William Marshall Rankin, Sr. was born in Mason County, Virginia (now Mason County, Kentucky) on 24 Aug 1786 to Robert Rankins and Margaret "Peggy" Berry [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. His middle name is taken from his paternal grandmother's maiden name (Margaret Masena Marshall) as is the name of his third daughter (Masena). As a young man, he likely followed his father to Logan County, Kentucky and then on to what would one day become Washington County, Alabama. In 1815 he is seen as a petitioner to the United States government concerning territorial lands and Indian issues .
|Signature of William Marshall Rankin, Sr. |
It was in Washington County in 1814 that William was supposed to be a part of the Capt. Peter Cartwright Company of Alabama Volunteers for the War of 1812. However, William is listed as "Absent without leave" on the muster rolls for 06 Oct 1814 and 03 Nov 1814 [9, 10], although this is not indicated in other sources . It has not been determined if he actually served or if there were any consequences for him if he did not serve.
Around this time, it appears that William married Sarah Landrum (daughter of Zachariah Landrum and Letitia Tine [11, 12]) as their first son was born on 30 May 1815 . No primary documentation of their marriage has been found, but their marriage is clear from the wills of Sarah's parents. William and Sarah are my 4th great-grandparents.
We next see William when he travels to the Mexican province of Texas as part of his father-in-law Zachariah Landrum's great cattle drive and immigration [14, 15, 16]. William and Zachariah are seen applying to enter Austin's Colony on the same date: 27 May 1830 . They state that they arrived in Texas on 20 Jan 1830. William and his family appeared on the Austin "Register of Families" Census in 1830; Wm. M. Rankin is listed as head of household, 43 years old, married, 2 male and 2 female children, from Alabama, arrived in Jan 1830, 6 total souls . He is granted one league of land on 10 Apr 1831 in what would become Montgomery County [14, 17, 18]. (He was later granted an additional labor that was placed in Milam County which turned out to be in conflict with another survey and was eventually moved to McLennan County [16, 20, 21].) This land was situated adjacent to the Zachariah Landrum grant about 1-2 miles south of the town of Montgomery. The intersection of Worsham Street and Rankin Street on the edge of the town of Montgomery is a prominent reminder of the presence of these men in early Montgomery County.
From this time on, William is frequently seen in Montgomery County records. He registered a cattle brand on 12 Feb 1838 (simply the letter .R') . He was a County Commissioner in 1846 [23, 24]. In the 1840's he is seen helping his mother Margaret "Peggy" (Berry) Rankin obtain pension benefits based on his father's Revolutionary War service .
William Marshall Rankin, Sr. died on 17 Apr 1857 in Montgomery County, Texas . His place of burial is not known but could very well be in the Springer-Landrum Cemetery in the original Zachariah Landrum league. His estate is in probate in Montgomery County on 02 Feb 1859 .
William's wife Sarah survived him. Little is known about her after his death.
William and Sarah had seven children, three boys and four girls. His first son Thomas B. Rankin (probably "Berry") was likely named after William's brother Thomas Berry Rankin who was killed at the Battle of Fort Mims, Alabama in 1813  (the younger Thomas was born only two years after the elder Thomas' death). Thomas was a member of the Republic of Texas army and served as a Lieutenant in the Somervell Campaign from 01 Oct 1842 to 01 Jan 1843 under Captain Israel Worsham [27, 28] (note that Israel is Sarah Landrum's nephew by marriage). Thomas is buried in the New Montgomery Cemetery in Montgomery, Texas .
Two of the Rankin daughters (Cyrintha and Sarah) married brothers named Anders (Jacob  and James, Jr. , respectively). Cyrintha and her brother Robert gave depositions concerning William Rice's Republic of Texas military pension on 24 Sep 1874 in Ellis County, Texas . They relay a story that Mr. Rice arrived at their father's house wounded in 1836 and stayed there until he was healed. Obviously, William, Sr. was a supporter of Texas Independence.
Children of William Marshall Rankin, Sr. and Sarah Landrum:
1) Thomas B. Rankin  was born on 30 May 1815 in Washington County, Mississippi Territory [13, 31]. He died on 30 Sep 1885 in Montgomery County, Texas and was buried at the New Cemetery in the town of Montgomery . He is believed to have been named after his uncle who was killed at the Battle of Fort Mims two years earlier in the Creek Indian War.
2) Elizabeth B. Rankin [25, 31] was born about 1816 in Washington County, Mississippi Territory . She married James Woods.
3) Cyrintha E. Rankin [25, 31] was born about 1825 in Washington County, Alabama . She married Jacob Anders on 02 Dec 1851 in Montgomery County, Texas.
4) Robert Rankin [25, 31] was born about 1830 in Montgomery County, Coahuila y Tejas, Mexico . He married Ellen J. Prestridge.
5) Masena M. Rankin [25, 31] was born about 1834 in Montgomery County, Coahuila y Tejas, Mexico . She married James M. West on 03 Jan 1854 in Montgomery County, Texas.
6) William Marshall Rankin, Jr. [25, 31] was born about 1837 in Montgomery County, Republic of Texas . He married Matilda Hall.
7) Sarah A. Rankin was born 10 Jan 1842 in Montgomery County, Republic of Texas [31, 37]. She married James A. Anders, Jr. about 1858. She died on 25 Sep 1895 in Montgomery County, Texas and was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery .
 Records of the U. S. National Archives and Records Admin: Revolutionary War Pension Files. File #W26365, Robert Rankin(s). Certification by Thomas Betts, Notary Public, 21 Oct 1846, Montgomery County, Texas. Page 1
 Ibid. Power of Attorney (Peggy Rankin and W. M. Rankin to L. Blanchard True). Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
 White, Virgil D., Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume III: N-Z, The National Historical Publishing Company, Waynesboro, Tennessee, 1992. Page 2812.
 Fay, Mary Smith (and Mae Wynne McFarland), War of 1812 Veterans in Texas, Polyanthos, New Orleans, 1979. Page 255.
 Clift, G. Glenn, History of Maysville and Mason County, Volume 1, Transylvania Printing Company, Inc, Lexington, Kentucky, 1936. Page 56.
 Montgomery County, Texas Probate Records, Black Box Documents, 1849-1857, Volume 2, Montgomery County Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc., Conroe, Texas, 1988. Pages 96 and 97.
 Carter, Clarence Edwin, The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume VI, Mississippi Territory, 1809-1817, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1938. Pages 625-629.
 Records of the U. S. National Archives and Records Admin: Military Service Records. William Rankins, Carson's Regiment Mississippi Militia (War of 1812). Capt. Peter Cartwright Company Muster Roll, 06 Oct 1814.
 Ibid. Capt. Peter Cartwright Company Muster Roll, 03 Nov 1814.
 Minutes of the Probate Court of Montgomery County, Texas. Book A, Pages 222 and 223 (Zachariah Landrum will/probate).
 Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. Spanish Collection. William M. Rankin Request for Admission to Austin's Colony, Box 27, Folder 61. Page 1 Page 2
 Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 1362, Milam, 1st Class, William M. Rankin. Unconditional Certificate (#131). Front Back
 Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. Spanish Collection. William M. Rankin Land Title, Box 9, Folder 20. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
 Texas State Archives: Records of the Texas General Land Office. File 481, Milam, 1st Class, William M. Rankin. Land Survey. Page 1 Page 2
 Montgomery County, Texas Cattle Brands 1838-1902, Montgomery County Genealogical and Historical Society. Page 101.
 Election Returns for Montgomery, Walker, and Grimes Counties, 1846. Book is not labeled. Election returns for Montgomery County.
 Minutes of the Probate Court of Montgomery County, Texas. Book 10, Pages 506-519.
 Records of the U. S. National Archives and Records Admin: Revolutionary War Pension Files. File #W26365, Robert Rankin(s). Testimony by Abner S. Lipscomb, 22 Jul 1844, Washington County, Texas. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
 Texas State Archives: Republic of Texas Claims. Claim #991 (Part 1 - Thomas B. Rankin). Page 215 Page 218 Page 219 Page 220 Page 222 Page 223
 Marriage Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Volume 1, Page 166.
 Texas State Archives: Republic of Texas Claims. Unnumbered Claim (Reel 235, pages 261, 262 and 263).
 1850 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 40 A.
 1860 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 92 B.
 1860 United States Census. Montgomery County, Texas, Page 104 A.
 Marriage Records of Montgomery County, Texas. Volume 1, Page 237.
 Mt. Pleasant Community Scrapbook, Cemetery and Church, Montgomery County, Texas, 1870-1979. Page 66.