Ewing Family Association

Clan Ewing of Scotland
Elbert William R. Ewing, A.M., LL.B., LL.D.

Chapter XIV

Maryland and Virginia Septs

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Virginia Branches - James and George Ewing
of Prince Edward County

Out of Cecil County, Maryland, has come a numerous and forceful army of Ewings. There were two or more distinct immigrations to that section, the relationship between the separate waves being apparently rather remote. Much error on determining pedigree has resulted by confusing descendants of one branch with those of another.

The earliest to become identified with that part of America, were the children of William Ewing, of the old Loch Lomond or Glasgow clan, generally believed to have been born about 1660. That he was born within the old clan territory in Scotland within the environs of Stirling Castle, there is universal agreement. In early life he emigrated to Ulster, Ireland, where many of his clan kindred had lived for many years. His children were born in Ireland, and there he and his wives died, neither he nor either wife, as is sometimes erroneously reported, ever having come to America. Ann, his daughter, who came to this country with her brothers, the half brothers of Nathaniel, about 1725, is sometimes confused with Ann, his granddaughter, the daughter of Nathaniel, and because this granddaughter was born at sea, known as the “Sea Gull.”

As has been said elsewhere, some question that the ancestor from Scotland to Ireland was named William. However, all the evidence as far back as I find it appears to treat that ancestor as William.

To this branch, through one of this William’s sons, who became identified with Cecil County, belong: Adlai Ewing Stevenson, a distinguished lawyer and legislator, Vice-president of the United States in 1893-’97; James S. Ewing, United States’ minister to Belgium during the same period; and many other notable men and women.

Another of the certainly two and possibly more branches of the Ewings to become identified with Cecil County, at least not closely related to those who came to this country in or about 1725, are the descendants of another William who, coming from Ireland, it appears, settled near what is now Blake about 1790. He acquired land, built a comfortable home, and there brought up his family, naming his boys after the family custom by those names that have been so confusing for hundreds of years.

We shall consider first the family of the older William. It appears to be generally agreed that all of his children were born in Ulster, Ireland, by reason of which his descendants are known as Scotch-Irish. As elsewhere explained, Scotch-Irish is a term which indicates birth in Ireland of Scotch parents; and not, as some erroneously suppose, birth of Scotch and Irish ancestry. Almost universally the Ewings of Irish birth are as purely Scotch as those born in Scotland. County Coleraine is the place most usually indicated as the paternal home of this older William’s children. This was the conclusion of Col. Wm. A. Ewing and he so indicated on his chart. But records in Ireland, studied in recent years, furnish names of those born in other than Coleraine, corresponding to those of this William’s children, and so give some ground for concluding that they were natives of the barony of Quisowen [Inishowen] in County Donegal. In a recent letter to me, Jno. G. Ewing expressed the opinion, in view of these records and the fact that nothing similar has been found in Coleraine, that it was in Quisowen [Inishowen]*, and not in Coleraine, these children were born; and he was of the further opinion that from Quisowen “all the Ewings of the early emigration,” whose ancestors he could trace, “drew their origin.” But some of the early immigration, kindred, it is believed, to those who became identified with Cecil County, came direct from Scotland. While interesting, yet the question as between Donegal and Coleraine is not so important. Both are in Ulster and not so very far from historic Londonderry.

All the traditions agree that this William Ewing, from Scotland to Ireland, and his first wife, had but one child, Nathaniel. In a note to the (later) Nathaniel Ewing statement, noticed in the previous chapter, published in The Courier-Journal, Colonel Ewing, who subsequently indicated Eliza Milford as the second wife of this William, gives the names of the second family as John, Joshua, Samuel, Moses and Henry; and says that “all settled in Cecil County, Maryland, except John, who located in the southwestern corner of Chester County, Pennsylvania, on the east side of the Octorora Creek, near the others, and afterwards went to Ohio, and then to Kentucky, with a large family.” I am inclined to believe that this statement confuses the immigrant John with a John of the first American generation. It is possible that the earlier John has been confused with John Ewing, born in Pennsylvania not far from 1760 possibly, and who married Margaret Townsley in Pennsylvania. This John moved to Kentucky at an early day, and there, in Campbell County, his son John was born January 16, 1800. This John subsequently went to Ohio and for many years his descendants maintained a hospitable and lovely home at Zenia, as seen in another chapter. In his chart, made subsequently to the publication of the article, Col. Ewing gives Joshua, James, William and Ann, as William Ewing’s second family.

Hon. P. K. Ewing, to cite a recent publication, in his “The Ewing Genealogy,” page 7, gives as this second family, “William, Joshua, James, Samuel and Anne, and possibly other children.” It will be helpful if we bear in mind that this William was not the William who located in what is now Rockingham County, Virginia, most certainly. As seen elsewhere, that pioneer William of Rockingham probably was born in Scotland.

In addition to the Col. Ewing chart, which has some inaccuracies, some of the descendants of Nathaniel, the oldest son of William of Ireland, are given by Hon. P. K. Ewing. He says he had “no record of the descendants of the half-brothers Joshua, James and Samuel.” The present work, therefore, as to these and others, will be able to add very materially to the information up to this time in print.

Taking his family in the order of birth, Nathaniel, born in Ireland as were his half-brothers and sister, was apparently born about 1693. He and his half-brothers and half-sister Anne came to America at least as early as 1725. Nathaniel located in Cecil County, Maryland, on a farm owned in recent years by David C. Brown, which adjoins the farm on which his brother Josua (sic) Ewing located.

Nathaniel married Rachel Porter, a cousin, sister of James Porter, who came to America with his cousin Ewings. She was born in 1706 and died in 1771. It is generally believed that they married in Ireland about 1721. Nathaniel, the grandson of this immigrant, Nathaniel, in the article, which we have noted, published in the Courier-Journal says:

My grandfather Ewing, as I have said, settled in Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna, now called Cecil County, where he had a family of ten children–six sons and four daughters, viz.: Sarah, William, Ann, John and James (twins), George, Alexander, Rachel, and Samuel, who died young.

He then says Sarah married Robert Potts and lived near Harrisburg, Pa.; William, the oldest boy, married Kitty Ewing, daughter of Joshua Ewing; Ann, known as the “Sea Gull”, because born on the ocean, married James Breading, her cousin; John Married Hannah Sargeant; James married, first, Peggy Ewing, daughter to Joshua Ewing; second, Miss Venable; George married Mary Porter, his cousin, daughter of James Porter; Alexander married Jane Kirkpatrick; Rachel married William Ewing, a relative, and lived in Sunbury, Pennsylvania; Samuel died without issue. He does not name a tenth child; and Col. Ewing says he was unable to locate a tenth.

Of Nathaniel’s son William I have no account regarded as reliable, except a letter, written in 1916, which comes to me as I go to press, which indicates H. C. Ewing, bond broker, Portland, Oregon, as descendant. John, born in Cecil County, Maryland, June 22, 1732, was a twin of James., who moved to Virginia. John became a distinguished mathematician, surveyor, Presbyterian divine and teacher. He was the first or an early provost (or president) of the University of Pennsylvania, and the first census indicates him as occupying that post. He married Hannah Sergeant, in Philadelphia in 1758; and died in that city September 8, 1802. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity (D. D.) from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The celebrated Dr. Johnson of England presented him a cane as a token of admiration. He represented Pennsylvania in the boundary disputes with Virginia, and filled many other important positions. He was one of the ablest preachers of his day, (See Hening, Statutes of Virginia, Wilson’s Life and Sermons of Rev. John Ewing, 1812; Memories of Mrs. Hall, by Harrison Hall, and many other sources). He left a large and influential family, some of whose descendants yet live in Pennsylvania, while other branches settled in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and in other States.

In the interest of a Presbyterian college, Dr. Ewing traveled over England, Scotland and Ireland. The trip was made in 1774 and 1775; and letters to home folks yet extant shed important light upon the history of the day. In a letter written in 1775 he speaks of the difficulties of obtaining contributions to the college because of the growing alienation between Great Britain and the American colonies. He bewailed the “conduct of the New York Assembly” because by some act it had given “ye ministry” of England “great hopes of breaking ye Union of the colonies and thereby carrying out their point at last. If America be now enslaved, it will lie at their door,” he declared. Yet the king made a personal contribution to this educational enterprise; and Dr. Ewing became the personal friend of Lord Dartmouth and other eminent men and women of England and Scotland.

When the cord snapped this John, as did the Ewings generally, bent every effort in the interest of American freedom!

May 3, 1775, he wrote from Glasgow:

I have been in my old friends, Mrs. Ewings this ten days.

That old friend undoubtedly must have been by marriage a clan relation, and indicates that he sought and sojourned with his Scotch kin in Glasgow. The facts the he was some time in Glasgow; that he was undoubtedly a man of broad learning for his day; that he was a man of bright mind and always alert; and that he used as his family escutcheon the arms used by Ewing of Craigtown, the identical old arms that had come down from the old Ewing arms prior to 1565, strengthen our faith in the right of the American Ewings descended as was he from the old Loch Lomond clan and in common from the ancestor who bore the arms before 1565–to display those arms today as evidence of pedigree.

The photographic reproduction of the emblazonment he accepted, number one of the accompanying halftones, has those arms on the left of the reader. Some other arms are given on the other side. It is not unusual to display on the same lozenge or shield the arms of both sides of a family.

This Rev. John Ewing and wife had the following children:

(a) Mary, who married, first, Samuel Gillespie; second, James Sims. They moved from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Ohio about 1800. (b) Sarah, married John Hall; (c) William, born 1761, married, first, Elizabeth Wallace, second, Mrs. Braxton; and became a distinguished lawyer; (d) Ann, born 1763, married William Davidson of Philadelphia; (e) Rachel; (f) James Sergeant, married Catherine Otto of Philadelphia; (g) Elizabeth, married Robert Harris of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; (h) Samuel, born 1772, married Eliza Redman; (i) John, born 1776; and three others who died in infancy.

James Sims and wife (a) Mary Ewing had William, Betsy (who married a Nagle); Mary (who married a Ramage); Robert, and twins John and James. This Robert, born in Hagerstown, Maryland, 1795, located for some time in Baltimore, and died 1887 in Cincinnati, where he had resided since 1838. At twenty-two he married Elizabeth Brown; and to them were born Mary, married John Harrison; Honor, married John Schoolfield; Josephine, married William Watson; Martha, died unmarried; Rebecca Francis, married George W. Trowbridge; and Robert Amos, born 1835, married Eliza Trowbridge; all of these were born in Baltimore; and Victoria, who was born in Cincinnati, and married William Hoover. Robert Amos and Mary Eliza Trowbridge had Luella, married Edward Henry Bouton of Kansas City, Missouri, a successful business man now of Baltimore, November 15, 1888; Anna Marie, married William Ryley; Elizabeth Brown, married John Titus, Jr., and Joseph Watson, who married Lillie Webb in 1888.

(b) Sarah, who married John Hall (February 20, 1783) was a rather unusually brilliant woman. David L. James in his Judge James Hall, a Literary Pioneer of the Middle West (in Ohio Arch. And Hist. Soc. Publications, 1909), says:

Mrs. Sarah Ewing Hall was the daughter of the Rev. John Ewing, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. Her education, like that of her son, came solely through contact with the social circle in her father’s home. She learned Greek and Latin from hearing her brothers recite their lessons in the pastor’s study. She read everything that came in her way. Her marriage to Mr. John Hall, a Revolutionary soldier and a son of a Maryland planter, with the sequence of domestic responsibilities did not prevent a continuance of her study and writing. Her conversation was brilliant and always tended toward some end. She wrote for The Portfolio, long the best known American periodical, and at fifty published a volume ‘Conversations on the Bible,’ which passed through several editions and enjoyed the distinction of being reprinted in England.

In saying that Miss Ewing’s education “came solely through contact with the social circle in her father’s home,” James is somewhat misleading. The splendid social atmosphere of Dr. Ewing’s home had much, unquestionably, to do with the happy development of his children; but the evidence shows that he gave both his girls and boys educational opportunities not always extended to girls in that day. In one of his letters to his wife, written while abroad in 1774, he says:

Let the children be kept constantly at school. I think that Polly should go longer. As we shall be able to give them little or no fortunes they should have as good Learning as we can give them. I hope Billy keeps close to his ciphering and that he takes so much delight in it as to make progress. The Girls should also learn something of figures.

It would be unfair to forget that the punctuation and capitalization used by Dr. Ewing in his letters were according to rules much followed by the learned in his day. Too, there was a wide impression at that time that girls needed very little knowledge of mathematics.

One of Sarah Ewing Hall’s children was James Hall, born in Philadelphia in 1794. Young Hall studied law, finally being admitted to practice, but in the meantime he became lieutenant in the United States army, and was under the command of Col. Winfield Scott, subsequently general; and later Lieutenant Hall “fought bravely under General Brown at the battles of Chippewa, Niagara Falls and Lundy’s Lane,” in the war of 1812-’14. After that war he served in the Mediterranean with Commodore Decatur. He left the army in 1818 and devoted himself to law, literature and finance. He became a resident of Cincinnati, a distinguished judge, and one of the most extensive contributors to the literature of his day. In 1835 he became the cashier of the Commercial National Bank of Cincinnati, a corporation with a million dollars capital, and at death in 1868 was its president. (See a picture of him in his Romance of Western History.)

The other children of John and Sarah Hall were Harrison, Sargeant, Edward, James, Thomas M., Alexander H., Charles, William; and there was a sister, Catherine H. Sargeant. The oldest was born in 1783, and the youngest, William, in 1807.

The eldest son of James Hall, John Ewing Hall, became a professor in the University of Maryland; and subsequently published The American Law Journal, and engaged in other literary work.

Mrs. Sarah Hall Foote, wife of Charles B. Foote, president of the Commercial Bank of Cincinnati, is a descendant; and another is William Hall, Mount Auburn, Cincinnati.

James, the twin of the Rev. John Ewing, settled early in Virginia, in a section now within Prince Edward County. I am sure this James Ewing or his Uncle James was one of the signers of a petition by “sundry inhabitants” of Prince Edward County, Virginia, October 11, 1776, to the Virginia House of delegates, declaring:

We heartily approve and cheerfully submit ourselves to the form of government adopted at your last session, hoping that our United States will long continue free and independent.

This James was born in Cecil County, Maryland, June 30, 1732 (Bible of his brother John, extant in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1897). He married, first, (Peggy) Margaret Ewing, a cousin, daughter of Joshua Ewing; and after her death he married a Venable of Virginia. On moving to Virginia he first made his home in Mecklenburg County. Of him Wilson in his introduction to John Ewing’s Sermons, published in 1812, says he then was the only survivor of his brothers. He died after 1812 on Vaughn’s Creek in Prince Edward County. He had one son whom he named John-James, for himself and his distinguished brother. This son was born in Virginia in 1802. He married Tabetha P. Edgar, November 19, 1822, in Bedford County (see marriage records of that county); but made his home in Prince Edward County. Miss Edgar was born in Virginia in 1806 and died in Missouri in 1855. He died at his home in 1850. About 1850 his widow and children went to Missouri and there in Richmond and in Ray County their descendants reside. (Hon. W. H. Ewing, letter of 1911.) John-James grew up with James, the son of George whom this older James adopted after George’s death. As given me by Mrs. Myrtle Ewing Creel Bierce of Richmond, Missouri, John-James’ children were: Mary Elizabeth, John-James, Thomas E. R., Bertha, Sterling Price, Agnes and Tabetha.

Mary Elizabeth was born in 1823, near Lynchburg, Virginia. After going to Missouri she married Daniel Branstetter, and died in 1888. To them was born Mary Elizabeth Branstetter (possibly others) in Richmond, Missouri, in 1842. She married Matthew Judson Creel, and died in 1909. He was born in Culpeper, Virginia, in 1833. To them were born: Sarah P., who married John R. Green, clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri for twenty years; C. W. Creel, a farmer in Arkansas; Myrtle Ewing Creel, September 17, 1868, married -- Bierce of Missouri; H. L. Creel, who became a justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri; J. F. Creel, of the Southern Pacific Railway Company in California; Barton Creel, a well-known newspaper man; Mattie, who married a Davis; John Ewing Creel, who died young; Lillian May, who married Prof. Raymond Shoop of Richmond, Missouri; and Ruby, who married a Ferris, a lawyer of prominence in Missouri.

Alexander, one of the sons of Nathaniel the immigrant, who married Jane Kirkpatrick, and who lived at Bald Friar’s Ferry, Maryland, had:

William, who was in the “west” at the date of his mother’s will; Margaret, who married Henry Ewing, son of her uncle John Ewing; Nathaniel, who married Jane Elinor Ewing, daughter of Capt. Patrick Ewing; James; John; Catherine, who married a Long; Alexander, who, as we have seen, was born in 1769, and died in 1827, married Charlotte Griffith; Rachel, who married Alexander E. Grubb; Elizabeth, who married Moses Ewing, son of her great-uncle, Henry Ewing, ancestor of Jasper Ewing, aide de camp on the staff of Gen. Edward Hand, a division commander under Washington in the Revolution; and George.

James Ewing on March 7, 1750, conveyed land owned by his father Alexander in his lifetime, and it is shown that this Alexander died in 1738. The land, therefore, was acquired at an earlier date. Two brothers of this James, John and William, assented to this conveyance. If this be, as appears probable, the son of James of the above Alexander, he must have remained in Maryland at least some time after his father’s death.

The records of administration of estates in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, show a survey as of November 29, 1824, covering land “of James Ewing, deceased, late of Cecil County, Maryland.” An order was issued by the court, authorizing Alexander E. Grubb and William McCullough to sell 144 acres of this land which lay in Little Britain Township. It appears certain that this James lived for a time in Maryland; James, “late of Cecil County;” appears to be the same man who had removed to and died in Pennsylvania. This bit of light from the Pennsylvania record suggests that Little Britain in Pennsylvania bordered Cecil County. No doubt much light upon some of the Cecil County family may be had from the old Lancaster County records, which I have not fully examined.

For instance of many, in 1762 James Breading, George and Alexander Ewing took a deed to land as shown by the Lancaster records. This deed is witness by Patt Ewing and William Ewing.

Again, the will of George Ewing of Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, was probated May 3, 1785. It names his wife, Jean, the eldest daughter Polly, eldest son William, second son Nathaniel, second daughter Elinor, and their son James. The executors were the wife, the deceased’s brother, Alexander Ewing, and his cousin David Breading. So of many other records which suggest either the Cecil County descendants or their kindred.

In the York County records, it is interesting to note in this connection, may be seen a mortgage, among other Ewing instruments, of William Ewing, who was a son of Thomas and a brother of General James Ewing, dated “7th May, 23rd year of George the 2d.” that is, 1750.

May 3, 1738, Thomas Ewing gave a mortgage on land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in favor of the general loan office of that colony.

So that it is certain that at least some of the Ewings of Pennsylvania were related closely to those of Maryland; and the many records in the former State show that they acquired lands there perhaps as early as in Maryland.

Isaac Walker, grandson of a James Ewing of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, writes for The Mansfield Item of January 22, 1886, an article, in which he says that his grandfather, James Ewing, was born in Cecil County, Maryland, about 1730; “that he emigrated west in 1770, and settled near Fort Pitt Station, and built the first grist mill on the waters of Robinson Run, one of the first in the county.” He took his slaves to the new outpost home, which, for many years, was liable to Indian attack. This pioneer, therefore, slept with a loaded gun in his bed. “He was of Scotch-Irish birth” and a strict Presbyterian. He founded a church and became an elder. He died, according to Walker, at 96; and had five sons and four daughters. “The Ewing family living on Montour’s Run are descendants of one son. He was the grandfather of William Ewing of Mansfield and James A. Ewing of Walker’s Mill. Another descendant is Rev. John Ewing, D. D., now (1886) pastor of Pittsgrove church at Daretown, New Jersey.” This divine made a notable address before the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1874. Then Walker adds:

Going back to the ancestry of James Ewing, we find that four brothers of the Ewing family emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, about 1700. They settled in Cecil and Harford Counties, Maryland. One of them went to Ohio, from whom sprang the Ohio Ewings, of whom the late Thomas Ewing and his son General Ewing are descendants.

But, as William A. Ewing pointed out, this statement regarding the ancestry of Hon. Thomas Ewing, as will more fully appear elsewhere, is unquestionably an error; an error all the more easy because from time immemorial the relationship between that Ohio family and the Maryland and Virginia and Pennsylvania Ewings has been recognized generally.

Jane Ewing’s will (spelled Jean in body of will) dated October 18, 1815, was probated in Cecil County, Maryland, November 20, 1824. Miss C. P. Evans of Manasquan, New Jersey, and others of the Ewing descendants of Cecil County, identify this Jane as the widow of Alexander, supra, of Bald Friars. She names her children as Margaret, Rachel, Elizabeth, Betsy, William, Nathaniel, James, John and Alexander. She leaves a hat that belonged to his father, a Bible and $2.00 to William, with the provision that if he should die before he returned from the “West” these bequests should go to Betsy. “My son-in-law, Moses Ewing and his brother John Ewing,” she concludes, shall be the executors.

Nathaniel Ewing, the son of Alexander Ewing, 1731-1799, who married Jane Kirkpatrick and lived at Bald Friar’s Ferry, sometimes called “Little Britain, Pa.,” in Cecil County, Maryland, Alexander being the son of the elder Nathaniel, son of William of Scotland-Ireland, married Jane Elinor Ewing, born April 2, 1778, daughter of Capt. Patrick Ewing (see the latter’s will dated 1811). This marriage displeased the captain. Apparently this was the Nathaniel Ewing who was commissioned captain of a company in the first Maryland regiment, patriot troops of the Revolution, January 3, 1776, and discharged in 1779. (Maryland Muster Rolls.) Mrs. Fulkerson, of Lexington, Missouri, in a letter to me in March, 1913, says this Nathaniel volunteered in the war of 1812, and never returned; and that his children were taken by Joshua Ewing who married a Craig, living first at Abingdon, then at Rose Hill, Virginia, and finally going to Missouri. Nathaniel and Jane Elinor Ewing had Catherine Ann, born 1804, and Patrick. Catherine Ann married Jacob Vanhook Fulkerson of Lee County, Virginia. To them were born: (a) Margaret, who married Lyons; (b) Putnam, who married Jane Ridings; (c) Ellen, who married Dr. Wm. Frick; (d) Jacob J., who became a distinguished physician and was living in Lexington, Missouri, in 1913, and who married Mary Goodwin; (e) Nathaniel; (f) Lee Dow, who married Harriet Bales and left descendants; and who at one time represented Lee County, Virginia, in the legislature; (g) Emma, who married Stephen J. Reeder; and (h) Albert who married Carrie Goodwin, sister of Mary.

George Ewing, one of the sons of Nathaniel the immigrant, was the founder of another of the early Ewing families of creditable distinction. This George was born in 1738 and died in 1785 or ’88. As is father before had married Rachel Porter, his cousin who came from Ireland with the first Ewing immigrants of our family, so this George married May Porter, his cousin, in 1766. She was born in 1746 and died in 1778.

Hon. W. H. Ewing, of Prince Edward County, Virginia, a lineal descendant, and a great grandson, informed me that this George moved from Pennsylvania (though he appears to have been born just across the State line in Maryland) to Virginia, before his death. Just when he reached Virginia, Mr. W. H. Ewing does not say, but he says that, “About 1725 several of the Ewings came from Maryland and settled in (what became) Prince Edward County and also in other counties in the State, but I can give you no information regarding any except those who settled in Prince Edward and Bedford counties. (Letter of October 18, 1911.) Other sources of information seem to suggest that possibly this George never permanently settled in Virginia.

However, as he was the great grandfather of Hon. W. H. Ewing, of Prince Edward County, “a man of education and fine sense,” incidentally remarked Mr. S. L. Farrar, clerk of the Circuit Court for Amelia County, in a letter to me in November, 1918, I regard W. H. Ewing’s evidence upon this point as controlling. He says that this was the George who, with William Ewing, was employed to remove the public records and government supplies from Prince Edward Court House upon the approach of Col. Tarleton with British forces who were devastating that section of Virginia through which they rode. These two Ewings were living in Vaughn’s Creek in 1775.

The late James L. Ewin of Washington, D. C., informed me that this George had five children, of only three of whom he knew; William P., Nathaniel, and James. Through Hon. James K. Ewing of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, a descendant of William P., and who traced descent to this George, he got information of that family, showing that William P., of Fayette County Pennsylvania, married Mary Cornwell, and had eight children. These included George, who went to Texas and married and died there; James H., of Washington, Pennsylvania, a member of Congress at one time, born 1794 and died 1887, who married, first Jane Creigh Kennedy, a cousin of Hon. James G. Blaine, second, Ann Lyon Denny. By the first wife John H. had John K. Ewing, long a well known banker of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, who married Ellen L. Wilson, and had Nathaniel, also a banker of that town. Another son of William P. was Nathaniel, long a distinguished judge of the court, Uniontown, Pennsylvania; and another was James, who married a Miss Baird.

It is certain, however, that this George Ewing had (a) James; (b) Nathaniel, born April 10, 1772; died August 4, 1846; (c) Alexander, who went to Ohio; and upon the information of the James L. Ewin data, William P.

(a) James appears to have been born in Maryland. He spent his mature life, certainly, in Virginia and there lies buried. He became colonel of Virginia troops; and care must be exercised to distinguish him from his Uncle James, who adopted this nephew in his Prince Edward home after George’s death.

The younger James married Parnella Morgan of Virginia. Their son, Thomas M. Ewing, 1812-1875, married Ann M. Owen of Virginia. There were several other children. This younger James, accompanied by his neighbors, the Prices, Balls, Gillespies, Morgans and others, moved from Prince Edward County, Virginia, to Chariton County, Missouri, in 1835. The family, servants, and household furniture were conveyed the entire distance in wagons, the cows and other stock being driven. All of this younger James’ family remained in Missouri except his son, Thomas M. Thomas M. Ewing returned to and died in Prince Edward County, Virginia. His children: (a) Hon. William Henry Ewing, 1841, living in Prince Edward in 1920. (b) John James, 1844-1869, never married; was a gallant Confederate soldier, and served with distinction in Stuart’s cavalry; (e) Nannie Elizabeth, 1854-1879, never married.

(a) William Henry Ewing was educated at Hampden Sidney College, Virginia; and volunteered in the Confederate army in 1861, along with other college students. He was captured subsequently, exchanged, and joined Gen. J. E. B. Stuart’s celebrated cavalry. Badly wounded at Front Royal in 1864, yet he did not quit until he surrendered with Lee at Appomattox. He has filled many offices of honor and trust, among them representing his country in the legislature for several years. He has been twice married and has a number of children and grandchildren.

(b) Nathaniel, one of the George Ewing boys, located at Vincennes, Indiana. He wrote the article published by Col. W. A. Ewing in The Courier-Journal. Quite probably he saw the older James when on a visit to Virginia, as James, the twin of Rev. John, we have seen, adopted this Nathaniel’s brother James after the death of George and Mary Porter Ewing.

The following is a copy of a letter, which copy, as here given, came into my hands several years ago:

                                                                                             Pittsburg, Penn., Dec. 5th, 1886.

Mrs. Andrew Mackey,
St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Madam:

Your kind favor of the 28th of last month making inquiry as to the statements made by Dr. Dewey (of the Ewings) and sent to James B. Hogg, is received. This nephew has been living at Seattle, Washington Territory for months past and I do not know whether he received the statement or not.

As to the Ewings, they were Scotch-Irish, and resided near Coleraine (23 miles North East of Londonderry).

Nathaniel Ewing and his wife Rachel Porter Ewing, with their son William, Joshua Ewing and Ann Ewing (brother and sister of Nathaniel Ewing), and James Porter (brother of Nathaniel Ewing’s wife), emigrated to the United States in 1725. On the ship a daughter was born to Nathaniel and Rachel P. Ewing, named Ann (known by relatives afterwards as the ‘Sea Gull’).

They all settled on the Octorora Creek in Maryland near the Susquehanna river. There Sally, John and James (twins) George, Alexander and Rachel Ewing were born; children of Nathaniel and Rachel P. Ewing.

Joshua Ewing married -- and had five children, Kitty, Peggy, Patrick, Nathaniel and Joshua.

Ann Ewing married Samuel Gillespie and had two children, Samuel and Ann. Samuel, married Polly Ewing, daughter of Rev. Dr. John Ewing, (one of the twins above), Ann Gillespie married James Simms. Neither Samuel Gillespie nor Ann Gillespie Simms lived long, and after their death the above James married Samuel Gillespie’s widow, Polly Ewing Gillespie. These two lived to a good old age near St. Clairsville, Belmont Co., Ohio, and had sons and daughters. I once paid the old people a visit about 1838 with Catherine and Amelia Ewing, daughters of Dr. James Ewing of Phila., Pa. Dr. James Ewing was a son of Dr. John Ewing, of Phila., Pa., and this Mrs. James Simms was the aunt of Catherine and Amelia Ewing..

James Porter, brother of Nathaniel Ewing’s wife, married Samuel Gillespie’s sister Ellen and they had nine children, Jane, Mary, Nelly, Betsy, Stephen, George, Andrew, William and Samuel.

Jane married Patrick son of Joshua Ewing.

Mary married her cousin George Ewing, son of Nathaniel Ewing.

Betsy married her brother-in-law Patrick after the death of her sister Jane.

Stephen and George married sisters by the name of Hart.

Nathaniel and Rachel Porter Ewing’s children were as follows: William, Ann, Sally, John and James (twins), George, Alexander, and Rachel.

George Ewing married his cousin Mary Porter, and they had five children, Mary, William-Porter, Nathaniel, Ellen, James. James Ewing married Rebecca Morgan and they had the children, George-Brading, William, Nathaniel, Thomas, Betsy, James, Mary-Susan, Pernatta, and Martha-Jane.

Nathaniel Ewing’s (the first emigrant to America 1725) William, married his cousin Kitty, daughter of Joshua Ewing.

Ann (Sea Gull) married her cousin James Brading.

Sally married Mr. Potts and they had two children. Husband died soon.

John married Hanna Sargent (aunt of John and Judge Louis Sargent).

James married his cousin Peggy, daughter of James Porter (see above).

Alexander married Jane Kirkpatrick.

Rachel-Margaret married her cousin by the name of Ewing and lived in Sunbury Pa.

The foregoing will give you general outline of the Ewings. There is nothing in print. My nephew, James Brading Hogg, left for the West before he had completed his task.

Your grandfather’s brother Nathaniel, lived in Vincennes, Ind. His grandchildren (Dr. Wm. Lane’s children), Mrs. Wm. Glasgow and Ann Lane, and grandchildren lived in St. Louis, also his son Wm. Ewing’s children and grandchildren reside there, but I suppose you know them all.

Maj. Edwards wife is one of Nathaniel Ewing’s (of Vincennes, Ind.) grandchildren. I have not heard of Wm. Ewing, your uncle’s son. I understand he was married and lived west of St. Louis.

I have a photograph of William and Nathaniel Ewing, your grandfather’s brothers.

                                         Yours truly,

                                                                     Nathaniel B. Hogg.

L. Ewing, Esq., Guthrie, Ky. (has family tree).
Wm. A. Ewing, National Military Home, O., Feb. 2, 1897, (has family tree).

There are probably many copies of this letter floating here and there; and I insert it because it furnishes some light and also to caution against accepting too fully all its statements. For instance, it confuses the family of Joshua, the half-brother of Nathaniel, the immigrants, with the family of some other Joshua—if we are to accept the weight of the available evidence.

So that in recapitulation, it appears that of the children of Nathaniel Ewing (1693-1748) who married Rachel Porter, son of William Ewing of Scotland to Ireland, left the following descendants: (a) William, 1723-1788, married his cousin, Kitty Ewing, a daughter of Joshua Ewing; (b) Ann, born at sea in 1725, “the Sea Gull,” married James Breading; (c) Sarah married Robert Potts; (d) Alexander 1731-1799, married Jane Kirkpatrick and lived at Bald Friar’s Ferry, Susquehanna River, Maryland; (e) Rachel, married William Ewing, a cousin, and lived at Sunbury, Pennsylvania; (f) James a twin of the Reverend John 1732, married (Peggy) Margaret Ewing, daughter of Joshua; upon her death, married Miss Venable of Virginia. This James lived in Virginia. He was the only member of his family surviving when Wilson published the Rev. John’s sermons in 1812. (g) (Rev.) John became the distinguished divine, scientist and teacher, lived in Philadelphia; (h) George, 1738-1785, married his cousin, Mary Porter. It is said that this was the General George Ewing who served as commissioner of Pennsylvania troop in Revolution, but as I am not attempting to follow the Pennsylvania line I have not attempted to verify this tradition.

Of the foregoing children (b) Ann had Nathaniel Breading, who married Mary Ewing, daughter of George and Mary Porter Ewing, and possibly others. This Nathaniel Breading is credited with a daughter Mary, who, as given on the William A. Ewing chart, married Nathaniel B. Hogg, apparently the author of the above letter, and was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1893; and Elizabeth who married McIlvane, a descendant of William B. McIlvaine, being in Chicago in 1893. (d) Alexander we have followed at some length as we have James and his twin John and their brother George.

The following notes were taken from the records at Elkton, county seat of Cecil County, Maryland. It is regretted that it has been found impossible to verify them since they were made. It is almost impossible to examine records extensively and make no errors in notes; and historical accuracy requires at least a comparison at a later day.

Jane Kirkpatrick Ewing’s will, probated 1824, mentions money due from the estate of James Ewing; and these children: Elizabeth, apparently the wife of Moses Ewing; Margaret, Rachel Grubb, relict of Thomas Grubb (who had six children, Jane, Alexander, Joseph, Isabilla, James, and William Grubb); and these grandchildren: John, Elizabeth and Jane Ewing, children of Alexander Ewing of Ohio; Elizabeth, Phineas and John Ewing, children of James Ewing; Elizabeth and Alexander Ewing, children of Margaret Ewing; Jane, Mary and Alexander Long, children of Katherine Long of Kentucky; Jane Ellen Ewing, daughter of Moses Ewing. “My son Alexander and my grandson Alexander E. Grubb” were named as executors.

Joseph Ewing, a carpenter of New York, died in Cecil County in 1827.

James Ewing of Ewingsville, who died in 1843, left a farm to his brother John, “on which he lives.”

Patrick Ewing’s will, son of the older Patrick, was probated in 1868, and mentions daughters, Jane Anna P. Ewing, Margaret Isabella, and Rebecca Frances Evans (wife of William James Evans); and daughter Elizabeth Caroline Black; sons Edwin Evans, Theodore and William Pinckney Ewing.

Robert of East Nottingham, Cecil County, died in 1803. William A. Ewing says this Robert was a son of Henry Ewing. His will mentions wife and daughter but gives no names.

Henry Ewing’s will was probated in 1809. He names sons, John, Moses and James; and daughters, Susannah Gatchell, Nancy Scott, and Polly and Betsy; and the heirs of a son, Robert, deceased, and a son Henry.

Joshua Ewing’s will describes him as of the “Dividing Cecil County;” and names wife Jane, and sons, Patrick, Robert, Samuel, Nathaniel, and “daughter Catharine or her husband.”

See a James Ewing’s will, probated in 1821, which names wife Phoebe and sons Phineas and John, and daughter Elizabeth (A 8, 16).

Records of administration accounts, Cecil County, p. 231, show, as of June 13, 1750, the account of Rachel Ewing and William Ewing, administrators of Nathaniel Ewing, Joshua Ewing and James Breading, being sureties. Distribution of estate in favor of the following is shown:

William Ewing; Sarah Potts, wife of Robert Potts; Ann Breading, wife of James Breading; John Ewing, who was then “about seventeen years old; James, “about seventeen” (the twins); Rachel Ewing, about fifteen; George Ewing, about twelve; Alexander Ewing, about ten years; and Samuel Ewing, about eight.

The records of the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, show:

Samuel Ewen and Rebecca George married in 1740.
Maskell Ewing and Jane Hunter married October 6, 1787.
Elizabeth Ewing and Robert Harris married May 2, 1791.
Ann Ewing and William Davidson married October 9, 1794.
William Ewing and Mary Elliott married June 1, 1802.

The marriage records of the Second Presbyterian Church show the following marriages:

William Ewing and Elizabeth Wallace, March 22, 1788.
Thomas Ewing and Anna E. Cooper, 1784.
Elizabeth Ewing and Robert Harris, 1791.
Catherine Ewing and Thomas English, 1804.
Thomas Ewing and Martha Pollock, 1808.
Ann Ewing and Charles Holland, 1811.

Births–According to Bibles and Traditions.

Patrick Ewing (son of Capt. Patrick, as shown elsewhere) was born July 7, 1791, married Isabella Polk Evans, February 27, 1822. Children Edwin Evans Ewing, born January 9, 1824; Theodore Ewing, born February 11, 1826; William Pinckney Ewing, born May 20, 1828; Jane Anna Pennington Ewing, born December 2, 1830, never married; died November 1, 1906; Rebecca Frances Magraw Ewing, born May 23, 1834; Elizabeth Caroline Ewing, born May 23, 1834, twins; Margaretta Isabell Ewing, born April 30, 1839. She married James H. Evans but left no children.


Patrick Ewing, died November 7, 1868; Isabella Polk Ewing, wife of Patrick Ewing, died March 19, 1864; Edwin Evans Ewing, died August 20, 1901; Theodore Ewing, died September 30, 1901; Margaret Isabell Evans, died April 30, 1905; Jane Anna Pennington Ewing, died November 1, 1906; William Pinkney Ewing, died September 4, 1907; Rebecca Frances Magraw Evans, died August 2, 1910.

Elizabeth Caroline Ewing married John Nelson Black January 1, 1856; and died July 14, 1916. Their children: A boy died in infancy; Josephine Louisa Black, born November 14, 1857; married Harry Cantwell, April 19, 1881; Walker Ewing Black, born April 2, 1860, married Clara Walker, December 25, 1917; Isabella Evans Black, born April 21, 1862; married Perry K. Barnes, December 21, 1882; John Nelson Montgomery Black, born November, 1864, married Myrtle Richardson, May 11, 1892; Emma Margaretta Black, born January 3, 1867, died February 12, 1898; Pinkney Patrick Black, born April 19, 1869, died February 20, 1902; Bayard Gayley Black, born August 27, 1874, married Nellie Clark, August 4, 1909; Bessie Elizabeth Black, born September 19, 1876, married Henry R. Barnes, August 17, 1899; Edna Maud Black, born March 5, 1879, single in 1921. John Nelson Black died January 27, 1906, aged 88 years.

Rebecca Frances Magraw Ewing married William James Evans, October 26, 1857; children, Mary Rebecca Evans, born September 4, 1858, married Mount E. Kirk, November 18, 1886, and died December 20, 1905; Sidney Corwin Evans, born May 28, 1861, died June 12, 1870; Clara Isabella Evans, born February 9, 1865, married Charles E. Turner, M. D., September 26, 1889, and died May 6, 1916; Catharine Porter Evans, born September 12, 1871, single in 1921, in Manasquan, N. J.

William James Evans died January 6, 1892; Rebecca F. M. Ewing Evans, died August 2, 1910; Mary Rebecca Evans Kirk, died December 20, 1905; Edwin Evans Ewing married Clara Vaughan, Camden, New Jersey. Children, Clara Vaughan Ewing, born December 15, 1863, married George Beeson. Clara Vaughan Ewing, wife of E. E. Ewing, died December 21, 1863. Edwin Evans Ewing then married Emma McMurphy, July 13, 1865; children Cecil Ewing, born April 21, 1866, married Lynn M. Shaffer, February 20, 1912; Evans Ewing, born April 20, 1868, single in 1913. Halus Ewing, born September 5, 1872, married Amanda Leader, September 4, 1907, died December 4, 1911, no children.

Edwin Evans Ewing died August 20, 1901.

William Pinkney Ewing married Mrs. Emma Pike Smith. Died September 4, 1907. No children.

Emma Pike Ewing died February 23, 1917.

Theodore Ewing married Mrs. Elizabeth Matherson in 1858, and they left three children.

* When the plantation period was started, the barony of Inishowen was given to Chichester. The townlands where some of the Porters and Ewings lived are in Inishowen and part of the land that Chichester had.

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Page last updated 13 October 2008.
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