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This latter commission he soon resigned,
and was succeeded by Major Clayton,
who was commissioned by Gov. Penn 14
November, 1763 In consequence, he
lost his Justiceship after serving twelve
years. He died in Bethlehem 9 March,
1773, and his wife on October 14 follow-
ing. Five children survived him.

j. w. J.

Pabsons, William.

William Parsons' place and date of
birth is unknown to the writer, but he
was married in 1722, his wife being a na-
tive of Saxony, born in 1699, emigrated
to America 1717, and died at Bethlehem
in March of 1773. We find him residing
in Philadelphia prior to 1722, a shoe-
maker by trade, and a member of Frank-
lin's Junta Club, in which he passed for
"a man having a profound knowledge of
mathematics." Between 1784 and 1746
he was Librarian of the City Library.
About 1748 he was appointed by the
Penns their Surveyor General. Ill health
compelling him to resign this laborious
t>oeition in June of 1748, he removed to
Lancaster Here in 1749 he was com*
missioned justice of the peace Sum-
moned by the Proprietaries to fill the
offices in the seat of Justice in the newly
erected county ot Northampton, he re«
moved thither. He held the office ot
prothonotary, clerk of the courts, re-
corder, clerk of the commissioners, and
j ustice of the peace. D* cember 29, 1755,
he was appointed major of all troops to
be raised in Northampton county, with
Eastou as his headquarters "As I
think," writes James Hamilton, from
Easton, "it will be for the good of the
service in general that the troops raised in
Northampton county should be under the
care and superintendence of a field offi-
cer, I have, with that view, in virtue of
the power granted me, appointed William
Parsons, Esq ,to be major of said troops."
His immediate command, however, was
a Town Guard of twenty -four men sta-
tioned at Easton. He died at Easton in
December of 1757. Much of Parsons'
correspondence is in the Archives of the
State, and valuable for its historical in-
formation. ___ j. w. j.

Historical, Biographical and Genealogical •


Gikty.— Thomas Girty, on the 3d of
January, 1758, was by the court of
Cumberland county bound an apprentice
to John Armstrong, Esq., for six years.
By reference to Notes and Queries (No.
cxlii) it will be seen that Thomas Girty

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


had been released from Indian captivity by
Gen . Anne iron g at the Kittanning He was
a brother of the notorious bimon Girty.

Wilkhto —Peter Wilkins, of Cumber*
land, county, died in Norember, 1752,
leaving a wife Rachel and children as
follows: \

i. James, b. 1735.

ii. William, b. 1787.

ill. Margaret, b. 1789.

iv. Fitter, b. 1748

The widow in 1762 had become the
wife of John Reynolds; while the
daughter, Margaret, had married James
Jack. Wh*t is known of this family of


TFrom an old paper in the hand
writing of Judge Yeates, we quote the
following record of a case in the "Dau-
phin County Circuit Court, November 5,
1804," "Lessee of William Foulke w.
Robert Goudy." It was for ejectment
from Und in Middle Paztang township.
Messrs. Fisher and Dnncan were the
attorneys for the plaintiff, while Messrs.
Montgomery and Smith were the lawyers
for Goudy. The evidence in the case is
interesting. ]

Samuel Cochran testified : That in
1769 Simpson wrought above the Nar-
rows; in 1770 he built a shop on this
disputed Land & wrought there for many
years; then he built a dwelling house &
a stable, and cleared some small quantity
of Land; lived 18 or 20 years on the
Land; the Land not worth the Improve
ments. X. I knew one John Smith
living above the run a small dis-
tance : but he did not live there before
Simpson came there; I never heard that
Smith & 8impson lived under Wm.

John Bell. Simpson settled in 1770.
X. No body lived there before Simpson,
& I have known it 50 years. 8impson
agreed to relinquish tbe 15 as. and took a
new Warr't for the adjoining woodland.

Thomas Foster. Gallagher called ''fool
Tom" and "mad Tom."

Ann Thomas. Foulke asked Simpson
why he did not stand to the judgment of
tbe men ; he said he wouldn't stand to tbe
Judgment of any men that did not please

me; & I told you then it would be 80
years before it would be ended; Mr.
Foulke desired me to take notice of what
was said; he said he bad offered the £40
and he would not take it. X. 3am. Coch-
ran & Mr. Hatfield were by

Charles Stewart In 1769, Jno. Smith
asked me to help him build a cabin:
Foulke helped us; In 1770 Simpson to'd
me he had got Liberty from Foulke to
build a cabin there, & told me the terms,
but I have forgot it

John Bell. Smith's cabin was built
after Simpson settled there.

Samuel Cochran. Smith's cabin was
raised after Simpson settled there; Galla*
her had his senses and was honest as any

Joshua Elder, Esq John Gallaher
was a sensible man and an honest man.

Ante-Revolutionary JoftltOM.

[Mr. Bennett's communication and in-
quiry in the last number of Notes and
Queriee, have prompted us to give in ad-
vance, of our contemplated series of
sketches of many of the remarkable men
of the Cumberland Valley, tbe following
notes relating to the ante-Revolutionary
judges of the county courts. As time is
afforded us we will follow with those of
the Revolutionary era. and of the earlier
members of the Bar, ever famous for its
legal acumen and forensic eloquence.
Although sketches of a few of these men
have appeared, it is proper, in preserving
a record, that each cne is properly noticed.
It is suggested, in this connection, that if
errors are detected, a note will be sent
tbe editor, so that corrections may fol-
low, w. H. B.]
Smith, Samuel.

Samuel Smith was born in the north of
Ireland about the year 1700. It is not
known when be came to Pennsylvania
and settled in Hopewell township, Cum-
berland county. He was tbe first named
in commission as a justice of the peace,
the date being March 10, 1749-50, and
hence presided at the first court which
was held at Shippenaburg on the 24th of
July, 1750. Little is known of his &ub-
aequent history. He died in October,

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Historical and Genealogical.

1780, at the age of four score, leaving a
large family.

West, Fbancis.

Francis West, sod of William West, of
English parentage, was born in the north
of Ireland about the year 1780. His
father emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738
and settled in Cumberland county. His
son received a fair education, and seems
to have been a resident of the town of
Carlisle shortly after the organization of
the county. He was commissioned one
of the Provincial justices of the peace,
July 18. 1757, and trom October of that
year until 1759 presided over the courts.
About 1771 be removed to Shearman's
Valley, where he resided until his death,
which occurred in December, 1788. His
children were William, Edward, Ann,
who married Col. George Gibson, of the
Revolution, and a daughter, who mar-
ried a Mitchell.

Armstrong, John.

John Armstrong, son of James Arm
strong, was born in 1725 in the north of
Ireland. His parents came to Pennsyl-
vania prior to 1740, and settled west of
the Susquehanna. When the French
and Indian war came on John Armstrong
was commissioned a captain in tfie Pro
vincial service in January, 1756, and on
May 11, 1756, lieutenant colonel of the
Second Battalion . He commanded the
-expedition to the Eittanning on the Alle-
gheny the same year and succeeded in de-
stroying that nest of red savages, in the
which he was severely wounded.
Foi this service the corporation of Phil-
adelphia gave him a vote of thanks, a
medal and a piece of plate. In 1758-
1759, he was in commaod of the first
battalion of the Pennsylvania troops, par-
ticipating in the Forbes expedition,
and for which service he shared
in the distribution of land by the Pro-
prietaries. When the War of the Revo*
lotion began, Congress commissioned
him a brigadier general in the Pennsyl-
vania Line March 1, 1776, serving with
distinction during the Jersey campaign
of that year. Owing to dissatisfaction in
regard to rank, heresigned April 4, 1777,
and returned to his home at Carlisle. He
was chesen by the General Assembly

November 20, 1778, a member of the
Continental Congress, and again Novem-
ber 12, 1779. He is credited with similar
service in 1787 and 1788, but that honor
was conferred upon his son John. Gen.
Armstrong died at Carlisle March 9, 1795,
in the 78th year of his age. The Carlisle
Gazette of March 11, 1795, in an extended
obituary held this language: "It may be
truly said of this worthy citizen
that his life was eminently useful
and exemplary. There are but few
characters in which so many
amiable and shining qualities are found
united. His easy and engaging manners,
his sympathy for the distressed, and,
above all, his unfeigned piety, gained
him the love and esteem of all true
judges of merit. He was ever the zeaN
ous friend of liberty, learning and religion;
the advancement of which in the world
seemed to be the grand object of his hab-
itual wishes and prayers. His mind was
abundantly stored with useful knowl-
edge, especially of the religious kind. He
possessed a very clear and sound judg-
ment; and had acquired the habit of
communicating his ideas on every topic,
in an easy, flowing and perspicuous man-
ner. ***** His talents in the
military line have been abundantly con-
spicuous; and the world has been long
acquainted with his spirited enterprises
against the savage tribes, at an early pe-
riod of life; and his exertions and sacri-
fices in the common cause of American
liberty and independence."

Albicks, Herman us.

Hermanns Al ricks, son of Weasels Al*
ricks, was born in Philadelphia about
1727. His ancestor came over with the
Dutch settlers on the Delaware in 1658,
and was a man of note in the Colony..
Herman us Alricks resided some years in
his native city, where he was engaged in
mercantile pursuits. Just prior to the
organization of the County of Cumberland
he removed thither, and was appointed its
first justice March 10, 1750, an office he
filled until his death . He was chosen the
first member of the P ovincial Assembly
from that county, and subsequently com-
missioned clerk of the court, &c. He
was a man of influence in the valley west
of the Susquehanna. He died at Carlisle

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Historical and Genealogical.


on the 14th of December, 1772. Hamil-
ton Alrickp, Eeq , of the Dauphin county
bar, just passed his 81st year, is a grand-

McKnight, John.

John McKnight was born about 1780,
in the Province of Ulster, Ireland. He
-came to America in early life, and settled
in what was afterwards Middleton town-
ship, Cumberland county. He was a
captain in the Forbes expedition ol 1758,
and again in active service in 1759. He
served in the commission as one of the
Provincial justices as early as 1757, and
in October, 1760, was presiding over the
-county courts. He was an elder in Mid-
dle Spring Presbyterian church. He died
in April, 1768, leaving a wife Mary, and
children, John, David, Mary snd Jean.
He was a man of unblemished reputation.


James Galbraith, son of Andrew Gal*
braitb, was born in Donegal township,
now Lancaster county, about the year
1725. He was brought up as a farmer,
and between 1745 and 1750 settled in the
Cumberland Valley, East Pennsboro'
township. He was commissioned one of
the earliest justices ot the peace, and in
October, 1761, was presiding over the
county courts. He was chosen to the
General Assembly in 1762, and after-
wards continued as a justice of the peace.
He was an active patriot, and April 10,
1777, appointed county lieutenant. He
died in 1790.

Byers, John.

John Byers, son of David Byers, came
from the north of Ireland, where he was
born in 1715, to the Province of Pennsyl-
vania in 1740. He was at first located in
Donegal towoship, Lancaster county, but
afterward settled west of the Susquehanna
where he purchased three hundred acres
of land on Prospect Hill, five miles west
of Carlisle, near a large spring and stream
flowing from it to the Conedoguinet, now
known as Alexander's. During the
French and Indian war he was commis-
sioned a captain in Col. James Burd's
Second Pennsylvania Battalion, April 27,
1758, and was in the Forbes Expedition
ot that year. He was treasurer of the

county 1758-59, and served as one of the
Provincial justices from July 13, 1757,
to the Revolution. During the Revolu-
tionary struggle he seems to have been
of unusual prominence and influ-
ence in aiding the patriot cause. Cn
the 4th of February, 1778, he was ap
pointed to superintend the storing of
flour and other provisions on the west of
tbe Susquehanna. He was a member of
the Supreme Executive Council from
November 30, 1781, to November 8, 1784,
and an efficient member ot that illus-
trious body. Col. Byers died at Carlisle,
on Wednesday, February 13, 1788, in the
73d year of his age, and the Gazette states
"and on Friday his remains were in-
terred in the old burying ground belong*
ing to the Presbyterian church of Car-
lisle, of which he had long been a very
respectable member * * * * He
was a very good and useful member of
society, bore his last illness with Christian
patience and resignation, and has left this
world in the active scenes of which he
was often engaged, with the character of
a steady friend to liberty, virtue and re-
ligion." He left several daughters, Mary
died unmarried In 1804, Jane married an
Alexander, while others married into the
families of Carothers and Henderson.

W1LL8ON, Thomas.

Thomas Willson was a native of Ire*>
land, where he was born in 1725. He
came to Pennsylvania with his parents
about the year 1740, who settled in what
subsequently was Miadleton township,
Cumberland county. He was a farmer,
and for a long period engaged in mer-
chandizing. He was on the first commis-
sion of justices, 1749-50, and in April,
1763, was presiding over the county
courts. By marriage he was related to
the,Hoges and other prominent families of
the Valley, and was a man of influence.
He died in October, 1772.


The Old and New School Division of 1838.

[In the paper which follows, the his-
tory of Carlisle Presbytery, the publica-
tion of which was suspended some
months ago is resumed by the author,

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Historical and Genealogical.

who will bring it up to a recent period. —
Ed. Telbqraph. ]

The division which took place in the
Church at large in 1887 was followed by
division in the Presbytery of Carlisle.
At its meeting in October of that year
Presbytery, by a very decided vote,
endorsed the action of the General As-
sembly, and approved of the coarse of its
commissioners in voting with the major-
ity. And at a meeting held July, 1888,
it was Retolved, 1st. "That this Presby-
tery declares its approbation of the
course pursued by the Assemblies of 1837
and 1888 for the purifying and pacifica-
tion of the Church. 1 '

2d. "That this Presbyterv will con-
tinue to adhere to the Presbyterian
Church in the United States of America,
whose General Assembly was organized
in the Seventh Presbyterian church of
the city of Philadelphia on the 17ih day
of May, 1888, and continued in session in
the same house to the close of their

The ministers wno dissented and with-
drew from Presbytery were Revs. Robert
Cathcart, D. D , late pastor of the
churches of York and Hopewell; Wm. R.
DeWitt, D. D , pastor of the church at
HaiTisburff, and Robert Kennedy, stated
supply of Welsh Run church. The
records do not show that any of these
brethren held or were ever charged with
holding doctrines at variance with the
"Standards" or those held by other
members of Presbytery. They differed
from the majority of the Presbytery in
their views as to the beet method of doing
the benevolent work of the Church.
They also took very decided exception
to the action of the General Assembly of
1887 by which the "Plan of Union* of
1801 with the Congregational Church
was abrogated and the Synods of West-
ern Reserve, Utica, Geneva and Gen-
esee, were cut off and "deelared
to be no longer parts of the
Presbyterian Church in America;" and
to the consequent action of the General
Assembly of 1888, in refusing to admit
to seats in that Assembly members of
Presbyteries in the bounds of the forego-
ing Synods. This led to the with-
drawal, at that time, of the
New School portion of the Assem-

bly and the organization of a distinct As-
sembly. The above appear to have been
the main points on which differences ex-
isted among the members of the Presby-
tery of Carlisle. They were in no sense
essential, but, on the other hand, such a<*
brethren might well afford to differ about
and yet dwell together in amity. Under
such circumstances the division of the
Presbyt&ryc&n be regarded only with very
deep regret.

Such regret appears to have been felt
by all parties at the time In a resolu-
tion adopted July 81st, 1888, Presbytery
expressed itself as being aware that the
afore-named brethren, who were absent,
have disapproved of some of the acts of the
General Assembly of that year; and de-
clare that they "are not disposed on that
account to call in question their ortho-
doxy or to render their continuance with
us either difficult or disagreeable."

This feeling of confidence and regard
was fully reciprocated by the withdraw-
ing members. We regret inability to find
among the papers on file Mr. Kennedy's
letter to Presbytery in April, 1889, which
is referred to in the minutes of that date.
But it is known that be lived on terms of
most intimate friendship with its mem-
bers, and, with its hearty approval,
statedly supplied one of its churches till
called to his rest in 1848. Dr. Cathcart,
in a letter addressed to Presbytery under
tne date of July 26tb, 1888, bases his
withdrawal wholly on ''believiog that
the doings of the Assemblies of 1887 and
1888 are in direct opposition to the Book
of Discipline and to the acts of all
former Assemblies," and closes his-
letter by expressing his "kind feel-
ings towards each of its members as in-
dividuals, " Dr. DeWitt, in a letter to
Dr. Moody, chairman of Presbytery's
committee to correspond with him, bear-
ing date April 6th, 1840 (Just after he
had united with the Presbytery of Bar-
risburg), says: "It has been to me no
ordinary trial to be separated from
brethren who compose the Presbytery of
Carlisle, and especially its old members.
It is true, I have been made painfully
sensible ot the withdrawment of the con-
fidence of the Presbytery from me, for
some years past, in consequence of my
differing essentially from the majority

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Historical and Genealogical.


-of the Presbytery on questions in-
Tolying, as I believe, the vital
principles of constitutional Presbyterian-
ism and of civil and religions liberty ; yet
I have sougot to guard my heart against
any other feelings than those of affection-
-ate and respect) ul legard for my breth-
ren." To Dr. Moody, personally, he
adds: "May I be permitted to hope that
the step I have taken will not lessen me
in your esteem, however much you may
-regret it, nor interfere with our long and,
on my part, at least, cherished friend-
ship" That "cherished friendship," we
may add,continuod uninterrupted through
life, and when the remains ot the venera
ble Dr. Moody were laid to rest on the
8th of October, 1857— seventeen years
after the foregoing letter was written—
Dr. De Witt was called upon to deliver
•the funeral address.

The churches that withdrew from Pres-
bytery were: Carlisle First, York and
Harrisburg. Carlisle First and York
were without pastors. Carlisle had been
left vacant by the resignation of Mr. Duf •
field in the spring of 1835, and York by
the resignation of Dr. Cathcart in the
spring of 1887. The Rev. William T.
Sprole was, however, preaching to the
congregation of the First church, Carlisle.
At a pro re nata meeting, held in July,
1887, Presbytery gave permission to that
congregation to prosecute a call before
•the German Reformed Classis of Phila-
delphia for the miuisterial services of
Mr. Sprole. Shortly after this Mr.
-Sprole removed to Carlisle and en.
-tered upon his labors in the
•congregation. He retained his connec-
tion, however, with the classis of Phila-
delphia, at least to the spring of the fol-
lowing year, if not longer. He never
presented bis credentials to the Presby-
tery of Carlisle, but was one of the num-
ber who petitioned the Synod of Penn«
sylvania, New School, in the fall of 1880
"for the formation of the Presbytery of
Harrisburg. The church was not repre-
sented in the Presbytery of Carlisle after
-the regular fall meeting of 1887. With
its minister it went into the new organiza-
tion when formed March 3d, 1840. There
Is no evidence that we are aware of that
Mr. Sprole was ever installed as pastor
•of the congregation. It certainly was

not done by the Presbytery of Carlisle,
and the records of the Presbytery of
Harrisburg make no mention of it After
the resignation of Dr. Cathcart the con-
gregation of York elected Rev. Benjamin
I. Wallace, a member of the Presbytery
of Muhlenburg, their pastor. Mr. Wal-
lace, like Mr Sprole, did not apply for
admission to the Presbytery of Carlisle,
but stood aloof till the Synod of Penn-
sylvania was formed in the fall of
1889. He also was of the number
who overtured that body to erect the
Presbytery of Harrisburg. When it was
organized he and the church of York
were identified with it. Though Mr.
Wallace began his labors there in the
early spring of 1888 and continued until
August, 1845, it is doubtful whether he
was ever installed pastor. As in the case
ot Mr. Sprole, so here; the records are
silent. They began their ministry in
these churches during the period of agi%
tation and conflict connected with the
division. And as the new Presbytery
found them at work in their respective
fields so it accepted aud recognized them
as pastors.

In going Into the New School organi-
zation the congregation of York was not
a unit, as was that of Carlisle first. At the
request of a number of persons, pre-
sented to Presbytery in October, 1888, a
committee was appointed to visit York
and do what might seem to be demanded
by the state of the case. They did so,
and found there a number of persons —
among them a ruling elder of the
church — who, to use their own language,
were "resolved to adhere to Carlisle
Presbytery, and to remain under and
subject to the jurisdiction of that body."
This little band was tor a time supplied
with preaching by appointment ot Pres-
bytery, and by the Rev. Steven Boyer, of
New Castle Presbytery, by permission of
Presbytery of Carlisle. After a time
this was wisely abandoned, and the con-
gregation again became one.

1 he church of Hopewell, which had
been united in one pastoral charge with
York up to the time of Dr. Cathcart's
resignation in 1887, did not go with the
church of York or its former pastor into
the new Presbytery, but remained loyal
to the Presbytery of Carlisle. For a time

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Historical and Genealogical.

it was, by permission of Presbytery, sap-
plied by Rev. Steven Boyer, a member of
the Presbytery ot New Castle. Subset
qileotly it was transferred to the Presby-
tery of Donegal, where it remained till
the reunion in 1870.

The congregation of Harrisbnrg stood
aloof from both sides for a time. At a
meeting held July 2, 1838, they resolved
.hat "they would not consent to any
Jurisdiction of either paity now claiming
to be the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States;
nor to any connection of this church
and congregation with any Presbytery
or church judicatory which shall exact
as the condition of such acknowledg-
ment or connection a dissolution of the
8ubpisting relations between us and our
pastor, the Rev. Wm. R. DeWitL"

This resolution breathes a spirit of
warm attachment and earnest devotion
to a faithful pastor, and expresses in un-
mistakable terms a fixed purpose to make
his future ecclesiastical relations theirs
also. Accordingly, the congrega rion con-
tinued in this quasi independent condi-

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