John Ralston the son of Alexander Ralston and Janet Howie (Huie), was christened 5 November 1789 in Brecklate, Southend¹, Scotland. November 1789 Parish Record. He married Isabelle(a) Greenlee(s) 19 March 1819, 1819 Parish Record. She was born 1796 in Scotland, daughter of George Greenlee(s) and Martha Wilson, of Machribeg. She was a sister of John Greenlee, the founder of the Scottish Settlement in Northern Illinois. It was this family who sheltered John Greenlee and helped him in his escape to the United States.²

They emigrated to U.S.A. in 1850,³ leaving Campbeltown for Greenock and Glasgow to take the ship Charlotte Harrison, under Captain MacKintyre. They left for New York on 6 June 1850 with two sons and six daughters.

During the voyage they passed through a severe storm and were ordered to stay below with closed hatches. They found New York was holding memorial services with flags at half mast and the streets lined with soldiers because of President Zachary Taylor's death on July 9th.

John and his family settled on a farm on Quail Trap Rd. on the north side of the Argyle Settlement.4

John died 14 February 1865, Isabelle died 14 February 1879 in Caledonia Townsip, Boone Co., Illinois

  • Children:5 , 6
  • 1) Alexander: born 15 Jan. 1820, at Newton, Southend Parish, Scotland. 1820 Parish Record. He married Margaret McKerral of Brunericken 28 Dec. 1843 in Southend. 1843 Parish Record. He died 25 Dec. 1888, Illinois.
  • 2) Martha: born 16 Sept. 1822, Southend Village. 1822 Parish Record. Married David McDonald 18 Feb. 1844. He died 1848 in Scotland, buried at Kincolmkil.
  • 3) George: born 22 June 1825, Auchrua, Southend; 1825 Parish Record, married Margaret McPhail.He died 5 Aug. 1909
  • 4) Janet: born 26 Jan. 1828, Achrua, Southend. 1828 Parish Record. She married Robert Boyd in Scotland
  • 5) Mary: born 29 June 1830, Achrua Southend. 1830 Parish Record. She married 17 March 1853 to Alex C Ralston. She died 5 May 1903 in Illinois.
  • 6) Isabella: born 13 Dec. 1832, Achrua, Southend. 1832 Parish Record. Married Duncan McDonald 17 February 1857 in Caledonia, IL. She died 14 May 1921.
  • +7) Jean (Jane): born 16 Apr. 1835, Achrua Southend; (1835 Parish Record.)married Thos. Ralston. They had seven children. The parish birth records give her name as Jean but family records show Jane.
  • 8) Ann Helen: born 6 Jul. 1838, Achrua, Southend. 1838 Parish Record. She married John McCathran. She died 23 January 1917.
  • 9) Elizabeth: born 13 Oct. 1843, Achrua, Southend. 1843 Parish Record. She died 1923.
Ralston Farm

Ralston Farm

This picture of the Ralston Farm is one of several in the publication "The Art and Times of Professor Wm. Stanley" By Beth Herbert Luhman; 1987, (found on page 70). The drawing was made when George Ralston resided there. The home was built in 1889.
This is the loacation on Quail Trap Rd where John and his family settled in 1850.
. "Wm. Stanley was an itinerant artist who trudged the country roads in northern Boone, Winnebago and McHenry Counties in Illinois and Rock County, across the state line in Wisconsin.
Between the years 1885 and 1912 he sought out families who would take him in, and in exchange for his board and room he made a highly detailed and factual lead pencil drawing of their house and grounds. Often times he included the barns and all the outbuildings as well."

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