Thursday, October 16, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 23: Richard Mendenhall (1737-1773)

Richard Mendenhall - 7th great grandfather
b. 01 Nov 1737 Frederick Co., Virginia
d. 10 Oct 1773 Lee Co., Virginia

Parents: Mordecai Mendenhall (1713-1803) & 
                 Charity Grubb Beeson (1715-1809)

1. John (1739-1825)
2. Thomas (1741-1783)
3. Moses (1743-1835)
4. Stephen (1744-1822)
5. Mordecai Jr. (1746-1818)
6. Maris (1749-1750)
7. Aaron (1751-1793)
8. Charity E. (1754-1836)
9. Isaac M. (1756-1833)

1755 (age 18): Rowan Co., North Carolina
1759 (age 22): Rowan Co., North Carolina
1762 (age 25): Rowan Co., North Carolina

Wife: Jane Thornbrugh (1737-1796), married on 24 Jun 1758
Daughter of: Walter Thornbrugh (1711-1783) & Margaret Beeson (1708-1780). 

Margaret was Charity's sister, so Richard and his wife Jane were 1st cousins. 

Richard and Jane had 8 children: 

1. John (1759-1835) 
2. Richard Jr. (1761-1845) 
3. Jane (1763-1793) 
4. Benjamin (1765-1835) 
5. Charity (1767-1853) 
6. Margaret (1768- ?)
7. Joseph (1770-1833) 
8. Aaron (1772-1840) 

and (at least) 63 grandchildren!!

Richard was part of a scouting party led by James Boone.

Here is an excerpt found online:  (I found this excerpt online several years ago and unfortunately, I didn't cite my source).

Richard was part of a scouting party led by James Boone, son of Daniel, which was ambushed by Indians at Wallens Creek, VA. During the American Revolution Daniel Boone made arrangements to sell what property he could not move with him and persuaded some of his wife's family, the Bryans, to join him on a trip to claim new land in Kentucky. He was joined by his brother, Squire, Squire's wife, Jane, and their three children, along with Benjamin Cutbeard and his wife, who was a niece of Daniel's. Making a total of five or six families, along with about 40 men who each had a horse or two to help carry all the supplies. Among these 40 men were John and Richard Mendenhall. Richard was 36 years of age and John, a first cousin, was 25.
The party left the Yadkin on 25 Sep 1773. Travel was slow as the trail was only wide enough for the pack horses, walking single file and all who were able-bodied had to walk. When they reached Wolf Hills, now Abingdon, VA, Daniel sent his seventeen year old son, James, along with John and Richard Mendenhall to go to Castle Woods, which was off the trail to the north about 25 miles. They were to pick up supplies and meet the main party further west. The main party would follow the old wilderness trail, through Moccasin Gap, over Wallens Ridge at a point about 10 miles east of the Cumberland Gap, where they would make camp and leave the women and children to rest until James and the Mendenhall party overtook them. They feared that if the Indians would attack it would be in that area and for protection they wanted the party to be together.
Upon arriving at Captain Russell's home on the Clinch River, Henry Russell, the seventeen year old son of Captain Russell, a man by the name of Isaac Crabtree and two Negro slaves named Charles and Adam, joined James Boone and Richard and John Mendenhall to help out with the supplies and farm tools. Captain Russell himself said he would follow along later as he had some necessary work to do at home before leaving. He would join David Gass who lived eight miles down the Clinch River.
James Boone and the Mendenhall party set out on 8 Oct 1773, following the old Fincastle Trail down past David Gass's place and crossed Clinch River at Hunters Ford, now Dungannon. From that point they passed through Rye Cove and took the Wilderness Trail over Powell Mountain to the head waters of Wallens Creek.
James and his companions could see signs, probably made by his father's party and he knew that the place of rendezvous was but a few miles ahead. However, darkness overtook them and fearing they might lose their way, they set up camp the evening of 9 Oct. Early in the morning of the 10th, Indians rushed up with knife blades raised and guns cracking. A man by the name of Drake and Richard Mendenhall were killed out right. James Mendenhall crept off mortally wounded. He had been attacked by a big Indian who he knew to be Big Jim, a Shawnee, who had roamed the Yadkin Country and had pretended to be a friend of his father. Henry Russell was shot through the hips and brought down. All in the party were killed except Isaac Crabtree and the two Negroes slaves, Adam and Charles.

Richard was killed in the ambush by the Indians and was buried in the woods near Lee Co., Virginia- 10 miles East of Cumberland Gap. He was only 35 years old.

Here is a gravemarker marking the spot where the ambush happened. 

How I'm related to Richard: 

Carrie Jeckering Smith (Me)
My parents
Harold Earl Mendenhall & Helen Ruth Seaver
Earl Dwight Mendenhall & Edna Grace Niles
Marion Richard Mendenhall & Louella Ida Munn
Richard Mendenhall & Margaret Frances Pierron 
Aaron Mendenhall & Christena Spielman
Richard Mendenhall & Sarah Pearson
Joseph Mendenhall & Deidamia Hill
Richard Mendenhall (7th great grandfather)

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