William "Captain Billy" Bush

Is your surname Bush?

Research the Bush family

William "Captain Billy" Bush's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


William T. Bush

Birthplace: Orange, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Clark, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Dykes Farm, Boonesborough, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Frances Ragland
Father of William Tandy Bush; Elkana Bush; Cynthia Bush Elkins; Frances Tandy Giddings; Polly Stiles Hieronymous and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William "Captain Billy" Bush

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of LIEUTENANT. DAR Ancestor # A017486


Frances Tandy Burris was the daughter of Thomas and Frances (Tandy) Burris. Frances married William Bush on Dec. 9, 1778 in Virginia. William Bush was at Boonesborough with Daniel Boone and later he started the Bush Settlement in Kentucky.

Information from: The Families of LOU DRAPER & CHARLIE MARTIN of Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri" by James M McMillen, Arlington, Texas

Published in .pdf format 13 January 2010

They joined the Providence Baptist Church in Clark County, Kentucky, in 1786. The church had originally been in Orange County, Virginia, but its members had moved en masse to Kentucky, stopping twice along the way before settling permanently in Clark County. The group was called the Bush Colony, for William (Capt. Billy) Bush, who had come to Kentucky with Daniel Boone, obtained land and had sold it to his relatives and friends in the group


Birth: Jun. 26, 1746

Orange County

Virginia, USA

Death: Jul. 25, 1815

Clark County

Kentucky, USA

Son of Philip Bush and Mary Bryan; husband of Frances Tandy Burris.

Family links:

 Luan Bush Morrow (1794 - 1843)*


Dykes Farm

Clark County

Kentucky, USA

Created by: Elizabeth Laird

Record added: Aug 04, 2001

Find A Grave Memorial# 5664219

-------------------- Information Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~kyclark3/family/fr025-bush.htm

WILLIAM BUSH, familiarly known in his day as "Captain Billy Bush," is perhaps the best known member of the Bush family which came from Virginia to Kentucky and founded the Bush Settlement on Lower Howard's Creek. He was a captain and commanded a company of militia in Col. Patterson's Regiment during the Revolutionary War. He was one of the parties who first settled Boonesborough in 1775 and was the first man who ever took up land in what is now Clark County. He is buried in a small family graveyard on the Dykes farm on the Boonesborough Pike in Clark County, Kentucky. The inscription on his tombstone reads: "William Bush, Born June 26, 1746; died July 26, 1815. He was the friend of Daniel Boone and others in the settlement of Kentucky."

Little is known of the early life of William Bush. He is first mentioned in his father's will, dated 10 May 1771, in which he is said to have been "absent for some time past and not heard of.” The next notation of him is as one of the men who helped Daniel Boone to make the "trace" from the old settlements to the site of Boonesborough. The northern boundary of Henderson's purchase was the Kentucky; Virginia claimed all the land north of the river, as well as Transylvania. Perhaps many of those who came into Kentucky with the Transylvania Company had little faith in it. William Bush must have foreseen the trouble ahead, for he crossed the river and took up land under Virginia’s law.

In 1779 he appeared before a Court of Virginia Commissioners and proved his claim to all the land between Two Mile Creek and Lower Howard's Creek, by reason of improvement and raising crops of corn on the same in 1775 and 1776. This claim extended about as far north as the land now owned by the Winchester Water Works Company and was considered then - as it is now - the fairest portion of the land in the county. On his claim William Bush built the first preemptor’s cabin north of the Kentucky River, and on part of it was built the first brick house west of the Allegheny Mountains. William Bush also owned about three thousand acres of land across the river in Lincoln County. In the early years, before his family removed to Kentucky, he lived in Lincoln County, generally in the fort at Boonesborough.

He was there on that memorable day in 1776, when the Indians captured the two daughters of Richard Calloway with Jemima Boone, and he joined the rescue party led by Daniel Boone. William was a member of the first grand jury of Lincoln and was also a magistrate. William Bush (known as Captain Billy Bush) was the youngest of Philip’s children. (He was not actually a Captain in a Military sense, but was given the title of Captain by those who knew him, and addressed him as a leader.) He (Billy) seemed to be always on an adventure. The first to be documented was being a part of the group of frontiersmen that Daniel Boone gathered to blaze the trail from Cumberland Gap Virginia, (now known as Kentucky). This occurred on March 10th, 1775, “Daniel Boone, left Long Island with a party of thirty riflemen to seek out and mark the proposed Trace. To complete this task he had recruited about 20 of the most experienced and capable frontiersmen to be found on the western border. They included such men as Square Boone, Michael Stoner, and William (Billy) Bush, Benjamin Cutberth and many others destined to become famous in the settlement of Kentucky.

After William Bush had returned from Kentucky, he painted such a grand picture of the rich lands, that he had persuaded forty families of Orange and Culpepper counties to form a colony. In the summer of 1780 they started for Kentucky. Several of which was William Bush’s family, namely his brothers Josiah, Philip Jr., Ambrose, Francis, and sister Mary, all children of Philip and Mary (Bryan) Bush. Many of the colonies were Baptists, and they organized themselves into a church body and started for Boonesborough, near which they intended to settle. They reached the frontier fort at the Holston River in December 1780. Here they were met by a runner from Captain Billy Bush, who had preceded them. And was then in the fort at Boonesborough, advising them to remain at Holston for the time being as the Indians were giving so much trouble in Kentucky at that time that is was not wise for them to proceed further.

They remained at Holston for three years, during which time many other families coming to Kentucky joined them. Among those that joined was Reverend Robert Elkin, a Baptist preacher and they chose him as their pastor. He remained their pastor for forty-two years. During their stay at Holston, one brother Josiah Bush died, in 1781, his wife Sarah elected to go on to Kentucky with her children. Philip Bush was administrator of Josiah’s will. Appraisement of the Estate of Josiah Bush, among the items listed were; a pair of shoemakers pinchers, Bible, old hymn book, and old sword, old Testament and some old books, pipe and tobacco box, Negro man John, Negro man Solomon.

On September 1, 1783, the colony again started on their journey. The long line of travelers, some riding on horseback, some walking with their fateful slaves, their bedding and baggage on pack horses, moved cautiously along the narrow Wilderness Road. Over mountains, across valleys, ever on the alert for Indians or other foes that so thickly abounded along their way. Bears, buffalo, wolves, elk and sometimes herds of deer were often seen. They were compelled to encamp for days at a time to rest and forage. Every Sunday they encamped for the purpose of engaging in worship. When these stops were made, pickets were put out both day and night to watch most vigilantly. The distance that now can be traveled in a few days, over the Boone Highway, was then a journey of many weeks. The colony reached Craigs station, near what is now Lancaster, Lincoln County, where they again tarried until the fall of 1784. Here they separated, part of them going to Barrens in the southwestern part of Kentucky. The majority of them however moved to the north side of the Kentucky River and occupied the lands located for them by William Bush. The men were farmers and traders. They were all celebrated Indian fighters. Several of them served in the Revolutionary War.

William’s father was Philip Bush who married Mary Bryan. Philip was willed by his father, five shillings sterling. Balance of his father's estate was divided between his half brother Thomas and Daniel. Philip was given land by his father after his mother's death. In 1745 William Bryan of St. Thomas Parish, Orange o. sold to Philip Bush in consideration of five shillings and the rent of one ear of Indian corn yearly at the Feast of St. Michael, The Archangel when lawfully demanded. It goes on to state the amount of land - was witnessed by Zachary Taylor, the great grandfather of the President of that time and the other witness was James Madison who became President in 1808.

view all 15

William "Captain Billy" Bush's Timeline

June 26, 1746
Orange, Virginia, United States
December 9, 1778
Age 32
Virginia, United States
Age 32
Age 36
Age 38
Age 38
Bourbon County, Virginia, United States
Age 45
Age 46
Age 47
Orange, Virginia, United States
Age 49