Many family trees on Ancestry.com have John King Ratcliff as William Thomas Ratcliff (1841)’s father; however, an extensive genealogy of John King shows his son William’s full name as William Gordon who was born in Texas, who married a McCollister, and died in Texas. In looking at the Ratcliff records in Catahoula Parish, there are several records that led me to believe that perhaps Eli Ratcliff is the father of William Thomas. Eli is John King's older brother, and the timeline for his being the father of William Thomas seems more logical. Page 125 of Catahoula Parish Conveyance Records for 1808-1839, Item 796C states that on January 2, 1832, Eli Ratcliff brings a slave named Andrew to La. for his father Benjamin Ratcliff who, it is stated, is moving to Louisiana from Mississippi. Next, the Catahoula Parish Conveyance Records 1808-1839, page 139, indicates a filing for a marriage license for Eli Ratcliff and Charlotte Hollingsworth to marry June 13, 1835. After Eli helped move his father Benjamin from Mississippi to Catahoula Parish and married in Catahoula Parish in 1835, he moved on to Texas(probably after his father died), and died in Texas in 1860. William Thomas’s mother Charlotte was from Catahoula Parish, and it would make sense for him to return to Catahoula Parish, show up on the 1860 Census as 19 years old in a separate family's household as laborer, and marry Miranda Dunn from Catahoula Parish in 1866. His Civil War record for the 17th Louisian Infantry also lists his residence as Catahoula Parish. John King and his family stayed in Texas; William Gordon (according to other records) married in Texas and died in Texas. There is no record of his ever being in Catahoula Parish (that I found). William Thomas stayed in Catahoula Parish and died there. If anyone can help confirm this theory, I would appreciate it!!
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