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

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and C. Company.


Historical, Biographical and Genealogical.


Kessingeb. — Abraham Kessinger, of
Upper Paxtang, d. prior to 1808, leaving a
wife Catharine and children:

i. George.

ii. John.

Hi. Elizabeth; m. Eli Buffington.

to. Susanna; m. Jacob Hoffman.

v. Anna Maria; m. John Sallada.

of the New York Tribune, died in that city
on June 6, 1888. He was born in Williams-
port, Pa., May 1, 1807. He acquired fond-
ness for the printing trade at an early age,
and after leaving school entered the office of'
the Harrisburg Chronicle, and subsequently
William Brown's office, at that time one of
the largest book printing establishments in
Philadelphia. Removing later to New York,
he was engaged as a proof-reader in the
Methodist Book Concern, and afterwards as •
head salesman in the book department In*
1825 he formed a partnership with Lemuel
Bangs in the publication of school and re-
ligious books. At the dissolution of that
partnership he renewed his legal studies, be-
gun in Philadelphia after leaving Brown's -
printing hout e, and being admitted to the
Bar began the practice of law in New York
city, In 1841 he abandoned law and entered
into partnership with Horace Greeley in the
conduct of the Tribune under the firm name
of Greeley & McElrath, which became so-
widely celebrated. In 1872 he published his
"Pirectory of Words and Phrases Used in»
Commerce, with Practical and Explanatory
Remarks." The book received high com-
mendation at all hands, and continues of
great use as a work of reference in mercan-
tile counting houses as well as in law libra-
ries. Mr. McElrath was prominent in New
York politics and held various offices, some
of them of great importance. He was ever
faithful and conscientious, and has left behind
him an unblemished record. He was mar-
rice in 1833 to Elizabeth Price and had seven'
children, of whom five survive.

Thomas McElbath.— This gentleman,
better known as one of the first proprietors

Blaine Family.— Dr. Egle in his pedi-
gree of this family, (Historical Register,
vol. II. p. 147) states that James Blaine, the
grandfather of Hon. James G. Blaine,
removed to Brownsville, Pa., in 1804, thence -
to Sewickley, Pa., and thence in 1817 to-
Washington county, Pa, Mr. Charles-
Emory Smith, in his sketch of Hon. James
G. Blaine in "Appleton's Cyclopedia of
American Biography," states that "in 1818^
Mr. James G. Blaine's father, Ephraim L.
Blaine, moved from Cumberland county to*
Washington county. " The facts are these.
In 1800 James Blaine removed from Cum-
berland county with his family, including
his son Ephraim L., to Greene
county, Pa. Thence in 1804 to Brownsville,
Fayette county. There he became a Justice
of the Peace in 1805, holding the office until-

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


1816. In 1817 and 1818 he was a member
of the town council of Brownsville. He was
on the list of taxables in Brownsville in 1818
and was reported as a Justice of the Peace
that same year. He was appointed a Justice
of the Pea^e for Washington county Janu-
ary 1, 1817, serving three terms— 1817,1818,
1819. Two of bis dockets as justice are in
my possession. They begin April 24, 1815,
and close February 17, 1820. They are en-
tirely in the handwriting of James Blaine.
Throughout this period, 1815-1820, Consta-
ble Thomas Downie, of Brownsville, served
almost every one of his warrants. On the
last page of the second docket is this endorse-

"Jar.uary 10th, 1821, For value received I
transfer all the costs that are due and ail
that may become due on the Docket of
James Blaine, Esq., to Mr. Ephriam L.
Blaine in lieu of costs claimed in said docket
from me. Witness my hand & seal the day
and date above written.

*THOMA8 Downik.

-'Attest: Thos. McKibben."

A residence of several years in Brownsville,
and a thorough knowledge of the names of
the old settlers enables me to state that the
suits entered in these dockets include people
from the two counties of Fayette and Wash-
ington. Moreover, a warrant issued by
James Blaine and dated "BrovmmUe the
fifteenth day of October, 1819," now in my
possession is evidence that James Blaine did
not move to Washington county in 1817.

H. E. H.


[Several years since we printed some notes
concerning the Sawyers family, but recently
additional information coming to us, we re-
publish such data as suits our purpose.]

I. William Sawyer, a native of Ireland,
settled on the Kennebeck, in Maine, in the
fail of 1717. Whether his father ever came
to Pennsylvania is doubtful, but William lo-
cated in Lancaster county, Derry township,
prior to 1735. He was born in 1703 and
died October 18, 1784. In old Derry Church
graveyard is this inscription:

In memory of
YER, who dep-
arted this Life
Octo'r the 18, 1784
in the Slit year
of hie age.

His wife Sophia (maiden name not known),
b. in 1705, d. Sept. 9, 1788, and is buried by
his side. They had issue, all b. in Deny
township, among others :

2. i. John; b. 1729; m. Jean Allen.

ii. Hannah; b. April 21, 1731; d. Octo-
ber 26. 1806; m. John Logan, b. 1729; d.
February 21, 1788; and there was issue (sur-
name Logan) :

1. Thomas.

2. William.

3. John.

4. Margaret, m, Willson.

5. Mary, m. Samuel McCleery.
Hi. James, b. 1733.

3. iv. Benjamin, b. 1735; m. Margaret

v. Thomas, b. 1737; m. March 30, 1762,
Margaret McCallen.

vi. [a dau.]; m. William Duncan, and had

4. vii. William, b. 1741; m. Jean Will-

II. John Sawyer (William) b. 1729; d.
1812; m. October 27, 1757, Jean Allen, b.
1736; daughter of William and Elizabeth
Allen, of Hanover. They had issne :

i. Joseph; b. 1758; m. Elizabeth - r

removed to Preble county, O., and died

ii. John; m. Mary Bell, of Hanover.

Hi. WiUiam.

iv. Jean; b. 1764; d. November 29, 1803^
m. Robert Geddes.

v. Elizabeth; m. John Boal.

vi. Sophia.

There were other daughters. One married
James Johnston, removed in 1827, to Foun-
tain county, Indiana, and died there. One m.
John McCord, and removed in 1827 to-
Preble county, O. One m. John Allen ; and
another William Sawyer, a cousin. Con-
cerning the latter we have the following in-
formation :

Some years after their marriage William
Sawyer and his wife became thoroughly con-
vinced that their marriage was wrong and
agreed finally to separate. Accordingly their
farm was sold and the proceeds divided.
Both loved each other dearly, and when the
time came for a separation the ordeal was a
severe one. After embracing his wife, he
would go but a short distance, then return,
and so continued for some time, when at
last, amid tears, he passed out of view.
William Sawyer went to the then far West,
engaged in boating on the Ohio, and was

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Historical and Genealogical.

subsequently drowned in the Kanahwa river
while taking down a boat load of salt The
widow of William Sawyer married Joseph
Clokey, who left Ireland at the time of the
Rebellion of '98, immediately after the
battle of Belany-Hinch. 4 'I was quite a boy, "
wrote the late Samuel Barnett, of Spring-
field, in 1867, * 'at the time, but remember
hearing all about the case. He escaped al-
most by miracle to this country. Mr. Clokey '«
daughter Eliza came subsequently to this
country. She married a Mr. Hughes, near
Canonsburg, Pa., and deceased there,
leaving two or three children. Mrs. Clokey
was a cousin of my mother's. She had by
this second marriage two sons and one
daughter. The daughter Mary married Rev.
Mr. Wilson, of Canonsbuig, and died about
1866. Mr. Clokey removed from where he
lived, near Hanover church, to Canonsburg,
about 1813 or 1814. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Clokey deceased- there a number of years
ago. Their son, John Clokey, married and
had a family. His widow resides in Spring-
field, Ohio. Joseph Clokey, the other
son, took a college course at Canons-
burg, studied Theology, joined the As-
sociate Reformed Church at the time the
anion was consummated between the Asso-
ciate and Associate Reformed Church, now
the United Presbyterian Church. He after-
wards became Professor of Pastoral The-
ology in the United Theological Seminary at
Xenia, O. He has been twice married His
first wife was a Patterson, by whom he had
a son and daughter. The former died at
Springfield, Ohio; the daughter married a
Mr. Henry, and removed to Illinois. Dr.
Clokey married secondly a Miss Waddell,
from near Wheeling, by whom he had three
sons and two daughters. One son is preach-
ing at Steubenville, Ohio, another at Indian-
apolis, and the third is a lawyer. ' ' The Rev.
Dr. Clokey, was the oldest minister in Spring-
field at the time this letter of Mr. Barnett s
was written, and considered an able divine.

III. Benjamin Sawyer (William), b.
about 1735 in Derry township, then Lancas-
ter, now Londonderry township, Dauphin
county, Pa.; d. February 5, 1792. He m.

Margaret , b. 1737; d. 1796; and thej

had issue :

t. Thoma%; m. and had William, jr. m.
Mary .

ii. William.

Hi. Jame%

iv. Hannah.

IV. William Sawter (William, K
about 1741 in Derry township, Lancaster
county, now Londonderry township,
Dauphin county, d. August 20, 1785. Ha
m. Oct. 1, 1761, by Rev. John Roan, Jean
Willson. After Mr. Sawyer's death, she
married David Miskimmins. They had

i. Mary; m. William Grain.

ii. Margaret: m. Archibald Boyd.

Hi. Joeeph; b. 1773; d. Feb. 28,
buried in Derry church yard.

iv. William; m. Esther Rogers.

v. Elizabeth; m. Alexander Weir.



Historical, Biographical and GcacaUgical.


Urie. — The children of Thomas Urie,
Esq., of Cumberland county, were:

i. Jean; joa. John Chambers.

ii. Sallt'l

Hi. Ma. u \

iv. Catharine.

v. Eleanor.

fsi. Thomat D.

What has become of the descendants of
this family ?


[Believing that the subject will interest
many of the readers of lfote$ and Queries
we have prepared the following record of the
ancestry of General Benjamin Harrison, the
Republican nominee for President of the
United States.]

1. Benjamin Harrison, of Surrey, Eng-
land, b. Sept 20, 1645; d. there January 30,
1712-13; and lies buried in the yard of
an old chapel, near Cabin Point, in Surrey.
He had three sons of whom we have this
record :

2. i. Benjamin, b. 1693; m. Elizabeth

ii. Nathaniel; from whom descended the
Harrisons, of Brandon, Virginia.

II. Benjamin Harrison (Benjamin) b.
1693 in Surrey, England; d. April, 1770, in
Berkeley, Virginia, where he settled early in
life; was a lawyer, and speaker of the House
of Burgesses; hem. Elizabeth Burwell,
daughter of Louis Burwell, of Gloucester,
Virginia; and had issue.

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Historical and Genealogical.


3. i Benjamin; b. 1740; m. Elizabeth

it. Elisabeth; m. Peyton Randolph.

Hi. Charles; was a general in the war of
the Revolution.

«?. Nathaniel

v. Henry.

vi. CoUier.

m. Carter H. ; from him are descended
the Harrisons of Cumberland, Virginia.

ffUi. [a dau. ] m. William Randolph, brother
-of Peyton.

III. Benjamin Harrison (Benjamin,
Benjamin) b. in 1740, in Berkeley, Charles
City county, Virginia; d. April, 1791; was
for many years a burgess for his native coun-
ty; in 1764 he served on the committee to
prepare an address to the King, a memorial
to the lords, and a remonstrance to the house
•of commons, in opposition to the stamp
act, and yet opposed the resolution
of Patrick Henry of the following year as
unsafe and impolitic In 1773 he was on
the Virginia committee of^ correspondence,
and in 1774 elected to the Congress; as chair-
man of the committee of the whole house, on
the 10th of June, 1776, he introduced the
resolution declaring the independence of the
colonies, and on the 4th day of July he re-
ported the Declaration of Independence, of
which he was a signer. He subsequently
became a member of the Virginia house of
delegates, serving until 1781, when he was
twice elected Governor of the Commonwealth.
He was practical, energetic, frank, good-
humored, fearless and patriotic Gov. Har-
rison married Elizabeth Bassett, d.1792,
daughter of Col. William Bassett, of El-
tham in the county of New Kent, and a
neice of the sister of Mrs. Washington.
Their children were :

i. Benjamin.

ii. (farter-Banett, b. 1763; d. 1804;
•edueated at William and Mary College, bred
a lawyer, served in the Assembly, in Con-
gress and a Presidential elector; left two


4. Hi. William-Henry, b. Feb. 9, 1773;
m. Anna Symmes.

('a dau.]; m. Richardson.
a dau.]; m. David Copeland.
a dau.]; m. John Minge, of Weyan-
•oke, Virginia.

IV. William-Henry Harrison (Beu-
iamin, Benjamin, Benjamin), b. February
9, 1773, in Berkeley, Va. ; d. April 4, 1841,
in Washington City; was educated atHamp-

q. Ann
iv. [a

a. (a

den-Sidney College, and studied medicine.
In April, 1791, commissioned by General
Washington, a warm personal friend of his
father, an ensign; in 1792 promoted to a
lieutenancy and fought under Wayne, who
made him one of his aides. In 1795 was
promoted captain and placed in command of
Fort Washington, the site of the city of
Cincinnati. In 1797 was appointed secretary
of the Northwest Territory ; became its dele-
gate to Congress in 1799; first Governor of
the Territory of Indiana in 1801, serv-
ing to 1813. On the 7th of No-
vember, 1811, he gained over the
Indians led by Tecumseh the celebrated
battle of Tippecanoe; commanded as major
general of the Kentucky militia in the
North-western army during the war of 1812;
bore a distinguished part in the campaign of
1813, the defence of Fort Meigs, and the
victory of the Thames, October 5th of that
year; was promoted brigadier-general Au-
gust 22d, 1812, major-general March 2d,
1813. He resigned in 1814; was member of
Congress from 1816 to 1819; member of the
Ohio Senate 1819 to 1821; U. S. Senator
from 1825 to 1828, when he was appointed
Minister to the Republic of Bolivia, on his
return taking up his residence at North Bend,
on the Ohio. .In December, 1839, he was
nominated by the Whig convention at Harris-
burg, Penna, At the outset of the cam-
paign the slur which had been cast upon him
that he lived in a log-cabin with nothing to
drink but hard cider was seized upon as an
electioneering appeal, and he was triumph-
antly elected President, securing 284 out of
294 votes. He entered upon the duties of
his office with an uncommon degree of popu-
larity; and his death, which took place just
a month after his inauguration, caused a
deep sensation throughout the country.
Gen. Harrison, m., Nov. 22, 1795,
Anna Symmes, b. July 25, 1775,
near Morristown, N. J. ; d. Feb. 25,
1 864, near North Bend, O. ; daughter of
John Cleves Symmes. Of their children,
we have the record of —

i. Lucy, b. in Richmond, Va. ; d. April 7,
1826, in Cincinnati, O. ; m. David K. Este,
of the latter city.

5. ii. John Scott, b. October 4, 1804; m.
and left issue.

V. John Scott Harrison (William-
Henry, Benjamin, Benjamin, Benjamin) b.
October 4, 1804, at Vincennes, Indiana; d.
May 26, 1878, near North Bend, Ohio; re-

Digitized by



Historical and Qen*alogicaL

ceived a liberal education; was elected a Rep-
resentative from Ohio to the 33d and 34th
Congress. Ha wife died in 1851. Of their
children, we hare those of —

6. i. Benjamin; b. August 20, 1833.

ii. Martin; resides in Kansas.

VI. Benjamin Harrison, the sixth in
descent from a long and honored ancestry,
was born August 20, 1833, at the home of
his grandfather at North Bend, Ohio, on the
bluffs overlooking the Ohio river, fifteen
miles below the city of Cincinnati He
graduated from Miami University in 1852,
and at once commenced the study of law
under Judge Storer, of Cincinnati. In 1854
he removed to Indianapolis, where he has
since resided. He was elected reporter of the
Supreme Court in I860, but in 1862
entered the army as second lieu-
tenant of volunteers, and shortly
organised the 70th Indiana regiment with
which he served during the war, receiving
the brevet brigadier general of volunteers
January 23, 1865. Returning to Iudianap-
olu, he was re-elected reporter of the Su-
preme Court In 1876 he was the Republi-
can candidate for Governor of the State but
defeated by a small plurality. President
Hayes appointed him on the Mississippi
river commission in 1878. In Janu-
ary, 1881, he was elected to the
United States Senate serving the full
term of six years from March 4, 1881. Dur-
ing his Senatorial career he established a
reputation as a sound and enlightened states-
man, and his record is entitled to the respect
and admiration of the American people. His
position upon all questions of importance
was that of a faithful, conscientious and
honest representative. On the 25th of June,
1888, the Republican convention at Chicago
chose him as their standard-bearer in the
Presidential campaign, and every indication
augurs undoubted success. As his grand-
father forty -eight years ago annihilated the
political aims of the Sage of Kinderhook,
so will he the further aspirations of the New
Yorker who fills the Executive chair of the
nation. General Harrison married in Octo-
ber, 1853, Carne L. Scott, daughter of Rev.
J, W. Scott, of Ohio. They have two chil-


[The following letter comes to us from
Pittsburgh. It gives some interesting points
in our Local History :}

Cariide, May 21st, A. D. 1822.

My Dear Nephew: I went down to*
Harrisborg last December to see the meeting
of the Legislature in the new capitoL They
begun their session in the court-house, which*
they had rented until the State house would
be finished. Mr. Hills, the architect, an-
nounced the building ready for their recep-
tion the second day of January, when the
workmen all attended and led the Governor,
Joseph Hiester, the heads of departments,
Gregg, Duncan, Brady, and r!ocbran, with
their clerks, the Senate with their clerks,
sergeant-at-arms, door-keepers and speaker,
Gen. Marks. The second branch of repre-
sentatives, with their clerks, sergeant-at-
arms, doorkeepers and speaker, Joseph Law-
rence, with a numerous concourse of citi-
izens, all moving in solemn silence to the
summit of Parnassus, with the reverend gen-
tlemen who were to perform the consecra-
tion rites and ceremonies. I kept pace with-
His Excellency until I was jammed up*
against the left side of the lobby, where I
had a complete view of many hundreds of
ladies all clothed in rich brocade, black mus-
lin and vestal white, as well as variegated
colours, previously assembled to witness the
magnificent ordinance. After a few min-
utes' rest, Doctor Lochman introduced the
order of the day by prayer, and Doctor Ma-
son read the oration, beginning with the dis-
covery, settlement, and bondage under the
European task-masters, the acquirement of
our liberties by Divine assistance, under the
direction of the great Washington, and other
patriotic heroes of the revolution, with many
admonitions to walk worthy of our convoca-
tion and high privileges in the auspicious era
of American independence, concluding with
thanksgiving and petitions to continue the
blessings of so highly favoured a nation.

I had much difficulty in keeping the old
land jobber from being trodden to death,
who perished on the road to Hummelstown
a few nights after and was buried in the
poor-house grave-yard, but disinterred by
his children and taken to Newville, where
the obsequies were attended to in a Christian
like manner, beside the mouldering limbs of
their mother.

James Whitehill, of Strasburgh; John Mil-
ler, of Mount Rock; Jacob Irwin, of Mid-
dlesex; Gilson Craighead and his son are
no more. The two latter were buried in one
grave the first Sabbath of last month.

I spent the whole winter in the galleries,

Digitized by


Historical and Getteatogical.


where I gained an acquaintance with Dearly
all the members, and boarded with Mr.
Sboch at the bridge, where many legislators,
public officers, the Executive and Mr. Muhlen-
berg, his private secretary, also put up.
They were all very friendly, exhibiting much
alacrity in their conversation with me about
their speechifying debates and speculative
motions, but the answers and remarks I
made, soon attracted the notice of the news-
mongers, who, after a long description of my
snperanuated appearance, and old fashioned
habilainents, said they would not be much
surprised to hear that Mr. Fleming or some
other intrepid old soldier could not refrain
from ordering them all home and tell them
the Lord bad no further need of them, like
Cromwell to the Parliament of England in
their high-toned discussions about nothing.

The Governor got near ninety votes for
Senator in Congress, but it took nine ballot-
tings for State Treasurer. Mr. Crane was a
candidate as well as Holgate, but Mr. Clark,
of Erie, took near seventy votes the last
trial, the expert native of Great Britain be-
ing immediately appointed prothonotary of
Fayette. Cousin William Davidson's time
is out this session. I seen them all shaking
hands with him, bidding him farewell. Old
Patrick was not pleased with him for oppos-
ing Findlay.

Mr. MacMeen, another cousin of ours, is
also a Senator from Lycoming. Mr. Coch-
ran and several members claimed kindred
with me and treated me with more friendship
than many of my nighest relations. Cousin
Margaret Fleming, now of Chester county,
with Cousin Joseph Gardiner and his sister
Sarah, appeared in the lobbies about the
middle of February on their way home from
a visit to Cumberland. They invited me to
spend next winter with them, to which I
agreed if I could dispense with going to
Washington to see the Congress and my
namesake who bled at the battle of Trenton,
while I was there in the Flying Camp, for it
is more than probable that we will never see
any more "seventy -six men" in the execu-
tive chairs, either of this State or ot the
United States.

Cousin James Fleming and family passed
through this town on their way to settle in
your parts. There are but two left of the
name on Brandywine, and but one in this
vicinity. The Whitehills are also wearing
out, as well as the Harris' and MacClays.
The property is chiefly all out of their names.

Your uncle James is living with the Cn
There is a great resort of quality visiting the
old mansion every now and then. No doubt,
it will take all he can make to support high
life below stairs as well as up stairs, for it is>
said he is aspiring to steer the ship of State
when the prisoner of the old Jersey's time
expires. If he misses that figure there will
be little doubt about taking the land back,
again and making another sale, if the coun-
sellor continues adequate to the task. But
the members from the southwest, as well as-
many other gentlemen, told me he was nearly
become a disqualified skeleton, hardly
able to give advice, far less to
plead at the bar, living the life
of an old dry bachelor, without any company
except the housekeeper, and his immense
riches. The neighbors told me there was a
vendue, but when they went to pay they
were directed to give the money to Eleanor,
intimating that the movable property waa-
all hers, and in all other settlements it is-
said the original papers were canceled and
obligations taken in their own names, so that
collusion appears in every transaction. It ia
said John suffered much in his last days*
being tossed about among strangers, until
they seen he was past all redemption, before
they took him in to breathe out bis life*
everything being pnt in the lawyer's- hands,,
for his handless son who is yet in the West,
and it is said they will pay nothing for his-
father what he got on trust, nor for any
trouble people had with him in his dis-

Your uncle James is renewing bis youth
like the eagle's since he began to feed among
the young cranes, and helps to farm the land,,
and nearly adored by the old long-necked
gentry, no doubt in expectation of making
another will like your aunt Nelly's. I can-
not help mentioning one of his anecdotes at
old Rnpp's, wtst of Gorgas' on Hendricks'
land, being an European German preacher,
making long prayers and lengthy graces
every day the whole year round, which the
recruiting bachelor got tired of, and watch-
ing his opportunity, one day said: % 'Still —
Donner Schlag Dhe Teufel Todt— eat boys,

Online LibraryFrance) Société asiatique (ParisNotes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 → online text (page 34 of 81)