Rachel was born on February 14, 1765, to John and Elizabeth Greist. Rachel was the second youngest of five children. Her younger brother was John, but I do not know the names of her three older siblings, or where the Greist family lived when Rachel was born. By the late 1770's they lived on Peters Run in Ohio County, Virginia (now Wheeling, West Virginia).
Rachel was just 12 years old when her family was attacked by Indians. Rachel's three older siblings were killed, and her younger brother, John, who was only 8 years old, was taken captive. He would live with the Indians until he was an adult, eventually leaving them and settling in Belmont County, Ohio. During the attack, Rachel was scalped and left for dead.
Years later, Rachel's daughter and son-in-law, Vachel and Sidney Dickerson, were interviewed by Lyman Draper and gave an account of the attack and Rachel's survival:
"John Griste & family resided probably on the ridge near the head of Peters Run (a small stream above Shepherd's Fort at the Fork of Wheeling), & had, in 1777, gone with his family at Shepherd's Fort, but getting impatient, he took his children on to Peter's Run & left them there a short time - probably Mrs. Greist not among them - when Indians fell on the children & killed and tomahawked them; except John, then eight years old who was taken prisoner & kept several years...
The whites soon learned of the attack on the Grist family & found Rachel tomahawked scalped & thrown behind a log & finding signs of life, was taken in & sent to Washington to be doctored ... and recovered."
Rachel married Henry Jolly, son of Peter and Martha Jolly, on March 27, 1781. They had five children:
- James, born May 25, 1790 (died July 27, 1792)
- William Henry, born September 29, 1796
- Kenzie Dickerson, born April 19, 1798
- Sidney Jolly, born March 29, 1800
- Albert Gallatin, born March 5, 1803
Rachel died on November 8, 1805, at the age of 41.
Attacked and scalped. Left for dead. Survived and recovered. Led a normal life for 28 years afterward, including marriage and having children, in spite of a scalp wound that never fully healed. For this, Rachel Greist in my nominee for the Iron Throne.