The Kincaid Family

I haven't posted recently because I have been hard at work filling in the many gaps in my family tree.  When I first started my research many years ago, I didn't understand why anyone other than the people from whom I was directly descended should be important to me.  By the time I realized that I had been, well, stupid, I had passed over a lot of important information.  I just finished filling in some gaps in the Kincaid family.

The Kincaids are on my paternal grandmother's side.  Margaret Kincaid was my great-great grandmother and the second wife of Peter Ballein.  Margaret was born in 1836, the daughter of Samuel and Jemima Coulter Kincaid.  Samuel was born in 1804 to Samuel and Sarah Reed Kincaid.  The first Samuel Kincaid died May 5, 1813 during the seize of Fort Meigs in the War 1812.  After the elder Samuel's death, the Kincaids settled in the area around Sardinia in Brown County, Ohio.

Had I only focused on Samuel Kincaid, son of Samuel and Sarah Kincaid, I would have missed an interesting story and one, unfortunately, I may never be able to totally piece together.  Historical Collections of Brown County, Ohio by Carl N. Thompson indicates that Matthew Kincaid, Samuel's and Sarah's eldest son, "was active as a participating agent in the 'Underground Railroad' movement."  Kincaid Genealogy by G. L. Kincaid states that Matthew was an agent on the Underground Railroad and also that the second son, Robert, was a "strong anti-slaveryman."

A 1932 PhD dissertation entitled "The Underground Railroad from Southwestern Ohio to Lake Erie" by Edward O'Conner Purtee used an 1892 letter from Dr. Isaac Beck as a reference.  Dr. Beck was a known Underground Railroad conductor in Sardinia and stated that "four Kincaids" were very active in the Underground Railroad.  There were four Kincaid brothers.  The 1860 census listed Samuel Kincaid and Isaac Beck as neighbors.  Other sources also indicate that the Kincaid brothers were participants in the Underground Railroad.

For the protection of the operatives, records of the Underground Railroad are scarce.  Everything points to my ancestor, Samuel Kincaid, being involved in the Underground Railroad.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someday, somewhere, I will find documentation that flat out states that Samuel was involved in the Underground Railroad.  And then I will be so excited I'll eat a pint of ice cream or something.


  1. My 2nd great-grandfather, William D. Watson married Anna (Ballein) Hendrixson in July 1917. Anna is the daughter of Peter & Margaret (Kincaid) Ballein. William was about 83 yrs. old at the time of the marriage and this was his fourth marriage. Besides her marriage to William, all I have on Anna is her birth date and birthplace: 28 Feb. 1831, Sardinia, Brown, Ohio. Do you have any additional information on Anna or William? I would be happy to share information with you.
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog, particularly since my Dad's family is from the area you are writing about. You have done a great job.


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