To William Ewing of Frederick County by Dye

Chapter 1


The Ewing name is found among the earliest settlers of the Colonies. There are several spellings of the surname as there are with other names. Besides Ewing, the name was often spelled Ewin, Ewins, Ewen and Ewan. In the List of Emigrants by John C. Hotten, a John Ewins is listed, on February 16, 1623, as having died since the April before at the Jamestown Plantation. After the Indian Massacre of 1622, an inventory was ordered at each settlement so that lists might be made of all settlers who had died and those still living. Footnote

In the Biographical Dictionary of Early Virginia, 1607-1660, Ralph Ewens, Esquire, of London, England, is listed as an Adventurer in 1610 and 1620; Richard Ewins is mentioned in a 1625 James City County Court case; John Ewins is listed as being arrested for disturbing the peace in 1626 James City County where William Ewins is a 1643 resident. William Ewens is present in 1648 Surry County, in 1651 he assigned land to another in Northumberland County, and in 1656 he, or another William Ewen, is listed as a Northampton County Juror. Robert Ewen made a 1647 bond in Northampton County, and in 1651, he is listed as a resident planter of Nansemond County. Richard Ewen is listed as a 1657 Rappahannock County (old) Commissioner. Mrs. Mary Ewen, wife of William, is listed as one who in 1659 owned slaves in Surry County and is mentioned in a deposition. Footnote

John B. Boddie in Colonial Surry states that the largest land owner in Surry in 1626 was Captain William Ewen. He had 1,000 acres planted and 400 acres not yet cleared. Another 1100 acres were patented in 1643.

William Ewen was captain and owner of the ship "George" which made numerous trips to Virginia, bringing two of Virginia's governors among its many passengers. Lady Pocahontas and her husband, John Rolfe, were also transported by the "George". William Ewen evidently quit the sea, made his home in England, and became a prosperous merchant and the owner of a fleet of ships sailing to Virginia, Turkey, and the East Indies. His will provided for Mary his wife, and Mary, his daughter. Footnote

This William had no sons so no lineage can be traced to this early Ewing. However, it is definite that there were Ewings in the colonies during the 1600s.

Today many Ewings reside in the United States and much has been written on the various families. Most researchers have found that a John Ewing was the ancestor. Because there were two John Ewings who came to Pennsylvania at about the same time, both from Northern Ireland but only one born in Scotland, it has been impossible to establish an absolute lineage beyond Ireland.


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Gerald Ewing of Barrington, Illinois, and other family researchers have found that a John Ewing was married about 1685 and that he was in the 105 day siege of Londonderry in 1690. Londonderry is a county and city in the most northern part of Northern Ireland, sometimes called Ulster. Today Londonderry (Derry), on the Boyne River, is the second city in size with Belfast, the capital of Ulster, the largest.

In 1690 William of Orange defeated the Irish in the famous Battle of the Boyne with a 105 day siege. John Ewing's oldest child, four-year-old Alexander, nearly starved to death as did so many.

The History of the Epler, Oldwiller, Huckleberry, Carr and Ewing Families, published in 1913 says: Footnote

“The Ewings of this book are a branch of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Ewings. John Ewing, the first ancestor known of this family, born about 1650, went from Scotland to the north of Ireland and while we have no record of his service, it seems very probable that he must have been at the siege of Londonderry, where the Protestants were assembled to stand for their religion and their country. He emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1729. His sons with their families wished to come to America, but their father being 81 (?) years of age, felt he could not undertake the journey and the families remained with him. At length he determined to detain them no longer, and for their sake came to America, saying his bones could rest in the ocean or the New World as well as in Ireland.”

S. S. Jamieson of Burnet, Texas in 1895, furnished the following to Col. W. A. Ewing of Chicago, Illinois: Footnote


“Genealogical record of the descendants of John Ewing, senior, of Scotch descent, born in the north of Ireland about the year 1660; married first __________ about 1685.

Fought the Irish armies of, James II within the walls of Londonderry the 105 days of the year 1690. His eldest son, Alexander Ewing, then a child of four years of age was starved very nearly to death before the siege was raised but finally lived to old age, but never married. The second child a daughter, named Nancy, married Mr. Houston. The third, Jane (Jean) Ewing, married Mr. Vance. The fourth, Thomas, married Nancy Campbell; had no heirs; died 84 years of age. John Ewing, Sr. after losing his first "wife, married Miss Jannett McElvaney, who bore him five children, vis: I-John Ewing Jr, who married Sarah Jenkins, who bore him two sons, one a deaf mute and the other named Joshua. John Ewing was assassinated by a serving man. 2-Mary Ewing, married Mr. Collins. 3-William Ewing, married Elizabeth Tharp, and had five sons and three daughters; I-John, 2-William, 3-Robert, 4-Samuel, 5-Thomas, 6-Elizabeth, 7-Pollie, 8-Jannie and died at the age of 70. 4-Samuel Ewing, married Margaret McMichael) (McMeekin) and had twelve children, as follows: l-Annie, 2-John, 3-Daniel 4-Margaret, 5-Elizabeth, born 1765, 6-Samuel Jr., 7-William, born 1761, 8-Mary, 9-Thomas, 10th, 11th and l2th died. Margaret married Mr. Carr and then Robert Ewing. Mary married Mr. Crawford; Elizabeth married James Jamieson, son of Samuel and Catherine (Cowden) Jamieson.

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5-James Ewing, youngest son of John Ewing, Sr. was born in America (? incorrect, J.G.E.) February 14, 1721 and died in 1801, being 80 years old. He married first Sarah Mays who bore him three children, William, John and Jennie; and he then married Miss Sarah Edwards, by whom he had five children; James Jr., Edward, Mary, Sallie, and Robert. The foregoing history of the tribe of John Ewing Sr., to which I (S. S. J.) belong was found in an old letter dated August 26, 1827, written by Robert Ewing, a cousin of my father to Aunt Sallie Jamieson, stating he got it from his mother, my grandmother, (Elizabeth Ewing, daughter of Samuel, son of John), on July 12, 1820. I have now in my possession her certificate of membership in the Presbyterian Church at Glasgow, Ky. I have a poetic obituary of my grandfather, James Jamieson, written for my grandmother by her nephew, John Ewing, in 1821. They both died in Indiana the same year, he in July, she in November, 1821.”

John Ewing, the first ancestor known of this family, was of Carnashanagh, parish of Fahan, Donegal County, Ireland. In the Magee Library, Londonderry, maybe found the Burt Book, which is a record kept by the Rev. A. Ferguson,

minister of the Presbyterian Congregation at Burt, County Donegal from 1685 to 1718. Footnote


      Entries pertaining to John Ewing are:

            Baptised July 1 1694, Jean, dau. to John Ewing in Carnshanagh

            Baptised Oct. 14 1703, John, son to John Ewing in Carnshanagh

            Baptised Jan. 20 1706, Mary, dau. to John Ewing in Carnshanagh

            Marriage Sept. 4, 1701 John Ewing and Janet Micklevany

The Mormon Temple Library in Salt Lake City has a record from 'I'emplemore, Londonderry, Ireland of a John Ewing born about 1660 who married December 3, 1685, a Jennet Wilson born about 1664. Footnote This was probably

the same John Ewing and his first wife, the mother of A1exander, Nancy, Jean, and Thomas.

John and his second wife Janett were the parents of John, Mary, William, Samuel, and perhaps ,James, but his name seems to be in error. In 1729 John immigrated to Pennsylvania with several of his children and their families. They settled in Nottingham Township, Chester County, near Octoraro Creek. This area is just above Cecil county on the Maryland and Pennsylvania line.

Other Ewings settled in Cecil County, Maryland which is just below the Maryland, Pennsylvania line. Linda Cunningham Ewing writes that about 1700 four Ewing brothers came from Londonderry, Ireland, and settled in Cecil County, Maryland. Several younger brothers came over in 1718, settled on Long Island first, and later moved to New Jersey.

Of the four brothers who came to Maryland, John, the oldest, went west and many distinguished men and women in Ohio and Kentucy are his descendants. Alexander and his brother, Henry, settled in East Nottingham, near what was later called Ewingville. Samuel settled in West Nottingham and married Rebecca George, who came from North Wales with Quaker preachers. [Additional research has proven that Nathaniel Ewing is the father of John and not Alexander as indicated above and in the next paragraph.]

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Dr. John Ewing (1732-1802), Presbyterian minister of a Philadelphia church and Provost of the University of Pennsylvania in 1779, was a son of this Alexander Ewing. John and his twin, James, were born June 22, 1732. Their brothers were William, George, and Alexander.

These Ewings may have been related to our John who settled in Chester County just above the Maryland, Pennsylvania line. John, Samuel, and William were names used by Ewings from the beginning which Linda Cunningham Ewing states began as a collateral branch of the Clan McLachlan with the clan seat Kilmore, Scotland. King James gave John Ewing 2000 acres in Donegal County, Ireland, in 1614, and these lands are still in possession of the Ewing family.

Linda Cunningham Ewing presented the following information on the Ewing coat of arms. The data researched by Dr. Elbert William Ewing is included.


by Elbert William Ewing, A.M.; LL.B.; LL.D.



From the earliest dawn of history men used ensigns, banners, standards and badges as distinguishing emblems in war and in other affairs.


Ancient and medieval warriors wore armour, we know. Armour continued in use until about 1300. The head was encased in the helmet and so the identity of the armoured warrier was difficult or impossible. This led, it is believed, to the emblazonment of some distinctive device upon the outer or surcoat; this giving rise to the term Coat-of-arms. When later the Coat-of-arms came into use in Scotland the lion rampant became and yet is the chief figure on the arms of the King of Scots. Hence, the lion rampant is significant, as an early meaning, of royalty or royal descent.


The king alone can give a grant of arms, and this he does in Scotland through the “Court of Lord Lyon”, who holds directly from the crown. But the Lyon Herald of Scotland has lost much of his ancient function, which is now in Herald's College of Great Britain.


John Ewing, of Craightoun, Scotland inherited his Coat-of-arms from his ancestors. There are six entries of Ewing arms but all are founded upon those of Ewing of Craightoun. The arms of the Ewing family show several variations, but there is a substantial uniformity in those borne by the Scottish branches. The Ewing of Craightoun shows very certainly the four or five bars.

A reproduction of the Ewing Coat-of-arms follows: Footnote


[Editor’s note: It was learned that this coat-of-arms was found published in another book. My interest was to determine if this arms had been handed down through the family.]

Our John Ewing probably died in Chester County, Pennsylvania. We know that the families of William and Samuel moved down into Frederick County, Virginia, with Samuel's family later moving on to Kentucky. Of the other children only a few facts are known. Footnote


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                                           Alexander Ewing2 (John1), the eldest, was born about 1685, lived a long life, and never married.

      Nancy Ewing2 (John1) married a Mr. Houston.

      Jane or Jean Ewing2 (John1) was born in 1694 and married a Mr. Vance.

Thomas Ewing2 (John1) married Nancy Campbell. He died at age 84 in Chester County, Pennsylvania without children.


John Ewing2 (John1), the first child of second wife Janet McElvaney, was born in 1703. He married Sarah Jenkins and their two children were Thomas, a deaf mute, and Joshua. John's will was made October 17, 1735 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His early death at age 32, assassinated by a servant, occurred before November 19, 1735 when the letters were granted to his wife, Sarah.

      Mary Ewing2 (John1) who was born in 1706, married a Mr. Collins.

Samuel B. Ewing2 (John1) married Margaret McMichael or McMeekin. They moved from Chester County, Pennsylvania to Frederick County, Virginia, and then, on to Kentucky. He died August 24, 1798 in Frederick County.


The picture is the stone marking the grave of Samuel Ewing found in the Ewing Cemetery.

It reads: SamL Ewing Died AuG 24 1798 Aged 80 Years

 Samuel and Margaret had twelve children. Several researchers in their family have shared data with Gerald Ewing and he, with us, as we are all descendants of John Ewing's sons Samuel and William. [See editor’s comment in the introduction page.]

The children of Samuel were:

      Anna Ewing3 (Samue12, John1) born in 1744, married Abram Hillis. John Ewing3 (Samue12, John1).

      Daniel Ewing3 (Samue12, John 1) was killed by the Indians at Harbison Station, now Perryville, Kentucky.

Margaret Ewing3 (Samue12, John1) married John Carr. After his death she married her cousin, Robert Ewing of Frederick County on March 3, 1790 and died at Winchester June 18, 1815. Their descendants are discussed later.

Elizabeth Ewing3 (Samue12, John1) was born in 1755. She married Samuel James Jamieson and they moved to Barren County, Kentucky in 1796. Elizabeth died November 14, 1821 at 66 years of age while living in Indiana. Her husband died in July 1821. Their grandson, was Samuel S. Jamieson of Burnet, Texas who provided the information as indicated earlier.

Samuel Ewing3 (Samue12, John1) moved to Perryville, Kentucky. He married Margaret Crawford and they had five daughters and one son.

Elizabeth Ewing4 (Samue13, Samue12, John1) married Jesse Durham and lived near Brownstown, Indiana .

Mary Ewing4 (Samue13, Samue12, John1) married Adam Sharp and lived in Shelby County, Kentucky.

Margaret Evring4 (Samue13, Samue12, John1) married John B. McAfee of McAfee Station, Kentucky. They moved to Brownstown, Indiana.


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Catherine Ewing4 (Samue13, Samue12, John1) married Samuel Crawford of Perryville, Kentucky, her first cousin.

Ann Ewing4 (Samuel3 Samuel2 John1) married Richard Phillips of Perryville, Kentucky.

Samuel Ewing4 (Samue13, Samue12, John1) never married. He was a merchant in Perryville, Kentucky.

William Ewing3 (Samue12, John1), the seventh child of Samue12 and Margaret was born in 1762. He married Margaret Gant in 1790.

            Mary E. Ewing3 (Samue12, John1) ,was born in 1763. She married Thomas Crawford.

Thomas Ewing3 (Samue12, John1), was born in 1767. He married Margaret Tifford in 1790. They had a son, James, and a daughter, Elizabeth Ann.

James Ewing4 (Thomas3, Samue12, John1) was born in 1791 and married Sally Clark in 1823.

Elizabeth Ann Ewing4 (Thomas3, Samue12, John1) born August 30, 1792, married November 29, 1814 the Reverend Thomas Head, the minister who married Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, the parents of Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Jamieson reported that the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth children of Samue12 and Margaret Ewing died.

A Samuel Ewing of Bedford County, Virginia served in the Revolutionary War. A Samuel Ewing is listed as a Justice of the peace in The History of Prince Edward County by Herbert Clarence Bradshaw. Samuel II and III, Thomas M., William H., James, George, and John, Jr. are mentioned as being among the earliest settlers of the Farmville area. It is quite probable that they were descendants of a Ewing relative - perhaps of Joshua, (John2, John1) mentioned above. Joshua Ewing is recorded in the Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virqinia Vol III (Augusta County) p. 81 when he purchased items at a sale September 13, 1763. (Will Book 3, p. 292.) A Charles Ewing in 1744 and a James Ewing in 1751 are recorded. James Ewing's 1795 will names wife Martha, sons James, Joseph, and daughters Martha and Nancy. A William Ewing's Augusta 1761 deed is discussed also. The deed for 708 acres was delivered to Andrew Ewin October 1769.

Augusta County included all the land south of Frederick at the time this area was settled. Many of the Scotch-Irish were settled below Frederick County with large numbers settling as far south as North Carolina traveling on the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road.


William Ewing2 (John1) the third child of John and his second wife, Janet McElvaney, is the Ewing whose descendants are still found in the Winchester and Stephens City area.

William was one of the first settlers in the Shenandoah Valley and because of his difficulties with Lord Fairfax and his agents, his name is recorded in the Hite versus Fairfax Suit found in The Fairfax Proprietary. Thus we have more data than might have been expected. The following section attempts to describe the life of William Ewing as perceived from the various records quoted.


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