John Woolf Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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were the parents of nine children, all deceased
excepting Miles M. Ridgway, of Des Moines,
Iowa, and Mrs. Maria Grimes, of Waynes-
burg, Pennsylvania, since died, June, igi2.

(11) Job, son of David and Lydia Ridgway,
was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania,
April 30, 1814. There most of his life was
spent engaged in farming. He was a Demo-
crat in politics, and a member of the Metho-
dist Protestant church. He married Sarah
Hook, born in Greene county, February 18,
1818, daughter of William and Katherine
(Kent) Hook, both born in Pennsylvania.
Children of Job and Sarah (Hook) Ridgway:
I. Kntherine, died in infancy. 2. Lydia, died
191 1. 3. Eliza Horn, living in Kansas. 4.
Samuel, died of typhoid fever in the Union
army during the civil war. 5. Charles. 6.
Craven, a veteran of the civil war. 7. Tames,
died in infancy. 8. John H., of whom further.
Q. Vienna, now living in Greene county, Penn-
sylvania. 10. Thomas, now living near Pitts-

burgh, Pennsylvania. 11. Lucy, now living
in Connellsville.

(HI) John Hook, son of Job and Sarah
(.Hook) Ridgway, was born in Greene county,
Pennsylvania, March 2y, 1852. He was edu-
cated in the public school, and at the age of
sixteen began work on a farm. Later he was
emplo}'ed at Mount Pleasant with the Lime-
stone yuarry Company, and two years with
the Charlotte Furnace Company. In 1880 he
entered the employ of the H. C. Frick Coke
Company, with which corporation he is still
connected after a service of thirty years. He
resides at No. 10 Eighth street, (Tonnellsville;
is a Democrat m politics, and while living at
Mount Pleasant served as inspector of elec-
tions. His wife is a Dunkard. He married,
m 1879, Katherine Sailor, born in Fayette
county, June 7, 1861, daughter of Levi and
Louise Sailor, an early county family. Levi
Sailor deceased; his wife Louise still survives
him. Their children: Elmer, George, Mary,
Melinda, Charles. Robert. Katherine and

Children of John Hook Ridgway: i. Eliza,
born January 22, 1881 ; married John Gosset.
2. Minnie, born August 27, 1883; married
Harmin Michaels; children: Rose, Irene,
Marshall Gilbert, David. 3. Ciiarles F., born
July 3, 1885; now living in Connellsville. 4.
William, b^-rn }»Iay 6, 1887; died young. 5.
Jesse, of whom further. 6. George, born Jan-
uary, 1890; died young. 7. Mary, born Jan-
nary 7, 1892; married John Meader, April 16,

191 1. 8. Theresa, born September 3,
1894; died September 23, 1904. 9. James,
born August 2^, 1896. 10. John, born May
28, 1898. II. Katherine, born September 23,
1900. 12. Lucy, born August 6, 1902.

(IV) Jesse, son of John H. and Katherine
(Sailor) Ridgway, was born in Mount Pleas-
ant, Pennsylvania, December 28, 1888. He
was educated in the public schools of Fayette
county, and began business life as a laborer.
On September 23, 1907, he entered the em-
ploy of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Com-
pany as locomotive fireman and so continues.
In politics he is a Democrat. On April 12,

1912, he was elected financial secretary of the
Brotherhood of Firemen and Enginemen. He
married, January 25, 191 1, Rose Marie Mea-
der. born in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, daughter
of lohn G. and Susannah A. Meader. John


G. Header was born in Germany, came to the
United States, and was engaged as a jeweler.
His wife, Susannah, was born in Pennsylvania.
She survived her husband and married (sec-
ond) Christian Header, brother of her first
nusband. Children of John Header: Albert,
John Honroe and Rose Harie, of whom
above. Children by second husb.ind: Hary
Frances, deceased, and Carl. Child of Jesse
and Rose Harie (Header) Ridgvvay: Rose
Alice, born December 31, 191 1.

The American ancestors
AUGUSTINE of the Augustines of
Uniontown came to
America from Holland during the latter part
of the eighteenth century. They were accom-
panied by their son Peter and his wife, Anna
Augustine, who located in Somerset county,
Pennsylvania. Peter Augustine became a
large land owner, prosperous farmer, justice
of the peace, and prominent in local affairs.
He was a Whig in politics^ and with his wife
actively upheld and followed the teachings of
the Lutheran church. Their children: Abra-
ham, died in Somerset county; John, died in
Garrett county, Haryland; Daniel, of whom
further; Jacob, died in Turkeyfoot township,
Somerset county; Peter, died in Agency City,
Iowa. Daughters: Diana, Hary, EHzabeth
and Anne ; four others probably died young.
(II) Daniel, son of Peter and Anna Au-
gustine, was born in Somerset county, Penn-
sylvania, in 1818, where his life was passed
and death occurred October 18, 1899. He
became a wealthy farmer and live stock
dealer, and, like his father, influential in his
community. He was a Whig in politics until
that party was supplanted by the Republican
party, then became a leader of the new or-
ganization. He was a member of the Heth-
odist Episcopal church, as was his wife, both
being active workers. He married Hary
Hiller, born in Somerset county, Pennsyl-
vania, in 1824, died December 11, 1890. She
was one of a family of ten, and of German
descent, her forbears being early settlers of
the county. Children: Alcinda, deceased,
married Hilford Watson; Perie, unmarried;
Minnie, resides in Somerset county, unmar-
ried; Laura, married Justice T. H. Anderson,
of Washington, D. C. ; Ross, resides at Ad-
dison, Pennsylvania, unmarried; Jasper, of
whom further.

(Ill) Jasper, youngest son of Daniel and
Mary (Miller) Augustine, was born in Addi-
son, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, April
10, 1856. He was educated in the public
schools and at Beaver College, Pennsylvania.
He began business life as his father's assist-
ant in his extensive farming and cattle deal-
ing operations. The Augustine estate was
one of the largest in the county, comprising
twenty-seven farms, aggregating fifty-four
hundred acres. The care of his estate, which
was not compact, devolved in great measure
upon the younger man, and the renting, buy-
ing, selling and general upkeep were his par-
ticular charge. This early training under the
wise guidance of his capable father develope^d
an energetic, efficient business man and pre-
pared him for the busines he has always fol-
lowed — real estate dealing and its manage-
ment. His home is in Uniontown, Pennsyl-
vania, but from early spring until late in the
fall he occupies his beautiful home on the
National Road, twenty-four miles east of
Uniontown. This house is one of the famous
brick taverns of the halcyon days of "The
Pike;" was built about 1818, remodeled by
Mr. Augustine, and now surrounded by an
estate of sixteen hundred acres and is an
ideal summer home. He is a member of the
Hethodist Episcopal church, as is his wife,
and has always supported RepubUcan party

He married, January i, 1885, IMary Maude
Cunningham, born in Armagh, Indiana coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1865, daughter
of John Hutchinson and Hartha (Elliott)
Cunningham; granddaughter of William and
Esther (Hutchinson) Cunningham, of In-
diana county, Pennsylvania, and great-grand-
daughter of Hon. Hezekiah Cunningham, of
Huntington county, Pennsylvania, one of
the first members of the legislature. Esther
was a daughter of Robert Hutchinson and
granddaughter of CorneHus Hutchinson, a
soldier of the revolution. The Hutchinsons
are of English descent, and are first found in
Western Pennsylvania in Westmoreland
county. Hartha Elliott was a daughter of
Alexander and Hargaret Horrow (Bell)
Elliott, of Indiana and Westmoreland coun-
ties, Pennsylvania. John Hutchinson Cum-
mings was born in 1837; his wife in 1844.
Both were born and raised in Indiana coun-
ty. After marriage they lived in Indiana




county until 1869, when they went to Johns-
town, where they have since resided. He is
a lumber dealer and prominent in the busi-
ness world. For many years a member of
the firm of Nutter, Cunningham & Co., and
now connected with the Johnstown Pressed
Brick Company. Both are members of the
Presbyterian church. Their children: Mary
Maude, wife of Jasper Augustine; Clara
Francena, wife of Clarence Harmony, of
Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Children of Jasper and Mary M. Augus-
tine: I. John Daniel, born November 19,
1885; educated at Pennsylvania Military Col-
lege and University of Pennsylvania; mar-
ried Julia E. Ross, of Addison, and resides
on his farm in Somerset county, Pennsyl-
vania. 2. Thomas H., born April 23, 1890;
graduate Chester (Pennsylvania) Mihtary
Academy, now residing in Uniontown, Penn-
sylvania. 3. Ross Quay, born July 16, 1892;
graduate of Keskeminita Springs School,
now a student at Lafayette College. 4. Jasper
Clarence, born April 10, 1896, student in
Uniontown high school. 5. Edgar Elliott, born
March 30, 1898; student in Uniontown

Worthy deeds of noble
SEARIGHT men are the beacon lights

of time. They create the
atmosphere in which our race progresses as
the years revolve. Every good action,
whether it was performed last year or cen-
turies ago, helps to make the present bet-
ter than the past, and all finer minds are
deeply stirred by the record of such actions
nobly done. It has been truly said that any
people who take no pride in the great
achievements of remote ancestors will never
accomplish anything worthy of remem-
brance by remote descendants. This is
equally true of families and of individuals.
The best and purest part of our human na-
ture rises up in admiration and stands in
honest pride before the record of good deeds
done by those through whom we inherit
life and being. Every soul worthy of his
inheritance is ready and anxious to do what
he may to perpetuate the memory of those
who have "gone before," as well as to emu-
late their virtues and kindly benefactions.
In doing this he gathers strength for his

own lifework and transmits inspiration to
unborn generations. In it he finds pleasure
and duty so strangely mingled as to form a
composite whole, a complete and perfect
unit. This natural feeling of reverence for
worthy ancestors has led to many and varied
attempts to give it adequate expression.
Among these are compilations of family his-
tory and genealogy, which are met with
quite frequently in recent years. The best
example of this kind of work is an issued
volume entitled "A Record of the Searight
family in America."

Its contents comprise an ideal history of
a family connection which now extends into
half the states of the American Union, and
has furnished some of the best, most useful
and most distinguished citizens of the great
Republic. Every branch is carefully traced,
and all known facts regarding each member
are succinctly given. The work also em-
braces a historical retrospect of this well
known Scotch-Irish family as far back as
the siege of Derry (1688), when a number
of the Searights were engaged in the de-
fense of that ancient stronghold, having es-
poused the cause of William, Prince of
Orange, against James II.

The name was formerly spelled Sea-
wright, and in its original form was Sieve-
wright and Seabright. The Searight fam-
ily is of Dalraidain Scotch-Irish origin, and
has for its crest a thunderbolt and for its
motto: Dciim tiniete (fear God). They are
of that wonderful Scotch-Irish race which
in its career among the nations of the earth
has been fitly compared to the Gulf Stream
in its course through the regions of the
ocean. To trace the making of the Scotch-
Irishman, one must follow a restless Celtic
race from Gallatia into the British Isles,
where they founded their great college of
Icolmkill, and three centuries later planted
the seed bed of the Scotch-Irish race in
Strathclyde and in Northumbria. Here fol-
lowed a Brito-Scot and Anglo-Norman fu-
sion which in 1605 was transplanted into
Ulster of the North of Ireland, and modi-
fied by the choicest elements of the Puri-
tan, the Huguenot and Hollander, to form
the Ulsterman, who then driven by perse-
cution settled our western border and be-
came the Scotch-Irishman of history, so



named from the dominating strain of his
blood and the land from which he came.
He protected the borders from the Indians,
fought in the Revolution (never produced a
Tory), won the west, developed his great
racial characteristics of independence, edu-
cation and scriptural faith, and has fought
in every war of the Republic. The descend-
ants of Sir Edward Seabright (Seawright,
Searight) went to Strathclyde, thence to
Ulster, and some members of the family
that settled in West Ulster served in the
defense of Londonderry.

(I) One of the descendants above men-
tioned was William Seawright, born about
1720, came from county Donegal, North of
Ireland, about the year 1740, and settled in
Lampiter township, Lancaster county,
Pennsylvania. He was at the time of his
death (1771) a prominent citizen and land-
holder of that county. He sought religious
liberty in the new world, where he was des-
tined to found a family whose name should
be written high on the rolls of fame in the
new Republic whose birth he did not live
to see. Shortly after his settlement in Penn-
sylvania, he married Anne Hamilton, a de-
scendant of the powerful dukes of Hamilton
of Scotland. She came from Belfast, Ire-
land, at the same time as her husband, and
settled in about the same locality, near Lan-
caster City. She was accompanied to Am-
erica by her brothers, William and Hugh,
and a sister Mary. Her brother William
was the grandfather of the distinguished
governor of South Carolina in Calhoun's
day, who was known as the Nullifier Gov-
ernor, in consequence of his having advo-
cated the nullification of certain laws passed
by Congress, which he considered adverse
to the interests of the people of the south.
The ancestors of the Hamilton family came
from Scotland to Belfast, Ireland, when it
became the refuge for persecuted Covenant-
ers. They were a part of the historical
Scotch family of Hamiltons, one of whom
was chosen as the husband of Queen Mary,
and another as the husband of Queen Eliza-
beth. Family tradition and family history
also teach that Alexander Hamilton, of Rev-
olutionary fame, was connected with this
same Lancaster county family of Hamiltons.
Children of William and Anne Seawright:

1. Mary, married John Glenn; the Glenns
are extinct, and are mostly buried in Pe-
quea churchyard, Lancaster county, Penn-
sylvania. 2. Esther, married Gilbert Sea-
wright, who was the founder of the large
family of Seawrights in and around Car-
lisle, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. 3.
Anne, married William Woods, and re-
moved from Lancaster county, Pennsylva-
nia, to Albemarle county, Virginia, where
they died ; two children : Alexander and
Seawright, born in Lancaster county, Penn-
sylvania ; they later settled in Fayette coun-
ty, Kentucky, and subsequently removed to
Illinois, where the former died in Jo Da-
vies county, and the latter in Greene coun-
ty. 4. William, of whom further. 5. Alex-
ander, married a Miss Logan, and removed
to Augusta county, Virginia ; children : Wil-
liam, Alexander and Margaret, who re-
moved with their families to Henry county,
Tennessee, about the year 1826, where some
of their descendants are living at the pres-
ent time.

(II) William (2), son of William (i) Sea-
wright, the American ancestor, was born in
1753, died in 1824. He learned the trade of j
fuller. He moved from Lancaster county, i
Pennsylvania, to Augusta county, Virginia, '
returning to Pennsylvania later and settling
in the Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland coun-
ty, where he built and operated a fulling
(cloth) mill until his death. He was a Pres-
byterian, like his father, and was for many
years an elder of that church. He married,
in 1784, Jean, daughter of Samuel and Ca-
therine (Seawright) Ramsey. Children: i.
Samuel, married Mary A. Wilson, and after
1810 settled in Tippecanoe county, Indiana.

2. Alexander, married Catherine Jones, first
settled in Brooke county, Virginia, and
afterwards removed to Morgan county,
Ohio. 3. William, of whom further. 4.
Mary. 5. John. 6. Hamilton. 7. Archibald.
The four latter named remained in the Li- ■.
gonier Valley and died without issue. They
are buried by the side of their parents in ;
Pleasant Grove graveyard, about five miles
from the town of Ligonier.

Samuel Ramsey, father of Jean (Ramsey) ,
Seawright, was a man of wealth and gave
largely of his means to aid the cause of in- 1
dependence. He was a prominent citizen of ;

^"fnu,^ h, Ja„„ R Pier 4 S"">5




Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and was
the owner of the famous "Letort Springs"
tract near Carlisle, where he lived and died.
He married Catherine Seawright, daughter
of William Seawright, who came from Don-
egal, Ireland, about 1740, and settled in
Leacock township, near Lancaster City,
Pennsylvania, where he lived and died. He
was for many years a landholder and promi-
nent citizen of Lancaster county. In the
revolution of 1688 the ancestors of William
Seawright threw themselves into the cause
of William of Orange. Some of them were
driven within the walls of Londonderry
when its gates were closed against James
the Second, some afterwards died in the be-
sieged city, while others of them survived
the siege. William Seawright married Ca
therine Jackson, also a resident of the North
of Ireland, and they were the parents of one
child, Catherine, who married Samuel Ram-
sey, and they were the parents of children,
namely: Jean, aforementioned as the wife of
William Searight ; Catherine, died unmar-
ried ; Margaret, died unmarried ; Esther,
died unmarried; Elizabeth, died unmarried;
Samuel, married a Gettysburg lady, no chil-
dren ; Archibald, married Margaret Dean,
and their grandchildren are now residents
of New Bloomfield, Perry county, Pennsyl-
vania ; Seawright, married a member of the
Pittsburgh family of Dennys. After the
death of his wife Catherine, Samuel Ramsey
married (second) the Widow IMacfeely,
grandmother of General Robert Macfeely,
commissary general of the United States
army, Washington, D. C.

(Ill) William (3) Sea-
SEARIGHT right, son of WilHam (2)

(q. V.) and Jean (Ramsey)
Seawright, was born near Carlisle, Cumber-
land county, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1791,
died August 12, 1852. He received a plain
English education, but he was endowed
with the precepts of stern integrity, indus-
try and honor, the elements of his future
success in business, and of his elevated char-
acter. He learned the trade of fuller and
dyer of cloth. At the age of twenty-one
years he came to Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, his entire stock in trade being an ex-
pert knowledge of his trade, a keen sense

of honor, and a stout heart. He arranged
a lease of the Hammond fulling mill, later
was a partner in the operation of the old
Cook's mill, on Redstone creek, operated
another fulling mill at the mouth of Dun-
lap Creek, and subsequently rented another
mill on the George Washington farm near
Perryopolis. This was accomplished in a
few years, the young man becoming the
largest fulling mill owner and operator in
Western Pennsylvania. He continued in
business until, with rare foresight, seeing
that the fulling mill must fall before the
modern factory system of the east, sold his
milling interests and became one of the prin-
cipal comiTiissioners of the National road
and the Erie extension of the Pennsylvania
& Ohio canal. He also purchased a farm
and hotel on the National road and founded
the village of Searights, named in his honor,
and there made his permanent settlement.
He was gifted with rare sagacity, universal
business ability, undaunted courage, be-
came a leading business man of his county,
and was intimately connected with the fore-
most of her institutions. He was a man of
sympathetic nature, and his private chari-
ties were many. He stood high in church
and community life, all realizing in him a
friend and counselor in whose fidelity they
could with safety confide.

Mr. Searight was a prominent and zealous
old-time Democratic politician, and wielded
a wide influence. On one occasion he rode
on horseback from Searights to Harris-
burgh, a distance of over two hundred miles,
to assist in the preparation to nominate
General Jackson for the presidency. He
was an intimate friend of the late Simon
Cameron, ex-United States senator from
Pennsylvania, and had close political rela-
tions with the leading politicians of his day.
In the early history of Fayette county, po-
litical conventions of both parties were ac-
customed to meet at Searights and plan
campaigns. A memorable meeting, of which
Mr. Searight was the chief instigator, was
held there in 1828, known as the "Gray
Meeting," from the name of the keeper of
the hotel at that time, John Gray. At this
meeting the Jackson and Adams men met
to test their strength. They turned out in
the meadow below the hotel, formed in



rank and counted off, the Jackson men out-
numbering their opponents decisively, and
it was regarded as a great Jackson victory.
In the political campaign of 1836 a large
Democratic meeting was held at Union-
town, and the delegation from Searights
bore a banner with the inscription, "Menal-
len the battle ground of the Gray Meeting."

The many similar political meetings with
which Mr. Searight was identified prove the
esteem in which he was held by the citizens
of the county by all parties. But Fayette
county, although the first, was but little in
advance of other communities to learn and
admire his worth. He early became known
and appreciated throughout the entire state.
He was appointed commissioner of the Cum-
berland road (National road) by Governor
Porter, a position he held for many years.
In 1854 he was superseded by Colonel Wil-
liam Hopkins, of Washington, Pennsylva-
nia. Subsequently an act of the legislature
placed the road in the hands of trustees ap-
pointed by the courts, and these trustees
restored William Searight to the commis-
sionership, the duties of which office he con-
tinued to discharge with great fidelity and
industry. He was thoroughly familiar with
all the hills and valleys of that grand old
thoroughfare, once so stirring and active,
but now still and grass-grown. Previous
to his appointment as commissioner of the
National road he was a contractor on the
same. He was one of the contractors who
built the iron bridge over the mouth of Dun-
lap creek, between Bridgeport and Browns-
ville, and was also a contractor on the Erie
extension of the Pennsylvania and Ohio ca-
nal. At the time of his death he was the
candidate of the Democratic party for one
of the most important offices in the state,
that of canal commissioner. To this office
he would have undoubtedly been elected ;
after his death. Colonel William Hopkins,
of Washington county, was nominated by
the Democratic party for the same office,
and was elected by a large majority.

Mr. Searight was a man of the most gen-
erous and humane character, ever ready
to lend his counsel, his sympathies, and his
purse, to the aid of others. Though a strong
political party man, yet he always treated
his opponents with courtesy. In religion

he was like most of the race to which he be-
longed, imbued with Calvinism. The bright-
est traits of his character were exemplified
in his last hours. So far as human judgment
can decide he died a Christian. His aged
widow often quoted an expression he made
as he was approaching the sad realities of
death, which gave her great comfort. It
was this : "Our prayers have been answered ;
I feel that if I should die to-night, the Lord
will receive me into His Holy Kingdom."
Although death plucked him from the very
threshold of earthly honors, yet it caused
him no regrets. The Kingdom into which
he was about to enter presented higher hon-
ors and purer enjoyments. To him they
offered :

■ "No midnight shade, no clouded sun.
But sacred, high, eternal noon."

Mr. Searight married, March 25, 1826, Ra-
chel Brownfield, born at Gainsboro, Frede-
rick county, Virginia, February 7, 1805,
daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Brown-
field, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Chil-
dren: I. Thomas B., of whom further. 2.
Ewing B., of whom further. 3. Jean, of
whom- further. 4. William, of whom fur-
ther. 5. James Allison, of whom further.
6. Elizabeth S., of whom further.

Mr. Searight died at his residence in Me-
nallen township, August 12, 1852. A more
emphatic eulogy than is in the power of lan-

Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 33 of 57)