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d.1840 Red River, Republic of Texas
Pendleton, South Carolina
The first known record of John Richey is the 1810 Pendleton South Carolina census (1810 U. S. Census, Pendleton District, S. C.), where he is listed on page 226. He is shown living next door to an "Ansey Richey" who is of unknown relation, however one of his daughter's was later to be known as Mary 'Alsey' Richey who may have been named after her. His family is listed on the 1810 census as having one male between sixteen and twenty-six years of age, three females under ten years of age and one female between sixteen and twenty-six years of age. This would reflect the family as consisting of John, his wife Martha, daughters Sophia Charletia, Eliza Berryman, and Evelina McField Richey. Ansey Richey, listed on the 1810 census next door to John, is reflected as being between twenty-six and forty-five years of age. What relation this lady is to John is unknown. Nothing more is known of the family in South Carolina. Much research has been done by this author and others and we have been unable to connect this John to the Abbeville, South Carolina, Richey's with any proof.
John Richey moved his family to Jefferson County, Alabama where they purchased a land grant of 81.60 acres in Township 15-S, Range 1-E, Section 19 on 8 December 1821 (E. 1/2 of N.E. 1/4), certificate number 2019S2, in the old Tuskaloosa land records, for $1.25 an acre, $102.00 total. The land was situated near land bought by Elias S. Bishop, who was to become a son-in-law, and the land of James Ritchie (originally purchased 3 Sep 1821). He is an unknown probable relative, possibly he could be his father, brother or an uncle. I am seeking additional information on this James Ritchie, who he was, and where he went when he sold his Alabama land.
The Richey's are listed on page 20 of the 1830 Jefferson County, Al. census. Also listed are a Thomas Richey and Daniel Richey, who are possible brothers to John Richey, and on page 21 are listed James Richey, Sr., James Richey, Jr. and a John Richey, Sr. James, Sr. is shown as being between fifty and sixty years of age, John, Sr. is shown as being between forty and fifty years of age, and Thomas and John, between thirty and forty. Daniel and James, Jr. are shown as being between twenty and thirty years of age. The relationship of all these families are not known. They all bought land near each other (see image below). It is possible that James, Sr. and John, Sr. could be brothers and the rest are sons of these two men, but their relationship has not been proven as of this writing.
John Richey sold his Jefferson County, Alabama land to Mines Yancey the 16 Sept 1837. The sale is recorded in Book 6, page 130 of Jefferson County, Alabama. This document required that Martha M Richey, his wife, be taken aside and examined apart from her husband to attest under oath that she freely signed and delivered the said deed without any fear or threats of her husband. This document also proves that they were husband and wife. It gives no indication as to the length of the marriage or place of marriage, or Martha's maiden nameS3. The sale is recorded by Justice of the Peace, Charles C. Clayton(who also was to become his daughter's father-in-law). All the Jefferson County, Alabama Richey's sold their land about the same time, but it is not known where the rest of them re-located to.
Red River, Texas
Family tradition says John Richey rode horseback to Texas and applied for a Republic of Texas headright land grant. He returned to Alabama and brought his family to Texas in Nov 1839 where they received certificate #93 for 640 acres. They rode by ox wagon through Memphis, Tennessee where family legend says the Mississippi River was frozen over and the wagon train crossed it on ice.
I live in Memphis, Tennessee and if you could see the Mississippi River today you would wonder how that could ever be possible. Recently at a seminar, I asked that question. A kind lady gave me an answer. She said her grandfather remembered the Mississippi River freezing as a young boy. She said that a hundred years ago, the river was much different, and it had places that were not as swift, was more shallow and had many sand bars. I also asked how did they get their wagons across such a large wide river? The answer is they moved them across with barges, horses, mules, and ropes.
John Richey's headright Certificate #93 includes sworn statements "that he arrived in the Republic of Texas on the 1 November 1839 with his family, and that he resides here now and intends to make this his future place of residence"S4. It is witnessed by Elias S Bishop and John Sanders. He was issued Certificate #93 for 640 acres of headright of land which was signed by the board, 7 Nov 1839S5.
John Richey's Probate of Estate
John Richey died at Blossom, Texas (now Lamar County) near the end of 1840 where his estate is entered into probate in Red River County, on 1 Oct 1840. Family tradition passed down says he is believed to have contracted pneumonia on his way to Texas from Alabama from which he did not recover. His family scattered widely over Texas with most of them going to Hopkins, Morris and Upshur counties.
On 11 November 1844 a document was signed giving the children's interest in the estate to their mother. This document was not signed by the Claytons (Eliza Richey Clayton) who remained in Alabama, Elizabeth and William Richey, or Matilda and William B. Stout (the former executor). Also the two children who were not 18, Sarah Frances Richey and James Andrew Richey.
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