Vaught Family

(10/05) My claim on the Vaught family is conjectural. It's a good probability, but without any documentary evidence to support it, I can't state it as a fact. Nevertheless, it looks better to be than any alternative. Eventually, something may turn up to prove who Joseph Rhoads married.

Elizabeth Vaught?

Elizabeth is named in Joseph Rhoads' will, which was proved in 1799. Her maiden name is not given. I don't know the year she was born or the exact year she died and I have no record of the date of marriage.

There have been other names put forth including Keith, Mitchum, Mitchell, and Van Meter, but again there appears to be no documentation.

So, here's what I think:

Elizabeth _______ Rhoads was born to Christian Vaught (aka Vought) and Hannah Crum in about 1854. She married Joseph Rhoads some time before 1775 in Pennsylvania and produced at least 9 children between 1775 and 1794. Some people have the birthdates of their children as early as the 1760s, but that doesn't make any sense.

I suggest 1754 as a birth year because if she married by 18 or 20, then she could have commenced producing her flock of children between 1772–76 and wrapped it up with Rachel in 1794.

According to other researchers Jacob Rhoads was born in 1780. According to Joseph's will, he and Henry were the two older sons. The oldest daughter, Mary Rhoads Hunsaker was born about 1775.

In the Vaught family there is a son, Simeon, born in 1752 and Gilbert, born in 1756. This would fit Elizabeth between them. I've not seen any documentary proof of birth years, so this is possible.

In any event, Gilbert and John Vaught were among the many families who followed Henry Rhoads and his several brothers west to Kentucky, though if Joseph was the youngest and daughter Rachel was born in Pennsylvania, then the earliest Joseph and Elizabeth could have been in Kentucky was 1794/5.

Other probabilities make an alliance more probable. Like the Rhoads family, the Vaughts were also German and probably shared many cultural, language, and religious characteristics. It was more common for people to marry social peers than to marry outside the "tribe", though that probably broke down quickly enough in the Wilderness which is what Kentucky was in 1795.

John Vought appears in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania in the 1790 census. Joseph Rhoads appears in the 1790 Fayette County, Pennsylvania census. By 1796, probably not long after arriving in Kentucky, Joseph is granted 600 acres in 3 200-acre parcels along Bradley's Creek, Mud River, and Jacob's Creek.

Joseph Rhoads died in 1799 and was survived by Elizabeth and nine children. What became of Elizabeth is not known except that she died sometime between 1799 and 1807 when Gilbert Vought appears in Muhlenberg County Records as the guardian of Daniel and Catherine Rhoads, orphans of Joseph Rhoads, dec'd. Families being what they are, it's more likely that guardianship would be assumed by kin.

Thus goes the logic. If someone comes up with a better suggestion, I'm certainly willing to change this.

Updated January 17, 2006

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