Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Simon Girty
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...
Birth: 1741
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1818
Essex County
Ontario, Canada

Frontiersman, British Soldier and Scout.

He was born on the American frontier in Chambers' Mill, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1756 his family was captured by a French led Native American war party in Pennsylvania. Simon was adopted by the Seneca Indians and lived with them until 1764. In that time Simon became a gifted linguist and a trained interpreter fluent in eleven native languages. In physical appearance he was described as six feet tall with impressive build, large head and black eyes.

He was a friend of Indian fighter and frontiersman Simon Kenton and had once saved his life. Among the frontier settlements of the Ohio River valley, Simon Girty became a familiar sight with his Indian mode of dress and lifestyle. Like his contemporaries Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton, Girty would become a legend in his own lifetime.

His military career began as a scout during Lord Dunmore's War in 1774, a brief conflict pitting Virginia and Pennsylvania against the Shawnee tribes for control of southwestern Pennsylvania. At the time of the American Revolution he was operating out of Fort Pitt with the Americans working as interpreter and intermediary to The Six Nations. Disgusted by an ugly episode in action against an Indian village in March of 1778 he deserted the Americans and made his way to Fort Detroit and was employed by the British Indian Department as a negotiator, scout and military leader.

In this capacity he led numerious excursions against American settlements and forces along the Ohio and Kentucky frontier. For these depradations in the Indian manner, he became known as the "White Savage". American authorities offered a reward of $800.00 for his capture or death.

He is most famous for not ending the suffering of American Militia Colonel William Crawford while he was being tortured to death by Delaware Indians in retaliation for the Gnadenhutten Massacre a few months earlier in 1782. Simon Girty could not openly free Colonel Crawford or the Indians would have killed Girty in his place. Girty suggested to Crawford an escape plan that if successful would have left Crawford safe in British hands at Detroit but the Indians were determined to have their revenge. Once the torture started Crawford pleaded with Girty to end his life by shooting him in the heart. If he interfered with Crawford's execution, Girty would forfeit his own life. He did all he could for the Colonel short of risking his own life.

Girty is credited with saving other American captives by buying their freedom at his own expense. After the American Revolution, Girty continued to assist the Indians in resisting American settlement in the Ohio Country.

In the summer of 1784 he married Catherine Malott, reputedly the most beautiful woman in Detroit, who had been a captive of the Delaware Indians of Ohio.

Following the defeat of Indian forces at the Battle of Fallen Timbers by General Anthony Wayne on the banks of the Maumee River in Ohio in 1794, Girty lost his influence among the Native American tribes. When the British were ceding control of Detroit in 1796, and seeing the approaching American troops he swam his horse across the Detroit River to Canada hurling invectives all the way.

Simon settled near Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada on land given him by the British government for his loyalty and he resided there until his death. His memorial stone and plaque is at 1173 Front Road South, Ontario Route 20, on the Detroit Riverfront, Malden Township, Essex County, Ontario, Canada. 
Family links: 
  Simon Girty (1717 - 1750)
  Mary Newton Turner (1718 - ____)
  Catherine Malott Girty (1764 - 1852)*
  Ann Girty Geauvreau (1786 - 1829)*
  Thomas Girty (1788 - 1812)*
  Sarah Girty Munger (1791 - 1867)*
  Prideaux Girty (1796 - 1853)*
  Thomas Girty (1739 - 1820)*
  Simon Girty (1741 - 1818)
  James Girty (1743 - 1817)*
  George Girty (1745 - 1811)*
  John Turner (1754 - 1840)**
*Calculated relationship
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: Township: Malden Township (Concession 1, Lot 11) Essex County, Ontario, Canada.
Created by: Donald Claeys
Record added: Jan 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17363998
Simon Girty
Added by: Sue Macduff:)
Simon Girty
Added by: Donald Claeys
Simon Girty
Added by: Donald Claeys
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- George Bacon
 Added: Dec. 14, 2014
I agree, history has not been kind to Girty. If I was in his position I would have done the same thing.
- Colleen Louw
 Added: Aug. 28, 2014
Simon Girty: Much misaligned by Brackenridge & Butterfield. One of those great frontiersman who did as much as he could to save as many as he could, History has not been kind
- GalacticCitizen
 Added: Apr. 24, 2014
There are 8 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service