To William Ewing of Frederick County by Dye

Chapter 2


William Ewing2 (John1) was born 1711 in Carnshanagh, Ireland, to John and Janet McElvaney Ewing. with his family, William came to Pennsylvania in 1729, and in April 1737, William moved down from Pennsylvania just six years after settlement began. A letter from Chester County, Pennsylvania indicates William moved to Virginia in April 1737. Footnote

At that time, the lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains were known as Indian Country but they promised the land that the German and Scotch-Irish pioneers wanted for homes. Most of these early settlers had left Europe because of religious persecution and had been looking for good land which had not been taken. In Pennsylvania they heard fur traders praise the rich fertile Valley and soon families were moving down hoping to find good farming land where they could live in peace.

The beautiful Valley, with its tall fields of grasses (corn) and abundant wild game, was called “The Valley of the Daughter of the Stars” by the Indian inhabitants. “The Shawnees, the most powerful and warlike of all (the tribes in the area), claimed all the hunting grounds west of the Blue Ridge and as far west across the Allegheny as the Mississippi. They had three large towns in the Valley. One was near where Winchester stands today, one on the North River in Shenandoah County, and one on the South Branch, near where Moorefield (West Virginia) is situated. They did allow other tribes to visit them in the Valley on condition they pay them tribute in skins, or loot.” Footnote

Some tribes believed that the Great Spirit had given this Valley to all Indians and the coming of the white men who built homes, barns, and fences was resented. The settlers also claimed the right to shoot the Indians if they came on their property.

The Virginia Council, in the years 1730-1734, ordered that parcels of land be opened up to those willing to clear and work the land. The first grant in the Valley was obtained in 1730 by John Van Meter, a Dutch fur trader. He received 10,000 acres in the fork of the "Sherando" but he sold his grant in June 1731 to a wealthy German, Hans Jost Heydt, called Joist Hite. In October 1731, Hite, in partnership with a Quaker, Robert McKay, obtained a grant from the Colonial Government to have 100,000 acres of land surveyed on the west side of the mountain, with the agreement to bring in one hundred settlers within two years. Fifty-four families were brought in by Christmas of 1735 with Hite receiving an extension of time. Footnote


Page 8             Top of page

Alvin Dohme writes in Shenandoah: The Valley Story that actually Hite and McKay became partners when Hite's ox-drawn caravan of 100 German families met McKay's group of Scotch-Irish homesteaders from the seacoast. Both groups were on their way to the Mecklenburg ford of the Potomac River at what is now Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and both were traveling toward the valley in search of available farmland on which to settle their families. "By the time the two groups reached the Potomac ford, a partnership agreement had been worked out whereby they agreed to pool their resources in both land and money and eventually purchase more land from Lord Fairfax.

Thus was formed by a chance meeting perhaps the first large land development company west of the Blue Ridge. Footnote

Hite and McKay agreed to distribute the land with McKay and his Scotch-Irish occupying the eastern half from Winchester south to Luray and Hite's Germans settling the western half of the tract, from Winchester south to Strasburg and beyond.

All this land was in the County of Spotsylvania and so far away from the courts that Hite asked for a new county. Orange, in honor of the Duke of Orange, was organized in 1734. Soon he applied again and in 1738 Orange County was divided into the three counties of Orange, Frederick, and Augusta. Orange became the land east of the mountains and the ‘wild west’ was divided into Frederick and Augusta, named for the Prince and Princess of Wales. Footnote

As stated earlier, Joist Hite and Robert McKay purchased their land from Lord Fairfax as John Van Meter had. Thomas Lord Fairfax's grandfather, Lord Culpepper, had received a royal patent from King Charles II in 1649. Called the Proprietary of the Northern Neck, the vast tract of land of about five million acres, extended from the coast west to the Ohio Territory. It included almost all of the northern valley south of Winchester to well below Front Royal.

Thomas Lord Fairfax, who inherited the land in 1717, lived in England until 1736 when he came to visit his cousin William Fairfax at Belvoir in what is now Fairfax County. He soon realized that many people were living on his land without his consent. His agents were instructed to request that each settler purchase his land or pay him a small annual quitrent of from two to twenty shillings for every hundred acres. Joist Hite, Robert McKay, and the hundreds of settlers were furious and Hite and McKay had the audacity to take the matter to court. Lord Fairfax returned to England to present the matter to the Privy Council.

In 1746, Lord Fairfax returned and soon settled at Greenway Court near White Post in Clarke County. The bachelor, who loved fox hunting, lived in the simple story and a half log house surrounded by smaller homes for servants and tenants. In 1760 a white-oak post was erected a mile from the house to guide those searching his home, but it is said he never allowed a woman on the premises. A replica of the original signpost stands there today.

George Washington, when only sixteen years of age, and George William Fairfax, a cousin of


Page 9             Top of page

Lord Fairfax, were employed in 1748 to survey the northern end of the Fairfax Valley property. Washington's diary describes the extreme hardships of the month long trip, but soon he was out again for several months and without Mr. Fairfax. His performance gained Lord Fairfax's friendship which endured through the years even though Lord Fairfax remained

a loyal British subject. A greatly disappointed Thomas Lord Fairfax died in December 1781 soon after the October 1781 Yorktown Surrender. Footnote

Our William Ewing arrived in the Valley in 1737 and settled in the eastern area near Stephensburg with other Scotch-Irish families. The area may be seen on the 1885 map of the Frederick County Opequon Magisterial District. [Since this map had to be reduced considerably in order to fit a page, it is not presented.] Lewis Stephens, who had come to Virginia with Joist Hite in 1732, founded the town of Stephensburg which is now Stephens City.

It was called Newtown for a time. The General Assembly in 1758 made Stephensburg the second town in the Valley, following Winchester in 1752.

By 1738 there were so many Scotch-Irish in the Valley that they sent the governor of Virginia a petition: “For those who are of the same persuasion as the Church of Scotland ... to ask your favor in allowing them the liberty of their consciences, and of worshipping God in a way agreeable principles of their education.” Footnote

The governor replied that they would not be interfered with as long as they behaved peaceably, registered their meeting place, and paid their tithes to the Established Church (Anglican) although they did not have to attend it.

The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, called Irish, had finally found a home. From the persecutions in Scotland they fled to Ulster (Northern Ireland). There they soon quarreled with the Catholic Irish, but they survived the siege of Londonderry. “Catholic monarchs tried to exterminate them. Anglican monarchs called them dissenters, held their marriages illegal, debarred them from office or military rank. Caught between Papist and the Established Church, they made no truce with either. If they could not live in Ireland, they would migrate to America. If they could not live in Pennsylvania, they would move to Virginia ... they bowed to no temporal authority. Still Presbyterians, they moved on to the south and west.” Footnote

These hardy pioneers shared the Valley with the native Indians. At first the Indians were friendly and respected the plowed fields. But as more and more settlers arrived in the Valley which was their roadway and their hunting ground, their animals fled and they became restless. The number of raids against the settlers increased until, in the early summer of 1754, after twenty years of sharing the Valley, the Indians suddenly left. In 1753 messengers carne from the western Indians into the Valley and invited them to cross the Allegheny mountains. Historians believe this was done through the influence of the French who had made friends with the Indians and promised to protect their rights. Footnote


Page 10           Top of page


The French and Indian War years (1754-1766) were indeed difficult years for the settlers. Many families fled to the coastal settlements on their farm wagons carrying as many possessions as possible. Typical of the ordeals was the Indian burning of Fort Opequon near Winchester where they massacred all the garrison and others taking shelter there except a few of the younger women and older children who were taken prisoner. Among these were young George Stockton and his sister, Isabella. George lived for nearly three years as a slave in a Shawnee village before finally managing to escape and return home on foot. His sister, Isabella, first a slave of the Shawnee Chief Black Wolf, was sold to a French fur trader before thirteen years of age. In Canada, another Frenchman fell in love with her, bought her and set her free but asked to marry her, turning her situation to the most unusual. She was willing but insisted on traveling back from the Great Lakes to the Shenandoah Valley to obtain her father's consent. They reached her home but were denied Mr. Stockton's consent and while fleeing back to Canada with the Frenchman, he was killed by her half-brothers who had been sent to recover the family’s horses. Isabella, later married and reared a large family in Morgantown, West Virginia. Footnote

In the Records of Augusta County, Virginia, it is recorded that a John Ewing was also taken prisoner by Indians. John, of Gallia County, Ohio, testified that he and Jane Clendennin were carried away on the day her father and her brothers and sisters were killed in Greenbrier, July 15, 1763. They were kept in the same nation, but not together, except on their journey to Pittsburgh, where they were freed May 14, 1765. John was 16 years old when he was taken a prisoner and Jane, who married a Mr. Davis in 1774, was only 5 years Old. Footnote

William Ewing’s oldest son John, lived in Greenbrier but in 1763 he was only 9 years old. This John Ewing may have been a relative.

During the French and Indian War years, 1754-1766, William Ewing’s older children were born. He and perhaps most of the males were members of the local militia which was their only protection. A list of Colonel George Washington's Company taken from a poll in Frederick County July 24, 1758 is included. William Ewing is also found on Colonel F. B. Martin's list as are Thomas Lord Fairfax, Colonel George William Fairfax, and neighbors John Niswanger, Peter Stephens, Peter Perry, John Painter, and Zebulon Tharp. William Ewing is again on the Frederick poll taken May 18, 1761 when Colonel George Mercer is the commanding officer. After 1766 the twelve year Indian terror subsided and the Valley was finally quiet and safe again. Footnote

Poll taken in Frederick County, Jul. 24, 1758

Page 11     Top of page



Colonel (George) Washington

Ashby, Rob:t                          Ashby, Thomas                      Allan, Rob:t

Ashby, John                            Ashby, Stephen                      Anderson, John

Allan, John (Taylor)               Arnold, John                           Burn, James

Bow, Dennis                           Beiler, Christ:r                        Blackburn, Und:r

Ballinger, James                     Bruner, Jacob                          Bombgardner, Jn:o

Blackburn, Sam:l                    Babb, Tho:s                            Baker, Charles

Beam, Sam:l                           Baldwin, Reynald                   Barber, Rich:d

Blair, John                              Bowman, Jacob                      Bower, George

Biber, Henry                           Black, Martin                          Babb, Philip

Burne, James                          Bladliin, W:m                         Burdon, Joseph

Blair, James                            Brinker, Henry                        Barnes, Charles

Barret, James                          Barnet, William                      Briscoe, Jn:o

Babb, Tho:s                            Bruce, George                        Bowen, Henry

Babb, Tho:s, Jun.                    Babb, Peter                             Babb, Joseph

Bruin, Bryan                           Buckley, John                         Barret, Jacob

Baker, Joshua                         Carlyle, Jn:o (Col.)                 Craick, Ja:s (Dr.)

Cockran, W:m                        Calvin, And:w                        Cryler, Martin

Carson, Simon                        Clark, Chris:r                          Chester, David

Cockener, Jacob                     Chester, Thomas                     Cook, John

Cloud, Henry                          Carr, Nath:l                             Calman, Mathew

Corder, Edw:d                        Cromley, Will:m                    Cunningham, Rob:t

Cromley, Jn;o                         Calvin, Jos:h                           Cowper, Jacob

Carney, Tho:s                         Cocks, W:m                            Crawford, Valen:e, Jun.

Colston, Jn:o                           Cooper, Tho: s                        Chinoweth, Jn:o

Coil, W:m                               Carter, Ja:s, Jun.                     Cartmel, Edw:d

Carrel, W:m                            Catlet, James                          Conrad, Frederick

Cartmell, Nath:l                      Combs, Jo:h                            Chambers, W:m

Dick, Cha:s                             Dyer, Jn:o                               Dodd, Edw:d

Dedrick, David                       Doster, Thomas                      Dow, Jn:o

Duncan, Patrick                      Evans, Isaac                            Evans, W:m

Edwards, Jos:h, Jun.               Ewings, W:m                          Fairfax, Tho:s Ld.

Frouman, Paul                        Foley, Rich:d                          Fry, Abr:m

Fry, Jacob                               Fry, Joseph                             Fry, Benj:n

Funk, Henry                           Funk, Martin                           Fossett, Joseph

Fry, Sam:l                               Funk, Joseph                           Funkhauser, Jn:o

Fosset, Richard                       Frost, Will:m                          Funk, Matthias

Farrar, George                        Foster, Isaac                            Fairfax, Geo: W:m (Col.)

Fossett, Jn:o                            Funk, Jn:o (Capt)                    Glenn, John

Glass, David                           Gruman, James                       Glover, W:m

Gaddes, W:m                          Glass, Jos:h                             Glass, Rob:t

Grinner, John                          Grable, Christ:r                       Glass, Philip

Hunter, Adam                         Hampton, Noah                      Harbinger, Jn:o

Hoge, Jn:o (Rev.)                   Hardin, George                       Housman, Jn:o

Hoge, James, Jun.                   Heth, Henry                            Henry, Geo:


Page 12      Top of page

Hanshan, Nich:s                     Hart, Tho:s                             Harper, Rob:t

Huddle, Geo:                          Handley, Murtle                     Harron, Jn:o

Hope, Jn:o                              Hite, Jacob                              Hite, Jn:o (Col.)

Hite, Isaac                               Jordan, Peter                           Jenkins, Aaron

Johnston, Daniel                     Johnston, Rob:t (Gent.)          Johnston, Stephen

Jones, Jos:h                             Jones, Jn:o                              Jolliffe, W:m, Jun.

Jones, Gabriel (Gent.)             Keller, George                        Knight, James

Lewis, Field:g, Esq.                Leomon, Tho: s                      Lupton, Joseph

Lupton, W:m                          Lucas, Edward                        Littler, Samuel

Loyd, James                           Longacre, And:w                    Langdon, Jos:h

Louenger, Geo: Mich:l           Lilburn, Francis                      Lockmiller, Geo:

Laren, Isaac                            Lemon, Rob:t                         Meldrum, W:m (Rev.)

McGee, W:m                          Miller, David                          Marney, Rob:t

McDowell, Jos:                      Morgan, David                       McMahan, Rich:d

Milburn, Jn:o                          McGill, Ja:s                            McCoy, Rob:t

Morgan, Jacob                        Maddin, Laughlen                  McCarmish, Jos:

Maddin, Jn:o                           McCarmiclc, Ja: s                   McCarmick, Jn:o

Moore, Henry (Gent.)             Milburn, Rob: t                       McCarty, Darby

Monger, W:m                         Miller, W:m                            Mason, Tho:s

Murphey, Darby                     McDaniel, Pat:k                      Moore, Lewis

Nevil, George                         Oble, Samuel                          Perkins, Isaac

PrincelIer, Nich:s                    Poker, Mich:l                          Pettersoh, W:m

Paul, Geo:                               Perkins, Cha:s                         Pence, Law:e

Pickering, W:m                      Pugh, Jesse                             Postgate, Tho:s

Pemberton, Josiah                  Parrell, Jos:                             Parrell, Jn:o

Perry, Peter                             Poker, Philip                           Perry, Tho:s

Pugh, Azariah                         Perkins, Jonathan                    Russell, W:m

Road, Jn:o                               Rutherford, Rob:t                   Reece, Tho:s

Reece, Jacob                           Rinker, Henry                         Ross, George

Rice, Patrick                           Rice, Edward                          Rice, Geo:

Reynolds, W:m                       Riddell, Isaac                          Reece, Henry

Roberts, W:m                         Roberts, W:m, Jun.                 Reid, Jn:o

Rubble, Ulrich                        Ruddell, Corne:s                     Smith, Cha:s (Lieut.)

Smith, Jn:o,                            Stephens, Peter                       Snap, Jn:o

Snap, Jn:o, Jun.                       Stover, Dan:l                          Stephens, Henry

Strickler, Jacob                       Stickler, Benj:n                       Snodgrass, David

Snodgrass, Jn:o                       Smalsolfer, Law:ce                 Schrack, Nich:s

Stoner, Ulrich                         Stewart, Robert                       Sowers, Jacob

Seaman, Jon:n                        Strickley, Jn:o                         Sewell, Jn:o

Sebert, Jacob                          Strickler, Jos:                          Shepherd, David

Small, Jn:o                              Shepherd, Tho:s                      Stephens, Lewis

Stover, Jacob                          Springer, Dennis                     Stephenson, Rich:d

Snickers, Edw:d                      Snapp, Law:ce                        Stewart, Rob:t

Stephens, Dan:l                      Shade, Geo:                            Spealce, Tho:s

Thompson, Jos:                      Thomas, Evan                         Thomas, Jn:o

Taylor, Sam:l                          Turner, Anth:                          Thomas, Ellis

Turner, Anth:y. Jun.               Taylor, Barr:                           Thomas, Edw:d


Page 13      Top of page

Vance, Alex:r                         Vance, James                          Vance, Sam:l

Vance, And:w                         Vanmeter, Jn:o                       Vanmeter, Abram

Vestal, Jn:o                             Vanmeter, Jacob                     Vance, Jn:o

Vanmeter, Henry                    Vanfagan, Jn:o Fred:k            Wood, Ja:s (Col.)

Woodrow, Alex:r (Gent.)       Woolf, Peter                           White, Isaac

Whitzel, Geo:                         Wright, James                         Wilson, Rob:t

Wright, Geo:                           Wright, Jacob                         Wright, David

Wendall, Chr:r                        Wendal!, Aug:e                      Wilson, James

Wilson, Rob:t, Jun.                 Wilson, Tho:s                         Wendall, Vall:n

Waters, Tho:s                         Wilkenson, Jos:                      Worthington, Rob:t

Withers, Ralph                        Wilson, Jn:o                            Wright, Jn:o

White, W:m                            Young, Jn:o                            

William Ewing finally received a grant from Lord Fairfax in 1756 during the anxious War years. William was one of the many settlers who had a most difficult experience in obtaining a patent for the land purchased and settled in 1737. He applied to Lord Fairfax after learning that Joist Hite could not get the title to the land but as is seen in the following excerpt of the transcript of the famous Hite versus Fairfax Suit, he received a grant for only 625 acres, half of the land purchased for sixty pounds.


William Ewing: ‘That this deft. (defendant) in April 1737 came into Colony from Pennsylvania ... and applied to the compt. Hite, ... to purchase land of him. And this deft. accordingly agreed with him for about 1,210 acres at the rate of five pounds for every hundred ... And this deft. and ... Hite then entered into mutual bonds each to the other, this deft. in two different bonds for paying him the consideration money which was sixty pounds at two different payments, and the said compt. to complete this deft’s. title to the said land.


‘And this deft. entered into immediate possession of the said land and began to improve the same. But whether the said land was part of an Order of Council to the said compt. or under what right he disposed of it this deft. did not know or make any inquiry about it.


‘That this deft. being afterwards satisfied the said Hite could not make him a title to the said land applied to Lord Fairfax for his grant. Who accordingly passed his grant to this deft. for 625 acres, part of the land he had purchased of the said Hite, the rest being taken away from this deft. and granted to others. In obtaining which this deft. has been put to considerable charges and expenses and ... confesses that he has commenced a suit against the said Hite on his above mentioned bond to this deft., in which this deft. hopes to recover against him such damages as shall recompose this deft. not only for the expenses he has been put to in procuring a confirmation of his title from the Lord Proprietor, but also such part of the money this deft. formerly paid the said Hite for the quantity of land he purchased of him, as shall be in proportion to the quantity of land less than he now holds.


‘That the said compt. never applied to this deft. to join with him in this suit as plaintiff nor was this deft. ever dissuaded from so doing by his Lordship. And this deft. denies all combination &c.’” Footnote


Page 14     Top of page

William is also listed on page LVI among other concerned parties.


Agan, Bernard                        Barnthissel, John                    Burden, Benj. dec’d.

Bulger, Sarah                          Carroll, William                     Cunningham, Adam

Cunningham, Walter              Dark, Samuel                          Davis, William

DeHart, Simon                       Dowarty, Nathe.                     Duff, William

Ewings, William                     Frowman, Paul                       Funk, Ann

Funk, Joseph                           Garrett, Joseph                        Gildart, Huckles

Green, William                       Green, Robert, dec'd.              Grubbs, Emanuel 

Grubbs, John                          Hart, Thomas                          Hite, Joist  

Hodge, John                            Hogman, Christian                 James, William

Jobb, Calem                            Johnston, George                    Isaac, Samuel

Keys, Gersham                       Leith, George                          Langdon, Joseph

Lilburn, Francis                      Lilburn, John                          Lindsey, Edmund

Loyd. David                           Lukard, Thomas                     Lusk, Samuel

Matthews, Patrick                   McCoy, James                        McCoy, Robert Jun.

McCoy, Zachariah                  Morgan, Richard                    Morgan, Thomas

Neil, John                               Neil Lewis                              Ruddle, John

Rutherford, Reuben                Rutherford, Thomas               Thomas, Lewis

Vaunce, David                        Vaunce, James                        Newman, Samuel

Newman, Widow                    Odell, Samuel                         Parent, Joseph

Pennington, Isaac                   Robertson, George                  Rogers, William

Ruddle, Cornelius                   Sehorn, Nicholas                    Shull, Peter

Skeen, John                            Speer, Henry                           Stephenson, Richard

Tacket, Lewis                         Taylor, William                      Vanmeter, John

Vanmeter, Isaac                      White, William                       Williams, John

Williams, William                  Wood, Matthew                      Wright, George


A summary of the confusing Hite vs. Fairfax Suit which frustrated the early settlers for 50 years is included:


“A quotation from Fairfax Harrison's ‘Virginia Land Grants’ (P. 113, Note 186) seems to be a fitting summary for this article, for the ‘Add. M.S. 15317' of the British Museum to which he refers is another copy of the ‘Transcript’. He quotes the stipulation which is referred to in this article and says: ‘It was out of this stipulation that arose the celebrated cause, Hite vs. Fairfax. Hite was the representative of a company of land speculators who had seated a number of families in the Shenandoah under orders of the Virginia Council made from 1730 - 1734. They returned surveys to the Secretary’s office, but had not yet perfected Virginia patents before notice of the order of the Privy Council of 1733 suspended the activities of the Virginia government within the disputed bounds of the proprietary. When they came to his notice, Lord Fairfax was moved to indignation by the Hite surveys, for he found them to be what would now be called ‘shoestrings’ or


Page 15     Top of page


‘gerrymanders’, carefully laid out to include only bottom lands and so leaving the less desirable upland insulated and inaccessible to future seating. For this consideration, in 1749, he refused to issue grants to Hite and his partners until they should reform from their surveys; whereupon they sued to enforce the decree of 1745. The Proprietor’s technical defense, formulated by the able Valley lawyer, Gabriel Jones, was based on the allegation that, lacking patents, Hite was not a ‘Grantee’ within the purview of the stipulation of 1745. On this point the General Court held with the Hites in 1769 and 1771, and the defendant appealed to the Privy Council.


“The animosities of the original controversy having meanwhile died down, this appeal was not prosecuted; but, after Lord Fairfax’s death, the Hites secured an affirmance of the judgment of the General Court by the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and so recorded (1786, 4 Call, 42) a mass of evidence for the early history of the Valley of Virginia.


“The full record of the case, which was sent to England in 1772, survives in the British Museum (Add. M.S. 15317) and there are transcripts of the bill and answer in the M.S. division of the Library of Congress. That answer should be read by anyone interested in Lord Fairfax for it is a mirror of his character.” Footnote

In 1763 William Ewing purchased another 330 acres of land. Between January 29, 1762 and May 10, 1763 William Ewing (Ewen) had 386 acres adjacent William Reemy and John Painter on the "drain of Crooked Run" surveyed. During the same time he had 400 acres on Dry Run, a "draught of Shannandoah River," surveyed. This land was adjacent to George Bowman, Christian Plank, Robert Wharf, and Nicholas Perry . Footnote  

William and Elizabeth, his wife, sold this 400 acre tract December 16, 1778 to John Jones for 160 pounds current money of Virginia.

William probably married Elizabeth Thorp or Tharp after moving to Frederick County in 1737. A Tharp family had a large farm in Stephensburg, now Stephens City, adjacent to William's land. In the Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck land surveys Zebulon Tharp had “438 acres surveyed April 23, 1751 on Steven's Run, a branch of Crooked Run” that was adjacent to land of William Ewing. April 10, 1753, Zebulon Tharp had 420 acres “on Crooked Run on Shannandoah River” surveyed. This was adjacent his own line, William Ewins, and George Wright.

Zebulon Tharp's will, written October 1, 1775, names wife Jane, sons Zebulon, Andrew, Isaac, Joshua, John, Benjamin, and Andrew's daughter, Elizabeth. William may have married Zebulon's granddaughter Elizabeth. A close relationship is apparent. William and Elizabeth's daughter, Elizabeth Ewing3 (William2, John1) married John McGinnes and they are both witnesses on Zebulon Tharp's will as amended August 2, 1780. Footnote  


Page 16     Top of page

Elizabeth Tharp's first husband is believed to have been Jonathan Bakle; her son, Jonathan Bakle, is mentioned in William's will which was written in 1773 eight years before his death December 27, 1781 at 70 years of age. Lord Fairfax's death also occurred in December 1781 shortly after the Yorktown Surrender.

William and Elizabeth had eight children. Their names and birth dates are found on a family chart recorded in the Mormon Library at Salt Lake City. Footnote William’s will also names his sons John, William, Robert, Samuel, and his daughters Elizabeth, Mary, and Jannet (Jane). His wife Elizabeth and her son Jonathan Bakle are also named.

This note of explanation preceded William Ewing's will:


The instruments which follow were apparently presented to the Court and remained in its files while awaiting full proof or other action necessary to be had before they could be admitted to record. No notation appears upon these instruments to show that they were ever recorded, nor do any orders for their recordation appear. However, since they were in the files of the Court, it is thought proper that they be copied in this book so that they may be preserved.

The will of William Ewing:


In the County and Parcsch of Frederick 29th day of february in year 1773 in the Name of God amen being sick and weak and in body in perfect sense and memery as well thanks be given to God therefore Calling unto mind mortaility of my body and knowing that it is apointed for all men once die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally first of all give and recommend may soul to God that gave it and for may body I recommend it to the earth to be burred in a Chisten like manner at the descr. of my executoars nothing douttin but at the general Resurection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wher with it hath pleased God to Bless me in this life I give devise and despos of in the following maner I do order may just debts to be payed and funeral charges to be payed I order my wife Elizabeth what the law directs may old Son John on shilling and may wifes Son Jonthana Bakle on shilling I order the land I now live on to be equally divided betwxt may three Sons with all houses and tenement which is six hundred twenty four acers to William Robert Samuel may three daughters Elizabeth and Mary and Jannet and to them all the rist of my land to be equaled divide a mongth them and all my Bills and Bonds to equaled divide as are before and the rest of all my goods to be equill among the rest of them seven chillten a fore mentoned . . . . (illegible) . . . . to William Young near to Robert Oliver.


      Teste                                                                     William Ewing

            John Collins

1782 June 4th. On Examination the Court are of the Opinion the will is no other than a non cupative & as such is OR. Cert. with the sd will annexed is granted Eliz.a the widow & Jno. Ewing they hav.g comp. Law. Footnote


Page 17     Top of page


William Ewing

Died December 27, 1781

Buried Ewing Cemetery near Stephens City, VA

The original picture was in color. It has been cropped and converted to black and white.

As you can see, the stone is now in several pieces. These four pieces give the basic information.

From other sources, it is known that William died 27 December 1781. Therefore, a small piece of the stone is still missing.

John Ewing3 (William2, John1), born April 10, 1754 during the French and Indian War years, was the eldest child. Because William's will was not recorded, John was left the task of dividing up the property. The bond John3 posted in 1782 states that he is a resident of "Greenbrier and state of Virginia". That area later became West Virginia.

John Ewing's bond:

Know all men by these presents that I John Ewing of the

County of Greenbrier and State of Virginia   hold and firmly

bound unto Wm. Ewing, Robert Ewing, Samuel Ewing, and Thomas Ewing in the just sum of one thousand pounds (Gold and Silver) Current money of Virginia, to be paid to the said William Ewing, Robert Ewing, Samuel Ewing, and Thomas Ewing or their Certain Attorney heirs Executors, Administrators or assigns, To the Which payment will and truly to be made I pind myself my heirs Executors and Administrators Jointly and Severally firmly by these presents Sealed with my seal and dated this twenty-first day of June AD One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty two ----

The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the above John Ewing at the last Court held for this County in the Court House proved himself the heir at Law of his Father Will Ewing Estates -----

Now if the said John Ewing his heirs Executors or administrators shall (when lawfully demanded) make a deed in fee simple for the several lands hereafter mentioned unto the said William Ewing, Robert Ewing, Samuel Ewing and Thomas Ewing or there Several Attorneys agents Gardians heirs Executors Administrators or assigns (Viz) to William Ewing forever two Hundred Acres of


Page 18     Top of page

Land lying on Lord Fairfax Road the plantation whereon John Barr now lives; to Robert Ewing forever two hundred Acres of Land known by the name of the Glebe on the Indian Branch Both Tracts of land is part of Large Tract of Land containing six hundred and twenty-five acres of land, also to Samuel Ewing forever the one half of the plantation whereon John Campell now lives on a draw of Crooked Run to Thomas Ewing forever the other half of the said land last mentioned. When.the above obligation shal be void and of no effect othenvise to remain in full force and signed sealed and delivered in the presence of

John McGinnis

Elizabeth McGinnis                                  John Ewing (SS)

John Taylor

John Ewing Conveyance Bond £1,000.00

At a court held for Frederick County September 3, 1782

This bond was proved by the oaths of John McGinnis and John Taylor Witnessed there to and ordered to be recorded

                                    By the Court

                                          Ja Keith (CoC) Footnote

John3 (William2, Johnl) may have been the John Ewins who married Esther Cook August 7, 1778 in Rockingham County as recorded in Wayland's Virginia Valley Records. She may have been with him in Greenbrier but they must have returned home after a time. In 1791 John “and ,wife Esther of Frederick County” sold 200 acres to brother Robert for 250 pounds. This is probably the same 200 acres that John had bought from brother William for 200 pounds in 1788. In 1791 he sold 53 ½ acres to Wm. Taylor for 65 pounds 5 shilling. On September 6, 1793, he sold 191 acres to Jacob Snider for 382 pounds and 190 acres each to brothers Samuel and Thomas for 5 pounds each. (Samuel was about 25 and Thomas about 20 years.)

By October 21, 1794 John3 is described as “of the Commonwealth of Kentucky”. In this deed his mother Elizabeth Ewing “in consideration of the sum of five hundred pounds current money of Virginia to the said John Ewing” ... receives “a certain tract of land lying and being in the county of Frederick and Commonwealth of Virginia in the vicinity of Stephensburg which is the entire remainder of a larger tract of six hundred and twenty-five acres which said tract was conveyed by patent from Thomas Lord Fairfax to William Ewing dated the eighth day of November 1756. Registered in Book H folio 731 and by the death of William Ewing John Ewing his son became heir at Law and did sell and convey parts thereof to Robert Ewing, William Taylor and Jacob Snider by surveys thereof and now the whole residue and remainder to Elizabeth Ewing her heirs and assigns forever containing two hundred acres be the same more or less.” The deed signed by John Ewing was proved by the Frederick County Court December 3, 1794 and ordered to be recorded. John’s deed was witnessed by his brothers Samuel, Robert, and Thomas Ewing, and brother-in-law, John McGinnis. Footnote


Page 19     Top of page

John may have served in the Revolution and received new land as payment. The Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution by John H. Gwathmey includes John Ewing, a Navy Seaman, and John Ewings of the Second Virginia State Regiment. A John Ewing of Logan County, Kentucky received a pension in 1833 for service as a Virginia Militiaman. That was probably “our” John who was living in Kentucky in 1794. A map of 1796 Virginia on which the Greenbrier and Kentucky areas may be seen is included. The Monongahela River may be found north of the Greenbrier area.

William Ewing3 (William2, John1), the second child of William and Elizabeth, was born April 26, 1758. He was 23 years old when his father's death occurred in 1781.


William may have served in the Revolution and may have received land in the west as payment. Sgt. William Ewing of the Fifth Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line and an Ensign William Ewing of the Fifth Virginia Regiment, are listed in the Virginians in the Revolution mentioned earlier. The Documentary History of Dunmore's War by Reuben Thwaite contains a list of Captain Philip Love's Company of Volunteers with William Ewing listed as a sergeant major. A William Ewing is listed in Captain John Stuart's Company of Greenbrier, and a William Ewing is listed in Lewis' Division. Both companies may have been in Lewis' Division. The editor's additional information is given below the list of names that follow below.

Dunmore's War, named for Lord Dunmore, then governor of Virginia, began in 1774 after months of growing fear of another Indian uprising like “the raid led by the Shawnee war-chief Cornstalk, who, under the guise of friendship massacred the unsuspecting settlers on the Greenbrier.” Lord Dunmore sent men to maintain the authority on the frontier and to protect the surveyors who were exploring and locating lands in Kentucky. The Augusta County surveyor sent several groups to lay out tracts for colonial officers entitled to land grants for military service. When several of these surveyors were missing, panic spread and it is said that more than a thousand settlers retreated across the Monongahela in one day. The backwoodsmen of Pennsylvania and Virginia, mostly Scotch-Irish and German settlers, were characterized by Lord Dunmore in a report to the colonial Secretary in London as a special class. “They acquire no attachment to Place, but wandering about Seems engrafted in their nature; and it is a weakness incident to it, that they Should forever imagine the Lands further off, are Still better than those upon which they are already settled. Footnote

William Ewing, like brother John and John, Jr., is listed on the tax lists of Greenbrier County, Virginia, now West Virginia, for the years 1783-1786. Later, he lived in Monongalia County, also West Virginia now, before moving further west. For this reason, perhaps, William3 sold his 200 acres of land described in John's bond, above, as “Lying on Lord Fairfax Road” to brother John. Footnote


Page 20     Top of page


John Arbuckle

William Arbuckle

John Bailey

James Barnett

Jacob Baugh

Francis Berry

Thomas Bell

_____ Blair

Moses Bowen

Rees Bowen

Alexander Breckinridge

Lou Brown

_____ Burroughs

Hugh Cameron

Robert Campbell

George Carr

Capt. William Christian

_____ Clay

Alexander Clendennin

Charles Clendennin

George Clendennin

Robert Clendennin

William Clendennin

Thomas Collet

John Cutright

Leonard Cooper

_____ Coward

Joseph Crockett

Lieutenant Dillon

Robert Dunlap

William Ewing

William Easthorn

James Ellison

George Findley

William Casey

A letter to the Editors, dated Mar. 15, 1905, from Hon. A. E. Ewing of Grand Rapids, Mich., gives the information that William Ewing, his great-grandfather, was a settler on Swago Creek, an affluent of the Greenbrier, near Buckeye, Va., and was a member of Arbuckle's company. This rests, our correspondent states, on an assured family tradition. A similar tradition represents that William Ewing was one of the garrison at Point Pleasant when Cornstalk was massacred, and tried to prevent the deed. Our correspondent states that he is the author of the reference here cited, in Price, History of Pocahontas (County of Virginia). Ed.

William Ewing3 deed:


Whereas John Ewing heir at Law of William Ewing deceased gave me a bond dated the Twenty First day of June one thousand seven hundred and eighty two for the conveyance of two hundred acres of land part of a larger tract of six hundred and twenty five acres formerly occupied by my father the late William Ewing decd which land is adjacent to Stephensburg Frederick County Virginia which Bond is now of Record in the County Court of Frederick reference thereunto can be had. Now for the valuable consideration of two hundred Pounds current money of Virginia as receipted for I for myself my heirs and assigns. To him John Ewing his heirs and assigns revert and for ever set over my fee simple right to the said land and do relinquish and release all demands I or my heirs may have to said bond. Given under my hand and seal this fourteenth day of November one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

                                                                        Will Ewing (S.S.)


Page 21     Top of page

      In presents of

      Saml. Ewing

      Joshua Tharp

      Thos. Brooks


Received the day year above written of John Ewing two hundred Pounds current money of Virginia being in full the consideration money as per covenant and agreement.

                                                Will Ewing

      Samuel Ewing  

      Joshua Tharp

      Thos Brooks


At a Court continued and held for Frederick County the 8th day of April 1789· This Instrument of writing was proved by the oath of Samuel Ewan one of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

                                                By the Court

                                                   J. A. Keith

Gerald E. Ewing of Barrington, Illinois, is probably descended from William Ewing3. His great, great, great, great grandfather was a William Ewing from Monongalia County who bought a farm in 1806 in Muskingum County, near Zanesville, Ohio. He remarried in 1819 in Zanesville a widow, Francis (Baker) Thorp or Tharp. William died September 1825 in Muskingum County.

[See the editor’s comment on the introduction page.]

This William Ewing's will only named two children, Alexander and Josiah. Alexander was born in 1788 and married Catherine Gallahue February 8, 1808 in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia). Elizabeth was born in 1808 and Henry G. in 1810 before Alexander's family moved to Muskingum County, Ohio, probably later in 1810. Alexander died before his father and brother Josiah was named executor of William's will. No other facts are known about Josiah.

William Ewing's will lists Joseph Tharp as an appraiser, he remarried a widow Tharp, and Alexander's marriage bond in 1808 was witnessed by a Tharp. Joshua Tharp, named as a son in Zebulon Tharp's will, witnessed our William's3 deed to John in 1788. It is 'certainly possible that some of the Frederick County Tharps traveled west with William Ewing3 and that he is Gerald Ewing's ancestor.

A Frederick County deed transferring 60 acres to a Philip Impswiller of Frederick County from William Davis Ewing of Logan County, Kentucky, is of interest here. This William Davis Ewing may be another son of William3, only Alexander and Josiah are mentioned in his will but there were probably other children. This 1826 deed is only one year after his father's death in 1825 and names his deceased mother as Celia Davis of Frederick County. Celia Davis, then, may have been William's3 first wife. The land inherited from his mother came from a deed of conveyance from Susannah Wright. In Frederick County Deed Book 15, p. 330, William Ewing posted bond for George Wright in 1772 so there was a close connection with the Wright family. The Wm. D. Ewing deed found in Frederick County Deed Book 53 p. 8 and 9 states:


Page 22     Top of page


This indenture made this 23d day of October in the year of our Lord 1826 Between William Davis Ewins of Logan County Kentucky of the one part and Philip Impswiller of Frederick County Virginia of the other part witnesseth that the said William D. Ewing for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred dollars of lawful money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Philip Impswiller at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof the said William D. Ewing doth hereby acknowledge have bargained sold and by these presents do bargain and sell unto the said Philip Impswiller his heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land inherited by me by descent from my mother Celia Davis late of Frederick County Virginia decd whose title was a a deed of conveyance from Susannah Wright which will appear by the record of said deed in the office of the Clerk of the County Court of Frederick dated and recorded in the year 1790 lying near the drains of Stephens run. Beginning at a pine in the line of Stephen Myers and a corner to Thomas Steel S.W. near Dry Run thence with Steels line ....

There is no marriage record in Frederick County for William Ewing and Celia Davis. The marriage of Celia Davis to John McKillan (McMillan?) on December 10, 1789, recorded by the Reverend Christian Streit, is found. Perhaps a widowed Celia married William Ewing in Greenbrier or Monongalia County where William3 lived as early as 1783.

Elizabeth Ewing3 (William2, John1) born March 2, 1763, was the fourth child of William and Elizabeth. (The third child, Robert, will be discussed later.) Elizabeth married John McGinnis and lived near Stephens City. She and her husband witnessed many family wills and deeds. Elizabeth McGinnis, who died December 7, 1820 at 57 years, is buried in the Ewing family cemetery.

Mary Ewing3 (William2, John1), the second daughter of William and Elizabeth Ewing, was born March 31, 1765. Mary, called Pollie, married Mr. McBean. Mary McBean is buried in the Ewing cemetery with her death given as September 17, 1825, 60 years.

Jane Ewing3 (William2, John1) was born September 20, 1770 to William and Elizabeth Ewing. (Samuel, our ancestor, was born before Jane and Thomas but he will be discussed later.) Jane is named Isadore (Isaore) Ewing in her mother's will written July 20, 1795 so she may have been Jane Isaore. She is named Jannet in her father's will.


A Jane Ewing married Joseph Thompson June 23, 1801. On the Frederick County Marriage Register No.1, p. 169, Thomas Ewing is listed as the Surety so this is probably “our” Jane Ewing.

Robert Ewing3 (William2, John1), the third child of William and Elizabeth, was born February 28, 1761. He probably served in the Revolutionary War. A Robert Ewing is found in the History of Dunmore's War, p. 409, where he is listed in Captain Bufords Company of Volunteers.

Robert and his cousin, Margaret Ewing Carr were married March 5, 1790 by the Reverend Elisha Phelps in Winchester, Virginia. Margaret, the daughter of Samue12 and Margaret Ewing, was the widow of John Carr. Robert remained in Frederick County and bought his 200 acres from brother John.


Page 23     Top of page


This indenture made the eleventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety one between John Ewing and Ester his wife of Frederick County and State of Virginia of the one part and Robert Ewing of County & State of Virginia of the other part witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds current money of Virginia to the said John Ewing in hand paid by the said Robert Ewing ... the said John Ewing and Ester his wife ... doth grant bargain sell aliened released and confirmed unto the said Robert Ewing and his heirs forever a certain tract of land lying and being in the aforesaid County and State and on a drain of Crooked Run which said tract is part of a larger tract late the property of William Ewing decd and by his death the right of the land became vested in the said John Ewing as heir at law and bounded as follows (viz) Beginning at a white oak and two small red oaks in the original line thence N. 58 W one hundred thirty six poles to a black oak and two white oaks ... containing two hundred acres and all houses, buildings, orchards....

      Signed Sealed & delivered In the Presence of            John Ewing (SS)

      Peter Chrisman  

      Jacob Tomerman                                                        Ester Ewing (SS)

      David Wright


Received the day and year first above written of Robert Ewing two hundred and fifty pounds the full amount of this contract per me

                                                                                          John Ewing Footnote

After Robert's death October 7, 1826, his children Robert4, Elizabeth and Margaret divided his land between them. Joshua, the third child, drowned in a mill pond. Robert left no will. The inventory of his estate is found in the Frederick County Will Book 13 p. 176, 178 and Book 14, p. 374.


Elizabeth Ewing4 (Robert3, William2, John1) was born October 28, 1793 to Robert and Margaret Ewing. She married Moses Nelson February 15, 1831 and lived near Newtown, now Stephens City, Virginia where her death occurred December 25, 1856. Moses Nelson was born in Ireland about 1792. We know of one daughter, Ann E. Nelson, who was born in 1833 and one son, George William Nelson, who was born in 1840. Elizabeth is buried in the Ewing Cemetery.

Margaret Ewing4 (Robert3, William2, John1) was born March 15, 1796. Margaret married William B. Walters May 10, 1827 soon after her father’s death. She and Mr. Walters are mentioned in the land division. Margaret died October 8, 1874 near Winchester, Virginia.

Robert Ewing4 (Robert3, William2, John1) was the first child of Robert and Margaret Ewing. Robert4, born December 11, 1790, married Mary White, the daughter of Warner and Mary White on January 21, 1829. The minister was Thomas Buck, Jr. as recorded. in Marriage Register, Book I of Frederick County. Mary died June 23, 1870 at 80 years of age and Robert, August 20, 1870, just a few months before his 80th birthday.


Page 24           Top of page

Robert and Mary Ewing lived and farmed in the Opequon District of Frederick County and had one child, Robert Warner Ewing.

Robert Warner Ewing5 (Robert 4, Robert 3 , William2., John1) was called Warner. Born about 1832, he married Elizabeth Catherine "Kate" Gardner on April 7, 1857. Their marriage was recorded by the Reverend R. B. Winton in Frederick County Marriage Register Book 2, page 38. Kate, born about 1836, was the daughter of John and Rosanna Gardner of Frederick County. Their children were Thomas W., born February 14, 1858, John William Otterbein, born August 14, 1866, and Emma Kate, born in 1869.

Robert Warner Ewing’s will which was written March 13, 1878 and probated August 4, 1879, was witnessed by John A. Ewing, James M. Golladay, and C. H. Barnes. Mrs. Frank Ewing remembers that she was a very young girl when Mrs. Elizabeth Ewing died at an elderly age. She had a nephew named Weldon and a niece whose name she does not remember. Footnote

Thomas H. W. Ewing6 (Robert Warner5, Robert4, Robert3, William2, John1) , the first child of Warner and Elizabeth (Kate), was born February 14, 1858. His birth is registered in Frederick County Register of Births Book 4, page 3.

John William Otterbein Ewing6 ( Robert Warner5, Robert4, Robert3, William2, John1) was born August 14, 1866 in Frederick County where his father's occupation is listed as a farmer.


John William Otterbein Ewing was ordained a pastor of United Brethren Church in 1892 and had pastorates at Winchester, Vaucluse, Singers Glen, Cross Keys, Dayton, and Churchville before his early death October 18, 1898 at only 32 years of age. On March 4, 1891, he and Laura Isola Hott, the daughter of David and Rachel Hott of Frederick County, were married by the Reverend J. B. Chamberlin. Footnote Three children, David Weldon, Joseph O., and Catherine were born to them. Laura Hott Ewing later married a Mr. Bailey. In 1922, after the death of William Otterbein Ewing’s mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Ewing, Laura Bailey, her children and sister-in-law Emma C. Ewing, sold the remaining acreage of Robert W. Ewing to Patrick C. Madegan.

      Mrs. Laura I. Bailey et als Deed to Patrick C. Madegan


This deed made and dated this 16th day of November, 1922, between Mrs. Laura I. Bailey, David Weldon Ewing and Lois Ewing, his wife, Joseph O. Ewing and Ellen Ewing, his wife, Catherine Terovolas and Panas Terovolas, her husband, and Emma C. Ewing (single) all parties of the first part and Patrick C. Madegan, party of the second part.


Whereas, Robert W. Ewing by will of probate in the Clerk’s Office for Frederick County, Virginia, in Will Book 33, page 327, devised the hereinafter described real estate to his wife Elizabeth Ewing for her natural life then to pass to his children, which children


Page 25     Top of page


consisted of Emma C. Ewing and John W. Ewing, and;


Whereas, the said Elizabeth Ewing is now dead and the child, John W. Ewing is now dead, and;


Whereas, John W. Ewing left surviving him his widow Laura Ewing (now Laura Bailey) and the following children, David W. Ewing, Joseph O. Ewing and Catherine Terovolas.


Witnesseth: That the parties of the first part for and in consideration of the cash purchase price of Thirty Five Hundred Dollars ($3500.00) to them paid by the party of the second part, the receipt of which they hereby acknowledge do grant and convey with general warranty of title unto the said Patrick C. Madegan, his heirs and assigns forever, all of that certain tract of land containing one hundred three (103) acres, more or less, improved by a dwelling and out buildings, located in the County of Fredk Virginia about two miles Southeast of Stephens City and lying along both sides of the road leading from Stephens City to Ninevah and adjoining the lands of Hale, Albin, Suddith, et als and being the same land of which the said Robert W. Ewing died possessed.


Said parties of the first part covenant that they have a right to convey said property, that the same is free from liens and incumbrances and that they will forever warrant and defend the title thereto.


Witness the following signatures and seals this date above written.


      Witness                                                     EMMA C. EWING ( SEAL) Footnote

      Jas. P. Reardon.                                        LAURA I. EWING BAILEY (SEAL)

                                                                        DAVID WILDON EWING (SEAL)

                                                                        LOIS EWING (SEAL)

                                                                        JOSEPH O. EWING (SEAL)

                                                                        ELLEN EWING (SEAL)

                                                                        CATHERINE E. TEROVOLAS (SEAL)

                                                                        PETE TEROVOLAS (Tanas) (SEAL)

The Reverend John William Otterbein Ewing was probably named for Philip William Otterbein, the German immigrant pastor who became one of the founders of the United Brethren Church. From his Pennsylvania Church, he served as a circuit rider pastor to the new settlers down the Valley. Another circuit rider pastor was Bishop Newcomer whose journal tells us that in October 1796 he preached in Newtown and Winchester and continued his visits to Virginia for almost thirty years.

Bishop Newcomer's comments about the 1796 trip included: “Thursday rode to Massanutten and preached there Friday at Mr. Hiestand’s but found the people of that neighborhood rather hardened. Saturday, rode to the forks of the Shenandoah and lodged with Jacob Weaver, a very sick man. Sunday morning, preached at the house of J. Fa__ from ‘It is time that judgment


Page 26     Top of page

should begin at the house of God,’ and in the afternoon the Lion roared wonderfully. A meeting Monday at the home of a widow whose husband had lately died, but the people seemed cold and lifeless. Tuesday spoke in Newtown from Hebrews XII, 15, and found the Lord present. In the evening preached in Winchester to a large congregation.”

In June 1802, William Otterbein, was one of four preachers (Otterbein, Newcomer, Crum, and Strickler) traveling together. “On this journey Otterbein preached nearly every night. Services were held at Crum’s, at Geeting’s, at Newtown, at Niswander’s in Middletown, and at Winchester.” Footnote


Bishop Newcomer visited again in October 1802 when he preached to a large congregation in the Methodist Church at Newtown. (The Stephensburg [Newtown] Methodist Church was organized about 1775 when two Methodist ministers, Richard Owings and John Hagerty, preached at the home of Major Lewis Stephens.) On his October 1802 trip, Bishop Newcomer described the large crowd as Lutherans, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Baptists, and Methodists. Perhaps these combined services help explain why some of the early Ewings, once Presbyterians, were members of the United Brethren Church.


No Ewings are found among the early members of the Opequon Presbyterian Church believed to be the oldest in the area. It is possible that the Ewings attended the Nineveh Presbyterian Church just four miles south, in Warren County now. However, in 1867, the first United Brethren Friendship Chapel was built on or very near the Ewing property. Around 1890, the church which still stands at Double Churches was built for $1000. Several family members are buried there including the Reverend William Otterbein Ewing.

Alexander Washington Albin, Elizabeth, and his first wife Mary Ewan (Ewing) are also buried at the United Brethren Friendship Chapel at Double Churches. Mary Ewan, who married Alexander W. Albin November 1, 1832, may have been the daughter of Thomas Ewing3, Samuel’s brother. There were several spellings of the name. After her death in 1841, Alexander Albin married Elizabeth who was the mother of Emanuel J. Emanuel J. Albin and his wife, Maggie E. are also buried at Friendship Chapel, as are Elizabeth B. and James Albin, Alexander's brother.

In the 1850 Frederick County census, Washington Albin, 43, and Elizabeth, 29, have William W., 17, Michael H., 15, George R., 13, James B., 10, John W., 8, and Emanuel J., 4, in their household which was the next dwelling from the home of Robert Ewing4, 58, Mary, 58, and Robert W., 17. In 1838 Alexander W. Albin and his wife Mary deeded to Robert Ewing for $91.27 “a certain tract or parcel of land beginning in the line of said Ewing immediately on the road leading from Newtown to Crooked Run where the division line of said Ewing and heirs of Mary White decd crossed said road thence leaving said road ... containing 27 acres more or less it being part of the same tract of land sold by William White and Robert Ewing Executors of Mary White decd. and conveyed to said Albin by deed from them hereby granted unto the said Robert Ewing his heirs and assigns ....” Footnote


Page 27     Top of page

Thomas Ewing3 (William2, John1), born February 3, 1773, was the eighth and last child of William and Elizabeth Ewing. William was then 62 years of age. Thomas is not mentioned in William’s will which was written February 29, 1773. Perhaps the infant was not expected to live or, perhaps, the date of Thomas' birth is incorrect. It may have been February 3, 1774 after the writing of the will. Whatever the reason, the exclusion of Thomas may have kept the will from being proved in court.

The Frederick County Marriage Bonds, 1771-1825, includes a Thomas Ewen who posted bond to marry Gereta Stephens on March 22, 1791. It is also recorded that Thomas Ewing and Edith Crawford, the daughter of John Crawford, were married September 24, 1798 by the Reverend Elisha Phelps. Edith or Adah may have been the second wife.


“Thomas Ewing and Edy his wife” but signed Adah deeded in 1826 to George Ritenour “one eighth of one third of the 140 acres” Thomas received after the death of his sister, Elizabeth McGinnis. Footnote

Thomas3 and Adah may have been the parents of Dr. Thomas Ewing who is buried at Fairview Methodist Church at Double Churches. He was born January 19, 1807 and died June 25, 1888. His wife Katherine, born March 7, 1815, died November 30, 1881, and is buried beside her husband.

Thomas Ewing is listed in the 1830 Frederick County Census as between 50 and 60 years of age. With his birth in 1773. he would have been 57. A younger male between 20 and 30 years is listed who certainly could have been the Dr. Thomas Ewing born in 1807. No white females are recorded as living in the household in 1830 but there are two slaves, a female under 24 and an underage male child.

Thomas Ewing and Catherine his wife deeded to William B. Walter in 1863 for $2500. property “in the town of Winchester on the south side of Amherst between Braddock and Washington Streets.” In the Frederick Deed (Book 86, p. 62), Dr. Ewing and his wife are residents of Warren County and William Walter and his wife, Margaret, are living in Frederick County in 1863. Margaret, the daughter of Robert Ewing3, was Thomas Ewing's cousin. The Walters wrote a deed of trust to Thomas Ewing in 1858 and paid off the trust in 1863.

Thomas3 and Adah also may have been the parents of John W. Ewing who married Sarah Ann Abbott December 25, 1832. Sarah Ann Ewing of Berkley County, West Virginia made her will in 1873 which directed that her

“debts and funeral expenses be paid out of the rents of my undivided interest in the farm known as the Abbott farm in Frederick County Virginia. Item 2 - I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary S. all my household and kitchen furniture. I also give to my said daughter Mary S. the house and lot in which I now live in Berkley County West Virginia. Item 3 - I give and bequeath to my son James W. Ewing the house and small garden attached thereto which he has built on a part of the above described lot .. Item 4 - I will and direct that the bond held by William B. Abbott against me for five hundred dollars and the interest on the same be paid out of the proceeds of sale of my interest in the Abbott land lying in Frederick County Virginia and my son Robert M. Ewing I wish to have and do hereby give out of the proceeds of the above Abbott land the sum of five hundred dollars and the balance to be equally divided between my son Robert M. and my daughter Mary S. and James W. after paying to my grand daughter Nelly R. Ewing the sum of five dollars. And lastly I do hereby appoint my son James William Ewing my executor to carry out the wishes as above expressed....” Footnote


Page 28     Top of page

The will names James William, Robert M., and Mary S. Another son, Henry A. Ewing, listed his parents as John W. and Sarah A. Ewing on his marriage license found in the Frederick County Marriage License Book 2, p. 53. Henry A., 22, born in Frederick County and living in Kernstown, married on May 12, 1859 Sarah A. Vance, 19, the daughter of John W. Vance of Kernstown.

The John W. Ewing family is found on the 1850 Frederick County census. John W. and Sarah A. are both 40, and the children are James 16, Henry 14, Juliet 8, Robert 5, and Hugh 2. The family lived in the 16th district, the same as our other Ewings but not nearby. A Thomas Ewing, 23, is listed as the teacher for the William Carter family of eight children. The Carter residence was next door to the James Albin home which was near the John Samuel Ewing home. These Ewings may have been related.

Samuel Ewing3 (William2, John1) ,was the sixth child of William and Elizabeth and our direct ancestor. The discussion of his life and family follows.


Top of page