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The Wishard Family


This information appeared in the Illiana Genealogist, Volume 11, No. 4, Fall 1975
The information was found in the Peoples Guide of 1874 of Vermillion County, IN
Submitted by Carolyn Schwab

William Wishard was born in 1729 in Scotland and was a weaver by trade. His family was driven from Scotland by religious persecution and settled in County Tyrone, Ireland. In later years William and 2 brothers, Stannis and Abram came to America. William and Stannis settled in PA. Abram was lost on a sea voyage.

Sometime after the Wishard family settled in Ireland, William hired himself out to Lord Lytle of County Tyrone as a steward. Lord Lytle's wife was Lady Jane Stuart. While working there, William and Susannah Lytle, a daughter of Lord and Lady Jane (Stuart) Lytle ran off and were married against her parents wishes. Susannah's brothers went after them to kill William and bring Susannah back home. She was taken back but William escaped and came to America. Susannah was held a virtual prisoner in her parents' home. It was there her son William was born. Two years later William Wishard returned to Ireland in disguise. He was recognized and taken in by one of Lord Lytle's tenant farmers. They arranged a meeting between William and Susannah and a second escape from the Lytle family was planned. This proved successful and William and Susannah with their son William came directly to America in 1774. They landed in Philadelphia and settled along the Brandywine River near there.

At this new home another son Samuel was born on December 18, 1775. Then a daughter Annis was born in September 1776 just before the Battle of Brandywine, and another daughter Jane was born on June 25, 1777. Sometime after this the Wishard family left Eastern PA and settled at Old Redstone Fort (where Pittsburg now is) in the western part of the state. There were 8 more children born in PA.

Abram, born March 25, 1779; Henry, born November 17, 1780; Agnes, born March 24, 1782; Elizabeth, birth unknown; Joseph, born December 7, 1785; Susan, born June 23, 1787; Ellis, born January 29, 1790, and John, born June 3, 1792. William Wishard became a Sergeant during the War of the Revolution and was given an honorable discharge at its close.

In the Autumn of 1794, William and Susannah Wishard with their 12 children went by flatboat down the Ohio River to the mouth of the Licking River in Kentucky, then up that river to its junction with Fleming Creek. They settled here in what is now Nicholas County, KY. Their 13th child was born here on December 4, 1794. Sometime after this, Susannah (Lytle) died. About 1798 William Wishard married a widow Betsy Rhoades. By this wife he became the father of two more sons: Andrew born November 12, 1799 and Robert, born August 29, 1803. Five of the 15 children never married. They were: Henry, Joseph, Susan, Ellis, and Andrew.

Four of the Wishard sons moved from KY to IN between 1825 and 1830. Abram Wishard settled in Shelby County, IN in October 1825. John Wishard settled in Johnson Co., IN, 10 miles south of Indianapolis. Samuel and James Wishard came to the “Wabash Country” in Vermillion County, IN.

Mr. Wishard of Oregon names the 11 children of John Wishard who lived in Johnson County, IN. Two sons died in infancy; Andrew died aged 21; James died aged 27; Jane died aged 18; John died (1973-1974) aged 84; Dr. Joseph died 2 or 3 years ago aged 78; Martha (Wishard) Jennings died November 1902; Dr. William was 92 years old on January 17, 1974; Sam Ellis Wishard of Portland, OR was 82 years old on December 18, 1974, and Margaret, wife of Dr. Thomas Noble, aged 76 in August 1974. In the “Peoples Guide,” a Directory of Vermillion County, IN, published in 1874, several members and descendants of this Wishard family are listed as residents of Helt Township, Vermillion County, IN.

James L. Wishard, born 1794 in KY, came to Vermillion County, IN in 1830. He was a farmer living 6 miles northwest of Clinton, IN, a member of the Methodist Church.

John O. Wishard, born 1805 in KY, came to Vermillion Co., IN in 1834. He was a farmer living 1 mile north of St. Bernice, IN in Helt Township. He was a member of the United Brethren Church.

John R. Wishard, born in 1808 in KY, came to Helt Township, Vermillion County, IN, in 1853. He lived 2 miles south of Dana, IN. He was a Methodist.

James H. Wishard, born 1830 in Vermillion County, IN, was a farmer living 6 miles northwest of Clinton, IN. He was Sunday School Superintendent for 15 years at the Center Methodist Church, 5 miles west of Summit Grove and a member of the Grange which met at that same church.

John A. Wishard born 1846 in IN, came to Helt Township, Vermillion Co., IN, a Protestant.

James A. Wishard, born 1850 in IN, came to Helt Township, Vermillion County, IN. in 1853. He was a farmer living 2 miles south of Dana, IN, a Protestant.

Stewart Wishard, born 1854 in Vermillion County, IN, a farmer living 3-1/2 miles south of Dana, IN, a Protestant. All were Republicans.