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Notes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 online

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The older of the head stones is slate,
and the inscription is in good state of
preservation. In word and form it is as

Here lyeth ye
Body of John
Dunbar, who
Departed this life
Oct. ye 5th, 1745
Aged 51 years.
The other is Hummelstown brown
stone. Time and the action ot the sea-
sons and the elements have told much
more severely on it. Some of the letters
are very indistinct, but the inscription
may be made out by even a less skillful
than "Old Mortality," and is as follows:
In Memory of
George Allison,
Late husband of
Frances Allison.
He Deed March 29,
1790, Aged 61 years.

Wm. Allison, son of
the said Dec'd. he de-
parted this life July
18, 1792. Aged
5 years.
We speak of these as the days of "Wo-
man to the front!" But Just think of it
— an inscription on a tombstone of a
hundred years ago reading, "Late hus-
band of." Suggestive, that 1 !

About a hundred yards northwest of
the burying ground is the spring at
which pious men and women, and young
men and maidens, a hundred ana fifty

years ago quenched their thirst, and
around which they devoutly discussed
topics sacred and secular, while the pastor
was in the study house, during intermis-
sion. The spring dots not look inviting
now. Its surface is covered with a re-
pulsive scum of slimy looking moss and
its flow is clogged by rubbish, decay ir-g
vegetation and moss. How changed,
everything. w. a. w.

Historic*!, Blograpbloal and CtonemlogteaU


Meginness' Historical Journal,
number two, has made its appearance,
and we can only reiterate what we said
of the first issue— a valuable repository ot
much of the local history of North West*
ern Pennsylvania, and deserving of suc-

Conner— From a notice in the Car-
tiile QazetU in 1788, we learn that David
Conner resided prior to June of that year
in East Pennsboro' township, Cumber-
land county, thence removing to Harris-
burg. The notice concludes "Enquire of
Robert Patterson, tavern-keeper, sign of
the 'White Horse. ' " This was the father
of Commodore David Conner, who was
born at Harrisburg.

Gilliland-Berryhill.— James Mc-
Creight, of Hanover, in writing to his
attorney at Lancaster, Jasper Yeates,
November 80, 1771, says : "S'r : These
are to inform you that Andrew Berry~
hill with his Brother-in-law, Hugh Gilli-
land, came to Kobert Wallace & me,
& hath agreed with us to pay the costs
upon Hugh Gilliland's Bond to you, and
to lift his Bond. S'r. I sent your Re
ceipt along with The Bearer, John Kill-
crease [Gilchrist] & I would Request the
favour of you to send me another Rev
ceipt for John Gilliland's Bond, that is if
you see cause to give Hugh Gillilacd's
Bond. I understand John Killcrease is
Impowered to lift s'd Bond. S'r, these
are from your Humble Serv't,

Jambs McCreight."

What is known concerning Hugh Gilli-

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


land. Did he not remove to Western
Pennsylvania after tin Revolution ?

"Pennsylvania and the Federal
Constitution/' is the title of a volume
proposed to be issued under the auspices
of the Historical Society of Pennsylva*
nia. It is eminently proper that this
should be done, as it was in our State that
the Federal Constitution was the most
thoroughly debated and considered The
newspapers printed at the time through
correspondents of the highest intelligence
discussed the subject ably and yet not
always dispassionately. The history of
the development of thought in Pennsyl-
vania in regard to this matter is an inter-
esting one, and the gentleman who has
undertaken to edit lhe volume is emi
nently fitted for the work. If any
one of the original States ought
to preserve the record of its
people in this period of constitutional
transition it should be Pennsylvania.
Such a work faithfully edited, as we be-
lieve Prof. John Bach McMaster will do,
should receive the sanction and support
of the citizens of our State As the edi-
tion will be a limited one all interested in
the history of the part pursued by our
grand old Commonwealth in the adop-
tion of the Federal Constitution should
take prompt action in Fending on their
names as subscribers toF. D. Stone, Esq ,
Librarian, Historical 8ociety of Pennsyl-
vania, 1300 Locust street, Philadelphia.


Names off Tree*, Shrub*, &e , in Um Lan-
guage of tbo Onondaga inrilaus.

[The following contribution to oui
aboriginal history, is translated from the
original MS. (German), by John W.
Jordan, of the Historical Society of Penn-
sylvania. It is scarcely necessary to add
that for the original we are indebted to
the learned and erudite Moravian mission-
ary, Rev. John Hecke welder. ]

Garontahogo Trees

Ochnechta White Pioe

Ocbnecbtoja Pitch Pino

Anobnta Spruce

Awohsgarat Chestnut

Otgarhatenniato Chestnut Oak

Togehha White Oak

Garontatshe Black Oak

Garichto Spanish Oak

Gannowagoha Sw»mp Oak

Anowaratos Upland Hickory

Otshtik Bitter Hickory

Annunogara (Shell bark) Hickory

Oscbqueowane Poplar

Iozgarba Beech

Ohosir Linden

Osochqua Black Walnut

Osaquaquenoni. . . . Black Walnut Wiod

Itewa Butternut

Gaasoquannionta Hazel

Tschiorachsar Iron wood

Gaoneroch White Ash

Esshat Water Ash

Gechnas Water Beech

Onejar Box Tree

Onerachto Laurel

Ochnegoehsojah Birch

Wachta Sugar Maple

Awohannequat Maple

Anaung we Locust

Ogarannequat White (Silver) Maple

Ohx Ri d Maplo

Toscheli Alder

Sajesegoa Mulberry

Ebri W ild Birch

Ganunquaggeracho Fox Grape

Hasirok Thorn

Swannaggeracho Sassafras

Ocbjaquenoni Wild Plum

Taraqui it Tgota Suraae

Onatoaoh Currant

AtanoChwerhoni Peach Tree

Garhattagehha Blackberry Bush

Wanatquas Red Willow

[used as a substitute for tobacco. ]

Orhechsgoa Thist e

Ganeochuntesha Strawberry Vine

Owahecht The Strawberry

Oztokqui Whortleberry

Tothuntacto Raspberry

Ratek Elder

Anabbc zte May Apple

Ozzononta Weeds


[The following facts concerning Col.
Thomas Forster, a native of Paxtang and
grandfather of J. Montgomery Forster,
Esq , of this city, are culled from not* s
relating to the history of Erie county,
prepared by Mr. Russell, of Erie. It is
known that Col. Forster went to Erie 88
the agent of the "Harrisburgand Presqu*

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

Isle Land Company," remaining there
until his death.]

The district cr port of Presqn' Isle
embraces the south coast of Lake Erie,
which Is within the boundaries of the
State of Pennsylvania, and has a shore of
about forty -five miles, the principal ship-
ping point of which is Erie. Freeport
and Elk Creek have always done a small
trade in lumber, timber, &c. This dis-
trict was organized in 1801, and Colonel
Thomas Forster was appointed Collector
of Customs for the Port of Presqu' Isle
by President John Adams, uolonel
Forster was continued in the office until
his death, in 1836, a period of thirty-five
years. He was in politics what was
styled a Federalist, and during the va-
rious changes of administration to Whig,
Anti -Masonry, Ac., he remained inde-
pendent ot the new parties, but never
would permit himself to be called a Dem-
ocrat. The office was well and faithfully
attended to by him or his deputies

When the Presidential election of 1828
resulted in electing General Jackson to
the Presidency, the Democrats thought it
would not do to have the old colonel re-
tain the office and not be a Democrat, but
none dared to make the attempt to have
him displaced. The colonel bad for
some years as his deputy, Thomas Mc-
Con key, a most excellent man, and who
faithfully attended to the duties of the
office in every respect He was a Jack*
son man, and that was satisfactory to the
Democratic party, but the old colonel
would not come into their ranks, which
greatly excited their displeasure. After
the re election of General Jackson, in 1832,
D. C. Barrett, who had recently joined
the Democratic ranks, was sent on to
Harrisburg and Washington to make a
clean sweep of every man in office not a
Democrat. After being gone some weeks
he returned with a commission for him-
self from Governor Wolf, as State's At"
torney, and one for Robert Cochran, as
postmnster in place of James Hughes re-
moved, but it was impossible for him to
get a collector appointed in place of Col
onel Forster, the influence of Thomas
H. Bill and Judge Baldwin was too strong.
Mr. Hamot, who considered himself the
leader of the Democratic party in this
county, was non plussed, and had no

hesitation in asserting that Colonel Fore-
tor mutt become a Democrat. He was
bail for him on his bond to the United
States, and he must come into the party
lines. A formal meeting was held by the
principal leaders of the party in the back
room of the Erie Bank, on Fourth street,
east of French, and Colonel Forster was
sent for to attend the meeting. After a
free interchange of opinion, a resolution
was offered by one of the faithful that
Colonel Forster is and will hereafter be a


Of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Martin and Jacob Wetzel came from
Switzerland to Pennsylvania about the
year 1747. Their mother died on board
the vessel a few days after they were out
at sea, and upon landing at Philadelphia
they were deserted by their step-father.
Martin, at the age of fourteen, and Jacob
at twelve, were sold for their passage.
The elder brother afterwards settled in
Oley township, Berks county, while the
younger, Jacob, located in Hereford
township, same county, where they were
residing in 1759.

Martin Wetzel, born about 1733, died
in 1822, and was buried in the graveyard
of Zion's Lutheran church on Fourth
and Chestnut streets, Harrisburg. He
resided for a long period near the town,
on a farm, which he owned and left to
his descendants. He served in the War
of the Revolution and participated in
the battles of Long Island, Brandy-
wine and Germantown. He was a
man of good judgment, of strict
integrity and honor. He married
about 1772. a Miss Beitolet, of Oley
township, daughter of one of the Hugue-
not settlers of Berks. We have no fur-
ther record of her. Tbey had one son :

i. Abraham; b. Nov. 15, 1778, in Oley
township, Berks county; d. July 9, 1846,
in Harrisburg; and there buried. He was
twice married ; first to a Miss Definbaugh
and had issue; and secondly, August 2,
1810, by Rev. F. D. Peterson, Mary
Reynard, daughter of Henry and Eliza-
beth Reynard, born May 16, 1786; died
February 16, 1860, leaving the following
children :

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


1. Elizabeth, b. Nov. 1811: d. 1864; m.
Thomas McCallen, who d. in 1852.

2. Martin; b. May 27, 1817; m. Eliza-
beth Parthemore; resides in Mil ford Cen-
tre, O.

3. Mary; b 1825; d. 1828.

Jacob Wetzel, shortly after the Boa
quet expedition to the Muskingum
in 1764, where terms were dic-
tated to the savage tribes of the
Ohio, removed from Berks county to the
Western country, subsequently to near
Wheeling. He was among the earliest
settlers in the "backwoods. It is not
known how long he lived there, but one
day while his eldest son Martin was out
hunting, and another son John was on an
errand to the nearest fort or block house,
a party of Indians surrounded the house,
rushed in, and killed, tomahawked and
scalped old Jacob Wetzel, his wife and all
his small children. Two of bis sons,
Lewis and Jacob, being smart active boys
were spared and made prisoners. Could
the Indians have had a prescience of the
sad havoc these two youths would have
made on their race, instead ot carrying
them off as prisoners, they wou'd h> ve
carried their scalps to their towns. It is
not the province of this sketch to give an
account of the escape of these boys, nor
of their subsequent careers, neither of
those of their brothers, Martin and
John. Their frontier life made up of
tragedies — fierce encounters with the red
men — reads like a thrilling romance of
the dark ages. The times in which they
lived — the circumstances surrounding
them — their grievances at the hands of
brutal savages — made them the fearful
scouts and the dare-devils they proved to
be. Our object has simply been to co inect
them with the early settlers of the same

name in this locality. e w. s. p.

• — •


Htetotlea), Biographical ana Genealogical.


Patterson. — Prior to the close of the
Revolution, Robert, James, William and
Peter Patterson, brothers, removed from
this locality to Western Pennsylvania.
Robert settled in Westmoreland county
and the others in what is now Fayette

county. James Patterson was a captain
in the war of 1812 under General Harri-
son. What is known concerning the an-
cestry of these Pattersons ?


Several years since ioquiry was made
concerning the settlement of the Agnew
family. The following paper recently
coming into our possession gives the in-
formation :

"Philadelphia, 6 April, 1762.
"To Richard Peters, Esq.:

"The Ca6e ot James Agnew as follows,
vizt :

"In August, 1788, I, the s'd James Ag-
new, went in search of a Tract ot Land
to Mash Greek, then in Lancaster now in
York County; That I viewed a Piece of
Land on a Run called Lick Run, which
Runs into uaid Creek, which I marked
out in order to apply for a Warrant and
pay for the s'd Land.

"The Winter following I applied to you
for a Warrant to survey the same Land
for my use, But you informed me the
Office for granting Warrants for
the said Land was not oppened,
But that I might apply to the Honorable
the Proprietor, who was then in Philada.,
which I accordingly did, But the Pro**
prietor directed me to you. That I re-
turned to you from the n roprietor and
you told me you could not then grant me
a Warrant, But ask me where the Land
Lay, and what Quantity I wanted, which
1 informed you; and then you told me
that you would make an Ectry of it,
and you took up a Bound Book, and
wrote in it which I suppose was an Entry
concerning my applications as atores'd.

"The Summer following I went with
my Family to the 8*d Land, where I
made Considerable Buildings and other
Improvements, and Dwelt with my
Family ever since. Soon after there
arose a Dispute about the Temporary
Line, for which reason I thought
Lot to apply for a Warrant until the Dis-
pute was settled. That sioce the Line
has been settled there has been no access
to the s'd Office for a Warrant for the s'd
Land. That I was always and now am
willing to pay for the same Land and
leave the Price to your Honour.

"James Agnew."

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

Indorsed: ' James Agnew, case of his
Plantation at Marsh Creek."


A Record of the New Jersey Loyal
lets in the War of the Revolution, has
been made the subject of a most excel-
lent monograph by Gen. William 8.
Stryker, Adjutant General of New Jer-
sey, to whom we ere indebted for the
pamphlet. Few persons would believe
that during the struggle forln dependence,
New Jersey furnished the King's army
with six battalions of volunteers, number-
ing not far from three thousand men.
And yet such was the case. This was
only f quailed by the Colonies of New
York, Virginia and the Carol in as. Gen.
Stryker's sketch is a valuable contribu-
tion to our Revolutionary history, and
the biographical notes of the loyal st
officers is of great interest. Although
our own St»te of Pennsylvania cannot
boast of organized loyalists, yet there
were many promt ent persons con-
spicuous during the Provincial era—who
pave ' aid and com tort* ' to the Crown
during the struggle for liberty, and a
record of thes*» would be an acceptable
contribution to her history The English
and Welsh Quakers were non-com-
batants—while the German and 8cotch
Irish were patriotic, and as will be seen
by reference to the records of our State
swelled the Army of Wa-hington. They
could alwiys be relied upon. The
•'Revolt of the Pennsylvania Line" has
never been proper*y understood, and
never will be if our bi-tory of the Revo-
lutionary struggle is continued to
be written by those who do not
understand our people, or if tbey do, are
determined not to do Justice Geo. Stry
ker's researches into the history of his
State during the struggle for independ-
ence deserve all praise He is ctreful
and faithful; and this last contribution
commends itself to all. He is to be con*
gratulated for his continued efforts in
preserving from oblivion much of the en
tertaining history of the Jerseys.


The Bar of Cumberland county began
with the first courts in 1750. This was I

under George the Second. Many of the
early justices who were commissioned by
the King (thro* the Governor of the Pro-
vince) never appeared upon the bench.
Those who presided, prior to the Revolu
tion, were as follows:

8amuel Smith, from July, 1750, to Oct ,

Francis West, from Oct , 1757. to 1759.

John Armstrong. Francis West and
Hermanns Alricks, Jan.. 1760.

Francis West, July, 1760

John McKnight, Oct., 1760.

John Armstrong, April, 1761.

James Galbraith, April, 176*3.

John Armstrong, July, 1762.

John Byers, March, 1763

Thomas Wilson, April, 1768.

John Armstrong, from Oct , 1768, to
April, 1776

These presiding justices sat with asso-
ciates, whom we have not mentioned.
The judges rotated irregularly, and with*
out any discoverable rule of regularity,
at brief intervals, until Oct. 1763, when
J >hn Armstrong, of historic memory,
occupied the bench for a period of nearly
thirteen years The justices from the
Beginning of the Revolution until the
Adoption of the Constitution of 1790 1 were:

John Run n nil 8 and Associates, Jan ,
1776 -Jan , 1785.

8am '1 Laird and Associates, Jan. ,1785—
Jan., 1786.

Thomas Beale and Associates, April,

John Jordan and Associates, July,
1786— Oct, 1791.

In Oct., 1791, appeared Thomas Smith,
the first of the judges under the Consti-

ProMcaltng Attorney* for the Drown.

The "Prosecutors for the Crown"

George Ross, afterwards a signer of the
Declaration of Independence, 1751 to

Robert Magaw, 1765-6.

Jasper Yeates, 1770

Benjamin Chew, who was a member
of the Provincial Council and afterwards,
during the Revolution a Loyalist, was, at
this time, 1759 68 Attorney General, and
prosecuted manv of the criminal cases,
from 17£9 to 1769, in the courts in Cum*
berland county.

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


After 1770 the names of those "who
for our Lord the King, In this part prose
cuteth" are not mentioned, bat only the
old form il Qui Sequiter Dom Reg* 8imU
itur," or "Attorney General similitur."
JSirllear Practitioner*.

Of the very earliest members of the
bar there are no records of admission,
the first of which is William Mas
clay, in 1760. Before this time, however,
and after, the names of pracitioners
occur according to the following dates-
George Ross, 1752; James Smith. 1754;
Robert Magaw, 1762; Samuel Johnston,
1763; Jasper Yeates, 1763; the name of
Wilson, 1763; George Campbell, 1768;
James Wilson, 1770; George Stevenson,
1770; Thos. Hartley (once in 1771, fre-
quently years afterwards); David Sam-
ple, 1770.

It is a surprising fact that three of the
above lawyers, who practiced at the bar
of Cumberland county at this early date,
were afterwards signers of the Declara-
tion of Independence. These were
Thomas Smith, of York; George Ross, of
Lancaster, and James Wilson, of Carlisle.
George Ross was but twentytwo years
of age when he first appeared as the at-
torney for the crown In our courts, and
it is also an interesting fact that
this period of his life seems not to
have been known to any ot the
writers of the Signers of the Declaration
of Independence. In a letter written by
James Smith from Philadelphia to his
wife, dated "Congress Chamber, Septem-
ber 4th, 1778," he says: "I breakfasted
with Mr. Ross at Mrs. House's.' 1 * *
I am laying my account upon returning
about the 10th of next month, to be able
to attend Carlisle and York courts." [See
Wain's Lives of the Signers, vol. vii,
p. 232 J The lawyers admitted to the
bar from 1760 to the Revolution, were:
Wm. Maclay, 1760; Thomas Zenneos,
1763; Nicholas Wain, 1763; James Say re,
1765; Wm. Sweeny, 1765; Robert Gal*
braith, 1765; Andrew Ross, 1770; John
Hubley, 1770; Col. Thomas Hartley ap-
pears 1771; James Lucans, Col. David
Grier, 1771; Gasper Wetzel, 1771; David
Aspie, 1771; George North, 1771; An-
drew Scott, 1771; John Riley, 1778;
Captain John Steel, 1773, son of "Par
•on" Steel); John Magill, 1773; George

Ross, jr , 1773; David McMaban, 1774;.
J/ T. Armstrong 1774: Lewis Bush

Some of these men whom we have
mentioned were distinguished in the
Indian wars and in the Revolution. No
less than three were signers ot the Decla-
ration of Independence; others held high
political or judicial positions, but the
"iniquity of oblivion has blindly scat-
tered her poppy" over the memory of
most of them, and of none can it be said,
by any man now living: "Alas ! poor
Yorrick ! I knew him, Horatio."

Bennett Bellman.

Lin our next number we hope to give
our correspondent some biographical data
concerning most of the foregoing worthies
of the olden time. w. h. e. ]



Davidson, Samuel

Samuel Davidson, son of George Da-
vidson, was born in 1728 in the Cum»
berland Valley. His father was among
the earliest settlers at Carlisle where ho
was engaged in merchandizing. About the
year 1769 Samuel removed to Bedford,
where he took a prominent part in public
affairs. From 1770 to 1773 he served aa
treasurer of the county of Bedford, and
in 1774 was commissioned one of the Pro*
vinci*l justices. He was chosen a dep-
uty to the Provincial Conference of July
15, 1774, and appointed by the Confer-
ence held at Carpenters' Hall in June,
1776, of which he was a member, one
of the judges of the election for Bedford
county to choose delegates to the first
Constitutional Convention of the State.
During the Revolutionary struggle he
was colonel of one of the asso-
ciated battalions of the county,
and did effective service on the
fiontieis in protecting the farmers
against the wily savages of the Ohio.
Scattered through the Provincial Records
and Archives are numerous references to
this worthy of Revolutionary times.
Col. Davidson was continued in commie
sion as one of the justices by tho Supreme
Executive Council, November 13, 1778,
and served additional terms as treasurer

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

Irom 1783 to 1795. Re was coroner io
1787, and was a member of the Council
of Censors in 1783-'84 In July, 1798, he
was appointed one of the Commissioners
for the State ot Pennsylvania, under the
act to provide tor the valuation of lands
and houses, and an enumeration of slaves,
for the Eighth Division. He died at
Bedford, June 11, 1803, aged fifty five
years, more than half of his life being
spent in public affairs. He left descend-
ants, w. H. B.

Horsfield, Timothy.

Timothy Horsfield, whose name so fres
quently occuis in the records of the Prov-
ince of Pennsylvania, in connection with
the Indian wars and treaties between
1755 and 1765, was born in April of 1708,
in Liverpool, O. £. In 1725, he emi-
grated to the Province of New York and
joined his brother Israel on Staten Island,
with whom he learned the business of
butcher. In 1730, they attended the New
York markets, and four years later Tim-
othy became a freeholder in the city of
New York. He married in 1731, Mary,
daughter of John Doughty, butcher, of
Brooklyn. The brothers in 1736, leased
two stalls in Old Slip Market, corner Old
Slip and Pearl street, where they did a
large and profitable business, especially
with the Government. Although a mem •
ber of the Church of England, he at-
tended Whitefield's preaching, where he
made the acquaintance of Bishop Boehler
and Nitschmann of the Moravian
church, and we find his name enrolled
among the members of their congrega-
tion in New York as early as 1744. In
1749, be removed with his family to
Bethlehem, Penna. On 9 June, 1752, he
was commissioned by Gov. Hamilton a
justice of the peace, and on 11 July,
1768, he was commissioned colonel of the
forces to be raised in Northampton
county, tor the protection of the frontiers.

Online LibraryFrance) Société asiatique (ParisNotes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 → online text (page 3 of 81)