Jonathan McCarty, a pioneer of Jefferson Co., lived 29 April 1756-15 Feb. 1827. Born in the Shenandoah region, he was son of Darby McCarty and Hannah Richardson, who had moved to Virginia from Philadelphia.
Jonathan served as Captain of Militia in Shenandoah Co. in 1782. He is listed in the 1783 and 1784 in the Shenandoah Co., Va., tax lists that serve as the "1790 census." The McCartys moved to the Plum Run area of Nelson Co., Ky., by 1785 when Jonathan's brother, Enoch, received a land grant there. On 28 Dec. 1785 Jonathan is on a jury in Nelson Co. He appears on a tax list in 1786 that included Beech Fork with one white, one horse and three cattle.
Jonathan co-owned land on Froman's Creek in Nelson Co., along with Paul Froman, who later moved to Switzerland Co., although their connection is not known. McCarty and Froman sold this land to George Mitchell on 14 May 1793. Jonathan is listed 1795 in Nelson Co. with one white male older than 21, three horses, 13 cows, 121 acres and one slave.
Jonathan was still a Kentucky resident on Feb. 28, 1798 when he is reported as Captain of Kentucky Militia for Nelson Co., 27th Regiment. He may have moved to Indiana as early as 1799. According to one descendent, he was appointed that year as a justice of the peace in Hamilton Co., Ohio, which then included what is now Switzerland Co. His daughter, Lydia, married Gershom Lee 1800 in Gallatin Co.,Ky. Jonathan could have lived in Indiana at that time and returned to Kentucky to be married because of a lack of ministers (this happened with other early area settlers.)
Jonathan was definitely in Indiana in 1803 when he was named Justice of the peace for Dearborn Co., which then included the area of Switzerland Co. as far west as the Greenville Treaty line.
Son, Enoch, is listed in the 1807 Indiana Territorial Census for Dearborn Co. He acquired the NW1/4 Sec. 30 Twp. 4N Range 12E 7 Sept. 1809. This land is in Milton Township in what is now Jefferson Co. where Dry Fork meets the Indian-Kentuck Creek. By December 1809, the family had definitely moved to this area as two of Jonathan's children married two Howards in December 1809 in what was then Clark Co.
The first direct evidence of Jonathan in Jefferson Co. comes on 9 March 1810 when he registered an estray mark in Clark Co., and listed as a resident of Indian-Kentuck. His next record comes when he sued John Lee, who had patented 160 acres in the NW 1/4 Section 30 Twp. 4N Range 12E on Dec. 1, 1809, land in Milton Township. In 1811, McCarty sued Lee for trespass. claiming he leased land owned by Lee for a year until 31 Jan. 1811.
A History of Milton Twp. written sometime after 1909 for the Jefferson Co. Historical Society, says that when Jacob Short came to Milton Township in April 1810, he found McCarty living on a three-acre patch near the area later occupied by George Rowlinson (who owned land near the modern Rowlison's Lake).
Besides serving as Justice of the Peace in both Dearborn and Jefferson Cos., Jonathan was also a Post Master. An early Madison paper said he resigned as postmaster at Pittsburgh Township in 1818.
Jonathan married Edith McKay, whose brother Robert McKay settled 1808 on a farm near Lamb, Switzerland Co. The widow and children of Robert McKay's brother James settled at Lamb about 1804 and the McKays may have followed the McCartys to Indiana.
McCarty moved to Decatur Co. in 1821, along with son-in-law Gershom Lee
Edith died after 1850 when she was listed in the Adams Township, Decatur Co., census.
The McCartys had 15 children according to Virginia court papers regarding a suit between the heirs of Robert McKay (Edith's) grandfather) and Lord Fairfax, which had lingered from the mid 1700s until 1823. Jonathan's four youngest sons are named in his will. Others are established by marriage records and family traditions. However, no one has been able to establish the names of all 15 children reliably.
Children of Jonathan McCarty
1. Rachel McCarty b. ca. 1780 She m. 13 Dec. 1796 in Nelson Co., Ky., William McKay, who died 14 Dec. 1840. They briefly to Jefferson Co., but returned to Nelson Co. after 1820. Jonathan is listed as father on the marriage record.
2. Enoch McCarty 2 Nov. 1782-25 May 1839 m. 29 Dec. 1809 in Clark Co., Ind. Rebecca Howard, who died 1837. Assumed to be a son.
3. Nancy McCarty 24 Feb. 1785-30 Dec. 1874 m. 17 Sept. 1801 in Gallatin Co., Ky. James Wilson. Jonathan is listed as father on the marriage record.
4. Elizabeth McCarty 31 May 1793-26 Dec. 1875 m. 29 Dec. 1809 in Clark Co. Joseph Howard. Some family records conclude say Joseph died by 1816 or so and that Elizabeth m. 2nd 23 May 1822 in Jefferson Co. John Neal. But, this is not possible. Elizabeth daughter of Joseph Howard was age 15 when Joseph's estate was probated in 1818 and married John Neal as she later sold her interest in Joseph's estate. So, Jonathan's daughter Elizabeth apparently married another Joseph Howard.
5. Mary McCarty 1786/90-11 Jan. 1864 or 1865, buried Joyce Cem, Milton Twp. She m. Abraham McKay probably in Dearborn Co. Ind.) in 1807 according to McKay records. Dearborn records were destroyed in 1826.
6. James McCarty died 1819 Jefferson Co. He m. 28 Sept. 1815 in Jefferson Co. Mary Benefiel 11 Jan. 1797-20 Aug. 1881 buried Canaan Cem. She m. 2nd 1820 in Jefferson Co. Isaiah Stewart 1791-1868. buried Canaan Cem. Assumed to be a son.
7. Lydia McCarty m. 3 Dec. 1800 in Gallatin Co., Ky. Gershom Lee. They lived 1816 in Jefferson Co., moved to Decatur Co. In 1821 with Jonathan. Jonathan is named as her father on the marriage record.
8. Edith McCarty b. 1795/1800 m. Lewis Conner 24 Nov.1789-13 June 1876 buried Conner/Means Cem. Shelby Twp., Jefferson Co. Their marriage is not recorded in Jefferson or Switzerland Co. It is proved by a notebook entry made in 1898 by a great-grandson, James Risk.
9. McKay McCarty 1797-14 July 1859 buried Lewis Creek Cem., Decatur Co., Ind. He m. 15 May 1819 in Switzerland Co., Nancy Lanham. They lived 1850 Decatur County.
10. Greenbury McCarty 23 June 1799-8 Feb. 1874 He m. 10 Aug. 1826 in Decatur Co., Lavina Sanford
11. Robert McCarty 1801-18 May 1843 m. 8 Jan. 1824 in Decatur Co. Elizabeth Reed
12. Isaac McCarty b. 1803 He m. 1 Jan. 1824 in Decatur Co., Mary Alexander
13. Jonathan McCarty 1804-20 March 1868 He m. 1 April 1829 in Decatur Co. Susan Porter.
14. and 15. Two others.
Copyright, 1998 by Robert W. Scott