Monthly Archives: February 2014

In the Ratliff’s Ferry post of 12 July 2013, mention was made of a Richard Ratliff in the 1790 Anson Co., NC federal census as a “possible” relation to our William (1777 Anson Co., NC will).  In that post, information was shared regarding this Richard Ratliff as being the same Richard Ratliff that married Mary Newton in 1750 in St. Luke’s Parish, Queen Anne’s Co., Maryland – the same church where our William (1777 Anson Co., NC will) married Susannah Thomas Curtis in 1759. 


Further evidence was provided in the sale of Richard Ratliff’s land in 1811 after his death by his presumed heirs.  It is in that sale document we find the name James Vandiford and his wife Rachel.  That led us to consider that Rachel was one of the children from Richard & Mary Newton Ratliff.


A search regarding the Vandiford family revealed the correct spelling of their name is Vanderford.  There is also a well-documented history of the Vanderford family which you may view by going to:


 Published in 1992, this well documented history by Cheryl Lynds Jensen gives a thorough background review of the Vanderford family. 


Rachel Ratliff married James Vanderford, Jr.  Rachel Ratliff is identified in the Vanderford history as the daughter of Richard Ratliff & Mary Newton.  James, Jr. was born 21 Sep. 1761 in Queen Anne’s Co., MD. Died after 1838 in Hickman Co., Tennessee and is buried in the Ratliff Graveyard, Hickman County, Tennessee.


The Vanderford family migrated from New York to Maryland in 1660 settling on Kent Island on the Eastern Shore. Michael Vanderford was entitled to 550 acres for himself, his wife and 7 children.  He purchased an additional 450 acres Michael purchased was at the head of Coursey’s Creek in Talbot Co. (now Queen Anne’s Co.) near the town of Centreville.


Some of the Vanderford family was very active in church activities.  Michael’s eldest son George was very active with the church and we have found mention of Charles (Michael’s grandson) in the vestry minutes of both St. Paul‘s Parish as well at St. Luke’s after the split with St. Paul’s in 1729. 


The marriage records of St. Luke’s Parish regarding any Ratcliff family were provided in the 26 November 2013 post.  But now with the “possible” Vanderford connection, a further review of the records of St. Luke’s seemed in order. 



9 Dec 1740

Thomas Vanderford

Jane Emory

26 Sep 1744

William Soward

Mary Vanderford

18 Oct 1745

Dugil McGrigers

Esther Vanderford

10 Aug 1748

Absolom Timm

Jane Vanderford

11 May 1749

Joseph Ashbury

Rebecca Vanderford

17 Aug 1749

Benjamin Vanderford

Ann Baloy

11 Feb 1749

Charles Vanderford

Sarah Dolony

4 Nov 1750

Isaac Soward

Milliston Vanderford

17 May 1752

Charles Chelsey

Rebecca Vanderford

21 Jul 1758

John Vanderford

Mary Hines

26 Feb 1759

James Vanderford

Sarah Calvin


What does this tell us?  The Vanderford family was in Queen Anne’s Co. at the same time as the Ratcliff’s.  From 1740 to 1759, many members of the Vanderford family married in St. Luke’s Church.  The James Vanderford mentioned as marrying in 1759 is the father of James Vanderford, Jr. who married Rachel Ratliff, daughter of Richard Ratcliff & Mary Newton.


Do we find any connection between the Vanderford Family and our Ratcliff (Ratliff) family during this time?  One such transaction occurred in 1740 in Queen Anne’s Co.  George Vanderford & wife Elinor sold some land to George Hayes.  One of the witnesses to the transaction was William Ratcliff.  There is no indication this is either our William (1777 Anson Co., NC will) or the William Ratcliff who died in 1741 leaving only 5 daughters and no male heirs.


Many references in Queen Anne’s Co., Land Records indicate a William Ratcliff witnessing many documents.  Also a William Ratliff was found very active in both the St. Paul’s Parish and St. Luke’s Parish churches as mentioned in the 26 November 2013 posting.  Our thought now is that the William Ratcliff mentioned in both the church vestry minutes and the land witnessing transactions is the William Ratcliff who died in 1741.


Can any conclusions be drawn based upon this analysis?


  1. The Ratcliff (Ratliff) families were in the same county and church during the 1700 to 1750 time period.
  2. A Vanderford married a Ratliff (Rachel). 
  3. Rachel has been identified as the daughter of Richard Ratliff & Mary Newton.  Proof of such a marriage & relationship to Richard is still needed.
  4. The Vanderford’s and Ratliff’s migrated from Maryland to the Anson Co. NC area about the same time.
  5. As mentioned in earlier posts, it seems the descendants of Richard Ratliff did migrate to Hickman Co., TN after the death of Richard and the sale of his land documented in the 14 Oct 1811 land sale in Anson Co., NC.


Still much needs to be developed.  Efforts are underway to look at various land records in both Queen Anne’s Co. and Talbot Co. during the time of the Ratcliff (Ratliff) habitation.  There definitely appears to be 2 William Ratcliff’s living at the same time.  What is their relationship to each other and how does any relationship impact our current thinking regarding our ancestry? You will be kept informed of any findings regarding developments in any research.