But I also found information suggesting this ancestress (Margaret Beattie Hansford) lived to be at least 97 years of age. That is if the census taker didn't mess up, or the interviewie didn't lie too much. There was an error in the age of her son, who was head of the household, saying he was only 59 when in actuality he would have been closer to 66. So maybe mom's age was not quite accurate either.
Anyway, that 1860 census is the source of her age.
And the Ancestry folks connected her to parents as well, who came through Virginia and then the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, actually to Somerset, Pulaski County, KY...as well as Crab Apple, KY.
So I've gone ahead and saved various tidbits from Wikipedia about the great trek of my ancestors from VA to KY.
The Appalachian Mountains form a natural barrier to east–west travel, from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Settlers from Pennsylvania tended to migrate south along the Great Wagon Road through the Great Appalachian Valley and Shenandoah Valley. Daniel Boone was from Pennsylvania and migrated south with his family along this road. From an early age, Boone was one of the longhunters who hunted and trapped among the Native American nations along the western frontiers of Virginia, so-called because of the long time they spent away from home on hunts in the wilderness. Boone would sometimes be gone for months and even years before returning home from his hunting expeditions
The route of the Wilderness Road made a long loop from Virginia southward to Tennessee and then northward to Kentucky, a distance of 200 miles (320 km).
From the Long Island of the Holston River (modern Kingsport, Tennessee), the road went north through Moccasin Gap of Clinch Mountain, then crossed the Clinch River and crossed rough land (called the Devils Raceway) to the North Fork Clinch River. Then it crossed Powell Mountain at Kanes Gap. From there it ran southwest through the valley of the Powell River to the Cumberland Gap.
After passing over the Cumberland Gap the Wilderness Road forked. The southern fork passed over the Cumberland Plateau to Nashville, Tennessee via the Cumberland River. The northern fork split into two parts. The eastern spur went into the Bluegrass region of Kentucky to Boonesborough on the Kentucky River (near Lexington). The western spur ran to the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville). As settlements grew southward, the road stretched all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee, by 1792.
Because of the threat of Native American attacks, the road was so dangerous that most pioneers traveled well armed. Robbers and criminals also could be found on the road, ready to pounce on weaker pioneers. Although the Transylvania Company had purchased the region from the Cherokee, and the Iroquois had ceded it at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, other tribes, such as the Shawnee, still claimed it and lived there.
Often entire communities and church congregations would move together over the road to new settlements. Hundreds of pioneers were killed by Indian attacks.
Defensive log blockhouses built alongside the road had portholes in the walls for firing at Native American attackers. They were often called "stations". No one knew exactly when the next attack would happen. The Shawnee came from the north, while the Chickamauaga (Cherokees who rejected the land sale treaty) came from the south. The tribes were resentful of the settlers taking their ancestral hunting lands, and the French and Indian War had further stirred up their passions against the white man.
The Scots-Irish were great fighters. They had lived in Ulster, an English colony in Northern Ireland, for a hundred years before coming to America. They had taken over land previously owned by the Irish and had much experience as fighters in defending their homeland.
In 1774, Richard Henderson, a judge from North Carolina, organized a land speculation company with a number of other prominent North Carolinians called the Transylvania Company. The men hoped to purchase land from the Cherokees on the Kentucky side of the Appalachian Mountains and establish a British proprietary colony. Henderson hired Daniel Boone, an experienced hunter who had explored Kentucky, to blaze a trail through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky.
Judge Richard Henderson had made a treaty with the Cherokee at Sycamore Shoals in 1775, purchasing over 20,000,000 acres (8,100,000 ha) of land between the Cumberland and Kentucky Rivers. On March 28, 1775, he left Long Island (Kingsport, Tennessee) with about 30 horsemen on the grueling trip down the Wilderness Road to Kentucky. At Martin's Station 40 to 50 additional pioneers joined the venture. On their way, they met nearly a hundred refugees fleeing Native American attacks further down the road. Despite the danger, the party kept going toward Kentucky. Since some of the streams were flooded, the pioneers had to swim with their horses. On April 20, they arrived at Boonesborough, a fortified town, named by Judge Henderson in honor of Boone
After 1770, a surge of over 400,000 Scots-Irish immigrants arrived in the colonies to escape the poor harvest, high rents and religious intolerance of Ulster. Since the better lands had already been taken, they constantly pressed onward to the western frontier of the foothills of the Carolinas.
The flood of Scots-Irish, German, and others immigrants kept coming. Over 200,000 pioneers came over the Wilderness Road, enduring severe hardships. In the winter of 1778-79, the weather was so cold that the Kentucky River froze to a depth of two feet. The frontier settlements alongside the road struggled to survive. Many of the cattle and hogs froze to death. The settlers had to eat frozen cattle and horses to survive
Often the Chickamauga, under the leadership of Dragging Canoe, would hide in ambush for weeks between Cumberland Gap and Crab Orchard, a distance of 100 miles (160 km). They would not attack large groups but wait for weaker ones who were not able to defend themselves. More than 100 men, women and children were killed in the fall of 1784 along the Wilderness Road. Many families, even in ice and snow, crossed the creeks and rivers without shoes or stockings; they often had no money and few clothes. They lived off the land by hunting in the woods and by fishing in the streams.
Since they had hardly any money, entire families sometimes walked hundreds of miles after landing in America. They even used cattle as pack animals to carry their heavy loads. Cabins were built and land was cleared of trees and undergrowth so crops could be planted.
|George Bingham's painting of Daniel Boone coming over Cumberland Gap|
Kentucky the 15th State
According to a 1790 U.S. government report, 1,500 Kentucky settlers had been killed in Indian raids since the end of the Revolutionary War. In an attempt to end such raids into the state, George Rogers Clark led an expedition of 1,200 drafted men against Shawnee towns on the Wabash River in 1786, one of the first actions of the Northwest Indian War.
After the American Revolution, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County. Eventually, the residents of Kentucky County petitioned for a separation from Virginia. Ten constitutional conventions were held in the Constitution Square Courthouse in Danville between 1784 and 1792. In 1790, Kentucky's delegates accepted Virginia's terms of separation, and a state constitution was drafted at the final convention in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state to be admitted to the union. Isaac Shelby, a military veteran from Virginia, was elected the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.The Wilderness Road served as a great path of commerce for the early settlers in Kentucky. Horses, cattle, sheep and hogs found a waiting market in the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia. Hogs in groups of 500 or more were driven down the Road to market. Beef in Eastern markets had become a main source of income for farmers in Kentucky.
A postal road was opened in 1792 from Bean Station, Tennessee through Cumberland Gap to Danville, Kentucky. This was due largely to the efforts of Governor Isaac Shelby of Kentucky. This connection of Kentucky to the East was a great advantage. Frontier settlers considered the postal riders heroes and waited eagerly for their arrival for news from settlements along the trails as well as getting their mail and newspapers.[23I'll next post some info about her father, Francis Beattie (born 1715 in Ireland, died 1791 in Washington County, VA) who wrote a will, which summarizes well what his holdings were, and who his children were. His wife, Martha Tate Beattie was also born in Ireland in 1720, and died before he did, but there's no documentation of her death. They had around 8 children, all born in VA.