Abt 1768 - 1828 (~ 60 years)
Has no ancestors but 25 descendants in this family tree.
||John Welch |
||11 Dec 2001 |
- Several accounts exist as to the European origins of the Welch ancestors, any of which may be possible, but none proven. Three brothers from Wales: There is a persistent tale in Welch history of three Welch brothers that came from Wales. Some go further to say the name Welch was given to them, with only minor corruption, because they were Welsh, which is what people from Wales are
called. Welch as Queen’s Bodyguard: There is a story that a Welch ancestor was a Member of the Queen’s Guards – the bodyguard corps to the Queen of England. After the Queen’s Guards lost a battle in a civil war to the Orangemen, the Queen hid the guards in Wales, posing them as shepherds. When their identity was discovered the Queen arranged for them to be sent to America. If this story true, it would likely have had to occur 1688-1690 when William of Orange II (King William III of England) defeated troops of the unpopular Catholic King James I of England. The researcher who posed this story is long since dead and his files unavailable.
Welch’s were Scots: A researcher writes,
“ Among the Scotch families of the seventeenth century, Welch, or Welsh, stand out prominently. They seem to have had no connection with Wales as we find no record that any of the name of Welch, or Welsh, ever lived in Wales. They were always distinctly Scotch, though there is evidence that a branch of the family ….. settled in Northern Ireland. The earliest record of any one of that name in America was 1635 when John Welch arrived in New England from the British Isles, either Scotland or Ireland, the reference is not clear.”
An opinion: Based upon available data, this researcher believes the most credible theory is that the original Welch in our history was of Scottish descent, and specifically, was from Ireland of Ulster Scot descent. Data show that the Welch migration pattern was typical of Ulster Scots. Many marriages in the first several generations were with persons of Ulster Scot descent, and their
friends and associates were primarily Ulster Scots.
The name Welch: A book of surnames says:
The name of Welch has become a well-known patronymic in Scotland; in England it is Walsh and Wallis. Wallis and Welch may mean French, as the early Norman settlers before the conquest were called Waslisc by the English.
The first of this line of Welchs which we can be identified with confidence is John , born about 1768. It is believed he was born in Pennsylvania, although we know nothing of his early life .
Family lore, passed down through generations, tells that John served in the Revolutionary War, possibly with the Mountain Troops. The Daughters of the American Revolution believe this is true as they have established a memorial honoring his Revolutionary War service.
The first record of him is in Virginia where he married Elizabeth Ingraham about 1795, and where they had their first
In 1800, John, Elizabeth, and baby William relocated to the Mount Prospect took out land grants on Allan's and Richland Creeks. Other Welchs also took out nearby land grants, including James, believed to be John's brother.
When Haywood County was established in 1809, John was elected as the first Senator to represent it in the North Carolina State Legislature; and he was re-elected in 1811. Records show he was a prominent and involved member of the early Haywood County political, social, and religious activities. While living in North Carolina, John and Elizabeth had seven additional children.
About 1816 John again moved with most of his family, this time to Missouri. There he purchased a fort, Fort Kincaid, located on the Missouri River.
The area in which Fort Kincaid is located is known as Boone's Lick, and has an interesting history. Early in their expedition, in June, 1804, Lewis and Clark stopped at the mouth of Bonne Femme Creek, a tributary to the Missouri River. Several days were spent investigating the area and, in doing so, they found and made note of a salt spring. They stopped there again on their return trip in 1806. Soon after, Daniel Boone found the salt spring, and with his sons established a salt manufacturing operation in 1807, shipping the salt down the Missouri River in crude canoes hollowed out of sycamore trees. The Boones were the first white inhabi-tants of the area, which became known as Boone's Lick from the salt manufacturing operation of the Boone family.
The surrounding area was fertile and soon attracted additional settlers, most of them Kentuckians, arriving in 1810-11, who learned about it from the Boone's. This was still Indian land, outside the acknowledged jurisdiction of the United States, and the Indians were rightfully upset about the numbers of white settlers arriving. The Indians began to harass the settlers and to steal their stock; they even dispatched more than a few with their arrows. The whites were ordered to leave by the U.S. government, but they refused to do so and, in 1812, for their protection, they erected two forts -- Coo-per's Fort and Fort Kincaid. Over the next three years, the Indians were exceptionally hostile a , requiring the white settlers to live in the two forts for protection. One of those living in Fort Kincaid during this time was the young Kit Carson. He talks about it in the opening paragraphs of his autobiography, as follows:
I was born on 24 Decr. 1809 in Madison County, Kentucky. My parents moved to Missouri when I was one year old. They settled in what is now Howard County. For two or three years after our arrival we had to remain forted and it was necessary to have men stationed at the extremities of the fields for the protection of those that were laboring. For fifteen years I remained in Missouri. I was apprenticed to David Workman to learn the saddler's trade. I remained with him two years. The business did not suit me and, having heard so many tales of life in the mountains of the West, I concluded to leave him. He was a good man, and I often recall to my mind the kind treatment I received from his hands, but taking into consideration that if I remained with him and served my apprenticeship, I would have to pass my life in labor that was distasteful to me and, being anxious to travel for the purpose of seeing different countries, I concluded to join the first party for the Rocky Mountains.
In 1815 a treaty was made with the Indians by which the Indians resigned to the whites the
surrounding lands. The whites could then leave the safety of the forts to establish their own farms and homes and it was the following year, 1816, that John Welch purchased Fort Kincaid. In 1816 the Boone's Lick area was still very much a frontier, although this was the year the first territorial laws were imposed on the area and the first taxation.
After John purchased Fort Kincaid it continued to be a focal point for new pioneers to the area as well as for existing residents. Many people lived in the cabins within the fort and there existed several taverns, one of which was operated by John. He also built a race track for the amusement and pleasure of the Boone's Lick residents. In addition to Fort Kincaid, John bought a large tract of nearby land, later known as Welch's Tract. As a land speculator, he laid out lots and advertised " its soil unsurpassed by any other part of town; where the landing of vessels and boats of all sizes can be effected every day in the year with a safe harbor. Lots so contingent to the great landing of the town, if it ever becomes a commercial place, of which there can be no doubt, may never again come into the market."
By 1820 there were 15,000 people living in Howard County, while not fifteen years before there had been only Indians. It was getting too crowded for John. In 1821 he deeded his Howard County lands to a son-in-law and moved further up the river to Clay County. There it was more frontier-like, where he bought more land at government sales, established a new home, and built a distillery.
Immediately preceding the War of 1812, British agents traveled throughout the frontier telling Indians of the forthcoming war between the United States and the British, and incited them to take hostile actions against the white settlers. The Indians -- the Sacs, Foxes, Kickapoos, and Pottawottomies who lived and hunted around Boone's Lick -- were only too glad to accommodate. They wished to rid the area of the white settlers. Prior to this time the United States could do little to protect the residents because this area was part of a Spanish grant issued in 1800. Missouri was made a territory of the United States in 1812, and William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame was appointed as the Territorial Governor. When Missouri became a state in 1821, however, William Clark lost the public election for Governor as the people thought he was too lenient on the Indians.
Taxation for the year 1816 was as follows: each horse, mare, mule or ass above three years old -- $0.25; all cattle above three years old -- $0.0625; each stud-horse -- $0.0625; every negro or mulatto slave between 16 and 45 years -- $0.50; each billiard table -- $25.00; every able-bodied single man of 21 years old or upwards not being possessed of property of the value of $200 -- $0.50; water-mills, grist-mills, saw-mills, horse-mills, tan-yards, and distilleries in operation -- $0.40 for every $100 valuation.