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Musings on Isaac, Rankin, John & Abraham
Posted by: Mike Westfall (ID *****5009) Date: August 24, 2012 at 13:39:47
  of 1548

My great-great-great grandfather Isaac Westfall married Harriet Black in Miami County, OH on 23 May 1833. He was underaged (being 18 or 19 years old), so Rankin Westfall consented to the marriage. The minister who married them was Asaph Boutelle, whom I have been able to determine was serving the congregation of Salem Presbyterian Church in Lost Creek, Miami COunty, OH at the time. Isaac is listed on the 1835 Ohio state census, living in Lost Creek. Later censuses show that Isaac was born in VA around 1814, and Harriet born about 1812, also in VA.

Rankin Westfall married Martha Black in Greene County, OH on 6 Jun 1824. The minister that married them was John Steele, who was serving the congregation of the United Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Greene county, OH at the time. Rankin is also found in Lost Creek, Miami county, OH in the 1835 in the 1835 Ohio State Census, on the smae page as Isaac. In the earlier 1830 federal census, as well as in the later 1840 federal census, Rankin is listed in Elizabeth Township, Miami County, OH. Later censuses show that Rankin was born about 1802 in VA, and Martha about 1801, also in VA.

For Rankin to have given the consent for Isaac to get married, they must have been closely related. Rankin is too young to be Isaac's father. Rankin is probably an older brother of Isaac, or maybe he's his uncle. And what about Harriet Black and Martha Black? No doubt they were related to each other. Sisters perhaps. Maybe cousins.

One may perhaps presume that Isaac came with Rankin to Miami county from Greene county. In the 1830 census, we see that in Rankin's household are listed 2 males in the 15 to 20 years old range. These are too old to be Rankin's children. One of them is very likely Isaac.

There were other Westfalls in Miami county. These were the family of Jacob Westfall Jr. and Mary King. They came to Ohio by way of Kentucky. Isaac and Rankin were born in Virginia at the time that Jacob's family was in Kentucky, so Isaac and Rankin are not part of Jacob's family.

So now, turning our attention to Greene county, Ohio, were there other Westfall families in Greene County at about the time Rankin got married in 1824? In 1820, there is an Abraham Westfall in Xenia (where Rankin got married); in 1830 Abraham is in Ross and there is a John Westfall in Beaver creek. Also, in 1830 there is an Ann Westfall in Bath.

Later censuses show that John was born about 1794, and like Rankin and Isaac, was born in VA. He married Mary Weaver in Greene county on 28 Aug 1816. He's too young to be Rankin's father, and he is known to have a son named Isaac born in 1818 who married Julia Grate in 1838, so he isn't our Isaac's father.

So what about Abraham? He doesn't show up in the census of 1840, and coincidentally in 1840 a woman in the 61-70 year old range shows up in Rankin's household in Miami county. Perhaps this is Abraham's widow, and Rankin & Isaac's mother. Also, he isn't listed on the 1810 census for any county in Ohio. This would be consistent with him being the father of John, Rankin and Isaac.

However, I don't find any Abraham Westfall in VA in 1810. in 1790 there are 2 Abraham Westfalls, in Dutchess and Ulster counties, New York, and one in Northampton county, Pennsylvania. In 1800 and 1810 there is an Abraham Westfall in Washington county, Pennsylvania. Also in 1800 there is an Abr'm Westfall in Tioga county, NY.

The Abraham Westfall that lived in Washington county, PA is Captain Abraham Westfall, son of Petrus Westfall, born in Sussex county, NJ and married Blandina Van Etten. He died in 1829 in Carroll county Ohio. He is not the Abraham of Greene county.

The Abraham Westfall of Dutchess county, New York was christened 18 Oct 1754 at the Rhinebeck Ducth Reformed church, and is the son of Gysbert Westfall and Annetjen Van Etten. He died 29 Jul 1793 in Dutchess county, New York, so he is also not the Abraham of Greene county, and not the father of John, Rankin or Isaac.

I have not been able to find an Abraham Westfall that spent time in Virginia at the time that John, Rankin and Isaac were born.

So, the questions remaining:
1) Are John, Rankin and Isaac brothers?
2) Is Abraham of Greene county, Ohio the father of them?
3) Where did Abraham come from?

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