This sounds like one of ours! What were some of the stories?
Have you contacted any of the other Ruddles Station association Conways?
Let me CC this message to them. Here's something someone sent that
you might find interesting. Somewhat inaccurate, but interesting...
Wed, 7 Mar 2001 14:16:28 -0500
The actual story is "The Triumphant Trails, Toils and Tribulations of
Revolutionary Pioneer Mother, Elizabeth Conway-A Biography to Show The
HUman Portrait Of This Heroine Of The Western Frontier."
It states that the following is just part of a paper given to Virginia
Walton Brooks, at the April meeting of the Memphis Geneological Society.
I have no idea who the original author is or where the rest is after her
part. But I was given it from Mildred Bellew's book '200 Years Of
Pendleton County, Kentucky"
from Millie of course... She hunted me dowm because of a story of my
great Aunt and she wanted to tell me some stories that she knew about
The following is the paper:
"Elizabeth Bridgewater Conway was a native of VA of ENglish parentage.
About 1751, she became the wife of John Conways Sr.,a latin scholar and
teacher, who emigrated from his Dublin, Ireland home to VA. His teaching
profession caused then to establish several homes in VA and KY. (Their
family Bible owned bt Mrs Brooks, a descendant, records the names and
births of nine of their children). Family tradition tells us that they
lived in Spotsylvania Co, V. Form war and pension records of their sons
we learn that each of them was born or enlisted for military service in a
different VA county. The birth dates of their five daughters and four
sons ranged from Jan 11 1753 to June 25 1775, a span of 22 years of
childbearing. Yet this strudy mother lived an additional 34 years dying
July 30 1809.
These freedon-loving Virginians were weary, worn pioneers as they trudged
the long and uninhabited trails of the buffalo into the fertile valley of
the Ohio River. They moved under the constant threat of surprise attack
by stealthy savages as they followed the buffalo tracks, on their
exploration of the wilds of the terrain to Bourbon County, Kentucky, the
far western country. This perilouis trek was hardest on the younger
children and courageous mother, who was responsible for their well-being
along the long trail through the wilderness. They had to provide theri
own food and shelter along the journey. The youngest children, were four
year old Sarah and nine year od Nancy. The oldest Samuel was 23 years
old. The Conways destination was Ruddles Station (Hinkston's Station) on
the upper waters of the LIcking IRvr, in present county of Bourbon in
Kentucky. They were in the wilds far beyond succor orrelief. The hard
pressed settlement and outpost was under constant theat of savage
Here Elizabeth labored under the mosr horrowing, uncertain and trying
conditions in her new home in the wilderness, away fro mfamily, friends
or adequare necessities of life. Elizabeth and John gave their children
the elements of a plain English education. Thus the Kentuckian Conways
became Indian fighters and frontiersmen. These brave frontiers women,
Elizabeth and her daughters were ever alert to the dangers of the wrath
of the red men on the warpath, devasting frontier settlements. They must
bear their share of the responsibilty to defend their hoome anf lives
from Indian attacks. The father and sons had enlisted in the militia to
help fight the blood- thridty Indians who preyed on the settlements.
Early in the spring of 1780, the danger of marauding Indians became so
great that these families were obligated to leave their own rough hewn
log homes to move into the fort for protection. While the women and
children the men went out daily to work, clearing the land and planting
the crops. Alternating their work ith guard duty, having theri guns ready
to protect the workers against an Indian attack.
Ruddles Station and the Conway family had escaped the terror of an Indian
raid until a peaceful Sunday morning of June 19, 1780, when Elizabeth and
JOhn's youngest son was scalped by the marauding Indians, sent by the
British. There was no fore-warning that this was not to be like any other
Sunday at the fort.
Early in the morning, Joseph and two of his young friends left the fort
to drive cows for milking. The cows were found grazing on the opposite
side of the river. The boys started driving them back to the fort, but
when they reached the river they stopped to play with a turtle on the
river bank. Some of the men were on the oppostie side of the river
washing theri faces and hands for breakfast, when an Indian lying in the
bushes fired upon Joseph, wounding him in the side and the rushed out on
him and tore off his scalp, and broke his skull with his tomahawk and
left him for dead. His two young friends managed to escape and alert the
After the ravaging disaster of the attack, young Joseph was rescued,
revived and in tome recoverd from the point od death. back at the fort
his scalp wounds were treated with an application of cobwebs made into a
poltice to stanch the blood. Of necessity, Elizabeth was well versed in
and heavily dependent upon homemade remedies. In this emergency the life
of her young son was at stake. The fort was thus alerted to further
attacks. They were aware that the heathen Indian had been a scout for the
British to raid and attack the frontier settlers.
The frontier had not recovered from the shock of scalping of Joseph, when
on June 22, 1780, Captain Henry Bird, an Englishman, attacked Ruddles
Station with British, canadian, and Indian arny troops, with deadly
assault. Bravely the men fought back to save the fort from the assualt of
the British soliders and red hordes sent down upon them by Lord Henry
Hamilton at Detroit, the French-Canadian city far to the north.
The fort was quite inadequiated against the cannon attack. Th british
Commander, Capt. Bird promised protection and safe transport to Detroit
to all dwellers in the fort. But this he failed to do. To prevent further
bloodshed and death the frontiersmen surrendered the fort on conditions
that the British would take complete command of the prisoners, which
comprimised the men of the garrison, their wives and children, including
the recent scalped Joseph, three days earlier. It will ever be a blot on
the record and integrity of Capt. Bird, that he broke his word and turned
the prisoners over to the red man, who proceeded to march the helpless
victims over 160 miles to Detroit, with inhumanity and cruelty.
Among those captured were John and Elizabeth Conway with their sons, John
and Joseph and their three youngest daughters, Elizabeth Conwat
Doiugherty aged 20, and her husband William, Nancy aged 10 and Sarah aged
5 years. Nevr were the defenseless human beings treated with less
humanity, courtesy or less protection to their life's safety as the
prisoners of was as were these pioneers. The old, the ill, the weak and
the very young were required to keep the same pace as the men in the
conquered party. Some were massacred bt the Indian guards, when they grew
faint and weary and fell by the wayside. There were no facilities for
feeding the captives and no shelter for many night stops.
every member of the Conway family, including Joseph, not only survived
the march but survived the four years of cruel and miserable captivity in
the cold north. Here they were confined for four years of agony,
privation, hardships and without adequate shelter, food or clothing.
Five year old Sarah was seperated from her parents and "adopted" by an
Indian and his squaw as their child. The Conways never saw her during the
captivity. This added heavily to their burden. Nine years after theri
march to Detroit, after the Conways had returned to KY, they were able to
get a trace of the where abouts of their daughter. John Conway searched
and finally found her, now a girl of fourteen. BY paying a heavt ransom
to her captors, or foster parents of the red race, he was able to return
her home to Ky.
The first day of June, 1784, they were released to find their way back to
KY, on their own power, as best they might, dependent upon their own
resourceful guidance to survive the long journey back to the western
country, far to the south. Without their beloved Sarah, the Conways and
Doughertys treked on foot, back to the Licking River of Kentucky. They
covered the tiresome journey south by August 1784. What rejoicing and
thanksgiving greeted theri return as hopes of their survival had vanished
with the passing years of the war. With the encouragement of family anf
friends, the Conways set out once again, to build a home and make a new
life on the frontier, now won from the British, even though not entirely
free from Indian threats and the wilderness itself.
For the next 25 years John and Elizabeth had a less hazardous, though
active and useful life. John died may 3 1801 in Bourbon County, KY and
Elizabeth survived him some 8 years dying July 30 1809. John Conway,
Elizabeth Conway and their son Joseph Conway have been accredited by the
DAR for theri service as patriots, defenders of the fort, and as
prisoners of war for 4 years. The war ecords of the other four sons have
ben rognized as well."
Now the info that has can down is different though i believe it is the
same story...My grandmother use to tell us thay an great however many
grandmother of hers was a Cheifs daughter, and that she was considered a
Indian Princess due to who her father was. But things change over time
and lord knows what it really was, mt mom swore by it and herversion so i
plan on transcribing moms story that grandma told her...
At 07:47 PM 4/23/2001 -0400, you wrote:
Dear Jon Hagee,
I'm wandering through your many pages searching for my husband's
family. I know that his grandmother, Anna Cremins Conway, was born in
Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky 24 Dec 1852 and died in
Cincinnati, OH at 103 years on 23 March 1956. She had at least one
child, Thomas Henry Conway who was born 11 May 1887. I have the two of
them living in Fayette County - near Lexington in the 1910 Census.
I've searched for months in earnest without a single connection.
Hopefully you might possibly be able to help? All the stories I've
found are from the late 1700s or early 1800s.
Hoping for a match...
PS. Margaret Bates referred me to you since she couldn't help me.