William D Douglass

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The William D. Douglass family and their descendants have been leading agriculturists in Madison Township ever since their arrival. William, born in Pennsylvania in 1764, was the son of George Douglass. Both father and son fought in the Revolution.

William Douglass married Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mary Fisher Scott. The Scotts were among the early families of Kentucky who were menaced by the Indians, who killed the mother of Mary Scott, wife of William Douglass.

They located on the Pickaway Plains before moving to Madison Twp. They located their 1,200 acre land grant south of the town.

Douglass was a teamster in Washington's Army by the time he was sixteen, and never outlived his love of fine horses. He continued to raise and breed the best animals available on their farm.

The children of William and Mary Scott Douglass were:
1. Sarah (Sally) Douglass 7/18/1791-7/18/1880 (Mrs. Robert Smith)
2. Margaret Douglass 12/31/1794-3/9/1883 (Mrs. Rev. Ludwell Graham Gaines)
3. Robert Scott Douglass 1796-1878
4. David Douglass 1801-1861
5. William D. Douglass 1805-1866
6. James Douglass 4/28/1807-10/5/1886
7. Polly Douglass B Abt. 1810
8. Samuel C. Douglass 1812-1898
9. Alexander L. Douglass 1815-2/23/1900

James Douglas married Mary Mackerly, who became the mother of Mary S. (Mrs. J. W. Quinn, Martha L. 1843-1949 Mrs. Cyrus P. Wilson, William Henry 1845-1929; Ariadiane (Mrs. Robert Dill), and James Norman Douglass born Nov. 29, 1849.

After James was married, he took over the farm. In 1848, he contracted with Paul Minor to erect a new brick home. Mack and George Prine assisted with the construction. Brick were burned on the farm to use in the walls. When completed, the Douglass home was one of the most outstanding. The home was the birthplace of the youngest son in the family.

William Henry, eldest son of James Douglass, was only a lad in his teens when he enlisted as a member of the 168th Reg. during the Civil War. After the war, he attended Miami University, then taught school for eight years, he also read law in the office of R. S. Leake, attorney of Greenfield. He was admitted to the bar, but preferred to farm. He married, Susan, daughter of Samuel Wyant of Ross Co. They had two daughters, Bertha and Elizabeth. Bertha, born in 1886, was killed in a tragic accident when a mere child. The horse became frightened and she was thrown from the buggy in which she was riding.

James Norman Douglass, completed his education, married Rose, daughter of Peter and Rachel Porter, also of Ross Co. He built up one of the finest registered herds in Ohio. Later he became associated with the Peoples Bank of Greenfield. They were the parents of two daughters, Mary Chriswell and Laura Lucille Douglass.
Members of the Douglas (Douglass) family arrived in American in 1643. Edward Douglas paid for his passage and for others in the family by transporting immigrants to American shores.

He was granted land for transporting passengers, and it was on the land granted him that he established the Douglas plantation, so noted in the early annals of the Revolution. James Douglas married Catharine Collier, sister of James, who immigrated to Madison Twp. He was a brother of the first Wm. Douglass. Another early descendent married Sarah George, whose descendants also came to Highland Co.

William Douglas (info. furnished by DAR)
William Douglass was a native of Pennsylvania and was the son of George Douglass, soldier of the Revolutionary War. William Douglass, himself though only a youth in his teens when the war ended, had the honor of being enrolled in the Continental Army, and served as a teamster in the same regiment with his father. After the war, he married Mary, daughter of Samuel Scott, also a soldier of the Revolution. Thus he left to his descendants a family history particularly rich in patriotic endeavor.

Soon after 1810, William Douglass settled near Greenfield where he purchased nearly 1000 acres of land. Here he spent the remainder of his life was spent. His death occurred Dec. 23, 1852, his wife having passed away some years previously. Though never prominent in public life, he was loyal in support of the church and schools and his name appears among the subscribers to the Greenfield Academy, founded in 1845.

His oldest son, Scott Douglass, was a man of note in the community whose name is still commerated by "Douglass Park" donated for the use of the public by his daughter, Lucy Douglass Welsheimer. Other children of Wm. and Mary Douglass were David, William, Samuel, James and Alexander; Sally, wife of Robert Smith, and Polly, wife of Theophilus Gaines. The family name is still preserved in the community by their grandsons, J. N. Douglas, David Douglass, and Wm. L. Douglass and by the children of John S. and William A. Douglass. Descendents of the Revolutionary Soldier residing in Greenfield but not bearing the family name are William A. Anderson, Mrs. Mary Kerr-Beatty and Mrs. Laura McGarraugh-Robinson.

Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots
Name: William Douglass
Cemetery: Greenfield Cem
Location: Highland Co OH 55
Reference: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Vol.1, p. Serial: 11912; Volume: 4

Father: George Douglass born 10/10/1738 in Washington, Pa.
Died 7/19/1798 Sherman's Valley, Pa.
Mother: Martha Watson born 1738 Hanover Twp., Lancaster Co., Pa.
Died 1803 Greenpark, East Hanover Twp., Cumberland Co., Pa.
George Douglass and Martha Watson were married 1763 in Pa.
George Douglass 1738-1798 was also in the Rev. War.

"Wills, Administrations, Guardianships and Adoptions of Highland County, Oho (1805-1880) Compiled by David N. McBride, Page 7
Douglass, George of "Township of Tyson in the County of Cumberland & State of Pennsylvania, yeoman."
Date July 28, 1798
Wife: Martha
Sons: "...until my son Watson arrives at the age of twenty one years," George, William
Daughters: Sarah McClure, Margarett Scott, Martha, Elizabeth. "If either of my two sons, George or Watson should happen to die before they are marryed or twenty one years...of the are marryed."
Executors: "my said wife and my well beloved son William Douglass of the township of Tyrone aforesaid and my true trusty and loving friend - Wilson McClure Esqr of the same place."
Witnesses: Thomas McClure, John McClure, John Darlington

Note: As previously stated, William D. Douglass and Mary Scott were not the parents of Watson Douglass. Per the will of George Douglass, above, Watson was the son of George and Martha Watson Douglas and a brother to William D. Douglass.



Sources for this article include:

•  "Highland Pioneer Sketches & Family Genealogies" by Elsie Johnson Ayres Page 461-462

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