MARGARET   RALSTON

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THE STORY AS I KNOW IT

 Margaret Ralston was born about 1700 maybe in Quinby, Scotland. -  A Genealogy by Eva Laughlin LeBlanc named Descendants of John Laughlin from the Atlantic to the Pacific is available from the LDS library in 1991. The information on Margaret's parents comes from that source.  There is now additional information online in Roots that add to this, but none have actual documentation.  I can find no current place called Quinby or Quenbey Scotland nor Northern Ireland.

She was definitely related to  David Ralston and there is stronger evidence that she is related, and very likely the daughter or granddaughter of Andrew Ralston.  It was said he was born in Ireland and emigrated to America about 1728.  He had property in Cumberland County Pennsylvania.  Much of the story following relates to the Deed Record for Andrew Ralston.

There is a strong belief on the web that Margaret Ralston married Anthony White, and with the Deed records I concur that it is very likely they wed about 1720 possibly in Armagh Northern Ireland.

Now to the Deeds.

Cumberland County PA Deed Book B1-2  The deed states that on Dec. 4, 1760 Andrew Ralston, deceased of West Pennsborough Twp granted to Anthony White of Middletown Twp. 152.10 pounds for Improvement on east side of Big Spring "being the one half of Andrew Ralston deceased plantation. David Ralston has the south side of the said plantation bounded the east by William Laughlin and on the south east by John Hodge and open to the Barrons. Witnesses were James Laughlin and Allen Leeper.

Cumberland County PA  Deed Book B2-4  The north moiety of tract formerly possessed by Andrew Ralston, now deceased, who gr. Dec. 4, 1760 to Anthony White, who lately died intestate and whose admrs petitioned Cumberland Ct. Orphans Court.  The court ordered a public sale May 21, 1764, the sale was held June 4, 1764.  Margret White and David Ralston were the admirs. of Anthony White, deceased yeoman of West Pennsborough Twp.  The 200 - 250 acres was granted to Jospeh Jacobs for 238 pounds. the land was bounded on the north by William Laughlin, southeast by John Hodge, south by David Ralston and barrens, southeast and west by the Big Spring. Witnesses were William Plunket and William McCoskey or McCoskry

These Deed transcriptions come from Deed Book B 1766-1769.  There seems to be possible errors.  In the first William Laughlin is in the east.  on the second in the north.  Then in the second it states that Big Spring is in the south east and west.  Not sure how that is possible.  It would be very nice to see the actual map of the property.

From this we can suggest that Margaret  was Anthony White's wife.  It has been suggested and it fits what we are given that Margaret was the sister of David Ralston and daughter of Andrew Ralston.  Deed B2-4 notes that the Orphans Court was petitioned.  It would be very helpful to read that document.

The LeBlanc piece said that in the 1750s Mary White married John Laughlin in Pennsylvania.  Mary and John Laughlin had a son named Anthony.  He was born October 1764, just about 6 months after Anthony White died.  Hence naming their son after her recently deceased grandfather.

If a crude map is drawn of the deed property, all are seen to be related.  It may all have belonged to Andrew Ralston to start with. That needs to be researched.                                             

And finally. there are records in the Cumberland County PA Historical Society that do connect Laughlin and White families.  Court House Record #24 W  Estate Inventory of Anthony White, deceased Feb. 20, 1764. James Laughlin and Patrick McFarlance filed the inventory May 21, 1765.  The first item listed in the Inventory is his whiskey still. James Laughlin would be William's brother.  An interesting aside is that the Laughlin family were from a small village just south of Bushmills Brewery in Northern Ireland.

I believe the mention of "Big Springs to the west, may well refer to the church near the spring as there was no town as of yet.

 Big Spring Creek is beautiful, shallow and clear to the bottom in 2009.  It winds through lovely farm land for 4-5 miles to the Laughlin Mill - built by William Laughlin.  The Mill was in the family for over 100 years.  Our family? - I believe there had to be a connection, but do not know what it was. The original meeting house was constrcuted in 1737 and the stone structure in 1789.  Newville (New Village) was founded in 1790 when the Big Spring Presbyterian Church laid out the town on their land and sold the lots.  Therefore, all of the Ralston land mentioned above would be just east of Newtown, as the town is on the west side of the Spring.

Margaret and Anthony White probably moved into the area of Big Spring maybe by 1737 or very near there after.   It is stated on the web that they had 4 children.  However, as Anthony died intestate, I know of no direct sources.  Descendants of John Laughlin noted above states that Mary White wed John Laughlin.  I don't know of the source of the other children but those mentioned online are
1.  Mary White born 1725 in Scotland, wed John Laughlin c 1750 in Pennsylvania
2.  Thomas White
3.  Samuel White
4.  David White

Anthony White died intestate by Dec. 4, 1760 which is when the Deed B1-2 noted Anthony White, deceased and Margaret White was his admin. then and still when the sale of the land was reported to the court in August 19, 1764 in Deed B2-4.  It is not known how much longer Margaret survived him.  By 1764 she would have been in her 60s.  We do not know when she died.  We would guess they are both buried at the Big Spring Presbyterian Church cemetery - now called John Graham Memorial Cemetery.


 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

If you know the answer please CONTACT US

1. Where was Margaret born?

2. Search for immigration records for the White family.

3.  Find the Orphan Courts records for Anthony White's young children.

4. When and where did she die?

 

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Date created: 11/17/2013
Date edited 7/4/2016