An American Family History

Prather Family

  Also spelled:  

Thomas Prather was born about 1673 in Maryland.

He married Martha Sprigg. Martha was the daughter of Thomas Sprigg and Eleanor Nuthall.

Thomas Prather (1704, married Elizabeth Clagett).
John Smith Prather, (married Elizabeth Nuthall),
Philip Prather (married Catherine Hunt),
Aaron Prather (1710),
Eleanor Prather (married Thomas William),
Rachel Prather (married William Pottenger and James Milburn Seemes).

On June 25, 1700, Ninian Beall sold Thomas 56 acres, part of a tract of land called St. Andrews.

Thomas died in 1712 in Prince George's County, Maryland. After he died Martha married Stephen Yoakley.


Aaron Prather was born about 1710. He was the son of Thomas Prather and Martha Sprigg Prather Yoakley.

Aaron Prather, Jr. (1739, married Mary Swearingen),
Samuel Prather (1740),
Basil Prather (1742, married Chlorenda Robertson),
Baruch Prather (1742, married Sarah Higgins),
Barbara Prather, married ? Williams),
Ruth Prather,
Mary "Molly" Prather,
Zachariah Prather (married Ruth Allison), and
Walter Prather (married Ann Higgins).

Aaron died in 1777 in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

Baruch Prather was born on October 20, 1742, in Prince George's County, Maryland. He was the son of Aaron Prather.

He married Sarah Jane "Sallie" Higgins in Rock Creek, Frederick County, Maryland, on November 16, 1775.

Thomas Prather (1778, married Mary Claggett),
Deborah Prather (1779, married Isaac Willson Walker
Martha Prather (1781, married Nathaniel Morrison),),
Anne Prather (1782, married Ebenezer Ruark),
John Prather (1785, married Sarah Wilson and Mildred A. Robinson),
Mary Prather (1786, married Stephen Reid),
Rebecca Prather (1788, married John Shrock),
Benjamin Prather (1790, married Elizabeth Knightly)
Walter Prather (1792, married Mary D. Irvine.),
Luraner Prather (1800, married James St. Clair).

They lived in Frederick County, Maryland, and Montgomery County, Maryland.

During the Revolutionary War, Baruch served from Montgomery County, Maryland, as a Private and then 1st Sergeant in Captain S. Swearingen & Colonel J. Murdock's company.

Baruch on near Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, on December 2, 1810, and was buried in the Prather Family Cemetery near his house.

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.



from Prince George's County Court Proceedings, Liber L.

Mar. 25 1725
Aaron Prather by his petition humbly sets forth to the Justices of the Court here that he is in his minority and that he has had the mishap sometime since to fall under the lash of an unfortunate father in law [step-father] Capt Stephen Yoakley whose Estate is now (by the Creditor's) ready to be arrested out of the hands of his wife in the possession of Whom the petitioner alledge's his Substance good's and chattle's formerly bequeathed or given him by his relation's are at present reposited of which he is like to be depriv'd except now timely permitted to chuse his Guardian by virtue of whom and the Justices here their authority interposing he hope's he may be Secured from the Danger's of.

Upon reading which petition and consideration thereof by the Court here it is orderd by the same Court that the petition be rejected the Justice's here conceiving that no debt's of Capt Yoakley can abject the Estate of the orphan in the hand's of Mrs. Yoakley his mother.


Yoakley, Martha, widow,
Charles County,
19th June, 1742;
13th Nov., 1742.
To dau. Rachel Semmes, 5s.
To son Aaron Prather, 5s.
To grandson Aaron, son of Aaron, 250 at majority or time of marriage.
To grandson Baruch Williams, personalty.
To Charity Theobald, personalty.
To child. Eleanor Williams, Thomas Prather, John Smith Prather, and Philip Prather, residue of personal estate.
To sons, Thomas, Philip, and John Smith Prather, Spriggs Request at Collington, in accordance to their father's will. Should sd. Thomas fail to deliver the deeds to his bros, afsd., his share be divided between theme
Exs.: Thomas and John Smith Prather, and Thomas Williams.
Test: Ignatius Doyne, John Chapman, John Parnaham.


from Prince George's County Court Proceedings, Liber Y

Feb. 3 1742
Samuel Hyde of City of London…England, Merchant
leased to Aron Prather of Prince Georges County, planter
pt of Bradford's Rest, 152 a.,
for the natural lives of Aron and his wife Jane, and Aron, son of Aron and Jane,
at £2.5.7 per annum.
/s/ Hen. Massey
Wit: Jas Smith Rock Creek, Thos MacPherson.


from Prince George's County Court Proceedings, Liber PP

June 2 1750
Aaron Prather of Prince George's Co., Gent.,
sold to Thomas Cross of Prince George's Co., Gent ,
for £40.,
all of two tracts or parcels of land devised to him by Thomas Prather
pt. of Orphan's Gift and pt. of St. Andrew's
containing in the two parcels, 206 a.
/s/ Aaron Prather.
Wit: Thos Gantt Junr, Morda Jacob.
His wife released her dower.


from Montgomery County, Maryland Wills
James Higgins
L I f 437 30 Feb 1808
L 2 p 480 18 Jan 1816

Wife: not named - to live on in testors's home
Son: Benjamin Higgins - The Fork and Additions to the Fork where he now lives 200A
Son: James Becraft Higgins - 367A The Additions, where he and testator now live
Son: John Higgins - 202A The Last Coat and part of Joseph's Park where he now lives, which was obtained from Benjamin Becraft
Daus: Sarah Prather, Ann Prather, Rebecca Soper, Susannah Swearington, Luranah Becraft, Elizabeth Allison, Elinor Garrett.
Granddau: Susannah Swearington
Ex: Son James B. Higgins
Wit: John Fleming, Benjamin Ray, Zadock Lanham.


from History of Venango County, Pennsylvania

The descent of the Prather family of Cornplanter is traced to an Episcopal clergyman who settled at Williamsport, Washington county, Maryland; Henry Prather, probably his son, born September 14 (Old Style), 1732, came to Pennsylvania as an officer in the English service and after the close of the Indian wars settled in Franklin county.

He married Elizabeth Hicks, and their son, Thomas Hicks Prather, born April 2, 1755, was the immigrant ancestor of Venango county. He married Elizabeth Crounkleton, of Dutch descent.

The family were well-to-do, but having lost the bulk of his property, Thomas H. Prather decided to seek to recuperate his fortunes in the western country and in 1801, accompanied by his two sons, Abram and Robert, aged respectively fifteen and thirteen years, made the journey to this county. He arranged for the purchase of a four hundred acre tract, and having built a cabin and left sufficient provisions, returned to the east leaving the two boys in charge.

It is related that the Indians stole all they had except the supply of cornmeal, and they subsisted upon the charity of the neighbors with such food as their own efforts could procure until the return of their father with his family three months later.

Then, having formed the intention of living near the river, he removed to East Hickory, Forest county, where he resided until his death, February 15, 1818.

The son, Abram C., returned to Franklin county and learned the trade of tanner. He was drafted for service in the war of 1812 and after the close of the term for which he was enlisted visited his father at East Hickory. Finding the land he had lived upon during the winter of 1801–2 still unoccupied he decided to complete the purchase. He afterward volunteered for the defense of Erie, but with the exception of this and other temporary absences passed the remainder of his life in this township. He built a log house and afterward a frame building on the Warren road east of Plumer and engaged in the tanning business. He married Sarah McCalmont, daughter of Henry McCalmont, and they reared a family of ten children: Henry M., of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Mary Hatch, of Plumer; John S., of Cleveland: Mrs. Sarah E. Bemus, of Jamestown, New York; Abraham S., of Jamestown, New York; Mrs. Ruhana R. McClure, of Cleveland, Ohio; Julia A., Jane W., George C., and Robert T. A., deceased. He was a trustee of the Associate Reformed church of Plumer many years. He was born September 19, 1786, and died July 7, 1850. His wife survived him until December 26, 1874.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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