Catherine Rankin (1771-1844)

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From [Wyandotte Nation] [Rootsweb]

I have been, as yet, unable to trace definitely the ancestry of Gov. William Walker to any particular descendant of the French gentleman, Montour. But that he is descended from this French gentleman there can scarcely be a question. This original Montour married a Huron woman, and his son lived with the "Diondadies" (Petuns or Wyandots). The Wyandots of history are the descendants of the Petuns, or "Tobacco Nation" of the Huron Confederacy. When the Wyandots lived in Wyandotte County, Kansas, there were still Montours belonging to and living with the tribe, and they were allotted their proportion of the land belonging to the Nation when the holdings were assigned in severalty. The name was erroneously written "Monture" by the allotting agent.

James Rankin married Mary Montour. She belonged to the Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandot tribe. They were married at Detroit. There is reason to believe that Mary Montour was the descendant of Catherine, a granddaughter of Madame Montour. This accords with the best information 1 have been able to obtain from the old people of the Wyandot tribe. By Indian law the child always belongs to the clan of the mother, and in the instance of so noted a name, it is more than probable that the name Montour was always retained by her children.

Mary Montour was born in 1756. After their marriage James Rankin became a Wyandot by adoption, and he spent most of his life from that time, with the Indians; but at the same time pushed forward his business of trader. He gave his children a good education, and for this purpose removed to Pennsylvania, in his last days, and there died.

Mary Montour Rankin, like her ancestors, had great influence in the Councils of her people. Many interesting accounts and traditions of her hospitality and influence in the tribes about Detroit are remembered to this day by her descendants.

Of the children of James and Mary Montour Rankin I know of but two, James and Catherine. James came west with the Wyandots, and died in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas. Catherine married William Walker, Sr.

Catherine Rankin was born June 4, 1771.1 I have not been able to determine the date of the marriage of William Walker and Catherine Rankin, but their first child was born October 14, 1789. Walker had lived with Adam Brown until his marriage. He took the side of the Americans in the war of 1812, and rendered valuable service to his country. Many of the Wyandots espoused the cause of Great Britain, and Walker was in constant danger of death. He was afterward Indian sub-agent for the Ohio tribes, and it was under his administration that Methodism was introduced into the Wyandot Nation. For an account of his valuable services in this work see the "History of American Missions; Worcester, 1840": and Finley's" History of the Wyandot Mission." He died at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, January 22, 1824.1 His wife died at the same place, in December, 1844.


Spouse: William Walker (c1766-1823)
DOM: c1787/1788 "...he was 21 or 22 when he was married to a Miss Catherine Rankin, daughter of James Rankin, a wealthy trader...and a Wyandott woman." White, 1902:16
Father: John Rankin (?-?)
Mother: Mary Montour (?-?)




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