Westall Ridgely

M, b. 18 June 1778, d. 8 October 1845
FatherJacob Ridgely b. 22 Feb 1744, d. 24 Mar 1815
MotherRuth Thrasher b. 12 Jul 1755, d. 24 May 1850
     Westall was born on Thursday, 18 June 1778 in Traptown, Frederick County, Maryland. Westall married Elizabeth Heim, daughter of Johan Andreas Heim and Maria Catharina Martzen, on 24 December 1799.1 The 1800 U.S. Federal Census enumerates at Buckeye Town District, Frederick County, Maryland, the family of Westen Ridgly [001:101].2 About 1808, Westall & his family removed from Maryland to Wayne County, Ohio settling on the Black Fork Creek in Greene Township, southeast of what is now Mansfield and just south of the Lincoln Highway [now U.S. 30].3 Westel Ridgely was noted in History books for Wayne & Ashland Counties as being on the 1810 census but the census has been destroyed by fire.4 In 1812, Westall Ridgely was on a jury in Wayne County. On 9 June 1815, he purchased 163.5 acres [township 16, range 21 NW 1/4 of Section 1] , from the U.S. government for $327 with $81.25 as a down payment and 8 equal biannual installments of $30.65. The property was located in what was then Delaware County, later part of Jefferson Township, Crawford County, Ohio. The Landoffice was in Canton, Ohio. The 1820 U.S. Federal Census enumerates at Big Rock Township, Delaware County, Ohio, the family of Westrel Rigley [000110:52110]. Crawford County was created from Delaware County in this same year.5 In 1821, Westall buys the southwest quarter of the section of land adjacent to and south of the property purchased in 1815. In 1824, he sells the property purchased in 1815 to his son-in-law, James S. Gurwell for $400.00. The 1830 U.S. Federal Census enumerates at Sandusky Township, Crawford County, Ohio, the family of Westell Ridgley [10001001:31131 001].6 Westall's wife, Elizabeth, died before 31 December 1831 in Jefferson Township, Crawford County, Ohio, leaving him a widower. Westall married 2nd Susannah Winbegler circa 1832 in Ohio. In 1833, after the death of his wife and about the time that he remarries, he sells the remainder of his property in Jefferson Township to Abraham Littler. This property was on the Sandusky River where the Leesville & Biddle Roads cross. He had a distillery & a grist mill there. The purchase price was $1800. At about the same time, Westell purchased 80 acres in Whetstone Township, Crawford County for $600. This property was in Section 5, the East 1/2 of the southwest 1/4. It was located on the Lincoln Trail. He also purchased an additional 8 acres for $80 adjacent to the 80 acres. Here he moved his family. The 1840 U.S. Federal Census enumerates at Whetstone Township, Crawford County, Ohio, the family of Westley Rigely [00001001:1111101].7 In 1844, Westell sold his property in Whetstone Township. The 8 acres were sold to John Kelly for $225. The 80 acres were sold to Joseph Albright for $1500. Excluded from this last sale was property Westell had donated for the a school. He then moved his family to Marcellus Township, Cass County, Michigan where two of his daughters, Ruth and Elizabeth, lived with their husbands and families. Westall departed this life on Wednesday, 8 October 1845 in Marcellus Township at age 67 years, 3 months and 20 days. He was buried there in Bly Cemetery. His tombstone reads: Westell Ridgley - Died Oct. 8, 1845 - Aged 67 YS. 3 MS. 20 DS. Westall's estate records are located at the Office of the Crawford County Probate Court, Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio. On 3 November 1849, James Clemence filed the probate records. Letters were then sent out on 16 March 1850 to Westell's children then living in Crawford County. These children were: Andrew Ridgely; Lillie Ann, wife of Jacob Walters; Nancy, wife of Henry S. Sheldon; Matilda, wife of Henry Augustine; Isabella, wife of William Heise & Rebecca, wife of Alexander Heise.8

Important Notes: Substantiation of Lineage for Westall Ridgely:

In our research into the Ridgely family who were early settlers in Crawford County, Ohio and ancestors of the compilers, we became aware of published data that is incorrect. The information had been very carefully and professionally researched and analyzed, unfortunately, the wrong conclusion has been reached. The confusion and controversy is over which Westall Ridgely settled in Crawford County, Ohio. Specifically, was he married to Elizabeth Heim or to Sarah Templing, and was his father Jacob Ridgely [1744-1815] or Westall Ridgely [1736-1777], both sons of Westall Ridgely [1706-c 1772] and Sarah Isaac [1714-1789]. From our investigations, we have concluded that Westall Ridgely of Crawford County was the son of Jacob Ridgely [1744-1815] and Ruth Thrasher [1755-1850] of Fredrick County Maryland. Because of the complexity of the history and confusion of the same name appearing in the same and succeeding generations, we will begin with the history of Westell Ridgely of Crawford County, Ohio, which will be shown to be accurate with the documentation that follows.

Westall Ridgely of Crawford County was born June 18, 1778, and married Elizabeth Heim born 1778, on Dec. 24, 1799. They began their family in Fredrick County, Maryland, moved westward into Ohio where their daughter, Sarah, was born in 1811, in Wayne County. The family moved onto Jefferson Township in what was to become Crawford County Ohio, where the family continued to grow and prosper. Elizabeth Heim Ridgely died between the date of census taking in 1830 and December 31, 1831. Shortly after, by 1833, Westall had remarried to Susannah (Susan) Winbigler and began a second family.
In 1843-44, Westall made ready for a move to Michigan by divesting himself of his Ohio property. He then moved to Cass County, Michigan where he joined two of his daughters and their husbands (who were brothers) by Elizabeth in Marcellus Township. Westall died shortly after his arrival, October 8, 1845, and is buried in Ely Cemetery, Marcellus Township, Cass County, Michigan. At the same site, his wife Susan, two sons, and two unnamed children are also buried.
To verify the above history, it is probably easier to start in Michigan and go back through the life of Westall Ridgely. First of all, Cemetery records give the death date of Westall, as well as his age to the day, from which is arrived the birth date of June 18, 1778. Court records in both Michigan and Maryland establish that Westall of Marcellus Township, Michigan was indeed from Fredrick County, Maryland and that the same individual was also in Ohio. (Children mentioned in court documents were born in Ohio.) If this birth date is correct, then by elimination, Jacob Ridgely and Ruth Thrasher must be the parents of Westall as follows:
The sons of Westall Ridgely and Sarah Isaac were the only Ridgelys in Fredrick County, Maryland during this time period. According to census records Westall’s and Sarah’s sons were: William, Westall, Isaac, Jacob, and Richard. William died in 1776, too early to have been the father of Westall, born in 1778. Their second son Westall was born in 1736 and died in 1772, thus he could not have been the father of Westall, born 1778; his son Westall, grandson of Westall and Sarah Isaac, was born in 1767, too early to have been the Westall of Crawford County, Ohio. Westall of Crawford County and Marcellus Township, Michigan was born in June of 1778. Their third son, Isaac died without issue.

Richard, their fifth son, did not get married until 1782, four years after the birth of Westall of Crawford County and Marcellus, Michigan. Records to not indicate Richard even had a son named Westall. This leaves there fourth son Jacob, as the only logical choice. According to census records, church baptismal records, and Bible records of Eli House (brother-in-law of Westall of Crawford County), Jacob had begun his family by 1774 and continued to have children until 1797. From Jacob's will, we know he had a son Westall, probably his third child which is indicated by the census records and by the fact he is the third child mentioned in the will. Also, Westall's children follow the same name pattern as does Jacob's. Another point of confirmation is, Lewis Harding, a trustee of Westall's Michigan estate, was married to Sarah Ridgely, a daughter of Jacob. Thus Harding and Westall were brother-in-laws.

Of the two women in question who were married to Westall Ridgelys, Sarah Templing has to eliminated, as her marriage date was in 1791 making Westall of Crawford County only 13 years old, while Westall, born in 1767 would have been at a more appropriate age of 24. Elizabeth Heim’s marriage date of 1799 would have made both parties 21 years of age at their marriage. Elizabeth Heim, mentioned in her father's will of 1815 was alive at the writing of the will, but was deceased by the writing of her step-mother's will written December 31, 1831. Westall's wife, Elizabeth, was alive at the time of the census in 1830, but had died by 1833, as a new wife appears on public documents, and a new wife is also confirmed on the 1840 census. Census records indicate that Westall's older children were born in the early 1800's, thus a marriage date of 1799 is quite consistent. Sarah Ridgely Peterman named two of her children Westall and Elizabeth; Sarah being the child born in Wayne County in 1811.
Public documents indicate the presence of Westall in Wayne County, Ohio at least by 1812. Also the Westall of Wayne County is seen as purchasing property in Crawford County; thus establishing that Sarah Ridgely born in Wayne is the daughter of Westall of Crawford County. Wayne County is also located on the way west from Fredrick County, Maryland to Crawford County, Ohio.
The identity of Westall's second wife is confirmed by documents found in Ohio land records, in estate papers, and in a marriage record in Cass County, Michigan. After 1833, land records of Westall indicate the name of his wife to be Susannah. After his move to Michigan, his wife is referred to as Susan, with whom he is buried. Their son Eli is married in Marcellus Township and it is indicated on his marriage record that his mother is the former Susan Winbigler.

We have now verified the father of Westall Ridgely who resided in Crawford County, Ohio between the years of 1815 and 1844. We have also identified his two wives, at least approximate dates of marriage (exact date for Elizabeth) and also established when the wives died. We have documented Westall's travels from Fredrick County, Maryland through at least two stops in Ohio to his final resting place in Marcellus Township, Cass County, Michigan. With the confusion and somewhat eccentric life of this man, it seems wise to summarize his life from birth to death.
Westall Ridgley was born June 18, 1778 in Traptown, Fredrick County, Maryland to Jacob Ridgely and Ruth Thrasher, grandson of Westall Ridgely and Sarah Isaac. Westall married, at the age of 21 on December 24, 1799, Elizabeth Heim, daughter of Andrew and Maria Catharina Heim. Between 1808 and 1811 the couple and their family moved to Wayne County, Ohio where a daughter, Sarah was born in 1811. (Ancestor of the compiler) In 1815, Westall purchased land in what would become Crawford County, Ohio and moved his growing family shortly after this purchase. Westall and Elizabeth continued to have children, it appears, until her death ca. 1831. Within a couple of years Westall married Susannah (Susan) Winbigler and immediately started his second family. At about the same time, 1828 and 1832, two of Westall's daughters and their families moved to Cass County, Michigan. Apparently by 1843, Westall had decided to join his daughters in Michigan and began selling his property in Crawford County. He was still disposing of his property in 1844, and his son Eli was also born in Crawford County in that same year of 1844. However, he was in Michigan in that same year or the next as he died and was buried in
Marcellus Township, Cass County, Michigan in October of 1845. His wife Susan lived for a while with Westall's granddaughter by Ruth Ridgely Bair before marrying Samuel Bridge. Susan died December 12, 1871 and was buried with Westall and four of their children.

Some sources have stated that Westell had sons: Daniel, John, Jonathan, Sebastian, Ignatius & William. However, in our research we have found nothing that would substantiate any of them as his sons. From what we have seen, the only known son of Westell and Elizabeth is Andrew.
Compiled by: Larry & Kathy McCurdy
2710 Sophiea Parkway
Okemos, Michigan 48864.

Family 1

Elizabeth Heim b. 8 Sep 1778, d. b 31 Dec 1831

Family 2

Susannah Winbegler b. 26 Jul 1801, d. 12 Dec 1871


  1. [S2009] Maryland, U. S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850.
  2. [S669] 1800 United States Federal Census: Fredrick County, Maryland - page 128 - He is listed three above Andrew Heim. - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  3. [S306] John Edward Hopley, History of Crawford County and Ohio, page 210.
  4. [S670] 1810 United States Federal Census: Wayne County, Ohio - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  5. [S671] 1820 United States Federal Census: Deleware County, Ohio - page 125 - Right under him is James Gorwell. - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  6. [S672] 1830 United States Federal Census: Crawford County, Ohio - page 170 - It appears son, Andrew, his wife, Rebecca & two children were living in this household. - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  7. [S673] 1840 United States Federal Census: Crawford County, Ohio - page 66 - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  8. [S313] Westall Ridgely, Volume II, page 219, Westall Ridgely, Volume II, page 219, Crawford County Probate Court, Ohio, 112 East Mansfield Street, Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio 44820, 419: 562-8891, 3 November 1849 filed by James Clemence, administrator. Notification Letters sent 16 March 1850 to: Andrew Ridgely; Lillie Ann, wife of Jacob Walters; Nancy, wife of Henry S. Sheldon; Isabella, wife of William Heise; Rebecca, wife of Alexander Heise. The name Matilda, wife of Henry Augustine was added. [Note: notices were only sent to the children living at the time in Crawford County - Polly lived in Williams County; Ruth & Elizabeth lived in Michigan, Sarah was with her husband driving a wagon train during the Gold Rush, & Maria lived in Ashland County]