POSSIBLE ANCESTORS OF CAP'T JOHN "OLD TROOPER' RUSH

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(with many thanks to my friends Michelle Quay Hayes and David L. Paal, who have expended so much time and effort in attempting to find the elusive answers to the problem of John's parentage. Check their web sites for more information. L.O.)

The following information came, courtesy of David Paal, via E-mails from Craig Scott in Maidenhead, England, about 30 miles from London, on January 11-12, 1998:

"This week we tracked down the register of Banbury Friends Meeting - the actual book, not a transcript - in which John Rush and Susanna Lucas's wedding and children's births were recorded (albeit retrospectively) in about 1675. All but one event happened in Hornton, a village near Banbury in north Oxfordshire. The other happened in nearby Broughton, where Susanna Lucas probably came from. All the dates tally."

"Originally, one of my cousins had found information on the Sir Thomas Russhe line, suggesting that John Rush's birthplace was the village of Boreham, outside Chelmsford in Essex, and Sarah and I had decided to check it out. We were standing in the churchyard admiring this Tudor house across the street when one of the churchwardens walked up the path. We chatted her up, told her we were looking for Rushes, and she said "Oh, yes, you want to talk to Rev. Smith." He turned out to be a character right out of Jane Austen, the retired vicar of the parish and a formidable local historian.

He had been one of the main sources for the article by AR Rush, a member of the Northamptonshire Rushes, who had been researching the line in the 1970's but is, alas, now dead. It turned out that the Tudor house we'd been admiring had been the Rush family home for a hundred years or so, and was John Rush's birthplace."

"We've been going through boxes of musters and accounts from the English Civil War in the Public Records Office (PRO), trying to verify the story that John Rush met Susanna Lucas as a result of being quartered with her Roundhead family (note: In the English Civil War, the King's supporters were popularly known as Cavaliers and the Parliamentarians known as Roundheads; supposedly because they kept their hair Puritan-short... but take a look at Oliver Cromwell). Certainly there was a John Rush in a calvary troop which was part of the garrison at Warwick Castle, one of the main Parliamentary strongholds. Though they don't seem to have been involved in too many set-piece battles, the troop seems to have been the garrison's "rapid deployment force," spending a lot of their time raiding, skirmishing, and foraging a fair bit in the immediate area of Hornton and Broughton. It couldn't be said, however, that this troop was part of the New Model Army proper, and there's no evidence they were at the battle of Naseby. This was the main action in which theNWA fought and for which they were quartered at Guilsborough.

By mid-1646, this John Rush was a corporal in charge of a squadron of 15-20 men. We're still trying to track him after that. He might have been given a command of his own between then and mid-1648 when he got married. We have found a few Lucases mentioned in the area, but nothing definitive, though we still haven't found the accounts for Broughton (these include the individual compensation claims for the populace for having troops quartered, sheep stolen, and all the other depredations of war)."


The following narrative is taken from A.R. Rush's "Benjamin Rush, M.D. 1745-1813: His Origins and Ancestry," pp.25-28. The entire text was sent to me from Craig Scott, Maidenhead, England on January 23, 1998:

"According to the references in his father's will, John was a younger son and was in fact theyoungest surviving child of his father's family. If his father may be regarded as the last of the line in the English branch of the Rush family, then John who migrated to the New World must surely be the first in the line of the American branch."

"The records of the parish church show that he was baptised at Boreham on May 22, 1623, but from that time until the year 1683 when he migrated to America, very little is known of his doings.

By Dr. Benjamin's own statement, John Rush became a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), and if it be correct, as the Doctor asserts, that his ancestor quitted England in a spirit of bitterness, then it is possible that John has suffered persecution; at least he would have known about it at first hand. After the Restoration in 1660, Royalist Oxford carried its revenge on non-conformists to extremes. There are several accounts of the malicious treatment of Quakers - frequently women -who suffered from mob violence to be found in the "Thomason Tracts," and they make shameful reading."

"Almost from the beginning of his reign, Charles II, himself a Roman Catholic, inaugurated an era of religious oppression. The Acts, all aimed at non-conformists directly or indirectly, produced a rising tide of popular indignation over the years. Here are some of them: "The Act of Uniformity (1662) threw out some thousands of Puritan clergy from the Episcopalian Church of England; some of them were men of piety and learning. The use of the Prayer Book was forced on them against their principles; in a more favourable atmosphere that might have been swallowed, but when their whole status as ministers was denied except they had been duly consecrated by a bishop, a breaking point had been reached. Moreover, any absence from Church worship in their parish church could cause them to be brought before the archdeacon who could inflict penalties."

"The Conventicle Act (1664) punished with fine, imprisonment, and all transportation after a third offence, all persons who met in greater number than five for any religious worship save for that ofCommon Prayer."

"Next came the Five Mile Act (1665), which called upon all those non-conformist ministers who had been driven out, to swear an oath that it was unlawful in any circumstances to take up arms against the King, or to endeavour any alteration of government in church and state. In the event of a refusal, the unhappy minister was forbidden to go within five miles of any place where he had been accustomed to minister. The humiliation of non-conformists could scarcely go much further."

"From 1660 until 1685, when Charles died, the story was one of increasing religious oppression combined with political turbulence: the struggle between a king (known to his intimates to be a Roman Catholic) opposed by a Protestant nation fearful at the prospect of another Romanist Stuart to succeed him. John Rush undoubtedly knew the state of things around him, and when in 1682 the Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania, the prospect of a new land free from religious and political pressures must have sounded inviting, a god-sent and welcome haven of refuge. In the absence of any documentary proof otherwise, it is no wild guess that William Penn inspired in John Rush the decision to uproot and emigrate. Indeed one may be almost permitted to wonder why he delayed so long."

"From his father's will, John Rush was to receive legacies for his maintenance during childhood and youth, together with a lump some of L. 200 payable on his twenty-first birthday. There was also the reversion of income derived from a property styled 'the parsonage' held by John's father under lease from the Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral; this income was willed first to the mother Thomasine, next to Thomas the elder son, and after the death of these two, to John. Unfortunately he never inherited it, for we learn from the 'Autobiography' of Sir John Bramston (Knight of the Order of the Bath) that John's elder brother sold the lease to one Moundeford Bramston, and so it passed out of the possession of the Rush family altogether."

"From the will of Thomas Rush senior, who died in 1635, it is plain that the 'Lord Chiefe Justice' Bramston, who is named as a trustee in it, was the father of Sir John Bramston K. B. The Lord Chief Justice was also a knight - Sir John Bramston - and his brother was the William Bramston who is also named as trustee in the will."

"The Old Rectory at Boreham, the birthplace of John Rush, who was baptised in the parish church there on May 22, 1623; this is undoubtedly "the parsonage" which figures so prominently in the will of Thomas Rush, who lived there. Exactly how and why Thomas sold the lease of "the parsonage" is not clear, but almost certainly the transaction must have had John's approval, because of his reversionary interest already mentioned. Quite possibly the matter was a family arrangement, and John's share of the proceeds may have helped to pay the considerable transport costs when he emigrated with his whole family to Philadelphia.


Marriage Notes for Captain Rush and Susanna Lucas:

"On April 8, 1648 John Rush married Susannah Lucas of Broughton near Banbury, Oxfordshire, as the entry in the register of the Banbury Meetings of the Society of Friends records. (The record reads: "John Rush of Hornton in the County of Oxford tooke Suzannah Lucas to wife the 8th day of the 4th mo.th 1648.") John and Susannah lived in a quite charming village, Hornton, about five and a half miles from Banbury. Between 1649 and 1673 ten children were born to them; their names and dates of birth are entered in the same register. This register is now in the custody of the Public Record Office, and a transcript is available at the London Headquarters Library of the Society of Friends." (A.R. Rush, "Benjamin Rush, M.D. 1745-1813: His Origins and Ancestry," pp.11-12, 27)


#NOTE: Is John Rush the Capt. John "Old Trooper" Rush or some lesser hero of the English Civil War as Craig Scott of Maidenhead England now states in his letter dated February 12, 1998 below.

"I regret to have to announce that I have lost my faith in the Sir Thomas Rush connection to Boreham and Ipswich.

Suffice it to say that, on the evidence presented by Rush and Smith, the Sir TR connection just doesn't work. So it took me a couple of years to suss it out - Rev. Smith is such a charming and erudite man, it didn't occur to us that there might be holes in his research.

So where does that leave us as regards John Rush's birth, military service, and his meeting with Susannah Lucas?

A John and William Rush are listed on the 1641 Protestation Returns for Broughton, a few miles from Hornton. The Broughton parish records from before 1683 do not survive, however, so births can't be checked. There may be some mileage in checking court rolls and deeds. William Rush seems to have been a Quaker who was repeatedly imprisoned, sequestered, and generally harassed in the years after the Civil War.

A John Rush appears a couple of dozen times in various musters and accounts for the garrison of Warwick Castle between 1642 and 1646, as a cavalry trooper and corporal, firstly under Col. Abraham Ponte and latterly in Major John Bridges' Troop. If this is our guy, he would have spent most of his time on raids and skirmishes in the surrounding area, mainly to the south of Warwick down into N. Oxfordshire. In particular, his unit was active in operations around Compton Winyates a few miles west of Hornton, the hotly contested house of a Cavalier general which was captured and fortified by Roundhead troops.

JR would thus have had ample opportunity to capture the heart of a young lady while being quartered with her family - but it's unlikely to have been in Guilsborough (as per IGI). Having seen the original entry in that register, I can say that whoever thought they had found a Susannah Lucas was indulging in wishful thinking.

There was a Lucas family of some prominence in Balscott, about halfway between Broughton and Hornton, during this time. Some of them were apparently Quakers. The parish register does survive, but there is no record of a Susannah Lucas at the relevant time.

The Warwick Castle garrison seems to have been demobbed in August 1646, but I haven't found out whether the soldiers were transferred to the New Model Army, or what. 1646-8 was a time for politicking more that fighting if you were in the army, so it is uncertain whether JR actually did get promoted to captain of his own troop and distinguish himself in Cromwell's eyes.

It's been widely assumed that John and Susannah were fairly early Quaker converts. Having now seen the original Banbury Friends register, I can confirm that all entries relating to the family were added retrospectively around 1675. We think this is about the time that their daughter Susannah was married to John Hart, who we know was a charismatic Quaker preacher; probably he was the one who convinced the Rushes.


APPENDIX 1 from

THE DESCENDANTS OF CAP'T. JOHN "OLD TROOPER RUSH"

(found elsewhere on this webpage) L. Olson

Since the last revision of this project we have made some interesting discoveries concerning the parents of John. It would appear that the reason for conflicting information from various sources may be that there were two John Rushes in the vicinity at that time--Captain John Rush and a Corporal John Rush.

(1) Captain John Rush

I believe it would be correct to say that all the early writers on the descendants of John Rush listed John Rush and Eliza Johnson as parents. Though I am not aware of any primary documentation, the secondary source often mentioned is the family Bible of Gen. James Irvine that was gathered in the year 1800, and placed by him in the family Bible of his cousin, Frances Bethell, the mother of Robert Bethell Browne, of Jeansville, Luzerne County, PA. It was presented to the Historical Society of PA in 1880 by Browne. It was reprinted in the PA Magazine, No.3, Vol.17, Oct. 1893.

John RUSH [Capt] m. Eliza JOHNSON

b 1589, Bedfordshire, ENG m. Aug 19, 1610, St. Mary's Parrish,

White Chapel, London, ENG d Jan 11, 1662

(Eliza) b bef 1600, ENG

(2) Corporal John Rush

Thanks to David L. Paal, Greenfield, IN, we may have discovered the source of the second set of ancestors, Thomas Rush and Thomasine Stansted. David has recently been in contact with a Craig Evan Scott of West Sussex, England, who has sent copies of two English books on the Rush ancestry that give the Thomas/Thomasine line and trace it back another four generations. The books are:

(1) AN AMERICAN CONNECTION/THE RUSH FAMILY, the Rev. W. J. T. Smith, from the book "More About Boreham/History, Tales and Memories of an Essex Village, ed. Eleanor Burgess. No publisher given. Rev. Smith is a Rush descendant who spent a lifetime tracing this family.

(2) BENJAMIN RUSH, M.D. (1745-1813), His origins and Ancestry, A. R. Rush, "Southerndown," 275 Billing Road East, Northampton, Eng. Publisher unknown.

This Rush descendant includes much information about various Rush families who he feels are perhaps connected in some way. This article includes much information and documention, and backs up (also borrows from) the information in the Smith book.

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Just why did Craig Scott say he had lost faith in the Sir Thomas Rush connection? The problem with this line is twofold.

First, there is no evidence that links Cpl. John with Capt. John. To say they are one and the same we would have to be aware of a promotion or similar evidence.

Secondly, (and more importantly) there is information in the will of Jane, sister of John, (who never married) that raises serious questions.

1. She left small amounts to a number of neices and nephews, who include an Angellica and a James. John "Old Trooper" and Susanna did not have an Angellica, nor is there documentation that she was the daughter of a sibling of John. Their children are all documented.

2. More importantly, however, is that Jane died about three months before John and Susanna's son James was born, so it would seem reasonable that he is not the nephew names in her will. Craig Scott has called this the "fatal flaw" in this line. Even if the baby had just been born prior to Jane's will, one would wonder why she would single out this child. It wouldn't seem that she could have developed any special attachment to this one, as opposed to the other neices or nephews.

It would appear ,then, that we don't know whether Janes' brother was Cpl. John, who was known to be stationed in the area, our Capt.John "Old Trooper", or possibly even another John. However, it may well be that all the Rush branches are somehow descended from Thomas Rush [Sir] d 1650.

To view his descendants, one may go to David L. Paal's web page which is linked to this site. Since Dave is certain that the Corporal and the Captain John are, in fact, the same person, you will get an excellent defense of that position from his site.

Earlier genealogists have known about this family and refrained from making a connection. Pearl Rush Cressman and Kaye N. Cressman in their booklet THE RUSH FAMILY OF NORTHWEST JERSEY, Cressman Service, Washington, NJ, 1952, has the following to say about the family ancestors.

"...it will be of interest to those of the RUSH name that the family was prominent in England as far back as the beginning of the fifteenth century.,

The family is believed to have originated in Sudborne, Suffolk County, but the first one found in history is Sir Thomas Rush of Sudborne, was knighted June 1, 1533, at the Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn. The title was given for services to King Henry VIII and he was buried at St. Stephens Church in Ipswich.

Throughout history numerous Rushes are found--Sir Francis of Jurdon Castle, Ireland (a descendant of Thomas) who was Private Counsellor in Ireland: Samuel Rush, Esq., of Clapham, County of Surry, son of William Rush of Colchester. Samuel's second son, William, was a vinegar merchant at Southwark, Essex County. This factory was owned and operated by the Rush family from 1641 to 1790 and said to be the largest in England.

At times the Rushes will attempt to trace their ancestry to Ireland or the Netherlands or Germany. But there were no Rushes known in Ireland until after the invasion of Cromwell, 1649-1652, when the landed estates were given out to his soldiers and followers.

Clinion Rush, who came from England in board the ship RETURN in 1623 to James City, VA, is the earliest recorded emigrant of the family. It is also interesting to read that Lawrence Washington, a member of the Virginia Colony and father of General George Washington, mentions a tract of land in his will as one acquired from William Rush."

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While discussing John's ancestors in the previous revision I made mention of this branch and insert it again here.

A word of caution, however, in accepting this family as being correct.

Ron Gooden has given to me a report, THE NAME AND FAMILY OF RUSH, compiled by The Media Research Bureau of Washington D. C., (no date) which states that there were Rush families in numerous English counties--two of which were in Essex County. One of those two was the one under discussion. There is no claim, however, that they are the parents.

I quote portions of their research, to question that these are the family of John.

"Families of this name were to be found at early dates in the English counties of Cambridge, Lincoln, Somerset, Surrey, Essex, Northampton, Oxford, Suffold, and Wilts, as well as in the city and vicinity of London and in several parts of Ireland. They were, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of Great Britain.

Of the Suffolk County branch of the family, Sir Thomas Rushe or Rush was living at Chapmans about the beginning of the sixteenth century. He was the father of Arthur, Thomas and Anthony.

Thomas Rush, second son of Sir Thomas of County Suffolk, made his home in County Essex and married Priscilla, daughter of Eustace Clovile. They had, among other children, son Thomas, who married Thomazin, daughter of John Stanfield, and was the father by her of Thomas, John, Thomazin, Jane, Frances, and Mary.

While it is not definitely known from which of the numerous lines of the family in England the first American immigrants of the name were descended, it is recorded that the Rush and Russ families were among the earliest British settlers in the New World."

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So, who are the "Old Trooper's " parents, John and Eliza, or Thomas and Thomasine--or perhaps someone else? Hopefully, the day will soon come when someone can provide the documents we seek.

(L.O.)