Alternate Spellings - Beruff, Boriff, Borouff, Boroff
Links - Sanders/Saunders, McGrier (Misc Families),Drury, Epperly, Swisher, Bear, Wolfe, Jackson, Eliza Creek Cemetery
Contacts - Ilene Tracy - Epperly Family only; Cindy Gibson Haschke - William & Anna Boruff Jackson family
Valentine Boruff, Sr. was born about 1774 in Pennsylvania and died 1856 in Mercer County, Illinois. He married Margaret Mallicote (?), born about 1797 in Pennsylvania and died 1842 in Mercer County. They had nine children in Pennsylvania and one in Tennessee (listed below). According to the Valentine Boruff Bible Record (Bear Bible) the Boruffs came from Campbell or Claiborne County, Tennessee, to Monroe County, Indiana, in 1829 or 1830. They are found in the Monroe County census in 1830. About 1834 they moved on to Mercer County.
There are three public land entries for the Boruff family in the 1830's in Eliza Township, two for Valentine (one jr, one sr?), and one for son John. Son Valentine also bought public land in Eliza Township in 1851. All the land was purchased for $1.25 per acre. Following are the records (spellings as shown):
-John Boriff NWSW Sec 9 T15NR5W 4/4/1838
-Valentine Boriff E/2SW Sec 9 T15NR5W 8/4/1837
-Valentine Boriff NWSE Sec 9 T15NR5W 3/20/1838
-Valentine Borouff SWSE Sec 9 T15NR5W 1/23/1851
There is also a listing for a warrant used by Valentine Beruff on 11/14/1854 to obtain federal land: NWNE Sec 9 T15NR5W.
See Eliza 1875 Township Map for locations.
The use of the warrant implies military service by either Valentine Jr. or Sr., or purchase of another man's warrant. The only possible service for Valentine Jr. would have been in the Mexican War in 1848, and there is no mention of this in his history. The warrant could have been available to him as an heir of someone with military service, including ancestors of his wife, Louanna Epperly. We have not followed up on this. Most of the land is still shown under Boruff ownership in the 1875 Eliza Township plat map. The 1875 plat map indicates there was a school house on this land. An article in the Aledo Weekly Record 11/1/1859 mentions that the Eliza Teachers Institute met at the Boruff school house. An article 4/12/1864 also mentions an annual Bible meeting to be held at Boruff School House. There is no mention of any of the Boruffs as teachers, so they probably only furnished the land for the school.
Valentine, Sr., married second Mrs. Susan Sanders, widow of John Sanders, on 12/12/1850 in Mercer County . Valentine Boruff and his first wife were probably buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery as many Boruff descendants were, but no stones existed in the 1960's when the cemetery was recorded. Descendants were also buried in Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg, Oak Ridge Cemetery in Millersburg, and in Aledo Cemetery. Susan Sanders Boruff died 5/25/1862 and is buried next to her first husband, John Sanders, in the Mannon Cemetery.
The old Boruff Bible contains an entry inside the front cover in German "Valentine Boruff died 50 years ago this fall, 1906, and was 82 years old when he died. Grandpa Boruff."
Children of Valentine and Margaret BoruffThe children of Valentine and Margaret Boruff included:
Ann Boruff, b. 9/1/1798, married William Jackson
Samuel Boruff, b. March 25, 1800, married Elizabeth Butcher
Margaret Boruff, b. Dec. 27, 1802
Charity (Catsy) Boruff, b. Sept 15, 1804
Christopher Boruff, b. last day of Feb. 1806
William Boruff, b. Feb 12, 1808
Daniel Boruff, b. Jan 10, 1819, married Nancy Ellers, then Jane Rainbolt
Sarah Boruff, b. Aug 4, 1812
Valentine (Felty) Boruff, Jr., b. Oct 22, 1816, married Louanna Epperly
John Boruff, b. Oct 4, 1818, married Mary McGrier
The children's birthdates are from the Boruff Bible dated 1800. We therefore know the entries were made as the children were born, and not from someone's memory, so the dates are probably accurate.
John Boruff FamilyJohn Boruff , born October 4, 1818, is not found in the 1850 census in Mercer County, but he is listed in the 1860 census for Rock Island County (T16NR5W) with wife Mary McGrier whom he married 1/24/1841 in Mercer County. We have a McGrier section up on the Miscellaneous Families page but have not identified Mary's parents.
By 1860 John and Mary had three sons, William C., age 18, Jackson C., age 15, and Alex, age 12. Son Jackson Boruff married Hannah Drury, daughter of James and Mary Reynolds Drury, on 18 May 1876 in Muscatine County, Iowa.
The History of Rock Island County lists John as one of the early settlers living in Drury Township. He no doubt kept close touch with his relatives as an 1864 article in the Aledo Weekly Record lists him, with his brother Valentine and nephew Milton, as members of the Eliza Association for the Detection of Horse Thieves.
Son Alexander Boruff is found in Eliza township in 1880: Alexander Boruff, farmer, 30, born Il, father born Tennessee, mother born South Carolina; Maggie, 30, born Iowa, father born Tn, mother born Va; Mary, 1, born Il.
Next door to Alexander is son William M. E. Boruff, farmer, age 37, born Il, father born Tn, mother born SC; Meliora, 34, born Il, father born Va, mother born Oh; John, 11, born Il.
Samuel and William BoruffThere is a curious entry for Company I of the 17th Infantry, which was basically a Mercer County Regiment (George Sanders was captain). On May 27, 1861, a James H. Boroff enlisted at Peoria. He was discharged March 10, 1862 and we have no further information on him. The enlistment in a Mercer County regiment implies that he was a relative of the Mercer Boruffs and was probably visiting them when he enlisted. He might have been a son of either Samuel or William Boruff. We know from Prairie Pioneers of Illinois that William lived in Illinois, though neither he nor Samuel are found in Mercer County.
We did not locate William Boruff in the 1850 census in Illinois. There is a Samuel Boruff in Indiana in 1850 and he may have remained behind when the other Boruff's came to Illinois. In Monroe County, Indiana marriage records we find William Boruff married Jane Dawan on 3/15/1829. We believe this is Valentine's son William, as Prairie Pioneers of Illinois lists William as marrying Jane Davar (which spelling is correct we cannot say!). We did not find the marriage of Samuel and Elizabeth Butcher in Indiana and they may have married in Tennessee. Either of these marriages could have produced a son old enough to be in the Civil War.
Valentine Boruff, Jr. FamilyThe family of Valentine Boruff, Jr., is closely connected with Mercer County. He married Louanna Epperly in Mercer County on 11/14/1840. She was born 1823 in Virginia and died 9/17/1890 in Mercer County. Valentine died 3/12/1888 in Mercer County and both are buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery.
The children of Valentine & Louanna Boruff include: Sarah J. Boruff (b. 1841, married Abram Swisher); Milton Boruff (born 9/2/1842, married Emmeline Bear); William Boruff (married Elizabeth Wolf?); Samuel Boruff (born 1849, died 1851); Nancy Boruff (born 1852, died 1874); Andrew J. Boruff (born 1857, died 1926); Ida Boruff (born 1862, died 1869). The children are buried at Eliza Creek Cemetery.
The family is found in Eliza Township in 1880: Valentine Boruff, farmer, 65, born Tennessee, parents born Pennsylvania; Loannie, 60, born Virginia, parents born Virginia; Andrew, 23, born Illinois; Mattie Fender, 15, born Il, father born In, mother born Il. We do not know Mattie's connection, her relationship is listed as "other" and she is not listed as a domestic servant.
Son Andrew Boruff did not marry until 1910. He is shown in the 1910 census with wife Anna and married zero years. She is no doubt the Anna Monson who was his housekeeper in 1900 as the age and immigration data is the same (Jan 1877, immigrated 1893, not naturalized). Andrew and Anna had a son Maynard, born about 1915. Andrew is buried in Eliza Cemetery (5/18/1857-3/25/1926). Widow Anna and son Maynard, age 15, were still living in Eliza Township in 1930 with two boarders and Anna was the farm manager. Anna is buried next to Andrew in Eliza Creek Cemetery (1/18/1877-12/17/1958).
Son Milton Boruff seems to be the principal one to carry on the Boruff name in Mercer County. He married Emmeline Bear, daughter of Martin Bear and Catherine Dodson, on 3/9/1865. Milton and Emmaline had children: Elmer Boruff (born 1886, died 1867); Martin Omer Boruff (b 10/20/1868, married Selma Aaronson); Stephen Boruff (b. 1/24/1871, married Cora Emerson Crippin); Mary Etta Boruff (b. 8/29/1873, married J. Randolph Sheats); Sanford S. Boruff (b. 10/21/1875); Earl C. Boruff (b. 9/28/1887, d. 1929); and Everett Boruff (b. 9/28/1887, married Martha Irene Gregory).
Milton (9/2/1842-8/1/1917) and Emmeline (7/30/1845-12/14/1897) are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery at Millersburg. There was an interesting article in the Jan/Feb/Mar 2002 issue of the Mercer County Historical Society Newsletter about the death of son Earl C. Boruff by gunshot in California in October 1929. The article gave the location of four brothers in 1929: Omer of Joy; Stephen of Aledo; Sanford of Littleton, Co; and twin Everett of Minneapolis, Minn. Interested parties could no doubt obtain a copy of the article from the Historical Society for a generous donation to the society (see Resources page for address.)
Anna Boruff Jackson FamilyAnna Boruff Jackson is living next door to her two sons, David Jackson & Valentine Jackson in Keithsburg in the 1860 census. Son William E. Jackson is with her. There is more on this family under "William Jackson" of the North Carolina Jacksons on the Jackson page.
Daniel Boruff FamilyDaniel Boruff was one of the children who remained behind in Indiana. He is found in 1850 in Jackson Township, Greene County, Indiana, #853: Daniel Boruff, 40, farmer, born Tn; Nancy, 45, born SC; Elizabeth, 20, In; Margaret, 19, In; Wesley, 18, In; Nancy, 17, In; Matilda, 16, In; William, 14, In; Samuel, 10, In; John, 6, In. We did not find the marriage of Daniel Boruff and Nancy Ellers in Indiana and they may have married in Tennessee.
8/29/2007 Added marriage of Hannah Drury to Jackson Boruff, son of John and Mary Boruff.