R.D. Routh with sisters Mollie and Mattie in front of Brown County Courthouse
The Routh family is fortunate in that our Norman ancestor, Richard de Surdeval, was entitled to bear arms and that his descendants followed suit. For, apart from land tenure, heraldry has proved to be the most valuable aid in tracing descent up to the time when parish registers became available.
The Routh family has one other very valuable source of information which has given them a great advantage in this respect. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, many of the records were lost or destroyed, but those of the Abbey of Melsa or Meaux (which was originally called Routh Priory) survived almost intact and have been put on record in the British Museum.
The “Melsa Chronicle”, as it is called, contains records of the family Routh for many generations from 1100 to 1300, a period over which other records are scanty; this was due in large part to the fact that the land on which the Abbey was built was adjacent to the village of Routh and that there were many land transactions between the Cisternian Monks and Meaux the lords of the Manor of Routh.
The Rouths have always been a prolific family and their pedigree is exceptional for its breadth, i.e., the number of branches shown even from the earliest times. As some of the early branches became extinct through a lack of male issue, other branches and sub-branches were established in England, Ireland, Wales, and other parts of the world. At least six branches are known to have been established in Canada and the U.S.A.
Our ancestor Sir Peter de Routh was born about 1300 and was a son of Sir William de Routh of Bainbrigge in Wesleydale, County York, and a grandson of Thomas de Routh who was born in 1265 in the old Manor House of Routh and was in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Sir Peter de Routh’s brother, John “FitzWilliam” Routh founded the Irish branch, and his brother Thomas founded the Leicestershire branch of the Routh family.
Since 1039 members of the Routh family have borne seven coats of arms. The arms adopted by Sir Peter de Routh in the 14th century: “argent a chevron sable inter three lions’ heads argent” with creast: “out of a mural crown gules a talbot’s head argent” are the arms which our line of Rouths have borne continuously from the time of Sir Peter de Routh to the present day.
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Early Rouths in America, by Maj. Gen. Ross Routh (retired) of El Paso, Texas, entitled Routh Family Revisited
The first record of a Routh in America was a John Routh who landed in Virginia with a group of immigrants about 1650, but no further record of him or his family has been found. The Rowan County, North Carolina, 1759 Tax List (earliest settlers in entire NW section of North Carolina) listed a Jeremiah “Ruth” and a Zachariah “Ruth”, but neither of them was found on any later record, and it is believed that they are the same Jeremiah Routh and Zaccheus Routh who received English land grants in the Natchez District (which was then a part of British West Florida) of 500 and 1,000 acres on 13 October 1777 and 16 January 1779, respectively.
The earliest Routh about whom a family record was found was Lawrence Routh, a member of the Bainbrigge and Hawes branch, who accompanied his cousin, William Penn, to America with his wife and two children.
Lawrence Routh was born about 1660 in Hawes, married Ann Metcalfe 24 May 1683 in Hawes, and became the father of Thomas (born 9 June 1685 in Hawes) and Lawrence (born 16 Jan 1687 in Hawes). The family left England early in 1688 and landed in Maryland, where Rachel was born 28 Oct 1688 in Easton, Talbot County. The family then moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where Francis was born 21 Oct 1690, and the elder Lawrence died 16 Jun 1691. His widow, Ann, later remarried Humphrey Johnson, the family attorney who settled Lawrence’s estate, and had several more children by him.
Thomas Routh, son of Lawrence, acquired land at “Spaniard’s Neck, Queen Anne county Maryland, and about 1713 married a young widow, Jane Pratt, who had children by her first husband. Thomas and Jane became parents of one son, Christopher Cross Routh, and Thomas died in Queen Anne County about 1738. Christopher Cross apparently never married, or had no issue if he did, for his will dated 17 Feb 1775 and proved 15 Feb 1776 left all of his property to cousins, none with the surname of Routh.
Francis Routh, born 21 Oct 1690, youngest son of Lawrence (1660) married a Barbara (surname unknown) about 1714 and was the father of at least five children by her. All available records, including his will dated 30 Sep 1767, indicate that he and his descendants remained in the Chester and Delaware County area of Pennsylvania. A Francis Routh who served with the Pennsylvania troops in the Revolutionary War was apparently a grandson of Francis (1690).
Lawrence Routh (1687), (our ancestor, we believe) son of Lawrence (1660), married a Mehitable (surname unknown) and in 1710 moved to Piscataway, Middlesex County, New Jersey, where their four sons were born: Thomas (born 5 March 1710), Edward (born 25 March 1713), Zacheus (born 3 December 1717), and Lawrence (born 26 June 1719.
No record has been found of whom the three elder sons of Lawrence (1687) married, or where they settled, although diligent search has been made in civil and church records of that period (including Quaker records). So many records were destroyed by fire and during the Revolutionary War that no proof remains.
Lawrence Routh (1719), youngest son of Lawrence (1687) and his wife Mehitable, married Elizabeth Smalley on 19 September 1745 in the Piscataway Seventh Day Baptist Church, but there is no record of issue. His father deeded his property in Piscataway to the younger Lawrence shortly before his death about 1752, indicating that the older sons had moved away.
The last record of Lawrence Routh (1719) was a notice published by the High Sheriff of Middlesex County in 1750 and again in 1753 offering a reward of five pounds for his apprehension after he escaped from debtors’ prison. This notice described him as a “short, slim fellow, thin faced, and one of his eye lashes is half white; had on when he disappeared a patched corduroy coat, a gray homespun jacket, is a shoemaker by trade, pretends to be a merchant, and did live in Boundbrook.”
The first Lawrence Routh (1660) was a friend (Quaker) but none of his sons were found in Quaker records so apparently did not adhere to that faith. Records of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society of Plainfield, New Jersey, were also search, and no Rouths were found. However, cousins in England believe that 60% to 80% of the Rouths in America were descended from one of more of these sons of Lawrence Routh.
Genealogy of our Rouths:
Lawrence Routh was born about 1660 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England, and died June 16, 1691, in Chester, Pennsylvania. He was married to Lady Anne Metcalfe who was born in 1665 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England and died about 1748 in Chester, Pennsylvania. They had four children:
Thomas Routh, born June 9, 1685 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England
Lawrence Routh, born January 16, 1687 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England and died about 1752 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey.
Rachel Routh, born October 29, 1688 in Easton, Talbot, Maryland
Francis Routh, October 21, 1690 in Weston, Chester, Pennsylvania
Our ancestor, Lawrence, married Mehitable, who was born in 1709 in England and died in 1752 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey.
Their children were:
Thomas Routh, born March 5, 1710, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
Edward Routh, born March 25,1713, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey, and died in 1803.
Zacheus Routh, born December 3, 1717, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
Lawrence Routh, born June 26, 1719 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
[Here is one part of our story. I cannot decide or find evidence of which of these stories is true. Here goes:
An Edward Routh was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, on March 25, 1713. He married a Miss Hamner/Hammer. They had three children, Joseph, born ca 1747, Isaac, and Jane. There were twelve other Edwards, but none so close to this date. If this Edward is our Edward and he was Jacob’s father, Jacob could have been born between 1731 and 1751 or so, and then could have married Martha Redfern, at age 18-20, in 1769-1770. Isaac was born in 1772. Also a Joseph, son of this Edward, married Mary Redfern, the daughter of James Redfern. According to some papers Mary and Martha were sisters, and logically they could have married the Routh brothers, Jacob and Joseph.]
Or our Ancestor Edward married Hannah Hammer/Hamner/Reemer in Rowan, North Carolina, in 1744.
Their children were:
Joseph Routh, born about 1747 in Anson, North Carolina
Isaac Routh, born about 1772 in Randolph, North Carolina
Of their children, Isaac was our ancestor. He died in 1840.
He was married to Mary Blakley, born in 1780 in Montgomery County, Virginia, and died in 1840 in Tippecanoe, Indiana.
Mary Blakley is one of the question marks for on an old chart I received, her name is not given but Isaac’s wife appears to have been born in 1776 and died in Grainger County, Tennessee, before 1840. Right now Mary Blakley is taken on faith! However her parents may have been Charles Blakely and Margaret Davis.
Isaac’s children include:
Jacob, born 1795 in Tennessee
Stephen, born in 1797 in Sevier County, Tennessee, married Sarah Mc Cluskey on July 10, 1817, and died on May 20, 1871. Hezekiah, born July 2, 1798, in Tennessee, married Elizabeth Posey on October 3, 1816, and died December 25, 1876
Jonathan, born July 4, 1800, in Tennessee, married Catherine Barringer on February 22, 1827, and died August 21, 1864
John born in 1805 in Tennessee, and married Sarah Benton on January 3, 1830.
Isaac, born June 4, 1809 in Tennessee, married Frances Gillihan on October 23, 1831, and died on December 7, 1875
Hugh (who traveled with Levin), born in 1813 in Tennessee, married Mary Elizabeth Brown on July 25, 1839 and died in 1866
Levin (our ancestor) born March 27, 1816, in Grainger County, Tennessee, married Violetta Brown, born January 6, 1816 in Bedford, Virginia, and died March 12, 1896, in Brown County, Texas, (sister of Mary Elizabeth, Hugh C.’s wife) on August 12, 1838 in Greene County, Missouri, and died September 3, 1890, in Brown County, Texas; I have a copy of their marriage license from Greene County, Missouri.
William Jeremiah born 1824 in Tennessee, married Hannah Elizabeth Mills on September 2, 1845
Susanna Routh, who married Levi Lakey
Levin and Violetta/Violet had the following children:
Amazhar M. born April 1840 in Greene County, Missouri, died February 11, 1925, married Mary E. Byrd on December 12, 1866. Amazhar’s second wife was Rebecca Manley.
Elmira born in 1845 in Missouri, married William Carter on January 30, 1868;
Dollie P. (Dicey) born in 1848 in Collin County, Texas, married Wiseman;
Inez D. born in 1850 in Collin County, Texas, married Inman;
Rebecca J. born in 1852 in Collin County, Texas, married William H. Teague on March 31, 1870
Robert Devon (our ancestor) born February 28, 1854 in County, Texas, and died December 2, 1944, in Brown County, Texas. Robert Devon (R D or Uncle Bob) was our ancestor. He married three times. The first was to Rosa/Rosie Cane/Cain/Crane in Jack County, Texas. She died in 1898. He also married Martha J. Esters, 1877-1967, and Jennie Bolton (Aunt Jennie).
Elizabeth A. born in 1856 in Collin County, Texas, married George W. Faulkner
Nancy M. born in 1858 in Collin County, Texas
Mary Violette born in 1861 and died in 1944
R D Routh and Rosa had six children:
Lord Byron (Kaiser) born December 15, 1897, in Jack County, Texas. He married Hattie Ethel Bowden on September 15, 1901, and died on November 13, 1964.
Lora Day (Bee) who was born January 14, 1882, in Jack County, Texas. She is our ancestor. She married Marvin Tilden (M T or Dock) Bowden, December 124, 1905, in Dublin, Texas. She died March 23, 1959, in Dublin, Texas.
George C. born July 1884
Amazhar born December 1885
Mary born December 1888
Fred born September 1890
Lora Day and M. T. had two children. Marvin Tilden Jr. who died as an infant and Rose Elizabeth Bowden, born April 19, 1910, in Rising Star, Texas.
Rose married John McBee Ficke who was born on October 6, 1913, in Wheeler, Texas, and died on November 2, 1961, in Gainesville, Texas, in a automobile accident.
Rose and John had one child, Johnette Sue, born December 18, 1942.