OK you guys, sorry I have not responded in a while. I got a hot lead a few months back on the McLeans and had to stick with it. I've been reading the posts, but have not had time to respond.
My father, Robert Earl Reffitt, was born to Russell Earl Reffitt and Mary Ellen Spratt. Russell's parents were Charles Asa Reffitt and Marie McDowl(?), Charles' parents were George Reffitt and Loucinda Lairson.
Charles was born in Kentucky, Mt. Sterling area, however he and Marie resided at 1414 Peck Avenue in Hamilton, Ohio their married lives. Charles had siblings: Eliza Jane; Namia (aka Nannie) - she married a Ballard; James; and a step sister Mandy. Loucinda remarried a man named James McRoberts and they moved to Powell County which is where they were during the 1900 census.
We have some good leads from the Russell Reffitt you mentioned (email@example.com) and are 98% sure that we're connected. However, a lot of his data doesn't check out and it conflicts with other researchers who I've contacted.
About 4 years ago, I was in contact with a 17 year old kid living in Ohio who was into genealogy. He would be a younger cousin of mine. We lost contact and he continued his research. I've seen his email address pop up with dates back into the early 1700's - with the Reffitts originating in Virginia. I've tried to contact him, but he has not written back.
As far as the spelling and pronunciation, yes my father has repeatedly told me that Charles pronounced it Ref-feet and that it was of French Indian origin. He says that Charles spoke Cajun but when confronted would try to convince people it was French so he would get more respect - I guess the Cajuns were considered a bit wild in Ohio and also often mistaken for blacks. The Ohio river area was extremely "KKK". If you could convince people you were Indian or French, they left you alone. He also says that Charles could not read or write English and signed his name with an "x". But I have his application for a Social Security number, and he signed it himself. So maybe it was George, Charles' father, who he was talking about.
My father was raised in Ohio, but I was born and raised in Southern California. The French in the late 1700's and early 1800's did dominate Southern Kentucky, and I have researched this a bit. I believe the Reffitts were of French origin and sometime last year I was off to a good start in tracking them. What I did was get on the International genweb and start typing in Reffitt and all the variations trying to track it forward rather than backward, starting at about 1750. I found quite a few and was on my way when I saw the pages from that kid and it confused me. I'm thinking that they came into Virginia during the French revolution or something and migrated from there. By the way, when overseas I found the Reffitt variations to have been of royal descent. I have all this on my other computer at my office and will pick up my research again this week. In the meantime, I hope this info helps.
Dianne Kelley Reffitt McLean
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