My Ralston Family to Kentucky

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It is believed that John Rolston Sr. was born about 1730 in either VA, MA, Ireland or Scotland, he married Agnes, unknown maiden name, about 1750 in Augusta Co., they had five known children. The children born before November 1769 were born in Augusta Co.; William Thomas? about 1759, Henry W. about 1765, and Ruth in 1767.  After November 1769, in Botetourt Co.; John Jr. in December 1769, and James about 1773. Remember, they were born at the same homestead. In 1783, John, William, and Henry were listed in Capt. John Dickey’s Augusta Co. militia. According to family and cemetery records, son William saw action at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781.

As early as 1776, nearly the entire area of the present state of Kentucky was considered a Virginia county. Kentucky became a state in 1792. About 1789, three years before statehood, many of the John Rolston, Sr. family traveled to Kentucky and settled in the Crab Orchid area in what was then FayetteKentucky 1831 County, KY. It was here that 4 of the 5 known John Rolston Sr. family married. William to [Agnes] Nancy McClure, Ruth to John Alison, John Jr. to Elizabeth “Betsey” Neely, and James to Nancy Curry. The fifth child, Henry W., apparently stayed in Botetourt Co., VA where he married Sarah Jane Samples, then joined the rest of the family about 1798.

Before 1800, John Rolston, his five children, and their families moved from Crab Orchard to an area centered just south of Sharpsburg, Nicholas County KY, near the south fork of the Licking River. [See map below.]Present Day Ralston Homesteads KY

Kentucky 1831 small

John Sr. died in KY before 1810. Prior to his death, sons Henry W. and James made their way to southern OH about 1802.  After John Sr.’s death, the oldest son, William and several of John Jr.’s family moved to IL. After daughter Ruth’s death in 1833, many of her family moved on to IN. See “to elsewhere for the locations of all the families in 1850.


Present day map showing the Ralston homesteads area near the South Fork of the Licking River and near the conjunction of Bourbon, Nicholas, Bath, and Montgomery counties KY.