Posted By:Mary Turney Miller
Subject:Re: Indian Captives from Virginia, western Pennsylvania
Post Date:August 31, 2008 at 19:40:56
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Forum:Pontiac's Rebellion Forum
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I did a little research on the Severns/Severn, etc. name and found a lot about John the brother of Hannah. It is a bit confusing to me, depending on the source.

One says: Genealogies of Kentucky Families from the Filson Club History Quarterly, published 1981, entitled "Pioneer Linns of Kentucky"...Hannah Severns (or Soverigns as it is spelled in the article) married Benjamin Linn 1777 in what became Harrodsburg Kentucky. She came from a Welsh family which settled on the Potomac River in Virginia. It does not give date for attack, but her father William was killed, much of the rest of the family was taken captive including Hannah. They were taken into Ohio territory and held several years, released by Col. Bouquet in 1764. Hannah died in 1814.

Info about JOhn Severns:
History of Gibson County, Indiana by Gil R. Stormont
page 37 Gibson County First Settler
from news of March 1913....account of first settler, John Severns.....first white settler to tread the soil of Gibson County...the coming of the first white settler was preceded by a thrilling and tragic incident, the scene of which was enated in Virginia. A native of Wales, Severns came with his parents to America several years before the Revolutionary war. When the war for independence was declared, John Severns answered the trumpet's call for volunteers. On the occasion of the first visit home with his parents, some months later, a band of blood-thirsty Indians swooped down on the family one evening and took them prisoners. The father, mother, sister and younger brother were killed, while John and an elder brother were kept as prisoners.
page 38
John Severns remained a prisoner seven long years. At divers times he sought to escape, but his captors were too cunning for him, and under threats of death Severs was compeled to adjust himself to the new life and its environments. In adopting the garb and manners of the Indians, John Severns undoubtedly presented an amusing specacle. He was a short, heavy-set man, of powerful build and the feathers and paint furnished him the by Indians did not help his apperance as a red man. The years rolled on....and one day, at the lcose of his seventh year in the captivity of the Indians, he made the use of an opportunity to break for liberty....etc, etc.

Another source says - John and Ebenezer Severns were surveyors in Monongalia Co VA. John sold property on Yohogania in 1772, the to harrodsburg Ky in 1775. John, along with his father William, a native of Wales, and a brother and sister were captured by Shawnee Indians during the French and Indian Wars. They were prisoners for 7 years. They were rescued by the Bouquet Expedition. John's brother stayed and had a family, his father William died while a captive. John moved to Red Stone, PA. and then to KY, settling near Elizabethtown, in Severns Valley, which is named for him. John fought with George Rogers Clark, serving as an Interpreter to the Shawnee. John later settled on the Patoha River in Gibson Co. Indiana.

I must say that trying to sort thru this info is a chore - and you have probably seen it all. It seems to me the family was living in Virginia (perhaps what is now West Va) when attacked? What year would this be? About 1758? The Indians were attacking the valley of VA thru the passes into what is now West VA - coming from the "Ohio Country". People in West VA, along the Greenbrier river, etc. were almost wiped out. My people were living around Woodstock, Edinburg VA along the Great Wagon road, but a bit up in the mountains enough that there was one attack in that area against one of the family forts. But the upper Potomac was hit hard.

Would this have been when your Severns was hit? For some reason I thought they were German from western PA.....I don't know how I got that from what you have said.

Anyway, PA does have a lot of info on all might also check the VA library. As you have seen Michigan has some of the records, as I am sure Canada does also.

Good luck - I know chasing all this down is difficult since the sources are all over. Have you looked at Drapers papers?