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Rinehart Families of Ross County, Ohio

  The Ross County, Ohio area was a destination during the 1840s and 1850s for a number of Rinehart families who were originally from Greene County, Pennsylvania. Reviewing the 1850 census for Huntington Township, Ross County, Ohio indicates a 70 year old Samuel Rinehart listed in the household of Ezekiel and Sally Lemley. Enumerated after them is the household of 29 year old Samuel Rinehart and wife Rachel. Other Pennsylvania born Rineharts in this township in 1850 included 47 year old Barnet Rinehart and wife Rebecca; 42 year old Enos Rinehart and wife Susan; and 38 year old Resen Rinehart and wife Rebecca. Just across the border in Pebble Township, Pike County, Ohio were Pennsylvania natives 52 year old Simon Rinehart and wife Alice; and 44 year old John Rinehart and wife Jane. By the 1860 census Pennsylvania natives Asa Rinehart and wife Sarah were also located in Huntington Township, Ross County, Ohio (Simon and Alice also enumerated there in 1860).

Who were these Rineharts? An initial clue comes from an 1884 Ohio-based biography for Harrison Hayes, published in the History of lower Scioto Valley, Ohio. Harrison Hayes was married to Sarah Jane Rinehart, daughter of Enos Rinehart and Susanna Meighen, and the biography mentions that Enos Rinehart was, "a son of Samuel and Armalia Rinehart, [and] was born 03 Apr 1808 in Greene County, Pennsylvania". Enos Rinehart is also mentioned in an 1882 History of Greene County, Pennsylvania, published by Rev. Hanna, 1882, which mentions that Samuel Rinehart (a brother of Barney and Simon) was the father of six sons and three daughters, viz., "Joseph, Asa, Enos, Reason, John and Samuel". Enos Rinehart is also mentioned in the book "The Meighen Sept", by Bernard P. Meighen, not only as the husband of Susanna Meighen but as a brother of Nancy Rinehart who married Susanna's brother John Meighen, as well as the brother of Simon Rinehart from Greene Co., Pennsylvania who married Elsie Mulrine (Elsie, a daughter of another Meighen).

The information above suggests that Samuel Rinehart (of 1850 Ross County) was the father of many of the Rineharts in the surrounding area. In addition to Enos Rinehart, this included Samuel Jr. (enumerated next to Samuel Sr. in 1850, he and his wife Rachel are mentioned in a court case related to Samuel Sr.), Resen or Reason Rinehart (of 1850 Ross County, enumerated next to Samuel Sr. in 1840 Greene Co., PA), John Rinehart (of 1850 Pike County, enumerated next to Asa in 1840 Greene Co., PA), and Asa Rinehart (of 1860 Ross County, enumerated next to John in 1840 Greene Co., PA). Names that should be added to the list of children include Nancy Rinehart wife of John Meighen (of 1850 Guernsey County, Ohio), Sarah Rinehart wife of Ezekiel Lemley (enumerated with Samuel Sr. in 1850), and Simon Rinehart (of 1850 Pike County, the apparent husband of Alice, aka Elsie, Mulrine. Barnet Rinehart (listed in 1840 Green Co, PA, and then in 1850 Ross Co,.OH) seems a good candidate to be part of Samuel's family as well, even though he is not listed in the 1882 history.

Missing from the lists of sons of Samuel is the name Joseph, who is not apparent in Ross or Pike County. If still living in 1850, did Joseph Rinehart remain in Pennsylvania or is he found elsewhere in Ohio? Perhaps clues can be drawn again from Enos Rinehart and his earlier arrival in Ohio. Enos arrived in Ohio in the 1820s, his marriage to Susanna Meighen recorded on May 11, 1827 in Guernsey County, Ohio. Enos Rinehart (age 20-29) and his apparent brother Simon (age 30-39) appear in the 1830 census for Richland township, Guernsey Co., Ohio.
By 1840 the name Joseph Rinehart (age 30-39) appears in Guernsey Co., Ohio, along with Enos (age 30-39), Simon (age 40-49), and a couple of other Rineharts. In land records dated in 1835 and 1841, Joseph Rinehart and his wife Rachel are mentioned purchasing lands (from James Long) in Richland township area of Guernsey Co., Ohio. By 1850 Joseph and Rachel Rinehart (both born in Pennsylvania) are enumerated under Wright township, Guernsey Co., Ohio (Wright township, now defunct, was described as being south of Richland township).
The above Joseph Rinehart and wife Rachel, according to family trees, were married November 07, 1824 in Greene Co., Pennsylvania. Is it perhaps this Joseph who is mentioned as a son of Samuel Rinehart in the 1882 History of Greene County, Pennsylvania? He appears to be the most logical choice to be part of Samuel's family. It is known that members of Joseph and Rachel's family used the Rhinehart spelling of the name.

The name Barnet is not mentioned in the 1882 history list of sons of Samuel Rinehart. Based on the census, Barnet and his family have clear connections to both Greene Co., Pennsylvania, and later to Huntington township, Ross Co., Ohio. He and his wife Rebecca are buried at Baptist Hill Cemetery there, the same place that John Rinehart (husband of Jane, above mentioned) and a number of other Rinehart family members are buried. It is interesting to note that both Barnet and Joseph (husband of Rachel) have children who are said to have been born in Virginia (now West Virginia) in the timeframe around 1843.

The name Simon is not mentioned in the 1882 history, but he appears as a brother of Enos Rinehart in Meighen family lore as the husband of Elsie Mulrine. This appears valid since both Simon and Enos appear near one another in the census records from 1830 through 1870. From the census records Simon Rinehart was born between 1794-1798. His wife Elsie Mulrine, described as a daughter of John Mulrine and Margaret Meighen, was born in a similar timeframe based on the 1810 census for Franklin township, Greene Co., Pennsylvania (and her death record). Franklin township was not only the early home of the Mulrine family, but was the place that Samuel and Armalia Rinehart raised their family. As suggested in the Meighen family history the Mulrine family also moved to Ohio. A land patent dated April 21, 1835 indicates that John Mulrine, "of Greene County, Pennsylvania", purchased land in Guernsey County, the same place that Enos and Simon Rinehart were living at that time. According to the same Meighen family history, Elsie Mulrine had a younger sister named Margaret who married James Keenan (in Greene Co., PA), and the Keenans are also found in Guernsey County, Ohio in the 1840 and 1850 census record.
It is difficult not to conclude that Simon Rinehart and Elsie Mulrine are the same as Simon and Alice Rinehart who are found in 1850 and 1870 census for Pebble township, Pike Co,. Ohio, and who were 'across the county border' in Huntington township, Ross County, Ohio in 1860. Simon and Alice were born between 1794-1798, Simon in Pennsylvania and Alice perhaps in Pennsylvania or Maryland (or at sea).
Possible children of Simon and Alice according to the 1850 enumeration included Peter, Elizabeth, James and Alice. Another likely child of theirs was Margaret Rinehart who married Ambrose Jefferis in 1840 Guernsey Co,. Ohio (where Simon and Alice were living). This Margaret, born in Pennsylvania, daughter of Simon Rinehart, is mentioned in a 1900 publication of the "Genealogy of the Darlington family", and her death is given on September 28, 1851, buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Beaver Twp., Noble County, Ohio; on the Belmont County border. At least one family tree suggests this Margaret, born about 1818 in Pennsylvania, was a daughter of Simon Rinehart and Alice Mulrian. Yet another daughter of Simon and Elsie (Alice) Rinehart would appear to be Sarah Rinehart, born about 1830 in Ohio, who married Thomas Hill Jefferis, a younger brother of Ambrose Jefferis. Sarah died in August 1854 and is also buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Beaver Twp., Noble Co., Ohio. The burial of Margaret and Sarah in a Catholic cemetery would be consistent with the Irish Catholic denomination of the Mulrine (Mulrian, Mulryan) family.
NOTE: There is a lot of confusion between the family of Simon Rinehart (born 1774) and the above Simon who married Elsie Mulrine (they both born in the 1795 timeframe). This confusion apparently derives from Howard Leckey's book about The Tenmile Country and its Pioneer Families. The elder Simon (born 1774) is cited as a brother of Samuel Rinehart Sr. (husband of Armalia, mentioned above), and it was this elder Simon who is known to have married Ann Wise and had a son Jesse born in 1806 Greene Co., PA (based on Jesse's biography). Simon and Ann, their son Jesse, and a number of their daughters (e.g. Hannah, Lucinda, Charlotte, Cassa) had connections to Perry Co., Ohio, as suggested in Perry County court records regarding Simon and Ann's estate. It is possible that Simon (born 1774) had a spouse prior to Ann Wise (before 1806), but it could not have been Elsie (aka Alice) Mulrine who died Oct. 13, 1878 in Ross Co., Ohio at age 83.

Further documentation would be helpful but based on the information above, the family members of Samuel and Armalia Rinehart, of Greene County, Pennsylvania, included sons named Simon, Joseph, Barnet, Asa, Enos, Reason, Nancy, John, Sarah and Samuel. Each of the children have early connections to Greene County, Pennsylvania, as well as later connections in specific areas in Ohio.

The father, Samuel Rinehart Sr., is thought to have been born about 1779 in Westmoreland (now Greene) Co., Pennsylvania, a son of Simon (died 1781) and Sarah Rinehart. He married Armalia (Armelia, Amelia) and they raised their family in Greene Co., Pennsylvania. According to available records, Samuel Sr. died on February 17, 1856 in Ohio, while his wife is believed to be the one who died August 8, 1846 (1848?) at age 66 and is buried at one of the Rinehart family cemeteries (Jessie Rinehart farm) in Greene Co., Pennsylvania.

Some speculate that Samuel Rinehart Sr.'s wife was named Armalia Meighen (or Meighan). There are a number of difficulties with this identification. First, she is not mentioned in early Meighen family history which has some proven accuracy in the early generations. Second, Armalia was born around 1780 in Pennsylvania as suggested by all of her surviving children in the 1880 census. The Meighens came from Ireland to the U. S. around 1790 or later. Third, placing Armalia in the Meighen family tree suggests the unlikely possibility that three of her children had married her nieces and nephew (1st cousins). One thing that is apparent are the Meighen family connections with her children: Enos Rinehart married a Meighen, Nancy Rinehart married a Meighen, and Simon Rinehart married a daughter of a Meighen.

This narrative only scratches the surface for some Pennsylvania-born Rinehart families with early connections to Guernsey, Ross and Pike Counties in Ohio. There is much more to learn and share. If you believe you are related to this extended family review the Rinehart Family Tree and feel free to contact me with comments.

Compiled by Dennis Walsh, February 2008.   (email:

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