John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) online

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Scottish bishops, a similar statement is made. All
early writers speak of Bishop Traill in high terms
of eulogv. Buchanan considered that the three



national calamities of Scotland in 1401 were the
deaths of Earl Douglas, Queen Annabelle, and
Walter Traill, Bishop of St. Andrews.

Many other descendants of the Blebo Traills
were distinguished men in the church and in the
army, but few of them are more worthy of note
than the Rev. Robert Traill, minister of Elie in
Fife, and afterwards of the Greyfriar's church in
Edinburgh. He was born in 1603. His father
was Colonel James Traill, and his mother, jNIa-
tilda ]Melville, of Carnbee, in Fife. His grand-
father. Colonel Andrew Traill, a most distin-
guished officer, was second son of Alexander, a
younger brother of the Lord of Blebo. This
Rev. Robert Traill had an older brother, James,
born in 1600, who was a lieutenant-colonel in
Cromwell's army. We find it stated in a manu-
script account of the Traills, of Fife, that hav-
ing taken refuge in Edinburgh Castle during
Cromwell's invasion, in the year 1659, he refused
to treat with Cromwell, and encouraged the garri-
son to hold out. He was wounded in the siege,
and when Cromwell took the castle and offered
kindness to iMr. Traill, on account of his brother,
Mr. Traill upbraided him as a persecutor of God's
people, and told him he desired none of his favors.
Cromwell, however, treated him kindly, and left
him at liberty. An original picture of this James
Traill, taken during his subsequent banishment
to Holland, is or was in the possession of the
Earl of Buchan, who was related to the Traills
through Sir James Stewart, of Goodtrees.

Some degree of obscurity hangs over the exact
time at which one if not two of the sons of the
Lord of Blebo removed to Orkney, but it is
stated in the appendix to Bell's "Life of Queen
Mary," in Constable's manuscript, that George
Traill accompanied Earl Robert Stewart to Ork-
ney about the year 1580. Also in a manuscript
book which belonged to the late Anthony Traill,
of Edinburgh, compiled from genealogical papers
drawn up by at least six descendants of the Traills
of Blebo, then in an entry regarding Alexander
Traill of Blebo in 1567 with the following state-
ment :

"About this time two of the voung-er sons of

the House of Blebo went to the Orkneys. In
1795, Dr. William Traill, who married Lady
Frances Charteris, was professor of mathematics
in Aberdeen. It is recorded that George Traill,
of Orkney, married (first) Jean Kennedy, a near
relation of the Cassilis family. His second wife
was Isabel, daughter of Sir William Cragie, of
Gairsay. Patrick Traill was a major of artillery
and rose to the rank of general. He was twice
married, and left a daughter by his first wife
who, about the year 1805, married a French
count, who was a colonel in the British army. By
his second wife, who was an American lady, he
had a son who went to America with his maternal

Robert Traill, of Orkney, afterwards of Eas-
ton, Pennsylvania, was the son of Rev. Thomas
Traill of Lady Parish, Island of Sandoy. When
nineteen years of age he emigrated to America,
landing at Philadelphia in 1763. Xot liking Phil-
adelphia, he went to Easton, Pennsylvania. Here
he taught school, and at the same time studied
law. From the first inception of the trouble with
England, Robert Traill took a decided stand in
favor of the colonies, and from the start he was
a man of prominence. In 1775 he was secretary
to the committee of observation. In 1776 he was
secretary to the committee of safety, and in the
same year was appointed mayor of the Fifth
Pennsylvania Battalion. After his term of mayor
expired, he was appointed .quartermaster of a
regiment, raised in Sussex county, Xew Jersey.
After the war was over he was member of as-
sembly, then sheriff, then judge, in fact he held
nearly every office in the gift of the people.

Robert Traill was a man of great ability. Al-
though by birth a Scotchman, he acquired such a
thorough knowledge of German that he always
acted as interpreter for the court where those
interested in trials could not speak any language
but German.

The Rev. George Traill, D. D., of Hobbister,
first cousin to Robert Traill, became minister of
Dunnet in Caithness. His only son, James, stud-
ied law, became sherifl: of Sutherland and Caith-
ness, and married Lady Janet Sinclair, daughter
of William X, Earl of Caithness. He was very
wealthy, and among others he owned tlie valuable
estate of "Ratter."



James's eldest son, George, who also studied
law, was born in 1787 and for many years repre-
sented Caithness in parliament. George's
■nephew, James Christie Traill, barrister at law,
London, is the present possessor of Ratter and
Hobister, and a younger brother of his, George
Balfour Traill, lieutenant-colonel Royal Artillery,
served all through the Indian mutiny, including
the siege and capture of Delhi, the relief and cap-
ture of Lucknow, etc.

I can not conclude without a passing notice of
the last representative of the Traills of Tharlet,
or Tirlet, as it is now called. Dr. Thomas Stewart
Traill, professor of medical jurisprudence in the
University of Edinburgh. He was a man of
varied talents, and at the time of his death, which
occurred in 1862, in his eighty-first year, he had
just completed the onerous work of superintend-
ing a new edition of the "Encyclopedia

Mary Traill, daughter of Robert Traill and
Mary Whipple, married Keith Spence. Their
daughter, Harriet, married the Rev. Charles
Lowell. Their son was James Russell Low-
ell, at one time American minister at the
court of St. James, also a noted diplomatist and a
poet of note. This Robert Traill was first cousin
of Robert Traill, of Easton. The Hon. Carroll
Spence, of Baltimore, our former minister to
Turkey, was a descendant of Keith Spence and
Marv Traill, and was a very noted man in liter-
ature and a great lover of the fine arts.

With the dying of the old year my work ends.
It has been to me a most pleasant task to rescue
from oblivion the names and deeds of those to
whom we owe not only our being, but that free-
dom for which they so nobly strove.

This record shows that the Stewarts, Farm-
ers, Traills, Dewees, Elys, Howells, and Greens
were ever ready with their swords, pens
and good right arms to uphold the cause
of liberty. All were represented in the
colonial and Revolutionary wars, and to-
night as I write, sitting li}- the warm
fireside, the story of X'alley Forge comes
vividly back to me, and I hear again the bugles, of
that patriot army as it calls the starved, nearly

naked and barefoot men, marking the snow with
their bloody feet, to fall in. I am proud to
record that grandfather Thomas Stewart was of
this number, and we can fully appreciate the
pathos and beauty of Halleck's lines :

"Hark, a bugle's echo comes,
Hark, a fife is singing ;
Hark, the roll of far ofif drums
Through the air is ringing.

Was it the music proud,

Wakening the brave hearted?

Memories, hopes, a glorious crowd,
At its call have started.

Memories of our sires of old
Who, their life blood flowing.

Made green the grass and gold the grain
Above their grave mound growing.

Memories of the free and brave.

Who at honor's bidding
Stepped their country's life to save.

To death as to their wedding."

With the sincere wish that my children may
emulate all that is good and noble in their ances-
tors, I la)' down my pen : my work is done.

Clemext Stewart.

genealogical record in the strict sense of the term,
but simply a tracing of the descent of John Stew-
art and Elizabeth Green, parents of the writer,
Clement Stewart.

It has been with me a labor of love, under-
taken at first with a view to record only those with
military records, but as the work went on I be-
came more and more impressed with the convic-
tion that it was only just and due to record all
the ancestry on both sides, as I found so many
who had served the country in a civil capacity,
and perhaps at greater sacrifice than those who
upheld their convictions with their swords. To
this end I shall endeavor to give to each one the
place to which the records civil and military
assign them, together with any incidents and anec-
dotes that are authenticated by record or by the
mouth of those who in their childhood listened to



the words of some whose deeds are recorded. I
must also give my sincere thanks to all who have
aided me in my work, but more especially to
Ethan Allen Weaver, secretary of the Pennsyl-
vania Society, Sons of the Revolution, are my
thanks due.

It is my heart's desire that my children may
'emulate the patriotic example of their ancestors
who testified to their belief with their blood ; and
that the same love of country and forgetfulness of
self may animate them that kept alive the flame of
patriotism at Valley Forge, where at least one
whose blood flows in their veins, passed the win-
ter with his starving companions. In this spirit
this work was begun, and, if I have attained my
■object, I shall consider that my labor was not in

I shall first give the genealogical record of
Thomas Stewart, the father of John Stewart, and
.grandfather of Clement Stewart.

Charles Stewart in 1720 came to this country
from Scotland and bought a farm near Red Hill,
Bucks county, Pennsylvania. This Charles Stew-
art was a captain in the provincial troops in the
French and Indian War, in Colonel Grayden's
Regiment. See vol. 2, page 433, second series
Pennsylvania Archives ; also history of Bucks
■county, Pennsylvania, ,He was born in Scotland,
March 11, 169 1, and died at Red Hill, May 13,
1764. He had two sons — Charles, born in Scot-
land, ;\Iay 9, 1716, died at Doylestown, June 11,
1789: and George, born May i, 1724, died at Red
Hill, December, 1759. Robert Stewart, son of
Charles Stewart, and grandson of Charles Stew-
art, the provincial captain, was born June 9, 1733 ;
died July 22, 1809. He resided at the time of his
death and for some years previous in Warren
county, then Sussex county, New Jersey. He had
also lived for many years in Tinicum township,
Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he owned a
large farm. He was an elector, October 9, 1753'
to the general assembly of the province of New
Jersey. Robert Stewart left two sons, Thomas
and Robert, and two daughters, ]\Iargaret, wife of
Thomas Kennedy, and Sarah, wife of William
Kennedy. Sarali, wife of Robert, Seni-or, died
April 25, 1794,

Thomas Stewart was born March 19, 1752.
He died at his home near Stewartsville, New
Jersey, December 31, 1836, He married Rachel
Dewees, daughter of William Dewees, of ]\Iont-
gomery county, Pennsylvania, March 19, 1778.
For some time he resided in Bucks county, Penn-
sylvania, but in the spring of 1793 removed to
Greenwich township, Warren county, New Jer-
sey, where he purchased 360 acres of land, upon
which he resided the remainder of his life. He
was a man favorably known and esteemed.

He was justice of the peace for several years.
For five vears he was judge of the court of com-
mon pleas of Sussex county, prior to the organi-
zation of Warren county. At the establishment of
the inferior court, held Februarv 8, 1825, for
Warren county, he presided. At the first court of
oyer and terminer, held for Warren county the
first Tuesday of June, 1825 (Charles Ewing, pre-
siding judge), he was on the bench. He died at
the age of eighty-four, and left his large estate
to his seven sons and two daughters. His chil-
dren were Robert, who moved to De Pere, Wis-
consin ; Rachel, who married Morgan Long ; Sam-
uel, who died in Greenwich, New Jersey ; Will-
iam, who was one of the judges of the court of
common pleas, appointed by Governor Randolph;
Thomas P., who died in Phillipsburg, New Jer-
sey ; Sarah, wife of Joseph Carpenter: Jesse, who
died at Belvidere, New Jersey; James, who died
at Washington, New Jersey; John, merchant,
manufacturer and bank president.

Although Thomas Stewart, ni}- grandfather,
was always engaged in his professional duties,
and led a very busy life after the war, still his
life was not without its romance, I have been so
fortunate as to have heard the story of his meet-
ing the lady who afterwards became his wife,
from two persons who are still living. Their ac-
count agreed in every particular with the story
as told me by my father many years ago.

Thomas Stewart, tiien a lieutenant in the con-
tinental army, passed the winter of 1777 and 1778
at Valley Forge, Part of the time he acted as
secretary of General Washington. During the
winter a troop of British cavalry came up from
Philadelphia with the intention of raiding the



manor house of William Dewees near Valley
Forge. Fortunately their approach was made
known to General Washington, who sent Lieu-
tenaiit Stewart to defend the manor house. The
approach of Stewart and his son frightened the
British away before they had done any serious
damage except the cutting open of all the feather
beds in the house in their search for hidden silver,
which fortunately was not there, but buried. This
story was related to me by one to whom grand-
father Stewart had told it. In confirmation of
this story (in addition to which I ought to have
said that grandmother Stewart had a feather
bed made from the feathers gathered up after
the British raid), Howard Wood, who is a lineal
descendant of William Dewees, wrote me exactly
the same account of the attack on the manor
house, and also that one of his aunts had a
feather bed made from the feathers gathered up
after the raid. As the narrators of these stories
were and are still' unknown to each other, it
would strongly confirm as fact that which coming
from a single source might be regarded as merely
doubtful. It was when he came to the relief of
the manor house that Thomas Stewart first met
Rachel Dewees, a young and very lovely girl not
quite eighteen years old. It seems to have been
a case of first love at first sight, as on the 19th of
March, only a few months after, they were mar-
ried. My father often told me that his father,
Thomas Stewart, was very fond of telling one
memorable incident which occurred w'hen starting
upon their wedding trip. After the wedding the
bridal party, with a host of friends all on horse-
back, started for the home of the groom in Bucks
county. Soon after they set out they met Wash-
ington with the body-guard. The General drew
up his troop on each side of the road, then dis-
mounted and congratulated Lieutenant Stewart
and his bride, and also claimed the privilege of a
kiss from the bride. I may also state here that
the bride was well known to Genera! Washington,
as I am told by 'Mr. Howard Wood that he has
many instances of the pleasant intercourse be-
tween the Dewees family and General Washing-
ton while the army was encamped at Valley
Forge, near which the Dewees manor house is

situated. Valley Forge was owned at this time
by Colonel William Dewees, a brother of Rachel
Dewees, wife of Thomas Stewart.

Thomas Stewart was by profession a civil
engineer, and after his removal from Bucks
county, Pennsylvania, to Warren county. New
Jersey, his time was wholly occupied in the ardu-
ous duties of his profession. An aged resident of
Waren county said to me, "Your grandfather,
Thomas Stewart, not only surveyed most of the
farms in Warren county, but also wrote the deeds
of many of them." He was a beautiful penman,
and his writing in his younger days was like cop-
per plate. Thomas Stewart was full six feet in
height. Very broad across the shoulders, and his
general weight was from 200 to 210 pounds. He
was a dashing horseman and very fond of the
saddle, in fact, as his profession required him to
be almost continually along the country, I am
told by my father that his father wore out a horse
each year. He never used a carriage until he
became very old, but always had the best saddle-
horses he could procure for his exclusive use.
Thomas Stewart is recorded as a past master of
Olive Branch, F. and A. Masons, the first lodge
instituted at the Forks of the Delaware. He was
also one of the original founders of the company
to build a bridge over the Delaware river from
Easton to Phillipsburg, and was elected one of the
trustees of the company. His life was a very
busy one, and he seems to have been engaged in
nearly every movement of any importance, and'-
that he enjoyed the full confidence of his fellow
men is shown by the numerous important ofhces
held by him in the gift of his people. He is
buried in the churchyard of the Presbyterian
church at Greenwich. Warren county. New Jer-
sey. He was an active member of that com-
munion for many years.

For the Stewart coat-of-arms seee Burke"s
Peerage. It is the Shaw Stewart. For military
record of Thomas Stewart, see volume 14, sec-
ond series Pennsylvania Archives ; as private, see
page 162; as ensign, see page 186; as lieutenant,
see page 201.

My brother, Edward Farmer Stewart, who
was sixteen years old when grandfather Thomas-



Stewart died, tells me that grandfather often told
him that he was in the battles of Princeton and
Trenton. ]\Irs. Hetty Kennedy of Stewartsville,
New Jersey, who was twenty-six years of age
when grandfather Stewart died, has often de-
scribed him to me. She says he was a tall, ele-
gant looking man of a military bearing, and very
quick in all his movements. He was also very de-
cided, and his word was law in his household,
but, withal, he was a man of most kindly and
affectionate disposition, and loved and respected
by the whole country side. She says he was a
very striking figure on horseback, and a great
lover .of fine horses.

]\Ir. Samuel Drinkhouse, my father-in-law,
also knew grandfather Stewart well, and, as he
was thirty-two years old when grandfather Stew-
art died, and as he knew him well for at least
twelve years, his account is reliable. ~\[t. Drink-
house says, "Your grandfather was a very hand-
some man, and very courtly in his manners ; he
always wore small clothes and large buckles on
his shoes." He was very intimate with many of
the old inhabitants of Easton, and ni}- father-in-
law saw him frequently.

Since writing the above, I have learned more
of the military record of Charles Stewart, of Red
Hill, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. He was a
captain in the provincial troops in 1747 and
1748. See page 433, volume 2, second series,
Pennsylvania Archives. He was also in active
service in the provincial troops in 1756.

Charles Stewart, Jr., son of the provincial
captain, was lieutenant in active service in Cap-
tain Timothy Green's company in the second
Pennsylvania Battalion, provincial troops. Lieu-
tenant Colonel Asher Clayton, commander. He
also served under Colonel Henry Bouquet, in the
famous expedition against Fort Du Quesne. For
his service, see page 526 and 527, volume second,
Pennsylvania Archives, second series. Charles
Stewart, Jr. was also judge in Bucks county,
Pennsylvania, for many years, and sat once at
least on the bench at Easton. See records of
Northampton and Bucks counties courts. Also
history of Northampton county.


wife of Thomas Stewart was Rachel Dewees,
daughter of A\^illiam Dewees and Rachel Farmer,
his wife. Rachel Farmer was the daughter of Ed-
ward Farmer and Rachel, maiden name unknown.
It is of this ancestor of John Stewart that I will
now write of what I have heard from many

Edward Farmer was the son of Major Jaspar
Farmer, of the British army, and a resident of
Cork, Ireland. Major Farmer purchased from
Penn, by a patent dated January 31, 1683, two
tracts of land containing 5,000 acres, but when
all arrangements had been completed for the
voyage to America, Major Farmer died. Some
records state that Major Jaspar and his son
Jaspar, Jr. both died on the voyage, as the will of
the former is dated 7th month 25th day, 1685, and
was proved nth month, 2d day, 1685, and letters
of administration to the estate of Jaspar Farmer,
Jr., were issued 19th day of nth month, 16S5.
Both wills were offered for probate in Philadel-
phia, on 9th month. loth day, 1685. The British
merchant vessel, John Stephens, commander, ar-
rived in Philadelphia. Among the passengers'
names are Jaspar Farmer, Sr., his family ; Mary
Farmer, widow, Edward Farmer, Edward
Botsford, Sarah Farmer, Robert Farmer, Cath-
erine Farmer, Charles Farmer (eight souls), Jas-
par Farmer, Jr.'s family : Thomas Farmer, Kath-
erine Farmer (widow), Elizabeth Farmer, Kath-
erine Farmer, Jr, (four souls). In addition to
the two widows of father and son (Jaspar Sr. and
Jaspar Jr.) and the ten members of the two fam-
ilies, thev were accompanied by nineteen servants.
(See records of Historical Society of Pennsyl-

The overseer of the Farmers (John Scull),
had arrived several months before, and had taken
charge of the lands embracing all of Farmers or
Whitmarsh township, Philadelphia county, south
of the Skippack Road.

Edward Farmer (my ancestor) was born in
1672, and was fourteen years of age at the time
of his arrival in America. There was an Indian
village near the home of the Farmers, where



Edward acquired a knowledge of the Indian lan-
guage, which served him well in after years, for
in 1701 and 1712, he acted as interpreter for the
provincial government. The widow of Jaspar
Farmer, Sr. (i. e. Edward's mother), as legatee
tDf her husband's estate, and Catherine, widow of
Jaspar, Jr., made a partition by which 2,500 acres
of land of the 5,000 purchase became in fee his
property. The other half, 2,500 acres, after pass-
ing through several hands became the property
of Edward.

Prior to 1690. Edward's mother married a
J\Ir. Billop, of Philadelphia, and she died shortly

Chief Justice Dr. Nicholas More wrote from
Manor Moreland, September 13, 1686, to Will-
iam Penn, then in England, that "Madame
Farmer, Edward's mother, had found as good a
limestone in the Schuylkill as any in the world."
Probably the earliest limestone used in Pennsyl-
vania came from here. The Whitemarsh lime is
known to this day. In May, 1701, he was sent to
the Lehigh river to ascertain the intentions of the
Indians, and he frequently conferred with them at
his own home, and at other places. On Septem-
ber 2, 1701, he was commissioned one of the jus-
tices of Philadelphia county, which position he
held for over forty years. He was also a mem-
ber of the Pennsylvania assembly from about
1710 to 1732, and for some time was commis-
sioner of the county. His settlement at White-
marsh was known as Earmerstown, and his grist-
mill on the Wissahickon had an extended repu-
tation as early as 1713. In 1710 he presented a
lot on which St. Thomas's Protestant Episcopal
church was erected. He died November 3, 1745,
and is buried in St. Thomas's Protestant Episcopal
churchyard, Whitemarsh, where a monument is
erected to his memory. His wife was Rachel,
maiden name unknown. His extensive estate was
settled Iiy his son, Joseph Farmer, and his sons-
in-law, Peter and Joseph Robeson.

Descendants of Edward Farmer exist through
intermarriage in the families of Robeson, Shoe-
maker and others. Edward Farmer's will (in
Philadelphia) was signed July 18, 1745, and pro-

bated November 19, 1745. He devised his estate
to his sons.

His son, Samuel.

His son, Richard.

His son, Joseph.

His son-in-law, Peter Robeson, who married

His daughter, Mary.

His daughter, Elizabeth.

His daughter, Sarah, wife of Peter Robeson

His daughter Rachel, who married William
Dewecs, second. (He was son of William Dewees,
first, and Anna Christiansen, his wife).

His daughter, Katherine, who married Jona-
than Robeson, nephew of Peter Robeson.

Jaspar Farmer died 1685. Married Mary,
maiden name unknown.

Edward Farmer, born 1672, died 1745. Mar-
ried Rachel.

William Dewees, ist, born 1745. Married
Anna Christianson.

Samuel, Richard and Joseph, and to his sons-
in-law who married his daughter Sarah, and Will-
iam Dewe;es (second), who married his daughter

Rachel Farmer.

William Dewees second.

Thomas Dewees married a Potts.

Col. William Dewees (third) of Vallev Forge
married Sarah Potts.

Rachel Dewees born 1760, died 1816, married

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 8 of 92)