Saturday, August 3, 2013

Elisha - Maryland to Kentucky and Back Again and Again

     How many times did Elisha travel between Maryland and Kentucky?   From records that exist he may have traveled at least three times.  
     Although no birth or baptism record has been found, Elisha's tombstone shows a birth in 1789, most likely in Maryland.  The earliest orphan guardianship record1 uncovered dates to 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland with Joshua Mudd as guardian.  By 1804 some of his records seem to be originating in Kentucky with Elisha under the care of Thomas Cambron.  So that might indicate that he traveled once to Kentucky by the time he was about 12 or 13 years old.  
     There is also evidence that he made a trip from Maryland in 1812.  The biography of John Joseph Montgomery2,  states that when John Joseph Montgomery's grandfather "Thomas Montgomery was twenty-one, he joined his cousin, Elisha Gates, in the trek over the 'Old Indian Road'  through Pennsylvania's Cumberland Gap, southwest to Kentucky."  This might have been his second trip.
    After the War of 1812, we know that Elisha traveled back to Maryland because he sold Anchovy Hills Plantation and got married in April 18173 in Prince George's County.  And 1818 Nelson County records show he purchased some sheep from an estate and paid taxes on land in Kentucky.
     So if our interpretation of these records is correct he made at three roundtrips between Maryland and Kentucky.  Each one-way trip is about 640 miles by today's roads.  They probably averaged less than twenty miles per day but at that rate each one way trip was over 32 days.  On his last known trip he traveled with his new bride, Christina. 
     And don't forget in 1813 he traveled north to Canada to participate in the Battle of the Thames.  Elisha did his share of traveling.

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1.  "Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 July 2013), Elisha Gates, 01 Jan 1800

2.  Spearman, Arthur Dunning John Joseph Montgomery 1858-1911 Father of Basic Flying University of Santa Clara, 1967

3.  Prince George's County (Maryland). Clerk of the Circuit Court, Marriage licenses, 1777-1880,  Film #14305  Family History Library,  Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949

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