Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Capt. John GARTH, Patriot (1762-1835) and Sarah GRIFFITH (1770-1857) -Married about 1796

Old Glory
Edna OTWELL > Edwin OTWELL > Maurice OTWELL > John F. OTWELL > Quintilla GARTH-OTWELL > John GARTH
John GARTH, eldest child of Thomas GARTH and Judith BOCOCK, was born 15 August 1762 in Albemarle Co., Virginia.

MILITARY SERVICE: In 1832, John applied for and received a Revolutionary War pension. These papers document an interview in which he describes his service.  He served as a private in the Virginia Militia; serving 5 tours – 2 months each between 1778 and 1781. (It is likely that he was recruited at age 16 by Col. Charles LEWIS and was in the Albemarle Barracks when the British and Hessian prisoners arrived 19 January 1779.) Four tours were at the Albemarle Barracks which were not well supplied during this time and the regiment threatened to mutiny for lack of guns and clothing. John was a private in Captain LEAK’s company and in Col. LINDSLEY’s regiment and his last tour was with LAFAYETTE when they retreated in Virginia in 1781.

Signature on pension record
Interesting note - John wrote to his brother Jesse GARTH of Charlottesville, Virginia on 5 November 1813 about the War of 1812 (I do not find any documents saying he served in this war) and described the defeat of British in "Canady" and valor of Jonson's Regiment of mounted militia against the "British regulars"; tells of cowardice of PROCTOR; relates death of "Tecomse" [Tecumseh] by severely wounded Col. T. JONSON; hopes government will now support the war "hart and hand". This letter is in the library of William & Mary College, Virginia.

FAMILY LIFE: At 19 years old, John married Ann Harris RODES (1763-?) in 1782 in Albemarle. She was the daughter of his father’s close friend John RODES. They had at least 6 children: Sarah, Rodes, Judith, Nancy, Thomas and Ann. His parents gave him 294 acres of their tract at Blue Run, but they didn’t stay in Virginia. In March 1789, they moved to the “land of dark and bloody ground” soon to be known as Kentucky. Indian raids were common. They settled on 374 acres near today’s Georgetown in Scott Co.

In 1792, John was on the first board of magistrates for then Woodford County (now part of Scott Co.). He also was appointed as captain of the 12th Regiment of the Kentucky Militia. Ann died by 1795.

John next married our ancestor Sarah GRIFFITH (1770-1857) about 1796. They had at least 8 children: Daniel, Samuel, our ancestor Quintilla OTWELL, Jefferson, Mildred SUTPHIN, Lucinda GRAVES, John Madison and Albert Gallatin. John appeared on the 1800 Kentucky tax list, the 1810, 1820 and 1830 censuses in Scott Co.

After his father’s death in 1812, he inherited land in Virginia which he sold in order to purchase more land in several counties in Kentucky. Like many land owners of this era, John also owned slaves.
2 Nov 1809, Kentucky Gazette, Kentucky Digital Library
John's Advertisement
DEATH: John died 9 November 1835 in Scott Co., KY and is buried in the family plot at now named Walnut Hall Farm, a working farm SE of Georgetown. The original house and this small cemetery were documented as late as 1953, but the stones had been partially destroyed. By 1981, it was confirmed that the gravestones had all been removed.

Excerpt from Transcribed Will of John GARTH, 1833
Found on Familysearch.org

26 Dec 1835 Kentucky Gazette, Kentucky Digital Library
Estate Sale Advertisement
Sarah lived with her sons until her death in 1857. The farm remained in the GARTH family until 1905.

Visit John's on-line memorial:

This also ends the GRIFFITH research.


Davis, Rosalie Edith. The Garth Family: Descendants of John Garth of Virginia, 1734-1986. Dexter, MI: Thomson-Shore, 1988. Print.