This is Ruelma Rowe Starkey Barnhart. Isn't she striking? Ruelma is Bob's
Great Grandmother (his mother's father's father's mother's mother).
Ruelma was born circa 1818 in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio. We are uncertain of the names of Ruelma's parents, but we do know that she had a sister by the name of Mary Ann R. Rowe.
The parentage and ancestry of Ruelma has been of great interest to the family for
The interest comes from the family tradition of Ruelma being a descendant
of Chief Joseph Brandt.
The scan below is what is written on the back of the above photo. It is presumed to be
written by one of Ruelma's grandsons.
"Reulma Row Starkey Barnhart Died in year 1885 Sept. 16th
PS) Born among the Wyndott Indians east of Lafayette Indiana
her Mother was Cheif Joseph Brants Daughter
he was a mohawk Indian from New York.
her Father was a scout for Mad Anthony Wayne
at fallin timbers about ?? miles east of Fort Wayne, Ind.
the present City wher the Fort Harmar was
The search continues for documentation . . . perhaps down the road,
DNA testing will help to answer some questions.
In May of 1842, Ruelma married Ingham Starkey in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Together they had 3 children:
Harriet "Hat" (who married Daniel Dewitt Cole)
Mary Elizabeth "Lib"
On the day before Christmas in 1853, Ruelma's husband Ingham died. Harriet
would have been 10 years old and Mary Elizabeth, the youngest, 6 years old. I am
sure that the children must have been such a comfort and a help to Ruelma
in the years right after Ingham's death.
Ruelma met a German immigrant by the name of Peter Barnhart.
They were married August 30, 1858.
Soon the Civil War would erupt and both Ruelma's
son John and his stepfather Peter, would go off to war.
Peter came home, but John did not.
John was severely wounded during the Battle of Mission Ridge
He died on March 14, 1865 of small pox in one of the "small pox hospitals" in
Below is a photo of Ruelma and her 2nd husband, Peter Barnhart.
Ruelma lived to the age of 67, dying on the 17th of September in 1885.
The search for her story goes on . . . . . .