Catherine (Kittie) Ralston

1793 -1865


Catherine was the sixth child and only daughter of David Ralston and Mary Reid. She was born April 30, 1793, and raised in Davidson County, Tennessee.  After her mother’s death, Catherine helped take care of her father’s household and two younger brothers.  She continued looking after the household after her father’s death in 1831.


Catherine married in Wilson County on January 11, 1833, Rev John P. Provine (1784–1855).


From The Autobiography of the late Rev. John Provine:

“In the year 1830, it pleased God to veil my house in mourning--the angel of death came and tore from my embrace the consort of my bosom. This was a great crook in my lot which I endeavored to improve by learning a lesson of dependence on God alone for comfort. I endeavored daily to inquire as to His will and my duty. A world of sinners around me were dying for lack of knowledge, but I felt that the duties I owed to a dependent family would not admit of my leaving them, especially with no one to look after them.

“With a religious motive, I trust, I sought and consummated a conjugal relation with Miss Catharine Ralston, which was in 1833. I now felt myself again at liberty to enter the harvest field. I enlarged the bounds of my operations and saw, to the great joy of my heart the pleasure of the Lord prospering. I attended many camp and protracted meetings, some fifty, some a hundred miles distant from my home.”

“Three years had passed away from the time of my second marriage, when God again laid his afflicting hand upon me.”

From Brief Biographical Sketches of Some of The Early Ministers of The Cumberland Presbyterian Church - By Richard Beard, D.D.

John P. Provine 1784 – 1855, Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

“In 1836 a small speck appeared on his left temple. It soon developed itself into an incurable cancer. Every effort was made for its removal, but in vain. It was the appointed shaft of death. His bodily sufferings were very great. For years the invincible destroyer was engaged at his unceasing work. Nor was the afflicted minister free from the buffetings of Satan. Yet God delivered him, and enabled him, in his own expressive language, ‘while looking back through this long fight of affliction, to sing of mercy and judgment.’"

His affliction continued nineteen years. He died July 30, 1855, in his seventy-second year, with unshaken confidence in those precious truths which he had often preached, and which had been his support through so long and painful an affliction. He lies in the same grave-yard with his brother-in-law, Rev. Thomas Calhoon. It is, on many accounts, a sacred spot. Mr. Provine had six children--five sons and a daughter--all of his first family. Two of his sons, says my informant, are in heaven. Two are ruling elders in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; one is a respected minister, Rev. J. C. Provine, of Nashville, Tennessee.


Catherine continued to run their Wilson County farm until her death in 1865.