Billy Ice

William Galloway Ice (abt. 1730 - abt. 1826)

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William Galloway (Billy) "Indian Billy" Ice
Born about in South Branch of Potomac River, Hampshire, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1751 [location unknown]
Husband of — married about 1764 [location unknown]
Husband of — married 1802 in Virginia, USAmap
Husband of — married 14 Mar 1804 in Harrison, West Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Barrackville, Marion, West Virginiamap
Profile last modified 11 Dec 2019 | Created 25 Feb 2013
This page has been accessed 3,643 times.
Billy Ice is currently protected by the Native Americans Project for reasons described below.
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Due to claims about possible relationships with Native Americans (including the claim of a Shawnee wife), this profile is being tracked by WikiTree's Native American project. Thank you.


In viewing headstones and documentation you will see that some have incorrect information.

See the interesting discussion of what is known about Indian Billy at the blog by Elizabeth Morrison. Her essay, "He Was Called Indian Billy", includes a copy of William Ice's Last Will and Testament.

Son of Frederick Ice and Nelly. Was captured by Indians, was to his family, was an Indian fighter, Revolutionary soldier, buried at Ice Cemetery, Barrackville, West Virginia, He married four times, with at least 16 children.

William "Indian Billy" Ice was about 15 years old in 1745 when he was captured and taken away by a raiding party of Mahican/Mohawk and Kishpoko, led by Killubck (1722-), and carried to their camp. This camp has been designated as near where Chillicothe, Ohio, now stands.

A highly questionable 21st century publication claimed William escaped after ten years.[1] But he was one of hundreds of captives released after Gage's defeat of the Indians in the Ohio area in 1763. The peace agreement required the Shawnee and Delaware to turn over all their captives whether white, black, French, or English. Wiliam appears on list "B" along with his siblings, dated November 30, 1764:[2]
Ice, Catherine
Ice. Elizabeth
Ice, Eve
Ice, John
Ice, Lewis
Ice, Thomas
Ice, William

Family tradition (further embellished very by Greene, cited above) holds that while with the Indians, William married into Kishpoko among the Mahican/Mohawk. was married to Catherine (some say Pheasant) in Ohio in 1752, and is said to have had 7 children with her, including Christina (1752), Elizabeth (1754), Eve (1756), John (1758), Lewis (1760), Thomas (1762) and Catherine "Kitty" (1764). In 1765, William returned to the whites with his Kishpoko wife Catherine and their children. Catherine was unhappy among the whites and left soon thereafter with her children.[3]

at least one descendant of this supposed union reports no evidence of Native American DNA.
This first marriage and set of children are disputed.

Another tradition holds that William escaped to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In the meantime, Billy's father, Frederick Iaac Jr, had, about 1759, moved to Ice's Ferry on the Cheat River near present day Morgantown, West Virginia. As the story goes, Indian Billy was working on the survey for the Mason-Dixon line when his work crew came within about 10 miles of Frederick's new (W.) Va. home. The Mason and Dixon Line was started in 1763, but stopped. It was again started on June 4, 1766 and reached the top of Allegany Mountains. He was eventually found and was reunited with his family in the 1750/early 1760s.

William G. Ice married Miss Margaret (Higginbotham) in (West) Virginia in 1766, and they settled on Buffalo Creek, Barrackville, Monongalia Co. (now Marion Co.), (West) Virginia, where they raised a family of 10 or 11 children, including Margaret "Peggy" (1766), George (1767), Susannah "Sarah" (abt 1770), Eve (1773), Mary (1775), John (1775)-[twin of Mary?], Thomas (1777), Abraham (1781), William Galloway Jr (1785), Sarah "Sally" (1786), Isaac (1788).

After his wife (Margaret's) death in Monongalia Co., (West) Virginia, between 1798-1801, he married her widowed sister, Mrs. Mary (Higginbotham) Scott, in 1802, and they had 1 son -- Haydon Bayles Ice (1803)-- before she died in July 1803.

William married last Elizabeth (Shreve) in Harrison Co., (W.) Virginia, on March 14, 1804, and they lived on Buffalo Creek, Barrackville, Monongalia Co. (now Marion Co.), (W.) Virginia. To this union, 4 additional children were born and raised: James, Frederick, Benjamin and Sally.

The son George is placed in this position in his father's 1818 will, but he did not join the suit. Perhaps he had died or moved away.


1730: Births Monongalia County: child William Ice Apr 1, 1730 parents Frederick/Mary Galloway [4]

Other birth places offered include: Hampshire, West Virginia, USA or South Branch Potomac River, Hampshire, Virginia.

1740 : Captured by Mohawk Indians, mother killed. South Branch Potomac River, Hampshire, Virginia, USA[5]

William was an early settler on Buffalo Creek in Monongalia Co. (now Marion Co.), (W.) Virginia. The record of surveys show that he had a tract of 400 acres surveyed on both sides of Buffalo Creek May 28, 1785, to include his settlement "made in the year 1770."

He served in the Virginia Militia, and received his pay at Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1775.[6][7]

1780 : Barrackville, Marion, Virginia, USA

On May 3, 1796, he had an additional survey for 56 acres also on Buffalo Creek. He sold 35 acres to Thomas Scott on Sept. 12, 1797.

On 12 September 1797, William and Margarett ICE convey to Thomas SCOTT, Northwestern Territory, 35 acres on the north side of Buffeloe Creek, part of a larger tract granted to Ice and on which Ice now lives. ... Del [Delivered]: to Thomas Scott, 3 April 1800."

1800: Monongalia, Virginia census.[8]

In 1811, William Ice conveyed 100 acres to the heirs of Joshua Baker.

1820: Tyler, Virginia census.[9]

23 MAR 1826 : Personally gave deposition in lawsuit over sale of land/Monongalia, Virginia, USA

Death and Burial...[10][11][12]

"William G. Ice, Sr. died at Barrackville, Monongalia Co. (later Marion Co.), (W.) Virginia, about April 1826, at the age of 96 [between 03/23/1826 when he witnessed a deed in Monongalia County & 09/16/1826]. He is buried in the Ice Cemetery, Barrackville, Marion Co., W. Va." [13]


Harrison, Charles, Virginia, USA[14]

In 1827, there was a suit to break his will, which left most of the property to the four children of his third marriage. The plea to overturn the will states that William Ice, recently departed this life, was about 96 years of age when he died, and "for many years prior to his death he was totally imbecill, and besides being deaf the other organs of sense appeared to be so weakened as to render him incapable...etc." The depositions taken in this suit from 72 witnesses included such names as Zackquill Morgan, Thomas Haymond, William J. Willey, Daniel Musgrave, and mand Ices, including Indian Billy's half-brothers Andrew and Adam. The author does not know how the suit turned out.


  1. Don Greene, Shawnee Heritage, vol VII, 2008, p. ??. Warning; see this page which indicates this source is highly unreliable.
  3. Shawnee Heritage, vol VII, by Don Greene 2008, p ??
  4. Births Monongalia County WV Transcribed from microfilm 464964, volume 1 Registry of Births Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by E. Burns,
  5. Virginia Ice Conaway. Ice's Ferry.
  6. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers; more details needed...
  7. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution; more details needed...
  8. US Census; Year: 1810; Monongalia, Virginia; Roll: 69; Page: 510; Image: 0181429; Family History Library Film: 00810
  9. 1820 U S Census; Tyler, Virginia; Page: 84; NARA Roll: M33_140; Image: 157
  10. Patricia Law Hatcher, Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots. Dallas, TX, USA: Pioneer Heritage Press, 1987, p ??
  11. "West Virginia Deaths, 1853-1970." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah. From originals housed in county courthouses throughout West Virginia.
  12. West Virginia Cemetery Readings, 1941. Historical Records Survey, Cemetery Readings in West Virginia, Charleston, WV, USA: West Virginia Historical Records Survey, 1939
  13. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 12 September 2019), memorial page for William Galloway “Indian Billy” Ice, Sr (1 Apr 1730–Apr 1826), Find A Grave Memorial no. 133747179, citing Ice Cemetery, Barrackville, Marion County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Michael W Barrett (contributor 47222743) .
  14. West Virginia Cemetery Readings, 1941. Historical Records Survey, Cemetery Readings in West Virginia, Charleston, WV, USA: West Virginia Historical Records Survey, 1939

See also:

  • The Mellett and Hickman Families of Henry Co, Indiana. by Franklin Miller, Jr. [Monongalia County (West) Virginia Deedbook Records 1784-1810 (Old Series Volumes 1-4), Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994, Toothman, p. 34]

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Billy by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Billy:

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Comments: 16

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I made an initial attempt to rewrite the narrative. It still needs many sources for the various claims. I should point out that there is at least one descendant on wikitree who holds strongly to the Native American wife / children tradition, claiming it derived from long before Don Greene's Shawnee Heritage fiasco.
posted by Jillaine Smith
When I contributed the "Shawnee Heritage" "source" to the biography, Catherine Pheasant was already linked as Billy's first wife on Wikitree. I mainly added the source to show the probable origins of the information. I don't know who linked Catherine as his wife to begin with, but if the only source for the information is bogus, then I think she should be de-linked. In the bigger scheme of things, the whole biography needs to be re-written. That would be a formidable task, but I suggest that whomever does the re-writes should do it with close consideration to the profile of Billy's father, which is nicely sourced and has info about the kidnapping.
posted by Michael Schell
A lot of the information on this profile is sketchy at best. It looks like he was actually taken captive about 1752 when he was 10 or so and thus released in his early 20's. It seems unlikely that he had an Indian wife and several children at this young age. I don't think they are on line, but there are apparently actual records in the Bouquet papers that show the age of each returned captive and where they were taken from. I don't know if it would show any family relationships among the released captives named "Ice." According to statements from John Ice, a brother who was not taken captive, his mother, brother Billy and two sisters were taken captive.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
Is there any source besides Don Greene's largely fictional Shawnee Heritage series for the marriage / union with Catherine? I notice that the blog article linked to from this profile makes no mention of Catherine or of a Native American spouse for William/Billy.
posted by Jillaine Smith
William Ice did not "escape" from his Indian captors. He was one of hundreds of captives released after Gage's defeat of the Indians in the Ohio area in 1763. The peace agreement required the Shawnee and Delaware to turn over all their captives whether white, black, French, or English. Wiliam appears on list "B" along with his siblings.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
The biography says that Billy was the son of Frederick Ice and "Nelly." But Nelly would be the second wife of Frederick. Billy's mother was Mary Galloway. It was Mary who died during the Indian raid that led to the capture of Billy, Christina, and Margareta/Mary.
posted by Michael Schell
Completed a merge to clear a duplicate of Billy's wife Margaret Higginbotham. The identity of Margaret's mother remains a point of controversy.
posted by Michael Schell
I would also mention, however, that one of two of Billy's (kidnapped) sisters did have children with Native men, so perhaps that is the grain of truth to the legend.
posted by Michael Schell
In light of the Shawnee Heritage Fraud, perhaps the part in the biography about Billy's supposed children fathered with a Native American woman should be relegated to a Research Notes section. I was the person who added the Shawnee Heritage info to the biography and it seems, based on what we know, that this is fiction.
posted by Michael Schell
He was held captive from age 10 to 15 and that is when he escaped per all the testimonies in deposition from the court case Ice vs Ice (his children of 1st and 2nd marriage vs wife and kids of 3rd plus Henry Barnhouse. Billy told many of his friends and family about his time in captivity and said that he was there 5 yrs, but why there is no complete bio for him documented by his descendants not his way younger 1/2 brothers, I do not understand. We have at least 3 different stories about his life with HUGE GAPS in all. I guess we will never know for sure.
posted by Tracy Ice

Billy is 17 degrees from Mary Pickford, 18 degrees from Cheryl Skordahl and 16 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Shawnee Heritage Fraud | Native American Adjunct