An American Family History

Nathan Ricketts

Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

Nathan Ricketts was born on August 26, 1759 in Frederick County, Maryland. His father was Edward Ricketts.

By 1771, his family was was in Pennsylvania.

He married Jane Wilson. At first they settled in Pennsylvania.

According to Orrell in the Descendants of Richard Cheney, Nathan and Jane's children included:
William Ricketts (1784, married Elizabeth Hyner, Rebecca Neal),
Rebecca Ricketts Neal (1785, married Thomas Neal),
Edward Ricketts (1787, married Elizabeth Cooper),
Susannah Ricketts Neal (1788, married John Neal, Jr.),
Abraham Ricketts (1790, married Malinda Huston),
Nathan Ricketts, Jr. (1794, married Effa Ross),
Elizabeth Ricketts Rich (1796, married Landon Rich),
Jane Ricketts Shepherd (1804), married James Shepherd),
Ann Ricketts (1810, married Landon Rich), and
Ephraim Ricketts (1811, married Excena Ishum).

In 1787 Nathan was on the tax list Huntingdon Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Part of Bedford County became Huntingdon County in 1787.

In 1788 he was on the tax list of Franklin Township, Huntingdon County.

In 1790 the Nathan Rickets household in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania consisted of:

a man over 16 (Nathan),
two boys under 16 (William and Edward)
and three females (Jane Rebecca, and Susannah).

The same census page listed Richard and Edward Rickets and William, George, David, James, and Robert Wilson.

In 1792 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, Nathan Ricketts witnessed the sale of 400 acres on both sides of Clearfield Creek or a small branch called Beaver Dam Branch, from his father, Edward Ricketts, Sr., to Edward Ricketts, Jr.

They moved to Kentucky by 1800, Nathan Rickets was in Mason County, Kentucky. Robert, Roclif and Zachariah Ricketts were also in Mason County.

In 1812 Nathan Ricketts was in the Dearborn County Militia.

On January 7, 1826, Nathan received a land warrant for 77.24 acres in Switzerland County, Indiana on the authority of a cash entry sale of April 24, 1820.

In 1830, the household was in Switzerland County

Males - 5 thru 9: 2
Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Males - 30 thru 39: 1
Females - 10 thru 14: 2
Females - 15 thru 19: 1
Females - 40 thru 49: 1

Jane died on April 17, 1832 in Switzerland County.

In 1840 the household in Dearborn County, Indiana consisted of:

a man between 80 & 89 - Nathan age 81
a woman between 70 & 79
a woman between 30 & 39
a man between 20 & 29

Nathan died on January 10, 1847.

They are buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Aberdeen, Ohio County, Indiana.

Ricketts is also spelled Rickeots, Rickeotts, Rickett, Rickets, Ricket, Rickel, Rickle, Rickels, and Rickles.




Nathan Ricketts of Switzerland County, Indiana.
Issued: 7 Jan. 1826
State of Record: Ohio
Acres: 77.24
Accession Number: OH0250___.033
Land Office: Cincinnati
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
Document Number: 588
Signed by: John Quincy Adams, President of The United States of America

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania was established on September 20, 1787 as a large region of Central Pennsylvania. It was previously part of Bedford County and the earlier Cumberland Region.

Frederick County, Maryland was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George's and Baltimore Counties. In 1776 it was divided into Washington, Montgomery and, Frederick Counties. In 1837 parts of Frederick and Baltimore Counties formed Carroll County.

from Revolutionary Soldiers of Switzerland County copied by Mary Hill, January, 1958

Nathan Ricketts
Pension record  S.32480.

Nathan Ricketts was born August 26, 1759 or 1760, at Antietam, Maryland.  Names of parents not shown.

While residing in the state of Pennsylvania, on the frontier, in Cumberland County, Nathan Ricketts enlisted and served as a private with the Pennsylvania troops, as follows; 

from sometime in 1779, three months in Captain Alexander McCormick's Company, and was stationed in the mountains on an "Indian trace"

in 1780, three months in Captains James Johnson's and John Thornton's Companies, Colonel Piper's Regiment, and was stationed at the lead mines in Sinking Valley; soldier stated that Edward Ricketts and Thomas Ricketts were Captains in command at Frankstown and the lead mines but did not give any relationship; 

in 1781 and 1782, Nathan Ricketts served on tours, at least fourteen months in all under Captains David Caldwell, John Beaty, and Edward Ricketts

he stated that he served, also at different times, on tours of from two to twenty days each, at least, eight months in all, names of officers not given.

After the Revolution, he resided in Pennsylvania for thirty years, then moved to Kentucky and lived nine years, thence to Indiana.

He was allowed pension on his application executed September 17, 1832, while residing in Dearborn County, Indiana. Said application was made in Switzerland County, Indiana.

It is not stated that Nathan Ricketts was ever married.

Soldier stated that his nephew served with him but did not give name of soldier; in 1832 one Robert Ricketts made affidavit in Switzerland County, Indiana that he served with said Nathan Ricketts for three months in 1780, but gave no relationship.

Will probated  Jan. 1847.  Buried Mr. Carmel Cemetery, Posey twp.
Stone.     Married Jane
William  m  Rebecca Neal
Susanna Neal
Elizabeth Rich
Jane Shepherd

all mentioned in will probated in Ohio Co.

The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

from Marlene C. Kettley, Arnold K. Garr, and Craig K. Manscill, "Zion’s Camp," in Mormon Thoroughfare: A History of the Church in Illinois, 1830–39 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2006), 63–78.

In 1834 he [Charles Rich] had marched in Zion’s Camp but had returned to Pleasant Grove in July of that year and continued as the presiding authority of the branch. In August, Charles baptized his uncle Landon Rich and his uncle’s wife.


Last will and Testament of Nathan Ricketts, deceased

In the name of God amen. I Nathan Ricketts Senior, farmer of Randolph Township in Dearborn County State of Indiana being old and feeble in body but thank God of perfect mind and memory knowing that it is appointed for all men to die disannulling all others ordain this to be my last will and testament.

I do give and bequeath to my wife Jane Ricketts all my Estate both Real and personal during her life and to her and my decease I will and bequeath as follows,

For the heirs of my Eldest son William Ricketts deceased I leave one dollar,

to my daughter Rebecca Neal one dollar,

to my son Edward Ricketts one dollar,

to my daughter Susannah Neal one dollar,

to my son Abram Ricketts one dollar

to my son Nathan Ricketts one dollar,

to my daughter Elizabeth Rich deceased, one dollar,

to my daughter Jane Shepherd one dollar

to my daughter Ann Ricketts I leave and bequeath the one equal half of my household furniture,

after the decease of my wife Jane Ricketts and my self

to my youngest son Ephraim Ricketts I give and bequeath all and singular the ballance of my Estate Real and personal after paying my just and legal debts

and lastly I do appoint my son Ephraim Ricketts to execute this my last will and testament given under my hand this nineteenth day of February one Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Seven.
Nathan [his x mark] Ricketts
In presents of
Amos Hastings
James March
Abijah Bennett
State of Indiana
a Justice of the peace of said county personally appeared Nathan Ricketts the signer of the above will and acknowledged the same to be his free act and deed this 19th February 1837.
Witness my hand and seal
Abijah Bennett J.P.


The State of Indiana
Ohio County
Personally appeared before me the undersigned clerk of the Probate Court of said County Amos Hastings who being by me duly sworn upon his oath says that he was personally present when Nathan Ricketts the within named testator executed this his last will and testament, and heard him publically pronounce the same to be his last will and testament; that this deponent signed the same as a witness thereto in the presence of the other subscribing witnesses and in the presence of the testator and at his request, and that the testator at the time of executing the same was of full age to devise his property; and of sound mind and memory, and not under coercion and restraint as this deponent verily believes.
Amos Hastings
Subscribed sworn to before me this 13th day of January A.D. 1847 as Witness my hand and the seal of the Probate Court of Ohio County hereunto affixed at Rising Sun this 15th day of January A.D. 1847
James H Penner clk


from JohnShepherdFamily.com

James Shepherd, (John1) son of John Shepherd, was the youngest son in the Shepherd family. He was born August 10, 1798, at Laurel Sock, Pa. When he was seven years old the family moved to Canandaigua, N.Y., where he resided until he had grown to manhood. Perhaps it was in 1818 that he and his brothers Christopher and William, visited their father and their sister, Mrs. Margaret Engle, in their new home, to which they had gone two years before, in Royalton, Ohio. They did not like the country there and a few weeks later journeyed southward and westward. His daughter says that he walked from Cleveland to southern Indiana in 1819. He purchased a farm in Dearborn County, Indiana, near Aurora.

He was married March 8, 1821 to Miss Jane Rickett, who was born August 5, 1798, in Kentucky, and moved to Indiana in 1803. For nearly forty years they lived and toiled together, but of those years we have no record. Mr. Shepherd died suddenly June 6, 1860. Mrs. Shepherd died February 25, 1871.

Anna, b. June 10, 1823, d. Aug. 25, 1878.
Ursula, b. Sept. 14, 1825, d. May 24, 1892.
Jane, b. June 17, 1828, d. Oct 29, 1905.


Kentucky was originally a Virginia county and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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