Person:Robert Ramsey (17)

Robert Ramsey, of the Cow Pasture, Augusta County, VA
b.Est. 1720-1729
m. Bef 1717
  1. James RamseyAbt 1718 - Bef 1760
  2. Robert Ramsey, of the Cow Pasture, Augusta County, VAEst 1720 to 1729 - 1759
  • HRobert Ramsey, of the Cow Pasture, Augusta County, VAEst 1720 to 1729 - 1759
  • WIsabella BeardEst 1724 to 1735 -
m. Est. 1742-1753
  1. Robert RamseyBef 1759 -
Facts and Events
Name Robert Ramsey, of the Cow Pasture, Augusta County, VA
Gender Male
Birth? Est. 1720-1729
Marriage Est. 1742-1753 prob. Augusta County, Virginiato Isabella Beard
Death? 10 Oct 1759 Augusta County, Virginia[Killed in Indian Massacre on Kerr's Creek]
Estate Inventory? 13 Mar 1760 Appraisal of Estate listed in Augusta County, virginia Will Book 2 (1753-1760), pg. 351.

Robert Ramsey was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Please DO NOT make changes on this page until you have read the information presented below. There were TWO Robert Ramsey's (about the same age) in Augusta County, Virginia which have confused many researchers. Please provide documented sources with any additions or updates.

Two Different Robert Ramsey's in Early Augusta County

This Robert Ramsey is known as "Robert Ramsey of the Great River of Cow Pasture", not to be confused with another Robert Ramsey in Augusta County, Virginia, known as "Robert Ramsey of Beverley Manor". This Robert Ramsey married Isabella (Beard according to some researchers), while the other Robert Ramsey married Margaret Beard, a daughter of Thomas Beard and Jean McNutt. This Robert Ramsey was killed in the Indian Raid on Kerr's Creek on Oct. 10, 1759, as detailed in an article also listed below. The identity of his children is somewhat undetermined, since they were only listed as "Robert Ramsey's orphans" in Augusta County, Virginia Court records. More research is necessary on this line.

The Kerr's Creek Massacres

Robert Ramsey was killed by Shawnee Indians in the 1st Kerr's Creek Massacre on 10 Oct. 1759. An article detailing the Kerr's Creek Massacres is located here:

The Kerr's Creek Massacres 1759-1763

Area of Robert Ramsey's Residence near Kerr's Creek

Image:RamseyRobt Kerr's Creek BordenTract.GIF

Although no specific records have been located for Robert Ramsey's property in Augusta County, it is known that he lived in an area of "The Great River of Cow Pasture". Since he was killed in the Indian Raid on Kerr's Creek on October 10, 1759, it is assumed that he lived in that area of the Borden Tract as indicated in J.R. Hildebrand's Map, above.

Estate Records

From Chalkley's Augusta County, VA Court Judgements:

These citations corroborate the death of Robert Ramsey in 1759, which is also substantiated by other accounts of the Indian Raid on Kerr's Creek on Oct. 10, 1759 (listed below):

  • Page 338.--21st November, 1759. Robert Hall's bond (with Jno. Bigham, Saml. Tencher) as administrator of Ro. Ramsey.
  • Page 351.--18th March, 1760. Robert Ramsey's appraisement, by Andw. Hamilton, Jas. Carlile, Jas. Campbell.
  • Page 413.--8th July, 1760. Robert Ramsey's additional appraisement and sale bill, by Andw. Hamilton, James Calile. James Campbell--To Robt. Hall, James Given, James Hall, James Shaw, Daniel Harrah (O'Hara); to liquor at the vendue; balance due the orphans.

Abt 1760 (apparently shortly after Robert Ramsey's death):

  • Page (410) Commission for examination of Amey, wife of Henry Smith. John Bigham, security for Isabella Hall, admx. of her late husband, Robert Ramsey, prays counter security from Isabella and her husband, Robert Hall. James Wright, orphan of John Wright, decd., to be bound to John Fitzwaters. David Stuart et als., bail for Thos. Fulton in many suits offered to deliver him up, but the Court refused to allow it because there had not been judgment.
  • MAY, 1765 (A). Grand Jury presentments.--Mathias and George Lewis, for driving wagon on Sabbath. John Henderson complains that his father, George, abuses him. Isabella Hall, late Isabella Ramsey, administratrix of Robert Ramsey. Susannah Armentrout, ]ate Susannah Power, administratrix Christian Colley--Susannah lives in Hampshire. Elizabeth Campbell, administratrix of her father, Malcolm Campbell, 1764. William Beard lives in Bedford. June Court, 1764.
  • Vol. 1 - AUGUST 19, 1767. - (224) Robert Hall and Isabella, late Isabella Ramsey, ruled to give John Bigham counter security as surety for their administration of her husband's (Robert Ramsey's) estate.

This appears to be the Robert Ramsey that was killed on October 10, 1759 in the first Indian Raid on Kerr's Creek, which killed at least 20 people. (Source: Rootsweb, Rockbridge County, Virginia)

The settlers listed in the cemetery records as killed in the first raid on Oct 10, 1759, and possibly interred in the McKee Cemetery near Big Spring are: Isaac Cunningham, Jacob Cunningham (son of James and Matie), the Charles Doughteery family, four of the John Gilmore family, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gilmore, Gray (no first name listed), five Robert Hamilton family members, James McGee, Alexander McMurty, Robert Ramsey, James Stephenson, Thomas Thompson, Samuel Wilson, and John Winyard......

Most accounts stress that no captives were taken on Kerrs Creek during the first raid and many men were killed.....

It appears that a portion of "Kerr's Creek" may have been re-named "Ramsey's Creek" after the Kerr's Creek Massacre:

  • Page 146.—26th January, 1762. William Preston and Susanna to Mary Preston, £100, 520 acres on Great River of the Calf pasture; cor. to Kinkead's land, crossing the river and Ramsey's Creek, the land of Lockridge Teste: Robert and Lettice Breckinridge (Brackenridge). Delivered: Wm. Preston, February, 1763.
  • Page 170.—14th February, 1763. Mary Preston to Robert Lockridge, £110, 520 acres on Great River of Calf pasture; corner Kinkead's land, crossing Ramsey's Creek. Teste: Jno. Brown, Thos. Gillham. Delivered: Robt. Lockridge, November, 1764.
  • Page 376.--7th April, 1770. David Kinkead and Winnifred and John Kinkead and Elizabeth ( ) to William Meeteer, £215, 520 acres on Great Calfpasture; corner Kinkead, crossing the river and Ramsey's Creek, Lockridge's land. Teste: Thos. (his mark) Armstrong, Robert McKittrick, John Kirk. Delivered: William Meteer, 8th August, 1791.


Also on 8 August 1786, Jane Hall, dau. of Robert Hall married Robert Hutchison. This marriage was witnessed by Robert Ramsey and James Hall. Robert Ramsey, SR appears to have been married to Isabella Beard for according to Augusta County Court Records she is mentioned as are Robert Ramsey's children in a Thomas Beard will dated 15 May 1769. This Isabella later married Robert Hall and moved to Orange Co, NC. Robert Ramsey's estate appraisal can be found in Augusta County Will Book 2 (1753-1760) at page 351. Appraisal and recording date was 13 March 1760. At page 413 another inventory is presented 21 August 1760." All the above was taken from Robert Stone's book called: Ramseys and Related Families/With Genealogical Charts

Posted by Tom Ramsey on August 19, 1998 at 08:48:26:

I am looking for info on the father of Robert Ramsey of Augusta County, VA. Robert married Isabella Beard and died in 1760. His father (name unknown to me) married Sarah (maiden name unknown) and died about 1746 in Augusta County, VA. Any information would be greatly appreciated

Notes from Lee Ramsey (e-mail: on Robert Ramsey of Calf Pasture:

Jim, After reviewing my loose notes for Robert Ramsey of the Calf Pasture, Augusta County, VA, I find no follow-up research in an attempt to identify the orphan children, with the exception of one – a possible son, Robert Ramsey. The all important unknown is whether any of the Ramsey orphans (under the age of fourteen in 1759) remained in Augusta County, VA or if any of the orphans may have gone with their step-father and mother to Orange County, NC by 1770 – Robert Hall and Isabella (---?---) Ramsey Hall.

It appears that a son, Robert Ramsey, remained in Augusta County, VA and is found as a witness to the marriage of his step-sister, Jane Hall, to Robert Hutchinson on 8 Apr 1786. This record reveals that this Robert Ramsey was born no later than 1765. (Chalkley, Vol. II, 281). Note: the relationships are not described in the record.

On 25 Jan 1770, Robert Hall and Isabella of Orange County, NC conveyed to Andrew Donnaly 150 acres patented 3 Nov 1750 to James Hall, dec’d father to Robert. This land was on Stewarts Mill Creek. (Chalkley, Vol. III, 500). Robert and Isabella Hall also sold land to Joseph Gwinn on 14 Feb 1772. This appears to be land on Cowpasture above Laurel Gap patented to James Hall in 1750 and sold to Robert Hall. (Chalkley, Vol. III, 521).

On 21 Nov 1759 Isabella Hall (now wife of Robert Hall) qualified admx. of her late husband, Robert Ramsey. (Chalkley, Vol. I, p. 85). On the same date Robert Hall’s bond (with John Bigham and Samuel Tencher) as administrator of Robert Ramsey was filed. (Chalkley, Vol. III, 55).

In summary Robert Ramsey of the Great River of the Calfpasture died in 1759, leaving a widow, Isabella, and orphans, with one of the orphans possibly named Robert Ramsey. Isabella married Robert Hall and removed to NC. Whether she took any of the orphans with her to NC is unknown.

One interesting footnote to the Hall / Ramsey connection. My ancestor, William Ramsey, Sr.’s, senior son was James Ramsey, who was born in Augusta Co., VA c.1768, and married 1st in Mecklenburg Co., NC to Isabella Hall 8 Feb 1792. Isabella died shortly after the birth of their second child and James Ramsey married 2nd. to Isabella’s sister, Martha Hall. I do not know the parents of the Hall sisters.


Article on the Indian Raid on Kerr's Creek, where Robert Ramsey was killed by Shawnee Indians: From: marsha moses <> Subject: [INDIAN-CAPTIVES] When Blood Flowed in Kerrs Creek Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:30:01 -0400

I am going to type some excerpts that I copied from the Vertical Files in the Rockbridge Regional Library in Lexington, VA in Oct 2005. My notes say that the original article was published Saturday, Nov 29, 1997 in the Weekender which is a News-Gazette Publication. The author is Deborah Sensabaugh. Please if you use any of the below information give the author credit.

Editor's note: This is the first of two parts on the early history of the Kerrs Creek area of Rockbridge County which, in the mid 1700's, was the sit of two Indian raids that left many early area settlers dead.

There is some information about the French and Indian war at the beginning of the article that I am not typing....It ends with the words....But the treaty wasn't signed soon enough to save the settlers on Kerrs Creek.

When Joseph Tees, founder of Waynesboro, followed the old Indian trail toward the Alleghany Mountains, he and his sons William and Charles paused in a breathtaking valley opening at the foot of a long western ridge. Meandering in a shallow S-curve along a bold creek, the valley contained enough flat land to invite settlement. Later Francis McCown received a patent of 928 acres on Tees Creek. In 1746, he sold parcels to Hugh Martin, Robert Erwin, and Samuel Norwood.

Other early settlers at the foot of North Mountain were the Gilmores, McKees, Hamiltons, and Logans. Three Cunningham brothers arrived with their families--Hugh, James and John. The eldest, Hugh, bought a tract from Benjamin Borden in 1748 near John Car's. He called it Big Spring after the numerous springs that gathered into a pond and created an ideal cabin site.

In 1762 he sold the land to his son, Jonathan, who had married Mary McKee.

In the fall of 1759, the two Telford boys walked home, possibly from school. Their walk turned into a run. Breathless, they told of a naked man they saw hiding behind a tree. No one thought twice about their tale until later.


60 Shawnee warriors followed their chief, Cornstalk, from the Ohio....Acting friendly they worked their way downt the Greenbrier, gaining the settlers confidence before attacking and killing most of them.

From what is now Milboro in Bath County, 27 of the warriors slipped over Mill Mountain about two miles north of the present Midland Trail near where Interstate-64 now cuts toward Clifton Forge. A pile of stones said to be placed there by Indian warriors through the years marked the mountaintop. The stones were dozed away with the building of 64. ....

Near the head of the creek atop a bluff, Robert Irvine scarcely breathed as he counted the war party on the trail.

At the first cabin along the creek at present day Denmark, Charles Daughtery and his family was killed. Next was Jacob Cunningham cabin. With Cunningham away, his wife was killed, his 10 year old daughter knocked unconscious and scalped. She later came to and survived to face the Indians a second time on Kerrs Creek.

Next came the home of Thomas Gilmore, today on the north side of I-64 where Va 623 crosses over the interstate on its way toward Rockbridge Baths. The elderly Gilmore and his wife were leaving to visit a neighbor when they were killed and scalped. The rest of the Gilmores escaped.

Five of the ten members of Robert Hamilton family next fell victim.

By that time the community was alerted to the danger, with residents scrambling for safety everywhere.

Harry Swisher, who owns the old Laird homestead that previously was the McKee farm, says the old log cabin exists under the clapboards of a renovated 1910 farmhouse......Swisher believes the old house cold be the McKee home spoken of in the raid stories. John and Jane or "Jenny" Logan McKee had six children whom they'd sent to Timber Ridge for safekeeping. When the alarm sounded through the neighborhood, the McKees fled their home ....Mrs McKee could not run quickly (one account says she expected a child) and John had left the house without his gun. As the Indian pursuit neared the McKees, Jenny begged John to run on. ...Its said McKee paused helping his wife to hide in a sink hole on the Hamilton farm. His parting words were "God bless you Jenny" Its also said he looked back from his race he saw the tomahawk fell his wife. With Indians almost close enough to catch him, and encouraged by his wife's sacrifice, he bounded on. ....McKee hid until dark....He buried his wife where she lay and wrote her name in the family bible.

John McKee lived to rear his motherless children whose descendents were numerous along Kerrs Creek and in westward expansion.

Another account published in the McKees of Va and Ky related John was at a neighbors tending some sick children and returned to find wife killed and scalped.

The settlers listed in the cemetery records as killed in the first raid on Oct 10, 1759, and possibly interred in the McKee Cemetery near Big Spring are: Isaac Cunningham, Jacob Cunningham (son of James and Matie), the Charles Doughteery family, four of the John Gilmore family, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gilmore, Gray (no first name listed), five Robert Hamilton family members, James McGee, Alexander McMurty, Robert Ramsey, James Stephenson, Thomas Thompson, Samuel Wilson, and John Winyard......

Most accounts stress that no captives were taken on Kerrs Creek during the first raid and many men were killed.....

Since the rest of the Shawnees had wiped out the Greenbrier settlements, Charles Lewis (whose father John Lewis had founded Staunton and after whom Va 39 is named) raised the militia and gave chase. The band of soldierfs split with Lewis heading one group, John Dickinson another, and William Christian the third. They pursued the Shawnees to the head of Back Creek in present Highland County. Two scouts fired on two Indians who were taking an elk to their camp and the other Indians escaped.

At Straight Fork, four miles below the present WV line, the militia caught up with the Indians again and ambushed their camp. All but one were killed, and legend says their carrying poles and guns were found later.

End of transcription of excerpts from Deborah Sensabaugh's article. Marsha Moses