John Reardon

According to Revolutionary War records, John Reardon was born near Harris Ferry (now Harrisburg, PA) on the Susquehanna River.  The names of his parents and the date of his birth are unknown.   His father had property on the Monongahela River in the 1770′s.  [1]  John Reardon died on 12 Feb 1835.

According to Georgetown folklore, John Reardon was the first English settler in the area in about 1760.  In fact, the bottom land along the Ohio River was called Reardon’s Bottom (various spellings) through the Revolution years.  Reardon established a claim to the land by the method known as settlement and improvement.

In general, early land records are more intriguing than settling.  The land that would become Georgetown had been surveyed and warranted by both VA and PA.  VA claimed al of the land west of the Youghiogheny River and south of the Ohio River.  The western boundary of PA was not officially determined until 1785.  Part of that boundary agreement was that PA would recognize VA certificates for contested  land and adjust conflicts for legitimate claims.   The patent for the land of Georgeton was named “The Bone of Contention”.

A certificate for the land had been granted by VA to James Henderson who sold the land to Robert D Dawson on 30 Jan 1786.  However, the same land had been sold by Daniel Reardon, the son of John Reardon who had been granted power of attorney, to James Crawford on 10 Mar 1784.  [2]  The adjustment phase of the conflicts becomes even more confusing.

John Reardon’s  application for the Revolutionary War Pension was dated 7 Sep 1833.  With two witnesses, Reardon appeared before Samuel Baker, the Justice of the Peace in Campbell Co, KY.  The witnesses were George Fisher, a clergyman, and John Records who as a boy saw John Reardon return from the Army.   [3]

My transcription of the pension application is loaded on JR Transcription.  The transcription lists the names of the frontier soldiers and the places he was stationed.  The names listed include: Gen George Washington, Col George Tilandigham, Col William Crawford, Sam and James Girty, Col Andrew Van Swearingen, Ensign Andrew Poe, Capt Sam Beeler; etc;  the sites included: Hanna’s Town, Beeler’s Fort, Holiday’s Cove Fort, etc.   A fun read.

John Reardon is an unfinished story.   His name and the land are tethered.   For those with a sense of history, a record of his life will add much to early frontier history.






[2]  Denver and Eugenia Walton and Bob Bauder, Rivers of Destiny, Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation for the Beaver County Bicentennial, 1999, p 59-60.




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