|Joseph Henry Whitnah, Sr.||Ruth Southwood Burns|
|Marriage:||After Aug 1820 and before Feb 1821|
|Death:||22 Sep 1862 Ironton, Iron, Missouri||Death:||1854|
|Burial:||Cove Cemetary, Iron County, Missouri||Burial:||Bellville Cemetary, Richland County, Ohio|
|Father:||Henry F. Whitenah||Father:||Robert Burns|
|Mother:||Margaret Burns||Mother:||Rebecca Southwood|
Joseph Henry Whitnah, Sr. is the son of Henry F. Whitenah and Margaret Burns. He was born in either 1792 or 1793(1), presumably in Berkely County, Virginia where his father and mother lived and died. By 1818 or 1819 Joseph moved to Livingston County, New York(2), where his uncle, Robert Burns, had previously moved. Joseph possibly lived with his uncle until he married Robert's daughter, Ruth Southwood Burns(3).
Ruth Southwood Burns is the daughter of Robert Burns and Rebecca Southwood. Ruth was probably born in 1795 in Berkeley County, Virginia(4). By 1807, the Burns family had moved to Groveland, Livingston County, New York(5). Kate Garrett Campbell tells the following story of Ruth and her family:(6)
Rebecca Southwood married Robert Burns and Frances Southwood married John Burns but they lived very different lives for the brothers were very different men... These brothers were entirely different in disposition, John being a good man in every way and Robert, the opposite.... Robert was a man of a cruel, violent temper. Rebecca and Robert moved to Ohio.
They had one child, a daughter [Ruth], and while she was quite small, one day he took her and her mother for a horseback ride, pretending to go on a visit or on business. After riding on and on, a great distance, he suddenly dissappeared, leaving her alone in the forest. He thought she could never find her way out. She lived on herbs and roots for several days, wandering around, trying all the time to find her way home. At the close of one day, she heard the tinkle of a cowbell and going in the direction of the sound she, at last, saw a cow. She followed it and came to a settler's cabin... How thankful she was! They treated her very kindly and finally restored to her father's home in Virginia. (7)
Ruth Southwood Burns married at least once and possibly twice before she married her cousin, Joseph Whitnah. In 1809/1810 she possibly married David Blair and had one child, Sophia. Around 1815 Ruth married David Coursen and had three children, Robert B., William, and Mina. David Coursen died 8 Aug 1820 in Livingston County(8). (See Burns of Berkeley Co., WV, Livingston Co., NY, and Richland Co., OH for details about the Robert Burns family and Ruth's possible previous marriages.) In late 1820 or early 1821, Ruth married Joseph Henry Whitnah(9).
Joseph and Ruth bought, sold, and farmed the land in Livingston County where three children were born to their family(10).
Presumably in 1838, Joseph and Ruth, along with the Robert Burns family, moved to Richland County, Ohio(11). In Jefferson Township Joseph and his wife farmed the land(12). It was here that Ruth passed away in 1854. She is buried in the Bellville Cemetary, Richland County, Ohio(13). After Ruth's death, Joseph moved to Ironton, Iron County, Missouri where he passed away at 70 years of age on 22 Sep 1862. Joseph is buried in Cove Cemetary, Iron County, Missouri(14).