in 1784. The Grant family sold the fort and all of its land 14 June 1788 to George Berry.
24. Bourbon County, Kentucky Tax List - 1791.
25. Bessie’s Notes- from family history passed down through descendants of Benjamin Scott Rawlings.
26. Bourbon County, Kentucky Marriage Records (Joshua Rawlings to Sophia Kennedy), and Bourbon County,
Kentucky Wills, will of Joshua Rawlings (1801).
27. From American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796. (American Militia).
28. Executive Journal of Governor Isaac Shelby - Entry for 28 June 1792.
29. American Militia; See also muster rolls and pay rolls for Hall's Regiment - 1793
30. Griswold, Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Indiana, p. 124.
31. Executive Journal of Governor Isaac Shelby - Entry for 19 December 1793 (Shelby)
32. Perrin and Robert, History of Harrison, Bourbon, Scott and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky (1882).
33. See issue for 4 October 1794 - lists injured and killed Kentucky Volunteers.
34. General Wayne - dispatch to the Secretary of War from headquarters at Grand Glaze - 28 August 1794.
35. (Bessie’s Notes); notes from Dr. Thomas Kirkwood, descendant of James Rawlings, son of Nathan Rawlings.
36. Perrin and Robert.
37. Shelby. - 1795
38. Shelby.- Entry for 16 December 1795; Note: The Kentucky Militia was an organized and also an unorganized citizen soldiery dating from the Revolutionary War until the 1850's. For each county in VA (later in KY), the chief executives chose county lieutenants - each holding the rank of Colonel. He enlisted and drilled all able-bodied males 18 to 45 years of age. They did not match the army regulars in their abilities. From the mid 1790's, the militia men supplemented regular soldiers in the northwestern campaigns. They served in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and in the War of 1812. Once the Indian Wars of the Old Northwest ended, the Kentucky Militia found itself outmoded. In 1854, the law stipulated that each county was to conduct only one muster every six
years - and the General Assembly later abolished the Militia.
39. Several references, among them: 1795 Harrison County, Kentucky Tax List; 6 March 1795 arrest warrant
(John Hinds v. Nathan Rawlings); 1796 Harrison County, Kentucky Tax List; 19 Apr 1799 Nathan Rawlings
purchases from James Chambers, Lot #74 in town of Cynthiana, Kentucky; 12 Mar 1801, Nathan Rawlings
and wife Mary purchase 110 acres in Harrison County, Kentucky (land from James Blackburn lying on the
south fork of the Licking River).
40. Ohio Newspapers - 1800-1810; also 1800 Pendleton County, KY Delinquent Tax List – Nathan Rawlings;
also Pickaway County, Ohio Complete Common Pleas Record (1810-1813) , p420-423 “ Phillip North vs
Nathan Rawlins” - the complaint indicates that Nathan Rawlings probably settled in Scioto Township,
Pickaway County, Ohio by 7 October 1801.
41. Brief History of Scioto Twp., Pickaway County, Ohio; Franklin County, Ohio Marriages - Moses
Rawlings to Sally McCandlis - 4 January 1807 by Justice of the Peace Nathan Rawlings.
42. Interview with Washington Rawlings (1835-1916) recorded by his daughter Ellen Rawlings Eades (1871-
1948) in Portland Oregon - 1912.
43. From The Combined Histories of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, p.71.; Nathan
probably did not settle permanently in Illinois until about 1816, as he was still a listed taxpayer in Pickaway
County, Ohio in 1812 (See Ohio 1812 Taxpayers).
44. Ibid., p.229.
45. Ibid., p.327.
46. Old Spring Hill Cemetery Records (stone), Lawrence County, Illinois.
47. The Denny Genealogy, Second Book (1944) says that Letitia was the daughter of Moses and Mary Cornwell Rawlings; However, it also indicates she was born about 1790. Her first son was Nathan Denny, and in her 1806 marriage, it was with the "consent of her father", Nathan Rawlings. But it also appears that Michael Rawlings, the eldest son of Nathan, was born about 1785 (+ or -), so Nathan probably was married before settling in Kentucky - perhaps in Ohio or while still living in Pennsylvania.
48. Fredrick County, Virginia Wills - will of Thomas Province (1767), naming daughter Hannah Rankin; also Harrison County, Kentucky will of David Rankin, JR (1795), naming wife Hannah Rankin and daughter Mary Rawlings.
49. 1820 Federal Census – Edwards County, Illinois - What became of her following that year is not known; however, during the 1820 census of Edwards County, Illinois, Nathan did have a female living with him above the age of 45.
Chapter 2 NOTES
1. From Family Notes by Bessie Geraldine Rawlings Lathrop Bessie Lathrop was the great grand-daughter of Nathan Rawlings. Her father was Luke Rawlings and her grandfather was Benjamin Scott Rawlings. Bessie Lathrop died in 1961.
2. According to a story written by Dr. Tom Kirkwood in the early 1970’s, the Veteran’s Administration gravemarker was placed over Nathan’s gravesite in Old Spring Hill Cemetery outside of Bridgeport, Illinois during that time period. Dr. Kirkwood was a direct descendant of Nathan Rawlings, and lived in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Dr. Kirkwood (1888-1982) passed away in Lawrence County, Illinois
3. Bourbon County, Kentucky Court Records - "Deposition of Nathan Rawlings, age about 34 taken at the house of Samuel Tharp in Town of Cynthiana, June 5, 1798 or 9, he was in Paris at the house of Lanier, opposite the Public Ground in company with Proatzman." - This note is from the works of Bessie Rawlings-Lathrop (annotated later)
4. This is pure conjecture; however, it would appear that this Nathan’s death and the death of Michael Rawlings during the same short time span lends credence to the story concerning the Gnadenhutten incident mentioned in Chapter 1. (see Chapter 1, note 11).
6. Military Records from Pennsylvania Bureau of Archives and History - data cards (Data Cards)
7. As the Washington County Records indeed point out that there was another Nathan, it cannot be certain which Nathan served when, except that the Nathan who was deceased by 1782 was not the same man who in 1788 received a certificate for service.
8. Data Cards. It is uncertain exactly what time periods Nathan was on the roll of Captain Charles Bilderback’s company, though it is certain he served for a time.
9. Because Nathan was almost certainly born between 1750 and 1765, he can be determined to have been born while his parents were still living in the vicinity of Chattom, in Baltimore County, Maryland.
10. Ibid.; also Baltimore County, Maryland Deed Records. Daniel Rawlings, Sr. to Michael Rawlings
11. Contemporary records indicate a Michael Rawlings was in Washington County by the mid-1770s. According to Boyd Crumrine’s History of Washington County, PA (1882) , p. 185, "At a council of war held at Catfish Camp, in the district of West Augusta, on Tuesday the 28th day of January, Anno Domini, 1777, there were present:… "Captains – ….Michael Rawlings….”
12. Data Cards. During the American Revolution, Nathan Rawlings served in Captain Andrew Swearingen's company of Washington County, Pennsylvania militiamen, and was a ranger on the frontier (1778-1783) serving in Captain Charles Bilderbeck's company from the same county. He was issued a certificate for this service 25 March 1788.
13. Washington County, Pennsylvania Deed Records - Nathan Rawlings to Andrew Swearingen. In a deed recorded in Washington County on 7 December 1785, Nathan Rawlings sold the following for 60 pounds Pennsylvania currency to Andrew Swearingen, his former Captain from the Revolution: “A certain tract of land on the waters of Shertees Creeke containing one hundred acres of land adjoining lands of James Alison on the south side, James Morsin on ye west, James Campbell and Andrew Ritchie on ye north and bounded by the
WIDOW ROLINGS on the east." 15
14. Other than references to Revolutionary War service, there are no references in the public record that show for certain the Nathan Rawlings who was the son of Michael of Washington County, Pennsylvania.
15. Washington County, Pennsylvania Estate Records – Michael Rawlings Estate – statement by the executor, Joseph Brown, that the widow and heirs had departed – this statement made 1786. (Joseph Brown)
16. Petition to the Congress of the United States of America… asking for for additional time before moving south to Kentucky, dated April 1785; Petition to Colonel Josiah Harmar 15 Apr 1785 "in reference to the order to remove off the lands to the west of the Ohio” asking for a few weeks more (US National Archives Microfilm Series M247, Roll 180, I.163, pp.418-420; See also Petition to Harmar by “William Hoagland” and John Nixon dated 30 August 1785 “in behalf of the inhabitants of the western side of the Ohio” asking for permission to stay on their lands long enough to gather their crops. Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol.1, pp. 88-91. All three petitions contain the signature of Michael Rawlings.
1785 (US National Archives Microfilm Series M247, Roll 51, I.41, pp.320-321.)
17. Joseph Brown.
18. Certainly, Nathan was not yet married when he first entered Pennsylvania. However, he and Mary Rankin very likely met in Pennsylvania, as Mary’s family was living there by the mid-1780’s. Since their first child appears to have been born in Ohio, it is near certainty that they were married there, or in Pennsylvania a short time before migrating west to Ohio.
19. 1880 Federal Census - Cumberland County, Illinois (Greenup TWP) ED 63, p. 27/513 – Nathan Rolins.
20. Ensign Ebenezer Denny to Harmar, August 23, 1785, Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol. 1, p. 85-87; Richard Butler to Harmar, October 4, 1785, Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol. 1, p. 99; Major John Doughty to Harmar, November 30, 1785, Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol. 1, p. 105; Harmar's Diary, entry for July 19, 1786, Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol. 1, p. 161; Captain Mercer to Captain J. F. Hamtramck, August 5, 1786, Harmar Papers, Draper Collection, vol. 1, p. 181; Smith, St. Clair Papers, 2:14. (as written in Ohio Arch. and Historical Society Publications, vol. 43, pp.281-2) – “Next there came Major John Doughty in November who reported to Harmar from the mouth of the Muskingum, ‘I destroyed by fire every house I could meet with on the Federal territory, amounting to forty in all. Notwithstanding which I am firmly of opinion that many will be re-built, for the poor devils have nowhere to go. Many of the houses that were destroyed last spring, I found re-built and inhabited.’ And in the summer of 1786 Captain John Francis Hamtramck was stationed at Mingo Bottom with one hundred and sixty men "to make diligent search for" squatters and to ‘destroy their dwellings.’ On August 5 one of Hamtramck's officers reported the destruction of one corn-house, twelve hundred rails, over twenty five acres of corn and nine houses.”
21. Hoagland; also, Virginia State Library Collection (Richmond), Revolutionary War Records – NW Territory
Expenses (1785) entry #514, to Michael Rawlings and others for sundries.
22. Shreiner-Yantis, The Personal Property tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Fayette County, Virginia (now
23. Ohio Newspapers - 1800-1810; also 1800 Pendleton County, Kentucky Delinquent Tax List – Nathan Rawlings.
24. Brief History of Scioto Twp., Pickaway County, Ohio – Indicates that Nathan lived in upper Scioto Township, Pickaway County, Ohio, which is just south of the Franklin County line.
25. Nathan Rawlings was living in Edwards County, Illinois in 1820. He is buried in Lawrence County, Illinois, near Bridgeport. The area that encompasses Bridgeport was part of Edwards County in 1821.
26. From The Combined Histories of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, p.229.
27. Asahel Rawlings died in Knox County, Indiana in 1814. Public records in Kentucky show he was probably living in Kentucky no later than about 1804.
28. There is one document in Nathan Rawlings’ Lawrence County, Illinois estate record, signed by his sonBenjamin Scott in 1821 referencing his father’s estate.
29. The area of Lawrence County, Illinois that encompasses Bridgeport was part of Edwards County during the time of the 1820 federal census of Illinois.
30. In 1821, Nathan would have been about 56 years old if he was born about 1765. He would have been about 71 years old if born in 1750.
31. 1820 Federal Census – Edwards County, Illinois.
32. From The Combined Histories of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties, Illinois, p.327.
33. Ibid., (p.229).
34. Mary Rankin-Rawlings signed an original deed with her husband, selling land in Ohio in 1809. Deed is in possession of author.
35. 1820 Federal Census – Edwards County, Illinois.