WILLOUGHBY, Elijah, of VA, TN, KY and Monroe Co IN

Elijah Willoughby was born in VA about 1762, the son of Benjamin and Susannah (Wyatt) Willoughby. He died in Monroe Co IN in 1834.[1] Elijah may have had a twin, Enoch.

In Fauquier County, Virginia, on 19 Oct 1787,[2] he married Susannah Leachman, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Wyatt) Leachman. Elijah and Susannah were first cousins.

Susannah Leachman was born ca 1766 in VA and died reportedly in Vigo Co IN on 26 Feb 1853,[3] although I have not located an 1850 census for her. She was living in 1840 Nevins Twp, Vigo Co IN, in the household of her son B[enjamin] Willoughby: 12001/210010001.

Elijah Willoughby and his family moved west and north throughout the years after his marriage. He was an Ensign in the Greene County Tennessee Militia in 1796.[4] He was in Montgomery Co KY in the 1820 census and then in Monroe Co IN in 1830 where he died about 1834.

Also in Montgomery Co KY in 1820 were Elijah’s brother William Willoughby and his family. William’s family remained in that county throughout the 1800s.

The birthplaces of Elijah’s oldest children are not known, but those born around 1810 were born in Tennessee. Grandchildren in the 1820s were born in Kentucky. The earliest Indiana date known is 15 Oct 1829, when Elijah’s son Benjamin was married there. Elijah Willoughby was counted in the 1830 census, although the ages are inexact and his older children appear to have been with brother Benjamin in neighboring Lawrence Co IN. Polly (Willoughby) and James Ritchey were also in Monroe Co; they had five males and three females under 20 living in their household. Elijah Jr and Elizabeth Willoughby were both married in Monroe Co IN in 1834.

It is now known that Elijah and Susannah had additional children, either dead by 1835 or left behind in other States. It was previously believed by this writer that at the time of Elijah’s death, all his surviving children signed a deed in Monroe Co IN.[5] It was also assumed that the children signed in order of their ages; thus, George Washington Willoughby was thought to be the oldest son, born, say, 1788. A recent find has changed this family, more children are known, including some who were alive in 1834 and did not sign or who had surviving heirs, who did not sign. Also, the heirs are not listed in birth order. This find opens the way for clarifying the places of Rhoda and Enoch in the family and for inserting at least two daughters into their previously unrecognized places.

These children are now known:

Rhoda Willoughby was born in 1789 in VA, probably Fauquier County. In 1808, in Greene Co TN, she married William Moreland. Elijah Willoughby was the security for the marriage. William Moreland was born ca 1785 and died in 1836 in Estill Co KY. Their children were:

  1. Elijah (1810-1869)
  2. Enoch (ca 1815-1865)
  3. Sally Ann (ca 1817-1843)
  4. Mary
  5. George Washington (1842-)

an unknown child

 Enoch WILLOUGHBY. Born in 1794, Enoch died in Jefferson Co TN, on 17 Jan 1827. On 13 Apr 1813, he married Susannah MOYERS in Dandridge, Jefferson Co TN. She was born in 1796 in Dandridge, Jefferson Co TN. Direct evidence linking this man to Elijah and Susannah is missing. The fact that his names appears in the Willoughby family Bible fragments will lend weight to this placement.

 Polly WILLOUGHBY. Born ca 1796, Polly married James RITCHEY[6] on 20 May of an unknown year and had as many as eight children before 1830. James was born ca 1805 in KY. They were in Monroe Co IN in 1830 and Sullivan Co IN in 1840, and James was remarried to Hannah E Parks in Mar 1845. They lived in Putnam Co IN in 1850, where he was called a C[umberland] P[resbyterian} Clergyman, and in Johnson Co in 1860. It is possible James married a second wife before 1840. James’s children were:

  1. Mary (1817-1867), married Robert David Parker, her aunt Elizabeth Willoughby’s brother-in-law
  2. Samuel J (1833-)
  3. William Lowery (1835-1926)
  4. Nenian Hall (1838-1904)
  5. Elam McCord (1840-1931)


With Hannah Parks James Richey had Elijah P (1846-; possibly named for James’s first father-in-law) and Emma K (1850-)


Susannah Willoughby was born 31 Jan 1798. Marriage and death data have not been located.


Sarah Evaline Willoughby was born 15 Sep 1800 and died possibly before 1834. She married George See. Her daughter’s Elizabeth See’s marriage record is in the Willoughby Bible fragments. They had at least three children:

  1. Benjamin J (1824-)
  2. William R   (1826-)
  3. Mary Elizabeth (1829-)


Elijah WILLOUGHBY Jr. Born 12 Mar 1802 in TN, on 31 May 1834, Elijah first married Sarah YOUNG in Monroe Co IN. Based on the 1830 census, it is possible he had an earlier wife and children. Elijah Jr and Sarah had the following children:

  1. Malinda (1828-)
  2. John Calvin (1832-)


On 25 Dec 1838, he second married Sally BARMORE in Vigo Co IN. They had one child:

  1. Edgar (1841-)


On 21 Mar 1850, he third married Elizabeth LONG in Vigo Co IN. Born in 1808 in KY.


George W WILLOUGHBY. Born ca 1788 in Fauquier Co VA, George W died in Indiana probably between 1835 when he signed a deed relating to his father’s estate and the 1850 census. No family in known for him.


Benjamin Jefferson WILLOUGHBY. Born on 15 Oct 1809 in TN, Benjamin Jefferson died in Nevins Twp, Vigo Co IN, in 1850. On 15 Oct 1829 when Benjamin was 20, he married Catherine JAMES in Monroe Co IN. Born in 1810 in Mason Co KY. Catherine died in Fontanet, Vigo Co IN, in 1889. They had the following children:

  1. William Preston (1830-1896)
  2. Elijah Berryman (1832-1846)
  3. Mary Ann E (1833-)
  4. Margaret E (1836-)
  5. Benjamin Franklin (1838-)
  6. Susan (1840-)
  7. Sarah Janet (ca1842-)
  8. Catherine Russell (1844-)
  9. Martha Ellen (1846-)
  10. Job C (1848-)


Elizabeth WILLOUGHBY. Born in 1813 in TN, Elizabeth died in Worth Co MO, probably before 12 Jun 1900 and was buried in Worth Co MO. On 11 Dec 1834, Elizabeth first married Greenberry PARKER, in Monroe Co IN. He was born in 1810/1815 in SC. Greenberry died in Vigo Co IN, between 1844 and 1850. They had the following children:

  1. Mary Ann (1840-)
  2. Rhoda Jane (1842-1888)
  3. Margaret Ellen (1843-1926)


On 9 Sep 1851, she second married Christopher HOWARD in Vigo Co IN. Born in 1809 in KY. Christopher died in Vigo Co IN, before 1860 in a bank robbery. Two of Christopher’s children from his first marriage married a niece and a nephew of Elizabeth’s.


Anna WILLOUGHBY. Born in say 1814, Anna died in Indiana between 1845 and 1849. She married George MONTGOMERY, who was born ca 1810 in OH, possibly the son of George Montgomery of Montgomery Co KY. They had the following children:

  1. James (1838-)
  2. Nancy (1840-)
  3. Thomas J (1842-)
  4. Martha (1843-)
  5. Margaret E (1844-)
  6. Alexander (1845-)


George Montgomery married second Lucetta McAllister, 7 Oct 1849 in Vigo Co IN. They had three children, Sarah J (1851), Hugh (1854), and Samuel (1860).


© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Monroe Co IN Probate record for Elijah Willoughby, 5 Sep 1835, with signature of Greenberry Parker made in Clay Co on 30 Sep 1835. Clay Co IN Deeds, 23 Feb 1839.

[2] Fauquier Co VA VR.

[3] Undocumented gedcom, Rana’s Family Tree, at Ancestry.com.

[4] Record of commissions of officers in the Tennessee Militia, 1796-1811. Nashville, Tenn.: Williams Print. Co, 1947, page 16. Dated 10 Oct 1796.

[5] Monroe Co IN Probate record for Elijah Willoughby, 5 Sep 1835, with signatures of George W Willoughby, Polly and James Ritchey, Elijah Willoughby, Benjamin Willoughby, Anna and George Montgomery and Elizabeth and Greenberry Parker made in Clay Co on 30 Sep 1835.

[6] Some researchers of this family express frustration at the alternative spellings, Richey, Ritchey, and possibly more. What makes this particularly difficult is that Soundex searches must be done separately, with and without the “t.”

Published on August 15, 2008 at 1:34 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful information on the Willoughby’s. It took seeing the bible record for me to move Enoch & Rhoda over to the Elijah Willoughby family.

    I did notice that you have read the bible record for Susannah Willoughby the 5th child of Elijah as being born 31 Jan 1795. On close inspection of the copy I recieved I believe the date is 31 Jan 1798, only two years before the next entry of 1800.

    If polly is actually a little older than susannah it would make sence she is child 4 and not on the bible record.

    thank a million

  2. Is there a DNA project for the Benjamin Willoughby family?
    I am a descendant of Rodolphus Willoughby, who came to Marion County, Mississippi in abt 1822. The research I have done is compiled and published online at Mostly Mississippi http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=shannon50
    I am interested in finding out if he is your missing child of Elijah Willoughby.

  3. Since my connection is through daughters, I have not followed up the idea of DNA research. I would test the DNA of a male-line descendant of my Greenberry Parker’s brother Robert David Parker.
    And, aslo, it would be nice to connect Elijah and his father Benjamin to the Thomas Willoughby who arrived in Virginia on the ship in 1610. DNA may be the only way to do that.

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