13 April, 1940 is a Saturday morning and a census-taker named Goldie M. Clark stops by the Ruark farm in Marion Township, Putnam County, Indiana.  The Ruarks are his very first farm that morning and [Thomas] Melvin Ruark (or someone there) tells Goldie that he is 44 years old and his wife, Ruth, is 43 years old. Their 20 year old son is there as well and Goldie writes down "William A. Ruark" rather than James A. [Albert] Ruark.  We don't know why.  Click the images below to see the 1940 Census in Putnam County.

Thomas Melvin Ruark

b. 30 Dec  1895, Greencastle, Putnam, IN. d.


In 1910, the Census Taker was in Marion Township (in Putnam County, Indiana) and he stopped by the Ruark farm.  He found a young 34 year-old widow, Myrtle Ruark, at home with her 14 year-old son, Melvin.  

Also interesting to note was then next farm which belonged to 37 year-old John F. Cash, his wife and 5 children... no, this is not the country singer Johnny Cash; however, in 1920, when the youngest of the Cash children was 20, Myrtle would go on to marry Mr. Cash.  

     Although we all love a good scandal, this story is more of a Brady Bunch saga rather than Peyton Place.  On 2 February 1920, we find Mr. Cash is now 48 years old and is a Widower himself.  On 24 March 1920, he and Myrtle tied the knot in Putnam County.

In 1914, Melvin was 21 years old, and he was required to register for the Great War (WWI).  He went downtown Greencastle, Indiana, and registered as he was supposed to do.  He said he was tall and stout, had light blue eyes; he was not bald, and he had light hair.  The signature below is in Melvin's own hand.

The Ruark Family

Farmers in Western Indiana



Beverly Diane Ruark & Ruth Ellen Ruark (7 May 1957 - ) & Phyllis Ruark & James Albert Ruark Jr. (1960 - ) 
​ James Albert Ruark, Sr. (2 Apr 1920, Roachdale, Putnam, IN – 3 Oct 1988, Indianapolis, Marion, IN) Thomas Melvin Ruark (30 Dec 1895, Greencastle, Putnam, IN – Feb 1982, Greencastle, Putnam, IN) Albert L. Ruark (28 Sep 1870, Putnam County, IN – 7 Dec 1907, Marion Township, Putnam County, IN) Thomas Jefferson Ruark (26 Jun 1841, Marion (County, IN or Township of Putnam County, IN) – 21 May 1912, Fillmore, Putnam, IN) Thomas Peter Ruark (28 May 1800, North Carolina – 13 Feb 1888, Greencastle, Putnam, IN) Peter Smith Ruark (26 Apr 1778, Maryland – 1855, Pulaski County, KY) Timothy Ruark, Sr. (1745, Caswell County, NC – 5 Sep 1813, Pulaski County, KY)

Timothy Ruark, Sr.

b. abt 1745 in Caswell County, North Carolina, The British Colonies of His Majesty King George III, d. 5 Sep 1813 (age 68), Pulaski County, Kentucky, USA.


The first Ruark records we have is Timothy Ruark Sr.  Timothy was born in Caswell County, North Carolina in about 1745.
Timothy married Ms. Elizabeth Smith, who was born in Maryland in 1745.  The couple married around 1765 when they were around 20 years old.  How this young lady from Maryland crossed paths with this North Carolina country boy, we may never know.  The couple had their first child, Timothy Jr., in daddy’s home of Caswell County, North Carolina in 1767.  Mom and dad were 22 years old and living in the backwoods North Carolina countryside right on the Virginia border.

The next child we know that Timothy and Elizabeth Ruark had was 11 years later.  This is very odd so we can assume that Elizabeth had miscarriages or that the children died.  Their next child that we know of is Peter Smith Ruark.  Peter was born on 26 April 1778 in his mother’s home state of Maryland when his mother was 33 years old.

Look at the 1910 Census from Pulaski County, Kentucky below.  we see that Timothy has 2 boys less than 10 years old, 1 boy between 11 and 16, no boys between 17 and 26, and 1 man less than 45 (himself). He also has 2 girls less than 10; 1 girls less than 16; 0 girls less than 26; 1 woman less than 45 (Elizabeth), and one woman older than 45 (probably his or Elizabeth's mother).  He has no other free persons and no slaves or free blacks.  There were 2 black people living next door but we cannot tell if they were slaves or not.  The Census form uses that column for, "All other free persons, except Indians, not taxed"; however, the Pulaski form lists that column simply as, "Black". The far right column is listed as "Slaves" on the blank 1810 census and is unmarked on the Pulaski document.

Before 1910, the story goes that Albert was preparing to go hunting and stepped outside his home onto the back porch and fell.  His gun went off and he was shot in the back of the head. 

On 21/22 April, 1910, the Census Taker found two people living at the farm.   34 year old Myrtle Ruark who listed herself as a Widow and as the Head of Household, and 14 year old [Thomas] Melvin Ruark.  A very odd thing is also included.  Myrtle says she was born in Indiana but also says that Thomas' mother was born in North Carolina.   

Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 
----------------------------
Grantee:Timothy Ruark Number of Acres:100 Survey Date:25 Jun 1825 County:Pulaski Watercourse: Rockcastle River; Book Number: U Source Citation: Collection: The Kentucky Land Grants; Volume Number: 1; Part: 1; Title: Chapter VI Kentucky Land Warrants (1816-1873); Section: The Counties of Kentucky; Source Page Number: 708.Source Information:Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.Original data: Jillson, Willard Rouse. The Kentucky Land Grants. Vol. I-II. Louisville, KY, USA: Filson Club Publications, 1925.Description:This database contains the records of the Kentucky Land Office from 1782 to 1924. --------------------
Grantee:Timothy Ruark Number of Acres:100  Survey Date:19 Dec 1826 County:Pulaski Watercourse:Buck Creek; Book Number: Y  Source Citation: Collection: The Kentucky Land Grants; Volume Number: 1; Part: 1; Title: Chapter VI Kentucky Land Warrants (1816-1873); Section: The Counties of Kentucky; Source Page Number: 708.Source Information:Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.Original data: Jillson, Willard Rouse. The Kentucky Land Grants. Vol. I-II. Louisville, KY, USA: Filson Club Publications, 1925.Description:This database contains the records of the Kentucky Land Office from 1782 to 1924.----
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Grantee:Timothy Ruark Number of Acres:50 Survey Date:8 May 1818 County:Pulaski Watercourse:Buck Creek; Book Number: E Source Citation: Collection: The Kentucky Land Grants; Volume Number: 1; Part: 1; Title: Chapter VI Kentucky Land Warrants (1816-1873); Section: The Counties of Kentucky; Source Page Number: 708.Source Information:Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997. Original data: Jillson, Willard Rouse. The Kentucky Land Grants. Vol. I-II. Louisville, KY, USA: Filson Club Publications, 1925.Description:This database contains the records of the Kentucky Land Office from 1782 to 1924.
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Grantee:Timothy Ruark Number of Acres:10 Survey Date:30 Mar 1842 County:Pulaski Watercourse:Buck Creek; Book Number:21 Source Citation: Collection: The Kentucky Land Grants; Volume Number: 1; Part: 2; Title: Chapter X. Grants In The County Court Orders (1836-1924); Section: The Counties of Kentucky; Source Page Number: 1653.Source Information:Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.Original data: Jillson, Willard Rouse. The Kentucky Land Grants. Vol. I-II. Louisville, KY, USA: Filson Club Publications, 1925.Description:This database contains the records of the Kentucky Land Office from 1782 to 1924. 
--------------

Peter Smith Ruark

b. 26 Apr 1778 in Maryland, USA.  d. 1855 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, USA


Peter grew up and married Mileah Price when he was about 21 years old and she was about 15 years old.  Mileah Price was born on 15 June 1784 in North Carolina.  Although Peter was born in his mother’s home state of Maryland, it seems he spent some time in his father’s home state of North Carolina where he met little Mileah.  Peter and Mileah had eight children that we know of:

1.  Thomas Peter Ruark, b. 28 May 1800, North Carolina; d. 13 Feb 1888, Greencastle, Putnam, Indiana.  Married Rachel Hayes
2.  Timothy Ruark, 6 Dec 1802; d. 1837, Indiana.  Married Lavina Phelps.
3.  Elizabeth Ruark, b. 1806, Kentucky.
4.  Martha Patsy Ruark, b. 1807, North Carolina
5.  Peter Ruark, b. 12 Apr 1810, Wayne County, Kentucky; d. 14 Apr 1874, Wright, Wayne, Iowa.
6.  (Unknown Male) Ruark, b. 1815
7.  Frances Ruark, b. 1821, Kentucky.​    
​8.  John Ruark, b. 1822, Kentucky; d. 1895, Iowa.

Shown below is the 1820 Census in Pulaski County, Kentucky, a slave state at the time.  You can see that in 1820, Peter Ruark has 4 boys plus himself and 2 girls plus his wife.  He owns no slaves.

On 2 or 3 February, 1920, the census taker stops by the Ruark farm in Marion Township, Putnam County, Indiana and [Thomas] Melvin Ruark (or someone there) tells the Enumerator he is 24 years old and his wife, Ruth, is 23 years old. They have a baby, Mildred L. (Lucille) Ruark in the house, and Melvin's mother, Myrtle C. Ruark is living there as well.  She is a widow and is only 44 years old .

Click the images below to see the 1920 Census.

Research

Genealogical Web Site

Ruth and Kimmy:

From the Putnam County Courthouse, I need

​Marriage Certificate of Thomas Jefferson Ruark and Rebecca Ellen Weatherly.  They were married on 30 Nov 1861 in Putnam County, Indiana, probably in Greencastle.  Caution: They might have the names listed wrong.. they might have him as Thomas I. Ruark (not Thomas J. Ruark) and they might have her as Rebecca E. Mentherly (not Weatherly)

​Marriage Certificate of Albert L. Ruark and Myrtle C. Wise.  They were married in 1894 or 1895 in Putnam County, Indiana, probably in Greencastle.

Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Ruark

b. 26 Jun 1841, Marion County**, IN.  d. 21 May 1912 (age 70).  buried in Stilesville Cemetery, Stilesville, Hendricks, IN


Thomas married Rebecca Ellen Weatherly on 30 Nov 1861 in Putnam County, IN, probably in Greencastle.  Caution: The County might have the names listed wrong... I see evidence the County has him as Thomas I. Ruark (not Thomas J. Ruark) and they might have her as Rebecca E. Mentherly (not Weatherly)

Thomas and Rebecca had 8 children that we know of:


1.  George M. Ruark, b. abt 1865 in Indiana

2. Minnie May Ruark, b. abt 1868 in Indiana

3. Albert L. Ruark, b. 28 Sep 1870, Putnam County, Indiana.  d. 7 Dec 1907 in Marion Township, Putnam County, IN

4. Dora (Dora is a male) E. Ruark, b. abt 1871, in Indiana

5. Gilbert Lee Ruark, b. abt 1874, in Indiana, USA

6. Della F. Ruark, b. abt 1877, in Indiana, USA

7. Ruby M. Ruark, b. Feb 1883 in Indiana, USA

8. Frankie Jewell Ruark (female), b. 11 Jun 1888 in Putnam County, IN, USA 


Click the images below for a better look!

Albert L. Ruark

b. 28 Sep 1875, Putnam County, IN.  d. before 21 Apr 1910


Albert married Mary "Myrtle" Wise around 1894 which means they were both about 19 years old when they married.  That being said, they had a child, Thomas Melvin Ruark, on 30 Dec 1895 when Albert and Mary were 20 years old.

    Myrtle C. Wise

Mary was born in July 1875 making her a couple of months older than Albert.  Myrtle was a nurse.

Thomas Peter Ruark

b. 28 May 1800, NC.  m. 19 Nov 1821, Pulaski County, KY.  d. 13 Feb 1888, Greencastle, Putnam, IN


Thomas married Rachel Hayes on 19 Nov 1821 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.  Rachel was born in 1804 in Washington County, Virginia.

 

Thomas and Rachel had 8 children that we know of:

1. Peter Price Ruark, b. 25 Sep 1824 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.  Died 20 Mar 1912 (age 87) in S. Confidence, Wayne County Iowa.  Buried in South Confidence Cemetery, Wayne County, IA.
2. Lavina M. Ruark, b. 17 Nov 1829 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. d. 22 May 1910 (age 80) in Fillmore, Putnam County, Indiana.  buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Putnam County, IN.

3. James Madison "Jim" Ruark, b. 1831 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. d. 1915 (age 84) in Indiana

4. Joseph William "Joe" Ruark, b. 17 May 1834 in Indiana.  d. 24 Oct 1893 (age 59), in Indiana.  

buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Putnam County, IN.

5. Elizabeth Ruark, b. abt 1837 in Marion County, IN**.  d. before 1887 (maximum age is 50)

6. Margaret Jane Ruark, b. Dec 1838 in Putnam County, IN.  d. 1900, Marion County, IN**.

7. Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Ruark, b. 26 Jun 1841 in Marion County, IN**.  d. 21 May 1912 in Fillmore, Putnam, IN.  b. Stilesville Cemetery, Stilesville, Hendricks, IN.

8. Andrew Jackson "Duck" Ruark, b. abt 1844, d. 1921 in Indiana. Buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Putnam County, IN.


** NOTE:  There is a recurring issue that I think is an error.  Marion County holds the state capitol of Indianapolis and many unofficial records show the Ruarks living in Marion County (Indianapolis) Indiana.  I have seen no proof this is true prior to the 1970's.  The Ruarks were Extremely active in Marion Township of Putnam County, Indiana for almost 100 years.  I hold in suspect that the people above were actually born in Marion County, Indiana... they were probably born in Putnam County.  In the absence of hard data, I will leave this data alone but we will try to get proof of this with birth certificates. 

     Click the photos below to see the gravestones more clearly.