Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Captain John's Father--Interpreting the Evidence

I'm using my blog to lay out my logic for naming Mathew Rippey as John Rippey's father (though really I think I can credit my sister Jean for most of the material).

When one searches Ancestry family trees for Captain John Rippey, born 1749, most of the trees name Samuel Rippey and Rachel Armstrong as his parents.  Some of the trees use Mathew as the father, and there's a mixture of other theories, or possibly errors. I'll consider only the Samuel theory as an alternative to Mathew.

What do I know for sure:
  1. There's no primary source giving John's father
  2. There's are secondary sources giving John's father as Samuel, but I'm not aware of that linkage being based on a primary source. 
What do I think I know:

Geography: Two censuses are relevant, the Federal census of 1790 and the Pennslyvania septennial censuses of 1786 and 1793. The 1786 census shows Hugh and Mathew in Dromore, Lancaster county; John in Chaunceford, York county, and William and Samuel in Southampton, Franklin County. The 1790 Federal census shows William, Samuel and Mathew in the same places, no John, a Richard Rippey in "Mixed township", York county (not seen since), and an Elijah in Franklin, plus a couple new Rippeys in Philadelphia.

We know John and Mary were in Chaunceford township before moving to Ontario county, NY.  Geographically it makes more sense for John to be the son of Mathew than of William or Samuel.  Why? Because the Scots-Irish tended to move to the west and south for land.  It's less likely that John would move east from his fathers farm than west.

Lack of Support for Samuel

The Biographical Annals of Franklin County is provided as one source for the Samuel/Rachel parentage.  Here's a link to the relevant entry for them.
According to this, they had 8 children, with child no. 6 a son John. But all it says for him is "6. John C became a physician."  That doesn't fit with our Captain John.

This is another early genealogical history .It lists only four children for Samuel and Rachel, none of them John.  (Samuel Rippey Jr had a son, John, known as "Col. John" according to this, but no dates given and they'd be too late for our Captain John.

 Support for Mathew/Hugh

The best support for Mathew as John's father goes back to Jean's researches, which I got into Google documents years ago but haven't managed to get them public. (Sheer inertia.)  To save redoing previous work, I'll provide these links:
The bottom line for the documents is that a John Rippey appears twice in the documents and the ages fit.  That's not conclusive evidence but it seems the most probable conclusion based on the evidence I know of.

Naming Pattern
As cousin Marjorie first observed,the naming pattern of Capt. John's sons fits with Mathew being his father, not Samuel.  John named his oldest son Mathew (his father), his second son George Orson (wife's father) . He never named a son "Samuel".