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Descendants of John Conway - June 24, 2003

Generation No. 1

1. JOHN1 CONWAY was born Bet. 1710 - 1730 in (Dublin, Ireland?), and died 04 Dec 1801 in Millersburg, Bourbon Co, KY. He married ELIZABETH BRIDGEWATER Abt. 1751 in Henrico Co, VA (perhaps another daughter, see note). She was born 1735 in (England?), and died 30 Jul 1809 in Millersburg, Bourbon Co, KY.

Notes for J
The Samuel Conway family Bible gives dates for the children of John Conway, and some information beyond, but primarily concerning his own family through marriages first to Elizabeth Clemmings/Clements, and second to Margery (Ackles) Miller.

John Conway was a teacher (thought to be a Latin scholar) born in Ireland in the years between 1710-1730 (from census). Other records show that John was born variously in 1723, 1731, or 1732. DAR records simply record "ca. 1730." The Conway family came to Virginia with the emigration commonly known as that of the "Irish School Masters," in about 1728. (The problem with this, of course, is that John would have been age 2-8 years old at this time.) Mia Fleegel's notes say that a brother (name unknown) may have come with John to America.

They were in southwest Virginia prior to the outbreak of the Revolution. Samuel Conway is said to have manufactured powder for the Virginia Troops used in Lord Dunmore's War at the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Henry C. Ogle in 1903 and again in 1912, gives a detailed narrative of the Conway family to George Pohlman, Jr. in a series of letters. It is he that advances that John Conway was an immigrant from Dublin, Ireland. This apparently comes from no other source. John Conway, Sr. was Ogle's great grandfather, and John Conway, Jr. was his grandfather. He is also the advocate of 4 sons and 6 daughters (the Samuel Conway Bible lists 4 sons and 5 daughters) of John and Elizabeth Bridgewater Conway.

Mrs. Julia Ardery of Paris, Kentucky, concluded that John was probably an uncle of Miles Withers Conway and brother of Thomas C. Conway and probably did not emigrate from Ireland.

Elizabeth Bridgewater lived in Spottsylvania County, Virginia, and she and John Conway married in Henrico County, Virginia, about 1751 or 1752.

In 1775, John Hinkston and other settlers built fifteen crude cabins on a broad flat ridge above the South Fork of the Licking River, along an old game trail from McClelland's Station in Scott County, to Lower Blue Licks. This site is presently located in Harrison County. In the winter of 1776-1777, Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams helped build a blockhouse at the station. Indian threats caused the station to be abandoned shortly after. Isaac Ruddell enalrged and fortified the station in 1779, and after that, it was alterlately called Ruddell's or Hinkston's Station. A number of Pennsylvania Germans lived there and at nearby Martin's Station. (extracted from 1957 article by Nancy O'Malley)

John resided first in Spottsylvania County, Virginia, then to Kentucky in 1779, where he moved to a location in what is now Bourbon County, on Licking Creek.

24 Jun 1780
"I do certify that John Coway found himself and John Conway Junr.
John Conway and Joseph Conway Soldiers in Actual Service Meat from the 10th day of March 1780 till the 24th day of June being 107 days and likewise Meat from the 10th day of April till the 24th day of June being 76 days Each --
James Trabue Coms. Kentucky Riddell's Station 24th day of June 1780
(George Rogers Clark Papers, Draper Collection, University of Wisconsin, Reel 5, p. 388)

In June 1780, John Conway, his wife, and six of their children sought refuge from the British-incited Indians at Ruddle's Station, and were captured by Indians. They endured a two-month march to Detroit and held in captivity four years. This incident is more fully described in the notes for Rhoda Long Ground, and is quite well documented in several publications.

During the raid, about 20 inhabitants were killed at the site. The bones of the victims were later gathered and buried in a mass grave covered with stones. The site was included in Hinkston's 1400-acres settlement and preemptive grant, filed in 1784, and is marked by a stone monument.

The ledger of Thomas Smith, a merchant at Detroit, has been preserved in the Burton Historical Collection of the Public Library, Detroit, Michigan. The ledger carries entries relating to the prisoners. One such entry says, "Mr. Conway, a prisoner from Kentucky, taken by the Indians." The ledger contains three entries:

16 Jan 1783 - 8-1/4 lbs. tallow at 3'6; 15 lbs. port 30'; 2 pr. buckles 24'
23 Feb 1783 - 3 yds flannel 8'; total 1' 4"
28 Feb 1783 - To cash paid Wheeler 1'4"

Total for the account was 6 pounds, 10 shillings, 10 pence.

The ledger of John Askin of Detroit, another merchant, has 15 entries covering the period of 11 Aug 1783 to 8 Jun 1784. Purchases by the Conways covered a wide range of articles, including "sundries," nails, an agze (?), tobacco, rateen, a pair of temple spectacles, a pair of pins, a pair of women's shoes, 10 lbs. of sugar, and 33 lbs. of sugar. The total of this account was properly balanced by credits, some of which was the return of certain tools, including 2 pettiaugers, a saw and some files. The last entry in the ledger was 8 Jun 1784 at which time the storekeeper paid John Conway 4 pounds, 4 shillings, and 11 pence cash. The saw and files were returned on the same date. This seems to indicate impending plans for departure from Detroit.

The Conways were released in 1784 and made their way back to Kentucky, where they found their land was lost and taken by squatters.

Jefferson County, KY:

page 190, "Old Kentucky Entries And Deeds," Jillison:
Conway, John Jr., 1000 acres, Book A, p. 37 , 29 Apr 1780, Conway Settlement
Conway, John, 400 acres, Book A, p. 252, 13 Jan 1783, Beech Fork
Conway, John 400 acres, Book A, p. 333, 20 Jan 1784, Pottenger Crk.

Fayette County, KY:

John Conway had 1779 claim for Kentucky land which gave him "right to claim 400 acres and preempt 1000 acres." Land was granted, 1400 acres, on two grants, in 1784. This was in two parcels:
30 Sep 1784 - 400 acres Virginia Grant on Hinkston Fk., Fayette County, KY
Book 6, p. 369
30 Sep 1784 - 1000 acres Virginia Grant on Hinkston Fk., Fayette County, KY
Book 8, p. 313

Fayette County, District of Kentucky:

Patrick Henry, Esq., Governor of Commonwealth of Virginia, affixes seal on 14 Aug 1786 (year of our Lord) (11 Aug 1786) (of the Commonwealth) to land patent of John Conway. Conway is granted land in the District of Kentucky for 2 pounds sterling a tract of land 400 acres, surveyed 13 Sep 1784, on the waters of Hinkson's Fork of Licking, bounded on the south by the Buffalo Road from Riddle's Station to the lower blue licks, at an ash and walnut running from thence north 75 degrees east 284 poles to the box elders and two honey locusts in the line of Henry Thompson's preemption, thence with said line north 15 degrees west, 254 poles (crossing a small creek and passing his corner) to a box elder and hickory, thence south, 75 degrees, west 254 poles to a hoop-ash and cherry tree, thence south 15 degrees 254 poles (crossing a small creek) to the beginning. (Book 6, p. 369.)

(Note that in this day, "Right of Settlement" laws allowed a person to receive from the State of Virginia 400 acres of unsettled land, if they were to clear out an acre, cultivate it, and live there for a year. At the end of that time, they received a patent for the 400 acres.)

An additional 1000 acres on Hinkston's For, was granted 30 Sep 1784 in Fayette County (Book 8, p. 313).

John Conway built a substantial home on this tract of land. The author of an article which appeared 4 Nov 1936 in the Palmyra Missouri, Palmyra Spectator, states that he/she visited the place and spent a night in this old home which was built in 1790. It was then occupied by great grandson, James M. Conway, and he said that he expected to remain there until his death.

The author described the house as built of walnut logs and covered with cedar shingles that were fastened on with pegs instead of nails. All nails used were hand made and were very few in number. Most of the casings were fastened with wooden pegs and even the doors were made without the use of nails. All the boards used in building the house were whip-sawn.

The fireplace in the home was enormous, and would take a log six feet in length. From one side to the other, the fireplace was 9 feet and extended into the room more than two feet. The house was located about 4 miles from Millersburg, Kentucky, to the east. The visit was made late in May, 1918. About a quarter mile from the old home was the family burial ground.

In order to visit the cemetery, it was necessary to walk through a field of wheat, where the half-acre cemetery is located, surrounded by a fock fence about four feet high, covered with vines and surrounded with briars. Only rough pieces of limestone indicated the position of the graves of John Conway, his wife, and some of his children.
Sources vary as to the exact description of the area where they died. Some accounts list Millersburg, in Bourbon County. Others say Campbell County. For Elizabeth, still other sources list Fayette or Nicholas County. The Fayette County location is the land granted to John Conway in 1786, which is now located in Bourbon County. Part of the confusion is that this area underwent changes in county and even state/territory names. Kentucky in 1776 was organized as a separate county of Virginia, and in 1780, it was divided into three counties. In 1787, John Conway is witness to a deed in Bourbon County, Virginia (later Kentucky). On 1 Jun 1792, Kentucky was admitted as a state to the Union.

Virginia has a similar geographic history. From 1634, beginning with the parent county, York County, all the following Conway sites were actually in the same location: Greenbrier Co, VA (now WV); Spottsylvania County VA; Montgomery County VA.

Bourbon County, KY: John Conway paid tax in 1791 and 1793 .

DAR application papers have been obtained for National No. 499025 (Anna Jablonsky) for John Conway and National No. 182277 for Elizabeth Bridgewater Conway. Both services are for their capture at Ruddle's Station in 1780.

DAR papers of Lillian Miller Pohlman of Macon Co, MO, on the line of John Conway show the following children (the papers are dated 29 April 1922):

Drusilla b. 11 Jan 1753 md. (?Basil Wells?)
Mary b. 14 Jan 1755
Samuel b. 23 Oct 1756 md. Elizabeth Clemmons
John b. 10 Aug 1758 md. Anna Sutton 14 Apr 1790
Elizabeth b. 16 Apr 1760 md. William Daugherty
Jesse b. 17 Dec 1761 md. Hannah Tharp May 1789
Joseph b. 14 Dec 1763 md. Elizabeth Caldwell 23 Feb 1792
Nancy b. 28 Jan 1770
Sarah b. 25 Jun 1773 md. Nathaniel Underwood.

Noted is the following "One of these daughter married William Daugherty's brother, think his name was Joseph Daugherty, one married a man named Long."

This seems like an attempt to bring the Bible records and Ogle's repeated statements that there were 6 daughters, into alignment. Another DAR member whose papers are said to be identical is Nettie Bratney Glore (national number unknown).

Halderman Papers, Add. Mss 21, 843, Microfilm Roll A-765:
Page 289 lists "Return of Prisoners sent from Niagra and Arrived at Montreal this 4 Oct 1782" and includes Jno, Eliz, and Jesse Dougherty, date 24 June 1780, Virginia. Note that Jesse Daugherty, son of William and Elizabeth (Conway) Daugherty, was born in captivity. There is not enough information in this source to really identify these three people.

Burial is listed in "Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Missouri" (Houts, 1966), p. 56

Notes for E
Four of the sons of Elizabeth Bridgewater as well as her husband, served in the Revolutionary War.

The following Bridgewater marriages were found in Kentucky:

Bridgewater, Eliias to Ruany Palmer 16 Nov 1813, Shelby County
Bridgewater, Eliza to William Blankenship 19 Apr 1827, Madison County
Bridgewater, Isaac to Milly Akers 16 Jan 1816, Shelby County
Bridgewater, Levi to Betsey Burnett 31 Dec 1805, Nelson County
Bridgewater, N. to P. Page 3/5 Feb 1814, Barren County

Elizabeth Bridgewater Conway died, according to Henry C. Ogle, a great grandson, of a cancer on her forehead. She was living at that time with her son, John Conway, Jr.

Burial is listed in "Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Missouri" (Houts, 1966), p. 56.

Mia Fleegel's notes indicate that Elizabeth died of cancer and died in Nicholas County, Kentucky.

Marriage Notes for J
LDS Records show the marriage as occurring in 1752 in Henrico County, Virginia.

Information in an 1894 article by Fannie Daugherty stated that Dulcina Conway married a Mr. Long of Virginia, another sister married his brother, and another sister married Basil Wells.

Since it is known that Drussella(r) married Basil Wells, and that Mary married John Long, it is assumed that if Dulcinea/Dulcina was not confused with Drusella(r), she either married another Long, brother of John W. Long, or married John Dougherty. So the two sisters in question are Nancy and Dulcinea (if the latter exists).

However, since this child was not entered into the Samuel Conway Bible, it is uncertain whether this is accurate. This child is said to be older than Sarah "Sally" Conway. Since Sarah is herself 17 years younger than Samuel, it is possible that a child was omitted in his Bible record, particularly if she had traveled away from the family. There are ample gaps in the children of John and Elizabeth (Bridgewater) Conway to accommodate more children.

Henry C. Ogle, in his 1903 narrative, states that two Conway sisters married Long brothers, two Conway sisters, Elizabeth and another, married Dougherty brothers (Elizabeth married William, the other married John). Dulcina married Basil Wells (note this conflicts with other information), Sally married an Underwood.

Mia Fleegel cites Joseph Mann when listing children: Drusillear, Mary, Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Jesse, Joseph, Nancy and Dulcinea.
Children of J
  i.   DRUSELLA2 CONWAY, b. 11 Jan 1753, Virginia; d. Bef. 1800, Kentucky; m. BASIL WELLS, Unknown; b. Abt. 1766; d. 26 Aug 1834, Gallatin Co, KY1.
Death date is speculated based on the fact that Bazil and Nancy Wells are found as founding members of Mill Creek Baptist Church in Harrison County, Kentucky in September 1808. (See also notes on Basil Wells and Nancy Conway)

  Notes for BASIL WELLS:
Basil Wells and wife lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, but were apparently in Pendleton County, Kentucky by 1821.

He was appointed guardian for Ruth Boner, daughter of Charles Boner 19 Mar 1821 in Pendleton County, Kentucky.

John, Basil, and Benjamin Wells arrived in Gallatin County, Kentucky in the 1820s, where Bazil is said to have died in 1834. His son, John, left Gallatin County at about this year or just previous for Illinois, and later migrated to Missouri, possibly following his Conway uncles and cousins.

A timeline for Bazil Wells, sent by Fred Westcott ( in December 1999:

Bazil/Basil/Bas(s)ell/ Barzillai/Bassel/Bazel Wells:
Bourbon, Harrison, Pendleton, Gallatin Counties, Kentucky, 1785-1834

(marriages need further verification)
1750 - Bazil Wells b. possibly as early as 1750
1770 - (abt) Bazil Wells m 1. Drusilla Conway (b 11 Jan 1753 VA)
1785 - Virginia Petition #31 with William Steele, John Welch for ferry across
      Kentucky River (Fayette/Lincoln counties)
1786 - Bazil Wells m. 2. Nancy Conway (b. 1770 VA) on 6 Jun 1786 Bourbon County,
      Kentucky (source, Hughes, email Pat Vorenburg,
      21 Jan 1999)
1787 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List B (next Benj. Wells, near James
      Furnace, Reuben Underwood, John Conway, Wm. Marsh, David & Sam'l
      Tharp and others)
1788 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1788 - Virginia Petition #55 (also Benj. Wells et al), Bourbon County, Kentucky,
      south of Main Licking
1789 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1789 - Virginia Petition #66, Bourbon County, Kentucky
1790 - Bourbon County, Kentucky - pd. 600 pounds for 6 wolves' heads
1792 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1793 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1793 - July, proved deed of Nathaniel Massie
1794 - (No tax found)
1795 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, estate of Benjamin Wells, signs with
      Dorothy Wells.
1796 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1797 - Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tax List
1797 - Harrison County, Kentucky, Tax List
1798 - (No tax list available)
1799 - Harrison County, Kentucky, pay one day's court attendance as a witness,
      court trial of Isaac Levi, charged with stealing wheat.
1799 - Harrison County, Kentucky, Grand Jury duty
1799 - 1816 - Harrison County, Kentucky, Tax List
1808 - Bazil, Nancy Wells; James, Asinor Furnish, and Clemmons
      Charter members of Mill Creek Baptist Church, Harrison County, KY
1809 - Harrison County, Kentucky, Estate of John Wells (also Nancy Wells,
      James Furnace)
1812 - Harrison County, Kentucky, August, Sale Bill on Estate of Michael Ritter
1816 - Harrison County, Kentucky, Tax List. Does not appear in this county after.
1817 - 1819 - (No reference found in Harrison or Pendleton Counties)
1820 - 1823 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, Tax List
1820 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, US Census, page 18, near Henry Daugherty,
      Charles Boner
1820 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, made guardian of Ruth Boner, daughter of
      Charles Boner
1821 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, appraised estate of James Nolan.
1821 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, bill of sale on estate of Isaac Lockwood
1823 - Pendleton County, Kentucky, Delinquent Tax List - "removed to Gallatin Co."
1824 - Gallatin County, Kentucky, Tax List
1825 - 1828 - (not found on Gallatin County, KY tax list)
1829 - Gallatin County, Kentucky, Tax List (last tax record found)
1834 - Gallatin County, Kentucky, death 26 Aug 1834 (reference Hughes, email Pat
      Vorenburg,, 21 Jan 1999)
1840 - Gallatin County, Kentucky, US Census, Nancy Wells living alone, age 60-70

2. ii.   MARY CONWAY, b. 14 Jan 1755; d. Aft. 1780.
3. iii.   SAMUEL CONWAY, b. 23 Oct 1756, Fincastle Co, VA (now Montgomery Co, VA); d. 17 Sep 1830, Marion Co, MO.
4. iv.   JOHN CONWAY, JR., b. 10 Aug 1758, Henrico Co, VA; d. 15 Jun 1837, Nicholas Co, KY.
5. v.   ELIZABETH CONWAY, b. 16 Apr 1760, (prob Greenbriar Co,) VA; d. 19 Oct 1847, Pendleton Co, KY.
6. vi.   JESSE CONWAY, b. 17 Dec 1761, Fincastle Co, VA (now Montgomery Co, VA); d. 09 Oct 1840, Greene Co, IL.
7. vii.   JOSEPH CONWAY, b. 14 Dec 1763, Greenbriar Co, VA (now WV); d. 27 Dec 1830, St. Louis, St. Louis Co, MO.
  viii.   DAUGHTER CONWAY, b. Abt. 1765; d. Unknown.
See also notes at the marriage of John and Elizabeth Bridgewater Conway.

While Samuel Conway's Bible does not list an additional child, a great grandson of John Conway and Elizabeth Bridgewater, Henry C. Cole, Sr., wrote in 1903 a long account of the family as related to him by his mother and uncle, Nathaniel Conway.

In the account, he states that John and Elizabeth were parents of 10 children -- 4 sons and 6 daughters. "The sons," he says, "were Samuel, the oldest, next Jesse, John and Joseph, he being the youngest of the boys. Of the daughters I can now remember the names of only 3 of them, viz., Elizabeth Dulcinea and Sally. She was the youngest of all the children."

He continues to relate that Joseph was born about 1765 and Sally 1774, but that he did not know the others' ages. Two of the daughters whose names he had forgotten married brothers named Long. Elizabeth married William Dougherty. Another whose name he had forgotten married John Dougherty, brother to William. Dulcinea married Basil Wells (note that this is contradictory information). Sally married an Underwood. The first 5 sisters married in Virginia; Sally married in Kentucky.

Samuel married a Miss Clemons, John married Miss Anna Sutton; Joseph married Miss Coldwell. The last two married in Kentucky.

8. ix.   NANCY CONWAY, b. 28 Jan 1770, (See Notes); d. Aft. 1840, Living in Gallatin Co, KY 1840.
9. x.   SARAH CONWAY, b. 25 Jun 1773, "Sally"; d. 19 Sep 1845, Sangamon Co, IL.

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