William Custer 1729-1786

William Custer was born 1729/1732 in Pennsylvania.

Family tradition states that William was the son of George Custard. Whether these are the correct parents for William or not is not proven. It is known that George and Mary (Rhodes) Custer had nine children from a court petition found in Berks County, Pennsylvania Orphans Court records. Only eight of these children are known. If this William is the son of George and Mary (Rhodes) Custer, then he would have been their oldest child, born in 1732.

William married about 1753 her name is unknown. His wife was born about 1733. They lived in Virginia. Family tradition is that his wife was captured by Indians about 1766 when she was returning home from a neighbor's where she went to warp a piece of cloth. She is supposed to have had three sons and three daughters while in captivity. She was taken to Canada by the Indians where after a long period of time she was sold to a French doctor along with several other captives. The doctor gave the captives their freedom after twenty years of captivity.

William learned of his wife's release and started out to find her. He had been gone only a few days when she returned home to find him gone. She began backtracking and soon met some men digging a grave. When she asked who the men were burying, they replied that it was William Custer from Virginia, a stranger. William died about 1784.

He was listed as a resident of Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1781. William was at Mathews Trading Post in Rockbridge County, Virginia along with Edmond and James Cain between 8 April 1771 and 26 January 1773.

After Williams death, his wife returned to the Shenandoah Valley where she lived for a short time, and then moved to Kentucky to live with her son, Arnold, where she died before 1791.

This account was told by Ruel Custer, a grandson, and published in the Madison Courier, Bryantsburg, Indiana 15 April 1913. The account is also in Land of Our Fathers History of Clark County, Kentucky by A. Goff Bedford, although it is off by one generation (it relates that Elizabeth School who married Arnold Custer was the one captured by the Indians). Ruel stated that his great- grandfather, William Custer, had six children, three sons and three daughters.

Their children:

  1. Arnold Custer born 29 April 1755 in the Shenandoah Valley; married Elizabeth Scholl 1788 KY; died 14 May 1840 Jefferson County, IN, buried Hebron Cemetery, Belleview, IN.
  2. Mary "Polly" Custer born about 1753/1757 in the Greenbrier District; married Edmond Cain about 1784 Greenbrier County, VA; died after 1830 OH.
  3. William Custer born about 1765 Augusta County, VA; married Anna Smith 16 June 1785 Mason County, KY; died 28 February 1828 Miami County, OH.
  4. Solomon Custer appears on the tax list for Clark County, KY in 1794-1795.