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John Baptiste Riney
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Birth: 1781
St. Mary's County
Maryland, USA
Death: Mar., 1844
Clark County
Missouri, USA

Our Riney Forebears
Oral history among the Rineys of Kentucky indicates that four Riney brothers emigrated together from the rocky hills of Co. Kerry, Ireland, to find a better life in America in the late 1700’s. These four brothers were probably James, John, Thomas, and Jonathan, a Revolutionary War soldier. Michael Riney also appears as a head of household living in Virginia at the time of the 1790 census, but he is not, at this time, believed to be one of the four brothers. James, John, and Thomas lived in Maryland, but Jonathan was apparently deceased by 1790. Many of the Rineys migrated to Kentucky, and Thomas became the progenitor of the branch who remained there and sired such notables as Zachariah Riney, the first schoolteacher of Abraham Lincoln.

According to some sources, the Rineys may have been part of the clan of the Great O’Neill who originally lived in Co. Tyrone, Ireland and was forced to flee from religious persecution in the historic Flight of the Earls during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. According to this unproven tradition, these O’Neills migrated to Co. Kerry, and changed the family name to Riney, this word being derived from the combination of Ri, the Gaelic word for king, and Ney to represent O’Neill. This legend is believed to be true by the Riney family living today in Sneem, Co. Kerry, Ireland, one of only sixteen remaining Riney families in the whole of Ireland.

James Riney was probably the father of our ancestor John B. Riney, who married Mary Ogden in Washington Co., KY, on 6 November 1802. They were the parents of 10 children: Margaret, Richard, Elizabeth Mahala, Henrietta Catherine, Mary Anne, James Felix, Rosella, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Julina.

John B. Riney and his wife Mary made the decision to leave Kentucky, and in 1830, they left with other families who had the same purpose in mind and migrated to northeastern Missouri, traveling through Sangamon Co., IL, where on 19 July 1830, Richard married Rose Simpson, whose parents James Montgomery Simpson and Mary Alice Boone had also lived in Kentucky. Mary Alice had died in childbirth in 1815, while still in Washington Co., KY, and James Montgomery later remarried Monica McAtee and settled in Randolph Co., IL, where some of his descendants still live on the family farm; however, most of the children of his first marriage remained in northeastern Missouri. James and Monica are buried at St. Patrick Cemetery in Ruma, IL. The Simpsons had emigrated in the 17th century—it is unsure whether from Scotland or England—possibly on the Ark and the Dove with Lord Baltimore. James’ father Joseph was one of the Maryland Minutemen during the Revolutionary War. These Simpsons were slaveholders and owned plantations in Maryland, and some of the Simpson descendants still live on or near the original Maryland holdings. Rose Simpson was also descended from the Edelen family, who are scions of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor. It is also through her line that the descendants of John’s son Richard can claim kinship with Francis Scott Key, author of The Star Spangled Banner; Roger Brooke Taney, fifth chief justice of the Supreme Court, who administered the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln and seven other presidents and rendered the Dred Scott decision; Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg; Raphael Semmes, admiral of the Confederate gunrunner Alabama; astronaut Gordon Cooper who orbited the earth in Faith 7 and spent 8 days in space in Gemini; astronaut Kathryn Cordell, who served with NASA for twelve years, traveled more than 16 million miles and spent more than 975 hours in space, as well as helping repair the Hubble Space Telescope; actress Florence Henderson of “The Brady Bunch”; and Phyllis Schlafly, well-known political and pro-life activist. James’ maternal grandfather Peter Montgomery had emigrated from France in the early 18th century, and some of his collateral relation remained there and are illustrious in the annals of French history.

Mary Boone’s family was of the Catholic Boone line, unlike the family of the famous trailblazer Daniel Boone, who were Quakers. These Boones emigrated originally from England, and two of our Boone ancestors also served in the Revolutionary War. One of Mary Boone’s cousins, Rachel Boone Clarke, who lived in Washington, DC, was one of the first people to be voluntarily inoculated with smallpox vaccine, along with one or two of her slaves, and they were required to be isolated in an outbuilding away from the rest of the family for several weeks. Mary’s ancestors also included Major William Boarman, who emigrated from England in the mid-17th century and was an illustrious member of Maryland society, sometimes serving as an interpreter, as he was one of the few people in the area who spoke the Indian languages fluently.

John B. Riney and Mary Ogden finally settled in the rolling hills of Clark Co., MO, where they and many of their descendants would remain and rear their families. When John B. was laid to rest in March 1844, it was in a walnut casket with rose lining, for which the coffin maker duly submitted his bill to the estate in the amount of $15.00.

Richard Riney and Rose Simpson established what is today the tiny hamlet of St. Patrick, the only town in the world so named, and Rose helped to build the first church there with her own hands. A sizeable proportion of the graves in the cemetery behind the church contain the mortal remains of the descendants of John B. and Mary Ogden Riney.

Six of Richard and Rose’s children married and remained in the Clark Co. or Lewis Co., MO, area to raise their children. Bernard Z. died as a young child and is buried beside his mother at St. Patrick Cemetery.

Of Henry Charles and Mary Josephine’s nine children, five lived to adulthood, and all but one married and remained in the area, Dick and Dave being the only ones to live to an old age. Rosie was believed to have grieved to death over her father. Andy Jack, who remained single and farmed in the St. Patrick area, died at the age of 38 while inebriated. He had been out carousing with friends. While on the way home with a drinking buddy, when they stopped at the Derrahs store, the friend discovered that he was dead. It is said that when his friends discovered a bottle of whiskey in the pocket of the corpse, they took it out and drank it.

Up to this point in time, most of the Rineys had married Catholics, but Franklin Brislin made an exception when he married Lillie Edith Bick, whose family was German Methodist. Edie never converted but raised their four children in the Catholic Church even after the death of her husband. Frank was a farmer, but after his death from a heart attack at the age of 49 while standing in the road talking with a neighbor, Edie was left alone with four children, ages 10 to 18. All the children were still in school, and in those days it was unusual for women to work outside the home. Edie struggled to raise the children, but finally, the bank foreclosed on the farm, and they were forced to move to substandard housing. Both Margaret and Josephine married within a few years after their father’s death, but Louis and Butch were left at home. Edie did a heroic job of raising the family, and they all grew into solid, responsible citizens and good parents. Edie died in Kirksville Hospital of intestinal cancer at the age of 53 and lies beside her husband at St. Patrick, MO.
Family links: 
  Mary Ogden Riney (1781 - 1846)*
  Richard Riney (1806 - 1858)*
  Elizabeth Mahala Riney Bennett (1808 - 1879)*
  Mary Anne Riney Shuman (1812 - 1874)*
  James Felix Riney (1816 - 1871)*
  Rosella Riney Bennett (1818 - 1870)*
*Calculated relationship
Specifically: Probably buried at St Patrick Cemetery, St Patrick, MO
Created by: Lillie Riney
Record added: Apr 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88623315

- Lillie Riney
 Added: Oct. 11, 2014

- Lillie Riney
 Added: May. 28, 2014
May GOD Bless you as you have blessed us all so very well!
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie
 Added: Feb. 28, 2014
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