To The Ewings of Frederick County, VA  by Evelyn and Jim Ewing

William Ewing of Frederick County, VA

Shirley Tharp Dye


[Note: This document was edited for the Clan Ewing web site by the Genealogist for Clan Ewing in America in October 2006. The reader of this document should also read the book The Ewings of Frederick County, VA by Evelyn and Jim Ewing, Emporia, Virginia.]

William Ewing came to Frederick County, Virginia in April of 1733, according to his own statement, given as testimony in the suit of Hite versus Fairfax. He stated that he applied to Jost Hite to purchase land of him and that Hite agreed with him for about 1,210 acres at the rate of five pounds for every hundred, and that he and Hite entered into mutual bonds with one another, the said Ewing agreeing to pay the purchase price of sixty pounds in "two different payments," and the said Hite agreed to "complete the defendant's title to the said land.” William Ewing, according to this testimony came from "the Colony of Pennsylvania."

Ewing stated that he took immediate possession of the said land and began to improve the same but later became “satisfied the said Hite could not make him a title to the said land” and applied to Lord Fairfax for his grant. Accordingly, Fairfax granted him 625 acres, part of the land he had purchased from the said Hite, "the rest being taken away from this defendant and granted to others." Ewing admitted that he had since that time instituted a suit of his own against Hite to recover damages for his expenses incurred in the matter and also to recover the par6t of the money formerly paid to Hite. (THE FAIRFAX PROPRIETARY, p. xxx and xxxi - transcript).

William Ewing's survey was made by David Vance on the 16th of January, 1754 for 625 acres "where he lives formerly surveyed by Mr. Byrns " and was entered in the name of William Ewen, (Joyner p 52). Two further surveys were made for him in the name of William Ewen as follows:


On the 11th of May 1763 (warrant dated 29 May 1762) for 400 acres on dry run, a draught of Shenandoah River, adjoining George Bowman, Christian Plank, Robert Wharf and Nicholas Perry. This survey was made by Robert Rutherford and the chain carriers were Thomas Barrow and Thomas Buck. It seems from the description of neighbors that this land lay between Reliance and Middletown. (See Joyner p 52)


Survey for 386 acres on drains of Crooked Run adjoining William Reemy (Ramey) and John Painter. This survey was dated 10 May, 1763 and was also made by Robert Rutherford. (see Joyner p 52).

Jonathan Clarke, commissioner to settle the matters pertaining to certain disputes over titles in the suit of Jost Hite versus Thomas Lord Fairfax, left papers which are now at the Filson Club in Kentucky. Among these papers was a list of settlers living in 1786 on what was called “the Opequon Survey,” described as 2,150 acres on the South side of Opequon:

Wm. Ewings

John Ewings

Stephen Myer - Christ. Shipe

Widow Moyers

David Wright

David Wright - James Wright

William Vance

William Vance - James Jones

William Vance - Andrew Boyle

Adam Clyne

William Ridenour - Christopher Ellis

William Ridenour - Gasper Reed

Sarah Allen

John Redenour

Samuel Vance

David Brown

Wm. Chipley - Thomas Grey

As can be seen from the names on the list, this area was settled by a population with diverse backgrounds - some English, some Irish and some German. “South of the Opequon” evidently meant the area lying south of Wright’s run, which is a branch of the Opequon. Most of the area of the survey fell within what is today Warren County.

On the 29th day of February, 1773, William Ewing made his will, which was recorded in Frederick County Superior Court Will Book 3 at page 217 but was never probated. The will, which was evidently made in his own hand and witnessed by only one witness, read as follows:


In the County and Paresch of Frederick 29th day of February in the year 1773 in the name of God Amen being sick and weak in body in perfect sense and memory as well thanks be given to God ... principally first of all give recommend my soul to God ... I give devise and despose of in the following manner - I do order my just debts to be payed and funeral charges to be payed - I order my wife Elizabeth what the law directs my old son John one shilling and my wife’s son Jonathan Backle one shilling. I order the land I now live on to be divided betwixt my three sons with all houses and tenament which is six hundred and twenty four acres to William Robert Samuel my three daughters Elizabeth and Mary and Jannet and to them all the rest of my land to be equally divided among them and all my Bills and Bonds to be equally divided as are before and the rest of my goods to be equally among the rest of them seven children afore mentioned .... [illegible] to William Young near to Robert Olliver.


S/ William Ewing


            John Collins

It was evidently the lack of a second witness to the will which prevented the regular probate of same. In the June court of 1782, the following notation was entered:


On examination the Court are of the opinion the will is not other than a non-cupative - as such is or Cert. With the sd will annexed is granted Eliza the widow and Jno. Ewing they having comp law.

This abbreviated order evidently means that the Court decreed that the will was to be treated as a deathbed will given orally by the testator even though there were not sufficient witnesses to swear the oath. John Ewing and Elizabeth Ewing, the widow, were to serve as court-appointed executors. (There is no evidence that Elizabeth Ewing accepted the position as co-executor). In his executor deeds, John Ewing will later explain that his father died intestate and that he, John, became heir-at-law by virtue of his position as eldest son. In these deeds, John Ewing gives the year of his father’s death as 1781. In the eight year gap between the making of his will and the time of his death, William Ewing and wife Elizabeth sold to John Jones a part of the land on dry run containing 400 acres. (Frederick County Deed Book 18 p 221). This deed was dated 16 December 1778 and was witnessed by Jno. McGinnis and John Marburger. William Ewing signed in his own hand and Elizabeth Ewing made her mark.

John Ewing, executor of his father's will, was of Greenbriar County, Virginia on June 21, 1782 when he made bond on behalf of his brothers, William Ewing, Robert Ewing, Samuel Ewing and Thomas Ewing in the amount. of £1,000 gold and silver. John Ewing’s bond was a guarantee that he would deliver proper and legal deeds to each of his brothers as follow:


to Wm. Ewing for 200 acres lying on Lord Fairfax's road where John Barr (?Barrow) now lives;


to Robert Ewing for 200 acres known by the name of the glebe on the Indian branch, both tracts being part of a larger tract containing 625 acres


to Samuel Ewing the half of the plantation where John Cample now lives on drain of Crooked Run


to Thomas Ewing the other half of the land mentioned (evidently the tract being conveyed to Samuel Ewing).

John Ewing signed the bond in his own hand and it was witnessed by Jno. McGinnis, Elizabeth McGinnis and Jno. Taylor.

The identity of Thomas Ewing is not disclosed in the Ewing records and he was not in the will of William Ewing, Sr. However, it is believed that he is a son of William, Sr. who was born after the will of his father was made. A list of children, with birth dates, is given for William Ewing and his wife Elizabeth, who was purported to have been a Thorp or Tharp, before her marriage. In a letter from Gerald E. Ewing; dated April 27, 1983, addressed to Frederick County Historical Society, Winchester, Va., reference is made to “... William Ewing & Elizabeth Tharp (Thorp) who had moved from Chester County, Pa. to Frederick Co. (near Winchester). Wm. Sr. died there Dee 27, 1781, at the age of 70. Elizabeth was suppose to have died in Grayson County, Ky, in May, 1816.”    (Elizabeth Ewing's will was probated in Frederick County, Va. as will be shown later).

The following list of children is given for William Ewing “b about. 1711" and Elizabeth Tharp:


            John                b Apr 10, 1754

            William           b Apr 26, 1758

            Robert             b Feb 28, 1761 

            Elizabeth         b Mar 2, 1763

            Mary               b Mar 31, 1765

            Samuel            b Feb 28, 1767

            Jane                b Sep 21, 1770

            Thomas           b Feb 3, 1773

There is probably no reason to suppose that John Ewing was not in good standing with his father at the time the latter was making his will. John, if born in l754, would have been about nineteen years old at that time. It may be that he was to receive his share of his father's estate in money when he left for the Greenbriar, which was evidently some time prior to 1782, when his executor’s bond showed him "of Greenbriar County, Virginia." We might go so far as to speculate that when William Ewing, Sr. Sold the land to James Jones [John Jones, see prior page] in 1778, it was to provide funds to stake his son John on his journey to the Greenbriar.

The supposed birth date of 1773 for Thomas Ewing, son of William Ewing, Sr., seems consistent with the date of John Ewing's deeds to Samuel and Thomas Ewing, which were dated September 5, 1793. To his brother Samuel, John Ewing, conveyed 190 acres lying on Gardner's run, a branch of Crooked run, describing it as part of a larger tract of 380 acres which was conveyed by Fairfax to William Ewing, "the father of said John Ewing," and said William Ewing "departed this life in the year 1781 intestate and the said John Ewing his eldest son became heir at law.” (Frederick County Superior court Deed book 2 p 489). The deed of John Ewing to Thomas Ewing was dated the same day and year as his deed to Samuel Ewing. It called for 190 acres of land on Gardner’s run, being the other part of the 380 acre tract which Fairfax had deeded to William Ewing. (Deed Book SC2 p 69). And on the same date as the above two deeds, John Ewing sold to Jacob Snider for 382 pounds a tract of land containing 191 acres, being part of a larger tract granted to William Ewing, deceased, by Lord Fairfax. (DB SC2 p 70).

It seems evident that Samuel and Thomas were the youngest sons of William Ewing, Sr. since their deeds were the last to be made by the executor John Ewing. On November 14, 1788, John Ewing had conveyed to William Ewing for the sum of 200 pounds all of his, John's, interest in a track of land "formerly occupied by my father the late William Ewing, deceased, which land is adjacent to Stephensburg.” Witnesses to this deed were Samuel Ewing, Joshua Tharpe and Thomas Brooks (Frederick County Deed Book 21 p 964). There is considerable mystery attached to William Ewing, Jr. In that he does not seem to have received his portion of the land from his father, but in the above deed he is paying to his brother John the sum of £200 for John’s share of the estate. It may be that. William did assume his ownership of his own share by reason of the fact that he was already of age when his father died. If born in 1758 as claimed in Gerald E. Ewing’s letter, he would have been twenty-three years old when his father died in 1781 and was probably already living on his part of the land. In that event, it may not have been considered necessary for the executor to make a deed to him for the land he already occupied. There is still a mystery however, in that William does not appear again in the records and seems to have left the county without disposing of his land in the usual way. The aforementioned letter of Gerald E. Ewing attempts to connect William Ewing, Jr. of Frederick County, Virginia with a William Ewing "who bought land in Muskingum Co. Ohio (near Zanesville) in 1806." Ewing states that this man was according to the deed from Monongalia County and that their first child was Elizabeth, born 1808 and second child was Henry G. born April 27, 1810. Henry G. Ewing was said to have moved to Ohio near his father. A third child, Josiah was appointed executor by his father's will, left no further record.

It is not certain whether John Ewing returned to Greenbrier after making the above deed to William his brother but it seems likely, because in 1791 he was again in Frederick County, this time with wife Esther. The two of them made a deed on May 11, 1791 to Robert Ewing for his share of the estate of William Ewing, deceased. Robert’s land was described as lying on a drain of Crooked Run. Witnesses to the conveyance were Peter Christman, Jacob Zimmerman and David Wright. (Frederick County Deed Book 22 p 369). On the same day, John Ewing and Ester, his wife, conveyed to William Taylor 43 ½ acres, begin part of the devise of William Ewing, deceased, to the said John Ewing. (DB 22 p 371). The witnesses were William McLeod, J. McGinnis and John Rhea. Whether William Taylor was related to Jacob Snyder who also received by deed some of the Ewing estate cannot be determined at this time, as there were both German Taylors (Schneiders) and English Taylors in Frederick County at the time.

Since no marriage record appears in Frederick County for John Ewing and his wife Esther, it seems likely that he married her while in Greenbriar County. It is not known how many trips he made back and forth to Greenbriar while administering his father’s estate, but it is likely that he made more than one; long-distance trips in the early years seem to have been more frequent than we would think possible, given the condition of the early roads. At any rate, John Ewing was in “the Commonwealth of Kentucky” on October 21, 1794 when he made his last deed, conveying to Elizabeth Ewing, his mother, (or possibly his step-mother, as his father may have been married twice) a tract of land in the vicinity of Stephensburg. This land is described as part of a larger tract containing 625 acres, thus showing it to be part of the choice land which Ewing had taken up from Hite but later paid for again when he received his deed from Fairfax. John Ewing, as heir of William Ewing, deceased, sold to Elizabeth Ewing for the sum of £500 all the residue and remainder of the estate of William Ewing, deceased. The acreage was given as 200 acres. Since John had conveyed to his brother, William, his (John’s) own share of his father’s land, it may be that this sale is for the land which William was to receive from his father; else, it may be that this deed is for John’s portion on which his brother had failed to pay the sum stipulated in his deed. The portion now being conveyed to Elizabeth Ewing is described as joining the lands of or being part of the tract of which portions were formerly conveyed to Robert Ewing, William Taylor and Jacob Snyder. Witnesses to this deed were J. McGinnis, Samuel Ewing, Robert Ewing, and Thos. Ewing. It is my considered judgment, after reading and re-reading the deeds and wills of the Ewings, that one portion of the 625 acre tract was vacated by one of the heirs and was then reconveyed to the widow Elizabeth. This I will attempt to show. But, first, we need to look at the will of Elizabeth Ewing.

On the 20th day of July, 1795, Elizabeth Ewing, relict of William Ewing, deceased, made her will as follows:

“I ... first order my just debts be paid out of my moveable estate; to my son Samuel I will and bequeath one hundred acres of land, part of the tract I purchased of John Ewing in the County of Frederick and Commonwealth of Virginia, being the home plantation of my late husband William Ewing dec.... the remainder of the land I give and bequeath to my three daughters their heirs and assigns forever, namely Elizabeth McGinnis, Mary McBean and Isaac (sic) Ewing which division I order to be made by a surveyor under the directions of two or three good men chosen by the said legatees or the representatives of them who will divide as to quality and I will and bequeath that my personal estate after my decease and debts paid out of it is particular to pay a balance of a divident to Mr. William Ewing estate due to Thomas and Jane Ewing the then balance and remainder divided among the three female legatees above mentioned and Lastly, I appoint Samuel Ewing the sold executor of this my last will and testament.”

Elizabeth Ewing, signed her will by making her mark (+). It was duly witnessed by Thos. Dunn, Saml. Brison and William McLeod and was probated in Frederick County, Virginia on 2 September, 1816. It would seem that Elizabeth Ewing, widow of William Ewing, Sr., died in Frederick County, Virginia in 1816 and not in Greyson County, Kentucky in 1816, as proposed by Gerald E. Ewing in his letter to the Frederick County Historical Society. (Frederick Co., Va. Will Book 10, p89).

Although the suggestions made in Gerald Ewing’s letter with regard to the place and date of the death of Elizabeth Ewing, as well as the connection he attempts to make between William Ewing, Jr. of Frederick County and the Wil1iam Ewing of Muskingum County, Ohio may be open to question, his sequence of births of the children of William Ewing, Sr., together with their first names, seems to be in order. In addition, the complete list of birth dates appears too convincing, to have not been from an authentic source. We will therefore, accept his names and dates as authentic and will attempt to show, as far as the records will support it, an account of the children of William Ewing, Sr. of Frederick County, Virginia.

JOHN EWING was by his own admission, and evidently by the finding of the court, the eldest son of William Ewing, Sr. He apparently took his place as executor of his father's estate and divided the real estate of William, Sr. to his brothers of his own volition, since the court had ruled that William Ewing, Sr. died intestate and since his death occurred before the abolition of the rule of primogeniture by which the oldest son of the intestate received all of his estate. The fact that John Ewing shared his inheritance with his brothers and sisters according to the wishes of his father, and that he returned from the western country to execute the estate speak well for his integrity and devotion to duty. It seems that he was already in Greenbirar at the time of his father’s death, which is given in his deeds as 1781, because in June of 1782 he described himself as "of Greenbriar County" when he assumes the duties of the execution of his father’s will. John and William Ewing, according to the terms of their father's will, were to share equally in the four hundred acre tract on dry run, but the deed show that entire dry run tract had been sold off to John Jones by the senior Ewing in his lifetime. It is my belief, however, that by the time of the senior Ewing's death some rift had occurred between William Ewing, Sr. and his son William Ewing, Jr. in the eight year interval between the making of his will and his death. The sale of the 400-acre tract to Jones, the birth of a fifth son, Thomas, and the removal of John Ewing to Greenbriar County may have all been reasons for Wil1iam Ewing, Sr. to change his will. But what could have caused him, William, Sr., to have reinstated John as one of the devisees to his land and removed William, Jr. as a devisee? For it seems that this is what had happened. The fact that the court ruled that the will was "nothing, but a non-cupative will," ignoring apparently the written will, indicates, I believe, that William Ewing had dictated a more recent will perhaps from his deathbed, making radical changes in what he had originally intended to leave to his two eldest sons. Whatever William. Jr.’s offense against his father, William Sr. now proposed to reinstate John to a share of the land and to cut William, Jr. out of his inheritance. It seems, however that John Ewing, had already set his face to go west, and he therefore made a deed to his brother William, selling to William for the sum of £200 his (John’s) share of the land.

Although we can only speculate as to William Ewing's change in the terms of his will the deeds of William Ewing’s executor give a fairly clear picture of how his lands were divided among his heirs and devisees. We know that William, Sr.’s estate consisted of three tracts at the time of the making of his original will in 1773. These were the 625-acre tract on the waters of Opequon which he had acquired from Hite, later confirmed by a deed from Fairfax; the 400-acre tract on dry run; and the 386-acre tract on drains of Crooked run. The four hundred acres had been sold to John Jones in 1798, leaving William Ewing in possession of only the two tracts of 625 acres and 386 acres at the time of his death. If we total the acreage of the tracts which were deeded by John Ewing as court-appointed executor of his father’s estate, we arrive at a figure of 1014 ½ acres, somewhat in excess of the 1011 acres which William is supposed to have owned at the time of his death. For this reason, we must say that the deeds “give a fairly accurate picture” of the Ewing land. If we are willing to assume that there may have been a slight error in the acreage given in one of the original surveys, or that William Ewing, Sr, may have acquired a few extra acres from one of his neighbors for which no deed was entered, we can account for all of the lands of William, Sr. and show that William, Jr. did not. receive any land by his father's "non-cupative" will. Let us examine again the executor deeds of John Ewing.


Initially John Ewing conveyed to his brother Wi1liam for the sum of £200 all his interest in the estate of his father, William, Sr., consisting, of 200 acres "where my father lived ....” He next conveyed to his brother, Robert Ewing" 200 acres of the same tract; he also conveyed to Jacob

Snider 191 acres; of the residence tract adjoining Robert Ewing; and to William Taylor he sold 43 ½ acres, "late the property of William Ewing and devised by him to John Ewing." Finally, he conveyed to his brothers, Samuel and Thomas Ewing, 190 acres each of the 386-acre tract. Nowhere does it say in any of the Ewing deeds that the 386 acre tract and the 625-acre joined each other; however, it seems likely that they did at some point. When surveyors laid out lands, often a small acreage was left between tracts as ungranted land. It is possible that this was the case with the Ewing lands, and that the 3 ½ acre discrepancy denotes a bit of unclaimed land which William Ewing, Sr. took up within his fences. Certainly, we believe that all the lands of William Ewing, Sr. stand accounted for in the deeds of his executor, John Ewing,

William Ewing, Jr. evidently did not pay to his brother John the £200 for John’s share of the estate. William’s whereabouts after receiving his deed cannot be determined; William, Jr. does not appear again in the Frederick County records as far as we can tell after careful examination of the deeds, marriages, wills and court references of and to the Ewingses. However, a reference in the will of Adam Kline of Frederick County, dated 9 December, 1799, may give some clue as to the reason for William Ewing’s absence. Kline, the testator, after providing for his sons, Michael and John, and his sons-in-law, Henry Greever, Daniel Trout, Michael Ridenour, Jacob Sawyer, Abraham Grapes and Peter Gilliam, then directs that a sum of money be held in trust and paid in annual installments to his daughter Elizabeth Evens “who hath been abandoned by her husband.” (Will Book 6 p 557). The will was probated on December 1, 1800 and a sale was held on December 12 of that year. There was no Elizabeth Even among the buyers, but there was an Elizabeth Ewing. (Will Book 6 p 614). When Andrew Redd, the executor, made his accounting of Adam Kline's estate in 1805, (WB 8 p 109), his papers showed not only a note of Elizabeth Ewens in the amount of £3 .. 17 .. 10 being charged against her by the estate but also listed annual payments by the executor in 1802, 1803, 1804 and 1805 to Elizabeth Ewings. There seems no doubt that Elizabeth Kline's married name was Ewings. Since it has been shown that Adam Kline ("Clyne") was an early neighbor of William Ewing, Sr. in Hite's Opequon survey, and since many of the names of buyers at the Kline sale were persons living near Stephensburg, it seems reasonable to believe that Elizabeth Ewings husband was a member of William Ewing's family. Although any of his sons might have qualified as the husband who had abandoned her, William Ewing, Jr. appears the most likely candidate because of his unexplained absence after 1791. John Ewing was conspicuous by his presence, and because of his highly visible role as executor of his father's estate could hardly be the nan who had run off from his wife. The other sons are likewise accounted for by their deeds or marriages. If William, Jr. is the man who was married to Elizabeth Ewing and subsequently deserted her, it may be that he was left out of his father's will for this reason.

Robert Ewing, son of William Ewing, Sr. was born in 1761 according to the letter of Gerald E. Ewing. We believe that he was the Robert Ewing who married Margaret Carr in Frederick County, Virginia on 5 March, 1790, as shown by the return of the Reverend Elisha Phelps, a Methodist minister at Stephens City. Robert Ewing received his land by deed from his brother John in 1791. According to the 1810 census a Robert Ewing was living in Frederick County that year with a household consisting of one male age 10-16, one male 16-25, one male over 45, two females 16-25 and one female over 45. The estate of this Robert Ewing was being settled in the Frederick County Court in 1826. On 11 July of that year the appraisement was made by John Nisewander, Henry Piper and John Reed. (Will Book 13, p 176). The estate sale was had on March 2, 1826 with the following Ewings among the buyers: Robert, John, Margaret, Elizabeth and Thomas. Other names of buyers included persons name Ritenour, Myers, Kline, Steel, Reed, Tharp, and McClun, all Stephens City names. (WB 13 p 178). The settlement of Robert Ewing’s estate was recorded on May 5, 1828, showing that he had three heirs:

            Wm. B. Walter, "one of the heirs"

            Eliz. Ewing, one of the heirs

            Robert Ewing, the executor, "his own claim as one of the heirs" (Frederick County Will Book 14 p 374). We believe that all of the above records are for the same Robert Ewing and that he is the son of William Ewing, Sr.

Robert Ewing son of Robert and Margaret, married Mary White in Frederick County Virginia on 21 January, 1829, according to a marriage return made by Thomas Buck, Jr., a Baptist minister living near Front Royal. Further proof of this marriage is given in a deed of Warner White's heirs, dated 22 June, 1830, wherein the following are named as parties to the transfer of White's estate: Robert Ewing and wife Polly formerly Polly White, Joseph White, Elijah White and wife Sarah, John R. White, grantors, and William White, grantee. (Frederick County Deed Book 61 p 28). Mary, the wife of Warner White is shown by the records to have been a daughter of William Taylor, who had received 43 ½ acres of the Ewing land by deed from John Ewing as already shown. The disposal of the Taylor White land is given in Deed book 66, p 348, when by deed dated 14 March, 1835, Wi1lian White and Robert Ewing, executors of Mary White, sold to Alexander Albin the lot of land which had been conveyed by heirs of William Taylor, deceased, to said Mary White. This land was shown joining, lands of Tharp and Andrew Red (Redd).

Robert Ewing, son of Robert and Margaret Carr Ewing, died in Frederick County, Opequon District, on August 1870 of consumption, aged 79 years, 7 months and 9 days. His age at time of death indicated a birth date of approximately 1791. Only one child has been found for him.


Robert Warner Ewing, son of Robert and Mary White, was granted license to marry E(lizabeth) K. Gardner, daughter of John and Rosanna Gardner, in Frederick County on April 7, 1857. His age was given as 25 and hers as 23. He did not live to be very old; his will was dated 13 April, 1878 and was probated on August 4, same year, naming wife Elizabeth to who he left all his estate for her support and that of their children, directing that, if deemed necessary, she be allowed to sell the “tract of land known as the White tract adjoining L. W. Hale and A. W. Albin.” (Will Book 33 p 327). The names of the other children of Robert and Mary White Ewing, if any, are not known.


Margaret Ewing, daughter of Robert and Margaret Carr Ewing, married William B. Walter in Frederick County on May l0, 1827, as shown by the return of Rev. John B. Tilden. The marriage is further confirmed by the settlement of the estate of her father wherein William B. Walter is named as one of the heirs, as shown above. William B. Walter left a will in Frederick County dated 23 April, 1856 and proved at the September term of 1865, in which he mentioned his children but did not name them. No attempt has been made to take forward his line. (See Will Book 27 p 157 for the will of William B. Walter).


Elizabeth Ewing, daughter of Robert Ewing, Sr. and Margaret Carr, evidently did not marry. Nothing further is known about her.


Samuel Ewing, son of William Ewing, Sr., lived and died in Frederick County, his wife being shown as Barbara in a deed and other records. Samuel was born on February 28, 1767, according to the account of Gerald E. Ewing. He received 190 acres of his inheritance from his father by deed from John Ewing in 1793, as already shown. The land was described in the deed as lying on Gardener's run. On August 17. 1795, Sarnuel Ewing and Barbara, his wife made a deed to John Larry conveying for the sum of £255, the tract of land which John Ewing had deeded to Samuel Ewing in 1793, excepting however twenty acres of same which had been sold to Samuel Orson. (Frederick County Superior Court Deed Book 2 p 417). Ewing’s deed to Larry was witnessed by Robert Mattox, Jesse Taylor and J. McGinnis. It is possible that this John Larry is the same John Larry (Lowrey) who married Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of William Taylor whose land adjoined Robert Ewing’s. The wil1 of this William Taylor is recorded in Frederick County Will Book 10 at page 302 and names daughter Elizabeth Lary, daughter Mary White, sons George, James and Jessey Taylor and grandson Samuel Lary. Executors were Jessey Taylor and Warner White. The will was proved on 6 March, 1818. As we have already seen, Mary Taylor, daughter of the above William, married Warner White and the White’s purchased the tract of Ewing land which was in possession of William Taylor at the time of his death.

Samuel Ewing's reason for selling his inheritance seems to have been that his mother, Elizabeth Ewing was to convey to him on April 16 of the fol1owing year for the sum of £500 a portion of the manor tract deeded to her by John Ewing in 1794. Elizabeth's deed to her son calls for a tract of land lying in the vicinity of Stephensburg on both sides of Stephens run and joining lands of Snider and Taylor. (Frederick County Deed Book SC2 p 495). Witnesses to the deed of Elizabeth Ewing were Jacob Snyder, J. McGinnis and Jacob Snider.

It may be well to digress here and state that Elizabeth Ewing seems to have favored her son Samuel in that she left to him all of her personal property and one half of the land, with the other half of land to be divided among her three daughters. The gift of personal property to her son Samuel was subject, however, to payment of “a balance of a divident to Mr. William Ewing estate due to Thomas and John Ewing." (See previous reference to will of Elizabeth Ewing). We must assume that Thomas Ewing and Jane Ewing were the youngest children of Elizabeth Ewing, the testator, as they were by all accounts the youngest children of William Ewing, Sr. The offhand manner in which Elizabeth speaks of them would seem most peculiar unless we make allowance for the lack of education of Elizabeth, who signed her will with her mark. Her stilted manner of speaking when referring to her own children may then be attributed to the fact that she was dictating the will to a third party. Her subsequent deed to son Samuel seems to confirm however that she did favor him above the others. It raises again the question of whether William Ewing, Sr. may have been married twice; it is possible that Elizabeth was not the _____ of John, William and Robert Ewing. The reference in her husband’s will to Jonathan Backle, “my wife’s son,” adds to the confusion because Elizabeth Ewing makes no reference in her will to a son Jonathan. Could he have been a son of a former wife of William Ewing, Sr. If so, there seem to have been no persons in Frederick County by the name Backle. It is possible that the Backle is a misspelling for Buckle or Buckley, both of which appear as names in early Frederick County.

To return to Samuel Ewing, it seems that his wife was Barbara Shipe, whom he married on November 10, 1789 in Frederick, County, according to a return made by Elisha Phelps. Samuel Ewing was enumerated on the 1810 Census of Frederick County with household consisting of one male under 10, one male 26-45, three female aged 16-25 and one female 26-45. These figures indicate that there were probably four children born to them. Two daughters have been identified from the Frederick County Death Records as children of Samuel and Barbara:


Mary Ewing, born in Frederick County (in 1790) died at Opequon District on November 20, 1870 of consumption, age 80 years, 7 months and 22 days. Parents, Samuel and Barbara Ewing. Information given by Jno. A. Ewing.


Betsy Ewing, born in Frederick County (in 1798), died November 15, 1870 age 72 years 2 month cause unknown. Parents, Samuel and Barbara. Ewing. Information by Jno. A. Ewing, nephew.

John A. Ewing. nephew of Mary and Betsy Ewing is identified by his marriage record as a son of John S. and Elizabeth Ewing. On November 22, 1864 he was married to Ora C. White, daughter of Jesse and Catherine White. Since he was a nephew to Mary and Betsy Ewing it must be presumed that his father, John S. Ewing, was their brother. and another child. of Samuel and Barbara. Shipe Ewing. A Frederick County marriage record gives the following information:


John S. Ewing and Elizabeth Owens, 1 March. 1832, minister John Allemong (a Methodist at Stephens City).

John A. Ewing, son of John S. and Elizabeth, made a will on May 13, 1889 in which he named wife Orra C. and made mention of his minor children. (Frederick County Will Book 37 p 161). The death record of John A. Ewing shows that he was born in Frederick County (in 1836), and died there of consumption on June 1, 1889, aged 53 years, 5 months. Three children of John A. Ewing and Orra C. White Ewing were married in Frederick County, according to the marriage records:


Ida E. [?] Ewing, born c 1867, married John W. Mumaw, 1888

            M. Luther Ewing, b. c 1871, married Rosa J. Carper, 1893

            William H. Ewing, b. c 1874, married Mary M. Carper, 1898. Two children of John A. and Orra C. Ewing who died young are shown in the Frederick County Death Record.

            Ewing infant, unnamed, born Frederick County (in 1868), died there on November 8, 1868, cause not known, age 14 days.

            Jas. E. Ewing born Frederick County (in 1882), died there on October 5, 1894 of consumption, age 12 years.

One further child of John E. and Elizabeth Owens Ewing was Mary E. Ewing who married James H. White, son of Jessie T. and Ann White on January 19, 1860, according to their marriage record in Frederick County.

Thomas Ewing, son of William Ewing, Sr. is said to have been born in 1773, the eight and youngest child of his father. His birth date is given by Gerald E. Ewing as February 3, 1773. He was not named in his father's will, which was made in 1771 [1773]. It is certain that he was not born at that time, as the will speaks of seven children. Thomas Ewing came into his inheritance on September 5, 1793 when his brother John Ewing deeded to him 190 acres lying on Gardner's run. It appears that Thomas was living in Frederick County, Virginia in 1810, as the census for that year shows a Thomas Ewing with two males under 10, two males age 26-45. one female age 16-25 and one female over 45. Two marriages appear in Frederick County for a Thomas Ewing, one on 27 March, 1791 for Thomas Ewing and Gereta Stephens and one on 29 September, 1798 for Thomas Ewing and Edian Crawford. The Ewen-Stephens marriage was performed by Richard Swift, who according to church history was an early circuit-riding Methodist minister on the Winchester Circuit. The,. Ewing-Crawford marriage was shown by a marriage bond with John McGinnis as bondsman. It is our opinion that the Thomas Ewing who married Edian Crawford was the son of William Ewing, Sr., since he would have been too young to have married in 1791. Nothing further has been learned about Thomas, son of William. If he had any children, there does not seem to be a record for them in Frederick County.


Thomas Ewen who married Gereta Stephens was probably a relative of the William Ewing family. He must have originated near Stephens City, since Gereta, or Jaretta, was a Christian name in the family of Stepens who founded Stephens City. This Thomas Ewen moved to Shenandoah County and took up one hundred acres of land in the Hite-McKay tract, commonly called “the South River Tract.” His deed from Jonathan Clarke, Commissioner, was dated March 23, 1797. (Shenandoah County Deed Book K p 485). On March 1, 1798, Thomas Ewen and wife “Juritty” sold to John Curl the above tract. (Shenandoah County Deed Book L p 245). In signing his deed, Thomas Ewen made an X. Commissioners Samuel Richardson and Philip Spengler were appointed to take the acknowledgment of Juritty Ewen, and their certificate was dated 12 October 12, 1800. (Shenanoah County Deed Book M p 387). Juritta may have died soon after this, because on October 3, 1812 Thomas Ewen and wife Drusilla sold to John Bury or Beery a lot in the Town of New Market. (Deed Book Z p 432).

Not much has been learned to date about the three daughters of William Ewing, Sr., who were named in his will as Elizabeth, Mary and Janet, and were called, in the will of Elizabeth Ewing, Mary McBean, Elizabeth McGinnis and Isaac Ewing. It seems certain that the clerk in copying the will of Elizabeth Ewing into the will Book misread the first name of the third daughter of Elizabeth Ewing. Her name was Jannet, perhaps called "Jenny," as will be shown later.

Mary McBean has not been identified further and no marriage record, will or deed has been located for her. Gerald E. Ewing gives her birth date as March 31, 1765.


Elizabeth Ewing, said to have been born on March 2, 1763, married a McGinnis according to her mother's will. Although no marriage have been found for her, it seems likely that her husband was John McGinnis. A "J. McGinnis" is seen frequently in deeds for properties in the area of Stephens City, signing as a witness. A "Jno. McGinnis" witnessed the 1778 deed of William Ewing and wife Elizabeth to John Jones. J. McGinnis witnessed the deed of John and Esther Ewing to William Taylor in 1791. On December 4, 1778, J. W. McGinnis and Elizabeth McGinnis witnessed a deed from Zebulon Tharp and wife Jane to John Tharp for a tract of land on branches of Crooked Run adjoining lands of William Ewing, Adam Kline and Anthony Moore. (Frederick County Deed Book 18 p 125). On the same day, Zebulon Tharp and wife Jane deeded to John McGinnis for the sum of £100 a parcel of land situate on a branch of Crooked Run "called Stephens Run” and adjoining lands of William Ewing now in the occupation of David Sutherland, containing 120 acres. (DB 18 p 125). In October of 1775, J. McGinnis witnessed the will of Zebulon Tharp. (Will Book 4 p 535). J. McGinnis and Elizabeth McGinnis witnessed the codicil to same made on September 27, 1778. (Ibib). It will be recalled that Elizabeth Ewing McGinnis’ mother, Elizabeth Ewing, was said to have been a Tharp before her marriage.


On November 4, 1784, John McGinnis and wife Elizabeth deeded to Henry Carver for £32 a lot in Stephensburg which had been conveyed by the last will of Christian Foglesong to John Marburger and by Marburger conveyed to McGinnis “and ordered to be recorded.” (Frederick County Deed Book 20 , 319). Both John McGinnis and his wife Elizabeth signed the deed in their own hands.

On March 26, 1786, Edmund McGinnis of Stephensburg conveyed to John McGinnis two lots in Stephensburg. (DB 21 p 290). On 29 March, 1796, Fanny Weaver deeded to John McGinnis for the Sum of 5 shillings a parcel of land on a drain of Cedar Creek containing 72 acres.

(DB 24B p 416).

No person by the name of McGinnis appeared on the 1810 Census for Frederick County. It seems that Elizabeth McGinnis died there, however, as her estate was appraised on 8 December, 1825 in Frederick County by Jesse Taylor, John Nisewanger and Reuben Clarke. The appraisal was recorded on January 2, 1826, and nothing further appears for her.

Jannet Ewing, the youngest daughter of William Ewing, Sr., is said to have been born on September 21, 1770. In Gerald E. Ewing's account she is called “Jane.” There is a marriage in Frederick County, Virginia for a Jane Ewing to a Joseph Thompson, dated 23 June, 1801 with Thomas Ewing as bondsman. Although this marriage could be for Jannet, daughter of William Ewing. Sr., it is more likely that it is for a grandchild of William, Sr., since his daughter Jannet would have been 31 years old in 1801 if born in 1770 as supposed. It seems more likely that a Jenny Ewings who married Jesse Collins on September 1, 1785 is the daughter of William Ewings, Sr. It will be recalled that the will of William. Sr. was witnessed by a John Collins. If Jannet. Ewing's married name was Collins, she does not appear in the 1810 census of Frederick County and nothing further has been found for her. Perhaps the Collinses went west with the Tharps and John Ewing, and others who were leaving Frederick County in the years after the Revolution. Neither is there any mention of a Joseph Thompson or a Jane Thompson in the 1810 census of Frederick County, although there were eight Joseph Thompsons in other counties of Virginia in that year.

An unaccounted for male Ewing who was enumerated on the 1810 census and seems to belong to the Stephens City Ewings was Israel Ewing. His family consisted of two males under ten, one male 26-45, one female 16-25, one female 26-45 and one female over 45. It appears likely that likely that Israel Ewing is a son of Elizabeth Kline Ewing who was estranged from her husband in 1799 as related in the will of her father, Adam Kline. On a 1782 tax list (HEADS OF FAMILIES Of VIRGINIA 1790), taken by Elisha Williams in the southern part of Frederick County there are listings for an Adam Cline and an Elizabeth Ewing living side by side. Adam Cline's family, according to this list, which encompassed all the area in and around the present

villages of Middletown, Reliance, Ninevah and Cedarville, as well as the town of Stephens City, was composed of eight white persons. Elizabeth Ewing had seven family members in her household. It seems certain that these two householders are Adam Kline of the 1799 will

and his daughter Elizabeth Evens-Ewing. The number of persons in daughter Elizabeth's house suggests that she may have had children by her husband, Ewing, before he left her. If so, one of her children may have been Israel "Ewen" who took out a bond to marry Polly Anderson on the 25th of December, 1804, no bondsman listed. In the marriage return of John B. Tilden, dated the same day, Israel's name is written "Evins."

It may be that the half-German group of Ewing-Kline eventually adopted the spelling, "Ewan," as there were persons by that name in the Stephens City neighborhood during the early 1800's. On August 8. 1825, John B. “Ewen”and Christian Hale were married on October 22, 1805 by John B. Tilden. The next generation shows the following marriage for person name “Ewan:”

            James R. Ewan & Elizabeth Ann Widdows, 10 January, 1831, bondsman, Robert Widdows

            John W. Ewan & Sarah Ann Abbott, 25 December, 1832, bondsman William Henning

            Elen Ewan & Robert Widdows, 1 December, 1835, minister John Allemong

            Mary Ewan & Alexander W. Albin, 1 November 1832

Out of this group probably came one John W. Ewan, a Methodist minister, who was described as “the boy preacher of Stephens City” when he first served the Front Royal Methodist Church in 1853. It is stated in THE HISTORY OF THE FRONT ROYAL METHODIST CHURCH by Laura Virginia Hale that “At his own request and that of the congregation, he was returned to Front Royal in 1872.”


Top of page