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The 'Rightmire Report'

Chapter IV. James Rightmire, Sr. and Elizabeth Daugherty

(1) James Rightmire, Sr. was born in Virginia in about 1779. He married Elizabeth Daugherty on July 27, 1802. The 1830 census notes that Elizabeth was 50/60 years old. That would give Elizabeth's birth date as somewhere between 1770 and 1780.

One of the first searches I did was the Virginia Marriage Index, 1740-1850 and I found the following:

Groom: James Rightmire Bride: Elizabeth Daugherty
Marriage Date: 27 July 1802 County: Monongalia, Virginia

Vernon Vinzant provided further confirmation in a reference in the book, "Early Marriages, Monongalia County, Virginia" by Helen Brodine, Weirton, West Virginia, Vol. XLII, March 1954, pg. 12:

"Elizabeth Daugherty married James Rightmire in Monongalia Co. Virginia on July 27, 1802 by a Reverend John Patterson."

James, Sr, and Elizabeth came to Union Township, Knox County, Ohio sometime around 1808 or earlier. We know they were in Ohio in 1809 from the book, "A History of Knox County, Ohio from 1779 to 1862". The author noted that on October 10th, 1809, James Rightmire, along with John Wood and Thomas Elwell, were named "Judges of Election".

At that time, Indians were the primary residents of Ohio. The first white people to settle in the area came to Union Township about 1806 or 1807. George Sapp, Sr. settled first in Union Township about 1806. Other settlers that became an important part of the Rightmire heritage are the Critchfields and the Welkers. Indeed, as we will see, three Critchfield women and three Rightmire men married during those early days. And I remember the Welkers as being very close friends of Grandma and Grandpa Rightmire (Mary Alice and Winfield Scott).

James, Sr. was a captain in the war of 1812. Capt. James Rightmire served from May 4, 1812 until May 19, 1813 and again from Sept 8, 1814 until March 5, 1815. He served in Russell's Battalion, Ohio Militia, and 6th Regiment, Ohio Militia

During 1812, President Madison granted James, Sr. and Elizabeth 160 acres in Union Township. It is not clear to me whether this was a reward for serving in the war or just a routine land grant. For some reason, James and Elizabeth sold that land to Isaac and Margaret Draper of Coshocton County in 1821, but bought it back several years later, in 1838.

Elizabeth Daugherty Rightmire probably died sometime between 1839 and 1849. Land sales documents show that she was alive in 1838, but in a later land sale in 1849, she was no longer listed on the sales document. We interpret that as indicating she was not alive at the time of the second sale.

James, Sr. probably died in 1863. Alice Beyke sent me the information on his will. It was found by Judith Mumea who lives in Hardin County, Ohio. It is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it clearly shows when he died. But, perhaps more importantly, it eliminates some of the doubt about who his children were. The following excerpts from the will are interesting reading:

"I give and devise all the residue of my estate to my beloved daughter Mahala Trott excepting the following claims:"

"First the several notes of hand I hold on my son Harrison amounting to about eighty two dollars besides interest. Secondly, one note of hand that I hold on my son James for eighty dollars. Thirdly one note on my son John for one hundred dollars also one claim against the estate of my son Benjamin for thirty five dollars, ......."

"Claims on a note that I hold on Charles Simpkins & John Madden of the State of California the amount not exactly known....to be divided as follows, towit: Equally divided between my children excepting Mahala Trott and my son William as I consider that William has already received his full share............."

"In testimony hereof I have hereinto set my hand and seal this 4th day of September1861.
James Rightmire, Senior"

Of most interest to my sisters, brothers and me is his reference to his "son Harrison". Harrison Rightmire is our great-grandfather. There has been some confusion about whether Harrison is really W. Harrison Rightmire or even W. John Harrison Rightmire. It probably doesn't really matter. I think it is clear that our great-grandfather went by the name, Harrison, and that James, Sr. was his father.

Elizabeth is buried in the Hollister Cemetery, located about 35 miles from Mt. Vernon. The cemetery is on the west side of Zuck road, two miles south of Walhonding Rd. (State Road 715). This is 12 miles southeast of the town of Millwood, Knox County, Ohio. There is a grave stone in this cemetery for Elizabeth Rightmire, but it is broken and the writing unintelligible. Several of their children were buried in the same cemetery. We are not sure where James, Sr. is buried. There seem to be two choices: The Hollister Cemetery along with Elizabeth or in Hardin County where his will was probated.

Carol J. White, one of the active participants in the Rightmire email genealogy group has taken pictures of three of the gravestones in Hollister cemetery. Hollister cemetery is hard to find. As Carol states: "I had made two trips up there and had never found it. I called the Genealogy Society, and the corresponding secretary and her husband went out and took pictures of the outside site to be able to explain to me where it was located. If they hadn't done that I would not have been able to find it on my own. Now someone has cut down a lot of trees outside as well as inside and you can see the crumbling stone from the road. Behind the cemetery is a sort of junk yard with the phone number painted on the north side of the cemetery wall; that is how I finally located the site"

Below is a picture of Elizabeth Daugherty Rightmire's gravestone in Hollister Cemetery.

Picture by Carol J. White.

Carol does note that: "If you look closely, you can read Elizabeth's stone as being the wife of James, and bottom being Rightmire." You may be able to see those in this picture. The color photo shows it fairly clearly.

James, Sr. and Elizabeth's twelve children are:

(2) Mary (Polly) Rightmire, born about 1804 in Virginia. (Chapter VI)
(2) Elizabeth Rightmire, probably born in 1806 or 1807. (Chapter VII)
(2) James Rightmire, Jr., born in 1807. (Chapter VIII)
(2) Benjamin Rightmire, born on March 17, 1809. (Chapter IX)
(2) Sarah Rightmire, born between 1809 and 1811. (Chapter X)
(2) John Rightmire, born between 1810 and 1811. (Chapter XI)
(2) Jane Rightmire, born on June 12, 1812. (Chapter XII)
(2) William Rightmire, born between 1813 and 1814. (Chapter XIII)
(2) Issac Rightmire, born April 30, 1814. (Chapter XIV)
(2) Harrison Rightmire, born in 1816. (Chapter XV)
(2) Mahala Rightmire, born between 1821 and 1822. (Chapter XVI)
(2) Abraham D. Rightmire, born in March, 1822. (Chapter XVII)

These families and their movements form an interesting history of our "family". We need to recognize, as noted earlier, that the documentation of this history is weak in many spots. While I believe most of the story is true, there is still much uncertainty. Records are rather limited, and on occasion, some records are wrong.

Addendum: Family of Elizabeth Daugherty

The Daugherty family is an important part of our family. We are not only direct descendents of James Rightmire, Sr. but are also direct descendants of Elizabeth Daugherty. Although this report focuses primarily on the Rightmire side of this family, I felt it well worth wild to add this section to include recent information on the Daugherty side of the family.

Monongalia County (West) Virginia Records of the District Court Superior and County Courts record that on July 18, 1803, "-- Abraham Elliott and Jane his wife, Mary Clark, James Rightmire and Elizabeth his wife, Heirs of William Daugherty, summoned "to show cause, if any why the road viewed and laid out by Abraham Woodring through
their land shall not be opened agreeably thereto…" This statement confirms that Elizabeth Daugherty's father was William Daugherty and there were at least three daughters in the family: Elizabeth, Jane, and Mary. We also know that Elizabeth had a brother, Jarvis Daugherty from a reply by Jane McCann Walsh to an email from Alice Beyke. Jane provided the following information on the Daugherty family:

Page 406 of Samuel Wiley's "History of Preston County," first published in 1882:

"William Dougherty, father of Jarvis, lived near what is now St. Joe, and owned a large amount of land. In 1794, William Elliott married Jane Dougherty, William's daughter. Abraham Elliott got land of Wm. Dougherty, his father in-law, and settled where Elliott Crane now lives. Abraham had 11 children. Among this number were William, father of Dr. Felix Elliott; John, father of Captain William Elliott; Sarah, wife of Calvin Crane; Mary, wife of Jacob Crane; and Andrusilla, wife of Robert Forman."

Jane notes that Morton might have had this a bit wrong, or perhaps William Dougherty was John William or William John Dougherty. In his history of Preston, first published in 1914, on p. 341, Morton writes:

"John Dougherty, whose daughter wedded the pioneer Elliott, was on the Cheat in 1774, and two years later was living on Elliott Ridge, which overlooks Albright. Until recently the surname lingered in Preston. It gave designation to Dority Run and Dority postoffice."

On p. 342, Morton writes about the Elliotts:

"Abraham, William, and Edward Elliott were brothers who left the James River after the close of the French and Indian War, and settled in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, Elliottsville receiving its name from them. Abraham was single, and Edward moved on to Kentucky. Thomas, the oldest of the sons of William, made a trip to Preston, and this caused Abraham, a younger son, to do likewise. In 1793, when a youth of twenty, he walked to Morgantown, and thence through the forest to the cabin of John Dougherty, which stood a little east of Albright, on the John C. Crane farm. He remained several days. The pioneer had a daughter and her name was Jane. Abraham looked upon Jane, and Jane looked upon Abraham. The youth told the pioneer he liked Jane and must have her. The pioneer diplomatically referred the decision to the maiden herself, who pronounced the acquaintance too brief. Yet when early flowers were abloom in 1794, Abraham came on horseback, and Jane rode behind him into Pennsylvania.

But after a year or so, the young couple returned to Dougherty's and made their home on the same ridge, since known as Elliott's Ridge. The descendants of their sons, William and John, are numerous in Preston. Felix, a son of the former, was Baptist preacher and also a physician. He was the father of Edward S., a college graduate and attorney and of Fleix, Jr., the cashier. Captain William, the oldest son of John, was a deputy sheriff and in the Civil War an assistant quartermaster. His son, A. Judson, is a miller of Terra Alta."

On p. 427, Morton gives the following information on Abraham Elliott's family:

Abraham born about 1773, died in 1845. He married (1) Jane Dougherty, then (2) Mrs. Rebecca Dewitt.

Children of Abraham and Jane Daugherty were:

William married Susan Jeffers
Mary E. married Jacob Crane
Elizabeth married Samuel Jeffers
Rebecca single
John born 1801, married Elizabeth Meredith
Jane born 1806, died 1886, married Calvin Crane
Sarah married (1) John S. Graham, then (2) Jacob Crane
Drusilla married Robert Forman
Susan married Abraham Jeffers
Rachel married Henry Cress
Margery married Jonathan Forman