Clayton County Genealogy

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I (1) William RUFF (some records spell the last name as "Rough") was b 1769 and d 4 Oct 1836 in Henry Co GA. He mar Rebecca MARTIN, she was b ? and d 1852 in Henry Co GA. In 1812 William & Rebecca were living in Morgan Co GA, but by 1822 they had moved to Henry Co GA according to land records. Apparently William operated a mill of some type on Walnut Creek in the 7th District of Henry Co GA as Deed Book "A" mentions land owned by William Hardin (Jan 1824) and notes that the land "ever may be covered by waters raised at William Ruff's mill dam".

Following William's death in 1834, the legal settlement of his estate reveals many interesting details. The June 1837 inventory of his estate as presented to the Probate Court included the following items: 6 horses (worth $440), 16 sheep, 14 cows, 20 hogs, 17 geese, 1,067 pounds of cotton, 4 stacks of fodder, 1 rifle (worth $11.50), 1 clock (worth $10), a side saddle and a Bible (together worth $5), 43 barrels of corn, plus many tools and household items. In Feb 1838 a tract of 268" acres of land was sold to the highest bidder for a total of $861. At that same time two slaves were also sold: George for $495 and Fielding for $795. After the two slaves were sold, their new owners, Garrett & Adamson, allowed them to work for one more month at Ruff's mill and were paid $25.04 for the work they performed. When the settlement of William's estate was completed in 1838, Rebecca received 135 acres of land and $301.32 in cash as her widow's portion. Additionally, each of their 13 children received $376.55 in cash as their portion of his estate. This means that the settlement of William's estate yielded a total of $5,080.77 in cash making him an extremely wealthy man for that time! After Rebecca's death in 1852, her 135 acres of land were sold to the highest bidder for a total of $475 and that money was divided among her surviving children and the heirs of her deceased children.

OWN ISSUE: 13 (2nd Generation)

II (1) Susannah RUFF b 24 Dec 1801, d 10 May 1890, mar Hardy SMITH, in 1850 they lived in Coweta Co GA

II (2) John M. RUFF b 4 May 1805, d ?

II (3) Martin L. RUFF b 7 Mar 1806, d 1885, mar Judith Mead LOVEJOY

II (4) Mary RUFF b 20 Jan 1808, d Feb 1839, mar Daniel WALKER

II (5) Maria RUFF b 3 Dec 1810, d 10 Nov 1850, mar William GARRETT

II (6) Elizabeth RUFF b 10 Aug 1812, d 17 Oct 1912, mar Thomas MITCHELL (See MITCHELL section for details of their family)

II (7) Berella RUFF b 1814, d ?, mar Nelson GRAY

II (8) Francis RUFF b 1 Dec 1816, d ?

II (9) William R. RUFF b 6 Dec 1818, d 16 Feb 1839

II (10) Hardema RUFF b 28 May 1820, d ?, mar William THOMPSON

II (11) Benjamin F. RUFF b 15 Feb 1821, d ?, on 14 Jun 1840 he mar Catherine HUDGINS

II (12) Nancy RUFF b 21 Jul 1823, d Aug 1843, mar James COLLINS

II (13) Malinda RUFF b 13 Jan 1825, d ?, mar Mathew Dewitt MITCHELL, son of William & Eleanor (THOMASSON) MITCHELL. He was b 11 Mar 1819, d ? (Note: In the family records of William & Eleanor MITCHELL'S family, Mathew's wife is listed as "Matilda" but in the family records of the RUFF family her name is shown to be "Malinda" * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The birth and death dates in the above information are from a Bible that was owned by ELIZABETH (RUFF) MITCHELL, listed above as the 6th child of William & Rebecca (MARTIN) RUFF. This Bible is now on exhibit in the Atlanta Archives, Atlanta, Fulton Co GA. It is possible that this Bible originally was owned by Rebecca (MARTIN) RUFF as it carefully contained the date of birth for all family members except Rebecca. It is a common practice for the record keeper not to record his/her own birth date.

The names of the spouses are from the probate papers used to settle the estates of William & Rebecca (MARTIN) RUFF. These papers were filed in 1853 and remain on file at the Henry County Courthouse, Mc Donough, Henry Co GA.

Also gleaned from the probate papers of Elizabeth (RUFF) MITCHELL was the information that, after the probate papers of William & Rebecca (MARTIN) RUFF'S estate were filed in 1853, apparently one of the RUFF daughters became a widow and had a second marriage to a Mr. MASSINGALE. This marriage is assumed as the will of Elizabeth (RUFF) MITCHELL, filed in 1912, details some household items that are a bequest to her "Niece Ann F. Massengale, who has faithfully waited on me for a number of years".

The surname "Massengale" does not appear on the 1870 Census of Clayton Co GA as an individual household; however, it lists Berella (RUFF) GRAY as a widow and head of a household that included Berella's daughter, Sarah B. Gray, age 18, and Mary Massengale, relationship unspecified, age 3. This Census record would put the date of Mary Massengale's birth as ca 1867. If the relationship is clearly understood, the mother of Mary and Ann would have to be either Susannah (RUFF) SMITH, Hardema (RUFF) THOMPSON or Malinda (RUFF) MITCHELL, as the records indicate they were not the daughters of either Berella or Elizabeth. The family Bible records show three RUFF daughters : Mary WALKER (d 1839), Maria GARRETT (d 1850) and Nancy COLLINS (d 1843) so they were all deceased long before Mary MASSENGALE'S birth ca 1867.

Submitted by Marylee Watson Knight Thanks for sharing your family with us!!

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