Tuesday, May 11, 2010


John was born on 15 September 1694, in the sixth year of the reign of King WILLIAM III and Queen MARY, on the family plantation, "Jacob and John's Pasture," in St Michael's Parish, Anderbies Creek, Talbot County, Maryland. John died at the age of 77 in December 1771 near Kinston, Dobbs County, North Carolina.
An entry in the Third Haven Monthly Meeting Minutes, Talbot County, Maryland, states that "At a monthly meeting at the house of John Stevens on Dividing Creek, the 25th and 26th of the 9th month 1719, John Ratcliff and Wm Ratcliff's marriages were accomplished in good order." On 7 July 1720, Sarah received from the estate of her deceased father, Robert Fellows, a 120 acre tract of land in Talbot County, Maryland, named "Goughton." John and Sarah bought and sold various tracts of land in Talbot County between 1734 and 1737.
James Ratcliff informed the Meeting on 25 and 26 December 1734 that his brother John Ratcliff, and John's brother-in-law John Fellows, intended to remove to Carolina. Beginning on 13 October 1738, John acquired about 500 acres of land in Craven County, North Carolina, at the junction of the Neuse River and Lower Falling Creek, five or six miles west of Kinston, North Carolina, and named the plantation "Ratcliff's Choice." On 10 July 1750, King GEORGE II and His Excellency, Governor Gabriel Johnston of North Carolina, granted a petition by John for 250 acres of land in Johnston County, North Carolina. John's last acquisition of land appears to have been 90 acres in Dobbs County (but near Kinston) granted him on 27 April 1767.
John died intestate, and his son Joseph was appointed Administrator of the estate on 24 April 1775. In addition to his real estate, which could not be sold until 1777 because of the Revolutionary War, John left £500 in money. Upon his death, he was probably buried at the Falling Creek Friends Burying Grounds (now known as Caswell Cemetery?). It would appear that John had been a charter member of the Lower Falling Creek Monthly Meeting, Society of Friends, at Kinston, Dobbs County, North Carolina, which was organized in 1748, for their minutes dated 28 March 1748 state that "the Society met regularly at the home of John Ratcliff." The Lower Falling Creek Burying Grounds, located near the confluence of the Neuse River and Lower Falling Creek, now bear no trace of John's grave.

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