52 Ancestors: #15 Henry Montgomery – marriage and emigration to Ohio

In my last post, I shared a little bit about  Mary (Grimes) Montgomery, and this post will detail the story of her marriage to Henry Montgomery, and their emigration from Virginia to Ohio – most of Henry’s family came along too. This information comes from the book History of the descendants and connections of William Montgomery and James Somerville, who emigrated to America from Ireland, in the opening years of the 19th century” by Frank Montgomery, available for free on Google Books. All quotes below come from this book.

ImageHenry Montgomery was born in 1790 in County Tyrone, Ireland, the son of William Montgomery and Margaret Somerville. In 1803, he and his family immigrated to America and settled in Staunton, Virginia. “In 1810, emigration to Ohio being very popular in Virginia, and a number of friends and relatives having gone, the Montgomery family concluded to ‘go West.’ ” On the way to Ohio, Henry married Mary Grimes, whose family lived in or near Greenbrier County (then in Virginia, now in West Virginia). Henry’s brother Samuel was a circuit preacher in the Methodist church and had come to know the Grimes family on his circuit, and through Samuel, Henry had become acquainted with the family as well. In fact, Samuel, Henry, and their brother William all three married sisters from the Grimes family.


Henry started out on horseback from Staunton a few weeks ahead of the rest of the family and their wagons, and made his way to the Grimes family home, where he and Mary were married on September 27, 1810. “The next day they started on their wedding tour, taking all her effects with them on horseback, to meet the wagons on the emigrant road. Their bedding, cooking utensils, etc., was carried on pack saddles. Two of her brothers went along to help drive the four cows and take part of the horses back.” The family made their way across the Alleghenies and then crossed the Ohio River at Marietta. 


After crossing the Ohio River, they followed the Muskingum River to Zanesville and from there, followed the Licking River up to Newark. They had planned to settle north of Newark, near where Utica is, since many people from near Staunton had settled there, including family friends like the Conards, Lees, and Edmonds. However, the North Fork of the Licking River was too high to cross at that time, on account of recent heavy rains, and they were told that corn was scarce in that area, and that folks from there had to come south to the Bowling Green area to buy corn. So they settled near Bowling Green instead.