Monday, February 15, 2010

Augustine Bickerstaff, RIP

I thought about titling this post, "Remembering Augustine Bickerstaff," but since I don't really have a memory of him, I thought that might be misleading. While I don't have an actual memory of him - because he was born in the 1700s and died on 15 February 1857, I do want to remember that he lived.

Augustine is my 4th great-grandfather, the father of William whose birthday was yesterday.

What I know about Augustine is almost non-existent and mostly comes from others who have done more research than I have. I do have a copy of an obituary for his daughter, Sabra (Bickerstaff) Nash, who passed away in January, 1879.

Sabra was born on 15 August 1798 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Augustine and Elizabeth (no maiden name given) Bickerstaff. The obituary goes on to say,
Augustine and Elizabeth Bickerstaff... emigrated to this State, March, 1799, when it was a territory, and located in Cross Creek township, this county, not far from where the union cemetery now is. At that time there were but three log houses in Steubenville, one being located on the corner of High and Market streets. Mr. Bazeleel Wells, the founder of the city was camped on the river bank, and was engaged in laying out lots for the town. Indians were as common here then as negroes are at the present day.
The obituary also mentions Sabra's siblings (and, therefore, Augustine & Elizabeth's children): William Bickerstaff, Mrs. Joseph Lowden (also spelled Louden elsewhere), and Mrs. Mary Johnson. Sabra's will was also published in the newspaper and mentions additional siblings who had already passed away.

One other bit of information I have is a BLM GLO record which tells me that Augustine bought 81 and 10/100 acres of land on 20 October 1824 in what was then Carroll County. In this record his name is recorded as "Augustin," which makes me wonder how he pronounced it.

I obviously have more research to do if I want to do more than mention Augustine as a gggggrandfather.

Sabra's obituary and will were both published in "The Steubenville Weekly Gazette," Friday, January 17, 1879. The obituary was on p. 1, column 6.

Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.


  1. Hello! I am also a descendant of Augustine Bickerstaff, on my mother's side. My grandparents still live in the Steubenville area and I remember them saying various things about Augustine that were passed down through the family. For example: he was "the first white man to drive a team of horses across the Ohio River". I later found a reference to this little legend in a history of Jefferson Co. I suppose we're related.
    - Daniel Forsythe

  2. Hi, Daniel. Thanks so much for searching, finding, and leaving a comment. How good to "meet" another Bickerstaff descendant. Yes, I'm sure we're related if Augustine is x#-great-grandfather to both of us. How does your line go back to Augustine?

    I have to say I'm hugely envious of the stories/legends that were passed down through your family. None of them came our way. (No one on either side of my family talked about older relatives or ancestors!)

    Are you a family historian?

    I'm so grateful that you left a comment. Thank you! I hope you checked the box to have follow-up comments emailed to you because I have no other way of getting in touch with you than through comments on this post.

  3. Hi my line goes to Augustine as well. He is my 5th great grandfather.. It goes:
    Augustine Bickerstaff (5thgg) --> William Henry Bickerstaff (4thgg) --> William Nash Bickerstaff (3rdgg) -->Andrew Daniel Bickerstaff (2ndgg) --> William Allen Bickerstaff (gg) --> William Richard Bickerstaff (grandfather) --> Deborah L. Stevens (Bickerstaff) (Mother) --> Amanda L. Price (ME)

    1. Hi, Amanda. Thanks for letting me know about your line to our common ancestor. As I read the names of your ancestors it reminds me how strong the name William became in the Bickerstaff line. How long have you been researching?


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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