Ratchford Family History

     A Summary of the Winfield Ratchford Family Ancestors


Alfred Winfield Ratchford and Letitia Jenkins


Letitia Jenkins is a great-great granddaughter of one of the Patriot heroes from the battle of Kings Mountain, Colonel Fredrick Hambright.  Col. Hambright commanded the Lincoln County troops and he was wounded in the leg during the battle.  See RATCHFORDS,...I RECKON for more information on Letitia Jenkins’ family.


Winfield, as he was called, was a farmer and a blacksmith. He was very active in the Presbyterian Church. He and Letitia had nine sons: John, Walter, Earnest, Price, Zeb, Crown, Jasper, George, and Roy. It is the descendants of these nine sons who formed the basis of our annual Ratchford Family reunions.


Alfred Winfield is the son of John Addison Ratchford.




   1860 U.S. Census, Gaston County NC: Entry of

John Ratchford and Family



John Addison Ratchford and Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” McKee


Alfred Winfield’s father was John Addison Ratchford.

   John had a large tract of land in present-day Gastonia where the Schiele Museum of Natural History currently stands.  John Ratchford was a confederate soldier in the famous “Light Division” commanded by General A.P. Hill, in the Army of Northern Virginia. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, and then exchanged.

    Betsy McKee is descended from a Revolutionary Soldier named James McKee, who was a Revolutionary soldier and half-brother to Major William Chronicle. Chronicle commanded troops at the battle of Kings Mountain. It is not clear to me whether or not McKee fought at Kings Mountain, but he is reported to be a documented Revolutionary Patriot.

    Betsy died in 1895 of an apparent heart attack. About two years after Betsy died John married another woman named Mary Price.  John lived another six months after that. He died in 1897.

     John is the son of Joseph and Hettie Ratchford.


Joseph Ratchford and Esther “Hettie” Carothers


Joseph and Hettie Ratchford had a large plantation in the southern part of Gaston County, encompassing about 300 acres.


See Ratchfords,… I Reckon (pages 96-98) for the text of their last will and testament.  Interesting to me is the absence of any mention of slaves in their wills.  I wonder if Joseph never obtained any slaves as was done by his father, Moses Ratchford.


Moses Ratchford and Mary Campbell


Moses served with South Carolina militia troops during the American War for Independence.  His last will and testament includes the disposition for 10 slaves to be given to his wife and various children.[1]  Moses was a member of the South Carolina Militia during the War for Independence and served for 130 days of active duty.  He and his wife are buried at Bethel Presbyterian Church, Clover SC.


Mary Campbell’s family probably came from Scotland along with other settlers of that time. I don’t have any information on her at this time.


Moses Ratchford’s father was William Ratchford.


William Ratchford and Mary Carroll


William is the pioneer of the Ratchford family. He was a member of the Colonial Militia during 1747-1748.  He had a land grant of 250 acres in Anson County (present day York and Gaston Counties).  He must have been a trader or speculator of some degree because he also acquired several tracts of land, some as big as 600 acres.  See Ratchfords,…I Reckon for more information.  William and Mary are buried at Bethel Presbyterian Church, Clover SC.


Joe D. Friday Jr.

Derick S. Hartshorn - ©2008
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