This page was begun in 2000 and was updated on 7 April 2008-- rak.
The very few hints we had regarding the origins of the early Kentucky Ruggles virtually all pointed to Maryland and/or Virginia. However, the trail was tough!
One of the early great men of northern Ruggles genealogy was Henry Stoddard Ruggles of Wakefield, Mass. Among other things, he wrote a study of one George Ruggle, who was instrumental in the founding and running of the Virginia Company which sponsored the earliest English settlement of Virginia. In that paper, Henry's editor noted (later in Henry's papers, I found the editor was quoting Henry):
"Though George Ruggle was among the founders of Virginia, none of his name came to Virginia, till his descendant, Francis Dunbar Ruggles [the sole brother of Henry], marched to her defence in arms [in the Civil War] and shed his blood [killed at Fredericksburg, buried in Richmond] on her soil ..."
Well into our work on Project 2, it was easy to think that Henry's editor was correct about no Ruggles having been in Virginia, or in Maryland either for that matter! We were finding NO Ruggles records.
In colonial days, we are told, everyone wanted to own property. So when looking for folk, one often first looks at records of purchase and sale of land. In such records, in both states, we found no Ruggles under any spelling we imagine. We are now more than 90% convinced that no Ruggles, prior to 1830, ever owned even one square inch of land in either state.
It began to feel like we were chasing ghosts, not real people. Perhaps those dozen or so first- and second-hand reports by Kentucky Ruggles of birth in Maryland and Virginia were ALL wrong ...
Then, very gradually, bits and pieces of evidence began to turn up. Today, we still have very little actual evidence, but we have enough to believe that those early Kentucky Ruggles were not wrong about where they had been born. Some day, we hope to have proof, one way or another.
Do you have any information to help us? If so please e-mail Dick Kraus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As best can now be told, the early Kentucky Ruggles used a Allegany-Monongalia Staging Area just before their move into Kentucky. Click on it for info.
Or you can return to the: Southern Ruggles Home Page