An American Family History

Thomas Ricketts & Martha Wilson

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln

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

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.

Martha Wilson Ricketts was born on March 15, 1760 in Maryland. Her parents were Robert Wilson and Mary Douglas.

Thomas Ricketts was born on November 23, 1753 in Elizabethtown, Frederick (then Montgomery) County, Maryland which is now Hagerstown, Washington County. His parents may have been Anthony and Mary Ricketts.

Thomas and his brother, Edward Ricketts, were captains in 1779 in the fighting at Frankstown and the lead mines. Edward, Thomas and Robert were rangers on the frontier with the Bedford County Militia 1778-1783

Thomas had been married before to Ruth Adamson. They married in 1778. She was born July 10, 1758 in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her parents were John Adamson and Polly Spires.

Thomas and Ruth's children were born in Montgomery County, Maryland:
Hezekiah Ricketts (1779, married Sarah Collier) and
Mary Ricketts Roberts (1781, married William Roberts).

At the time of the 1790 census, the Thomas Ricketts family was in Montgomery County, Maryland. The household consisted of

a man over 16 ( Thomas),
two boys under 16 (?, Hezekiah),
and two females (Martha, Mary).

Elizabeth Ricketts Crump (January 13, 1791, married John Crump),
Thomas G. Ricketts (September 20, 1792),
Robert Wilson Ricketts
(August 21, 1794),
Margaret Ricketts Baker (October 1, 1796),

In about 1797, they moved to Jessamine County, Kentucky.

Nancy Ricketts (March 13, 1799),
Benjamin Franklin Ricketts (July 29, 1801),
Martha Ricketts Davis (August 10, 1804, married William Davis) and
John Douglas Ricketts (December 11, 1806).

Thomas Rickets appeared on the 1800 tax list of Jessamine County.

Thomas wrote his will on January 6, 1827 and died August 22, 1828 in Jessamine, Kentucky.

In 1830 Martha Rickets appeared as the head of household in Jessamine, Kentucky. The household consisted of a woman between 70 and 79, and a man between 20 and 29. They had a young man enslaved.

In 1850, 90 year old, Martha was living with her daughter Martha Davis' family in Jessamine County.

Martha died on September 11, 1850.
In 1762 the town of Elizabethtown was founded in Frederick County, Maryland.. In 1786 it became the county seat of newly created Washington County. In 1813 the name was changed to Hagerstown.

About 1715 English, Scottish and German settlers found their way to the Montgomery County, Maryland area. It was officially established from Charles, Prince George's, and Frederick counties in 1776.

John Adams, Jr. (1735-1826) was the second President of the United States (1797–1801), the first Vice President (1789–1797).

Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.



Jessamine County, Kentucky Will Book Abstracts
Thomas Ricketts, Last Will & Testament
- 6 Jan 1827
Martha Ricketts, wife
My children, to wit, Hezekiah Rickets, my three daugthers Betsy, Peggy and Nancy, my daughter Patsey, my son, John
My daughter Polly Roberts
Sons Thomas, Robert, Benjamin and John Rickets, a certain tract of land in Clark County, Indiana
Executors: sons Thomas Ricketts and Benjamin Ricketts
Witnesses: John H. Soper, Henry Webber, James Soper


1783 Assessment, Montgomery County, Maryland

John Adamson. Montgomery County, Lower Newfoundland, Rock Creek, and North West Hundred, p. 1. Maryland State Archives S 1161-8-2    1/4/5/51


Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 5th ed., 1887,

William Davis, son of Henry B. Davis, passed the early portion of his life on the old place and then began farming in Madison County. Subsequently he married Martha, daughter of Thomas Ricketts, and early settler from Maryland who located in Jessamine County and took up his residence on the old Ricketts homestead, where he passed an honorable and useful life as a farmer.

He was a consistent member of the Baptist Church and a man of integrity and uprightness of character. He died in 1875, aged seventy-five years; his widow is still living at the age of eighty-two years, being a member of a family remarkable for longevity, her mother living to be ninety-two years of age and her brother, John Ricketts, being now eighty years of age.

Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created on March 9, 1771 from part of Cumberland County.

Robert Wilson Ricketts was the most distinguished minister that has been connected with this Association. He was born in Maryland, Aug. 23, 1794. His parents emigrated to Jessamine county, Ky., when he was about three years old. Here he was raised up, receiving a limited common school education, and learning the trade of a gunsmith, by which he ultimately acquired a handsome property.

In 1815, he was married to Sally Williams Thomas, a grand-daughter of the distinguished Elder David Thomas of Virginia.

He professed conversion, and was baptized into the fellowship of Friendship church in Clark county, by W. Rash, about 1823. In 1830, he moved to Henry county, and gave his membership to the church at Newcastle, where he was licensed to preach, in 1833, and ordained to the ministry, the following year. For some years he was active and zealous in exhorting and persuaded sinners to repent and turn to the Lord, even leading his daughter forward for prayer, during a protracted meeting at Newcastle. In 1838, he moved his membership to Mt. Pleasant church in the same county, and thereby became connected with Sulphur Fork Association, of which he was chosen moderator, the same year. He also preached the introductory sermon before that body, three successive years. There was much excitement in the Association, on the subject of missions, during this period; and Mr. Ricketts, who had spent the first seven years of his Christian life in one of the churches of Licking Association, took strong grounds against the benevolent institutions of the times.

He was a good preacher, for that day, a man of strong convictions, and a bold, persistent executor of his purposes. With such fitting qualifications, he naturally became the leader of the Antimissionary party, in his Association. The result was a schism in the body, in 1840, and the organization of Mt. Pleasant Association, of which Mr. Ricketts was generally moderator, from its constitution, to the close of his pilgrimage. Of course, after his connection with this fraternity, which was Antinomian in doctrine, as well as Antimissionery in policy, his ministerial labors were of little value to the cause of Christ. He was called to give an account of his stewardship, Jan. 1, 1856.

Of his children, the late Dillard Ricketts of Indiana was a prominent rail road man, and a large capitalist, and Luther Ricketts of Henry county, Ky., is a prominent citizen and a good business man.

A History of Kentucky Baptists from 1769 to 1885
by J. H. Spencer, Vol. II, 1886. (Mount Pleasant Association).

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.


Marriages of Jessamine County, Kentucky 1799-1850, compiled by Bill and Kathy Vockery, 1990.

Benjamin Ricketts to Rebecca Soper; 26 Jan 1825; John H. Soper, bondsman; returned 27 Jan. 1825; married by George G. Boon

Robert W. Ricketts to Sally W. Thomas; 23 Jan 1816; John Thomas, bondsman; returned 24 Jan 1816; married by John Metcalf, Methodist

Jonathan Baker to Margaret Ricketts; 30 Jul 1824; Thomas Ricketts, bondsman; returned 5 Aug 1824; married by George G. Boon

John Crump to Betsy Rickett; 10 Nov 1810; William Roberts, bondsman; Thomas & Martha Rickett, parents of bride, consent

Martin Davis to Nancy Ricketts; 10 May 1819; Allen Fullelove, bondsman; Thomas Ricketts, father of the bride, consent; returned 13 May 1819; married by George C. Boon

William Davis to Martha Ricketts; 17 Aug 1829; John D. Ricketts, bondsman; John D. Ricketts, brother of the bride, consent; returned 17 Aug 1829; married by H. J. Perrry

William Roberts to Mary Ricketts; 10 Feb 1807; Thomas Ricketts, bondsman


The First Barbary War (1801–1805) was between the United States and the Barbary States of Tripoli and Algiers.

from Kentucky Records, Early Wills and Marriages, Old Bible Records and Tombstone Inscriptions. Volume One, by Julia Spencer Ardery, 1926, pp 162-3.

William Davis and Martha Ricketts were married August 19, 1829.

Thomas Ricketts, Sr., was born November 23, 1753.
Ruth Ricketts was born July 10, 1758.
Martha Wilson Ricketts was born March 15, 1760.
Elizabeth Ricketts, of Martha, was born January 15, 1791.
Thomas Ricketts, of Martha, was born September 20, 1792.
Robert W. Ricketts, of Martha, was born August 21, 1790.
Margaret Ricketts, of Martha, was born October 1, 1796.
Nancy Ricketts, of Martha, was born March 13, 1799.
Benjamin Ricketts, of Martha, was born July 29, 1801.
Hezekiah Ricketts, of Ruth, was born October 27, 1781.
Mary Ricketts, of Ruth, was born October 27, 1781.
Martha Ricketts, of Martha, was born August 10, 1804.
John D. Ricketts, of Martha, was born December 11, 1806.

William Davis, April 5, 1801.
Martha R. Davis, August 10, 1804.
Maranda A. Davis, June 16, 1830.
Thomas A. Davis, November 9, 1831.
Elizabeth M. Davis, March 10, 1833.
William M. Davis, April 15, 1835.
Robert W. Davis, November 22, 1836.
John P. Davis, May 2, 1839.
Luther A. Davis, March 30, 1841.

Thomas Ricketts, August 22, 1828.
Elizabeth Ricketts Crump, August 10, 1829.
Hezekiah Ricketts, February 16, 1841.
Thomas Ricketts June, November 30, 1844.
Martha W. Ricketts, September 11, 1850.
Robert W. Ricketts, January 1, 1856.
Elizabeth M. Davis died January 6, 1860.
William M. Davis, died August 18, 1864.
William Davis, Sr., August 21, 1875.
Mary R. Roberts, February 4, 1863.
Margaret R. Baker, July 18, 1866.
Nancy R. Davis, July 3, 1873.
Martha Crews Ricketts, February 4, 1878.
Benjamin Ricketts, October 22, 1881.
Martha R. Davis, September 3, 1888.
John D. Ricketts, December 18, 1890.
Robert W. Davis, October 28, 1895.
Luther A. Davis, June 21, 1905.
Maranda A. Magee, March 19, 1897.
John P. Davis, March 30, 1911.

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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