ALEXANDER KEITH OF BALTIMORE COUNTY MARYLAND
By Arthur L. Keith
Edited by David S Keith
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, numerous persons of Keith name emigrated to the Colonies. Probably every one of the thirteen Colonies received some of these emigrants before the Revolution. The writer (Athur L. Keith) sees no value in the effort to integrate these various emigrants along with their descendants into one pattern simply on the basis of the common possession of the Keith name. Many of them were undoubtedly more closely related to their Smith and Jones and Brown neighbors than to other Keiths. The present account deals only with Alexander Keith of Baltimore County, Maryland, and his descendants.
Scotland was of course the breeding place of the Keiths. There the family emerged into notice about 1000 A.D. The origin of the name is doubtful. Some have supposed it derived from Chatti, a war-like people of Germany who were driven from their homeland by Romans in the first centuries of our era. They are supposed to have crossed the North Sea and Settled in to the present Caithness, which took its name from them and from which the name Keith might conceivably have arisen. In the case the name would ultimately be of Teutonic Origin. Others connect the name with a Celtic root meaning dam and in that case Keith would be a place-name just as ford, wood, hill, and many others. Whatever the origin of the name, which will probably never be known certainly, the blood of the clan from the remote centuries has been an admixture of Teutonic and Celtic elements. The writer has been seen representatives of many Keith lines and he has observed that they are generally far more Anglo-Saxon than Irish and Highland Scotch in looks. The writer disclaims any particular acquaintance with racial origins but if any one has such an interest he may be referred to Sir Arthur Keith of London who while totally unconcerned in his immediate personal ancestry, is the world's leading on the genetic origin of man.
The Keith name was once prominent in the Scottish annals. Buchan more than 100 years ago wrote an account of Ancient and Noble family of Keith, Earls of Marischal of Scotland, which has been the ultimate source of information in regard to this branch. Buchan assumes to trace the Noble line back to Robert Keith, a chief of the Chatti, who gained his distinction and his knighthood in 1696 by slaying with his own hands the leader of the invading Danes. From Sir Robert Keith there follows a long line of Keiths of Keiths, all Sirs, for about 400 years, and then begins the line of ten Earls Marischal terminating in 1715 with George Keith whose estates and Title forfeited in consequence of his having espoused the cause of the Stuart pretender. Buchan's account back of the 1400 lacks substantial evidence. After that time it is perhaps dependable. However the present writer has little interest in such matters as a so-called noble ancestry and coats-of-arms and deplores a common tendency of today on the part of Americans to make silly and unsubstantial claims which make them look ridiculous to all intelligent people.
Genealogical research that seeks the simple truth justifies itself. When the truth is disregarded and fictitious claims are maintained genealogy earns its full measure of odium. In spite of claims to the contrary, there is not a Keith in our country who can prove any connection with the Earls Marischal at some common ancestor. That there was any closer connection is easily disproved by the following known facts. Bishop Robert Keith, born 1681, published in 1750 a tract, which the present writer (A.L. Keith) has before him, which proved conclusively that he and his three grand-nephews, Alexander, Robert and John Keith, are the nearest representatives then living of William Lord Keith, third Earl Marischal, who was living in 1514, excepting of course, George Keith, tenth Earl Marischal and his brother General James Francis, Edward Keith, who were then in exile, both of whom left no issue. Upon death of George Keith in 1778 Bishop Robert Keith's grand-nephews were acknowledged as the undoubted lineal representatives in the male line of the Earls Marischal of Scotland, and they had to go back to at least 1514 for their connection. There may have been many descendants along female lines. Bishop Robert Keith himself left a daughter whose descendants may be living today, but they do not bear the Keith name. The Bishop's three grand-nephews also left no male issue and thus the male line from William Lord Keith, the third Earl Marischal, became extinct. After due inquiry and investigation the General Service on Sept 24, 1782 found that George Keith of Northfield was the nearest representative of the Earls Marischal and it was found that his line sprang from the Earls Marischal prior to 1400. This would seem to settle the matter for all time. The Keiths of America have no provable claim to the connection with the noble family of Scotland. In the interest of truth so much should be admitted.
Alexander Keith of Baltimore County, Maryland was born about 1681 undoubtedly in Scotland, for in this respect we may trust tradition. Other emigrant Keiths came from Ireland and are the so-called Scotch-Irish, though they may have been as surely Scotch as these who came directly from Scotland. Alexander Keith's motive in venturing to the new world can only be guessed at. They may have been economic only, or the spirit of adventure may have led him to break home ties. We have no clue as to his religious faith unless the fact that his death is given in the records of the Church of England(Episcopal) may indicate that he was of that faith. His son John Keith was certainly a Baptist as were also many of his descendants. It was probably no desire to seek religious freedom that brought him to the new continent. He may have been attracted to our shores through the fact that friends or kinsman had preceded him. But he had no known connection with any other Keiths in the colonies at that time. One George Keith processed him to Maryland by about forty years, settling in St. Mary's County but notwithstanding the fact that one published account makes Alexander and George brothers there is not a scintilla of evidence to prove it.
Apparently soon after his arrival in Maryland Alexander Keith married Christian(Christianne), daughter of William Forfar (Farfar and otherwise). Before 1680 we find both Keiths and Forfars living in the parish of Feteresse, Kincardenshire, Scotland. Possibly William Forfar and Alexander originated from that district. Future genealogists might explore that possibility.
Alexander Keith in a deposition now in the Land Office at Annapolis on Nov. 20, 1718 gave his age as 37 years. We are safe in then giving 1681 or about that as the date of his birth. As we shall see later he died July 2, 1721, that is, at about the age of forty years. On the same date, Nov 20, 1718 William Farfarr deposing on the same matter gave his age as about 69 years, therefore born about 1649. We may feel somewhat certain about these ages and that they are not loose approximations, as when ages are given as 30, 35 or 40(multiples of five).
William Forfar had but one child, Christian (at least who grew to maturity). Since all the descendants of Alexander descend also from William Forfar. I digress to give what is known of him.
The name is found as Farfar, Farrfarr, Farfer, Farfer, Farfarr, Fairfar, Farfare, Forfare, Farfour, and perhaps otherwise. He was undoubtedly of Scotland which has a county and town named Farfar. As a surname it is very rare both in Scotland and America. In Scotland it is regarded as the same as Forquhar. William Forfar fist appears on the Baltimore records in 1692. After that his name is found frequently until his death in 1722. The first mention of his name as William Forfar is found in a list of taxable on the north side of the Patapsco. In the same list appear the names of John Harriman, Moses Edwards, Francis Watkinds, and Tobias Starnborrow, all of whom are associated later with his name. On Oct. 20, 1692 Luke Raven and William Fairfar were appraisers of the estate of John Ashos (?). On Mch 4, 1692 (1693 of course by new style) William Fairfar and Joan, his wife, present account of Lewis Barton, dec’d. Joan is given as relict and administratrix. John Hayes and Richard Gardner were the securities to the account of 9132 pounds of tobacco. Lewis Barton and his wife Johanna first appear in Baltimore records in 1682. The last appearance of Lewis Barton is found dated Julie 25, 1688. Between that date and Mch 4, 1693 Lewis Barton died and William Forfar married his widow. Since William Forfar’s daughter Christianne married in or prior to February 1709 to Alexander Keith, she might have been the daughter of Johanna (Joan), widow of Lewis Barton, by her second husband William Forfar. If born in 1693 she would not need to be under 15 at the time of her marriage to Alexander Keith. It is more likely however that William Forfar who was born about 1649 was Christianne’s father by a former marriage. In November, 1695 William Farfar was one of the jurors in the suit of John Taylor vs Cornelius Harrington. In September, 1696 William Farfar with Nicholas Fitzsymons was security for Robuck Lymch, administrator of Samuel Greenwood of Baltimore County. In May 1696 William Farfor presents account as administrator of Lewis Barton. On Aug. 3, 1698 John Lekmes (?) and William Farfar were securities for Thomas Smith, administrator of Humphrey Day.
In 1699 William Farfar was taxable on the north side of the Patapsco River, along with John Barrett, Tobias Stanborough, John Harriman, George Hopum, Nathanial Corbin, and others associate with him later. In May 1699 William Farfar and Danial (?) Swendell (?) were appraisers of estate of Isaac Maxwell. In 1699(?) William Farfar and Isaack Sampson were sureties for Joseph Pake (?), administrator of James Peake, dec’d 200 pounds sterling.
On June 6, 1699 William Forfare bought “Prospect”, 60 acres, on one side of the branch of Back River, of Robert Banger and wife Deborah. The deed was witnessed by James Kethuen and Tho Meriweather. On Feb. 27, 1704 William Farrfarr received patent for “Deer Bitt”, 665 acres near run descending into Back River. Marginal note in record states that the total number of acres was 470. This patent was based upon a warrant for 300 acres to said Farfarr, dated Apr 29, 1703, upon another for 300 acres, dated Apr 11, 1703, and upon a third for 65 acres dated Feb 25, 1704. Later the patent for 665 acres was surrendered and a new patent for 470 acres was issued to said William Farfar. This land lay between Moore Run and Herring Run within the present limits of Baltimore City on the northeast side. On Mch 5, 1705 William Farfar and wife Johanah sold to Nicholas Fitzsimmons part of “Dear Bitt,” 219 acres, at the head of the Back River. Both William Farfar and wife make their marks. The deed was witnessed by John Knowls and John Roberts. On Nov. 6, 1705 William Farfar bought of Francis Watkins a parcel of land called “Shrewsbury,” 65 acres, lying on a run of Back River called Stony Run. The deed was witnessed by Moses Edwards and William Wilkinson. “Shrowsbury” was surveyed Feb. 9, 1687 for Francis Watkins, patented June 12, 1688. The Rent Rolls of Baltimore County give its further history thus: Christian Keif bought from William Farfar and uxor, Feb. 26 1708; Francis Rider bought from John Keeth, Apr 9, 1743
On Feb. 26 1708/9 William Farfar sold to “my beloved daughter Christian Keith” a parcel of land called “Dear bit”, part of a tract called Shrewsbury, the same to descend to her loving husband Alexander Keith if she would die. Johanna signs with her husband. The pronoun “my” used in this deed suggest that Christian was not Johanna’s daughter. The deed was witnessed by John Gibbins and Andrew Anderson. The number of acres seems to have been 65 and it was the tract bought of Francis Watkins in 1705. Farrfarr’s Favour, 100 acres was surveyed for William Farfar on Mch 5. 1709, on the north side of the Back River. In November, 1708 William Farfarr was a juror. In June, 1709 William Farfar, planter, sued James Boreing for debt, 364 pounds of tobacco and won the suit. In November, 1709 William farfar suid James Boreing for trespass. In Julye, 1710 William Farfare and John Barrett were sureties for Sarah Starnbrough (Stansbury), administratrix of Tobias Starnbrough. On Feb. 28, 1712 William Farfar and wife Elenar Farfar of Back River sold to John Barrett of Patapscoe River a tract of land called “Barrett’s Rest”, being part of a larger tact called “Dear Bit”, granted by patent to said Farfar, Feb 27, 1704. The land lay at the head of Back River and joined Nicholas Fitzsmmons. The price paid was 12000 pounds of tobacco for 256 acres. The deed was witnessed by Nicholas Rogers and Thomas Cromwell. From this deed we learn that Johanna, wife of William Farfar, had died some time after Feb 26, 1709 and William had taken wife Elenor. She was the widow of John Harriman who made will in Baltimore County, Feb 4, 1710/1711, probated Feb 15, 1710/1711, in which will he mentions wife Eleanor, and sons John, Samuel, Thomas, George, and Charles. Samuel Harryman is mentioned in the William Forfar’s will as son-in-law Dec 25, 1721. Eleanor is not mentioned in this will. Apparently she predeceased him. In November, 1714 Fre Ballahide brought suit against William Farfar and wife Eleanor, administrator of John Harryman. On Sept 1, 1733, that is, 11 years after Farfar’s death, John Farryman, aged 39, deposed that William Farfar had told him so and so in regard to a tract called “Thurrell’s Neck”. On Nov. 20, 1718 Alexander Keith aged about 37, and William Farfarr, aged 69 deposed in regard to disputed land. In their testimony the names of Thomas Cannon, John Fitskedmond (?), and Mr. Francis Watkins are mentioned. In November, 1718 William Farfar’s petition to be levy-free was granted by the court.
William Farfar of Baltmore County made will Dec 26, 1721 probated Mch 27, 1721/22. The will was witnessed by George Harryman, Jane Hopum, and Peter Arnold. A codicil dated Dec. 27, 1721 was witnessed by Samuel Harryman, Jane Hoppum, Christn Keeth, and Peter Arnold. The testator leaves to grandson Alexander Keeth and heirs part of “Shrewbury” and “Dear bit”, joining and running with John Barret’s line and down the branch of “Sickmore Rest”. He mentions son-in-law (stepson) Samuel Harryman who is to keep cow and calf of Alexander Keeth until he comes of age. In the codicil he gives it as his desire as well that of his daughter Christianne Keeth that Alex Grant should take care of his two grandsons Jno. Keeth and Alexr Keeth and bring then up until they are twenty. William Farrfarr’s will and executor’s bond are presented Mch 27, 1721/22 by Samuel Harryman. Sureties were Nathl Darby and Jacob Peacock. The inventory of Capt. Wm Farfar was presented Aug 18, 1722 by Samuel Harryman, the administrator. The appraisers were Jonas Bowen and Luke Trotten. No kindred given. Creditors were John Harryman and Tho Sherodine. The valuation of his estate was given as 44.12. 3. Amounts due the estate from Loyd Harris, Sam. W. Maxwell, and from the County. What service he had rendered the county is not known. Neither is it known why he is called Captain. In 1724 Samuel Harryman made account as administrator of William Farrfarr.
William Forfar’s land holdings seen to be accounted for excepting “Prospect”, 60 acres, bought of Robert Banger in 1699, and “Farfarr’s Favour”, 100 acres, surveyed in 1709. No record of their alienations has been found.
ALEXANDER KEITH (RESUMED)
The land which Alexander Keith bought (through his wife) of William Forfar was probably within the present limits of the city of Baltimore. There Alexander Keith and wife Christianne began their wedded life and their two sons John and Alexander were born and there William Forfar and his daughter Christianne Keith sleep quietly amid the tumult of a great city.
In March, 1713 and November, 1713 and March, 1714 Alexander Keith served as juror. On June 21, 1717 John Barrett of Baltimore County made will, probated Mch 24, 1717/18, in which he mentions grandson Nick Corbin, eldest son of Edward Corbin, wife Alice, John Reyston, James Wells, John Keith, son of Alexander Keith (to whom he leaves two heifers three years old). The will was witnessed by Alex. Keith, Kath. Lindall, and Moses Edwards. In 1712 John Barret had bought land of William Farfar. The reason for his interest in the son of Alexander does not appear. On Nov. 10 (also given Nov. 20), 1718 Alexander Keith, age 37 years, in a dispute about “Dickson’s Neck”, Baltimore County deposed that he and a certain Thomas Cannon being disposed to take up land laid a warrant on a piece of land which upon enquiry he found Dickson’s land and that thereupon he relinquished it.
Alexander Keith died July 2, 1721. His death is record in the register of St. Anne’s Parish at Annapolis. It is not clear why his death was recorded there for his home was certainly in Baltimore County. As we shall see later he was in dept when he died to D. Dulany of Annapolis. His death may have occurred while he was visiting Dulany in regard to his dept. This will of William Farfar, dated Dec 26, 1721 clearly proved that his son-in-law was no longer living. Alexander Keith died intestate, aged about 40 years. He would likely be buried where he died, namely, at Annapolis. There is no further record of Christianne Keith. In her readiness to hive over her sons to Alexander Grant, as shown by William Forfar’s will, we may have an indication that she also was expecting death soon.
In March, 1722 Alexander Grant petitioned the court for leave to take the two young sons left by Alexander Keith to the care of their grandfather who is lately dead and who on his death bed desired that such be done. Petitioner desires possessions of their land and cattle during their minority. The court grants petition of Alexander grand and his wife Mary and orders that the income of the estate be used for their education and that their land be returned to them at 21.
On Aug 20, 1722 John Lancaster presents bond of administration on estate of Alexander Keith, dec’d. Sureties were Thomas Hicks and Philip Lindall to the amount of 40 pounds. In 1724 John Lancaster administrator of Alex. Keith. Made account. In November, 1726 Alexander Grant again petitioned the court. He reminds the court that he was appointed guardian of the two orphan sons of Alexander Keith, late of this county; he mentions a small tract of land the only filial portion which was left and said orphans by their father; refers to the fact that the court at the petitioner’s request had asked John Israel to view and report on this land, which he had neglected to do till his death, after which the court had asked John Willmott (?) and Luke Stansbury to view land; that the petitioner had asked John Cockey to meet the gentleman on said land and to administer oath, which he refused to do; that the gentlemen met and assessed rent at 600 pounds of tobacco which the petitioner deems too much for the land, as the land is of no advantage being without fencing and other conveniences. Petitioner asks to be relieved from the care of the land while agreeing to take Christian care of the said orphans. The court orders that John Merryman and Nicholas Haile (?) value the said land again and apply to Mr. Cockey as a Justice to qualify the said appraisers. On Feb 21. 1729 D. Dulany offered petition stating that Alexander Keith late of Baltimore County died in the petitioner’s debt and that administration of his estate had been trusted to John Lancaster who wasted the deceased’s estate and ran away, and asks that remedy be had from the administrator’s sureties, which was granted. From these records it appears that the two orphan sons of Alexander Keith had been cast upon the world in a practically penniless condition. The only land which Alexander Keith had was probably of no great value being without fencing and other conveniences. Whatsoever personal goods he left seems to have been taken from the orphans by the administrator, John Lancaster.
1. Alexander Keith, born about 1681, died July 2, 1721, arrived in Maryland before 1709, married Christianne Forfar in or before February, 1709. Issue:
2. i. John Keith
3. ii. Alexander Keith
2. John Keith (son of Alexander Keith, 1) was born 1710, probably within the limits of present City of Baltimore. Aside from the records given above, his name does not appear again until Apr 9, 1743 on which date John Keeth and wife Katherine of Baltimore Co, MD. Sold to Francis Rider a parcel of land called dear bitt”, part of another tract called “Shrewsbury” 65 acres for 7000 pounds of tobacco. William Rogers and Thos Nolan (?) witnessed the deed. The name of the tract completely identifies his as the son of Alexander Keith (1). The identification of this John Keith with John Keith of Fredrick Co., Va is obtained by a more circuitous, though is no less convincing route. This route lies through a volume of records in the Superior Court of Baltimore County, running from August 1743 to 1745 in which volume on page 691 is found the record of a suit brought by William Chitwynd & Com vs Jacob Young. It appears that the sheriff of Baltimore County had been directed on Mch 4, 1743 to cite Jacob Young to answer to the court to be held at Joppa on the first Tuesday in June, 1743. The sheriff had produced the said Jacob Young at this session. The plaintiffs allege that the said Jacob Young on June 30, 1742 in Baltimore County had received from John Hunt, who was in the service of this company by the name Principee Company, a bond of a certain William Dunleps and Adam Sharls for the payment of 9 pounds Pennsylvania currency or 12 pounds Maryland currency. The which said Jacob Young agreed in day and year aforesaid to return within 9 months but said Jacob did not return said bond or value thereof. William Chitwynd & Com demand damages to 25 pounds currency money. The suit was postponed from the court to court until August, 1745 at which court judgment is given against him. We now pass to Fredrick Co., Va. There in the court records of Mch 10, 1745 (probably old style for 1744) John Keith, assignee of Jacob Young, brought suit against William Dunlop and Adam Sherrill in a case of debt. The names Dunlop and Sherrill are undoubtedly the correct forms for Dunlops and Sharls as they appear in Baltimore records. The sheriff reports that the defendants are not to be found, so the case is dismissed. On July 13, 1744 the suit is again pressed by John Keyth vs Adam Sherrill and again dismissed, the write not being executed. The sheriff reports that the defendant is not in his county. On Dec 5, 1744 John Keith once more brought his case vs Adam Sherrill before the court. Apparently the defendant was present for the plaintiff, John Keith, refused to prosecute and at the defendant’s motion it was ordered that he be non-suited and that John Keith pay to the defendant 5 shillings or 50 pounds of tobacco with costs incurred in his defense. On Mch 3, 1747 John Keith came into court and made oath that he delivered to his attorney a bond against William Dunlop & Adam Sherrill for 9 pounds Pennsylvania money payable to said Keith and hath received no satisfaction for the same and the said Johnston also made oath that he had lost the said bond and that no judgment ever was obtained thereon, which is ordered to be certified. Apparently John Keith had not given up hope of realizing the amount due on the note. These are all the records found pertaining to the matter but they are sufficient to identify John Keith of Baltimore County with the John Keith of Frederick Co., Va. It is obvious that Jacob Young of Baltimore County sold the bond of William Dunlop and Adam Sherril to John Keith and therefore he could not return the said bond to the Principee Company for the reason that John Keith had moved from Baltimore County to Fredrick Co., Va. This coincides exactly with the sale of “Dear Bitt” by John Keeth and wife Katharine, Apr. 9, 1745. There is no reason to suppose that John Keith bought the bond in bad faith. It can hardly be denied that the John Keith to whom Jacob Young sold the bond was his neighbor of Baltimore County, the son of Alexander Keith(1) and there can be no doubt that the John Keith of Fredrick Co., Va who sues on account of this note was identical with the John Keith of Baltimore County. There was a decided drift from Baltimore County at that time to the new county being opened up in what was then Fredrick Co, Va. One John Chenowith, for example, moved about the same time from Baltimore County to Fredrick Co, Va and his family and the Keith family were clearly associated. In fact one published account makes the wife of John Keith a Chenoweth, but without supporting evidence. The writer has examined the early Chenoweth history and hinds no Chenoweth woman of right age to have been John Keith’s wife. Besides the Chenoweth family there were many others who made this move about the same time. I have perhaps elaborated upon this point longer than was necessary in order to establish sufficiency of the circumstantial evidence in the lack of direct evidence.
We now take up the Keiths in Fredrick and Hampshire Counties, Va. Hampshire (now in West Va) was taken off from Fredrick in 1757. In 1750 John Keith was living in the part now known as Hampshire and of course he may have been there in the records given above from 1743 to 1747. It is interesting to note that the next records come from the survey book of the youthful George Washington. On Apr. 23, 1750 George Washington surveyed for Henry Enoch in the Fork of Cacapehon 388 acres. John Keith was chainman and John Constant was marker. Again on Apr. 23 1750, George Washington surveyed for John Newton, Fredrick Co., Va No. River, about a mile above the said fork beginning at Henry Enock’s corner, John Keith being chainman and John Constant marker. Since neighbors usually preformed the duties of chainman and markers these records show that John Keith was living in 1750 very close to the Fork of the Cacapehon. On Feb 8, 1753 John Keefe sued Nathaniel Dougherty and William Roberts for trespass, Fredrick County. Case dismissed. On June 15, 1765 John Keith received grant for 209 acres in Hampshire County, on both sides of the Great Cacapehon. In the description of the land two white oaks are mentioned on a hill by he road from Town of Winchester to Co. Cresap’s. This taken with the records from Washington’s surveys indicated very closely the place where John Keith lived. It was about a mile above the fork of the Cacapehon River, about 20 miles northwest of Winchester and about the same distance a little north of east from present Romney, West Va. Here John Keith seems to have lived from about 1745 till 1777. No earlier survey by John Keith has been found and he probably prior to 1765 held land as many others did by right of tomahawk. On June 1765? John Corbley (described as of Fredrick County, though his land lay in Hampshire) received grant for 52 Acres on both sides of the Great Cacapehon, joining John Keith’s. John Corbley was a Baptist Minister and was associated with the Keiths for some time and for this is mentioned here. On Apr 16, 1773 John Corbley of Monongala River sold 52 acres on the Great Capon to John Rice. The deed was witnessed by Joseph Craycroft, Thomas Bowel, and Basel Bowel. On the same day, Apr. 16, 1773 William Craycroft of Westmoreland Co., Penn and wife Sarah sold 38 acres on the Great Capon to John Keith, Senior. The deed was witnessed by Joseph Craycroft, Thomas Bowel, and Basel Bowel. These deeds represent part of the western movement in which John Keith himself is to participate within a few years. John Corbly, who described himself as of Monongala River, was in a short time paster of the Baptist congregation at Ten Mile Creek near Amity, present Washington Co., Penn. (Washington County was formed from Westmorland County in 1781 and Westmoreland from Bedford in 1773.)
John Keith was a taxable in Tyrone Township, Beford County in 1772 and 1773. Tyrone Township was in immediate vicinity of Ten Mile Creek but whether this is John Keith, Sr. or Jr. cannot be told. Since the Senior was buying land in Hampshire Co., Va in Apr 1773 it is very likely refers to the Junior but John Keith Senior seems to have been there later in 1773. In the same list of taxables are the names of Henry Bartley, Jonathon Arnold, and in the adjourning township of Springhill, the names of Henry ?nook, Walter? Brisco and others, all of which have been or are to be closely associate with the Keiths. The Ten Mile Creek settlement is about 90 miles from the home of the Keiths in Hampshire Co, Va. On Nov 1, 1777 John Keith of Monongala Co, Va (this is part of Penn. later claimed by Va.) sold to James? Connard? Of Hampshire Co., Va land granted to the said John Keith by deed from the Proprietor’s office bearing the date of June 16?, 1765, registered in ???? folio 396. On Nov. 2, 1777 Mary Keith, wife of John Keith, joined him in this deed. In the deed of Apr 9, 1743 by which John Keith of Baltimore Co. sold land in that county he had wife Katherine, whereas in this deed he had wife Mary. Apparently he married a second time. On Nov 10, 1777 John Keith of Monongala Co., Va sold to James Connard land joining the corner of William Bowell’s in Hampshire County, 38 acres which the said John Keith had bought of William Craycroft. This is the last mention we find of John Keith or any of his family in Hampshire County.
Civil records pertaining to John Keith and family are completely lacking Pennsylvania. The reason for this is obvious. John Keith in the deeds given above describes himself as of Monongala Co., Va. Records of him and his family should be found in Mononfalia Co, West VA but the early Monogalia records have been lost. By the time it was acknowledged that the present Ten Mile Creek region was a part of Pennsylvania the Keiths had moved to Kentucky. From other sources however we obtain reliable information of the Keiths in this region. Draper in his collection at Medison, Wisc, gives interviews which he had many years ago with old residents of Washington Co., enn and from these unpublished papers we learn that on the North Fork of the Ten Mile Creek in 1777 in Washington Co., Penna there were two stations, one belonging to Henry Enoch and the other to John Keith, to which forts the inhabitants fled in time of danger from the Indians. The Association of the names Enock and Keith easily indicates a Hampshire Co., Va origin. The early records of the Ten Mile Creek Baptist Church, aside from those of the organization meeting itself, are in existence. The first meeting is said to have occurred in the latter part of 1773 in Keith’s fort, the spot occupied in 1924 by the residence of Harry Rasel, about one mile south of Lone Pine. The first recorded meeting (the records of which show that there had been an earlier organization meeting) is dated Dec. 1, 1773 and was held in Enoch Enoch’s house. On Feb 4, 1774 at a meeting held in the home as David Enoch, Alexander Keith was chosen to take the place of the clerk “to raise the Psalm tune.” On Fev 27, 1777 the church chose John Keith as one of the ruling elders. It seems to me there can be no doubt that this was John Keith, Sr. On June 14, 1777 it was ordered that a communion be held at the Keith’s fort “as times being difficult on account of the Indians.” On Feb 14, 1778 Brother Keith (no first name given, but probably “elder” John Keith) was appointed to interview the pastor. On Feb 20, 1779 brother Keith (again no first name) and his wife were granted a letter of dismissal. Only two Keiths surely appear in these records, John and Alexander. Since we know of these two Keiths only, father and son, it may be a safe inference that John Keith had died before Feb 20, 1779 and that Alexander Keith was the brother Keith who received letter of dismissal (with his wife) on that date. We have no records showing that the Keiths were in Kentucky as early as 1779 but they might have been there so early without surviving records. They were there in 1780, at least the four sons of John Keith (2) were there but we have no sure indication that the father himself was ever there. In many mentions of John Keith in the Kentucky records no attempt seems to have been made to distinguish between a Senior and a Junior. If he did go to Kentucky, which I think unlikely, he was not there long enough to get into the records.
We may safely assign to John Keith (2) the following children (order uncertain):
4. i. Henry Keith
5. ii. John Keith
6. iii. Alexander Keith
7. iv. William Keith
3. Alexander Keith (son of Alexander Keith, 1) finds scant mention in the records. We have already seen that he became a ward of Alexander Grant. We have no way of knowing whether Alexander Grant was related to the orphan sons of Alexander Keith(1). But Alexander Grant is his will made Dec 28, 1738, probated Jan 3, 1739 in Baltimore County, made bequest to Alexander Keath(no relationship mentioned). This will was witnessed by John Merryman, John Edwards, and Richard Gott. No further record of Alexander Keith (3) has been found. He certainly married and left a family but probably died in early manhood. I assign him with slight reservations one Mary Keith who in Baltimore County on Feb 8, 1754 married Solomon Cross. John Cross in the same county made will in 1764 in which he names son Solomon Cross and others. One John Keeth (his mark) was one of the witnesses. This John Keeth I also assign to Alexander Keith (3). On Oct 20, 1771 John Keeth of Baltimore County had 62 acres surveyed, called “Keith’s Patch,” being part of his Lordship’s Reserve lying in Baltimore County near the head of a branch descending into the western prong of Gunpowder Falls. William Farfar Keith was certainly the son of Alexander Keith (3).
Alexander Keith (3) married and had issue:
?i. Mary Keith, married Solomon Cross.
?ii. John Keith.
8. iii. William Farfar Keith.
4. Henry Keith (son of John Keith, 2) is certainly correctly assigned. The writer’s grandfather, Henry Keith (35), with whom the writer talked over family history in the summer of 1890, seems not to have known of Henry Keith (4) though he talked of his grandfather Alexander Keith, and the latter’s brother’s John and William. His memory at that time was not the most reliable since he was then in his eighty-second year. Henry Keith (4) was of about the same age as John, Alexander, and William and is so constantly associated with them, especially with John, that there is no room for doubt that he belongs here.
No certain record of Henry Keith is found until he arrives in Kentucky. But Henry Keith who in 1774 furnished provisions for the use of the Army (along with John and William Hartley, Jacob and Abraham Van Meter) may be identical with this Henry Keith. The names suggest a southwest Pennsylvania connection. See Draper Note, NN4 Madison, Wisc. From Julie 18, 1780 to Aug 26 1780 John Keith (as sergeant) William and Henry Keith(privates) served under Capt. Danel Hull, Col Lin, and Col. Clark in the expedition against the Chawnes(Shawnees). Likewise under Col. Cox and Gen Clark against the Chawnes the three brothers served from Oct. 21, 1782 to Nov 25, 1782. These records are found in the so-called Illinois papers in the department of Archives, Richmond, Va. And represent service in the Revolution from Kentucky.
On Dec. 3, 1781 the court of Jefferson Co, Ky. Authorized surveys of 400 acres each to be made for John Keith, Henry Keith, and many others. Henry Keith seems not to have availed himself of this opportunity. The Keiths were probably living then in the present Nelson Co., Ky. then a part of Jefferson. Henry Keith of Nelson Co., Ky. on July 16th, 1791 bought two half-acre lots in the town of Hartford, Nelson Co. (now Ohio Co.) of Gabriel Madison for three pounds. John Keith on July 20, 1791 also bought the same of Gabriel Madison. Probably these were speculative purchases only, for neither Henry or John Keith seems ever to have lived in Hartford. The tax-lists of Nelson Co. 1793 give Henry Keith with one male above 21, one between 16 and 21, one horse, 19 cattle, and 7 acres. William and Alexander Keith appear in the same lists but no John Keith, who seems to have removed to Logon Co., Ky. in 1792 or earlier. Henry Keith does not appear in later Nelson Co. tax-lists but in Logan Co. tax-lists of 1794 Henry Keith is found with 2 males above 21, 1 between 16 and 21, one horse, 23 cattle, and 200 acres of land(third rate). John Keyth appears in the same lists. We may place John Keith’s arrival in the Logan Co. at 1791 or 1792 where his brother Henry Keith joined him in the latter part of 1793 or first part of 1794. From this time on more frequent mention is found of his name.
In 1795 he is described as having two males over 21 (himself and his son, probably). In 1796 Henry Keyth has one male over 21, one between 16 and 21, 200 acres on the Muddy River (part of a grant to Henry Roads), two horses, and 21 cattle. On Dec. 15, 1797 Henry Rhoads and Elisabeth Rhoads, his wife, of Logan Co., Ky sold to Henry Keith of the same county for 30 pounds, of current money 200 acres, part of a larger survey for 525 acres, lying on the Muddy River, where said Keith now lives (and had been living since 1794). This seems to have been all the land he ever owned in this locality. On Oct. 4, 1798 Henry Keith entered 200 acres of 2nd rate land on Muddy River, Logan County, joining George Jones. Evidently this is the same land he had occupied since 1794. On Oct 23, 1800 Henry Keith enters 200 acres of land in Muhlenburg County. This was a evidently a repetition of the entry of Oct 4. 1798 in order that it might be preserved on the records of the new county. In January 1797 Matthew Adams, Henry Keath, and Joseph Rhoad were appointed to lay off land from Logan Court House to Rhoads ferry. Muhlednburg was taken from Loganin 1799. Henry Keith’s settlement was in the southeastern part of Muhlenburg County on Muddy River where he resided many years and where he probably died. In Muhlenburg County on July 23, 1799 Henry Keath, Daniel Rhoads, Jr., and others served on the first grand jury of the county. In October, 1801 Henry Keith, Solomon Rhoads, and others were county commissioners. Henry Keith appears on the Muhlenburg tax-lists for some years with 200 acres of 3rd rate land (once called 2nd rate) on Muddy River, usually described as having been entered, surveyed, and granted to Henry Rhoades, but once as entered, surveyed, and granted to Henry Keith. In 1819 the tax-lists he still owned 125 acres of this tract. In the 1806 tax-list he is called Henry Keith, Sr., but I find no Henry Keith, Jr. to correspond with this Senior and since he is not again called Senior I suspect its use here was an error. On Aug. 27 1799 Henry Keath of Muhlenburg County apprenticed to Abraham Caughanour, son of John Caughanour, to learn the art of farming. Should said Henry Keath die, Abraham is to serve Henry’s wife Rachel Keath, and if she should die, Abraham is to serve Henry’s son Alex. Keath. This bond was signed by Jon. L. Yost and Henry Keath, his mark. On Dec 24, 1817 Henry Keith, his mark, and wife Rachel Keith, (her mark of Muhlenburg County sold to Richd B. Dallam of Butler Co., Ky for $150.00, 50 acres, part of 200 acres, which said Keith now lives on, being part of a military survey, No 1928, part that Hardin Billings now lives on. Deed was witnessed by Thomas Overton, and William Luce. On July 5, 1819 Henry Keith of Muhlenburg County and Rachel, his wife, sold to Thomas Weed?? for love and affection to their daughter Rachel Wood, formerly Rachel Keith, land on the muddy river. The deed was witnessed by -----Wing and N. L. Webb. On Mch 20, 1823 Henry Keith and Rachel Keith of Muhlenburg County sold to Benj. G. Asger for $50.00 part of land they now live on, 25 or 30 acres. This is the latest mention found of Henry Keith (4) and wife Rachel Keith. The U.S. census of 1810 for Muhlenburg County gives Henry Keath as householder, aged above 45, with one female above 45, and one female between 10 and 16. The 1820 census gives Henry Keith, above 45, no other male and no female. This omission of his wife is certainly an error for she was still living in 1823. He does not appear in the 1820 census and his death probably occurred between 1823 and 1830. the 1810 census for Muhlenburg County gives only two male householders of the same name Keith above the age of 45, namely, Henry and John Keith. These two are undoubtedly the father of the other Keiths of this period and locality. Neither Henry nor John left a will and the assignment of the Keiths of the next generation to their respective fathers has been no easy task. There are, however some dependable indications. Henry Keith remained where he first settled in the southeastern part of the county on Muddy or Mud River, directly across from present Butler Co. Ky. John Keith very early moved farthest west and settled on Pond Creek and Cypress Creek, Muhlenburg County. The proximity of the later Keiths to Henry and John will greatly assist in determining parentage. Alexander Keith was certainly the son of Henry Keith, and Rachel Keith, who married Thomas Wood was Henry’s daughter. Christain Keith who in Logan Co., Ky. married Moses Preston, June 21, 1795(license) may safely be assigned to another daughter. To Henry also probably belongs to one Abner Keith whom I so place for reason that he lacks all association with John Keith and his family. And since there were two William Keiths of this generation, one of them must have belonged to Henry Keith. One William Keith married Sarah Wood in Logan Co., Apr 16, 1798 (license) and the other William Keith married Margaret Arnold in Muhlenberg Co. September, 1803 (license). Because of the frequent association between the Arnold family and the John Keith family it is very probably that the latter William is John’s son and the former William is Henry’s son. William Keith is October 1798 entered two hundred acres on certificate No 2431 on a branch of Muddy River, joining George Jones and Christian Preston. He remained in the possession of this tract at least as late as 1806. Two William Keiths appear in the 1810 census of Muhlenberg County.
The record of Henry Keith runs approximately as follows:
Henry Keith (4) was born about 1740-50 either in Baltimore County, Maryland or present Hampshire Co. West Va. He married before 1780, probably in Virginia to Rachel ---. He moved to Kentucky about 1780 settling first in present Nelson Co., Ky. Where he lived until 1793-94. He then settled in present Muhlenburg County, Kentucky and died there between 1823 and 1830. Issue:
9. i. Alexander Keith
? ii. William Keith married Sarah Wood, Apr 16, 1798 (license)
iii. Christian Keith, married Moses Preston, June 21, 1795(license) Logan Co, Ky in October, 1798 William Keith is described as joining George Jones and Christian Preston. Henry Keith’s land is also joined by George Jones. Since Christie Keith who married Moses wood, 1793 was obviously John Keith’s daughter, Christian Keith who married Preston may safely be assigned to Henry Keith. Since the land joining William Keith is described of Christian Preston(and not of Moses Preston) it may be inferred that she was a widow in October, 1798.
iv. Rachel Keith, married Thomas Wood. There were five early Keith-Wood marriages. The record of this marriage has not been found either in Logan or Muhlenburg County. But the deed of July 5, 1819, given above, from Henry Keith to Thomas Wood, proves that Henry had such a daughter.
v. Abner Keith (see appendix)
vi. Elizabeth Keith, married Joseph Wood, May 31, 1798, (license), Logan Co. Ky. She is placed here for the reason that John Keith seems to make no Provision for a daughter Elizabeth.
5. John Keith(son of John Keith, 2) is the Junior implied in the deed of John Keith, Sr. Apr 16, 1773, Hampshire Co. Va. No certain record of him is found until he appears in Kentucky. His military record has already been given with that of Henry Keith, (4). John Keith, Jonathon Harned, and others signed an undated petition of Kentucky Settlers, presented to the Continental Congress, Aug 23, 1780, praying for relief in regard to the conditions for taking up land. On June 19, 1780, John Keith, assigned of James Morgan, assignees of ??? Rowell, entered 200 acres upon a treasury warrant in a fork of a branch Creek where the trace leaves the Buffalo road going from Salt River Garrison to Rogers Station. John Keith on Sept. 22, 1780 entered 200 acres on the north side of Beech Fork from the south of Cedar Run up said Fork and off for a quantity, including a sping and an oak sapling near the head there of marked JK. On Mch 26, 1781 John Keith entered 200 acres on the waters of ?romans Creek or Lick Creek. These names clearly indicate present Nelson Co, Ky as the first Kentucky home of John Keith. On Nov 3, 1784 John Keith and William Keith sign a petition praying for a partition of Jefferson County. Nelson County was formed in 1785. On Jan 17, 1786 John Keith received grant for 1000 acres on Brush (Beech?) Creek, Nelson County. On Feb. 12, 1787 he received grant of 400 acres on Beech Fork of Salt River, Nelson County. On July 20, 1791 he bought of Gabriel Madison for three pounds two half-acre lots in the town of Hartford (now Ohio County). On Apr. 9, 1792 he bought of Gabriel Madison another half-acre lot ion Hartford and three acres joining said town. What happened to John Keith’s Nelson County lands is not known. I have found no deed showing how he parted with any of them. On Aug. 20, 1797 John Keith of Logan Co., Ky sold to Robert Mosaley of Hardin County for $20.00 one lot in Hartford. Again as of Logan County on Sept. 21, 1797 he bought of Richard Morton for one shilling land on both sides of Bear Creek. On Feb 24, 1800 John Keath, now of Muhlenburg County, sold to Benhamin Harnet for 50 pounds 245 acres in Hardin County on both sides of Bear Creek, a branch of the Green River. These three deeds are all recorded in Hardin County and the last is also recorded in Muhlenburg. Benjamin Harnet was a brother of Margaret Harned who married Alexander Keith (6). On Nov 10, 1789 in Nelson County a license to marry was issued to Daniel Rhodes and Mary Keith. John Keith, father of Mary, gave written consent. John Keith appears to have remarried in Logan County in 1791 or 1792 in part now Muhlenburg. For it was his daughter Christie Keith who in Logan County married Moses Wood, Apr 26, 1792 (liscense). Henry Keith was still in Nelson County at that time. In August, 1792, in Logan County, John Keat was appointed overseer of road from Clifty to Rhoades landing on Green River. This record indicated that he lived in southeastern part of present Muhlenburg County. The Logan county tax-lists 1794 give John Keyth with one male over 21, and one between 16 and 21, and owning 100 acres of 2nd rate land, 3 horses, and 12 cattle. The 1799 tax-lists give him 200 acres on Muddy River, entered and surveyed to said Keith, one male over 21 and two between 16 and 21. On Apr 3, 1798 John Keth and wife Hannah of Logan County sold for 140 pounds of current money to John Sturm 100 acres on a branch of Jacob’s Run, a branch of the Green River. This seems to be the same land that he occupied in 1794 and the same that shown in the land records at Frankfort as having been granted to John Keith, 100 acres, a military warrant, on Jacob’s Creek (county not given) June 3, 1793. In October, 1798 John Keith entered 200 acres of 2nd rate land on certificate 2439 in Logan County, joining McClanahan and Phillips. In Muhlenburg County on June 25, 1799 Daniel Rhoads, Sr, was appointed surveyor of the road leading from Rocky to the fords of raw hide, and at the same time, John Keath, was appointed surveyor of the road from Rocky to Stone’s ferry on Green River. On Dec 22, 1798 John Keet bought 368 acres of George Matthews of Georgia. The deed though made before Muhlenburg was established is recorded in that county. This deed was witnessed by Henry Rhoads, H. Lookerman, Daniel Rhoads, and Daniel Rhoads. The Muhlenburg tax-list of 1800 describes this land as being on Pond Creek, 364 acres, entered and surveyed to George Matthew. In the same lists John Keith is shown as having 200-acres on Rocky, entered, surveyed, and granted to said John Keith. This latter tract is in the 1801 lists described as on Muddy River. In 1802 be possessed 363 acres on Pond Creek and 200 acres on Hooper’s Link. In 1803 John Keith, Sr. is taxed for 200 acres of 3rd rate land on Harte Creek, 363 acres on Pond Creek, and 200 on Hooper’s Lick. The tax-lists of 1806 show that John Keith had embarked upon a much larger venture, one by which he was obviously providing for his children. He is taxed for 200 acres 3rd rate land, entered to James Keith, 200 acres entered to John Keith, 200 acres entered to S. Keith, 260 acres entered to Rachel Arnold, 100 acres entered to Moses Wood. These entried are all on Pond and Cypress Creeks excepted that entered to S. Keith, which is on Mud River. The lands of John Keith, Sr. 1806 amount to 1590 acres and distribution is different: 200 acres surveyed to J. Keith, Sr on Pond River, are entered to James Keith; 200 acres on Hooper’s Lick are entered to Silas Keith; 390 acres on Cypress Creek are entered to John Keith, Jr; 400 acres on Cypress Creek are entered to Job Hobsl and 400 acres on Cypres Creek are entered to Jeminah (?) Keith. Jerimiah but in the view of records found elsewhere it should probably be Jeremiah. Did John Keith by these arrangements provide for all his children? And are the other Keith’s, not so provided for, of this generation to be assigned to Henry Keith? With one exception I believe we can so assigned them. There seems to have been two William Keiths. One of them is married to Sarah Wood, Apr 16, 1798(license) and the other married Margaret Arnold, September 1803. It is the latter William Keith who appears as a taxable with 200 acres on Cypress Creek, 1806, entered to William Keith, surveyed in D. Rhoades. Likewise in 1809 William Keith is taxed for 200 acres entered to James Keith, surveyed to Jno. Keith, Sr. he seems to be the only William Keith surviving in the records beyond 1810 census. This William Keith(who married Margaret Arnold) seems certainly to have been the son of [Page 27] John Keith. Probably in some way not apparent to us John Keith had also provided for William Keith. On Nov. 21, 1801 John Keith and wife Hanna sold to Matthew Hanna 100 acres on Pond Creek. On Nov 23, 1801 John Keith bought of Daniel Rhoads and wife Elisabeth 100 acres on Ponk Creek. On Apr. 28, 1802 John Keith and wife Hannah sold to Matthew Ham(Hanna?) 100 acres on Pond Creek. On Feb. 16, 1804 John Keith and wife Hannah sold to John Zimmerman for $500.00 368 acres on Plumb (Pond?) Creek, joining Danl Rhoads's survey. Evidently this is the land he bough of Geo. Matthews in 1798. It must have been about this time that John Keith removed from Muddy River farther into the county, settling finaly on Pond and Cypress Creeks, while Henry Keith remained on Muddy River. The next record is of date Oct. 25, 1806 and shows John Keith in a new enterprise: Whereas John Keith is about to open a Salt Lick on pond or waters of Cypres with 1290 acres including said Lick and has purchased two tickets in a New York lottery for chance of one-half of two tickets agrees to take Charlse F. Wing in as an equal partner the said Wing agreeing to pay one-half state price of said land, the same being obtained in teh name of Job Hobs 400 acres, Jemtina??? (clerly Jemtina this time but still I think error for Jeremiah) Keith 400 acres, John Keath 200 acres and 290 acres in the name of John Keath ???. It is understood that Danl Rhoads Jun. is to have one-fourth profit arising from Lick during life of said Keath. Another ??? Offer to the same matter. It is dated Nov. 17, 1806 and re-??? that John Keith is about to open a salt well on the land on Pond Creek ???? of Crypress Creek, that Daniel Rhoads is to operate the ??? and that Charlon F. Wing has become a partner. We note that the Pond is called John Keith's land. The result of this venture has not ???(MISSING PART)On ??? , 100??? (CANNOT READ REST OF PAGE 27)