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Richard Bard

Also Known As: ""Captured by Indians""
Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Ireland, it is presumed.
Death: February 22, 1799 (63)
Fairfield, Adams, Pennsylvania, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Archibald Bard and Mary? (Potter?) Beard (Bard)
Husband of Catharine Bard
Father of John Bard; Isaac Bard; Mary (Bard) Dunlap; Hon. Archibald Bard; Olivia (Bard) Erwin and 7 others
Brother of William Bard; Rev. David Bard, US Congress and Unknown female Bard

Managed by: William Harden Waesche, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Richard Bard

A Patriot of the American Revolution for PENNSYLVANIA with the rank of PRIVATE. DAR Ancestor #: A005951

SPECIAL NOTE: There is no research in "The Bard Family" by G.O. Seilhamer (or anywhere else to date - 2011) that supports with documentation or any official verification of various other siblings of Richard Bard, William Bard, and (Rev.) David Bard shown on some Ancestry family trees (such as Sarah Bard b.1728, Adam Bard (or Baird) b.1730, Robert Baird b.1735, or John Batte Bard b.1745.) To the best knowledge available Archibald Beard (Bard) only had 4 children: Richard Bard b.1736, William Bard b.1738, a daughter: Unknown Bard b.1740, and (Rev.) David Bard b.1744.

Presumed to have been born in Ireland 1736 (the Bards are said to have immigrated to the US about 1740).

Marriage: 22 December 1756 (Age 20) Catharine Poe - Franklin Co., PA, USA. Death: Age 63. Burial: 22 February 1799 (Age 63) Fairfield, Adams Co., PA, US. Burial: Church-Hill Cem., Mercersburg, Franklin Co., PA, USA.

Richard Bard:

The complete and uninterrupted lineage of the Bard family begins in 1736 with the birth of Richard Bard who was born in Carrol's Delight, February 28th. At the time of his birth, Carrol's Delight was recorded as an area in northern Maryland. With the definite establishment of state boarders at a later date, this area is now the western part of Adams County, Pennsylvania, and is a few miles east of Gettysberg.

Richard's father Archibald had built a mill on Mud Run, a tributary of Middle Creek. The location was between Sugar Loaf mountian and Jack's mountian. It was here that Richard learned the trade of a miller, and where he brought his young wife after their marriage.

Richard and his wife "Kitty" (Catherine Poe) and child John were captured by Deleware Indians in 1758. They watched in horror as their young son was killed and scalped by the blood thirsty savages. During their crueling march while captives, Richard managed to escape, but his wife Kitty was held captive for two and a half years before Richard found her again. He was forced to pay 40 Pounds Stearling to the Indians for her release.

Prior to her safe return, Richard had in 1760 written a lengthy ballad about the capture of his family and of his escape.  The ballad was found and preserved by his descendants and a copy of that ballad is included in the summary of the Bard Family.  Richard and his wife Catherine  after being reunited raised a large family (10 children).

Richard served in Capt. Culbertsons company, 6th Battalion, Cumberland County Militia in 1777. Richard served as Justice of the Peace for Peters Township; he was also a member of Pennsylvania convention of 1787 to which the constitution framed by the Federal Convention was submitted.

Like many early settlers of that day on the Pennsylvania frontier, Richard Bard acquired extensive tracts of land. Most of his holdings were on the western side of the Alleghenies, also some land Presbyterian Kentucky. As was commonplace with men of means of that era, Richard owned several slaves which were an important part of his assets.

Richard Bard died on February 22nd 1799 and was buried in the Presbyterian cemetery at Churchill, now Mercerberg Pennsylvania.

Richard Bard's millitary service in 1777 will establish the right of those who wish the privilege of membership in the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.). The record of his service appears in the Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. 6 382.

Curtis Bard added this on 3 Aug 2010.

Heather Grace Haley originally submitted this to Haley-Killebrew-Barnes-Wall Family Tree on 29 Dec 2009.



Occupation/Service: Farmer, Miller; York (Adams) & franklin Cnties, Pennsylvania.

Justice of the Peace (1786).

Member of the Pennsylvania Convention of 1787.

Delegate to the Harrisburg Convention of 1788.

Places Lived: Near Bard's Mill (on Mud Run- the main tributary of middle creek) on The Bard Homestead at "Carroll's Delight", (near what is now Fairfield), in York Ctny (was Frederick Co., MD, USA; then Adams Ctny PA, USA; now York Co., PA, USA).

Some time after the Indian capture (about1764) he lived on the "Bard Plantation" on the East Conococheague River in Peter's Twp., Franklin Co., PA, USA; near what later became the Williamson Village area.

Land/Possessions: Bard's Mill at Mill Place.

Purchased the "Bard Plantation" on the East Conococheague River in Peter's Twp. in Franklin Co., PA, USA; near what later became the Williamson Village area (about1764).

Purchased 300 acres in Mt. Pleasant Twp. (1777), which later

became a part of Westmoreland county, PA, USA.

Purchased 2,000 acres (1780) near what later became Salem, KY, USA and is now BardsTown, KY, USA.

Military: Served in the Revolutionary War with Captain Joseph

Culbertson's Marching Company (1777) at the Phidadelphia Campaign, and Captain Walter McKinnie's Ranging Company on the western frontier.

Tradition/Misc.: Poem:

The Richard Bard Ballad: (Also known as "The Woeful Ballad", or "Bard's Lament".) (*3 Vol I Pg 14)

On a woeful day the heathen came,

And did us captive make:

And then the miseries commenced,

Of which we did partake.

Ninteen the number of them was,

And in the house they came:

But battle unto them we gave,

And drove them out again.

One of the foremost that came

With him a cutlass brought:

But cousin Potter took the same:

As they together fought.

At one a pistol I did snap,

But off it did not go:

"A pistol pistol" he cries out,

And from the door they go.

But ere they go they at us shoot,

Us thinking for to kill;

But 'mazingly God them deprived

Of their malicious will.

O' terrifying were the screams

That we from them did hear;

As also was the sight because,

They naked did appear.

Back of the house they soon appear,

"Surrender," they request;

And since their number was so great,

We thought the same was best.

Then quickly came they in the house,

And made of us their prey:

They did us bind and house did rob,

And so all went away.

With us our child they captive take,

A child of tender age:

Five more young persons are

Exposed to cruel rage.

And now together when we're summed,

The number is just nine:

Which these most cruel Indians

Have captured at this time.

Not far, however, did we go

Ere came we to a hill,

Where they our cousin Potter's blood

Inhumanly did spill.

Those hardened savages did act

As though they did no wrong,

And in his head a tomahawk left,

And brought his scalp along.

Out of my arms my child they took,

As we along did go,

And to the helpless babe they did

Their cruel malice show.

Both head and heart the tomahawk pierced,

In order him to slay,

And then they robbed him of his clothes,

And brought his scalp away.

But God the cries of innocent blood,

Undoubtedly will hear:

And he the same for to avenge

Will certainly appear.

"If you do speak," they say to me,

"We'll surely at you fire,"

When leave to speak unto my wife

I did from them desire.

To do a favor leave was asked

By my beloved, that she

Her love might there manifest,

And it express to me.

But they do aggravate our grief,

Throughout each doleful hour:

No privilege they would allow

To speak unto each other.

As we were travelling, they saw

A man and at him shot.

Power and mercy here appeared,

For get him they did not.

But forty miles now having gone,

This day is at an end;

They halt, and here to stay this night

Is what they do intend.

And here, the fire and us between,

Our infant's scalp they place;

Thinking that while we viewed the same,

Our sorrows would increase.

And ere they do themselves compose

In order for to rest,

An unseen way they take to bind

The poor and the oppressed.

And when the morning's light appears,

And we the road pursue,

An awful sight is on the same

Presented to our view.

For in our sight they tomahawked

One who with us was taken:

And for a bed for this poor man

His blood by them was given.

O, terrifying 'twas indeed

To hear his dying screams,

And from his head and heart to view

Those red and running streams.

But at his terror they did laugh,

They mock his dying groans:

Most artfully they imitate

His last expiring moans.

By reason of the rugged road

Our raiment it all tore,

And down our legs the blood doth run,

Unfelt the like before.

Whilst on the dismal road I think,

With wondering filled am I,

How it could be that my poor wife

Could cross those mountains high.

For I myself did almost faint

Under their cruel hands;

But it was God that strengthened us,

Against their hard commands.

O, may all those that never saw

Or felt the like of this,

Unto the Lord give praise and thanks,

And God forever bless.

With great barbarity we're used,

As guilty of a fault,

If, we without acquainting them,

To take a drink do halt.

But now to Allegheny Hill,

At length we come unto,

Where those inhuman savages

Expose some of us do.

As we ascend this lofty hill,

No wonder we're amazed

To hear the awful sound that's made

When war-halloos were raised.

For every scalp and pris'ner gained,

A loud halloo they make:

As if it were their great delight

A human life to take.

The night that we lay on the hill,

A snow on us did fall:

This was a night of sore distress

Unto each of us all.

For we could not come near the fire,

Through all that night:

O had not God sustained us

We sure had died outright.

When in the morning we arise,

"March on" by them we're told;

But this to us is misery great,

Our feet being sore and cold.

At Laurel Hill we found a creek

Both high and swift the stream,

So by the hand I took my wife,

To help her o'er the same.

But for this love I showed to her

At me they're in a rage,

And nothing else but me to beat.

Their anger to assuage.

So great the strokes the cruel foes

Have given to me here,

That for ten days the bruises do

Exceeding plain appear.

The load to carry which they here

Did give to me this day,

I an account will minute down.

From truth I will not stray.

Two bear skins, very large indeed,

And one bed quilt also,

Two blankets and six pounds of meat,

All on my back must go.

Bare six score miles now we have mark'd,

But fifty doth remain,

Between us and the bloody place.

Where standeth fort Duquane.

At three rods distance from a run,

Encamp'd this night are we,

But when for drink they do me send

No more they do me see.

Alas for me to go 'tis hard

Whilst with them is my wife,

Yet 'tis the way that God ordained

For me to save my life.

But after me they quickly run

Not doubting of their prize;

But God turns into foolishness

The wisdom of the wise.

O cruel man In vain you strive

In vain you follow me,

For since the Lord gainsaith I can

No longer captive be.

God the device can disappoint

Of wicked men and wise,

So to perform they can't always

Their cruel enterprise.

But now although at liberty

Through mercy I am set,

Yet miserable is my life

For want of food to eat.

O dreadful sore my sufferings were

Which force me to depart

Whilst no provisions I had got

My life for to support.

O'er hills that's high and swamps that's deep,

I now alone must go,

Travelling on I suffer much

From briers poison do.

Unto a hill, I now arrive,

About four miles it's broad,

And o'er this hill the snow doth lye

Though elsewhere it is thaw'd.

Much laurel is upon this hill

Its leaves are fill'd with snow,

So I upon my hands and knees

Under the same must go.

My hands thro' this excessive cold

Extremely swelled are

Of sufferings I in this place

Abundantly do share.

But 'tis not only in the day

That hardships do abound,

For in the night they also do

Encompass me around.

In hollow logs or 'mongst the leaves

At night is mine abode;

No better lodgings wet or dry

Throughout this lonely road.

Three days I've traveled since escape.

But there is three days more

In which I have for to lay by

My foot's so very sore.

Amazingly my foot is swell'd

With heat is in a flame,

And though I'm in this desart land

Can't walk I am so lame.

Not wholly from my pained foot

That causes pain to me,

For by not having food to eat

My woes encreased be.

Almost five days I now have been

Without the least supply,

Except bark buds, which I did pull

As I did pass them by.

Though I'm not able now to walk,

I creep upon my knees:

To gather herbs that I may eat,

My stomach to appease.

But whilst I'm roving thus about,

A rattle snake at speed,

I view a running unto me,

This mercy is indeed.

For by this snake I'm supplied

When kill the same I do,

How timeously this mercy came

None but myself can know.

A rattlesnake, both flesh and bone,

All but the head I eat;

And though 'twas raw, it seemed to me

Exceeding pleasant meat.

Full souls do loathe the honey comb

When they've enough to eat:

But unto him that hungry is,

Each bitter thing is sweet.

When ripen'd is my beeling foot,

Which mightily did ake,

I with a thorne did pierce the same,

And thereby ease partake

But least my foot I further hurt

My breeches tear I do,

And round my feet I do them tye,

That I along might go.

But when to walk I do attempt

Gives me excessive pain,

Yet I must travel with sore foot

Or die and here remain.

So when a few miles I did go,

Unto a hill I come

Whilst on the lofty top thereof

I thought I heard a drum;

And judging people near to be

On them I gave a call,

But sure there was not one to hear

Being weak, conceit was all.

But by these calls for help I gave,

I evidently see,

That I'm more spent than what I thought,

Or judged myself to be.

For though I'd raise my voice as high,

As I had power to do,

'Bove fifty rods it can't be heard,

'Tis so exceeding low.

Being now eight days since I escap'd

Unto a river came,

Whilst wading it I suffered much

Being so very lame.

But having Juniatta cross'd

I to a mountain came,

With cold I ne'er was so distress'd

As I was on the same.

For in a night that's very cold

I there my lodging take,

And as my clothes were wholly wet

I tremble did and shake.

My hand by this excessive cold

Is so benum'd that I

Can't move, no, not a single joint,

Were it a world to buy

Then I although the night was dark

Did homewards march away,

Least I should perish with the cold

Should I for day light stay.

But on my journey in this night

With joy a fire I see,

This was the strangest providence

That ever happened me.

For when I by the same had staid

Until the light appear

I see a road just at my hand

Which doth my spirits cheer.

If I had not beheld this fire

This Indian path I'd cross'd

And then from all appearance I

Forever had been lost.

Along this path I went with haste

As much as I could make,

But 'twas not fast that I could go

I was so very weak.

Now having been nine days and nights

In a most starving state

Not having food of any kind

Except four snakes to eat.

But on the evening of this day

I met with Indians three

Surprised I was and really thought

Them enemies to be;

But they proved kind and brought me to

A place where English dwell,

Fort Littleton, the place by me

Was known exceeding well.

The time since first I captive was

This is the fourteenth day,

Five with the Indians and nine since

From them I ran away.

Thanks to the Lord, because he did,

Incline the enemies heart,

To give an opportunity

To me from them to depart.

Thanks to the Lord who did provide

Food in the wilderness

For me, as much as did preserve

My life whilst in distress.

Thanks to the Lord because that he

In desarts, pathless way,

Directed me so that I did

At no time go astray.

And now from bondage though I'm freed,

Yet she that's my belov'd,

Is to a land that's far remote,

By Indians remov'd.

Alas alas for my poor wife

That's gone to heathen lands,

There to obey their very hard

And their unjust commands.

By thinking on your misery

Increased is my wo;

Yea pained is my aking heart

For what you undergo.

Were all things of this spacious globe

Offered to ease my mind,

Alas all would abortive prove

Whilst Kitty is confined.

The thoughts of you my loving wife

Embitters unto me,

The sweetest comforts that can by

A world produced be.

Oh now I may like to a dove

In her bewildered state,

Bemoan the loss of my dear wife,

My true and loving mate.

But though we in this life ne're more

Partake of other love,

God grant that we one day may meet

In joy and peace above.

O Kitty dear where'er you be,

God will you keep, I know:

And in and through his blessed son,

Unto you mercy show.

And may he by this sore distress,

Prepare you for a fight

Unto the great inheritance

Of blessed saints in light. 97th verse

Note: The above poem was pieced together from various sources.


Descendant of White Eyes...BB Pg

Bardstown, KY, USA story (pg. 194)... Bard's Mill was later called Marshall's Mill and then Virginia Mills. The village of Virginia Mills still exists, and there is a nearby road called "Carroll's Tract". Neither the Mill nor Richards's small cabin are standing now (Circa 1987). The area is over grown, but the creek area and tapeworm railroad remnants are still visible. Mr. Ferdinand Schneider (Ham: W3HTL, located at 560 Mt. Hope Rd.) felt that the "Potter Oak" (where the Indians killed Thomas Potter) was no longer standing- but that is hard to determine. He has one of the original mill stones set in cement as part of his garage, and claims another is still buried in the mill foundation rocks. We carried one of the smaller foundation/spillway rocks home, and visited another mill (Anderson's) that must have been very much like Bard's Mill. (Anderson's Mill- described on page 463 of the Bard Book- then called Irwinton Mills & as being connected to the early Bard-Irwin families). We bought an original sketch of Anderson's Mill by Mr. Charles J. Stoner at Mrs. Evelyn H. Gingrich's Gift Shop, 6952 Lemar road (ie: Lemasters -Upton), Mercersburg, Franklin Co., PA, USA, 17236 Ph: (717) 328-2085). She is the exclusive agent for Stoner's art, and indicated that he may sometime in the future do prints of other Bard orientated places; such as the Church-Hill Cem., the Richard Bard cabin, Indian scene, etc. Mrs. Paul Crist {Ph: (717) 642-8818} (located at 555 Mt Hope Rd. which is across the street from the mill remnants and the Schneider's, and on the same side as the area where Richard's cabin once stood) has a picture of Richard's Cabin which her husband Paul painted (deceased 1 year; Circa.1986). Richard Bard (6F-R&JM3) of Colville Wash. has a picture of this painting and we hope to acquire a copy in the course of our correspondence with him. Mr. Crist was forced to tear down the cabin some years earlier because of vandals trespassing and causing problems there. *1

Visit to Church-Hill Graveyard at Mercersburg, Franklin Co., PA, USA, Piece of wall, Graves, Fort-like Church at Church-Hill - Mrs McDowell (her son was the caretaker of the Church-Hill Graveyard, Mr. Crawford lives nearby.

Visit to a house that may have been Judge Archibald's near Mellott's Farm on Lemasters-Upton road (was S. Houston Johnston Land). It looks much like the house the Bard Book mentions on page 191 as being the house of Richard Bard, and as having burned. The house we saw may have been the house described on page 193, as belonging to Judge Archibald. As per Kittochtinny Historical Society, Chambersburg, Fairfield, Etc.


Death: (63 Years). Buried in the Church-Hill Cem. at Mercersburg, Franklin Co., PA, USA.

Sources: The Bard Family, by G.O. Seilhamer; Pg. 158, 159.

  • 1 *2 July 1987 visit to Pennsylvania-CB & SFB
  • 3 "Oil, Land and Politics the California Career of Thomas R. Bard", by William H. Hutchinson, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, USA 1965. (A two volume biography of Thomas R. Bard.)
    • Note that at the time of the signing of the above documents (1766, 1769, 1772) Richard & William were sometimes referred to as "BARD" but signed their names; "BAIRD". showing the apparent ambiguity of the spelling of the name.
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Richard Bard's Timeline

February 8, 1736
Ireland, it is presumed.
February 28, 1736
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
September 27, 1757
Age 21
Fairfield, York (Adams), PA
February 8, 1762
Age 26
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
August 28, 1763
Age 27
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
June 27, 1765
Age 29
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
March 26, 1767
Age 31
Peters Twp., Franklin, PA, United States
April 2, 1769
Age 33
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
March 25, 1771
Age 35
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States